Monday, July 14, 2014

Fwd: Letter #67 - 7/14/14

Here's another great letter.  Her release date is Oct. 15!  I will miss these letters!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 6:06 AM
Subject: Letter #67 - 7/14/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Hello world!

What a wonderful week! Hard in some ways, but SO good in other ways. For one, we went to the temple on Friday and I loved it. The temple is even more special here because (1) it's Kiev, let's be honest, and (2) we can only go three times a year so it's a real holiday when it happens. What a blessing that there's a temple in Kiev. But these Saints are totally worthy of it, seriously. I LOVE UKRAINE!

Okay, what else happened this week? We had another great lesson with Irina, but unfortunately she called the next day and said it's better if we stop meeting because "it's just not her thing." She said she's just not a religious person and doesn't like praying, going to church, etc. That was pretty hard to hear, especially because we have felt so much love toward her as we've met. But surprisingly I was able to handle it a lot better than during other times in my mission because the Spirit prepared me ahead of time by leading me to D&C 88:32-33 -- "They shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift."

I thought of a scenario of someone breaking into my house and giving me a brand new, completely free big-screen TV. But what if I didn't want a TV? In fact, what if I had just decided that I'm better off without a TV? No matter how nice the TV is, the fact is that you broke into my house (wrong) and gave me something that I didn't want (wrong), and I have no joy in either the TV or in you. Likewise, as glorious as salvation is, and as fulfilling as life is when a person lives according to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we can never force others to accept it, because that's just as wrong and unpleasant as the scenario with the TV (for both the giver and the receiver). However, we can (and must) tell and testify about how amazing the gospel is in our own lives and others', explain why it's absolutely necessary in the grand scheme of things, and invite them to try it for themselves, but then it's their choice what to do with that big, beautiful, free package waiting on their doorstep.

In other news, other investigators are using their agency to accept the gospel, little by little. :) We had an amazing lesson with Polya where she bore testimony (without even knowing what a testimony is yet) of how she's been praying every day and that God really does answer her prayers. We talked about what the Holy Ghost feels like, and in her prayer at the end of the lesson, she even thanked Heavenly Father for the Spirit that we felt in our lesson. SO COOL! Nothing is better than moments like that as a missionary. :)

I'll leave you with a spiritual thought I just sent President. Enjoy!

D&C 88:40-61 has been on my mind so lately ever since the Holy Ghost led me to it during personal study, and it applies so much to missionary work. "[We] give light to each other in [our] times and in [our] seasons, in [our] minutes, in [our] hours, in [our] days, in [our] weeks, in [our] months, in [our] years..." (v.44). To the woman on the metro, I may just be a star; to the less active I may be the moon; and to those who I teach and lead to baptism, I will be as their sun (v.45), knowing that the light that I have the privilege of sharing is completely from the Lord Himself (v.50). I have a responsibility to live every day so that I am full of light and truth, because THEN "light [will cleave] unto light" (v.40), and the elect and I will find each other. And literally no effort it wasted, because light always lands on SOMETHING, "every man in his own order" (v.60). "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55:11).

Love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Montgomery