Monday, August 11, 2014

Fwd: Letter #71 - 8/11/14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 8:57 AM
Subject: Letter #71 - 8/11/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Dear world,

I planned what I'd write today so this should be a little more organized on my part...

First off, it was a HOT but fine week around here. Dasha changed her baptismal date to August 23rd instead of the 30th -- you know you've got a good investigator when they want to get baptized even sooner than they originally planned. I'm not sure that it'll be in the Black Sea though, but that's okay -- baptism by proper authority is valid anywhere, plus maybe someone else will want to get baptized in the Sea... :)

Honestly, teaching Dasha has been such a delight for me. It's like a missionary breath of fresh air to teach someone who just "gets it," who has experienced such a mighty change of heart that "[she] has no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2). She reads the Book of Mormon like it's a brand new popular novel, she prays constantly and gets answers from Heavenly Father, she's coming to church and gaining spiritual strength from it, she both is edified and edifies us in lessons, and it's all changing both her and her family for the better.

And on my side, it's been a lesson in teaching for understanding (using examples and stories that will interest and stick with her) and also teaching "for the long run." I know that baptism is only the beginning, and that much of her life will be influenced by what we teach her in this important beginning stage, and so we're very careful to teach her right. I mean, we should be that diligent with all our investigators no matter how close to baptism they are, but the principle is the same -- the more clear and bold and with the Spirit we teach now, the more ready she will be to start and stay on the path to the Celestial Kingdom.

A quick little thing I've learned on my mission and especially in the last few weeks: the journey is often greater than the destination. We've had so many moments where we're going about doing good, trying to stop by members or former investigators or potential investigators, and God blesses us with people in our path who are prepared for our message. For example, in asking for directions from some old ladies on a bench, we got to talking about the Book of Mormon, and I was able to testify about it (and oh how strong and sweet the Spirit was in that moment) and give it to her. Another time, the member we were hoping to drop by wasn't home, but the neighbor opened up and we immediately started talking to her and shared a little about the Plan of Salvation, and we're planning on going back this week. As long as we're striving to do our best, the Lord will strive to lead us where we need to be.

Looks like that's all I have time for. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Montgomery

PS -- The pics are at the famous Odessa stairs and the main port right nearby. Gotta love it!