Monday, August 18, 2014

Fwd: Letter #72 - 8/18/14

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Montgomery <>
Date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:45 AM
Subject: Letter #72 - 8/18/14
To: Christine Montgomery <>

Dear family,

What a wonderful week! You didn't know this, but last week I was in a bit of a spiritual rut, but never fear, because as I just wrote President, "I'm pleased to report that I'm so out of last week's rut that I'm standing on a hill higher than I've been in a long time. God showered out revelations upon me so fast I hardly had time to record them all, and I'm spiritually on fire again. The work is great, I'm as obedient and diligent as I've ever been, and life is just good." God is faithful; if He brings you to something, you best believe He'll bring you through it too! :)

Dasha's baptism is set for Saturday at 4:00. It's going to be a wonderful day!

Today I want to tell you the story of Svetlana Nikolaevna. She's a 74-year-old woman that the Sisters before me met in June, and a couple weeks ago I gave her a call. She sounded like a nice old lady and wasn't against us coming over, so she gave us her address and we set up a time. We stopped by at that time only to find that nobody was home. Bummer. We left a note, called her back on a Saturday, and she said she'd come to church the next day.

The next day, she didn't come to church because it was so hot. We talked on the phone and she asked what our purpose was in wanting to come over, and she said that she has her own church already (Baptist) and that so much has happened in her life to leave her with little faith in the first place. I told her, "Please, just give us a chance to at least meet you," and she basically said, "Whatever, come if you want." I thought, "Alright, well... looks like she's not that interested after all," but a few nights later we were in her area and I decided to call her up anyway, thinking that maybe she was just in a bad mood on Sunday. She was home and invited us over, so we went. We were there for probably an hour and a half and she talked about 90% of the time (she lives alone -- can you blame her?). We attempted to share some of our message and then ended with a prayer, and she mentioned something about us helping her come closer to God, which I thought was neat. But I still didn't know how interested she was in us teaching her.

A few days later, on Saturday, we got a call from her inviting us back. We weren't sure why, but we stopped by. The first thing she said was, "I wanted to ask -- can I get a copy of the Book of Mormon? I know I told you I can't see very well, but I've got this magnifying glass, and I'd like to try reading your book if that's okay." Umm, yeah! We gave her a copy and offered to read to her while we were there, and she was delighted at the offer -- we read the Book of Mormon introduction, and she asked questions and gave clarifying comments and really understood the whole thing. We read some other passages too, all the while she was listening intently while cutting fruit to make us smoothies (she had already made us an entire container full of borsht [Ukrainian soup]). SUCH a kind woman. She said a beautiful prayer at the end of the lesson, and she even came to sacrament meeting the next day and is anxiously awaiting our next lesson.

We've seen this woman a total of three times now, and I already love her more than you can imagine. And I can't even describe to you how happy I was when she wanted the Book of Mormon, and when we were reading together. I was seriously holding back tears. On the way to Svetlana's apartment, I approached a woman on a bench by saying, "Hi, how are you?" and when she saw my tag and book, she turned her head to the side in complete ignorance of me without saying a word. And to have that kind of disinterest contrasted with the curiosity and sincerity and light of Svetlana... it was incredible. I was pretty much giddy to see someone finally value something so spiritually valuable and to thirst for the Living Water that the scriptures provide us with. I'll update you more on her in the future -- I couldn't help but sharing that little story with you. :)

Spiritual thought: This last week, Sister Cromwell reminded me of an experience we had together when I trained her. The day we met and had our training meeting, we went out on the temple grounds and sat on a bench together. She asked me, "What should I know about serving a mission?" and I thought about it for a moment and replied, "That it's an honor. It's an honor to serve a mission." Almost exactly a year later, I wrote this list about why. I know it's long, but I think you'll enjoy it. I sure did!

Why it's an honor to serve a mission:
  • I get to maintain a very healthy sleep, exercise, and meal schedule
  • I get to feast on the word of God two hours every morning
  • I get to pray all day long
  • I have the time, circumstances, and gift of tongues to learn and master a beautiful foreign language
  • I'm almost completely protected from worldly media and temptations that waste my time and dismiss the Holy Ghost
  • I don't have to worry about finances, work, education, housing, dating, etc.
  • I get to constantly set goals and strive to fulfill them
  • I constantly have a companion by my side
  • I constantly have a Companion by my side
  • I get to wear Christ's name over my heart for all the see
  • I get to carry around The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ for all the see

  • I get to forget myself and focus 100% on serving others
  • I get to be incredibly involved in the spiritual lives of others
  • I get to meet amazing people and build friendships that will last for a lifetime
  • I get to receive revelation daily for myself and the people in my area
  • I get to feel very deeply God's love for others
  • I get to feel very deeply God's love for me
  • I get to teach people truth all day, every day
  • I get to learn from people's words, deeds, stories, and examples all day, every day
  • I get to see people change for the better
  • I get to see myself change for the better
  • I get to practice faith, hope, and charity, not just know about them
  • I get to develop virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, and obedience
  • I get to suffer for Christ's sake
  • I get to experience constant opportunities for growth, AKA trials
  • I get to discover my weaknesses so that I know what I can improve
  • I get to be a full-time instrument in the hands of the Lord
  • I get to discover the amazingness of the gospel again and again
  • I get to spend all my time strengthening my relationship with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost
  • I get to receive a continual remission of sins (D&C 84:61; D&C 62:3)
  • I get to have my testimony confirmed every day
  • I get to have my testimony received by some
  • I get to shine the light of the gospel on everyone I come in contact with
  • I get to help "bad" people become good and good people become better
  • I get to see miracles
  • I get to be part of miracles
  • I get to find people that God has prepared to receive His gospel
  • I get to prepare people to receive the gospel that God will later find through His other servants
  • I get to promise people blessings as an official representative of Jesus Christ

  • I get to teach people about how our loving Heavenly Father restored the fullness of truth through a modern-day prophet
  • I get to teach people about God's magnificent plan for His children that explains where we came from, why we're here on earth, and what happens after death
  • I get to teach people about how to partake of the Lord's mercy through faith in Him, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end
  • I get to teach people about the commandments that God has given us for our safety and happiness
  • I get to teach people about other laws and ordinances that God has revealed to help us on our path home to Him
  • I get to watch people's faith in Jesus Christ grow stronger and give them great peace
  • I get to watch people repent and change their lives because they love God
  • I get to see people unlock the gate to the Celestial Kingdom by being baptized by proper authority
  • I get to witness the Spirit working in the lives of others to comfort, warn, protect, direct, teach, cleanse, and testify
  • And first of all, last of all, and above all:
    • I get to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end
Well, that ought to give you enough to spiritually chew on. ;) Have a great week! I love you!

Sister Montgomery