Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 35 / Sidewalk Art

 
Dear Family,

Exciting to always hear from you and to know you are doing well. I hope that this week will be even better and you will have major success and miracles.


This week:
Sister Brown had a crazy dream one night and in the morning we talked about it for quite some time. She kept talking about this Bonsai tree that was prominently in it. She thought maybe we were meant to buy one or something because they are just rad little beauties. We went along with missionary work and by night we were contacting and passed an apartment. We felt prompted to go inside and check it out. We said a little prayer to be guided and Sestra Brown asked where should we start from bottom or top? I felt very heavily we needed to go up stairs. We walked up the many floors and stopped at the top stairs. There was only one door and beside this one door stood humbly, a small Bonsai tree. Sestra Brown and I looked at each other super excited. We knocked on the door and a lady answered. We began to talk to her and Sestra Brown bore her testimony. The lady surprisingly kept the door opened and was like waiting for something. We handed her a Book of Mormon and told her about our English class and out of nowhere this cute little child came running up and took the Book of Mormon out of his moms hands was super giggly and so excited to see a book! He ran away and Sestra Brown and I thought "mission accomplished". We walked out of the apartment and were really happy and really amazed. I think that Sestra Brown has powers. I have been telling her to eat more cheese because apparently you get more dreams from that and I want more revelation! I am really kidding, but seriously. Anyway, Sestra Brown is amazing and I love her spirit and how much she wants to be the best missionary, and she really is.


We went with the Kranj Sestri this week to a Mexican Restaurant and the Hispanic food was really good, not the same as real Mexican food but I was content. Sestra Porter and Sestra Jones are like two incredible sisters. I really love spending time with them. After the Mexican restaurant we all bought Reese's. I know... American Chocolate, but we seriously all miss it so much!


We did a combined activity on Saturday with all the missionaries in Ljubljana. We went to this big park and bought chalk and wrote out the question how do we find true happiness?  And we contacted and got a lot to stop and really think. It was fun to watch and see people even in passing to think about it. Because lets face it. What is true happiness? And how lucky we are to have it!

I love details - we have a lot to see, to feel, to hear, to taste, to experience, and to find joy. We can't of course remember all the details but do you notice when you think back to the happiest times, when you had the spirit. You can remember things, even feelings so clearly. We are so lucky to have such good memories, and to have this Gospel. It's awesome to think that even the best moments haven't even happened yet and that they haven't stopped and won't. This gospel is giving us an ongoing happiness. Eternal. It's beautiful.


So I am called the awkward-wing man. I make the first move on contacting and then we both go in as a companionship and get to the teaching. It's really fun and I like finding strengths in our companionship and getting better each day. I was contacting on the bus and helping a lady and her daughter with their bags. I noticed the young daughter had a Hannah Montana bag... I thought I would comment and ask if she liked Hannah Montana. She just stared at me disgusted and I couldn't help but smile and put a note in my head... Never talk about Hannah Montana. I really have learned my lesson there!:)

 
For a while out here I was wondering why no one could say my last name. They always resorted to just sister or say I can't say your name and I don't want to take time to learn it. Or they would ask my first name. I was wondering why can I not just go with my first name it would be a lot easier and people would actually know it. This is my conclusion this week and how wrong I was for thinking this. There are only two names on my name tag... Christ's and my family's. Not my own. And when you look at it from that perspective and realize that this mission is not about me... This mission is about Christ, and about families. About the real things that matter, and that is why I am here in this life. What I love most, is that it has such a deeper meaning to me and I can proudly and happily every time see my name tag- see Jesus Christ and my family's name. A reminder of what I have, what I hold precious, and two names that are there on my name tag that I wear around everyday by my heart.


Sometimes God doesn't give you what you want, not because you don't deserve it but because you deserve so much more. And we must remember that. That we also are so much more. And that we need to try our best to become more like Him and give of ourselves. Are whole selves. Whatever it is you're scared of doing. Do it. Trying new things, learning, living, growing, pushing yourself, the things that you thought were impossible. The things you have never done before. Don't worry if it's not perfect, don't think it's not good enough. It is. If you love. There is no denying.


We went over to an in-active members house, who haven't been to church for 10 years. We connected instantly and I fell in love with their beautiful family and what they live by. They said that everything of God is love. The Book of Mormon is Love. We as missionaries are love. The church is love. The man really loved God and His family. He knew God loved him. I asked him, "more than anything then you want to show your love back right?" He said, "of course, yes". I said then "by loving back you must go back. Go back to church, go back to reading the scriptures, to love- is a verb, an action.We must prove that we truly do want this". The man and wife were taken back. Sestra Brown and I gave powerful testimonies that the time is now. The Spirit was so apparent and so full. The room was glowing and the man sat there and said "I don't even know why I am not going to church... I want to find myself first". I told him that he could find it there at church. Then he said, "I have been looking for someone... to be the right one, to say the right things". I asked him, "has he found that person yet?"He told me "I don't know.. But I think I know now". WOW. WOW. WOW.


The Spirit, this missionary work- time and time again has left my jaw dropping. I love this work, I love you all. I love that I have such happy sweet spirits as my family and how the more I realize I am out here the more I see that we really are just one big family. I love you and pray for you. Enjoy the life you have been given and recognize that being apart of this gospel means everyday important, is a holiday.


Love,

Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 34 / Feeling Good


Family!

I am alive!

My last day in Maribor we were going over to my two little young women. The bus had come a little earlier than it usually does and so we missed it. We didn't want to be late to our lesson so we started booking it to the next bus stop, we missed it by seconds. We decided we should start walking and  headed our way. We were in a place we don't usually go to and our heads were trying to wrap around what to do. You could say - we were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. But I just don't believe in that. I believe when you think you are lost, you really aren't. When you miss a bus, or you think you came to the wrong stop it's not good. But everytime I have done this... It was actually the right place at the right time. It was meant to be and you have to take these things in stride. So, in light of those thoughts, we started going down a street and someone was coming up to us with spreaded arms. It was Anja! (19 yearold) investigator. We had tried to set up with her last week but she was very busy with school but here she was on a random street. We hugged and got to talk and she was telling me how much she believed and knew this church was true! I got to say bye but I just had the strongest feeling in the world that this amazing girl is ready. She is definitely elect. We made it to the house on time and had some sweet goodbyes. I was very lucky to serve in Maribor and meet all these amazing people. I have to admit when I am here in Ljubljana and I hear Maribor Soccer is in the lead I do a fist pump in the air and I am super happy. Whoo Whoo!

Here in Ljubljana I am loving it. I really like the members and the people I am meeting. This place is huge and we go on buses a lot so it's a great opportunity to get contacting done. I get inside the buses, scout out people, target them and go stand or sit by them. I talked to this older fellow that was in his 80's and he had the craziest socks on. I couldn't help but talk to this cool guy and teach him. He was awesome. Here I am really needing to act on faith and let courage take hold. Sestra Brown and I are learning the language and wow... She is majorly good. I am already learning a lot from her. The cool thing is, that when I am talking to people the gift of tongues takes over. I am very thankful for that.  We were waiting to catch a bus this week and this lady was sitting at the stop. I walked up to her and started talking. She asked me a lot of questions and I answered them and gave her a pass along card. We got on the bus and she asked me to sit next to her. I began to teach her what we believe and gave her a Book of Mormon, she was impressed but said she had to see for herself. This week has been a lot of contacting. I feel like when things get hard or you aren't quite sure what to do.. You just go to work. I know I have a lot to work on but I am really calm. It's nice to work in the Lords hands and do this work. It's really home feeling here especially when I bare my testimony. I don't feel right the days I didn't get that opportunity to do so. Sestra Brown is awesome I love her a lot. She really tells the best stories and it's good to keep laughing and having funny moments. We have already had a lot of them.

We went to Kranj with the Sestri in Kranj and it was great to be with Sestra Porter again. I really look up to her. We went to President Mitz house and had 'the best palačinka' it was great to get to know him and his little 3 year old - who was a doll and we had fun teaching him about Jesus Christ and playing catch. And yes they were the best palačinka!

We are looking for more investigators here so it's been a lot of finding and it is still going on. We are mapping out things and getting in touch with formers and such. I am trying (hint), trying to be organized and setting up things and working on where everything is. A lot of work to do, but we will have fun doing it.

We went on the bus the other day to get to a lesson. I hopped on and guess who I saw! Anja! I jumped her and asked what she was doing in Ljubljana? She was staying with her twin sister who lives here. I thought that was a miracle I saw them. I know that it was not by chance and I grabbed their phone number so that we can  keep in touch. Things are always looking up or getting higher and higher. Life is really good.

Sestra Brown's birthday was this week so I thought it would be nice to make her cake and death by chocolate frosting. The day of her birthday we went over to a members and the member gave her the biggest cake in the world. So she had heaps and heaps of cake. We just laughed and she ate a bunch of it and had to lay on the floor. That woman.... I love her.

On Sunday I met a lot of members and hugged a few I knew. There is this one member in Ljub that we literally ran at each other and embraced- I am so happy to be here. All three of us new missionaries bore our testimonies which was great. I love that I am understanding more and more everyday. It's not as fuzzy anymore!

I love you so much family. I love praying for you and hearing about your week and knowing you all are doing great things! Send everyone my love! Can't wait to talk to you again. Thanks for always being mine.

I think she is tired....but to be honest, is it Holly or Sestra Brown? I can't tell.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 33 / Transferred to Ljubljana "Ljubek, čudovit, lepa!"

Last Days in Maribor


Dearest Family,

This week has been really good! It has been so good to hear from you all and hear that you are all loving life and that spring is coming! Thanks for all the packages and letters. I was so excited to receive them! I love what Ivy gave me. I made her kool-aid and even made hot kool-aid. Interesting none the less.
On our way to a country wide church meeting.

One of the two young women we have here has been really sick and has been in the hospital. She is this cute 12 year old who has the biggest blue eyes and the sweetest round face. She was sitting there on her bed when we walked into the hospital and she squealed for joy when she saw us. She always is asking why this is happening to her and why God is doing this to her. I just sit on the bed and hug her tight. God doesn't want her to feel that way at all. We would talk about His love for her and all the little blessings she had. Also, that God lets us go through hard things so we can grow. It's like walking in a giant store as a little kid holding your mom's hand. So many carts and other people rushing past and bumping into you. It can be rough getting from one section to the next but as long as you are holding your mom's hand you make it through and you feel okay, protected even if all around you is chaos. God is holding her hands in the same way. He is holding Our hands. I know it. I seem to look at her and really wish to do anything and everything in my power to make her happy. I always think of Ivy, how they are around the same age and how much I would want to do for her and I go from there. It makes decisions a lot easier to give your all, because lets face it, we can always be giving more, but when I think of the ones I really love it has a lot more depth to things and it helps me gather more courage to stand for what I believe and give all I can.
 
This last week was really good, tough but good, because I am getting transferred this week. I was saying my good-byes to people, but not so much of good-byes... I was saying "I will see you again". This is hello and now there is a delay. I am coming back! I really have loved the people I have served with here, the members and all the people who have made this journey something so much more than I can comprehend. I love my Ana and I got to see her perform to the disabled and such on Friday. She sang, ''I Am Yours'' by Jason Mraz. She really loves music and she always amazes me with how much she holds. She has very much an old and lovely soul. 

I was at one of my investigator's homes and when it was time to go, I just sat on the couch and couldn't move. I will miss this family deeply. This woman, I had taught -always told me not to get attached to people but I told her I couldn't help it. I was getting attached to the love that is given, shown and felt. Because we are all stringed together and it's the love that attaches us. She listened to me say that and then she came rushing over and sat down next to me and hugged me. She started to laugh and told me she could be my mother yet I can talk to her like we are the same age and that I touch her heart. She told me with a soul like mine it's impossible not to love me. Okay. Why am I so blessed to have these amazing people in my life? I am really taken care of here. There is always God's angels watching over us, even for us missionaries and I feel it. I really do. Everyday.
Sestra Conference in Zagreb.

We went to the Sisters Conference this week and man, it was light-filling. I really loved hearing what President Rowe and Sister Rowe had to say. Their home had this great spirit and all the sisters radiance was making the house feel like a whole lotta love. After the meeting we had games and sat and chatted in the house. I saw Sestra Porter sitting on the couch and I went and sat down by her. Our heads rested on the cushion and we just talked and talked about life and how much we loved each other. I have missed her. It was really good to just sit and talk to her. Even though I have only been with Sestra Fugal for a few months I really have loved her and her spirit, too. I have appreciated how she is always catching me when the walls are too high to jump down in with a skirt. (We get into situations like this all the time. Crazy, I know) I have been really lucky to serve with such wonderful sisters. I am really excited to serve next with Sestra Brown. When I first met her back in the MTC - I already knew I loved her and I know it's going to be a party every night.
 
What I have truly loved about my mission is that although I am far away from my home in tiny Utah, I have found "home" in where-ever the sun's rays rest. To all the people I have crossed paths with or who have stumbled into my life, I have found home. God's home. God's love. God's children and that really is our job out here. To be that home and let others be that for you too. 

The president gave everyone our ' last personal interview' with him at conference because he knew he wouldn't be here to do that for most of us again (as he is being released in July). He talked about how we really need to find someone (in marriage) who sees the best in you. That you shouldn't be with someone and look at all their weaknesses and be less. But we should be looking at all the strengths and becoming something more. That you don't just give 50% and the other person gives 50%, but rather both of you give 100% and then the two of you together make something so much more! We as missionaries are learning how to convert, to transform -  not only other people and ourselves but our future children. I love it, the thought of it. Hosana means "save us now" and we really need to believe that we are being saved Right now. But we need to also find that someone who saves us, too. Where you both build on each other and love with all you got. The future is good to look at and realize that we need to be good now and make good choices. I hope I can be that good for my children. That I can show them I will do anything for them. I will be their home. I love finding my home in all situations. I love my family for being my ultimate HOME. For my Heavenly home that will bring us all back together again... Forever.  Life is really beautiful isn't it?
 
I love serving! I love everything about it. I love that I get to love these people here in Slovenia and love all of you....but I especially want you to know that- I love you Mom.
 
Hope you have a good week and love the homes in your life.

Love,
Sestra Cuthbert

Holly and her new companion Sestra Brown



Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 32 / Loving SLOVEnia

Dear Family!

It is incredible to hear about all the missionaries coming (leaving) from our ward! That is the best! I really love our ward and all they have done. They are Amazing. I want to tell my sweet Dad how much I love him and a Happy Birthday this last week. You are a rocking Dad and I love you bunches. Hope it was a rad one for you.

I went to one of the oldest places in Slovenia last week which was pretty great. I felt so blessed to see all the details and red roofs parading the scenery. It was so beautiful. Quaint and little, just how I like it. I just felt more at home in this part of Slovenia. It had a really good feeling and I really wanted to go contacting there. I want to come back one day for sure and draw or write or to just gaze down the sweet streets. It was a rainy day, but yet everything stood out, especially the red roofs. The days are getting greener here. Which just made the town look like a flourished fairy tale. We spent a lot of time at the castle which has a lot of mirrors and great architecture. Afterwards we went to the center of Ptuj and found out there was a street market from Italy. Of course I went over to it and had my mouth open wide to all the sweets imported from Sicily. The missionaries had to carry me away from that gallery fast or else I probably would of splurged. Our elderly couple bought us
My Marzipan treat
marzipan and I thought about Papa and how much he liked that stuff. We got to see some of the festival things for Pust and see there crazy detailed and the original costumes to scare away winter. I just kept thinking they looked like "Wookies" to be honest.

wookie...right?

 
President Rowe came to do our personal interviews this week and wow, It was incredible the revelation we received. It was definitely a pep talk, a pump up time to get ready for miracles. President Rowe told us we needed our people who ever that is whether it be members or our investigators that they needed to experience spiritual moments. That we needed to point out the spirit to them whenever we felt it, that we needed to show them how they can find the truth by themselves. It was great. He told us to tell about the first vision if anyone every asked about what is different about our church. Because really that's the start... the beginning of this incredible dispensation. He told us a lot of advice and we practiced a lot with him and were just getting pumped to go out and do the work. He is an amazing president and he told each of us that we were meant to be here, that we were all really great missionaries and when you look around at all your dear missionary friends. It is so true. President reminded us of a scripture that is in Hebrews 10:35-39 which basically sums up that we don't draw back. We can save souls. No matter how hard it is, we don't draw back!

Following after President Rowe we had the usual English class and then we went to go have a lesson. Sestra Porter and I had met a 19 year old girl at a bus stop a few months ago. She was a really great and had loads of wisdom. She loved that we had another testament of Jesus Christ and was so happy for the gift of our blue little book we gave her. We got her number and kept in contact with her. We met her once and it was super hard for me to speak Slovene at the time and bring up the gospel to her because she was so in love with her own religion. We lost contact after that until Sestra Fugal came into the picture. I got a feeling to text her and I did and she wrote back just in a few seconds saying she wanted to meet. Last time I had promised her we would get Hot Chocolate with her so she wanted to meet at a cafe. I didn't know what to expect on her side, but I knew full-hearted-ly I needed to share this ''good news'' and nothing was going to stop that. We met her up stairs in this antique cafe that looked pretty cool. We were talking about normal things and introducing Sister Fugal to her. But, the spirit was strong and I knew I needed to speak up. I asked her questions and it led into religion. How we pray and how it is our own words. She liked the idea of that and we began to talk about how much we loved Christ. I took out my Book of Mormon and set it down. I felt so strongly to impress the fact how much I loved this book. Because I really really love this book. We were agreeing on a lot of things and I felt impressed to say you are probably wonder what is so different about our church? She said well yes- I am actually. We began to tell the story of Joseph and the warmth swept in and when it came to telling the first vision. I began to say it with more love and more courage than I had ever said it before. She was sitting next to me and her eyes would not move from mine. They were wide and I knew she was feeling something. She was so happy. She said our words were so fulfilling and just a great energy. I told her that was the spirit. The spirit telling what we said is true. She said she could not deny it. It was seriously the coolest feeling ever! We committed her to pray to know if these things are true and she said she absolutely would. We walked out of the cafe dancing and we just couldn't wipe the smiles off our face. It was a really great night. We did as the Lord, and also our President directed us and we had miracle time. We had success. We didn't draw back and we trusted and let God let our sparks become more as sun. A light to someone who needed to hear. It makes me so happy that God could use me for good.

This week had plenty of little miracles and it has really brought me much joy. I notice the days where I bear my testimony, I speak up, I teach about Christ and this beautiful gospel they really are the best days. When we put our faith in God we will not fail. We will have beautiful peace. Beautiful happiness because this gospel is what inspires, it is what gives hope, it is what has brought complete healing, and a point where we see everything in abundance of light. Goodness. It is the magic bullet, the only thing that we can ever turn to and feel whole. The gospel has filled me and I am so lucky to serve and to be better everyday. To know this truth and the eternities I get to be with my beautiful family. I am grateful and humbled and will probably always be in awe at all the grace we receive.

I love you heaps. Have a good week! I know I will.

Sestra Cuthbert

Looking Bright as Ever in Ptuj, Slovenia!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 31 / Best Two Years Type of Miracles

Dear Family,

I love you!


This week has been really great. We have been working with our two young women and they are wonderful. We have gotten inactive and friends of theirs to come with us to activities and it's been really wonderful to see younger kids at our church. I have to admit I miss the little beehives I got to go camping with before I left for my mission. I cherish the moments I got to be their leader. I love those girls a lot, especially my dear Ivy. This last week we got a great opportunity to go to a castle with them. Of course I was super excited because I absolutely love history. I had a lot of fun playing with the fake armor and military equipment. The man over the castle seemed to be curious about our name tags as he guided us a long. (We were the only ones in the castle) I made some LOTR's comment when I saw some staffs and the man answered back in a hobbit quote. He asked if I had seen the new movie of the Hobbit I told him no. He then began to ask why and he began to ask if I was a Mormon! Miracle time! I got to tell him about my church and why I was here. He thought we were way cool and asked more about the church as we walked the castle's halls. At the end of our visit, he asked us to come back again. So we could talk more and he could figure out more about us. I was super happy that just by wearing our name tags and walking around we grab peoples attention. It was super rad. 


Remember the lady from last week we met in the rain? Well we were talking in our district meeting and I was talking about her. I said that we gave her our number and she said that she would call.
Everyone, was just thinking it was cool. But, hey it happens a lot and then nothing. But, after the meeting I looked down at the phone and a number was calling us that we didn't know. We answered and it was her! She asked us to come over and we could talk. Sestra Fugal and I were hopping and dancing around. We went to her house and taught her the first lesson. I said Joseph Smith's first vision and it felt awesome to say it in Slovene. Awh, it was awesome and the lady was awesome! The lesson went well and she is wanting to meet us again. I am having a way good feeling about this one. So I am excited to see what happens next. 


We have been meeting a lot with less actives this week which is crazy good because we haven't been able to meet with them in a while and this week we got to meet with all of them! This week is Pust... Which is like Halloween here. Everyone dresses up and goes around town. It's days where they scare away winter. It's fun to see. Today I am going to Ptuj which has a carnival for it. Apparently it is one of the oldest villages in Slovenia. I am happy to go and apparently we have some formers there. 


All is well I love the work. The Lord has blessed us with so much and we really need to recognize the beauties of it all. Spring is gorgeous here. SO many little buds and flowers! I love it. Everything is looking great. I really love you family and hope that all is well. Please remember to be happy and laugh in every moment. I think it's important. I got to go but I promise I will write more next week! 


Love you love you.
Sestra Cuthbert

Sestra Holly at Zone Conference last week. If you look at her trainer, Sister Porter standing just behind and to the left - they look like they could be real siblings. Crazy.