Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 52 / One Year Later...


Cheers to a beautiful week!

This week has been absolutely incredible. I feel so happy. Sister Porter is such an example to me. It's so much easier to be me and my fullest me when she is around. She lifts my potential and desires. I trust her with everything I've got and thank Heavenly Father everyday to be with someone like her. Sister Porter makes me want to be better in every aspect of being missionary. With her it just feels like anything is possible. That I can do hard things. I feel as though I can work my hardest with her. I really strongly believe we were friends in Heaven. I am just taken back by how fast this week has gone and how much we are getting done. All the small things are what makes me really happy. We have been contacting our hearts out and we are still up and running. It is crazy how Sister Porter and I are so connected and when we study, we study the same things. Or think the same things, go the same ways. It is just another gracious reminder of the Lord and His Spirit that is working with us to connect the dots and bring us success. We have been making a bucket list for Sister Porter since it is her last transfer and trying to come up with new ideas to get this work moving.

We get on the bus every morning and right as we walk on the bus- we find someone who is needing a friend and go sit by them. We are talking to everyone and it feels so good to be able to see the people's hearts change as we begin to open up and express our love we already have for them and happiness we desire for them. We had 30 minutes left one night and we were heading down a street, we stopped a couple of people that were passing along. We felt prompted to head down to our left and as we started going that way a man walking his dog stopped us and said he had one question for us. He said it in English and he was wearing some ripped up hoodie. He use to be a boxer and he had a shaved head and he looked like one of those tough guys you don't mess with. We absolutely loved him. He was the most funniest guy we ever met and he had the best humor and just a positive outgoing personality. We talked awhile about our church and Slovenija. He thinks that Slovenija should be renamed, ''Hobbiton''. He said the people here are just like hobbits and Slovenija looks like where the Hobbits live.  He asked us if we had an English class for his Dad. He said that his Dad needed to learn English because he sounds like an Indian in those old time movies when he is trying to speak to someone politely, he'll say ''YOU. COME.''  He was just a really great guy and we got to talk about why we were here and he thought it was beautiful and I gave him a temple picture that he said he was going to hang up on his fridge. He just made our night for contacting.

Another night we were out and about and I noticed a man I had seen before a long time ago. He told me if we ever see each other again, we would talk. He told us to come over and we got his number and where he lived. The Spirit guided us to so many cool potentials! Another day we were trying to look for some building and saw a kid in a random middle part of all these buildings and we asked if we could sit on the ground with him. We found out he is our age and he was really interested about talking to us. We would get on a bus and we would meet all sorts of people that we invited and got numbers for. A girl at the bus stop was crying and I couldn't handle it. We both were waiting for the girl to look over at us so we could make our entry in to comfort, but she wasn't looking our way, so I decided I couldn't wait any longer.  I walked up to her and said in Slovene" I really just wanted to say you are beautiful and I hope you can be happy." She smiled and asked who we were. I eventually sat on the bus with her and talked a little while. She liked that we were happy and I found out she was my age. She told me she really was going through hard things but when I talked to her it made things a lot better, at least for that moment.

Sister Porter said something really beautiful to me- that if I just make someone smile... That is a worthy accomplishment. I believe that we need to be able to help others everyday even if it's just a smile. When I see someone smiling here it is new... It's drawing... Magnetising.. Because you don't see that a lot. People are going through tough times but I am here to love and to bring that happiness and some Good NEWS! I want to help empower people and make them feel like they really can do anything. We all have different ways of living and growing and personalities but we all can have this Gospel. It is literally for everyone. It touches every person, every soul and it heals and provides the greatest joy.

We are trying to focus on the talents of the members and us as missionaries so we can start letting it out into the world and shine and to show what makes us happy. That we have these beautiful gifts and happiness because God loves us. If you have any ideas... Please feel free to share them with me! We need to be known. We need to do a pay it forward to the world and keep giving. For me I want to give my everything... God has prepared us for a great task. We as the Church of Jesus Christ are as the Mumford and Sons said so wonderfully. ''Make this place your home.'' I believe we can. We can make anyone feel loved, at home. Everyone I meet- I want them to feel it. Even if it's just a little. It's worth it! I want nothing holding me back.. I want to be unstoppable and with the love that is the highest love and everlasting which is Christ's love.. I believe we must pray for people who are people even we don't know. I saw a lady walking and she spilled her coffee, she was not happy, and seemed to be running late. I saw a man sitting alone, eating his food and staring off into space. I couldn't help but pray for that lady and for that man, That they would be okay. That they would be happy. That they would have a good day. I wonder if they did? Or felt something as I prayed? I can't help but want to stand up and sit by that person or walk past and say hi at least. To uplift and encourage. We all need to. We all need a little love once in awhile. How many people do we pass a day or sit next to on a bus and not say a word to? We all need to realize we need that someone who will be there for us.. To know we are not alone. It starts with us. It starts with me. I am excited for what is happening. I am loving what I am doing and how it is changing me into someone I want to be forever. I have a love for the people that I know I can only have because of God's love for us all. I am blessed and we all are truly lucky to be here on this earth and to have each other as company. To learn and grow and to love. I love you. I do, I do, I do. Have a beautiful week. Praying always specifically for each one of you and your wellness. My heart goes to you.

Sister Cuthbert

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 51 / The Dynamic Duo is Together again.

Dear Family,
Sister Brown and Holly

A crazy week, indeed this week and more to come soon. We had so many tiny little blessings that meant the world to Sestra Brown and I. The spirit was really working wonders with us as we strived to find new potentials and find our in-actives. A woman who I have been feeling really good about hasn't ever answered our calls and she moved homes a while back and no one quite knows where she moved to. I felt prompted randomly one day just to text her a specific question. I sent the text not really registering I just did something abnormal and definately not by me. The phone buzzed a minute later and it was our in-active asking if we could meet this next week and that she was thinking about us. Sestra Brown and I were shocked with the incredible power of the Spirit and how it prepares us as missionaries but also everyone else around us. We are all being connected and we just need to listen to receive such successes.

We felt very strongly one night that we should go outside after we had just walked into our apartment to grab a quick bite. We decided we best listen and right as we walked outside a person on a bike passed by and said, ''hey! I know you!'' It had been one of our potentials we wanted to see but didn't know how to get in contact with. We talked for a good while and asked him to come to church and our English Class. He was really excited and said, ''absolutely yes!'' I have been praying a lot about gratitude for the mercies and beautiful blessings that God is watching over us and loves us so fully that He wants us to be happy and will give us what we need and desire. I hope I can always turn my thoughts and desires towards Heaven and always search for the happiness of others and bring the mercy and love of Christ to each person I meet. God wants me to build and create here in the now, but I realize that I am building my forever and it really needs to be now where I start to focus on how I want to build my life and who's blue prints I want to go after. God's way and the Savior's who are our creators, they know how things work best and how each one of us function. They can see the tiny details that stick our lives together or rip us apart, but if we follow them we will build a kingdom of Heaven even right in our very homes and in us. It's so important to see our decisions and what we are doing now is the next step to which direction is our future. I treasure the moments I got to learn with Sestra Brown. There were tough parts of course but the greatness of it is now. I have more open eyes, I have more of a sense of love and I see God's hand working with us in every moment. Sestra Brown showed me the vision in which we all need to take a long hard stare at. We need to realize who we are and realize our own visions and what we want to accomplish. We can do it and Sestra Brown was really good at seeing the potential in others. I love her and it is crazy to think I have gone so far in my mission and yet I still feel like I am at the beginning.

I want to fully be prepared for this next transfer. I want to work harder than I ever have, I want to diligently search, valiantly study, teach with the Spirit in abundance, love with all I have. I found out on Saturday that I would be having Sestra Porter as my companion. I was over filled with joy and love that I could serve with my trainer for her last transfer. I want it to be the best for her and do everything in my power to work more than ever and give our very best. I am ready to come home every night exhausted, I am ready to open my heart wide,  I am ready to stand and be a representive of Christ more fully, I am ready to find God's children. I am very excited for this transfer and I feel as though the fire has just begun. I know that as I live the gospel, my testimony will become stronger and that I can always look to this Gospel for all my answers. That our testimony is really just who we are... So when we are bearing our testimony- we are just saying who we are---who we truly are. So we shouldn't be afraid to share, because we are here to be just simply us. To be me, it is what God wants. I am happy to serve and I love you all so much. Don't doubt who you are, but be believing and let the Spirit guide you to your ulitmate happiness. God loves you more than you know. I love you too! Have a good week!

Sestra Cuthbert

Holly and her Trainer are together again. A Wish come true for Holly.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 50 / The Adriatic Sea is so Blue

Dearest Family,

We have been really blessed to see so many new people come into the church and witness a few baptisms these past weeks. New in-actives keep popping into church and it is seriously the best feeling to see the members that are here run up to the in-actives and give them big hugs. You can see the change and warmth in everyone's eyes with the excitement of members coming back. I can't imagine how much our Heavenly Father is so happy and filled with an over amount of love to see his children come back home. With that in mind, the members have been really pumped in working with the missionaries and seeing what new things we can do. Our faith and the members faith are growing and we are working harder more and more each day to be of some help to God's Children.

The summer has been really beautiful here. Plenty of rain and misty clouds that all in all I can't help but love. I still get to wear my sweaters and my shoes that are getting rather torn, but it helps remind me, we are working hard. I love opening the window at night and watching the rain hit the cobblestones. Sometimes at night the sky is clear and I go out on the balcony to catch a glance of my dear old star friends I so fondly admire. Every time you look up at the sky you really do feel like the tiniest person, but also that there is a definate feeling that there is something so much more out there, and we mean a lot more than we think. Yes, stars still get me and sometimes it's hard seeing them in the city, but I get a chance every once in awhile and I feel closer to my loved ones when I look up at the sky. I feel like I can be like a constellation too-  like the stars and my family align up with me and we really do make a wonderful constellation ourselves. It makes me want to shine more knowing that I can be part of such a string of bright stars such as you. It makes me understand that we are all working together in this world as individual lights and creating something a lot bigger than we know. When we meet others or add people to the family there goes another line and the constellation becomes bigger and more apparent. I'd like to get to know the whole sky if I could and I feel it's important to realize we aren't just going unnoticed in the mass of a huge sky. Someone always notices and knows us well. Even if we don't feel it, I know that Heavenly Father is pointing us out and watching us gleam. We are so important and I feel His love is very endless and even when the surroundings of us seem dark we can always know that we are all here and we are all so close. We just need to connect and string each other together. We really do hold our universes together.

Since there is not a Young Women's teacher as of this month, Sestra Brown and I get to teach. Wow, incredible young girls whom I adore. I can't believe how much they know and love this gospel. I couldn't help to dream about working with the Young Women when I get home and how much I really do like teaching the youth. Sestra Brown noticed I teach usually always with a testimony on each principle we discuss. So by the end of our lessons I have said like 10 mini testimonies. I can't go a day with out bearing it to someone. It is part of me, my testimony... Heart and soul and I don't feel right if I am not sharing it with someone everyday. I admit I got a little teary eyed as we taught the young women, they did too. I love how much I can feel God's love and His thankfulness for how wonderful they are. How proud He is of such wonderful daughters and how lucky I am to be a part of it.

Sestra Brown and I were on the train this week to visit one of our in-actives and we were talking about conversion. I hoped so badly before my mission to change and be more converted in this gospel than ever before. As time moved on and as the mission began I couldn't really see exactly what was happening or if I really had any change come to pass. I worried, but I felt focused on not worrying about me but rather the people and maybe just maybe things would turn out...And that day sitting on the train Sister Brown turned to me and said straight out of nowhere, '' I can see it.... I see your heart has changed... I see your conversion... And you are definately the Lord's servant.'' I hope this is true. But, even more so it means if I am, I can't stop here and call it good. I must keep moving forward and more diligent- to be the best I can be and the best for God and work to bring to pass the Salvation of Christ. I have been studying a lot about Christ and His teachings and the Atonement... It is incredible to see the power and the spirit I felt as I read passages and as I seek earnestly to know more about the life and sacrifice of Christ. I know He came here on Earth to save men like you and I, that we may have a chance, a way to return back to Heavenly Father's presence. I know that He died for us and was resurrected. That because of him I can be something and we can transform into more than we can imagine. I want to always follow Him and as I take the sacrament every sunday I pray for forgiveness and renewal. I am so grateful for all this and that I can keep moving forward and be better and more wiser each day. That He can trust in me as I trust in him and we can work together to bring His precious sheep back.

We went to the Sea today and it was lovely. My jaw dropped as we came upon it and I forgot what the ocean looks like. I forgot how you can look at it and it just goes on, and on, on forever really. We made it to Piran and I couldn't help but love the colors of the buildings and the little alley ways as you walked in them and could feel the houses getting closer together and you are surrounded and feel as though they are giving you a big hug. It feels safe down those streets as though they are hiding you away as a secret. The roofs are a rusty orangey-red and so vivid, so warm. I really liked putting my feet in the water and feel the peace of the day. It's been really quite crazy lately and yet there are these beautiful moments that make it all worth it, all worthy to call it something good. I love here and I love that I can be part of the beautiful earth and the people that are in it. I love you family. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of you. It is something I am truly blessed with. Have a wonderful week and be sure to keep smiling and loving the life that God has given to you. My prayers are with you!

Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 49 / Samwise Gamgee

My Dear Family,

It is so beautiful to hear about all your trek stories. I felt the spirit so strongly and I couldn't help but think how great of a family I have and ward to be with. I am so glad you all had enriching experiences and I hope you treasure them and know that angels were watching over you. I would wake up in the middle of the night and get out of my bed and kneel on the floor and begin to pray for you all. I am so thankful for the answers to my prayers and everyone's that you were safe and had experiences lovely and opened your eyes to a taste of a pioneer's life.

Apparently to Sister Brown I am her Sam from Lord of the Rings... So that's really awesome, as he is the best. I hope that I can always be like that - as Sam is a good example of how we all should be - kind, generous, helpful, humble, and always serving.

I feel as of today that I worked out pretty hard for P-day! We rode bikes up to a waterfall that was 8 kilometers there and 8 back... It was really steep going up! I kept on thinking about the pioneers and you all when I was pushing in the blazing sun. I thought at points I was needing to stop and go no more. But I prayed and thought if my family can do trek! I sure can do this mountain! It was a blast and I loved being with the other missionaries and hearing about everyone's successes!

Many miracles have been happening and I feel the strength in the Lord as I turn over the things that are hard and I just can't do on my own. Our 19 year old investigator use to have the Book of Mormon but gave it away because he just didn't think he needed it. I was determined that I was giving him a Book of Mormon and there would be no denying or receiving it back. I took the Book of Mormon and placed it near my heart, I bore testimony of the power and beauty it has. My investigator was quarreling and very good at argument, but that wasn't stopping me. He was intelligent and basing everything on science, logic and test and failure. I am not so profound at words but told him to experiment on the word and he would know for himself. He took it and said "I won't read it and I will just give it to you next time I see you."  I told him he wouldn't. He asked me "how I could be so sure? How I could know that this book had nothing false in it. That I knew."  I told him I had prayed about it and I have felt the spirit testify it to me it was true. I wasn't backing down I could not deny it and I know God couldn't either. He was impressed and he said fine I will just have to read the whole thing! He believed in my words and now he has the book! The truth. I admit that once I gave it to him - he was trying to give it back... he would set it down by me but I would just scoot it towards him or put his keys on top of it. I felt so strongly this boy needed to hear what God had to say. He needed it and I wasn't going to give up on him.

I went to an in-active's home that has come to church the past few weeks and as we knocked on her door and she come and told us that she was not well. A lot of hard problems had stricken her and she felt as though she wouldn't be able to come to church this week. I felt the spirit prompt me to pray with her. She kept bending down and crying. So I bent down with her and I whispered "Can we pray?" She said "yes" softly and I felt the warmth of the sun and the sweetness of the spirit flowing by. I began to pray and someone walked by as we were outside and they were rummaging through something. Something perhaps fear had came into my mind to tell me to stop praying or hurry up and not look ridiculous praying outside like that. I was taken back by the thought and I paused, I cleared my mind and decided to let the spirit talk instead. I kept at it and felt as though angels were with us. I looked up to see the person that was rummaging around because she had stopped after I began to pray more fervently. She was an older woman and she was standing there with her mouth open and in awe about what was happening, she was just staring at us kneeling on the ground. I felt good that she saw what she saw and  am sure she felt a power there. Our inactive was crying and hugging us and came that Sunday and it was beautiful! Our new Mission President was here and it was great to have a little meeting with him and see all the missionaries that are leaving this month. I love them a lot and the new President Grant and his family,  they are all very fun and loving. It will be interesting to see what miracles they will bring to our mission!

We were walking one night as our lessons had fell through, to an in-actives when we found out they didn't live there anymore. I felt prompted to keep walking in this random direction where there are a lot of apartments and nobody insight. We walked and nothing really was coming up but I felt so good about being there. It was almost time to go home and we walked a little bit further and started heading back home. A man passed us and I said hello and he turned around and kept walking and then turned around and stopped and stood there. We walked over and began to talk. He said he had seen us from the window and wanted to know what we believed and who we were! It was majorly cool! Remember that lady I met awhile back and I felt so strongly to give a book of Mormon to in Croatian and when I went back to her house her husband answered and slammed the door. We decided to try again! We did and we taught her and gave her the Book of Mormon. I wrote my testimony in Croatian (with the help of our dear member who is Croatian)

This week has been really the best! I have learned so much about being persistent and enduring. That if we trust in God and be believing He will grant us what we desire. I am so lucky and happy to be here serving the Lord and I feel the Spirit working through me and my companion, leading us to those we need to help and teach. My testimony and conversion is becoming deeper and deeper and I love it so very much. Although I may not have fancy words to woo the crowd - I have a simple testimony that is true. And that is something, it is enough, and it is my own. I love you all! Thank you for all you do! Have a good week! I am always praying for you!

Sister Cuthbert