Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 56 / Change is a Good Thing

Dear Family,

It's been raining all week long! Heaps of rain come waltzing in and everyday I have managed to forget my umbrella and have the squeakiest, most drenched shoes. It already feels like fall and I love it. Sestra Porter and I figured the earth is just trying to have remembrance of it's baptism so long ago. I am grateful for the rain because it has kept me cool all summer. It's hard not to dance in it sometimes and occasionally  I get a few seconds of boogieing in it before I get back to walking.

This week we have found many new in-actives that we haven't been in contact with in awhile. Also we have been keeping good at meeting new people and showing God's love to all. We have this one investigator who has been ready for quite sometime. But something is stopping him from being baptized. We have been talking to him and getting his concerns. He knows the church is the only true church and he has had many witnesses that it is true, but he is at a stand point as of right now. The other night I had a dream with him in it. He was talking to one of the elders about how he couldn't be a caterpillar anymore. "I have to be butterfly, I want to be a butterfly." I woke up surprised... It was strange and Sestra Porter and I couldn't stop laughing about it. But, maybe it's somewhat real. maybe it's time to change. I notice the more and more we get closer to God and to Christ we are more in the mind set and state of change. We want to change.

We have been promised if we work hard with all our might and trust in the Lord's timing, we are bound to see miracles, we are bound to see change, it is inevitable. Coming first to my area, things were not moving rapidly forward as I would have liked. The doors would be shut to the ones we tried so hard to open. Countless times we would visit or invite. Some became huge miracles and others the doors never opened. Now coming back to those doors with hope still working in me. After months of trying we began to knock once again. Now, months ahead... one after another... each door that had been closed... opened, God's children were there and they beckoned us to come inside. I am at a complete awe of gratitude from the beauty in God's timing. With time we can change. We can become prepared and ready for a new day. I have had the opportunity to see the moments of seconds, hours, days, months, even years of transformation. It takes time and it takes some growing. But it comes, it comes. And when it does you can't express the fill in your heart, or the way your brain finally connected all the dots. The electricity flow of absolute peace renders and echos for eternity down your spine. You can see the distance of forever and it looks achievable and you aren't scared anymore. You take one step forward and it feels good to stretch those rusty legs and you open your eyes real wide and things you couldn't see before you see now more vividly as the light shines and your soul comes through. You breath in happiness. You laugh and smile constantly and you don't know what has gotten into you. You feel good, you feel you, and you feel like loving and even more so- you feel loved. and that's when you know God's hugging man... God's hugging his child. He is hugging you. You are His. And yet we take time for granted, wanting things to move faster, get things done now. Wanting to feel complete now, but it's the wait that makes us really feel it. The longing, the enduring through the hard growing pains. If we had what we wanted all the time we wouldn't appreciate the sweet moments as much as when they do come. It's like not seeing someone you really care about for awhile and you miss them a lot. You remember their goodness, the comfort and you knew they loved you and you loved them. And there was something promising there. And when you finally get that chance again to see them there is nothing more better than that hug. That moment where you finally get to feel that once again after waiting so long. The feeling is whole and you feel like you can do anything. And you can. Always in God's hands.

I know it's worth the wait. I know that when you feel His love you will know it's something much much more and that you are much much more. Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us and His timing is perfect. He has provided a home for you. Now let Him transform you into the best you. I hope you are all having a happy week that you are noticing the small changes in your life as beauty. That change is good and you are good. Love you!

Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 55 / Feelings

Dear Family,

The other day we were trying to find one of our potential's. We had his address, but when we stumbled upon the apartments he lived in, it was huge! There was so many levels and doors that we had no possible way of getting though all of them in time to make it home for the night. I decided to pray in my heart and we began on the highest floor and started knocking. I was more quiet than usual because I was really trying to listen to the promptings of the spirit. Nothing came to my head. So, I kept at it. Hitting every door and talking to many. After hitting one floor I stopped in the hallway and was making my way to the stairs when I had a boom, ''3rd floor''. How strange... I don't think I will ever get use to the spirit. Again and again the spirit told me, ''3rd floor''. I told Sister Porter and we booked it. We knocked on the first door! It was a no. But, when we asked if she knew the man we were looking for she said. ''Oh, yes he lives just right there.'' We found him! While we were dooring later on  we actually found another potential on that 3rd floor and set up for this week to meet. He already had a Book of Mormon and told us he had got it years ago and although he has moved around a lot, it has stuck with him and has been something special to him.

We went over to one of our inactive's house who just recently had her baby a couple months back. Her baby could not stop staring at me and I couldn't stop staring at her. I had never seen a baby smile as much as she did and I was touched. How beautiful children are and how precious they are. I love this family we visit. They have such a strong positive energy. I sit in their house and am amazed at how much love and warmth I feel there. We went to another inactive's home that we had never actually had the chance to meet with and for some time missionaries haven't been able to get in. Sestra Porter and I felt prompted to knock this week and immediantly the door opened and we were led in. This man was hilarious and a goofball. He said he was a fanatic about chocolate and he began to give us some out of a huge chocolate bar that was at least two feet long. We ate the few he gave us and was ready to leave when he came over and said, ''Are you full?'' We said, ''Yes, and I don't think we can have any more...'' but thehe man began to react like a mad scientist and grabbed the whole chocolate bar and while laughing hysterically dumped all the chocolate on the plate to let us eat. I couldn't help but roll over and laugh. There are some really brilliant, lovely people here in the church and I am excited to get them to come back and feel the spirit more abundantly.

There is so many young people now coming to church and family home evening. For family home evening a kid we have been working with the entire time I have been in Ljubljana but wouldn't come to anything randomly showed up that night. The Spirit was so strong and we had games at the park. Just sitting there all together on the blanket and having a lesson it felt like a big family. It was good to interact and connect soul to soul with each other. I loved every moment.

We contacted a lot of people this week and had good discussions with everyone around us. We had a beautiful oppurtunity to talk to an Italian couple and they taught us some words in Italian and they were really interested in just who we are as well.

I have really focused a lot on feelings this week. What influences us for happiness and peace of mind. What makes us feel good and what makes us feel bad. What makes me feel on top of the world and what makes me feel at home. I notice that what we are doing here in this life, on a mission, is simply getting people to feel something. Something far better than we can ever imagine feeling. That because we know this church is true, because we want this Gospel and all it has to offer... We get a feeling. A feeling that is surreal and peace filling. I have felt in my life when the spirit wasn't there. I have felt the complete hopelessness and falling that at some points in our life we will feel. It's heart turning and it's scary. I have no doubt in my mind and in my heart that when I have had these moments and when I turned my all to the Savior I have felt whole. I have felt His loving guidance and influence. I have felt the calming of the Spirit and the hope for a better day. At times it didn't come all at once, sometimes I had to wait days... or months.. But slowly by slowly I could see beams or flashes of light. When I have felt the Spirit the sun turns on and I am magnetized to it. Just like the solar system. We want to encircle it as it encircles us. I have seen God's loving hands in my work here in this life. That through those hard times I had been saved, that looking back I see I was never alone. That God is looking out for us, he is running to us. Imperfect as we are. He is running to us. He wants us. Jesus Christ has saved me... He has saved you and I know if you have him in your life you will begin to transform into the potential you are. That you will look forward, and you will look up and only see the beauty in the hard. You will feel God's love for you and know you are enough. I love this Gospel so much. I love Heavenly Father so much. I love my Savior so much. I am who I am and becoming only because of them and I am grateful to serve them my whole life.

I love you family, have a good week. Hope you know you are all important to me and mean more than the world to me.

Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 54 / Pressing Forward

Dear Family,

The work is pressing forward and the blessings are always in abundance. A little while ago Sestra Brown and I were dooring and giving fliers out for our concert last Easter. We stumbled across a really forested area. The ivy was growing like tapestries on the sides of the houses and the spring flowers were blooming in all sorts of pinks, purples, and blues. We came upon a older beautiful looking house that had a sort of light to it. There was so many trees and green hues that I couldn't help but wish to live there. A lady was outside working on her rose bush that was running wild, she was grabbing away at the weeds and pruning what she could. I began to walk towards her and she took notice of us two girls walking over and stopped. I handed her the invitation we were giving out and I talked to her for a little bit. Nothing big exactly happened, but the feelings were good. I couldn't exactly remember her name or what we had talked about but I do remember her baby's name sitting in the cradle outside sleeping away. I wanted to help this woman with the garden but she insisted that she would be okay and so we walked away. Plenty of times this woman had struck my mind and when we go into that area where she lives (because we go visit a member) we quickly forget and space about her until we are already on the bus going home. it is a little ways out there with a bus and time kept flying by as the seasons changed and yet she kept appearing in my mind over and over again.

Now, in August, this week- I had an exchange with Sestra Burton we began our travels to this area to go visit our member. As we were done with our visit and we were about to go back I was hit with that same urgency of finding this woman again. I told Sestra Burton and we began to switch our routes. I didn't have the woman's address or remember exactly how to get to that road but the sweet spirit took me right to the house. Sestra Burton didn't know that I wanted this certain house we were walking to. She commented and pointed at the house and said she had tracted there earlier on her mission and that at this house there was no business, here was only a swing of a closing door. I laughed. ''But this is the house I was dreaming about!'' I said, and we both laughed but I was a little sad if that was true. I asked if we could still go and try anyway. She agreed fully as we walked up the stairs and as I rang the doorbell my heart began to beat fast. An older woman came to the door and I asked if her daughter was there. curiously the older woman asked "which one?" 'Nina" I exclaimed, her eyes brightened to see that I did know someone in her family. "Come in, you must be thirsty!" and she swung the door wide open and began to walk to the kitchen. I looked over at Sestra Burton and beamed that we got in. The older lady set us down and asked what we would like to drink. She was quite beautiful. Her hair was long and wispy white that was tied up in an unkempt bun. Which was absolutely rocking. Her eyes were sweet and I felt good to be there. The mother told us her daughter was not there but she would be back in the next few weeks. I asked if I could just leave a note and a book. The mother said "of course" and so I began to write a note while Sestra Burton and I talked to her about who we are and what we believe. ''you are so different", she kept whispering "so different". I began to realize I was writing so slow and I felt like I had all the time in the world... I think there was a reason to keep staying here. Even for just a bit longer. The conversation was going a little off topic about green beans and pumpkin juice and I was looking over at Sestra Burton and noticing her face and thinking maybe its time we go. All of a sudden a younger lady one of the other daughters of this family came walking in. She was surprised we were sitting there and asked who we were. She was a little worried and you could tell she wasn't up for much talk and opening up. We told her who we are. We asked if we could pray before we leave and the mother was like no I need to make a salad, but surprisingly the daughter insisted on it and told her mom to just sit and listen. We prayed and the Spirit entered the room. After the prayer you could see on their faces and the light that graced them. Like a door was unlocked and their eyes were beginning to melt. They wondered why we did our prayers so differently and how new this all was. They were ready, I began to bear my testimony and the room was so quiet, so still. I told of Heavenly Father's love for them and how He wanted to hear from each one of them through their own words. I don't exactly remember my words I said but I knew it was from the heart. The daughter began to cry, she said she never felt this before. She immediately loved us and we left and I gave her a huge hug, that touched the mother and her eyes began to water too.

We cannot judge who is ready and who is not. We cannot give up on people and think we already tried once and that is good enough. People makes assumptions that people won't change... but fortunately this is not true. The gospel can change people, Heavenly Father's love can change you. That day showed me that there is always a new day, and we are here for a reason to try our best and if they don't listen today. maybe tomorrow, but it is not our job to give up on them. I loved that beautiful family. I loved working this week and seeing the beauty in God's workmanship. I got to contact so many teenagers and families this week and now we have three families we are going to teach! I know our hearts are getting prepared, I know that we must only do things with our hearts and nothing else. We need to find that desire of our hearts and find the right soil and plant it there.

The baptism was beautiful on Saturday, and we got to sing I am a child to God for Meta as missionaries. Meta has wanted to be baptized for some time now and finally the day came and it was remarkable. I remember us singing to her and her singing along. She is a child of God and I am so happy to be out here and serve here. I love my companion and have real joy in having her as my angel beside me. I love you my lovely rockin family and I am so grateful for you. Have a beautiful week.

Love,
Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 53 / ''The Hope of God's Light''

Yo Family,

The greatest thing is happening this weekend. One of my investigators I got to teach is getting baptized this Saturday, wonderful things are happening. I am so excited to be a part of this work that is happening now, being a missionary rocks! I didn't realize it was my year mark until I looked on my phone this week with a text message from Sister Burton reminding me of it. I just stared at the phone. To be honest I don't want to be reminded of how long I have been out or how much I have left. It's kind of hard to read. I just don't want to think about leaving just yet. I have such little time... but all the time in the world. I want to spend each second of it giving my best. I love my mission so much and it has opened my eyes and heart to things I never thought were possible. Things that I never thought I would actually be seeing differently, but things are clicking all the time and my eyes get more wider every time. The light of Christ is real and the more and more I search for it the more I see the true source, the true essence of what I have always wanted, what I have always been searching for. This Gospel makes me feel at home, makes me feel loved and I know it's worth fighting for, it's so worth it.

We have been talking a lot with people about families this week. When I think of eternal families I am filled with a kind of deeper urgency. A love that I don't quite understand fully, but I want this so bad. More then anything. I am so grateful to be meeting my brothers and sisters out here on my mission. I am so grateful for my family back at home. I know it's said often, but it is true and I can't wait to bug you like crazy when I am home. I will become a cuddly buddy for you.

I think some of the best moments of this week were getting on buses. I had made cupcakes this week to give to people and I had them packaged up. My eyes fell on a lady that was getting on the bus and I began to talk to her as if she was a old friend. We began to laugh and talk about what she does in her life. I had to get off the bus soon but I asked for her phone number and she was excited to have us over at her house. I gave her some cupcakes and it's kind of uncommon to talk and give to random people here, so people around us started to laugh and look bewildered at what we are doing, but then I turn around and just begin to talk to them and ask if they wanted a cupcake as well. It is great to be giving and sharing this wonderful news. Another time we hopped on a bus to head over to our English class, as we got on we stumbled upon the half point of the bus. My eyes hadn't registered the scenery but as I looked up I saw a young man in the far back of the bus. He had a guitar in his hands and was playing softly some melody that plucked on every one's heart strings. I looked over at Sister Porter and I told her I wanted to talk to that kid. 'Why not, then?'' She said. She was right, but something made me a little hesitant to press forward. All these conclusions of why I shouldn't interrupt this man from playing came parading in and it was getting the better of me. I decided that I would pray. Immediately I felt strength and the clear view of what was keeping me from doing what I wanted to do. My outlook began to look golden and I walked over to the young man. I didn't notice he was about my age, and all around him were kids of the same age. They all watched as I made my way to him. I spoke up and told him he had a talent and asked what kind of music he liked to play. He perked up and said sit by me! I swung up on the seat and we began to talk. He asked if I knew certain bands or songs and I happily said yes. Once I said that though he banged on his guitar and began to sing at the top of his lungs the songs I knew. Everyone turned their heads to see what was going on but as he kept playing every one's curious eyes began to soften and smiles began to appear. I sang along with him and we talked a little of why he was playing on a bus because here in Slovenija it is like unheard of. He told me he wanted to make other people happy. I told him that is exactly why I was here too. Our talents that God gave us so we could make others happy. I have to admit it was refreshing to see just a kid even do that. We shared numbers and I got to talk to the kids around him and just have a moment with them all. It was a good feeling and it was cool to realize the kids next to him didn't even know him either but as we sang and talked everyone began to open up and smile. That's why we are here, aren't we? We all have different ways to put a smile on other's faces or different personalities. All is great and we all are working together. We make a variety of the best moments.  I cannot judge and make a bias on how someone contributes to the Lord. Perhaps they are giving their all. Perhaps it is their life long answer to distribute the Gospel the way they do. And that is just it... It is beautiful. Although everyone might not affect me like others do. There is definitely something there. A sure truth. A light that begins to shine. A answer worth sharing. Although not everyone maybe paying attention there is that someone who is waiting and listening. We all need to speak. Because we all have different bits of our lives to help others with their questions of the soul. And that is worth it, to live. Because there is someone out there who needs you. Just you. And that's what we are here for. That is what I want to spend my life answering. We all are making a difference.

Many beautiful blessings are happening here and I guess we can see them as just a bunch of challenges, but maybe those are the blessings. I know that the work is moving forward, I know my Heavenly Father's love. I know how much He wants us back. How much He wants me back. I love you all and wish you an exciting week. Full of star gazing and warm hearts... To try new things and see the beauty in what you thought was different but to make the best out of it this time, this one, this life.

I have one request for you. Take it as you wish. Just something I was thinking about this week and wanting to interact with you a little more. Here it goes... For Monday night I want you to host a family home evening. Make something delicious and start with a prayer. I want you to all watch together, ''The Hope of God's Light''. As soon as I watched this video on Mormon Messages I felt the spirit so much. I felt connected some how and things just made sense when I watched it. I got teary-eyed when I came across parts. I love the the ending. Have you watched it yet? I know and can feel God's love for us. I know that through Him we can feel His love and see His light. That he doesn't give up on us and He nurtures us even if we are turned away, His arms are still opened waiting for us. I also think of how one person can make a difference, does make a difference. That we must speak up and be examples at all times and all places. Who knows, maybe we are the ones to make that change, that opening way to help someone feel God's love for them too. Even by just a simple prayer. It can change lives. I want you to know you are loved so much and God is reaching out to you always. Hope you have a good one.

:)Love, Sestra Cuthbert