Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 61 / All is Well in Celje

Holly and her new Companion
Zdravo FAMILY! I am alive!

This week we had to travel to Zagreb to pick up our new trainees and it was Sestra Jones, Sestra Brown, Elder Dearinger, Elder Lyman, and I. We all were thinking of what was about to happen and how we were going to plan for this up coming week. We all were pretty excited to pick up our new companions. We got to Zagreb and we had to wait for some time because the "Goldies" were still in the air coming here to Croatia. All of us, Slovenians gathered around and began to plan and study. We didn't know what was ahead but we wanted to be ready. When we were told the new missionaries would be here in thirty minutes, so all of us went into a room and got some hymn books out and began to sing. We all were just singing and laughing and the Spirit was warm and it really felt like a family being in that small room getting ready to bring more into our little "home". When the new missionaries arrived I ran in to give them all a hug. We had seen their pictures before we actually met them and something whispered that Sestra Dutton was mine. I walked in and spotted her and I kind of was taken off guard with how much I knew she was mine. I already felt like I knew her and the strings that tied us together finally were closing in. We were given a random companion for a short time to go out into the streets and contact in Croatia.

I was pumped and took one of the new missionaries from Slovenia. I told her to follow the spirit and let it guide her to the right people. We passed a park and were talking to people along the way. I saw from the corner of my eye a large group of teenagers. I was drawn to them. I told my companion that we should go for it. We both looked at each other and I started to walk towards them. They kind of backed up when I went into the middle of all of them, and I began to speak to them. They couldn't understand Slovene so I switched into English and they said it was one of their friend's birthdays. I told them that I had a gift for them. I handed them a BOM and talked to them for a good twenty minutes about how much happiness the BOM brought into my live. They were all loving it and was happy to be talking to us. By the end, I was giving them all fist bumps and being friends with them. My companion and I were on fire and we placed a few more BOM and it was a fantastic experience to get the new missionary pumped for this work. I kept giving her thumbs up and thinking how wonderful this new group is and just what a difference they are going to make in Slovenija.

When we found out who we were training I knew it from the start and I was happy to find out my new companion would be Sestra Dutton. She was so sincere and sweet and I loved how she distributed love and kindness to those around her. I feel really at peace and happy with the things the Lord has planned for us out here. We came home that night with all the Slovenes and we got home safely and made contacts there. For the past few days we have been having many miracles and talking to as many people as possible. We are finding our routes and how not to get lost. Although I must say... I kind of like it. We run into the funniest people when we are adventuring. We ran into a old man who asked us our names and he rubbed his beard and started taking something out of his pocket when he was checking out our name tags. I was a little nervous until I noticed it was just a magnify glass. That is how he reads books and the articles on the Internet apparently. I like him. My companion was so courageous and talked to everyone and gave away a BOM to a man that was helping us one day. We went to someones house the other day and they weren't home and we began to walk when I noticed a familiar face. It was the person's son we were trying to meet! We talked to him for a while and then we just started running into people and members and talked and got a lot of work done. It was so nice to see everything work out for us because we were doing the Lord's work. I really like seeing a new perspective, a new out look and I only want to be doing my best, working my hardest so that my companion and the people here can see the miracles of God unfold. I am happy and am excited to see what is in-store. One of our newest members went finding with us and the elders Saturday night and it was literally the funniest thing in the world. He was so bold and asking everyone to read the BOM. I love where I am at right now in my life. In all aspects it is something that is really good. I feel like I will grow a lot, that my time here will count and my companion and I will make a difference. I love this work and I hope everything is going well for all of you and the wedding plans. Keep boogieing and grooving to your own beats. Love you

Sestra Cuthbert





*While Holly was in-between Companions this past week she was able to spend time with some of her old companions. Together again. Sestra Brown, Sestra Cuthbert and Sestra Burton. They had fun together.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 60 / Ker rada vas imam (Because I love you)

Hey!

This week has been pretty beautiful in the fact that the concert we were holding turned out to be a huge success. We had a ton of in-actives come and our potential families and friends as well. I was astounded how blessed we were and could see all their faces before Sestra Porter and I would have to go. On Monday I found out I would be going to a new location and also be training. I admit I feel ultimate peace. Which is way cool that I know what is going to happen these next few days is the right thing. It's going to be good. I will learn a lot this next transfer and I am ready to begin.

At the concert I sat by one of my friends he began to ask questions about our church. He asked about our prayers and how different it looked than the other religions he had seen before. He asked the question,''Why do you fold your arms the way you do when you pray?'' I didn't know exactly the right answer to give him. This whole week was leading up to this very night to finally be able to bare my heart to this person we have been trying to meet with for a while now and my mind was at a complete loss of just what to conjure up to this man. I started to look around me and see the people that had come to the concert. The room was dimmed and lit where the performers would be playing. The keys of the piano were dancing and bringing a wave of utter peace. It was a hymn that was being played and arriving in our ears and the families around us seemed to gather together and spread their arms to wrap their families a little closer . The smiles began to scatter and fill in every part of the room. I paused at how beautiful the scene was being placed before me and I looked at the people's faces. Many people that we had asked to come. Non-members, investigators... People who wouldn't have ever been seen at the church were now in view sitting in the chapel and the spirit was lulling us to be in the arms of God. I felt so good here and something whispered to me, '' You are loved. You all are loved'' I could be wrong, but I think when we pray to God our Dear Heavenly Father He is so happy. He is very loving and always wants us to be wrapped in his embrace. I figured as we pray, and as we fold the arms like we do it almost looks like our arms are in the emotion of hugging. The reverence of bowing our head and into the arms of the one whom loves us most. As we pray we are but hugging God. As a child that was always the most comforting place to be. The peace and safety you would feel as you were enveloped in the arms of your father and mother. That is where God wants us to be. Always in His arms and to be in His arms we must be always praying. I like that thought that we are all so loved and we can smile in every moment because of just that.There is something real magically about that.

I can't believe the time passing and the new things in store. Especially for you and all your seeing and doing. It is going well here in Slovenija. I can't express how much I have come to love and adore the people here in my area. They are incredible and have such good hearts. It really is just sharing God's love and opening each other's hearts to new and greater power that only we can receive through our Heavenly Father. Sestra Porter and I had beautiful moments this week. A lot of laughs, a lot of little moments where we got to witness God touch someones life. Everything is changing again, but it will be good. Because I have the experiences and memories that got me to be where I am. I love where I am and I can't wait to grow a little more.

Thanks for the updates. I love you all and I am excited about all your lives and what is going on. Always praying for you.

Rada vas imam,
Sestra Cuthbert

I will miss this Sweet Lady. Thank you Sestra Hannah Porter for all your kindness, love, patience, generosity, support and friendship, you are in my heart forever!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 59 / One more week with my Sweet Sestra Porter

Dear Anybody and Everybody whom I Love,

I was thinking these past few weeks about what exactly is Sister Porter to me? I couldn't help but think of Spock. I go around being a Captain Kirk messing up things and full of emotion and what not as Sister Porter is this calm peaceful soul who is very balanced in what she carries out. She always saves the day and kicks butt. She takes on our missions with flying colors. She is a best friend that is there for me in the good and bad and she loves me no matter what. I have learned a lot from her, I love her more than words can express and I will miss her. I have been very lucky to spend two times serving with her. She is definitely my mommy of the mission. Amen to that.

This week I told one of our friends the butterfly Story and the dream I had with him in it and with him wanting to be a butterfly. Before we met with him I was a little bit laughing at the fact I would be telling a young man how he wanted to be a butterfly in my dream. So manly! I figured it would be too cheesy and kiddie to share so I put it on hold and we would see how our lesson would go and if it would get brought up. As we hung with him, dreams kept on entering the conversation and it was obvious that the spirit was directing our talk to my dream. I spilled and as I began to tell him about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and about him. To my surprise he was stunned and he was taking what I had to say very seriously. He then opened up and told me at the time I was having my dream he was having very big decisions to make in his life, a lot of contemplations to think upon. That things are up in the air and how scared he is of change. I was stunned to think that talking even about the silliest little things that I love could be deep and meaningful to others. So this is obviously a life long lesson... Is to speak up and talk about the things that you love and are meaningful to you. They can help somebody!

For our English class spiritual thought, Elder Dearinger was asked to sing one hymn. This week we will be having a concert and he is going to be singing in it and so the Elders thought it would be a good idea to show our English Classes a taste tester of what they need to come to this week. As Elder Dearinger began to sing the room was filled with the sweetest spirit. A love from God that was touching every one's heart. As he finished his song all the English class students clapped their hands and all wanted to come to the concert. But, later that week we heard from one of our students who has a family and we have been trying to do family night with them for a while... Told us that his jaw was dropped when he heard the song and that he got shivers and he said he hasn't ever felt that way before. Sestra Porter and I were so impressed and happy that the spirit really did touch this man and his family. That he is beginning to open up and it is incredible.

We are here as missionaries to teach people how to feel. To have a relationship with God and to feel His love. So many times people in this life are searching how they can feel. They go to the best ways they know or been taught and try to feel the wholeness and love. They don't understand why they can't really really feel something though...Only for moments...Not forever. So they go around trying to find their happiness. Maybe in the here and now and the things of this world. And they think they are feeling but later down the road they realize they are left empty. it is when we come into the fold of God and we begin to feel the spirit and Jesus Christ's atonement in our life we begin to feel something we have never felt before. The chemicals start to mix and our soul begins to soar and we can't comprehend what we are feeling sometimes because it is so Godly and we are so humanly. But through this gospel even the toughest person receives the softest heart. We begin to love and realize that God our Heavenly Father loves us too. That is huge and something we need to always be searching for. Is to feel something. To feel God and to walk with the Savior. There is nothing more important than a broken heart. We all have the spirit and we can always move forward and have the knowledge and hope that we will feel the ultimate happiness through this church. I know this to be true and I am grateful for all that this Gospel has done for me and the experiences that have touched me that have made me come to know I am God's child in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you good-looking people. Stay rad.

Sestra Cuthbert


Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 58 / Lighting the Stones


Dear Family,

It was incredible this Sunday to see so many new faces and old faces at church... it filled the room with beauty and a sweet spirit. This week we have been trying so hard with one of our in-actives and we saw her a few days before asking if she was going to come to church on Sunday, but we never knew quite sure what this groovy lady was thinking. She is definitely a free spirit whom I love dearly. As Sunday came rolling down I sat down in the sacrament room and she came sneaking up behind me and threw her hands up in the air and said, ''surprise!'' Sestra Porter and I mauled her with hugs. I was more than happy!

One of our investigators has been really close to receiving a baptismal date and the Spirit has been working extra hard on him. It is amazing to see his change and coming to really become converted in this Gospel. He even declined a coffee with a lady because he explained that he was going to the Mormon church and he didn't drink coffee. (Which is huge because our friend wants a family really bad) Things are looking up and the sky is really shining. The tid-bits of each moment and day have something to be grateful for and I am so grateful to be out here in this time.

We had zone conference this week and like always it was very uplifting. I loved the spiritual thoughts and what boosted us missionaries up to go out and be faithful servants of the Lord. I loved what President Grant said that we are like the brother of Jared and we need God to touch our stones. I thought a lot about how we are like the brother of Jared and we want light in our lives and we ask God to give it to us now. But, we must show God our desires, our plan... That we are willing to make an effort and show Him we trust in him and then he will grant us our wishes and reach forth and touch our stones. Many times I have read those verses and I am in awe with how much God has reached out and brought me a glow to my stones. How many times I looked around and I could always see them and if I couldn't... I wasn't trying hard enough. I would move forward and pray for help and direction. God would lend me His eyes so I could see what was already there. Then he lent me His hands so where ever I went - He would leave a glow there. I love the light that we get, I love the love that has been brought in heaps with every day. I also believe we are the stones in this life to others. We are a light to others on this voyage across the dark waters. Let us go forth and shed some light on others to shine them the way to God's opened arms. I love you family and I want you to know your light that you shine is brilliant and I will need my RayBan's soon. Have a wonderful week.

Love,

Sestra Cuthbert


Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 57 / Sledi Svoji Gori (Follow Your Mountain)

 Dear Family,

I have been greatly blessed with the things I am encountering, the growth I am gathering, the courage I am receiving, the reliance I have on the Lord and His vineyard, the beauty in each mundane and wonderful moment, the fact that God loves every little thing and even little me, my companion and her love for me and the people here, the hearts we are touching, the spirit that is parading, God's children we are helping, the arms I am embracing, the dreams that are winning, the peace that is coming. I am blessed.

Sestra Porter and I were walking and we saw a young boy by the age of 17 that had a flat in his tire. We walked over and shook his hand. He was really working hard to repair his bike and he seemed at a lost with what could fix his tire. We bent down with him to see the problem and began to talk about us as missionaries. He was eating it up and thought we were different but cool. We talked to him for quite some time and as we did we heard someone say behind us, ''Hello, Sisters!'' it was one of our old potentials we hadn't seen in quite some time. He wasn't having a good day so we began to talk to him and this boy. Both of them started to beam the more we talked and as our potential started to head home he told us thanks for making his day worth it and a lot better. We stuck with the 17 year old and I held his back pack and pump as we walked over to a gas station and got some water. We got his number and told us he would like to keep in touch. We then saw another one of our potentials that is actually the son of a inactive mom. He stopped to talk to us and asked us why we hadn't come over this week and that we need to. It was awesome to see the booming of one after another blessings that was in our path that one night.

There was a former investigator that we have tried to set up twice with and each time he disappears or doesn't show up and as same with the past missionaries. We decided this week we would give him a call and so we did and he picked up ready to finally meet. We met him on Saturday. We were so nervous that he wasn't going to show and we waited and waited 20 minutes passed the hour he was suppose to show. When we were about to get up and leave we decided we should wait. We checked the phone and found out he was running late but he would be there. When he showed we had a rad lesson. The spirit was there and he kept on remarking how he felt and that he knew everything we were saying is what he wanted. He wanted this and he felt so good in our church. We were taken back how much he was ready and asked if he was willing to take the steps to follow this church and to become a part of it. He said he was. So I am excited to work with him and see him
shine.

There has been such good in this week. I really feel loved by my Heavenly Father and just what He has planned for all of us. I have been thinking of the paths we are taking and the sites we are seeing and how our paths are ours and how we need to keep moving forward. When you first think of a path,well at least when I think of a path I think of a smooth dirt road, that is straight and narrow, that it leads you to your destination, it leads you to your victory. But in our ''lives'' case we need to remember that our paths are climbing mountains. Everyday, we have a mountain to face and we sometimes worry or we don't exactly see how we are going to reach the top and learn to steadily get back down to move on to the next. our path are the mountains and we don't sometimes see the measure of what effort we have to bring or the lengths or heights we must take. We must remember that God is our guide and that we can take these mountains and give it our best. We do not have to fear them. We are not just man but we are God's child and we can conquer our own mountains. ''Sledi Svoji Gori'' has been my theme this week. It means, ''Follow Your Mountain''. We can have victory and climb with might. We just have to make the first step and then the path is laid before us and the Lord helps us through. We have many mountains to face in life, but it is worth the fight, it is worth the experience and the more we go through them with our brave hearts the more we will come to trust and want to rely on the Savior and realize it is through the mountain and getting to the top we can see the over view of it all and more of God's plan for us. We can't let the underground keep us any longer. Let us press forward and find our mountain. We our with God and we will find our destination and we will make it home.

Thanks for everything family, my hat goes off to you. Love you and appreciate you more than words.

Sestra Cuthbert