Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 69 / The Fall of Icarus

Dear Family,

Sunday was very beautiful yesterday. We had a lot of people show up and everyone was giving warm greetings. We hit above our average of most people at church this last week. It was really the best to see so many faces and smiles. The talks went well and everyone stayed after. I really felt at peace staying in Celje. I really want to keep working hard and making sure I am doing everything I can for these members here. I have been thinking a lot about what will happen in the next few weeks. I know it is going to be rockin'.

We have been bumping into one of our dear friends a lot lately and it seems that he is getting more opened and prepared every time we see him. His mother is a wonderful member of the church and in their home is the strongest feeling of readiness. I really love working with them and speaking to them and really just loving them. I have been drawing a lot more and I have forgotten how much I miss it. I have been making my own pass a long cards and things to give away and it has just more meaning when I am handing them out. For English class we felt inspired to talk about how we use the Book of Mormon and how it has answered questions in our lives. I love the Book of Mormon... I love it so much. Usually when I am introducing the BOM to someone I open the blank page in front and say... If you look here, I believe it has your name written in it. Of course there is nothing there, but I really believe the blank page in front should have written, ''For you.'' The BOM is people asking questions and God answering them. I know the BOM is God's word. I know that from it I have found answers that I could never find any other way. I know that this is God's love... It is proof of Him talking to man, but not only 'just' man, but to me.

We got the "calls" this week that I will be training again in the same designated area of Celje. I really love Sister Dutton and will miss her a lot. She simply is the best. Sister Dutton and I are getting into the habit of me catching her in my arms. She runs and jumps at me and I try to catch balance while I spin her around. She tries to pick me up, but I am super stubborn. I love Sister Dutton a lot. She has changed and made a difference in everyone's life here in Celje. I really have seen her growth and her work blossom over the past few weeks. We are starting many new things here in the mission and trying to be more prepared and organized so none of the Lord's sheep will get lost. It's been really refreshing and good to dig around deeper in finding old friends or potentials to go visit and catch up on. The lights are coming up in Celje. The mounds of trees are being carried in 2 by 2 and the place is looking glorious. I am getting really excited for Christmas and the Savior's birth. I am happy to focus on the Savior and find the love that is in the hearts of these people that is ready to be opened. I am excited to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! I am happy for this gospel. I am happy to be getting to meet the new missionaries this week. I am ready to learn a lot from my new companion and have her bring Goldie powers to Celje. I love you all and am thankful for each day I get to spend out here as the Lord's servant. My desire is I just want what God wants no matter where I go or stay. So I will be staying and making the best out of this very last transfer.

Have you ever heard of Icarus? He is from a Greek story where he receives wax wings so he can fly. His father tells him he can fly but not to get to close to the sun or else his wings will melt and so Icarus flies, but one day he doesn't let the boundaries hold him and he begins to fly to the sun despite what his father tells him and his wings melt and he falls. I went into a building the other day and saw a statue with him. It said on the plaque, ''If he did not succeed at least he fell in daring splendor.'' I loved it. I loved the fact that we as humans fall. We as people try, try, and try again. I love that we are not golden, we are not perfect... We don't always add up... Because we are simply human and our wings are made out of wax. And the closer we get to the sun, the closer we get to our Savior Jesus Christ, and the more reason the world tells us and wants us to fall. Don't let them say you can't fly, that you need to stay close to the ground. You can reach the sun, you can reach up on high. If you have trust in the Lord and love your God with all your heart. The world will see you and turn you away. But, God won't, God believes in you and your 'fall' to the world will be the daring splendor to your Loving Heavenly Father.

Have a good one,
All My Love-
Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 68 / Finally, Slovene

Howdy, Howdy,

This week has been really good. I have loved the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Brown in Ljubljana. It was nice to be able to go back and touch base with members and friends. We had to go to the hospital to get some paper work for Sister Brown and I was left to be in the waiting room with mounds of people and nurses strolling back and forth in the hall. I sat there in the waiting room and began to pray to know who I needed to talk to. As I gazed up I saw a woman and man sitting a far way off. I was magnetized to them and felt prompted to say hello. I walked by and began to ask their names and try to make a conversation with them but right as I was Sister Brown came whisking by and needed me to go into a biologist room to figure out some testing they were doing for her. I went in a smaller room and I began to talk to the biologist who was in there. As soon as we were done with that test we went back out to the waiting room. I looked to see if the couple was still there and they were gone. I looked to the exit and saw them about to get into the elevator. I started to run for them and made it over to them before they got in. I stopped them and they were looking up at me and gleaming with curiosity what I was trying to do. I told them that I had a strong feeling, a warmth to come and talk to them. They looked at me and then at each other. They said they felt the same way. I began to talk to them about who I was and that I was representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were from Bosnia and we were conversing half Slovene and half Bosnian. It was incredible to feel such a sweet spirit as I was testifying of truth and I knew that God was reaching out to His beloved children in that moment.

I really love contacting. Can I just say? I really love it. Especially when there are buses... I don't know why but riding on buses and starting up conversations on them gets me pumped. In Ljubljana you are riding them quite a bit, so I was right at home. I had really great experiences with talking to people and bearing my testimony a ton. I feel like if I am not bearing my testimony daily I don't feel as fulfilled. It is really the best to speak to the people here and know what we are saying is the truth and hope and peace fills my heart every time.

Getting back to my area and being back with Sister Dutton was really great. I missed her a ton. We got back to work and nothing was really hitting a home run and contacting wasn't really flowing. We were tired of people saying no and we were about to go inside to our apartment to do some planning when both of us just stopped at the door and then just turned around and started walking. We had no idea what we were doing or where we were going but we felt that we were doing what was right. Next thing we knew we were on the other side of town. Nobody was catching our attention and there wasn't really a lot of people around. We began to pray that we would find our purpose and what God needed us to do. We kept walking and all of a sudden the spirit told me to go back now to where we came from... Where I came from... I was confused wondering if that was just my head and perhaps my stomach saying it wanted to eat. We prayed again and again the prompting kept strong. We turned around and began to walk and from across the street we saw someone that we had been trying to get in touch with for sometime. He was waving us down and we quickly headed over to him. We talked and then we started walking again and then again... We ran into someone else. One of our awesome members. She asked us if we realized where we were. I said yes... I believe so. She asked the question again and then implied my cousin lives right here in this house you two should go talk to her. We got a referral! It was great to see all the little miracles happening. We were so blessed that night and this week.

Yesterday there was suppose to be a certain speaker from the presidency in Slovenija but they didn't show. We had loads of time left and the district president got up and excused the speaker and said instead we will have the missionaries come up and share with us their own thoughts and testimony starting first with Sister Cuthbert. I walked up and was happy to be able to share my testimony of my dear Savior and that through him we are something so much more. That we can have so many opportunities to become who we really are. That endings don't exist and there is only hellos because of Him. I felt good speaking and sharing my love for the members and my Savior. It was nice to not really have to think about if I was casing right or if  I was saying things correctly. It flowed and I told exactly what my heart was wanting to say. I really love that I am becoming more than I thought I ever could be. This Gospel gives me courage to be me and helps me give courage to others for them to be themselves and there is such hope in that. That we can be us... and it's good. We can be who God made us to be and we can know and do it now.

I love you all so much and am happy to say I love being a missionary. I truly wouldn't want it any other way. I am happy and grateful to serve my Heavenly Father and to be placed here in Slovenija at this given time. I am grateful for all that my family and friends have done specifically for me to help get me to where I am. For being my heart-fixers and giving me the courage to fight for what I love. I love you. Have a great week!


Sestra Cuthbert

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 67 / Vsemu smo kos

Slovenia Zone
Dear Family,

I found this cool saying, "Vsemu smo kos." Which means with everything and anything we can conquer it together. We can overcome everything and not fear anymore if we are together. That good or bad we can make it through. That everything will be okay...Together. I know this to be true, I really know that with us all together working in love it all works in the power of God. I realize together we really can conquer anything. We can grow and learn together and begin to understand we can work together to gather our courage and face our fears with warm hearts ad grasping hands. Life is beautiful and it is even more beautiful with the people that are in it.

Sestra Dutton and I went to a recent converts house this week and we were going to teach her a particular lesson. We prepared an awesome lesson and headed out to go see her. We knocked on the door and found out her sister was over and didn't know a thing about our church. Sister Dutton and I looked at each other and felt like we needed to change our lesson. We went with the Spirit and asked questions to figure out more about her sister. We fell under the impression we needed to teach the restoration, so I began the lesson and as I was coming around to Joseph Smith's story my words stopped and I knew this was a "golden" time. I looked at my sweet goldie -Sister Dutton and she began to tell the story of Joseph Smith. The Spirit was strong and as Sestra Dutton gave the commitment of reading the Book of Mormon and to pray with a sincere heart, the Spirit warmed the room. It was definitely a cool experience to see Sister Dutton on top of things and already coming so far. The sister wanted to learn more. She wanted to understand and read the Book of Mormon. She said, ''why would Jesus just stick in Jerusalem, of course he would go to different parts of the world. Including America.'' Sister Dutton and I were so impressed with the ready willingness to learn and be taught.

We made it to church this week earlier to set up things and to welcome in the members. As soon as it was starting to get to the time to begin we sat in our seats. As soon as we did I felt an impression to go outside. I turned around and there was one of our investigators who said they would come to church for the first time. He walked in and sat down and we were praying so hard for him and hoping he would feel something or get some answer to his questions. At the end of the service I was asked to pray and I got up hoping that I could muster something to help my friend and ask Heavenly Father for the right things and blessings. I began to pray and I was really trying to search for what to say and to teach through my prayer. It was simple but with my whole heart. I knew that this prayer was dedicated to my investigator and I hope he felt that.

I feel like we have been really blessed this week to meet and talk to people of all sorts and I have been able to develop a more deeper relationship with my fellow men. I have realized we need to keep praying for our loved ones and the ones that hurt us. We need to love and give Christ-like love to everyone and forgive everyone. There is something about forgiving and letting things go and letting it be the Lord's will and not your own. There is a real peace. I know this to be true. I love you all and I am thankful for your prayers. Hope you are well.

Love to you.
Sister Cuthbert

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 66 / Castle Trip

Julian Alps at Sunset

I have to admit I feel so good about Parker's call for his mission. I know it is from the Lord and he is going to be amazing and change the lives of people in Pittsburgh but also his own. I just wanted to say congrats little brother. The Lord and I see you as the coolest kid around. I love you and am so proud.

This week we were invited by a member who just barely got off his mission. He made us lunch and talked to us about the work and was just boosting us up. He is such a cool member and what he said inspired me and helped all of us missionaries believe we were doing what is right and we just need to move forward always with the Lord. It will be cool working with him in this work now. We also went to the cemetery this week with a few of the members. This week we had the day of the dead and usually everyone goes to see those who passed away and it was really amazing to me to see all these people coming. It made my heart a little sad that all these people don't know if they will ever see them again. I was praying for the people that would pass me or the people around about me that I got glimpses of. We went to one of our dear members who just passed away recently and as we stood there. It hit me hard. I was over taken by the fact that some of the people that I loved in my life were gone too, it struck me to realize what I could of done more, or how I could of been there for them more. But it stopped and hope came parading in. All of a sudden a huge amount of love was felt and my heart began to soar. God was speaking to me. My loved ones, like angels surrounded me in that moment. I felt this utter peace and I knew that there was no goodbyes. There was only this pause and even now I could feel them, even now I could have them apart of my life, that heaven wasn't too far away. This week I got dad's letter with the book that had a description and story about Grandpa Cuthbert. I was moved and touched by his story and his work for this gospel and his family. I felt even if I never knew him we were alike and on the same path to spread the good news. I knew he would be proud of us as a family and I felt him smile down and I knew he was saying hello. I love this gospel and the ultimate gift that Heavenly Father gave us. His son Jesus Christ is the one who gave us the opportunity to never have to say goodbye. That we may always be close to our loved ones and forever. I feel we have angels around us and us as people can be angels to others as well.

I feel like this week has been really good. I have seen new ways to be better and grow and I found out that every individual has something beautiful about themselves. They have a uniqueness that cannot be denied and cannot be judged. We must accept people and love them for who they are. We must embrace individuality and respect the goodness in each person. We must understand everyone and anyone is worth it. That they are something real and something big in so many ways and they need you more than anyone to show them, to show and prove to themselves that they are something. I feel like it is our job to show this love of God and be an instrument for each other. To show them they deserve just as much as anyone else. We place and plant our love into other's lives. We set a mark, tie a string into the destiny of others. God has already stung us together it's just us holding on with our eyes closed and taking that step of faith to know that we can see, but we can only see through God's love and giving it to all about us. Sometimes a lot of our good deeds go unnoticed and sometimes we won't get the applause or the "good job" that we deserve. But I am telling you now like the footprints in the sand you don't see who made them but you know someone had been there. Just because you didn't see who actually made them doesn't mean somebody wasn't there. God's thumb print is on this earth. Just because we can't see him doesn't mean he didn't leave his mark, his beauty in this earth. The people, the scenery, the trees, the animals. They are proof enough for me. And to God you are a proof enough to him. You are doing something big.

Halloween was great and we found a gas station open as we were contacting. We ate candy like kings and God put one of our investigators in our path and we got to teach and commit them. All around I feel good and the work and about my dear companion. We are really kicking it and trying to figure out how and what the Lord wants us to do. I am excited to see how this story unfolds. I love you all family. Have a good week.

Sre─Źno, rada vas imam.

Love- Sestra Cuthbert

Sestra Dutton and Holly within the Castle Walls

Celje Missionaries - Dutton, Cuthbert, Lyman, Davis

Looking out towards Celje