Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dec 13

I literally have no time today, we're writing early because today is the craziest day of my life we're going to be in Rostov to send Sister Marquis off. :(  
I am going to be training this transfer. SCARY AND CRAZY, but I'm just going to try to have fun. I'm so excited to meet my new companion her name is Sister Nelson, she is from Utah! I'm going to be in Rostov all week because there's ridiculously crazy stuff happening all over the mission with Visa Trips. I should be in Armenia at some point this week, but they don't know when yet. So basically I'll just be in a new area with a new companion (and become a Sister Training Leader) until further notice... crazy stuff like this happens all the time. 

It's been pretty normal weather this week. Not really snow or rain... just cold haha. 
MORE PRAYERS REQUESTED PLEASE. This week is going to be insane. I'm definitely feeling inadequate, but I'm ready to do what the Lord wants.
I love you tons!


Nov 25

This week feels like it didn't even happen... everything went so quickly!
This was one of the first times when I have really felt the gift of tongues working on me personally...Thank you so much for all your prayers, I can definitely feel them here!  I went on splits with Sister Jarvis for a day and a half-ish, and it was such an eye-opening experience. She got to Russia 6 weeks before me, so we're both preeeetty new. She came to Volgograd and my companion went to her area with her companion. It was cool to be in my area, because since it was"my territory," I had to lead. We had a lesson with a member, made a lot of phone calls, and then did a lot of street-teaching. I was honestly amazed by how much that I realized that I could do! It was fun to be with Sister Jarvis, because we're both still learning how to do a lot of things, and up until this point, we've both been in companionships with very experienced, confident missionaries. This week, we both learned how to really step up. And it was the best thing ever :) We talked with so many people. We got four phone numbers on the street! I came home in such a good mood, because I felt like I had personally done something and made a difference! I just opened my mouth, and I spoke, and things to say CAME TO ME! We got lots of compliments on our Russian, and lots of smiles from people, even if they didn't necessarily want to hear more about the gospel. Overall, it was one of my favorite mission experiences so far, because I felt like I myself had a real purpose, and that I wasn't just the necessary-but-quiet companion of a very capable missionary. It was so fun :)
Also, it snowed a little this week! Just one day, and it didn't stick (where am I, Arizona?? :) ), but still it was way fun!
I love being a missionary, I love the gospel! I love all of you more than I can ever say! Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Russian Halloween

This week was probably my favorite one so far. I don't even know exactly why... just a lot of things happened, and I understood more than I have in the past weeks, and I keep meeting the coolest people ever. :)
This week, my branch had a Halloween/autumn activity. They don't really celebrate Halloween here, but the younger generation likes it, so it's starting to become a thing... Anyway, the branch went all out! Some of the members created a little haunted house in the classrooms, and it's was adorable (and scary... of course :). They had the missionaries teach everyone how to carve pumpkins, which was hilarious, because they gave us these TINY pumpkins to work with, and the insides were hard, so we had to saw away at them to hollow them out. But everyone loved it, and they made some really funny pumpkins! So many people invited friends, and overall, it was just an incredible success! I talked with a lot of people that i've wanted to get to know better for quite a while. Marina, a girl who comes to our English group, became an investigator and wants to meet this week to learn more about the church. She was so sweet, and stuck with me most of the activity, helping me to understand and play the little games that the members had set up. The youth dressed up, and it was just so cool to see them getting excited about this silly holiday :).
This week our investigator Marina told us that the other day she just decided to pray and then open the Book of Mormon to a random chapter (this was all her idea), and that when she did, she got an answer to her questions. She said that she knows that the Book of Mormon can help her, and she is excited to keep reading. She wants us to send her scriptures every night to read. 
I love you all!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Oh my goodness, where to begin??!
I just realized that I haven't even been away from the MTC for an entire week,and that seems crazy to me, because I feel like I've been in Russia/traveling forever! It was really hard to say goodbye to my district at the MTC, but everyone was so excited to get into the field,so that made it doable. 

We traveled to Rostov in a group of 12 missionaries (which is a huge number for our mission--the older missionaries here were blown away when all of us arrived). It was a very confusing, long two days, but miraculously, all of us and all of our luggage made it to the mission home safely! I'm proud! We stopped in Moscow for a while, to apply for second passports (it's required here, because our Visa situation is super weird), so we got to drive through the city a bit! We didn't see much, because we didn't actually get to tour around, but I did get a sighting of my first Russian temple! They're just like the pictures--gorgeous, and very different from anything in America :). Our driver was arranged by the Church, but he didn't speak English, and as soon as we were done with our passport stuff, he helped us get all our luggage out of the van, and then just dumped us outside of the airport and zoomed away. It was hilarious--us 12, clueless, exhausted Americans with SO much luggage and no idea what anyone was saying. :) Somehow we navigated the airport, and we got on our plane in time! Seriously, it was kind of amazing. 

President and Sister Miner met us at the airport in Rostov, and they were so accepting and wonderful right from the moment they saw us! They don't speak Russian, so it was a nice break to be able to have an understandable conversation. They've only been here for a few months, but they seem to have this whole running-a-mission thing in the bag! We all spent the night in the mission home, and Sister Miner made enchiladas (!!!). I had my first interview with President Miner--he just rocks. The next morning, we had orientation, and everyone met their trainers!
My new companion is Sister Marquis. She's from Utah :), she has two more transfers, and she's trained basically half of the missionaries in the mission. Also, she's basically fluent in Russian. She seriously knows what she's doing. She's always on the ball, and she's obedient but a lot of fun. I have no idea how I got so lucky, but I already adore her, and I'm so glad to have the chance to learn from someone so experienced! We street-contacted in the afternoon after orientation, and it was terrifying but also amazing. I even started a couple of conversations. Basically, I can say, "Hello, we're from our church,and we know that God loves you." Then I can ask them what they believe about God or something similar, but as soon as they respond, I get really confused and Sis. Marquis has to take the reigns... I knew that it was going to be hard to understand people here, but I guess I didn't know what that really meant until I experienced it. Their accents are so different, and they speak so fast! I love the way it sounds, but I have no idea what it means! It's been getting better, and people are usually way nice about repeating things for me, but WOW, it's crazy. It's really nice to have Sister Marquis here, so I have hope that I'll eventually be able to understand and respond coherently! :)
Right now, I am in Volgograd center. it's beautiful and busy. This morning we went for a run, and we got to run right alongside the river. It was lovely. I adore the branch here! There are about 60-70 members, but I've probably met about 40 from the activity on Saturday and church yesterday. There's a lot of youth, and they especially love the missionaries, which is way nice. Right now, we have 2 sets of elders along with Sis. Marquis and I serving in the branch, and 2 of the 6 of us missionaries are new this transfer! The members are patient and sweet,and their testimonies are inspiring. I was asked to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting yesterday, and afterward, many of them have reached out to me personally. It's so nice to be here, and to feel their support!
There's a university here, which means a lot of students--and a lot of them are non-natives. There's one incredible member named Freesia. She's from Ghana, she moved here and started studying 3 weeks ago, and she started coming to our branch. She speaks English and is learning Russian right now, but is really struggling, so she loves to talk to the missionaries. She is one of my favorite people ever, because even though she is so discouraged and scared, she has this unwavering testimony that God loves her and that she's here for a reason. We went over to her place last night and shared a spiritual thought, and she was so grateful, but I think she uplifted me even more than we uplifted her! She is so incredible. She lives in student housing, and there are toooons of people there, so when we were leaving, she introduced us to like a gazillion of them. We're actually meeting with some of them tomorrow night, and I'm pumped! Her friend Samuel was talking to us, and when we invited him to learn about how our church was restored he said something along the lines of, "yes, I've been talking to Freesia, and I'd really really love to schedule a time for that, and maybe possibly to be baptized, too."  ??!!??! <--That was my brain at that moment, haha. :) I'll let you know what happens with that whole situation. Last night was the best though, meeting with all of those wonderful people.
I love you and I have to go right now! Thanks for all your love!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Emory made it to Russia!

The Mission President's wife sent this picture to us, it's right after their two days of flying to Russia.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

See you later, America!

Well, hello everyone! :) Sorry it's been a while--last week was INSANE. We got asked to move to a new residence hall last P-Day, and ended up having to switch rooms several times (long story), and then in the midst of all that, my companion got pneumonia/bronchitis/some mysterious illness. Combined with all the normal P-Day stuff, it was a crazy day, and a lot of things didn't get done like we'd planned... I did get to read emails that were sent to me, though, and I just want to say thank you again for all the support and encouragement! I have no idea how I got lucky enough to have so many wonderful people in my life! It means the world to me to hear from you.

The past two weeks have been exciting! We stayed in for a few days because of Cectpa Meade's sickness, but I got some good studying and journal-writing time in, and I got to know the sisters in my new residence hall. We made quite an impression, barging into our new building, half-packed and diseased, but everyone has been super kind and helpful. I've been really impressed with how accepting everyone has been, although I'm sure it really wasn't convenient to have us show up unannounced and falling apart like that. We had so many people offer to get us food, to go on companion splits so I could go to class, etc. It was super sweet, and I couldn't have asked for a better place to be reassigned! Cectpa Meade is back in the game now, and everything's looking up quite a bit. We've been able to go to class full-time for the past few days :)

Oh! I've also got to brag about my district for a minute, because I've just been so amazed with how they've handled things this past week. They'd check up on Cectpa Meade every time that they saw me, when I did get to go on splits. They made her cheesy get-well cards, and they cleaned and organized our desks when we missed class. And then one night, they came to our building and gave her a blessing. It was the most touching thing to watch this group of silly boys get serious and thoughtful throughout the whole week, but especially at that moment. I could just feel that they understood the significance of the opportunity that they had to give Cectpa Meade a blessing through the priesthood. They KNOW how important and powerful that is, and it was so sweet to see and feel that from them. I've said it before, but I've got some stellar district-mates. They're just good people who are trying to live righteously, and that makes such an impact. I seriously love each one of them, and I'm going to miss learning from them all day every day. They've become great friends and examples to me. It's going to be hard to leave them!

Speaking of's happening! Things are getting real here, because we have flight plans and everyone's realizing that we legitimately don't have time to slack off. My Russian is not where I'd like it to be,but I'm getting closer every day! I'm excited to get to my mission and to be surrounded by this terrifying, rapid-fire Russian all the time! It's going to be hard, but I think I'm going to learn a lot faster when I'm forced to speak and hear the language 24/7. I'm preparing for the craziness :)

The email schedule is going to be wonky again next week, because I'm going to get a new P-Day, but you should hear from me within about a week and a half! Next time I email, I'll be in another world :). 

I can't express how much I love being a missionary. There's nothing I'd rather be doing right now! I love you all. Thank you for everything that you do for me! I hope you have the most wonderful week! :)

Cectpa Montierth

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Three Weeks to Go!

This week has been a rollercoaster! So much has happened. 

So, last Wednesday night/Thursday morning, one of the sisters in my zone coughed so much that she split a blood vessel in her nose, and she ended up having to go to the ER to get it to stop bleeding. So she got a tube stuck up her nose, and she had to keep it attached to her face until Monday. She was basically confined to her room for half a week, being tired and in pain. Everything is okay now, and she is feeling wonderful, but it was a crazy crazy experience, and it caused for a lot of companion splits and schedule-changing. All the sisters have missed plenty of class this week. We've gotten a lot closer as a zone, and I love these sisters so much. They're so sweet and helpful and patient! I've learned a lot from each of them, and I really think that having us all grouped together was a truly inspired decision.

Cectpa Meade and I were called as the new Sister Training Leaders this week, which means that we get to help orient the new sisters that we're getting today! I'm so excited to get to know each of them!! We're getting two new districts, with only four sisters total, but since we've only gotten elders since my group came in, we're excited for some female representation, haha! This means that our Relief Society class will finally have more than 5 participants each week! :) Tonight, we get to meet everyone. !!

Our teachers have been giving us stories from Russia, and they're making me super excited to go. I can't believe that we only have  3 more weeks here! I don't know nearly enough Russian yet, but it's coming along! The grammar is starting to make sense! I am so grateful that I get to stay here for 9 weeks, not only because I need that time to learn the language, but because I am amazed by how much my testimony has grown here. I think that a big reason that I was called to learn this language was because I needed the time to learn more about the gospel and become more converted myself. I am loving this experience. 

Thank you everyone for the emails and support. I'm sorry if I didn't respond--I never have enough time! But I hope you know how much I love and appreciate all your kind words! Have a great week!

Cectpa Montierth


Hello to the outside world!!

Less than four weeks left, and I can't believe it! 

This week was wonderful! Cectpa Meade and I were hit with some sickness (nothing crazy, but it kept us down for a little while), but we've pushed through and we're finally seeing the light and getting back to full health! :) And this week has been full of so many incredible experiences that it doesn't even really matter! 

On Sunday night, we had a special devotional, where the Nashville Tribute Band came and gave the MTC a mini-concert. It was definitely a different experience than we normally have for devotionals, but in a good way. I love the way that the band shares their testimonies through music. It's powerful and unique. And we even got to sing a few songs with them! The music was a little louder/more exciting than the hymns that we usually get to perform, and I loved it! It brought the Spirit, but in a different way. I loved it. Plus, one of the band members is from my home valley, so I may be just a little biased. :)

Cectpa Meade and I also gave the lesson in our district meeting on Sunday, and I think it was the first time in my life that I have taught a class and legitimately wanted more time. If any of you know me, that is pretty serious. But I am so GLAD! I'm learning how to really love to teach, and that's something I never thought I'd say! :) Anyway, we taught about the Atonement, and I was just struck once again by how all-encompassing it is. Jesus Christ paid for EVERYTHING, for us. That includes not only sins, but pains and sicknesses and trials. He KNOWS. I think sometimes we forget that there is someone who can help us out no matter what it is that we are struggling with. He may not always take away our problems, but He can help us through them. He enables us to do more and to become more than we are by ourselves. I've truly felt that since I've been out on my mission. When I rely on the Lord, I can do so much more! I am incredibly grateful for that.

On another note, my zone is falling apart physically.... Two elders in my district have had to have surgery on pre-mission injuries that have become real problems since entering the MTC. It's kind of funny to walk into my classroom, because 1/6 of our district are in slings right now. It looks like they just had a brawl and neither one of them came out very well. One of the sisters in my zone had bronchitis and pink eye and was out for a few days. Basically all the other sisters have been sick throughout this past week. BUT we're holding strong and still progressing so much! And everyone has had amazing attitudes throughout all of the crazy health stuff. 

Life is so great! The gospel is so true! I love the joy and peace that it brings. I love you all and appreciate your kind words and your support more than I can ever tell you! Have the best week!

Cectpa Montierth 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WHOA, we're half way there (kinda)

It's almost been an entire month here! Weird! It gets better and better!
I honestly don't have much new to report this week, so this email might be a little short. My schedule's basically the same every week, so I don't want to bore anyone with all the same stuff I've already said!Since there are a bunch of new Russian speakers coming here in the next few weeks, the MTC took one of my district's teachers away from us to teach the newbies. We were all super bummed to hear that, because we all love him! BUT our other two teachers rock too, so I guess we can share.Russian does weird things to your mind.... There are 4 genders (if you include plural and neuter), 6 cases (which basically means that every word has like 1024395876 different versions), and sentence structure doesn't really matter. It's a lot to take in, and I guess everyone goes a little crazy, but it makes the district more fun! The other day, the teacher left the room for a minute, and we totally broke out into one of those High School Musical moments, and one by one, everyone started tapping out beats with pencils, highlighters, and by drumming on their desks, until we had this like 10-layer track going on. It only lasted for a minute because we realized we were being ridiculous, but it was great. :)This week, I've realized just how important the scriptures are. I have been so amazed to find answers to my questions when I truly go into scripture study with a purpose, and with the intent to learn something. Sorry for the short email this week, I'm completely out of time! I love you all a ton!Love,Cectpa Montierth  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Another week down!

Hellooooo everyone!

Week 2 is done, and apparently I'm some kind of veteran here now. It's funny because you feel so old after even one week. I get to watch new missionaries come in every Wednesday, and it's super weird to realize that was me such a short time ago. I legitimately feel like I've been here for at least a month. But it's good! I'm learning so much.

My district continues to rock. I still can't believe the power of the testimonies that comes from everyone here, although we're really just a group of teenagers. It really testifies to me that missionaries are called of God. There is no way that I could make any sort of impact without Him.

Last week, our investigator, Igor committed to baptism. I know that it's just a role-playing activity, but I really loved teaching Igor, and I was so excited when he followed up on commitments, and when he said that he felt the Spirit. I'm super excited to start meeting and teaching people in Russia. I hope they're as patient with me and my small Russian vocabulary as these MTC investigators are....:)
This week, we started teaching Lena. She is sweet and so willing to listen to us, but she has a lot of questions. We get to meet with her again on Saturday, and I'm hoping that we can share something that helps her to really feel God's love. 

The language is improving... there is a lot to learn, and we haven't even started on most of the crazy grammatical rules yet, but I'm loving everything that we've gotten into so far. It's a beautiful language! I say my prayers in mostly-Russian now! I'm excited to get to a point where I can not only understand what my teachers are saying, but actually know how to respond to them in Russian. Haha, it's going to take a while. :)

The MTC choir is amazing. Basically everyone does it, so there are like 1000 missionaries every week, but I think that makes it even more powerful! I think that has been one of the highlights of my MTC experience so far. You can just FEEL the truth. It's wonderful. I also am super grateful for the devotionals here. We have two per week, usually by some past mission presidents or general authorities. They're always amazing.

The other day, in the middle of class, our teacher made us take a break from studying and run around our class building. So there we were in full church clothes, sprinting and shouting and laughing like crazy people. I think we probably scared all the missionaries who were studying outside, but it was super fun, and it was definitely a nice break from cramming our brains full. 

Some of my favorite quotes from this week: "He must increase, and I must decrease."
"Faith is stepping into darkness, knowing that the light will follow." --Elder Holland
"You're either serving time, or you're serving the Savior." --L. Lionel Kendrick

I love you all so much, and I'm super thankful for all the emails I've gotten! It means the world to me to have your support and love. Have a beautiful week! :)

Cectpa Montierth

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The MTC experience

Zdravstvooytye everyone!!

Wow has it only been a week? I can't even believe how much has happened, and how many stories I have.... I don't have much time left, but I'll do my best to talk about the important things! 

Basically as soon as I got here, they ran me through a thousand rooms, gave me 7000 pounds of books and study materials, and then shipped me off to my classes. I started with a Russian class, and let me tell you, they don't kid around here. They put everyone in a small group (district) of missionaries learning the same language, and they basically stick them in class for 3 hours at a time, talking about either the language or about the gospel. My teacher greeted us in Russian the first day, and literally spoke nothing else to all of us. Looking back, it must have been so funny for her to watch our faces as we listened to her speak this strange gibberish...:) The second day, we got a new teacher who was even more confusing, and the lesson was longer. Everyone just stared at him and he had to ask questions in russian like 6 times (with hand motions) before anyone would respond at all, because we were so confused. When our teacher left the room and shut the door, we all just looked at each other and died laughing, because we were so lost, and I don't think we knew what else to do.

My district is 5 sets of elders and my companion (Cectpa Meade) and me. Cectpa (pronounced Syes-tra) Meade is from Provo, and she's very sweet. We get along fine, and we are able to teach pretty well together! It's been super nice to have a chill companion, who likes a lot of the same things as me! The rest of my district is hilarious. All but one of the elders just graduated from high school, but they're all mature and have the most sincere and incredible testimonies of the gospel. I have honestly been inspired by each one of them so far. This place is amazing for spiritual growth, and that really shows in the way that my district acts. Luckily, everyone is also really funny, so half of the time we just joke around and help keep each other sane. I'm so happy about how well we all work together! I don't think I could've asked for a better district (which is great, because we spend like 9+ hours together every day)! :)
Unfortunately, we also seem to be cursed... I don't know if it's just the fact that we're new, but somehow no one in our district is ever told about what's going on, so we have had some WAY confusing days. We had the wrong schedule several times, so we went to the completely wrong place, and our teachers had the wrong schedule one time, so they weren't there to speak Russian to us, and... just things like that. Really weird miscommunications. My companion and I have also accidentally gotten locked out of our room several times.... haha, I have some really great stories that I really wish I had time to share! Let me just say, the locks in the MTC are not easy to pick with a bobby pin.... And we have a very elusive maintenance lady who holds the master key. (Don't worry, we eventually made it into our room.) 

We started teaching an investigator, Igor, this week. He's not a real investigator, but he role-plays as one, and he only speaks russian. We started teaching him on the third day, and it was kind of a disaster... We could NOT communicate. It's gotten progressively better, and I've been surprised by how much I can feel the Spirit in our lessons. Even though it's just a scenario, and we have very very broken Russian, the things that we are practicing teaching are true, and you can feel the peace that they bring in our meetings. I have absolutely loved that part of the MTC. The Spirit is always so strong, and I have already learned so much more about the gospel and about myself and my testimony. I just love it. In our lesson to Igor yesterday, Cectpa Meade and I actually sung a song from the Geemnee (Hymns) for our investigator. In Russian. It was a super quirky (and tricky) idea, but it was SO fun, and I love how the hymns can share a message much deeper than we usually can! Haha, it was great.

I have loved running into so many people that I know here. It's basically been like a BYU 56th ward reunion! And then a few from home, too. Seriously, every time I turn around, I see someone else that I know. I love it! :)

Cool, weird story--so, Cectpa Meade left some vazhna (important) stuff when she came to the MTC, so we got permission to go off-campus and buy tennis shoes and other such things. I know we've only been out for a week, and we only went to JC Penney... for like, an hour... but it was super weird to leave the MTC and it felt like a field trip.... so I took a thousand pictures. I'll share the escalator picture with you all. I'm sure I was very helpful, ecstatically taking selfies while she was trying to shop.... 

I really don't have time to write much else. but I love you ALL so much! Thank you for your love and support.

Ya znaoo shto Eesus Kreesto nash Spaseetyel, y eta Bog nash Nebyesney Atiets. Ya znaoo shto tserkov eestinah! (That's me trying to phonetically spell out Russian words because I don't have a Russian keyboard... :) I love Russian.)

Cectpa Montierth

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Sister Montierth heading towards Security

Yesterday morning Sister Montierth finally headed out to the MTC. Her flight left pretty early so we all got up around 5:50 in order to make it to the airport on time. And although the morning was filled with tears, she was so excited to go and start this new adventure in her life. There were quite a few other missionaries leaving on the same plane so she was already making new friends! She was safely at the MTC by 1:30 and now we're just waiting for our first email:)