My week has been fantastic. Immensely better than my first week. Last week was hard, and it was something I just had to push through, but my week as been so much better. Elder Uluave's dad is from Tonga! Elder U is a great guy and obedient and has incredibly unusual people skills, as president told me in my interview yesterday (which is the reason our pday is today). Elder U and I usually split lessons 60-40. Elder Uluave is a great missionary and has taught me so much already. Our work is truly focused on members, but he stresses obedience and we always make sure to hit our standard of excellence goals.
Nice is very hot and humid, so I feel right at home. In fact I would even say Georgia is more humid than Nice.
Let me fill you in on some fun stuff.
1. French People have a very hard time pronouncing my name. The "gom" in Montgomery is just a sound they dont make very well its quite funny to see them attempt to do this.
2. When people do understand my name they have related me to some famous british people (Im guessing) including an actor, an actress, a general, a pilot, and a songwriter. And everytime they bring this up I just nod my head say ouiiiii
3. Remember the lady in the street that i contacted on my first day who just wanted a cigarette that I told you about last week? well turns out she is now taking the lessons and is trying to stop smoking! miracle! And nobody knew how she was found or anything until another bleu made the connection of me getting her number on our first day out here.
4. I taught an entire spiritual thought to a less actif guy this week named Antonio by myself and he understood it all and everything. My french is getting better rapidly, although my accent is still very annoyingly American. (Murica!)
5. We've been porting (our word for tracting, the french word for door is porte) twice now and here in Nice the suburbs that kindof resemble subdivisions (but not really) are all in the mountains and its a 30 minute bus ride. It was so fun and so pretty. I attached some pics. I love porting maybe because I got so much experience with it at home.
6. I had a girl recognize me in church on Sunday from BYU. She lived in Chipman hall, although I had never met her.
7. I have had one embarrassing language story...its not too bad. We were in ward council and the bishop asked about a family that Elder U and I had visited that was almost baptized but then fell off the earth after a very awkward law of chastity lecon (they arent married, they have three kids, that happened about 3 weeks before I came). Well Elder U wasnt there because we were on an exchange that night, so I had to explain our visit. The dad, Pedro is great. However his reasoning behind not coming to our church was because a. we dont pray enough b. his prayer group fasts together for hours in one room with all the children and women and everything and you know good for him we were sad but there wasnt much we can do. So I had recounted the entire visit to the ward council and I was content cause I had felt like I explained it well. But everybody was looking at me quite confused so then I was confused. I look over at my companion Elder Smith who is from Utah and he asks in English, they were doing what for hours together with all the women and children? In French the word for young is jeune and fast (as in fasting) is juàne. The pronunciations are nearly identical and I am still unable to tell them apart much less say them correctly. So the whole time the council thought I was saying they were younging together for hours. It was embarrassing. But I thought it was funny and so did everyone else.
So we've had some success this week. Our ami (Ami de l'eglise...Friend of the church...investigator in English) , Alcides is doing well. He has a hard time expressing himself in French and we have a ton of portuguese/ brazilian members so usually our lessons are mostly in portuguese which is really cool actually. Its quite interesting to see hoz many people here really just detest us. Like zero respect for us. But it makes it that much more of a miracle when we find someone who wants to listen to our message. And exact obedience brings miracles. We got back Thursday night at about 8:50 and decided to not go in until 9 per mission rules. We had contacted all day and had no success whatsoever. At 8:55pm we found a guy named Roy who was polite and really interested in our message. We exchanged phone numbers and are planning to set a rendezvous with him this week. Miracle!
I love missionary work. I love inspiring people. I love and I pray that somehow I can be an instrument in the Lord's hands to change peoples lives. I wrote this down this week in my journal and thought id share.
"They shall know us by our smiles. They shall know us by our cheerfulness. They shall know us by the light of Christ which emenates from our countenances so that they will know of the joy and love that comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ."
Beaucoup d'amour,Elder Montgomery