Nice is not so Nice anymore! .... September 30, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I walked outside yesterday after our lunch, onto our little terrace and it was chilly outside. It hit me that Fall is coming. And that meant that football season had already started. The chill brought memories of playing football out in the back yard with Zack, Cory, Alex, Thomas, and Stephen.

This week truly has been incredible. After a hard week last week with many trials, our Heavenly Father has seen fit to bless us greatly this week.

Viktor is progressing well and he smiles so much more every time we see him.  Mario is a man from the Dominican Republic who is committed to get baptized on the 25th of October.  We have 5 new amis this week and we had 3 come to church yesterday. It is truly incredible to see the Lord hastening is work in bringing His truth and His peace to more and more of His children. And it is so very humbling to be a part of it.

Some funny things about Nice that I have yet to tell you.
  • Lots of people have dogs, that are very well trained, dogs of all sizes, and dogs that will never bark or be startled by anything. And people take their dogs with them everywhere. However this means there is lots of dog poop and although most people are good about cleaning up after there dogs, there are many that are not and thus there are lots of times that we walk around like we are trying not to step on bombs becuase there is lots of dog poop scattered around the City.
  • We are so french. With almost every meal we say what are we eating?....O good grab a baguette. No matter the meal. Pasta, Meat, Eggs, Salad, Sandwiches...better grab a baguette. And so all the girls at the boulangerie know us. And we have a regular order there and everything.
  • All the old men loving being called young men and they love talking. (I think that might be universal) But one of my favorite things to do is to address the old men as young man then just have a chill conversation with them.
As a missionary I won't get the chance to serve in Switwerland. Becuase the cost of living in Switzerland is so much higher, the church as to accord missionaries more money and thus the government considers misssionaries paid workers. So they want to charge the church taxes on the missionaries. But the Church wont pay the taxes and thus Switzerland banned missionaries from entering. Except they cant ban European missionaries from coming because they are European and they have an open border for all Europeans. So only European missionaries serve there. Bummer.

Yesterday during church, we had an amazing combined lesson with Priesthood and the Relief Society given by the Bishop about how the Book of Mormon is something that should be shared with everyone. And at the end everyone received a Book of Mormon and was asked to write their testimony in it and give it to a friend. It really hit me as I listened to the Bishop delve into the restored Truths found in the Book of Mormon that the message of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and that it will go forth in every language to every people. It was something my French bishop had a real and sure testimony of.  And I could feel the Spirit testify of his words.

Our Heavenly Father has a real and exact plan for each of us. And He knows us all personally and He loves us so much!

I've never been so giddy for General Conference in my entire life. I'm excited for it. In order to share my excitement, I will end with a quote from the prophet of the Lord, Thomas S. Monson:

"By learning of Him, by believing in Him, by following Him, there is the capacity to become like Him. The countenance can change; the heart can be softened; the step can be quickened; the outlook enhanced. Life becomes what it should become."

I love you all!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder William Montgomery

Always a Nice Day in Nice .... September 23, 2013

What an incredible week! I've had some ups and downs but its great to see how faith in Jesus Christ and our confidence in Him allows to anything that we need to do.

The week has been good with Elder Loera. He is fun loving and a great guy. However with him being new to the area, it has been a real opportunity for me to step up and take on more responsibility and lead our companionship a little more. My French I believe is good enough (what a blessing!) but can always be better. We went and ate at the Conchas last night, a filipino family in our ward who live in Monaco (darn we had to go to Monaco...;) with two young girls who love us and the parents only speak english and tagalo. They fed us really well it was a great time and they said next time we came they would feed us duck eggs, a filipino specialty! yum!

After teaching Viktor our Russian ami, on Saturday, I received word that I was giving a talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Yikes!  It was a great experience. My French was at least good enough for everyone to understand. I talked about Faith and Happiness and how the source of true happiness comes from our faith (or confidence in that which we cannot see but nevertheless exists) in Jesus Christ. And that we can truly know this is true as we let the faith grow within us. We can truly know that we can do anything through Him as we experiment with it, as we test it in our own lives. Faith in Jesus Christ is truly a principle of action, of power, and of happiness!

Our boy Alcides received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday and that was so wonderful to be a part of. Elder Loera is eating up the Portugeuse members in our ward with his spanish and rough portugeuse.

Viktor is progressing well. He is opening up quite a bit and really enjoys our company and coming to church, however wont tell us anything about his family. He is struggling understanding what it means to believe in Christ and to receive forgiveness for our sins. Now this was an interesting thought to me. As someone who has never had the Gospel of Jesus Christ before in their lives, he really just does not have any real conception of God. Faith truly is a belief, trust, or confidence in our Savior that He really can do what He says He can do...Change us, improve us, make of us what we could never make of ourselves. And that is the Wonderful news of the gospel!

That is happiness!

That is what should have us glowing with excitement and light each and everyday. Is that as we experiment on that word on the word of God, we learn for a certainty that He exists, that our Heavenly Father loves us and that we are all His children and that He wants the very best for us. I was going to include this in my talk but didnt know how to say it in French...If God is with us, who can be against us?

I love you all! I think and pray about you everyday!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder William Montgomery

PS I'm running low on Nice puns, if anyone out there has some good ones
feel free to send them to me. Merci beaucoup!

So Nice, I'm Going Twice! .... September 17, 2013

It has been such a great week!

I love being a servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is so real, so fulfilling, and so empowering.

First and foremost, I am staying in Nice, but Elder Uluave has been transferred for his last transfer. And sad loss. He is the man and a brother I am going to miss. My new companion came in yesterday. His name is Elder Loera. He is from Hemmet, near Riverside SoCal. His parents are mexican and so he speaks perfect spanish english and french. He is 15 months into his mission and pulled out an Atlanta Braves Snapback hat while he was unpacking last night. Needless to is going to be an awesome transfer. I am really excited for this next transfer, there is so much for us to accomplish and so blessings the Lord has in store for us.

Do you remember the man last week that called us at Stake Conference asking if there was church on Sunday, well his name is Viktor. He is a big russian man that is a boxer turned boxing coach living in Nice. His french is quite good but he has a strong Russian accent. His story is interesting. He was contacted on the road two weeks ago by another elder in our ward and he came to church that Sunday, and when Elder Smith invited him to take the lessons he refused. Somehow and Someway unknown to us he got the cell phone number for Elder Uluave and my cell phone and called us at Stake Conference. Well we have since met with him 3 times and he accepted a baptismal date of October 19th. In all 3 of our lessons the spirit has been very strong, however he is definitely the closed mysterious almost paranoid Russian type, he wont tell us what he is looking for, where he lives, and even when we ask how is day was he'll ask why do you ask?... It also is a beautiful opportunity for our Heavenly Father to pour out blessings to him as he continues to grow spiritually and be obedient. But he loves the message his faith and testimony have grown immensely since weve met with him. At our first Rendezvous he had already read to 2 Nephi 4...I think Elder Smith gave him a Book Of Mormon when he first contacted him. So we are working with to help him open up and try to let the Lord help him with his problems. It is an incredible thing to be apart of.

For Elder Uluaves going away Sunday our Portugeuse community brought in two amazing cakes. Then Violetta, a Peruvian member that loves the missionaries and is a ward missionary herself...and has lived in France for several years ... took us out to eat last night. She took us to this super fancy restaurant and really walked in like she owned the place. She took us out for ice cream afterwards...

We're teaching our boy Alcides about the priesthood today, he is receiving the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday. Stoked!

I love this Work and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through Him we can have the power to change and to truly find happiness in any station of life in which we find ourselves.

We become want we want to be by consistently being what we want to become.

Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Montgomery

Ward Building in Nice

Goodbye Dinner for Elder Uluave

Not Nice Enough! ..... September 9, 2013

It has been a great week!

We have seen some very incredible blessings!

Some highlights from the week:

  • We went to Lyon on Tuesday for legality. I am now legal in France for year. I now realize how big Lyon is.
  • There is this big event going on in Nice right now called Les Jeux de laFrancophonie...The french speaking games...where are all the frenchspeaking countries in the world gather and have competitions and stuff.  Quite cool. And the French President came to visit.
  • We found a gelato shop in old Nice that sells these ginormous ice cream cones for 5 euros...Needless to say theyve given us business cards to handout to friends, thats how many times we've gone.  Don't worry in Lyon we did some medical stuff and I learned that I weighed 71 kilos or about 156 pounds so I think Ive lost weight and have plenty ofroom for gelato.
  • We had stake conference yesterday and had a Seventy preside and his talkwas fantastic.
  • Just before stake conference we received a call from a man that had come to our ward building and asked us if we were holding church today. Apparently it was a man that we had contacted on the road during the week and we have a rendezvous with him this week.
  •  The lady I contacted in Lyon on my first day that I keep talking about now has a baptismal date later this month
Quick miracle I had this week. We were walking home from a mangez vous on monday and I hadnt talked to anyone on the street. And heck I'm a missionary what am I doing if I'm not talking to at least one new person each day about the gospel. As we walked home nobody seemed right, the advice President gave me about contacting was to be continually praying and "shopping" for people that the spirit impresses you to talk to. Well that was nobody and maybe that was my fear getting in the way but as I turned the corner to our street I said a prayer in my head just asking for one person to contact. I turned the corner... nothing. As we walk up to our door and open the gate to our apartment a man walks out of his door across the street and I look at him and say hello, he made fun of accent haha,...long story short  he is a free mason (Elder Uluave and I have been wanting to learn more about free masons anyways) so I asked him if there was a time that we could exchange beliefs this week. We set a time for tomorrow to go and get lunch together. Incredible miracle. Im really excited.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. It turns the worst of lives into great lives and great lives into even greater lives. I know my Savior lives .

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery

10 on the Nice Scale .... September 12, 2013

This week has been awesome. 

We've had so many cool experiences.

1. We had a Family Home Evening at a Brazilian members house with our now baptized ami. She invited two Japanese neighbors to join us. They are these two japanese students living in Nice. So we had four languages going here...but the only common one was French, and none of us spoke it natively. It was so tight. Anyways we have since had a lesson with Yuko and Mickey and neither have much of a religious background at all, but we gave them a Japanese Book of Mormon, and Yuko is super interested and we are planning on seeing her again this week. She really was intrigued by the idea that God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us and wants the best for each one of us. Very cool blessing.

2. We went to see a passback in Cap d'ail on Thursday (cape of garlic) which is on the border of Monaco so we ended up going to the catch the train home in Monaco. It was sooooo coool. First when you think nice cars you think bachelors strutting their stuff on the streets. We were seeing jaguars and mazerratis and bentleys and Rolls royces with families in them going out for dinner. It was crazy. And it is super clean there and significantly cleaner and nicer than Nice. However it is illegal to proselyte there so we had to take our badges off when we crossed the border. Definitely one of the richest areas in the world and incredibly beautiful. Very Cool experience.

3. We have an American family in our ward named the Harris family. On Sunday Brother Harris was telling me about the UGA-Clemson game and then the BYU UVA game. Needless to say it made me realize that the world is moving on without me. Quite an interesting experience, and i certainly enjoyed talking some college football.

4. On Saturday was Alcides Baptism. So cool. Such a great experience. First though, we got there a couple hours before and filled up the font. About 25 minutes before it started we noticed water in the hallway...We overflowed the font. We got it all cleaned up and it was fine because almost everything is tile here. But it was a good laugh and the Bishop saw it and just started laughing and cracking jokes with us. He is so tight. (We saw him in Monaco on a date night with his wife reppin some bright orange pants.) Anyways everything went well. The spirit was so strong and it was great to see. I gave the talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost. And it went well. My french is certainly coming along. Then we confirmed Alcides on Sunday. Standing in the circle was such a great experience.

The Lord is so bountiful with is blessings as we are faithful and diligent in our obedience and as we humbly pray for the things we need. The Bible Dictionary entry on prayer is very insightful. It says something along the lines of...There are many blessings that our Heavenly Father is willing and desires to give to us and others but are conditioned on us humbly asking for them. Incredible things have been accomplished by prayer and hard work.

I love you all and want you to know what a blessing it is to be a servant of the Lord. To see people change lives as they Come unto Christ is incredible and I am so blessed and grateful to play a small part in it.

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery