It was a Nice stay! Hello Perigueux! .... October 29, 2013

Chére famille,

I got transferred! First one! 
I spent all day yesterday on trains going from the southeast corner of France to the west coast, eventually ending in a smaller city outside of Bordeaux named Périgueux (Pear-ee-goo). 

First, let me express my love for Nice. It was fantastic, I absolutely love the people there, they are family to me now. I was very sad to leave them. But I am more than stoked to be serving in Périgueux which is a nice switchup from Nice, being quite a bit smaller and feeling a little bit more like a city I'm used to. My new companion is Elder Wilson, who's father was in the Air Force so he has spent his fair share of time all around the States and is currently in his 12th transfer. He IS GREAT. I am very excited for this transfer and for the opportunity it brings. I just love being a missionary in the best mission in the world.

I would like to dedicate this email to Elder Uluave, my mission father, who died (finished his mission) yesterday. He was one of a kind and I absolutely adore the man. You just never know...what you'll get out of Elder Uluave. He is a brother and I can't wait to see him after the mish. He taught me to have fun out here while working hard. We worked together, prayed together, and walked together. Included are some photos of him and me.

We had two rendezvous this week with an evangelical man and his friend that both turned into bible bashing sessions. It was frustrating and annoying. I was annoyed that we as missionaries fell into the trap. I was sad to see them resist the truth that was being laid before their eyes- along with the peace and blessings that came with it. I want to express my testimony to you of the foundational importance of the Book of Mormon. It is the keystone of our religion. By accepting its invitation to read and pray about it, we can know that God lives and is our Heavenly Father, Jesus is our Savior, that this church is the restored church of Jesus Christ on the earth today, and that we can change and life can become what it should become! I invite you all to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon this week and ponder on it. It is very inspired. I love this Gospel so very much.

"We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see." -President Boyd K. Packer

I love you all!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder William Yarn Montgomery
The Nice District

Quentin, Eva, et moi. They were baptized 4 months ago

Bishop Muenier and his family


Xavier Adell


Violetta (V-house) our Peruvian member

Sister Witt and Sister Hodder

Old man Felix with Sister Young

our boy Johnny Yang

Tanjouna and Tahiana (Tanzoon and Taheen from Madagascar)
His is Luc, a non member we play basketball with, he is a gospel singer...he is so hilarious and loves the missionaries!

THis is Donna, shes british and fantastic

Elder Loera and I on the pier in Beaulieu, which is just outside of NIce

Transfer Day Sighting... Destination Unknown!

Transfer Day Sighting  ...  in a Nice Train Station.  Destination unknown.

The Light of Nice .... October 21, 2013

Chére famille,
What a week...its flown by! Time just will not slow down! Just in case you guys don't know, It is almost November. Which means Thanksgiving and Football...too bad we have neither of those things in France.

A few fun highlights from this week:
  • We went to the local country club in Nice and hit golf balls for an hour on the driving range...(it was nothing like our course back home, ours is much nicer)
  • We were at the prefecture this week doing legality for some other missionaries in our district and there was a lady behind me in line. Turns out she is a member of the church from Argentina living on the border of Monaco and she has been looking for the church in Nice for a couple years now and we got her number and invited her to church and the whole 9 yards. #findingthoselostsheep
  • We actually got into see Anton this week, a less active that we've been trying to see for almost two months now. We saw him at his house and invited him to church. It was quite powerful and he said he'd be there next week.
This week was a blur. And it was rather saddening because we did not see much progression in our work in the beginning. We found that the investigators we are working with aren't really willing to progress However it is incredible to see that as we pushed through the trials we had we found those people that our Heavenly Father saw fit to guide to us. We saw a lot miracles and I'm quite excited for the coming week.
This week I thought a lot about darkness and light and how as representatives of Jesus Christ we go into the darkest and coldest corners of the world on His behalf, acting in His name. There were days this week when we met people who's lives were in darkness, they were sad and alone. And has we followed the guidance of the Spirit we found several people that we are going to be seeing again this week who are in desparate need of their Savior's love. And as I reflected on this fact it brought great joy to my soul to know that we can all be that light in the lives of others.

On the back of my planner is a picture of the resurrected Christ with the scripture from 2nd Nephi: Wherefore ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men". We must press forward with that Light!

Sorry there isn't a lot for you all today. 
This week was just good, hard, grunt it out missionary work. But I'm so excited to see where this coming week takes us. It is so incredible to see the hand of the Lord in our Lives.
Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder William Montgomery

Another Nice Week in Nice!! .... October 14, 2013

Ma Chére Famille,
Another week as gone by and I do not know where the time is going. This week has had some ups and downs.

The sad news first. Victor, our russian friend who was progressing so well, texted us friday evening telling us that he had decided to discontinue seeing us or coming to church. It was quite a difficult night for me. It took a while for me to get him off of my mind. It is sad to see people choose to deny incredible blessings their Heavenly Father has in store for them.

Now on to wonderful news. We are teaching a small (quite the opposite of Victor) man from the Dominican republic. He is maybe 5 feet and speaks better spanish than french. And since Elder Loera is a fluent Spanish speaker, our lessons are usually mostly in spanish while I will teach in French. It is fun and great experience. Spanish is really quite similar to french. But Mario is doing very well.

Furthermore we have a woman from Cape Verde who lives across the street from us with two small children that we had become friends with over the weeks. Turns out she is good friends with Rui one of our Cape Verdean members...and her ex husband was a missionary. She is interested in the church and is planning on coming this week and hopefully will take the lessons.
Some fun things from this week:

  • We met a man on the road who had a knight templar ring on...we asked him about it and he told us he was a knight templar then walked away...Elder Smith and I were in awe...
  • -Frére Cresto, the first counselor in the bishopric, spoke on Sunday. He is a spiritual GIANT. What an example. Anyways he plays ball with us each Saturday and is a huge basketball fan. Guess what he opened his talk with...talking about Jabari Parker. It was really cool.
  • We went over to Alcides' apartment this week and had a great dinner night with him and Frére Fuega and Tahiana. We had this shrimp dish that was absolutely wonderful. (The shrimp still had the heads on there and was bomb!)
... A quick shoutout to my boy Tiahana! Stop Reading this!

A thought:

The Lord always opens our path before us as we work hard and strive to be obedient. That is one thing that has been incredibly apparent to me this week. The origin and motive of commandments. Our Heavenly Father gives us commandments for the sole reason of blessing us. Every commandment that we have in our lives is there for our benefit and when we disobey we are simply denying ourselves blessings. If we are seeking answers to questions of solutions to problems, first and foremost ask yourself, Is there some way in which I can be more obedient to the commandments I have been given from my Heavenly Father?
I love my Savior. I have been striving to apply His atonement in my life everyday. It is an indescribable miracle for me to have someone who is always there and who is walking next to me and has borne my struggles.
"Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not" D&C 6:36
I love you all and am praying for you every day!
Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Montgomery

Nice...Exclamation Point! ..... October 7, 2013

Chére Famille,

What a crazy week! We had some crazy experiences that I want to tell you about. They both happened on Friday.
We first taught a man named Alain. And he is this huge conspiracy theorist! and has all this interestingly ridiculous stuff about technology and war and the USA....but all in all is interested in the church and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. For him he had never considered the idea that we have a living, caring, loving Heavenly Father. That concept really blew his mind. That rendezvous lasted 2 hours.... and he talked almost the entire time...wewww...

Later that night .... we had a rendezvous with an interesting man. He also talked and talked. We didn't get a word in for an hour, he poured out his life problems and several emotional events that he had kept locked up for a long time, many of which were things that were rather difficult for us to listen to. But he is also interested and we likewise left him with the Book of Mormon and gave him the challenge to read and pray about it. (He was talking so much we were having to inch our way out the door as he was telling us a story...we pulled a dad ;) 

Both of these guys just wanted someone to talk to, and are looking for something to take away guilt that they have, and both are in need of the healing, orienting, and directing power of the Atonement, as we all are. They are both men who can be examples of the miracles produced by the Atonement. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for them.

Viktor is doing well and came to two sessions of general conference. He has been keeping all his commitments and dropped coffee the day after we taught him the Word of Wisdom. We had a very emotional rendezvous with him this week. After talking for a long time about what we had been teaching him, I finally asked him, "Questce que vous cherchez"  .... What are you searching for? And he replied, "Ca c'est un bon question".... that's a good question. So we are continuing praying that he'll understand who he is and why he has been led to this point in his life.

Alcides is doing super well and has continued to be faithful. This week we are going to teach another Cape Verdean woman whose ex husband was an RM and has a friend in our ward...and she lives right across the street from us. Hahha I am very excited for that lecon!

And how about General Conference? Woooooo. It was like flipping Monday Night Football. The ward had food going all day and we had lots of missionaries from surrounding cities....It was so much fun and so rewarding! We have yet to see or read the Sunday Afternoon session because of the time difference... 

My Favorite talk goes to President Uchtdorf, 

"Let us rise up and be men of God." 

But Elder Bednar calling the world to repentence was sweet and Elder Christoffersons talk on women was incredibly good.

I couldn't really handle Elder Neilson's excitement level. (** my subject today was dedicated to him and his talk.** ) I didn't know if he was preaching or shouting a play from the line of scrimmage...
But in all seriousness, General conference was amazing and it brought incredible and profound peace and gratitude to my soul.

I will leave with my two favorite quotes that I want you all to internalize this week:

President Uchtdorf:         

"Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith"

 President George Q Cannon as quoted by President Eyring: 

"There is not one of us that God has not given his angels charge over"

God is real and our Loving Heavenly Father. The message of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ must continue to spread around the world!

I love you all!

Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder William Yarn Montgomery