Transfer 13, Week 2 David Archuletta and miracles... December 22, 2014

Dear Fam,
What a week! After a slow week last week we really stepped it up this week and saw a ton of miracles and had all sorts of adventures.
I'll start by talking about our trips to Lyon. We went to Lyon twice this week. Once on Thursday and again on Saturday. Its a 2.5 hour trip on train. We leave at 626am.

Thursday we were there with 5 zones and David Archuletta. It was really spectacular. We each had the chance to shake his hand and meet him. He's shorter than I'd imagined, but really cool and genuine. He sung several Christmas numbers including a french one, and shared some thoughts on Christmas and his testimony and experience on his mission. It was really spiritual and moving.
Saturday we had zone training. Really fun, felt a bit odd not giving it, but thinking about all the preparation it takes to prepare them I was grateful it wasn't me presenting.
Other than that we were on our grind. We talked to an abnormal amount of people and found an abnormal amount of people willing to talk to us. It was crazy the people we found that had clearly been prepared to talk to us. Tuesday was really the big day. We fasted. And even though we had 2 rdvs fall through we talked to everyone around us and at the end of the day found 6 potential amis, and a recently baptized man from Canada that had lost contact with the church. Everywhere we turned we found people in some way prepared for us.
Elder Mataalii and I are really clicking together. He is so humble and fun. Its been a fun time already with him. He is so humble that we can be super open with each other and bring out the best each other by expressing our worries or ideas or goals. Its been fun. This week has been one of the most effective weeks of my mission.
One of my favorite miracles was last night. We didnt have any rdvs. After the ward meal, we were asked to go with a recent convert, David to go and administer the sacrament to a sick member unable to come to church. She lived an hour away by car out in the middle of the french countryside, super beautiful. Her name is sister Hughes shes from England and her husband is not a member but really cool. They were happy to have us. She has been unable to come church due to stomach problems for 9 weeks. We administered the sacrament in english and after she just started crying. She told us how she felt so cleansed and purified by the sacrament and how different she felt after taking it. The Spirit was there, it felt really sweet. She told us how people always say you need to go to church cause it makes a difference, that you cant just stay at home and read your scriptures. She told us how she had come to realize how true this was.
 How true it is the scripture: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you." 
We shared with her Alma 7: 10-13 which she told us was the perfect scripture for her considering the fact that it was her bowels giving her problems haha. We talked about the immense love and perfection of the Lord for us. The Spirit was almost tangible, it felt wonderful. And we then got to teach Arthur her husband. It was just a fantastic way to spend our day. I felt assured that we had done the will of the Lord.
I'm so excited to see you this Thursday! I can't wait! It should be around 6pm my time, 12 your time. Stay ready!
Merry Christmas! I love you!

Elder Montgomery

Transfer 13, Week 1 .... December 15, 2014

Chère famille,

What a week!
After getting in Tuesday to Clermont, we spent the entire day Wednesday cleaning the apartment and rearranging. It was in a really bad state. But it feels really good now and is super organized and ready for the transfer.

Because the last transfer was 4 weeks long, this one will be 8 weeks long, so will end in February. We have some extra time to pump up the work here. After doing a complete redo of the apartment, we did an analysis of the area book, what tools we had, and what amis we were currently working with. We'll be starting from almost ground 0. The good news is that the ward is awesome. We have members who really love us and a Ward mission leader who is really gung ho. Plus quite a few awesome young adults. So we have a good base and a bunch of old investigators.

We are currently working with only one investigator. I should say were working with. His name is Yao. He is a young chinese student, who had a baptismal date and has already been taught everything and wants to be baptized, but his work prevents him from coming to church, and he lives with his girlfriend. We saw him twice this past week and he is a really cool and sincere guy. We addressed the problems I just stated on Saturday night and he took them well, but then Saturday night he sent us a text telling us that he thinks we should pause our meetings for a while and never responded after that. So bummer there.

The brightside of all this is Elder Mataalii. I don't know if I've had a companion yet with as much faith and humilityand desire to do good as he has. This transfer will be quite miraculous because of him. We set really good goals and decided that we both want to go all out this transfer. Which sounds normal, but its funny how even as missionaries we find the tiniest reasons or ways to not do things the way we should. We decided openly to each other that we are going to everything the right way, or give our best trying, and smile and spread Christmas cheer the whole way. It's been really fun just being in a normal equipe working and focusing on straight missionary work. 
The city definitely has a different feel than Toulouse. It feels smaller and a bit less busy (one tramline our main transport), but with Christmas time in the air, everybody seems in a hustle and bustle anyways.

The Toulouse Capitole ward is one of the "big" wards in France, lots of well known families and names. Clermont Ferrand is just barely a ward (attendance wise) and has a lot more of a small town feel to it. I translated yesterday in Sacrament meeting for the American family we have in our ward. When people ask I now just say I've been on my mission for a year and a half, which seems really weird and I never thought I'd be saying that.

On Saturday was the ward Christmas Party. It went really well turn out of about 40 people and was a good chance for me to meet everyone, and its clear that the missionaries in this ward are really well loved. Just before 9 oclock they had us 4 missionaries come up to the front, and they presented each companionship (us and the sisters) with a tub of wrapped gifts from the ward members. It was really sweet. ITs been really easy to become friends with everybody. After one week I feel well accepted and good friends with most the ward.

This week went well, we talked to a bunch of people and found a couple solid potentials. Last night on our way home, we became quick friends with a classy African man named Bruno who LOVES the USA. haha it was funny, and he's christian. He quickly agreed to come to our english class on Saturday. That was a fun 4th quarter miracle.

I'm really excited for Christmas skype! I'm not sure on the schedule yet, I'll let you know next monday.

Very excited for this coming week. Christmas miracles are coming!!

"It's a Festivus miracle!"

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery
Les Missionnaires
34 rue Niel 
clermont ferrand, France

The Clermont centreville set up

This is what the tram looks like that we take (mom asked a while ago)

The view from our Apt.

Add caption

Elder Mataalii waiting impatiently for the tram Sunday morning. (Its a 30 minute tram ride to the chapel from our apt.

Transfer 12, Week 4...The next turn in the mission story ... December 9, 2014

Dear Fam,

Never thought I'd be here!
I got transferred to Clermont-Ferrand, a medium sized city west of Lyon, close to the geographical center of France. It sits in a valley of dormant volcanoes, and is known for its black cathedral made molten rock. Quite cool!

I'm serving with Elder Mataalii, a young missionary in his 5th transfer. He is from diamondbar, CA. His mom is from ecuador and his dad from Samoa. I actually did an exchange with him in my first transfer in Toulouse. He is really great. Super willing to work and very non assuming. Just excited to be here, and is really quite cheerful. Super Humble. innocent in a good way, doesn't really care who you are or where you're from just wants to be nice to you. He isn't super skilled or competent but has a huge heart, and its fun to be around him.

It was crazy to get the call, super sad to leave behind all the friends and potential in toulouse. It'll be particularly fun to be serving in just a normal equipe. Elder M and I will just get to buckle down and work. This transfer gives me the opportunity to be the best missionary I've yet to be on my missionary and to do a lot of great missionary work. I'm really quite excited. A new adventure!

We did two exchanges last week, both in Toulouse. We had the baptism of a chinese ami named DanYan, the one that I did the interview for, on Saturday. He asked me to give both talks in the service, and thus I gave two talks in the service. haha

We got a chance to see lots of the families I loved this past week. Including the family Serrano-Milone, the fam Janda, the fam Pichon and of course Sunday we spent the evening with the Cuveliers and Margot. We had a super special and spiritual moment with them. It was incredible. In fast and testimony meeting, after Elder Bollard and I had both already born our testimonies, Fr. Cuvelier got up and basically bore his testimony about his experience with us and what smart and impressive men we are. It was really sweet. He also said that he knew we were specifically called to teach Margot. IT's crazy the miracle that she is. As we were parting ways Sunday evening, we were trying to explain to Mami (Sr Cuvelier's mom) what was happening. Margot said, "he's leaving, thats what happens in missionary work, its not vacation, it's work!" Haha it was great and made me really happy, that she gets it. She gets the gospel and she lives, and because she lives she has been seeing incredible miracles in her life. Incredibly sad to leave but it will make for a very happy reunion one day with that group.

I left Monday afternoon and spent the night in Lyon and Elder Mataalii and I just got in along with the sisters at 2 this afternoon. 
I'm stoked to be here. Time to turn up!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery
Us and the Family Serrano-Milone

Bishop Janda and I

The crew after our Sunday evening crepes :)

Elder Bollard and I in the train station on monday

William Sighting in the Montpelier Train Station .... December 8, 2014

Will sighting!!

Elder Pettingill's mom shared this with me. He's still smiling! Counting the days till we Skype with him! This photo was taken in the Montpelier train station in Montpelier (southern) France. These two just bumped into each other. Fun visit for them.

Transfer 12, Week 3...Thanksgiving and travelling .... November 24, 2014

Chére famille,

A great week. We had to do an exchange yesterday and so are taking our P-day today.

We started off with lots of travel. We went up to Albi on Tuesday to do an exchange with the Elders up there and I was with Elder Poll and Elder Otteson. We spent the night there, then stayed for the Rodez district meeting, and then went up to Rodez and did an exchange with the Elders there. I was with Elder Smith, a blue missionary from Dallas, Texas. It was a long 2 days but incredibly fun and miracle filled. 

Thursday morning we arrived at the Rodez train station at 730am to take our train back to Toulouse only to find that there had a been asurprise strike and we had to take a travel bus from Rodez to Toulouse...a 4 hour ride. That was a long start to our day. But it was great because we got to share Thanksgiving dinner with the VanTonder family. Sr. VT is from Utah, and Fr. VT is from South Africa, but grew in France. We had another American couple with us, the Turley family, and the Van Tonder's neighbors Christina (spanish) and Peter (German) and their baby boy. It was such a fun time. We ate so much food!!!! It was a legit Thanksgiving dinner. And we had wonderful time explaining the strategies for eating as much food as possible to Peter and Christina. They are way cool. They asked a ton of questions about us and our missios. At the end we shared Because of HIm and He is the Gift with them and the spirit was so strong. It was a wonderful evening. I don't think it could've been better.

We did another exchange Friday, I was with my good friend Elder Mattinson. It was a blast. Friday night I did the baptismal interview for DanYan, a chinese ami. He passed and will be getting baptized on saturday. Really great. With his baptism our entire district will have had a baptism this transfer!

Church was so great. Sadly and a bit annoying because of all the travel we hadnt been able to see Margot until Sunday at church. It was so great to see her. She was railing off some great answers in Sunday school, then would look at us and say that she went to a good school. So funny.

In other news, Pierre Fourtina, my buddy from Lormont (RM from Ogden mission) who is doing his studies here in Toulouse was called as our new DMP on Sunday. Its going to be a blast.

Today we just came here from eating a raqluette lunch with the Cuveliers, Margot and mami. It was a huge meal and lots of laughing. I love these people so much. Just my favorite group. What a wonderful blessing to be here. 

The transfer calls are coming on Friday. Nervous for what will happen. I want so much to stay here for Christmas, but we never know where the Lord will need me. 

We already have a ton of stuff planned out for this Christmas month. For those of you haven't gotten on the He is the Gift train. Get on! Its what we are doing as missionaries is going to every member and inviting them to #sharethegift with all their friends. This is going to be to great! I'm so excited for Christmas! Only 3 weeks!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery
Thanksgiving table

The turkey

Our Raclette lunch!

Transfer 12 Week 2, A week to remember .... November 24, 2014

Dear Family,

Margot got baptized :) Scare after scare and miracle after miracle happened to keep her until her baptism on Saturday and then her confirmation on Sunday. It was an incredible experience and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.

This week was another busy one. We started by going to Lyon on Monday for Leadership council which was fantastic, and then had zone training on thursday which went really well. And then the baptism on Saturday!
It's all been rather stressful as we've had no fridge and have been putting our cold things on our window sill. (we'll be getting a new one today) and we've both been low on our mission money.

Leadership council was wonderful. We had a lot of really good practical solutions to unifying our mission. That has been the big focus of late. We are a team. I feel like as a mission we've progressed a lot in our desire and faith in the past little bit. 
Zone Training was awesome. We got to present to our zone the He is the Gift initiative. The church's Christmas program for this year. We are stoked for it. It's going to be awesome.
Margot- So we saw wednesday and she was doing great. Thursday the ward council wanted us to make sure that her husband knew and approved of her baptism. It was a bit nervewracking, but friday morning Fr. Cuvelier called us and told us that everything was good to go and that the husband was fine with it. Saturday we had a great crowd, Fr. Cuvelier performed the baptism, I got to give a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was incredible to see Margot's countenance after her baptism and then again after she was confirmed on Sunday. She was glowing. I had never seen nor felt such happiness coming from her. Its a big deal. Margot is great, but she is tad odd. Her Polish background makes her french a bit choppy, and you can tell that she has had some emotional problems in her life. But after the baptism and confirmation she was a different person. It was odd and both elder bollard and I noticed it. Fr. Cuvelier is the stake patriarch and he is the one who confirmed her as well. The blessing he gave to her was incredible. I felt a lot of real power flowing in that circle as I stood in it. Margot may just surprise us all and be the best member ever. It was a really special moment.
A little more info on her: Her Polish name is Malgozata, she has two pHds (one in literature or art, the other in psychology) and has a 21 yr old son and a 17 yr old daughter who is extremely autistic and which takes a large portion of Margot's time.

This coming week we are going to Albi and rodez to do exchanges and district meetings.
Our focus will now shift slightly to Marie-Antoinette who has been taught by the missionaries several times in the past 10 years, but now seems like she is really committed to be baptized on the 6th. We had a FHE with a family in the ward yesterday and she loved it. We'll hope and pray she'll hold strong til her date.

I love you!

Elder Montgomery


Transfer 12 Week 1 ..... November 17, 2014

Dear Family,

I've just accepted that life will be crazy. But thats what makes it fun.

Today we are in Bordeaux, we got in this morning and we are going to catch a plane with some of the other zone leaders in just a couple minutes to go to Lyon for Leadership council tomorrow. I'm writing emails back in my home stadium- the Lormont chapel.

Monday we had our first real downtime in the while and we took advantage of it to clean and prepare, however without a working fridge we didnt really have a good place to put groceries.

Then Tuesday out of nowhere our week changed. As we were leaving for the day the office called and explained to us that Elder Bleak a blue in our zone was on his way up to Lyon for his visa appointment but hadn't taken his legality papers, so they had to return to Toulouse to pick it up, but because of that there were no more trains to take him up to Lyon for his appointment Wednesday morning. So they asked me to use the senior's couple car and drive up to Lyon with him Tuesday night. So after some organizing Elder Bleak and I made the 5 and half hour drive up to Lyon Tuesday night. And then because Elder Bleak has already been in the mission for 3 weeks, they wanted him to stay for blues bring back conference on Friday. So they told us to stay until friday. In the end Elder Bleak and I got to do a 4 day long exchange pulling back into Toulouse Saturday morning. 

Margot. Tuesday, we taught margot just before we left. She had had a great day, hadn't drinken coffee, and was feeling really good about her baptism for this coming Saturday. During my sojourn in Lyon, Elder Bollard called me and told me that her husband (who isn't against her decision to be baptiezed but is certainly not for it) showed the recent article published about mormons in some american papers that was picked up by some french newspapers as well. And apparently it was super tough for her. She really was distraught. I was really frustrated that I couldn't be there. They had another lesson with her friday while I was gone and Fr. Cuvelier whom we teach with everytime came up big in explaining a lot of those big issues and really resolved them for her. She still left feeling uneasy about the idea of Joseph Smith being a prophet and President Monson as well. Her baptismal interview was Sunday just after church and all the talks in Sacrament involved testimonies of Joseph Smith and the restoration. It was awesome! Church was great! Elder Yeung did the interview and 30 minutes later told us that she was fine, and ready to go. He said the only thing is her coffee which we were already aware of, but as of Sunday she had drinken a little bit in the past 5 days and said that it did a lot more pain than good. We then went and saw her last night again at the Cuvelier's home. She is great and has progressed so much and is going to be baptized and all the member's are really stoked. I am really really happy.

This week we will have another busy week, with leadership council, zone training, and the baptism. All very exciting!

I'm just very happy right now.

By the way,the mission secretary called me to confirm my release date with me. It will be July 20th.
 Which is still really far away ;)

I love you all so much,

Elder Montgomery
This was the stake conference venue!

Elder Bleak and I with Elder Erickson (one of the busy office elders) on the phone in between us. OUr exchange was really fun!

Back in my old apartment!

Back (To)ulouse! Transfer 12? .... November 10, 2014

Dear Family,

Just had an incredibly crazy week. To start things off Elder Bollard and I are staying together in Toulouse, very exciting we're both stoked to be together and want to make this transfer golden.

So this week there have been riots in Toulouse off and on. This weekend was also Stake Conference. So we had all of the missionaries in our zone and the Montpellier zone (45 missionaries) come in while these riots were peaking Saturday evening. Haha it was pretty crazy. As we walked through the ville earlier in the day we saw armored police everywhere. We had a very difficult time getting everyone to their apts because all of the metros and busses were down. We saw several miracles happen that evening, including a missionary senior couple that was in town from Beziers appeared out of nowhere and offered to drive all the sisters home. And then the metros came back on just at the end of the night as we had finished sending everyone their way. It was a lot.
Because the Stakes are so big and they don't neccessarily have big stake centers nor do they broadcast out the conference, here in France for Stake conference they usually rent out a conference center. It was huge, really cool and we had around 500 people there. President Roney was there and spoke. During his talk he called Elder Bollard and I up to share a 3 minute thought about the Savior. It was awesome! We got to teach this huge crowd about the Atonement and the Restoration of the Gospel! How cool! It was such a fun experience. And the Spirit was so strong.

We had our staple amis there. Margot who is so excited to be baptized and absolutely loved general conference, is still struggling to stop drinking coffee. We are really praying that she will stop before her interview. Her baptism is scheduled for the 22nd. Marie Antoinette is completely ready and already living the gospel but is just struggling to be excited for her baptism. She's had problems in the past with commitment and she keeps telling us that she is willing to be baptized in Decemeber (6th) but would prefer it in the summer. Roxanna, our romanian miracle from a couple weeks ago came and has become best friends with the young adults and now lives with one.

We returned home after Stake Conference and attempted to feed all the missionaries we had only to find that our refrigerator had stopped working and all of our food was going to waste. Haha it was funny and sad at the same time.

We were walking home last night after sending in our zone's numbers and were just exhausted. I was reflecting over the past week and notably the past 2 days and crazy they were. I never thought I'd be capable of handling so many things at one time. The Lord has blessed us immensely, but its been hard and we still have such a long way to go before we attain our potential. But during this moment of reflection I just had the most profound impression spread in my spirit and this sentence came into my head. "And the Gospel is true". THis thought was followed by some incredible joy and energy that I can't really explain. I simply picked my head up and said to Elder Bollard, The gospel is true. It was a beautiful thing to have a spiritual confirmation of what we are doing, and knowing that it really is the Lord's work, for the happiness and salvation of everyone on the earth. And recognizing that by small and simple means He will accomplish this work. 

I love you so very much,

Elder Montgomery
A William Sighting from FFFLM Website - Zone Conference

Week 5 .... November 3, 2014

Dear Family,

What an adventure this week! Brief outline: We had an exchange Tuesday with the Castres Elders then went to Bordeaux on Wedensday for our big zone conference with 5 zones where Elder and Sister Kearon spoke it was so cool, we then drove to Lyon Wednesday night with the office elders and some other zone leaders, and then Thursday went to Geneva and Friday had our leadership conference withe Elder Kearon, and returned all the way to Toulouse Friday night on train. Lots of travel and we returned home exhausted.

So first and foremost, our star player of the week is Margot, our wonderful ami who is progressing very nicely and stilll has a wonderful desire to be baptized. She is struggling to overcome coffee and to drop some more catholic habits. (she told us that she was praying to Joseph Smith and we had to clarify who prophets are and that we only pray to God) We saw Tuesday and Sunday, and both times she showed signs of spiritual progression. She even thanked Heavenly Father in her closing prayer for the two boys that He had sent to help her with things that are eternal when they could be doing so many other things. That really touched me.
We had another moment as we were teaching about Thomas S Monson being a modern day Prophet that was special. I testified that he was a prophet and one proof of that was my call to serve in France and to be teaching her the Gospel and how it was meant to be me. And she agreed saying that we would say things that she was already thinking and she had no idea how we knew them. It was special.

The conference in Bordeaux was excellent. The Kearons are just awesome. (the zone leaders and sister training leaders got to meet with them privately before hand...) I was equally impressed by both of them and would've liked to hear them speak all day. The talked about our diligence and how we must attack our mornings. They quoted Elder Holland who said, Your mission will be determined by every morning of your life. and went on to discuss the importance of focus and true conversion for now and into the future. President and Sr. Roney taught equally powerfully. President talked about how we can change our future families for the better by changing now. He discussed our actions and integrity and diligence will directly affect our current families and bless our future families. It was really awesome. 

Then on Friday in Geneva we had a much smaller meeting with the Zone leaders and sister training leaders and Elder Kearon and the Roneys. It was much more intimate setting where Elder Kearon was a bit more casual but just as powerful and it was really a big discussion of things we had learned and how we could teach them to others in our circles of influence. He is a convert from England. He was baptized when he was 26 and his wife is from CA. Just an incredible couple.

Saturday and Sunday were booked as well. Saturday we got to spend lunchtime with the family Serrano-Milone. They are among my favorite families in the world. I love teaching in their home. Fr. SM is a hero of mine. He is the stake high councilman over missionary work and is so motivated. We work with him often. He is the man.
Sunday we got a surprise invite to eat lunch with the family Frau after church and then went from rdv to rdv and didnt come home until 930 Sunday night. Our week was very full. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. We were moving and learning and teaching at every moment. Fun and exhausting. I've never had such a fast 6 weeks in my life.

As I reviewed my conference notes I was really hit by the importance of conversion. They didn't really use that word exactly but that was the message that I took from it. And Elder Bollard and I have had good open conversations about our strengths and weaknesses since in order to really improve and change. I'm excited and looking forward with faith. How much we need the Gospel in our lives. How much we need our Savior in our lives. How much the world needs the Savior.

I love you so much!

Elder Montgomery
Elder Bollard and I at the chapel in Geneva

Overlooking Geneva was really sunny!

Geneva downtown

Week 4 ..... October 27, 2014

Dear Family,

I love you a lot. We had a great week. The coming week will be even better. We did 3 exchanges this week, attended 2 district meetings, and got to see all of the missionaries in our zone. Really fun, and tiring.

Tuesday. We went up to Castres, a medium sized city with 5 or so members in it. I was with Elder Amerjan on exchange. He is a 3rd transfer missionary from Fresno, CA. He is hilarious and I was blown away by his faith and love for everyone. Nothing phased him. 

Wednesday. Sat in on the Rodez District meeting in Albi. 

Thursday. District meeting with the Concorde district (the other Toulouse ward.) After wards I went on exchange with Elder Haskin, a blue missionary from Georgia! Haha we had a good time going out to St. Guadens, a tiny ville out near the Spanish border where we taught a lady at her doorstep who had been taught by missionaries over 15 years ago, but had lost contact with them. Elder Haskin led the lesson and already speaks great french. Really fun little adventure

Friday. Started another exchange with some of the Concorde Elders whose sector is just the other side of the Garonne (which divides Toulouse in half). I was with Elder Rellaford, who is from American Fork, UT. A stellar 3rd transfer missionary. Really fun we talked to tons of people. Despite both of our teaching appts falling through we set up new teaching appts with 2 new people for next week. One of which was a french student who had just returned from living in Texas for 6 years and the other a retired Colonel from the french national gaurd. 

Saturday. We planned, and planned. How important planning is. We spent the evening with Utile an awesome JA, who invited 2 of her friends along with Roxana the girl we met last week and one of her friends, for a Family home evening. So we ate really good Burundian food and then Elder Bollard and I shared the mormon message Mountains to Climb with this incredibly diverse group of student aged people. It was awesome there was an incredible spirit, and it was fun and wonderful to have the chance to testify of the truth being restored to the earth and of the peace and purpose it gives to us. It was thrilling and refreshing.

This week was in fact incredibly full. I was gone from our sector for most of it. But Marie Antoinette, who was at first hesitant with her baptismal date is now excited for it. Margot, she is progressing super well, comes to church every week and we're praying will give up coffee for good this week. Kevin will miss is date as he didnt come to church this week. His commitment is lacking and we aren't seeing a ton of progression. So we'll see with Kevin. 

As for the lactose intolerance, its been up and down. I have decided that I am not lactose intolerant, and just ate dairy for the last couple days of the week. I've been fine. I think it may just be that my diet has not been steady enough and lots of other things mixed in. 

This week. Wow. We are going to Bordeaux on Wednesday for a multi zone conference with Elder Kearon of the 70. Then we are going straight to Geneva for a special leadership conference with Elder Kearon on Friday with the mission leaderhsip. Really exciting and awesome. I hope I can take sufficient advantage of this incredible opportunity.

I'm worried that maybe I'm plateauing in my missionary skills and I don't like it. I want this week to be a motivation for the rest of my mission. I want to do more. I feel stressed, but I have a great desire to change. And you are a great motivation for me.

I love you all!

Elder Montgomery 
Elder Amerjan and I at a service project

Elder Bollard and I in Castres

The tiny ville of St. Gaudens

Elder Rellaford and I in the metro

Transfer 11 Week 3 .... October 20, 2014

Dear Family,

We are still alive. After a crazy successful week of missionary work. Life is hectic but fun. Shout out to Tom who made it into BYU. I'm so happy to get to email y'all today. 

This week was great because it was our first full week in our sector without real interruption except two exchanges. And we took full advantage, and got a lot done.

The big news is that we had two people accept baptismal dates this week. Margot our Polish ami, decided on the November 22nd and Marie Antoinette the sister of a member here that we saw three times this week accepted a date for December 6th. We're very excited. We got back in contact with Kevin this week and set up calender for him to follow before his baptism on the 8th of November. All very very exciting.

We had another crazy miracle on Tuesday. We were in the metro station and I was waiting as Elder Bollard finished a phone call and up walks a young lady who asked me if we had meetings here in Toulouse. After talking to her we figured out that her name is Roxanna she is romanian and was really good friends with the missionaries in Romania and is now here for France for work. We invited her to institute Wednesday and she loved it, and became really great friends with all the Young Adults and we gave her a BOM in Romanian and she was excited to start reading it. Huge miracle. The Lord just seems to be pouring out blessings that actually don't have room enough to receive them.

Then I'm not sure if I told you about our ami francois that we met a couple weeks ago on an exchange. Elder Bollard and I went last week to his house and met his family and helped him with his english, and this week we went back over while I was on exchange with Elder Anderson and we got the chance to teach him about the Restoration, the Word of Wisdom and about our daily life as members of the church. Its a bit awkward because he calls us by our first names. We're trying to figure out how to avoid that. haha. But they invited us back over this week for lunch, and we hope to invite them to church to meet members.

I went on an exchange here in Toulouse with the Chinese Elders in their sector and was thus looking to speak with Chinese people all day. IT was really cool. I was with Elder Fletcher from Texas. He had been feeling quite nervous about his Chinese. (The other chinese Elder is from hong kong). I memorized 6 basic phrases and had my french and english ready to go. Haha we taught a lesson and contacted one man that gave us his number! It was really quite neat.

With all of this we are working to improve our contact and activity with the zone to make sure we keep a balance in our work.

There are so many things that I want to tell you about that fill my mind every day. The constant thread of communication that I have with my Heavenly Father is filled with prayers for you. There is so much I want to share with you, our weeks are so FULL. Journal writing is difficult.

The Lord loves us. Often times our own obedience leads to the blessing of others around us. I love this time so much.
I love you!

Elder Montgomery
Me making Fufu(?) an african dish we eat with soup!

Me with Mami, the mother of the Fr and Sr Cuvelier, who we see every time we teach Margot

Me with this huge painting in the St. Augustine Museum

Transfer 11, Week 2 .... October 13, 2014

Dear Family,

This week blazed by. I love being a missionary. I've never felt so in the swing of missionary work as I do now. I realize that now is that great middle period of my mission. Always work like its the middle. 

We went to Lyon on Monday and had Leadership council on Tuesday. It was probably my favorite leadership council thus far in my mission. Really great spirit, and I left feeling very motivated and excited to go to work. We really are trying to push the vision of teamwork in our mission. That the entire mission is a team, and that we succeed or fall short together, and that miracles will come to the mission if we ALL have more integrity in our work and do our best to be Preach my Gospel missionaries. Its an interesting concept, that feels right to me.

The week after we got back was hectic. We planned and prepared our zone training on Wednesday and then held it on Thursday. It went quite well. We created a zone Title of Baptistry (play off of Title of Liberty) and discussed the principle of Power in Unity. We finished by making sure that everyone in the zone received a priesthood blessing. Once again, there was a great spirit of commitment and desire present. Now it will be essential to follow up. After Zone training on Thursday we had an exchange with the assistants, I was with Elder Beyer, who I've been great buds with for a while now. We taught two lessons back to back. Then had dinner together with my comp and Elder Elvidge. Its always fun to be with them.

Friday morning I conducted the baptismal interview for a lady named Eliane who was gladly baptized later that same day. She has a wonderful testimony and it was an interesting and edifying experience to do the interview with her. The baptism went well, even though there was a lot of stress over it because it was put together so quickly and everything seemed rushed. 

Saturday was crazy. We spent an hour at a family's home that we had met on the road a week ago. The husband, Francois wanted help with his english and we offered to come over. He is so nice. They had us over to there home and we spent an hour getting to him and his wife and their two kids. Super stereotypical french family. Incredibly kind. He is kind of catholic and she doesn't believe in God. But she really warmed up to us at the end of the visit. In the car ride back he started asking us questions about why we don't drink tea and coffee. We suggested to explain why we don't do so the next time and he gladly accepted. Exciting!
Then Saturday afternoon we were knocking doors in a tall apartment building and we taught a young Japanese man at his door step for about 30 minutes about who God is and how to pray, it was quite an interesting experience, and a fun miracle lesson! He said he'd be happy to see us again but he is moving soon. 
Then Saturday evening we taught our ami Sevane who loved general conference so much that he sent links to elder christofferson's, robbins, and Uchtdorf's talks to a friend of his. We had a very spiritual rdv where he expressed a lot of desire to be baptized and showed a lot of progression. It was fun to see. 

I'm excited for this week to come. We'll finally have some time to work a lot in our own secteur. We have tons of new possibilities opening up to us which is such a blessing as certain people begin to slow down in their interest level. 

This morning in personal study I read this from 1 Nephi 17:40, "He loveth those who will have him to be their God." It struck me how happy God is when we decide to give Him the importance He deserves in our lives. Sort of how Fr. Robbins said it, who do we face? What do we love the most? How much God loves us, and how much more favored we do what is right. This led to another reoccurring thought that I've been having this week. Righteous action conquers guilt and discouragement. Thats really what faith is, if we have faith it pushes us to act. And Righteous action is the final sealing step of the repentance process. As PMG says it in Ch. 11, Genuine repentance is best demonstrated by righteous action over a period of time.

Lets all change a little bit this week!

I love you so much!

Elder Montgomery
After Zone training: our title of Baptistry

Raclette Dinner with the Assistants

Pday stroll through the Capitole building


Week 1, General Conference .... October 6, 2014

Dear Fam,

Whewww what an exciting week! So much happened! All of it was capped off by General Conference which was heavenly.

First things first my new comp, Elder Bollard is great, we've meshed really well, and he is a great missionary and easy to get along with. He is from Irvine, California and has 4 older brothers. He is a big guy and speaks great french. He came out to the mission straight out of high school. We've had an up and down week, but are excited for the busy transfer ahead.

This week, we had 10 teaching apts fall through, which was unfortunate. On the flip side, we committed our ami Kevin to be baptized the 1 of November and he is more than excited. He had taken a lot of the lecons early in the summer then left on vacation and lost contact with the missionaries. He came back and we found him in the street (Elder Moeller and I) and have taught him twice since. He already has an incredible testimony of everything. He reads and loves reading the Book of Mormon, he prays, and he loves church. I'm excited for him and just hope he stays visible or rather doesn't drop off the map again. Along with that we had 2 amis who came to General conference and they loved it. One is named Sevane, pronouced like 7 (shout out to George Costanza). He couldn't stop thanking us for inviting him. The second was Margot, our Polish ami, who is progressing nicely. She keeps comparing everything we teach her back to the Catholic church. We are hoping to commit her to baptism this week.

This coming week will be a bit crazy. We'll leave for Lyon tonight, for Leadership council, get back on Wednesday. We'll have Zone Training and an exchange with the assistants on Thursday, then go up to Rodez to do a baptismal interview and hopefully hold a baptismal service for that same ami on Friday.

We have been struggling in our sector of work simply in getting people to show up to appts. We have a lot of great potential. I'm working on upping my own expectations and working to fulfill them.

Lastly General Conference. Wow. We didn't even get to watch the last session because of the time change. Next Monday we'll go to the VanTonder's home to watch the last session. But it was just tons of answers to my prayers and to questions I had been carrying with me. I'll share my thoughts with  you:

-It was all centered on the Savior, His Atonement, and the Restoration of the Gospel.
-My favorite talk was probably from Elder Klebingat, Elder Christofferson, or President Uchtdorf.
-Of few of my favorite lines: "Partner with Him and move forward", "spiritual casualness never was happiness", "Lord is it I?", "There is no higher end than becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ"
-I noticed the emphasis on the Sacrament. I will be personally working to take my weaknesses and mistakes to the Sacrament table every week in a more real effort to repent. I loved fr Klebingat instruction on the Atonement, "apply it generously". Daily, joyful repentance.

I imagine it was the same for you, but I just couldn't capture what love and peace I felt. It was wonderful. Really...sacred. Hearing the Lord's servants speak is among my favorite things in the world. What a wonderful manifestation of the love of our Heavenly Father.
Now it's application time. Let's partner with Him and move forward.

I love you all,

Elder Montgomery

- In the Toulouse Train Station (To shawn buck)

- Elder Moeller on the way home!

- Elder Bollard and I with Fr. Lafargue, one of our favorite members and Elder Yang a recently dead missionary.

Elder Montgomery Sightings - September and October 2014

A few William sightings:

Leadership Council - September 2014

Bordeaux Zone Conference - October 2014

Elder Moeller - Bordeaux Zone Conference October 2014

Bordeaux Zone Conference - October 2014

Transfer 11 Feeling Old .... September 29, 2014

Dear Family,

What a week. It was incredibly hectic. But incredibly productive. We got to see a lot of members and we've seen a ton of progress in the work. It was sad to see Elder Moeller go. We dropped him off at the train station last night and I spent the night with Elder Yeung. Elder Moeller was one the Elders I respected the most that I've ever met. 

Now onto the new adventure! With Elder Moeller dead now I recognize the fact: I'm old now. One of the oldest missionaries in our zone. This transfer I will be serving with Elder Bollard and it will be his first transfer as a zone leader. He is two transfers younger than me and his from California. I know him from when he was in Pau and I was in Bordeaux. He is the man. This will be a really fun and exciting transfer. We received a new companionship in the zone, which means we now have 23 missionaries and a senior couple in our zone. I've spent my entire day at the train station helping missionaries catch their trains. Tomorrow will be the day that we do most of our planning, and then hit the ground running for the next 6 weeks. 

This transfer we'll be focusing a lot on organization, planning, and punctuality. This past transfer we worked super hard, but were all over the place. We have a ton of great progressing amis. Several of which have expressed their desire already to be baptized. These people are named Kevin, Margot, Zahira, Oy, Ruben, Redoine and Marie and then we have a ton of others that we're working with. Lots of exciting progress! Very grateful and happy with the potential we have right now. Nervous and stressed to keep everything moving slowly.

How excited are you for General conference???!!

I love you all so very much! Make it a great week! 
Your Heavenly Father and Savior love you!

Elder Montgomery

Transfer 10, Week 4 .... September 15, 2014

Dear Famille,

What an exciting week! Learned a lot this week. And we saw a lot of awesome progress. We decided to drop a lot of the people with whom we were working. They weren't progressing which was sad, but also their choice. But with this transition we've seen the emergence of some new really great people who are more interested and genuine in their desire. Let me give you some specifics on the week.

We went to Bordeaux early Tuesday morning and returned Tuesday evening. It was fun to be back in Bordeaux and see a lot of good friends. There were 4 zones of missionaries there for the combined zone conference. It was probably best however for the revelation I received. We watched the video recording of the Elder Ballard conference in Geneva. It was so incredible and inspiring mostly because of the simplicity Elder Ballard used in teaching us and his desire to really help the work move forward, it was tangible! We didn't get to watch this part but he had a question and answer session with the missionaries about what they felt like were the problems with missionary work in Switzerland. Everything he taught came from PMG, and he taught it with the intention of us applying it, which was nice. He taught a lot about teaching for understanding through questions, really understanding and becoming the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the importance of each soul to our Heavenly Father. It was great. I really pulled from it that I need to improve my personal studies and be improving my teaching skills as well. It was great because it answered a lot of the questions I had going into it. It was refreshing.

We dropped Anthony, and Zahira, neither of which were really serious about progressing in the gospel. But this week we taught for the second and third time a young woman named Ludmilla, she is from Guadeloupe and is studying geography. Really great. After our third rdv she set the goal to read the first 150 pages of the BOM in the next two weeks to be able to understand our message better! 
How wonderful!
Oy is young father from Nigeria that speaks English that we met on the road a couple weeks ago. He came to church on Sunday and is excited to read the Book of Mormon and come closer to Christ.
Marlgozata is a polish lady that is a neighbor of a member family. She recently got back from vacation. She had been taught once a few months ago before she left on vaca. We taught her twice and she came to church. And she is progressing slowly but progressing.

In other news we did an exchange with the Albi elders. Albi is a small city North of Toulouse. They are a trio of elders there. So Wednesday I was Elder Sneddon from Germany and Elder Mataalii from Diamondbar CA. It was fun and different to be with two missionaries. We talked to a lot of people and visited a couple of old investigators and fixed times to see new potential interested people. It went quite well and was fun to see a new city.

Elder Moeller and I are pushing on. We are doing super well together, but are striving to be more exact. We're trying to manage a shifting teaching pool with member work, less actifs, and zone responsibilities. He is working really hard and is determined to finish his last two weeks very honorably.

We are excited for the coming week. I love being a missionary. I love sharing this good news with everyone! Everyone needs it! And it is so simple and sweet to share.

I love you all,

Elder Montgomery
all my living comps were in Bordeaux!

                          This is MaryJane. An awesome young mother, that was baptized on Saturday. I taught her on exchange with some of the other Toulouse Elders. She is great!

Transfer 10, Week 3 .... September 8, 2014

Dear family,

How is everyone? I don't have a lot tell you. I just asked Elder Moeller what we did this week and he responded "work." 
Lots of new challenges, old challenges continue. 
We had 5 people with a baptismal date, but we dropped two of them this week because they weren't showing any desire to move forward. I'll give you a little break down of our other three.

Juliana- an awesome middle aged Brazilian woman, who lived in DC for 15 years and has been living in France for 10 years now. She has a young boy. she is unhappy living with her boyfriend. She wants to change and feels like there is more to life than what she has. We're focusing on helping her read the BOM and pray regularly, and find the strength to change her life. (that is after all the power of the Gospel. The Lord grants us the power to change our circumstances)

Sara- an awesome middle aged Italian woman who is fiancée to a less actif return missionary in the ward. She already has a firm testimony of everything. We saw her and micheal yesterday. She is wonderful and has a such a pure desire to be baptized and come closer to her Heavenly Father. But they are living together and wont be getting married until December. She is ready to be baptized except for that; so we are working to find a solution with the ward to enable her to be baptized and protect her covenant until the marriage.

Zahira- a great young student, our age, from Algeria. She has testimony already of the gospel and the book of Mormon, but is too busy to see us. School and work consume her time. She has a sincere desire to be baptized, we just need to find a way to see her more and for her to come to church regularly. 

Besides these three we are working with lots of others to help them grow in their relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior.

We had one moment in particular this week that stuck out to me. Saturday evening, We had been invited to eat at an amis home, a couple who really liked us and had seen us 2 times before. They are an odd couple, Gilbert is from Toulouse, Emma his wife is Bulgarian, they areintersting, both over 50 yrs old. Their home was rather messy. But we had a great evening eating dinner with them and their 2yr old daughter(?) and phillipe their friend who came for the last 30 minutes. They are really sweet and full of love and just wanted to get to know us. Towards the end of the evening as we finished dessert, so gospel questions came up...death, the Savior, who is God. We got scratch the surface a little bit and there was a good spirit there as we taught very simply. They accepted our invitation to hear our message in full another time. I said the closing prayer. Just after the prayer it was silent in the room and Gilbert said," you know, its moments like these, when you are with friends and you have a wonderful night together, that time stops and it seems like our problems and worries are gone, and you know that there is something there above watching over us." It was really sweet and the Spirit was really strong.... We left and as we turned the street corner they called us and asked us about the book we wanted to give them! haha we ran back and gave them a Book of Mormon for our next visit and they were more than happy to accept it. It was special. I felt really blessed and loved.

Our work continues and we are doing our best to follow the Spirit. Another week!

I love you all!

Elder Montgomery

Transfer 10, Week 2 ..... September 1, 2014

Dear Family,

Once again this week we are just living on a different energy level. Its really quite something. 

We had mission leadership council this tuesday in Lyon. It was probably my favorite one so far. What we learned and discussed was just directly in line with what I had been praying for and pondering the whole week before. I felt really inspired and we fixed some really great goals. We discussed how the mission needs to have fresh faith. Keep doing what we already have been doing but with new energy and new faith. And the results have been incredible. 

Thursday we gave our zone training. We really struggled planning for it, but it turned out really well and both Elder Moeller and I felt like we made a lot of progress as a zone in the two hours we spent together. As a zone of 22 missionaries we discussed ridding ourselves of doubt, bolstering our desire, deciding on who we are and what we want to do and translating all of that theory into action through our plans and goals. A major focus of the training was on the new standards of excellence that President released about 3 weeks ago. The most eye opening standard is now to teach 20 lessons a week. THat is huge in our mission. Really quite rare in even the "best" areas. But very possible with better planning and diligence. Elder Moeller and I have a goal to crush that standard. We want to double in week 5. 

If there is a time in which we can accomplish that feat it would be now with the teaching pool that we have. Yesterday we did our weekly planning. We planned for 17 amis for this week. Along with 10ish members we need to follow up with on their friends they know and other projects we have going on. This is rather unheard of in our mission. We feel very overwhelmed. Never in my mission or Elder Moellers have we had so many people to teach and to worry about. I have been pondering a lot about organization. We feel like there just aren't enough days in the week. We'll be relying on the Lord a lot these next couple weeks. So today and throughout this week we'll be evaluating and adjusting our organization and efficiency techniques to see how we can adapt. (If you have any tips please feel free to send them).

Its been nice because we've seen this explosion of work in our zone as well. Our numbers have improved dramatically in the past 5 months. Which is exciting.
With our zone we have been doing a Nothing Toulouse zone challenge, where we have assigned points to the standards of excellence and altogether as a zone we are working towards a grand total. Our goal was to unify the zone and help us all work on a higher level. Its seems to be working. I've really gained a testimony of brief daily contact with others and what a huge effect that can have. This is a principle taught in Preach My Gospel, that when applied works miracles.

We did two exchanges this week. One with one of our district leaders, Elder Olsen. It was quite fun and rewarding. And we had one with the assistants on Saturday. I was with Elder Elvidge. He is english, and he and I have been friends since I arrived in Gex early this year. We had a great exchange as well and it was fun to be in the presence of a really great missionary. The real counsel I got from him was to keep learning from Elder Moeller. Who is one of the most experienced and highly skilled missionaries in the mission. And he's right. I need to keep pushing myself in all areas including my french and teaching skills.

This morning I was studying in 2 Nephi 25 about the Savior and Nephi's experience with the Savior. 
One thing that really struck me (as it as many times) the centrality of the Savior in our lives. There are no other "messiahs", or in other words, there is no other way to find relief, peace, deliverance from the problems in our lives, except through the Lord and His infinite Atonement. And surely He carries my burdens and my griefs day to day. I've really worked on in the past couple months to just trust him and choose to be happy and choose to have peace. Its often in our most stressful and difficult moments that we get to choose to be like Him. That is when we choose to forge a real Christlike character.

I love you all so very much!  Make it a great week!

Elder Montgomery

Nothing Toulouse! .... August 25, 2014

Dear Family,

This week as just been incredible. Lots of differences between here and Lormont. I'll briefly give you a rundown.
In Toulouse there are 2 wards- Capitole and Concorde. We are in the Capitole ward along with 4 other missionaries (including a Chinese companionship and a team of sisters). And there are 6 missionaries in the Concorde ward. (This means half of our zone is in our city)
The Capitole sector is much better than the Concorde sector. It includes almost all of downtown Toulouse, the Young Adult center and the chapel.
This is where the Toulouse France mission was once based.
There is a lot going on as far as missionary work here. We have 5 people currently committed to baptism (4 of which were already committed before I arrived). We taught tons of lessons this week. We had ward council, the ward leadership is great. We operate on an incredible energy level here. We BIKE here. We use the public bike system. Which makes things really fun and I feel like a retro missionary. haha we also use the metro system a lot. And thats probably where we talk to the most people.

My comp Elder Moeller is fantastic. He and I get along really well. He has incredible missionary skills, and is super efficient and organized. He being such a great missionary causes me to rise to a new level. This challenge makes missionary work fun. We talk and say hi and smile at everyone. And we have already seen so many miracles in just 1 week. Maybe the thing I admire most about him is this is his last transfer in the mission. But he his push harder and has more desire to do good and become better and find people to teach than any dying missionary I've ever met.

The ward is great. We went and visited the Stake President, Fr. Depuydt, thursday and he invited us to play tennis with him. He smoked us. But the visit was great. More members I get the chance to meet and understand and love. The first step is learning all their names....which can be tough...

Our apartment is big, used to house 4 Elders. We live in a good area, better than Lormont. Toulouse is beautiful, but downtown is rather sketchy and busy as is the case with all big cities. 

Our goal is to make this transfer the best transfer of both of our missions. To do more and find more success. We committed our 5th person to baptism this week. His name is Henrique. He is a tall, dark, Portugeuse man. Was taught by the missionaries 10 months ago and then lost contact, but we got him back and he came to church on sunday! Very exciting. 

Although I walked into this sector and there was already tons of success going on, I'm excited to see what difference I'll be able to make with the help of the Lord.
Although this week was full of stress and anxiety (and some fear) I felt the Holy Ghost pushing me on and helping me fulfill my tasks as I strived to play catch up in city I didnt know (which was tough on the exchange we did this week). I knew I was on the Lord's errand, as everything turned out alright.
I know why I'm here. And I'm so grateful to be here. Because of Him
Here's to the best 10 months of my mission.

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgmery

-My desk

-This was a nasty day but a cool view of the pink city

-My sweet ride!

Transfersss! Transfer 10! .... Toulouse! August 18, 2014

Dear Family

Despite popular belief and the previous polls taken, I have been transferred to Toulouse, leaving Elder Castillo in Lormont for his 5th transfer! Very exciting!! I'm currently in Toulouse already with some other elders. I'm here as a zone leader with Elder Moeller, my good buddy from St. George, UT. He was my district leader while I was in Perigueux and I really respect him and we became really tight then and have been good friends since. He's got a big reputation in the mission for being an incredible worker. There are two wards here and I will be serving in the Capitole ward. I'm really excited to be here!!!!

How very sad I was to leave Lormont. It was tough. Recounting the week will be difficult, it feels so long ago. Here are some highlights:
We spent tuesday with the Darguence family, eating lunch and sharing spiritual experiences. Fr. Darguence is the member I told you all about when I first got to Lormont, he was a bounty hunter and body guard for Charles de Gaulle. He worked for the Paris and Bordeaux police, and has tons of incredibly crazy stories, spiritual and not. He recently had his second surgery in 3 months and is now in great condition and he and his wife are preparing to go on a couples mission. I had cut my hair monday, and so it was rather short and he asked about it, then decided he liked it and asked me to cut his I cut his hair (I have a picture). He was really proud of it and showing it off at church...haha

Wednesday and Thursday we spent in Bayonne, first I was on exchange with Elder Grant, then Thursday we attended their district meeting. Elder Grant is a good missionary, one transfer younger than me in the mission, he and I actually went on an exchange when I was Nice, so it was fun to work with him again and find ways we could both improve in our service. He has come a long way from where he was, but still has plenty of work to do. Bayonne is so pretty, and although I may never serve there, its probably the prettiest city I've been to yet and I will definitely want to return to visit.

Saturday, we helped the other elders move apartments- president is trying to split up all the 4 man apts. We also passed by the Senior Fourtina's and told them goodbye. It was really sad. I'm not a dramatic person usually and its rather rare that I show a lot of emotion. Throughout my mission I've mentioned people that I had felt like I had already been friends with before even coming here, and Papi Fourtina is one of those people. He is just the man. It was tough to say goodbye.

And Sunday was crazy as all last days are crazy in any given area. Bishop Darius called me saturday night and asked me to give a talk in church, which was a perfect way to express my love and appreciation to the ward. So I gave my talk on the importance of the Book of Mormon, how vital it is to what we believe and then after the next speaker had spoken, us 4 Elders and Mam, our Malegesh ward missionary leader, sang Sweet is the Work as the intermediate hymn. It was sweet and the Spirit was strong. We then spent the afternoon with Sr. David our sweet old grandma, and then after we spent the evening with the L'hospitals, one of our favorite families. I have pictures of all these people. Dont worry. Needless to say it was fun, and I felt a lot of love. It was hard saying goodbye to the area and the people. 

But now I am very excited at the prospect of serving here in Toulouse. Its a part of the mission that is unexplored for me. And I think being here will help me push myself in new ways. Work harder, be more consecrated, and change more lives.  Not that the we should need a change of scenery to change who we are, but I think being here will catalyze greater change through new opportunities. Time to really dig in and push myself to new heights.

My testimony of the Atonement has grown drastically on my mission, but especially after my service in Lormont. I'm beginning to understand what it means to leave my mistakes, regrets, and weaknesses to the Lord. I'm beginning. Its something I'll keep exploring. But I know and feel already the peace and happiness that is brought by trusting the Lord and doing what He asks. That through Him we are made strong.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Montgomery

Toulouse address:

Les Missionnaires
6, rue de Briançon No. 554
31100 Toulouse, France
Cutting Fr. Darguence's hair

The train station in Bayonne

Sr. David

With L'hospitals

Big map of southern france in the Bordeaux train station