The Gospel is the best .... January 27, 2014

Ma chere famille,

The week has been so cool!

We saw so many miracles, and got a chance to meet almost all the ward.  Let me start off by saying how wonderful the Gospel is. It is such a reality. It is true. It brings a peace and direction and happiness that we can find no where else.

We went to Lyon this week for Blues conference for Elder Ambursley and both he and I have been approved to start using the car here. Stick isnt too bad...although I'm still a bit nervous to drive here.
Elder Ambursley and I spent much of our week familiarizing ourselves with the area. We passed lots of members and taught a few miracle lessons.
On Tuesday, our first real day together, we were passing an old ami and we ran into an older Albanian man who was getting his second doctorate degree in history and he told us that he loved reading religious texts, and he said that if we could find a Book of Mormon in Albanian, hed love to have us over. We find one Albanian Book of Mormon in the apartment. We pass him two nights in a row but he's not home. (he lives in a really sketchy government apartment building). The third night we have about 45 minutes before we were going to the bishop's house for dinner, so we stop and start with a prayer to teach a lesson in that time. We contact a little bit, pass one old investigator who wasnt home, then pass our Albanian friend. Not only was he home, but his wife and two kids were home and he welcomed us right in and we taught the entire family about the Restoration. We aren't sure what will come of it. He is muslim by tradition but not practicing, and he told us he'd call us after he read, which was kind of a let down. But it is always a wonderful feeling to teach the Gospel to anyone who will receive us.

We have had a couple cool miracles like that this week actually. I wish i could share them all with you.

The ward is incredible. We average about 180 people at sacrament meeting each week. A large portion of them have served missions and its funny to see how many languages fly around at church on Sunday. We have tons of young men and young women and young adults. And the families love us as missionaries. A ward like this should really being seeing tons of success in missionary work. 
(yes, there is a very real correlation there)
We, the 4 elders, actually had a really cool experience yesterday. Yesterday was Ward Conference, and so the stake president and an Area 70 were there and both spoke. The Area 70 kinda chastised the ward for there lack of enthusiasm for missionary work. Just after wards the Area 70 (i never got his name) and the stake president met with us 4 missionaries up on the stand, alone. We talked for about 10 minutes about the potential this ward has but the All is well in Zion attitude that it holds.


The Stake president told us how he is certain that big things have been prepared for years to happen here in the coming months. There is a reason that the Lord is HASTENING his work. Now is the time that the "harvest" will be great. And while he was saying this to us, I almost had tears coming out, I was so happy. IT was incredible as the realization came over me that I would be a part of this. The Holy Ghost confirmed his words to me. There is a reason we have more missionaries now than we ever have, the Lord is starting something unparalleled in the history of the world. The Area 70 then laid out plans that he had for our ward and how he wanted us to be the ones to carry them out. He said that there are still many souls who are hungering and thirsting for the eternal truths of the Gospel, that are lost, that need the happiness and peace that the Gospel brings and that in the coming months many of these souls would be found. He reconfirmed the truth of the obedience brings us power. And that each day we need to be leaving our apartment feeling empowered to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was feeling excited, happy, and very much empowered after that. It was amazing.
I hope you all are doing well. I love seeing pictures of you! I love you so very much. My mission has made me appreciate you all a million times more.

The Gospel is the best. I love it!!!

Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Montgomery
Elder Ambursley and me
Elder Crawley, Elder Einerson, moi-meme, et Elder A- the 4 gex elders
Here were some funny pics of Elder Wilson and me

Here were some funny pics of Elder Wilson and me

Here is the view from outside of our apartment window

Somewhere in the Swiss Alps .... January 21, 2014

Chere Famille,

What a incredibly crazy week. And it got crazier reading all the emails I've gotten. How awesome, and wonderful is my Heavenly Father to be blessing me so greatly.

First and foremost, I've been transferred. But before I go into that I'll give my love to Perigueux. Oh I loved that branch. The love I felt from the members was incredible. And I am excited to go back and visit afterwards if I can. 

Our week was very cool. I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Moeller my district leader and fellow elder in Perigueux. It was incredible what miracles we saw. We found a man on the street that had been inactif for 5 years and he took our meeting as a sign that he needed to return to church. We then went porting. Started with a prayer and were impressed to port a road that had already been ported several times recently. After getting yelled at a couple times, we had a woman invite us in to eat with her and her British husband, then taught the Restoration to him in English. 

Then we went and did home teaching with a member and then we asked that member (the old branch president) if he knew of a less actif we were looking for that had a bad address listed. He knew exactly where she was and we went and visited her, and she committed to coming to church Sunday. There were plenty of others but I need to move on.Needless to say it is so wonderful to see the Lord accomplish miracles, and we get to be a part of it.

Friday we got our transfer calls. I got called to go to Gex, France. Now as an American missionary I cant live in Switzerland. But I had a secret dream that somehow the Lord would let me visit Switzerland. Yesterday I spent about 10 hours on trains from Perigueux to Bordeaux to Lyon to Geneva. And Gex is a suburb area of Geneva about a 30 minute drive from downtown Geneva. I am actually currently during my email from the old church administritave center for Europe (that is now in Frankfurt Germany). We have a huge ward with plenty of multilinguists. From our apartment building we can see Lake Geneva and Mount Blanc and the Alps. Its about as close as I can possibly get. Our secteur has plenty of small villes, Gex itself is rather small. As a result we have a car that is shared between the two teams of missionaries here. My new comp and I will both be learning to drive stick in the coming days in order to use the car.

Next, my new companion. His name is Elder Ambursly, he is from Toronto, Canada, and is beginning his 3rd week in the mission. He dislocated his shoulder in the MTC and so he was late coming into the mission. He is the man. He is 21. He played semi professional soccer in Holland. He is the only member in his family, and most importantly his drive to learn and to grow is fantastic. And I'll be training him. It will be a big learning experience for both of us as neither of us know the area at all. But boy this will be fun. I am stoked to see the miracles and progress we are going to see this transfer.

I am both excited and nervous to be here. New town, new responsibilities, and new opportunities.

Before I left Perigueux, the old branch president, that i mentioned earlier,  came up to me and got about 5 inches from my nose. And told me this line that Id like to leave you with. (He has one lazy eyelid so it was easy focusing on his one open eye:) 

"Jamais est un homme plus grand que quand il est a genoux devant Dieu."
"Never is a man greater than when he his kneeling before God."

Then he shared the the ever applicable President Hinckley quote:
"With any problem that you ever face remember always to Get down on your knees and pray like it all depends on the Lord, then get up and work like it all depends on you."

I love you my family. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and watches over us every day. Never forget to pray.

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery

My new address:)

Les Missionnaires
Les Chanterelles Batiment 17
514 Rue des Vertes Campagnes
01170, Gex France

Summer in January? .... January 13, 2014

Bonjour ma famille!

I've kinda robbed you of emails the past two weeks so I'll give you a good one today. 

This week has been stellar. It has been high 50s and low 60s with sun almost the entire week. And as a result everybody seems to be happier. Haha

Fun things that happened this week:

We went bowling, us four elders, and all my summer training paid off as I pulled out a 2 point win. It was a really fun time. 

We taught a man who was from french royalty and sold lots of classic movie paraphenela online. Reminded me of the guy of the White and Nerdy music Video. Haha he didnt really want to hear our message

We passed an old investigator, who lived in a sketchy government building. He opened his door and was very happy to see us, but told us to come back another time. He had some beer and cigarettes going on, but showed us his giant american flag he had hanging in his living room and gave us a big smile to which (slightly in jest) we put our hands over our hearts. He was really proud but told us to come back today, so we're going to pass him tonight. I was laughing a lot.

We had our fair share of miracles this week as well. 
First and foremost we taught Ludo, our ami is doing really well. 

We had a really intense lecon with him on wednesday. He had been kicked out by his girlfriend and had told us that he had slept in the homeless shelter with almost nothing to eat for the past two nights. We could smell alcohol on his breath. After presenting the Family A Proclamation to the world, Frere donadier who we were teaching with stopped and brought up a concern that we already knew about: Ludo said he CANT forgive his parents for their abusive past. We talked about it a little and Ludo assured us that if we had been through what hed been through we would not be able to forgive either. 

 Then we brought out Alma 7:11-13. (which i challenge all of you to know by heart.) And assured him with a burning testimony that there was someone who had been suffering alongside of him the entire time, and who had walked his path with him.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions andbtemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccorhis people according to their infirmities.
 13 Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

He started crying and it was very very intense. We finished our lecon on that intense note and told him to keep praying, and keep exercising faith in His Heavenly Father. 

We then saw him again yesterday after church and he was all smiles and the very first thing he told us as we sat down was about the answers to his prayers he had received. He mentioned that (moreso in passing but i'll take it) it would be hard to forgive his parents. Which is progress, his heart is softening and he is gaining more light. It is quite exciting.

We were porting on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. We knocked on a ladys door and she came and spoke with us, mostly telling us how we needed to learn french and improve our accents...haha thanks...but then told us that there was an English man who lived across the street. We went directly over and there were two men out in the back yard burning leaves and chopping trees. We addressed one of them in french and asked him if he was from here. Of course he was from England...He is a super pleasant guy. And after telling him we were representatives of Jesus Christ and that we shared a message about Him and His restored gospel and asking him if he was interested in learning more, he replied with a simple, "well yeah, yeah i am". Ah Who knew such a short phrase could bring such joy to a man's heart. He told us that he was busy but to call him and set up a time to talk. 

Soldes is starting here, prices of anything and everything in stores all over the country of france are being cut by 30 to 70 percent off. Needless to say Elder Wilson decided we would be shopping all day today.

Us 4 Elders sung in Sacrament meeting yesterday as part of our E-day, Endear the members day, in which we worked to love them to death (members are so essential to missionary work!!!). We also put little cute notes on the chalkboards of all the classrooms and in the hymnbooks in the pages of songs that we sang in church. And lastly we baked tons of cookies (which are an American delicacy that they love) and wrote cards to each family with a bag of chocolate chip cookies. Fun Fact: They dont have chocolate chips here. We had to buy bars of chocolate and chop them up. It was a big hit, they loved it.

As of right now our biggest task is working to clean out the Ward Roster. Which in our branch of 60 actif members, we have about 240 members listed on the Roster. It has now fallen on our shoulders as missionaries to play detective and eliminate old addresses and numbers and find the new ones.

Thats all I got for this week. I love you all so very much. I think and pray for you everyday. 
I leave you my testimony that I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. And through applying His Gospel in our lives, we WILL find happiness and peace. 

I echo Alma's words:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder William Montgomery

A New Year in Périgueux!! .... January 6, 2014

Chére Famille,

What a crazy week! I dont have much time (we're getting cut short this week.)

Some quick highlights:

We spent new years day at the famille DeOliviera's house and had a big pig meal (picture included:) 

It was a really fun time!

After finding a man named Ludo and walking to the church and teaching him last week, we met again with him this week and taught him. He told us how he really wants to be the best husband and father he can be for his future family. He struggled with praying our first rendezvous, but how glorious it was to hear him say the closing prayer this week. It brought so much joy and peace to my heart to hear him speak to His Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness, to hear him seek to CHANGE, and plead for Divine guidance doing it. He told us after he finished that he felt so very relieved. It was by far the highlight of my week!

So to cut off so short. As I thought about you all and the New year that may seem so hard and so looming with goals that you have set. Remember to pray for help and take it one day and one decision at a time.

I leave with the words of the Prophet of God:

‘Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more, and then one more after that, until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness.

Thomas S. Monson

Happy New Year!

I love you all so very much!

Beaucoup d'amour,  Elder William Montgomery

Les quatre Elders on New years day (relax its sparkling grape juice)

Sunset after cutting wood this week

Me with A less actives bird...haha we had a good time with it.