Le Soleil!!! .... February 24, 2014

My dear family,
First on the docket, Shoutout to Dad, the birthday boy! Joyeux Anniversaire!
This past week was really beautiful weather wise, more and more sun is coming out, for which we are always grateful.
We had a lot of cool experiences this week. First Yesterday we spent some time at the famille Fontanellas home, an italian family here in the ward with 4 boys- and we made legit, from scratch italian pizzas. It took quite a while, but it was a great time with the family who does so much for us missionaries. We each made our own bowl of dough then left for an hour and half and worked; to let the dough rise, then returned and finished them. I sent the pictures of my pizza, and we took a funny video of us slapping the dough, but I think one of the other elders has it....Yes we talked a little bit about whether its a pizza before it goes into the oven or only after its cooked...#Kramer
This week as well I got to go on an exchange with one of the zone leaders, his name is Elder Kaiha, he is a big tahitian, as well as a boxing champion. And he only speaks french. It was really fun to pass the day thursday with him speaking only french and learning from him. Exchanges are interesting, there seems to be a boost of faith or something that brings more miracles than a usual day. 
With Elder Kaiha, we found three interested people on one road after praying specifically to find a person to teach on that road. It was so cool. I can't really tell you what it is, but it sure is real.
And one thing I've really loved about the mission is going into homes and meeting families and saying to myself, "this is exactly how I want my family to be when the time comes". We got to pass some time with some awesome families this week who live in our secteur. Namely Aubry Jaquier and his wife Flavie. Aubry just got back from his mission in Paris chinese speaking, and they are just the coolest couple ever, and they are only 3 years older than us.
Lastly we've been putting our focus as a mission on families, finding and teaching families. So to help with that, we as an equipe (companionship) have been teaching about the family as much as possible, above all by sharing the Family: A Proclamation to the World with all the members we visit and with everyone we meet. We don't get a ton of news about whats happening in the outside world, but we have heard of certain political circumstances in France that are really threatening the family. Its been so very...comforting to read, share, testify, and learn about the importance of the family in...everything. 
And moreover, its amazing to read the words of the prophets in the Proclamation and see how EXACTLY they describe the condition of the world today (here in france the Proclamation literally describes a line in the bill the government is trying to pass). It has bolstered my testimony of the truth that God is not dead, that He loves us, and He has called and ordained servants on the earth to help us return to live with Him after this earthly time. I invite you all to take a moment this week and read the Proclamation, and pray to find ways to better improve in your role in the family. If anything our love for our family and the happiness we find therein should be reason enough to share the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone.
I love you all!
Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder William Montgomery

My pizza before the oven

The crew making pizzas at the Fontanellas

And after the oven

A statue of a Rooster stomping on an eagle...I dont know the symbolism

How much missionary work can be done in 4 days? .... February 17, 2014

Chére famille!

This week seemed so long, mostly because we were not able to work for 3 days. We spent a day in Lyon (I drove the entire way there and back #giddyup) for Elder A's legality. That was fun and odd, I felt like such an old missionary (my 7 month mark is arriving quickly). Then we had our zone conference and interviews which I already told you about. But in the 4 days we did have we got a lot done, or rather we were really effective in our time.

Two weeks ago we knocked on the door of an American woman from New Jersey,. And she told us to come back this past week on Saturday morning. Well missionaries never miss an opportunity like that even if the invite seemed rather half hearted. We knocked on her door at 10, nobody answered, so we went and passed another potential ami, then returned 10 minutes later, and she let us right in apologizing that she had forgotten that she had invited us, she was still in her morning robe and her husband was upstairs. It was rather uncomfortable at first haha, but hey thats how it is sometimes. Anyways she changed and we talked at first and eventually teach her the entire restoration, left her with our only English Book of Mormon, and she accepted the challenge to read and pray about it. It all seemed to mostly be out of curiosity, until the end when we had already said a pray and we got up to leave. We asked her if we could do anything else for her, and she joked at first, then got serious and sat us back down and told us how guilty she feels for something she did to a coworker that is also a friend and that she didnt know how to deal with it. We did our best to direct to the Book of Mormon and prayer, and then we said a prayer with her specifically for this friend. Spiritual Smash! She started crying and was so touched by it! it was awesome!!!! And she felt rather embarrassed that she was crying in front of us two complete strangers and thanked us and rushed us out the door after that. But we set up time to come back and to teach the entire family (husband and 3 yr. old son) more about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ next week. It was really cool.

We had a few miracle lessons like that this week. We had a couple large letdowns as well, which also seems to be the case #oppostioninallthings But what I appreciate most of all is that we are seeing progress here. We are seeing the Good News be spread to more and more people and more and more people accepting it and benefiting from it. That might be the greatest blessing of all. To see the happiness that EVERYONE recieves from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. IT is literally a custom fit, but one size fit all solution to real problems. I just love it. And its so interesting that no matter what your problem or worry or mistake or who you are there is a way out. Its so...beautiful. It was specifically designed for every person on the Earth. And we (as people who already have this knowledge) have the blessing of sharing it with others.

How grateful I am for that blessing.

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder William Montgomery
While we were in Lyon I got to see Elder Call. I was so very happy to see him. He is the best. My mission hero.
My classic Ham and cheese/ranch and mustard with the 3 cookies from Subway. Got it while in Lyon. It was really good.
We drove from Gex to Lyon and we drove through this valley (I stopped and took a picture)
Here's my desk set up

Is it week 4 already? .... February 11, 2014

We are already on the back half of this transfer... incredible.
Chere famille,

We had an interesting week this week. It seemed lots of it was consumed by walking in the cold rain and some sicknesses that Elder Ambursley and I carried. But we made it through, and its always fun to look back at a tougher week and feel content knowing you pushed through despite trials.

The highlight of the week as it often is, was Sunday. This week we worked with a couple less active members, each of whom is inactive for one reason or another. But we had 2 of them come back to church this Sunday and it was an incredible to have them.

Yesterday We had zone conference in Lausanne, with President and his family there. They are always great. We also had interviews. After talking with President about some the things I felt needed to change in our area (or rather what we needed to change), and hearing his response and solutions, two things were impressed upon me. First, the entirety of the Lord's plan is not going to be carried out by missionaries. As much as I want to go out and preach and teach everyone in the world about the Gospel, its not going to happen through 12 hour tracting days and contacting on the streets every waking moment of my 2 year mission. There is a smarter way (to quote President Hinckley) Its going to happen through members of the church who already have this knowledge and know of friends and family who need it, reaching out to others and to invite them to learn more. The efficacity, at least in our mission, of knocking on doors all day is terrible. Yes we see miracles daily of people who are willing to listen, but those are willing to change are those that will be found by members and introduced to us. When I had this realization it was a bit sad. I am totally content with working all day by street contacting, and I feel a little lazy when we make an investment of time in building relationships with members. But I realized that its not a matter of laziness but more of a question of approach to the problem.

Secondly, the practicality of the solutions President Roney suggested to me was quite remarkable. For as many unbelievable miracles that we read of in the Ensign, there are a million more normal people who were invited to hear about the restored Gospel by friends or family or neighbors or workmates and who accepted it, changed their lives, and have partaken of the joy that comes from it. And President suggested that we just do small things, hold small service or fun events to invite people, build up members, not any parting the Red Sea that i was half expecting to hear of.

Anyways the work continues. I love France, I love being here. Everyday I reflect on the beauty and perfection of the Gospel and its just so wonderful. I was so happy to hear that mom and nate are going out with the missionaries this week to help them out.

MIRACLE ALERT: haha wow. Ok so we do our emails at the church office, and so I just had a member who works here, frére Aubin, come up to me and share an incredible miracle. About two weeks ago, we contacted a man in a pretty calm neighborhood and he was out walking his dog. We chatted for a while and halfway through the convo a woman walked by and said hi to him then walked away. (we ended up teaching that man the restoration later on). About 3 hours later that day we had stopped at a grocery store to buy a quick snack. As we left we ran into the woman who said hi in passing earlier. Her name is Sandrine and she knows a couple of the families in the ward, and we were really excited. We went and asked Fr. Aubin about her the following Sunday and he said that they would call her and talk to her about coming over. Well he never did that, but he did just come to me and told me, that yesterday, Sandrine and her husband came and dropped off some soup at the famille Aubin's home just because they had extra soup. Fr. Aubing immedieatley thought of us. He just said that this has never happened before and that they are going to invite them over for an FHE or something along those lines. They are cool family of 4 with two boys. How cool???

Did I literally not just talk about this?

Hahah I love you my dear family, I hope everything is going well! I love hearing from ya!

Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder William Montgomery

Us 4 gex elders repping Unitaid(we got these last week at the WHO) also a member gave us two big jars of Jiffy Peanut Butter one crunchy and one smooth and we were celebrating.

And I got to see the Brias!!!

Elder Eady and I at zone conference he is my man from Sheffield England

Yes, Every week is a week of miracles! .... February 3, 2014

My dear family,
How grateful I am for you. Its so wonderful and such a comfort for me to think of you and how amazing you all are. You are such wonderful examples for me.
Funny story this week. In France, for the most part streetside stores and restaurant don't have public restrooms. Instead there are individual Public restrooms around cities. They clean themselves automatically after you use them (spray themselves down and stuff). We were out working and I stopped to use the restroom, then came out and Elder A walked in to use it, and I told him not to, because it was going to clean itself first. He either didn't understand or didn't listen because he just walked on in and shut the door. About 30 seconds later he started screaming, Elder! Elder! Its spraying water and soap everywhere! HAhahha I rushed and worked to open the door. Fortunately we opened the door before he got too soaked. But never walk in, if someone else just came out.
This week we had lots of cool things happen, and we got to teach more than normal. (When you go through long periods of time where you don't get to teach anyone, it makes you appreciate teaching so much more) There are few things I love doing more than teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its brings so much happiness to share the most incredible and literally life-changing message of all time. How many times have I repeated the plea of Alma:
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! 
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
Especially this year we have shifted our focus to families. How when we bring an entire family into the Gospel, we create new love. A godly love. And its a love that makes us happier in this life, and unbelievably more happy in the life to come.

I'll share one cool experience we had this week. I was on an exchange with our Zone leader, Elder Happairai-Hansen. We had about 10 minutes left before the bus would come to take us to Geneva to finish the exchange. And, well we weren't going to waste that 10 minutes. To left and the right were some big roads, but right across the road from the bus stop was a smaller back road. We took it and talked to about 4 as they walked and biked by us and all waved us off. We then turn the corner and see a lady walking into an office building, just like that, like it was second nature, we hurried our pace to catch. Just as she walked in to the building, we threw out a "madame!", for a second I wasnt sure if she heard us, but after a long 2 second pause, she reappeared outside.

We shared our message quickly (as we had 4 minutes til our bus came) And testified of the Book of Mormon and how it is a message of happiness for the entire world to read. Her whole face changed. She asked if we were the Mormon missionaries....yessssss. We talked quickly and she told us that she was now late for work but told us to pass back by her in the afternoon and we could set up a time to see her. It was so cool. We then RAN back to catch our bus. It was so cool! The Lord just seems to place anybody in our path we just have to have the faith to act. We found a potential ami in a mailman as we contacted him while he was putting mail in a mailbox this week.

I wanted to share a cool quote from the Prophet Brigham Young. (I'm not sure if it was actually a quote or not, I just heard it).

It is said that a reporter once asked the prophet Brigham Young if he actually thought that he had enough faith to move a mountain. And the prophet responded, 

"Yes. And I'd be the first one there with a shovel."

I love that, because it shows how the Lord provides oddly practical solutions to our problems that it seems like such a big and impossible task, but with Faith in our Heavenly Father- diligent obedience to His commandments- we can move mountains.

I love you all. Thank you so much!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder William Montgomery

PS: yes i was sad to hear of the broncos loss...

We had an investigator from Las Vegas who works at the World Health Organization in Geneva give us a tour today of the WHO HQ.
So we walked by this in the search of an old investigator and I looked at Elder A and said, Yes. Trop vite...means Too fast ;)

love this view out of our apartment in the morning

World Health Organization in Geneva tour

World Health Organization in Geneva tour

Elder A and I on the top floor overlooking Lake Geneva.

World Health Organization in Geneva tour