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

Week 5 .... August 11, 2014 (Happy Birthday, Will!!)

Dear Family,
What a great week its been!! 
We've had a lot of fun this week and seen some really great miracles, which continue to confirm to us how much the Lord loves us, and how much He is willing and able to bless us when we obey with a willing heart.

Lots of stuff happened this week.
On Tuesday, we went back to Perigueux to pick up my year long legality card, visiters visa? (I dont know what we call it) and we had the chance to eat lunch with Sr. Mass and Fr. Oziak, two of the staple members in Perigueux, who were quite happy to see me and we all had a great time. They are just hilarious. Fr. Oziak is from Texas but has lived a little all over and has the funniest french. I was happy that Elder Castillo got a chance to meet them. We then took 4 hours of trains down to Pau.
Wednesday I spent the day with Elder Spencer, a blue missionary from Oregon. In our short exchange we had a few powerful experiences. Of the 5 people we were able to talk to on the street, one was an interested student from Cameroon, who gave us his number. We then went on to meet a less active member in Pau who is from the Congo, but has lived in France for 10 years. He doesnt come to church anymore because of the divorce he had with his wife. The story was all pretty sad. And he seemed really sad. We shared a powerful scriptural thought with him and by the end he was in tears, telling us how much he knew he needed to come back, he just needed to find the strength. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet him and hear his story and help him with my limited abilities. This is one of the most interesting parts of the mission experience, the fact that everyday we get thrown into the pasts of random people who open up to us their stories. It has certainly humbled me, made me more grateful for my life, and has been a testimony to me of the power of the Gospel to heal and repair.
Another great miracle we had from Wednesday was on our train ride home. Trains are always weird and confusing. When we got to the train station in Pau, we learned that for whatever reason they had moved all the train times up by 30 minutes, so ours had already left, so they gave us tix for the next one. This meant that there were a bunch of random people on this train and not neccessarily enough seats. Elder Castillo and I ended up sitting in the middle corridor in between cars, on jumpseats. About an hour into the ride, a controller came by and normally with a crazy train like this they dont check tix, but this controller decided to check ours, and so we were both thinking he was just going to give us a hard time. He asked about "John Smith" in broken english and then we asked where he learned to speak english, and he confessed he was member of the church in Tarbes! Haha his name was Moses, haha he had just been baptized two years ago or so, and after chatting for a little bit, he told us to go up to First class. It was too great. We sat first class for the last hour and half home.
Friday was crazy. We started the morning at the Schatt's home, teaching Mylorine (12) and Timothe (10) english. We've done this several times now and have really started to develop a great relationship with this family. We ate lunch and shared a spiritual message. The white handbook tells us that our first responsability with members is to build their faith in Christ. I really want to see these kids go on missions, enjoy the blessings of the Gospel. Thats how it is with everyone we meet, but especially with the youth in the ward and on the streets, I want them to know so badly how to be happy. From there, we went directly to teach Isabelles mom for the first time in a while. We had a good lesson with her, taught her about prophets, but she just isn't quite willing (or able- just hit 93) to act on what we're saying. We'll keep on with it. We left from there and in the evening all 4 us elders ate dinner with the Blanchon's. A funny couple on the verge of being old but are still really cool. We had Fondue Bordelaise which i took pictures of, really good. 
Saturday was great. We spent a large part of it with the Moulins. Fr. Moulins non member mom, dad, and aunt were there along with Sr. Moulin's mom and aunts. It was Fr. Moulin's birthday thursday, then they invited us over after they heard it was my birthday saturday. It was a blast. Fr Moulin's parents were just eating us up, they were so intrigued by us being from the US. Fr and Sr Moulin are great. They are a younger couple, no kids, both speak english, really active. Want to do missionary work really badly. They gave me a really nice frying pan for my birthday, and we just had a great time together. :)
Then Saturday evening as we ported to finish out the night we walked for a while out to a neighborhood we didnt really know existed. We had picked out the area but not really the exact neighborhood we wanted to go to. It turned into a "We went forward not knowing before hand what we would do" situation. We knocked about 15 doors before hitting Pierre, a hesitant Catholic who is more than excited to come to church and hear what we have to say, so we'll be going over to see him this week. A really wonderful miracle to end the day on. I felt really loved and really blessed Saturday evening. 
Elder Mcbeth and Elder Miner bought me a slice of chocolate cake from the bakery and did candles and everything, it was really good.
And then of course yesterday we finished out the week. There has been a lot of anticipation with transfers being this week. Neither Elder Castillo nor I want to leave this area. Its hard to describe the love that is felt and how much you want the best for these people, especially as you get to know their lives and challenges a little bit. I love these people so much. It'll be tough to leave.
I love you so very much, thank you for all the birthday love!
Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Montgomery

Fondue Bordelaise- duck cooked in wine

Then you cook again at the table in this little pot and put garlic on it

Birthday with Fr. Moulin

Birthday with Fr. Moulin

The birthday table!

July 24th come and gone .... July 28, 2014

Chère famille,
Its been a great week. We've been really blessed, and its always a great feeling at the end of the week when you can tell yourself that you love being a missionary. This means so much to me and really is special time.

In other news I couldn't help but notice the 24th come and go, the day Randa dropped me off in the MTC a year ago. Mind-boggling how fast its gone.

We had a lot of just great experiences this week that are signs of advancement in the work.
First, after our weekly missionary coordination meeting Elder Castillo and I attended ward council for the first time in my 4th month service here in Lormont. The lack of coordination with the ward leadership has been one of the big stumbling blocks in the progression of the work here. (Its been weighing heavily on my spirit for a long time). And it was evident by just our attendance in the meeting that the leadership was excited and ready to act to help us and the ward. It was really cool. We got to talk with them directly and figure things out that they wanted or needed and we were able to discuss things that we needed. And the whole atmosphere changed. Instead of the awkward "hows the work going?" that we get every week at church, we were actually able to discuss and solve and it was very apparent that the ward leadership was overjoyed to help us and synergy was the result. Like I said, from what I felt, they were very happy that we were there. And of course there are still improvements to be made, but I'm really happy and quite relieved that this gate of communication has been opened.

Sr. Founkeu one of our less active members from Cameroon (the one that made us the fish a couple weeks ago) is back from her trip to Cameroon and we got to see her wednesday, which was fun. She is rather sad about a family situation going on in Cameroon and so we talked her into coming to church.

Thursday We passed Sr. Mueller, the relief society president, who is really sweet and always seems to be a bit nervous. She served a mission in southern France as well 20 years ago. We passed her to try to see her less active husband, but he wasnt home so we ended up talking to her for almost 30 minutes at the door. And at the end she said she had a couple of neighbors she wanted to invite over to meet us one afternoon and we could just have a little party together. Great to see the missionary fire rekindled. This is the new thing that we are working on with members. Is to set times to do something fun with their non member friends, something low pressure that will allow us to get to know their friends. And then we can go from there. Of course follow ups are key to all of this but Its cool to see stuff moving along.

Church was quite fun yesterday as we had the ward meal afterwards and its great to build these wonderful friendships with so many different people. I love it so much.
As far as summer goes, we're excited for the heat to go away, but we did have a couple crazy storms this week that we worked through, which actually is fun.

I love you all so much and hope you are working continuously on your testimonies!!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery

Week 2 - July 22, 2014

Chère famille,
Geez what a week its been. As predicted we had quite a busy week and Elder Castillo and I were struggling to keep our heads straight. But all was done in wisdom and order...haha Needless to say we are relieved and happy to be back in Bordeaux. However our adventures this past week were far and wide.
Tuesday we helped frere Charles build a wall in his back yard. Moving bricks and cement and such. He is really funny, a guy that I'll keep contact with long after the mission. He received his PHD in political science having to do with the United States something or other. Long story short he speaks perfect english and has been to the states several times and has interviewed several political characters and knows the political situation of the US better than we do and probably better than he knows that of France. It was fun to get to spend some time with him and his wife and their family of three children.
Wednesday we left for for Lyon, were on trains all day and after a stop in Montpellier, got to Lyon at 9.
Thursday was Leadership Council. It went well. It was good to hear from President and sister Roney and the assistants. No big changes, we're shooting for more stability in the mission, which is nice. By stability I mean no new methods or techniques were released that they wanted us to implement. I wish we had more time to really council together and talk about problems we were facing in our zones. We did so for about 30 minutes but I wouldve loved to talk it through more.
Our train didnt leave until Friday morning, so we helped out the office elders for the evening. I spent my night with Elder Erickson. We taught an african man living in Ukraine over skype! haha It was so cool! The elders there were there the whole time but don't speak any french. He seemed totally ready and willing to be baptized. Fun little miracle to see.
Friday we had an incredibly long train ride back, and got back just in time to spend the evening with mami and papi Fourtina as well fr fourtina who is their son and the second counselor in the stake presidency. It was wonderful little evening with family. They told us all about the plane crash over ukraine. As well as the fact that Elder Ballard who is coming to our mission on September 7th is coming as well to speak to all the bishop and Stake presidencies. That will be cool...interesting to see what he'l have to say.
Saturday morning and afternoon was spent giving zone training. Elder Castillo and I probably gave our best presentation yet. We were both very pleased with it and felt really relieved. Then Saturday evening we had a ward activity, where we had about 20 members come and present something about their home culture or region. Us Elders brought apple pie and cookies (Thank you Elder McBeth) and then sang the national anthem with the crowd which was fun.
Sunday after church we left for Pau. Got there late. Spent the night with 12 Elders in the apartment. And yesterday we had zone conference and interviews with President. It was all rather stressful, especially as our train home got cancelled and we had to ride a bus all the way back to Bordeaux. But zone conference and my interview were very spiritual. Remarkably so in fact. It was oddly powerful and I felt really renewed afterwards. I've been noticing the influence and power of the Holy Ghost in much greater abundance in my life recently. Its been a really wonderful testimony to me. It has become real. And He has become my constant companion, my comforter, my purifier. Its just wonderful. And its all because of the Savior. It always points back to His gospel, are we being obedient enough to deserve the Holy Ghost? Are we seeking it diligently? Do we really want to feel the Savior's love?
Because His hand is always outstretched to us. All the day long. Geez He loves so much! It is really.
I love you all so very much!! 
Elder Montgomery

All the elders that I came in with at mission leadership council.

Elder Taylor and I- Elder Uluave's sons and both in Bordeaux

The post zone training lunch scene

Another Week 1 .... July 14, 2014

Dear Famille,
This week blew by as usual. We continued in our faith, pushing more and talking to more and more people than we have in weeks passed. We still have yet to find any solid investigators. Those that we have are very flaky. The challenges continue. But so do we. 
We went down and had an exchange in Pau again to welcome in a new missionary, Elder Spencer, the only bleu in our zone this transfer. That was fun, I spent the day with Elder Bollard, one of the district leaders, and he is a great man and a great missionary.
We had an interesting experience together. We had gone out to Bizanos, a small suburb of Pau, to pass one of their amis. He wasnt home, so with the hour we had we decided to do some porting (knocking doors). We walked to a round a bout with about 5 roads branching off of it. Decided to say a prayer to go a certain way. After the prayer we chose a road with an electrical box that had the word dope spraypainted on it (it was odd because I had made a mental note earlier in the day that I had seemed to be using that word a lot during the day) so we started this road. The first house we see, really nice, large, had a big gate around it. We ring the intercom and a lady's frantic voice comes on saying "I'm coming!" in french. Out comes this nice looking older lady, who looked very nervous. As she asked/saw who we were, she turned off, we presented ourselves and she quickly told us that she was waiting for an urgent phone call regarding her very sick son, and that she didnt have time to give us. We asked her as she was walking away, if we could do anything for her and she simply kept walking.
We refelcted as we walked away that here this poor lady was, very much on edge because of her son, looking for a solution, and seeing that she believed in God (which she told us) I imagined she prayed for help, and here we come to ringing her doorbell, what couldve been the very solution to her son's illness, a blessing from the holy priesthood. It dawned on me how so many times in life God just gives us a solution, probably a bit different than we thought, and puts it right under our nose. But if we are distracted and not sensitive to the Spirit, the solution slips away. It also was a testimony to me that God uses us as missionaries to fulfill missions of mercy to His children wherever they may be in the corners of the earth, because of His great love for each one of us.
Saturday we spent the morning and afternoon helping a member family, la famille Blanchon, stack fire wood for next winter. It was this massive pile that we moved and stacked with the help of us 4 elders, Fr Blanchon, two of the Blanchons' daughters (who are older, have had kids, and divorced), and the boyfriend of one of the daughter. It was fun and exhausting. Always feels good to do service. Everybody there was a member except the boyfriend, whose name is Eric. We got to get to know him a lot better. It was interesting in talking to Fr. Blanchon to hear the stress in his voice as he pushed us to go talk with Eric. I felt that Fr. Blanchon had a certain stress about it. And I realized as we ate lunch together, and I was pondering the situation in mind, that Fr. Blanchon is really working to make sure his family is all sealed in the temple. And how important that is to him. I had this little revelation and all of the sudden I saw the immense importance of talking to Eric. Fr. Blanchon wants to save his family. The fact of living together forever as a family is a real and urgent matter that is a great blessing, but also a large responsibility we all have. It was another small but real witness to me of the reality of the Plan of Salvation in our lives. And of course I thought of you my super wonderful family, and how much I love and want to be with you forever as well. And I am so grateful to have you, especially when I see families here that are torn apart. It makes my heart ache and also extremely thankful. 
"Only the Gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family." -President Benson, Preach My Gospel
This week we go to Lyon for leadership council, then have zone training, then interviews with president next monday in Pau. Gonna be a really full week. So emails will probably come your way Tuesday.
Exciting week ahead, We all must rely on the Lord more.
Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Montgomery

Another finish, another start ... July 7, 2014

Dear Fam,
Transfer 8 gone and done away. I'm now over the hump (there are usually 16 transfers in the field). Transfer 9 will be spent in Lormont with Elder Castillo for a third! Very exciting, for everyone out there not keeping up with the transfer count this will be my first time spending 3 transfers in one area. It'll be fun because Elder Castillo and I get along well. Transfers calls came tuesday morning as opposed to Friday which was really odd. So we feel like we've been in the next transfer for while now, but in reality its day one.
This week was the best week for missionary work we had this past transfer.
July 4th came and went, we had a patriotic morning of studies with pictures. And lots of other fun stuff.
We were really out on our grind this week, just spending all day out on the streets. We passed a ton of old investigators, we had this really cool moment on wednesday when we had passed Maxime. He lives in a sketchier neighborhood. As we walked up to his apartment building this 16yr old arab kid came up and asked us for a cigarette, we told him we didnt smoke and he asked us who we were, we kept walking and he walked with us, which is not normal. So we kept talking to him and as we got to Maximes door, another guy in his 20s walked and joined the conversation asking us if we were the jehovahs witnesses or the mormons haha. I had rung Maxime, while we talked with these two guys. As we stood and talked two older trash guys (1 in his 30s and the other maybe his 50s?) came up to get the trash and seeing the small crowd joined the conversation. Haha maxime didnt answer but that didnt matter at this point, because here Elder Castillo and I were giving the 'Sermon of Floirac' (as its been affectionately called). We sat and talked with these 4 guys all of which were Muslim except the young arab kid who ended up being catholic (?). They were throwing questions out, and we sat there teaching them at the base of this government made building. We taught about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, what we really represent and what makes us different than everyone else. It was a really funny moment because usually people avoid us like the plague as we walk up. As we left, the younger trash man told us we were always welcome in the neighborhood, which was cool. We walked away feeling really good, even though none of them were interested in learning more. It just shows that if people knew why we were here and what we did, we would be a lot less 'weird'.
On Friday, we went into Bordeaux to meet a potential, which we had found just after the sermon of Floirac, named Tafa. He told us to meet him at a pretty large plaza at 6pm. At the time we didnt know that was the day and time of the France-Germany world cup game. We got there and there were huge crowds huddled around the various bars and outdoor cafes at this plaza. It was a really cool atmosphere. Unfortunately Tafa told us he couldnt meet with us that day because of the game, so we rescheduled haha big surprise. 
Isabelle is doing well, we taught her mom again this week. Her progression is very slow. We'll see what happens there. We keep praying for her. 
We met a more than average amount of potentials this week, which we'll see how they pan out this week! There are miracles around every corner.
This week was a good week of renewal for me. I reflected a lot on the mercy and love of the Lord. I took moments during the week to reflect on my personal growth and increased ability to do missionary work, things that I hadnt noticed as the weeks have gone by. I don't think these are the things missions are about, its the great paradox of service. As we give everything, and work our hardest to love what He wants us to love, to make our desires and our will His desires and His will, He blesses us in greater measure. He has given us the path and He has been clear in His explanations. We have the answers. There are no longer secrets to those who search. The Lord gives freely, only on the condition that we give freely in return. Personal revelation is an incredible and real blessing, and the enabling power of the Savior's is also real. But we need to lose our selves in being obedient, to receive it.
Love you!
Elder Montgomery

After church on Sunday
our District after district meeting

4th of July!

Elder Beyer who is leaving to Lyon

Instruments - June 30, 2014

Dear Famille,

Never ceases to amaze me how much we can do in one week. We had some cool adventures this week and some funny miracles. We continue to work with active patience, knowing that there are those here who need to hear the message and we're here to give them the opportunity to do so. And that reality dawned on me as we worked and worked. This week we had quite a few spiritual moments with members.

Monday we got to spend the evening with the Senior Fourtinas. [In our ward, there are the Senior Fourtinas, old couple, one of the rocks of the church in here Bordeaux for 30 years. And there is one of their sons, Dominique (2nd Counselor in the Stake presidency), and his wife and son who we call the Jr. Fourtinas.] The senior Fourtina's just got called to be ward missionaries which has been a huge help for us. Anyways this couple reminds me a lot of Grandma and Grandpa Yarn, celestial. Two people who have weathered a lot of life's storms as faithful disciples and who the Lord has used to build His kingdom. They served a full time mission in Ivory coast and Central Africa. Just amazing. And they love the missionaries. Being with them was kinda like being at Grandma and Grandpa's home. They told us these really cool stories from their early marriage days and mission days. And then we shared a really spiritual family home evening with them. 

Tuesday, we went back to Perigueux! I filed for a renewal of my year long legality and the office had me do it at the prefecture in Perigueux. So we took the train to Perigueux and I still remembered the city really well, which was cool, and took care of business then returned home. 

That night we had a small dinner with Fr. Ojeda, who we call Papi Ojeda, because we love him. He was just released from his calling as a stake high councilman and has always worked closely with the missionaries. He told us the story of his conversion as we ate dinner just the three of us. And it was quite powerful. He was athiest, born and raised. Had an interest in reincarnation for a while. Met missionaries at one point and because they didnt talk about reincarnation, he brushed them off. Later, he had a neighbor friend who was a member, they became close and his friend invited him to come the church and meet the missionaries and so it was. Its incredible to hear these stories that show the mercy of the Lord, and the power that He gives to individuals to do incredible things. That evening we spent with him was really special.

We went to district meeting in Pau again, made the voyage down and back. We then had an equally as spiritual rendez-vous with a less active we are working with named Leopald, who has already handed out a Book of Mormon to one of his friends and is planning a teaching appt. for us.

One fun miracle we had yesterday: We had finished doing some afternoon tracting and were returning home for lunch, when it started downpouring. We kept walking, I made a joke to Elder Castillo, about how there are never any American tourists from California who drive by and pick us up in jest. About 5 seconds after, a white car pulled over and honked, we had to cross the road to get to it. A skinny African man offered to take us home. His name was Paul, he was an evangelical man and asked us if we were out preaching the "bonnes nouvelles"- good news. We laughed and said yes. We talked to him for the 5 minute car ride we had and left him with a card. The Lord watches out for us.
Looking back so much happened this week and I would love to tell you all about it, but I can't. The mission is sacred. This time is sacred. I don't know fully how to express it, but its worth it.

We are receiving transfer calls tomorrow. Always nervewracking. I love you all!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery

Downtown BDX

The senior Fourtinas :)

The train station in Perigueux

Elder Castillo and I, taken by Elder Mcbeth a while ago, it was on this bridge where Paul picked us up this week!

Its gonna be a short, hot summer - June 23, 2014

Dear fam,
We finally spent the majority of our week this week in our sector, which was refreshing. It is definitely summer and we are sweating our eyeballs out, but not letting that stop us. (Dad, I hoped you appreciated the subject line)   <Dad:  Reference to Glenn Frey Song we listened to many times>
Some cool highlights from the week:

We taught Mama Recordeau twice, wednesday and friday, but aren't too sure on her progression, she really seems just to slow and unwilling (unable?) to act. She is 93. The only hints of improvement is that she seems to be more attentive and she seems to understand what we are saying better, however she hasn't really actively engaged herself in what we are teaching.

We dug up an old ami that is the brother in law of an active member, and went and passed him, and ended up teaching him. Jean-Louis Bassoumba. He is a really nice middle aged Congolais (Congain in english??), he's from Congo. He is quite believing, enjoys the Book of Mormon, but doesn't quite have a desire to go forward from there. But he invited us back which is refreshing.

We went to Pau and did an exchange there on wednesday. The Pau Elders are just great great missionaries, really excited for them. I was with Elder Andrew from Huntington Beach, CA. Really humble hard worker, and we had a really fun time.

The work is moving along slowly for us. I love this ward though, the members really do love us, and I really would like to push them a little bit more to share in this grand work that we are doing. A lot of them really want to, but its really foreign for them, or nervewracking and we need to push them (just like it is for most of us at first).

I reflected on this a lot this week. How missionary work is just a 2 year thing. Sharing the Gospel is an essential duty of a disciple of Christ. It has always been and will always be.
It's interesting how God will place us in these circumstances in our lives to see how we react. We can't stop. How much integrity do we have? Do we push forward to greater heights, or sit in our comfortable level of mediocrity? What a blessing it is to have the Gospel light in our lives to make our choices and often the consequences of our choices clear so that we can make the best decision.

Indeed I love my mission.

 Make it a great week! I love you all!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery

The Bordeaux and Talence zones just previous to our trip for nice
us and the Bordeaux Zone Leaders

The Bordeaux and Talence zones just previous to our trip for nice
us and the Bordeaux Zone Leaders

 We helped a member move a couch from their beach house about an hour away back to their home, and he took us on a tour of the shoreline. Sweet!

Elder Andrew on our exchange