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