Home ..... July 21, 2015

Well Done, William!  Welcome Home!

Transfer 17, Week 5 - The Last Week .... July 13, 2015

Ma chère famille,

What a week, what a weird feeling! 
It feels like going home seems really normal, and that I'll get home and everything will be exactly the same as I left it.

As far as this week, we have been busy. Having a trio has been fun, recharging, and rather stressful. 
Monday we went with Fr. Girard to see a suffering friend of another member. The friends name is Denise, and when her member friend told her about blessings she asked for one. So we went over and explained what blessings are and then pronounced one of health upon her. There was a strong spirit there and the life auxiliary who was there asked us if she could come to church to understand more...haha it was wonderful!
Tuesday we got to teach Emmanuelle and Steve the friends of the Stake President's family that I told you about. They are a super fun young couple. They love the USA haha. They are both really open to the idea of becoming members of the church. But are understandably feeling some doubt and nervousness about it. Emmanuelle is traditionally catholic and is a bit more nervous to make the change. They asked President Lepore to do a marriage service for them because the catholic church won't do because Emmanuelle has already been married and divorced. But they both love us. Steve is really cool and open and wants to learn more. So we'll be going back to see them on Thursday.
Wednesday we took the hour and a half train up to Chalon sur Saone to do our exchange with Elder Lapointe and Elder Brill. I spent the day with Elder Brill and it was a blast.
We came back down to Lyon Thursday morning for district meeting which we held at the Ecully chapel in Lyon. (not our normal chapel). We held it there in order to have enough room for Elder Dupre's and Elder Elvidge's districts to be there as well, so we could all have lunch together. IT was so much fun. District meeting went incredibly well. My last great sermon. I taught all of my favorite doctrines that I felt were the most influential on my mission according to the direction of the spirit. District meetings are 2 hours and I have 10 other members in my district that attended plus one of the zone leaders. It was wonderful and I loved it. Elder Elvidge and Elder Dupre are two of my closest friends in the mission field and they will be finishing with me next week. And they were both former Assistants, so it was fun to have 3 district meetings being done with my friends who I look up to so much.
After that I did a day exchange with Elder Thorne in my district, he is awesome.
Friday we had a day exchange with the Zone leaders I was with Elder Barnes.
Yesterday at church was the first official missionary sacrament meeting. The bishop asked us to choose 3 speakers to speak on missionary work. He asked me to join him on the stand for the sacrament meeting to introduce the theme and the speaker. The members were super kind as word spread that Elder Ardeche and I would be finishing next week and we received several invitations this week. 

As the continued comments and questions about returning home, I've come to respond that I'm excited to go home and excited to finish strong. But as this week went on I had several moments when I felt the Spirit very strongly and my thoughts turned to not having the nametag anymore. I can not and could not escape the fact that I am sad to leave this glorious position and responsibility that the Lord has granted to me. As I have written to you so many times, I do LOVE being a missionary. I LOVE being a messenger of the Lord. I LOVE helping others feel and recognize the Spirit and in effect the Love of the Lord. There is no better feeling than knowing that someone has been profoundly changed because the Lord used me as an instrument, there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that I hastily and faithfully followed a prompting and receiving the confirming witness of the Spirit that the Lord is smiling on us as we complete what He would do if He were in our place.
I LOVE the Gospel, I LOVE my Heavenly Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ. I LOVE being in their service, I've never felt a joy so real as the joy of serving and helping and loving those around me as children of God. I know these things are real.
An eternal thank you for all you have done for me and for the numerous prayers on my behalf you have given in the past two years. I LOVE you all.

A très bientôt,

Elder William Montgomery
Elder Ardeche is really French...haha

Elder brill and I on exchange in Chalon

At the train station with elder brill

The Confluence district

Elder elvidge and elder dupre

With elder haws one of the zone leaders in Lyon

Elder thorne  and I eating pastries

The ami board in our apt.

The big map by our apt

Transfer 17, Week 4 ...... July 6, 2015

Ma chère famille,

Lots of interesting stuff to tell you about. To give a quick overview of the week. It was extremely hot. We were sitting at 40 degrees C almost all week and even during the night it was suffocating. And France doesn't believe in air conditioning...haha I think that should be a requirement for a first world country. Nevertheless, we chugged along and had a great week. We're doing a lot of teaching right now. I feel like we have more people to teach than we do time, its almost frustrating! It is a great feeling though to be teaching so much, and we have some really solid amis right now so I'm hoping that won't change in the next two weeks.

There have been some interesting happenings though. Two weeks ago we had a less active family that we've been visiting, the family Chassain, take us to go see a friend named michelle who is suffering from cancer, she's undergoing the treatments right now. We got to go see her again this past week. Its hilarious to me. Fr Chassain is the only member and he has some twisted views on doctrine, but both he and his wife love the missionaries and they feel the spirit really strongly when we visit them. Its incredible to me that This less active man has such faith in us and in the Lord to introduce us so naturally to his suffering friend, and then since he's introduced us to a family member and told us about a neighbor that he wants us to go visit with him. Both times we have visited Michelle she has been so grateful and excited for our visit. We've shared thoughts from the BOM both times and explained what it is, and she was so touched when we offered it to her. I love it when we get to see others exercise faith to help those around them feel the Lord's amazing grace.

In other news we ran into a man named Dan a couple weeks ago and taught him twice this past week. He has been taught several times by missionaries in the past. He is an american and a biblical scholar and a bit too entrenched in his own viewpoints and logic to accept anything else. About as close to bashing as we can get and still call it teaching... 

We also been teaching Lianna on a regular basis. She accepted a BOM in Russian this week and was so touched. She has had trouble with her faith and is super open to the idea of reading from the BOM, which is super exciting.

Sarah didn't make it to church yesterday which was bummer. But we were able to teach her once this past week about the Plan of Salvation, which we really liked. She is actually a bit hung up on baptism which she was open with us about because she has already been baptized twice in her life. So she wants to make she gets this one right. She knows that she needs to keep searching for herself to know, which is great.

Friday I did an exchange with E. Hutchinson- a Welsh elder in my district, went really well, its always fun to have a little change up and to get to know someone new.

Saturday there was a baptism in one of the other lyon wards and after the missionaries threw a 4th of July BBQ which was fun.

This past week there was a group of Elders in Martigny Suisse that had to get emergency transferred because of legal issues. So the Assistants called last night and asked us to take one of those missionaries into our equipe. His name is Elder Ardeche. He is from Nantes, France. He came in with me and will finish with me in two weeks and I've actually done 2 exchanges with him back in my Bordeaux days. He is super energy and a bit crazy sometimes. It will be fun to have a french elder with us though! That should bring a fun shift in status quo to the equipe.

This week is already looking really busy. We will go to Chalon sur Soane on Wednesday and do a blitz there and then come back up for Thursday district meeting and do an exchange after. Then Friday we'll have an exchange with the Zone Leaders. Too much to do, not enough time! the Lord is so merciful to us!

I love you all!!

Elder Montgomery
4th of July bbq

The Boughton family that I became such good friends with in Perigueux were at church on Sunday for one of their children is in our ward...things come full circle

The missionaries who were present in our ward on Sunday

Transfer 17, Week 3 Ran's Bday!!! ..... June 29, 2015

Dear family,

Happy Birthday to RANNNN!!!!

What a week we've had. Reallly exhausting. haha wow we're tired. But we saw lots of incredible miracles and the Lord has been really merciful to us.

Sadly, Mavis and Henry have both been MIA all week. We haven't been able to get a hold of Mavis and Henry just keeps setting rdvs but not coming to them. Haha but those goes the missionary carousel...We'll keep trying.
Another Nigerian ami of ours, Collins, accepted a baptismal date of August 8th. Great news! but we'll have to go really slow with him to make sure he understands everything.

The good news is that our dark horse ami Sarah has really stepped up. The reason I say dark horse ami is because we weren't really sure about how things would go with her at first, but we've taught her three times and they have all been great rdvs. She is from Cameroon but is really cool and timid. Sunday would prove to be a huge miracle. 
We had invited her to church on Sunday and she said she'd come. It was 1h30 (when our church starts) and we were standing by the metro waiting for her. She wasn't answering her phone. Collins arrived and so after waiting another 15 minutes we went to church. After the first hour, who comes out of relief society but Sarah! Super happy. She told us that she at met a member on the metro who had walked with her to church and then into Relief society. But wait the miracle gets better. I talked to the member later, her name is Alicia, she is a cool young adult. She always takes the bus to church on sunday and is there early, but this sunday she was running late and had to take the metro. She was on the same metro car as Sarah, and was READING her Book of Mormon...haha. So Sarah approaches her and asks her if she's going to church and she says yes and they walk there together. It was huge. The Lord really knows each one of us and He is incredibly aware of each one of our needs. Sarah had a wonderful time at church, the members ate her up and we'll be seeing her again on Tuesday.

Along with that we are now teaching Lianna three times a week. She is russian and has struggles with her past. We teach her english for 45 minutes then have 15 minute lesson for right now, because she hasn't jumped onto the idea of coming to church and everything. But she wants and needs the Gospel in her life. She keeps asking us why we are so happy all the time. And she doesn't fully understand why the Savior is important yet. We'll work on that.

Today we spent the last P-day at presidents house with President and sr Roney. It was so much fun. President Brown will be arriving tomorrow night. 

We had a wonderful dinner visit with the Bishop's family, the family Chupin. Really cool young family, with two young kids. Had a bbq, with duck shish kebabs...so good...I'm a big duck fan after my mission.

Looking forward to another week of work.Time is speeding by, but also the next three weeks seem monstrous in front of me. Go big and THEN go home!

I love you all!

Elder Montgomery 

Mid ward council with Fr Girard...

Final presidents pday!

Transfer 17, Week 2 ....... June 22, 2015

Chere famille,

Another week down! things are speeding up! 

We spent a lot of today at President's home, it was really great. 

Friday we had our last zone conference with him and sr roney. It was so wonderful. They have become some of my best friends and greatest role models. All President teaches about is faith in the Savior. He only teaches about the Savior all the time. He left us with the scripture in John 13:14-17 about happiness. That the Savior taught us the key to happiness, to follow Him. It was really special. I'm so grateful for the chance I've had to be with them. When Elder Kearon came last time he talked about how as missionaries we are not only called to specific missions but also to specific mission presidents, I definitely feel like I was called to serve with the Roneys.

We took a trip to Grenoble to do Elder Mauss's legality renewal...its so pretty!

We saw Mavis once, he's doing well but has yet to come to church, which is sad, thats our next step.
Monday we had a cool miracle. We were walking to do groceries and were passing the institute center in Lyon. We saw an African couple that was just smiling like nobody's business at us and we stopped and talked to them. The girlfriends name is Progress (nigerians often name their children christlike qualities) and told us that she had met missionaries a year ago but was pregnant at the time and didnt act on the invitation, but that she had always hoped to find missionaries again to have the chance to talk to us and come to church. So we got her number and saw them on Wednesday! really cool Nigerian couple.

Saturday we taught Lianna. A 25 yr old friend of our russian ami olga. Lianna is also Russian/armenian. She asked us to teach her english, so we had made it 40 minutes into our really basic english lesson, when we asked if she had any other questions and then she asked in broken english, using the principles we had just taught her, Why is life so hard? Haha it was a beautiful moment. We ended up having a wonderful gospel discussion about the love of Heavenly Father and she was just amazed. We taught her how to pray and she was super touched. She told us how she feels that she has never been loved by anyone. She wants to learn english more regularly so we will be teaching half english half gospel here coming up this week.

We're really hitting our rhythm right now. The ami carousel continues and we find new people every day. Lyon is such a wonderful city. Miracles at every turn!

A thought from my studies this week: Moroni teaches us in Mormon 9 about a God that never changes and that is and will always be a God of miracles. I think the God like quality of consistency is essential. The great test of this mortal state is to see if we can consistently make righteous exercise of our agency. Faith is really shown over long periods of time. As pmg puts it genuine repentance is best demonstrated by righteous actiosn over a period of time. God is the master of this! I don't think its just automatic for Him, He really has mastered it. And how consistently we use our agency will determine our destiny.

I love you all so much!!!
Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery
Elder Tomlinson looks so great!

Pday at presidents

Goodbye picture with president and sr Roney

The boys! Elder bollard, dupre and elvidge

Transfer 17, Week 1 Keep pullen me down, but I keep getting up .... June 15, 2015

Chere famille,

This has been a great week. We did a lot of good work. Things really seem to be ramping up! We taught 10 lessons! which was huge! a great improvement from last week and a really important step towards our week 4 goal of 20 lessons taught. I thought a lot about this this past week. Obviously the success doesn't simply come from the number. The number merely represents people and their progression, the higher the number the more people progressed in the gospel this week and it gives me a really fun and simple thing to focus on. And it requires extraordinary effort on our part. However I may be more gung ho for this goal than Elder mauss...haha

I'd like to throw a huge shoutout to Nate whose birthday was yesterday! 

Mavis continues to progress well, we saw him twice this week. However I'm nervous for him because at the moment he lives in a rehab clinic for his leg that isn't in our sector, so I'm not sure if he'll end up being in our ward or not...
He's really great though and told us at the end of our lesson how badly he wants to be a servant of God.

We met an ami named Henry this week, a big Congolais man that is friends with a member that we actually met through the area book last week. He's met the missionaries a couple of times. He committed to a baptismal date of July 11 as well, however his understanding of that doesn't seem to be too real. But thats cool nonetheless!

This week was the worst week of pollen of the year so far according to the pharmacist that we visited to buy some medecine. Haha that killed me wednesday to Friday.

Yesterday was Stake Conference. Elder Mauss and I translated it into english for those at the stake center. It was really good, just really really awesome. Fr Lepore, the stake president is really money and his family is golden. He is a man that I feel like I've been best friends with for a long time. THey are going to the Utah for the next month and half to get his visa, so they'll miss me going which will be sad. He paid us one of the highest compliments this week. He has two friends, a couple that are planning on getting married in the fall and have asked him, knowing he was a bishop at the time, to give them a marriage prep class. He has been doing that along with teaching them about the plan of salvation and they love and are really excited to learn more. They had been taught by the sisters a few times, but with the recent transfer of one of the sisters out of the ward, He asked us if our equipe could keep on teaching them while they are in the US for the next month and a half. Really cool! Thats exciting!

So the work continues, we were at President's house today for a little pday action. He only has 2 pdays, left which is sad. We'll have our final zone conference with him on Friday. 
I'm trying to squeeze as much enjoyment as I can out of these last few weeks of wonderful missionary service.

I love you all so very much! make it a wonderful week!

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery
and a big lightning storm Friday

Elder mauss and I translating stake conference

Us with the Lepore fam after conference

I ran into David from Clermont at Stake conference aand he got his mission call to Tahiti! too great! It was a huge blessing to see him!

Transfer 16, Week 6 .... June 8, 2015

Dear Family,

We've had a weird week. But things are advancing nicely. This is a weird day for me. The group that I came in with from the MTC is leaving, they've finished. Its weird to know this is the end. I feel a lot of pressure to finish strong. This last transfer will be great.

We had a miracle day Tuesday where we taught a lesson and found several potentials throughout the day and had a great visit with a member family.

Wednesday was our district meeting. The first time I've run a district meeting. It was really fun! I love doing things like that, and our district is awesome so there was a great spirit and great participation and we all learned a lot. We focused a lot on obedience and using ipads effectively in our work and then on teaching skills. Was really great. Afterwards we went to Chalon sur Saone. A smaller city north of Lyon to do an exchange with Elder Brill and Elder Lapointe. I went with Elder Brill and it was lots of fun. Exchanges are always nice. 

We had a odd ending to the week as one of the office elders in my district that takes care of closing apartments hurt his ankle and couldn't go out. But they had to go to Dijon and close an apt this week. So Friday and Saturday I spent mostly in the apt with Elder Johnson icing his leg. haha needless to say it was nice to get out. 

Transfers came this Friday and Elder Mauss and I will be staying together!
A lot of my thoughts this week have been turned to this last transfer. I really want to have a week when we teach 20 lessons. It will be nice to have Elder Mauss for this last one because he knows what he's doing, and so we can go hard. We have the people, we've worked hard this transfer but haven't quite seen any real fruits yet, so I'm excited to make this transfer the best last transfer ever.
I certainly feel like I've still got work to do here and the Lord needs me to stay. There are still things waiting for me out there.

I love you all very much!!!

Elder Montgomery
Elder mauss and I on our way back from Chalon

The Lyon missionaries at one of the go to fast food places: Master Tacos

Elder Fisk and I rocking the sister sweater vests at district meeting

The panorama of our district meeting lunch with the other Lyon district

Transfer 16, Week 5 .... June 1, 2015

Dear Family,

This past week seemed really long! We had a lot of planning we did for the weekend that we focused on throughout the week.

The week was another battle. With one last transfer on the horizon, I'm taking stock of our current arsenal and setting a battle plan in motion for this last push. So we've hoping and praying and working to find those steady amis that will be ready to go next transfer.

This week had some emotional ups and downs.
Jean Valere, who came to church on Sunday lost his phone and we lost contact with him. We had a rdv fixed for Thursday with him, but because he lost his phone when we called him it went straight to voicemail and we assumed he had already left for Togo (which he had told us he was planning on doing this week). So we did not show up to our rdv. We would later find a note in the institute center from him telling us that he had lost his phone and had come to our rdv and had not found us there, and that he would be leaving for Togo and hoped to find us again in the future. And thus is the tragic loss of Jean Valere, for we have no way to contact him now, he is lost. major bummer. I expect him to return in miraculous fashion midway through next transfer.

We taught two new people this week who both fixed follow up rdvs. One is a french lady named Eva who was too thrilled to meet two Americans who believed in Jesus Christ
The second is Mavis a Nigerian man who had known the missionaries nearly a year ago, who called us randomly to fix a rdv with us. He is in a retab clinic for a recent accident and leg surgery he had. We fixed a baptismal date with him for June 27th in our second rdv! very exciting. However his current residence is not in our ward boundaries, but where he lived before was so we'll have to see whether or not we have to pass him to another equipe.

Other miracles occurred this week. On Tuesday we met a really cool Dutch kid named marco, who is really interested by what we do but because we were in a rush we weren't able to get any contact any information. But we would go on to catch him on Friday at a fluke time as he was leaving a tram and we were getting on it and we got his number to see him another time.
Saturday we had a lesson scheduled with a man from the Congo named Jules. He wasn't answering his phone either but having learned our lesson earlier we went to the rdv anyways. We had his street address but not his apt number. By a miracle we made our way into the building and guessed which apt was his. (his name wasn't on the mailbox, we just chose the two names that seemed the most Congoan and rung both of them). He wasn't even there, but family members he is staying with were. In fact it was this huge family from Angola and Congo, maybe 8 little boys running around making lots of noise, but we met the Grandma and a brother in law to Jules. They let us in gladly and we sat for a little bit waiting for him to return home before deciding to leave our number. Then the brother in law (Sebastien) had some questions about who we were. He loved it and we whipped our super amazing ipads and shared easter video about Christ Because He lives, with him and the whole family (all 8 little boys-it was so funny). They were just in awe and Sebastien was super touched and gave us his number to pass to other Elders in the city where he lives so that he can stay in contact with us. Really cool!

Anyways miracles happen still, the problem being that they seem to be happening for people that live outside our ward sector haha. But thats ok.
I'm really excited for these next 7 weeks. Even though there are downs to this work, I always find myself saying, I love being a missionary. There is no work more thrilling than this!

I love you!

Elder Montgomery

Transfer 16, Week 4...the arrival of IPads .... May 26, 2015

Dear family,
I am emailing this from my new standard issue iPad. We received them yesterday and spent a large part of the day setting them up. For now they will mostly just help with studies and in presenting church material more effectively. We've not yet been approved for Facebook or the area book app. But they are fun to have!

This has been a great week of just good old hard work, we just keep going. We continue to find new interested people daily but not quite any steady Amis yet.

The highlight this week was definitely Jean Valere. A man from Togo that we had met on Wednesday that had met missionaries in the past and had already read parts of the bom. He's an intellectual. And had all sorts of deep questions. But he fixed a rev with us right there on the street and we ended up teaching him Sunday morning before church. It was for the most a discussion, he's a talker. But despite lots of his scattered questions he told us that he had already received an answer from God that the Bom is true and that he had just received that
answer a month ago. He didn't seem to fully understand the implications of that statement but we pointed it out to him and he quickly changed tones as he realized what that meant. He asked if he could attend church with us that day, and he asked lots of questions about everything and quite a few about baptism, the process and all.

It was cool and he seemed to really like it, we're going to seem him again on Thursday. Interesting how God prepares ppl to meet us. Last week we had met a girl named Sona studying here in Lyon who speaks perfect French and English. She told us that she was evangelical Christian and she was super interested in our message but would only meet with us If we came to one of her meetings first. So Tuesday evening we spent any hour at her church watching a testimony of Nicky Cruz being broadcasted from somewhere else in Lyon. It was like chez nous. Lots of rock band hymns really loud. I became good buddies with the guy next to me who was also from Togo. Anyways Saturday we fixed to see Sona at the institute center, but she sent us a text hours before telling us her parents didn't think it was smart for her to meet with us. Grrrr. It was sad, we'll have to keep trying with her. But that's been our story here for the past couple weeks, we seem to be doing everything we can and they just don't seem to turn over. But hey This is the Lords work so I'll let him worry about that and we'll just keep doing what He asks.

This week is already looking busy. Saturday there will be a big family history vent run by the missionaries, and Sunday we've been asked to teach gospel principles and the combined 5th Sunday message...haha we just got a new bishop
and I imagine he is a bit overwhelmed. Should be fun.

I hope you all are doing well. The Work here continues, and there is a reason for everything. There is no better place for me to be than here.

Love you all!

Elder Montgomery

Sent from my iPad :)

Transfer 16, Week 3 .... May 18, 2015

Dear Family,

This week seemed to fly by. But we had an awesome week.
We did two exchanges...both here in Lyon. I got to work with E. Fisk and E. Humphrey.
E. Fisk is the man, he's an elder I did an exchange with in my 10th transfer in Toulouse. He's a super missionary. E. Humphrey is an englishman from outside of Leeds. He's hilarious, and we had a miraculous exchange.
I think we just exercised a lot more faith this week. Things just seemed to roll. 

Despite elder mauss losing his voice halfway through the week and it seemed like the whole district came down with an allergy cold, things went well. 

I think one of the big successes this week was the continued growth in our relationship with the members. We visited Bertrand Garon (the son of the family garon in Clermont who we spent christmas eve with) on thursday and he invited 3 other young adults over, just hear the missionaries message. It was awesome! I love that. Just have cool hangouts with friends and have a spiritual message. Later that evening we met with Nathan who is also a college student and we shared a message with him in his small apt. I love that they just love having us no matter where. We definitely are special in their eyes. This continued Sunday. Sundays are important in the missionary scheme. They are really the moment that most members form their conception of who the missionaries are. And so its important to spend every moment well. And plus we get to meet and make new friendships which is great. And it appears that has been lacking in the ward in past transfers from what I've gathered. But we've gotten really involved in helping several of the young adults share the gospel with their friends. Its so cool how much faith they have. We made a lot of specific plans for this week with them.
We found a lot of new potentials this week. Some real miracles that I'm excited to see come to fruition this week. Thursday was our real miracle day. It was funny because we were on exchange, elder humphrey was rather sick, it was terrible weather, cold and rainy, but somehow we managed to meet people who had already met missionaries who wanted to continue, and other new ones. We found a less active member that had dropped off the map, and we taught an excellent lesson to another less active lady from the Congo who should be back at church this week. Her name is Sr Kondzot, she is this big African lady with a really deep voice, but she's so nice. She fed us fried maggots...which were actually pretty good. (pic included.)
Lyon is a big city and its so much fun being here and getting that big city feel.
We're still looking for those solid reliable amis. We're just going after it!
I have felt recently a greater need to pass any wisdom I've attained on my mission to other missionaries. So thats been on my mind. Other than that its really just work work work, there is no other satisfactory substitute (PMG)

Je vous aime!!!

Elder Montgomery


Transfer 16, Week 2 Happy Mother's Day! .... May 11, 2015

Dear Family,

It was great to see yesterday!!!!
This week:
We had 3 exchanges. All of them in Lyon, but somehow it was still rather exhausting. Whenever we go an exchange there seems to be an extra stress that results in extra fatigue, but they were fun! I have such awesome missionaries in my district. I'm really enjoying being a district leader, its great to get to work with everyone on such a personal level. 

Some noteworthy items:

-This week we taught Larry, a humble nigerian man who just moved to france a couple weeks ago. He was a referral passed to us by elders in a different lyon ward. Larry had attended one of those wards with a friend and really liked it and wants to learn more. We went and visited him this week and he has an incredible sincere desire to know truth and to share it and to live it. We taught him about the wonderful restoration of truth and he was really touched. He's excited to read the Book of Mormon, and he said he'd come to church but didn't make it. Thats usually one fear when teaching africans is that they are really sketchy with time and rdvs. So its hard to get a hold of him and fix rdvs with him. But looks promising.
-We taught Flore, our french lady that came to church last week. We had suspicions that maybe she had some mental issues. On an exchange with Elder Lapointe, we taught her with a nice couple in our ward. Well we had a crazy scenario happen where her mom followed her to our lesson and sat in on it (which we were ok with but Flore wasn't) The tension was rather awkward. After the lesson we learned that Flore although middle aged is what we call "sous-toutelle" of her father. Which means she has a lower brain capacity than people her age and she needs someone to make important decisions for her. So we're not sure what we'll do with that situation.
-On Friday while on exchange we visited some of the young adults in our ward. There we had a little lunch party with them for Armistice day. It was a really fun time getting to know them and become friends. Even better we shared a message about the Savior that was super powerful and we were able to make plans with all 4 of them for specific friends to whom they want to introduce the gospel. It was a lot of fun!
-On Tuesday the family Lepore had all 8 missionaries in our ward over to there home. He is the Stake President/bishop now just stake president. It was a really special time that we spent with them, and they are a really celestial family. Its always nice to see families that you'd like your family to replicate one day.
And I always enjoy observing people like President Lepore who is so Christlike.
Once again I loved seeing you all yesterday, Happy Mother's day to the best mom in the world :)
Beaucoup d'amour,
Elder Montgomery
Elder Mauss and I on the bridge in downtown Lyon

Happy Mother's DAY!! 2015!

May 10, 2015 MOTHERS DAY ..... Skype Call with William

Transfer 16, Week 1 .... May 4, 2015

Dear Family,
It feels great to be back on the grind. We've had a fun week getting to know the area and seeing members and talking to everyone!
Lyon is the capital of our mission and the 3rd largest city in France. We live on the metros and trams. So thats where we make a lot of our living finding when we aren't with members.
Of the 4 wards in the Lyon area, we have the more ghetto side, but the sector is really large and there are just so many people from all over that we meet everyday.
There wasn't a ton of concrete progress being made when I arrived. We've spent a lot of the week calling old amis and working with less actif members. This is always a challenge I enjoy.
Just in one week we've found quite a few potentials and we even had one of them- a french woman named Flore- come to church. She enjoyed it. However she's a bit odd and its hard to read her, so we'll see. But the Lord is definitely blessing us a lot right now. Its interesting how faith works. I think thats been a lesson that I've learned over the course of my mission. That in order for things to progress, or in order for us to progress, the Lord asks us to exercise faith in Him. We have to do things, to act. We have to. Or else things don't move, they stay stagnant, and we waste precious time.
The district is doing well. I really love being a district leader, its great to have such a personal involvement with each of the missionaries. And has I strive to the end here all I want to do is pass on everything I've learned to those around me. That's my mindset here, is to really lift everyone around me up.
The ward is great. A bit odd, but hey what ward isn't odd. We visited Fr. Girard an older recent convert from Guadeloupe. Really loving and supportive of us and fed us coconuts.
The bishop is awesome. He is both the bishop and the stake president. Its been that way for a month, however that'll be changing next week. His name is Fr. Lepore. His wife is American from Lehi. He is french born in Lyon, but was a bishop in Lehi for a couple years. We'll be seeing them tomorrow evening.
On Tuesday, we got a call from the elders in another lyon ward, telling us about a man that had come to church in their ward on Sunday but who lives in our sector. His name is Larry and he is Nigerian. Apparently really sincere and whats to join the right church. However this week he's been a bit hard to reach seeing has how its his first week in france and he's living with his sisters phone.
 The big miracle this week was with a man named Francis. We met him Friday. Friday was the first of may. In france its labor day. And EVERYTHING IS SHUT DOWN (most importantly all the public transport). Its almost like Christmas but without the Pere Noels. Anyways so the rdvs we had intentionally set for that day had fallen through that morning. We spent the afternoon going by Less actif members in our area. We had walked up to the border of our sector in the heart of Lyon. It was raining and windy and rather cold. There was a man that had been walking behind us for a while that had awkwardly been trying to pass that finally did so but I said bonjour to him and struck up convo in the middle of the rain. We talked to him for 35 min in the cold rain. His brother is member of the church, and served a mission. He has met missionaries a few times in the road but always felt to intimidated to go further with them. But he has this great desire to change but doesnt have the faith to do it. He wouldn't accept another time to see us which was sad. But I felt like he really needed to hear from us. That this was another chance the Lord was giving him. We left him with a card and the commitment to call us on Sunday. Rarely do people call if given a card. Thats last resort in street contacting. But sure enough we got a call from him halfway through sunday school, and talked with him later last night, and he decided that he needs to meet with us next Sunday, because he said he knows we have something that he needs. Really neat! I was so grateful for such a huge miracle. Pray for Francis!
We've yet to confirm skype plans. It'll be around 1pm East coast (what time is your church?) I'll confirm tomorrow.

I love you all!

Elder William Montgomery

Transfer 15, Week 6 .... April 27, 2015

Dear Family,
Another week that seemed like there was so much included in it. We literally went all over and it was incredibly stressful.
We came back to Marseille Tuesday and packed up all our stuff and headed to Toulon that night, waiting to board the ship to Corsica only to discover that there had been a mix up with our tickets and we would have to wait until Wednesday night to go. It was a major bummer.
We wake up wednesday morning in Marseille only to find out that our car had been towed because it was parked in a poorly marked area, next to a outdoor market. bummer again. Wednesday after several trials of faith haha we made it on to the boat to Corsica. They often say ferry when describing the boat to Corsica, but it was definitely a full on cruise ship. We boarded wed night at 8 and slept on the boat and disembarked thursday morning at 7am. It was so pretty, and a really fun experience. I've got plenty of pictures for you don't worry :)
We spent all of Thursday in Corsica. Really, really pretty. It has beaches like Florida and ski resorts like Utah going all at the same time. Its incredible. We only got to do an exchange with one of the two equipes there because of our ticket mix up. There is one equipe on the southern side in Ajaccio and the northern side in the city of Bastia. We spent our day in Ajaccio. Elder Huntsman had just been serving here last transfer so it was a fun return for him. We spent our time with Elder Powell, who was one of the elders who picked me up at the curb at the MTC. He's the man and our exchange was really fun.
We got back Friday morning and made our way up to Lyon by Friday evening to meet the entire mission at the Ecully Chapel. It was a blast to see everyone. 
Saturday was the day of the big mission conference. Elder and Sister Kearon of the 70 came along with Elder and Sister Neilson of the 70 (who just spoke in GenConf). They unrolled the ipad doctrine and vision and it was really neat and there was an awesome spirit there. And it will be really neat to get work on the ipads in our everyday missionary work. We will have facebook to do missionary work on. However we have yet to actually receive them. So we'll see when they actually get here.
The Kearon's might be some of my favorite people. They've come now 3 times during my mission. Every time they blow me away. I think Sr. Kearon was my favorite speaker from her brief 5 min testimony. She's incredible. They are overflowing with goodness and light every time we see them. E. Kearon was tearing up just shaking all of our hands, and he is such a powerful speaker. The spirit they bring is almost tangible. I can see so much of the Savior in them, its incredible. It was such a huge blessing. I would love to be like that one day.
Saturday was the end of the transfer. I went home with Elder Mauss that night and we went to church in the Confluence ward yesterday. Really interesting transition, felt odd mostly because of the abrupt transition from car life and exchanges to settling down and working in one ward. However a familiar flame returned that reminded me of how much I like taking on these challenges that the Lord asks us to face. I'm super excited to go to work with this ward. And I'll be a district leader for the first time ever and after calling every district member last night, I'm feeling really blessed. I'll be working with 4 équipes outside of ours, 3 Elders and one Sisters. They are all awesome and I'm excited to help them all. I'm working on strategies to use to create a sense of team and team effort and such. Even more so I want our team to be special, I feel like that always gives a fun motivation to work harder. Thats something I have on the to-do list.
Today also E. Castillo returns home which is sad. It was sad to say goodbye to him on Saturday.
A brief bio on Elder Mauss- He is hilarious. He is from Cypres CA and is the youngest of 3. My age. Has been out for about 10 months. Good man and good heart. I'm excited to push us this transfer to see what we can accomplish.
Moving back to the grind!
I love you all!
Elder Montgomery
Pics from The trip to Corsica!

Pics from The trip to Corsica!

Pics from The trip to Corsica!

Transfer 15, Week 5 .... April 20, 2015

Dear Family,

This week felt really long. We did a lot. Wow.
So starting off, monday and tuesday we spent the large portions of the days working on transfers at President's house, which was really a cool experience to see how the Spirit guided it all and helped us find solutions. At first it seemed really based off of logic, but in the end it was a really a spiritual experience. 
Now to put this all in context, because there will be a new mission president in 2 months, President needed to choose a really young missionary as another assistant to come in and be the transition guy (all of us are too old). So President had kind of given us free rein on where we wanted to go, he made the final call of course. In my head at first I had Montpellier down as my place, but has things developed I became rather uncomfortable with that idea and it definitely felt wrong. I would end choosing to serve in the Confluence ward (one of the four wards in Lyon). Its kind of the ghetto side of Lyon. I'll be a district leader and I have an awesome district to work with. My companion will be Elder Mauss a funny good missionary in his 6th transfer. The ward is kind of struggling which presents me with a fun challenge.
Now its bizarre because Thursday we went on exchange with Elder Mauss and his companion in Confluence. I was with elder Mauss. But of course the rest of the mission won't find out about transfer calls until Wednesday, so I spent an entire day with my new companion in my new sector but couldn't tell him about it. Haha It will be a grind for 3 months. Its going to take a ton of mental strength to finish the way I want to finish, so I really need your help and your prayers.
We spent Saturday in Grenoble, a city in the french alps, really pretty. I went with Elder Hendershot and Quinn. Elder Hendershot was also trained by Elder Uluave which is a fun connection to have.
Yesterday during church President Roney pulled me aside and gave me my final interview with him, which is sad. He's given me so much great advice and is really good at making others feel good. He's so awesome, and I'm terribly sad to not have my dying interview with him.
Today we spent the majority of the day at President's house for President's Pday. All of the Lyon missionaries come and spend the afternoon at their home playing bball and volleyball and botchi ball. It was really fun to get some sun.
I'm just really exhausted. We've had a weird schedule. This week will be really fun though. We are going down to do an exchange with the Elders of Corsica. Which is super exciting. We'll spend Wednesday and THursday there. Then Saturday the entire mission will be in Lyon for a big conference with Elder Neilson and Elder Kearon of the 70 who are coming to unveil the ipads which we will be receiving the week after I believe. That will be an interesting change of missionary work for the close of my mission.
I've had some cool time with President lately and one thing that has really hit me is how he is so committed to the Gospel. We talked about this in my interview. He said nothing he knows of besides the Gospel of Jesus Christ can make anyone categorically happier or give them a better life. The fruits of the Gospel are real and incredible and should really be what we strive to have in our lives.
I love you all!

Elder Montgomery
Eating tacos with ElT who we saw this week

Some of the action at President's today

Some of the action at President's today

Elder Castillo playing boules