Transfer 15, Week 3 .... April 9, 2015

Dear Family,
I am emailing from the chapel in Lausanne, Switzerland. Our adventures continue. I realize now that it has been a week and a half since I last updated you.
Lots has happened!
We started off last monday in Marseille and would go on to do exchanges with the Elders in Avignon, Manosque, and Vitrolles. Then Friday we had our zone conference in Nice. It was such a huge blessing for me to go back to Nice. I got to see the old chapel and some of my favorite friends from the ward there. It was really fun and was interesting to see these people that I knew from over a year and a half ago who still knew me and were excited to see me. I was really grateful.
We continued on Saturday to do another Zone Conference in Aix en Provence. At these zone conferences, usually President will present, then Sr Roney, then Sr Povar (the mission nurse), then we'll have lunch and after lunch we'll present to the zones. We taught about trust in our calling as missionaries and the impact of the Atonement in our missionary work. Right after conference on Saturday we left Aix for Lyon and we arrived at the Ecully Chapel in Lyon at 6 just in time for the Saturday morning session of General conference. General conference was wonderful as always, Elder Hollands talk at the end was classic. We just recently got the chance to watch the last session and I think that was my favorite.
Monday and Tuesday we did two more zone conferences with the zones in Lyon. The Monday one was probably the best one. There was a great spirit there. We had missionaries share some great experiences with the Atonement and it was clear that the message of the gospel is really "good tidings of great joy" worth sharing with everyone possible.

Monday as well I got to see Elder Tomlinson, who is doing well in Clermont. Such a funny guy.
We were planning on staying in Lyon to do exchanges with the missionaries there, but got asked to come along and assist in the Switzerland zone conferences- there are three Swiss zones. So Wednesday we were in Geneva, and today we are in Lausanne. This is the chapel I came to for zone conferences when I was in Gex. Tonight we'll be driving up to Yverdon for the last zone conference.

Yesterday in Geneva we ran into a member I knew from Gex, and she recognized right off the bat which was surprising to me. It was awesome to see her; but cooler to know that I had a good influence in people's lives and that they remembered that.

Its been fun to go around the mission and see so many mission friends and see different parts of the country. But Its really great to have the chance to share the testimony the Lord has given me and to have these awesome real spiritual experiences many days in a row.

During these adventures I got to have interesting conversations with the Lyon stake president (whom I ate lunch next to) and the Geneva stake President whom we talked to after the conference. I LOVE these opportunities and its always awesome to hear the perspectives of these people who have sacrificed a lot and to hear how inspired they are.

This transfer is flying by as expected. The excitement is mounting already for where I'll end up next transfer. We'll be doing transfers next week which I'm really excited for.

I love feeling the Holy Ghost. And its great to recognize the fact that Heavenly Father is speaking to me. That has happened a lot recently and it makes me really grateful to know that its real. That this is all real and its worth it.
I'm excited to hear your take on conference. What a blessing to have the Gospel!

I love you!

Elder Montgomery
E huntsman and I at mcdo

Almost two years later: shout out to Kalin uluave back at the nice chapel

Here is the chapel in Aix en provence

The marseille crew

El T and i after Zone conference

Transfer 15, Week 2 .... March 30, 2015

Dear Family,

What a crazy week. This is probably the funnest assignment I've had on my mission.

This week we were in Lyon doing exchanges with 2 equipes until Thursday and then travelled to St. Etienne and Gap on our way back to Marseille doing exchanges with the elders there. The hardest part of this week has probably been parking the car. We lose a lot of time looking for parking. Grrrr.

My companions are great though, Elder Huntsman is like a seasoned veteran in only his 5th transfer, and Elder Palmer is so humble, it makes the whole experience so much more full.

Tuesday we had Mission Leadership conference in which President had us do a pretend gameshow to do roleplays. For the first time ever We had all of the district leaders in the mission there along with the Sister Training leaders and Zone Leaders (Total of 78 people). I was nominated by my companions to be the "gameshow host". So I ran this gameshow, throwing back to my announcer days at DCHS, narrating the roleplays of different missionary situations.

It was really fun.

Thursday was great, we went to a district meeting in Lyon, and afterwards did an exchange with the Zone leaders of lyon. Elder Huntsman and I had Elder Barnes, who is a new zone leader this transfer. We did a long voyage with him to go teach an old ami who lived an hour away in Oyonnax, a tiny industrial city. This is ami whose name is Diana, was taught all the way up to baptism in another city and then left unexpectedly. She is an awesome woman from Honduras who recently had her first child. Our rdv was the first one she had had in 6 weeks. She was so happy to see us. She wants to be baptized very badly and the only thing holding her back is that she lives an hour away from the closest ward. So they'll have to figure that out.

On our way back to Lyon from that rdv we stopped to see a less active member who the elders had met in the train station almost a year ago. Her name is Kelly. She is Tahitian (They are just generally happy and fun people and super sensitive to the Spirit), her whole family are members, but she kind of dropped off the radar after moving to france with her boyfriend. She as well was so so happy to see us and kept telling us. We got to know her then her french boyfriend got home, we quickly became friends with him. We shared a message about obedience to the commandments and how much God loves us. It was awesome. The Spirit was so strong. Kelly sat there testifying to us about how she knows the Gospel is true and that it feels so good to have a BOM back in her hands. She told us that she knows Christ lives and that He loves her. All in front of Vincent her boyfriend who sat there a bit stunned by the environment. By the time we finished there was such a sweet feeling in the room, it seemed to filling each of us. We finished by saying,"this feeling that you are feeling right now is the Spirit of God testifying to us that these things are true". Vincent shuffled uncomfortably. Haha after we said the prayer we asked if the next time we come if we could teach him about what we believe and he excitedly accepted. It was so neat. We left on cloud 9.

Saturday on our way back to Marseille we stopped in Gap to do an exchange. Gap is a valley city in the French Alps on the east side of the country. Among the most beautiful places I've ever seen (I took Pictures), the drive went all the way through the mountains. Incredible. I got a chance to go out with a blue missionary named Elder Romero from Wyoming. We taught a less active man together. Elder Romero is a great, a bit quarky but coming out of his shell nicely. He wasn't active growing up, but decided to come on a mission after his father suggested to him, and he read and prayed over the BOM. Really interesting. It was a fun and successful exchange. We got back to Marseille at 930 that night.

And finally we got to attend church in Marseille. It was a blast. The ward was so happy to have new missionaries. Not that we'll be there very much. But we were able to bear our testimony to the struggling ward. At one point marseille had two wards and was a mission HQ. BUt now is down to an average attendance of 85 people every sunday.

However Marseille is such a beautiful city. Wow. Almost feel like we're living in Hawaii here. Its awesome.

Its been such a blast to be a travelling equipe and to go around meeting so many different people and bearing our testimony to so many different people. Its like the disciples of old who travelled to different cities all the time. How neat! Its been such a huge blessing for me. This week we have 3 exchanges lined up in 3 days and then will spend Friday and Saturday doing Zone Conferences in Aix and Nice. Could not be more excited for General conference.

I love you so much! Please take advantage of ALLLLL of General conference! (Why wouldn't we? what could be more important?)

Beaucoup d'amour,

Elder Montgomery

The team in Marseille

The Bordeaux crew at Leadership conference

AFter District meeting in lyon at Master Tacos

Driving through the french alps