Sunday, December 20, 2009
Hello from Murray Bridge!
Kevin has committed to be baptized on January 10th 2010! We are so excited. We were teaching him The Plan of Salvation when he committed. We had a good day at church. We once again had 6 investigators at church this Sunday. Four different investigators than the previous Sunday. So hopefully we can get all 10 of these investigators at church. Yesterday at church we had Kevin, Bart, Lily/June, Peter and Andrew. Andrew is an aboriginal guy, first time at church. Michael and Leigh were in Mt Barker visiting family. They do not have a baptismal date, but they have a wedding date. They are getting married February 14th 2010! Then we will baptize them. Krystal, their daughter, should be turning 8 within the year so that will be another baptism. Bart is staying at and watching over Sister Turner’s house while she is in Malaysia on holiday. This is good because now we have a good environment where we can teach Bart. So now he is progressing. We have given heaps of books and he is reading them. I think it’s only a matter of time before the spirit works with him. Softens his heart, realizes he needs to be baptized with authority and commits to baptism. Chen Wei came to church today. He has not been to church since he was confirmed in September. His English is horrible, so he has been taking English classes every Sunday morning. Fortunately the English class is on holiday so he came to church. Good things are happening in Murray Bridge. Even though everyone is busy as, the work is progressing.
I will probably call you the morning of the 26th of December. Like 8 o’clock or so. Boxing Day for me. Christmas day for you. We will spend December 25th and 26th at the mission home. We will sleep at another missionaries flat or a members home.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Love ya heaps
Hello from Murray Bridge!
I will admit I am beginning to dislike Christmas time as a missionary. Everyone is busy and leaving Murray Bridge. Every one is flat out and shopping and has no time to talk. Knocking on doors right now is pretty bad. But this week was also very good. We had our Branch Christmas party in Belair national park. We got two new investigators that a sister in the branch took with her. There are renting out a room in this sisters house. Their names are Luke and Carly. They are a young couple in their early 20s. They really enjoyed themselves and were well fellowshipped. Kevin and Bart also made it. As well as Michael and Leigh and their young family. The activity was heaps fun. We played Frisbee and I played cricket for the first time. I kept putting my bat up like in baseball. I swear they told me to put it down like 6 times. I even pitched during the cricket game. My first throw was not too bad. But then after that it was like 1/3 throws that were good.
Then on Sunday the next day. Everyone that went to the Picnic also came to church. So we had 6 investigators at church. That is the most so far in my time in Murray Bridge. I gave a 10 minute talk at church. The subject was how my life has been blessed by magnifying my priesthood. Pretty easy talk I will admit. It went very well. I am so glad we had so many investigators at church that heard me speak, let alone came to church and felt the spirit.
Then after church we had a BBQ at Sister Turner’s house. It was Bart’s Birthday. We had Michael, Leigh, Kevin and other non-members at this BBQ. So we had a really good weekend this week. Heaps of activities and fellowshipping. These investigators are no longer strangers and are now that much more familiar with church members. They even had a chance to interact with members outside of church.
We are going to have Family Home Evening with Luke and Carly tonight. They have heaps of questions after going to church. We need to teach them the basics and build from there. They are not married. Hopefully they will be married in February or March along with Michael and Leigh. We need these investigators married! Carly when she came to church was looking for the holy water, she has some Catholic background. Luke I am not too sure.
I gave Claire the book “Our Search for Happiness”. That is a good book, I felt impressed to give her my book. It will inform her heaps about the church. We have a set appointment with her and we will bring the relief society president with us to help us teach. She is going to Brisbane for a month in February.
Lily is becoming overwhelmed with handling her take away shop all by herself. June is only 10 so she does not help out. She works many hours a day. We need to keep being supportive and positive with her. She was too tired to go to church this Sunday. She is going to China for 2 months for the Chinese new year celebration in February.
Three of our investigators are going out of town for a while. Oh well, the work will continue and will progress, and so will they when they get back in March, whether I am here, or I am not. i reckon I will be here.
Love you heaps
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Hello from Murray Bridge!
I have not been transferred and finally staying in one place. Elder Ashworth has been transferred to my old area in Modbury Ward. I am now companions with Elder Tualatamaalelagi, he is Samoan and but grew up in New Zealand. I call him Elder T. He has been out just over one year. I have been introducing him to the area and seeing all of our friends.
I wanted him to see the extremes we have in Murray Bridge. I took him out bush to go see Claire. Claire can do what the Aboriginals do when they play the didgeridoo, they can breathe in threw the nose and exhale threw the mouth. Claire can do that when she talks. She talks heaps. An assistant to the President on a trade off said she is the most talkative investigator he has ever met. The assistants go to all the areas on trade off. She is doing well. We watched “The Testaments” with her.
Then immediately after that we went to go see the opposite of Claire, we went and saw Peter. Peter cannot talk. And he cannot hear anything. Peter is good, he has been to church 3 weeks in a row. And we tried committing him to baptism but we found out he is Jehovah witness. But obviously not practicing, he is going to church with us. We will break him.
Went and saw Michael and Leigh, we also watched “The Testaments” with them. It is such a good movie; it helps them visualize what is happening when they read the Book of Mormon. They are sweet, they bought even more animals.
Lily and June went to the Missionary Fireside in Adelaide with us yesterday. It was really good for them to hear Sabrina Tan speak. She is a Chinese girl that was baptized in June. She has a strong as testimony. It is good for them to hear a testimony of Jesus Christ from a Chinese person.
The work is continuing in Murray Bridge. We have a Branch Picnic party this Saturday in Belair National Park, we are going to invite heaps of investigators, less actives, everyone, it will be great.
I was so happy to see Patience at the fireside. She moved to a different Ward. But she is helping all of the less active Africans in Prospect Ward. I also saw Robert and Anthony at the fireside. I had not seen them for close to 2 months. Anthony and Tammy will be married on the 18th of December. They have been to the temple. And Robert and Anthony have passed the sacrament. Neo is going on Holiday to China for 2 months; he wrote me a letter in the mail. Black has also moved to Prospect Ward with Patience. It sucks, everything we tried to build in Firle ward is moving to Prospect. Oh well Prospect ward better be thankful.
Thanks Mom and Dad I got your package. It will be opened on Christmas day when we have the missionary party in Adelaide.
Love, Elder Montgomery
Hello from Murray Bridge!
We have no idea if I or Elder Ashworth are being transferred. We will find out later today. President Poulton and the Assistants to the president are still seeking guidance to know where to transfer missionaries. I think we will both stay. But you will find out next Monday. I will laugh if I am transferred again.
Things are going well. Peter came to church for the second time in a row, as did Lily and her daughter June. On Saturday we had a BBQ at Sister Turner’s house. We had 5 investigators there. Bart, Kevin, Michael/Leigh and Cristina. Cristina is a 10 year old girl, her parents are both active in the church. She just needs to be baptized. Probably in December we will push to get her baptized. She will count as a convert Baptism.
I learned my lesson on obedience. Lily is 34 years old; we thought it was okay to see her all on her own because it was in a public place and even a big counter between us. But when we would go on trade off with other Elders they would bring to our attention that we need I-care to see her. Then immediately after that occurrence we would disobey and see her another day. And in consequence she stopped progressing. We then realized we were making a big mistake, so we repented and now we see her with I-care every time. Since then Lily has made it to church 2 weeks in a row and finally stayed for all 3 hours. She is going to an enrichment activity on Tuesday. She will continue to recognize and make new friends. That will help her embrace the church. She may have felt uncomfortable or left out because of her language restrictions. But now that is being resolved, people will know not to talk too quickly and be nice and attentive to her. Also Leigh is coming to the activity as well. She really wanted to come to church this Sunday. But unfortunately their car is very unreliable. No matter what we are getting them a ride to church next Sunday. I will not take no for an answer. They are getting a ride.
This Sunday I and Elder Ashworth were asked to bless the sacrament. I have not blessed the Sacrament in a very long time. But never before has the sacrament or the atonement meant so much to me. Even though we were in a branch of some 90 people attending church, I was filled with the spirit. I was looking out into the congregation and watched everyone renew the promises they had made to god when they were baptized. That they will keep his commandments that they will always remember him and they will be a witness to everyone and bear his name. It brought me much joy to see every one receive what god had promised them back for doing these things. I watched a congregation of people receive a remission of the mistakes they had made, that the Holy Spirit will now be with them. It was beautiful to see.
I can’t believe it is almost Christmas time. I was just working at Pacific Cooler International a year ago. I think I will break off a branch of something and make a Christmas tree. It has been chilly here. It went from a heat wave of forty three degrees to rainy and cold. But I will take this cold weather; it will be the last for a couple of months.
I love hearing from everyone. I love hearing about home. I am in an upside down world from you. So keep me informed. Especially about my Broncos. Who won the World Series!?!?!? Tell me about Basketball. I know I have changed but I still love my sports. We told the Butler Family about Thanksgiving so we had tea with them on Thursday. We had Chicken and sweet potato pie, because the American pumpkin is nonexistent. Sweet potato pie was the closest thing to pumpkin pie. It was a good meal. We went around the table and said everything we were thankful for. Then we got the pig skin and threw it out in the back yard. We are Americanizing Australia! Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for everything.
We go shopping at Woolys and we do our laundry at home, we have a washer but not a drier. Today we are going to clean our flat and the car. We are going to pack up half of our stuff because we do not know if we are being transferred. We would chuck the Frisbee around, but it is a bit windy today. I do not have an accent. I can make a Bogan Aussie accent, they are easy. There are a lot of Bogan’s in Murray Bridge I am not going to lie. Like 80 percent it seems. But I love this area. I hope I stay.
Love ya heaps.
Hello from Murray Bridge!
Things are going well here. We had an interesting Sunday. We got our friend Peter to come to church. Peter is deaf and cannot talk. His vision is not too well either. We got Lily and June to come to church, but they just stayed for sacrament meeting, they had to go back to the restaurant and work. But we had a peculiar lesson with just Peter in gospel principles class. We used a lot of drawings and writing on the white board. The lesson was about prophets, modern and ancient. The pace of the lesson was so unorthodox I am a bit relieved we had no other investigators at church. We needed to focus on how to teach Peter. From what I can Peter enjoyed himself.
Claire was busy this week helping out “Uncle John” prepare to leave for the United Kingdom. As soon as he leaves Claire will be “free to study and learn more about the church” so she says. I look forward to when we can see her more often when she has more time. I am trying to be patient but I want her baptized so much.
Michael and Leigh are sweet. Leigh really wants to get involved in the church. They went to a cottage evening at a member’s home this Friday and met a bunch of members and had a good time. Their 7 year old daughter has health problems that causes her great pain and makes it difficult for her to move. She may be having an operation this Tuesday. I pray that she will be comforted. They may take turns going to the city and watching over their daughter when she would recover from operation. It may not be their time just yet. They would have come to church this Sunday but they had to take care of their daughter. She was unable to walk.
Kevin and Shane are sweet. Shane was very religious but was kicked out of the church he was in and hasn’t been to church in a long time. Kevin is warming up more and more to the church. We will work with them closely and bring the truth to them.
Bart is sweet. We had a Family Home Evening at President Smith’s home with Bart there. We taught Bart about dispensations and how each dispensation of times we learn something new that helps us understand the Plan of Salvation. It went very well. Unfortunately Bart was crook all week since Monday. We will wait for him to be feeling better and start visiting him.
But this week was very good. Our teaching pool is filling up. We have used the most member present lessons so far this transfer this week. Things are improving, even if they are baby steps our goal of baptizing these people is getting closer and closer.
It was heaps hot earlier this week. We had an intense heat wave. And the very next day it was cool, and raining. So we have been enjoying this fine weather, we will not have this cool weather for a couple of months.
I cannot believe there is only one week left in this transfer. I and Elder Ashworth have learned heaps. I have been wrong every time I have guessed what will happen at transfer, nevertheless I believe me and Elder Ashworth will stay together one more transfer. But in one week we will see what happens. I will be surprised if I move three times in a row. I have been in more areas than my District Leader and I have had the same amount of companions as he has. He is young as well but is coming up close to have been out about a year. I hope I do not move. It does not take long for me to love an area. I hope I stay here for Christmas. We are going to have a Christmas party in Belair National Park. It is in the hills so it should be nice weather relatively.
I cannot believe I have been out nearly 5 months!
Love you heaps
Hello from Australia!
There was a baptism yesterday! Justin Chappell, he is 10 years old. His mom is fully active, he just never got baptized. So I had little to nothing to do with his conversion. But he will count as a convert Baptism since he is 10. Also two other 8 year old kids were also baptized, but they will not count towards the mission unlike Justin. But it was a big baptismal service for all of them. So my honour of men contribution to the mission is 6.
Things are progressing here in Murray Bridge. Michael and Leigh have a baptismal date on December 12th. They still have some work to do but it is good to have a distant landmark to look forward to so you can find your way when you are travelling. It is a great goal but they need to be married and quit abusing their bodies with harmful substances. I pray that they will receive strength and be able to repent.
Also Claire is sweet. She is getting closer and closer to baptism. We had a discussion with her this week and as we were leaving she said, “I think you got me”. We are going to see her next on Tuesday. I feel really good about her. She is so in tune with the spirit everything makes sense to her. She would be a blessing to be apart of this branch here in Murray Bridge.
Bart is hopefully coming to tea with us at President Smith’s house out in Callington. We are going to have family home evening together. Bart I think will be baptized in the near future. He is really good friends with Sister Turner. I believe he said to her he will be baptized after Christmas when he gets wasted for the last time. Everybody has their free agency. These are our top investigators. Good things are going to happen here in Murray Bridge. I am blessed to have witnessed the spirit work on these people. I am glad to be just an instrument God can use. I always want to leave an area better than what it was when I received it. That is my goal. In the coming months good things will happen.
Sabrina, a recent convert back in Firle went to church in Murray Bridge this Sunday. She lived here a couple of years. She told me about Patience Barlee, Neo and Black. They still all go to church. Black moved to Prospect Ward, that’s okay. Patience is looking into moving into a member’s home. And Neo is just busy with school. I love all my friends I have left back in the city. And also Anthony and Robert back in Modbury. You should try to find my friends on face book.
Being on a mission and meeting more and more people just further strengthens my testimony of the faith. I know more now more than ever that absolutely everyone needs the gospel of Jesus of Christ in their life. Everyone’s lives sucks. They really do. People are not happy. Only true happiness comes with the knowledge that they are redeemed. They can feel the joy of their redemption. I have seen people change their lives. I have seen people become happier. I love turning misery into joy. I love inviting people to change. I love teaching people about what Jesus Christ has done for us. I love bringing god to the godless. I love helping people build up their faith, because true faith leads to action. When more and more people have true faith in Jesus Christ they are willing to follow him and keep his commandments. Not just being a nice person, but leaving your old self behind in the waters of baptism and coming out of the water a new person, a follower of Jesus Christ. How grateful I am that I have the opportunity to go to church every week and renew my promise to god. That I will always follow him. That I will always remember what he has done for me. I will take his name upon myself. And how grateful I am for the promise god has given me. That I can always feel his love threw the Holy Spirit. And that I can receive a remission of my mistakes I have made in my life. I wish for everyone I meet in my life to feel what I feel. To know what I know. I want them to feel his love. I pray for this everyday. I love you all.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Hello from Australia!
I just want you to know that everything here in Murray Bridge is good. The work here is progressing. We are teaching quite a few people and they are potentials who have yet to be exposed to be taught by the missionaries. That will change this coming week.
We have an amazing ward missionary named Sister Turner. Her non-member friend Bart wrote a song about Jesus that I and Elder Ashworth sang at a fireside in Mt Barker on Sunday. Sister Turner brought Bart to the fireside and he really enjoyed hearing his song. Me and Elder Ashworth changed the song up a bit, made it a special rendition. We have taught him the plan of Salvation and we are going to teach him the Restoration this coming week. There is great potential in him.
Claire is sweet, we went and saw her this week and taught her a Plan of Salvation lesson with her. It all made sense to her. We are breaking her Catholic foundation. She loves being spiritually fed. And she talks heaps about changing over. Actually she just talks heaps. She lives in the middle of nowhere so she is a bit lonely. We also went and visited her with Sister Turner. Sister Turner grew up out bush and was raised out bush. She is very similar to Claire. Sister Turner pretty much said everything that Claire needed to hear. Sister Turner very nicely bashed and denounced the Catholic Church and called it apostate. Claire is reading the book of Mormon and this week we are going to build up the spirit by watching the movie The Testaments and commit her to baptism. She has a concern about her family, they want her to die and be buried Catholic. To nullify this concern we have talked about with her to meet with her family and talk to them.
We helped Kevin and Heather move out of their house. They got kicked out because their house was so messy. Indeed it was. Kevin moved in with a mate of his. He actually is interested in learning about our church. But Margaret, Heather's mum who is also almost a Jehovah Witness talked him out of it. She will be baptized J dub in a couple months. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. We are going to teach her a powerful Restoration lesson. I know she knows what we say is true.
Rosetta, a less active Aboriginal read the book of Mormon after we visited her. She said she felt something she hasn’t felt in a long time. She has felt the spirit. We are teaching her partner Joe. Joe really doesn’t like the police. He needs the gospel in his life. He talks about killing police officers and the government even if he goes down with them. He truly is a character. But he likes us so that is good. There is good potential in this family. Josh and Canaan are 10 and 12 years old. They would be baptized before Joe, Joe needs to marry Rosetta.
Peter is an interesting investigator. We have the two most opposite investigators in the mission I think. Claire loves to talk. And Peter physically can’t talk. Peter also cannot hear too well. Also his eyes are going pale; I believe that means he is going blind. I will admit I have no idea how to teach him. It is difficult, he writes really slowly. And sometimes what he writes does not make sense. So we will see him every so often. We mowed his lawn, which was as high as Elder Ashworth.
Michael and Leigh and their two daughters are still nuts. Michael caught a bird with his hands near the river Murray while he was fishing. And now he has it as a pet. They have so many animals.
We finally finished teaching Richard and Tanya the Plan of Salvation. We will teach them The Restoration.
Lily and June are not progressing as quickly as I would like. We need to reteach them the Plan of Salvation. We are also going to watch the movie Joy to the World with them.
There are two kids aged 9 and 10 that will count as convert baptism. They will be baptized on the 15th of November. I do not take personal credit for these converts but they will actually count towards the mission. Their parents are active members of the church. They should have been baptized awhile ago.
You should name my dog Mary. So it will be Martha and Mary. Two good bible names. 80% of Sudanese women are named Martha or Mary. Those are the most common English names for them.
I love hearing from and about the family. Thank you. My size shirts is 16 1/2 need some new ones, preferably Stafford. I want my Patriartical blessing. Recorder and that's all I can think of.
Love you heaps
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Hello from Australia!
Things are going well here in Murray Bridge. I had a really good day yesterday. Sunday night we had a missionary fireside at the Firle Chapel in Adelaide. We drove all the way there, and we brought Kevin and Heather, and Michael and Lee and their two daughters. It was a very spiritual fireside. Elder Ashworth played a beautiful piano solo and there were other good musical items. Black, a Chinese man I committed to baptism just before I was transferred to Modbury bore his testimony. He has the funniest conversion story. Black loved to race his car. And one day he was racing his friend and he lost control and ran into a house. Black is a student who doesn’t make much money at his part time job. So he prayed heaps and heaps that he wouldn’t have to pay that much money to fix the house. His prayer was answered and he ended up having to only pay like 400 dollars. So his prayer was answered by a miracle. He became way humbled, knew there was a god and was baptized just a few weeks later in September. But I missed his baptism, I was in Modbury. But he came to me after the fireside. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time it seems. We gave each other a nice big hug. Also I saw Patience. Just seeing these old friends of mine brings me so much happiness. Unfortunately Neo, Robert and Anthony were not there. So I did not get to see them. That would be a sweet as picture if all of them were together at once. Perhaps next month in the next missionary Fireside.
Claire and “Uncle” John, her partner, came to church yesterday. Claire Absolutely loved it. She is so sweet. She is pretty hardwired Catholic. But she has noticed our church is very similar to her church. We taught her the restoration, and even watched the movie Restoration. Uncle John is just there for the ride, just there because Claire was there. Claire asked us if she could come to church. She is reading the Book of Mormon.
Met a nice aboriginal part member family. I feel good about them. Joe the dad is not a member. But Rosetta was baptized like ten years ago but went inactive. All of her older kids are baptized. But now there are two kids who are not baptized. We are going to meet with them later today and teach them the plan of Salvation. Joe is a character; he hates Catholics, the police, and white Australians. Luckily we are neither of them.
Kevin and Heather are moving house today, so we will help them with that.
Michael and Lee and their family are sweet. They have heaps of animals. They keep a big fish in their bathtub to just give you an idea.
Met and Richard and Tanya. Richard just got out of prison so he is humble as.
Lily and June are sweet. Still working at the shop. June is one of those fun animated Chinese little girls.
Most people here are working class. Australia has turned yellow. It is getting hot here. President Smith is awesome, way missionary orientated.
There are like two kids who are 9 and 10 years old. They haven’t been baptized. But they will be on the 15th of this month of November. They will actually count has a convert baptism. Their families are active but I do not know why they weren’t baptized earlier. So we are going to go around and teach them simple lessons.
Elder Ashworth and myself are learning heaps because we both have been out maybe 4 months now. Not that long.
Got to go. We live on Hawke Road. There is no celebration of Halloween. Yes! Connor is born! Wow for Matt Broby. Good on him. Lots of primary aged kids in Murray Bridge, very young. Luckily we are in the car more than on bike.
Love you all heaps
Hello from Australia!
I have been transferred outside of Adelaide! I am about 80 Kilometres from the City, out bush. I am in the small city of Murray Bridge. I am with Elder Ashworth! I and Elder Ashworth were in the Missionary Training Centre together just a couple months ago. We are going to learn heaps. We are both relatively new. I so knew I was going to Marion Stake. I have now been in all three stakes in the Adelaide Area. Because so many people live out in the middle of nowhere out bush somewhere, we ride our bikes inside the City of Murray Bridge. But we drive the car whenever we have to go somewhere far. We only have so many Ks allotted to us each month. We cannot go over our assigned Kilometres. There is a small branch here in Murray Bridge. We just need two more Priesthood holders to become a ward. The church does not have a chapel. But they own a portion of a shopping centre. The Branch President here is awesome. President Smith is missionary focused and gives us good suggestions. We will work closely with him. I am excited to start driving on the left side of the road now. Our flat is brand new. I was surprised how nice it is. My two other flats were no good. Also it is in a good location in M.B. It is in the centre of the city, that’s really good since we are biking a bit. It was getting really hot. But now it is really cold.
I have actually started to take pictures. I will upload some and send them to you next week. I am going to need a new camera. Perhaps you can get me one for Christmas in the package. Or I can just choose one for myself. It does not matter to me. I will probably just get one. But I will hold off till next week, let me know if you want to send me one.
Elder Marsden is no longer up in Darwin. He got called down south but I am not sure where. I met him at transfer meeting. I think he might be in Firle Stake. He knows about me. I think its great that you missionary moms write to each other and keep up with your missionaries. Is Brianna going to name the child Boston??? Brianna has never been to Boston. I hear this from Madyson. I love her emails. I am looking forward to Connor being born and seeing pictures. I also look forward to hearing Kyle’s new songs. Can Tanner send me a picture of Noahs and his matching haircut please? Yes! Almost no more puppies left. Was it worth it? President Obama is whack. Oh my goodness the Broncos are 6-0. I can’t believe that. Keep me updated on them. Good on Cibola for being city champs. Tell Jarom and Keaton to stay out of trouble. Australia celebrates Halloween but nearly as big as it is in America. Dad, quit hurting yourself, I am in denial that I will have a bad back when I grow up. But actually I have thrown it out twice since I have been here in Australia, one was really bad, the other was no problem.
Today we are going to see Claire. She is an old woman who loves to talk. But she is our number one investigator. So if she can be seen on our P-day, then so be it. She lives way out bush. So we are going to hop in a car of one of the members of the branch and have a good member present lesson with Claire. After that we will clean out our flat. It is really messy. Before I came here to M.B, a Poly Elder was here for a long time and had heaps of random stuff. Everything is going to the rubbish bin.
Also we are friends with a Chinese woman named Lily and her ten year old daughter June. She owns and lives at her Chinese Restaurant. She has been taught everything and she went to church yesterday. I believe that was her third time at church. She is only a matter of time before she commits to be baptized. She is really nice; she feeds us leftover food at the end of night. June is fun; she is one of those really animated Chinese girls.
Also met Michael and his partner Leigh. They just moved in from Mount Barker which is like 40Ks towards Adelaide. They knew missionaries back there but were not taught much. They have two little girls aged 5 and 7. Those girls are off the walls nuts. They have heaps of different animals, birds, snakes, rabbit, dogs, kittens, weird looking lizards. They are still settling into their new house so we have not seen them much.
Also we met Kevin and Heather. We watched The Testaments with Kevin, Heather was not home. It put Kevin to tears. We committed him to be baptized, but he wants to talk about it with his partner Heather. Which is totally understandable. They are moving to a new flat this weekend. They failed their flat inspection, their flat is really messy. We have to get Micheal and Leigh and Kevin and Heather married. A lot of people are not married here in Australia, a lot of them just live together. Which is not good.
Our teaching pool is not that big here in M.B. So I and Elder Ashworth with much effort on obtaining the spirit went out tracking and talking to people on the streets. We got 7 new investigators, so that is really good. I have to go.
Love ya heaps!
Hello from Australia!
I am being transferred again! I am a vagabond. I will find out where I am going tomorrow morning. They just like to move me around I suppose. I will miss all the people I have met here in Modbury. Elder Roland will die here; he will end his mission in Modbury. He goes home in 12 weeks. My guess is I will go down a bit south. In Marion Stake, Marian Zone. It is the southern part of Adelaide. That is just my guess. I probably will not go down there. I have no idea where I will go but I am excited for transfer meeting tomorrow. I have already packed my bags and ready to go.
It is a beautiful day here in Adelaide. It is clear crisp skies just like home in Yuma. Not a cloud in the sky. It is starting to heat up and will be as summer in November. We had a really wet winter this year. But I think we are done with rain. Adelaide has strict water restrictions. Nobody is aloud to water their lawns because of the water shortage here in Australia. Everybody’s lawn will become yellow and dead. But right now Adelaide is green and lush from all the rain we have received. They should come up with a way to get the water in Queensland to come here to South Australia. I get to start driving this coming transfer. I am excited to drive on the opposite side of the road. I hope I am not called to serve in a bike area. I want to drive. And I do not prefer riding my bike. Although I think I have gained weight, Modbury feeds heaps. It would be good to loose weight. Elder Roland has gained 25kgs on his mission. That is like 50 pounds. Not good.
I had a really good day yesterday. Anthony and Robert were baptized! It was sweet; they will be confirmed next Sunday. Me and Elder Roland wore white ties to church and got the bishopric and elders quorum presidencies and other members to wear white ties to church. We wanted to let everyone know there was a baptism today so they would stick around after church to witness the baptism. We hope we got the ward excited to do missionary work. I am excited for Modbury Ward in the future. The fish tank is much cleaner to put new fish in. We have been working with the members heaps. Trying to make them missionary focused. The ward is changing. So that is really good. I now have 5 baptisms. 1. Patience 2. Neo 3. Black 4. Anthony 5. Robert. Two Chinese, two Aussies and one African.
We got Chris to come to church. Little 30 year old guy from the Philippines. Chris had a baptismal date in August before I was here in Modbury. But he stumbled upon anti Mormon literature. But we have worked with him since. He is coming around. So it was really exciting it was his first time in church in a long time.
We got John to go to a Single Adult Fireside. If I was old and single, not even I would go to these Single Adult Firesides. Not my taste just went there for John. I hope he enjoyed it. He is 63 and is a bit lonely.
I will be looking forward to see if any of my investigator friends will be baptized in the future. I may not be here in Modbury but I will be in Australia for a long time. I will follow closely what is happening in all the areas that I have served and left. I want to see the progress. I love Firle. I love Modbury. I know I will love the people wherever I serve. I am sad to move but I am excited for tomorrow. Not knowing where I will go. I will try and affect the lives of many. I will have them evaluate their lives and help them strive for something they may not have known they want yet. But everyone deep down wants what we the Saints have. They want meaning, purpose in their lives, which brings true happiness. I have met many people in my short time serving a mission. All of them have problems and concerns. I have a testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ helps everyone. Not just the saving ordinances. But by following the example of Jesus Christ and trying to live according to his teachings will help everyone who applies it to their lives. I have seen the blessings. I have seen transformations. This is the way to true happiness, to true joy. Everyone needs this. They need the truth.
I love to hear from you all. Exciting times are happening back in the states. Yay for Britni I am going to have a new nephew whooooooo! My vote for the name is Connor. Wow a minivan for Dan. Good on him.
Aw I love Madison’s email. Happy Birthday Keaton! For Christmas I want more white shirts. I want the brand or style “Stafford” or whatever they are called. Short sleeved. It is going to get hot soon and I will sweat heaps. I have a few of these Stafford white shirts; they do not show water on the shirt very well so that is good. That is what I want.
Okay I got to go but I want to let you all know I love you heaps.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Hello from Australia!
It was a great feeling to see all my old friends in my old area. I am the worst missionary at taking pictures I think. There seems to be not enough time for that. I would take pictures on P-day, but it is raining here again. It’s crazy it was just warming up this week, and we thought it would rain no more and be the desert Adelaide is advertised to be. But it is cold and raining off and on again. But the heat will come; people talk about it all the time. I will attempt to take more pictures.
I have that feeling of amazement being on a mission all the time. Of actually doing it, I am a missionary. I feel like this is the climax of my life so far. I have worked the majority of my life to get here. I can say it was a good decision for everything I did. I want to thank you for giving me support throughout my life. I can’t believe it is October; I got my call in February. That is just insane; February is just around the corner. My mission is going heaps fast. I remember the ¾ months I had to wait to finally leave for my mission. That was the slowest span of 3 months of my life. The opposite has occurred on my mission. This has been the fastest 3 months of my life.
I have never met Elder Marsden. Elders that get called up north, stay up north for a long time, to save airline costs. So I probably will not see him for a while. But he is a younger missionary so I will see him eventually. He probably heard of me the same way I have heard of him. By you talking on the missionary moms list.
I have all the music on a MP3 disc that I burned. So I am okay. It’s easy to get music. Also I can just get a member to burn Elder Holland’s talk on a DVD. Or I can lead them to LDS.org. That was a great talk by Elder Holland! Oh my goodness. I have already committed a less active bloke right after I watched conference yesterday to watch that talk on the internet. I am so going to use it for numerous people who would need to hear this talk. I am sure Dad gave a really good talk, sad I missed it.
Okay I will start thinking about what I could get you all for the holidays. Missionaries do not bring back didgeridoos when they go home, they are not very popular. They just sit on a corner of your house, and I could make one, it just wouldn’t have the pretty designs. That and they are expensive. I hear that there are heaps of didgeridoos left up north in missionaries flats, they just leave them. But if you really want one, I will come home with one. I will get you guys something for the holidays, but remember who it is who is shopping.
Yay Cibola beat Kofa. Good on them. I hope people will stop being stingy with their money and invest on my puppies. I am sure they are cute, I am not sure how people could resist. Perhaps dad should have mentioned something over the pulpit. Just kidding.
How exciting I am going to have another nephew in a month or so. I can’t wait for the news. Geesh my family is always going to Disneyland. That’s really good Tanner is helping you with the puppies, I kind of feel bad I left you with that burden.
I do not want anything particular from Disneyland. Maybe something I can give to an African family or something.
Things are going great here in Adelaide. I have never been so excited for Conference. I enjoyed watching that just yesterday. I got Tammy, Anthony and Robert to come and hear a prophet’s voice. Anthony and Roberts baptism is this coming Sunday! We have taught them everything, so now we are just reviewing. Last night we watched the movie “The Testaments” with them. So that was really good, help them understand the relationship and time line of the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I love seeing the transformation of people. Anthony has shaved most of his beard. Just a bit left on his chin and upper lip. He has taken one ear ring off and only has one ear ring left. And he now has an old suit our Elders quorum president gave to Anthony. Anthony bought a white shirt and is looking great. Tammy and Anthony will be married in December. Anthony’s five girls will not move in with them in the near future, but eventually.
This week we are going to work heaps hard. Get as many members involved and have them go teaching with us. Last week the whole stake went on Trek. They all went out bush and pulled handcarts just like the Mormon pioneers. So they were all at this stake activity for a week. We want to finish this transfer up strong. I can’t believe there is only one week left of this transfer. This 2nd transfer went heaps fast.
I love you all heaps. Do not be afraid to email me.
Hello Family! Yesterday was Australian Labor Day. So all the kids had no school today. And in consequence heaps of them went to the library to use the computers. So we decided to change our P-day to Tuesday. So we could email you.
Church was good this week. We had 5 investigators at church. Two Fijian teenagers named Susan and Ashwen, Anthony and Robert (Australian) and a Liberian girl named Mariah. Mariah and her less active brother, Chris, came to church. We are trying to get her less active mother, Sata, to church; she was baptized in Sydney a couple of years ago. Her partner, Williams, is not a member. He is really nice. We visited them on Monday and they fed us their incredibly hot Liberian food.
Right across the street from our Liberian friends is a new investigator we contacted in front of her house. She is from the Philippines, her name is Irene. We got a Sister who is also from the Philippines and we went and visited her. She really opened up and revealed the harsh life that she has had. So we will work with her and start teaching her some lessons. She couldn’t come to church this week, but hopefully she will come this coming Sabbath day.
Also a new investigator moved into our area. A Chinese man named Jack and his wife Rita. They lived in Germany for two years. We helped them move in. They speak fluent German, Chinese and English. We have coordinated the relief society to give them meals this week. We want them fellowshipped ASAP. So they can be baptized and join the church. It is exciting because they are not students, they are permanent residents. We are going to work with them immediately and see where they are at with their faith.
Anthony and Robert are both sweet as. They are now committed to live the word of wisdom. We are not going to see them today but we are going to see them on Wednesday. We have to teach them the law of Chastity and the Law of Tithing and how obeying both of these commandments will bless their lives. Anthony is going to marry Tammy in December. Anthony’s five daughters probably will not move in with him for about a couple of months.
Chris my Pilipino friend is making progress. He was supposed to be baptized in August but stumbled upon anti Mormon literature. Instead of never having anything to do with the church, he is warming back into it. He says he will go back to church.
We had the Missionary Presidents fireside Sunday night. That was really cool, I got to see my old friends from Firle. I saw Chris, the Aussie man who struggled with the word of wisdom. He has stopped smoking and drinking and is getting baptized on the 17th! He actually gave the opening prayer, he told me as he sat down after the prayer in front of everyone that he was sweating. That made me laugh. It makes me so happy to hear he is getting baptized. I also saw Patience, my first convert! It was great to see her. And also I saw Neo, my 2nd recent convert. He actually talked at the fireside, he is funny, he said he has noticed the church talks about families being together forever and it has caused him that he wants to be married. Everyone laughed. He is a funny guy. Unfortunately Black was not there, my 3rd recent convert.
Out of my friends in Modbury, I got Jane, John, Anthony and Robert to the Fireside. Jane is doing great. I think she will be next to be baptized. Problem is she is Chinese and way busy with school work. So it is hard to see her. John is struggling with the father figure; he can’t comprehend a loving father, even a heavenly father. John has had a really rough life. So we are trying to fill that void of love that was missing in his life. And show him that god does love him.
I am excited for General Conference coming up this coming weekend for me. I know I will get more out of it now then I ever have before. You mentioned there was some great talks. Looking forward to that. We are going to invite all of our friends to watch it with us. So they can visualize and see the leadership of the church.
The tsunami did not affect us. That is scary what has happened. It will start to get hot here shortly. But today is actually cold. We have had heaps of rain this year. More than usual.
Yay for Disneyland challenge! You guys were so close to winning.
I hope those puppies start selling. I want that money. You best let them go, do not be too attached to them.
Aw Cibola has gone downhill ever since my class left, no good.
I do not know what I want for Christmas. But the MP3 is a good start. I have burned all the Music I can listen to. So I am okay there. What do you want for Christmas? I want to send stuff before December, before the post office goes nuts. Sending stuff before December is a good idea.
Let me know how everything is going. I do not want to be out of the loop. Also other major world events. Like the Tsunami.
I have found out from other missionaries that my first two areas are some of the most diverse in the mission. It is cool to see different people from different cultures. I can tell what part of Africa Africans are from. And I am picking up little bits of different languages. I have met with people from Sudan, Liberia, Congo, Somalia, South Africans and many Africans born in refugee camps somewhere in Africa, Arabs, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Philippines and many Polynesians from islands I do not know where, Chile, Venezuela, Canadian and of course Australians. Hope I didn’t forget anyone, probably did. It is really neat to be here. Meeting all these people from around the world makes me really want to travel the world. The Africans want me to visit Africa; the Chinese want me to go on holiday to China. Just everybody encourages us to go to where they are from. I want to travel the world someday. We were offered an old grill from a less active sister. So now we have the coolest flat. We got a grill! We are going to have a nice feed today.
Love ya heaps mom!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Hello to my family and friends in the states! I am going to send another voice recording this week. As you can tell I do not have an Aussie accent. But I know how they talk. The way they say their “Rs” are the easiest to pick up. If the letter R is at the end of a word it makes a “uh” sound. Like dinner would be dinnuh in Australia. Or if the next letter after an R is a consonant you wouldn’t make the R sound. Like the word Park would be Puhk. And also I am from Arizonar. In Aussie they put an R at the end of words that make a Uh sound. So Utahr, Californiar and Nevadar would be acceptable pronunciations of those states, as an example. So yeah pretty messed up English haha. Anyways.
Things are going great here. I’ll just start off with the most exciting news. Anthony is committed to be baptized on the 18th of October! It was an interesting lesson in which he was committed. By the end of this lesson Anthony was committed to be baptized! There is work to do. He has a bit to learn in 3 weeks. So that’s plenty of time. They couldn’t make it to church today but they went to an 8 year olds baptism Sunday afternoon. I think that helped Anthony heaps to have that vision; he can see that could be him in 3 weeks. He is progressing.
Also my Chinese friend Jane made it to the Baptism. She is sweet as. I believe she will be next to be committed. Although I think a problem has just come up. She accepted a job that will make her work on Sundays. In my short time being on a mission I have had this problem multiple times. People are desperate for jobs and they will take them. It is hard to find a job, let alone a job that does not require work on Sunday. So investigators will take them. So that is frustrating. But she said she doesn’t have to work every Sunday. So hopefully she will continue to progress. This Saturday we had a ward BBQ that we spearheaded. This ward has not had an activity since Christmas. We were worried our BBQ would be rained on, and then nobody would come. This past week has been bad weather, no dust storm though. Just rainy and cold. So me and Elder Roland prayed for sunshine on Saturday. And sure enough we were blessed with a thin strip of blue sky that went right over us. Everywhere around us rained. So a good number of members came to the BBQ. Along with 4 investigators, so that was really good. It turned out much better than I thought it was going to be. During the Grand Final not many people were on the streets. We visited Africans who do not care about footy.
I actually missed Sacrament this week. I was on trade off with a perspective elder. And we were picking up this 14-year-old African kid from Liberia who is bigger than me to take him to church, he was taught about a year ago. His name is Edwin and he is huge. We woke him up at like 12:30. And waited for him to shower and get dressed. We were 30 minutes late to church. But hey whatever it takes to get a soul to church. I had an interesting conversation with Edwin’s mum. She is a refugee from the War in Liberia and she went off on how much she dislikes Australia. She was angry at the so many racist people. And the stresses that come with this country. My poor companion at the time. This perspective elder hasn’t been around too many Liberians. He doesn’t know that when they talk it sounds like they are yelling. When actually its just the way they talk. I talked with her for about 30 minutes, told her that church is a refuge from the stresses of the world. That by going to our church you can feel peace and comfort, separated from the world and surrounded by caring loving people. So with that promise she should be going to church next Sunday.
Taught the 3 Fijians a good lesson about the Holy Spirit. This is something I need to depend on to soften their hearts. But this coming two weeks is school holiday. So they will have a lot of free time. So we are going to follow up and teach them. See if they are progressing.
I saw Sabrina, my old friend from Firle Ward. She was on fire, a really good member missionary. She has fellowshipped many investigators and recent converts, including Neo who I saw with her. I gave Neo a big hug. I was so happy to see him. So happy to hear he is doing well. Black was baptized, and I think he said Miles is not far behind. So I am happy to hear all those things.
So ya everything is fine here. Me and Bishop have a really good relationship. During PEC he initiated many things he and I had talked about that would help the ward be more missionary focused. So that was really cool.
Sorry I don’t take too many pictures. Its pretty bad, I have taken one picture this transfer, which is half over. I can quote Elder Roland saying he has done bad taking pictures this transfer by only taking 22 pictures. So that must mean I am doing really bad. Perhaps I am too focused. Forgive me. I love you. I have been in Australia two months today! (for you). I am a day ahead of you. Went on trade-offs for 24 hours with Elders in a bike area. That was intense I thought I would die. Wrote that in my journal haha. But, I am here typing you a letter at the library. So everything is good. Yay Disneyland Challenge. You best win. Great hearing from the family. Today for Pday we are going to clean the temple. Hope Dad is Okay. Talk to ya later. Love ya heaps!
Hello from Adelaide!
I would just like to tell you that I am doing great. This was a good week. Every other morning at 7 o’clock we study the scriptures and Preach my Gospel with two perspective missionaries. Its really cool to meet with them once or twice a week and learn with them and strengthen their desire to serve the lord. They are both making progress. One of the boy’s sister is named Phoebe, she is inactive and has a kid with her partner Patrick, a Maori. We are teaching Patrick. Patrick and Phoebe and both came to church yesterday. Patrick is awesome, he was really sick most of last week, and we only communicated with him through the telephone. We didn’t actually see him. I didn’t think they would make it to church. But to my surprise they made it. That just summarizes yesterday’s church for me. I didn’t think we would have too many investigators at church today, maybe three investigators. yet seven investigators came to my surprise. Patrick was one, a 9-year-old Congo boy named Joel. Tammy, a less active woman brought her son who is not yet a member named Robert to church, and her fiancé Anthony. Its really cool these less active women are coming to church and bringing people they love to learn more about Jesus Christ. Also my three Fijian friends came to church. Their situation is interesting. Their parents have died. And they are living with their aunt and uncle, who are strong members of the church. They have come to church every week for a very long time. But they would only get baptized to please their aunt and uncle. So we are not going to baptize them until they gain a strong testimony.
Also I was very pleased to see a certain inactive sister at church. This sister was very strong in the church. But became inactive for about a year. We brought her old seminary teacher and taught her a strong member present lesson. Her main concern was she didn’t want to be sealed to her father or her husband but wanted to be sealed with her children. So after a strong lesson with her, I was so happy to see her at church. She has had a pretty rough life. Actually being a missionary and meeting a lot of people. I have learned a lot about people’s lives, and have learned very disturbing things. There are a lot of messed up people in the world. And it makes me sad. Because I know the gospel of Jesus Christ can help everyone who applies it to their lives. With this knowledge sometimes they do not accept. But I will always continue to do my best and fulfill my purpose as a missionary, and invite people to come unto Christ. Because it is the joy of seeing the changes in Rudy, Neo and Patience’s lives that fuels my desire to work diligently. I know there are others out there. Who are elect, prepared to hear the word of God, and come unto Christ. I may have already found some with my present teaching pool. But I have tens of thousands of people in my area. Many people are searching for the truth, but they do not know where to find it. I know there are many of god’s elect even wherever this email is read. We must all work together in unity to bring to pass this marvelous work and wonder. Even my family. You should all get involved. Have you done any good in the world today?
This coming week we are going to target the Liberians. There are approximately 700 Liberian refugees in Australia. Me and Elder Roland went to a Liberian celebration on Saturday. The Liberians are very close and loving group of people. Whenever a new Liberian arrives in Adelaide many of them go to the airport to greet them and have a party at their house. Many times, like this Saturday, it is a reunion of families that were once separated for a great amount of time. Like our Liberian friend Gomar, her husband arrived Saturday to Australia from Africa. So there was a party in which we were invited to. I would say easily we stood out in the crowd, with our white shirts and ties. But we were very welcomed. Africans are very nice and very humble. Gomar’s husband is named Joseph; he is going to be their Baptist minister. He gave a speech at the party. He is humble as. Praises God that he has arrived in Australia and said we are men of God. This week we are going to visit him and teach him. I am excited, if we can get the spirit to convert him I think this will greatly open the road to the conversion of many Liberians. Liberians are unique. When they talk to each other, it sounds like they are arguing with each other even shouting. It was intense; there was heaps of Liberians in a small room I was in. All I can say is it was epic. It was so loud. Even when they laugh it sounds like they are arguing/shouting. It was so cool to witness that. I’ll remember that forever.
We have other African families who we are in contact with. This week we are going to focus on them. Africans are very religious
Also on Saturday we met with two Korean girls named Claire and Irene. Missionaries are not allowed at their house. They haven’t been in contact with missionaries for about a month. But this Saturday we had tea with them at a member’s home. It was way good. We now have a place established where we bring the girls to be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before, Elder Roland had encouraged them to get a job and support themselves. Unfortunately they found one, and now they work on Sundays. Hopefully they will get a new job and make it to church and then be baptized.
All the Chinese are way dedicated to school because most Chinese have only one child. So if they don’t do well in school it brings dishonor and shame to the family. They are having huge exams coming up soon. So we are giving them space so they can study for a while. This week is African week. It is going to be great.
Yaaayyy Adrian is going to finally get his boy. How exciting. The boy best be a Broncos fan when I come home.
Yaaayyy Dans baby is coming up really soon! I lost track of when that baby was going to be born. I can’t wait to congratulate Brianna and Brittni.
I look at some old missionaries who have been out for a while. And many of them have gained weight. Elder Roland has gained 20Kgs! I don’t intend on gaining weight but its hard not to. We get fed heaps here - like everywhere we go. Every member feeds us, even investigators. Especially the 3 Fijians, we told them we had eaten lunch already, but they still made a three-course lunch for us and then shortly after that we went to a tea date with a member. Holy cow that was heaps of food we ate that day.
Today is Pday. It is bit of a gloomy day, might rain. We might just be inside and play basketball or volleyball. Springtime is here. It’s going to get hot very soon. And this once beautiful green city will become brown and dead. Nobody is allowed to water their front lawns, there is a huge water shortage here. But it’s been a really wet winter so hopefully Adelaide will stay green for a bit longer than usual. It was funny, Elder Roland started his mission in Firle just like me. He got here during summer, when everything was dead and brown. Then he got called up North his 2nd transfer. Then flew back to Adelaide in the middle of next winter. He felt like he was robbed. Adelaide is beautiful in the winter, or rainy season. It is so green and there is such a variety of trees and plants.
Keep me in touch with Moroni and Tj and Rudy and Matthew Broby and other Elders on their missions for me. Thanks.
Hey I love you all. Talk to you guys later! Love you all.
Congrats to Derek Tollestrup!
I wonder why not all my siblings write to me.
Hello from Australia!
I am doing swell. I got transferred to Valley View. It is really close to Firle. Valley View is just north of my old area. I did not go far. I traveled in a car to my new area. I will be driving next transfer, which will be exciting driving on the left side, actually it will be exciting to drive at all. I love driving. At first I use to walk to the drivers side on accident all the time, trying to sit in the passenger seat but I am getting better at not doing that. I am up here in Modbury Stake with Elder Roland from Utah. He is about 21 months into his mission. He has two transfers left. My address just to look at it on Google earth, do not mail anything to this address. It is 8/18 Cruzier Ave Valley View. It is pretty close to the Stake Center and Tea Tree Plaza which is a huge shopping center. I am not riding a bike at all. Both my areas were just driving a car. This is a great blessing because I do not favor riding a bike, although it may do me good. This new area they feed us heaps. My first night we had two tea dates. Big mistake. The first feed was with a Polynesian, and you know they feed you heaps. So I was already full and then we went to another member’s home and of course they think we are starving missionaries and fed us heaps as well. I have never been so full in my life. Unlike my old area, we are fed every night. So I can say I am sick of food. I imagine I have gained weight. So maybe riding the bike will not be such a bad idea. I am adjusting well into this new area. I am learning heaps of new names which are always fun. The ward is not as missionary focused as I would like. There is work to do to try and lift the ward. But this Sunday was good, we had 8 investigators at church which is good for this area. I received your package. Really funny, I immediately noticed everything was green inside. Because I am only 2 months into my mission that makes me a greeny. I liked it. Thank you. I am always happy to hear from my family and know how they are doing.
I am sad to leave Firle and the people I have learned to love in such a short amount of time. But like before, I have started to learn to love the people in this new area. There is work to do here and many people to bring unto Christ. I have met a 65-year-old bloke Australian named John. He has known the missionaries for some time. We left him a scripture foreshadowing baptism. The next visit we have with him we will teach him about the importance of baptism, even the importance of baptism by the same authority that existed with Jesus Christ 2000 years ago.
A Chinese recent convert from Firle Ward gave me and Elder Inglis a referral a few weeks ago but this lady lived just outside our area. So we referred her to the Elders in Valley View. But now I am in Valley View. It is so cool to see this name and now I have the opportunity to meet her and even to teach her about Jesus Christ. Prior to her moving to Australia from China she had never heard of Jesus Christ, like so many people I meet. Her name is Jane. And we are going to teach her with the spirit and let the Holy Spirit work in her. That by the spirit she may know that this is the one true God, and that she will feel feelings of peace and comfort and even joy. She will realize she will want to serve and obey God, and do all the things she needs to do to have the spirit to be with her always. We will teach her how to attain never ending happiness. And that is by leading her to baptism. I pray all the time for everyone that I meet. That their hearts will be softened. In my new area there are 3 part member families. All the men are investigating the church. It Is a great opportunity to teach these men, they have the exposure of the church by the women they live with. Each of them are at different levels but all of them are interested. We will work closely with these men. We will teach them how families can be together forever. The tricky thing with them is they have to be married so they can be baptized. So this might take some time. I have to play matchmaker. I have to get these people married.
There is an interesting situation with this Member in our Ward. They are from Congo. Both the parents and even some kids are baptized, except for this 9-year-old kid. They had gone a bit inactive. So we are working with them. We will hopefully get this kid baptized before they move at the end of this month. Time is not on our side. Speaking of time, I have been on my mission but for a short amount of time. But I have seen much. I have seen miracles and great things happen. I have witnessed this great and marvelous work. But I have also seen the opposite. I have seen the work of the adversary. He is working just as hard as I am. We are at war. A war that has been since before the foundation of the world. Every morning I pray and study the scriptures. Putting on the Armor of God, fighting against the works of Satan. How grateful I am that I have my fellow Elders and Sisters contributing to the cause of righteousness, a well as the members of the church assisting us. And most of all. I am most grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Which I can say I have felt every day. I feel it all the time. It is real. I know that with Jesus Christ as our Rock we have the power to crush the head of Satan. I am happy to be here. The work will be done. Gods Will shall be done.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I am doing great. I love hearing from everyone.
Neo was baptized on September 4th. China Town Night [activity at the Church] was a huge success. We must have had about 12 investigators show up to the China Town Night at the Church. We decorated the church like China Town and had heaps of Chinese food. In all there was about 70 people.
Black has committed to be baptized on the 19th of September! Chris really wants to be baptized, but he is trying to quit smoking.
Unfortunately I will not be here in Firle to witness the eventual baptism of Black and Chris and others. I am being transferred. I will find out tomorrow where I will go. I was asked to pack my bags. I don’t think I’ll go up to Darwin or Alice Springs, but somewhere else in the city. Transfers are on Tuesday morning.
Exciting things have happened here in just six weeks. I was blessed to be in the Firle Area, and meeting such wonderful people. There were two baptisms this last transfer, Patience and Neo and one solid baptismal date is set as I leave this area now. Black has committed to be baptized, we taught him at the church, we had him face the baptismal font as we sat together as we taught him for the first time. Each of them had a similar problem - they all would have loved to be baptized, but family pressure has gotten the better of them. So I ask you now to pray everyday to soften the hearts of the families of these investigators that they will be accepting and respect the decisions that these investigators had made. Neo is solid. He would be such a great leader if he moved back to China. He is solid as. Patience is making friends at church, so that is great. She has a hunger to know more about Jesus Christ. She loves going to institute class and church.
Chris is struggling to quit smoking. Like anyone else would. He is almost a month without drinking. But he is trying hard. He wants to be baptized so bad. And that’s what pushes him. He has great motivation. He has vision. He is thinking of life after his baptism. He will be baptized someday.
I set up an appointment with Miles this coming Friday. I won’t be there. But I pray Elder Inglis will teach a good lesson and Miles will commit to baptism. The field is white and ready to harvest here in Firle. I feel really good about Miles I think he will be the next baptism after Black. Good things will happen here in the future.
Albert, an old man who was one of the four investigators who wanted to be baptized a couple weeks ago, but the family came in and told him not to, passed away on Tuesday. He was very old, in bed about 90%, very dependent on his family taking care of him. They had told him if he got baptized they would no longer go see him. So he couldn’t be baptized. But I know God knows the virtue of his heart. He would have gotten baptized. I will go to the temple on behalf of him in a year or so.
I am excited to go wherever I am sent, and contribute and help bring people unto Christ.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Dear Mom and Family!
It’s Monday the 31st of August, around noon time. Just want to let you know that things are awesome here in Firle. As you know Patience was baptized on the 23rd and confirmed just yesterday. It was crazy she was late to Church, the blessing is usually done at the beginning of the sacrament meeting but she missed it. But after all the speakers spoke we did the confirmation last. It was a great way to end the sacrament meeting with the spirit so strong after everyone hearing that blessing by Bishop. I am so happy to witness this great change in her life.
Member missionary work is the best way to do missionary work. There is a network very apparent in my area. It all started with the conversion of Lu Xian. She is awesome. From her she talked to her friends about the church. And that’s how Sabrina was baptized. And from a combo of both Lu Xian and Sabrina, Lilly was fellowshipped and baptized. And from Lilly, my friend Neo has gained knowledge of our church, and we began to teach him lessons. Neo will be baptized this Friday the 4th of September. Neo is so strong. He prayed at the end of the gospel principle class and at the end of his prayer he said, ”I am so happy for my baptism on Friday.” I was so happy to hear that. That is the best prayer I have heard. Although I love all investigators’ prayers, that was my favorite so far.
From Sabrina we have a new investigator named Black and he is Chinese. He has been to church 3 times in 2 weeks and has seen a baptism. It will be good for him to see Neo’s baptism as well. When Patience saw another baptism that helped her out heaps. We have yet to teach Black anything, but you just know he will be receptive to the spirit. We will work with him.
This coming Saturday we are spearheading a huge activity. We are creating a China Town in the church. We are inviting heaps of Chinese people, and having them bring their own food. It hasn’t taken me long to love Chinese food. There will be decorations and games and we are going to watch a spiritual movie and get the progress flowing. I’m way excited for that and for the rest of the weeks to come. I am blessed to be here and be a part of this great work.
Chuck the recipes. I am now in the phase where I buy heaps of noodles and rice as my base meal and then add spices and flavorings, frozen vegetables and meat into it. I have a feeling that is what I will live off of for a long time. Not just on my mission. Its so cheap and it tastes great. But perhaps I could find a time to cook one of those recipes. I do not mind them, send them my way.
I do not need anything that I can think of. Although I ain't going to lie, I am having Reeses withdrawals. I know they melt but they can be resurrected. This is my last week of my first transfer. Maybe I’ll move, maybe I won’t. They are every 6 weeks. I should be taking more pictures. My flat is sufficient to survive in. It has running water and a heater. Buying groceries is so much cheaper with 3 people splitting the cost so that’s nice. Those Dear Elder letters get here 18 or so days after you send them. Everyone else gets letters in like 12 or 11 days. Its funny to get those outdated old news letters. But I still enjoy them!
The slang here is not really intense. Nobody says Crikey. Only old people use slang. This newer generation has their own but its not intense. What areas did Brother Groggett and Brother Rubisch serve in? Still interested in knowing how my friend Rudy is doing. Hope Lauryn is all good. Tell TJ and Moroni I love them. Tell Keaton tennis was the best decision I made in high school. Such a fun sport. Tell Jarom I still expect him to beat me at a game of golf in 4 years. Tell Kyle to keep up with the Broncos for me. Tell Adrian good luck I wish him well. Tell Dan to keep up the good work. And for all of you, feed the missionaries. Not just you mom, everybody. Dan, Kyle, Brianna, Tanner. I get fed by so many. I am a missionary, so you all should feed missionaries. Get those dogs’ papers.
Im going to go to the zoo today, or to the falls. Not sure. Later!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Hey Mom and Family and Friends!
Just want to let you know that everything is good here. Yesterday was a special day. Patience was baptized Sunday, August 23rd. A sweet 20-year-old African girl from Liberia. She is a refugee as there was a horrible civil war that was raging for many years. She lived in a refugee camp somewhere in Africa most of here life, but now is in Australia and getting a good education, and now is baptized. A lot of the members here have done a good job fellowshipping her giving her rides to church and activities. I feel good about her. I am happy to know her and to witness her conversion and baptism.
Neo is coming up next in two weeks. The 4th of September, he is way pumped. His friend Lilly, who was baptized in June, will fly down from Brisbane to see this special moment. It will mean a lot to Neo. A new investigator, a Chinese man named Black came to church today and went to the baptismal service. I feel pretty confident that he will be baptized in three weeks as well as Miles another Chinese friend who also went to Church and witnessed the baptism of Patience. Also we have made contact with like 5 Chinese guys who live in this one house who have been in Australia for less than a month and have never heard about God. It will be exciting to teach them the Gospel and get all these Chinese friends baptized. There is work to do. Never ending, always people to find who have been prepared to hear about the restored gospel. I pray for the Spirit to be with me as I teach these people. Pray for me also. It only would help. Chris is doing great. He is 12 days sober. Once he gets over alcohol he will overcome his addiction to cigarettes and then he will be baptized. He says this all the time when we are with him. This is awesome to hear. He is focused and is doing well, even looking great. If you knew him you could see the difference in him. The blessings of the Word of Wisdom are very apparent with Chris. He sees them too. How much more blessed he will be if he can completely keep his body clean from cigarettes on top of alcohol.
I am happy to be in Australia. I am happy to be a part of this work. I look forward to preaching the Gospel. Its cold today but its going to get hot in the coming months. Thank goodness my area at the moment is all vehicle. Transfers are in two weeks. I hope I stay here. There is work to do! This area is great. People love the American accent. Immigrants can understand me better. Americans pronounce words much more than Australians. Actually Elder Inglis talks in an American accent to investigators so they can understand better. And he is actually losing his Aussie accent Hahahahaha. So funny. Southern Australia is like Americas north. You don’t hear the crazy accents unless you go north in Australia, as it is when you go to the south in America. Just opposite from each other. So the accents are nothing like Steve Irwin. Nobody here says Crikey. Ima go.
Pray for my investigators and me.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Things are great here. I can’t believe how quickly this past week has gone by. I have now been in Australia for 3 weeks. Crazy, so much quicker then the 3 weeks I spent in the MTC. I am now in a threesome with Elder Inglis and Elder Munk, which is cool. We can split up and work with members and see lots of people.
Patience is getting excited for her baptism, this upcoming Sunday, right after church. So it will be cool a lot of people will be there. She witnessed her first baptism this last Friday and that helped her out a lot, gave her something to build upon. For her to visualize that that will be her in a short amount of time. We are going to start organizing it, making a program with her. That will also help her out with her vision.
Neo committed to be baptized! Under the condition that his friend Lilly would be there to see it. She is a recent convert who recently moved to Brisbane. She invited Neo to her baptism about a month ago. So that’s how we met up with Neo. She will fly down the 4th of September. So Neo will be baptized before she has to fly back.
This week I met an old man, named Albert. He is 78 years old. He is nicknamed a forever investigator. Elder Inglis hasn’t seen him in a couple months. But when we visited him through the promptings of the Spirit, we walked in. And the first thing he said to us was “I want to be baptized”. So that was of course really exciting. We didn’t even have to teach him about baptism, which has been our focus this past two weeks. He is a smoker. But he wants to get baptized so bad. He gave us his 50 packs of cigarettes. He said “no more, I am done.” And he made it to church yesterday for the first time in a long time. He will be baptized the 29th. So hopefully we will have a baptism every week.
Unfortunately James has taken a step back. He told his mom back in China that he was going to be baptized. She was not thrilled. She told James about their ancestry and about how all of them were Buddhist. So he is a little confused at the moment. So the baptism has been called off or delayed for a while. Hopefully we can revive his faith. If you were there you could see a huge difference in him. He was excited and uplifted just a few days ago, to pretty much the opposite. He does not enjoy being confused. We will help him see the light.
So in our threesome now we can split off and see and work with twice as many people. We will continue to work with our friends above.
Last week we had no tea dates. But this week, we have one everyday. So a bit unpredictable when we will be fed. We are going to invite investigators to come with us to these tea dates. So that will be good to introduce investigators to members. Get them fellowshipping. So once they are converted and baptized they will retain and be active in the church. I just don’t wasn’t to convert people and then they fall off the face of the earth and nobody knows them. You best be inviting missionaries over for tea. And have them bring an investigator. Get to know the investigator. Fellowship them.
Yay for Martha! That is a lot of pups.
Tell Jarom and Keaton to keep up the good work. I imagine it would be soooooo hot to play football and even hot for golf. But that’s what makes Yuma athletes unique. Good job to the both of you. How is the ward? Has Matt got his call yet? Well ima go prepare for my week ahead. Namely shopping. We shopped for two people, and then Elder Munk came in. Lets just say its time to shop. Love you all. Later! Elder Montgomery
Its 12:30PM August 10th.
I just want you to know that things are great here for me. This week my companion Elder Inglis and I just focused on baptism in all our lessons and discussions. No matter where our investigators were at, we talked baptism. In consequence of this great focus, there are a good handful of people who I have been teaching that are so close to baptism now. We have a baptismal commitment from Patience, who is a nice 20-year-old Liberian girl. She is scheduled to be baptized the 15th of August, this Saturday, but we were thinking of pushing it back a week to the 22nd, because James my Chinese friend has decided just yesterday to be baptized on the 22nd, and we were thinking of having a big baptismal service that Saturday. Hopefully James’s friend Tiger will decide to follow James. We had a very powerful lesson with James and Tiger on Thursday, James had said “I don’t really believe in God." But after that same discussion that night we had with him, he totally was changed by the Spirit that was so present. His faith has never been stronger. And he came up to us on Sunday and told us he wanted to be baptized. We didn’t even ask him. It is awesome the Spirit of Conversion, I witnessed it in just 40 minutes or so. Neo, my other Chinese friend needs more time to decide whether he wants to be baptized. I swear it’s a matter of time before he does. He just doesn’t want to be rushed into anything. But it would be so exciting for one baptism, let alone four in one service - Patience, James and hopefully Tiger and Neo. So I am going to be definitely working with all of them, continuing to strengthen them and help bring them unto Christ. I have two Sikh investigators that live in the same house by the names of Param and Mon. Both want to be baptized. But they both have a unique concern. They are worried that no Indian girl will accept a Christian. So Mon said to me, “If you arrange a wife for me I will accept the baptism”. In all honesty I had to hold myself back from laughing. But we told him in Australia we do not arrange marriages. But hopefully as they both go to church they will be fellowshipped and find someone to marry so they will both be baptized. But we are working with them so hopefully they will be baptized before they are married. I just want them baptized as soon as possible. They are worthy and they have faith in Christ. Safari would so be baptized, but his dad said he could not be baptized. But then he would have to move out. We do not want to break up families. So hopefully we can go over to Safari’s house and talk to his dad, and just show him we are good people and this will make Safari happy. It will have to be done with loving boldness.
On Friday we had a pretty cool experience. We met with a Nepalese man named Hem-Deshi. Elder Inglis had only met with him once before about 2 months ago. He had admitted he was about to commit suicide, because he could not find a job. But after having contact with the missionaries once, he immediately was blessed, and he immediately has a testimony of God, and that he blesses people. When we talked with him on Friday for the first time, we of course talked baptism and the blessings that follow. This guy is amazing. He didn’t know a thing about Jesus Christ or the Bible. But after our talk, he knows how to return to his loving Heavenly Father above. The problem with him is he works 14 hours every Sunday. So we need to find Hem a job ASAP so he can go to church and be baptized.
Love you all - Elder Montgomery
How are your investigators doing? Any baptisms scheduled? James- August 22nd and Patience August 15th as of now, see if she is willing to move it to the 22nd. Trying to have one big baptismal service, that would pump up the ward, zone and even the mission.
How are you doing on your discussions? They are great. I depend on the Spirit. With the Chinese and Indians who don’t know anything about Jesus Christ I have really learned to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the upmost simplicity, they may not even understand what I say but what is important is that they do feel the spirit.
What's a normal day's routine for you? We want details.
I wake up everyday at 6, we go to the chapel to play sport and exercise. Then we go to our nice little flat and shower and eat. We study for one hour. And then we plan together as a companionship what we will discuss each lesson, since our focus is baptism it is quite easy. And then we go out and visit investigators. We do not go out tracting, there is no time for tracting. We are just driving. We get home at 9:00 - 9:30 at night.
Have you eaten at any members' homes yet? What did they fix you? I have. We eat a lot of pumpkin. Potatoes. And sausages. Chicken and other such things. I have eaten tim tams and I had a tim tam slam with hot Milo. I have one tea date this week.
Are you understanding the slang? Sometimes its hard to understand the Chinese and Indians and Africans. And Australians hahahaha. Its not that bad but sometimes its hard. I am starting to talk differently if you hear me. i am beginning to no longer say "ER" i say dinna, rememba, brotha, and so on, and other things that would be difficult to explain. Just know I am becoming a lazy talka.
What are the grocery stores like? Everything is healthy.
Did you do anything fun on your last P-Day? What do you have planned for today?
I invested my money on a Frisbee, which I enjoyed throwing last Monday. We will just play with a rugby ball or Frisbee I imagine today.
How's the weather been? Are you cold at nights? It is cold in the mornings and at nights. But it feels great during the day. Most of the time it is gloomy outside. Sometimes through the clouds I can see the stars. They are upside down! Early mornings I can see Orions Belt, Canas Major, and Taurus. At night I have seen Scorpio, which is of course upside down and in a trippy spot in the sky.
Any cool animals or bugs?I have seen a red back spider, which is the equivalent of our black widows in the states. That’s about it concerning spiders. I have seen no snakes, no Kangaroo. There are some crazy birds here. O i saw a possum. There is this grass that sprouts flowers that you can pick and suck and even eat the stem. It is quite good. I imagine i would look like a hick or something with this flower in my mouth but oh well. I love it here.
Well I just want to tell you I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Love you all.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Hey sorry sorry I didn’t have any time at all to call you in Sydney there was so much to do, I had to get my luggage and other stuff. The flight was good, maybe you could do the math for me. But I woke up at 6:30 A.M. Monday, and didn’t get to sleep till 10:30 P.M. Wednesday night in Adelaide- Australia time. I was unable to sleep on that plane ride, it was a very long plane ride. President Poulton and others picked us up. And we went straight to the mission office. Did some paper work, converted my money to Australian money, very colorful. And bought my bike. Which I don’t really need to ride, my Trainer and Companion, Elder Inglis-from Queensland Australia hasn’t even rode his bike in 6 months, so theres just a lot of driving. My area is Firle, one syllable. It includes the temple and the stake center, the suburb of Klemzig and Paradise and other suburbs I don’t know. But if you look on google earth or something you might see where I am working.
There are miracles happening here. Especially with the Chinese. Chinese people come here to the Uni’s for education. They are so humble and receptive to the spirit. This is how the church will grow in China, when these converted Chinese students move back to China, They will be Pioneers. It is Awesome. I am teaching a Chinese man named Neo. Taught him the restoration and he made it to church this Sunday. So he is looking good, Elder Inglis and I are going to commit him to baptism in the near future. Also another two Chinese friends are on there way to accepting the gospel. One had a baptismal date, but it was dropped, his wife’s visa was denied so she is stuck in China, so he is bummed about that. He is close, we will recommit him sometime in the near future as well. Tiger- his friend. Knows very little English, so when I taught him the restoration, it has to be as simple as can be, But I feel good about him, he will be baptized. We have met with a Indian Man named Parom. He is a Sikh “seek” a religion in india. But he is golden. He believes the church is true. And would so be baptized. But he is afraid his other Sikh friends will disown him. So we are going to try and convert his friends. And also just build up Paroms faith and confidence. And have the members fellowship him. I have also been teaching a young man named Safari. He is Sudanese. He believes in the Church and is so close to being baptized, you just almost wanna push them into the baptismal font. But his dad, who is very strong Catholic, will have nothing of it. Safari is 18 and could move out, but we don’t want to split families apart, that’s not what the restored gospel is all about. So we will try and convert his father, who might not be very receptive but at least help him understand that we are good people and that this makes Safari happy. So hopefully everything works out.
These people are so close, it wont be easy to get them baptized, but I know missionary work is not easy. It was never meant to be easy. Being a Christian is not easy. We learn this by the example of Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate example of having a difficult life and full of rejection. He was rejected even before he was born. When there was no room for Mary in the Inn. Just a foreshadowing of his whole life. Everyone might not accept the Good news of Jesus Christ, that there is hope in this world. But the ones that do accept-so much joy. I can feel that joy just by strengthening peoples relationship with god. It is awesome to hear them pray for the first time in their lives, investigators really do have the most awesome prayers. I am happy to be here in Adelaide. I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. I am a part of the most important work the world has ever seen. And that is saving the world. And with faith and diligence, these few people I have mentioned, not all my investigators just some, The work I do will lead them to take that leap of faith and be baptized and return to our father in heaven.
I had a chance to look at the stars just last night for the first time. It has been overcast pretty much all the time. But what I saw last night was sure beauty. I have never seen a more pretty night sky. I hate it but I love it. I hate not knowing what the heck I am looking at, The stars are so foreign to me. I don’t know any of them. But I recognized the Southern Cross because I am just good like that. And its easy to see. I loved it because its so new. It’s a love-hate relationship.
Love – Elder Montgomery
Mom: How was your first day there?
Braden: It was great, ate dinner at the mission home
What do you think of your mission president and his wife?
They are very nice, and he is baptism focused, which is good
What was the first thing you ate there?
Besides cereal, I ate at KFC- hahahahaha
(Not knowing Australia, we joked with Braden that he wouldn't have his favorite KFC for 2 years)
Who is your companion/trainer? Do you like him?
My companion is Elder Inglis, he is from Brisbane. He has been out for about a year. He is awesome
Are you riding a bike?
Did you buy a bike?
Yes, they are very expensive
Where are you assigned?
The temple and stake center are all in my area. It was cool, for fast Sunday I went with the mission president and his wife, and we both bore our testimonies.
When is your P-day?
Are you taking pictures?
Do you want regular mail instead of so much email?
Who are you working with in your area?
Do you need anything?
Hmmm nothing comes to mind.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Another missionary mom shared with me that the Adelaide airport has a web cam. Since we knew what time he was supposed to land, we all watched until his airplane safely landed. It was pretty exciting and a big relief! His flight was scheduled to land at 10:00 am (Australia time), and it was right on schedule.