Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Nobody here says Crikey"

August 24, 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.
-Elder Montgomery

Monday, August 17, 2009

"You best be inviting missionaries over for tea."

Hey! Its Monday the 17th of August. About 11:15 A.M

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

"...focused on baptism"

Hey Mom and Family!
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

Questions from Little Brothers

August 10, 2009

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

Our First Email from Australia!

August 3, 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

Questions from Yuma, Answers from Australia

August 3, 2009

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?
Not yet

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?
No haha

Do you want regular mail instead of so much email?
hmmm both

Who are you working with in your area?
Many people

Do you need anything?
Hmmm nothing comes to mind.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

After 20 hours of flying, he finally made it to Adelaide, Australia on July 29, 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.

He's finally on his way!

He flew from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles on Monday, July 27, 2009 and left Los Angeles that night about 10:30 pm. After an almost 15-hour flight, he arrived in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 6:15 am (Australia time). Because he passed over the International Date Line, Braden completely missed Tuesday, July 28th! (Even though this video doesn't show the little plane going all the way to Sydney, it did land. The flight tracker web site froze and wouldn't let me copy the page when he landed.)