Monday, September 28, 2009

"...I am from Arizonar."

September 27, 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!
-Elder Montgomery

"Have you done any good in the world today?"

September 20, 2009

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 fiancĂ© 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.
-Elder Montgomery

"I got transferred to Valley View."

September 13, 2009

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.
-Elder Montgomery

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"I am being transferred."

September 6, 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

"Member missionary work is the best way to do missionary work."

Monday, August 31, 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!
-Elder Montgomery