Sunday, February 28, 2010

"This experience to be apart of God’s work and glory (Moses 1:39) is the highlight of my life."

March 1, 2010

Hello from Australia!

I am still in Murray Bridge. And happy to be here, Michael and Leigh signed their marriage certificate on Saturday. So now they can be married according to Australia law 30 days later as the minimum. There are no “Las Vegas” weddings here. They will be married by Branch President Smith on March 31st. Their set baptism date is April 4th. Just at the end of this transfer, so I know I will be able to witness that beautiful day. I cannot believe it has been a year since I have received my mission call to serve in the Australia Adelaide Mission. I remember dancing with mom in the living room and whooping for joy. This experience to be apart of God’s work and glory (Moses 1:39) is the highlight of my life. Bart received a calling in the church as the building representative. He now has physical keys to the priesthood. Kevin is doing well. He is almost finished having his new member discussions.

I got a new companion; Elder Tuala got transferred back into Adelaide. He wanted to stay. My new Companion is named Elder Taufa, he has been out one year this friday. He is from Sydney but is full blood Tongan. He is different from Elder Tuala but they are both Polynesian. Elder Taufa just came from serving 9 months in a city called Broken Hill. I feel very safe walking in the streets of Murray Bridge. Elder Taufa aspires to be a professional Rugby player. For being a big guy he is almost as fast as me. Elder Taufa was also trained by Elder Inglis. We are going to do morning exercise with Michael and Leigh every other day. We all want to loose weight. We went to contact this referral from a member, it was her mom. When we contacted her she was very angry and said, “I am not a Mormon why are you here”. The situation didn’t seem to go anywhere, she was about to leave for church, she is a seventh day Adventist. We then said we will go to church with you. She went from angry to an angel. That was an interesting service. I am happy for my testimony in the restored gospel that I have the knowledge that is outside the darkness of apostasy, which is indeed a reality. It is getting cooler outside, I will invest in a 2nd hand jumper. I did not bring one from home. Have to go now. Love ya heaps

-Elder Montgomery

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Transfer Day "I hope I stay, I should find out in a couple of hours."

February 22, 2010

Hello from Murray Bridge.

Later today we should find out transfers. I think I will stay. But only once have I guessed correctly one transfer and that was the last one when I and Elder Tuala stayed. I know that I am not going up north if I am being transferred. The people that are going up north find out Sunday evening. But I do not think I will be transferred at all. I want to stay in Murray Bridge for two more transfers. That should be long enough to see Lily and June get baptized.

The only thing that is keeping Michael and Leigh from progressing is getting Leigh’s birth certificate. Once they have that Branch President Smith will sign their marriage papers and in thirty days later they can be married. And once they are married we will proceed to baptize them. They do not want me to leave yet. I hope I stay I should find out in a couple of hours. Elder Tuala wants to stay as well. I wouldn’t mind that. We are going to take more focus on door knocking next transfer. We do not have as many investigators as I would like. They keep getting baptized. Or will be baptized.

I am going to start a sandwich diet, it should be healthier. I have gained a bit of weight, also because I have been too lazy to exercise in the morning, which I will also start to do again. Bart and Kevin blessed the Sacrament this Sunday. Michael in Priesthood was asked to stand up, President Smith announced that Michael and his family are going to be baptized and join the branch and that if anyone did not know him, get to know him. So that was good. We brought along 4 members to help teach Michael and Leigh this week. So they are that much more fellowshipped. The branch is moving forward, President Smith is pleased.
We are going to clean the flat today in case one of us is moving. got to go.
Love ya heaps
-Elder Montgomery

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Our loving Heavenly Father does not forget about us. He is watching us."

February 15, 2010

Hello from Murray Bridge!

Michael and Leigh have been going threw a rough time lately. The night we committed them to be baptized one of their 10 cats got ran over. It actually helped us commit them. I said, “See how fragile life is? You never know when you are going to go.” But that was just the start of their trials. Michael’s pet parrot died, it was his birthday present. One of their ferrets died. One of their peacocks got stolen or flew away. Two of their dogs ran away. A cat ran away after Leigh smacked it for getting into their rat cage and eating some of the rats. They went into Adelaide to get their birth certificates so that Branch President Smith could sign their wedding forms, you have to have these signed before 30 days and then you can get married. No Vegas weddings in Australia. They got pulled over by the cops and their car was found to be defected. Their car was deemed unworthy to be driven on the streets. So it got impounded. Unfortunately their birth certificates are in the car but the police will not let them get anything out until next Friday. It was promised to them that Satan would bring about trials and afflictions to keep them from getting baptized. Because of this they realize the church is true. They are still solid and are not too discouraged. They look forward to March. It was will be a very good month for them. Krystal will turn 8 years old, they will get married and then they will get baptized. Leigh has read some Relief Society book in like 5 days. Michael is down to just 3 cigarettes a day, he is on the nicotine patches which the Branch is paying for them. Hopefully he can overcome his habit in one month. We had a good lesson with them yesterday. We read from D&C 121. This is when Joseph Smith was unrightfully imprisoned in the city of Liberty during winter time. There was no insulation and the roof was about 5 feet high. We talked to Michael and Leigh about the conditions of the rest of the Latter Day Saints, what was happening to them. How they were driven from their homes and forced to the mercies of the elements outside. How they were massacred and persecuted. And yet Joseph, the leader of the Church could do nothing to help his friends and family. So trying were these times that Joseph prayed to god and pleaded with him, asked him basically where are you? Why do you let these injustices happen to your Saints? How long shall thy hand be stayed? Our loving Heavenly Father does not forget about us. He is watching us. He answered Joseph’s prayer in one of the greatest revelations I think. God comforted Joseph, he said Peace be unto thy soul, for these trials and afflictions will be for but a small moment, and if thou endure it well, I will exalt thy on high. You are not yet off as was Job. Who lost his family, animals and even suffered skin boils. God comforted him; Thy friends are still with thee, they do not condemn you that you transgressed the lord. Later in the revelation, we learn about the priesthood and how it must be used in righteousness. How marvellous this revelation is, to think that if was received in the situation that is was received. I love reading D&C section 121. I hope Michael and Leigh further understand the Plan of Salvation. That this existence here on earth can be compared to why we would send our children to school. We all love our children; perhaps we do not want them to leave us. But we know sending them off to somewhere without our immediate influence at home will indeed benefit them. They will be able to interact and learn at school. We are happy when our children return back to us, better, smarter, wiser. They have experience and learned things perhaps they wouldn’t learn just at home. The same is this life right now. We lived with god as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. We lived a blissful life; we could only progress so far. We didn’t have authentic happiness because we couldn’t experience authentic sorrow. You have to know one, to know the other. God created this earth to act as a school. Where we could learn and grow. We will leave him for a season and return to him. But we have progressed so much with the experiences and knowledge that we have gained. God has given us these trials on earth for our benefit. And if we endure them well. We will be blessed and live with god. The beauty of the Plan of Salvation is that it is perfect. It was created by a fair and loving god. If it is explained fully and correctly everyone will see it. Everyone will have the chance to experience the Joy of their Redemption.
Michael and Leigh are still looking forward to their baptism. We are going to bring members with us to every visit now. We want them completely fellowshipped into the Branch. We want this to be a 2nd family to them. Its no good if you don’t know anyone at church.
I talked on the phone with Lily just before she flew to China. She said if the plane crashes and she and her daughter die, she wanted to make sure that she was baptized for the dead. I taught Lily the Plan of Salvation maybe 4 times. Hopefully she will be able to teach her family back home. We gave her pictures representing the Plan of Salvation. She should be back late March or early April. Kevin and Bart are awesome as. I got to go. We are going to Mt Barker for Pday today.
Love ya heaps
-Elder Montgomery

With Elder T, June and Lily at their Chinese Restaurant in Murray Bridge

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Good things are happening in Murray Bridge."

February 8, 2010

Hello from Murray Bridge!

This has been a good week. Kevin and Bart both went to the temple for the first time on Friday and did Baptisms for the dead. Bart baptized his dad; it was very special for him. It is such a great work we are going for the Salvation of the human race. It is so big and sacred sometimes it’s hard for my mind to get around it. Kevin will hopefully start doing some family history.

This Sunday was like a recent convert highlight reel. Kevin blessed the Sacrament. Bart said the closing prayer. Bart said an epic prayer. Also Michael and Leigh came to church. This is now two weeks in a row. Good things are happening in Murray Bridge. Michael and Leigh have committed to be baptized in March after they are married. Krystal their 7 year old daughter will be turning eight on March 13th. So we will baptize her as well. Lily and June left for China early Sunday morning. I will miss them. I probably will not see them again. They will be back in two months. She will marry her boyfriend in China and hopefully come back pregnant and have the child born in Australia. Lily wants another baby which she can’t have in China. Only one baby in China. Lily and June have committed to be baptized in May when they come back to Murray Bridge. I pray I will see the day. I have never spent so many hours on any other investigator; because of this I do love them. So that is 5 baptism dates. If they happen, that will be 8 baptisms for Murray Bridge by May. Murray Bridge only had 3 convert baptisms last year. And one of them was Justin Chapel, who I was blessed to witness his baptism in November. Our goal we set as a branch was 8 baptisms for the year 2010. I think after May they will need to make a new goal since we will meet that pretty quickly.

Claire has received a spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true. But she loves her Catholic church. We will drop her this week. There is nothing more we can do. The spirit of god is what converts people. And if they deny the Holy Ghost than that is her problem. My job is to help people investigate the church and help them recognize the spirit. This has been done, nothing more we can do.

We had a missionary Fireside in the Marion Stake Centre last night. Bart and Kevin both bore their testimonies. Because Bart was training to become an Assembly of God minister he is a good public speaker and has an awesome testimony. Kevin was good as well. But he was nervous, I do not blame him, he has no public speaking experience. Last night there were about 1000 people, not bad for throwing him into the deep end of public speaking hahahaha. It did fine spoke from the heart. It is unique to see them both grow and progress in the church together at the same time. This is new to me because I have always moved around in my mission so I haven’t witnessed my recent converts’ progress. So I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Murray Bridge. I hope I stay to see Michael and Leigh and their daughter baptized. I hope I stay to see Lily and her daughter June baptized in May.

It always makes me happy to hear updates about the family. I may not respond to family events, but I do enjoy the updates. I am going to fishing with Michael and his family all day today. Put some snags on the Barbie.

Love ya heaps
-Elder Montgomery

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"For Australia day we played Cricket, had sausages, kangaroo, lamb and steak."

January 31, 2010

Hello from Murray Bridge!
Bart and Cristina were baptized on Saturday! All of South Australia did not have white clothing that could fit Bart. We even went to the temple. Bart is a size 7XL. The members really pulled threw for us. A sister in the Branch sewed up a suit out of white curtains. It was sweet; we will donate this makeshift suit to the temple for whenever Bart wants to do baptisms. I baptized Bart with the assistance of Elder Tuala. If I send a picture you will see how large of a man Bart is. He is 200Kgs. Luckily when he went under he displaced so much water that two waves went over him and completely immersing him. I thought it would have taken a few tries to get his whole body under the water. But all is well first attempt and done. Bart received the Priesthood on Sunday.

Sister Turner had a dinner in celebration for Bart’s baptism. We had soup, Roast with cooked vegetables, mainly pumpkin, potato, peas and carrots. It was a good feed.

Sister Turner said something profound to me. She was wondering what would happen in the church if everyone introduced two people to the restored gospel? Kevin and Bart are important; they will receive the Melchizedek priesthood probably in October. When that happens perhaps Murray Bridge will become a ward. Also we need like 8 more people consistently attending church, once we reach a certain number of people attending church, we send that number off to Sydney and then the church will provide a building for us. As of now we are meeting every Sunday in an abandoned shopping center complex.

Michael and Leigh came to church today. They haven’t come to church since December. They will not get married for a couple of months. They said they both would like to be baptized. They stayed all three hours. Leigh read 7 chapters out of the new gospel principles book. She is feasting upon the words of Christ. We are going to go fishing with Michael next Monday down in the River Murray. They really love their animals. Every time we go there they have a new animal that they brought home. This week they got two more cats and two more ducks. Their two daughters call me Lolly Man, because we always give them lollies to calm them down.
Lily and June will be leaving for China next Sunday. We will miss them. As a gift I will give them my plan of salvation visual that I use to teach people. I want her to teach her family when she goes on holiday. She is getting married to her boyfriend in China; she also wants another child and wants the child born In Australia.

Kevin is sweet. Heather, his ex partner is semi Jehovah Witness. Kevin like totally defended his faith. I am teaching Kevin how to spiritually defend himself. Elder Tuala is teaching him how to physically defend himself.

We got a less active to come to church two weeks in a row. And yesterday at church she actually paid her tithing. Bad on me for such little faith. But we are excited for another sister active in the branch.

For Australia day we played Cricket, had sausages, kangaroo, lamb and steak. Drank some butter beer and ate some weird Australian desert that has a meat pie. Crazy Aussies. Also we played tug-o-war. Southern district won! Murray Bridge, Mt Barker and Mt Gambier Elders beat the Elders from Marion district. Also we had training from Elder Jay Jenson from the presidency of the quorum of the seventy. And another 70, Elder Muer I think his name was. His son is coming into the mission in 3 weeks. Maybe I will train him. I think I am training next transfer. Maybe a Tongan, There are 3 Tongans coming in next transfer.

Good to hear from my families always. Its good to hear at least my parents are feeding the missionaries. I am going to Adelaide for P-day, we are going to hit China Town.

Love ya heaps
-Elder Montgomery