Sunday, September 12, 2010

"This Tuesday it is combined young men’s and young women’s and me and Elder Jensen are going to teach them Self Defence."

September 12, 2010

Hello from Mt Gambier!

We had a good week this week. The Morris family came to church again. And Sister Morris got her 16 year old daughter to come to church. Since the first Sunday in the month was Australian Fathers Days, Church yesterday was a fast and testimony meeting and the 16 year old girl named Ashara went and bore her testimony saying the church was true and she was crying. After the meeting was done all the young women did their thing and went up to her and hug her and stuff. It was great; it was her first time at church pretty much since she was baptized when she was 8. Alira is going to pick up Ashara and take her to Seminary in the mornings. All that is left in the Morris Family is the son, aged 23 to come to church now. During the week we went over to their house and taught them the Restoration. Shaily and Ashara took notes. I thought that was brilliant! I have never had anyone I have taught actually take notes. Great idea. We have set up a tea date with them and we will teach them next the Plan of Salvation. Shaily and Ashara went to Young women’s last Tuesday. This Tuesday it is combined young men’s and young women’s and me and Elder Jensen are going to teach them Self Defence. Elder Jensen claims to be a Ninja and I learned some moves at the Marine Corp base once. There are heaps of creepy looking people in this town and consequently heaps of paedophilia in this town as well. So everyone is excited to learn self defence. We will teach them how to defend against someone with a knife and a bat. Thumb holds and wrist holds, and how to get out of situations when someone grabs you and etc. It should be fun, me and Elder Jensen practice on each other. Next week is transfers. Elder Jensen goes home in 7 weeks. If I don’t get transferred next week I will be in this area for a long while I reckon. This next lesson with the Morris Family we are planning on committing Shaily to baptism.

Other than that we are trying to progress some other investigators but progression is slow.

I have no idea what we are going to do today. Last week we went exploring at the beaches and a hill in a small town called Carpenter Rocks but today is a bit gloomy and will probably rain most of the day.

Going to go now.

Love you all heaps.

-Elder Montgomery

Monday, September 6, 2010

"I have no clue what we are going to do today. I know we will run around the Blue Lake, We are both trying to get fit again."

September 5, 2010

I can say the area has progressed this week. The less active sister of 11 years brought one of her three children to church with her this Sunday. Her 11 year old daughter named Shaily is not baptized, she came to church for the first time in her life yesterday. This family was a "Lost Sheep". On Saturday we had an excellent tea date with them and our Ward Mission Leader's family. We were all laughing and getting to know each other. The 3 kids names and ages are (23) Lee, (16) Ashara and (11) Shaily. Fellowshipping has been excellent. She has been smothered by the members. We set an appointment to start teaching Shaily. And Sister Morris penciled us in for a tea date later on in the month on our tea date roster. We invited Ashara to attend Young Women’s on Tuesdays; she recognizes some of the other Young Women members at School. But she hasn’t met them all. Sister Morris is treating the church with an open view. Like most long-time less actives they aren’t sure if the church is true anymore. She pretty much is an investigator and we will treat her as such. We will be teaching Shaily as much as we are teaching the mother.

We haven’t been able to progress the family from Naracoorte. They would be an easy baptism/reactivation if they weren’t so far away. The distance is proving to hinder their progression.

We had a powerful visit with a less active named Doreen. She is very hard on herself and on others. She doesn’t understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ fully. If she did she would be more merciful on herself and on others. We eventually opened her up to the source of the problems and trials she is facing. She hasn’t forgiven herself for something in the past. The weight of the guilt and shame has been crushing her. We ended the visit by giving her a blessing and we went on our way.

We had a strange church service yesterday. We had only 25 people in Sacrament meeting. Everyone was gone because of Father’s Day. 5 of the 25 people at church were less actives, and one of them was Shaily who is investigating. There was an older couple that swore they would never return to church, everyone was shocked to see them. But they didn’t stay long. So it was a bit upside down yesterday.

I have no clue what we are going to do today. I know we will run around the Blue Lake, We are both trying to get fit again. Going to go now. It is good to hear from everyone.

Love you all heaps

-Elder Montgomery

"So we decided for P-day we are going to drive to Naracoorte and see the popular 'Naracoorte Caves'."

August 29, 2010

Hello from Mt Gambier!

We had a fun Ward activity on Saturday. It was based off of the television show “Master Chef”, but since we are not masters we called the activity “Mediocre Chef”. It was fun, we cooked pancakes, fish and prawns in separate rounds. I had to do a pressure test and make a dessert called hedgehog. I’m not going to lie it looked like cow pie but, it tasted the best out of the other three competitors in this test. But i guess in this show the presentation matters so i lost. We even had a celebrity chef. This guest cooked in the Olympics in Sydney back in 2000. She went one on one with a member of the church, Emma Bamford, to cook this meal, the judges didn't know which dish was whose, blind test pretty much. The judges agreed that this dish was better, it was Emma’s! She actually beat the Celebrity chef. We had three non members at the activity and two less actives. So it was a good evening.

We had a good church service as well. We didn’t have any investigators at church but we had some less actives that haven’t come to church in multiple years. One sister came back after a three year absence. And one other sister for the first time in Ten years! I have been high up on the Atonement lately so i taught it in the Gospel Principles class, it was a good lesson.

The Sister who came back to church for the first time in ten years was invited by our Ward Mission Leader to the Fireside later that night, and she came! She even brought her 3 children. They are aged 25, 16, 10. The two youngest might not be baptized. I couldn’t tell you their names but their last name is Morris. They have been invited also by our Ward Mission Leader to have tea with them on Saturday and we will be there as well. This family was a “lost sheep”. They were less active in Brisbane when they moved to Mt Gambier and the church didn't know where they moved to. But the spirit worked on this Sister and she took up the courage to come to church all on her own. So that was pretty cool. The oldest son remembers going to Seminary back in the day.

Today is the last day of the month of August, we are assigned a certain amount of Kilometres a month while traveling in our car. We haven’t gone to Adelaide this whole month so we are loaded. We have like 700 extra Kilometres that will go wasted. So we decided for P-day we are going to drive to Naracoorte and see the popular “Naracoorte Caves”. I suppose this will be once in a life time opportunity so it should be fun.

Going to go now.

Love you all heaps

-Elder Montgomery

"Jesus is knocking at the door, it is up to us to answer."

August 22, 2010

Hello from Mt Gambier!

Things are good here. I didn’t go to church yesterday. I went on a priesthood splitoff to take the sacrament to members of the church in outlying areas. My companion stayed in Mt Gambier. I went with a member of the bishopric and his wife. We went to Lucindale and Naracoorte for the members that live quite aways from Mt Gambier, it is difficult for them to travel to come to church. We just bore our testimonies after administering the sacrament and left. While we were traveling we were listening to a man reading a book on the CD in the car. This may be a bit dodgy but i got so much out of it. This CD was all about our salvation, how we are justified to return home to God. I had always looked at the final judgement as a scale weight, with our good deeds on one end and our mistakes and sins on the other counter balancing. Which ever side is in more abundant decides if you get the nod to enter into the kingdom of heaven or to be cast off. It is not that at all! D&C 1:31 states that, God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. If you think you will make it to god’s presence with just a little sin, think again. It was one simple transgression that kicked Adam and Eve from the presence of god. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of god. This is pretty harsh, it is the law of Justice, to fulfill this law god revealed if the ancient Israelites. In Theory if they obeyed all the commandments rules, which adds up to just over 600 of them, we will become perfect and worthy to return to our heavenly Fathers presence.

This can be compared to a little child, lets say 4 years old, wants to buy a bicycle. The father does not have the income to buy her daughter a bike so he stalls her, hoping she would forget. He promises her that if she saves up all her penny’s she will have enough money to buy a bike. So time goes on, perhaps months. They go to the store to buy a bicycle, they find the perfect bike for her. It is 200 dollars. The little girl had only collected 44 cents. She began to cry, the price was just too much. In Theory she could save enough money to buy this bike. By the time she has accumulated that amount she will start wanting her first car.

Comparing this to our lives, we could keep every single commandment ever revealed and become totally Christlike, become perfect and clean. But we are weak evil and carnal. We do not have that much time in this probation, this life to fulfill that. We cannot make it back to God by our own Merits. No matter how hard we try we cannot obtain perfection on our own. We need an Atonement.

Back to the story the father loves his daughter, realizes she does not have nearly what it takes to receive her gift he says to her, “Daughter give me all that you have and i will pay the rest.” That is not a bad deal, that is mercy. This same deal has been offered to us. Not because we deserve it. It is because of Love. The love that God has for all his children.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beleiveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus Christ brought the “good news” the “good tidings” or most known as The gospel. The Gospel is a lifestyle that if we follow we will receive a remission of our sins. A way for our sins to be forgiven. The first step of the gospel is Faith in the lord Jesus Christ, 2nd Repentance 3rd Baptism by water 4th Baptism by fire, or by the spirit to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and finally we must endure to the end which means to continue to repent and keep the commandments the rest of our lives.

When we are baptized we are adopted into the House of Israel. In the bible the House of Israel is known as the bride. And Jehovah or Jesus Christ is known as the Bridgegroom. When we enter into the gospel covenant we become married to Jesus Christ. We covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. Just as a wife takes upon her self the name of her husband. When you are married you become One flesh, united. Even united in a bank account for instance. Lets say i am in horrible debt, tens of thousands of dollars in the red. If i were to marry the queen of England theoretically of course, she is a millionaire, our bank accounts become one. And i am now out of dept. The same happens when we are baptized, our sins become Jesus Christs Sins. In the Garden of Gethsemane our Saviour took upon himself the sins of the whole world (Alma chpt 7:11-12). Jesus Christ felt every sickness, affliction and pains we all will ever feel because of the price of Sin. It was so intense that he bled from every pore in anguish. He performed the Atonement, which if you break the word up it says, to make “At One” therefore Atonement. Mankind is fallen we are alienated from our Heavenly Father. But now our dept is paid by Jesus Christ. All we have to do is Come unto him and be baptized. And we will once again be At One with god. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd, he is leading us to eternal life. We are not saved by Faith, we are not saved by works. We are saved threw the Grace of God. It is up to us to finish this great marathon of life, few of us will run threw over the finish line. Others will walk over, many will crawl over. We are all climbing a mountain leading to heaven, everyone is at different levels. At the end of the day if we were true to our gospel covenant, if we tried our hardest with all our efforts, than Jesus Christ will carry us the rest of the way, to the top of the mountain, even to the Celestial Kingdom. I know that if we endure to the end striving to do our best, with all our heart, might, mind and strenght, to do the will of our Father instead of the Will of the world, then is his grace sufficient for us. Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.

This is the grand message of the Book or Mormon. You will come unto Christ stronger and more successfully by this book than by any other. If this book is true than that means the bible is the word of God as well. It is proof that god is the same yesterday, today and forever. He loves us and shows it actively. The heavens are open, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and restored the priesthood authority to administer the ordinances of this great gospel. Revelation is flowing down to his authorized servants, even Thomas S Monson as a latter day prophet for our benefit today. Jesus is knocking at the door, it is up to us to answer. As a missionary I literally represent Jesus Christ physically knocking on a door. I know that this is God’s work and his glory. I know God helps all missionaries to fulfill his purpose because we are one in purpose. We have the divine companionship with us continually. The Holy Ghost truly is the comforter. You can look at it as a down payment from our Father letting us know that we are on the right track towards him. How wonderful that every time we partake of the Sacrament we should be able to feel the spirit, for we are promised he will be with us. I know that this is the true church. This is the Lord’s church. I am grateful for the blessing of technology that allows me to email you this spiritual thought without me having to write it.

I am going to go now. Love you all heaps.

-Elder Montgomery

"It takes discipline to be a disciple, hence disciple is the root word of discipline."

August 15, 2010

Hello from Mt Gambier!

We had a pretty good week. Shannon and Tyson came to church yesterday. But most exciting was that we finally had a visit with Debbie and her family. We wanted to restart with the basics, so we just watched a church movie with them. We didnt want to set a baptism date. We want them making it to church for a few times regularly before they are baptized. That goes for all the kids we are working with. Its one thing to just baptize them. But i do not want to set anyone up for failure. I do not want them to make very important eternal covenants with god. We could teach them the Word of Wisdom and they can go to church and it will be supported but what happens when they go home and they see their mums smoking. That will bring confusion into their lives. Before we baptize any kids we want the full support of the parents that they will sustain the teachings of the church throughout the time the kids are living with them. Will they have family home evening? Will they have family scripture study. Will they make sure they go to activities and to church regularly. To be baptized is not just a social event, its not just a Christening and then having a few beers afterwards. It is not just a number for the church. It is a culture change. People should literally be reborn into something unnatural, they should be reborn a deciple of Jesus Christ. It takes decipline to be a deciple, hence deciple is the root word of decipline. I want to make sure the parents understand this. I will not baptize children who are going to go less active in a couple of months. I will not set them up for failure, they will have a better judgement with the stance that they had no knowlege of the gospel than if they go less active and do not endure to the end. If and when the parents sign that baptism form, this all will be clearly said to them. This is what is expected of them. So we will continue to teach and progress all these investigators of ours.

We had a crazy baptism this week. This young women in the Ward has moved like 20 times around Australia in her lifetime. And the church has lost her membership record. What is not recorded on earth is not recorded in heaven. So she had to be rebaptized. Technically it is a convert baptism, but whether they count it or not i do not really care because we had pretty much nothing to do with her conversion. She is a freebee.

Well i am going to go now.

Talk to you all later. Love you heaps

-Elder Montgomery