April 8, 2014
Elder Marqueza (from Mozambique) , Montgomery Safari Angola Africa 4-7-2014
President and Sister Merrill, great leaders and teachers,
Elder Montgomery, Safari 4-7-2014
86 Weeks in Angola April 7, 2014
Ola Minha Familia!
It is a very out of body experience this whole getting close to coming home thing. So since I can’t really remember how my week went, I’ll just say it was awesome! and ended with conference last night, and a safari today, and I have loved every second of it.
I want to get all spiritual on you all, because I know I haven’t always written the most spiritually uplifting letters, and I want to bear my testimony of some of the things I’ve learned in these last two years.
Gratitude. I am thankful for gratitude. I loved Elder Utchdorf’s talk on gratitude last night. There is something indescribably amazing about the lives we all have been given, and the amazing country we live in, and the amazing gospel that helps us live our lives in a way that we may someday return to the presence of our Father. The people of Angola, are a very amazing people. happy, in some of the saddest circumstances, they shine. I have seen things here that shatter my entire outlook of life and how much we really have been given, I am so so spoiled, and cannot even hope to one day fully repay the lord for my life full of blessings. I realized slowly over these last two years, and I’m sure I will realize really fast next week, just how much I and we truly have, and because I have been given much I too must give. The way we show true gratitude is not through the words thank you. But by actions that show those words. I am so grateful for my life and everything I have. Gratitude is something I have come to more fully understand.
Something as an Elder I have learned is the gift and miracle of forgiveness. I’m definitely not perfect, and neither are the people of Angola, and neither are you. We all need repentance, and we can all taste forgiveness, true forgiveness that only comes and came through our Saviors Atoning sacrifice. I am so grateful for the forgiving power of the atonement. Like Elder Cardon (?) said, the Lord wants to forgive. I have truly felt that on my mission, as I have studied and tried to earn forgiveness and seen it happen in my life and the lives of others. I know the lord more fully, because I have tasted his atoning power and felt the forgiveness. I love my savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives and that he died for me and for you. I am so grateful for the opportunity to repent each and every day and feel of his forgiveness. I love the Lord, and I love my Heavenly Father. Their great plan of redemption is made possible by the Lords Atonement and his power to forgive. I am so grateful for that.
I don’t know where I was going with this letter, but I want you all to know that I am a different person because of the things I have learned and learned to live as a full time missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a different person. I was reborn again when I was baptized, but through learning and repentance and living the gospel and loving the Savior more fully, I have experienced a change of heart. I feel a lot like I think Alma the younger felt.
I love each and every one of you. If you get this email, it is because I love you and you have a part in my life, but I want you all to know that I love the Savior. My testimony of him and his atonement and his true church burns like a fire within me, and I know that I can never let that fire go out.
In the coming days as I say goodbye to friends and converts and members, and say hello to family and friends and loved ones, I hope more than anything that the love of the Savior shines in me to you, like he commanded us to shine before the world. I love you all! I know this gospel is true. This has been The Best Two Years of my life so far. I have truly felt the promise of the prophet of God like it says in my call letter, that more blessings and happiness than I have ever experienced await me as I give my life to the Lord. I hope I have made him proud, and all of you as well. Love you all! I hope this week is wonderful for all of you. It will be very bitter sweet for me. I love the Angolan people so much. This is my 2nd home and my 2nd family. I will never forget the people I’ve met here, and the difference they’ve made in my life, and the difference the Lord made in theirs and mine. I love you all so much.
Have an amazing week!
March 31, 2014
Elder Garcia and Montgomery 3-30-2014
Elder Garcia , Marqueza, Montgomery
Elder Rodriguez and Montgomery
85 Weeks in Angola (87 weeks is our lucky number) March 31, 2014
OLA MINHA FAMILIA!!!!!!
I hope each and everyone of you is having a wonderful Monday and that the lord is blessing you all in the ways you need!
This week was another one full of changes, Wednesday morning President called and asked elder Garcia if he was ready for a new adventure, he was assigned to train a new missionary from our branch that is waiting for his visa to go to the Dominican Republic, so he left Wednesday to the Luanda 2 branch, and now me and Elder Marqueza are here alone in our area. I was really sad to see elder Garcia leave, but excited to stay with elder Marqueza, it’s been super fun to work with him he’s way funny and we have fun and work hard at the same time. We have 2 baptisms planned for this next Saturday on the twelfth, and so were just getting ready for that, baptisms always are stressful! but as things are winding down and everyone here knows that I’m leaving it is getting harder and harder to focus, but I am still working hard and doing my best. I learn so much about myself each and everyday as I grow closer to the Savior and help my investigators do that same. I love this Angolan people so much. It is so strange to love a people who have different customs and traditions and a different language, but it just goes to show how the lord loves each and everyone of us equally, race, country, language, and social standing aside we are all Heavenly Fathers children, and Christ through his atonement paid for each and everyone of us. I love being a missionary, and am so sad to have such little time left, but so excited so finish it off with a bang. I love you all and thank you for your love and prayers. Have a good week.!
March 24, 2014
3-23-14 Elder Yeanoplos, Garcia, Marquenza, Montgomery, and Stewart
this picture was taken by Br. Johnson, he works for Chevron and is living in Angola
attending the Branch in Terra Nova. He has been a Santa to the Elders.
3-23-14 Elder Garcia, Montgomery, and Marquenza - Identical triplets dont ya know.
Elder Garcia, Maninho, and friends, Elder Marqueza, and Montgomery
3-23-14 Maninho (little brother) at His baptism, he asked Elder Montgomery
to baptize him, what a great honor to baptize a great future leader in Angola.
"I cant believe I ate the whole box of chocolates"
Da Boyz , are they so handsome and Miss Cutie
Elder Garcia, Maninho, Elder Montgomery, and Da Boyz
Maninho's Baptism Great Day.3-22-14
Welcome Home Elder Tilley and Wilhelm you have certainly left your heart prints on Angola,
thank you for your service and the strength you have given to your Elder Brothers.
84 weeks Angola 3 weeks to go March 24, 2014
ola minha familia!!!
This week was another wonderful one down in the books.
Tuesday we had a wonderful zone conference with both Luanda zones combined, and that was really fun, so weird to see Elders Wilhelm an Tilley leave, that means I’m next! yikes. but it was really cool I was assigned to translate during the conference to the two Angolan sister who President invited who will be serving in Moçambique, they don’t speak english so I had to translate the whole 4 hour conference to them, that was tiring for sure. but really cool. sometimes I forget how real the gift of tongues is, and how the lord can really do miracles!
The rest of the week really went way way fast because of the one day off we had for the zone conference, and also we had a baptism on Saturday, of Maninho, ( which means little brother). He’s 14 and a champion, he chose me to baptize him, so I was privileged to do that. super cool every time.
This week was really cool, especially getting settled into our triple companionship. Elder Marqueza is a small guys, but he’s hilarious and has a grande spirit. He connects with people so fast and easy, it’s really a advantage about being a "native" but it’s awesome, he’s gonna be an awesome missionary. Elder Garcia is such a good example to him too, it is like he’s already been here year.
Basically this week was very, very fast, but very fulfilling!
Wow i only have a minute left I’m sorry, but I love you all so much! Have an amazing week, and look for missionary opportunities!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL
com muito amor,
March 17, 2014
83 weeks in Angola March 17th, 2014
OLA MINHA FAMILIA!
Wow, this week was full of surprises and lots of spiritual experiences.
Our first surprise happened Tuesday night after an all day leadership meeting, President called me on the phone and asked if I was ready for a new adventure. Of course I said yes, and he said that Wednesday morning we would be receiving a brand new elder straight from the brazil mtc, Elder Marqueza, from Nampula, Moçambique, and he said that I would be double training him and Elder Garcia for this transfer , then Elder Garcia would finish Elder Marqueza’s training when I leave. So I am now in a tripla with Elder Garcia and Elder Marqueza!!! It’s been añ amazing week, and I am loving it so far. Elder Marqueza is about 5 foot 1 and 100 pounds, but he is a spiritual giant!!!! we have had some very very spiritually strong lessons this week, and I am sorry that I have no time to talk all about the week , (slow computer ) or pictures (virus corrupted memory card), but I do have a testimony that the size of the man isn’t important, but what’s inside of him. We are preparing a lot of people for baptism this week and will have one baptism on Saturday. We are very very excited.
My time is about up and I apologize for the short letter, but it was all I could manage with the slow computer. I love you all and I love being a missionary. This week I was truly able to lose myself in the work, and I have never been happier on my mission than I am right now. I love it.
Have a good week, and know I love you all!
com muito amor,
March 12, 2014
82 Weeks in Angola ~ 5 weeks this Elder is coming home March 10, 2014
ola minha familia!!!!
so this week was awesome! Elder Garcia and I have continued to do hard work in our area and be completely blessed, and we are having miracles and blessings for it!
There was no baptisms this week, but we do have two next week! one is a 14 year old kid who is the brother of a member, he has been taught forever but just never got fully prepared, but we have helped him see the importance of baptism and the gift of the holy ghost and he has come alive spiritually this week it’s been cool to see his understanding and comprehension and sensitivity to the spirit grow right before our yes.. He has a very good understanding of the atonement, something I didn't get when I was 14 that’s for sure.
The other guy were gonna baptize is a single dad who’s 38. He is he mot converted person I think I’ve ever seen before baptism. He is willing to follow every commandment with exactness, and he has had so many cool blessing s for it. His baptisms will be on the 22, and then we should have about 5 or 6 baptisms on the 12th, right before i leave. I’m stoked!!!!
We had transfers last week and we got a new elder in our house, Elder Yeanoplos, from Tuscon. It’s always good to have another zona here.
I’m digging hard for memories and things to write about but nothings coming.it’s getting harder and harder to keep focused. when were in the field working I don’t think about home, but lately when we get home I am just exhausted and it is all I can do to plan and eat and read a little before I just have to conk out a go to sleep. If I stay up all I think about is home ahah so I try to just go to sleep as fast as I can.
That’s so crazy that the chain is already so short!!!! This has flown by, but I’m excited to still have one more transfer to do work here. Elder Garcia and I are determined to make this the best transfer this area has ever seen. So far so good! We had ten new investigators this and last week, so we’re finding the truly prepared people who can build up the church here.
So our week is way busy this week, we have goals for two baptisms next week and more than five on the twelfth, so we have a lot of work to do.
I couldn’t send picture this week because my card got messed up somehow, but I’ll figure it out next week!
I love you all and hope you have good weeks.
com muito amor,
March 3, 2014
(Borrowed from Sister Merrill's blog 2/28/2014)
back row. ?,?, Elder Clifford, Hyde, ? Garcia, Cafferty, Brown, Montgomery, Garn, Nash, Rigby, Petersen, Stewart.
back row seating 4- Dredge, Pimental, Castelton. Sefita
seated middle row- ?, Yeanoplos, Hansen (leaving the March 5th) Hollingsworth, Hannay, Ferguson, Merkley, McCune, ?,
Front - Sister and Br Abdo, Elder Carl Cook , Sister and President Merrill
Elder Carl Cook is serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy and in the Area Presidency
and Elder Montgomery
Baptism of Luis, Elder Montgomery Luis, his wife,
daughter and Elder Garcia 3-1-2014
Elder Montgomery and Luis 3-1-2014
Saying good bye to Elder Hyde (transferred to Huambo),
till they meet again in the USA .
81 Weeks in Angola March 3, 2014
The Beginning of the End
OLA MINHA FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week was awesome. And it seems all you at home had just as awesome of a week with the temple dedication and all. As for me, we got wet! baptisms!!!! Elder Garcia and I had the first of our many baptisms for the transfer. If that confuses you all, I’m just saying that this transfer will be the absolute best of my mission. I’m not letting anything distract me from my and Elder Garcia’s goal, to have at least six baptisms. We have one, right now, with twelve baptismal dates set, and five more planned to set this week. Why wouldn't we? We are on the lord’s side! Why wouldn’t we win? That’s our mindset.
So our baptism this week was Luis. The guy who found the missionaries while he was looking for toothpaste. I baptized him and Elder Garcia confirmed him. it was an awesome experience. He is the leader of his family so were going to focus on teaching his wife and daughter now. We’re excited!
I don't really have much to write, the week was good. Lots of new people, I think we had ten new investigators, and they are awesome. Elder Garcia and I are really, really focusing on faith and the spirit. If we have faith that people will accept our message, then the spirit will testify our words, to their hearts and they will be more likely to accept it. It’s all about spiritual preparation.
I got the package mom with the peanut butter toothpaste and deodorant. Thanks so much!!!!
Sorry that my letter is really short, but I hope you all feel the spirit thinking about what I wrote. I know that this is the lords work I’m doing, and that only with his help can we all do it, but were gonna win, we’re on the lords side . We will win! Why wouldn't we????
I love you all and thank you for your love and prayers. Have a good week!
com amor, Elder Montgomery