July 29, 2013


Baaaaaa, Elder Montgomery not so friendly

Elder Montgomery, Elder Stewart, Claudio's baptism with his family,
Elder Merkley, ad Elder Dunkley

Shepherds pie with a mexi twist:)
Elder Stewart, Merkley, and Dunkley

the results of a chef 
Elder Montgomery, Stewart, and Dunkley

Subject: SERVE
OLA MINHA FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                                                  July 28,2013
I love you all so much and I hope you all had amazing weeks. Mine was awesome. 
This week, we had lots and lots of lessons drop. It was a missionary's worst nightmare. every single day, we would do our planning and studies, do some contacting, eat lunch, then go out to work, and every single day, almost all of our lessons would drop!! But in the hardest part f the days when we were out in the street standing in the sun (even though it’s not hot) trying to call millions of people, the Lord would open our minds and bless us with people to serve, visit and to walk with. It truly was amazing.
So along with moms email, I also wanted to talk about daily "miracles" or small miracles that happen every day. I'll try to remember some form each day, but no guarantees. 
So Tuesday, we had a day in half of our area called Rocha. (Rock) It is where we don't have very many investigators, and most of the people there are families waiting to get married. It is very hard to fill up a full day there, because of the lack of people, but we were able to do it, and had some awesome lessons. We met a new guy named Lina who was a referral from Joao and Paula the couple baptized a few weeks ago. We visited him at his house and taught him the Restoration and invited him to be baptized. He said yes, for some reason I was completely shocked when he said yes. I think I was distracted with something that we hadn't taught good in the lesson and I thought the spirit was gone and that all was going down the drain, but then he said that he would read the Book of Mormon and pray and be baptized when he knew it was true. It was a really cool experience to see how the spirit can touch someone even when you are not expecting it at all. 
Wednesday we had our first ever apartment cleaning checks from President and Sister Merrill. Luckily I had cleaned the house the day before, so we passed, and were able to get some orders in for basic stuff we've gone without forever, like a shower curtain and bookshelf. I am very excited about that seeing as we have the worst apartment in the mission. Later that day though we were able to visit a new investigator with a recent convert named Sidonia. SHE IS AMAZING. She’s a referral machine and so amazing and always wants to walk with us and teach lessons. She lives with her two daughters in a one room house no bigger than my bedroom at home, has no job, and is converted to the gospel. We have already baptized the first person she introduced to the gospel and the next family is just waiting on marriage. REFERRALS are the best way to do missionary work. President Hinckley said it himself. GIVE THE MISSIONARIES REFERRALS!!! 
but ya, I love walking with recent converts, because they love bearing testimony of the gospel, no matter how little they know!
Thursday and Friday nothing really amazing happened, but Saturday was really cool! Claudio, an investigator who has been investigating for three years was baptized by the other Cassequel elders. He has such a strong testimony and is so prepared, and now his wife will be baptized too. I gave an impromptu talk at his baptism on the holy ghost because there was no one else to give it and rocked it, just saying!  I will attach the pictures to this message.
Then after that we visited with Pedro and Tani. Pedro is paralyzed from the waist down and has very very little movement of his arms and hands. He was in a motorcycle accident about a year and a half ago, and the missionaries found him and have been sitting with him for about a year. He has so much faith and loves to sit with us. He cannot come to church because of the church being on the third floor, but prays and has so much faith in Heavenly Father that he can be healed someday! I pray for him so hard every day. I love him a ton. He truly brightens my day every time we see him and his wife Tani. SHE is an angel. Not many times do you see a more devoted loving wife who loves to help her husband. Moving, eating, everything. she is an angel, and will be blessed for what she does to help her husband for sure. I love this family!
My studies this week were also amazing. I did some reading and scripture searching in D &C and some of my favorite scriptures that I found were in section 11:3-4, section 6:34, and section 38:27. I don't have time to explain them right now but read them! They are awesome.
I have truly come to realize these last few weeks that until now I have only been on a mission. I have never been serving a mission. There is a huge difference. I have been here in Angola, been away from my family, I have been wearing missionary clothes a name tag, and carrying scriptures with me, but I have yet to truly SERVE with all my heart might mind and strength, which I truly to serve a mission! I was called to serve in Angola, but not to just be here. I will always from this point try to be SERVING a mission, serving as a missionary, serving the Angolan people, and serving the lord, instead of just being on a mission. I hope you all know I love being a missionary, but now I’m gonna love serving a mission!

so now for the not so spiritual stuff really fast, 
Monday night we had a family night at some members house and I got to hold a goats head,,, .. pretty nasty! 
then Sunday we went all out and made shepherds pie Mexican style for lunch. It was super good. ground beef jalapenos mashed potatoes mushrooms, tomatoes, hot dogs, and some other stuff. It was so so good. I’m become quite the chef! (not really) 
   Anyways I better wrap this up. I love you all so much. I hope you all feel my prayers and fasting on your behalf's, because I feel yours on mine. Thank you and know I love you all!!! Have amazing weeks, and help someone find the gospel!
com muito amor,

Elder Colin Jay Montgomery

July 22, 2013

"Attitude of a Missionary"

"When ever I get discouraged, sad, thinking about home,
 or just needing a boost I look at this and remember this!"

"Changing our water filters" guess which one is the old used one..ewwwww

50 weeks in Angola 
OLA MINHA FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!                                                                                July 22,2013
   I love you all so much, and I miss each and every one of you, but I am so grateful to be where I am: preaching the restored gospel in the Angola Luanda Mission. I am so lucky!
 1 Corinthians 13:11" When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things."  What better time than now for me to finally start living my plaque scripture. I expect you all who get this email to hold me to my word, so if I write below par emails, I expect complaints! "Whom the lord loves, He chastens", so if you all love me, chasten me too!
To begin this week, I honestly don’t even know where to start.  I have learned so much in the last seven days I cant even imagining being able to write it all in this email, but I’ll try.
This week was full of blessings. Temporal, spiritual, miraculous, everything. We had more lessons this week than we have averaged in the last two transfers, set three baptismal dates, found so many prepared people and just everything was good. I know what you’re all thinking, numbers aren’t everything, and I know that too, but this week those high numbers meant people who were coming closer to Christ, growing their faith, preparing to make covenants with Heavenly Father, and sharing the good news of the gospel with all those around them. It was so amazing to see the blessings and results of humility and hard work. THE LORD LOVES HARD WORK! Just to give some experiences of this week, and the blessings we received:
  Tuesday, we were able to sit with a really cool kid named G. who lives with another family we are teaching who are preparing to get married and baptized. G. is 19 and like any other 19 year old, the last thing he wants to do with spare time is sit with two white guys and talk about the gospel. UNTIL this week. Last Sunday out of nowhere he decided to try out church and read the Book of Mormon  After seven days he is already almost done with 1 Nephi. He has had a complete turnaround, agreed to sit with us twice this week, accepted baptism, an started reading the Book of Mormon. He went from a rebellious teenager to a curious kid wanting to know his Savior better within literally one week. It is amazing to see the way reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and feeling the spirit there can change a person completely. I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. READING  IT CHANGES LIVES! PERIOD! Keep reading it if you already are, and start if you’re not, it’s a commandment!
  Wednesday we had the first ever zone meeting in our new mission for our zone.  It was so so good. We learned how to grow investigators faith when teaching the restoration. MY favorite part was that we have to invite people to know it’s true. Any person in the world can throw down a testimony and any missionary can explain the “facts” of why the restoration is true, but at the end of it all, all we can do is invite people to show their faith, and do the EXACT thing that Joseph Smith did,” that is, ask of God.” We watched a new mormon message for youth, you all have to watch it, it’s called “Origins”. And talks about this exact subject. It is super strong and I felt the spirit very strong when I watched it. Too often I try to convince people that the church is true, instead I need to invite them to do  what James directs. He didn’t say " if any of ye lack wisdom let him ask.... his buddy, teacher, boss, parent, or even his preacher. He said let him ask “OF GOD.” That is so powerful! When we ask God directly he answers.
That scripture literally changed the world when Joseph Smith read it and applied it, and it will change our lives if we will do the same. I know that this principle is true and that the lord loves us all so much that he will listen and answer our prayers. I’m so grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves to listen to his children and give them blessings when they ask.
  Thursday we set three new baptismal dates! I don’t have time to explain them all right now, but I’m writing letters home this week and will share the coolest stories I can in detail!. Wow. Success is fun. And hard work brings success. Therefore, hard work is fun! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!
The next coolest thing that happened was that three guys in our branch of Cassequel received their mission calls! Two are going to the Ghana Accra mission and one to the Portugal mission. It is so cool to see Angolan young men and women going to teach the good word outside of Angola. Angola is already affecting the rest of the world. It can only go up from here!
MY challenge for this week to all is to watch that mormon message for youth called “Origins”
It’s new and on the front of LDS.org.
Funny thing that happened this week, walked into a house and right there live on the TV is a Phoenix Mercury womans bball game! So random!
Anyways I wanted to close with a short testimony!
I love this gospel, and I know that it is true. I know the Savior's atoning sacrifice can be applied in even the most torn and bleeding lives. I know our Father in Heaven answers prayers and gives blessings when we ask, I love and am grateful for you all and the love you show me. I pray for you all each day! Have a good week! I love you all! I hope this letter is good. Hold me to my word each week to really share my mission with you all. I love you! I love the Lord, and I love being a missionary!
Com muito amor,

Elder Montgomery

July 15, 2013

Awesome week

Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 10:06 AM
Subject: one more down!

Ola Minha Familia!!!!
wow the weeks are flying by so so fast.
First to start off I’m gonna give a little layout of our week. So Tuesday we started off the morning with a guy named G. He was SO  so cool. One of the most prepared people I’ve ever met. He wasn’t even a reference or anything, just a guy we contacted in the street and then he actually read the pamphlet and called us. He wanted to learn about the Book of Mormon and read it as soon as possible. Really cool. He was like, I know this has to be true, because God wouldn't just abandon us after the bible was written, aside from the spiritual part, it just makes sense! All the American Indians and stuff" haha so that was really cool. Then we had another week full of finding. very fun.
We set a baptismal date with Olivia too, one of Joao and Paula’s daughters! (the couple who me and elder Dunkley baptized!!)
She had an amazing experience when she watched her dad’s baptism and decided to be baptized too, so we’ve been meeting with her for the last few weeks and now we set a date with her for August tenth!!! I’m so stoked for that family. They really want to go to the temple. Such blessings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then I had the privilege of going on a division with my wonderful zone leader elder Tilley! haha I love that guy so much he is an awesome missionary. Our division was so fun and I learned a ton! 
I really look up to my brothers in the field. They give me a lot of inspiration!
Saturday was super super fun!!!!!!!! We got to go help brother Reedy, the dad of an American family who was here in our branch, we got to help him put on a barbeque lunch for allllll the drivers and guards that have helped them since they’ve been here in Angola!
We spent all day Saturday feeding about 300 people at different times throughout the day. It was just me Elders Dunk,  Stewart, Hyde, Merkely,  and McCune. I felt like we were doing dinner impossible ahah but we manages. We grilled like 70 pounds of hamburgers and made them all and served them to the guys and everything. It was so so fun! I was running wild like a chicken with my head cut off I didn’t get to take any pictures sorry, but it was really a fun day for sure!
After that just had a normal calm Sunday and then today has been a good pday! Me and elder Dunkley are just finding the elect and it’s been amazing so far!  I read a book this week that teaches how to make friends and influence people, and I have learned so so much. Even just the simple things of smiling at people every day makes you have a good day. It’s like magic! I hope I can apply it good in my missionary work. 
Anyways I love you all and wish you all have good weeks. Love and prayers are always coming to you from me! I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! have a good week. 
com muito amor,

Elder Colin Jay Montgomery

July 8, 2013

First ANGOLA, LUANDA Mission Conference

back l-r Hobbs, Merkley, Marequell, Tingey, Fontaine, Garn, Chatwin, Wilhelm, Wilson, Stewart, Montgomery, Clifford, McCune.
middle l-r McAllister, Kearny, Dunkley, Yeanoplos, Hannay, Hansen, Cafferty, Brown, Banta, Hyde, 
President and Sister Merrill, Elder and Sister Abdo
front l-r Chandler, Castleton, Pimental, Tilley, Ferguson, Whitaker, Money, Dredge.  

Brothers Clifford, Hyde, and Montgomery

ola minha familia!!!                                                                                                                             July 8, 2013

 FIRST OFF, CHELSEA!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!! I SEN TOYU YOUR OWN EMAIL:) 
So this week was yet another one that seemed to pass like a whirlwind!! So the first part, or all of the week it really felt, was mission conference with President Merrill and all the other missionaries. We had elders from Lubango staying with us, (Kearney and Hansen) so that was fun! The fourth of July we had a mission conference all day with trainings from President and Sister Merrill and a get to know you session with them too. That was super cool. I LOVE PRESIDENT AND SISTER MERRILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and they are totally from Arizona haha loved it.
President Merrill has basically the mindset that as we are obedient and do everything we can to follow and seek the lord’s counsel, it will be given to us and we will receive blessings. He talked about rules and that common sense was the biggest rule. If we think we shouldn’t do something or we don’t know if it’s ok or not, then don’t do it! haha I loved that. 
It was also really good to see all the other missionaries. Sorry I didn’t get pictures with President and Sister individually, but I did get one with Elder Clifford and Elder Hyde they are literally my brothers!

President Merrill and the assistant still haven’t had like new goals and stuff like that, but I’m sure within the next few weeks they will do those so we can see them. His philosophy is basically that we are going to grow this mission the right way and the lords way, even if its slow- ya we could go out and baptize a thousand people a month, but then the church would collapse form not enough support form older members and stuff like that, so he said were gonna follow the lords counsel and grow the church how the lord wants, which right now is real growth. Baptisms and retention, not just a ton of baptisms. I don’t know if that all makes sense or not. but ya. 
BUT something really cool was then Friday we had mission testimony meeting. all the missionaries and president and sister bore their testimonies. it was really cool. i loved hearing all the other missionaries bear their testimonies, something we don’t get all to often. but then after the testimony meeting, 
President Merrill gave our mission a blessing. He stood at the pulpit and basically said as the mission resident he had the power to invoke heavens blessing upon us as missionaries and upon our work. HOLY COW. Spiritual overload. so so cool. He gave us collectively as a mission a priesthood  blessing and blessed us to have the spirit as we obeyed and to have health and strength and to have the ability to follow the spirit and bless the lives of others and a million other things, and then as he closed the blessing he sealed it upon the mission just as your open with the authority in a normal blessing. The spirit filled the room and I was so grateful to receive that blessing. Even though it was to everyone I felt like it was to me individually. really cool. I didn’t know he could do that but he holds the keys over our mission, just like p
Pres Monson over he church, to invoke the powers of heaven and give us blessings according to our obedience and worthiness. SUPER cool. President Merrill is a spiritual giant. I love him!

I got to have an interview with President on Saturday, and I won’t give details but all the counsel he gave came from Heavenly Father, it was amazing. I know it was exactly what I needed to hear! I was very humbled and felt so loved amazing experience for sure. 
I have definitely been humbled for a few personal reasons this week! The lord is throwing tests my way and giving me the strength I need to overcome them, but it’s not easy! BUT during mission conference we watched a video Elder Holland giving a talk to mission presidents, basically to the effect that missionaries will at times say why why why why why President is this or that not easy, work, investigators, companions all that,  and Elder Holland THROWS DOWN about the Atonement. "The reason missionary work isn’t easy is because its not supposed to be easy! It was never easy, it’s not ever going to be easy, because it was NEVER EASY for the Savior in the garden, on the cross. everything. " that’s not a direct quote but you get the picture. wow. very humbling. I will work a little harder and complain a little less this week. 
So I’m so jealous about PC! you all look like you’re having a blast. I hope I get to join in the festivities someday! ahaha make sure mom and dad you guys get together with the Hyde’s too!.
random stuff: 
Anyways, I can’t think of anything else to write, but I love you all! I hope this week is fun, and you all keep enjoying PC without me. have fun! I’m very jealous. just take lots of pictures!.
oh ya, I heard about the fires too. wow. so so sad. I’m grateful for those who have given their lives in the fire service, and more grateful that you dad, were always protected and watched over. If you know any of the families give them my love. 
Love you all! Have good weeks, Chels have a sick bday today, and everyone give the kiddos my love! Graham love you! Claire love you! Beau love you!!! 
ate proximo semana! loves.
com amor,

Elder Montgomery

July 1, 2013

Work Brings Results! It's a fact!

47 Weeks in Angola 

Elder Dunkley, Doroval and Elder Montgomery

Joao , Paula, and Elder Montgomery
 they have a son serving in Cape Verde Mission
and a daughter that has been baptized
 they are now preparing to go to the Temple.

Elder Dunkley Serafim and Elder Montgomery

Newly Baptized Members in Luanda
President and Sister Merrill just arrived in ANGOLA,LUANDA , June 29,2013 Baptism of 15 !
front row l-r Montgomery,Tilley, McCune, Whitaker, Money, Dunkley, Chandler, Banta
med.l-r McAllister,behind Wilson, Brown,Sister Merrill,President Merrill, Pimental, Garn,Stewart
back l-r Wilhelm, Mariquel, Hyde, Tingey, Chatwin, Hannay, Fontaine, Merkley,  Hobbs, these are the Elders serving in the City areas of  Luanda.

its official

45 weeks in Angola                                                                                                      July 1,2013
wow, so this week has for sure been a whirlwind of emotions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
First off it started Tuesday me and Elder Dunkley started over in our area. We dropped allll of our non progressing investigators and figured and prayed that if we went looking hard, the Lord would work with us and give us people, or at least put them in our path so we could find them and teach them! So we started with 8 investigators, three of whom were going to be baptized this week, so we had to get working fast ahah. We started out knocking doors. Something I never dreamed I would do here in Luanda, because there’s so many more people here, and that’s allllll we did in New Jersey and I dreaded it ahah  but we needed to find people! So we started out Tuesday morning knocking doors and people just OPENED!!!!!!!!!! One after one people were accepting and letting us in to their houses, and to share the message with them, and to leave copies of the BOM and to read and everything,. It was   we had some other lessons and just kept knocking doors and ended the week off with a good 12 SOLID prepared investigators. SO COOL! We now have a good strong teaching pool, and the members are behind us and willing to help. 
So work wise this week was FULL for sure, then, Wednesday night was very very sad because Elders Arrington Harper, Eckman, Richter, and Perry were all going home! We all went to the airport to say good bye and it was very bitter sweet to see them go. They all were very amazing missionaries, and my examples and leaders, so it was weird to see them leave. I felt kind of like a weight was on our shoulders for those of us who are staying. On top of that I’m district leader now, and it’s not a huge deal but it adds to the stress for sure ahah I was in charge of the 15 baptisms we had this week and for the baptismal program! so I was pretty stress about that too, but anyways, seeing them go really opened my eyes, When I got here, they all only had less than a year left,,, exactly where I am now,,,, so that was super scary because I felt like my mission was going WAY too fast. I realized I gotta make use of the short time I have left because it’s gonna fly super quick. it already is! 
So that ended off Wednesday, and in the picture email I already talked about the baptisms, so read that to find out more:)
The weekend ran good, and last night we in Cassequel had the opportunity to go to the Weggeland’s house (some American members), and watch the Worldwide leadership broadcast. SO  SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it how the church is putting such a huge push on the missionary work in the members to hasten this work! It truly is the work of the Lord and needs to be hastened! I really enjoyed the talk’s and though it was super interesting that they give missionaries ipads and stuff like that and that they’ll be able to use the internet too. WOW! changes in the last year or whaT!!! crazy changes for sure. My favorite part was how they used all the video clips and stuff. Really cool. 
other than that the only news was that PRESIDENT AND SISTER MERRILL IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
THE ANGOLA LUANDA MISSION IS OFFICIALY ESTABLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE are so excited !!!!! they got here right before the baptism. It was so cool that they could see that. Elder Merkley and I were the first to see them and the first thing
President said was "well were here, without baggage but were here! Hope you Elders don’t mind me wearing the same suit for a few days!" ahah I ALREADY love them so so much. I am so completely excited to have our own mission and President. 
This week was good though. just lots of finding new people, and  lots  more work to do!
but SO  to answer questions and respond, sadly for now, Elder Dunkley and I still have to live alone, because they don’t want our house to be vacant. It’s kind of a bummer but we’ll see if we can get it changed this week ahah
MOM that’s crazy what you typed at the top of your email, 47 weeks in Angola out of 65 weeks in the mission THAT SCARES ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! really though, I feel like this time is flying so fast I haven’t been able so far to do everything that I want to do! ahah so I’ve been reflecting a lot these last few weeks on how to get the best out of the last nine month of my mission, first off, I’m DONE telling people how much time I have left haha if anyone asks I’m just gonna say "about a year". the other elders going home tis last week made it a little more real for me. This mission is flying so I’m gonna try to make more out of every single day for sure.  
My leg is fine, it looked a lot worse in the pictures hah it was really just a cut. 
I got my shoes fixed, and now I’m just gonna keep one pair for church, and one pair and my boots for tracting, I totally forgot about my boots so I definitely won’t need to buy new shoes. I can’t really think of anything I need. I bought Elder Eckman’s ipod from him before he left so I have a ton more music now, so I really don’t need any more music, so if you haven’t already done the thumb drive you can leave it undone if you have thought go ahead and send it in the next package, but other that that and exercise bands I really don’t need anything. 

Dad, I have been feeling horrible the last few weeks because I’ve been writing crummy letters, and I promised myself before I even got your email this morning to write better family letters ahah so ill be writing better from here on out I promise. I just always write to everyone last and run out of time. but I’ll be better I promise!
    So anyways, I just wanna bear a short testimony that this is the Lord’s work!!!!!!!!!!! ITS NOT JUST A COINCIDENCE when you knock on someone’s door who pretty much only asks, "can I have a little time to prepare for baptism!!??" ahahahah I love when people are prepared by the Lord to hear this message, and that number of prepared people is just growing and growing, that is truly why we have to HASTEN THE WORK OF THE LORD, even until its preached to THE ENDS of the earth. and believe me, it is. I love the Angolan people,I love you all, and I love being a missionary! Shot OUT To Elders in the field, DONT TAKE ONE SINGLE DAY FOR GRANTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that I have at times and I hate that, so I’m gonna live it up and work my hardest every day. I love you all and pray for you all individually every day. I know our Father hears and answers all our prayers, and loves us all dearly, and I only pray we can love each other enough to share this HAPPY message of the gospel. I love you all! have amazing weeks and know that the
Lord is with you!! I love you!
com muiot amor Your elder
Elder Colin Jay Montgomery