December 16, 2013

I'm Dreaming of an AZ Christmas

doing some landscaping , what you cant see is that he has on hot pink crocs  lol
Lunch with  Elders and ?? 

Elder Merkley and Montgomery together for 2 transfers in Benfica

Elder Montgomery, Andre from Angola getting ready to leave on his mission to Portugal,
 Elder Hyde and Brown.

Week 70 OLA MINHA FAMILIA!!!!!                                                         Dec 16 2013
 First off, shout out to Susan Figgins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love and miss you my mom #2 and I hope your birthday was awesome!!!!! Sorry for the late wishes.
So this week was a good one. Me and Elder Banta are rocking it already and I am loving the chance to work with a new companion. I always thought I didn’t like change and felt I was a creature of habit in  my life until the mission, but I have figured out that I love adapting to changes and trying new things and changing up the routine. It’s fun!
So Monday we got transfer notices, and found out that Elder Merkley was leaving, so Tuesday was pretty much going around our whole area and elder Merkley was saying goodbye to all the people we taught and stuff, so that was fun. Then Wednesday morning elder Merkley packed his stuff and left for Vianna, and elder Banta came to Benfica.  He unpacked for about an hour, then we ate lunch and went straight to work. The whole week was pretty good, and we got to walk alllllot. But had some really good lessons, set one more baptismal date, and found some new people. Elder Banta  so we have already gotten into a really good teaching groove, and I’m excited to work with him!!!
We are focusing a lot in strengthening our recent convert and less active members, because our area will never grow and multiply and replenish if it doesn't have member support, so that is something we are working on really hard, but we do have some good baptismal dates set and have a healthy teaching pool.
 I finished the book or mormon this week again in my person reading and was strengthened by the powerful promises that Moroni gives us as we come unto Christ to be perfected in him. I am trying constantly to come unto him, and earn a forgiveness of my sins as I help those brothers and sisters here in Angola learn how they too can do the same. I have a lot of baggage on my conscience and have a hard time forgiving myself for my past mistakes, and how I could have been a better missionary if I would have done this or that, or if I would have studied the language harder and stuff, but I know that through the Lords help I can be forgiven, and as Alma puts , I can be made an instrument in the Lords hands to bring others to the gospel and eventually show them the way to salvation.
   It is definitely a daily struggle. I heard a quote that when an elder is set apart as a missionary he enters into a personal full time war with satan, and satan is constantly trying to tempt him, bring him down, an make in ineffective a s a missionary. ITS TRUE! ahha I have felt that since the very first day. But as that missionary does his best and stays on the Lord’s side, bringing souls unto Christ, he has the protection that Paul describes as the armor of god. It’s a good metaphor, but at the same time its 10000000% percent true. I think of that picture Greg and I had on our wall as kids of two missionaries getting ready in the morning in their apartment about to leave and one is doing his tie in the mirror, but in the reflection in the mirror is of a soldier putting on his helmet and holding his sword and shield. I feel like that every single day, that this is truly a battle of good versus evil, and that I am on the lords side bringing souls unto him. Like it says in the missionary handbook, HOW GREAT IS YOUR ((my) CALLING!
I’m fighting every day, someday are great battles’ I have been doing something lately that I love. Alcohol is a huge huge huge part of life here. I’m not just talking about a beer on the weekends or a wine with dinner, but men and women and teenagers who are from the time they wake-up to the time they pass out drinking beer whiskey and anything’s alcoholic they can get their hands on, just to make it through the day or to get out of the life that is so hard here. So my goal and its been working, is to make at least one person a day think twice about why and what they are drinking , what that drink does to them and in turn to their families, and to their kids the person they might hit in their car. Everything, and then I convince them to dump the drink out on the ground. I know they can go buy another one the second I weak away, but at least for one second, even if just to make me go away, they thought about their kids and wife and family and those who they have in their lives, and they valued those people  more than a bottle or a plastic whiskey packet. Hey I know I’m not doing much in a city of 8 million people, but I’m staying where I am and lifting where I stand as a representative of Jesus Christ called to the country of Angola to do what I can to bring souls to their redeemer.
 So that’s my mindset lately. do everything I can and give everything I got for these next four months, because I will one day look back and regret or rejoice in the work I did or didn’t do here in these two short years. I have a lot of regrets, but I wanna rejoice more! work work work, there is no substitute.
Anyway, elder Montgomery is good, healthy, and stoked for the days and months and weeks to come.
Skype, I’d like everyone there who can come. It’s the last one after all. Family, friends, whoever. It’s up to yall. just so everyone knows, President Merrill was specific in his instructions that we follow the handbook, that say 40 MINUTE LIMIT ON SKYPE. So I’m gonna be exactly obedient get all your questions and stuff written down and let’s not waste time we don’t have:) I’ll let you know what time though next Monday. Probably around 10 or nine in the morning there would be best right_ I think that time works here too, I’ll let you know. So keep in mind though 40 minute limit! Sorry, rules  R rules.
No box package yet, but I did get the envelopes like I said. I’m stoked to see all your smiling faces!!!!! I love you all and hope this week goes by fast. I know it will for me. Every week flies by. Especially when you’re having fun. If you’re NOT having fun in missionary work, you’re doing something wrong!
I love you all, best Christmas wishes and loves and kisses. I’ll talk to ya next week to confirm the times and everything. loves!!!!
com amor, Elder Montgomery 

December 9, 2013

Wonderful Week

Kito's baptism, he and his family have been taught for 9 months, last week he and his wife were married. 
Elder Mariquele, Yeanoplos, Kito, Elder Montgomery, Tingey, and Clifford
Dec. 7, 2013

69 Weeks in Angola                                                                                        Dec. 9, 2013

So this week was as wonderful as the last. And this week coming will even be more wonderful. Why?? Hard, work, great attitude, thanksgiving, and consecration. Those are the things I’m focusing on to better myself lately. Its going good. I have a lot of work left to go though that’s for sure. 
So this week had a few awesome events!
 -mission conference with Elder Kevin S. Hamilton of the second quorum of the 70, 
-Kito got baptized
Transfers!!! I’m staying in Benfica, sad to say Elder Merkley is leaving, but stoked to work with Elder Banta!!!! Its gonna be super fun and he’s a very hard worker I know so we will do work. Elder Merkley goes to Viana to be with Elder Fergeson.
- I got the four envelope packages!!!!!
So yeah it was a very good week. But also the week was good with work. We set baptismal dates with three guys, 20 17 and 15, all prospective missionaries. So cool. I think they will all pull through!

So the highlight of the week was for sure the mission conference. I took like ten pages of notes in two hours that Elder Hamilton spoke. He definitely reminds me a lot of Elder Bednar in the way he teaches and talks and all that. super cool.
He spoke on the path that leads to exaltation. It is a straight and narrow path that has to pass through certain gaits and checkpoints, baptism, the temple, etc, an without those gaits and checkpoints people will NEVER make it to eternal life. It is essential that we teach the path. Elder Holland said, "if you can convince me of the WHY, I’ll figure out the HOW" he told a story of some members in the Congo, two men who rode ONE bicycle over 8 days to go to stake conference where they received the Melchizedek priesthood. Two guys one bike, 8 days, across the country to listen to their priesthood leaders and receive the power of God so they can serve others. Talk about consecration!!!!
 So he talked about how our investigators, if they do not take the very first steps, reading, praying, coming to church, they will not keep and honor baptismal their temple covenants. That’s how we can know who to focus on. The people who show the desire. Even if they’re not perfect. Desire is universal. 
So I learned a lot from that,  and me and Elder Banta will have some extra finding time, but we will find those who will receive us and the Lord. I’m so excited!!!!

I love doing this work. I am so blessed to have great leaders, and examples all around me. Not only my mission president, and family, and friends, but in the mission also. Elder Hyde and Clifford, as the assistants to the president, who I’m so stoked that Clifford will live with me and Hyde now, and also Elders Merkley, Mariquele, Rigby, and Petersen. All amazing elders who make me better every day.
I’m really really trying to do my best to consecrate myself and these next few months of my mission. My favorite quote from Elder Hamilton, I don’t know if he made it up or not, but I liked it- 
"you have two years to do it, and a lifetime to think about it. " NO REGRETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m doing my best and will do better every day to make sure I am giving all my heart mind might and strength to the lord. I love this gospel so much and am so grateful to teach it to this people in Angola. 
I love allllll of you so much and am so thankful for the packages!!! The four bubble packages got here and Greg I got your letter! Loved it and am writing yours right now. 

I love you all, have good safe weeks, and know I love you! Make someone better, serve, be Christlike, and love one another! 
com amor,
Elder Colin Montgomery

Elder Clifford says hi!!!

December 2, 2013

So Much to Be Thankful for !

Simple things that make him Smile

Thanksgiving Day Soccer Tournament Championship 2013
does Elder Montgomery make the penalty shot for the win ? 
or does Elder Domingos (who has been playing soccer all of his life) block the shot.  

The long awaited marriage of Kito and Miloca,Congratulations.

68 Weeks in Angola
OLa miinha familia!                                                                                        Dec. 2, 2013
I love you all so much and hope that everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving and is now in the awesome Christmas spirit! I sure am!
So this week was a really good one. crazy and stressful at a few times, but super good. 
Monday we had a half pday because of Thanksgiving, but it was good to get out and start the week off with a hard day of work!
   Elder Rigby and Elder Peterson are walking together as companions, and they are both in the field for only 9 weeks so far!!! >ELDER PETERSON AND RIGBY ARE STUDS!!!!! I never ever could have walked with someone my same time in the mission before I even got done training. But Elder Rigby and Peterson have completely amazed me and are rocking in their area, both with only 11 weeks in Angola. They are very diligent and are progressing both together very well. They’re my heroes of the week! 
Wednesday we received Elder Andre, (Angolan) and Elder Brown in our house, who were in Lubango, but for Elder Andre to get his visa to Portugal they are in Luanda, so there is 8 elders living in our house right now. It’s a lot!!!! Very crowded but FUN. There’s always someone to talk to haha
Wednesday night we went with our branch president to visit a member recent convert who needs some help, so we took our branch president there, and had a really good visit with her. But the really cool thing was when my comp, Elder Merkley, bore his testimony about a personal experience of keeping the  Sabbath day holy to the member, and the spirit was SO strong. Elder Merkley doesn’t usually say a lot, he’s a pretty quiet guy, but I am learning so much with him because when he bears his testimony he does it with power and authority, and the sprit floods upon the lesson. It’s truly amazing and I love learning with him. The spirit doesn’t care what we say, he wants to guide  our words and then they will be powerful. Something I’m trying to learn. Elder Merkley is teaching me so much!
Thursday,,, was AMaZING. Thanksgiving, turkey bowl, but soccer. We the Bem fica bate bwe beat the Luanda 2 big red underdogs in the first game semi finals, but then lost to the Lumbago laser cats in the final, the picture I sent of me taking a penalty shot would have won the game but Elder Domingo’s blocked it:(
So we lost but had so so much fun playing. Then we alllll helped to make the t-day diner, I peeled like 20 pound of potatoes and am now a pro at peeling a potatoes with just a knife. Dinner was amazing, then we made skits and just had fun. It was a blast to be with all the elders and have so much fun, even though I lost us the game for the championship:(!
So then Friday I went on a division with Elder Clifford  and that was fun , but the highlight of the day was the wedding of Kito and Miloca, Friday night. Me and Elder Clifford, then Dunkley then Tingey taught him and her in Cassequel forever, the whole five transfers when I was there and even more, and they finally got married. I was so happy I wanted to cry. Kito will be baptized on this Saturday, I’m so excited. 
Saturday and Sunday were normal but good days. Our branch had some awesome baptisms, and it was stress free and fun. I loved this week. I learned so much about following the spirit, I’ve been trying to learn from Elder Merkley and I have learned so much. He truly has the spirit and testifies with power and authority. I love watching people hearts be touched and then hearing how they describe the spirit. My face just lights up when someone recognizes the sprint and the lord working using us as his hammer such a fulfilling experience! 
I love you all! I hope the spirit of Christmas fills your weeks and you all remember the birth of the greatest man who ever was born or whoever will be born on this earth, and I promise that he lives! I love you all! Have a good week! I’ll give the details about skype when I find out. No idea yet! I love you!
Have a good week. Remember even though thanksgiving is over all that you are thankful for! Share with those who don’t have. It’s a commandment and part of our baptismal covenants! “weep with those who weep, comfort those that stand in need of comfort”. There are those who are without family or presents or food this holiday season.. My challenge to you all is to serve someone this week. Not someone who you know or who isn’t suffering, but be Christlike and truly help someone this week. YOU'LL HAVE TO LOOK! Opportunities won’t knock on the door. You might have to look a little. But you’ll find it, then don’t let it pass, because Christ wouldn’t!
Love you all!!!!!
com muito amor,
Elder Montgomery!