January 27, 2014

"Change is good "

Before and Now - Change is such a great thing !!!

Elder Kelsey , Henriquie in Lubango , Elder Montgomery
Jan 2013

76 weeks in Angola                                                                           Jan 27 , 2014
Sorry that last week was super short, and that this week will be too. our new area doesn’t have very good internet cafes (that’s why my spelling is horrible, all the keyboard keys stick,,, bare with me here) and today they close early so we will only get one hour, so this will be shorter I think. 
My week was awesome. I love elder Garcia, he has been an awesome companion and we have been working really hard. It’s pretty tough opening a new area, and I definitely have been stressed, but we are also having success, and I am loving it.
Elder Garcia is a very purpose driven elder, and he helps me stick to our mission purpose, so basically we don’t do anything that is going to take away from the spirit, or that will waste our time, he’s helping me with that for sure. I have loved being companions with him and am excited for the work we will do here in our area. We have already set for baptismal dates for February, so we are super excited about that. 
Our favorite member here is actually a Rastafarian guy that was baptized last year. Basically a mormon version of bob Marley or all the guys off “cool running’s”. He is super cool, an always has time to teach with us. Two of our baptismal dates are referrals from him. He is a champion of a recent convert, and I’ll send some pictures next week when we go to the better cafe. 
it’s been weird getting to know the area, but fun at the same time. Sometimes we have what’s called an adventure time, where all of our appointments drop so we go door knocking in an area we have never been. And sometimes we get lost. But it’s fun. The lord is preparing cool people for us. 
One of my favorite lessons this week was with a less active member from Portugal. he was baptized in Portugal 12 years ago, but then moved to the azore islands a place where there wasn’t any church, so he has been inactive for the last 11 years, but then elder Banta and I ran into him in the post office a few weeks back, and now I and elder Garcia are teaching him.. He is a stud and he’s a great desire to re learn and start living the gospel again. 
Elder Garcia has been speaking very good Portuguese, and even though he don’t think so, he already speaks very very well. he will be fluent before I leave for sure. 
I am loving our new area a lot. it is the middle of the city for sure, the planes fly over us just like they did in Cassequel, and the barrio is almost the exact same, so I’ve kind of been reminiscing a little bit. I got a call from my very first baptism, Henriques in Lubango today right before internet. It was super cool to hear he’s still doing awesome. He is the elder quorum president and a very strong member of that small branch. It is the greatest joy to see someone you helped come to the gospel prosper and receive blessings from our
Father in Heaven.!
(side note, mom, haha he told me he was calling because you were worried because I hadn’t emailed yet. I’m fine, stay calm! 12 weeks, love ya.)
But ya, this week was awesome, I am excited to send more news next week of our investigators progressing towards baptism. I love you all and am so grateful for the strength I receive from your prayers each and every day.
Uncle Val an Aunt Teri and family I will pray extra hard for you in this time of loss of Brandon. I love you all and send my thoughts and prayers especially in this time of loss. The lord has a plan for each of us, never forget it’s all part of his plan! 
Well I love you all so much, an I am so excited to see where the next twelve weeks take me and elder Garcia. Pray for our investigators! We need to change this area around:) love you all! Have a good week, till next time!
com amor,

Elder Montgomery

January 20, 2014

New Area ~New Companion

Short Email...
75 Weeks in Angola                                                                            Jan 20, 2014
It seems like this was the absolute longest week of my whole mission! But it was an awesome week full of blessings. I’m super excited for this new area and new experience. 
Elder Garcia got here Wednesday and he is really cool. He pretty much already speaks Portuguese and has a great desire to work, so its been a blast getting to know our new area. It’s pretty hard going into a new area that I have never been too, with a new missionary and not knowing any of the members, any of the current investigators or recent converts or less actives or anything, but the Lords has already given us so many blessings. We were able to in only three days of work in our new area and get a full weeks worth or work done when we looked at the numbers, and have already found a lot of new investigators and set two baptismal dates. That is my main focus right now is baptisms, because this area has suffered so long and only had about 3 baptisms in the last calendar year, so I really want to make it a progress sign area and show the other missionaries that there is work to be done here. So to sum it all up we are working hard and very optimistic! 
Sorry I didn’t send pictures this week my card was having problems. 
Anyway, I know this church is true and that this is the Lords work, I know that because his hand is in it each and every day and I see and receive his blessings. I love you all and hope you have a good week.
com amor
Elder Montgomery

January 13, 2014

The New Year is off to a great start

Sweet Family new baptisms 

Elder Banta playing games 

Elder Montgomery with a Christmas stocking from Elder Banta's Family

74 weeks                                                                                 Jan 13,2014
ola minha familia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
wow this week was a long one, but full of work and love and testimony and new investigators and the spirit. this was a blessed week for me, I hope the same for all of you.

Me and elder Banta had an amazing week doing our best to replenish our teaching pool, and found ten new people, but not just any ten people, but all very good cool prepared investigators. the coolest one is named Josemar, he is form London and speaks perfect English, and pretty much already decided to be baptized. he’s really cool, and loves the church already. 

But the bigger news is that I am getting transferred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I  will be spending my last two transfers in an area called Terra Nova, in the VERY middle of the city over bordering my old area in Cassequel. It’s one of the if not the most ghetto area in the mission, and better than all that, I’ll be whitewashing the area with my new trainee elder Garcia!!!!!!!!!! That means well be going two new elders into an area we’ve both never worked, and elder Garcia is gonna be fresh off the plane from the US. I’m so stoked and grateful for this opportunity. It’s gonna be a blast. I know it will be stressful but a huge testimony builder. I’m so excited to see where these last oops I mean next two transfers will go! Love you all! Sorry it’s so short o tempo e curto!!! vos amo!!!com amor,
Elder Montgomery
Received his final Christmas Package Chocolate, chick fil a Cow watch from Graham 

Elder Clifford directing traffic 

73 weeks                                                                                                         Jan 6 2014
dois mil e quatorze
So this week was super good. We had normal days Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday for new years we got our pday. on Wednesday we got to play soccer, and I got your package mom! Thank you tons again. I am slowly eating one reeces a day, and its heaven every night!
so the pictures i sent are at soccer opening up my package, and then elder Clifford directing the truck to back up, he looked like a boss so I thought I’d throw him in there, and then a really bad picture of an Angolan hearse. it’s a pickup truck hearse.
Anyways, this was a very normal week, sorry I dont have alot to write, I said most of it in the recording. Me and elder Banta  are just working hard. We dropped almost all of our invesigators his week because none of them were doing anything to progress, so were looking to find some elect. I’m super excited for contacting this week to find those people who really have a thirst for the gospel and don’t know it yet. I love working with Elder Banta. transfers are a week early because we will be receiving three new elders this next week on the 15th, so I’m excited to see what happens I feel like Ill probly die here in Benfica, as in finish my mission, but president Merrill is very very good at throwing us all curveballs in our transfers, it makes it really fun because we never how whats gonna happen, but the Lord does, and the revelation is received and it happens the way it’s supposed to, not the way we think or want, but what the lord wants.
So I’m just truckin along trying to grow each day. Dad, you wanted my new year’s resolution, so here it is, I got this quote from sister Merrill’s desk, I dont know who it’s by but it goes a little something like this>

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always be what you have always been."

So with that in mind my new years resolution is to be a new me. to be a better me. I have always in my life, to be completely honest, felt extremely mediocre in everything I did. sports, school, callings, and for the last two years, a missionary. SO this year and from now on, I am going to be extraordinary at the few things I choose. I want to have an extraordinary relationship with my Heavenly Father, so I will be exactly obedient in keeping the commandments and serving him and others, and I will be extraordinary in school and work by putting myself 100 percent devoted into those things, among others. I’m gonne live my life at an extraordinary level, so I can be an extraordinary person. If that makes sense to you all, there you go. if not another scripture describes my goal.

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as I, and Your father in Heaven are perfect."
No I wont be able to be perfect, but I will perfect myself everyday!
So anyway, with a new year, comes a new attitude and a new outlook on life. I have complete 2013 the YEAR of my mission, the only year in my life I will spend every day as a missionary. I am so grateful for everything i learned but that would not all fit in an email, so ill add to it and share in a few short months.
Don’t do what you have always done, so you wont be what you have always been, be better!
I love you all! Have a good week, and happy new year!
com amor,
Elder Montgomery

and no I didn’t forget!


Christmas and New Years

72 weeks                                                                                             Dec 30, 2013
and a happy new year!!!
ola minha familia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I love you all and am so grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you so so much for skype, it really was amazing, despite the fact that i was nervous out of my mind. why??? no clue. but it was good. thank you so much . I sent a recording and hope you all get it explaining what i really wanted to say on skype, at least some of the things, that I forgot in my rushed nervousness.
but all in all, your still a great family, and I guess I’ll keep you, besides, you didn’t come with a gift receipt.......! haha kidding, you’re the best family ever and I love each and every one of you all so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Graham,  Claire and Beau are so huge. I think I am most nervous to come home to them and try to be the best uncle I can be. They are getting so so grown up. I couldn’t believe it.
But thank you all for making my Christmas amazing, it was very merry, and I wouldn’t and couldn’t have asked for more. Mostly thanks for the understanding on  the whole time limit and getting  cut off, and the power going out and no Portuguese testimony. I just need blessings for people here that won’t get them unless I am obedient.
This week was really good though. Tuesday we painted a house of a lady and didn’t even get close to done, but we got their living room pretty so they could have a merry pretty Christmas. It was hard work and dirty, but the spirit of love and service was so worth it. Then obviously skype was the highlight for Christmas, and we went caroling just our district, my Banta Hyde Clifford Rigby and Peterson, to some families’ members and investigators in our area. We saved Christmas I think for 7 of them. It was a blast.
Thursday I was really shooken up the skype and everything, not that it wasn’t amazing just that I couldn’t sleep or focus that night, so the antivenom to trunkyness= work!!!!!! Me and elder Banta turned a small week of work into a huge success working as hard as we could for the four short days we could and the lord blessed us immensely, we were able to visit all the families we needed to and then our numbers for church attendance went back up after suffering the last few weeks.. it was truly an amazing week, as we were exactly obedient we received strength and the spirit to guide us to who we should visit and what we should say in the small time we had, then as we followed the spirit the lord multiplied our time so we could teach more people. it was truly amazing!!!!
So then the rest of the week went really good because we were working hard, and before i knew it here I am in the cyber cafe sweating out another email session. I seriously love Angola! don’t know how I’m gonna feel about leaving, but even better I dont have to worry about that for a long time:)

So I found a cool scripture in DC the other day, I can’t remember I’ll give the reference next week, but it talks about as we are grateful "the lord will multiply our blessings, yea even an hundredfold, yes more." or something like that, but it’s so true!!!! At the end f this year I will give thanks more and ask less, because I receive so so many blessings from the hand of the lord. its true, he will bless us multiplied, then 100x more, and even more, as we love and show gratitude toward him. just like the 1 leper that came back to thank the lord, i guarantee he got even more blessings because he showed gratitude. it is a powerful principle. i pray we can all apply it in our lives. that’s my challenge for the week, during the festivities, be grateful for each and every thing you have, given only by the one who can give all. Our Father. I love you all so much and am so grateful for you this holiday season and always. thank you for being the best family i could ask for. I love you! Have a good week. HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
com amor,

Elder Montgomery

Merry Christmas

71 in Angola
OLA MINHA FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                12-23-1013
FELIZ NATAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
merry Christmas!!!
I love you all so much.
This week was awesome, and me and elder Banta are getting along so so good and doing tons of work. I love serving with him, great attitude and great teacher. It’s so fun. We have a little too much fun I think. but that’s ok! it’s fun because were working harder that rocks. So its allowed!
This week was super full of work work work, and as always I am happy and optimistic. We’re hoping to have 5 baptisms in January, and all of our investigators with dates are solid. We’re stoked!
This week we have a little bit of an unorganized week with Christmas and service projects and stuff like that, but it will be good.
So for skype, I will be calling at 10:30 am your time. So everyone be ready. We only got 40 minutes.

Not much amazing stuff happened this week. Just the branch Christmas party on Saturday that was fun. All the members form the two branches that meet at our chapel were here, we had the spiritual part, then the primary did a nativity, then there was food and games. It was a blast.

In our teaching though one really cool thing is that me and elder Banta have a new investigator. His name is Nomar, he’s half Angolan/Portuguese, half Pilipino, an he’s a stud. Only 19 years old but understands everything we teach and loves reading. He’s already read to 2nd Nephi and now is starting over to remember everything good. He’s a champ and he has a baptismal date for the 11th of January. We’re pretty excited for him.

I was extremely sad and in tears when I read about brother Ashley. I can remember him and their family since before I was even in sunbeams. And all through high school he was the nicest and always had a smile on his face and we’d talk in the hall about school and family and stuff. I know he was a great man and loved as a teacher and friend to many including me. Please send my love  and condolences to Janet and PJ and  all their family.

I love you all, and I hope that everyone remembers the reason for the season. don’t forget the One who’s birth were celebrating and who gave it all for our happiness and salvation. it’s been so fun to chare messages of Christ and love and hope to those here in need. The best thing we can do in this season is follow Christ’s example and serve those around us.
I’m excited to see you all, and for those I wont see, merry Christmas! I love you all!
have a good two days! see ya in a bit!
com amor,
Elder Montgomery