Keaton at Provo Temple

Keaton at Provo Temple

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hello familia!

This week has been pretty brutal weather wise. It's been below freezing and I think it's staying that way until April. However, I don't believe I need much winter gear. I really think I'm set. I've been using my winter coat we bought and I'm liking it so no complaints there. I have gloves, scarves, beanies, thermal stuff, and yeah, I think I'm good. I was pretty packed when I moved apartments - 3 full suitcases and a tote. I may have to get rid of some of my stuff before I move apartments again.

I'm liking it here in Westchester so far. Elder Porter is a sweet guy. He's really into boarding - snowboarding, surfboarding, skateboarding, etcetera. Porter has been on a mission for a year, but only been in this area for six weeks, so we're both really new at who to teach and who the members are. Instead of Westchester streets being organized like a grid, it's more organized like a spaghetti bowl... so we get lost sometimes. It's much like Gurnee and Waukegan in that it's more suburban but there's no open cornfields. It's all a concrete jungle here.

We've been doing a lot of tracting since our teaching pool has been low. Probably the coolest member here is Dave Jones. He comes out with us missionaries a few times a week (sometimes several days in a row) and feeds us and helps teach investigators. He's older (served in Vietnam) and says he's addicted to helping us out. What's unique with him, though, is that he is legally blind!  Can't see out of one eye and can see four feet in from of him in the other - but it's really hard to see regardless.

Thank you so much for all you do, and hey, please start a Christmas list! I'd be more than happy to stop by Chicago and get whatever.

Take care and have a great week!

-Elder Montgomery

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

¡Hola familia!

 So this week is transfers again, and I'm moving to a NEW area. I wasn't really expecting on leaving this transfer, but I'm pretty stoked for the new experience. Today I'm scrambling to see all the ward members one last time because yesterday was our stake conference and I wasn't able to see any of them! 
I'll be transferred to Westchester 1st Ward on Tuesday and buddy up with Elder Porter, who I believe is from Queen Creek, Arizona. Westchester is part of South Chicago (more like South-Western) but I hear it's one of the better areas. 50% of the Elders have bikes and the other half are designated cars, so there's a coin-flip on whether I will like this transfer or not... just kidding - I'm good either way.

Elder Alvey, my awesome companion, is going to be a Dad! Woohoo! He's going to be raising his firstborn son in the wilderness. In other words, he's training a new Elder. I could only be with Elder Alvey for one transfer, which stinks because he's great, but you know, everything happens for a reason.

We just met some sweet investigators this week! I was so stoked to go teach them more since they were so humbly interested in the gospel, but now I'll miss the opportunity. Two of them are S.K. and his wife, V.

I've been talking about the Phoenix temple a lot to members! I always say that the new temple is opening up, and yeah, we live like two blocks away. Now our Ward is going to have Ward temple night like every month :) I'm fine weather-wise so far. I received your package and been taking advantage of those sweaters - sweet sweaters, by the way. I am not a fan of my winter coat we got at Pomeroy's, unfortunately. I might go to Ross and buy a nice coat for cheap. Elder Alvey got a sweet one for 80 bucks; half off. All I ask is that my personal debit card stay above water... I try to be shop smart though, so don't worry.

Thank you so much for all you do! I am grateful to have such a wonderful family and for my opportunity and privilege to serve a mission! I hope and pray everything will go well this week,

-Elder Montgomery

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

¡Hola familia!

It pains me to read about your 80-90 degree temperatures this week. It snowed here with temperatures 30-40. Yeah, snowed on Halloween, which is funny because lots of natives here claim it's never snowed so early before. We didn't do that much for Halloween, though. We had to report back to the apartment by 7:00 so we just goofed off in our apartment. Oh, but we did have something called Elder's Conference that day! It was the first of its nature, which I got to be apart of, which was pretty cool.

The baptism was awesome! I'll need to attach some photos in another email. A.C. did great. The fact that this was my first time baptizing I don't think really made her too nervous. She always asked "you're not going to drown me, are you Elder Montgomery?" And I would say "only if you don't put up a fight!", lovingly, of course. Haha just kidding :) I honestly had to dunk her three times, which wasn't really embarrassing because the font water level was sooooo low. It was barely above my knees. That's my excuse, anyway. So, for the record, let me explain why I screwed up the first two times. I omitted "of" in the ending part: "and 'of' the Holy Ghost". Her knee came up the second time. She's extra clean, though :)

Hey so we also did something really, really dumb last Monday. You might be disappointed in me, but that's okay because the atonement covers everything - even my lack of wisdom. So my compaƱero, Elder Alvey,and another missionary, Elder Skablund, partook of a challenge. The 100 chicken nugget challenge! Woohoo! We bought 300 chicken nuggets from BK and decided we would all try to eat as many as we could. Man, that was just too tough. None of us could do it and I was soooo sick. I got to 57 and could NOT eat anything more for several hours. Elder Alvey got to 82, and Skablund got to 62. I lost, but hey, I'm the only one who didn't puke, so that means I kept more down than any of them ;)

Hey, I have a task for you if you're willing. There's a mormon message video, "Enduring Love", that has a piano piece I'd really like to play. Be forewarned though - the video will make you cry (guaranteed). I was just hoping you could somehow find out the song to that video. You can find the video in your gospel library app under videos and under Mormon Messages.
I love you all so much! Glad to hear about your Halloween!

 Elder Montgomery's first baptism with Elder Alvey and Elder Robbins
- Elder Montgomery and Elder Alvey made this cake for the baptism.  It's a double layer cake too.  :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 27, 2014

Hola familia!

This week has been pretty neat. I'll be looking forward to the package
you're sending.

Diabetes wise - all I need are glucose tablets. Weather wise- all I
need are sweaters, but I may just buy some myself with my personal
debit card than ask you for some.

This last Sunday we went to a bonfire or "Testimony Meeting" with
heaps of missionaries and some investigators. I bore my testimony in
front of the bonfire (no big deal, piece of cake) and so did some
investigators. Really an awesome and spiritual experience!  I attached
the photos to this email.

So next time I write you, which is next Monday, A.C will be
baptized! And I'll have finally preformed my first baptism! Woohoo!

We had the trunk or treat this Friday. Didn't get any photos, unfortunately.

Glad to hear you're all doing fine! Gotta get going so this is short!

Take care!

Elder Montgomery

October 20, 2014

Hello familia!
This week has been really sweet. The days are getting colder! It barely peeks the 50's now and usually resides within the 40's most of the day. As a Zonie (which is slang for an Arizonan here) I have to say this "cold" stuff is all new to me.

Saturday we proselyted all day at our local Wal-mart from nine to five (a typical eight hour shift). We stood at the entrances of Wal-mart and passed out hundreds and hundreds of pass-along cards. It was pouring when we first started (we had BoMs on tables to pass out and some of us had to hold umbrellas over them to keep them from getting soaked) but we all prayed it would clear up and it did an hour later! I looked at the weather forecast and it was supposed to keep raining until the mid-afternoon but it stopped raining at 11. That was a huge blessing. We received some sweet PNI's that we can now follow-up on. The Lord's work just got busy!

A.C. is still on date for November 1st - and I'll be the one performing the baptism. I'm excited. She's kept every single committment we've given her. The commandments we've invited her to keep she's already been keeping. The Word of Wisdom? She's abstained from coffee and alcohol since before she met us. Scripture study and praying? She's been doing it better than I was before my mission. I don't believe I'll run into an investigator like her again.

Thank you so much for the packages! We made the carrot cake on my birthday and had a blast :)

Brother Stuart treated us for lunch on my birthday at this restaurant called "Just Like Italy" which is one of the best non-chain restaurants here. Their pizza is awesome. You can tell Daniel and Brittni it's in Waukegan, off on Delany (it's in Delany Square) which is just between Sunset and Grand ave. Whether or not they go there, I just want to reccommend it anyway.

I have so many ties now I look forward to wearing them all :) tell Nana thank you for her birthday card and ties. I sent her a letter in the mail which she should be receiving soon.
Take care family and I love you all!

Elder Montgomery


October 13, 2014 - Happy Birthday!

Yeah, so I actually mentioned it was my birthday coming up to Brother Stuart, a member in Gurnee 1st Ward, and now he's told everybody (in secret) it's my birthday... which has doomed me to many gifts and birthday salutations! Aw geez, it's a nightmare.

Haha not really :) but I'm super pumped for my birthday! This Sunday I was called, for the last five minutes of church, to help with the primary. It wasn't really unheard of, because Bro. Stuart usually needs help with his "ducklings" he teaches in primary, but with only five minutes left before church concluded was a bit bizarre.  So Elder Alvey and I go into the primary and bam, I'm called into the front of the room, and all the kids sang happy birthday to me. It was a neat experience haha.

Another neat experience happened on Saturday: a blood drive! We had a blood drive in our church and all the missionaries that were eligible donated blood. Elder Alvey couldn't because he had Appendicitis just a few weeks ago and needed surgery. I was concerned my Diabetes would restrict me, but they said as long as it was under control, it was fine. Which it was (don't worry mom, I'm taking care of myself).

I actually donated twice the standard amount, which the procedure to do that is something I've never heard of before. So they take out your blood, and you're sitting there for close to 30 minutes with this needle in your arm, and they run your blood through a machine. The machine spins rapidly and I guess it separates your red blood cells from your white blood cells and divides them into separate bags. Then the white blood cells (a yellowish liquid) goes back inside of me along with some H2O. This way they can take out more blood from me without making me sick and without becoming dehydrated. Hurray for science! I can't donate again until February, which stinks. I feel fine right now - take some more, why don't you?? Just kidding :)

Have you seen Meet the Mormons, yet? All of us missionaries were allowed to see it on Wednesday the 8th - TWO DAYS before it was actually released in theaters. It's awesome to be a missionary - you earn bragging rights. :) Please go out and see it in theaters; it's awesome! You learn the touching stories of several families, and at the end of it you're laughing or crying or feeling all giddy inside from all the different emotions. It's a roller coaster but it's awesome.

Well not much to report on the missionary service. A.C. is on date for November 1st still. We talked about the Word of Wisdom with her and she was already living it, so it was a breeze. She's a solid investigator, the best Elder Alvey has ever had on his mission (and I guess for me too, but I haven't been out for long). She already finished reading the Book of Mormon!

It's going to rain today - very very cold rain. Not freezing rain, but cold nonetheless. Hurrah for trials! This coming winter is going to be a blast.

Take care and thank you for sending packages for my birthday! I appreciate it and can't wait to receive them. I love you all!

-Elder Montgomery
The Primary singing Happy Birthday to a surprised Elder Montgomery! :-)

October 6, 2014

Hello familia!

This has been the first week I've been with my companion, Elder Alvey.
He's from Hanksville, Utah (close to the four corners so it's not near
Salt Lake). He was a wrestler in high school and man, I've been
comparing him to a truck. A truck with 454 HP. He's an awesome
missionary though. He has a strong testimony and is surprisingly
catching on to the members' names and everything.

Love, Elder Montgomery