Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Week 19

Hey everyone!
This week has been a good one! 
First of all, there was CHRISTMAS!!! I was way nervous about it because it's my first Christmas away from home but we were so busy the whole day, that I didn't even have time to be homesick.  We went to several members houses for meals, sharing the nativity story, and to play games. It was way fun!

Before I forget, people have been asking me if there is any weird grammar or phrases that "Montanians" use and I have found some:
--"Hookey-bobbing"- it's when a truck, quad, snow mobile, or any other vehicle pulls you on a sled behind them
--"Ski-joring"- when a horse pulls you behind them while you're on skis
It's so strange but I see people Hookey-Bobbing all over town and in fields. I guess there's no good hills around here to actually sled down.

Another highlight of this week was the baptism of our 80 year old investigator!! He had to be baptized 3 times because he is so tall and just wouldn't get all the way under and be able to come all the way back up!! I was really worried when it was happening and he took a while to get redressed, but he had good humor about it afterwards! Sister Schwendiman gave a talk on baptism and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. And since we had the service in the morning, so we had donuts as refreshments. Then yesterday, he was confirmed and it was such a joyous occasion! I was smiling from ear to ear as his sons and friends gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Lord really was smiling down.

In spirit of the New Year, I want to share a few quotes from President Uchtdorf about goals. It's a bit long but I like it. :)
"Our personal goals can bring out the best in us. However, one of the things that derail our efforts in making and keeping resolutions is procrastination. We sometimes delay starting, waiting for the right moment to begin--the first day of a new year, the beginning of summer, when we’re called as bishop or Relief Society president, after the kids get into school, after we retire.
You don’t need an invitation before you start moving in the direction of your righteous goals. You don’t need to wait for permission to become the person you were designed to be. You don’t need to wait to be invited to serve in the Church....
Even though we might fall short of our finish line, just continuing the journey will make us greater than we were before.
An old proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
There is something wonderful and hopeful about the word now. There is something empowering about the fact that if we choose to decide now, we can move forward at this very moment.
Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be--not only 20 years from now but also for all eternity." 
He also talked about how we will almost always have a failure but that's okay. We will still be better for trying. I love this gospel and invite all to make at least one spiritual, physical, and educational goal this year and to pray to ask for help on what those goals should be so that Heavenly Father can help you!

Sister Ney 

Facebook post this week: "Haven't reached your goal for reading the Book of Mormon this year? Well "GIT ER' DONE!" I know that reading the Book of Mormon is a privilege and that God has commanded us to read it because of all the blessings we can receive from it. #unitedfromwithin"

Here's a picture of us at the baptism. His name is Albert and Brother Staley (right) baptized him. So they both struggled.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week 18

This week had been fun! Some men in our ward hosted a community Nativity thing at our church. It was kind of last minute notice for everyone, so we got an alright turn out. There were some nonmembers there. There were nativities set up and some musical performances. The same trip that performed at the talent show last week performed at this thing too. Piano, guitar, spoons/ harmonica. They're cool. They put a western twist on Christmas songs.
We also had our Christmas mission conference in Helena. Half the mission was there. The eastern half of the mission goes to Billings to have theirs. This mission is just too spread out to all meet in once place. We have to drive hours to get to just Helena. And there was a winter storm just the night before so the roads were sketchy and some mission cars were wrecked in the process, but the car of us 4 sisters in my district drove safely. It was a fun conference. We sang a cool arrangement of "O Holy Night" and other songs for the senior couples and mission presidency. They also asked all of the missionaries to prepare 3 min talks on the Atonement and how it's helped us on our missions- so they called up random missionaries to give them.
Then they served us a fancy meal in the gym and showed a slideshow of pictures of all the missionaries on past Christmases. It was so cute. And they showed a video of a former assistant rapping about the restoration. It was actually way impressive! Wouldn't it be funny to show a rap to people during the first lesson? Hahaha. And there was Santa. So that was sweet.
We ate dinner with some members this week and they had a pet RACCOON named Gus. They just found it in their house one day and kept it. It was the strangest thing!
I also had to go to the dentist this week because I have been having a toothache lately so we have an LDS dentist in the other ward who was willing to look at it for free. So they did X-rays and I almost have 2 cavities. These darn sweets everyone is dumping on us is killing me! Haha. But that's not what I'm trying to get at. There was a less active Ysa who ended up doing my X-rays and I straight up asked him if we could come teach his family and he said yes. So we got his number and we're teaching them on Tuesday! Haha. At first I didn't want to ask him because it was already awkward that he was the one helping me because we knew him from around town, but then I figured that it might be because we need to teach him! So I just went for it. 
We have a baptism this upcoming Saturday for the 80y/o man we are teaching and we are super excited! He had been a bit overwhelmed because religion has been introduced after he's lived most of his life but he is still is solid. 
This week we also tracted a single street. Just one side of a block and every single person became either an investigator or a potential investigator. Miracles are real, folks!
And we are gonna teach a college student while she is away for the break over Facebook! Isn't that neat? 
And don't worry about me being down on Christmas! We are going to be at 637363786 members houses so I will stay busy! 
Love you all! Merry Christmas!

Sister Ney

Picture 2- me with Gus the raccoon
Picture 3-us with Santa at the Christmas conference (one of the assistants)

Picture 1-peacocks on the street

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 17

Hello, everyone!

This week has been full of craziness,Christmas festivities, and a BAPTISM! I will save the best for last.
We had a transfer dinner with all of the missionaries in the zone and our bishops and ward mission leaders at the Butte stake center this week. We had pizza and discussed Ward mission plans. I didn't even know what a Ward mission plan was until now. We were instructed how to make one and keep it rolling throughout the year. So we gotta get crackin' on that.
So we were invited to help serve at First Wards Christmas party,even though the elders would be there and were serving too, and then we had our Ward Christmas party the next day. It was fun and there was good food!
Sister Schwendiman also performed in a talent show at a member's house and we changed the words of a Christmas song to go along with missionary work. I was super nervous,even though it was mostly kids, for some reason but it went well! There was a woman who was completely blind there and she played the piano like no one I've ever heard before! That's a gift from God right there.
A winter storm hit again today so that makes driving slow but it changes life up a bit. Everyone here thanks Heavenly Father for the "moisture" when they pray. It's just interesting to me that they're thankful for the snow (but now that I think about it, I am from AZ) and that they use the word "moisture"... Hmmm.
Anyhoo- we had a baptism on Saturday! This was the first one I've been to and it was exciting! It was for a lady in the Big Hole branch and her husband got the priesthood last Sunday and baptized her! It was a fun and awesome to see the fruits of missionary's labors over a few months time. Now their goal is to get sealed as a family in the temple. :)  
We also have another potential investigator that we taught spontaneously last night. She's goes to MSU and she's friends with some of the YSA's here (the YSA girls are great fellowshippers too because they all are going to go on missions soon!). So we taught her the Restoration in a dorm room. She seemed really interested and her mom, back at home, might be too! Woo! Unfortunately, all of the students are going home for Christmas so we won't be able to teach her again until mid January.
And last but not least, remember: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."-Buddy the Elf
Haha. This is my motto this week! I have a firm testimony that music invites the Spirit and especially during this holiday season, we all should sing Christmas songs and carols about Christ. Also in D&C 25:12, it states, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

Sister Ney

Me and my Companion

Monday, December 7, 2015

week 16

Hello, everyone!
This week has been pretty busy! So one of the things that happened recently was that this mission changed to a "Principle Based Mission". You know how I listed a bunch of rules in one of my first emails? Well, President Wadsworth announced that most of them are not intact anymore. Rather than having to worry about strict nit-picky rules, we need to learn the principle behind the rules and missionary conduct. So whenever we do something, we have to think about whether it is helping us fulfill our purpose. So President has put a lot of trust in the missionaries to be accountable to God in knowing what to do. Its weird. There's a lot of freedom yet responsibility. There are still some rules that he would like us to follow, including no fishing and such but most of the previous rules now dependent on personal prayer and what we think is right to do between us and God. Its neat!
This week we had several Christmas events and there are more to come! We had a community Breakfast with Santa and we got to know some new people. There is one lady we hope we will see again and teach. :)
We also were invited to cut down a real Christmas tree with our bishop and his family! I've never done that before- so it was way fun. We went out in the mountains and Sister Schwendiman and I got to saw it down. Check that off the bucket list!
A member also took pictures for us during one of our lunches to put on Christmas cards to send home! (So if you want me to send you one- I need your address! Email me at lauren.ney@myldsmail.net)
Here is another first: we had dinner with a group of Catholics at a restaurant this week. So we volunteer at a little thrift store thing that's run by the Catholic church. The priest, who is from Africa, invited the volunteers to dinner, and that included us. At the dinner, we sat right across from the Catholic priest and I was super intimidated at first. But he was a really nice guy and there was only a little bit of awkward conversation. Hahah. He mostly asked us stuff about our mission. Some of the women were completely shocked about how we have strict rules and minimal communication with our family. There was one other LDS lady there and she defended us and explained that we are dedicating all our time to the Lord! Haha.
We have two investigators who are being baptized for-sure this month! One on the 12th and the other on the 19th! We are super excited and what is super neat is that their main motivations are to be sealed to their families forever. The gospel really is centered on families and people love the fact that families are eternal. Truth!!!
We had Zone Training this week in Butte and I learned a lot.
--One of the things I learned was that we should pray for the Spirit to direct our prayers. And when we have the Spirit when we are praying, we will know that they will be answered and can receive revelation.
--We cannot pray for an A, and study for a B. We cannot pray for a celestial life, and live a terrestrial life.
--We all have the authority as missionaries, but we don't always have the power. We have the authority to proclaim the gospel, cry repentance, and work miracles but we can only have  the power if we live worthily, pray fervently, and follow courageously. Brothers and sisters, I know this statement is 100% true. We cannot be effective missionaries or members unless we keep our covenants and follow Christ to the BEST of our ability.
Sister Ney

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 15

Hello all!
Happy late Thanksgiving, everyone!!
Boy, has this week been insane! First of all, we had transfers and we all met up in Helena to meet our new companions and disperse to our areas from there. My new companion is Sister Schwendiman and she's super sweet. She reminds me of one of my roommates in college, so I love her. 
Well right as we got to Helena a huge winter storm hit and we got stranded there for 2 days so they put the straggler sisters into trios with some companionships in Helena so we could do missionary work while we were there. I was put with our sister training leaders and they have a cabin in the mountains outside Helena and it snowed like CRAZY up there! Within 2 days, we shoveled their driveways and walkways like 6 times. They are long driveways too so it was not fun. It was my first time shoveling snow like that though, so I can mark that off my Montana bucket list. Hahah.
We eventually got to Dillon, which is a couple hours south, and it is cold there too. We cover Dillon 2nd Ward (there's 2 wards here) and the "Big Hole" which consists of Polaris, Jackson, and Wisdom (which people say is the coldest town in the nation but who knows).  I went from serving in Big Timber to Big Hole. 
Dillon is a cute town and there's a college here so we have some YSA here. It's University of Montana Western and there's around 1500 students. They only have one class at a time here and it goes for 3ish hours. 
The church building is set up just like the Jomax building at home, so I love it! I feel at home :) Everyone in the ward asks me if I'm related to Elder Nay who served here a few years ago. Nope. Different spelling. Hahah.
Our ward mission leader actually served here around 5 years ago! He felt like he needed to live here, so here he is! Crazy! But it's neat having a ward mission leader who really knows the area like that.
It's not windy here like my last area but it is still chilly! When we are out in about at night, it's usually 0 degrees or below. It hit -8 degrees once while we were out. It's so cold. I use a golf ball to knock on doors so I don't have to take off my gloves. And hand warmers are the bomb. Saved my life. And there's color ice within our car too that never melts. It's insane and everyone makes fun of me because I'm from Arizona. :P
Our apartment is nice and warm though. We live in an apartment that is in the basement of an elderly lady's house. We don't have wifi though, so we have to email at the church.
Anyhoo- I was kind of nervous to have thanksgiving with a bunch of strangers because I planned on being in Livingston for the holiday but it ended up being good. In the morning, we volunteered at a community Thanksgiving dinner at the Catholic Church, which was fun.  Later, some member families took us in and we played games, had 2 full thanksgiving dinners and a couple desserts at other peoples houses and we about exploded. We got sick afterwards and were in for the night the next day so we watched a biography of Thomas S. Monson. 
The work has been a little slow this past week due to transfers and the holiday. So I'm gonna try to start cranking it out this next week. We do have two people who could get baptized this next month so I'm hoping I will be able to help make that happen! I was bummed I got transferred right before our investigators in Livingston got baptized (which was on Saturday) but I was able to get over it kinda.
Anyway, I'm on a time crunch so I gotta go now! Hope everyone is doing well! Happy holidays!

Sister Ney 
Me shoveling snow for the first time

 me and the sister training leaders

me and sister Schwendiman with our balloon turkey

 way too cold

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 14

Hello family and friends!
Transfer news! I'm going to Dillon! It's north of Idaho and it's a smaller town than Livingston but there's 2 wards. I'm going to be in the Dillon 2nd ward. I'm being transferred tomorrow morning and I'm going to be with Sister Schwendiman. I was super upset at first because our baptisms are coming up on Saturday and I'm going to miss them but I know the Lord needs me somewhere else at this time. It's also hard because we had all these  Some members of the ward kept trying to pry the news out of us yesterday at church but we couldn't tell anyone about transfers until today. And don't sent me anything until I get my new address in Dillon! :)

I almost broke both of my knees this week! Good news is that it was just almost. They are still intact. Here's how it happened: we had to get out of parallel parking and Sister Meek needed me to back her so she didn't hit the car behind us. She normally has me directly behind the car while she backs, so I went behind her. Bad idea. I gave her the sign to stop but she kept going and crushed my legs between our truck and the car behind us. Once the pain hit, I started yelling and waving her to pull forward or else I would've been in seriously bad shape. Once she figured it out, I limped over to the sidewalk and made sure my kneecaps weren't fractured. They seriously hurt for a few days and they're badly bruised but I'm fine now. She hit me with the truck once too because she was going too fast. I seriously hate backing but I'm still alive...which is good! Haha. Now I know to stand clear away from the truck when backing. Lesson learned.

We found some new investigators this week but it seems like whenever someone seems promising, they get sick. Satan uses biological warfare apparently. Anyhow- it's amazing to hear how people sometimes say how just our presence showed them that Jesus Christ is there for them. One lady said that by seeing us "saved her [that night]". I have no idea what would've happened if we weren't there but I'm glad we were. It was because we went to an appointment late and they ended up cancelling because they were sick. So all things happen for a reason, folks! 
For a few days here, the wind was 80mph!!! That's hurricane wind! But that was at night thankfully, so we weren't in the middle of it. Lots of people in the ward are in the roofing business because the wind always messes up people's roofs. 
One thing that I learned this week is that loving people honestly and genuinely is one of the keys to success in missionary work. When you love people, that's when you want to help them. That's what motivates you to go day to day fulfilling your duty and representing Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ loved everyone perfectly and we need to too. We are commanded to be like him, so that's one thing we have to do as well. It may not happen all at once, but when we try  to look at people through a perspective of love-that's when it will become easier and more natural to instantly love people. One thing that I try to do to help me is to just remember that I'm talking to one of my brothers and sisters and I don't know their life story perfectly, but I can love who they are now.
Sorry I can't give any more details this week, but I have to pack for transfers and it's stressing me out! 

Love you all!
Sister Ney

The two people on the left are getting baptized this Saturday!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 13

Hello all! 
Here are some of the highlights of this week! 
Our 2 investigators are still on track for baptism! They're eating all 
of the lessons up and have the whole baptism planned! Man, I hope I 
get to stay and see them get baptized! :) 
We had interviews with President Wadsworth and it was fun. I was 
intimidated at first but he was super nice and it wasn't because we're 
screwing anything up. :) 
On the way back, we saw a semi tipped over on the highway because of 
the insane wind here! They had to close down the highway because the 
crosswinds are too strong! It's like tornado weather all the time. I 
was cracking up the other day because we were tracting in the wind and 
we looked drunk because we couldn't walk straight. It just pushes us 
over like we are nothing! I get to a door and my hair is insane too. 
These poor people have me show up on their doorstep out of 
breath (because I can hardly breathe against the wind) and looking 
like a banshee. Hahah. 
Speaking of hair, last Preparation Day, Sister Meek and I got haircuts 
and the lady felt like she had to make my hair look like I just came 
out of the 80s. Sister Meek looked at me when I got done and her eyes 
widened. Haha. I had to do some serious damage control when we got in 
the car so my hair wasn't a foot off my head!! 
We went to Gardiner yesterday for church and it's the smallest church 
building I've seen so far! And there were elk just laying 
on the lawn out front. We could get super close to them and they 
wouldn't flinch. They had Sister Meek and I give our testimonies at 
the end and I talked about how I'm grateful for (because it's 
Thanksgiving season!) and have a testimony of our Heavenly Father, 
Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I shared the story of how when I was 
a custodian at BYU, I was sweeping a stairwell of an apartment 
building and listening to the Book of Mormon on my phone. It started 
talking about when Christ visited the Nephites and I started crying. 
It reminded me of all Christ has done for me and all of Gods children 
and how He even cares for and loves me- a student custodian in a dark 
stairwell, away from home and feeling like I was drowning in my 
classes. He knows each of us and has suffered for our individual sins. 
Think about it. He loves us enough to sacrifice Himself for us, no 
matter how small or insignificant we may feel. Don't ever forget our 
Savior and Redeemer. He lives. 
Sister Ney 

Mormon Elk

 I'm not really fat. I have lots of layers on.

 Bad hair day

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 12

Hello, all! 
This week was crazy! We had a blizzard but the snow has already melted. People 
say that in Livingston, the insane winds just blow it away so snow doesn't ever 
stick for long. That was a crazy day. Roads were slick and everything was piled 
on with snow. Then it made everything muddy. 
We found out this week that we have transfers the day before Thanksgiving, so we 
were shocked because that will kind of mess with holiday plans but we will see 
if I'm staying! 
We went on exchanges this week with our Sister Training Leaders. Sister Meek 
stayed here in Livingston and I went to Billings for a few days! Oh my goodness. 
I loooove Billings! The way it's set up is like home, so I felt comfortable 
there. And there's no snow there, so that was sweet. I really hope I get to 
serve there during my mission. I got to drop by the mission home, drive by the 
temple, and go to the church building we had meetings at during the first few 
days we were out. It brought back memories!! We taught a lot of people and then 
a member took us to dinner at the Golden Corral. The assistants were there too 
because they share a ward with our sister training leaders. We were in charge of 
the lesson and I thought I was gonna puke because I was going to have to teach 
in front of the assistants, but they ended up having to leave early to get to a 
lesson so it was all good. 
We taught a cool lesson this week to a member family. We called it "choose your 
weapon". We set out several objects to use to share the gospel with: pass along 
cards, the Restoration DVD, pamphlets, a Book of Mormon, etc. We explained how 
to use them all in missionary work and then we had each family member think of 
someone they wanted to share the gospel with and what object would work best for 
them. It was fun! 
Here is a miracle that happened! I truly learned that the Holy Ghost is the real 
teacher. I kind of knew that before but it hasn't really hit me until now. We 
were teaching an investigator and we invited them to be baptized twice and they 
said no. I got really discouraged because I know that a significant reason that 
us sisters are here is for them. However, we fasted for them and while reading 
the scriptures one night, the Spirit hit them and told them they will be 
baptized on a certain date next month. How neat! I was mind blown! That's just a 
testament that fasting works and that the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential in 
the work. 
Sister Ney :) 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Hello, everyone!

This week was great. We had the Livingston Trunk or Treat on Wednesday and the Big Timber trunk or treat on Friday. They're the biggest events the ward and branch puts on and there were a lot of investigators and less actives that went- so it was great.
We have been dying to do service and no one lets us. So we decided to just grab a couple rakes and rake this one yard that we saw that was absolutely drowning in leaves. I mean layers upon layers of leaves. And I've never raked leaves before (being from Arizona) so it was a fun but back breaking experience. I was nervous that if the owner of the house would get mad if they saw us just raking their yard out of nowhere. The lady stuck her head in the window and gave me a surprised, angry look. I smiled and informed her. Then she came out and asked, "what are you doing?!" Sister meek replied, "we're raking your leaves!" The lady, who later told us her name was Carolyn, then was super nice and kept thanking us and saying she feels guilty. She broke her hand in a car wreck earlier that day and obviously couldn't do it herself. It took an hour or 2 to rake her leaves and then she came out with $60 to give us. We kept refusing it and said we would rather share our message with her but she shoved it in Sister Meeks hand and ran inside. So we plan on buying her dinner with it or going to dinner with her with it because she wouldn't answer her door after that so we could give it back. 
We also were able to go to the temple last week! Some people from the ward came with us and it was a great time. I absolutely love the ward members here. They are really a family and you can just tell. Every other ward says they are a ward family but I haven't felt that as prominently as I have felt it here. Everyone loves each other and is involved in each others lives. If there's an event like a child's baptism, a luncheon, anything- the whole ward comes. The love is tangible. 
We have another person on date this week. She is a kid and her parents want her to get baptized. She also wants to be baptized. We were wondering at first if that's just because everyone else wants her to or if it's because she wants to. Honestly, children are much more receptive tot the spirit than adults. Every child I've come across just knows inside that the gospel is right. They're drawn to us too because we are representatives of Jesus Christ. How much better would the world be if we were all like children? 😀
For Halloween, we had some lessons and then we're allowed to go home a bit early. So we watched some interviews on our iPad of David Archuleta and David A. Bednar while eating candy the members gave us. We were living the life. Haha.
We also changed for daylight savings time. So now it gets dark earlier and no one likes us at night. Haha. It makes everyone want to go to bed earlier too, so it's rough. But the work will to go on!
One cool thing that happened was that we were teaching an investigator and he already believed some things about the plan of salvation and it was familiar to him. How neat is that? Frankly, we all knew these things at one point and now we are relearning it here on earth because of we have gone through the veil. As missionaries, we are just reminding people of these truths and inviting them and showing them how to come home to our Heavenly Father. We are guiding our fellow brothers and sisters to come home.  It won't be home unless we are all there.

Sister Ney 😊

Monday, October 26, 2015

week 10

Hello all!

This week we had MLT (Mission Leadership Training), in which several zones get together for a good chunk of a day and learn from President, Sister Wadsworth, the Assistants, and our zone leaders. We met at the Helena Stake Center and it was awesome to see my old MTC friends and missionaries that I came out with again! A joyous reunion. :) It makes me excited for real mission reunions!

One of the things that President Wadsworth spoke on was keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I didn't realize how much people break the Sabbath until I became a missionary. Satan tempts us to not keep the Sabbath holy by getting us to watch football, go hunting (which is SUPER popular here), go to the store, travel, go to the lake (like how we always mention back in AZ. Haha), etc and it's the fact that us humans often justify these things that gets us. We need to keep ALL of the commandments to the best of our ability. Keeping the Sabbath day holy doesn't mean just keeping 3 hours of it holy by going to church, but the entire day. Dedicate it to the Lord because it is His day. He even has given us help as to what to do on the Sabbath. Spend wholesome time with family, do service, watch church and Christ related movies, index, do family history, magnify your callings, read your scriptures/ other materials in the gospel library (there's tons), write it your journal (because you all know you're slacking. Haha), and anything that focuses you on Christ. He had prepared a way for us to keep the Sabbath day holy. So we have no reason not to. 

The next day, our whole zone met at our stake presidents house in Bozeman for lunch and he even brought an investigator from Livingston. So sister meek and I got to know her and taught her some stuff while we were there but she didn't end up being interested though. President also shared a message with us too. He said we are taught to ask Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How all throughout our lives. Within the gospel, we are given many of those answers but what we really need to ask ourselves is, "Who do I was to become? And what for?" Soak that in. 

This week, we had several investigators come to church, which was nice! We had a lot of drop-in lessons too. We learned that when we meet people, we should teach them right then and there because lots of them won't accept return appointments. That's something we learned from our zone leaders and it works a lot better!

Hunting season and the fact that it gets darker earlier has really put a damper on the work. Hunting season is huge for everyone up here. They stock up on meat for the winter. Bow season ended and rifle season started, so people are gone every weekend and some people are gone for weeks at a time! So they sometimes say "contact me in December and we'll see. I still may be hunting even past that."....but that would be next transfer! It's crazy and slows down people's progression a lot because we can't meet with them. But we still try our best to catch them! 

Sister Ney :)

me and some of the sisters at MLT I came out with! (And a random elder)

( not for weak stomachs.)This is the evidence that hunting season has begun... Carcass hanging! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

week 9

Hello everyone!

Thank you for the birthday wishes!!!! They really made my day. :) It feels so weird to not be a teenager at all anymore. Plain ole' 20. I'm officially an adult...weird. The members that we live with made me apple pie for my birthday and sister meek made me a huge breakfast of homemade waffles and butter syrup. Sooooo good! The elders in my district called me and sang happy birthday too. It was so nice!
This week was good! We put 3 people on date. This transfer, Sister Meek and I are gonna work long and hard against Satan because he always ruins everything! Once we put someone on date, he makes them sick, gives them a busier schedule, and puts every obstacle in their way to keep them from getting baptized. It's ridiculous. So we are going to try to combat him harder than ever before to make sure these investigators don't lose that perspective!! Onward Christian soldiers!!!
Some members brought us to charity dinner at a Methodist church one evening and it was interested because Sister Meek and I felt held back because we can't proselyte in or near other churches.  The food was good though!
We were asked to speak in the primary yesterday and the kids were so cute! They were super blunt though. They asked us questions like, "What did you think when you called to Montana?" (My response- "I thought it would be cold." And I'm right.) "what did you think when you were called to be companions?" Etc. They had no mercy. Haha.
We also did some service this week. Our president has asked us to do 10 hours of service a week. So whenever we see someone who could use some help, we jump out of the truck and head over to them. We helped paint a house, clean a family's house, and so on. No one will help us rake their leaves though! That's the one thing I'm dying to do because I've never done it before but it's near impossible to get the chance to do it. So I plan on putting some rakes in the back of the truck one day and just straight up bring them to someone's yard and start doing it. No joke. It's on my mission bucket list now. 
Yesterday, we spoke in sacrament in Livingston about trials. There was a returned missionary from South Africa who spoke too. He was so funny and you could tell he is adored by the ward.
I spoke on why we have trials and I studied a few reasons:
-To turn our hearts to God, help us remember Him, and to help us be like Him
      - In this part, I talked about the Refiners Fire and how we are the metal that is being shaped into someone beautiful and we don't know it at the time. All we feel is the pressure and banging but the Refiner or blacksmith is very skilled and it helping us achieve our full potential. Like how Job, in the Old Testament, said, "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10). Even though EVERYTHING was taken from him, he kept the eternal perspective and trusted the Lord. (Look up the Refiners Fire Mormon Message. It is SO good.)
-To prepare us for future trials and for people who are going to have/ are having similar trials as us
-So that we can receive blessings 
I have actually come to love speaking in sacrament because I learn so much as I prepare my talk. And I bear a special mantle as a missionary where people look at me differently and know that I am speaking as a representative of Christ. 
Remember, even Jesus Christ, the only perfect person to live upon the earth, had trials and wanted the cup removed from Him. But He kept the eternal perspective and knew it was Gods will that would be done.

Sister Ney

P.s. My companion pulled a joke on me and made my iPad auto correct to random stuff. So when I type in 
"Love"- it turns into "you seem kind"
"Ok"---"la la boom de a "
"Hey"---"what up homie"
and while I was writing this email, I got frustrated and told her that my auto correct was being dumb and showed her what it was doing and she busted up laughing. And I still can't figure out how to fix it. 😑

Birthday pie

stayin warm while biking

Monday, October 12, 2015

week 8

Hello, people of home! 
Transfer news: I'm STAYING here in Livingston, Big Timber, and 
Gardiner! (so send whatever you want now in the mail😊 ) We actually 
get to see the fruit of our labors! That is, if we keep getting people 
to progress. It's been really hard having people keep commitments and 
even appointments! In a single day, most or all of the appointments 
have fallen through. This is a common occurrence and it's really 
frustrating. We have a message that will change your life!!!! 
We went to Gardiner this week and went finding. We had to go into 
Yellowstone to find this one lady but she wasn't home... We didn't 
have much luck finding there but I love that town. It's so neat. There 
are just deer and elk hanging out in the middle of town and in 
people's yards. You can get super close to them and they won't flinch. 
We also stayed in Big Timber overnight one night this week. We are 
working closely with out branch mission leader there and he's so 
willing to help out. 
This is random but here's an answer to my prayers: I have been wanting 
a member to serve us breakfast for dinner so bad. Low and behold, a 
family fed us breakfast for dinner this week! 👍 YES! Hahaha...It's 
the little things. Another guy who we didn't even know gave us $20 for 
dinner and that fed us like kings. God always provides :) 
The wind here in Livingston has gotten SO bad and people say it's even 
worse in the winter. At church, it seriously sounded like there was a 
tornado outside. It is SO loud. It shakes the car constantly too and I 
always look like Cousin It with my hair. Hahah. I keep telling sister 
meek that I'm just gonna shave it off. 
Spiritual thought: In sacrament, a brother in our ward said, "If you 
turn your life over to the Lord, He can make more out of you than you 
can make out of yourself." How TRUE! As a missionary, we did, quite 
literally, turn our lives over to the Lord but there are still things 
from the natural-man side of me that I keep hold of. I'm trying to let 
that go as well so that the Lord can change me as much as He possibly 
can. My thoughts, my words, my actions, my knowledge, and my cares. 
Everything. Don't get me wrong. It is a process in every sense of the 
word but I know that as we do so, the Lord will help us reach our 
divine potential and lift us up to places we never could have imagined 
Sister Ney 

Random elk in town

 North entrance to Yellowstone

 my district

Monday, October 5, 2015

week 7

Hello all!
This week. What even happened this week? It's hard to even remember what happened in a single day, let alone a whole week. It's a blur. 
Um. General conference!!! First of all, it snowed yesterday morning so that was terrifying. At least wait until my birthday next week and then it can snow! Speaking of which (haha. Side note....), my birthday is transfer day. So Don't send me anything by mail until I know whether I'm I'm staying or not (if anyone even plans on sending me anything. Haha) back to General conference: we watched it in member families homes. it was great! Not only did we get to hear the word of God but we also had a reason to sit down for a few hours!  I liked Devin G. Durrants talk about how we should "ponderize" a scripture a week. I'm going to try to do that too! What better time and place than on a mission? :P
I also liked how Elder Bednar gave a little tribute to the deceased apostles. It was so touching! Such a crazy time.
This week we had another experience where Sister Meek and I felt like we should be in a different town that day. So we had to reschedule all of our lessons in Livingston and we headed to Gardiner. It is such a cool town and it's just north of Yellowstone. It turns out, someone has been praying for help for 2 weeks and we realized by the end of the day-we were prompted to go out to Gardiner for them! We almost didn't even drop by their house because we had an appointment to go to but we felt like we should go. We hopped out of our truck, ran to their house, talked to them and set up a return date, and sprinted back to the truck because we were late....as always. The spirit just tells us to talk to certain people that are out in our path and everyone is so talkative here! Haha. By the way- on the way back, we saw THE largest herds of deer and elk I've ever seen before in my life. I thought it was cattle (because there's so much up here) but no. Deer and elk. We are lucky we haven't hit any yet while driving to and fro. 
We also got to spend some time with a senior missionary couple this week. They inspected our housing and truck. They told us to put some blankets and a supply of food and water in our truck for the winter because people get caught in snow storms and one woman froze to death....sister Meek really believes that we will end up getting stranded because this is the second time someone has told us this and it's a sign that it's going to happen. Well I hope not because we both know nothing about cars and I am hearing from farmers that it will be a mild winter. So I hope farmers are accurate predictors of the weather! Ha. On a lighter note, the senior missionaries took us to lunch and a member that was in the restaurant too paid for our food! How nice! 
Another neat experience was that we were trying to find this less active member twice and we went to the wrong apartment building both times. But we found a man who was wanting to meet with missionaries and HE asked US for a Book of Mormon and to meet with him! That hardly ever happens! So we were meant to get lost both times so that we could find him! Moral of the story: The Lord works in mysterious ways. 
Anyhoo- I would love to hear about everyone's favorite conference talk and why they like it! lauren.ney@myldsmail.net

Sister Ney ❤️

Monday, September 28, 2015

week 6

Hola, familia y amigos! 
Man, I wish I was in a Spanish speaking mission sometimes. I use 
Spanglish a lot and sister meek thinks it's so cool for some reason. 
This week has been super eventful. We first had Zone Training on 
Thursday in Bozeman. It's where out whole zone gets together 
and...trains. Hahah. President and Sister Wadsworth and the assistant 
were there too and it was so neat. We learned how to work with ward 
council and members better and role played scenarios. At the end, 
President Wadsworth pointed out that Sister Meek and I are the only 
sisters in the zone and that we had more lessons than the elders 
lately. I didn't even notice. 
Afterwards, we had exchanges with our Sister training leaders 
(basically zone leaders but for sisters). I went to Big Timber with 
sister Rasmussen. She is so cute and I loved being able to have a 
change of scenery and get to know another sister. We stayed at a 
members house and they are the bomb. They are huge into food storage 
and they let us go "shopping" and take home what we want. We tracted 
and went finding. We also taught a less active lesson to a lady who is 
the sweetest thing ever and to a member family. 
Then we had General Women's Session this weekend at the Bozeman Stake 
Center.  We brought some less active members and they loved it. 
Afterwards, we came back into Livingston and there was a power outage 
and it was really creepy. We did our daily planning by flashlight. 
We also started a Zone fast through conference call for some of the 
people on-date in our areas. It was cool to have the missionaries in 
the whole zone in on it! 
Then get this- we were supposed to speak in the Gardiner branch 
sacrament meeting yesterday but Sister Meek woke up with a sick 
feeling that we were not supposed to go there. She felt prompted to 
come get me out of the bathroom and we prayed about it and we felt 
like we shouldn't go there but we should go to Big Timber and that we 
needed to leave Livingston right then and there (it was like 6:30 am- 
we woke up earlier to prep our talks). So we did. We had to call and 
apologize to the Gardiner branch president because we couldn't speak 
in sacrament and we left. We did our studies in the Big Timber church 
building and went to church and stayed in town for the day. At the end 
of the day, after we met with certain people, we felt like we knew why 
we were in Big Timber that day. 
Also, something funny that happened is that I made Sister Meek laugh 
so hard she puked. It was great. I didn't even think I was that funny. 
Spiritual thought: In General Women's meeting, my favorite talk was by 
President Uchtdorf. He spoke on happiness and I felt like it really 
applied to me. Everyone says the first transfer is the hardest because 
of having to adjust to missionary life and dealing with homesickness. 
Some things that I wrote down from his talk was that 
-God didn't design us to be sad. If we turn to Him, he'll help us find joy 
-the happiest people are those that focus on the good things, 
miracles, and fill their lives with meaningful things 
-LOVE is what makes us HAPPY :) 
Hope you all are happy! 
Sister Ney 
Pic 1- us during the power-out 
Pic 2- according to people here in Livingston, to the left of the 
highest peak is the face of Jesus laying down (facing left). You can 
see his brow bone, nose, lip, and beard. It's so cool! 
Pic 3- there's a fish and a letter "p" on the mountain for some reason.... 

Monday, September 21, 2015


Hey, family and friends! 
So good news! We are putting everyone on date for baptism over here! 
We put four more people on date for baptism! We have had to postpone 
some of the other peoples' baptisms because of lack of church attendance 
but they are still going strong! The thing is- their baptisms are all 
scheduled for mid or late October, which is after transfers. So if I 
get transferred out, I won't see any of the fruit of our labors! :( 
No Bueno. I guess that's how the elders before us felt, they both were 
transferred out with 4 people on-date. It's just hard because 
the mission goal is 4 baptisms per companionship per month...and when 
transfers are every 6 weeks, everyone you put on date yourself will 
probably be baptized afterwards and then the new missionaries have to 
somehow keep rolling with them. 
We finally got to do some service this week! We helped serve at Loaves 
an' Fishes, a locally owned soup kitchen. We helped serve dinner and 
got to see some people. Some other members served with us too. Funny 
thing is, we saw a couple there and ended up tracting into them and 
now we're teaching them! 
On Thursday, our whole zone had to drive to Helena (around 2.5 hours 
away) and sister meek and I had to use our own truck and use our own 
miles because we are the only sisters in the zone and we can't ride 
with elders. THEN we got there and figured out the conference was 
cancelled and had to drive back. Sister meek doesn't believe in 
coincidences so she believes we drive all t way to Helena for a 
reason. Then she asked me, "don't tell me you prayed for a muffin." 
(Because we picked up breakfast on the way there and I got a muffin.) 
No. I did not pray for a muffin....-_- So we used well over 200 miles 
on Thursday... So that was a bummer. Now we have to bike a lot to save 
the rest of our miles for the month. And I cannot take us seriously 
when biking for the life of me. Two girls on bikes, wearing skirts 
with helmets come up and approach you and start preaching. Ahahaha. 
The image of it. 
So because we scheduled everything for Friday due to our belief that 
there was a conference on Thursday, we had 7 lessons set up and 5 fell 
through. That was disappointing but seriously the epitome of 
missionary work. Hahaha. When that happens, we start knocking doors 
and finding people. Our numbers are pretty good though still. Lots of 
referrals and such. 
Here is something cool: one day we didn't have a dinner appointment 
with any members and I was so sick of my bland food (like college 
food-very simple) so I prayed for someone to feed us. Then, like 10 
minutes later, the members we lived with offered to feed us AND gave 
us a cookie. (It was awesome because we don't eat with them 
normally.)The church is true. 
We spoke in church in Big Timber yesterday. Let me tell ya, branches 
are teeny. I spoke on the Book of Mormon and I thought I was pretty 
bold. I even quoted "safety for the souls" by Elder Holland and said 
at the end in my testimony,"If we are to be called Mormon, we better 
know the Book of Mormon. We better read the Book of Mormon, we better 
live the Book of Mormon, and we better share The Book of Mormon". But 
then sister meek was asked to speak on member involvement in 
missionary work and she apparently delivered. One of the members said, 
"wow. Your talk was all hellfire and damnation!" She really 
"chastened" them- as she liked to say. And there's a lady in the 
branch who makes homemade loaves of bread for people who speak on 
Sunday's and for ten sacrament. So we each got a loaf of bread and we 
were so hungry, we ate half of it on the car ride home. 
Oh! And the mountains have snow. And I broke out my winter coat even 
before it snowed. So ya. People understand once I tell them I'm from 
Arizona. Hahaha. The struggle is real, everyone. 
And I have continued to "sleep-preach". It's the weirdest thing. It 
happens almost every night. Sister meek just tells me to be quiet.  
Spiritual thought: I have started to see people for what they can 
become. We have met people who have reached the lowest of lows and 
really want to change but don't know how. We are literally handing 
them the way to turn their lives around. Being a missionary of Christ 
helps me to see them as children of God and how much he loves even the 
vilest of sinners. I am so glad I represent the Lord everyday and am 
here in His place to share the gospel with everyone who will hear it.
Sister Ney 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 4

Hey everyone! 
So I'm slowly but surely getting a hold of the duties of missionary 
life. It's definitely challenging. It I see the Lord's hand in it all. 
So coming into the field- we had 4 people on date to be baptized but 
for their own reasons, 3 of them had to get postponed but we got 
another one out on date this week in the first lesson! It was awesome! 
This week we had stake conference and Elder Pino, of the 70, spoke at 
the Saturday and Sunday sessions in Bozeman. He spoke in Spanish too- 
so he had an interpreter. The overall theme was on missionary work and 
getting members involved which was cool because, in this case, I am 
the missionary! Even before stake conference, the members in our ward 
in Livingston and branches in Big Timber and Gardiner were really 
involved and came with us to 99 percent of our lessons and gave us 
referrals. But now, totaling referrals before and stake conference- we 
have 22 referrals!!! Also- our area hasn't had sisters in 7-8 years 
and many people have come up to us because they've been praying for 
sisters and didn't want to give certain referrals to elders. So it has 
been so cool being an answer to people's prayers. :) 
Our towns are so spread out that we have driven over 100 miles in one 
day once. It was crazy. But now my companion has a helmet- so we've 
started biking too. It's definitely interesting riding a bike in a 
skirt in the windiest town in Montana....and my bike bar is high too. 
Apparently there are bikes made with a low bar that work better with 
skirts but I didn't know that so I have to suffer the consequences. 
Oh. And one of the branches is so small that they have only 4 active 
priesthood holders!! It's insane coming here from AZ and  seeing that! 
We're Just gone have to reactivate them all! :) 
I tracked into my first Bible Basher this week. That was fun. It's so 
interesting coming across so many people with different views and 
figuring out how to respond to them with the gospel. It's a mind game 
that's led by the Spirit. Haha. My companion is super good at knowing 
what to say at people's doorsteps too and how to get the back on 
topic. (I've heard soooo many different kinds of tangents. It's 
insane.) I learn a lot from her and her persistence. 
And guess what is funny- I still sleep talk by bearing my testimony 
and teaching lessons. I do it like almost every night. Last night, I 
taught "how the gospel blesses families" from the first lesson and 
sister meek told me to be quiet and that we're not in a lesson. Haha! 
She said all of her companion shave slept talked and that she's cursed 
with it. :) 
Spiritual time: The Holy Ghost is so cool. We pray a lot about which 
members to invite to each lesson and most of the time, the person we 
choose ends up being the persons home or visiting teacher, friend, 
coworker, etc. Another time, Sister Meek thought of a woman's name and 
I thought of a woman's face. We then decided to call the woman sister 
meek thought of and when she showed up at the lesson, it ended up 
being the same person! The Holy Ghost showed me her face but I didn't 
know her name but Sister Meek knew the name but not the face. So cool! 
That's why there are companionships. 
Anyhoo- we're going to a members home who offered to teach me how to 
sew today so I'm so excited! She's the sweetest lady. :) 
Sister Ney 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 3

Hi family and friends! 
This has been the most insane week so far! So the 30 MBM missionaries 
( including myself) flew out to the field on Tuesday. We had to catch 
a bus, 2 trains, and a plane..... Just to get to SLC. We had to load 
and unload our luggage to and from everything within minutes too or 
else the train would leave, so we were all dripping sweat. 
It was so hard to leave my MTC district because we got so close! It's 
like EFY on steroids. 
We all stayed in Billings for two days when we got here. Some of us 
stayed in the home because the 2nd floor is all dorms, and the rest of 
us stayed in members houses and a hotel. I stayed at a bishops house 
in the area. We had training for those 2 days and had recent converts 
tell us their stories. It was SO inspiring to see how missionaries and 
the gospel changed their lives. This is a super strict mission. 
Obedience is exact. For example, we can't say any nicknames or 
abbreviations at all. We have to say "companion" not "comp", 
"preparation day" not "p-day", no "greenies", we have to say "Mormon 
tabernacle choir", no calling each other by last names, etc. it is SO 
hard. And we have to wake up at 6:23 and not 6:30. There's no fishing 
on preparation day, no caffeine, no weight-lifting, obey the schedule 
exactly. It's because this mission has the most baptisms per 
companionship because of exact obedience. So President Wadsworth set 
the goal for 4 baptisms per companionship per transfer. Him and his 
wife are SUPER nice though. Everyone in the mission home is awesome. 
We got to go through the Billings temple too! It's gorgeous! 
So I'm in the Bozeman zone and my area is Livingston, Gardiner, and 
Big Timber. We are right above Yellowstone. The towns are miles and 
miles and miles apart so that's kind of stressful and I get carsick. 
Hahaha. We are the only sisters in the zone too and our area hasn't 
had sisters in years. The Lord needs sisters here right now I guess! 
We were doubled into this area- meaning neither of us have been here 
before so the first couple of days we were completely lost and 
stressed out. I had to spend 3 days just mapping out where people live 
here. Haha. 
It's super duper windy here and my skirt flew up right when I walked 
out of church on Sunday so that was fun. And it's already freezing so 
I'm living off my 3 cardigans right now. Haha. It is amazing how 
different Livingston is from home. Many people live in trailers and 
teeny tiny poorly lit homes that are completely filled with stuff and 
garbage, and smell like smoke, other drugs, and alcohol- so it's very 
humbling serving here. 
The ward is way small compared to home but they're all super nice and 
love to help the missionaries! 
We live in the basement of a members home and they are soooo nice. 
It's close quarters but cozy. Me and my companion have a truck too- 
which is nice for mountains and such. 
Oh! And my companion is Sister Meek. She's already training even though 
she's only been out here for one transfer.  It's just different being with only one person 24/7. 
In the MTC we were with a roomies and district most of the time, so it 
wasn't just one on one. 
We have 4 people on date to be baptized already from what the elders 
before us did, so that's cool! And we are having great success 
tracting. Lessons have fallen through so many times though because of 
distance and lack of ability to communicate because many people don't 
have phones here. So that's disappointing because we spend soooo much 
time planning for people and then we don't even see them. 
This week has been the most challenging mentally and physically (from 
being sick still), but I know I was called on a mission for a reason 
and I am trying to stay positive. I know this church is true and that 
the Lord is with us in all our trials. My joy in being on a mission is 
solely from knowing I am doing Gods work. He loves each of us and will 
pour out His blessings if we follow him. 
Sister Ney 

Me and President and Sister Wadsworth
Me and Sister Meeks