Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 71

Hey everyone! 
Hope you had a great Christmas! 

So this week was fun and full of caroling. So on Monday, we were supposed to head to Billings because MLC in Helena was on Tuesday but it was cancelled because of bad weather, so we ended up going to a live nativity for 2nd ward instead and we were in it as wise men. 
We went to Ranchester and Dayton on Tuesday and contacted some people over there. 
On Wednesday, we taught a recent convert and one of our investigators on date and they were so awesome. I feel so lucky to be here to meet such awesome people who are ready to learn. We also went caroling with the other missionaries in Sheridan and did some service for those we stopped by- like haul wood. 
Thursday, we had a few more lessons and an active member lesson at night. I think some of my favorite parts of missionary work is teaching active members because they are so ready to learn simple truths of the gospel and do missionary work. Sometimes you have to get them excited about it but when they jump on the bandwagon, so many miracles happen and they start thinking of their friends and family who they love and need the gospel! 
Friday was a lot of traveling. We had zone training in Gillette (1.5 hours away) and it focused on repentance- how we can use it on our own lives and how to teach it to others. Then we had our ZLC, or zone leadership council, (for zone leaders, district leaders, and sister training leaders) and we Skyped in for the Wyoming West zone's ZLC after ours to discuss the needs of the sisters over there. Then from there we went to Ranchester and Dayton (2+ hours away from Gillette).
Saturday was Christmas Eve and it was AWESOME. In the morning, we replaced some elders who were ringing bells in front of Walmart for the Salvation Army because they were sick. That was never something I really wanted to do, but it was kind of fun and we got quite a bit of money! Then we visited one of the nursing homes here and saw some members in there. One was sick bad enough to where we had to dress up with isolation precautions- so we had to put on medical masks, a gown, gloves, and booties. She just loved our visit. She asked us to sing for her and we didn't have our iPads in the room with us to see lyrics, so we sang the best we could from memory and while wearing masks. It was interesting. Then multiple members had us over and one older member had us carol with her to multiple different places including the homeless shelter- which was so cool! I've never thought of that before. 
On Christmas, we Skyped home and had breakfast and dinner with some members. We went to sacrament in Ranchester and Sheridan and sang every Christmas hymn in the hymn book just at church alone. Then after church, we went caroling with the elders at another old folks home and it was so awesome because some residents were so happy when we came. We gave them cards and candy canes too. A snow storm hit and we got stuck in the snow (even in our truck on 4 wheel drive) and I had to shovel and push us out. All of the companionships in Sheridan got stuck at some point yesterday. So we had to hunker down indoors again. 
For a spiritual thought this week, I thought this just fit perfectly. It's an excerpt from an article in last year's December Ensign called "In Tune With the Christmas Spirit" and its about caroling! 
"At the beginning of our hospital visit, I had noticed that there were really only two gifted singers in our group. The rest of us did the best we could, and while we sounded decent, we were nothing spectacular. However, with each patient that we visited, the Spirit seemed to increase, and so did the quality of our voices...
I’m not sure why this small miracle occurred. Perhaps because we only desired the talent to make others happy, it was granted to us for a short time (see 1 Corinthians 14:1). I wasn’t the only one who noticed--another woman in our group commented on the way out, “I’m not a very good singer, but I always find that my voice improves when I do service like this.”
I definitely saw this happen throughout the week as we served people through song! Especially because they were about Christ! Heavenly Father helps us when we are in His service. 
Have a great week! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 70

So this week was crazy. Before I left Bozeman, we put another one of our investigators, the one from Jordan, on date. And it's SO SAD being transferred right before people's baptisms. I know the next missionaries will take good care of them though. 
Sister Ashcroft and I packed our luggage and our apartment and then we had transfers on Wednesday. It was an all day affair for me because I was getting moved to Wyoming. We got in Sheridan at night and I'm officially in Wyoming now. It's weird. I was thinking I was only going to be in Montana for my mission but guess not! 
Let me tell ya, it has been COLD this past week. There was lots of wind and snow from the storm that came in on Friday. We were told by the assistants to not go outside unless we had set appointments for all ofFriday and Saturday. But they forgot to send that message to my zone, so we were proselyting Friday day until we were informed that it applied to us too. Haha. It was -19 degrees and -31 with the windchill on Saturday. It was so bad we had ice only in the INSIDE of our truck. Not really on the outside and it wouldn't come off. Cars aren't made to operate in this kind of weather. 
We had an awesome lesson with an investigator who we put on date for baptism on Friday
We went to our Ranchester branch for sacrament meeting yesterday and then to Sheridan 1st ward for the 3 hours. Ranchester is closer to the Montana/ Wyoming border and we actually cover some towns in Montana too. It's so weird and I can't keep the 2 states separate in my head. 
We are going to Billings today for MLC (Mission Leadership Council) tomorrow and we won't be back into our area until Wednesday. MLC is for zone leaders, sister training leaders, and some other mission leaders. So there's lots of traveling this week. 
Here is a spiritual thought I got from my studies this week:
"We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father...
        One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, “I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill--crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.” (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf "You Are My Hands")
Have a good week and stay warm! 

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 69

Hello family and friends! 
Transfer news: I'm going to be a sister training leader in the Wyoming East zone! That means I'm going to go on exchanges and do training with sisters in the Wyoming West zone because we are the only sisters in the Wyoming East zone. So I will be transferred to Sheridan, Wyoming on Wednesday and I'm going to be companions with Sister Jacoby, who I served with in Great Falls! I'm really nervous for this huge change but excited. I'm sooooo sad to say goodbye to the people here though. I haven't had enough time! :(
***So if you send anything to me, send it to the mission home address: 1848 Rimrock Rd. Billings, Montana 59102 and they will forward it to my new address. And let me know if you have sent anything to me recently to my Bozeman address so I can tell someone who is still here in Bozeman to forward it to Wyoming if I don't get it before Wednesday!
So this week was nuts- in a good way. 
We got a new investigator while we were eating dinner with a member at a Brazilian cafe called Oba. She saw us walk by the store she works at as we were walking to Oba. She came in and basically asked to take the lessons because she wants to be baptized. So that was awesome! She's sweet and came to our ward's Christmas party/ fiesta (it was Mexican themed) and loved it. On Saturday, we taught her the Restoration and she loved it. When we taught the First Vision, she got chills and we helped her identify that as the spirit. She said she's like Joseph Smith and has been looking into different religions all her life but didn't feel right about any of them.  She says she feels peace when she reads the Book of Mormon. She also loves the quotes from Thomas S. Monson that she finds on Pinterest. When we invited her to be baptized, she was ecstatic and started crying. She basically has just been waiting for someone to ask her. We committed her to be baptized in December 31st. She said the closing prayer too and is so excited to come to church, read the Book of Mormon, and everything. She said she felt overjoyed.  😄She is the cutest thing ever and Sister Ashcroft and I were on cloud 9 after that lesson. 
We also had an awesome lesson on Book of Mormon with a less active this week. We originally went over to share the Christmas video with her but then as we got talking, we discovered she doesn't really have a testimony of the church anymore but still refuses to join any other religions. We asked her if she has read the Book of Mormon at all recently and she said no and that she doesn't understand it or why the people in it are significant. That turned out to be one of the most spiritual lessons I've had in this area and we committed her to read it. We testified of the truthfulness and explained some reading habits that will help her get more out of it. 
It dumped snow and got really cold this week. It got in the negatives. The air hurts your face and my toes lose all sensation. They don't even sting. They sting then go completely numb. I have started wearing 2-3 layers at all times now. Our zone was really smart and went caroling when it was 6 degrees outside and we had to go in our cars and thaw once in a while. But we are rotating which areas we carol at so it becomes a finding activity/ blitz sort of thing. And one part member family told us to go in their teepee in their backyard and it was so cool! 
Oh. And plows make me happy. One of these days, I'm gonna make cards and just put them on the windshields of the cars with plows on them. They do such a wonderful service to the world. 
I also read this this week and it really struck me: 
"Your call has eternal consequences for others and for you. In the world to come, thousands may call your name blessed, even more than the people you serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were. If someone rejects the Savior’s invitation because you did not do all you could have done, their sorrow will be yours. You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord. Your call carries grave responsibility. But you need not fear, because with your call come great promises...
There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone." -Henry B. Eyring ("Rise to Your Call" Oct. 2002)

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Week 68

Hello all!

This week was busy! We had a Christmas zone conference on Thursday in
Helena but it was only 3 zones this time- not half mission. They also
ended early because a storm was coming into Bozeman and we had to beat
the blizzard back home. It was fun and they showed a slideshow of all
of the missionaries as kids on Christmas and we had some good talks on
the Book of Mormon and the Savior. We also had a nice lunch provided
by the Helena Relief Society sisters.
We had exchanges with the Billings sisters and it went really well. I
stayed in Bozeman and I actually had a full night of lessons for the
sister training leader to come to! That is rare!
We had an awesome lesson with an investigator from Jordan/ Jerusalem.
We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he loved it! His wife passed
away a few months ago and it devastated him. He is a very spiritual
person and when we invited him to church, he said he would pray about
it and if God told him to come, he would! And he came! I was so
excited! He stayed for Gospel Principles too! I really have high hopes
for him!
Our investigator from Guatemala also came to church and now he has
started contributing in Gospel Principles! It's so awesome to see him
We had the Christmas stroll on Main Street on Saturday and it was
pretty fun. We made a #LIGHTtheWORLD poster and all of us missionaries
in Bozeman and the Three Forks elders handed out pass along cards by
the hundreds and service advent calendars. The elders got pretty
creative to get some attention.
We also had a Christmas devotional broadcast on Sunday and I loved it.
President Eyring is hilarious and I loved how he said to seek peace
through the Giver of good gifts. As human beings, we seem to always
seek peace through the wrong sources but Christ has promised us true
and lasting peace if we follow him!
After the devotional, we went caroling with the other missionaries and
got an awesome reception! It was great to see the joy it brought to
people as we sung about the Savior.
It's getting colder and it has snowed a lot. The weather is supposed
to get in the negatives next week so that should be fun. Pray for me!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 65

Hello, world! 
This week was good. We taught a teenage returning less active (kindof recent convert)  twice in a members home. He is such an awesome kid. He asks such good questions and is so respectful. He's going places in life. 
Our zone training was really good. We talked about Adjusting to Missionary Life and new ways to find people to teach. I'm excited to try being more creative to break up the monotony of the work some days. 
We tried to contact people all week but haven't had much luck. We also had a super vague referral for a duplex up the street with a white garage. That ended up describing a third of the houses in the neighborhood and we tried every single one of them to no avail. But we will keep trying! I'm determined now! Haha. 
We went to a baptism for an 8 year old in the ward and they invited several neighbor families to come and it was an awesome service! The lady who spoke on baptism basically taught the whole Restoration while she was at it and whenever speakers used "Mormon lingo", they would define it as they spoke. It was a missionary's dream. Haha. We talked to one of the neighbors after to see what he thought but it was kind of rushed. So we hope to follow up with these people here soon!  

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Week 67

Thanksgiving was good. We volunteered with some elders at the 5k called Huffing for Stuffing that morning. 4500 people came to run!  It was SO cold and we had like 4 layers on but it was fun. There were some interesting costumes that people ran in too! Haha. We had 3 dinners total and it almost killed us but we survived without getting too sick! We ate at 2 families houses in our ward and then a family in the 2nd ward who also had the 2nd ward elders over because no one else signed up to have us over in the evening and we were told to be with members all day. It was a fun day.
Here's a cool experience from this week: So weekly planning can take the life out of you sometimes and we decided to take a break. I wanted some chocolate at this fancy French chocolate shop inside Hotel Baxter. And I guess my chocolate cravings were inspired because a recent RM from the Oregon Eugene Mission stopped us and gave us a referral of his sister and brother in law! It was awesome. Plus, he knows the two elders we know from back home who are serving in the OEM. Small world! 
Another little miracle we had was when we were tracting some apartment buildings, it was getting a bit discouraging because no one was receptive but then we knocked on a door where 2 people living in humble looking circumstances answered and exclaimed that they love hearing the word of God. They were busy at the moment but begged us to come back in a week. People like them make it all worth it. 
We had interviews with President this week and he told me to read a talk he read recently. It's by Elder Marvin J. Ashton and one of my favorite parts is this: "On our last trip to Great Britain, I had a chance to visit with an eighteen-year-old young man who has had close association with many missionaries in the field. As I was going to speak to a large number of missionaries in the next few days, I asked this friend what he thought was the most important trait missionaries needed in order to be successful. His answer was simple. “They must know how to work. Many come on a mission never knowing how to work.” It has been my experience over the years that feeble-knees are not a by-product of work and commitment to goals." How true! I have definitely been able to see this throughout my mission. I know that through the work ethic I develop during my mission, I can be a hardworking citizen, student, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and Latter-Day Saint. 
We have been introducing this year's new Christmas initiative the church created. It's called #LIGHTtheWORLD. There is a great video about how we can serve this Christmas season like Christ did. And there's a 25 day advent calendar of service ideas we can do everyday leading up to Christmas! Check it out and share it with everyone! It's on
Love you all! 

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 66

This week was pretty fun. 
We helped make turkey treats (turkeys made out of Rice Krispie treats and candy) at a nursing home and all of the old ladies were so funny. They didn't know how to make them even when we helped them and they just laughed and laughed. 
We also were able to help at the food bank here and it is WAY bigger than every other food bank I've served in on my mission. 
We had an early Thanksgiving dinner with the YSA ward on Saturday. We didn't have dinner that night and a member invited us so what the hey. It is weird being a missionary around people my own age. It's like there's a wall between us but not...
We got a referral from the Belgrade elders this week. It was an investigator they've been teaching for a while and he moved into our area. The guy is in a rough spot in his life to the point where he's now living in a motel and biking everywhere, which has softened him to the gospel. The way things worked out made it so that us and the Bozeman 1st ward elders taught him at once. We tried to make it so the guy didn't feel ganged up on but four people in name tags makes it a little weird.  Haha. He was nice about it and he recognizes something different about the church! :) He came to church on Sunday and it was his first time going to any church in 20 years. He enjoyed it and we had a lesson afterwards and a recent RM was our member present and he was awesome. He had the pamphlet we needed, taught our investigator how to pray, and everything! :D
We have been able to talk to more people this week compared to last week. We found a super solid new investigator but had to turn him over to the zone leaders because he's a YSA. We were contacting a former investigator and they moved but this new guy moved in. He is like a mini Joseph Smith. He's wondering which church is true and is actively seeking the truth. We taught him on his doorstep and he soaked the Restoration in and accepted a Book of Mormon. He was so excited for a return appointment and I just wish we could teach him but he's a YSA. :( I'm glad we found him though!
We were also able to get more dinners this week which was good because it helps me get to know the ward. The members are so nice here. At one dinner appointment, the couple had Sister Ashcroft play a hymn on the piano and we all sang along and I felt like I was in the 1800s or something. Haha. 
This week has been snowy and between 20-30 degrees. I'm in denial though that winter is here and refuse to wear my coat until I absolutely need to. I'm not ready for winter round 2!! 

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 64

Last Monday was Halloween and we had a fun district preparation day. We played spike ball, four square, carved pumpkins, hit a piñata, etc. It was a party! :)
Before transfer, I said bye to lots of people in he branch and we had some good last lessons. I absolutely hate saying bye. It tears me apart but I just have to remember that it's probably just "see ya later". Shelby has been awesome and I definitely will cherish my time there. 
On Wednesday, I was transferred to Bozeman. Let me tell ya, the city is way different. Missionary work feels so strange in a city. There's lots of traffic, there's other missionaries around, and everything! I'm still adjusting. We are still trying to build the teaching pool but it's a bit hard because it feels like 80% of the population is YSA because of MSU being here, and the zone leaders are over them. So if we find YSAs, we have to refer them over to the elders. 
Sister Ashcroft has been awesome. We've been catching up and talking about things at home- which is strange because we actually know what each other is taking about! 
We had Sister Ashcroft's old companion with us until Saturday because she went home. Being in a trio was kind of fun. :)
Our district helped some members plant a billion flowers outside a members rental house too, which was kind of fun! 
On Saturday and Sunday, we watched the regional broadcasts. I loved the Saturday one because it talked about Teaching in the Savior's Way- which was basically Preach My Gospel. :) It just goes to show how awesome and relevant PMG is for everyone! 
And I saw a bunch of Livingston and Ennis people there! It was a joyous reunion. I saw the Carters too, the members I lived with in Livingston! There are definitely pros to serving in the same stake 3 times. 
The daylight savings time change happened yesterday and now it gets dark around 5:30 so all of prime pros is in the dark and Bozeman, for some reason, has absolutely NO street lights in any residential areas. I don't know if it's a city law but it makes things a tad difficult. Thanks to whoever made flashlights!
Other than that, we are trying to contact and teach and get things rolling over here! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 63

Lots has been going on this week. Here's the low-down:
Transfer news: Sister Smith is staying and I'm going to Bozeman! This will be my THIRD time in that zone-but I've always been in towns outside of Bozeman but this will be my first time in the city. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME TO SERVE IN A BIG CITY ON MY MISSION. (Well, big for Montana). I've only served in small towns for over a year. I'm gonna be near a Walmart and a variety of places to eat out at. :') And I'm gonna be with Sister ASHCROFT from back HOME. INSANITY. We are going to be in a trio with Sister Johnson, her current companion, for a bit before she leaves for home. My mind is blown. It's sad saying bye to people here in Shelby though. It's definitely one of the hardest parts about a mission. You get so close to so many people and then you're guaranteed to have to leave at some point. :( And I'm going to miss the baptism of our investigator by a few days. :( again. But I'm still so grateful I was a part of his learning. 
Monday, we toured a Hutterite colony with district and a member. They are such an interesting group of people. I learned a lot. 
On Tuesday, we went to Oilmont and Kevin (pronounced Kee-vin). Boy, is I HARD to find unfamiliar addresses at night out here. There are very few street lights and addresses but we did contact a few less actives and a part member family which was great. They let us in and we talked about the Book of Mormon with them and read some.
So this weeks district meeting was pretty interesting. One elder did an activity and we all had to fight. There were different rules in each fight. He had two elders fight but one had nunchucks and the other had nothing, another was that they both had pillows but were blindfolded, another was that two elders had pillows but one had his hands tied behind his back, another was that Sister Smith and I had pillows but our mouths were full of water. I still am trying to figure out how the activity related to the lesson. But I'm not sure... Something about fighting for things? It was entertaining at least. :)
Later this week, our whole district plus 2 sets of zone leaders, another set of elders from the other district, a senior missionary couple, the stake presidency, and 2 high councilmen over missionary work went to Browning for their trunk-or-treat. Some other missionaries and I stood outside the little church building on the street with a huge "FREE FOOD" sign for a few hours and brought people in in droves. It was sweet. Supposedly around 100 Book of Mormons were given out and some people were actually taught the Restoration as they were eating chili and there were some return appointments made! Woo! When you get a band of missionaries going, stuff gets done! 
The next night, we had the chili cook off in Shelby. It was adults only this year so they could get a break from the kids. Sister Smith and I were the costume judges and we got some really good costumes. We had a gillie suit, Uncle Si (a girl dressed up as him), a lady with a costume that said "National Clown Hunters Service" (because of all that scary clown stuff going on), and a woman named Ariél dressed as Ariél, etc. And we played the funniest game called "Lipless" where you put that thing in your mouth that dentists give you that retract your lips and you have to say certain phrases off a card and your team has to guess what you're saying. It's SO funny. I took lots of pictures and basically have blackmail on the whole branch now. 😂 We had some less actives come that we have been dying to get fellowshipping for, so that was exciting. 
On Saturday, we did some work in Chester...and every little town around there. We basically drove up and down highway 2. Rudyard, Inverness, Joplin, Chester, Lothair, you name it. We contacted lots of less actives and got in with quite few. I saw that the common theme was the Book of Mormon. Lots of people who are struggling in their testimony or having a hard time putting their faith to action do not have a solid foundation of the Book of Mormon. It really is the KEYSTONE of our religion. If you don't read the Book of Mormon, your faith, like a seed without water, will become weak. We basically pounded that in every house. So we are going to be making a slough of phone calls here soon to follow up. We also had the branch harvest festival dinner in Chester that night and some less actives and investigators came to that too! Food does wonders. 
We stayed overnight and went to church in Chester yesterday. They definitely put us to work. We taught Gospel Principles and a part of combined Relief Society/ priesthood. And it was fast and testimony meeting and I bore my testimony on the Book of Mormon. I decided to finish off the week with that theme too. :) 
Well, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! We are banned from proselyting tonight so we are going to be hanging with the branch president's family. 
Stay safe! 

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week 62

Hey all!
This week was pretty good! Mucho miracles.
So do you remember the guy I mentioned last week who we tracted into in Sunburst after we tried a referral? Well- as we stared hearing more and more from him and other members, it's even more of a miracle than we thought! We had dinner with a member family he knows and works with and we brought him up in the dinner conversation. They said they have been praying for YEARS that missionaries would find him because they couldn't give out his address or invite him to take the discussions because of their rules at work. And the guy we tracted into said he was wondering about God just the previous day or that day (I don't remember) and we just "so happened" to knock on his door at that time. Coincidence? No way. And the fact we were prompted to get back out of the truck and try the area around the referral was definitely of the Spirit.
Another of our investigators FINALLY set a date for baptism and HE was the one to bring it up when we came for a lesson. He was like, "So are we still planning on November 5th?" And that was what we committed him to pray about for baptism as he was on vacation and he is now on board!! 😄😭 It made our whole lives. Missionaries have been trying to commit him for-ev-er. He's so ready.
We went on an exchange this week and I went down to Helena again. I'm gonna start counting Helena as another area of mine here soon because almost every exchange I've been on was in Helena. And I've been stranded there a few times by snow yeah.  I've spent my fair share of time there. It was fun and we got to teach quite a few lessons and tract. 
We had several of our less actives and investigators come to church this week. My companion, our branch mission leader, and I were so shocked when a less active father and son that we have been trying to get to church actually came!
We also taught a youth fireside about missionary work and committed them all to give someone a Book of Mormon by next month. We did a role play with them about how to do it and bear testimony along with it, so hopefully the youth start getting into missionary work! 
Life has been good and this next week will be full of craziness with all of the Halloween festivities. :)

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week 61

Hello all! 
This week was great! I turned 21 and it was awesome. We did some fun stuff and we went out to dinner with a returning less active, an active family had us for lunch and made me a cake, I was sung to by the whole branch on Sunday at the potluck and by other missionaries on the phone (just like last year), etc. 
We went to Great Falls last Monday for zone preparation day and for a stake missionary meeting and then we went to Helena the next day for a zone conference. The roads were a bit icy but we are alive. I'm surprised but not surprised that the whole caravan of missionaries made it without accidents during that trip. I appreciate the prayers! :) 
One of the many things I learned this time was that the wolf we feed is the wolf that will win. It's an old story about the rivalry between a good and bad wolf. We can label all the good traits and Christlike attributes we need to strive for as the "good wolf" and the "bad wolf" with the opposites. I have seen this many times in my mission. For example, I am going to be negative when I feed that emotion. When I dwell on the annoying or not-so-good things that happened that day, I'm going to have a bad attitude and outlook. But when I focus on the good and have a grateful heart, I can be happy, have the spirit, and enjoy my mission. We cannot serve 2 masters so one wolf has to win. That's the one we feed. It's still something I'm working on but this principle is true. 
Here's a miracle: We were contacting a former investigator and it said in the area book that they weren't sure if she lived there anymore. So we decided to try it and see and we found a family who listened and wants us to come back! They took a Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and everything. The dad is not that interested but he says his kids are and his wife was. Definitely have a testimony of contacting formers. 
We found a pretty awesome guy in Sunburst this week. We were contacting a referral who ended up not being interested and then we hopped back in the truck. But then I remembered that we should tract around the referrals house and we said another quick prayer and started knocking. It was cold and not so enjoyable but the last house we tried ended up being a guy who has a Book of Mormon a member gave him who works with him at border patrol and has been reading it! He showed us and had lots of questions and believes some of what we believe. He was more than open to us coming back next week and literally asked us what else we wanted to share with him before we left. It was awesome. 
Later that night, we had dinner and FHE with one of our investigators at a member family's home. Both members are converts so for FHE (and Sister Smith's and my training), we heard their convert stories and the investigator we brought soaked it all in. He's the one who has to wait until he's 18 to be baptized because of his parents, and one of the members had to wait as well because she was 16 when she wanted to join the church. He thanked them afterwards and said he could relate. Aw. Such a good FHE. :) 
Well, that was a good chunk of the week! Hope you all are having a good day!

Week 60

Hello world! 
Not much to say this week. 
Last week we went to Glacier National Park for preparation day again and it was gorgeous. We went through east and west Glacier and it's easily the prettiest place I've ever been to. I just want to live there.  
We had district meeting in Cutbank this week at a senior couples house because the Elder is too sick to come to district meetings in Shelby. So we all talked about our favorite talks from conference and they fed us Canadian thanksgiving!  
This week, my testimony of tracting around referrals grew. We had a referral in some apartments and we tracted around a found a guy named Sam who was super receptive and wanted us to come back! Woo!
Little blessing: Some older LDS ladies who were traveling from Canada came and talked to us when we were having lunch at Pizza Hut and paid for the whole districts meals! :) I feel so grateful for people who are generous like that! 
This week has been cold. I think it's here for good now! There was fog, sleet, and now we have a couple inches of snow and it's still snowing. We've been doing lots of tracting lately so the weather always makes it an adventure. I look like I'm dressed for winter already but when you're knocking doors in the cold all day, the cold gets to your core fast so you have to hunker down. 
We had an awesome dinner at the branch presidents house and we had a less active, recent convert, and some investigators there and it was all thrown together that day- so that was sweet! 
We met a cool guy at a former investigators house who basically asked us if he could come to church and be baptized. He was like, "So what do I do? Just show up and get baptized?" Hahaha. We wish but no. :P He unfortunately didn't come to church but we have high hopes for him! :) That was a miracle. We went to the formers house to try to pick them back up again. They're not interested but love the church and missionaries and know everything about it so they were basically teaching him along with us. So maybe through him, we can get this family going again!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Week 59

Hello, world!
So this week we had transfers and I picked up Sister Smith. She last
served in the Butte zone.
This week has been fun. We tried whale blubber gum (which is not too
bad)". So I can cross that off my bucket list. Hahah.
We went to Great Falls women's session of general conference!!! We had
a service project before and then dinner and the broadcast. It was so
great! I love what President Uchtdorf said that we need to walk with
whatever faith we have but always seeking to increase it. Sometimes we
struggle with our faith and we just have to hold on to the bit we have
at the time but not give up there. We should always strive to
strengthen our testimonies along the way! I also loved how Sister
Bonnie L. Oscarson said that we live in perilous times but also in the
fullness of times. We have the tools necessary to keep is strong as we
live in these last days! Heavenly Father trusts us to use them. I
loved absolutely everything but that was just a few points!
Oh! And we were able to have a less active come! She drove the hour to
come down and stayed for the whole thing! It was awesome and she took
lots of notes during the broadcast. :)
We had a lesson earlier on in the week with her and she was a mess.
She has had a spiritual experience lately that has made her want to
change her life around but she has such difficult obstacles in the way
that makes her fear changing. But the spirit really directed us in
knowing what to say and what scriptures to share and she's stuck with
her decision to change! She says she feels so much better about
herself now as she's gradually getting better and obeying the
commandments. I can even feel the difference about her. :)
We also went to a funeral this week and I (again) didn't even know the
person but we went to support the members who were grieving. And we
also were contacted BY a referral we had while we were in the
cemetery. So that was the most unique referral contacted I've ever had
in my life. Haha.
Some less actives came to church yesterday and bore their testimonies
in sacrament meeting! It was so great to see them do that. We also
shared some simple missionary experiences in sharing time in primary
as well. Little kids are so cute. They were so excited that we came
in. :)
Another miracle that happened was that we decided to talk to a lady
that we often see walking on the streets. We were walking on the other
side and crossed over and just started talking. She said she was
actually baptized into the church when she was younger but has been
less active for most of her life. She's not in our records here so
that was cool that we found her! We shared the Restoration pamphlet
with her and she said we could follow up with her later.
It's been an awesome week and we are going to be traveling a lot this
next week to Chester, Sunburst, and Great Falls.
Hope you have a great week!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission