Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 23

Hello all! 

This week has been alright. We had a really cool worldwide missionary broadcast on Wednesday it was titled, "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts" and Elders Anderson, Bednar, Oaks and some other people talked. I think my favorite part was when they said "Always have the Lord's name on your lips and be prepared to testify of Him at all times and all places" and "If you're ever unsure of what to say, testify of the the Savior". And I have thought about it and I don't think we testify of the Savior nearly enough and we are indebted to Him.
Our investigator who is getting baptized on the 6th is progressing so well! He dropped coffee and tea like it was no big deal. He said, "You wouldn't believe it! I haven't had an alcohol, cigs, coffee, or tea but I had a whole can of peaches!" Hahaha. Funniest thing of my life. And we taught him like 4 times this week. He is sooooo eager to be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He even was so touched at church this week that he teared up. And he calls us every day for daily contact. Often, multiple times a day because he has questions from the Book of Mormon. 
There was also another funny thing that happened when we were tracting. We had a member girl with us and we knocked on this lady's door. Her dogs were barking inside (because everyone in Montana has a dog) and she said, "I'm not interested! And get away from my dogs!" Her dogs were in the house. So we just thought that was so funny because we weren't even close to her dogs.
I've been working on being slow to anger this week. Similar to patience. But I found that it's one of the best things I've ever tried to work on. Just letting things go has been the best thing ever. I'm so much happier when I do that and so are the people around me. President Hinckley has a talk called "Slow to Anger" and it's the best thing ever. Happy is the man that can just let things go and go on his way. (That was a paraphrased quote).

Love and miss you all!

~Sister Ney

We made crepes for Sister Schwendiman's one year mark.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Week 22

Hello all!

What even happened this week? Hmmmm.
Our investigator who is on date is doing really well. He absolutely loves the gospel and is the funniest 73 year old ever. And he listens so intently. After telling him about the gift of the Holy Ghost, he said "Well let's get baptized!" And the member who came with us also mentioned that now that he is on date, Satan would try to tempt him not be baptized and in response he said, "Bring it, Satan." Hahaha. That's what I'm talking about!
We had a zone training in Butte and we mainly learned about how to be consecrated missionaries. They had us read a talk beforehand called "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" by Elder Tad ‪R. Callister in 2008‬ in the MTC that made us feel like failures as missionaries. There was a quote in there that said, "“Every mission has a number of good, even great missionaries, but most missions only have about five or so consecrated missionaries – those who are willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice.”
Now that made us do some real self- evaluation. I want to be that missionary who is on fire because of how consecrated I am but it feels like it's unachievable sometimes. Even though all my time is dedicated to the Lord already, I still am not fully dedicated to Him! Somehow I still am not there yet. I still have the natural man in me and it is so discouraging sometimes. But there was another quote that gave me hope that said something along the lines of- the Lord doesn't require immediate perfection but He does require immediate progress.
And this applies to non-missionaries too! Our whole life is a journey of progression and God is helping is along the way!

We also got new Standards of Excellence:
1. Ask for referrals from everyone
2. Have 3 lessons with investigators in a members home per week
3. Have Daily contact with your focus investigators
So we've been trying to crank those out. I think they will really progress the work because those are some things we sometimes slack on!

Some random stuff this week:
- I had white tail roast for the first time out here on my mission. I've had venison before but not out here yet. But I have had elk jerky a few times.
- We got help from a member this week to get some Spanish phrases to use for the potential investigator who speaks Spanish. He was just going to come with us at first, but things got mixed up so he just taught us some Spanish to say to her. I was so pumped to use it but then she never answered the door. :(
-we have some solid progressing investigators too! Which is exciting!

And I also gave a talk in sacrament yesterday about missionary work. I decided to narrow it down to the "joy of missionary work". :)
Here's a part of it: "We need to count our many blessings. Count the blessings that you have because of the gospel and think of your friends, relatives, your neighbors, your peers and think- do they have these blessings too? Would this gospel help them right now and in the future? Of course it would! And it is our duty, as holders of this truth, to tell our other brothers and sisters about it. If we don't, who will?
It is our responsibility to proclaim the truth because we have it. We are accountable for the people who we associate with each day, to help them come to Christ. One of my companions told someone that we were teaching that heaven wouldn't be heaven without everyone there. We succeed to do this when we invite people to the gospel. More often than not- it's a conscious but rewarding effort. Our family must come back together again to live with our Heavenly Father. And that is the lasting and ultimate joy that we want to achieve."
I know this to be true and I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Ney

Picture 1- me and the sisters in my zone in Butte!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 21

Hey everyone! 

So this week was pretty good. We had a day full of miracles on Saturday. We got another elderly guy on date and he asked us if someone sent us to him and we told him no. We are led by the spirit to where we should go. He said its cool because we showed up in his life right when he needed us and he said when he reads the Book of Mormon, he feels "lifted up". When we taught him this week, I explained it was the spirit and invited him to be baptized. After explaining the importance of the priesthood and correct authority, he agreed to be baptized on February 6th! He is so solid too. He believed in everything we said before he even prayed about it. I am so excited for him and I know Heavenly Father is too!

We also knocked on a potential investigators door and she wasn't home but her roommate was and her roommate ended up being a less active and she said, "Can I ask you a weird question? Can you come back to visit me on Tuesday?" Then she explained how she is less active and her deceased mom joined the church and loved it, so wants to meet with us! Heck ya!
AND later that day we decided to grin and bear the cold and walk a couple blocks to find this one investigator we have. We were hoping that we would run into people if we were not in the car. And we did! We helped a college girl carry her stuff in her apartment and she said we could come back and teach her! So awesome. :)

We dropped by the lady who speaks Spanish again to try to see what she thought of the pamphlet and Book of Mormon and the language barrier is just too difficult. I would highly recommend that every missionary learn a bit of Spanish- at least some key words like interested, restored, church, questions, teach, learn, help, pray, read, time, day, come back/ return, believe, Jesucristo, missionaries. So we plan on coming back with a translator next time.
And another tid bit of advice for soon-to-be missionaries who will be able to use iPads or for everyone in general- the Gospel Library is an amazing thing! There are SO many resources I didn't even bat an eye at before my mission because I only used the scriptures on it but there are tons of conference talks, manuals, videos, etc to learn from! If you don't understand a scripture, there's like at least 4 manuals that will explain it. Just look it up and explore on there! 

We went to a training meeting yesterday in Butte for all the ward councils in the stake. It focuses on the Sabbath and Missionary work (woot woot). I get so pumped when normal people start talking about missionary work.

Some funny stories: 
-we were "shovel-tracting" and we saw a 13 year old investigator we have shoveling his walk and driveway and we decided to help him. Then he started throwing snowballs at us and it turned into ice-chunk baseball too. Haha. He was so lonely. And he said we could come back later that night to have a lesson with him and his mom and when we came back later, he threw snowballs at us all the way to the front door. It was such a weird day.
-I slipped on black ice in the church parking lot. I swear, the cold is trying to kill me. Haha.

So I've been studying a lot about the Celestial Kingdom lately and it really has given me a new perspective on life. Really, that is my goal. Do we really understand what "eternity" means? It's forever!!! Is that one little sin or mean thought or comment worth it? Is it worth it to sacrifice eternal happiness with your family and God for something that will give only temporary pleasure or satisfaction? Really. Think about it. NOW is the time for us to prepare to meet God and you never know when your time here on earth will end. And it it much harder to repent after this life. So prepare and be better now. Every day. Every minute. Make a better future for you starting now. 

Sister Ney 

I'm on cloud nine when I read the Book of Mormon.  :)

We found some oversized Carhartt coats at the thrift store.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Week 20

Hello all!
So transfer news: I'm staying here in Dillon with Sister Schwendiman!!!! We were both so happy! :)  Our ward mission leader has been threatening to call our mission president to tell him to let us stay here because he likes us. Hahah. I think he gets anxiety around transfer time.
New Years was great! We spent the evening with a member family and we ate food, shared the New Years video (check it out on It's really good!) and played games. Their son tried to light off fireworks but it was too cold. The lighters and matches wouldn't light and we couldn't stand outside long enough to watch them. Haha. We did have an extended curfew though. Instead of being home at 9, we could be home at 10 if we were in a members home. Sister Schwendiman and I did get some cider from them, put it on our night stand, set an alarm for midnight and we woke up, rolled over and poured some cider and drank a swig then fell back asleep. Hahaha. That's how we celebrate on a mission. :P
Here's a cool encounter: we were tracting around and knocked on a trailer. A Hispanic woman answered the door who knew very little English. Using what little knowledge of Spanish we had, we tried to explain our purpose to her, what the Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet were and what we wanted her to do with them. We later came back with Spanish copies of them both, which will be better for her. I wish I remembered more but I threw out the words "Iglesia", "Jesucristo", "El Libro de Mormon", "leer", "muy bien", "feliz" while trying to charade things too. I bet Spanish speaking missionaries would've thought we were hilarious.
Here's a lesson that I learned this week: we were teaching an investigator and she has been familiar with the church for a while now. We finally got her to let us teach the first lesson to her and for most of the lesson, I kept thinking to invite her to baptism. But guess what... I didn't!!! I kept ignoring the promptings and telling myself that I will in a second, I'm just waiting for the right time...and it never happened. I walked out of that lesson just wanting to punch myself. Why did I not invite her to be baptized? Fear! I was afraid of ruining all the years of hard work the members out in of trying to bring her the gospel. Fear of making our relationship with her awkward. And fear is the opposite of faith. Satan and the natural man are the sources of fear and God is the source of faith and hope. I vowed to myself that I will never make that mistake again and that the next time we teach her, I will invite her to be baptized.
Some good news here in Dillon is that some people are just accepting the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the first vision as truth right off the bat!! They just believe it! It kind of throws me off when we ask them to pray about it and they just say, "I don't need to! I know it's true!" Holy cow! I see great things happening this transfer! :)
One of my all time favorite things on the mission is seeing kids flipping through scriptures and people watching the "Because of Him" video. I might have mentioned that before but I love seeing children of God watching and learning about their Savior. It seriously touches my heart. :) Moments like those are ones that I live for!
Well, I can't think of anything else crazy happening this week. Here is my ponderizing got scripture this week. I think it might be my favorite one in the Book of Mormon. It's Alma 37:36-37: "36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." How awesome is that! This scripture has helped me a ton when I was having a difficult time when I first came out and it gave me the reassurance that I'm not alone. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there!
Sister Ney