Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 32

Hola, everyone!
So last preparation day, we went to Bannack- a ghost town and the first territorial capital of Montana. We went with the elders and some YSAs in our area. It was way fun! 
We have had quite the miracle happening this week. So a father of a part member family started investigating the church and we taught him all of the lessons within 3 days so that he could have the option of getting baptized with his 8 year old daughter on Easter. (He kind of raised his hand and volunteered to be taught when we asked for referrals at dinner at his in-laws house). He ended up deciding to get baptized next Saturday after conference, but it was impressive that we were able to teach EVERYTHING within a matter of a few hours. He believes everything and understands everything really well because he's been to church lots of times before. He even referred us to his grandparents and sister. Sister Shupe and I sang at his daughters baptism yesterday and it went well. We sang "Baptism" from the children's songbook. 
We watched part of the Motab broadcast with some elderly members and we watched the women's general session the next day. I loved Sister Neill Marriott! She was so funny! I don't think I've ever heard a female general authority have that kind of humor before. I noticed how they talked a lot about motherhood (which was awkward because I'm on a mission and can't have kids for a while....) and I thought it was cool how they talked about taking in refugees. If I was an adult and had my own home, I would seriously consider it!
Easter was way fun. We had fast and testimony meeting at church and then we had the 8 year old baptism and then we had dinner at one of my favorite family's houses. They gave us little Easter baskets and everything! And Sister Shupe's family sent us these funny chicken things with Easter eggs, food, and other fun stuff inside. And it was a day the whole world could dedicate to our Savior! How awesome is that?! Everyday could be like Christmas and Easter if we wanted them to be. :) 
Here is something I found this week in my studies that I thought would be good to share. I found this in the Ensign. It's titled "Seeking Spiritual Gifts" by Pres. George Q. Cannon 
"… I know that God is willing to heal the sick, that He is willing to bestow the gift of discerning of spirits, the gift of wisdom, of knowledge and of prophecy, and other gifts that may be needed. If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, “Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.” He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them. If a man lack wisdom, it is his duty to ask God for wisdom. The same with everything else. That is the design of God concerning His Church. He wants His Saints to be perfected in the truth. For this purpose He gives these gifts and bestows them upon those who seek after them, in order that they may be a perfect people upon the face of the earth, notwithstanding their many weaknesses, because God has promised to give the gifts that are necessary for their perfection."
Hope all is well!

Jail in Bannack

 Easter baskets

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Week 31

Hello, world! 

So last preparation day all of the sisters in my district met up in Twin Bridges for a sisters day. A member owns a salon and we got our hair cut and then we ate at a restaurant called the Wagon Wheel that a member in the stake presidency owns. It was fun!
We had zone conference in Helena this past week and EVERY time we travel long distances, the weather knows and gets bad. And I was the driver so we all prayed hard and survived. Haha. We learned a lot. One of the biggest changes was that we are not counting other lessons taught to people who are not interested now. So we only count lessons if they become a potential investigator or is a current investigator without a member present. So I was super scared because our numbers would tank but I guess it pushes us harder and keeps our area book filled with those who are "the elect" (prepared for the gospel). My favorite part of zone conferences are the testimonies of the departing missionaries. The spirit is SO STRONG. Usually, I hardly know the missionaries that are leaving but it doesn't matter. I dread the day when I am the one having to do that. I will bawl.
We also went on exchanges and it was Sister Shupe's first exchange. She went to Helena with one of our Sister Training Leaders and the other came here to Dillon with me. It was fun, but it was just a few days after we already drove to Helena, so needless to say- I am so sick of driving. Everything is just so spread out in Montana! Haha. We met in Butte on the 17th (St. Patrick's day) to switch and apparently the missionaries in Butte have to stay inside all day because there are lots of Irish there and the streets are blocked off and lined with booths of alcohol. Insane.
We have been showing the Easter video a lot, #Hallelujah, and it's cool to see how the Saviors atonement has a special place in lots of people's hearts. The Easter season (and maybe the increase of sunlight) really has made people more softened towards our message. Some people have teared up when we show them the video because they are given that glimmer of hope that they will see their deceased loved ones again! Through the savior, we can have new life. :)
We also went "cookie contacting" on Saturday. We just bought some cheap cookies dough, baked them up, put them in bowls with a few more treats and went to visit those we teach and want to teach. People are a lot more receptive with food! :) haha. 
We have TWO progressing investigators now. It has been a loooong time here in Dillon since people have progressed. It feels good. We committed a college student to baptism but she didn't want to set a date. So we are working in her. And we are rolling with lots of other YSAs again. 
We also had a lesson with the Ballards. Brother Ballard is cousins with Elder Ballard, the apostle. They kind of look alike too. It's awesome. 
On Sunday we went to another talent show at a members house and we sang the EFY medley with the elders ("As Sisters in Zion" and "Army of Helaman") and we made some people cry. It was awesome and the Spirit was strong. 
And we went to the Big Hole branch for church because some members from Dillon were speaking out there and we hitched a ride and they asked us to give a 5 minute testimony (I was expecting that because we haven't been there in a while). I bore mine on the atonement (I mean- it's Easter season. I have to.) and I definitely know that the spirit will fill our mouths. I just chose a topic and didn't plan a single word of what I was going to say, so I definitely had divine help. :)
Well, hope all is well in Zion!

Sister Ney 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 30

Hello, all! 

This week was alright. Both Sister Shupe and I got sick to our stomachs on different days so that made work a bit slow on those days. We had to stay in and we don't have wifi or any dvd players on our apartment, so the healthy companion had to find stuff to do to keep busy.
One of the mornings this week, it snowed! It covered the ground and I was SO sad but then it melted by the end of the day and we weren't wearing jackets anymore. Montana weather is weird. But I'm pretty used to the cold. I can bear the 30s in short sleeves now. The members think I'm crazy. Sister Shupe is still cold though. Haha.
Work has been a little slow because the YSAs were on spring break but school is starting back today which is nice. Woo! The only time in my life where I am actually glad spring break is over! 
We had dinner with an investigator family- which was my first dinner with nonmembers. We just met the mom when tracting and she invited us over for dinner the next week, which was awesome. She said she wanted us to meet her husband and kids. So we had dinner with them and she was going through a big trial in her life the week before, so we told her about how the Book of Mormon gives us comfort and we ended up giving her the family proclamation to read too. So we are planning on meeting with them again in a few weeks when she gets back into town.
We also went out to Polaris to teach our recent convert and her family. She is doing well and she has a calling in the branch. 
There's not much else that's too exciting to write about. It's been a pretty normal week. We did have dinner with a family last night and they made "magic cake" where they put chocolate cake mix on the bottom and pumpkin filling on the top and then when it bakes, the pumpkin ends up on the bottom and the chocolate is on the top. And they also gave us a huge box of Frito Lay products because the dad works for the company and it included chocolate covered potato chips (which were actually pretty good). We chose a few things that we wanted and gave the rest of it to the elders. Hahaha.
We also tried to help another recent convert with his family history. But we didn't end up getting much done because he didn't have wifi and he didn't have his lds account set up... So yah. And we are not pros. So we are having some members give us a crash course in family history this next week.
Oh! Here's a funny story: So we are always on this one road a lot where the end of it leads to a field full of llamas. So we often drive by it and they are always stooped down eating grass and will never look up for a picture. So the first thing that came to my head was Napolean Dynamite and I yelled in a deep man voice out the window, "TINA!" And they ALL looked up at once. It was the funniest thing of my life. (Evidence is on the pictures below) 
And we had daylight savings time yesterday and it totally messed up our lives. Us Arizona girls aren't familiar with it. But it's lighter later, which makes the work in the evening way easier! 
We also have been showing the #Hallelujah video. So if you haven't seen it, watch it! It's like the Christmas video but more centered on Easter. :)
Something I learned this week- when you are wanting to correct someone on something or help them learn, think of how you would respond to someone saying that to you before you say it. I've been trying really hard to apply that because when we teach others, it should be taught with love rather than an attitude of judgement. 
Sister Ney

Picture 2&3- before and after I yelled, "TINA" to the llamas
Picture 1- death in a box

District Homies

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Week 29

Hello, all!

Another week in paradise. Haha. We did a lot of tracting and finding. Lots of it. And lots of people that we do find that say we can come back never answer the door again. So it's hard because no one is solid and makes set return appointments. But we keep on keeping on.
We even tracted in the rain. It never rains here so that was interesting. It caught us suddenly yesterday and hit hard.  It mixes life up a bit I guess. Haha.
We also street contacted in downtown Dillon with family history! We printed out our fan charts and wrote our info on family history cards and talked to people about it. They are way more receptive when you discuss their family history because of the Spirit of Elijah! It's way cool to see someone's heart soften before your eyes when discussing genealogy. It was also 61 degrees (the warmest it's been in a loooooong time) that day so it was way easier to be out and about!
We helped a new widow clean her house to move out and we also went to Butte for interviews with President. I realized how long drives are now that I am the driver. It's no fun and you get bored and tired way easier. So music is a must.
I also have decided a couple things this week:
1. My favorite smell is campfire. I have so many good memories associated with campfires and I smell it all the time here and it makes me happy. :)
2. I love hearing the sound of the train in the distance. It reminds me of family summer vacations in small towns in Idaho.
3. There's always a reason to love someone.
4. Share the gospel because you want to. Not because you have to. Share it from the heart.
Here's something pretty cool: We were teaching a Ysa who is planning on coming back to church and he said he had a dream about us. He said he dreamt that we, and his fellowshipper, were lighting oil lamps along the streets (representing people), using matches to start the flames or making the flames bigger, then the last one had his name engraved on it and we started the light in his lamp too. How cool is that?! In a way, that's completely true! As missionaries, we can give others the light that is Christ and the truth, whether it be for investigators or members/ people who are struggling with their current testimonies.
Have an awesome week, everyone!

Sister Ney

Week 28

Hello all!

So this week has been pretty good! I'm getting the hang of being a
trainer and I'm trying really hard to be a good example of following
the spirit and working hard. We put  two people on date this week, a
mother and son, and thought it was going really good but then they
dropped us a couple days later and that was a bummer. It is
disappointing but I just have to roll with the punches and have hope
or else Satan can use discouragement to his advantage.
We have been working a TON with the less active YSAs and it has been
good. We had a few come to church this Sunday. We contacted one at his
apartment and I asked if he had been to church at all, because he's in
the other ward, and he said no and without even pausing, I said,
"Why?!" It just flew out of my mouth within a split second. He was
taken aback a bit and then looked super guilty and he said he wanted
to sleep and stuff. So hey, maybe he needed the bluntness! Sister
Shupe was surprised I just straight up asked him like that too. We
laughed about it for a while after. And finding YSAs is awkward most
of the time because they're our age and having to find on the dorms,
especially when they're guys, is awkward. I'm just going to leave it
at that.
THIS WEEK (aka the guy Sister Schwendiman and I followed for a couple
blocks after I vowed to God that I would talk if he was ever put in my
path again). It was such a miracle! We were walking in an alley in
between some trailer parks and we were heading back to our car when I
saw him the alley with his friend walking towards us. So I told Sister
Shupe, "keep walking straight". And we stopped them and I talked a bit
about the Book of Mormon and I gave him one and asked if he would read
it and he said, "I don't see why not!!" and was pretty excited. The
downside is that he is moving to Washington. But I have full faith
that he will read it and enter into the fold someday! :)
Other than that, we are tracting a lot and we have found a lot of
potential investigators. Now it's just a matter of following up. :)
And we met this creepy looking cat named Harriett. Her name is ironic
once you see her picture. She reminds me of Dobby on Harry Potter.
And here is something I learned this week from being a trainer- the
Lord will make up the difference. Being a trainee is hard and as a
trainer, you just want to do everything for them because they are
still trying to learn the ropes but I know that as long as we try our
best, the Lord will help us and meet where we are, as long as it's the
best we can do.

~Sister Ney