Saturday, June 25, 2016

Week 44

Hello everyone,

I just want to announce that I have had moose before and I didn't even
know it. A member came up to us at church and told us that the one
time we ate with them, we had moose. Check that off my list.
Another funny Montana thing: we were at a lesson at a members and then
afterwards, the dad told the kids, "Hey! I see some gophers in the
yard!" And then all of the kids picked up their 22s and ran out to the
porch and started shooting. Hahah. It was so funny.
Another funny thing: Here's the ultimate missionary rejection: When
you wave at someone driving by and they yell "NO!" to you from their
car. We didn't even say a word! Haha.
We had exchanges this week and I ended up going to Helena and Sister
Shupe stayed in Dillon. And for some reason, I feel like whenever I
leave my area for exchanges and someone solid is on date, I come back
and hear that they are not on date anymore. It's a curse. Our 92 year
old said he's uncomfortable being baptized being so dependent right
now, so he said he wants to be baptized when he can walk in font
independently (which should hopefully be within the next year bc of
some surgeries he's having), which is understandable. So we are gonna
keep meeting with him because he says it's the highlight of his day
when we come and we want to keep his testimony strong. :)
And I swear, I know Helena and Butte now like they're my own areas
because of how much I've been there (because I've been here for so
We had our car, bike, and housing inspection this week by some senior
missionaries and we are doing good except for the fact we need to
replace all of our tires and we have very little brake fluid left. I
hardly know a thing about cars so that helped. And we should've gotten
the tires replaced BEFORE winter because we got stuck so much but we
never got approval so atleast it's happening now.
We also went to the Montana Youth Challenge Academy graduation because
some of the cadets we were teaching invited us and we wanted to
support them. It was very interesting and orderly because it's almost
military life in the academy.
Some good stuff that happened this week:
-The 9 year old that is getting baptized got his baptism interview
yesterday and passed! Let me tell ya, it is hard to teach a distracted
9 year old all of the lessons within 3 visits. We had to do that
because of a joint custody dealio. So we had to get creative. We
taught tithing with pennies, the word of wisdom with a whiteboard (see
picture below) and had him mark what's good and what's bad, had his
dad teach him chastity (which was extremely modified for his age), the
10 commandments with hand signs, etc. We also had to bribe him with
candy and have him do stretches to keep him focused.
We had an icecream social for the 1st ward for Father's Day, which was
fun. We got to be the icecream scoopers so we could see everyone. :)
Here are some more miracles from this week:
-We taught a 12 year old recent convert the restoration again because
he hasn't been taught it in a while and his less active dad sat in
(which he doesn't always do). And I really think his dad felt the
spirit because he was so focused, nodding and reading the pamphlet. It
was awesome! Usually he just jokes around the whole time but this time
it was serious. So we plan on maybe focusing a little more on him now
-HUGE miracle: So our older old recent convert has been MIA for a
little while now for reasons he wouldn't tell us about. He was so
solid and then refused to go to church and meet with us. Well, we felt
like we should drop by yesterday and he actually answered this time.
He said he felt like we would come by today, and we shared a message
about the roles of fathers (for Father's Day) and Heavenly Father.
Then we asked him if he's going to be in church on Sunday and he said
no. We asked why and he said because he has a hard time breathing and
that he hasn't been paying his tithing because he uses it for medical
bills. We told him he can go in the foyer if he has a hard time
breathing and that tithing shouldn't keep him from going to church
because we all should be at church, even if we are not perfect and not
keeping all of the commandments. He was so solid and even scheduled a
lesson with us! Ah! That just made our day! And mission. :D
We also told him that people like him are highlights of our mission
and we, the ward, and Heavenly Father don't want to lose him and that
really touched him. Ah. I love that guy.
But that's the bulk of the week! It was eventful and great! The
mission is going by so fast and I'm learning so much every day.
And don't send packages or mail anytime soon because transfer calls
are next week! Ahh!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

 whiteboard to teach a 9yr old the word of wisdom

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week 43

Hey family and friends!
Here's what's been going on:
For preparation day last Monday, the zone went to Thompson park in
between Whitehall and Butte and we had pizza and cake, and went on a
hike. It was pretty fun.
We had a really small district meeting, it was just the
Whitehall elders and us 2 because the Sheridan sisters car broke down
and they were stuck in Butte. So it was awkward but fun. 
We helped the bishops daughter in the first ward harvest a HUGE patch
of rhubarb. I got to be the person with a big knife hacking off the
leaves and roots over the trash can. It was quite an experience. We
also had chop all the stalks up afterwards.  We had dinner at a fancy restaurant 
with Catholic people
from the bargain basement that we volunteer at. I sat directly across
from the Catholic priest again and he had me say the holding- hand
prayer over the food. I was scared at first but he's still friendly
like he was last time and asked us questions about our missions.
We had some crazy rain storms this week and once, we were walking out
of the church right as it started hailing and when the downpour got
serious. So we screamed and ran back inside. Hahaha. :P
we had seven hours of church. It was long and we brought
food to keep us alive.
We met a lady this week who has a boat load of problems and she told
us every detail. It's awful knowing how hard people's lives are and
not being able to change much of it without them accepting the gospel.
She seems pretty closed hearted but I'm not giving up quite yet. :)
Our 92 year old had his interview this week for his baptism on
Saturday! Now it's a matter of how many people are going to be in the
font to help carry him in and out and all the nitty gritty stuff. But
we are excited! Imagine all of your sins being washed away after 92
years. It's incredible. We are just hoping that the VA doesn't call
him to go get a surgery that he needs before because they've
been discussing it for a while now.
And we put another guy on date who was almost baptized when he was 19.
He's 40 now and he knows everything already! He even reads an
encyclopedia in gospel topics for fun! He has some pretty hard
obstacles in the way though so I'm praying that he will be able to
find his answers and that his family's hearts will be softened.
Fun facts: Hardly anyone in Montana has A/C. So it gets pretty hot
during lessons during the daytime. We have been having an unusual heat
wave lately and it's no bueno.

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week 42

So this week was awesome for the most part.
Batman was in town with his yellow corvette bat mobile (apparently
that's the original one).
We helped some hitchhikers that were bummin' in town by the church.
They were two nice guys with some duffel bags who waved us down as we
were coming out of the church parking lot. As I type this out, this is
sounding more sketchy but it really wasn't. The spirit would've told
us. They were just looking for some food and maybe shelter for the
night because they were traveling from Spokane to Utah. We called all
the leaders we could but they were busy or couldn't help, so we
brought the hitch hikers some of our own food. But we couldn't do
anything for shelter. I was able to give them a Book of Mormon and
Restoration pamphlets and they said they would read them. I really
think they will. :)
We were able to teach and put a college girl on date for baptism. She
is super nice and seems enthusiastic about it all- so that was
awesome! We originally found her because we saw a guy named Tim in the
elders old area book and he lived in a trailer park. So we tried him
but he moved out and she's there now instead. So that was a miracle!
We also raked 42 years worth of pine cones from a less active lady's
yard and took it to the dump. It took 2 days and 2 trips to the dump
because it was just us and her and she is older, so she couldn't do
much. The elders were supposed to help too but they are not here
anymore. We built some muscle doing all that. Haha.
We mostly tried to meet people in the first ward area book all week.
This weekend was crazy. We basically live in Butte and Twin Bridges
now. (And we are back here today for preparation day.) So here's how
it went:
We had stake conference this weekend and it was quite a time. So we
met the Sheridan sisters at their place and rode with them to Butte
for interviews with President. Then we came back to Twin and street
contacted at Garage-O-Rama with them. Its a giant garage sale but it
was in a warehouse looking thing and it's a big deal in a town of 400.
It was in the 90s and dusty, so it wasn't the most pleasant. Then we
went back to Butte with them to the adult session of conference. Elder
Sitati of the 70 was there. He is from Africa. We met and talked to
him and his wife a couple of times. They're awesome. Then we stayed
overnight in Butte with the Sheridan and Butte sisters at a members
house. They were out of town so they said we could stay there. And it
was nice! They had a massage chair (that they told us to try) that was
like a bowl. You sat in it, it rolled back and gave you a full body
massage. That was the entertainment for the night. Haha. We all
thought it was so cool. Then the next morning we went to an 8am ward
mission leader and missionary training meeting that President
Wadsworth taught and then had the morning session of conference. Here
are some of the things I learned both from him and throughout the
Elder Sitati told us his conversion story. Him and his wife converted
in the 80s and it was because a senior missionary couple opened their
mouths. It is not enough for people to just live Christlike lives. We
must OPEN OUR MOUTHS. In D&C 33:8-10, it says,
"8 Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become
even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with
sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.
10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent,
repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths
straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;"
We must talk the talk and not just walk the walk. Do both! Members and
missionaries must fully participate in the work of salvation and do
our parts for the Lord's work to hasten.  I truly am coming to
understand the significance of member missionary work. I really regret
not doing it before my mission. I have wasted so much time and
opportunities to share the gospel with those around me. I thought I
lived the life I should but I never opened my mouth and I will not
make that mistake again. We are showing the Lord we love him and his
children (the 2 greatest commandments) when we do his work. And if you
ever have the chance, listen/ read Diana Holsher's talk called "The
Missionary Next Door". It really shows how members are essential for
people's social conversion.
Have a great week!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Week 41

Hello, everyone!!

So this week was full of going back and forth since we inherited 2
more units from the elders.
We stayed the night in Lima last night at our branch mission leaders
house and taught a recent convert that the elders were working with.
Lima is 15 miles from the border of Idaho. Weird. We also were able to
meet a less active and talked around his campfire. He also gave us
sticks to roast marshmallows with! Hahah. #montana
We tracted out the town of Jackson out in the Big Hole and it didn't
take too long. We were able to meet some interesting people and one
lady let us in and we talked to her about the Restoration for a while.
She lives right across the street from the branch building and I think
she might continue investigating! We also saw some garden snakes as we
were walking to a door -which freaked us out at first. Haha.
We also had lunch in the only restaurant in town and they had 2 hound
dogs just chilling in there. #montana
Another funny story: so we accidentally slipped up again and asked a
member in the 2nd ward if we could do anything for him and he had us
make ANOTHER pie for him. This was the 4th. We are pros now at making
strawberry rhubarb pie. He just says our future husbands will thank
him later. Hahah. He let us use his rhubarb in his yard and we cut it
with a machete. He has a bunch because he served his mission in the
Phillipines. He likes to find every excuse he can to pull them out.
We were able to teach a 9 year old this week and we put him on date
for baptism. His dad is on his way to receiving the melchezidek
priesthood and his older sister was baptized not too long ago. The
only issue is scheduling days to meet with him because of custody
issues. But I have high hopes for him!
And our cadet that we are teaching bore his testimony!!! It
was awesome. I often get teary eyed when investigators bear their
testimonies. You get to see the impact the gospel has made on them
when they profess it.
Speaking of, we went to both wards and BOY was it hard to sit
through a billion meetings while you're fasting. It took everything I
had not to fall asleep because when I don't eat, my brain turns off.
Here are the animals we saw this week:
-we saw a herd of buffalo in between Sheridan and Dillon
-we saw a moose in Glen (in between Butte and Dillon)
- we saw another bald eagle in between Sheridan and Whitehall
- we saw lots of antelope and deer (which is normal) everywhere
-dogs (hahah). They're more numerous than the cattle, I swear.
Well, folks. I know this gospel is true and at the end of every day- I
have a huge list I give Heavenly Father of things I am grateful for.
The mission definitely takes a lot out of you but also puts a lot in
you. It takes away the pride and the fear and helps you develop love,
humility, and so many other things. I wouldn't trade this experience
for the world.

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

The zone- (Fun fact: I am officially the one who has been in the zone
the longest)