Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 49

Hello all!
Last week for preparation day, we met up with the Dillon and Sheridan
sisters in Virginia City. It's like a tourist town- but even more so
than Ennis. It's in between here and Sheridan and there was an awesome
candy store, creamery, shops, museums, and an old time photo taking
place that a member owns! So we got our pictures taken! It was way fun. 
And we contacted some people out there.
So this week we had exchanges and both of our sister training leaders
from Billings came to Ennis. I thought there wouldn't be enough work
for 4 missionaries to do here in his town but it was crazy what we got
done! There were so many miracles. Doors opened left and right and we
got several new investigators. It was great! I wish it was like that
It's been pretty hot here and there was a big fire going up in the gravellys.
We had a branch potluck for Pioneer Day on Saturday and we had some
less active members come. It wasn't as big of a turnout as we would
have liked but it was still good. No one stayed for the MoTab concert
broadcast though which was kindof sad.
We taught our 12 year old investigator this week and kindof put her on
date. Because the branch is hesitant about baptisms because everyone
goes less active afterwards, we committed her to pray about her own
date and emphasized the importance of going to church and everything.
She wants to be baptized. She just needs more support and fellowship
but we don't have any young women here that are her age so it's
We did lots of service this week. We served at the library, senior
center, food bank, and nursing home and we are still trying to find
more opportunities. That's one of the best ways of finding in small
Here is something that has helped me a lot this week. I have been
burnt out and discouraged lately with tracting all day in the heat and
cancelled appointments but this quote has kept me going: "I have often
said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a
missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he
will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will
touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no
homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and
interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work,
work--there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary
                                                –President Ezra Taft Benson
I might have shared this before but I know that even if the day looks
like it's going to be rough but we keep going and work with a smile on
our faces, the Lord will bless us for our efforts-whether is be in big
or small ways.

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Week 48

Hey all!
So I've come to the realization that this area is going to be heavy on
tracting and service. (We are already running out of less active's and
other people to contact.) It's hard being in a super small town but
it's good. It's harder to get members to lessons because in a branch,
you only have so many people to choose from and everyone works. So we
are basically without members until the evening, so evenings are prime
time for everyone- seeing people and being able to have members come
Some fun stuff about this week: We got some buckwheat from a lady we
tracted into before and just about slammed the door in our faces. But
then we asked for service before she shut the door and she's the one
that told us we could come help those ministers move last week. So she
likes us now. Hearts are softening!! So she waved us down when we were
tracting Jeffers (a...settlement...that is apparently big enough to to
have its own name but it's not anything like a town) and she was
working in the community garden by the church there. So we went over
and she talked to us, showed us her garden, and pulled up a bunch of
buckwheat she was growing for us to use as decorations. Haha. She was
so sweet but we are not sure what to do with it.
So the youth leaders asked us to go to mutual every week bc they're
struggling and this time they went to the lake, but since we are
missionaries- we just stayed on the shore with the leaders. There was
only one young woman that went and then 2 visiting girls. The leaders
outnumber the youth. They went kayaking and we had hotdogs and smores.
We had a good lesson with a less active lady who is a recent-ish
convert. She is the sweetest thing and is just scared of that first
time coming back to church because she thinks it will be awkward but
you just gotta do it. Rip off the bandaid. I just want people to plan
on coming to church instead of planning on not going. That way, they
will be more likely to come and it will help them accept the idea of
coming and be more comfortable with it.
We are trying to work with the recent converts in the branch that went
less active. 2 of the 3 are kids and in order to get them to go, we
need the whole family to go. They're both really sweet but also shy.
So that's hard but we are trying.
We did service at the food bank (which is teeny) on Saturday and then
went to help a widow who isn't a member with painting her bridge,
gates, etc and her yardwork. Then she asked if we cook and Sister Kent
said yes and she asked if we had dinner that night and we said no. So
she asked us to make dinner for her (and us) and she could supply the
ingredients. We said sure. Sister Kent made some Asian type thing-
spaghetti noodles with sautéed vegetables. I made homemade raspberry
lemonade,  raspberry crunch bars, and fruit salad. We had to throw
something together with what we had.  She was so grateful and kept
saying to come back anytime and we can cook there. Haha. She's lives
out a ways and it takes time and energy (and talent) to cook... But
we'll try. A member of the branch presidency, who is friends and
neighbors with her, called us later and said she called him and told
him about what we did for her today and that she seemed like she was
crying. I'm so glad we get to serve people like her!
We also were contacting a less active lady this week and we finally
got in and I actually met her and her roommate before in Twin Bridges
at the Garage O' Rama! I talked to them both for a while in Twin and
they let us right in when we saw them again. We shared a short message
and they're so nice. I don't think it's coincidence. I'm excited to
hopefully teach them again!

me and my buckwheat

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Week 47


So this past week was the 4th of July and the population of Ennis
multiplied by 9 supposedly. People just come here for the river,
parade, beer fest thing, rodeo, and fireworks in Virginia City. It was
insane. We helped serve food at firemens breakfast that morning. We
served about 1100 people. Then we went to the parade and street
contacted there. I think it should be a new finding method in preach
my gospel: Parade proselyting. Hahah. We met people from all over the
country. We also got permission to go to the rodeo and fireworks. At
the rodeo, we also tried to talk to the people sitting around us.
Hahaha. Sister Kent even held a Book of Mormon flat on her lap during
the rodeo. :) #missionlife We are awkward. Hahaha.
I was able to see 4 families from my past area this past week-at the
rodeo, downtown, shopping, etc! It felt like seeing people from home.
So this week was kindof crazy. We don't have enough miles here. Our
area is so spread out. We have little towns all around us that we
basically have to go to every day, and we have to go to Bozeman once a
week for district meeting. So we biked all day one day and tried our
best to bike more but we have some restrictions on that too. So we try
to walk as well.
If you are trying to find something to do today- try biking up a steep
hill against strong wind in a skirt. It's an adventure. The weather
here is bizarre. It's hot then starts storming by evening. And no one
really wants to open their doors and talk on a rainy night. The storms
also like to catch us when we are far from home, on bikes or walking.
That's when I pray really hard. Hahah.
One day, we tried so hard to get our bikes from the church shed but it
would not budge. We tried and tried and then gave up and resorted to
walking. So we had to walk to the clear other end of town and knocked
on lots of houses on the way. We ended up meeting a woman and her
daughter who were about to walk into their house. We stopped them and
talked to them about the Plan of Salvation for a while. They were so
happy and excited and set up another appointment with us! Woo! I
really don't think we would've met them if we were on our bikes that
night because we would've easily missed and passed them. Since then,
we have been able to get our bikes out of the shed. So that was
Heavenly Fathers will, for sure.
We helped 2 new ministers from the Assembly of God church move into
their church building here. We were tracting and we had a discussion
with a lady and then asked for service. She said we could help the
ministers move in because they are still trying to find a house. So we
did and we helped them. A group of men that were actually supposed to
come and help never showed up, so they were really grateful for the
extra pairs of hands. They even invited us to eat lunch and  have
icecream with them! They were so nice.
We have been contacting lots of people and getting appointments now
with less active's and investigators. The branch wants us to focus on
less active's because once we get more people attending the branch,
there will be more opportunities to fellowship and they know people
who can be taught. So that's what we have been doing. And they want us
to focus on the youth too. There's 1 active young woman and 2-3 kindof
active young men. So they asked us to come to mutual every week and
get them going. I feel bad for those poor kids.
Yesterday, we spoke in sacrament about moral agency and I was able to
try to use one of my old talks but I didn't have much time throughout
the week to really make it good. But I think the Lord helped me out a
little. Haha.
The work is slowly rolling forward and I know the Lord has some good
plans for this branch! :)

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

homemade ice cream

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 46

Hey all!
So sorry I didn't write last week. I got transferred to Ennis, Montana
and was busy packing and saying bye to people all day. So I will give
some main points of last week:
- We spent a weekend in Lima and taught an only Spanish speaking
couple(working on a ranch) the Restoration. We had a member translate
for us but it was still way hard. They're from Tijuana Mexico and the
wife is a recent convert and her husband is not a member. It went well
and she enjoyed it but I think he will need more time. They were
awesome and I realized how much I need to learn Spanish. I picked up a
lot and could communicate come but one of my life goals is to learn
- Last preparation day we went to a members ranch and he wanted to get
"mobbed by cows". So they drove us out to the middle of some pastures
of yearlings in side by sides and golf carts and the cows just chased
us and surrounded us! At one point, they ran in a massive circle
around us. Like a stampede of hundreds of cattle! It was crazy! And my
grandma, cousins, and sister came through town and my mission
president approved it. So we had lunch and it was a crazy reunion. So
fun but also sad when they left. Heavenly Father blessed me though to
forget it quickly so I wouldn't get homesick. And Sister Shupe and I
played racket ball at the college- so that helped. :)
- We had a mission tour. Elder Anderson of the 70 came and we learned
a lot from him. Some things that stood out to me was that...
             1. we are the
gatekeepers of the 1st ordinances of salvation: mainly baptism! It's
up to us to find those people who are prepared and help them have
faith, repent, and be baptized! What a responsibility and privilege!
We really are blessed to have this role in the Lord's work.

            2. He also mentioned that if we don't have hardships on
our missions, we should be worried. And I guess that pertains to life
as well! We need them to progress and be who God wants us to be. We
don't need to be perfect now but we need to progress.

            3. "If there's anything worsethan a missionary who says he can't do, 
it is a missionary who says he
can do it [himself]." That's true and I've seen it! We are and can do
nothing without the Lord's help and his spirit.
- Our 9 year old investigators baptism was in Dillon and
I missed it because I got transferred but I'm glad for him. He really
was excited and it was so fun to teach him!
This week:
-I was transferred to Ennis. It was SO hard to leave Dillon. That
truly felt like home and it broke my heart to leavethere but I know I will be 
back to visit after my mission, without a
doubt. I joked about just living there- which I wouldn't mind at all.
Ennis is a little tourist town in the Bozeman stake (so I'm back in my
old stake, just in the other side). It has a population a little over
1000 but this 4th of July weekend- there will be thousands more
because of the parade, rodeo, fireworks, etc. Ennis is famous for
fishing and hunting and has the Madison River and Ennis Lake nearby
(which are gorgeous). Ennis has only a branch- so this is way
different from the 2 wards and 2 branches I covered in my last area!
Chruch was actually packed because of all of the visitors in town for
the holiday weekend. The building is teeny too, so we were sitting
cozy in there.
And my companion is Sister Kent and she's been out for 3 months.
We have been double transferred to this area so we are trying to get our heads on our
shoulders. Which means meeting a lot of new people and getting lost.
Haha. But really.

Well, that's what's going in here. Hope all is well for everyone else! Love ya!
Sister Ney

P.S. And if you want to have a current mailing address for me, ask my
parents or mail it to the mission home 1848 Rimrock Rd. Billings, MT

New companion Sister Kent

New Apt

 Ennis Church