Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 54

Hey, everyone!

We are going to Glacier national park today so I can't write much but
here are some big things that happened:
We had interviews with President Wadsworth in Great Falls this week
and I got really sick the night before and prayed and prayed I would
feel well enough to go and make it through the car ride the next day
and I did! It was a miracle in and of itself.
We had apartment and car inspections and we passed. I love the senior
couple that serve around here. They're so cute!
I gave a role play in district meeting about asking everyone for
referrals. I thought it went pretty well! I definitely have a
testimony of asking for referrals and as we put that principle into
better practice this week, we got atleast one referral a day! It's
We had some really solid member present lessons. It's amazing how
members at lessons can change how the whole lesson goes. The person
being taught is so much more reverent, there's a stronger spirit
there, etc. So go out with the missionaries!
We did splits on Sunday. I spoke in sacrament in Shelby and Sister
Thomas went to Chester for branch conference. It's funny how people
are so confused when only one missionary is at church. We always have
to answer a billion questions. :P
We "spirit tracted" (shout out to Sister Rylie Grover for the idea)
some this week and got several new investigators because of it.
And we did some service at the library cutting strips of paper with
questions on them for memory jars that they're selling. A lady put in
an order for 15. It's taking multiple days of us going back and
cutting for hours to finish them. But we prayed for regular service
opportunities (which is slim here it seems like) so we can't complain!
Sorry for the brief email, but we are going to Glacier national park
today with some members.
Love you all!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 53

There's a lot to write about so I'm gonna try to simplify it.
I hit my year mark this past week! It's kindof weird...
It's really smokey today too because of a fire in Spokane Washington.
We were supposed to go to Glacier national park but we are gonna have
to wait because of the smoke.
We had a "couple few" (Montana term) meetings this week.
On Monday, we had a stake presidency dinner in Great Falls after zone
preparation day. We discussed the work in our areas with the
presidency and got to know them a bit because they're new.
We had zone training on Friday. Since there's 2 zones in Great Falls,
we all meet together for the opening exercises and then split. A
general authority (member of the 70) , Elder Evanson, came and taught
Then we had zone conference in Helena the next day and Elder D. Todd
Christofferson came! Elder Soares of the presidency of the 70 and
Elder Evanson were there.
He is such a jokester. I wouldn't have guessed! And he had a Q&A. So
one elder asked why sisters' missions are 18 months and elders' are 2
years. He said "I don't know." And then he turned to one side where
the other general authorities were sitting on the stand and asked "Do
you know?"  Them: "No." Then he turned to the other side to our
mission president and his wife. "Do you know?" Them: "No." Hahah. He
basically said the prophets received revelation that that was how it
is supposed to be and that's it. Haha.
Then on Sunday, Elder Christofferson and Elder Evanson had a special
stake conference in Great Falls stake! Of all stakes in Montana, he
chose this one! They asked the missionaries in our zone to sit on the
stand with him. Afterwards, he had all of the kids shake hands with
Between the last 2 days, I was able to shake Elder Christofferson's
hand twice (and he touched my shoulder. No big deal. :P)
I would say that the biggest thing I took out of this weekend was that
we are to be witnesses of the name of Christ. Not just missionaries,
but any baptized member. It's a BLESSING and a PRIVILEGE. We need to
read the Book of Mormon which is the most powerful written testament
of Christ, cry repentance by sharing the message of the Atonement, and
bring people the kingdom of God. Sometimes we get overwhelmed and see
all of the people that need help (or in the case of missionary work-
people that need to be taught as well) and don't start. We need to
find the first person and just start there. Do what you can and the
Lord will bless your efforts.
So the outlying sets of missionaries ended up spending the night in
Great Falls for 2 nights this weekend. We were able to teach with the
2 sets of sisters in Great Falls and at one point, we couldn't go with
either sets and one set just had us go finding for them- so that was
interesting. We were just let loose in their area. Haha. We contacted
some people and had some lessons and one was so cool! We met a lady
who is not a member but her husband is. He's less active. But she says
she goes to our church with her daughter quite often. So we were able
to share the Restoration with her and were able to report about her to
the sisters. She has such great potential. She loves the fact that
everyone speaks and teaches at church. Not just one pastor. Her and
the other people we taught said they would come to stake conference
We went to Sunburst (I keep accidentally call "Starburst") up closer
to the hi-line and met with our 17 year old investigator and his mom.
He's on date for baptism but thers a few hold ups, so we are praying
it works out because he wants to be baptized so bad!
We taught our returning less active/ recent convert a full lesson.
It's usually very distracted when we are there because there's people
always coming and going from her house. So that was a miracle!
We had dinner and shared a short message with our 9 year old recent
convert and his grandparents. It's soooo neat to see their hearts
soften to the gospel right before our eyes. I think it will take them
some time before they are baptized but I think they know it's gonna
happen someday.
We met with another less active and she referred us to her son and we
went to contact him right after the lesson. He was on the porch of his
brother's house when we met him but he was really receptive and we set
up another lesson. We went back and told her what happened. When we
told her that he was receptive, her eyes went so wide I thought they
were gonna pop out of her head. She wasn't expecting that. Maybe he's
ready?! Haha.  We had our lesson and he just soaked in the Restoration
and when we invited him to be baptized, he was like "Yeah! I will
definitely be rebaptized!" (He was previously baptized in another
church). We were so happy after that lesson. And he asked US if we
have a church here in town. I told him I am speaking this Sunday in
sacrament and he says he's for sure going to come. :D We are so
Well, it was a busy week but these were the highlights! Be strong and
of good courage!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Week 52

Hello all!

Holy cow. I'm gonna hit my YEAR MARK on the 19th! How did this happen?!?!?
We had transfers this week and I'm in Shelby Montana! I'm in the Great
Falls zone. We cover 2 branches- one here and one in Chester. We go up
to the "hi-line" (Canadian border). We are actually in the Cardston
Canada temple district. It's so weird not being in southwestern
Montana. It's SO unbelievably flat here. Imagine a little kids picture
with a straight line dividing the sky and ground. THATS what it looks
like. This place is why it's called "Big Sky Country". No joke. I like
gawk at the flatness. But Shelby itself has a big hill and we are in
bikes and walking 99% of the time because we have a huge area and few
miles- so it's gonna be a little difficult to get used to the hills in
And Great Falls looks like the apocalypse (which is how another
missionary described it) and it's totally true. You have buildings
peeking over some green (like overgrowth). Hahaha. So I thought that
was funny.
The population here is around 800-1000 (so I've been told) and the
other towns we cover are even smaller.
My new companion is Sister Thomas and she's awesome. She's just out of
training, which is fun.
We went to Chester for church and it's so cute. It's the same building
design as in Ennis, so that gave me flashbacks. Haha.
 They have theirchurch services reversed. They have Relief Society first, then Sunday
School, then sacrament. So that's interesting. There were about 18
people at church so it's a teeny branch.
We have some pretty cool people we are working with here in Shelby. We
have a cute little 9 year old recent convert who we are teaching and
now his grandparents are investigating.
We are trying to reactivate another recent convert. She's hilarious
and she's super smart. So I think it won't be too much longer until we
get her going again.
There's a 17 year old kid on date. I haven't met him yet but he's
going to be baptized on the 27th so I'm excited for that!
We met a few people in Chester and Shelby that we met street
contacting and they are potential investigators now so that's awesome.
We haven't gotten too much done this week because of our traveling and
meetings but it will pick up! I'm liking it so far and Sister Thomas
is great.
And if you want my new address, ask my parents!
Have a great week!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Week 51

Hello, all!
Transfer news! I'm going to Shelby Montana and Sister Kent is going to
Billings. Ennis is being combined with the Three Forks area. I'm
actually going north this time! I was planning on just staying in
Southwestern Montana so it would make coming to visit a lot easier. :P
 Shelby is closer to Canada and that's all I know. I'm going to be
with Sister Thomas. I don't have much time to write because we are
with both packing and cleaning the apartment.
This week has been long. Our car was in the shop for 3 days (it was
only supposed to be for one day but they didn't get it finished and
it's still not finished so we just took it back). So we were on foot
and bike a lot.
We had to say goodbye to a lot of people and it was hard. I think the
longer I've been out, the faster I can come to know and love people.
A highlight of the week: our 12 year old investigator bore her
testimony at church!!! I was so proud. :') I just hope the Three Forks
elders keep her strong.
Another highlight: we met a member couple downtown from Helena who
were on a road trip on a Harley and they took us to lunch! That was

I also came across this:
"Life is beautiful when you make the effort to find beauty in it. In
some of the most materially deprived parts of the world, I have seen
the sunrise in all of its splendor and heard birds joyously welcoming
a new day. I have seen beauty reflected in a small pot of flowers by a
humble shelter or in the shy, beaming grin of a child at play, intent
on discovering the world around him."
       You can become depressed if all of your interests are focused
on the media with its explicit details of the most worrisome world
events. With care you can find much to reverently appreciate in this
world Father in Heaven has given you. Begin by remembering that you
are a son or daughter of God with divine potential. He will help you
have a joyful, fulfilling life."
-Richard G. Scott
We really do need to look for the positives in our lives so we can
always be grateful and happy. :)

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week 50

Miracles. Tons of them this week, guys! Good-NESS. I can't believe how
different this week was from last week. It goes to show how the
mission is a roller coaster.
So I have felt the spirit prompting me to lots of different houses
this week and every time I obeyed, the people were home and receptive.
We found so many new investigates that way! The spirit is so sweet. In
one instance, I felt prompted all day to go to 2nd St. For some
reason, I thought it was just that part of town so we tracted several
streets around 2nd street but eventually I figured out it was that one
street that we needed to go to. I could see it in my mind. And the
first house we went to was the person we needed to find. We talked to
her for a solid hour and well into dinner time about the Book of
Mormon and she had good questions and everything. She was given a Book
of Mormon by her high school friend and just kept it and loved the
gift without ever having read it before! So we are so excited for her.
Another cool thing about that is that we have been focusing a lot on
the Book of Mormon in our district meetings and I think it was able to
prepare us for meeting her.
So listening to the spirit saved us a lot of knocking empty and
unprepared doors like it's been all transfer.
We had zone training this week in Bozeman and it went really well. So
we have a few new standards of excellence. Now, we have...
~4 baptisms a month per companionship
~3 lessons with investigators in a members home per week
~4 investigators in sacrament meeting per week
~24 new investigators as a zone per week
They're some lofty goals but I know that the push will help us be
better and hasten the work!
Another miracle: we were able to help an older guy pack up his trailer
this week because he is moving. His daughter was there and after a
while of packing, he asked if we had a message. We said yes and shared
the restoration and put him and his daughter on date to be baptized!
And she wants her 7 year old (soon to be 8 year old) daughter baptized
too! They're willing to come to church next week and her little
daughters said they love church so they're super excited.
Another miracle: Our 12 year old investigator (who wants to be
baptized) came to church yesterday! It's been hard to get her to
church because her family is less active and she can't drive but it
worked out this time! She stayed for all 3 hours and we were with her
all throughout church because no other youth came- so all of her
classes consisted of her and Sister Kent and I.
Then, yesterday we were able to put another woman kindof on date for
baptism. She's engaged to a member and her soon to be mother-in-law
came. We taught her the restoration and she wants to be baptized but
it will have to wait until after their wedding. She's so solid. She
comes to church occasionally and she's the sweetest person.
I have been listening to a lot of conference talks lately while I get
ready for the day and I came across this quote:
"The world is our responsibility. We cannot evade it. I think of the
words of Jacob in the Book of Mormon, who with his brother Joseph had
been consecrated a priest and teacher unto the people:

“And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the
responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if
we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence.” (Jacob
1:19.)"-Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley (The Question of a Mission)
I know this is true and that we have a very sacred and important
responsibility to be missionaries and allow everyone to experience the
same blessings we have!
Till next week!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

P.s. Also- transfers are next week- so don't mail me anything around
that time because I don't know where I'll be!