Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week 62

Hey all!
This week was pretty good! Mucho miracles.
So do you remember the guy I mentioned last week who we tracted into in Sunburst after we tried a referral? Well- as we stared hearing more and more from him and other members, it's even more of a miracle than we thought! We had dinner with a member family he knows and works with and we brought him up in the dinner conversation. They said they have been praying for YEARS that missionaries would find him because they couldn't give out his address or invite him to take the discussions because of their rules at work. And the guy we tracted into said he was wondering about God just the previous day or that day (I don't remember) and we just "so happened" to knock on his door at that time. Coincidence? No way. And the fact we were prompted to get back out of the truck and try the area around the referral was definitely of the Spirit.
Another of our investigators FINALLY set a date for baptism and HE was the one to bring it up when we came for a lesson. He was like, "So are we still planning on November 5th?" And that was what we committed him to pray about for baptism as he was on vacation and he is now on board!! 😄😭 It made our whole lives. Missionaries have been trying to commit him for-ev-er. He's so ready.
We went on an exchange this week and I went down to Helena again. I'm gonna start counting Helena as another area of mine here soon because almost every exchange I've been on was in Helena. And I've been stranded there a few times by snow yeah.  I've spent my fair share of time there. It was fun and we got to teach quite a few lessons and tract. 
We had several of our less actives and investigators come to church this week. My companion, our branch mission leader, and I were so shocked when a less active father and son that we have been trying to get to church actually came!
We also taught a youth fireside about missionary work and committed them all to give someone a Book of Mormon by next month. We did a role play with them about how to do it and bear testimony along with it, so hopefully the youth start getting into missionary work! 
Life has been good and this next week will be full of craziness with all of the Halloween festivities. :)

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week 61

Hello all! 
This week was great! I turned 21 and it was awesome. We did some fun stuff and we went out to dinner with a returning less active, an active family had us for lunch and made me a cake, I was sung to by the whole branch on Sunday at the potluck and by other missionaries on the phone (just like last year), etc. 
We went to Great Falls last Monday for zone preparation day and for a stake missionary meeting and then we went to Helena the next day for a zone conference. The roads were a bit icy but we are alive. I'm surprised but not surprised that the whole caravan of missionaries made it without accidents during that trip. I appreciate the prayers! :) 
One of the many things I learned this time was that the wolf we feed is the wolf that will win. It's an old story about the rivalry between a good and bad wolf. We can label all the good traits and Christlike attributes we need to strive for as the "good wolf" and the "bad wolf" with the opposites. I have seen this many times in my mission. For example, I am going to be negative when I feed that emotion. When I dwell on the annoying or not-so-good things that happened that day, I'm going to have a bad attitude and outlook. But when I focus on the good and have a grateful heart, I can be happy, have the spirit, and enjoy my mission. We cannot serve 2 masters so one wolf has to win. That's the one we feed. It's still something I'm working on but this principle is true. 
Here's a miracle: We were contacting a former investigator and it said in the area book that they weren't sure if she lived there anymore. So we decided to try it and see and we found a family who listened and wants us to come back! They took a Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and everything. The dad is not that interested but he says his kids are and his wife was. Definitely have a testimony of contacting formers. 
We found a pretty awesome guy in Sunburst this week. We were contacting a referral who ended up not being interested and then we hopped back in the truck. But then I remembered that we should tract around the referrals house and we said another quick prayer and started knocking. It was cold and not so enjoyable but the last house we tried ended up being a guy who has a Book of Mormon a member gave him who works with him at border patrol and has been reading it! He showed us and had lots of questions and believes some of what we believe. He was more than open to us coming back next week and literally asked us what else we wanted to share with him before we left. It was awesome. 
Later that night, we had dinner and FHE with one of our investigators at a member family's home. Both members are converts so for FHE (and Sister Smith's and my training), we heard their convert stories and the investigator we brought soaked it all in. He's the one who has to wait until he's 18 to be baptized because of his parents, and one of the members had to wait as well because she was 16 when she wanted to join the church. He thanked them afterwards and said he could relate. Aw. Such a good FHE. :) 
Well, that was a good chunk of the week! Hope you all are having a good day!

Week 60

Hello world! 
Not much to say this week. 
Last week we went to Glacier National Park for preparation day again and it was gorgeous. We went through east and west Glacier and it's easily the prettiest place I've ever been to. I just want to live there.  
We had district meeting in Cutbank this week at a senior couples house because the Elder is too sick to come to district meetings in Shelby. So we all talked about our favorite talks from conference and they fed us Canadian thanksgiving!  
This week, my testimony of tracting around referrals grew. We had a referral in some apartments and we tracted around a found a guy named Sam who was super receptive and wanted us to come back! Woo!
Little blessing: Some older LDS ladies who were traveling from Canada came and talked to us when we were having lunch at Pizza Hut and paid for the whole districts meals! :) I feel so grateful for people who are generous like that! 
This week has been cold. I think it's here for good now! There was fog, sleet, and now we have a couple inches of snow and it's still snowing. We've been doing lots of tracting lately so the weather always makes it an adventure. I look like I'm dressed for winter already but when you're knocking doors in the cold all day, the cold gets to your core fast so you have to hunker down. 
We had an awesome dinner at the branch presidents house and we had a less active, recent convert, and some investigators there and it was all thrown together that day- so that was sweet! 
We met a cool guy at a former investigators house who basically asked us if he could come to church and be baptized. He was like, "So what do I do? Just show up and get baptized?" Hahaha. We wish but no. :P He unfortunately didn't come to church but we have high hopes for him! :) That was a miracle. We went to the formers house to try to pick them back up again. They're not interested but love the church and missionaries and know everything about it so they were basically teaching him along with us. So maybe through him, we can get this family going again!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

Week 59

Hello, world!
So this week we had transfers and I picked up Sister Smith. She last
served in the Butte zone.
This week has been fun. We tried whale blubber gum (which is not too
bad)". So I can cross that off my bucket list. Hahah.
We went to Great Falls women's session of general conference!!! We had
a service project before and then dinner and the broadcast. It was so
great! I love what President Uchtdorf said that we need to walk with
whatever faith we have but always seeking to increase it. Sometimes we
struggle with our faith and we just have to hold on to the bit we have
at the time but not give up there. We should always strive to
strengthen our testimonies along the way! I also loved how Sister
Bonnie L. Oscarson said that we live in perilous times but also in the
fullness of times. We have the tools necessary to keep is strong as we
live in these last days! Heavenly Father trusts us to use them. I
loved absolutely everything but that was just a few points!
Oh! And we were able to have a less active come! She drove the hour to
come down and stayed for the whole thing! It was awesome and she took
lots of notes during the broadcast. :)
We had a lesson earlier on in the week with her and she was a mess.
She has had a spiritual experience lately that has made her want to
change her life around but she has such difficult obstacles in the way
that makes her fear changing. But the spirit really directed us in
knowing what to say and what scriptures to share and she's stuck with
her decision to change! She says she feels so much better about
herself now as she's gradually getting better and obeying the
commandments. I can even feel the difference about her. :)
We also went to a funeral this week and I (again) didn't even know the
person but we went to support the members who were grieving. And we
also were contacted BY a referral we had while we were in the
cemetery. So that was the most unique referral contacted I've ever had
in my life. Haha.
Some less actives came to church yesterday and bore their testimonies
in sacrament meeting! It was so great to see them do that. We also
shared some simple missionary experiences in sharing time in primary
as well. Little kids are so cute. They were so excited that we came
in. :)
Another miracle that happened was that we decided to talk to a lady
that we often see walking on the streets. We were walking on the other
side and crossed over and just started talking. She said she was
actually baptized into the church when she was younger but has been
less active for most of her life. She's not in our records here so
that was cool that we found her! We shared the Restoration pamphlet
with her and she said we could follow up with her later.
It's been an awesome week and we are going to be traveling a lot this
next week to Chester, Sunburst, and Great Falls.
Hope you have a great week!

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Week 58

Hey everyone! 
This week was busy and packed with traveling. 
We went to Chester Monday night through Wednesday night and we were dropped off and picked up to save miles, so we were on foot-so we couldn't go very far. We tried everyone within the town of Chester who is an active member, less active, and investigator because there's not many people in the records from a town of 800. And we knocked doors too. I would say we had more success with the active members because all of our other lessons fell through and we couldn't get ahold of many others. We built some trust with the members by painting someone's deck, popping in at another's dance studio, etc. We also had dinner at our branch presidents house in Inverness with an investigating family, so that was awesome. 
The next day, we went to Sunburst with another member to try people up there. We found a semi- active couple who owns a quilt shop. Their whole life and couple story seems like it should be straight out of a Nicholas Sparks book. They were awesome. 
The next day, we went to Great Falls for zone training and some crazy stuff went down.  The whole mission is training again! Every companionship is going to go through the first 12 weeks again and have an extra hour of the day to do it. Holy cow. I'm kindof excited because I liked getting down to the basics. We also set some zone goals to get 20 baptisms in the zone by the end of the year and we made a plan to do that. 
-100% invitations to baptism in the first lesson 
-pray for focus investigators by name everyday in personal prayers
-5 new OYMs a day 
-keep dinners to 1 hour 
-be effective until 9pm
-give out atleast 1 Book of Mormon a day
-memorize and recite Alma 37:40 every day
And one of our zone leaders had me and 2 other elders bear our testimonies on how Jesus Christ has helped us in our lives and the spirit was SO strong after that. If anything can bring the spirit, it's testifying of the Savior. Without a doubt. 
Then of course there was general conference!!! My goodness, it was amazing. I especially likes when Elder Yamashita said "Be ambitious for Christ". That really stuck out to me and how he said to serve God with a joyful heart. It may be hard to do that sometimes but when we do all that we are told to do, it will be more natural and a part of who we are. 
What was everyone's favorite parts and why? I would love to get responses!
Hope you all have a great week!