Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 63

Lots has been going on this week. Here's the low-down:
Transfer news: Sister Smith is staying and I'm going to Bozeman! This will be my THIRD time in that zone-but I've always been in towns outside of Bozeman but this will be my first time in the city. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME TO SERVE IN A BIG CITY ON MY MISSION. (Well, big for Montana). I've only served in small towns for over a year. I'm gonna be near a Walmart and a variety of places to eat out at. :') And I'm gonna be with Sister ASHCROFT from back HOME. INSANITY. We are going to be in a trio with Sister Johnson, her current companion, for a bit before she leaves for home. My mind is blown. It's sad saying bye to people here in Shelby though. It's definitely one of the hardest parts about a mission. You get so close to so many people and then you're guaranteed to have to leave at some point. :( And I'm going to miss the baptism of our investigator by a few days. :( again. But I'm still so grateful I was a part of his learning. 
Monday, we toured a Hutterite colony with district and a member. They are such an interesting group of people. I learned a lot. 
On Tuesday, we went to Oilmont and Kevin (pronounced Kee-vin). Boy, is I HARD to find unfamiliar addresses at night out here. There are very few street lights and addresses but we did contact a few less actives and a part member family which was great. They let us in and we talked about the Book of Mormon with them and read some.
So this weeks district meeting was pretty interesting. One elder did an activity and we all had to fight. There were different rules in each fight. He had two elders fight but one had nunchucks and the other had nothing, another was that they both had pillows but were blindfolded, another was that two elders had pillows but one had his hands tied behind his back, another was that Sister Smith and I had pillows but our mouths were full of water. I still am trying to figure out how the activity related to the lesson. But I'm not sure... Something about fighting for things? It was entertaining at least. :)
Later this week, our whole district plus 2 sets of zone leaders, another set of elders from the other district, a senior missionary couple, the stake presidency, and 2 high councilmen over missionary work went to Browning for their trunk-or-treat. Some other missionaries and I stood outside the little church building on the street with a huge "FREE FOOD" sign for a few hours and brought people in in droves. It was sweet. Supposedly around 100 Book of Mormons were given out and some people were actually taught the Restoration as they were eating chili and there were some return appointments made! Woo! When you get a band of missionaries going, stuff gets done! 
The next night, we had the chili cook off in Shelby. It was adults only this year so they could get a break from the kids. Sister Smith and I were the costume judges and we got some really good costumes. We had a gillie suit, Uncle Si (a girl dressed up as him), a lady with a costume that said "National Clown Hunters Service" (because of all that scary clown stuff going on), and a woman named Ariél dressed as Ariél, etc. And we played the funniest game called "Lipless" where you put that thing in your mouth that dentists give you that retract your lips and you have to say certain phrases off a card and your team has to guess what you're saying. It's SO funny. I took lots of pictures and basically have blackmail on the whole branch now. 😂 We had some less actives come that we have been dying to get fellowshipping for, so that was exciting. 
On Saturday, we did some work in Chester...and every little town around there. We basically drove up and down highway 2. Rudyard, Inverness, Joplin, Chester, Lothair, you name it. We contacted lots of less actives and got in with quite few. I saw that the common theme was the Book of Mormon. Lots of people who are struggling in their testimony or having a hard time putting their faith to action do not have a solid foundation of the Book of Mormon. It really is the KEYSTONE of our religion. If you don't read the Book of Mormon, your faith, like a seed without water, will become weak. We basically pounded that in every house. So we are going to be making a slough of phone calls here soon to follow up. We also had the branch harvest festival dinner in Chester that night and some less actives and investigators came to that too! Food does wonders. 
We stayed overnight and went to church in Chester yesterday. They definitely put us to work. We taught Gospel Principles and a part of combined Relief Society/ priesthood. And it was fast and testimony meeting and I bore my testimony on the Book of Mormon. I decided to finish off the week with that theme too. :) 
Well, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! We are banned from proselyting tonight so we are going to be hanging with the branch president's family. 
Stay safe! 

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

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