Thursday, February 2, 2017

Week 76

Hello world! 
This week was insanity. 
So Sister Jacoby and I transferred ourselves over to Worland on Wednesday. It was really nice because we got to take our own truck and we just had to be gone by Wednesday evening, so it was pretty relaxed. The member we live with has been out of town this whole time and she might not be back until tonight, and we have to drive to Billings tonight for MLC in Helena tomorrow, so we won't meet her until Wednesday when we get back! We have a little room and bathroom. We cleaned it up and made it our own. It's weird living with members again (I haven't since I was in training) so it's an adjustment having less space.
Oh! And we haven't had a phone this whole time since being Worland because the one we got doesn't work, so it's been interesting getting around without one. We should be getting one today or tomorrow in Billings.
We had dinner with some awesome active members and they've been giving us lots of referrals, which has been keeping us busy. 
We did interviews this week with the sisters we are over. We did some face-to-face ones with the set here in Worland and we skyped the other 2 sets. They are so awesome and I'm excited to work with them this transfer! 
We've been out finding people in the single digits at night all week. It's so cold! People in Sheridan said Worland would be warmer, but that's far from the truth. Haha. 
We had a worldwide missionary broadcast this week from the mission department. They reiterated the theme from last year's broadcast, "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts" and they made some serious changes to the missionary schedule and key indicators. We only have 4 key indicators now:
-investigators baptized & confirmed 
- investigators with a baptismal date
- investigators who attended sacrament meeting
- new investigators 
I will put pictures of the PowerPoint slides about the new schedule below in the email. It's crazy. So everything changes for my last transfer! 
We got permission from President to drive back to Ranchester in our last area for our 10 year old investigator's baptism. It was awesome! His whole family came (and went for his confirmation at church today), some other investigators came to watch, and it was wonderful. And he said that what made it so special for him was that we were able to come! Aw! If that doesn't rip your heart out, I don't know what will! It was so sad to leave AGAIN and drive back to Worland but I'm sooooo happy I got to go! I've missed too many baptisms on my mission by days because of transfers! 
My thought for the week is from the talk, "Be Ambitious for Christ" from this past conference.  Elder Yamashita talked about how his son had a difficult time on his mission but also came to know of the joy that comes from being a servant of the Lord. He said, "He felt as Alma did: “And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”
In our lives we experience trials, but if we are ambitious for Christ, we can focus on Him and feel joy even in the midst of them."
This really struck me because, looking back, the mission was hard and is still hard. There's lots of different trials you go through and you see others go through, but the joy you feel throughout it all makes it all worth it. The sorrows really help me appreciate the blessings and miracles that happen all around me. It reminds me of 2 Nephi 2:22-23.
"22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin."
If I hadn't gone on a mission, I wouldn't have been able to know what real joy is. Back at home, I don't think I really felt that lasting joy before. The joy that comes from being the Lord's hands and watching miracles happen. By teaching people how to come closer to their Father and Savior. By helping people use the gift of the atonement. By helping unite families in the gospel. This is only a taste of what the joy will be like in the celestial kingdom. 
Hope you all have a fabulous week! 

Sister Lauren Ney
Montana Billings Mission 

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