Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 09 15 Elder Jace Erb completes his mission and returns home to us on October 24th.

2014 09 15: "You are the first ones I've let in."

Sept. 15, 2014

Hey again,
      A lot has happened over a short period of time.  We went from what I thought was being busy to being too busy for us to stay together most of the time.  When this happens as missionaries we can go on splits with worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders and they act as our companions until we return with our assigned companion.  Lately we have been so busy though that even with these splits, which happen about every other day, we have still had to let many important things go undone.  It is great to see that this has happened though as we thought that when all the people went away after the summer ended that so would all our work.  Fortunately for us though it seems that the opposite has happened and we are now busier than ever.

     With the summer ending, many of the people we were teaching left the area, but in the new fall season we have found many that have come out of the woodwork and blown in with the eastern wind.  One such person is a woman that we brought back to the church close to when I first came to the Cape.  Back then she told us, "I have seen many missionaries in the past but you are the first ones I've let in."  I think that is a good example of how the Lord prepares people, but I still do not understand the workings of the Lord.  Near the end of the summer this woman, because of certain circumstances, became the legal guardian of her granddaughter.  This granddaughter upon her first visit to church was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.  The Spirit testified to her that this was something that was good.   Since then she has been meeting with us to prepare herself for baptism.  If the story sounds too good to be true it gets better.  She has been inviting friends to church and to activities at church and they have also felt that Spirit of the Lord in both the church services and also in the church activities.  This coming week we have the opportunity to testify to this young woman and her friend, who we have met many times, about God’s marvelous Plan of Happiness for us.  It is for this reason that I still do not understand all the workings of the Lord by our small and simple acts.

     On a slightly different note, my companion and I have had a very interesting experience happen.  We both are now the Branch Young Men's President and Scout Masters.  And here I thought that I was safe from other callings while on my mission.  We have had to do a lot of stuff to fulfill these callings that I never thought I would do on my mission.  This coming weekend my companion and I will be going on our first camping trip as Scout Masters.  The following week we will be taking the youth to the temple as they go to do baptisms for the dead.  I have now discovered how much I have learned about managing from my Mission as we take on this new assignment.
     Well that is all the time I have for today.  I hope that you always take strength in the Lord in all that you do.  Turn to him both in times of trial and also in times of joy.  Make Him a part of all your life.

Elder Erb

Monday, August 11, 2014

We, in unison, testified boldly of the Lord Jesus Christ 2014 08 11

Aug. 11, 2014

Hi there,

     I won't try to summarize everything I missed, but I would like to bring you all up to speed on what has happened recently.  Elder Kerr and I have been busy spreading the Spirit of the Lord all over Cape Cod.  We were teaching many people and preparing them for baptism while they were here for their short summer stay.  We, in unison, testified boldly of the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel that we might bring them to know of the plan the Father has in store for them.  We saw our small Branch grow in the spirit and we became a crucial part of the workings in the Branch even to the point that they were going to give us callings.  But the Lord had a different plan in mind.

     It started with a call from President Packard (our mission President). He said, "Elders it is time for the dream companionship to come to an end.  Elder Kerr, the Lord has called you to be a Zone Leader in the Boston Massachusetts Mission and Elder Erb, the Lord has called you to be a trainer.  We thank you for the work that you have been doing out there on the Cape."  And so the Elder Kerrb team, as the members of the Brewster Branch called us, was put to an end.  Then there were a lot of goodbyes with all of those that we were teaching. The end of all the goodbyes was our own goodbye where we did what all good companionships should do to bond together - make crêpes.

     Enough about Elder Kerr though, my new companion is a very motivated and hardworking missionary fresh out of Utah.  Hopefully, as time goes on I will have some stories to tell you about him but seeing as we have been together for only a couple of weeks there is not much to talk about yet.  He says that as a new missionary, he has been having a lot of firsts.  I try not to think about the fact that all of his firsts are many of my lasts.  It came to my realization how long I had been out when I watched the Elder that trained me go home.  For now, that is all I've got time to write - until next time.

Elder Erb

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"I love the work...."

Dear Friends and Family,

     So I am finally messaging again after a long absence.  We have been so busy lately we haven't had time to even take our full 'P' day.  Although we have not been able to teach B---- very much, we have been able to teach our mini-motorcycle friend and he has made a lot of progress.  He is already telling us how he wants his friend to come down and baptize him when he is ready.  Despite the moves of several of our members out of the branch, our small Branch's chapel is starting to fill up not only with nonmembers but also members that have not been seen for a while.
     In the last three weeks we have been able to be a helping hand of the Lord in bringing back many members into the fold.  I would like to talk about a couple of them.  One is a member that has moved recently from another ward nearby in Rhode Island.  He called us out of nowhere one day and asked us to come over and give him a blessing of healing.  
    Upon arriving the man was so filled with the Spirit that he began telling us how much he has missed the feeling of the Spirit in his life and that he knew he had to come back to church starting the coming Sunday.  He then told us that he needed a blessing so that he could live long enough to be able to make it to the Temple in Boston and re-commit to the covenants he made in the Temple.  
    During our time there, he explained to us that he has never seen the Boston Temple and that he has been away from the church for over 20 years.  Since this initial visit, he has come to church every week, faithfully, with a bright hope and beaming testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.  In addition, he has been sharing his testimony with all those that he comes in contact with and those that live near him and has invited many people to come with him to church.
     Now if this is not a lesson that it is never too late for anyone I don't know what is.  But, in case you are not convinced yet, there is another person I want to tell you about.  This person, like the last, is also a member that has not been to church for a long time.  
    He may not have lived the most Christian life before he was a member, as a member of the biker gang 'The Hell's Angles', but when he found the church and the effect the Spirit had on the missionaries that taught him, he said to himself "There is something here."  
    Well, he joined the church but then got addicted to smoking again and felt that he did not want to be a hypocrite and not do that which he believed.  So, like so many others, he decided that he would stop coming.  Then, much later, we find him and he tells us about himself and his situation.  Basically to the point of saying that he knows it’s true but that he needs to stop smoking.  We talked about it and he came to the conclusion that now is the time for him to stop, go back to church, and get a calling again in the Branch.  
    We had the opportunity to give him a blessing as well to help him take strength from the Lord in his righteous desires.  Now he too has been coming to church faithfully and even sharing that which he knows to the point where he cannot be silenced in his sharing of the gospel with his friends and neighbors and even those that we bring to church such as our mini-motorcycle friend.
     I am running out of time and this message is already pretty long so I will have to hold off on the other recent opportunities we have been able to have.  I love the work though.  And I know that Christ lives.  And with this knowledge it compels me, my companion, and also those I have talked about and many others to share His gospel with the world.

Elder Erb

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

2014 06 10 keeping on keeping on

We wanted to let you know Elder Erb is ok.  His emails are typically now brief to his mother just to let us know he's doing ok.  Thank you for your interest.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 04 14 -- 31 hours of service--and no ticks!


Hello everyone,

     Wow how time flies when you are having fun.  I am not even sure if it has been 7 days since the last email.  The weather over here in our little vacation spot was great this last week.  It was sunny every day which was great because we did lots of service and the weather made it easy for us.  
    We recently had training from one of our leaders on how doing service is very important for finding people to teach.  We just laughed at it.  The reason being, that this last week we did a total of 31 hours of service.  To explain how we pulled that off, I have to explain that another set of Elders joined us this week because the Sister Missionaries needed to borrow their car to go to a meeting. 
    So we decided that we should just double up our area for a week until the other Elder's got their car back.  With all this service in this nice weather we are now ready for the summer time with our well- developed tans.  Only one out of the four of us got sun burned after the multiple service projects - the longest lasting 12 hours.  
    More miraculous than the fact we didn't get fried is the fact that none of us got ticks after all the time we spent raking leaves, cutting branches, and landscaping out in the woods this week.
    Unfortunately all the lessons we had this week cancelled on us so I don't have much more to talk about.  Hopefully next week I will be able to talk about our new investigators after we meet with them on Tuesday.  
    Thank you everyone that remembered my Birthday and I also send my Birthday wishes to all my family members that have had their Birthdays this week and in the week to come.

Elder Erb