Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 9, 2013 General Conference--messages heard and applied

Hey family and friends,

     What a wonderful conference we had.  Conference is so meaningful when you are on your mission.  I think it’s because you are on the front line in the war against Satan.  I feel like there was so much that the Lord was trying to tell me that I didn't have enough time to write it all down before the speaker would move onto the next topic.  Unfortunately I missed most of the last session of conference because we were helping one of the members with car trouble.  It’s funny how obstacles will jump in your way right before you are about to do something that you know the Lord wants you to.  I felt that this poor member needed our attention at this time though.

     In terms of what we did the rest of the week, I need to give a little background.  Most of this week I was not even with Elder Graff, my companion.  This is because Elder Graff is our District Leader which means it is his job to interview people for baptism.  Well we had two people that needed to be interviewed for baptism this week and they were very far away.  So to save on miles we decided that it was best to go on a bunch of miniature exchanges and trade missionaries for a while so that Elder Graff could interview everyone.  Aside from General Conference, Elder Graff was here for only a day this week.  This meant that I was in charge of the area for a week.  Don't worry the area is still in one piece. 

      Speaking of which the first thing we did was went to do some service at a members house.  So these members are trying to clean their house and make it safe so that DCF will allow them to have custody of their grandchild.  They took the advice from last General Conference and "asked the missionaries" for help.  It was mostly cleanup of their back yard and moving everything into either the burn pile or the dump pile.  After we got enough wood together we started burning everything.  It was a good time and we got a lot of work done, which resulted in a clean yard and a 20 foot fire.  The members said the fire lasted for three days, which was perfect because on the fourth day we came back and made another one.

     Aside from burning down the East Coast we got the opportunity to teach V... a lot this week.  It is a lot easier now that we have our car because we do not have to make the hour and a half trek to his house to teach him.  We decided that it was important to let V... know that although he is not quite ready that we are trying to help prepare him for the commitment of baptism.  It was a very strong lesson that the Spirit helped with.  After the lesson, Elder Fabrizio, the elder that was with me at the time, told me that I said some things in there that seemed to be perfect.  It was funny that he said that because I felt the same way about the things that he promised and taught V....  

     We also were able to meet with the Asian couple this week.  In our lesson with them we felt something strange, the way I can describe it is as a connection between us and them.  They think of us as their teachers and yet they are comfortable enough to tell us about very personal struggles and questions in their lives.  I think the strangest part of it all is that we have the answers to all their deep questions.  We probably do not explain our thoughts nearly as well as we should be able to but they still understand everything that we are trying to convey to them.  They see us as messengers of truth and it gives me a zeal that makes me want to help them with all that I am.

     The last story I have to talk about from this week is probably the most spiritual of them all.  I have come to learn how nothing in the Lord’s eyes is coincidence.  While we were going about looking for members that have not come to church for a while we stopped at a house.  Elder Graff said "Oh this house, trust me we do not want to go there."  Now I would like to sound like I was being led by the Spirit here but in all actuality I was thinking in my head, "I bet I have seen worse than this house."  So I convinced him that we should go inside. 

     And to our astonishment it was actually cleanish.  Well we talked with them for a while and she told us that her mother was in the hospital and that she was actually going to try to get a hold of us soon so that we could go give her a blessing.  We said after we left we would go there and she told us that it was a huge blessing that we were there and that she had had a hard day and did not know what to do or if the Lord loved her.  Then she said that every time she thinks that, the missionaries show up at her door. 

     After we left her house we headed to the hospital and met her mother.  She had been waiting for us to come by and told us that she had thought about joining the church before but knew that she had to repent first.  We asked her if she would like a Book of Mormon to read while she was in the hospital and she accepted it gladly.  She then told us about her testimony of the truths in the Book of Mormon and how it has helped her in her life.

     Well I don't think I have anything else to talk about, and I am running out of typing time so until next week.

Elder Erb

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