Tuesday, November 26, 2013

11.25.2013 Greek Gods, Atheism, Catholics & Wicca

Nov. 25, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

There have only been a couple of days since my last email so there is not a lot to talk about.  Most of the time we have been helping people move or raking leaves.  It seems to me that the leaves do not stop falling until the snow finally falls which is disappointing because we have to keep raking the same yards over and over again because it hasn't really snowed yet.

We did have the opportunity to meet with the C’ family since my last email.  The C’ family is awesome.  Side tangent time, out here in the East there are a lot of Italian people, and there is a simple rule whenever you go over to an Italian person’s house.  The rule is: they will feed you, and you will eat it, otherwise it is offensive.  

I first learned this rule after we visited an Italian woman early on in my mission.  We had already had two dinners for one reason or another and then we stopped by this woman’s house.  And of course as the rule goes we had to force down a third huge dinner.  Luckily now that I am a little wise in my age as a missionary I did not make this mistake with the C’s.  

Every time we walk into their house we hear, “hopefully you came hungry”, which is soon answered by an "always” from the two of us.  We had a good lesson with the C’ family this last time because it was the first time we actually started to teach something.  We had just barely gotten them to agree to take the missionary discussions on our last visit with them.  

My companion and I agreed that before we started the lessons that we should have an opening lesson about "Who Jesus is."  We felt this because all of the members of this family all have different religions and none of them really know anything about Christ.  It was amazing to me to see how willing they were to accept the things that we told them about Jesus and the things that he did for us.  I felt that they were all listening to the things that were said and that they truly would pray to know if the things we taught are true.

Something that I think is a great lesson from this is that you never know who will be interested in the gospel.  The member that introduced us to this family did not think that this would have ever gotten this far.  Despite this, in her desire to fulfill her role as a member missionary, she simply invited them to a ward activity. 

Never did she imagine this family whose current religions are Wicca, Catholic, atheist, and the worshipping of Greek Gods would ever be interested in the gospel, let alone take the discussions from the missionaries.  Now the family gets excited for our visits with them, and tells the member all about what we taught them.  You can never tell what the Lord has in His plans.

Elder Erb

Thursday, November 21, 2013

11/21/2013 Thursday "I would not give it up for any material possessions in this world"

Hello again,

     Man I am starting to slack on sending out emails every week.  We have just been very busy lately helping the other missionaries get around.  Since I last emailed, we have found 5 new people that are interested in the message that we have for them.  I realize that it has been a long time and there is a lot of stuff that I haven't talked about.  I am going to try to help you catch up so forgive me if I write about something that I have already written about.

     To start off with, the Asian couple that we were teaching left and moved to Washington D.C., which is just a couple of hours out of our mission boundaries.  

     We have been teaching J... more though.  I would like to take a couple of lines and thank the member that we brought with us to teach J....  We were trying to find someone that would get along good with him to bring to the lessons and I felt impressed that we should bring Brother A.  

     When I told my companion, who is still Elder Graff, at first he hesitated at the thought, but in time it grew on him.  As for how the lesson went, it was a total success.  Brother A is not a very deep thinking man but he has a testimony of the Gospel and as he talked about what he knew to be true the spirit filled the room.  It was funny, because he then started to talk about some things that would be rather strange to a person that knew as little about the church as J... does, but it did not matter because the spirit was there so strongly that there was nothing that Brother A... could say that could have ruined the atmosphere.  

     We asked him then if he would be baptized if he came to know the things were true and he replied, "while Brother A... was talking I felt something warm inside me, and I believe the things he said."  Even a semi-seasoned missionary like myself had a hard time keeping his cool until after the lesson.
     From this experience I learned how important it is for the members to go out with the missionaries.  While I am on the topic of member missionary work, we have had something very strange happen to us that I never thought we would run into.  

     So you are probably thinking that those members that haven't come to church in a while probably would not be doing missionary work.  Well apparently this is not the case, because 2 of the 5 people I talked about at the beginning were found by such members.  I cannot relay to you the strange excitement that comes when you get a call from a member that has gone astray and they say, "I have a person that I want you to teach and I want you to help me come back to church so that I can help them."

     Which leads me to the next person I wanted to talk about, G....  So the member that found him is named Brother F., and Brother F. has not been to church in a long time.  But he made friends with G. after Brother F. fell out of a tree and was recovering in the hospital.  He called us up and told us that G. needs our help really bad and that he knows that he needs the Gospel in his life.  When we met G. we soon realized what the problem was.  

     So for anyone that does not know this, missionaries tend to have this strange spirit about them that makes anyone that is talking to them realize what the Lord wants of them and why they are falling short.  Now I am not going to explain everything that is wrong with our good friend G. but I will say this, he is like a man who has lost God in his life.  

     He spent his life searching after the things that he thought would bring him happiness, but he lost it all in a second and now we are trying to help him find out what will really bring him happiness.  Now G... is not and was not a bad guy, in fact he is a great guy who is wealthy, has a nice house, has a nice car, and yet all those things no longer bring him happiness.  Because there is no makeup of material possessions in this world that can bring someone lasting happiness, only the Gospel can do that.
     I am not going to try to fit anymore in this already giant email.  But I am grateful to be here helping these people and that I have the opportunity to be a tool of the Lord’s.  I can honestly say that I would not give it up for any material possessions in this world.

Elder Erb

Monday, November 18, 2013

11/18/2013 Waiting for a message

We haven't received any message from Elder Erb for a few weeks now.  When we do, we'll post it!