Monday, March 4, 2013

Billings, Montana - Second Week is better.

HEY FAMBAM!
Okay, so my second week here in Billings went a whole lot smoother than my first one. So I actually got to teach some lessons this week yay! And guess what! I had my first baptism Saturday morning. His name is Kayden Keith and he is awesome! His mom grew up a member but she hasn't been active since she was little. Her daughters name is Brenna and she is actually the one who started asking questions about the gospel. She is only 7 and she is super excited to get baptized in July. Anyway, we got to go over and teach their family a bunch of times and it has been awesome. However the dad just wasn't interested, he was supportive of Kaydens decision to be baptized but he didn't want to be involved in our church. So we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off for about two days trying to get this baptism to happen smoothly. And it did, and it was beautiful. Kayden is such a sweet kid and he was so excited when he got his very own quad. His dad is actually the one that went and picked out his scriptures and had them engraved. The entire baptism I was just praying my guts out that his father would feel something. The spirit was so strong and there was some of the best talks given, it was just an amazing meeting. So we left the baptism with a bunch of the other missionaries who came to support, and we went out to lunch and didn't really think about it after that. But at church yesterday, the father was there, and he didn't just stay for sacrament meeting! He stayed through Sunday School and then the whole family went home. But he stayed!!!!! It was so amazing, he must have felt at least something at the baptism. Now my companion and I are praying that we can teach him, and hopefully have him baptized, and then maybe he can baptize his daughter Brenna in July! That would be so awesome! I will send a picture of the family they are super cute!
 So on Wednesday (27th) we got to go and teach a part member family the Fuchs (you say it like Lukes with an F...don't get it mixed up that would be bad!). The mother is a member but hasn't been active for years, and there are two children Wyatt (11) and Jordan (7) and the father who isn't a member of any church. We went over and we got to teach about the plan of salvation. Okay side note, Wyatt is the one who we are really teaching, he is really really excited about the gospel. Anyway,, we taught about the plan of salvation and we asked him if he loved his family and he looked at us and said "So you're saying I can be with my whole family for forever?" and we were like "yeah" and he was like "I think that is the coolest thing I have ever heard!" OH MY GOSH! he is seriously the cutest kid! We got really close to the rest of the family as well. The father said that he isn't interested in any religion, but he asks tons of questions and agrees with a lot of things that we say, so sometimes I wonder if he really is open to learning about the gospel. They all came to church on Sunday, but they only stayed for sacrament meeting. Wyatt was nervous because he doesn't know anyone, so we are in the process of getting him some friends. We aren't teaching him this Wednesday because he has hunter safety this week, but next Wednesday they are having us over for dinner and making us stake! We are going to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and commit him to a baptism date! This kid is seriously awesome and he just absorbs everything we tell him about the gospel like a sponge, I am so excited!

There is this family in our ward named the Hrubes family (you say it like Rube-ez the H is silent.) And they are awesome, seriously some of the best people I know. Both brother and sister Hrubes served missions in Haiti. They have 4 kids that are all older, and then they adopted 4 kids from Haiti. They have a little boy named DJ and he is my favorite person in the whole world, he is like my new best friend! I will have to send home pictures. Sister Hrubes had us over for dinner on Friday night and we got to talk to them, and hear their stories. She was telling us that when she was in Haiti she went to some of the orphanages and they kept the kids in cages. They were suspended in the air and when they wanted to give them food they would pull a lever and one of the cages would come down. They would then throw the food in the cage and raise it back up off the floor so the kids couldn't get out. They got money depending on how many kids they had in the orphanage. It was so heart breaking I cried! But she was saying that when she was there she knew that she needed to adopt some kids, that they were meant to be in her family. So after the earthquake and everything she decided that it was time, so she and her husband started the process. She told us that when they got DJ  that he was 3 years old, but he was only 11 lbs. So they tell him that he is only 4 years old, because even though he was 3 he was an infant when they got him. Such an awesome family you would absolutely love them!
 
There is another family in our ward who has decided that they are our new mom and dad. Their names are Myrna and Ernie Hammer and they have pretty much adopted us. We go over there all the time because she has new referals for us everyday. So just so you know, even though I am here in Montana I am being taken care of very well by the whole ward, but mostly the Hammers. :)
So I taught Relief society yesterday. They invited the young women and I got to talk specifically to them, but to the whole relief society as well on 'preparing to serve a mission.' I talked about personal progress, and about good friends, and about temple attendance, about making time for the lord, and about sticking close to your family. It was really good, and I used a bunch of pictures of my friends and family. The only problem was that I was so nervous I couldn't stop shaking. It was really important that we made a good impression on the ward since we are meeting them for the first time that week. So we spent a lot of time preparing and our lesson was good, I was just really nervous. Anyway I had lots of pictures and I was shaking so hard you couldn't see the pictures, so Sister Letalu had to hold them for me ha ha :).
So after I taught relief society we had MCM (missionary council meeting) with our ward mission leader Brother Larsen (he is awesome by the way and super missionary minded.) But we were having a council meeting with him and we were talking about the members and who we could help and it was going awesome. The sun was out and the sky was blue when we started! The meeting lasted 30 minutes and in that time the clouds rolled in the wind started and the snow was coming sideways!!!! I have never seen it snow sideways like that in my whole life! Even growing up in Utah I had never seen it snow like that! I have seen it snow slanted, but never like completely sideways! and there was thunder and lightening in a snow storm! It was insane!  It was a horrible storm and my companion and I just got a little car instead of our big truck so we were all kinds of scared and getting beat up by the wind. We were praying our guts out that we would be safe and make it home okay. All the stop lights went out and it started snowing worse. However we somehow made it home and we were said a prayer of thanks for letting us arrive there safely. And we walked inside and all the power was out. Sister Stacy was really sick yesterday so she stayed home, and she was like yeah I don't know when the power will come back on. So the storm lasted for about an hour and a half and then it stopped. Everyone elses power came back but not ours! We waited for 7 1/2 hours for our power. We ended up going over to the Hammers to get some flashlights and warm up because it was so cold in our house. Also we had to go out and buy food for dinner because there was nothing to eat in our house that didn't require electricity. So we spent a lot of time on our knees praying that everything would be okay. We called the power company and we didn't hear anything from them after they told us they were going to send someone out to get the power back up. So we resolved that we would spend the night at the Hammers. We all got ready to leave, and then started to leave. However as we were walking out the door everyone kind of got the same thought at once. We all knelt down one more time to have a prayer. As we were praying the electric company came and they went and found the braker (which was like a mile away from the house...) and we got power. :) We were pretty cold last night but we were all really grateful that the power came on right when we needed it too. I don't know if I will ever pray again without thanking Heavenly Father for electricity!
So this has been a really long email about my life! :) I am attatching the picture of Kayden :) he is super cute! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
-Sister Erbe

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