Monday, October 14, 2013

A week of miracles. Lovell, Wyoming

Okay :) Sounds good. This week has been one of the weeks with the most miracles in it so it is good that you are asking me now. 

The Wilkerson family is someone that I have been teaching since I got here to Wyoming and that missionaries have been teaching before that even. They are a very cute family with 4 kids in it. Kera is the oldest 12 years old, followed by Sean 10, Erin 8 and Rowen 6. They had a baptism date set in July, but because of their family situation their dad refused to give them permission to be baptized. Kera, Sean, and Erin have all wanted to be baptized since they were 8 and it is an ongoing battle with their father. We have been going over there faithfully every week, and have been having to get really creative with what we are teaching them. We have been doing family home evenings and have taught about being a good example. Funny story, when we talked about being a good example, Rowen popped off and said "Oh, we can be a good example by...um...not putting our fingers up our nose." Super funny! :) Anyway, we have been going through the Book of Mormon stories and acting them, out and teaching them lots of different ways. The last week that we were there, we asked Sean if he would say the prayer for us, and he told us that he didn't know how. We told him that we would help him, and the lesson ended with him saying a rushed prayer with lots of help. We decided that we needed to go over prayer again, and decided that we could do another family home evening and teach about prayer this time. We bought a package of double stuff oreos to make our prayer sandwiches and to help them realize the 4 different parts of a prayer, and we took Sister Savage to help us and to bear her testimony. As we walked into their home it really was like the spirit just took over. We definitely asked some inspired questions directed by the spirit, and as we did we were able to find out that Sean actually had some concerns and we were then able to address them. Then, the most amazing thing happened. Anna, their mother...their very quiet mother began to bear her testimony about the Holy Ghost. It was a simple and beautiful testimony and she spoke about losing the Holy Ghost and then getting it back and how it was so lonely without it. The kids listened to her so intently and then it was just silent for a little while. Then Steve (the kids soon to be step father) also began to bear his testimony, Sister Savage then took a turn, and then Sister Wing, and I also bore our testimonies. We asked Kera if she thinks that she could be brave and ask their dad if they could be baptized on November 9th, and she said that she could. As we kneeled down to pray it was the usual thing with all the kids fighting for a turn. I felt very prompted to ask Anna to pray. Anna began to pray and everyone began to cry, even the kids. It was the most amazing prayer, so sincere and heart-felt and I knew that this was going to make an impact on the kids for a really long time. We talked after the lesson about what a great lesson it had been and we knew that this time it was going to be different for them to have a baptism date because this time, their mother has the faith that she needs to have them baptized and to bring them into the church. :) It was definitely an inspired lesson and we wouldn't have been able to know any of that if we hadn't relied on the spirit and asked those inspired questions. 

A couple of weeks ago we were on our way to the General Relief society broadcast and Sister Wing really felt inspired to go and visit with a young woman named Heather. We went over there, and visited with her, shared a quick message and missed the whole broadcast. Nothing special about that lesson stood out and we had yet to figure out why we had been prompted to go over there. On Thursday we went over to her house, and we helped her winter-proof her windows and played with her 2 year old son Ashton. It was a good visit and when we were done we asked if we could share the message of the restoration. We started to go through it, and we asked questions and talked about the priesthood, and everything. Then we asked if she believes that God answers her prayers. She told us that she has had manifestations of him answering prayers even in the last couple of weeks. She said that every time she thinks "You know, the Sister Missionaries should come over today." We always come over within the hour. She had thought about us the day of the broadcast, and then again on Thursday. The spirit directed us to her home, just to show her that God knows that he is mindful of her. 

We have been working with the Nadings, and they have a temple date, but haven't been keeping any of their commitments. We were thinking that we should share the Word of Wisdom, and then commit them to stop smoking, but every time I looked for a scripture I kept coming across the same passage of scripture in Luke 22. After a while I knew that we were supposed to teach the atonement. We prepared what we wanted to share with them, starting in Luke 22, and then 23, and then moving to John 20. That night we have a young man named Mysen come with us to an apopintment up the street. It was mutual that night and it just so happened to be temple prep. After our lesson Mysen said he was heading off to mutual, and we were like "Okay, have fun, we are going to go and teach another lesson." Well instantly he was very torn because he really felt like he needed to come with us to go and visit the Nadings. He finally said "Okay, I am just going to mutual." Then, he started to walk away. Sister Wing and I began to pray (like we always do before lessons) and when we opened our eyes Mysen had walked back andjoined our circle. He said that he really just wanted to come with us, what better mission prep was there than going with the missionaries right?  We went in to the Nadings house and we had a lot of fun for the first 15 minutes or so just talking and laughing. Then we began to teach starting in Luke. As we bore our testimonies about the Savior and invited them to do the same there was an amazing spirit in the room. I was crying and Sister Wing was crying, and both of the Nadings. I finally realized Mysen had been silent the entire lesson, so I asked him to bear his testimony. He bore the most amazing testimony of the Savior and how he had personally helped him through hard times. It was so good to hear it from him, and just because the spirit could get stronger it did, and we all sat in silence for a few minutes because nobody wanted to break the spirit in the room. Finally I looked over at Annie, and asked her if she would read the Book of Mormon everyday for the next week. She said she would, and then I asked Anthony the same question. Sister Wing committed them to meeting with the Bishop and starting temple prep classes. Then we asked them to come to church, and they promised us that they would see us there as well. It was such a great lesson, and as we walked out Mysen said "Man, I am glad that I stayed." It was a really awesome experience for him to have I think all of us were humbled. The next day I got online, and Annie had posted about how much she loved our lesson, and thanked Sister Wing and I. :) I am so blessed to have the Nadings in my life! 

I love this gospel. Being able to spend time studying the atonement every day has made me rely on my Savior so much more. I absolutely love wearing the nametag everyday and it still makes me excited when I see groups of missionaries (even though I am one). :P I love my Savior, and I know that he lives and that he can and will help us through everything that we go through. He is our best friend, the one we should turn to, our Savior and Redeemer. It is only in and through him and his love that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. Oh how blessed I am to be able to wear his name next to mine every single day! I feel blessed to be able to be here in Lovell, Wyoming. It is the best place in the world. I am thankful that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with this part of his vineyard and the special souls that are here. I am also grateful everyday that I have the opportunity to look at people through Gods eyes and know that no matter how hopeless it may seem, because of our Savior we can all return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God and I have seen it change people inside and out. I know Joseph Smith to be a prophet called of God in this dispensation, and that he truly did restore the truth onto the earth in these days through the power of God. And I know that the priesthood power, the power that God himself used to create the world has once again been brought to the earth to bless the lives of his children here in the earth. I know God love us all, and I am thankful for that knowledge every day.

Yep, so that's my miracles and testimony, and it is probably to long to share in sacrament meeting, but at least you have them anyway. :) This is going to be my weekly email I think because we only have like 17 more minutes left and I have to email President Mecham still. The only thing I want to add is that our mission has been selected as a piloting program to pilot the new technology the church is trying to implement in missionary work. I am getting an i-pad mini. :) Yay! Missionary work is going to be awesome with technology!!!!!! Yep, that was my whole week. Oh, also something that you should try as a family is to do something that President Mecham has asked us to do is something that we call purposeful prayer. We have been doing it and it has already been a great blessing for us. When we pray it is literally a conversation with God, so we need to take time listening for the spirit. He asked us in groups to stay in a prayerful kneeling position for 10 seconds, and as a companionship for a minute or so, and then as ourselves to stay kneeling until we feel like we can get up. I invite you as a family to just stay kneeling for 10 seconds after you are done praying as a family every morning. :) If you don't do it now, I will implement it myself in 9 months so better start now! 

I love you all soo very much! I also love this work and I know that you will have so much joy as you try to share the gospel! :) Thanks for everything that you have given me, the love the support, the ability to come out on a mission. Thanks for letting me lean on your testimonies for a while until I found mine. :) You are all the best, know that you are in my prayers always! LOVES!

-Sister Malynne Erbe 

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