Monday, January 6, 2014

Oh Montana...how I love thee!

Okay, I love Montana so much! Seriously I have never been somewhere more breathtakingly beautiful in my entire life! I tried to take pictures and nothing can capture it...you just have be here to see it and to be able to experience it for yourself. Once in my first area someone told me "You might be from zion, but now you're in Gods country!" I didn't believe him....if God created a more beautiful place then here, then I dare someone to show it to me!
 
Well, this was a great week, we got to spend a lot of time working in Thompson Falls. Which was really nice because it was very needed. Those people deserve to have work done in that area and we just can never make it out there for long periods of time because of the meetings that we have to go to. It was really nice, and we saw a lot of great success and progress in seeing it move towards the area being split. I am pretty excited about it!
 
So, Monday night we had our preparation day, and then a very interesting time trying to find our dinner. We had it the member who lives out there try and direct us and then President Egbert tried to direct us. We both only half listened because we were distracted. We heard something about deemer creek rd and llamas and then following a dirt path up to the house. Well, we turned onto a road behind the Deemer Creek market and not Deemer Creek Rd. So we're going up and I said to Sister Jones "I think we're lost..." Then she just saw like 15 llamas hangin' out on the side of the road and she yelled out "THERE'S LLAMAS! We're not lost, keep goin!" So we did. then we got all the way to the top of the hill and saw a house and it didn't look anything like it was described to us. So we called the member and said "Um are we outside your house?" He came and looked and said "Nope I don't see you." So we had to turn around and he gave us new directions to his house. We were driving down the dirt road and Sister Jones got all disappointed and said "But there were llamas..." We eventually found where we were going, and definitely didn't see any more llamas on the way there....:( so disappointing!
 
Tuesday we woke up at 5 and we got ready and drove to Elmo to pick up the Polson Elders. We picked them up and drove up to Kalispell to have our zone conference. Elder Smith one of the assistants to the president came and was there for it. He asked us to think of some questions that would help us in our areas. Our question was about finding people to teach. The entire like 8 hour meeting all I did was think of ways to find people through things that other people had said. We ended up with 16 ways that would be really effective and made us really excited to work in our area! During the meeting I had to do a roleplay with some of the missionaries. Elder Smith came over and said something to me (I can't exactly remember what he said.) I nodded and he asked "Do you hate me?" I was kind of surprised and I said "Um...no I don't hate you." then he said "oh, because you didn't smile at me like you usually do." Ha ha oh man so funny! apparently I am really scary when I don't smile. :P A few minutes later we were back in the combined meeting, and Elder Smith was talking about loving your companion. So, he looked at Sister Jones and asked "Sister Jones how much does your companion love you?" She cracked up and asked "Seriously Elder Smith? um...a lot!" Seriously she's my favorite companion! We were leaving the meeting and Elder Smith was like "Well, I'll see you in Utah." WHAT!?! He had just barely hit a year when I got here and he is going home next week...:( Kind of sad. I can't believe I have been out this long. Everyone refers to me as an "Old missionary." Even though I am younger than most of the Elders. We came home that night and dropped the Elders off. Sister Christensen came to go on exchanges with us, so the truck was a little smushed. But it was fun. We got back and we went and worked with Pat England whose a Less Active and invited us over on New Years. We went and ate cheese and crackers with her, then went to our branch Presidents New Year party for like an hour before we had to be home.
 
Wednesday we woke up and we went to the hospital to sing to an older woman who was there. We drove up and we tried to get in through the front doors and realized they were locked. I was so mad, I said "What? This is a hospital they can't take vacations people need to get in here!" Then we walked around to the emergency room entrance and noticed a sign that said "Front entrance closed" ....oops! We went in and we sang to sister Johnson and then we went over to Pat Englands house and we did some service for her. We then came home, packed and headed up to Thompson Falls. :) It was a good day of just mostly trying to find people to teach and then going to dinner, and trying a few more. We taught 1 lesson he whole day and so we were pretty bummed. But, hey we had 16 ways to find people to teach and the whole week to implement them.
 
Thursday morning we did most of our weekly planning, but we definitely had people that we needed to talk about so we didn't get to finish it. Sister Christensen went home that morning and so we had to go and meet her ride at the grocery store and  drop her off. We then spent the rest of the morning finishing up our weekly planning. We went out and tried more potentials and tried to think of different ways that we could apply ways to find people. It was a much better day, and we found a few more people to teach but definitely not as many as I would have liked. There was a family we were trying to find, and we couldn't find their house! So, we went to the top of the hill and we couldn't see the house numbers so I turned my brights on.....um someone came out of their house and I turned them off. Then we realized that it was the house we were looking for. We turned around and were going to park but he was looking at us. So we drove down the hill a little bit, and then decided to turn around. So we did, and he was still there, so we turned around and drove away...so awkward! We went over to Neekas house though (She's an investigator that we were trying to see for like a million years!) We finally got to see her and talk with her. She is really funny and I like her a lot. She promised to come to church and have a lesson with us after church where we would put her on date to be baptized. However she didn't come and she isn't on date, but it was really good to be able to see her.
 
Friday was really cold, and....we left our coats in Plains since it was like 40 degrees for a solid week we really didn't think that we would need them. But, it was cold. So we spent that day inside making appointments for that night and trying to contact people over the phone. It was pretty successful and we had the next few days filled up with appointments! We had to call and report to our zone leaders that morning and I asked them ways that they found to be successful in finding people to teach. They told us to get some of the church reports, and then to walk up and down main street. So, that's what we decided to do. We walked up and down main street, and it was really cold! It was snowing and we were walking without coats on and it was dark and the only people outside were those outside of the bar, and I was sooo thankful that we did it. There are some amazing down to earth people here in Montana. I love them so much! We were able to hand out a few pamphlets and our phone number. Hopefully something will come of it. And if they do call, then we will at least know up front that they have a word of wisdom problem! :) That night we drove out of town and tried some people there, and then we came back. While we were walking in our house I heard this THWUMP noise and turned around and Sister Jones was on the ground. She had slipped on some ice. She had fallen so fast that she didn't even know that she had fallen until she saw the stars. Her scriptures went one way and the area book went the other, her preach my gospel and all of the stuff she had been carrying was just everywhere and she was just laying there laughing her head off! She honestly didn't get hurt at all except for maybe her pride a little bit. Oh man it was hilarious!!!!! I took pictures...don't worry mom!
 
Saturday we spent all day out in a town almost in Idaho like maybe 20 miles from the border called Trout Creek. We had lots of appointments set up and we were going out with our branch mission leader and his wife. They took us around to visit some less actives for an hour when we didn't have appointments and then we went and visited a former investigator named Bev. She was so nice and she invited us back and we set up an appointment with her! :) new investigator!!! Finally! :) We also got a new less active to work with and built a really good relationship with the Wortleys (our branch mission leaders family). It was a great day of teaching lessons and seeing people and building relationships. Definitely the best day of the week!
 
Sunday we went to church and there was a bunch of Less actives there and we set up appointments to go and visit them too! :) Yay more people to teach! We are seeing progress in the area and we are working towards seeing it split. :) We know that as we exercise our faith that we will be able to find enough people to teach to make that happen. :) Yep, there's lots of potential for this area, and it is really exciting! :)
 
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and faith! I know that there are people that are prepared here, they just needs lots of help to be found. :) I am truly thankful for you and all of your examples and I pray that you will have a safe and amazing week. LOVE YOU! :)
 
-Sister Malynne Erbe 

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