Monday, January 13, 2014

There is definitely more than one wall!

Hello family!!

When I left on my mission bishop told me that I would hit a wall at some point and it would just be me and God. Well, he lied.....there is definitely more than one wall! Sister jones is amazing, and we kind of hit a wall at same time, but it's okay because we were able to help each other. :) this has been a long week!

Monday was preparation day and we did all of our normal stuff and then dinner canceled. We had dinner on our own and then went out and tried to work. However, we weren't able to do much. I think that there needs to be a law put into place that forces people to put house numbers on their house with lighting on it! I Guess that word defeat the purpose of people coming to Montana to hide though. Ha ha, we just ended up going and visiting a less active after we couldn't find any of our potentials on our list.

Tuesday we thought we were going to have district meeting but it got moved to Friday. Unfortunately we had made plans in our area that was way out of town on the way to polson in Hotsprings. We used a lot of our miles to go and see those people out there that we needed to. The people here are amazing. They are all so humble, and modest. They don't have much, but whatever they have they are willing to give up and share with anyone that needs it. We had dinner with an amazing family that struggles a lot, but they pulled everything that they had together to feed us...it was very humbling! :) I love the honest beautiful people here. It made me feel bad for complaining about stupid things that don't matter at all. Like miles in our car, or taking cold showers...honestly those things don't matter vey much. I wish I could just be like all the Montanans in the world! We also visited another less active who was just so cute she gave us pot holders with angels on them. She wanted us to always remember that we were her 'angels'. Love her! We came back that night and had another night of driving around with nothing to do...very frustrating!

Wednesday we went to the hospital to sing to a less active woman's mother. :) the day after Christmas she fell out of bed and broke her leg up by her hip. She is 90 years old and a lot of people thought she wouldn't make it....but she did, and she is doing so well they moved her home to have physical therapy there. But we wanted to sing to her really quick before our appointment so we popped in and sang. Um, I believe in Christ is one of my favorite songs ever and I love singing it! After the hospital we went over to help pat England clean her kitchen. Pat is the daughter of the woman we sang to and wanted help getting everything clean before her mom came home. We spent all of the rest of our afternoon over there. Pat has fibro myalgia really bad in her legs and struggles a lot. It was great to be able to help her especially when she couldn't do it by herself. We played the vocal point arrangement of hymns while we were cleaning, over and over and over and over again.....never thought anyone could rock out to hymns. My companion and I continue to surprise everyone including ourselves! :) Wednesday night we had dinner with sister Egbert and we talked about the branch and things that they are struggle with. I have been struggling in this area already and when she was talking about it I just had his crazy feeling of hopelessness come over me and I felt like I was drowning. Literally drowning in just feeling overwhelmed and alone. Dad always told me growing up that I would listen if anyone else told me I was beautiful but not him ha ha. But I know I have always struggled with where I am at in this world, and feeling of value. Like I know god loves his children, but I struggle knowing that me as an individual matter....I have just always struggled with it. So I was feeling very discouraged and very lonely and very much like I could never feel better than I did right then. We left her house and we went to the church to get Wifi and do nightly planning since we just couldn't find anyone else's house. We got there and talked to some of the youth who came and hugged us and talked to us about their lives. I felt better after that a little bit. But then a sister in the ward came in and talked to us about a bunch of missionaries who were here previously. If you want to make a missionary feel sad just talk about other missionaries. I have a hard time just knowing if I am doing what I need to do and if I am ever doing enough. So, she talked about tons of other missionaries and it made me feel all kinds of insecure about what I am really doing. Once again I felt super lonely. We came home and sister jones told me that she was feeling the same way and we prayed and studied and went to bed feeling much the same way that we did a little earlier.

Thursday morning we got up and got ready. We did our studies and then went into weekly planning. We were discussing numbers to set as goals for the next week and it turned into feeling very upset again. I was really upset because I feel like normally if I am stressed or anxious about things I just go to sleep and I feel better, but it didn't work. So, we discussed ways to make us feel better and finally decided we should talk to our priesthood leaders. Soooo humbling to call our zone leaders and just say "okay we need help, we can't do this anymore." I had been praying for our heavenly fathers help and just kept feeling like he had given me help already. I didn't understand that the help he provided me had come in the form of elder Eiselin and elder palazzo until we called them. They helped us to see that we were doing okay and that they supported us. We didn't have to feel like we were drowning because they were right there to help pull us out. Ha ha, it was kind of scary but they are amazing! We talked about things and got some really great advice, like reading our patriarchal blessings everyday. And studying Mormon 9:27-28. We talked about faith and forgiveness. Then elder Eiselin asked us to try to see evidences of gods love for us. They talked to us for a good 45 minutes. We requested that they come to our district meeting and give us  blessings and they promised us that they would. Sister jones and I talked to each other and made goals for ourselves individually and then together as a companionship. I love my leaders and my companion Soo much....I am so blessed to have them all! Now every night we are studying the Book of Mormon and writing in 'I know god loves me' journals we got, and then reading our patriarchal blessings. I can't believe I never thought about reading it every day! I can already feel a difference in my life after just 4 days. We went and worked with an active family after that and then walked up Main Street. We were heading to a less actives house and decided to see how many people we could talk to on the way over. We stopped at this ice cream parlor on the way there and saw some people inside and decided to stop. We went in and there was this really sweet couple who owned it. They asked us "do you want a sample?" We were like "yeah, that'd be great!" They made us some delicious ice cream things and then we talked to them for a long time. They are so great! We talked about temple square and church and it was such a great discussion. When we went to pay, the man said "hey, I told you girls they were samples." They gave us free ice cream! In light of everything that had been happening they were inspired to just give us free ice cream....how much more can god tell me he loves he than that? :) I felt much better and so much more special after that!

Friday morning we went to district meeting, the roads were not very good there was snow everywhere so I was trying to be really careful. All of a student sister jones just yelled out "DEER!!" There were a couple of deer on the road. I was going like 45 and slammed on the breaks and we started sliding. I started yelling at them "please move, please, move!" They did. We didn't hit them and we didn't slide over the edge of the cliff either. Again...I know god loves me. We made it all the way to polson safely. The zone leaders came to our district meeting just for the first part and they talked to us about some important stuff. Then they said "hey elders, we are gonna steal the sisters and talk to them for a minute." We went into the other room and they gave us blessings. I went first and asked elder Eiselin if he would give one to me. It was Soo awesome! Sister jones took some notes on the IPad for me so I could remember what was said. I cried during it and then they finished and elder Eiselin was crying too! He said "priesthood blessings are super special and I always feel the spirit. Especially when I get to tell his daughters how much he loves them." It was so awesome, and the spirit was so strong! Sister jones got a blessing from elder palazzo that was equally as amazing. They were leaving and they shook our hands. Elder Eiselin shook my hand and said "sister erbe, you're a daughter of god." Then elder palazzo said it too...kind of totally cheesy, but it was cool. We finished our district meeting and then went to Walmart. We bought some groceries and then headed home. We went to visit a less active member who was on the way home from polson. The we had dinner with the Egberts again. We talked to president Egbert and we brainstormed ideas, and came up with some good ones. :) he invited us to branch council on Sunday morning and we left and came home.

Saturday morning we had an appointment with an investigator. We invited a young man to meet us over at his house and teach with us. We had never been inside his house before, and it was scary...he says he got a divorce and remodeled his house the way he wanted to. It was red and gold and black and looked like the beauty and the beast castle. With scary pictures on the walls and everything! But it was a good lesson. We were planning on teaching the restoration and it turned into the plan of salvation. It was a good lesson, but he doesn't really want us to teach him, he just likes spiritual thoughts...so we will have to sneaky teach him! After that we had an appointment with a less active. She gave us lots of marriage advice.....I just turned 20. I am not getting married right off my mission, I won't! So it was just kind of weird, it was weird advice anyway like "if he's not willing to take his shoes off at the door then he's not worth it." And how we will have to 'train him' like we are his mother or something....nope not gonna be his mom, when I get married I am going to be his wife. Then we came home for our lunch hour and then dinner canceled so we took our lunch and dinner hour at the same time. We went out after them and met with dot who is another less active. She is like 82 and totally awesome! We came home after that to get everything ready for branch council in the morning and to plan.

Branch council was Sunday morning. We went in and president Egbert was totally ready to go. He had watched the hastening the work of salvation broadcast and already had something set up to show the entire council. Then he talked about our 'crash week' that our stake president wants us to do this week. All the missionaries in this zone are going to have their trucks figuratively 'crashed' at 5:00 every night and then we will go out with members and teach. Our car will be 'resurrected' every morning until 5:00 that evening. Yep, so we have to work with the members and none of hem wanted to work with us. So president Egbert told everyone that they were going to do it, and that they needed to make themselves available. Then we sent out a sign up sheet to have the members sign up to have us come and teach them all the lessons so that we have our evenings filled up and don't just drive around in the dark. :) we have a lot of our evenings with at least one appointment so we are excited about that!

Basically this week was really long and hard. But, I feel different now than I did like 4 days ago. I think in some ways this area was meant for me to be stretched. I want to be able to continue to not be in my comfort zone so I can keep growing and keep being better. I can't believe how different that I feel about me and about life in general. I am still working on it....but i have the rest of my life to keep being better. I have learned that I don't have to be everything right now and I don't have to know everything right now. I don't have to be exactly the missionary I want to be or the person I want to be right this second. Because I have time. And I have the ability to continue to be better every day. :) I guess that's really how I know that god loves me is because I am different. I am different today that I was yesterday, I was different yesterday than I was on Thursday, I am going to be different tomorrow than I am today, and I am going to be different at the end of my life than I was at the beginning....starting right now with me on my mission. :) life is good, and I can change, and I can be better!

I love you all, and I am so thankful and blessed to have all of you in my life back at home rooting for me! I truly have been blessed to have such amazing people in my life and to be Able to feel your prayers supporting me. I truly can't express how much everyone means to me!! I hope all of you have an amazing week! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!! :) keep the faith, and be believing! LOVES!

-Sister Malynne Erbe

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