Monday, November 10, 2014


Well to start off, I am sure you all are wondering where and who I am serving with. Mother and Father, I sent you a letter with my experiences on Monday and Tuesday and where I am serving. But idk it sounds like you haven't gotten it yet. You probs will today. Anyway, I have been assigned to serve in Sweetwater, which is in the Abilene Zone. It is about 1.5 hours Southeast of Lubbock. My trainer is Elder Travis Stringham... he's a BOSS. I love the guy. He is from Utah and went to Fremont High. We've had a good time so far.

My address is:
1701 Hailey #19
Sweetwater, TX 79556
Anyway, final report from the MTC... the MTC was the greatest thing ever! I miss it every day! It was so awesome to be around 1500 missionaries every day! I grew to love my district and zone and I have lots of memories from that place! I learned a lot and its sad that we only got 12 days there! But it was time to move on to bigger and better things!

On Monday we got up at 2:45 so that we could report to the travel office at 3:35. That took a while to go through the line to check out and get our travel stuff. So we ended up leaving the MTC at 4:40 and they took us to the Frontrunner which took us to the airport. We went from SLC to Dallas/Ft. Worth which was a fun flight! Us 13 missionaries in our travel group were spread out throughout the plane but I got lucky and sat in a group of about 6 of us. We flew right over Cowboys Stadium which was real cool! It dwarfed the baseball stadium that was right by it (pretty sure it is where the Rangers play)! We then took a tiny plane to Lubbock. I ended up falling asleep and when I woke up we were getting close to landing. I looked out the window.... and there was literally nothing. Nothing nothing nothing except for flat land for miles and miles. Turns out, the city was on the other side so I was looking away from the city. We got picked up and taken to the mission office/church for hours and hours of sitting through training. We didn't get out of there until 8:30. It was rough. But I really loved our group of new missionaries and it was great to become good friends with them all. I ended up staying at the apartment of one of the Zone Leaders in Lubbock, Elder Layne, with a few other new elders. Elder Layne is the freakin' man. At about 9pm that night, there was a downpouring of rain. It was insane. And it wasn't like Idaho where it stops after 5-10 minutes. This downpour lasted until 10am the next morning. And there is hardly any draining system in Lubbock so by about 9:15 the roads were rivers. It was pretty legit. On Tuesday we got up and had more training at the mission office, and then they split us up and sent us out with missionaries for the night. My group got to go give a blessing to a lady at the hospital, which was cool. Also, one of the sisters that I came here with is from Boise and graduated from Mtn. View this year. Anyway, I need to move on.
Well, Sweetwater was a car area, which most areas are. But some elders in Midland needed the car since they are cripple, so we are now a bike area. Which would be fine, however we are now close to if not the largest bike area in the country and probably up there in the world rankings as well. Our area is about 75x45 miles. There are a number of outlying towns that we cover... but not anymore. So we walk and bike EVERYWHERE! Its been fun... I'll leave it at that.... Plus, it is dark by like 6:30 and we don't really think we are even allowed to be on bike after dark. But we do anyway because we have to. As far as the work and teaching. There is almost nothing to report. I have been here since Wednesday afternoon, and I haven't taught a single legit lesson yet. We taught a lesson to a less active family, which was basically for practice, and we gave a lesson to the family we had dinner with last night. So that's been a little weird, but we are hoping to get this place hopping soon. Basically all of our work has been just out on the streets finding people to talk to and going around in the evenings trying to contact the people we found in the streets in past days. And they are either not home or just don't answer the door. So as far as actual missionary work goes, I don't have much to report. We have a couple people we are excited about that we will hopefully get in and teach, but nothing yet.

Some random Texas Lubbock Mission news, we should have Ipads by the end of the year. So thats cool. Also, apparently the mission will be getting split into two missions next summer. We are the second largest mission in the country and have 260 missionaries, which is an insane amount. And this is one of the few missions in the country and basically everywhere where the baptism rate is actually going up. Baptism rates are dropping worldwide, but not in the TLM!!!

As you saw from my subject, we had some dang good brisket yesterday. The people we ate with are an interesting family. The wife is a member, but not temple worthy, and the husband grew up baptist and has been coming to church for over a year and even pays his tithing and everything. But he hasn't gotten his answer yet to know he should be baptized. We call him an eternigator! They don't have any kids but have some girl living with them that is in her 20's. But the brisket was so dang good.... oh man. Simply fantastic.

Our branch here in Sweetwater is interesting. There are about 40 or less people at church every week. And a lot of them aren't your typical Idaho/Utah mormon families. So its cool to see that mormons are diverse too!
We visit an old black lady named Willie May Green every week and read the BOM with her. She is hilarious! We also visit with an old lady named Diane, who is only 7-8 years old mentally. We read the picture scripture stories with her. It is great fun.

Other than that, I don't have much else to tell y'all. It has been really slow the last 4-5 days. Hopefully this coming week we can get in and teach some lessons!

I love you all! I am sorry if I can't send you a personal email back! We only have 1 hour and so I have to basically do everything as fast as I can on here. But I read all of the emails I get and love hearing from all you!

Elder Ericson

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