Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Following the Christmas Lights

Wassup my good peeps?! Another week down here in the TLM! I have been here in Sweetwater for a month now!!! Isn't that crazy! It has been absolutely flying by... everytime I blink my eyes I am laying in my bed falling asleep for the night.

On Tuesday we were supposed to have District Meeting in Abilene, but instead we had a mini Zone Conference instead with all the districts in our zone. President and Sister Heap were there and they introduced us to the new "He is the Gift" initiative that the church is rolling out for the holiday season. It officially started a couple days ago and we are pumped to see what this will bring and the successes we will have from it. I don't know if the video has gone around the internet yet, but it will for sure go viral pretty soon here. The whole focus of the initiative is to focus this Christmas season around Christ and spread the message of Christ with everyone. It has been going great so far and I can't wait to see what it will be like by Christmas!

On Wednesday, we saw our first miracle that started a trend of miracles. We finally got a member to come out with us to a lesson, but the person wasn't home so we just went back to the members house and got our bikes and took off. Instead of going where we were originally intending to go, Elder Stringham saw some Christmas lights down the road and wanted to check them out. So we did. We got to the Christmas lights which were at the home on the corner of two streets, and I turned and started heading up the road a little ways when I realized that Elder Stringham was not following me. I turned around and he had just stopped in the intersection and pulled out his planner to see what we could do. I turned around and went back to him and after about 5 seconds of standing there we heard a "help" coming from the little overhand/garage area of the house with all the lights. We saw an older lady sitting there on the steps so we ran over and saw that her hip was all sorts of messed up! So we called 911 once again to get an ambulance there. As I was standing there talking to her, she said that she had been there for about 30 mins and that she had just been praying that someone would come by and help her. I told her that we pray many times a day to be put in the path of someone that needs our help in any way possible and that we were 100% the answer to her prayers! Anyway, that was a cool miracle that happened because we followed the Christmas lights!

On Thanksgiving we went over the the Patton's who are an older couple that are in the branch. They came and picked us up and when we got there we watched Bro. Patton and his son skin a deer for like an hour. So that was sweet. The food was pretty good, nothing special, and the other people that they had over were pretty sweet, but nothing special. It was a nice day, but nothing like Thanksgiving with the Ericson's! That's pretty much it for Thanksgiving. Oh, we celebrated Stringham's 21st birthday that night (his birthday was yesterday) with some birthday cake that he got sent to him by his family. So that was pretty swag.

On Saturday, we had our second Christmas light miracle! We went out walking at like 8 and we just went up behind our apartments. We looked down a street and saw some Christmas lights and decided that we should follow them. We didn't expect anything, but thought it would be fun because of what happened a few nights before. After we passed the house with the Christmas lights, we saw a younger lady trying to catch her dog. She said that her ex-husband was supposed to show up any minute with her young child, so she couldn't afford to go on a dog hunt. So we told her not to worry and leave it in our hands. So we started running after this dog, and this dog was just cruising down the street! We are both out of shape like no other, so we had a fun time running about a 1/2 mile chasing this dog down before we got it corralled and caught! We took it back to her house and we are now hoping to teach her at some point!

On Sunday, we had a potluck after church with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving. So we had lots of yummy food for lunch for free! But the highlight of Sunday came from.... you guessed it.... following the Christmas lights. By this point we knew something good was bound to happen. We really didn't think anything would, but we had a good time laughing about all the miracle possibilities. This one took a little longer to develop though. We turned down a street on our bikes to go check out the lights, but just kept on riding for another minute or two in the complete opposite direction than we were originally going. To make a long story short, we talked to a lady that was actually baptized about 20-30 years ago and has no clue that she is actually a member of the church. But the crazy part is, the senior missionary couple that taught her lives down the street from Elder Stringham in Utah and he grew up in the same ward as them and is super tight with them! In fact, just last week he got an email telling him to find her and talk to her! We talked to her for a long time and she has forgotten a lot about what we believe, which is kinda weird. She had no clue. But we are going to start visiting with her and hopefully get her back to church!

So the number one thing we learned this week is to FOLLOW THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!!! We literally have "Christmas Light Finding" down in our planners for tonight and probably will for the rest of the week!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Reed Ericson

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