Thursday, January 22, 2015

Elder Bednar!!!!

I think I needed to wait to use the subject "Holy Cow" for this week! Holy cow! Crazy week!
First off, I hear that gas is super cheap in Idaho too. Gas was $1.70 in Lubbock this past week. So we'll see who comes out on top this week. The oil business here is collapsing because the price of oil is dropping off a cliff. They say that thousands of people are about to be laid off.
The Elder who served here in Sweetwater before me is the grandson of Jay and Nancy Noble! He has been to our ward a number of times with his family! I remembered his brothers name even! Mom, I think you may have actually had him in sunday school before! Its a crazy small world!
So the fun stuff for this week started on Wednesday. We had interviews with President Heap that morning and it was fantastic! I love the Heaps so stinkin' much and it was wonderful to sit down with Pres Heap for a little bit and talk about the work! Sister Heap was there and she was supposed to talk to us about morning exercise, but we think that she figured that we work out every morning so she didn't instruct us. Not gonna lie, we could have used it. But whatevs.
We went to this AMAZING place in Roscoe (in our area just outside of Sweetwater) for lunch on Thursday. Its called Blackland Smokehouse and it was just wonderful! You guys should just be so insanely jealous! I got ribs and pulled pork but I really made the mistake of not getting the brisket! Elder Stringham got it and he said that it was just a crazy party in his mouth every time he took a bite! So we are going to go back this week and get some more. But we are first going to try Big Boy's BBQ here in Sweetwater because that place is apparently even better than Blackland! It has made some Texas-wide lists for best bbq! Its going to be an amazing week for food! But my personal account will take a big hit, because we don't have enough mission money to afford it. Totally worth it though. Totally completely worth it!
On Friday we met with Elder Bednar!!! They told us to arrive about an hour and a half early so that we could mingle. So we had over 260 missionaries packed into the gym for over an hour and it was a great time! I got to see all of my few mission peeps! It was nice though because we were pretty much the only people that we all collectively knew. But we had a good time talking about our last few months together and it is fun to see how they have all grown just like I have! I can't really say to much about the meeting for a number of reasons. 1) There is just too much to say and I don't have time and 2) Elder Bednar told us not to tell our families a lot about what he said because he didn't want anything to be taken out of context. But to summarize it all up, it was amazing. Everyone left that place spiritually filled to the max! He didn't just talk to us but us missionaries talked about as much as he did. One crazy thing though was when he bore his testimony. When you hear "I bear you my apostolic witness..." it is like a shot through your heart by the spirit. Holy cow people. Its nuts. But one neat thing happened. He asked President Heap to stand and say a few words at one point. When President stands up to talk, the room always has a crazy strong spirit. This time was crazy though. We had an apostle of the Lord in front of us, but when President Heap stood up, the spirit multiplied by about 100x from when Elder Bednar was standing at the pulpit. When President stood up, you could have literally heard a pin hit the ground and your heart could have easily exploded inside of your chest. That man is no doubt the man called to be the president of the Texas Lubbock Mission and I would not be surprised one bit to see his name with Elder in front of it not too long after he is done here.
As far as the work went this week, it was a solid week! Not quite like last week but still really solid!
We taught Erica again a couple times and each time has been really awesome! She is having spiritual experiences with the Book of Mormon and is truly progressing. Every time we see her she just seems to have a different and better light to her.
We taught Paul and Paul Jr. We are starting from step 1 and going slowly from there. We started the first night with teaching very simply about God and prayer. Then the next time we taught very simply about who Jesus Christ is and what he did. It will be a step by step program with them, but it is going good!
We met this man named Reynaldo during the week and we went back the next day and had a crazy experience! When we shared the first vision the spirit slapped him across the face and the next 10-15 minutes was just him sitting there just feeling the spirit crazy strong and looking off into the distance and sitting there with his eyes closed holding the Book of Mormon with an occasional testimony by us. It was crazy! But I don't know how well he recognizes what it all means. So that's the next step.

Elder Stringham has been medicating this past week because of his cold, so he goes crazy while he is asleep. Here's a couple lines from him while asleep at night.
"What? Haha! Is it the peanut butter? Give me the peanut butter! Dangit!"
"Lets go! Lets go! Lets go!"
Well, I wish I had more time. But I have seen so much growth this week and I feel the spirit crazy strong all day every day! I don't even know how to explain the process I am going through but just know that I am growing tons and learning so much about the gospel and the church and about missionary work!
I love you all and hope you have a good week!

Elder Reed Ericson

 District Meeting in Sweetwater.
 "This guy doesn't hear so good so we have to knock with a wooden meat tenderizer thing."

 A beer can Christmas tree.
 District meeting in Sweetwater.

 Having fun in the snow (ice) before Elder Johnson left.

A sheet of ice that we got off of our car.  It's like 1/4" thick.

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