Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 26, 2015

Hello my good peeps. What an interesting week it has been! Full of good things and just straight crazy things!
It sounds like this will be a killer week at home with Charles coming home and such! That will be such fun for y'all to see him and hear about his experiences in Chile! Tell him that I am sending my welcome home to him and that he rocks!
Well, as many of you hooligans know, we got transfer calls on Saturday night. So I will tell you how that went. So, President Heap calls all the zone leaders/new zone leaders first as well as all the new trainers of the newbies coming in. So at 8:45 we were just out walking around before we could go inside at 9 and the phone rang. Elder Stringham looked at it and said "Oh crap, its president!" Well, president told Elder Stringham that he was getting transferred to be a zone leader in Odessa. But before he hung up he said, "How did Elder Ericson's training go?" Elder Stringham responded that it went good and president asked if he could speak with me. Well, long story short, I will be staying in Sweetwater with a brand new missionary named Elder Cardon! You could say that I am nervous... not often at all do missionaries train directly out of training. But I know that the Lord has called me to help a very specific new missionary and I am confident that I will do a fine job and not mess him up at all:) So we go into Abilene tomorrow bright and early for Elder Stringham to catch the transfer bus and I will spend the day there and then get my new companion when the bus comes back down on Wednesday afternoon. I am quite sad to be leaving Elder Stringham. Your trainer becomes everything for you and I definitely realized that these last couple days knowing that he will be leaving soon. I will never forget the past 3 months and all the good memories we have together!
Now its time for my Texan food update. I think I mentioned Big Boys BBQ last week. Well, we went this week and it was quite amazing. I got ribs and brisket and it was just so insanely good! However, the portions were a little small. I believe my Big Boys meat is the first attached picture. Then on Thursday we went back to Blackland Smokehouse with Sis. Bishop and my life changed forever. I got the brisket this time instead of the pulled pork... oh man. And I got a better cut of ribs this time too with more meat on them. I'm telling ya, this stuff is something else. Big Boys is one of the top bbq places in Texas and Blackland kicks its trash. Plus, at Blackland you get way more meat for less money! I attached a pic of that meat as well. I literally won't be able to eat any meat when I get home because it just can't even compare!
It seems like our entire branch is in the hospital right now. Bro. Mermella, the guy who always took us to the store before we had a car, had a staff infection in his leg and its not looking too good. They might be moving him to Abilene here soon. We went to see him on Saturday evening and gave him a blessing and we definitely felt like he would be ok. But if something happens to him it would be tragic because him and his wife are taking care of 8ish young grandchildren and I don't know what would happen to them! Also, at church yesterday Sis. Green has to be taken to the ER by the paramedics. When she stood up she had this shooting pain in her head and she got "drunk" (thats what she describes it as... its quite hilarious). It happened before a couple weeks ago and they say that it is because her blood pressure is high and her heart rate is low. So she may have to get a pacemaker. We gave her a blessing as well. Its crazy how strongly I can feel the power of God working through me when I give blessings these days. The feeling that takes over your mind and body is just nuts. Its definitely a powerful experience each and every time now.
As far as teaching went this week... it was pretty solid. No crazy lessons or anything but we were able to meet with a lot of people.
We taught Erica the Word of Wisdom this week and it was a fun one! She needs her coffee to keep her awake and alert for work and class. So that has been fun to help her with! Haha she has kept a good sense of humor about it and always texts us complaining about it. But she is doing good and trying her best!

We are finishing teaching Larry everything getting it all cleared before his baptism on the 7th! We are just chunking out all the little commandments and ordinance stuff. Its always a good time going over to Larry's and he is basically one lesson away from being taught everything. Now I have the task of getting a baptism ready. So that will be interesting considering that neither me or my companion have any experience with that!
We didn't get a chance to meet with Paul this week. We meet with them Wednesdays and Sundays but they were busy on Wednesday and we were at the hospital all afternoon yesterday. But we are just taking it step by step with them.
Reynaldo fell of the face of the earth for a week because of the new job he got in Abilene that makes him work nights. We didn't know so we always went over there and nobody was home. But we met with him yesterday for a good hour plus (he's a talker... its so hard to get out of there) and he is doing good and still has potential.
We met with Jill again this week and we really hit what our purpose was and why everything we teach is important and then retaught the restoration. It was a good lesson but we're not quite sure how interested she really is. But we will keep trying and see if we can get the ball rolling.
We got a couple new investigators this week. We have this 16 year old boy named Mark and he is just the nicest kid ever. We sat outside on his porch in the cold while it was dumping buckets all around us! He is really interested and knows all about the BoM and even made some notes in the chapter that we gave him to read! We are way excited about continuing to meet with him!
Our other new is Raquel. I knocked into her when I was with Elder Johnson on exchanges and we finally met with her and shared a quick last half of the restoration. She is just super nice and friendly, but she made a comment about how she is just being nice to us because she knows what its like to go door to door and talk to people because she went out with her adopted parents who were JW's when she was younger. That was startling but she is accepting and willing to listen.
Also, get this... we have this family that is just a crazy situation. The missionaries taught this guy right before I got here named Tim (24 years old). He was way solid and even came to church but fell off the face of the earth. Then this week we went up and talked to this girl at the car wash named Alex (19) and she invited us to go over to her house to talk to her sometime about our message. So, as the week went on and after a few realizations occured, we realized that they were siblings but Tim had obviously moved out by now. BUT THEN, Elder Stringham has a brain fart and had a thought that this girl that had come to church with a member a number of times over the past year or so may have been the younger sister of those two (she is like 16). Well, sure enough, she is. So now we have three siblings that we have a relation to but not together. So this looks promising!
Well, its time to go. Wish me luck on my new adventure and I can't wait to tell y'all about it next week!
Elder Reed Ericson

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