Well, this week was full of change!
On Tuesday morning we drove on in to Abilene to drop off Elder Stringham so he could get on the transfer bus. That was not an easy task. I just barely cried, which was pretty good, I'd say. I got most of my crying out on Sunday and Monday night. But it wasn't easy saying goodbye to him. We had some good times and got along really well!
My new comp is Elder Cardon, straight from the MTC. He is from Southern California and he is 21. So both of my comps have been 21 years old! He went to school at BYU-I for three years before coming out here. He is a good kid and we have got along well. He isn't as outgoing as Elder Stringham but is really focused coming out of the gate! So thats been good! But it has been much different taking the lead in EVERYTHING. I had to plan everything this past week, drive everywhere, contact all the people we already know, and be teaching along the way. It has been good for me though because I am so focused on the work now. Since he doesn't really know about the people we are working with it is up to me to figure out what we need to do to help them. So I am constantly thinking about how we are going to help the people we are working with and also just always thinking about the task at hand. That has been a really good change for me and I am excited to see how much more growth I will have in the coming months! It has been a little overwhelming at times. Thursday was a little overwhelming at times, but nothing I couldn't handle easily and nothing compared to what I know my comp is going through being fresh out of the gate. And last night I was a little frustrated because I was having a hard time thinking about what we needed to do to help a couple people. But that is what prayer and study is for so that should all come to light! But I have been doing pretty good handling all the change and I can already see tons of growth in just a few days!!!
I made a goal with myself on Wednesday night that I will read the Book of Mormon this transfer. I am already close to the end of 2 Nephi. Don't be too impressed. I started a little bit into 2 Nephi. But it has been fun to read it every lunch and dinner time instead of doing who knows what!
One thing that we have started to do is contact former investigators. That has worked pretty well! We have two people that have told us to come by this week. One of them was super solid when they were being taught and still has tons of potential I think so stay tuned for how that goes!
So, church this week was rather crazy. We have had rather low attendance in January, usually 30 something people. But yesterday we had like 55 people at church! That place was packed! We had people show up to church that I have never seen before at church! One guy is this return missionary. He is like 28ish and he has been completely inactive for a number of years. He showed up yesterday to talk to the branch president about how he is really feeling the guilt of everything over the past few years and wants to start the process of getting back! I am super excited to hopefully be able to help him out in any way we can! He said that there has been times when he has sat outside the church for a while feeling embarrassed to come in and never got the courage to walk in. But yesterday he did! He got a very warm welcome from the people that knew him and they were introducing him to just about everybody that he didn't know. It was almost too warm of a welcome if you know what I mean...
So, wanna hear something creepy? Well, here you go anyway. Sis. ___'s house in infested with cockroaches. It is NASTY!!!!! Like, so many cockroaches. Ugh, it was the nastiest thing I have ever seen. And I feel like she is clueless that they are there even though I saw like a million of them in there. EEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!
Well, time for the teaching update. We didn't really teach too much this week. We taught Paul and Paul Jr twice but they were both just like 10 minute lessons, if that. We finished teaching everything to Larry and he is all ready for his baptism on Saturday! We met with Erica, but it was a rough visit because of some distractions and she has a lot of stuff going on in her life right now. But I have something up my sleeve to whip out next time we visit. Stay tuned for that. We also met with a couple other people and read the Book of Mormon with them. One of them, Atanya, has some wicked potential, but we are just taking it one step at a time with her because of a few reasons. But I am looking forward to continuing to meet with her! We also finally made contact with Reynaldo, and he once again talked to us for over an hour. Emphasis on the "he talked to us" part. Literally people. And we also have started to work with the Weldy's on getting to the temple. So we have set a goal with them to work towards and hopefully we will get to go with them!
Alrighty, now its time for the most popular segment of my weekly email! The Texas Food Update!
This week was decent. In Abilene on Tuesday I went to Chicken Express with Elder King, who I was staying with overnight. Missionaries eat free there so that was nice! They have insane chicken strips that you dip in this special gravy! Oh boy was it good!
Also with Elder King, we had some left-over Filipino food! My goodness, that stuff might beat out the bbq I've been having! It was mazithra noodles with bacon and shrimp in it with these absolutely lights out pork ribs and pork kabobs! Its was something else! And it was just left-overs too!
Then yesterday we went over to Daina (you know, the disfellowshipped JW) & Tommy's place for some french dipped sandwiches. They were heavenly. I don't know what it is about food down here, but its just something else. They just know how to make food differently than anywhere else!
Sorry for the really scattered email! It was just a ton of different stuff packed into one email. But whatevs. At least you got the food update. That's all that matters, right?
LOL (Lots of love),
Elder Reed Ericson
Saying goodbye to Elder Stringham.