April 20, 2015
Well everyone, I was called "dull" this week by someone. That's surely a first one for me! Hahaha I laughed about that. It wasn't rude or anything, the guy who called me that was mostly joking, but everyone there got a kick out of it. I still can't believe I was called "dull"...... that is just about the farthest thing that anyone could truthfully call me!
Well, let’s get a few more random things out of the way...
I now have 3 "aggressive driving" violations from Elder Tiwi (the black box they installed in our vehicles). I shouldn't have gotten a single one of them. In fact, I was purposefully driving safe for two of them. One came when I was merging onto the freeway coming home from Abilene. There was a semi-truck coming up behind me so I had to give the car some good gas to safely make it in, and Elder Tiwi didn't like how fast I accelerated and gave me a violation. And then the other two came at the same spot. Going down this one road there is a cross road and there are lateral dips in the road on the sides of the cross street. I was going like 30 miles an hour (5 under the speed limit) driving through there and didn't even think about what I had just done because the dips didn't even do too much to us. Well, a second or two later Elder Tiwi chirped "aggressive driving" at me. And it happened twice in the same place. I hate that little thing.
The Taste of Sweetwater was awesome! There were over 500 people there and lots of good food samples! I have a picture of it that I will send home when I get around to sending my SD card home. I felt like I knew everyone there too.... which makes sense since I've been here for 6 months. And y'all know that transfer calls were this week but I will be waiting until the end of the email to talk about that. No cheating, people. Don't you dare skip the rest and go to the bottom.
We went to this house this week and knocked on the door and through the window I could see a dog that looked just like Gabe!!!!!! When they came to the door I asked about the dogs (there were two of them) and she said that the one that looked like Gabe was a Lhasa Apso. The other dog was indeed a Shih Tzu.... but the Lhasa Apso was trimmed just like Gabe would be when he got his hair cut! It was so cute! You could see how Gabe was a mix of them though. There were a few things I just wanted to take from the Shih Tzu and put on the Lhasa Apso to make it a perfect Gabe. But from that experience I def think that Gabe was much more Lhasa Apso than Shih Tzu. I MISS GABE!!!!
We had some pretty good storms this week. Lots of dumping rain. Not too much lightning and thunder though. They said one of them was supposed to have some good hail and 60 mph winds. We took the car to the car wash so that we could park it under some shelter so that we could save it from any hail damage. The car wash was packed! All the car stalls were filled with cars and all the covered vacuum area was filled as well! We only got a little bit of hail though and it was the small kind. And the wind never came either. But it dumped pretty good on us! We had another storm the next morning with some dumping rain and just a little hail but it wasn't bad at all. I am still waiting for a classic West Texas thunder storm!
Ok, now for transfer news. I am going to Lubbock to serve in the Frenship Mesa ward! I will be with Elder Jones and will be the senior comp. I am really excited to get up there tomorrow! It will be a huge change for me! Little Sweetwater to big Lubbock! Wanna hear something cool though? The Frenship Mesa ward is Coleman Merrill's home ward! His dad is the bishop there from what I've heard! So I am excited to hopefully see him up there! There are also a good number of missionaries that went up to Lubbock last transfer or going up there with me this transfer that I have served with down here in the Abilene Zone! So I am excited to see what my new area will be like!
Getting ready to leave hasn't been as hard as I thought. They had me go up and give my testimony in sacrament yesterday and I promised myself I wouldn't cry. I was doing good, I almost did but I held it together and made some comments about how I wasn't going to despite being very sentimental and emotional. But then after about 30 seconds or so I looked and saw Dianne sobbing like crazy and I lost it for a second. Not hard crying like at my farewell, but a couple of tears. Everyone just gave me very kind goodbyes, but you realize that you are just another missionary coming and going. Obviously they care about you and stuff but it’s just not a big deal for them because missionaries just come and go so much. We are going to make a few last stops to see some people today before I leave as well. It’s weird though, once you know your being transferred you don't really care as much about leaving your area. You are just ready to get to your new area and start working there!
We had a few good visits with investigators this week. We visited with Leno again. I talked about him a couple weeks ago. We left him a couple of pamphlets to read last time and he actually read them and thought that the Plan of Salvation was pretty interesting. We had a pretty good conversation about a number of different things and were able to share some scriptures with him from the Book of Mormon and gave him one to read. He said he wants a couple weeks before we/the missionaries go over again. Hopefully the spirit works with him. He def felt it when we were there. We also visited Troy again. I haven't talked about him for a couple weeks as well. We haven't met with him for a couple weeks but he surprisingly let us in despite us waking him up from a nap. We started talking and didn't reallly have a plan going into it but it led very naturally into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was going well until I had to talk about baptism and having proper authority. That didn't go over too well. But when I was at a loss for words Elder Cardon jumped in and saved my butt and did a good job rescuing us! I tell ya, you don't ever want to be the one to talk about baptism by proper authority when someone has already been baptized. He also said that he has prayed about what we have taught him and about the Book of Mormon and he hasn't felt anything. So I asked him if it was worth his time to keep coming over and he said he would like us/the missionaries to still come by! So we watched the Because He Lives video with him and had a real nice last 5 or so minutes just talking about Jesus Christ! We also had a pretty good visit with Erica and Spiderman. Nothing crazy or new though.
For food this week we obviously had the Taste of Sweetwater which was beast, we had Blackland Smokehouse with Sis Bishop which was amazingly amazing (especially now that I have discovered their sweet bbq sauce in place of their original bbq sauce), and Shelby Thompson fed us last night some real good chicken wings, sausage, and steak. Great meal by a great man.
Speaking of Shelby, I failed to baptize him and had to sign the dreaded shirt. Whenever a missionary leaves without baptizing him we have to sign this white dress shirt that a missionary signed and gave him over a year ago. Shelby has been coming to church for over two years now and still isn't baptized. But he knows what he's doing and always says "when I get baptized" and not "if I get baptized". It'll happen eventually and it will be a day of infamy!
Well peeps, I hope y'all have a good week! Thank you for your love and prayers! I love y'all!
Elder Reed Ericson