May 18, 2015
Hello my peeps! (I feel like I use that to start every single one of my emails but whatevs). Still kickin' it here in Lubbock, Texas, obviously. I don't know where else I would be but I am still kickin' it here in case you were wondering.
So this week was just full of flipping Idaho. Holy cow. We helped a guy move into our ward here from Meridian. His parents live in Melba and he said that he's pretty sure his father is the high counselor over our ward. His name is Curtis Hoagland. He knows quite a bit of people that I know from around town. I don't think his parents would have been in our ward when we were out in Melba though because he said they live on the south part of town. We also had another family move in (I may have mentioned them already) from Nampa. Also, we went and helped some old people in another ward move down the street in the little housing complex that recently (a year or two ago) moved from Nampa. So I basically just get to talk about the Treasure Valley all day every day. It’s pretty sweet.
So, I finally had the experience that all TLM missionaries have at some point of their missions. I got the car stuck in mud! I turned right one street too early driving South, so I took a left on the next road to head South again. Well, this road was a dirt road, and we had a couple storms earlier in the week. So the road wasn't the greatest, but it was mostly dry with just some muddy spots that weren't even that muddy at all. But then, we approached a muddy spot that was a little bit more daunting. I stopped before we got to it and decided to scout it out and think about what we were going to do. Elder Jones kept telling me we would make it through, which was contradicting my thoughts about not making it through. But I decided that if I stayed to the left side we would be able to make it through alright. Well, I was dead wrong. That mud was a lot thicker and wetter than I thought... so we got stuck. After trying to maneuver the car out of there with a little bit of reverse and forward action I decided that just wasn't going to work. There were some peeps up the road and across the road that we were originally intending to get to waiting for their son to get off the bus. I walked over to them because I thought they were just sitting there laughing at us and I thought they could probably get us out with their Dodge Nitro. However, he had gotten stuck the day before and had to get a wheel replaced because of it. But they came over once their son got off the bus and helped me push the car out of the mud, with Elder Jones in the driver seat because he refused to get out and push. So I had some pretty mud caked shoes and some good mud splatters all over me! It happens all the time here. The other elders in our ward got stuck the same day we did and you hear stories all the time. I'd say that the percentage of missionaries that go home without getting stuck is very low. Even sisters get stuck all the time and have to push themselves out of the mud! And Zone Leaders in their trucks get stuck too! It’s just part of the TLM lifestyle! I am mad that I didn't get a picture though! Still ticked about that.
On Thursday night there are rumors that a tornado hit Wolfforth and headed east into Lubbock. But we only heard that from our district leader and nobody else said anything about it, so I don't think it actually happened. But still, that storm was pretty crazy for a little while. The lightning is pretty sick, not as sick as I would like to experience up in the Panhandle but still pretty cool. And the thunder isn't as loud as it is at home, which is weird. I think it’s because of the acoustics in the valley or something. But I feel like Idaho storms aren't that much weaker than Lubbock storms.
Cool fact, Lubbock has the highest density of churches, per capita, in the country! They are everywhere! And I also hear that Lubbock has the highest percentage of active religious people in the country as well! So that def doesn't make missionary work any easier!
We got together and had a "New Ward Order" planning session with the other elders in the ward as part of our weekly planning session on Friday. We have been thinking of ways we can get more involved with the ward here. We have a number of good ideas to get us involved more and we just need to make them happen! I feel like here in this ward we are just missionaries, and we need to strive to have the relationship with the ward where we are part of it and not just assigned to it. We have specific plans for our visits to members’ homes, plans to get more involved with the youth and mission prep, and plans to just be more interactive while at church. Hopefully by the time I am done here we have this "New Ward Order" whipped into place!
We still aren't teaching very much. We continue to go over to Gerald's. He is kinda crazy though. He didn't like a lot of the things we told him the other day and it’s so hard to try to get anything really going because he will add a thought and then just go off about his life and who knows what for like 10 mins. So it’s difficult, but he has a much more open mind now that he had previously! We also continue to visit the Delwestes. That's pretty much out of our limits now. Luckily we have a professional teacher as our bishop. He is the institute director here in Lubbock so we have some good resources! We did tons of service though this week. We met our 10 hour limit by Friday, but things came up on Saturday and Sunday that we couldn't just leave hanging so we went an number of hours over, which is fine because we are told to go over if the help is truly needed. And it was. Our service was greatly needed and appreciated!
I hope y'all have a great week! I love y'all and feel your love and prayers and I pray for y'all too!
Elder Reed Ericson
Elder Reed with kittens in first picture and second picture is of a camel spider he found while doing service (apparently it is small compared to some of the spiders he encounters) - wait...10 legs?!