May 11, 2015
Well hello my friends. For some of you it has been a week since you heard from me. For others, it’s been less than 24 hours. So let’s get this party started. Actually, there won't be much of a party this week. I am kind of running out of things to say these days. My emails will probs be getting shorter and shorter. Plus, we actually have things to do here so we try to keep it to an hour. Whereas in Sweetwater we had absolutely nothing to do besides clean and nap so we just emailed until we were done with our emails that we had to do. We didn't waste time on the computer, but we would take a little extra time to expound our weekly emails a little bit.
Well calling home yesterday was a hoot. Sorry I had nothing cool to talk about. It was good to talk and all but I just wish I had something cool to talk about instead of boring missionary stuff. If we had more time Elder Jones could have convinced you to live the Law of Moses, but we didn't have enough time. He obviously doesn't believe we should live it because of obvious reasons, but he can make a dang good debate out of it. It is quite hilarious! He is so quick and clever when debating such topics and no one even stands a chance, even when they are debating that something is right when it is so obvious that its right and Elder Jones is debating otherwise. He has a gift! It’s quite entertaining! But it was good to see y'alls faces! And Happy (late) Mother's Day to Mother and all you moms out there!
We had Zone Conference on Thursday and it was pretty dang solid. The Assistants instructed a lot about planning. It’s a point they have been talking about for a long time but it is something that we need to change about our missionary character. It’s so easy to schedule a day out. Super easy. But planning a day is much more difficult. They talked about the process of plans, goals, and visions and how we need to use the process properly to plan to achieve our goals which in turn will build upon each other to accomplish our vision. President Heap blew our minds some more. He instructed about how we can be successful missionaries. Which is based off of our commitment to missionary work. He talked a lot about how he gives zero care about our numbers. He doesn't care if a missionary goes home with zero baptisms. He said about baptisms, "It’s not a way you receive recognition in the Texas Lubbock Mission." Now, taken out of context this all sounds crazy, but in context it is all so inspired and beautiful. Another wonderful quote from him, "Elders and Sisters, if you're worried about you work, you're worried about the business model, not the people you're working with." He mentioned the "business model" a lot and how missionaries get stuck in it a lot when that's not what we are here to do. This isn't a business, its a conversion process for us and for other individual people that we work with. Anyway, I hope that made sense.
There has been a lot of rain lately! Which means lots of mud! We have tons of dirt county roads in our area so our car has gotten pretty dang dirty the last couple weeks. I just wish like a million times a day that I had a beastlier vehicle that didn't belong to the church so that I could just drive through all the wonderful mud pits. Unfortunately I drive a church-owned Toyota Corolla and that probably is one of the last vehicles that I would take through a nice big pit of thick sopping mud. This mud is way better than anything I have seen in Idaho. Way better. We actually had a pretty good storm on Friday while we were at the food bank! We were working near the dock where they load food for people who come to pick it up and one of the workers came in and told us to come outside to see something. There was a funnel cloud really close just right in front of the food bank and you could see a number of them in different places. They weren't very bad at all and would need a lot more to turn into a tornado, but it was still kinda creepy. We were on tornado watch all day that day. Tornado watch is basically nothing. It’s not even a tornado warning. When there's a warning you should be worried a little bit but we have been on tornado watch here and not even received any storm. We are at the bottom of tornado alley and tornados aren't too common here. But if you go a couple hundred miles north you are in the hard core tornado zone. Up towards Amarillo and up in the panhandle is where it gets crazy! So it’s not too crazy dangerous here in Lubbock but you never know when something could fly in and hit!
We had some pretty good lessons this week! We had a really good lesson with a less-active family. They all bore powerful testimony and there were some tears on their part. It is just such a good environment for lessons. It is quiet with no distractions and then are very good at sharing deep thoughts and bearing testimony. We are trying to get the male of the house to the temple but right now there are some road blocks that we honestly probably won't be able to help him get through completely. He really needs the bishop for this one. We also blew this man's mind. His name is Gerald and we meet with him all the time. Like, a few times a week. Usually he just basically talks to us for an hour about his life (his life is not the greatest... long story). He has been an "investigator" for years but we busted out a little dose of the spirit and some stuff he had never heard before and he went from completely disregarding the Book of Mormon and thinking Joseph Smith was stupid to being super open to everything. It was pretty sweet. We also taught a JW.... that didn't go anywhere. We just talked about the last days with him after a Resto lesson that went nowhere. So that was fun.
Anyway, it’s time for me to go! I hope y'all have a good week! I love y'all so much!
Elder Reed Ericson