May 4, 2015
Well hello my good friends and family. Another week down here in Lubbock!
So last week I mentioned service but wasn't able to expand at all. So I thought I would tell you some of the things we have been doing. We go to the food bank once or twice a week. That is great fun for some reason. I don't really know why packaging and sorting food is fun, but it is. My first time going I got to roll up two layers of bacon and package it, so that was the best smelling service I have ever done! Usually when we go there is us, the other Frenship elders who we go with, and then another set of missionaries. They try to have it so that there are missionaries always there. We also have helped with a community garden. We went and helped put in a pathway but we aren't helping with that anymore because it is on the East side of town and they don't need as much help anymore. We also have been getting quite a bit of member service. We built a chicken coop, pulled weeds, etc. We also got to go and clean the outside of the temple last week as well! I wiped down any granite that people sit on. That was pretty fun being able to help clean the Lords house! And after we were done cleaning the maintenance man took us up into the attic part of the temple and also up to the roof. And then, we went to an even higher part of the roof! He almost took us up to just about as high as we could go but he decided not to take us up there: (I didn't get any pics on my camera unfortunately, only on our phone.
The work here in our ward is SLOW. It is difficult to find people because of the way neighborhoods are so spread out and there are just a lot of dirt county roads with some houses scattered down them. We are trying to think of ways we could find more people to work with but every idea that we have ,or Preach My Gospel has, needs people to invite to do certain things. And we are having a hard time with finding those people. I haven't taught a lesson really yet here. We have visited with some investigator-ish type people but it wasn't a true teaching setting where we teach a lesson. More of just a nice visit with them asking us some questions but not really wanting to hear a lesson. But we stay busy with service and also having to drive around getting to different areas to try to make visits and find people. So it’s not like we just wander around lost all day, we usually have something to do. And it is almost impossible to bike in this area. They are starting to push for more strict bike days on Thursdays, but we will have to talk to Pres Heap about that because biking will be too dangerous for us. Our area is a lot of thinner roads with people cruising 50-70 miles an hour down them. Plus, we would have to bike about three times as much on those roads or baron dirt county roads than actually riding through neighborhoods and such. So we are going to get that figured out!
The ward here is basically full of Idaho and Utah Mormons who just happen to live in Texas. It seems like everyone isn't from here. So it is very much like a ward that I am used to at home. Not saying that wards down here are any different, but Texans are a little different than Idahoans. But here it’s just a bunch of people that are like the people you would come across back in Idaho or Utah. I really enjoy the people of this ward! Lots of really awesome people! I don't know the ward too well yet but I am meeting more and more people!
We get fed a lot more as well. We usually get fed 3-4 times a week compared to 2 on a pretty good week in Sweetwater. I already see how it is making my food stretch longer and I don't have to spend nearly as much money! I love being able to come back to the apartment to relax and have dinner but I am getting more used to this getting fed thing!
We should be able to go to the temple soon! We literally live like a half mile away from it. We live on the east side of a main street and the temple is on the west side of the next main street to the east. And since we are in Lubbock we are able to just go whenever we can instead of trying to get members to take us! So we have tentative plans to go with a couple other missionaries here pretty soon. FINALLY I CAN GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!
We do meet with this less-active guy who is trying to get back to the temple. His wife is now fully activated but he is still just not doing what he needs to. He wants to be reading his scriptures more and fast regularly but he hasn't read since I have been here and he hasn't been to church either of the two Sundays. We visit them every Friday night and try to help him get going on what he needs to do, but he is being stubborn. Real nice guy though. He is from the Philippines and went on a mission there as well. He knows what he needs to be doing but just isn't even though he wants to. Ugh.
I had some dang good food this week! We went to Rudy's for Elder Jones' 20th birthday! Rudy's is another bbq place! That place is AMAZING!!! Better than Blackland Smokehouse! But it is more expensive than Blackland. At Blackland I could get a three meat plate with 1.5 lbs of meat for about $14 but at Rudy's they sell it by the 1/2 lb so I got 1/2 lb of moist brisket and 1/2 lb of ribs for close to $17 bucks. So that will be a once a transfer type of thing! It is so worth the money though!!!! I need to bring y'all down here someday so that you can experience the beauty for yourselves!
Well I hope y'all have a good week! I pray for y'all every day!
Elder Reed Ericson