June 15, 2015
Hello. It’s me. Elder Ericson.
This past week was a decent one! Some good stuff happened!
First off, we had some crazy storms the last two nights! We were in correlation with our ward mission leader when the one on Saturday night hit, and by the time we left it had already made our road travels interesting. At one point we probably drove about 1/8 of a mile in one continuous deep puddle! How the Corolla made it though, I have no idea. The other elders had come to a stop a little ways through but they were able to get out somehow! Haha good times! The drainage here just sucks and on top of that they give us little stinky cars in a bad area for the rain. They def need to reanalyze the placement of the Jeeps throughout the mission! And the church needs to send us more trucks as well as jeeps. Only the zone leaders and assistants drive trucks but there are many areas that need better vehicles than sedans! Oh well, it makes for some good stories. Also, the lightning has been pretty sweet as well. It isn't like tons of bolts rippling through the sky, but when lightning strikes it illuminates the sky like crazy. For a split second it’s like you are standing in day light! That may be a little bit of an exaggeration but you get the point... It’s pretty sicky wicky!
I came across another connection this week. So, I was talking to the ward YM president at the potato bagging activity at the food bank (it was a stake activity where we bagged like 50,000 lbs of potatoes) and he said that he has some family in Kuna! I didn't know them, but still, small world for the millionth time in Lubbock! He lived not too far away from us in Nampa and went to Nampa High School for a year when he was younger. He said that they go visit up there often and he's been to Kuna a bunch of times! I am just waiting for the day when I meet someone who hasn't been to Kuna or have connections with it!
We walked a lot this week. We don't have many people to visit in the afternoons so we try to get service for the afternoons and walk during the day. It is very unproductive but we have nothing else to do. There is hardly anyone outside in the afternoons and those who area outside are just zero interested. However, we did write down a potential yesterday! That hasn't happened in a while... We have been trying to get into members’ homes to invite them to create family mission plans but they ain't home during the afternoons because all the members work during the day. So we spent the majority of our open evenings trying to get into members’ homes, but that hasn't been too successful yet. We did visit one family, and it was probably one of the craziest nights of my life! Hahaha I was laughing so hard the whole time! The parents are hilarious/weirdly awesome and the two boys (ages like 13 and 11ish) are the funniest things ever. The 13 year old has high functioning autism so you can only imagine the things he says! We tried to talk about a family mission plan but that didn't work out too well. But they are going to have us over for dinner sometime soon so hopefully we can figure out a way to get that done... haha good times on the mission! But other than dinner appointments we haven't had any success visiting members. But hopefully we can get everybody rolling with some family mission plans and then eventually have some people to teach. However, the whole point of the fmp is not for the members to invite their friends to meet with the missionaries. The Stake President and Bishop have made it very clear that that should never be the first invitation. We invite families to make a list of people who they could work with, and then prayerfully select a few of those names and prayerfully come up with appropriate invitations (the main focus in the ward is to invite non-members into their homes) to extent to those people and then set a date they want to do it by. Eventually, after a number of specific invitations given to them by the Lord, you may have a friend who is ready to receive an invitation to learn more about the church from the missionaries. So hopefully in a couple months the missionaries will start receiving some nice referrals from members and have solid fellowship for those investigators.
We had a rad visit with Omar and his family last night! We went in determined to teach them the Resto since missionaries had been going over there for months now and have never taught them. But with the new transfer and new companion we are actually trying to teach people, so we made plans to do it last night. We went and were having our usual visit and started talking about how church was and stuff. Somehow death and the afterlife came up so I asked Omar what his thoughts were about what happens after we die. He gave his answer and asked what I believed. Over the past few minutes I had been trying to figure out if the Plan of Salvation was what the spirit was telling me to go with. However, the spirit was already in the home so I knew that it would be good no matter what we shared. So when he asked me that question I asked if we could share our message about that with them and asked if it was ok to start off with where we came from before this life. So, we started from the beginning and taught a sick PoS lesson. I hadn't taught a PoS in at least a couple months or more but we killed it. They were like, in a trance the whole time. It was so awesome! Omar was like freaking out about how awesome it was! So I told them that it was going to make a lot more sense when they hear the other message that we usually share before the PoS called the Restoration and gave a little background on it. They are pretty pumped for next Sunday night! I am pumped!
Other than that we didn't teach anyone this week. We weren't able to contact anyone from the last couple weeks so it was a slow teaching week until last night!
That will be it for myself this week! I love this work so much! Being in such a tough mission and on top of that a tough area is making me grow in ways that I don't think many missionaries get to experience. I am truly grateful to be in the Texas Lubbock Mission! The enabling power that comes from the grace of the Savior is what makes it possible to grow and improve every day and I am so thankful for it and how it works in my life!
I hope y'all have a good week this week! I feel y'alls prayers every day and care for all y'all back home all the time!
LOL,Elder Reed Ericson
Very excited about getting some ice cream from the ice cream truck!
Caption for pictures below: "The beautiful sky of Texas! It's unreal every night! This is just a glimpse. The creepy one is of a storm that was passing over...It scared me."