Monday, July 20, 2015

Life in Odessa

July 20, 2015

Another week down here in the TLM! This week was a week of changes but an awesome week nonetheless!

To start off, Odessa is an interesting place. Not bad though. The whole trio life is awesome! Both of my companions are awesome! We have been working hard every day and we all just want to keep working on getting better day by day and are killing it! They gave me a special assignment down here but it def sounds like everything has just been a big misconception and so we are just tearing it up down here! Elder Bench is from around Blackfoot and went to Snake River High School and wrestled there. He knows Casey but never had the pleasure of wrestling him. He did however wrestle Michael Cook, and got destroyed he said. So we have had fun conversations about how much the Kuna wrestlers just tear it up. He's a pretty sick dude. I actually came out with Elder Wrathall and he is from Hermiston, Oregon. He is just a funny dude. Man we've been having a good time but doing some serious work nonetheless! We are in a bike area so we have the pleasure of biking around all day in the heat. It was right around triple digits all week, but luckily we had a nice breeze every day that wasn't too hot and was able to cool us off a little. I forgot what it was like to be in a bike area. I literally didn't get on my bike a single time in Lubbock because of the setting of my area so I really forgot what it was even like to go out on bikes for an afternoon! You just have to drink tons and tons of water and you are always wiping sweat off your face with a handkerchief. And then you get inside and you just take all your nasty sweaty clothes off and eat whatever you can find. So today at the store I bought a bunch of healthy snacks that I can just go to town on when we come inside and waiting for lunch/dinner. I hope I lose a few pounds soon. I would like to get down about 5-10 pounds. So we shall see. Also, our apartment is tiny! By far the smallest apartment I've had! And then you throw an extra missionary in there and it’s just a good time. Also, Permian High School and Ratliff Stadium are both in my area. That is the school and stadium on Friday Night Lights. The school looks pretty regular and not even that big, although they are making some serious additions to the school right now. Ratliff Stadium is actually out in the middle of nowhere and it doesn't look to monster. We've driven past it (in other people's cars obviously) a couple times and it doesn't look too big from the outside. The Mustang Bowl in Sweetwater seems to be more impressive. But we shall see about that once I get a better look at the stadium.

Our area is a much more productive area than any of the areas I have served in so far. This past week was the worst week numbers wise (it being transfer week and all) in a couple months and we had better numbers than I ever had in Lubbock. So that is fantastic. People here don't seem to just hate you like they did in Lubbock. I actually like just riding up and talking to peeps on the street now. Not gonna lie, that was a HUGE struggle the last two transfers. Everybody just hated us and didn't want to talk so it got to a point where I would just stop talking to people besides a nice friendly "How are y'all doin'?". Whenever I saw someone outside I just hoped they would go inside so I didn't have to justify not talking to them. I got REALLY GOOD at making up excuses for not talking to people. It just got to a point where it seemed pointless to talk to anyone, and I know the other missionaries in our ward that covered the west side of Lubbock felt the same way. I am totally used to getting rejected, it’s no big deal, I've gotten rejected so many times that is doesn't bother me. But when rejection percentage was like 95% it make it hard to have the courage to even talk to people. West Lubbock was a difficult place to work! It took me a couple days to get out of that mindset here in Odessa but now when I see people I jump on it and go into attack mode! And my comps are the same way! It’s been so nice to be able to just work again! We've been working on our finding/street contacting and trying new ideas that I brought with me and it has been working out pretty well. We just have a "Let's go kill it!" attitude every day! "Kill It!" is basically our motto. LOL. #KILLIT.

Oh yeah, crazy home connections have continued here in Odessa. hahaha they just keep coming! A member came and picked us up to take us to a lesson and when I said that I was from near Boise he asked where exactly and I just knew a connection was coming. He actually graduated from Centennial, but that’s not really a connection. He is an optometrist and he asked if I went to Dr. Grigg's office for the eye doctor. I said that I did and apparently he actually filled in for Dr. Grigg a couple times when he was gone! So connection number 5000000 here in West Texas!

I have had some beast food here in Odessa already! We have a Polynesian family that lives really close to us in our apartment complex and they have fed us twice. The first time they had these amazing ribs and also some chicken and cactus stuff. The ribs night have been some sort of Poly ribs, I don't know exactly what they were, but they were beast. The cactus was really spicy actually but really good! Then last night they fed us some good homemade lasagna with some corn beef which is eaten a lot of places but it was a very Samoan type of corn beef. That was dang good. I am looking forward to further food adventures here in Odessa!

We have some sweet people we are teaching. I haven't taught them too much so I don't have too much to say about anyone in particular. Maybe more next week on that. We also have a few less-actives that we are working a little with as well so we get some good variety! We should have a couple baptisms this transfer so that will be something new to me!

I hope y'all have a good week! I love y'all and feel your prayers and send some in return every day! Pray for some cooler weather! haha

Elder Reed Ericson

                                                "Happiness is contagious.  Be a carrier!"


                                                        Elder Johnson and Elder Reed

                                                      Food Bank (Elder Reed on the left)

Elder Reed and Elder Gevas

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