August 10, 2015
Well hello my good friends and family! Another week down here in Odessa, Texas!
First off. We killed it this week. We got 3 new investigators, some sweet potentials, and just did some solid work. We are improving a lot in our teaching and other assorted things as well which is making a difference in us finding success! It is sometimes difficult to teach with a trio. Usually with two missionaries, if you feel prompted to add anything to the lesson, you get to talk when you companion is done so its no biggy. But with a trio, you may have just taught, and then the person right after you may be teaching when you something comes to your mind to add to that particular spot in the lesson. Well, there is still another missionary between the person currently teaching and your next turn so you have to jump in and throw off the order of the lesson and then keep it smoothin' and groovin' after you just threw off the flow. So, sometimes it can be difficult with situations like that and other things. But we are really starting to figure it out more and having better lessons because of it. We have spent a little more time role playing lessons as well to help our transitions go smoother and such. We had a lot of little pauses in our lessons in between us teaching that were deficits to the whole feel of our lessons. I worked on having smooth transitions a lot in training with Elder Stringham and its been something that I have been able to help almost all my companions with up to this point. Its the little things that make a lesson go from good to great, and they take practice. So that has been something that has been a little difficult in a trio but that we are working on and getting much better at and its been a great benefit to us.
So I mentioned that we picked up 3 new peeps this week. One is a man named Ron. His house is pretty chaotic. They are always having some sort of party (like, real parties). So that makes things interesting. We were never able to meet with him my entire time here until this week so we finally got in and taught him like champs. We'll see how it goes with him. There are a lot of things that are potential hold-backs with him but he has a good quality of humbleness and openness in him that we can definitely work with if we are able to continue to meet with him. We taught a younger man named Kingsley yesterday afternoon. He is 27 years old and from Nigeria. He came over to the US three years ago for a better life and have more opportunities to provide a decent life for himself. He seemed fairly interested and is a humble young man. He works crazy oil field hours (we're talking 80+ hours a week) but he knows when he'll be working and won't be working so we should be able to keep in contact with him and continue to teach him. Solid potential to progress. And then last, but not least, we taught my cat Roy last night. He's sick. He's this awesome, nice, buff brother. He's the man we talked to right before we talked to crazy man last week. We taught the crap out of him last night. He's a way good listener, but also a way good talker. So it works out nicely. We just let him talk as little as possible and he still felt it because he is a dang good listener. It worked perfectly. He definitely felt the spirit last night and has specific plans for his Book of Mormon reading while on vacation this week. We won't be able to meet with him for two weeks though so thats a kicker. But he's sick. I'm stoked about him!
Michael is still ready to be baptized this week! He came to stake conference this weekend and loved it. He is just solid as can be. He is a funny dude. He is going to be a solid member! Also, Dustin is now in jail, so his girlfriend Rose is by herself for a time being. This isn't the first time this has happened. Its like the third time its happened since Elder Bench got here in March. So that is an interesting situation with some of our solid investigators. So we have a decent teaching pool now with our 3 new investigators and then Michael and Rose.
Our ward mission leader moved this week. His name is Bro Kaio and he is a famous mission leader throughout the TLM. If you've ever served in Odessa, you know Arnie Kaio! Him and his family basically take us missionaries in as part of their family and make us feel so loved and just like family. We helped them pack up the truck on Friday and then went over and saw them before they left on Saturday. They are moving up to Utah and were super excited to start life up there. It will be sad to not have them around but they have a lot in store for them in Utah! Also, Bro Kaio has quite the rap career behind him so we got some CD's with his jams on it to listen to when we get home. I've heard some of his jams at his house before so I am excited to see what other stuff he has when I get home. He's also excited to get back in the rap game when he gets up to Utah haha. He is so legit!
So, we had stake conference this weekend in Midland. Elder Cardon of the first quorum of the seventy was there, along with Pres and Sis Heap. Once again, Pres Heap showed everyone up. The last hour or so was Sis Heap, Pres Heap, the temple president and his wife, and then about 25 minutes of Elder Cardon at the end. So four speakers shared about 25 minutes. Pres Heap spoke right after Sis Heap and just threw down for a few minutes and sat down. I felt bad for everyone following him. Even Elder Cardon was just regular after hearing Pres Heap talk for only 5 minutes or so. That man is something else. I wish you all had the chance to hear him speak or instruct. I still remember vividly when Elder Bednar came and Pres Heap had a chance to talk for a minute. Pres Heap sat down after talking and Elder Bednar just sat there for like 45 seconds before he even moved after Pres Heap was done. He killed it at stake conference too. Every time.
We set up some sweet service this week. We stopped by two museums and set up stuff with them. One of them was a weird art museum but the other is the Presidential Archive museum and it is WAY legit! We should be able to help out there every week or every other week. They have so many cool things there and the lady said that she will have us help her in the back room where all the artifacts are. She took us back there and there are just shelves of awesome presidential artifacts! So I am very excited for that!
Well, I have a couple other things I could talk about but they aren't that exciting. Plus, its about time for me to go. But I will say this... another Elder in my district, Elder Jewett, has seen the office more than I have and can quote it just as good as myself. Can you even believe it?
I hope y'all have a wonderfully fantastic week! I love y'all and pray for you all the time!
Elder Reed Ericson