Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Lives Changed

October 12, 2015

How are y'all doing today?! It was a wonderful-ish week here in Odessa!

To start off, I will tell you all about Mark's baptism on Saturday! Dang was is sweet! Mark had a rough week dealing with this and that. He didn't have very much support at all from his family and in fact had a really interesting week with that. However, he didn't even bat an eye at it! He has just been so prepared for this and didn't let that affect his decision and his faith. Good grief, he was just so prepared and ready to be baptized. Anyway, the service was pretty good, however the baptism itself was insane. Mark got into the font with Bro Noyes and we had to direct them and get them situated in the font correctly and that created a few chuckles from Mark and the audience and I actually was worried that it may have detracted from the spirit and anticipation that Mark was feeling. You could see the calm excitement on his face. So, Bro Noyes dunked his pretty good, and pulled him back up. When Mark came up out of the water he just started weeping! He was nearly sobbing in the font for about 15 seconds when he just looked up and said "Thank you, God!" and then continued to weep for another 15 seconds or so before they walked out of the font. Holy cow. All the females there were crying, I just had a nice spiritual smile on my face the whole time. I don't know how to describe a spiritual smile but I'll leave that up to your imagination. Anyway, that was super awesome to experience! His life has been changed SO much in the last month and its all because a family made him a part of them in such a short time and he realized that he wanted what they had! I wish sometimes that I could have more experiences like that on my mission. Mark is really the first person in almost a year now that I truly feel has let the gospel CHANGE him and his life. It's done so for Michael as well, but I feel like its much more profound for Mark. It is such an amazing thing to be able to experience and is such a big testimony builder to me of the power that the gospel brings. I definitely think I take advantage of it all the time. I grew up with the gift of the Holy Ghost and lived in a home where the spirit was present, and its crazy to watch the change that people have when that is all of a sudden part of their lives. Simply the gift of the Holy Ghost is something that I never even think about having because at this point I am just so used to its presence that the times I usually think about it is when its presence isn't with me and I know I need to do something different. I have talked to so many people who have never even felt the Holy Ghost in their lives. So when we speak with them and they feel that presence it scares them. Yes, the Holy Spirit of COMFORT scares them. They have no idea how to respond to it so they run from it. How grateful I am go have that gift with me so that I can always feel the COMFORT that the first comforter brings!

Here's a fun story for y'all. So the other day we were just doing out thing doing missionary work and all. We took a 7 mile trek on our bikes up to the north part of our area because we haven't been up there since the car went bye bye. Anyway, we stopped and talked to this old brotha named Bruce. Elder Despain asked him if we could help him with his project and he just looked up and said, "Praise the Lord! God is good! Hallelujah! Y'all are the Latter-Day Saints! I knew I smelled something!" So I asked, "What did you smell?!" hahaha and he responded, "The Holy Spirit" hahaha once again. So I asked him, "What does that smell like? I've never smelt that before!" And then I think he just said it smelled good or something. I can't remember what he said but the first few lines of our conversation were classic! Hahaha you meet some of the funniest people! He was a really nice guy and knows like half of the Mormons here in Odessa. We ate dinner last night with one of the families he knows/works for and we talked about him for a little bit. He is a good guy. But, he is like the 99% that don't think it matters what church you go to as long as you believe in Christ. So, probably won't ever see him again. But we had a nice pleasant 15 minute conversation with him about "the good Lord". One of his quotes was, "I'm too blessed to be stressed!". Dang, I wish we could all think like he does. Thats some power right there!

We had a less-active lady named Sister Huntington come to church yesterday for the first time in over 20 years!!! So that was quite the accomplishment for her! We basically did nothing for that. We just went over a while ago and challenged her to read the Book of Mormon. So she did. And she read all of it and thought it was the most amazing thing ever and came to church yesterday and plans on coming every week now! We just go over there and are her friends. I don't think she has much communication with anyone. She very openly told us this past week that we are her best friends! She is a funny lady! I enjoy visiting with her! And for those of you who are freaking out because it sounds like we go over to a single ladies house and visit with her, we totally do. We got permission from Pres Heap to go over without any other male because she is older and the time of day we visit her is terribly inconvenient for us to take anyone with us. So, that was sweet. Hopefully she keeps up her progression!

We played some sick basketball last week one morning. We had two teams of 3 and a team of 2. Me and Elder Despain were the team of 2. And we totally shredded everybody up. We basically just destroyed. I was dropping some sick 3's and we both could just take anyone to the rack like it was our day job. Fun stuff. I've been sucking at basketball lately but I reemerged as a TLM powerhouse. Jk, I ain't no powerhouse. I am just an asset to have on your team. I have my moments though... like Wednesday morning.

Anyway, we've had some fun weather lately. We went out and mobbed through a sick rain storm on Thursday. Well, we waited until after it was pouring but we went hard riding through all the puddles and stuff coming home from the Presidential Archives. And then we spent the rest of our lunch time taking pictures in the Everglade Road River as I call it. Good times. Good times. I think we are in store for some more storms here in the next couple months before winter hits. And apparently this winter is supposed to be terrible! According to the Farmer's Almanac which is actually extremely accurate we are supposed to have the wettest winter down here in recorded history. So, that should be fun. Lots of ICE!!!!

I hope y'all have a good week! I love y'all and I thank you for your support and love! I feel it each and every day!

Oh yeah, I hit my year mark in like 10 days so be ready for that. I'm expecting something extraordinary. Jk, I'm not. But I'm pretty pumped for that day. Its like the most grand day on your entire mission. Heck yeah. I'm pumped.

Lots of Love,
Elder Reed Ericson

No comments:

Post a Comment