November 16, 2015
Well, this week has been a whirlwind for me! Lots of stuff happened!
To start off, yes I will be leaving Odessa tomorrow afternoon and will be going to San Angelo and serving in the 1st Ward with Elder Schroeder who has just finished his training! So he is fairly new. I have heard good things about San Angelo! It is actually green and has some trees and actually has a couple small rivers flowing through it! I haven't seen one of those in a year! And I hear the people are really nice there. So it should be good. However, I am kinda/really ticked about leaving Odessa. G-whiz I love Odessa now! More specifically I am going to miss the Odessa 2nd Ward! It is my favorite ward that I've served in so far! I have been blessed with some of the best wards! I am kinda bummed too because I really wanted the spend Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas here in Odessa but I will have to roll with what I have.
I think I figured out transfer emotions too. After one transfer you don't really care if you leave or not. After two you would really like to stay to get to know everyone better. After three you are dying to stay because you love the ward and area so much, and then after four transfers you don't really care what happens because you have spent a long time there and you know it’s time to leave, but you love it enough that you wouldn't mind staying another transfer. So, after three transfers in Odessa 2nd East I was just praying I stayed for another transfer.... but the Lord has different plans. And I'm down with whatever the Lord needs me to do so I'm alright! I have had more luck with seeing people to say goodbye however! In Lubbock I struck out. NOBODY was home to say goodbye to! But I haven't missed anyone here! So that’s been nice! There were some not so fun goodbyes but nothing I can't manage. I'm gonna have a hard time tomorrow though with leaving. Leaving your trainee is like getting punched in the stomach. Even though he drove me crazy at times and we weren't necessarily best friends, that one will be interesting. Hahaha Elder Despain last night was pumped to be done with training. I had to stay up late to get some packing done, so he was counting down the minutes until his training was over. We were both still awake in bed at midnight and he yelled, "I'M DONE WITH TRAINING!!!! YEAH!!!!!!" Hahahaha so I reminded him that I'm still senior companion for the next day and a half and that shut him up. Haha jk. He laughed. It was a good one! But, ultimately, I hate getting transferred. It’s so annoying. Like, no joke. You have to say goodbye, pack, then learn a new area, a new ward, a new companion, a new city, a new zone, etc. It’s so annoying, but it’s part of the job!
On Saturday we were able to go to the temple with the Lynch's who are in our ward! It was a good day! I always enjoy the temple and it’s hard not to so that's cool. A cool little note about that.... there was an old lady (probably in her 80's) that was going through for her own endowment! It was super cool to see! She had her oxygen tank and everything with her. It was touching to see someone at the tail-end of their life be able to go and make sacred covenants! It’s never too late! I think she was baptized about a year ago as well (it had to be at least a year) because there were a lot of sister missionaries there that have served in Eastland where the lady is from including a sister that recently finished her mission that came back. So that was a cool thing to see! After the temple we went to Chuy's Tex-Mex Restaurant and ate some dang good food. I got the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom enchilada! It was DANG good. It had some amazing yellowish/green sauce that they were drenched in that was amazing. I thought it was going to be super duper hot but it was just dang good. And here in Texas they are humble enough to call their restaurants "Tex-Mex" and not "Mexican" because they KNOW that they ain't serving authentic Mexican food. Tex-Mex is flipping good though! SO good. But most places they just call them Mexican Restaurants when it ain't really a Mexican restaurant. GO TEXAS!!!!! Texas pride is a real thing too, in case you haven't notices. Its no joke. People here are nuts about this place.
Hahahahaha here's a funny little random note for you. Yesterday was my year anniversary from the day that I threw-up at the Weldy's house one like my second week in Sweetwater! Classic story! Now that I'm over a year out I sometimes read my journal from exactly a year prior and I did that last night and started dying laughing after the first sentence. Oh man, that was a good one. Never gonna forget blowing chunks all over the Weldy's floor and Jace having to clean it up! Hahahahaha!
I was able to ordain Mark yesterday after church! That was awesome! I love doing stuff like that. Its always so powerful conferring the priesthood to someone and blessing them with things to help them grow in the priesthood. I was honored to do it. I also didn't even know that I was doing it until like 2 minutes before! Mark had mentioned Elder Despain doing it last week but he just mistakenly said that because apparently everyone besides Elder Despain and myself knew that I was doing it! It’s nice to be able to have things like that thrown upon you last minute and not even have any worries because you know you got it. Elder Despain was having a cow worrying about it all night and all morning and then he didn't even do it! Hahaha he freaks out whenever he has to lay his hands on someone’s head now because the first person he was part of a blessing for died a few weeks later. But, I was the one to give the actual blessing. Haha he just anointed and I gave the blessing. So now he thinks everyone is going to die that he lays his hands upon! It’s so funny! But he has a good streak going now so he's starting to forget about the fact that he's a killer. Hahaha good times!
Another cool thing from this week, we met and kinda taught a dude named Joseph Smith! We were knocking random doors a few nights ago and we knocked on a door and an old black lady answered and she asked what we were selling. We responded that we were just missionaries and we talk to people about Jesus, and she let us right in because "My husband is sick and hasn't been to church in years! He needs all the Jesus he can get!" hahaha so she just told us to go ahead with our thing, so we taught them the Restoration and all. It was fun. I don't think they have a clue what we really told them but Jesse (the lady) seemed to enjoy it and she just loved us, but her husband was a nutcase. We offered him a blessing and he started going off about how we need to show him proof in that book that Joseph Smith healed people, and he went on about Old Testament this, New Testament that....... I don't even know what he was talking about. He was making no sense. Hahaha. And I don't think he could grasp the concept that the Book of Mormon wasn't a book about Joseph Smith. Oh well, Elder Despain and his new comp get to go over there again! However, here's something cool. Jesse is like, SUPER big into politics. As we were walking out I saw on a table in the doorway a picture of President Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton all together in a picture with a personal note written under it thanking her for all her contributions to the Democratic Party. And she told us that she and Hillary Clinton go WAY back! I think the real shocker here is that I ran across a Democrat in Texas!!!!! They are extremely rare and extremely hard to come across! However, I did it! I found one! She is one in a million down here in Texas!
Well, I'm fixin' to wrap it up for the day. I am so thankful to be out doing His work right now and ever so grateful for the things that the Lord is teaching me every day! I love y'all and hope y'all have a blessed week! Ugh, that's totally a Texan thing to say... "Have a blessed day!". I am wondering what I will sound like when I go back home to Idaho. I hope people like listening to Texan.... cause you're gonna get an earful of it! God bless y'all! Dangit, there goes another one. Whatever. I'm out.
With all my love,
Elder Reed Ericson
Elder Reed Ericson