December 21, 2015
Hello my friends! I know, I know... last week I said that I wasn't going to have p-day until Tuesday this week, but that was just a big miscommunication between the leadership so here I am on regular p-day! Boy oh boy, this past week was something else, I'll tell ya that much. Definitely had its ups and downs! And more specifically, started with ups and ended with downs.
The week started off well with a pretty rad district meeting on Tuesday. I pretty much just did tons of role plays/practice throughout. We I have a really young district and I realized that one skill that they need to learn early to benefit the rest of their mission is finding and more specifically just normal street contacting. I felt like the skill level in that aspect was a little low so I raked them over the coals with role plays and practice! It was a good time. I compared finding people to building a fire. Super cheesy, I know. But it worked. To build a fire you need some good logs (approach), some kindling (thought-provoking question), and then a spark (teaching/testifying) to ignite a raging fire! It isn't the best analogy, but it was the best I could think of. After district meeting we went on exchanges and so I went and tore up our area with Elder Mangum! Elder Mangum is the BEST!!!! He is such a beast missionary and such a good time! At the beginning of the exchange as we were biking away from our apartment he asked, "What do you want to work on today?" and I just replied "I just want to go to work!". And that is precisely what we did! We met some wonderfully pleasant people and ended up spending the entire afternoon in one area talking to so many people and having good conversations! Elder Mangum is the master at finding and just has a way of using the spirit of discernment to know what to say to people and what questions to ask. I don't know how he does it, but every person he talks to actually listens to us to a certain degree, which is insane. It was a good time. Lots of killer work to help our area out quite a bit! And then on Wednesday morning at 8:30 we went and raked and bagged 21 bags of leaves for someone! Holy cow, that was quite the chore for the two of us! It took us a good 2-2.5 hours to get done but we conquered! My hamstrings were shot however after our bagging all those leaves with our super effective bagging technique. Super effective, but not the most comfortable. Super solid exchange though. Probs one of the best I've been on!
With that exchange and all, we were tearing it up early in the week through Thursday. Lots of stuff going for us. Meeting lots of people, having some good lessons, making some good progress in our area, BUT THEN......... it hit. Everybody was dropping like flies. I woke up Friday morning and between the hours of 7am-9am I went from feeling fantastic to throwing-up. Turns out, Elder Mangum got hit as well at about 6am so me and Elder Mangum spent another day together wallowing in despair while our companions spent another day together. By early afternoon I had yacked three times and had it coming from both ends. And along with that my legs were super achy, my back hurt from lying in bed, my head hurt, and I was just super super fatigued. Elder Mangum was just as bad but wasn't yacking anymore. He got all his done with before he came over to hang with me. It was difficult to sleep because of the pain and chills and so I just basically laid there super uncomfortably all day long. I found out that the couch has more back support than my bed so I decided to sleep on the couch (don't worry, its a straight shot from my comps bed outside the door) and figured that along with taking some Nyquil would do the trick for me to have a good night. Well, by 1am the effects of the Nyquil were long gone so I woke up and was super uncomfortable, so eventually I got up to go to the bathroom and threw up again while sitting on the toilet. And then I had a repeat situation at about 5am. After that I took some more Nyquil and moved to my bed where I slept peacefully until about 10am minus waking up to the 6:30 alarm. I felt a little better on Saturday, which happened to be my birthday, but was still super tired and nauseous so we spent another day inside. I probably would have been able to make some visits if it wouldn't have been for having to either walk or bike to get places. So that pretty much put us in for the day. I was able to get some good sleep and rest however. I was able to make it out to our dinner appointment though, and that was legit. I didn't eat very much, but they understood. However, Elder Mangum tried to be a champ and power it down and it cost him big time as he was about to lose it for the next hour or so! Hahaha he was dying! He didn't mention it until we left but I could see it on his face! I felt bad, but I also thought it was funny!
We had dinner with the Peterson's and they are super legit! They are a young couple and he is a white boy from Idaho and she is from Sri Lanka! No joke! I have never met a Sri Lankan before until the other night! She is the funniest thing ever though! They had a Sri Lankan wedding in Vegas when they got married and they showed us the photo album of their wedding and it looked like the coolest thing EVER! Anyway, back to my sickness, I thought I felt good to go on Sunday, but then the longer church went on the more I had to second guess myself. Right before sacrament meeting (we have it last) I told Elder Schroeder that I didn't think I was going to be able to make it a go. So I stayed in again Sunday afternoon and got some more rest and felt better last night, but we had to get some weekly planning done since we didn't get it done on Friday. So that made three days in a row without going out to work. Which made our super awesome week into an ok week. Dang. I feel pretty good today though. Not 100% but pretty good. I told myself that I was never going to miss a full day of work unless I was super super sick, but then Friday did me in and then I just didn't feel up to biking/walking a round trip of probably 5 miles to make just a visit or two.
On the bright side, I think I lost some weight. The pants that I am wearing today usually have a nice snug fit to them and the second notch on the belt us usually perfect for a nice snug fit as well. But they are a little looser today than usual. And I think I may have lost a bit of chub from my face. So that's perfect timing because we have the Jingle Jam tomorrow and then a wonderful video chat with the fam on Christmas! So I will look slim and trim hopefully! Now I just have to keep it off!
Hmmmm, well, I'm 20 years old now. So that's cool. My birthday was a little uneventful so that blows but it could have been worse. I feel the exact same as I did when I was 19 so that's whatever. Maybe 21 will bring a new feeling of age and maturity. We shall see.
We may or may not have a baptism on Saturday. Its very largely up in the air. Mac is still going but its a long story. We are hopeful, but you never know with that situation. Also, Chase and Melody, who came to church my first week here, should be back in town today, so hopefully we can pick up where we left off with them. They were pretty solid. And then we have a number of other people who are pretty sweet who we've only taught maybe once so hopefully we can have the opportunity to teach them during this busy week!
Y'all are wonderful! Thank you for all the birthday and Christmas love you have sent my way! Keep the faith and fight the good fight!
With all my love,Elder Reed Ericson