Monday, December 7, 2015

Feelin' The Christmas Spirit

December 7, 2015

Why hello my friends! Another week down here in San Angelo, TX! The weeks keep on flying by and the months are flying by too! It felt like the couple months before my year mark went a little slow but its true that once you get over the hump you just go cruising right down a hill! Its kind of freaking me out a little bit.

Anyway, it was an alright week down here. Nothing too special going on. Just the regular stuff. But I have thought about a few things this week that were pretty sweet. So, let me begin. As we were out doing our thing on Thursday-ish morning I started to think about the true joy of missionary work. And I realized that it is just being a light. I have found that the true joy of this work is being able to talk to people and bring a feeling of joy to them. I love when I have an opportunity to visit with someone and just talk to them about who knows what when you know that they need someone to just talk to. For example, this past week we had two examples of such service. Earlier in the week we stopped by Grandma Cats house. She let us in and we spent about 15 minutes of our day talking to her about her holidays and her family, and then also her cats. She took us on a tour through her very cluttery house and showed us all the hundreds of hundreds of cats she had decorating her house. This is a lady who has lived by herself for nearly 20 years now and I could feel a sense of joy coming from her just because of the fact that two young men visited her and put a smile on her face. Did we teach her or share anything with her? No. But those were 15 minutes of our 8 hours of proselyting that were more than well used to be a light in someone's day. Another example was from Saturday. On Thursday evening we went and visited a man named Hector and, well.... he was super drunk but we taught him anyway. Super hilarious visit. We were having a good time with him! Anyway, we went back Saturday afternoon and he hadn't started drinking yet and was sober. Right from the get-go you could tell that he was just down in the dumps and it was pretty evident that that is his whole life. He lives alone, and his mother and him just fight every day. So, we sat there and talked to him for about an hour about this and that, made him laugh a few times, and were his friend and a light in his life. After about an hour we shared the Restoration with him and he definitely understood it a lot more than the previous time a couple night earlier. So that was good. But, a lot of missionaries would consider that a waste of time to sit and talk to this man for an hour before teaching him. But, I felt much satisfaction and knew I did my part as a disciple of Jesus Christ by taking some extra time to be a light in his life. I see a lot of missionaries that are too focused on the work that forget to stop and take a minute to think about what this is all about. Its a ministry, not a business. And I know that my mission has been the amazing experience it has been because I've focused on being a light in people's life. So, that is what I have had on my mind this week and realized that is the reason for this experience being so wonderful!

Anyway, another thing that has been prevalent to me this week is very simply the New Testament and how it just shows that the church is true! Good heavens! I feel like every day during personal study I read scripture after scripture in the New Testament that are just right on! My goodness. The Epistles of Paul just preach to the truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Having a knowledge of the restored gospel also is a big part in being able to understand what is being taught by Paul. There are doctrines that he teaches that are clear to me because of what I have been taught about them previously and so those scriptures only confirm what I have been taught! Ugh, its so dang good. I have a cow every day during companionship study going on about what I read concerning the Epistles of Paul! Its a good time.

We were able to attend the San Angelo 1st Ward Christmas Party on Saturday morning! It seems like most of the wards down here are going to morning breakfast parties instead of the evening ham dinners. Both Odessa wards were doing that and it seems like that is the trend in San Angelo as well! It was pretty awesome because it was something different than the same old same old ward Christmas party that we've all been to a million times! I definitely wish I could have been at the Odessa 2nd Ward Christmas party this year because this ward is just so dang big that we were just kind of there. In Odessa we would have been a part of the party! But I can't complain. It was an hour and a half on a Saturday morning and I got free breakfast that was actually pretty dang good. But that's something to think about for anyone who is a part of a ward council for the coming years... a morning ward Christmas party with breakfast and pajamas!

Also, another random note. I realized that my legs were getting big again this week. I have been having a little bit more difficult time with my slim fit suit pants and also I realized that I can power up hills like a champ again like I did in Sweetwater. Biking in Odessa wasn't quite the same leg building exercise because it doesn't take much effort to bike on extremely flat terrain. So, that's both a plus and a negative. A plus because I am getting stronger legs but a negative because my suit pants are getting a more restricting in the quads when I sit down or tie my shoe or lift my leg up for anything. We'll see what the future holds for my legs and my pants.

We were able to teach a few lessons this week. We continue to visit with our eternigator Mac. He is pretty much just on his own timing now. There really isn't much we can do to help him out besides be there to help answer his questions from what he read in the Book of Mormon and discuss things. His teaching record is like, way too long. Like, it shouldn't even be allowed for one person to be taught as much as he has. We also were able to teach Hector, who I mentioned earlier. Our first lesson he was super drunk so it was just a hoot and a half talking with him and joking around with him. And he obviously didn't recall anything or understand anything so we just taught him the same thing a couple days later and it was actually a pretty good simple lesson. Hopefully we can keep catching him at sober times and that he'll actually have the ability to comprehend things. He is a super nice fella and he needs some hope! We also went over to take the sacrament to this old guy in the ward that hasn't been to church in a while because of some health stuff. I think he is forgotten about by the ward so we took the initiative to get it approved by the bishop to take the sacrament to him after he mentioned that it would be nice earlier in the week to us. Also, this dude is a convert of about 10 years after a long time visiting with the missionaries. So, we walk into his house and he had a dang cigarette in his hand! So, no sacrament for you Brother Bobby! But we just talked to him and shared a scripture with him that led to another scripture that then let to yet another scripture and so on. Then after like 6 scriptures I put them all together for one super simple powerful message! And right after this he had a few friends/family show up and he let them in and said, "Sit down. These boys are warm!" and told us to continue! Not wanting to add even more scriptures to this already long line of scriptures we pretty much just reviewed everything and then left. The message really seemed to hit him hard though and help him out! He mentioned how powerful it was and how it really got him thinking about things! So that was sweet!

Well, I best be closing this puppy up! But I love y'all and hope y'all have a wonderful week as we get hot and heavy into this Christmas season! And if you haven't seen it already check out the secondary Christmas video! I'm sure everyone and their dog have seen the "A Savior is Born" but go to and scroll down and watch "A World Without a Savior"! I think that it is way better than the other one and more powerful! Definitely gets you thinking! That has been the video that we've been sharing with people over the main video and have had a lot of good discussions with people about the topic!

 With all my love,
Elder Reed Ericson

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