Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Christmas Spirit is Kicking In!


December 14, 2015


Well hello my good friends! What a week its been down here in San Angelo, Texas! Its truly a wonderful experience to be alive during this Christmas season, isn't it!

Our week was pretty busy! To start off, we had interviews with good ol' President Heap on Wednesday morning! When we got there we sat down and I had a nice chat with Elder Stringham and Elder Young (you don't know him) about the one and only Sweetwater! All three of us served there for no less than 3 transfers so we all knew the place pretty well and knew lots of people. It was a fun chat being able to ponder the early days of my missionary service in possibly the most dear area to my heart! Man, nothing beats that place! Both me and Elder Stringham would love to go back there because we would do things so much differently now! We had no clue what we were doing but dang did we work hard day in and day out! And then Elder Cardon and myself obviously didn't have a clue what we were doing because we started off with a total of 3 months of experience between us. Anyway, my interview was alright. Nothing too special. We talked about the struggle to find people (which I feel is pretty typical for us state-side missionaries) and also about how God knows exactly what we are doing so there is no need to worry why the work isn't booming when you feel like you are putting forth effort to work hard and improve. It was a good chat. Nothing beats a nice conversation with Pres.

We actually did quite a bit of teaching this week! We shared a sweet Christmas message with a media referral named Gloria who ended up wanting a Book of Mormon, so that looks promising moving forward. We taught our good friend Hector a couple times. We were also able to teach the 3 baptism age children of Sarah who is being taught by the other set of elders and they will all be baptized on the 26th! That was a fun lesson teaching 3 kids.... hahaha we made it through! We taught the Plan of Salvation to them, and by we I mean I mostly did. Teaching 3 talkative kids is pretty difficult to try to manage with two different people trying to teach. So, I took that one and holy smokes, I had to pull out all the teaching skills and working with kids skills. Wow. We had some good laughs though. We had a couple members who are the primary teachers for them there with us teaching them and we'd make eye contact trying not to die laughing like every 2 minutes! Oh man, I love kiddos. They are such a hoot! We taught 3 lessons the day we taught the kids! I hadn't taught that many lessons in one day in MONTHS! It was actually pretty dang exhausting! I went to bed pooped out that night! 

 But, the most intense teaching for the week was with good ol' Mac! Holy cow!!!! Our lesson on Thursday was intense! Let me tell you a little more about Mac. He has been going to church for about 50 years now. He has made a lot of progress lately in actually diligently and sincerely looking for an answer. But, he just doesn't know how to feel the spirit. Yes, for most of you you'd think this would be easy to help him with. But you have never met Mac. But everything lately has been leading everyone to the knowledge that he needs to get baptized off of faith that things are going to work out for him and that he'll "receive his answer" after he is baptized. Everything is pointing towards it needing to happen like that. EVERYTHING. So, we read some sweet scripture with him on Thursday and had like a 2 hour lesson with his wife there finally. And after all that, apparently he said some pretty interesting/good things in his prayer that night that we were told privately, so I cannot tell you. His wife, who has been having stress and anxiety about him getting baptized for years said that she has felt at peace after that lesson about everything. But then, on Saturday we went over again, and it seemed like it had all died off. Ugh. The missionary life. It is just full of ups and downs. Apparently when Mac gets baptized his service will be held with a full chapel filled up with people! I feel pretty hopeful that it'll happen soon though. There are so many other things that are just pointing towards a fairytale story unfolding in front of us soon! I just keep praying hard for it to happen!

 Some other amazing news.... BLUE BELL IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, Blue Bell is back! Blue Bell, for those of you who don't know, is like the best ice cream on the planet that is only sold in selected places in the United States. It took forever to get over here to West Texas because they got it into all the bigger cities first, and the entire Western half of Texas has like 10 people in it so it took forever. So naturally I bought a 1/2 gallon tub of Cookies n' Cream today! They don't have all their flavors rolled out yet though so flavors were limited to maybe 6 or so flavors. Which is nothing compared to their normal array of flavors. Blue Bell is like a religion down here. Heck, I have pondered practicing Blue Bellism. Its one of those things where you can practice both Mormonism and Blue Bellism because all Blue Bellism requires of you is to eat a lot of Blue Bell ice cream. Which, that is kind of contrary to the word of wisdom so I'm not sure if I could practice Mormonism fully because I would be not following the principle of the word of wisdom to the "T".... but I'll figure it out.

Speaking of food, I had fried catfish last week. Dang good stuff. I ain't one to enjoy fish but I totally dug that stuff.

Also, one last note, which I'm sure the fam will be made aware of soon... but p-day won't be until Tuesday next week because we will be having the SECOND ANNUAL JINGLE JAM on Monday!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THE JINGLE JAM! I am so pumped! So yeah, I'll fill you in about that next week!

Well I hope y'all have an amazing week full of the spirit of Christmas this week! Its weird to thing that I will be 20 years old by the end of the week! Life is just flying by! God bless y'all!!!

 With much love,
Elder Reed Ericson

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