Monday, January 4, 2016

Beast Week!

January 4, 2016
Hola mi familia y amigos! I have been on an espanol tear the last few days so bear with me. I may throw in some good ol' Tex-Mex into this email to spice things up a little!

So, as you probably don't remember from last week, this week was just a waiting game. Transfers were supposed to be on Tuesday but because of the storm the said that they were hoping to get them done by Friday. Then they changed it to Tuesday (tomorrow), and then changed it to Saturday. It seemed like every day we were getting a text telling us a new plan. So they ACTUALLY happened on Saturday! We basically had our 7 week transfer last transfer however last week was considered Week 1 of this current transfer which will be the 7 week transfer. So we are a week in already even though we spent week 1 with our old companions/areas and still have another 6 weeks ahead of us. So that's the situation down here. Anyway, while a lot of the mission didn't get out of their apartments until Thursday or Friday we went out and worked in pleasant weather all week! It was a little chilly at times but I went out without a sweater a time or two! Rock on, San Angelo! And kid you not, I taught more lessons this past week than any other week of my mission! Ok, that's a lie. I've taught the same amount of lessons twice before. Once in Odessa and once in Sweetwater. And if you're wondering what this staggering number is, don't get some crazy number in your head. A lot of missionaries would consider it a bad week for them, but it was dynamite for West Texas! We taught 10 lessons!!!!!!! Holy cow! It was the craziest thing ever! This was literally the third time in over 14 months of serving and laboring here in West Texas that I have taught double digit lessons! One thing that not being a high numbers mission does for you is that it really teaches you that it is NOT about the numbers. Like, I don't give a hoot what my numbers look like. I care about the service that I put into trying to help others! So, 10 lessons really isn't a big deal.... but still. Heck yeah. It was interesting though, because I was pretty checked out for most of the week, not gonna lie. When the transfer is supposed to be over and a new one is supposed to start, but it basically hasn't, you just kinda start checking out. So, the week in all reality was kind of a struggle, but we did some good work.

On Saturday I had the privilege of making the trek up to Abilene so that I could be the designated driver for Elder Christensen (who doesn't have a TiWi card) and Elder Ramos (from the Dominican Republic and has no drivers liscence). That was a sweet trip! That drive between San Angelo and Abilene is probably the best looking drive between two cities in the entire mission! You drive through lots of rolling hills and there are lots of trees along the road that quite honestly make me extremely claustrophobic after getting used to driving through barren land. There are more trees in San Angelo than anywhere I've had before, but its not like its a lush forest. Most of the main roads and the loop have no trees along them. Its mostly just the neighborhoods. So, taking a long drive through rolling hills with trees on both sides of you really throws you for a loop! But I enjoy it every time! We were waiting in Abilene for like 45 minutes at the church and they had a couple baptisms going on one right after the other. But, this wasn't your normal baptism. The baptismal font looked like it was filled with coffee. Like, it was straight brown. So gross. Apparently there was some flooding that messed up the water system or whatever it was and it caused the water that filled the baptismal font to be legit brown. You couldn't even see the bottom of the tank it was so dark. Ewwwwwww YUCKY. Anyway, the trip was fun all in all. I got to chill with Elder Christensen for like 6 hours in total. He's a funny guy. And its quite funny because his Spanish still stinks and his new comp doesn't speak very good English so its just a jolly good time with them! And then after being with them all day my new comp, Elder Andrus, arrived. Pretty sweet day. Oh yeah, when I was with Christensen and Ramos killing time until my comp got here we stopped by my good friend Hector's house to visit him. Holy cow, he was drunk alright and I was dying laughing for 15 minutes. And when he's drunk and we talk to him about anything spiritual he gets hit by the spirit insanely hard. Whether its actually the spirit or not is questionable. Highly questionable at that. But he just stomps his feet and grabs the table and says "Whoa! That's beautiful! Just beautiful!" Hahahaha its a good time! And then as I said the closing prayer I heard him move so I looked up and he was leaned forward and threw his hands in the air and had his eyes closed with the funniest look on his face! Oh my goodness.... he is a nutcase! So funny! But he is definitely one that you have to visit before lunch time or he is too drunk to even have a productive visit with. But then again, he'll give you a good time if he is drunk. So you win some and you lose some either way.

We picked up a LEGIT new investigator this week! He has been taught a few times before and was nearly baptized but things just happen each time. His name is Andrew. He is 24 years old a just a straight homie. He called us up on Friday morning and said that he had a really bad (sinful) night the night before, which was New Years Eve, and that he was ready to change his life and go the whole way this time. Having visited with him a couple times now he has really had a lot of experience with learning and growing through experiences through the Atonement. He is just straight legit. And he remembers almost everything from being taught before so after teaching him the restoration last night, he asked if we could teach the Law of Chastity the next time we came! Hahaha so I am pretty hyped to teach the Law of Chastity for like the second or third time on my mission to my good friend Andrew! Mac is still getting along. He set the date himself of January 23rd to be baptized. So we're just hoping and praying that the Lord gives him what he's looking for by then. Our good and old friend Sam has been interesting lately. We've had some pretty interesting visits to his place. But he really wants help understanding repentance and also he wants to quit smoking so we are planning to help him with that. So all in all, we've got some sweet people and some interesting people right now. We shall see how it all plays out!

We had some bomb food this past week as well. On Monday we had some bomb beef stroganoff! Holy cow! Usually that stuff is "eh" but this stuff was divine! Not your typical beef stroganoff! And then on Thursday we had some bomb roasted ham & cheese sliders on King Hawaiian rolls doused with butter. Holy camolie. I think I was on the verge of heart attack but I ain't even mad about it and don't regret it one bit!

Also, one last note. Thank you to all of you that sent me birthday/Christmas cards! It was much appreciated and I felt so much love during the Christmas season from friends and family! I don't have the time to thank everyone individually, but this is my mass thank you note to all!

I love y'all and hope y'alls new year starts off with a bang! Hold strong to the iron rod and press forward with steadfastness in Christ and let his grace change you this year!

Lots of Love,
Elder Reed Ericson

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