January 11, 2016
Hello my good friends and family! What a CRAZY week this past week was! And it was really only made CRAZY by one thing... but that one thing is worth a lot of CRAZYNESS!!!!!!
MAC MCMUNN IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON THE 23RD OF JANUARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I kid you not!!! Now, y'all probably don't have a clue how big of a deal this is, but let me allow you to understand a little more. So, lets go back to basics and cover the Mac story. Mac is 81 years old. He married his wife, who is a member, when he was 29 years old. If you do the math, that technically makes Mac a 52 year investigator! He went to church off and on with his wife throughout the years, including paying tithing and all that fun stuff for many of those years. But, he would never get baptized. About two years ago a very bold sister missionary decided she was going to get on Mac's case in accordance to the plan Mac's wife gave her. So at dinner one night the sister asked, "What's your problem, Mac?" in a very bold, confrontational way (from what I've heard). Well, Mac met with the sisters for quite a while but never would get baptized no matter how close the sisters claimed he was on the teaching records. Well, they put elders in the area and Mac stopped meeting with the missionaries for a time. Three months before I got here two elders white-washed into the area and started to visit with Mac and try to get him moving along. In the last two months since I've been here we have made some serious progress with Mac. And by "we" I mean the Lord. After a couple BOLD lessons in which we really threw at him the principle of being baptized with faith that it "could be true", he felt pressured by us and his wife. It was a good thing, because it really made his think seriously about it all. But we decided that we needed to back off a little bit and let him breath.
So for the last couple weeks we have just been reading the Book of Mormon with him and help him understand everything and learn principles from what we read. Last Thursday we had a typical visit with him in which we read and he was still on his, "I guess I'll be baptized........ but I need answers before I do it!" type of comment making. Typical Mac. Teasing us with excitement, and then crushing our souls down to the floor. We returned on Saturday for another visit and something happened between Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon! He said that he didn't receive the answer that he's been looking for for all these years, and he didn't say why or what changed his mind. But he said that after all these years he might as well just do it! So I sat there waiting for his typical follow-up comment that crushes my soul. But he just sat there for like 10 seconds staring at his wife while not a single heart was beating in the room, and then he just said, "I guess". Holy cow!!!!!!!! I never thought that I would be so insanely excited and surprised to hear the two words "I guess" in my life! So he told us that we can go ahead and start planning everything for his service and get an interview scheduled for him! HOLY COW!!!!! I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!!!! They say that the chapel could legitimately be completely filled with people for his service. I am literally basically shaking right now typing this because I think its finally hitting me that its happening. Oh my gosh. I am so incredibly jacked about life right now!
Along with this all. I have had many feelings of inadequacy the last couple days. I question why God allows me to be a part of such amazing profound experiences in the lives of others. I have been thinking back to my time teaching Mark in Odessa and the experience that we all had witnessing his once in a lifetime baptism. And now my experience with Mac. I don't know why God allows ME, an average 20 year old boy from Kuna, Idaho, to be a part of something so spectacular and eternally significant. I don't know why he sent me to Odessa when he did. And I don't know why he sent me to San Angelo when I did. He very easily could have sent someone else more qualified to teach these people and be a witness of their first step of covenant making. But for some reason that I know I will be eternally thankful for, he sent me, Elder Ericson. Maybe I will learn one day why it was me, but for now I am content with being thankful for the unknown!
On top of all this, I have been getting to be a softy the last week or two. I have had multiple times that I have been reading something in the Book of Mormon and almost started crying after reading something that didn't even seem to be significant at all. Its been weird. I've just been getting hit with these walls of spiritual emotion. Even writing in my journal has become more difficult to make it through while trying to stay manly. I don't know what's going on. But I like it! Hahaha I am saying that in my head quoting Elder Nebeker.... which you obviously weren't there for so I am probably the only one laughing right now. Oh golly, I totally just ruined this whole paragraph by adding in what is going on in my world at this very moment. Oh well. All in all, I think its all just a result of a rapidly growing testimony. I don't know how it just keeps on growing and growing, and then after over 14 months of steady constant growth it just has a huge splurge of growth. Doesn't make sense. "But I like it!"
Other than good ol' Mac..... we had a sick week all lined up but we had some cancelled appointments with some solid people, so some things that would have made this past week even better fell through. But, the whole "Mac is getting baptized for real" thing was enough for me to just be amped about life.
Other than that fun bunch of information I don't have much else for y'all. Oh yeah, I totally do. I have added very nicely to my road-kill picture collection. I added another possum, my first raccoon, and my first three deer! Yes, you heard that right! My first THREE deer!!!!! All in the span of about 5 minutes! There was a stretch of road with just fields to the side on the edge of the city that was a total goldmine for dead deer!
Now that I've ended this on an extremely disgusting note, I will discontinue telling y'all about my road kill excitement and leave y'all with a few nice words! I LOVE YOU! It truly is a wonderful life that we have the opportunity to enjoy and I hope and pray that y'all will have a particularly wonderful week!
With much love,Elder Reed Ericson