January 25, 2016
Well hello my good friends and family! What a week last week was! We had a lot of wonderful/interesting things happen!
I'm just going to start towards the beginning of the week and unfold it all unto you. It all started on Wednesday with a world-wide missionary broadcast. They wanted to make an emphasis on teaching repentance and baptizing converts. It was a pretty good broadcast. A couple of the speakers/instructions were real good and some others were literally just quoting Preach My Gospel in different words. Overall though it got me pumped to go do some work. I love the emphasis on teaching repentance! It has been sweet to see the impact that emphasizing teaching that principle has! So that was a cool event. They said that there hadn't been one for 20 years or something like that. So they don't happen every day!
On Thursday we were out doing our thing on the bikes when a fire rescue truck came tearing around the corner and went shooting down the street the opposite way that we were headed. I looked back and saw some smoke rising, so naturally we followed the truck down the road to the flames! Turns out, two houses caught fire and were in the process of getting scorched. They were two small houses on a street that all the houses are like 8 feet away from each other. The inside half of the houses were getting burned real bad, however the outside halves were terribly scorched. It was pretty crazy though. They had like the entire fire department there and a number of police cars and everything. We observed for quite some time. I think it was a good 45 minutes before we left. Tons of people from around the neighborhood were out watching the action as well so I talked to a few neighbors and others about the situation. It was crazy watching the home-owners show up. Holy cow. Only one of the home's owners showed up however. He rolled up and parked on the side of the perpendicular street and came running into the area. It is an interesting experience to witness watching a home-owner get a glimpse of his house in flames. His wife showed up a few minutes later and her reaction was the same. However they did pretty dang good. They were only really worried about the dog and he got out and was fine. They said that everything else is replaceable. They were two cool cats though! They were a young couple in their mid-20's and were total champs about the whole thing. I was standing there probably 40 feet of so from the dude and something went crashing hard from the ceiling to the ground in the garage and we just looked at each other and he said, with a smile and a laugh, "That can't be good!". Dang, they would make such dang good members of the church. I couldn't stop thinking about them all day! They seemed so cool! But yeah, that was intense.
We did some wicked service on Saturday morning! We started off with helping an old lady move out of her assisted living apartment with members of the Elder's Quorum. We made quick work of it. Somehow she had tons of stuff in that apartment! We filled and entire medium sized uhaul truck full of her stuff! and then after that we went out with four other sets of missionaries and helped clean up around the house of this family who some members know! We thought that we were going to show up with tons of us and not have much work to do, but all 10 missionaries, and also 6 other members worked worked worked for two straight hours and definitely did some dang good work, but there is still plenty to be done! It was some good service though. The man I believe had a stroke a couple years back and so the once beautiful home and yard is just totally trash now because he just can't keep up with it. So sad. But hopefully our service can be a start to get it back to its original state!
And then the crowning even of the week was Mac's baptism! Holy cow! I don't even know where to start with all this. I guess I will start off by saying that the entire chapel was filled with people! I will probably never see anything like that ever again in my life! Mac showed up and looked wonderful and beaming although he admitted that he felt "a little nervous" with a laugh along with the phrase. But he was a champ! We acted as the witnesses and that was super stressful. It didn't look like the crown of his head was going to get under, but then right at the last second a ripple of water went right over the top and slicked his hair. I asked the people looking in the mirror what they thought and they said to do it again. So we had them doing it again just to make sure. No biggy. Sis McMunn got a good laugh out of him doing it twice! I don't even know how everyone got into the relief society room to see it..... they were packed in there! I was doing pretty well emotionally the whole time. Watching Mac walk into the water almost got me but the huge crowd of people mobbing in kind of ruined the moment. And then after hugging Sis McMunn walking back into the chapel I nearly lost it. I had a few tears coming out walking through the chapel back to my seat. And then the rest of the service was an emotional one just pondering the significance of the event and being humbled that the Lord used me as his vessel to help Mac get to that day. I keep on saying that we did nothing as missionaries. However, what the Lord did through us was of much significance. Everything that took Mac from where he was when I got here to Saturday was 100% the Lord. And it was an incredibly humbling experience to ponder over that and wonder why the Lord used me to do it. There are better missionaries out there, missionaries more qualified than me to take on Mac, but for some reason the Lord used me. Crazy. My experience with Mac will be one to never forget. I am sure that experience will link me (and other missionaries) to him and his family for eternity! At least that's what Sis McMunn says.
Well its time for me to close for the day. I love y'all and hope that the good Lord continues to bless us all in this wonderful life we get to live! God bless ya!
Elder Reed Ericson