January 19, 2016
Hello my good friends! A little bit of a change of scenery this week emailing on Tuesday instead of Monday. It seems like this country loves to have national holidays on Mondays. That's just one of many interesting things we do here in America. That along with the use of inches, feet, yards, miles, pounds, fahrenheit..... just to name a few. I am still confused to this day why we do all that dumb stuff. But, its the world we live in and their ain't no changing it. Maybe the gospel can change it. Idk, we shall see what the Millennium has in store for us. Fingers crossed that we use the metric system.
Anyway, this week was just a big week of Elder Ericson being tired. Holy cannolie. I don't really know what happened. I didn't feel top notch for a few days and that really seemed to throw my sleep patterns off quite a bit. I didn't even really get super sick or anything. I just had a little bit of a stuffy nose, and it wasn't even that bad. But it sure threw me for a loop. I have been really working on having good preparation in the mornings and that didn't happen at all this past week and personal study was me sitting there dozing off for a good 45 minutes. And then comp study consisted of reading 3 pages from the white handbook and then eventually me going to lay down for a little nap in my bed. But, I survived. I call Elder Stringham every Monday to account for my efforts on my visions/goals/plans and last night I got to tell him all about failing every day for the past week. But, we got each other pumped up to straight kill it every single day this coming week and even have a mid-week accounting on Thursday. And so far I am 1/1 for the week! I went to work this morning and did real good.... until the last 15 minutes of personal study... but I'll get through it by the end of the week! And when we both go 7/7, "We're making waffles!" (in Donkey's voice from Shrek). But since we don't have waffle makers we are just going to make pancakes and let each other know how it goes with them. So, stay tuned to hear about my pancakes next week!
We had a pretty sweet Zone Conference on Thursday in Abilene. The leaders of the church realize that the reason why most people go inactive after they are baptized is because they weren't fully repented before they were baptized. And they realize that Preach My Gospel has little to nothing about teaching repentance, so we are having a world-wide missionary broadcast tomorrow to hear about that. And in preparation for that we had a killer zone conference about repentance! Elder Stringham instructed about the "culture of the mission" and how we are going to change our mission culture to "teaching repentance". Good stuff there. I don't think he was planning on using his "culture of the mission" instruction to put an emphasis on teaching repentance, but he made it work. And then usually President Heap has a little more than an hour for his instructions and sometimes an hour and a half, and he said that he had an hour and a half worth of material... but he went over two hours I believe with a killer instruction about repentance! His style of teaching us isn't to teach us how we need to teach repentance to other people or whatever the topic may be. What he does is he teaches us the doctrine and principles of the topic to increase our knowledge of it and help us apply it ourselves, and then in turn have us be better able to teach it to others. So he gave a killer big long instruction about repentance to help us understand it better for ourselves and become more converted to the process of repentance, and then as we continue to study it and learn repentance more fully for ourselves we will be better be able to help others repent. I think his style is genius. I think a lot of leaders would teach us how we need to teach repentance to others and how we can incorporate it into our teaching, but all he did was help us have a better understanding for ourselves. Ultimately I think it is a much better approach because "faking it until you make it" doesn't work effectively. He has done it time and time again with the Book of Mormon, the sacrament, and other topics. And I have greatly improved my ability to teach those topics to others because of I have gained stronger testimony for myself through his instructions and then applying what he teaches us. Good man he is!
Mac is all ready to be baptized on Saturday! We were able to have a sweet visit with him on Saturday and we continued our reading and also were able to talk about the sacrament, repentance, and the baptismal covenant. Sis McMunn told us that he seemed to greatly appreciate learning more about the sacrament and apparently he is excited to be able to take it with his baptismal covenant! And we were able to teach him some sweet stuff about the sacrament because of good ol' President Heap and applying to ourselves the things he taught us about the sacrament! Perfect example. Anyway, Mac had his interview on Sunday and is good to go with that. Sis McMunn texted us last night and said that she thinks that he is getting excited, and so I responded "He would never admit it... but he is!" in which I got the response, "You have gotten to know my man so well"! hahaha Mac seems to not have any emotions about his baptism, but its so there underneath his stubbornness!
Now for a fun story about the people of the world and how ridiculous they are. On the way to the McMunn's on Thursday we stopped to talk to this man. He is a Vietnam vet and a retired psychologist. Long story short, for about 15 minutes of conversation I wasn't able to get through any of my thoughts and explain things like I wanted to because this man kept cutting me off. And then, right at the end, we both started talking at the same time but I decided I was finally going to get my word in so I just kept talking and got my word in. And of course, this dude responds, "Well see now you're just pissing me off! You need to learn to listen to people and not cut people off. The most important person is who you are talking to, and you seem to be more worried about what you have to say that what I have to say." Ok sir. You are right. I apologize for politely letting you cut me off for the last 15 minutes and asking you questions that were all about you and nothing about me and letting you talk and talk and talk only to get told that I need to not cut you off and spend more time listening to you. I apologize from the deepest vessel of my heart. I truly do. Because that was just wrong of me. It truly was. Hmmmm.... people these days. But in all reality I got a good laugh out of it!
Well my good friends. It is time for me to bade you farewell! I love y'all and thank you for all the love, support, and prayers on my behalf! Hold to the iron rod! The fruit of the tree of life is too delicious to not partake of!
Much Love,Elder Reed Ericson