April 25, 2016
Hello my friends! Another week down in the books. This past week I hit my 18 month mark! Ugh, so crazy. It seems like after I passed a year, one month goes by one after another and I don't even give a thought to it until I look and see that it is the 22nd of the month. Wowzers. I didn't even realize it until later in the afternoon on Friday that it was 18 months for me! It is weird to think that I am like legit considered an old missionary now. I still think of myself of a middle man. It freaks me out that I have 6 months left but I know that they will be a good 6 months and that at the end of them I will be ready to pack up and go home to start applying everything to real life stuff! In fact, this transfer has flown by as well! It weirded me out the last night when I flipped my planner to week 5. Before I know it this transfer will be all done and over and we will be embarking in my last 4 transfers! LET'S GO!!!!! West Texas isn't going to know what hits them!
Funny story that’s not really all that funny... we were sitting at the church Saturday morning to do our studies (why we were there will be reported on later) and Elder Lund had the brilliant idea to go get a TV from the library to watch some videos on for our studies (one of the TV's at our church has a Roku connected to it). So we started off with a couple good videos from the Mormon Channel, and then we ran across "The District: Going Home". Well, as missionaries we have these videos called "The District" which are training videos, more or less, that show the work of 4 companionships. The church decided to make a 3 part TV series out of them which includes the 3 episodes at about 35 minutes a piece. We have those as missionaries. BUT, little did we know, there is a part 4 to the series. It’s called "Going Home". So we watched it. It was dang good. They showed a lot of stuff that is on the other 3 episodes, but also some new stuff that was really good teaching and stuff. But then the last 10 minutes or so was showing all of them going home. Oh man, I would have been all tore up with tears had it not been for a group of young women coming inside to use the bathroom before leaving on their hike. They kinda ruined the moment. But nonetheless it was pretty intense for both Elder Lund and I to see that. I think it was kinda good though, because it made us realize that going home is a reality, so we better make some good use of our last 6 months! We are getting more focused than ever, so it worked out good for us!
Anyway, enough of that business. This week was interesting in some ways. I spent nearly two full days with Elder Hatch, one of our Spanish missionaries here in Abilene. We went on exchanges with them on Tuesday/Wednesday and I went with him all day Tuesday, and then some stuff happened (we'll leave it at that) that lead to a call asking if we could go on an exchange on Saturday. So I ditched Elder Lund with Elder Hatch's companion and we went out again together! So he was basically my companion this week. Haha he is sweet! Good kid! He says "Heck yeah, dude!" to everything so I naturally caught onto it within like 30 seconds and it was game over from there. I don't even want to know how many times we said that phrase throughout those two days! Good fun. Also, Elder Lund and I play the slug bug game, so I started slugging Elder Hatch whenever I saw a VW Beetle. Well, Saturday must have been national bring your VW Beetle out of hiding day or something because I wrecked him! I probably hit him about 15 times or so in one day! It was insane how many of them were out! Hahaha he said that he would spend forever on the lookout, and then within seconds or him stopping his search I would reach over and hit him! Hahahaha sucka! Got him good. Good times with Elder Hatch!
Funny story that’s not really funny from Tuesday with Elder Hatch. We went out and went hard for a couple hours and did some real good work. Talked to some good people, knocked on some sweet doors, got a new investigator from a knocked door, etc. I was pretty sure we were in our area because we hadn't passed over our divider road yet. Well, turns out that we were indeed out of our area. And not only were we out of our area, we skipped over an area and were in the area that is two areas over from us! Hahaha! Oh man! There's a slap in the face! In my defense, the divider road changes names just a little north of where we were, so that threw me off. And also, the area that we skipped over just has a little panhandle of less than 6 or so blocks that was the part we skipped over. But, still felt like an idiot. Oh well, now I know exactly where our area ends! So now I have to go on a short little exchange while on exchanges tomorrow to go to a lesson with the new investigator that we got for the 3rd East elders. It'll be a fun one!
Anyway, so back to being at the church on Saturday morning... I'll tell you about that. Well, we live in the same apartment complex as another set of elders. The other elders had some bed bugs in their apartment. So, they sent in some Orkin people to inspect their apartment and treat it. In the process of doing that they decided to send them over to our place as well. According the the Orkin lady, she found "bed bug eggs" in our couch and recliner. Ok, cool, you caught it before they even came along! But then, we learned that the treatment (which is just a spray) ran the mission $800!!!! Bed bug eggs??? Chya right! You just wanted to make $800 lady! So, they gave us this big long check list of things to do to our apartment to prep it for their $800 treatment for a few bed bug eggs that are claimed to be there. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing if there are actually eggs in there or not because who knows how to find those?! There was zero signs of bed bugs anywhere else in our apartment, and apparently our beds were completely clear of them. But, we had to basically turn our apartment into a war zone for them. We had to move everything away from the walls, flip over our two couches and the recliner, put all of our clothes into plastic bags, take the cloth covers off from the bottom of our box springs, vacuum where the floor and wall meet, take everything off the walls (including our huge whiteboard), and some other junk. It was a mess! So, they treated on Saturday morning and we had to be gone all day long for that. So we got moved to the church for studies and stuff. Good stuff. But, on the bright side, we don't have a bed bug problem anymore..... oh wait.... we didn't even have one in the first place!
Now that I'm done with that hot mess of a rant (which btw I wasn't really worked up over it at all, in fact, it worked out nicely for us to organize and change some stuff up after the treatment). We pulled a sweet bike day on Thursday! Bike day for us is intense because we live way out of our area, so once we leave, there is no going back until its time to go in for the night. We got picked up for some service by a member in the morning, and then had lunch after that. So we were able to have lunch before we left. But we pretty much had zero plans for dinner. We were just going to wing it and see what happened. So we were riding to the church to hang out there for our dinner hour when we road past Papa Johns. Remember, I'm hot, hungry, and tired... so Papa Johns looked extremely satisfying. But, that stuff is way out of my missionary budget! But then, I remembered something that changed my sorrow into complete joy. I received a letter from Mother before we left for the day on bikes, and that letter contained a $20 bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mother, you probably had no idea why you sent those $20 when you did, but it was nothing but heaven sent inspiration! So we wrote down the phone number on the side of the Papa Johns, went to the church, called in an order for a large pizza, and got it delivered to us at the church!!!! Miracles do happen! So we left back out to work happy happy happy after eating the entire pizza! Btw, Papa John's is pretty dang good. Easily my favorite pizza these days. I think it easily beats out all the other pizza companies! Its the most sought out pizza around these parts!
Well, we went pretty hard this week. We did some good finding work, went out and worked worked worked. We focused on improving a few things with our finding that has made things more effective as well. We did some good work. But, we don't really have any investigators or anything. We had like 4 appointments on Saturday and none of them went through. So, hopefully this week goes better! Usually you have a week or two where you don't have anything going at all, then you start to pick up the finding and get some good potentials, and then in the next week or two you have lots of punched appointments and little to show for all your good work in the previous weeks, and then one week it all comes together and you have a solid stretch of a few weeks with more teaching! So this week should be our reward week! So we shall see!
Anyway, I love y'all and hope y'all have a wonderful week full of fun and love! May the good Lord bless you as you strive to follow him!
God Bless Ya!
Elder Reed Ericson
Saw this unit in a driveway while trying to find a less-active. Passed it after thinking I should get a picture with it. Then, we realized that it was parked at the house we were looking for.
Elder Hanson and I lamenting our 18 month mark while fixing a fence after it dawned on us that it was the 22nd. #SadDay