May 2, 2016
Hello my good friends! I hope life is treating you well today! It surely is a wonderful life that we live and get to enjoy! This week was a week full of hard work and long days. But it was a wonderful, fulfilling week!
To start off, its heating up down here in the great West Texas! It hasn't gotten too hot yet, however. But we've been up solid in the 80's and creepin' to the 90's range. This week we were out all week on our bikes and on foot doing the good work of the Lord, so we surely got a taste of it. The sun has been beating down as well. No clouds in view most days. It definitely was a taxing week for us though. Our bodies were not used to being out in the sun all day and on top of that the increased heat. So each day we just came trudging inside our apartment at the close of the day and just planned and crashed if we weren't the one on the phone! Definitely a fulfilling week of hard work though! It feels so good to come in and just be beat! Very satisfying indeed!
One evening we were walking around in the more "hood" neighborhood of our area and came across a clan of teenagers/children. They come right up to us and tagged us and said we were "it" and that we had to tag them. Well, it took me about 5 seconds to get another teenage boy. So then he was it. So he then took off after me again to try to catch me........... ha. Nice try. My dress shoes were definitely not the running type which made things extremely difficult for me to outrun him, but he still didn't have a chance. So then after escaping his chase, and basically just ending the game, I asked who wanted to ball us up on the basketball hoop out in the street. So the same guy and this black kid with mad hops joined together to go 2 on 2 against me and my companion! They were both 18 years old I think. I started off by single handedly tearing them up with some made bombs and some nice drives to the hoop. For the record, Elder Lund isn't exactly the skilled basketball player type. I think we caught them off-guard being white boys. I don't think that black kid had ever played organized basketball against real basketball players so my defense seemed to be a surprise to him when he couldn't get past me! Anyway, we tire out quickly, so when we were up like 12-4 they started to come back on us. It got to be 13-13 I think when I decided that it was do or die time... so I took my guy mano y mano to the hoop, threw up a little pump fake, got him way up in the air, and then kissed it off the glass with my defenders feet firmly on the ground for the winning hoop! It was pretty sweet! There were a bunch of kids out there watching us! But our competitors were super good kids and we are friends now! That group of kids though was pretty amazing to see! You had white kids, black kids, Mexican kids, young kids, old kids, etc. They didn't care what color they were or how old they were, they were all just outside in the good outdoors enjoying life together! I don't think any of them have many gadgets and gizmos to spend their time on or anything so they are always outside with each other! We even happened to be back there the next evening and a smaller number of them were outside again together running around and laughing! It was wonderful to see!
We have a lady that we had taught when I first got here but haven't been able to teach again. This past week we had called her to set something up and she mentioned that her back got hurt pretty bad and that she was having a hard time dealing with that. So we offered some service and she said that she needed her lawn mowed! So we showed up and before we even mowed her lawn she mentioned a bunch of miracles that had happened that week. She didn't have money to pay her phone bill, but the perfect amount randomly showed up in her phone account balance, her cat was basically dead but was perfectly healthy just a couple days later, the day we showed up her back was like magically feeling a lot better, and something else I think. Well, her lawnmower had like zero gas. It was saturated a little bit on the bottom of the tank but not enough to get the job done. Well, Elder Lund mowed her entire lawn with that mower with no additional gas, and then after that got done we were cleaning out the bottom of the mower, so we had the mower tilted in its front, and gas was leaking out of the gas tank cap!!!!!! HOLY COW!!!!! Miracles in the life of Shanna!!!! It was just like, BAM, miracle! Right there! Check it! Definitely a testimony builder that the good Lord still works small miracles in the lives of his children!
We went on exchanges this week with the elders out in Eastland. We had them into Abilene to work our area. I was with on of the Eastland elders in their car all day. I can say that the Lord was working miracles that day for sure. No idea how I'm still alive. That kid was the scariest driver ever. Like, zero awareness. God bless him. And on top of that, we had to drive home that evening in a raging storm. Pretty sure we were on our way off of the side of the overpass at one point before an angel put his hand on the side of the car and pushed us back on! And that was a huge exaggeration... but, it was still scary with him. Definitely a white-knuckle experience!
So we had a good time a couple nights ago. We stopped by a family’s house that we are acquainted with well to share a lesson with them. They are members but are just getting stronger in the church again. Well, the mom wasn't home so it was just the 23 year old son and the 19 year old daughter. We had zero plans for a lesson so we just winged it and somehow got right into the Law of Chastity! hahaha it was great! So awkward for them and so fun for us! Their mother had a good laugh when we talked to them yesterday about it! It was classic. People make that lesson so awkward but it is so fun to just straight up teach the doctrine and principles! But, I've only taught that lesson like maybe 3 times on my mission so thats unfortunate.
We picked up a huge group of new investigators this week! And by big group, I mean they all are at the same apartment. There was Kim & Sunny (married couple), and their friends Marissa, Olivia, and Abraham! They are pretty legit! Taught them in two different groups on two different days and they are pretty excited to start coming to our church and learning more! Hopefully we will have a good week teaching them this coming week! More info on them in weeks to come! However, Kim actually lived in Caldwell for a couple years! Small world. I have met tons of members with home ties but this is my first investigator!
Anyway, I need to jet. I have a couple of other things to mention but they won't make it this week! But I hope y'all have a wonderful week and have a week full of fun and joy!
God bless ya!
Elder Reed Ericson