Monday, May 23, 2016

Months Fly By!

May 23, 2016

Well hello my good friends and family! The Lord has for sure blessed me with amazing people in my life, that's for sure, and those amazing people are you!

Days, weeks, and months just continue to fly by these days. Its definitely a trip sometimes. I was lying in my bed thinking last night when I realized that it was my 19 month mark! It took me until 10:45 to realize it! Its weird how it all just mushes together and you literally never even give a thought to what day it is or how long you've been out. Usually when people ask me now I just say "a long time" and then spent a few seconds trying to figure it out. I spent a while last night thinking about some of the wonderful experiences I've had throughout my mission and I was definitely touched and humbled to recognize the things the Lord has done for me. There were definitely a few things that stood out, but even just thinking about the hours spent out on the streets makes me thankful for the experience I've had! There were a lot of long days in there, but you take out those long days and the experience as a whole loses a level of deepness. Those are the times that make a mission a mission!

This week was pretty busy for us, for the most part! We got to go and get all the cleaning out and cleaning done on the apartments getting shut down. That was kinda lame. BUT, we did come away with some sweet stuff once again! We walked away with a new shower curtain that really livens up our bathroom, a new recliner, some cookie mix and frosting, a sweet rain jacket, and some girly body wash stuff that I've been using that is quite honestly amazing. You can judge if you'd like, but there's no denying that its fragrance is simply amazing for either gender and it leaves my skin feeling amazing as well. So definitely scored some sweet stuff.

We once again did some sweet service on that house out in Buffalo Gap that I mentioned a few weeks ago! We did some sweet work this time around! My first job was to do some work on teh staircase with my boy Elder Hatch. Neither of us are very experienced carpenters, surprisingly, so we struggled our way through quite the simple job. All we did was put plywood on the sides of the railing area. Bless our hearts. It took us like an hour and a half to do a 30 minute job. We sure did enjoy ourselves though! After we finished that job we went and began helping with the project of putting in the 3rd story. That was definitely pretty intense. Not gonna lie, I pretty much stood there and tried to pretend to be busy. There wasn't enough work for all of us to be busy the whole time, so you will do something, and then pretend to be busy for a few minutes, and then do something real fast that is needed, and then pretend to be busy for a few minutes. But it was fun being on top of a tall two story building in West Texas! Just got to look out over the forest of mesquite and other various trees (there's actually lots of trees down there and roundabout!). However, after spending a few hours up there in the baking sun, my neck was a sizzling medium well by the time we were done. And being a missionary, we have to wear these blasted collared shirts all day every day, and so my burn got quite the amount of agitation over the next couple days. Thank heavens for Aloe Vera and medicated body powder! Life savers!

We also had Zone Training this week. Haven't instructed in a while so that was all good and fun. The sister training leaders showed us up! We had them instruct first and their topic was the Doctrine of Christ, and they come up with some really good ideas of stuff to talk about. And then we instructed on a new accountability program and companionship study. So as you can imagine they put us to shame. I mean, its not a competition, but they definitely showed up big time and we just showed up. So that was great. Our zone is absolutely amazing though! Holy cow! Probably the most amazing zone ever for a zone leader! There is literally not a single missionary that we have to worry about or any companionship that has any problems! Its incredible. They all just work hard and are well behaved, and get along with each other! I forget that we are even zone leaders sometimes because everyone is so self sufficient! We still do a lot of things, but our assignment is real easy this transfer!

We had a pretty intense experience yesterday after church. We had gotten a call from a member in the Ft Worth area during church, and a lady from his ward/his wife's best friend was in the hospital here in Abilene and in the late stages of cancer. In fact, she is supposed to be released to hospice care today, so she is literally in the last moments in mortality. The guy called us asking if we could go visit and give her a blessing. So we went, and walked into the room of a lady who was obviously stricken with a deadly sickness. She was very small, hairless, and seemed to have just the slightest amount of life left in her. It was Elder Lund's turn to give the blessing (we take turns) so he was the one to bless her. It was intense giving a blessing of comfort to someone who you know will soon be returning to their Father in Heaven who loves them more than we can express in words. Even for me not actually giving the blessing, just standing in was intense. I definitely don't think that will be the last blessing I will be a part of for someone in that state, but it sure was a memorable one! We also gave a few other blessings this week, so we are just administering the Priesthood left and right, which is a great blessing to be able to do! I get super overwhelmed nearly every time I give a blessing as I am walking away from the location in which it was administered and it truly humbles me every time! Its definitely something else to think that God trusts a 20 year old boy to go about blessing people's lives with the same power which he holds! Its incredible!

As for the rest of the work, we spent most of our time not doing all of the above ^^^ trying to get in to teach people. We got a couple new investigators this week! One named Felipe and one named Ernesto. Ernest is pretty legit, had a pretty solid lesson with him yesterday afternoon. Felipe is a little interesting, but we will follow up with him and help him little by little! We have made a little progress with some others, but right when we think we are gaining a little traction with them, we seem to lose traction. Frustrating at times, but we can only do what we can do and let the Lord take care of the rest!

Anyway, that will be all for me this week! I have a lot of deep love for all of you! The people in my life make my life what it is. Thank you for all of your love and prayers! Its all coming right back at ya! Continue to press forward in faith and righteousness!

God bless ya!

Much love,

Elder Reed Ericson
Leadership Conference -  Elder Reed E. is behind the sister missionary in the second row with the white sweater.

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