June 6, 2016
To start off I would like to announce that I finally had a "caught in a rain-storm" experience! I have been out in some solid rain quite a bit throughout my mission, however I always have my big rain jacket on so it isn't too bad. But, Wednesday morning finally delivered me the experience I've been looking for! I was out doing some work with a missionary on exchanges, and we had about an hour and a half to just go out and find and knock. It had rained the previous like 10 days straight it had seemed, and it was definitely cloudy. Well, we went off and were doing our thing. And with as much time as we had, you can find yourself pretty far away from your car after some time. Well, we were getting further and further away when it started raining. So we started heading back. But in just a matter of minutes we went from getting rained on to getting dumped on. My goodness. It was coming down pretty good for a minute there before it turned back into a pour instead of a dump.
Needless to say, we were soaked to the bone after just a brief minute, and not only were we soaked, but my bag was getting soaked too. So that was a waste of like two Book of Mormons and some pamphlets. Anyway, we were getting pretty close to the car and approached an intersection that usually has a number of cars driving by. Well, if you know anything about the roads in Texas when it rains, you'll know that the roads are the drainage system. So intersections are basically just one big pond. As we were standing there at the intersection, a car drove by and sent the classic wave of water our direction...... now I know what you are thinking, we got doused by the wave. But it actually didn't hit us. Gotchya. I almost stepped into it, however. I figured I was already soaked and it would be a good story, but the smart part of my brain told me to not do that... so I just kept my ground. And then we walked right past a church (won't mention what church it was) that had a wall of windows removed from the sidewalk a little ways, and there were people sitting inside, and I am 95% positive that they saw us and did nothing to help us. Hmmmmm... something doesn't seem right here. But, our car was literally parked on the other side of the church so it wasn't bad. But still, I guess I should lower my expectations of people these days. We also almost got trashed by another storm on Thursday evening (it basically stormed every day at some point last week). We were doing a bike day so we were out on the bikes. We live like a million miles out of our area to the south of it, and we were up in the north part of our area when we saw some clouds rolling in from the north at about 7:45pm. We had two options: we could try to out travel the storm and try to beat it to our apartment, or we could grab some Little Ceasars and wait out the storm at the church and get a ride home. Well, we obviously picked option #2. So I ate an entire Little Ceasars pizza sitting at the church, and then got a ride home. It was fantastic.
We met some total whack-o's this week. Hahaha some people are just crazy! We were talking to these two brothas over in the 'hood one morning and they were quite the combo. The one guy just asked us to start telling him what we had to share, but didn't want to talk about anything about Jesus...... K, do you realize who we are, Walter?! This man was pretty nuts, but a little sane. His friend, Jay, was pretty loco. "Do you know Hebrew? No! Do you know Hebrew? No! And I don't know Hebrew! None of us have ever read the Bible!!! Unless you know Hebrew the Bible is garbage, man!" Well let me tell you sir about how we can overcome this problem. However, one cannot explain anything when two brothas are both talking at once about two different things. Which was what happened for like 10 minutes straight. One of them was talking about the Sabbath Day being on Saturday and the other one was talking about Hebrew, and then one was talking about not knowing God's name and how calling him God is disrespectful while the other was talking about how religion is trash. Little did they know, all of their questions about life could have been answered in three short lessons. However they didn't seem to want to listen. Oh man, these two bros were nuts! Very entertaining at times, I almost LOL'd in their faces a couple times, but I kept it to a constant smile. Good times. Totally going to try to teach Walter, though. It'll be a good time.
We have had a lot of good work this past week! Just finding tons of people and setting up tons of appointments. However, we were thinking the other day about the percentage of appointments that we have had go through on our missions, and we concluded that we both have had well under 20% of our appointments go through on our missions. So when it comes down to it you just have to have quantity! And that's what we've been trying to do. So even though we had a million appointments fall through, we still were able to teach some people this week! We got 4 new investigators and were able to teach some people that we are trying to get some traction with to move forward! In fact, we even had an investigator that we've been struggling to meet consistently with come to church! We visited Mark out of the blue on Saturday afternoon and caught him right as he was getting home from the store, so we helped carry the groceries in and then taught him, and invited him to church. He said that he had actually been thinking about it and decided this past week that he would like to come and check it out! So he sure did show up for testimony meeting on Sunday! It was pretty sweet. There were a few people who talked about how you are able to find more light and more truth in the church. They all mentioned how all of our brothers and sisters have a lot of truth and light (EVERYBODY is a practicing Christian), but that we invite people to find even more through the restored gospel. And then right before the time was up, the newly called 1st counselor in the bishopric got up (he could smooth pass for a baptist reverend... tall black dude with his hair slicked back, nice goatee, cuff links, and a sweet preaching style type testimony) and said that he had been sitting their feeling inspired that there were people in the congregation who were trying to find answers about the church and if it was the true church of Jesus Christ or not. And then he just went hard testifying that the omniscient God will tell them if it is and that they need to keep praying and look for answers as they do so. It was sick. He bears such a powerful testimony! So, things are looking on the up for Mark!
Funny story from church: We were standing in the foyer after church was over waiting for somebody, and our newly called bishop came out and walked over to us. As he approached I asked "You've been playing hooky all day, bishop?" And then the big German man answered in his straight forward German voice, "What does it mean to play hooky?" Hahaha I have been quoting that in a German accent nonstop since it happened! Bishop Greiner is so sweet!
Aside from that, not much happened this past week. We had a new couple move into the ward that is super duper legit. They were baptized up in Lubbock a year ago and I had heard tons about them from missionaries who had served in their ward. He basically ran us down one day and we ate lunch with them. Good stuff. I also had some beast red beans and rice. That cajun stuff is really starting to grow on me! Anyway, I will stop this rambling.
I am looking forward to this week! We should have a really good week full of preaching the gospel and helping others find more light and truth for themselves! It is amazing how many wonderful things the Lord has blessed us with to bring that light to us!
Y'all have a wonderful week! I love ya! Keep fightin' the good fight and remember that His grace is sufficient!
God bless ya!Much love,
Elder Reed Ericson
Found this pile of junk pick-up in the 'hood with a Boise State sticker on the back! Planning on knocking on this guys house sometime soon to share with him my common love for the Broncos.... and then teach him the gospel.
I don't know why, but these people made their yard a garden with corn and some other random stuff.
Waiting out the storm...... while eating an entire pizza by myself. Oops. Apparently I'm not participating in six months to sexy. That's long gone.