Well hello there my good friends and family! This past week was a good one! It seemed very short, however. Feels like we hardly worked! And I feel like there isn't much to write about, so my apologies...
The highlight of the week was going to the temple on Saturday! There was a girl from Odessa who Elder Moschetti taught for a long time and that I knew well that was getting endowed prior to leaving on her mission next week, so we went up for that! We had some saintly members that volunteered to drive us up there, despite not being able to attend with us (recent convert... not endowed yet). God bless them! The session was packed with tons of missionaries! She has gotten to know just about every missionary to go through Odessa in the past year so there was a lot of us that attended! I think there were 13 elders and a former missionary (all elders because Odessa was "Brodessa" for a while... it has a set of sisters now though). Also, I saw people from like all of my old areas there as well! I saw the branch president from Sweetwater in the dressing room, I saw the bishop of Frenship Mesa outside the temple, I saw some members from my ward in Odessa who were there unattached to the sister going through, and there were two couples from San Angelo that were in our session as well! Fun stuff! Plus, I had 3 former companions and my current companion there among others that I have served around in my districts! So it was just a lot of love to be had! It was wonderful to see Sis Downey go through the temple though! It is amazing to see people's lives change so much because of the gospel! Seeing someone go through the temple after being converted to the truth is so amazing to see. Definitely makes you know that there are people out there who are in need of great blessings in store.
Lets see here, we were able to go on some exchanges on Wednesday/Thursday. I had the privilege of going with my boy Elder VanWeerd! That kid is just the most wonderful kid ever! We had a good time. I learned a lot from the exchange! Not things that I thought I was going to learn in any way, but there was learning nonetheless! Elder VanWeerd is good at talking so I was able to learn a lot of things from stuff he talked about. Haha I love that guy! He will forever be a classic missionary friend! Well, I thought I was going to have more to say than just that about the exchange but my words are running dry.
As far as the work went this past week we didn't have tons of fruit. We had a part-member family feed us and the wife (member) had high hopes that her husband was ready to take the lessons and stuff. But that didn't work out like we planned. Just not the right time, yet. Sweet family, though! Very much so enjoyed being at their house. We had a less-active guy in the ward refer himself online requesting some missionary visits, so we have visited with him a couple times and its been super! His name is Casey. He got baptized probably about 5 or so years ago and didn't stay active for very long at all before he stopped coming to church. His wife is very against the church as a southern baptist so there were some issues there that caused things to go downhill. However, he wants to come back! So we've had a couple good visits with him at the church and he was even able to come to sacrament meeting yesterday after dropping his wife off at her church! So he is committed to coming back! We also have a couple that moved down here to the ward from Lubbock. They are recent converts of a little over a year. They moved down here probably nearly 2 months ago but haven't been to church. However, we finally found their house and visited them and they asked us to commit them to come to church! So we did, and they came yesterday, finally! They are some of the most legit people of all time! So wonderful. They even moved out of Lubbock to Slaton (small town outside of Lubbock in a Lubbock ward) to help with the missionary work out there. However, they moved, and projects came upon them with their house and stuff, plus work, so they "got lazy" and haven't come to church. And guess what the sunday school lesson was yesterday..... keeping the sabbath day holy! And they are also looking to get endowed and sealed soon, and guess what the priesthood lesson was on.... the temple! Its interesting how things work out sometimes! So they are well on their way to the temple now!
As for investigators, we pretty much are starting to run dry. We have this one guy named Sunny, who I have talked about briefly in the previous months. But we were able to get in and teach him again after not teaching him for like a month. It went superb. He talked about how he felt like how we teach the gospel is the right way and that what we teach is the truth. Rock on, sir. Rock on. So we committed him to be baptized on the 6th of August! However, there seems to be a lack of accountability there. Appointments seem to fall through every time, leading to weeks of not teaching him. And he already basically punched our appointment for yesterday morning right after a really good lesson two night before. So, we may have to have a what I like to call "Mom talk" with him! LOL. I love those things. So much fun!
Anyway, thats about all I got for y'all this week! Life is good down here in Abilene, TX! I am surely enjoying myself down here. Working hard and learning lots! I hope y'all have a wonderful week full of wonderful blessings from the good Lord himself! May we strive diligently to fulfill his purpose for each of us!
God bless ya!
Elder Reed Ericson
Elder Reed is back row - third from right.