August 1, 2016
Hello my friends! Another transfer and area are in the books! Tomorrow I will be leaving Abilene and headed west to Hobbs, NM! Oh man, what a trip that was! Hobbs is the place that you hope that you never get transferred to.... and then you get transferred there.... hahaha but I am surprisingly pretty stoked! I will be surrounded by a lot of super awesome missionaries! So it should be a good time. My new companion will be Elder Hanson, who was in my MTC district and he also served here in Abilene my first transfer here. He even lived in my same apartment complex. He's a dang good kid and I am looking forward to working with him! Going to Hobbs..... still can't believe it.
I will miss Abilene. I can't say that Abilene was my favorite place I served but I definitely grew a lot here and learned a lot here! Being able to serve all of my missionaries here for the last three transfers was such a wonderful experience and I grew a lot of love for my missionaries! I think a lot of my growth came in my personal self. My missionary work improved, but I feel like I changed in few different aspects as a person that I will take away from my time here. I didn't feel like I had a particularly large impact on the members here or anything, however yesterday a lot of members actually expressed a lot of appreciation towards me with an actual personal sentimental touch! I learned that just being happy and being nice and friendly with people when they come to church can go a long way! There are a lot of good people in the ward that I am happy to have touched in some way. It is a little sad as well to leave what we have going on right now. We have been teaching more lessons then I ever have on my mission and the Lord is just helping us right along! But its not too hard to leave things like that anymore, you get used to leaving things and people by this point in a mission, so its whatever. Its just always good to affirm that you had a positive impact on many people's lives!
Speaking of being out for this long... this past week I flew past my 3 months left mark. So I am now 2 months and change from hopping on a plane. Crazy.
So something crazy about this transfer. We found 5 long lost members of the church! I mentioned last week how we had run into some, and we ran into another this week! Its so crazy! We found out Erica was a member at the beginning of the transfer, then we contacted Tiffany on the street, then we knocked into Jocelyn (haven't met with her yet though), then we found out Tiffany's husband Don was a member, and then we found Terry on the street last Thursday! They're just flying out of right field at us. Erica hasn't gone anywhere, and we haven't met with Jocelyn, but Tiffany and Don are going strong and were at church yesterday! They are so legit. Some of the most fantastic people ever! And then we visited Terry on Friday night and that was super awesome as well. He doesn't remember too much specifically about the church but says he has nothing but wonderful memories with the church and his few years being in it after joining. We briefly talked about the sacrament since he was talking about repentance and stuff, so we asked him if he would come to church, and he was super all in for it! He said, "Its time to get back to what I need to do, brothers!" He is just one of the greatest men I've met! I feel sad leaving after just barely visiting with him once! Oh yeah, he wasn't at church. But, that's not to say that he won't be at a later time! We also have another less-active, Casey, that we've been meeting with that is coming to church consistently! So that's been a success! And another member has made it to a different ward to take the sacrament the last few weeks after not taking it for a while. And just all around we've had a lot of success with less-actives lately! We also had an investigator come to church yesterday, but we took him to the YSA branch. Heck yes. We also ran into a lady on Saturday, and we sat our bumms on her cement porch and taught her right there, and she was going to come to church. We went by 30 minutes before to remind her and she was out on her porch all ready to come waiting for her ride, but then she didn't show. So that was a bummer. Anyway, lots of good stuff going on............. that I'm leaving.
We had a nutso bike day on Thursday. We planned a doosy of a day. Probably could have been a little smarter with that, but hey, its in the past. If the storm that came through wouldn't have cut out a solid 6-7 miles we would have gone 30 miles. Ugh. And it was coming off me still recovering from being sick. But hey, I survived. I think the 23+ miles we did ride may be the most I've ever gone in a day. You think you go a lot more than that but a good solid high day is usually about 18 or so. You may get to 20 sometimes if you are in a bike area and bike every single day. So 30 would have been insane. Anyway, there's my sob story for the week.
Anyway, I need to get going. There are a few more things I wish to share but I don't have the time! So this will do for the day. I love y'all! I am so thankful to be down here in the Texas Lubbock Mission and doing what the Lord needs me to do. There is no greater work to be doing!
God bless ya!
Elder Reed Ericson