Monday, August 15, 2016

The Land of Enchantment

August 15, 2016
Hello again from Elder Ericson down here in Hobbs, NM. Time keeps on flying by down here in the great American Southwest. Zooming right along, indeed.
This past week was pretty sweet if I do say so. I'm just going to go through my week a little bit and go chronologically for the sake of my organization in my head.
The first highlight of the week happened on Wednesday evening. The day that I got here the missionaries talked to this young black dude with dreads and all out walking down the street. His name is Devin. We've been trying to meet with Devin but pretty much the only place he can ever meet us is at his church, which that wouldn't be the best situation. So, instead of trying to set up a lesson, I recommended that we just go to a service with him and go from there. So we headed on down to St. Helena's Catholic church on Wednesday evening and hit up Mass! It was quite the deal. Devin had said 5:00 so we showed up at like 4:50, but it turns out that it didn't start until 5:30, and we had a dinner appointment at 6:00 so we were only able to stay for 20 minutes or so of the service. I quite enjoyed the experience. It was much different than what I am used to obviously, however I am thankful we went. Devin is just the sweetest thing in the world! He told us we had his word that he would be at out church. And sure enough, yesterday on our way to church a couple hours early for meetings, we were stopped at a stop light and he was walking right by us, so we rolled down the window and talked to him and he said that he would sure enough be back up to the church in a couple hours! And he sure enough came! Hahaha that guy tore it up after sacrament meeting was over! I'm pretty sure he talked to half the ward by the time he left! He is just so incredibly friendly and just went up and introduced himself to everyone he could pretty much! Hahaha it was so sweet! What a champ. Hopefully we can teach him one of these days.
We go and do some service at the animal shelter every week. And this week we had to wonderful opportunity to walk the dogs! That was a blast! Walked some big ones, some medium sized ones, and some tiny ones. Some of them just pulled you through the park and some of them you had to yank out the door. It was good stuff. Made a lot of new friends. Probably the most intense part of that service was as we were trying to get a dog back into his kennel thing. this dog shared a kennel thing with two other dogs. We had taken the other two dogs previous to this particular dog, so they had already been out and walked. Anyway, you have to swing the kennel door in to push the dog back and keep the opening small to both get the dog out and put it back in. However, the other two dogs made life interesting. They were doing all they could to escape. So here I am standing at the opening of this kennel, trying to push one dog in and keep the other two dogs from escaping. I finally got the one dog in, but the dang leash was still around its neck. So my hand is getting yanked and twisted by this crazy dog with me trying to get the leash off, while at the same time I had two dogs trying to escape. At one point I think I had both of the other dogs necks pinned up against the side of the kennel with my leg using all my strength to keep them pinned there so they can't get out, all while struggle to still get the leash off of the other stupid dog. Oh my heavens. I think one of the escaping dogs actually got loose, but luckily Elder Hanson got it pinned to the ground before it got too far, so he was occupied with that dog and couldn't save a second escaped dog. So I really had to keep the other escaping dog in there! Long story short, after what seemed to be an eternity of craziness (I didn't even describe most of the story), all three dogs were locked in the kennel and the outside of my hip was barking at me because it was the contracted muscle that was keeping my leg pinning those retched beasts up against the wall. Good heavens. Quite the afternoon I had.
We went up to Lubbock on Thursday evening for Zone Training on Friday. That was quite the trip. We took Elder Despain and Elder Farmer with us because they have no miles to drive to Lubbock and back. Oh man, I love those guys! Such a good time. One thing about our mission is that you will always have sweet road trips to enjoy because of how spread out we are! Anyway, zone training was alright. It was pretty sweet to just show up and participate and not have to worry about anything. That was a nice little change. Other than that I don't have many comments on the meeting. Then on the ride home we were having a good time until everyone fell asleep. So the last half of the drive was rather boring. Oh well. However it was good to go up and be around all the other missionaries. I have gotten so used to seeing other companionships basically every day for the last year+. Being in Hobbs we see the spanish elders once for some service and at church, and then we see the Lovington elders at church. So we spend a lot of days with just us. Which is nice sometimes. Don't have to worry about anyone else. However we will have meeting every week from here on out so we will see every one a little more often. So that was good!
We went to eat dinner yesterday with some members on the ward and upon entering their house I saw their book shelves and immediately began to scan for Harry Potter as I usually do. Well, I couldn't see anything UNTIL I saw the two full shelves designated for their Harry Potter stuff! They had it all! All of the books, wands, miniature quidditch set, the cup that was the port-key in the Goblet of Fire, the monster book that they had in the Prisoner of Azkaban, and many other books of all sorts relating to Harry Potter. Oh man, I was happier than could be. I had so much excitement blowing up inside of me. This was unreal, man. Just unreal. And I need to stop myself right there before I go any further with this.
As for the work, things are going well and picking up. Upon my arrival we weeded out all of the time wasting people and got our lists down to people we can actually focus on. And as we've done that we have had more people to focus on come into the mix! The last couple days have been very good for us and we are starting to really build up some solid work! However, I know that you wont' remember names and lessons that we taught them so I will wait for a bit to tell you about them. When someone starts getting close to being baptized or is just super sweet and legit, like Devin, then I will tell y'all about them.
Well team, I'm gonna close this puppy up! I hope y'all have a wonderful week full of blessings and joy! The Lord is good and will bless us as we allow him to by our actions! May you feel his love in bountiful amounts!
God bless ya!

Elder Reed Ericson

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