September 17, 2016
Hello hello hello to all you wonderful people! Holy cow! Elder Ericson's life is crazy. Not really that crazy, but crazy. And it’s not really ongoing craziness either, basically just a week full of crazy. But hey, I like crazy sometimes.
Holy cow. To start off the week we had a nice big batch of new missionaries make their way to Lubbock! My goodness, I love new missionaries so much! They are the greatest! This batch is particularly stellar, with hardly any deer in the headlight looks like you usually get! I had the privilege to sit down across from all of them and have them sign a couple of things and discuss their driving records, certify them as drivers, and give some further instruction on a couple of things. That was quite the wonderful experience! I got to see one on one the light that all these young people have fresh out in the field! I was pretty proud of myself as well, I cranked through those interviews like nothing. Usually they take forever to get through, but Elder Ericson got them in and out of there like a champ. I think I had completed all 26 missionaries (over the course of Monday and Tuesday) before most of the other interviewers got through 20 or so. Everyone was very impressed because apparently the vehicle ones usually take forever. But we made quick work of it! People have been saying that I need to just stick around and fill my assignment for another year, and I just tell them to find me a wife and we will serve a junior couple's mission together. So far I haven't gotten any leads so it doesn't seem to be working out. However, Elder Heppler did have one person that he said he could get (basically as a joke), and I felt weird so maybe I shouldn't go that route. But, don't worry fam, I won't be pulling a year long extension for a junior couple mission. I just don't think we can work anything out fast enough:) ANYWAY, enough of that garbage.
It was fun eating with the new missionaries as well. We all ate dinner together at the church and I got to be the designated "old missionary" at my table with a bunch of greenies. They were just firing off questions and pumped about everything. It is hard sometimes though because everything has to be positive for them. So they ask questions that I may only have an answer that isn't super positive, but I had to answer honestly and just blow smoke about some things, but also make it positive. It was fun though! They just look up to you a ton as an older missionary and want to learn from you! Also, on Tuesday night we had 6 of the new elders crashing with the four of us. So we had 10 missionaries in our apartment. What a blast! We had a few kids that were a total hoot. My goodness, I remember my first night and we were all quiet and anxious. But dang, these kids were just loving life. We had to keep telling a couple of them it was time for bed because they were just having a good time with life. Good for them!
Another sweet perk during those couple days was that we got to join them for the traditional lunch at Blue Sky on Wednesday before they departed for their areas! Holy camolie! I didn't even know how good Blue Sky was! I had a double bacon cheeseburger with guacamole, grilled onions, hickory sauce, and something else that I can't remember. Oh man, this stuff is for real. And them suckers ain't small either. I was a very happy man walking out of there along with a nice full belly. This stuff blows your gourmet burger joints (Red Robin, etc) out of the butcher house.
Unfortunately, with new missionaries coming in, that means that missionaries were also going out. So I had to say goodbye to some good friends! Luckily it wasn't that hard because I know that I'll have a lot more communication than previous in a bit. But that was interesting sending people off that were always part of my same "generation". When it really got me though was Tuesday night writing in my journal. I haven't felt too bad at all regarding the fact that I am getting down to the end, but I got hit Tuesday night with the reality of it. So that was rough. Ever since then it has been more difficult. I realized that I don't want this to be over and that I wish I had more time to learn and grow and apply things. Satan has been working on me a little bit trying to make me think that I haven't grown enough and that I didn't do enough with my time. It has been harder to recognize the growth that has occurred than to look at the growth that is still to be had. Especially since things aren't as easy spiritually and such anymore. I have to work harder to be where I am supposed to be. A member mentioned on Sunday that what you are able to do while in the office is a great indication of what you will be able to do when you go home. That was an interesting perspective that I liked! So I have thought about that and it made me try to find more time to study and stuff.
Something pretty dang cool that I got to do this past week is that I got to drive a brand spankin' new car off the lot! Oh man, that was something else! We went to go pick up the last of the new car batch that we have received a few months ago, a 2016 Nissan Altima. Long story short, we lost the use of our car the day before because of this and that (don't have time to tell the story) so picking up the new unit was perfect timing! So we have been driving that pup around lately. And it super nice because it doesn't have a tiwi box in it to bark at me when I start going too fast. It’s actually pretty weird. It’s super easy to speed because you don't have tiwi barking at you when you get going too fast. Luckily I haven't gotten trashed by a cop yet. I'm trying to drive within the legal means but I'm just so used to tiwi that it’s hard not having him there! Also, I have driven by myself a number of times now! It was SUPER weird my first time! It’s been nearly two years since I was last driving by myself! But this past week I drove a few times completely solo! It was sketch, but super fun at the same time!
Let’s see here. I am pretty stoked to be a district leader for my last transfer. I had a nice little break and now I have one last shot to put everything I have learned as a leader to play! And it’s super weird because we have two trios of sisters in our district and that’s it. So, Elder Ericson will have sisters in his district for the first time on his mission and there's 6 of them. They even split the district this transfer because of a couple new areas. The last couple transfers Elder Dilling had four companionships of sisters in his district and that was it! He was oftentimes referred to as "The Relief Society President" hahaha!!!! Good stuff. But now we have half of the Relief Society. It has been super good so far though! I have already seen growth in myself as a leader and already seen myself apply some things that I wish I would have done better at in previous assignments. All of our sisters are wonderful missionaries and it is a pleasure to work with them all!
Also, our compadres that we live with are training a new missionary in a trio. The kids name is Elder Fernandez and he is the biggest champ ever! hahaha he's been cracking us up all day every day! He is from Queens New York and is Peruvian. Holy cow he is so legit! He always refers to his "ghetto slang" which is hilarious stuff, and has been introduced to a whole new world outside of New York! He has so far mowed his first lawn in his life and also is learning to ride a bike! They told stories of his first bike day that night and it was so funny listening to his near death experiences! So, after almost dying the whole day, they went to the church parking lot and practiced riding bikes for a while before the night was over! Hahaha I love that kid!
Well team, I'm fixin' to close this up. It was a busy week full of work and fun (I actually had something to do all day most days) and I am looking forward to another good week! May the good Lord bless you in your efforts to live righteously in this perilous world! He has set the path and we must follow!
God bless ya!
Elder Reed Ericson
Picture: #QuadSquad of Canyon West! (Elder Reed in light blue tie.)