Tuesday, July 22, 2014

97th Epistle from Elder Kaleb Erickson serving in Patchogue, New York

All About Threes Written July 14, 2014

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Three is a lot of people to hang out all the time. It's always a party with us. And we're always on the move. I already dubbed us with nicknames from Top Gun. So you know it's good.

It was a melancholy start to the week. Last Monday was Elder Mendez's last day here. We played handball in the afternoon and visited a few people in the evening. We hooked it up with Subway for dinner with Hermano Ibarra and we ended the night visiting our dear friend Julio. We were kicking it with Julio when we got a call from the sister missionaries. Apparently there was a mistake in the transfer calls and Hermana Vasquez was being transferred on the next day. She didn't find out until late Monday night. She had no time to say goodbye to anybody. She was very sad to hear that news. Elder Mendez and I knew she needed some comfort food, so we ran to 7-Eleven and got her some of her favorite chocolates and took them over on our way home. She was very appreciative that we would do that for her. She was doing okay by the time we got there, but everyone was still sad to see her go.

Tuesday morning was a very sad day. It was hard to say goodbye to Elder Mendez. I've been his companion for so long, it was really weird to think that he wouldn't be there the next day. So we lost three people from our district, Elder Coca, Elder Mendez, and Sister Vasquez. We lost all of our Hispanics. Elder Coca is half Bolivian, Elder Mendez's parents are Mexican, and Sister Vasquez is Peruvian. Now we're all pure gringo.

Patchogue District Celebrate 7/11 Day - Free Slurpies
Transfer meeting was pretty uneventful. Not too much happened. Elder Van Mondfrans and I were placed in a trio with Elder Morrell. He is a way cool guy. I remember when he came in the mission, he was in my zone. He has been out for 19 months, so he has some solid experience under his belt. He is our district leader here and Van Mondfrans and I are just the lowly helpers. It's a pretty good balance. The new sister who came in is Sister Shreeve. I don't know her as well, but she was trained by Sister Franklin, who I served with in Midwood. Sister Shreeve is pretty cool so far, I think she's a good addition to the Patchogue family.

So the first night, Elder Van Mondfrans stayed in the mission home with all of the departing missionaries. He is going home four weeks into the transfer, so he went to the departing missionary testimony meeting there. This meant it was just me and Elder Morrell for the first night. We had a sweet drive home and got back just in time to help the sisters teach English class. The next morning we drove out to pick up Elder Van Mondfrans and really start the trio adventure. We visited a number of people throughout the day. Both of our teaching pools are combined now, so we have a lot of people to choose from. There's nobody really progressing very fast, but there are lots of nice and interesting people that we met with. One notable family was Jose and Carla. Carla is from El Salvador and Jose is from Puerto Rico. Which means we can't understand anything he says. I'm not entirely convinced he was speaking Spanish the whole time. They are very nice people though. She is member and he is not. He's not super convinced about the Book of Mormon, but he's willing to listen and ask lots of questions. And he came to church, so that's always good.

That first night was fun because we realized how easily we can go on splits with members now. Elder Van Mondfrans had some appointments that night, but we also had to teach English classes. So we called up our main man Julio. He stayed with me to teach English and the other two went off to the appointments. It was a sweet deal. I'm looking forward to three more weeks of that.

This week was mostly getting to know people. It seems like we'll probably do some more of that this coming week too. There weren't too many really notable events. We met with a really cool family on Saturday, the parents are named Danny and Francesca. They are both Catholic, but listened pretty intently to our lesson. They even asked a number of questions too. They said they couldn't make it to church this wen but would be there for sure the next week. The other event of note was that we met up with a less active named Luis Florez who took us out to eat pupusas. It was glorious.

Church was good yesterday too. We didn't have a ton of people, but I got called up to translate for a speaker from the stake high counsel. That is always an adventure. He had a copy of his talk that he gave to me so I was able to look at some of it ahead of time. But he also liked to deviate from the script and tell personal stories. Great for an interesting talk, bad for your translator struggling to translate your English idioms into Spanish. It was fine though, people in the audience helped me out. In other news from the day, Germany won the World Cup. It was so disappointing. Not as disappointing as Brazil losing 1-7 to Germany, but I was still sad that Argentina lost. The other disappointing thing is that now we have one less conversation topic with people. If only there was always a World Cup playing. It would make conversation starters so much easier.

Love, Elder Erickson

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