Thursday, August 14, 2014

100th Epistle from Elder Kaleb Erickson serving in Patchogue, New York

Parties and Good times Written August 4, 2014

Another week down. This was Elder Van Mondfrans' last full week with us. He's got two days left. Wednesday morning, we're going to drop him off at JFK and then it's just me and Elder Morrell for the last week and a half. It's going to be an adventure. It always is.

We didn't have a ton of appointments this week. We had lots of things set up, but we also had lots of things fall through. We had our classic three way split on Tuesday evening. I stayed with Julio to teach English again and the other two went out with members to find people. It wasn't a roaring success, but they met with one or two people. I had fun teaching English again. I always have a good time there.

We had our zone leader exchange on Wednesday. The district leader is supposed to go on an exchange with the zone leaders once a transfer. So Elder Morrell went with one of the zone leaders to their area and the other zone leader stayed in a trio with me and Elder Van Mondfrans. It's funny how different it felt without Elder Morrell there. We really only had two things happen that day. There was an older woman in our branch from Argentina who moves out to New York every summer to live. She had to go back home early, so she called us to have us over for lunch one last time before she left. She is a very nice lady. She doesn't know how to cook beef, but insists on feeding us hamburgers every time. So we always go in and make sure that she cooks them for long enough. She's sweet, I'll miss her. Our other appointment for the day was with the Romero family. This was my first time meeting with them. They are interested in learning English and are willing to listen to a spiritual thought afterward. It's not my favorite setup because you know they only really want to learn English. But at least they're willing to listen and maybe they'll get something out of it. I still enjoy teaching people English, regardless of whether they want to learn how to pray or not.

Thursday was the day of our departing interviews with President Calderwood. So we had to drive out to Queens in the morning to be at the mission office. The interview went well. There wasn't much to it, he just kind of asked about my plans for the future and encouraged me to continue reading and praying every day. I guess that's really the most important to do. On our way back, we stopped to visit with somebody that Elder Van Mondfrans knew from Queens. He took us to a restaurant and we had some Peruvian chicken. It was great. Nothing like some sweet Peruvian cuisine.

One of the sister missionaries here, Sister Shreeve, had a birthday on Thursday. But we were all super busy on Thursday, so we decided to have a surprise party for her on Friday. I baked her a chocolate cake and wrote her name on it in frosting, we got her favorite pizza and soda, and we decorated the Relief Society room for her. She was not expecting anything, so it was a fun surprise.

There's a member in our branch named Luis Flores. He is a very nice guy from El Salvador. He doesn't have much and he only recently moved here. We've been visiting him for a while. He doesn't have a white shirt and tie, so we got one for him and took it over on Friday. I have never seen somebody so excited to put on a white shirt and tie. It was hilarious. We showed him how to tie the tie and he was so happy, checking himself out in the mirror. We left and we saw on Facebook a few hours later, he had someone take a picture of him and put it up. He was so proud of that shirt.

Saturday we had a pretty cool day. We took a young man in the branch out teaching with us. He's actually the only young man in the branch. Josue is his name. He's 16. We taught him, then we went and got pupusas with him. Then we took him to meet with a guy who recently moved into our branch. This guy is a return missionary from Honduras. He stopped going to church for a while, but now he's decided he wants to come back. He was really excited to meet with us. His only problem is that he doesn't have a car and lives a 20 minute drive from the church. We helped him find a ride and he even brought his nephew to church the next day. That was cool.

Not too much happened on Sunday either. It was my last testimony meeting in New York. Elder Van Mondfrans and I both made sure to get up and give our testimonies. It was a really nice meeting. I played the piano and translated for primary again. We didn't have any investigators come to church, but we had two less actives that we hadn't seen in a long time, so that was awesome. The only other big event from Sunday was meeting with Stalin. We are getting back to meeting with him regularly. He's a fun guy to teach. We taught him about the Doctrine of Christ. He always listens intently and asks really good questions. If we could just get him to read and pray and get him to church, I think a lot of his concerns and doubts might be resolved. So now it's just a matter of helping him act. We'll get there someday.

And that's the tale. Only two more weeks of good times here. It will be very different without Elder Van Mondfrans. But it will be good. A little change never hurt anybody.

Love,    Elder Erickson

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