Thursday, August 14, 2014

101st Epistle from Elder Kaleb Erickson serving in Patchogue, New York

Golfing and Good Times written on August 11, 2014

We are finally back down to just two of us here in Patchogue. Well, two elders at least. Now it's just me and Elder Morrell and the two sister missionaries. Elder Van Mondfrans had a good last run here. He went out in the blaze of glory that he wanted. And by that, I mean it was a quiet event without much fanfare. He was working up until the last hour, just like he dreamed. We did our epic three way split, like we usually do on Tuesday nights. I stayed to teach English class and the other two went out with members to teach. Elder Morrell didn't have much success and he was back by 8. But Elder Van made all sorts of things happen and wasn't back until 9:30. He was a champ.

The next morning we took him to the mission office and the APs took him to JFK with some other missionaries who were going home that same day. It was pretty simple. We just said goodbye and drove back to Patchogue. Not much to it. It's pretty different without him, but it's good. It's a lot calmer with only two people instead of three. And there's not as much going on in lessons now.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it last week, but there is a new member in our branch. He is from Honduras, he's 26 and he's a return missionary. He came here to study and work for a while. He doesn't have much to do in his spare time, so he is always asking to come teaching with us. We took him to visit the Araujo family. They have been investigating for a long time and haven't really gotten anywhere. They've been to church three times since I started in Patchogue. It's a big family, they have four kids under the age of 18. We took Allen to visit them and he connected with them really well. The parents thought he was way cool and he was chatting it up with them the whole time. They didn't end up coming to church this week, but they made a good friend with Allen. So hopefully if he can keep coming with us to teach them, we'll finally get somewhere with them.

He also came with us all day after church yesterday. We had some appointments set up and he just came with us to all of them. Some fell through, so we just looked up people nearby. It was a really sweet day. We taught four lessons with him in three hours. That's not bad at all. We even found a new investigator for the sisters. We were doing good work with Allen. He is good with people and is Hispanic, so other Hispanics love him. We're excited to keep working with him.

The other big event of the week was a multi-zone less active blitz on Saturday evening. They brought three zones of missionaries together in an area called Bay Shore to split up and look up less actives there. We all got mixed up with different companions and they gave us a list of people to go find and instructions on what to do. I got paired up with a member from the Bay Shore ward, Brother Engleby. He was a pretty cool guy. We didn't have too much luck with the less actives, but I met a number of Hispanics and got their info for the Spanish missionaries there to go back another time. It was a lot of fun because there were a lot of missionaries at the event. I got to see a lot of my friends from other areas. Elder Hart was there and so was Elder Spencer and some people I knew from Midwood. It was great. We all went to Taco Bell afterwards to celebrate the good times.

This morning we went golfing with our branch mission leader. He works landscaping on a way nice golf course, so he told us we could come golf for free. We have been talking about going for months and we finally went today. It was a lot of fun. I'm not very good at golfing, but Elder Morrell and Sister Keele are. We would all hit a ball and then we would play whichever was the best hit. It made it easier to keep up with everyone because we weren't really competing. I'm still not very good at golf, but I think I got a bit better by the end of the day. I'm glad we finally went, Julio was excited to see us there.

And thus begins the last week of adventures. We've got some good things planned, it should be a good week. I'm returning my ipad tomorrow, so I'll be out of the loop and back to carrying normal scriptures all the time. Should be good.

Love,    Elder Erickson

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