Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#16 [Azua - 12] March 25th, 2013

Well first off!!! I am officially training this next transfer!! :) I am super stoked. We found out last night, and then about 20 minutes ago, we found out that we are staying the night in Santo Domingo and picking up the trainees tomorrow morning. So that is why I am writing a little bit earlier :) haha, yay!!!! and we had to move around all of our furniture because H G is training too, so we will have the 4 of us in the same house.

But to answer your questions, mom:
•    How are you doing? Really great. I have been doing a lot better. I feel great, my body is functioning. I don’t have any amoebas that I know of. Life is good. I am starting to really love my mission. At first, I wasn’t sure, but I am starting to just love it; which is good. It’s about time. I also really love H G. At first, I had to pray for patience and to love her, but now I love her. Prayers work. :)
•    Any progress with those that you’re teaching? Good question... not really. We are having slow progress, but it is still progress. K... will probably be getting baptized this transfer. He keeps bringing all of his friends to church, and he asked in Elder’s quorum how to get the priesthood - so that is a good sign. Maybe he will want to be baptized now. He also told us that he loves the commandments and wants to keep them all 100%. Not sure if he has realized that baptism is a commandment, haha, but wow. I just love him. If we come back and visit (I am definitely coming - but if we go like we did to Peru) you will have to meet him. He is so great. He is also reading the BOM and is in.. Jacob now. Proud moment. I feel like his mother, just so proud all the time. Probably how you feel towards me :) hahaha
    We currently have a few baptism dates. T... and his mother both have fechas, and we’re excited. T... came to church with us. He took out his earrings, and eyebrow things, and even cut his hair - just for church!! How exciting. We haven’t talked about the word of wisdom, and in church, someone mentioned that we can’t drink alcohol, and he got pretty confused. He asked questions and a nice less-active member that came explained it to him, haha. I think we will have to talk about the word of wisdom next lesson :) His mom didn’t come to church because she was getting teeth removed or something.
    The other 2 fechas are really cool. They are friends, and one is 52 years, and the other one who is a girl is like, 30. She has 4 kids, and is POSITIVE that she is sending her youngest one home with me. I think she is brainwashing it into her head, because when the mom asks the daughter, the daughter says that she is going to come with me. She is like, 2, and adorable. Except the other day, she just squatted in her cute dress and pants and started going to the bathroom; which totally grossed me out. I don’t think I could have my daughter doing that sort of thing. haha.
    R and M are progressing slowly. They have yet to come to church.
Found out that E..’s older sister (actually her niece, who is older than E) is a less-active member! She was baptized 16 years ago, so hopefully she can get baptized soon.
    The other investigators are slowly progressing.

•    How do you feel about your Spanish fluency? I am feeling pretty confident actually. I realized that I had been comparing my Spanish to the people and elders who have been out for 20 months and such. So it was discouraging. And then I realized what I was doing, and I have been much more confident. I actually do most of the talking in the lessons now; :) kind of a big deal, but it is just at a perfect time, since I will be training :) yay!!!!!!

OH!!!!! THANK YOU SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH for all of the stuff you sent with Riss!!! I had no idea that you were sending all of that. I really appreciate it. Thank you for the packets of Crystal Light. We have been enjoying them. So, that is fun :) haha. I love the purse. I am scared to use it because I don't want to ruin it, but it is adorable. And I did realize that there weren’t any vitamins, which made me pretty sad, because I was really looking forward to them. I am glad that Riss has them. I will get them somehow, hopefully :) and all of the hand sanitizer wipes! I loved looking through the purse to find more and more. They have been quite helpful. And also, the super super cute stamps. They made me so happy; as well as the recipes. We are going to try them sometime. Last week, we ate out every single day - because it was our last week together. We had a zone meeting on Friday, so we ate out with the zone as well. I love our zone. I have made some pretty good friends. They all think I am pretty cool because I beat Elder M... in soccer – in long pants; barefoot; and they just give him a hard time about it. Hahaha poor guy. He will never live that down. I hope we play soccer again soon :) But, like I was saying. Thank you for all of the things you sent me. We are still eating the Honey Bunches of Oats. I wasn’t expecting you to send me so much, but I am very grateful. (Just two boxes.)

Oh, something that I have noticed that is super random, but worth mentioning is that I feel prettier on my mission. I don’t know why. It could be because I have the spirit more, or it could be because the people tell me I am pretty, or because I am now tan. Who knows, but I feel really pretty and it makes me happy, and really grateful, and not proud in any way; which is weird because at home, I would feel proud when I had a cute day or something. But I am not really focused on my appearance here, and maybe that is why I feel pretty. Who knows. Thought that was interesting. Did you feel the same way?

So this week is Semana Santa. It’s a pretty big deal here. They celebrate all the time, and the kids have no school, and it’s a celebration. They also have all sorts of food. The members have been bringing us food to eat the last few days, and it’s great. They make really good spaghetti here. The other night, we were planning, and we hear someone yell, so we went out to the door, and saw a girl there, holding a container of something. I realized that it was a girl in the ward, so I went and got the keys and opened up the 2 locks. She gave us a pitcher full of something, and we said thanks and she left. We decided to eat it with our spaghetti, and we were excited. It was a special juice thing (made for the Semana Santa - because it had the special cookies that are only used for Semana Santa in it). But we start drinking it and it was hot and thick. Reminded me of the spaghetti juice. Kinda made me gag. Tasted like beans. When I was laying in bed that night I remembered that people here love a thing called HABITUELAS CON DULCE around Easter time. And I was thinking that I would love to try it, because I have only heard good things about it. Then I realized that HABITUELA means BEAN, and that we probably had it for dinner!!! ah!!! HOW DO PEOPLE LIKE THAT!? People are just so generous and love to give us food; but yeah, I drank beans. Sweet beans.

Haha, funny story. So the last few days, H G has been feeling a little sick; like stomach sick. I didn’t think anything of it, because when my stomach hurts, I just assume it’s gas, haha. But she wanted to go do a poop test. Gross. So we went and got the little container and we went home. The next day, we went back to the lab and such and she got her results. Turns out that she has an amoeba which is why I mentioned it earlier haha. But, it isn’t anything super bad. We have to go to the hospital today to take out blood and do another sample, but she should be ok. The amoeba is from unclean water. The lady at the lab said that pretty much everyone here has that amoeba. So, I am not too worried. She is though, and it’s pretty funny.

But I thought to myself during that experience that I really never want to do a poop test. I will never do one. I have too much pride. I will not do it. But let’s be real. I have been praying for more humility, and that would be a perfect thing to humble me. So, I might be getting sick soon – just so you know. I will probably be humbled through the poop test. Ugh. I am prepared.

But not much has been happening this week. I feel bad for not talking about the investigators very much. If they were progressing, I would not talk about myself so much. I feel like other missionary Emails that I have read are about the work and the investigators, and then mine is about poop tests and cheese thieves. Haha, oh well I guess. Such is life.

I love you all very much. Thank you for your love and support. I am so lucky to be a missionary. I feel proud to have the Erickson name on my badge every day. I love my family. We had a testimony meeting in the district meeting the other day, and when I started bringing up the plan of salvation and being a forever family, my eyes started tearing up, so I had to stop talking about it. I just all of the sudden get so emotional all the time. (Kacey, your eyes, they’re wet. – inside joke) all the time, haha, but oh well. I think I needed to have them washed out. I never cried before. I have 21 years of tears bottled up in my tear ducts – haha

But I hope you have a great week. I will tell you all about my daughter (new trainee) in the next week. Thank you for your love, and for the goodies you sent with Riss. I feel so loved all the time.

Also, if you see Melanie please get her address. I would like to write her. Her birthday is coming up as well, just so you know, haha.

But HOPPY EASTER!!!! I am so thankful for Christ and His infinite atonement. I can feel His love and the power of the atonement in my life. I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful church. I encourage you all to spread the gospel in whatever way you can. Go to church. Make sure you are receiving the blessings that God has for you - some blessings can only be found in church.

Love you all infinitely,

-Hermana Erickson 1.

ox ox ox

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#15 [Azua - 11] Mar. 18th, 2013

FIRST OFF, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH AND JEFF!!! :) I hope your birthdays are ab-fab! ;) hahaha But really; do you have any fun plans? I wanna hear all about them :) please.

But wow!
I can't believe that we're both serving! I am going to want to write her, too, so we'll see. This week in my inbox, I got A LOT of Emails. I got one from Mauri - she got her Mission call. Don't know if you all knew she was serving, but she is going to Virginia.. I think.

But wow, I still can't get over the fact that we are on the same island!! I sent a box with some elders yesterday - they said that they were going to visit the MTC, so hopefully they will get in contact with Riss. I think they will. I gave her a few things, mainly treats. But (as dad would say,) "What's wrong with that!" I still have not watched that movie... haha, it's on my after mission to-do list. :)

I actually realized that I will hit 100 days on Josh's birthday! Quite cool. I also noticed something about MARCH 12. Did you notice? 1. Riss got set apart. 2. I hit my 3 months. 3. Jeff got his mission call that day (I am pretty sure.) I think that is right. If so, then March 12th is a pretty awesome day for the Erickson children missionaries :)

So the day that Riss got set apart, I was thinking about her a lot, and at 9:30 my time, which is 7:30 there, I just sat in silence, in tears, and joined you all for the setting apart. :) Could you feel my presence? That would be weird if you could, but I even took a picture of me at 9:30 - to prove it :) I sent it to Riss already, :) but it was tender.

Also, remember J...? Well, we met with him the other day, and he was very somber. So we asked what was wrong, and he was like, "I can't be a Mormon." So we asked why, and found out that he's moving for 6 months - to PUERTO RICO! So, we told him that there were missionaries there, too, and that he could still be baptized. He lit up :) It was so cute. He gave me his address, and I told him that my sister was going to serve her mission there, and he wanted her to look for him. So, I have his address, and I will send it to Riss, and she can give it to the office, so they can send missionaries to him. And if Riss ends up going to the area where he is, that would be so awesome. But it turns out that almost ALL of the people we meet here have family in PR, and they all have been there, and they go there all the time. So.. me and Riss could teach family members. That is so cool to me.

Oh, the other day, we were in the church, and we heard some noise. So we decided to go look at what the noise was, and there were YSA's dancing! They were learning a song, one that sounded familiar, and it was actually one from EFY, so I started dancing in the hall, where no one could see me! And then they invited us in to watch them dance, and they were learning from the EFY VIDEOS!!! Wow, I freaked out!!! It made me so happy - I couldn't stop smiling, and dancing along in my head (we're not supposed to dance here.) (Actually, we really can't do anything fun; seriously. NO FUN ALLOWED - we can't even play dominoes on our p-day, but that is besides the point. I still have fun. :)

I should get a bag of stuff from the elders tomorrow. They will return from the capital tonight. They could be with Riss as we speak!! How exciting!! :) Thank you again for sending some stuff. 

So in the DR, they have festivals all the time. There is a party at least once a week. Like, the 16th was some celebration, and then tomorrow (H Gamez's 6 months mark) is another one. who knows why, but they celebrate. They all dressed up in costumes and masks and it felt like Disneyland, because we were all standing as if a parade was about to pass by, but it was interesting. And what passed by was a HUGE truck, with speakers, just playing music. I have never heard louder music. I will send you a pic of the truck. But ya know how it is when you can feel the bass in your chest? Well, ALL of my bones could feel the music. It was SUPER LOUD!!! :/ But a... cultural experience for sure, haha.

Some guy yesterday, while in a lesson that we were teaching, told us that he had 6 kids, and he was 30, and I couldn't believe it! And then I asked him to guess how old I was, and he thought 16. I also met a woman, who I thought was 65-70, and she is 47. She is the mom of T...  :) They are a cool family. I think they are going to progress. They have been humbled so much. He has to go to the hospital a lot, because he wrecked on his bike a while ago, and it messed up his head a little - he was in a coma for a month or 2. But anyways, they were telling us how they have to pay 6000 pesos for the operation, and how they didn't know where to get the money, because neither of them could work - she has anemia (I think of blood - she was telling me that she gets really exhausted easily, and it reminded me of earlier days... terrible experience. I can't believe that was me!, but anyways), and can't work. THEY ARE SO POOR HERE! and I hate it because I can't do anything about it. It's so sad to see the people live in poverty. Yeah, they are richer than the people in Peru, but to all of the places that we visited in Peru, these are so much worse. I am sure that Jeff has seen it really bad, since they don't put sisters in sketchy places, but still. I count my blessings daily. :)

So the other day, we suggested to do a zone activity, since we haven't for a long time - I have never had one, and I have almost 3 months in the zone. So we suggested soccer, and all of the elders thought I was a ballerina, and were shocked when I told them that I played before - I think I mentioned that last week. But we mentioned it, and today, we PLAYED SOCCER!!

The investigators are doing ok. Not much progress, even with the C... family coming to the branch, S... and A... didn't come. We went to pick up 4 people for church, and none were home. :( and then K... came, and he brought his friend, E. G. Oh man - if only he would just get baptized!! He's practically a member. The Family G. didn't come to church. We just can't get anyone to church. But, I feel like we are teaching well and that we have the spirit. I feel that some great things are going to happen this week. I don't know what, but I have a feeling!

Speaking of this week, we have transfers, so I will find out if I am training. Everyone says yes, but we will find out on Sunday :) ah!!! Also, I will probably finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish tomorrow. I got to Moroni 7 today, :) so I have 4 more chapters - including 7. :) Pretty exciting.

But with the investigators–not much progression. I feel like we are trudging through mud with them–uphill. We have to fight, and it's not an easy fight. It gives me hope though, knowing that other missionaries here are getting baptisms, but baptisms don't measure success - it is teaching, and I need to remember that. I was called to TEACH. I can't baptize anyways - not an elder :)

Well, I guess I will end my account. I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for keeping me updated :)

Hope you have a great week - especially Josh and Jeff :) – love you both!



With much love, Hermana Erickson 1. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

#14 [Azua - 10] Mar. 11th, 2013

Hello!!! :) Happy 11th of March!!!

First off, happy birthday to Mom and Michelle Chai this week! :) how happy.
Ok, to answer your questions.
•    The address that Riss would need is just to give it to Elder R. He is the assistant, and he is in my area, so I see him all the time. But if she just wrote, DRSDW Mission- Hermana Erickson, it should get to me. They would be happy to work with her, I am sure. :)

I am happy that you won a Disneyland trip! Speaking of Disneyland - Paige wrote me, and said they were in Disneyland. I am going to write her back. But you can send my thanks to her. As well as Kasha. I got letters from them both. So thanks to them :)

Happy to hear that Riss and I have matching skirts!!! How cute; precious -- Chullo as they say here :) and happy to hear that her talk went well. She always does well on talks. I never got that talent. but she sure did! :)
  • So, how was the temple trip? The temple trip was great!!! I had such a fun time. We just did an endowment session - MY first one in Spanish1!! :) It went well. The temple is very pretty. It was also my first not-live one; that was interesting. I don't know which I enjoy better. But, the temple reminded me a lot of the SLC one. Only 2 zones came to this one. The others are going this week, which is why I asked to go this week, so I could meet up with Riss, but such is life. And we go to the temple every 6 months. So we will go in September again :) or that is the plan :)
  • No, we never found out the cheese bandit, but we still laugh about it. People these days. Haha, I still can't get over how ridiculous it was. And also, we're now out of cheese, which is unfortunate.
  • Okay, so this past week had to be better than the previous two weeks - right? We sure hope so!!! YES! it was. I will tell you all about it :) :)
  • Do you know how long sister missionaries have been serving in Azua?  About two years. We had elders before. Do you feel like you are trusted by the members in your ward? I feel like Sister G. is trusted. They all think I am dumb and can't understand them. But I hope they learn to trust me. Also, she is more empathetic, so when someone cries, she rushes to comfort them. I should work on that........... it's just super AWKWARD for me.
  • Do you know how many sister missionaries are in your mission? I think we have 12. We are going to get 16 more soon?
  • Number of missionaries and how many are coming to serve in the SDW mission? I don't know the answer to this question. I can probably find out. But I know we are going to get 2 more in our house. So that means 2 more in Azua- this next transfer - in 2 weeks!! So I will probably train one of them!! I am scared that she will be a native speaker, and I know she would not respect me if she were a native, because she can speak more fluent. But that is my only fear in training. Otherwise, BRING IT ON!! :) :)
I learned that we can have EFY music here, and Elder R. had this past years in Spanish, and it made me want to listen to my EFY music. So if you find any CDs with efy music, or other church stuff, you could put one of those in. I like music. But other than that, I don't think I need any more cereal. H G likes gummy worms, so maybe you could send some of those for her. OOH, maybe sunscreen. I am already black, but it might be good to have some. I don't trust the stuff here. But if not, I can continue getting skin cancer. :) But thank you very much

Ok. My week. Ready to hear about it? So on Tuesday, we went to a sister in the ward's house, and she showed us how to make SPAGHETTI JUICE!!!! yeah. It tasted gross, but then I remembered that I was drinking soggy spaghetti, and it kept making me gag. But it was good! It would be so great for Soccer and stuff, because it is pure carbs. So tell Heather to drink it :) Recipe: Soggy spaghetti noodles, cooked in water and sugar, then you put it in the blender with water (as runny as you want it, use that much water) then put in milk, and some evaporated milk. Put in a pinch of salt, and then like 5 lbs of sugar! and viola!!! Spaghetti juice!!! :) :) – probably try it sometime.

I was talking to Herm G., and she was talking about this super fun game that she played before her mission - MISSIONARY IMPOSSIBLE. And I just looked at her like, "you enjoyed that game?" But yes, she loved it. It reminded me of the cabin, and how we tried to have a good time, but failed because the game was so lame! hahaha. I love her, a lot. I am going to be sad when we aren’t comps anymore.

Also on Tuesday, I had my first time throwing up since the mission started. That could be another reason why I don't like the juice, who knows. I think I was just dehydrated because I had a migraine, and we were in a lesson, and I looked at HG and signaled that I had to barf, so we ended (they chose me to say the prayer and I am surprised that I didn't spew while praying) and then we hurried home and I threw up, and felt better after :) but I’ve felt great ever since.

So we had a few miracles this week. They were much needed. Our hopes and confidence were both pretty low, but we kept our spirits high with laughter. But we have E..., right? her mom (who is actually her sister-in-law [families here are messed up. I met a guy who has 24 siblings because his dad has had so many kids..] but that is a different story.) E... doesn't want her to get baptized. We have talked to E..., and we went to visit her the other day, and her mom said she wasn't home. So we decided to visit with her mom instead! We had brought a member, and found out that they were 2nd cousins, since everyone is related here – not kidding. But we shared with her, and she opened up to us, and we had a gay old time!! We're thinking that E... will be getting baptized soon :) so yeah!!! Miracle number one.
Number 2, we were headed to the English class on Saturday, and we decided to stop at J's to buy ice cream. He was sitting outside, and he saw us, and we waved. I think he was scared of us--he disappeared the other day right before our appt. with him – but he came over and admitted his smoking, and told us that he wanted to change; completely honest, and all humble like. So we are going to work with him. It makes it so much easier when they admit to doing something; otherwise we can't do anything about it!!!! But that was miracle #2.
We also found out that HG's favorite ice cream flavor is made with alcohol. So we have both had alcohol while on our missions.... I never thought I would have it. We have both decided to not have raisin ice cream anymore. haha...
Miracle #3. Remember S... and A..? We stopped visiting them a while ago because they never came to church. They have family in our branch, but they go to the other branch, and when A and S go to church, they go with the other family. So, it is frustrating. We have tried to talk to the family (the Cano family) about coming to our branch, and they are never home. So, we gave up – then, on Sunday, THE CANO FAMILY WAS THERE!! yay! And it turns out that he was called as the Branch President!! so yeah... Now I have faith that S and A could get baptized.
So yeah! Miracles all around. The only bad thing was that when we went to S and A's house, they told us that they were no longer getting married. They had called off their relationship earlier that day. So HG comforted A.. while she cried, and I sat there – comfort from a distance; but yeah, we need to work with them some more.

Tomorrow is my 3 month mark!!! So weird. I am almost 1/6 done!! Riss gets set apart on my 3 month mark :) how happy.

Well, I think that is the only stuff that happened this week. I am sure a lot more did, but I don't want to get my journal out and search. I did finish my first journal here, so that was exciting. We had a family commit to baptism, and we'll be working with them. It's technically only the parents - the daughters are already members. But we're happy.

Anyways, I love you all. I have some pictures. But I hope you have a fun week. I love you!! The church is true!!

-Hermana Erickson. #1. :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

#13 [Azua - 9] Mar. 4th, 2013

First off, thank-you for writing.

Zone conference was... super long! It was supposed to be from 10 to 4, but it was 9:30 to 6. I think I learned a few things. We didn't have interviews - there were 5 other zones there, and we were the only girls. We felt ostracized.

But oh my, guess what? So we always order stuff from Pricesmart, right? and the elders go and buy it for us and such. Well, we bought a huge bag of cheese, like 5 pounds, and so we put it in the fridge before the meeting, so it wouldn't melt. And when we get out, we go to pick it up, and it's opened. AND HALF OF IT IS GONE!!! WHO DOES THAT?! Who opens a random bag of cheese and just takes half of it!? gross. Hermana G got upset. I really couldn't stop laughing. She didn't want to eat it, but I didn't want to waste it. It cost us almost 10 dollars- I think, but yeah, she wanted to chuck it. I convinced her that I would eat it and once she saw my delicious food, she decided to eat cheese with it as well. We are both still alive. But I really can't get over that. People here have no respect for other people's things. Gosh.

Happy to hear about the missionary month. I remember that. I remember Louie got sent to France, Lyon - I think, and I was there too, and now she is going there! So cool.

Um – we are still doing the English classes. They are going well. We get a lot of children coming, and a lot of non-members, so it's fun. I mainly teach, because I know English a little better, but I enjoy them.

We are going to the temple on Friday :) super excited.

Ok, almost done with your letter- but our investigators. WELL -- that is why this week was so awful. So we had 6 baptismal dates two weeks ago, and now we have ZERO. Yes. So... we don't know what to do. We are working, and within the last two weeks, everyone failed us.
•    One of our investigators is amazing. He has referrals for us, he wants to go visit people and teach them with us, he invites his friends to lessons, and he loves reading the BOM. He is in 2 Nephi now, which is faster than anyone else. He's great. We love teaching him. We don't know why he won't commit to baptism though. He's always like, "Oh, my neighbor would make an awesome Mormon." And then we're like, "and you?" and he laughs and says, "we'll see" so I think he will eventually. :) He is the only reason that we are feeling successful.

    - People here make a spaghetti shake–it sounds gross, but I think it could be good. You cook the noodles, and then you put it in a blender with milk and sugar and then drink it. We are going to try it tomorrow :)
    - Also, we like to eat fried tortillas with sugar on top. I can see Jakey enjoying that treat, you should try it. :)

Ok -- so, the other day, we were teaching A.... I told you about him, right? Well, we haven't been able to teach him for a long time now, and we finally were able to. We taught him about baptism, and invited him to be baptized. The spirit was actually super strong, but he was unsure about the baptismal date. We kept going back and forth about it, and when he told us that he would tell us on Tuesday, it went all quiet. So I started asking about church and then as I was inviting him to church, the lady across the street rips a HUGE FART. Like, so big. I was trying super hard not to laugh, as was HG, because it's not professional. But then A... looks at me with a small smile and laughs. So, I lost it. We were all laughing so hard, and couldn’t stop. I felt awful, and I started crying. After about 5 minutes, we calmed down and invited him to church. hahahahah – But it gets better – after leaving his house, we walk home and keep replaying it in our heads. We get home, and plan for the day, and then we write in our journals. HG turns to me and is like, "that was so funny, and the best fart about was.." and we started laughing because she said fart instead of part. But then we stop laughing, and she takes a drink of water. But I somehow made her laugh, and she spews it out and that makes us laugh harder. And then she starts barfing!!!! Yes! What the heck?! The mood changed, quite dramatically. I didn't know what to do, cuz I was still laughing. Do I stop and clean up? or... what? Ummm. She cleaned it up and we kept laughing. She was actually laughing while barfing. I have never heard of that happening before, and it was awkward, but hilarious. That made the week better. But yeah, J... made the week bad, and so did everyone else failing us.

Well, that is all. I have nothing more to say that I can think of. Thank you for your love and prayers. I know the church is true! I love you all! I am going to send pictures to you! I hope you get them all!  Talk to you next week!

-Hermana Erickson.

PS, we met a guy yesterday named E G. Which is almost both of our names. He's K...'s friend. 
Look to the other Emails for explanation. enjoy :)

I love you all so much! Thank you for being a bright example to me all the time. I want to have a family like ours when I grow up a bit. I am so thankful for our family. I have always been super grateful for it, but now that I don't have you all, I am so much more grateful. It makes me so happy that we are all members. I hope we stay active as a family forever, so we can enjoy the blessing forever.

Love you all!

-Herm Erickson