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.
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!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOGARTH! :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAL! :)
With much love, Hermana Erickson 1. :)