FIRST OFF - HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB!!! :) I love you so much!!
Thank you for sending along Riss’s letters :) she sounds so happy. And she writes humorously, too. I wonder if that is some inherited trait from dad or mom. I almost died laughing about dad’s writing from Hawaii... so it could be him haha. I seriously laughed super hard when he talked about the bird poop and that he sniffed it. I still crack up while writing about it.
So this week was great. Before I tell you all about it, I am going to answer your questions.
• A..., still working towards baptism? Kinda. We went and asked him how he felt about it, and he was like, "good, BUT." and then he wouldn’t tell us!!! So he has something to tell us, but he won’t tell us what it is. It is super annoying, but still, once he tells us, we can just get it out of the way. Goodness, boy. But I don't think he’ll be baptized when we had him planned, but the fact that he actually accepted is quite a feat.
• How is the work going? Good!!! We found this new barrio (like village thing) down at the bottom of our area that we had never been to, and me and H. H. have been going down there lots. We contact everyone, and they are all quite receptive. So we have good prospects for that place, Villa Palmareja. (VIA- PALM-MAREHA how you pronounce it.)
• Are you in different wards/branches now? One or two companionships in a ward/branch? Nope, we are 3 pairs of missionaries in the same branch. They are so lucky to have 6 missionaries. :)
• Is H. G. doing better? Yes. They went to the capital and she is now completely healed, I think. She acts all better, so I think she is.
• Are they still teaching K...? Oh, let me tell you all about K.... So they are teaching him, and the other day, they were with him, and they told him that they had a few people getting baptized on the 4th of May, and then he was like, "I want to get baptized, I just don’t have a date." haha – so they put a date, and HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED MAY 4TH !!!!! I freaked out. Almost to the point of tears. I am so happy; haven't been this happy in a very long time. :) We have been teaching him since JANUARY! and now he is getting baptized. He asked his step-brother to baptize him. It’ll be special. I can’t even wait. :) :) :) :) :) :) And I am counting him as my baptism. :)
And about the thing with Sister P., you could just tell everyone that I am doing well. The Spanish is coming along. People now acknowledge me as ESPANOLA - so that is a big deal. It could be because I am dark, but I like to think it is because of my Spanish. Ignorance is bliss, right?
Thank you for the Hawaii update. I am so glad that you all had a fun time, and that my second package came.
Oh, the other day, I was randomly having a rough day, and it was awful. I don’t know Spanish super good, and the people are rude (one lady called me fat – or told me that I was fatter than when I first got here. I take it as motivation to workout and eat better... I just hope it isn’t true.) and I was just really having a hard time. Then I was reading letters and “dearelders” that you sent me, and they gave me comfort, and then I read Kelton’s, and laughed and thought of the blind sheep story that gave him comfort, and then I decided that I would ask you to write me a blind sheep story to help me in times of hardship :) So, could you maybe possibly come up with an inspirational story that wasn’t supposed to be inspirational? :) haha or just a funny story to read when I am depressed, or under the weather, or discouraged. Thanks :)
The other day while we were walking, these 15 or so kids stopped us and asked us to teach them from the Bible. So we sat down, and they were just gathered around us. We asked if we could sing first, so we started with a hymn. Then, they start clapping! We started laughing, and then stopped. They chanted for another, so we decided to pick a slower one, with not much of a beat (so they couldn’t clap) and we chose Nearer My God to Thee. It was going well, and then they found the beat, which I never noticed existed. After, some kid started stroking my feet. He was probably 3... and that was weird. So I moved my feet, and then they gave us HUGE bundles of flowers. They grow on trees here, and they wanted us to put them in our hair, so we did to humor them. I attached a pic. We had an appointment after, and wore the flowers in our hair. I felt very Mexican. H. H. looked normal... but I looked ridiculous. Our appointment wasn’t home, so we walked home. It made the night a little better :) I love children.
Speaking of children, one of our investigators,had her baby the other day. Anyways, we go to her house because her daughter tells us that she is home. So we walk in, and she’s just sitting with a bunch of her friends, NAKED. She had a robe on, but it was wide open. H. H. made fun of my reaction, but I think it was appropriate. She asked if we could come in and share, and I was like, "uh....uh...umm.... we actually just want to make an appointment with you.... uh....... is there.. um.. a better time?" and all of the uh and umms, I am looking around, trying to make eye contact and contact with nothing else... but people here have no shame. I may take up their not shaving, but I will ALWAYS wear clothes especially in front of my friends, and little children. Gross.
On Sunday, we had 4, yes, FOUR investigators come, and the other sisters had 4 as well!! The elders had 2, but still. :) We usually have FOUR with us three comp-ships combined. We had a guy from Villa Palmareja come, and he sounds like a Black Jesus – really. No one believed me, until they heard him speak. His name is A.... He is really cool. He has a baptism date for the 18th of May. The other day, we were teaching him, and his friend, C..., came and joined. They both came to church and LOVED it! They said they would return without fail. We also had S... and his "son" come. It’s about time.
The work is coming along. I am so happy to be a part of God’s powerful army. I know that what I am doing is the work of an Almighty God, and it cannot fail :) that always gives me comfort. I love this church. I love the gospel. I love telling people how happy it makes me, and seeing it change people’s lives. I know God knows me personally. I don’t always feel His guidance, but I know it’s there. I am not alone in this work, and He is behind all of the little things. I don’t feel like I have grown much over the past 4 months, but maybe I have. (not counting weight wise. Speaking of that - to totally ruin the mood - we have interviews on Thursday, and they take weight. Maybe I will let you know if I gain any :/ haha), but I know the church is true. I am so blessed to be a member. Thank you for raising me in the church and in such a great family. I think of the family every single day. You are the reason I smile and laugh. I talk about the fam-bam all the time. I think the other sisters all know you very well. :) I love you all. I don’t think I have more to say.
This church is true.
-Hermana Erickson 1