Oh my goodness, sounds like a happy week!!! I am so glad that everyone is doing well. Hopefully Jdawgs starts to hire people! Preferably Josh.. :)
Thank you for all of the updates on the weddings! how exciting!! Tell Camille CONGRATULATIONS for me, and that I want to see pictures. Oh my, how exciting.
Being on the mission - in the DR especially - just makes me so much more grateful that marriage is a common practice in the US. I love the USA. Also, being on the mish makes me SO MUCH MORE PATRIOTIC!!! holy cow. Me and Herm. Hurlburt just sing “I’m proud to be an American!” a lot actually, and I get chills. I am SO proud to be an American! Speaking of that song, we made a remake for the DR. It’s to the chorus, and it goes like this – “And I’m proud to be a Dominican, where at least there’re mango trees, and I won’t forget my mosquito net, or else they’ll all bite me. And I’ll gladly sit down next to you, and pass my day away, cuz there ain’t no doubt, I love this land!!!!! God bless the DR, yay!!!” Pretty great, eh? I thought so. I made up most of the lyrics, and I am pretty proud.
Anyways – now to reply to your letter.
About the Dominicans calling me fat. I think they are right. I am guessing that I have gained like, 20 lbs. and if that is right, that means a little less than 1 pound a week, so that means, I will gain 76 pounds by the time I get home, if I keep it up!!! Gross........... so I am deciding to be better next transfer. I am going to give up sugar, and work out more than I do now. (Just so you know though, I do have an exception for the sugar rule - if I get it in a package, I will eat it, haha.)But yeah, I had that revelation the other day, and it made me pretty sad. But then I remembered that I am serving the Lord, and I don’t need to worry about my body. Because He will bless me. Especially because I gave up (possibly my only) chance to play soccer at college. Because let’s be real, I am going to be so out of shape when I get back. :( but whatever, I gave it up for God, and He’s going to give me more!!! Just hopefully not more body to take care of, hahhaha.
HAHAH, the power outages in Azua. It’s very common. That picture of me filling the font with a container, yeah, it’s because we had a power outage, and so we had to manually fill it up. It’s always an adventure in Azua. I am going to be sad when I leave... :(Which will probably be next week. Oh well, adventure is out there!!!!
I don’t think the hurricane season here will be too bad. Maybe a little rain here and there. Azua is just super dry, so when everywhere else is raining, Azua is just hot. It’s odd. We got rained on just once in the last 2 weeks, and everywhere else got rain. So we’ll see.
That’s awesome that Josh got to be a witness for his friend!!! Ah, so great. Congrats to him for joining the church!! Let him know I congratulate him.
That is a super cool idea about the chalk art!! I would love to do that!!! I have not seen any chalk around here, though. But if i do, I would love to do that. I should ask if it is illegal. I doubt it, people draw and graffiti all over. :) good idea. It reminds me of 9th grade when we did that chalk art contest, and it looked AWESOME!!!
Thank you for your thoughts, mom. I think about that a lot. and I want to consecrate my time to the Lord, but it’s tough to know if I am doing it or not, ya know? I think the hardest part of being a missionary is not being sure if you are doing your best. I don’t want to waste my time or anything, and there is always something better to do, so it’s tough. But that’s my thoughts about it.
Hahaha, don’t worry about giving us away. I don’t want to get married yet. Even a year from now seems too soon.
I know!!! 6 months – which is crazy. I only have a year left. I feel like I just got here, and that makes me sad. The mission is going to fly by, and then it’ll be done forever; weird. I don’t feel like I have changed very much. Like, I have, but not as much as I could. I am just scared to come back boring, like all of the other sister missionaries.................................................................yep.
But that ends your letter. Let me tell you about my week!!!!!
If I had to put it into one word, it would be: DUD. But holy cow. We had to use back-up plans for our back-up plans and for those, we had back-up plans, and so by the time we would be done with those back-ups that all failed, it was time for our next appointment, which meant more time for back-up plans. Holy cow. We ended up teaching like, 11 lessons? yeah. Rough week. But somehow, we didn’t really get down, and it was one of the fastest weeks that I have had. God works miracles like that. Terrible weeks go by fast – weird, but yeah. Terrible. And it wasn’t just like once, it was every single day. And that was the week!! really.
The one cool thing is the domino effect that I have seen. Let me explain. It’s really quite cool. So, we found A..., taught him, and then he invited his friend, C.... So we taught them. They went to Church and invited their cousin, T..., who loved the gospel. So he invited his nephew, A.., who is only 16, but loves the gospel. He decided to invite his friend. (who came to church with him) and then C... invited his nephew, too. So just out of one person, we are having success. I love seeing their zeal for the work. They love to share it, and recognize our efforts. I think Villa Palmarejo will have MANY members. All because of one man that I had a small impression about. It’s cool. We have contacted EVERY SINGLE HOUSE in that barrio (we made a list... and checked it twice – haha, couldn’t help but say that last part,) but they don’t listen when we contact. But when they are invited by A... or C..., they are all ears. It’s great to see it happening.
T... SHOULD be getting baptized on Saturday. A... was going to, but then we asked about it and found out that he needs to attend church one more time (4 in total), so he can get baptized. So I probably won’t be able to see that. T... needs to get married..... and so we’re really praying that will happen. He wants it too, so I have no doubt that it will, but still. It’s tough to plan for a baptism that Might not happen. Also, he wanted to get baptized with A..., so that could delay him a week or so. Also, we have our temple trip this Saturday, and so we’ll be stretched for time. We should get back to Azua around 5, but no one ever knows, so we hope it’s before 7, when the baptism will be at, if it goes down. It’s going to be a good week. :) Also because it is Reeder’s birthday tomorrow, and since he’s in the capital, we’re going to have a huge surprise party during district meeting on Wednesday, yay!!
About the temple... We’re stoked. We have found names for the family member of our RC (recent converts) and C... is doing his son that died, and A... is doing his father. K... will probably come as well. Super stoked, ah.
But yeah, that is the life in the DR, particularly Azua. I love it here. I am going to be sad when I leave. I am probably going to Ocoa. But who knows. I am going to try to get it out of Elder Reeder on Saturday, since he’ll know. But wow, I love being a missionary. I still have a hard time believing that I am actually on my mission. I have dreamed about being a missionary since I was a wee one. And now that it’s here, it’s already one-third done... man, but such is life. We gotta live in the moment.
Oh! I gained a testimony of something yesterday. I believe in deodorant. I forgot to put it on yesterday, and... oh boy. I know it’s true!!!!
I love you more than you can even imagine. Thank you for your love and support. I know this is the true church!!!!
ox ox ox,
Hermana Rachel Erickson.
Love you to infinity and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry I have no pictures. I will for sure have some next week!!! Don’t forget to read your scriptures and study them!!! Like Riss, I am sad that I haven’t paid more attention to them earlier. I love the NT! and the BOM.