Tuesday, July 30, 2013

#34 [Independencia - 6] July 29th, 2013


Oh man, that is one thing I really miss- scripture time with the family. Such good times. There are some chapters in the BOM that always remind me of those times, and I just get super happy when I read them.

Dad, I am so glad to hear that our missionary service has blessed you with winning. Congrats on the Walmart gift card. What a blessing! :) Now we won’t run out of money!! hahaha...

Sad that Uncle Delton died. I liked him. He bought me a little bunny from the auction. Also, his name sounds like Kelton’s. I just put that together, because I was thinking that I really like that name and I might name my kid after him, and then I remembered Kelton’s name. uh... moving on. Yep :) Send my condolences to her. So thankful that there is a plan that God created to give us hope in our times of sorrow: we can see our loved ones again!!

The weather here has been pretty hot. We are expecting lots of rain, but so far, just hot. The only times we get wet are when we just sit there and do nothing, because we are sweating a lot. Not pleasant at all.

Ok, well that concludes your letter. Sounds like a pretty eventful week. Can you have Josh tell me all about EFY? He never writes to me.

Ok, so this week was pretty great. Turns out that Monday was a perfect day!!! After running and emailing and such, we wrote letters, and then we only had one appointment, who lives about 45 minutes away - walking. She was a lady at church, who was invited by her cousin. Her name is A. She’s 25. Anyways, we go there, and I was kinda expecting a lady that was not super interested, but she asked us SO MANY QUESTIONS, and then we’d say something, and she’d be like, “That’s exactly what I wanted to know!!” Wow, she is for sure prepared. I love her. She’s full of this zest for life, and she has a cute little boy. Ah, love her! Anyways, the other day, we went back to her, and we asked her if she had read the folleto that we left with her, and she said no. UGH! I was super upset, because she seemed like such a prepared person :( and then she continues, ̈I didn’t read the folleto, but I started reading my cousin’s Book of Mormon instead.. sorry!̈ and boy, we felt silly. It’s much better to read the BOM than the folleto. And we checked where she had read, and she was in chapter 21 of 1 Nefi!!! in 3 days!!! yeah. You can say golden if you want. We have been blessed with her. She came to church again on Sunday, and we set a baptismal date with her for the 24th of August. She plans on finishing the BOM before that date. Ah, I am super stoked for her. :)

Also, we took a member with us all day long on Tuesday, I think, but we took her all around our area, and we felt super bad because we walked for about 2 hours before an appointment was there. We’d walk from one side of our area to the other, which is about an hour away. Anyway, we were walking, and you know how I find EVERYTHING on the ground? Well, we’re walking, and I look down, and I see 400 pesos. Yes – and that equals 10 dollars. We looked around, and no one was there. Money, just sitting there, so I picked it up. I gave 200 to the member because we felt bad to make her walk around in the super hot weather. God blesses us in mysterious ways, that’s for sure. Then, we went to this lady’s house, whose name is R. She’s way nice, but I think she just likes us as friends. We’ll see. Anyways, at the very end of our lesson, she tells us to hang tight, and so we do. Before we know it, she comes out with fancy glasses full of coke. Well, Beesley is stubborn when it comes to drinking carbonation, and I don’t like it, and the member definitely gave me a glare when I sipped it to make sure it was coke. She thought that members couldn’t have caffeine. Judged. Anyways, I really didn’t want to drink it, and neither did the other two. So while R. went inside real quick, we poured it in the plants. We went there. Yes we did. :) I don’t think the plants were even real. But, haha good times in the mission. It’s always an adventure!

Ok, so I already told mom this, but I thought I would mention it here, as well. So I am officially starting my personal progress! Yes. My goal is to finish it in one transfer, and I have it all planned out so that I can do it. It’ll be hard, but I think I’ll learn a lot from it because When I got it before, I didn’t really do it with any intentions, just to do it. So yeah. Heather, are you doing yours? I’ll probably get my second one before you get your first. Kinda embarrassing, huh? My bet to you still stands. If you finish before I do, I will but you some really cute stuff from here. They have so much cute things that I think you would love. Anyways, I am excited for that.

OH! Do you remember T? The guy that had to get married back in Azua? Well, good news, he got married :) I called the Herms in Azua last night, and they gave me the lo down on things there. K., A., and C. all got the Melchizedek Priesthood!!! And they all blessed the sacrament the other Sunday. Ah, I wish I could see them perform their duties in the priesthood. What studs. And then, they all gave talks the same Sunday mom did!!! ps -- well done on your talk. I am glad that you recorded it, dad. Thank you. Anyways, so they are all doing well. T. got married the other day, and HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!! I am thrilled. I feel so happy, and sad because I can’t be there–but it doesn’t matter who baptizes him, as long as he gets baptized, right? Ah, I am so happy.

So with transfers, anything could really happen. I love being with Beesley, and we have so much fun together, and get work done, so I love her. But I was thinking that we would probably not stay together, but we are! And we are still in Independencia. We freaked out when the elders told us that. Hermana Gamez gets to come live with me. Since she’ll be with B..., she’ll probably be more attached to me. I was hoping that I would stay here, just for A. All of our other investigators they aren't not progressing, but they keep disappointing us. After all, salvation isn’t cheap, why should the mission and conversion be easy?

Oh!!! We had a miracle happen the other day. So on Saturday, the Herms had a baptism, and the elders who originally taught her got to come to it, since they lived 20 minutes away. Afterward, they told us that they had a less active woman they wanted us to go to. So they took us to her street, and it was late at night. So they point to a house with the lights on, and tell us it’s the one above it. So the next day, we go out and go to the house. But it turns out to be a random lady that we weren’t looking for – a little disheartened, we thanked her for her time, and then decided to invite her to church. We introduced ourselves and gave her the horario, and then we start leaving, and she goes, "Wait, do you think you could stop by another day and talk to us a little about your church?̈".......Stunned for a sec, we looked at her, trying to process what just happened, and then out of our mouths comes, "....uh... yeah... uh.. whi..which day would work best for you?" We were NOT expecting that. That never happens. We have not gone back to her, but we think there is some potential there!

We went to the corner (where the less active brother-in-law lives,) and asked him where she lived, just to make sure, and it was the next building over that was hers. So apparently God had us misunderstand their directions so we could find N. We’ll see what happens. I am stoked for her.

But yeah!! That about concludes my week! I went running again this week. It’s gonna be a weekly thing, because I am pretty much forcing Beesley to go with me. It’ll be good for us :)

But I love you!! I am so grateful to be a representative of Christ!! I love being here!!

Thank you for your support!! If you want to tell everyone to lumping send me mail, please do. I love writing letters (speaking of that, could you get Louie’s address? I don’t have it.) and then let them all know that if they are too poor to buy a stamp, DEARELDER is FREE!!! (it must be good!!) Also, people in the family can take 5 minutes to tell me about EFY or girls they like, or something silly. Sacrifices are what make us good people. Just let some people know that. I definitely don’t feel like a loner here though, and I appreciate all that I have gotten. Just a little spiel about that. Also, I am grateful that I have not gotten Dear Jane’d, yet. I don’t count on it, but it has happened to 2 people in the last month. Apparently there is a trend going on or something. Speaking of that, KELTON HAS 23 DAYS LEFT!  ah!!!!!!

Anyways. Love you all. Love you all more than I can tell you. Thanks again for all you do. I will keep representing you with pride!! Have a wonderful week!!!

Peace and love forever!

-Hermana Erickson 1

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#33 [Independencia - 5] July 22nd, 2013

THANK YOU FOR THE FALCON UPDATE!! Poor falcon. I am sure he or she is in a better place. No need to shed any tears. :)

Wow, was Grandma’s thing really a year ago? Whoa. I am really glad that passed. That was a scary time; that’s for sure. Glad she’s healthy. I love our family. Cool fact about Riss’s president, as well. Hopefully she gets special treatment - haha

Also, sorry about your cousin... you are probably at the funeral right now. I hope that is going well for you and the rest of the family. You can think about the falcon, too. He never got a funeral.

Thank you for taking those letters around. It means a lot to me.


:) I floss and wear my retainer on occasion – about twice a week for the retainer, and close to 5 times a week for the floss. Can’t go about letting my pearly whites get all cavity infested! Not me.

ANOTHER RAFTING TRIP FOR JEFF? I was unaware that he went on a first one!!! Have him email me! It’s been too long since I have heard from my pal.

Glad you celebrated national ice cream day. We had forgotten about it until Sunday, and it was too late to buy any, darn. So sad, but I don’t really like the ice cream here; makes me sick. So I might stop eating it. Probably not, but for now, yes.

Dad, thank you for the weekly report. I feel like these emails serve like a journal, and it’s great. So keep it up!

Mom, I am excited for you to speak. You can let everyone know that I love my mission, and I am doing well. Also, I love that talk. I feel like I have been blessed with peace in my life very much, which is actually one of the reasons I came on my mission, did you know that? I wanted a hard time, because I have not really had one, so I thought that a mission would be a good place to have some trials, but so far... it’s been going really well. I think trials have a lot to do with your attitude. But I really like this part of the talk: “The peace to which I am referring is not just a temporary tranquility. It is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment.” That is how I feel. I felt that before the mission, but now, I feel it so much deeper. I am so grateful to be here, helping other people find this peace that is so valuable, and helping them have more tranquility in their crazy, Dominican lives. But you can just tell the ward that I am doing well, that my testimony is going well, and that I love the mission. and that I love my family, cuz I do ̈:) or just tell them whatever. If you want to crack a joke, you can in my name :) permission granted. haha

I am going to answer your questions :)
    Strangest happening of the week? Haha, oh man. This didn’t happen to us, but to the other sisters, and for some reason, I think it’s hilarious. haha... Ok, so they have this investigator named O. She’s been investigating for over a year. She has wanted to get baptized super badly since the beginning, but she wasn’t married. So for the last year, they have been working on papers and all that jazz, since it’s hard to get married here in this country. Anyways, the sisters were setting a goal for her baptism, and she immediately said the 16th of July, and that day happened to be a Tuesday, but whatéer, so they set it for that day, hoping they could get the last of her marriage papers done before then. But things weren’t looking too good. No progress with that, so turns out that she didn’t get baptized on Tuesday. BUT, something crazy happened that made it so she can get baptized this Saturday – her husband died. Yep, and what day did he die on?, the 16th of July. Weird, huh? So technically, she could’ve been baptized on the date she picked so suddenly. Kinda creepy, but God works in mysterious ways. He’s a cool Guy. And her husband died of heart problems. He was not a member, nor did he ever want to accept the gospel. But yay, she’s getting baptized!!!
    Highlight of the week? Well, I really enjoyed the package. But another thing happened that was pretty funny. Remember F., the Peruvian soccer player? Well, we had another lesson with him, and he is just the heaviest person I know. Heavy means super cool here, so he is SUPER HEAVY (jevy, but still.) We were talking to him about the church, and he was telling us of his doubts, and then his wife comes along, and is a part of the church that "feels the spirit" by jumping and shouting and rolling on the ground. Anywho, she comes along and is like, “Oh, you’re MORMONS. Honey, don’t listen to them, they don’t worship God, they worship MORMON.” So we explained it to her, and then her hubby was like, “I can do what I want, I like this church so far.” And so the wife was trying to get him to make us leave, and F. totally gave it to her in a loving, husband-wife type of way. And then he was like, “Every bell, has it’s own ring, and I am just looking for the one I like.” And that made her quiet, but then he goes off, and starts laughing, and is like, “One time, I went to her church, and I walked in, and they were all like rolling on the ground and screaming and jumping up and down, and twitching, and I thought to myself, THIS IS CRAZY, THIS IS NOT THE SPIRIT, and so I left. That was the worst experience of my life.” hahahah - he was just dissing his wife’s church right in front of her. It was SUPER funny. We were both trying to hold back tears of laughter. We laugh a lot in our companionship... but yeah, that was a nice highlight. And then to make it better, he came to church on Sunday for the first time. :)
    Best teaching moment? We have these young men who we teach, and we brought along a ward girl the entire day to teach with us because she is going an a mission. So we go to their house, and the guy says “que lo que en toque” which apparently is a greeting, and the girl was like, “that’s a bad thing to say, don’t teach them that.” So they got into a fight, and the spirit was totally gone, which was so dumb. So we tried to bring it back around, and it was failing. Then we decided to read a chapter from the BOM and read 2 nefi 2, and it brought the spirit super strong. We talked about how this life is so short when compared to eternal life, and that if we make stupid decisions in this life, we’ll regret it in the next life. So we need to sacrifice some things in this life for a better life in the life to come. It was a neat experience because the spirit was way strong, and you could tell that people were touched. The young man we were talking to is in a band, and has lots of girlfriends, and drinks because of his work, so we talked about being an example, and all that stuff, and he talked about his life and all that. It was great. No tears, but that’s probably good. I laugh in awkward situations, and crying is DEFINITELY an awkward situation. But after the prayer, they started arguing again. I was just super happy that the scriptures brought so much spirit. Definitely fortalecio my testimony about that awesome book.

Also, I hope you enjoy my Book of Mormon comparisons. I sure do enjoy finding all sorts of dead animals here in the DR. Nothing more appetizing than a dead animal surrounded by fleas!!! Love it.

Also, we did an English class and this guy showed up. Pedro - nice fellow.

ALSO; THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR that SURPRISE PACKAGE!!! IT WAS SO GREAT. I got it on Friday from the elders. They were all anxious to see who it was from, since it didn’t have a return address. I could tell it was from you guys though, because of the florescent orange paper. :) I LOVE ALL OF THE CLOTHES. I AM NOT SURE IF THE SHOES WILL TOTALLY FIT, BUT I THINK THE ONES WITH BOWS WILL. THE OTHERS ARE A BIT TIGHT. BUT THANK YOU SO SO MUCH. I WILL WRITE A LETTER TO THE FAMILY THAT BROUGHT IT TO ME. THANK YOU. And thanks to Heather for the EFY cd. We have been listening to it non stop. It has some good stuff on it. They did well.

Another random thing, do you know where any pictures of my friends are? I kinda really wish I had a few of them. Like of me and Mel and Carm and Lou, and Michelle, and all of them. And Kasha. I should have one of Kasha. If you could find any, or print any out and send a yellow envelope here, I would be very happy, because I meant to grab a  bunch before I left, but as you may recall, December 12 was a pretty hectic day.

Ok, so here are some highlights from my week –

I also saw a little boy playing Temple Run on Sunday during church. He didn’t do very good. I could’ve beaten him easily. I guess he was failing because it was Sunday, and you don’t do that kinda stuff on Sunday. Serves him right.

We had exchanges with the CCM missionaries on Friday. I was very excited. Then I got my companion, who is coming into the field this next transfer (this upcoming week), and I asked her how confident she was in Spanish, and she said not at all, and it seriously felt like I was all alone. AALOOOOOOOOOOOOONNE! (go Heart, haha) and I liked it, but it was annoying. She said about 7 words the entire day. I really can’t judge, because I was given the chance to learn Spanish in my youth, which rocks big time. I sound more native than some of the natives! yeah! Anyways, it made me laugh because she kept saying the ̈spiritu sanchez̈ for ̈espiritu santo.̈ bless her heart. I give her props for trying. I hope she learns before this next week. But let’s be real, I will probably end up training her...

Um... oh!!!! This morning was wonderful. We woke up, cleaned the house, and then had personal study. Then, me and Herm B. decided to go for a run, so we ran a lot, and we ran on the cliff side of the ocean, it was beautiful. And then we did a little yoga by the cliffs and then swam in the ocean and got all wet. Kidding. The last part obviously didn’t happen. We did get wet though. Sweat wet. And then we shubbed and cleaned off, and I have not felt cleaner in the last 7 months than I have felt today. I love it. I wish we could go running like that everyday. We ran for about 40 minutes, and I am super out of shape, but hey, I didn’t feel super fat... So we decided that if we stay together this next transfer, we are going to do this every p-day. We feel so great. :) I miss the simple things in life, like going running whenever I want to. Good times.

Wow, what a letter!! I apologize that it is super long! and might not make sense. I just get so excited to write, that my letters end up turning out like my brain threw up on the page – sorry. But thank you for your love and support. I love being here and think about you often. I love this work.

Have a wonderful week, don’t forget to read your scriptures. 

love you all demasiado :)

peace out until next week (TRANSFERS!)

Hermana Erickson

Monday, July 15, 2013

#32 [Independencia - 4] July 15th, 2013

Oh mom. My eyes sure do get a lot wetter these days, too. :) Crazy times, these missions. They sure change people. :)

But thank you for your letter, it was fun to read. I love reading them so much more than I love writing them. But alas, I do love writing them.

HOLY COW!!!!! Derek and Brent are home?!?!?!? Oh my. So weird. It was also a weird thing to hit my 7 month mark. I come home in less than a year, and that is super sad. Also happy, but sad because – I have been waiting to serve a mission since I was a wee lass, and now I’m living it and it’s almost half done. Odd. These are days never to be squandered, or forgotten. haha.

Mandy is engaged?, that’s good. I like that news. But since it’s not facebook official, I don’t know if I should believe it... even if it was from grandma. haha :)
Ok, so here's the details of my life in the beautiful paradise, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!!!

So apparently there was a cyclone this past week. I know this because the people would not stop talking about it. Also, it rained a lot, so much that on Wednesday, we had to stay inside. We could not go outside to teach or anything. Kinda sad, but I enjoyed it. The thunder was so loud, that it would rattle our bones. I loved it. We decided to go on the roof for 10 seconds, and the wet pictures is of us after about 2. It was pouring. I love the rain. I thought about 

Lovin' the rain during the cyclone in the DR!
showering on the roof, and then decided not to because the lightning was a little too close...

But during that entire day, I decided to just read the Book of Mormon, in English. It's great, since I haven’t read in English for a long time. So long, that my Book of Mormon smells like an old book. So anyways, I sat and read, for like 5 hours. We also talked a lot, and we also ate. I wanted to get a good chunk out of it read, and I ended up getting to Alma - not too shabby. I marked things and HOLY COW: there are so many things that I never realized before. I love that book so much!!!! After reading it in Spanish a few times, my understanding in English has grown exponentially! So great. So yeah, I did that all day. It was hard to not continue reading it. Also, to make things extra cool, I had finished the Book in Spanish that same morning!! Double dose of the BOOK!!!

On Thursday, we got spoiled a lot. The office elders brought us new mattresses. I am not a huge fan, since we are in bunk beds, and I am on the bottom, so with this new mattress, I am about 5 inches from the top. Needless to say, I don’t like it. I feel a bit claustrophobic, not a fan, but whatever - it’s part of the mission life. Also, we got A BLENDER, A MICROWAVE, AND A GRIDDLE!!!!! We are for sure spoiled. It’s cool that we didn’t rely on them before, but now we feel that we just have to use them all the time, so we do. :)

So we have this investigator that the Herms before us found. His name is O. He was going to get baptized the day I arrived, but they found him wasted in the streets a few days prior, sad. And so for the next 3 weeks, I only saw him wasted. Never saw him sober, until recently. We’ve been teaching his mother, and he has come in a few times, totally sober - so we started teaching him. I felt super prompted to promise him that if he would read at least a chapter from the BoM every morning, then he wouldn’t be tempted to drink. So far, he has been reading a lot. He really wants to change, and you can see that it hurts him and his family when he gets drunk, and really wants to change. So we’ll see how that goes. I have a good feeling. So far he has been reading a lot. He also came to church for the first time since I have been here.

We have this investigator that used to play professional soccer for the Peru team. So naturally, I feel very connected with him. He is a computer programmer, so I feel even more connected with him. It’s cool. He also was a left forward... huh. Kinda creepy how similar I am to a 65 year old man. Creepy, but still cool. He retired 26 years ago. I like talking to him about the gospel... :)

Other than that, we had a pretty normal week. I loved it so much. I really love the gospel. I am so glad that I got to read the Book of Mormon all day on Wednesday. The book really has a lot of power, and every time I read it, I want to be a better person. I would love to be able to read it all over again in English. I think I will if we have a cyclone again. You can bet on it!!! (cue-high school musical.) haha.

Also, I agree with Riss about the Little House on the Prairie... Christmas is coming up. Have Josh put it on his list. I think he liked it the most. hahah.

Well, I hope you all are strengthening your testimonies as Riss and I are. I know that I have seen miracles, and that the Lord’s hand is in this work so much. I love knowing that I am a part of the winning team, and that I cannot fail if I do what is right. I love my mission. I am so blessed to be serving these humble people in the DR. My journal is slowly turning into mom's journal, just full of how much I love the gospel. Oh well.

Have a great week!! Do something nice for someone else!!!!

ox ox ox

Herm Erickson 1

Also, Heather, thank you for the update about your life. Sounds like you had a really great time. I love EFY, and I am so glad that you did too!!! yay!!!!

Peace and love.

Also, mom, thank you for that thought from Herm. Richardson. It’s a good one for sure. I love you so much!!! (Mark 5:36 "...Be not afraid, only believe" -- shared at the recent mission presidents training seminar)

Dad, happy ¾ birthday! Eat some ice cream for me!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

#31 [Independencia - 3] July 8th, 2013

The Independencia zone                  

I am glad to hear that you got my letter. Also, I mentioned last letter I think – I did get the package. Much thanks for that.

I absolutely love how you do falcon updates. Makes me laugh!! Thank goodness that it didn’t die. That would’ve been very sad.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH LHP!!!!! LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE!!!!! hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Cool about the missionaries. You should definitely get on that. Gotta help the work progress!!!

Well dad, thanks for writing me. :) now I will tell you about my week.

Don’t get your hopes up. This week passed by super quick, and I can’t remember what really happened.

For the fourth of July, we didn’t really do much. We for sure all wore red, white and blue, and I felt pretty patriotic. Also, we ate s’mores and ordered Pizza Hut pizza. Yes, we splurged. It was worth it. And that was the extent of our "party."
4th of July in the DR
We had a few sets of missionaries come into the house the other day, and they saw the family picture and mentioned how we all look so great. They didn’t mention dad looking like a movie star, but they mentioned mom looking like a "professional" and then a few "Karen Carpenter" hahah, which made me laugh because mom just loves Karen Carpenter, haha...

We were teaching some men, E. and L., and all of the sudden, L. turns to me and is like, "Wanna hear my favorite song?" so he turned it on... "HOW DO I GET YOU ALONE!!!!!?" Yep, and then he stared to sing it in his little Dominican/American accent, haha-made me laugh, and miss all of the good music. I mean, I love MoTab, but Heart... classic.

Also, we have this investigator named W.. He has been investigating for... 6 years, because his sister is a member. Anyways, we had a baptism date for him on the 7th, and he was all good, and then all of the sudden, he told us that he didn’t believe in profetas. So that was a low blow. I guess he’ll have to wait. We’ve been having a lot of that lately. As in, people progressing and all of the sudden something gets them. Kinda annoying, but such is the work! We are probably going to be dropping a lot of people. I hate dropping people. I take that back, I like it because I have done my part, but they didn’t do theirs. And plus, I love planting seeds. I have realized that I could go the rest of my mission without baptizing anyone. I love planting the seeds for other people to harvest. I just feel very accomplished in the work I am doing, which is a huge blessing.

Um... yeah. I really think that about covers it. This week was good. Life is good. I love the work. I love the mission. I am sorry this weeks email is short and not interesting. But to make it better, I will add pictures.

I really love you all so much. I want Heather to tell me all about her EFY and other camp things she went to. I want Josh to tell me about work. Jeff to tell me about life in general. And Jake to tell me about the summer. I would appreciate that much. Lots and lots of love,

Herm. Erickson 1

#30 [Independencia - 2] July 1st, 2013

Happy days to you all!!! Hello!!! I can’t even believe it is July!! Crazy. Time here flies super fast, and I don’t know how I like it. But yeah, this week was pretty good.

Anyways, before I get to writing about my week, I will reply to yours, as usual. :)

Congratulations to Joshy for getting a Job!! I love that he is working and spending his time wisely. Happy, happy. Jeff has a beard... no wonder he’s not married yet. Maybe suggest him to keep it up until I get home so I can go to the wedding!!! I don’t want him to get married until I get home. Speaking of getting home, my official leave date is TODAY!!!! – next year... weird. But it’s in the middle of the transfer, so I might come home either before that or after. duh.

CONGRATS ON WINNING, DAD!!! You really should get better at your winning voice... just act like Little House on the Prairie came back on KBYU, and maybe that would excite you more :) hahah, kidding. But probably for reals, hahah

This keyboard is driving me bonkers!!! But yeah, man, my brain is not working. I apologize. I can’t focus. I have to go to the bathroom, but I don’t want to!!

I am glad that you had a great week. It makes me happy to hear that you are all alive and happy. :)

So, I will write a few random things, and then go on to answer your questions:

OK! I GOT YOUR PACKAGE ON THURSDAY!!!! Thank you a bazillion times for that!!! It made me so happy. You are all so loving. I feel very fat eating the candy. But I make it up by taking a vitamin. Twice a day. I am just so healthy like that. Thank you for the music and the shirts and the RING!!! It fits perfectly! I have never had a legit ring. I have been wearing a green one for the last 2 months. Thank you for the ring, and also for the candy and the photo albums. I like that Riss did a jumping picture. Is that on her plaque? But if it is... I might kill her because that was my idea. hahah

But really, you are so great. Thank you for sending me stuff. I feel so loved. I have the best family in the world. I love you guys!!! Even the old candy from Jeff, my pal. And the personal progress, and everything that was inside. You spend so much on me to make me happy, and it works; it also makes me fat.

My comp sat on a chair the other day and it broke. It was really funny. Take it as you will, because it was just a small kid chair, but she broke it. It worked nicely because I was able to use it in a future example talking about the apostasy, and how when one part of the chair breaks, the whole chair falls. It made her laugh, haha. Sometimes I think I am just so clever.

On Thursday as well, my comp broke the doorknob of our front door. It was funny. She's destructive I guess, but I love her.

Also on Thursday (which was a super eventful day.), it rained ALL DAY long. We were stuck in a house for 2 hours. We taught a lot! Then we left and didn’t have umbrellas so we got soaked. It was great. The thunder and lightning were so loud!! We are right by the ocean, so we went to look at it, and it was dark and gloomy and you could see the lightning hit and in the same second, hear the thunder boom. It was neat, and it made us really happy, and giddy and a little scared. I had to go to the bathroom the whole time, so the water didn’t help. I don’t drink a whole lot, but I guess it’s enough.


On the bright side, I don’t sweat as much as I did in Azua.

Random fact. I am the queen at finding things on the ground. I find money, and lots of it. I even find American money!! But the other day, I found a flag. I noticed it in the trash piles on the side of the street, and I realized it looked like a DR flag, so I grabbed it and didn’t look at it and stuffed it into my bag. I get home, open it up, and it’s a HUGE DR flag. Completely new. Not stained, not ugly, but legit. I felt pretty great. It was funny because I was thinking to myself that same morning about how cool it would be to have a DR flag...haha. God answers prayers!!!

Really, that was my week. I have loads of pictures, but it appears that my computer is too out of date to even have a hook-up for it. So... you will have to wait. KIDDING! Found it!!! Me and Beesley with the broken door; Me and my flag; Me and JULY 1, which is today; Um... me and the package; And us being drenched. :) happy.

I will now answer your questions.

Best part of the week? I really enjoy church. Probably the best part was when we passed by some investigators and they were waiting for us!! – that never happens. They walked to church. One is a grandma, and the other is her grandson, he’s 10. He’s legit. I like him. He wants to come back. We were teaching the grandma’s son, and he was about to get baptized, and then the other sisters found him wasted drunk. Apparently he is the town drunk. So the gospel really gives his mom hope. We focus on that during lessons. :) but yeah. That was super happy. Probably the best feeling.

Best food you had?/ Worst food? I ate some yucca this week. It was good. I enjoyed it. Kinda blah. I also had frosted flakes. That was probably the best, unless you count the candy that you sent me :) The worst thing was Coke, I hate it. Beesley will not drink it; very stubborn when it comes to pop. So, I had to drink the bitter cup. Gross. Sadly, those were the worst and best things I ate. Pathetic, seeing how I am on a foreign island... :(

Happiest moment?
when I got the package. Also, a member brought us brownies to church. That was a happy time.

Testimony building experience? So I am doing this chain for my personal study, and I study different things each day. The other day, I was just studying about the attributes of Christ, and I realized how much I need to change to be like Him. It was great. Also, I was listening to some music from the Cd’s you sent, and every time I hear anything about Joseph Smith, I just get overwhelmed. I have such a testimony of the restoration. It’s wonderful. I had more, I am sure, but I really can’t think of anything. Sorry.

Blast. Sorry for the lame email. I thought I had so much more to tell you. I know the gospel is true. I love it here. I love the people. I love serving. I love everything. I love my family. I love the church. Life is good.

I am just going to send this on because it is kinda annoying me. But, I love you!! Thank you for the package! I love you all. I would love you even if you didn’t send me candy. Just know that :)

Peace and love. Stay out of trouble.

With love forever and ever,

Hermana Erickson 1

#29 [Independencia - 1] June 24th, 2013

Wow! What a week! Also, what a keyboard, this is going to be interesting. Good luck translating. :) but before I get into anything, I am going to reply to your email, like usual.

– No, I have not gotten the package. I think it was because I got transferred; who knows? It could also be that it hasn’t come. Not sure, hopefully this week.
– The broadcast-hmm... apparently we were supposed to go to it, but we had no idea, so we didn’t. We are also supposed to be watching it right now, but it was 2 hours long, and we don’t have time for it right now. :( Next week for sure.
– Congratulations on your home teaching!! That’s great that you have been 100% for two whole months!! woohoo!!
– I did in fact know J. Beck was serving a mission. Can’t remember to where though... but I knew she was going.
– I am not playing the piano sadly. I miss it. We had a man from the WARD play on Sunday, and he wasn’t super good, but he was using his God given talent. So I applaud him for that effort.
– Ok, my area of service is called Independencia. B/ Invi calle peaton 3, house number 4. We live above a house, and it is SUPER small. Like, the size of our kitchen of AZUA, so it is definitely different. I will send pictures. Note – the pictures that you see are the only parts of the house. It is a 2 bedroom/ 2 bathroom house, and it’s crazy small, but we get by. It’s kinda claustrophobic. Good thing I don’t have that problem, huh!?

My companion is named Hermana Brook Beesley. She is from Sandy. Weird thing happened... When I was unpacking, she noticed my Inter shorts, and was like, "Did you play for Inter?" and then she went on to tell me that she played on the team younger than me. So we bonded over that pretty quick. We are VERY similar. It’s nice. We have had some comments that we look exactly alike, but I don’t think so too much. She has green eyes. She’s really sweet. I have already learned a lot from her. I like her a lot. One difference is that she thinks Mexicans are attractive. She wants to marry one, or a Dominican. And for me... well... no, I like redheads, teehee.

The only downside to this companionship is that she doesn’t know Spanish, but knows all of the people and area. So we both rely on each other mutually. It’s nice. I am the translator; kinda tough. Hurlburt understood more, but I think that Beesley speaks better. So yeah, other than that, we get along, and life is good.

We live with two other sisters, Herm. Stewart and Herm. Balanzategui. Yes – one is from New Mexico, and the latter is from Ecuador, but raised in Utah. But yeah. I love them all. We are all 21 except for my comp, she’s 20.

Yeah! that is my living situation. In our area, we can walk 5 minutes and see the OCEAN!!!... It’s been so long... but we took a few pictures of that.

Some random items of business...

Another good thing about my new area is that I have a flushing toilet!!! It is so weird. We have another toilet that you have to bucket flush, and I often use that because I am so used to it, and I pretty much mastered the art of it. I am the bucket flush MASTER!

So you know how I was not going to eat sugar? ha ha ha.... Yep, that sure didn’t last long. I am a failure.

We now have district meetings on Tuesday, so that is going to be weird. Maybe I will get some letters tomorrow. We’ll see.

Speaking of meetings, we had interviews on, Friday I think. We went to a chapel in La Paz, and I thought it was a temple!! Wow, so nice. It had 3 stories, and comfy chairs, and garbage cans, and a lobby! It was a nice chapel. We got weighed right after eating. Before I tell you my weight, just know that I had about 6 cups of juice, some soup, and then a nice big roll before I weighed in... haha.

I have gained 10 pounds!!! That is not ok, but on the bright side, it is less than 20, but still. It shows. I feel like such a lard. But I have a feeling that I might lose some this transfer... wanna know why? Because we don’t really eat much. I went from eating HUGE lunches in Azua to eating a package of Ramen. NO, that’s not gonna fill me up. But oh well, if I starve, I won’t get fat. But wow. Also, our area is a lot larger than the other one. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the end of it. We are in Kilometer 10, and our area is from K 10 to K 7. So it’s technically only 3 kilometers I think. If that is how it goes. I don’t really know.

Some people thought I was Dominican the other day. Quite the compliment, except most of the Dominicans are overweight, but whatever. I think they were talking about my accent and my Spanish abilities. I am so glad that I can speak Spanish. I love it. BILINGUAL!

Some of the area here looks like I am in California. It is so nice. Compared to Azua, this is a super rich place. Probably compared to Utah, too. Also, a nice thing is the people can read here. Maybe 1 on 5 people in Azua could read, so that made it super hard. But now that people are a bit more educated we can teach better.

We went into the supermarket on Tuesday, and my eyes got all watery. Seriously. I am not even kidding. I had forgotten about so much of the normal food in a supermarket. I was so used to the same isles of food-beans, rice, coke, olives, pasta, and sardines. But in this market, not only were things surprisingly cheaper, there are much more options!!!! not like we can eat them (because someone is super picky.. so we stick to the basics.) but wow. I sure love food, so much to make me teary to see it, hahah, so lame.

We have an actual ward here, and that is a nice change. The members do their part, and they have been in the ward for long periods of time, unlike ours in Azua where the oldest person has 15 years as a member.. also, there are people here that line up to go out with us, and in Azua, we had to beg people. It’s a nice change. The two areas are SO DIFFERENT! I feel like I am in a completely different mission. It’s insane. And the most crazy part about it is that I love this area. I love Azua, too, but they are so different. I thought I would hate the capital, but no. It’s not too terrible.

I love my mission. I have felt the spirit more this week than I have in the last few combined. It’s so fun to be step-training. I think it really helps to have Beesley here. She’s very good. I love working here. People just stop us to talk to us and they have heard about the gospel before. It’s neat. I love being here. I was thinking about it in church yesterday. Just being away from the family, speaking and understanding a completely foreign language, teaching about the thing that makes me so happy. Wow. It’s so cool that God trusts me so much. I love this. One more year is going to fly by. I have 200 days on Saturday!!!

Ok, so we have one investigator that I really love already. His name is Balentine. He was born on Valentine’s day, which explains his name. But before, apparently he was a delinquent, and I cannot even imagine that. He is such a stud. Like, we have him for a baptismal date on the 13th, and he loves this gospel. He has been such a joy to go and teach. He is 18, and talks about serving a mission. We are really stoked about him. Yesterday in one of our citas, the spirit was super strong. We gave him his own Book of Mormon, and he just seemed thrilled. He kissed it and just carefully flipped thru the pages. Ah, I wish I knew more about him. I know that they met him on the 4th of June, so he is pretty recent. But wow, if all goes this smooth, he’ll be a member before long!

Ok, well I don’t have much more to say. I love this work. I love serving. I have two giant blisters on the bottom of my pinky toes and it’s really painful, but it’s just one step closer to the pain the Christ suffered for all of us, right? Can’t really complain. I am so blessed to be here. I feel like I am growing. I don’t know how, but I think I am :) I love this. It’s so fun to be a part of this great work.

Thank you for your love. If you ever want to just write me dearelders every day, I wouldn’t mind. You can put that online. I wouldn’t mind. Speaking of letters, I sent one with Elder Reeder, and he said he’d send it off when he got to Utah, so it should be getting to you soon. Please let me know if you ever get it. Thank you much.

Well, I am going to leave now. I love you all. I am grateful for this gospel. I am grateful for our family and for being raised with such great parents that have taught me so much good. I am grateful for my Savior and the atonement. I love being able to represent Him.

Have a wonderful week!! ox ox ox

Love you to the moon and back!!

Hermana Erickson 1