Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#47 [La Venta - 7] Oct. 28th, 2013

WOW! what a week! I hope you are all great! Just know that I love you all and pray for you every day :)

The other day, all of the herms got packages and mail, and I had nothing. Luckily, Herm Peck's mom gave me a pack of Starbursts, so I felt loved – haha kidding.

Well, let me tell you about the week. A lot happened, but I don't have the desire to write all of the details. I will in my journal, and if you so desire when I return, I will show you and let you read along :)

But all last transfer, we have been trying to move houses. Our house is lovely, but just far away, and you have to go thru these dark, sketchy places, where lots of men are always drinking and such. Not super safe. So the ward has been trying to move us. And we FINALLY DID! We ended up moving on like, Friday, I think. And it took a long time, and we still haven't put everything away, because technically the house wasn't up to par, but we wanted to move in, so we promised to paint it. And we just got to doing that this morning, so now we can finally unpack. But man, I hate moving. I will probably never move. That means I am going to stay in the family house my whole life! YEAH :)

The new house is nice. I didn't take pictures, but I will. It's bigger, there are just a lot of mosquitoes all the time, and I guess now mice, too. We've been sleeping with our mattresses on the floor, and it's been fun, but also annoying, but whatever.

Friday was super crazy, and at night I was just exhausted and ready for Saturday, which was our baptism, and we didn't have lots planned so it was going to be a "chill" day. But I was wrong.

Let it go down in history that Saturday, October 26th, 2013, was the worst day of the mission, and probably the worst day of my entire life. Seriously, I am not just being dramatic. Everything that went wrong, pretty much did. There was so much stress, and I cried about every hour at least once. I made a list of everything that happened, and on that list were like, 15 good things ("good" as in, "we sang on the way to the church'" just really looking hard for the silver lining). But man, if I wrote all the bad things that happened, it would look really bad, and just give you a headache. Once again, details will be in the journal. Haha, but it was funny looking back because at 9:00 in the morning, I thought, “It can only get better the worst has passed." But no, I also said that at 11, 2, 4:30, 7, 7:30, and 10:30, haha, it just got worse and worse.

Everything was crazy until the baptism. They showed up 15 minutes before it started, but no one really came to support them, and the baptism went well. And I was happy for a second, because right when we were about to go home, a kid that always steals my Book of Mormon, my most prized possession, took it and didn't give it back, and then lost it. So that just made me lose it. So while we were walking back to the house (which was cluttered and full of mosquitoes), I lost it and cried. Luckily for me, Hermana Peck was also having the worst day of her life. We were both super homesick and like, depressed. Not sure why. But we both got to go thru it together. We also had a lot of things to do, because our mission leader said he would do it and bailed, and we had an English class that was WILD! Like so wild, that I don't want to ever have kids. SO BAD! And then we left the baptismal records at home when we needed them for the interviews, and then I could go on and on. At home though, we ate some of the chocolate cake that we made for the boys, and sang "God Bless America." Life was once again great. But yeah, that was the worst day of the mission. Enough of that.

The best thing is that our two wonderful boys were baptized. I love them so so so much; seriously. Heather should marry one of them, so they can be my family. :) haha.  IF they hadn't gotten baptized, the day would've been more terrible. I will for sure send pictures. But yeah, I am so blessed that we have been having so much success, because I don't know why I deserve it. God sure does love me!

The picture is of us and the boys, the one not in the white is J__, their member friend. We taught them all the time at his house. They are fantastic.  A__ is the one on the right, and C__ is on the left. We are doing this gangsta sign because they always make fun of me. They found out my facebook, and there is a picture of me and Isabelle, being gangsta, and they just think it is the funniest thing. So they always make fun of me for it. They are just jealous. They also know all of your names because of facebook. They are SUPER stalkers. Probably not as bad as you guys are, but still bad. They come up to me and are like, “Is your father's name Kyle?” AH! yes it is!

We have a lot of great things coming up this month. We should be having another baptism the 9th of November. E__. He was scheduled for the 14th of December, since he's a man and single and a contact, but he walks an hour to church and knows the Book of Mormon and will quote parts that we haven't read. Like the other day, he went on and was like, “It's crazy, because reading is a simple thing. But by small and simple things, great things happen" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WHAT!?! so yeah. He's been prepared for this gospel. It's been a blessing to see him change. We found him just chilling on his porch, and we invited him to church, and he has yet to miss. We're so excited for him.

I find it interesting that the elders who left us this area had a lot of potential baptisms, but since we've been here, the only baptisms we've had have been ones that we have found and taught and baptized. Such a blessing.

Well fambam, that is my week in less than a hour. I miss you all and hope you are alright. I am doing fine. I am still stressed out for some reason, but it should go away today. That's what p- days are for! Keep being the greatest family ever! HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN! :) and happy birthday Grandma Erickson.

Well, peace and blessings. LOVE YOU LOTS!

Thanks for your emails, I really do love them. I could never thank you enough for your humor, dad. :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#46 [La Venta - 6] Oct. 21st, 2013


I loved the photos!! You all look so great. Jake is getting tall!!! Unless he photo adds height.

Also, the nose twitch is super common. I picked it up in Azua. It just means, "what?" and it is super convenient :) I will for sure use it when I get home, probably just out of habit :)

But sounds like you have had a great week, and that everyone is alive and just missing me so much. I can't blame you all. It has almost been a year; which is super crazy. I guess I still have 2 months before a year, but seeing how fast October has flown, I think it will also fly by.

This week was probably one of the best ones on the mission so far. And looking back, there shouldn't be any reason for it to have been so great. We didn't get much free stuff, we didn't have much success, and nothing super funny happened. But it was so fantastic. Actually, it started out great. On Monday. I went in to a member's salon, and as I was sitting in the chair, her mom just came and chopped off a few inches of my hair. Poor hair. It is still long, but... man, that was tough. I really want it to get passed my mole on my arm. It never seems to grow. But yeah, in the end, it was probably needed. I don't think I have cut it for about a year. ANYWAYS.

I have such a deep love for my investigators. We have so many that are progressing so fast, and we are super excited. I can't even really describe it. But wow, I love this country and the people and this rama (branch).

So let me tell you about some of my people. E__, I can't remember if I have mentioned him before. We met him 4 weeks ago, just contacting. We went to the furthest part of our area. It's tough, because he lives SO CLOSE to us, but there is a gate that doesn't open, so we have to walk an hour away to get to him. He's 45, and has a few tattoos, but that doesn't mean anything. So we saw him, and I told Herm Peck that we should offer to teach him and so we did. He hasn't missed a Sunday of church. We had a stake conference yesterday, and it was 30 minutes away from our house, and 1.5 hours from his. He came, sweaty and all. We're super excited for him. The only problem is that he drinks iced tea, but so do the members. It's ok here, and so... but yeah. E__ is fantastic. He should be getting baptized this next month. Every time we go, he like, quotes the Book of Mormon, where he hasn't read yet. He tells us all the time that he has been prepared for this, and that everyone in the world needs the Book of Mormon. Smart guy. I love him. We have the worst days, and then have one lesson with him, and the day is all of the sudden great. What a guy.

We also have 2 young boys. C__ and A__. They are 14 and 13. They have a friend, J__, who is 13. They are the greatest. It's crazy, because sometimes we think that they don't really care about the gospel, because, come on, what 14 year old boy would care about his salvation?! But then we remember that Joseph Smith was 14... and yeah. They are so awesome. I love them. We can have a super spiritual lesson, and then just joke off. When they found out that we could get transferred, their eyes got teary. Precious. But yeah, we're stoked for them. They also walked to conference yesterday. In their white shirts and 15 minutes early. Oh also, they are getting baptized on Saturday :) :) :) :) :) :)

Y__ is doing great. The rama went to the temple on Wednesday. She went and loved it. Man, this rama is fantastic. They are missionaries. On Saturday, me and Peck usually have our English class. But we get to the church, and I realize that I had forgotten the keys! Man. But we ran into some youth that have 2 months in the church, and they were like, "are you coming to the service project?" so we did. We went and scraped paint and then painted for a recent convert who has 75 years of age. They were all men, and kept telling us we had delicate hands, but we helped, and it was great. They are so funny. I love the Dominican people. And the culture. I love it here!!!!! The people in our rama just have a huge love for the church. They would do anything, drop whatever, just to help a member of the rama. I love it.

Yesterday, me and my comp were talking about how great this week was, and it was weird, because all we were talking about were our investigators and their progress. We didn't talk about what we did, we talked about what they did!, and I felt like a legit missionary, putting them, first. I have been trying to do that, but it's hard. We also realized that we didn't even have the same excitement for P-day that we usually do. We also didn't get mail this week. I dunno, it's been the best week, and nothing happened to us. It all happened to our investigators.

Sorry if reading about them is boring. I just love them!!!!!!!

I was super worried about transfers this time. I have grown pretty attached to this place, even though it is super hot and I just sweat. But I guess that is the country. But I didn't want to leave! I usually am ready to leave after the first transfer, but not this time. I have had a lot of fun here, and just love everyone. So the call came, and turns out that we are all staying here. THANK GOODNESS! :) Such a relief.

But yeah, my week was really good. I just love being a missionary. We are working super hard, and having success. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf, and thank you for your support. I miss you all everyday, but each day more, I love the people. I'm not saying that you are being replaced, but I am saying that I can see why missionaries are sad to come home. :) Good thing I still have a while here to enjoy.

Um – I think that is all. I hope you all had a great week, and that you are safe and healthy. I love you all more than... more than Riss does! hahahahah kidding. But yay!!! Have a good one! Talk to you next week!

Hermana Erickson #1

ps. I ate an avocado right before sending this, and I have good news: I HATED IT! It was gross. I don't think I will be eating it again. :) Also, I miss real milk SO badly! All we drink is the powder stuff. That is one thing I am looking forward to a lot!

But sorry this is late, the power went out at the internet place, so we left and now we came back to finish up. But wow. I love you all!!! One more thought. I think it is so interesting seeing the progress of missionary work. Seeing the huge emphasis on the MEMBER MISSIONARY. It's not a suggestion. It's a commandment. I have seen the importance of members and their references. This area is all about it, and it has helped us out so much. I encourage you all to think about your friends and share the gospel. It is so easy. I know I am a missionary so it's easy to say, but really. You can do it. It's God's work, you cannot fail if you are on His team. Best of luck. I want to hear updates. I challenge you to share the gospel. Way to go, Jake for inviting your teacher to the thing on Sunday. :)

peace and love :)​

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#45 [La Venta - 5] Oct. 14th, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!! I love you!!!! Are you going to get a birthday badge? :) (I still remember Josh getting one when it wasn't his birthday. “Can I get a birthday badge?” - “Is it your birthday? ”...... “No.” — hahahaha, oh Hogarth.)

Also thanks for the update of Disneyland. I tried telling my comp, but she has never been. So deprived. :( But, I felt like I was there, it was fun!!! I loved getting soaked and all of that fun stuff!!!!

Yes, I did get your package, and the letters. Thank you for the package. I loved it, thank you for everything. I am trying to not eat all of the candy. I am happy you sent me granola bars - I was craving those a while ago :) I love the skirt and belt and shirt. I might never wear the shirt here, since it's a longer sleeved one, but I like it. The skirt is a little short - it doesn’t cover any part of my knee, but... I am wearing it :)

I have a few pictures that can really describe my week. Remember my black shoes? They finally died. I have worn them 90% of the time, and for not being walking shoes, they did alright! They blew out as we were walking, but luckily, I had my clear tape, because we were going to decorate a door for a member's birthday. So that was lucky. Then, I taped them to hold, but that didn't last. At night, it rained, and they fell apart. See pictures.

This morning, I spent 3 hours cleaning the kitchen. It looks super good. I love cleaning. It also helped that it was raining. But we jammed out to the EFY music. Thanks for the 2012 stuff, too; that's the ticket! :) hahah

On Saturday, (me 10 month marker!) we had a baptism! It was actually ours. The elders found her, but we were the ones that taught her. She's 14 and her name is Y__. G__ couldn't get baptized. Her dad said NO. But she can still come to church and have us visit. Darn, I hope she can get permission soon. I have not ever fasted and prayed as much as I have for her. I guess it just goes to show that God doesn't care. FALSE! APOSTASY! I am going to get struck down. NO, not true. He's just into trying our faith and such. I have learned a lot here on the mission. I really love being a missionary, even though I hate being called a sister missionary because it sounds lame and wimpy.

ANYWAYS, the baptism went well. We should have 2 more, not this week (stake conf., no baptisms) but the next, if we don't get transferred. The people here are just ready. It's cool. Also, we had interviews with the president and he talked all about Azua, and how it should be a stake before I leave. But Azua has grown so much. He'd tell me about people that I found and taught getting baptized. Super nice. MY SEEDS ARE GROWING! :)

Um... this week was long. I got mail almost everyday, so that was super nice.

I have talked to Jeff a lot (they were able to Email back and forth on Mon.), and I miss him. And I miss everyone, yep, that is all. I hope you are having fun in the happiest place on earth, that you don't make us go poor, and that you are safe.

I am good here, the investigators are good. We have some really good ones. I don't know if you all really care about hearing about them, because when I would read people's Emails, I would usually skip over those parts.... :) just pray for them to find jobs. :)

I found a book in our room called "Thai for missionaries" I might look into that :) hahahah, but really. I have read it a few times, it's tough. Can you say TRILINGUAL!? I can't, I doubt it will happen.

I am better at the hymns. I can play about any one that they ask (not well, but I can do it. I try) :)

Anyways, that is all. I hope you are all alright. I love you more everyday. I think I have the best family, and it is confirmed every time I think it. It's a knowledge. The best family for ME!

Thanks for the support and the love and the nice things you send to me in packages. I really enjoyed it :) I can't wait to eat the cake :) hopefully it works out well. :)

Well, peace and blessings. Keep reading your scriptures and praying! THE CHURCH IS TRUE! GO SHARE IT!

Love forever, Hermana Erickson 1

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#44 [La Venta - 4] Oct. 7th, 2013


I don't know about Riss, but I received no package. But there is still time.:) Thanks in advance for the package :)

And the ruins were alright. They weren't really ruins, just an old building. But I guess I can't complain. It actually remind me of Peru, so that was cool. I will send pics.

Dad, your joke was really funny!! Thank you for it. I will for sure be spreading that around :) you are a very funny guy. No wonder mom married you! (the SPIRITUAL JOKE was – What is the most powerful laxative in the bible? 

ANSWER: Moses took two tablets and went out in the wilderness for forty years.)

I enjoyed conference a whole lot. I loved it. Man, it was great. I was a little sad when I heard Bro. Richardson was praying and not talking. But oh well. He did well. And no, very funny, dad. I did NOT get to watch priesthood. haha

The pictures of the kids look nice. They are so cute! I think they got their cuteness from their older sister, Rachel!

Ok, well, I am going to tell you a bit about my week. Nothing really awesome happened. Ok, that's a lie. A few things.

So this whole week leading up to conference has been very uplifting. I have read 4 different Liahonas full of past conferences, and I have loved it! I have had my dose of conference, and I felt so happy. I love this gospel more than a Dominican man loves white girls! Like, I just love it so much. Can't even find words to explain, so I will stop, for now. :)

Also, we have 2 scheduled baptisms this Saturday. Y__ and G__. They are 14 and 16 respectively. I love them both, and they love this church. Y__ shouldn't have problems being baptized. She is counting down the days. But G__... man, her parents don't want this. We have been doing a lot of praying and fasting, and yeah. On Friday, I decided to fast for her, and also for conference. And later that night, I found out that the Branch pres. and some people went to her house and talked to her mom and pretty much got permission for her baptism! This branch is so into the investigators. Like, we didn't really set up an appointment for them, but they just see a need and fill it. They rock. So that was a nice tender mercy. We will see. We have lots of hope.

Um... my birthday was just like it usually is, which is forgotten. :) haha. I am glad we had conference though, it's always nice to hear and receive personal revelation from God on your birthday. I really wouldn't have wanted anything more. But apparently, a lady in the ward found out, and we had a lesson with her after, and she had bought me a cake! So that was super nice. It was celebrated after all. But I didn't really tell anyone. I could've milked it a LOT here, because people love giving things, but I would've felt guilty. You know my silly conscience. haha

A surprise b-day cake!
So people give us coke all the time. The drink, and not the drug, no worries. And I am almost starting to like it. It's bad. I think it will fade with time, but man, before, I would be appalled and not drink it, now, I drink it easily. My poor teeth!

Another song! This one is always on. It's funny. "Hoy se va beber" by... Vaquero. You should look it up. It's funny.

But man, I have been hit by... what it feels like a truck. But it's good, because that truck was filled with love and the spirit. I am as high as a kite on the spirit. I just love life and everyone! Like, I have felt God's love so abundantly in my life this past week. It could be because of the conference talks. Maybe I have matured with age. Like, since I am now 22 (GROSS!), I am more mature.... let's be real, probably not. But this week was just great. My journal is looking like mom's (she mentioned a while back that her journal was just filled with her testimony day after day, and that is how I feel mine is).

I have always loved the church and the gospel, but this mission thing sure is life-changing. It's crazy to realize how much we actually have in this gospel. How many blessings we actually have. The blessings are real. They aren't imaginary or made up so people feel good and join the church. They are REAL! Ah, it's wonderful. Thank you for raising me in the gospel. Thank you for getting married in the temple. Thank you for living your life in such a way to make me want to be better and be happy. I know this church is true, and I know God loves me very personally. I know the blessings of obedience are real and much needed. I know that Thomas S. Monson is called of God and that he is the living prophet today that leads our Church. How lucky we are to have a prophet. I echo the words of the well-known hymn, "We thank Thee, O God, for a prophet" Yes we do!

Um... well, I really have nothing more to say. I love you all. I hope conference was as uplifting for you as it was for me. I can't believe it's over. Thank goodness it is semiannual! Man, I love you all. We're a FOREVER FAMILY!

Sorry I can't go into much more detail about conference. I don't really remember what I heard. I just remember what I felt.

Anyways, peace and eternal love,

Hermana Erickson #1

Also, I encourage you all to look and pray for missionary experiences. Seriously though. DO IT! “Just don’t know, DO!” (Kyle's quote)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#43 [La Venta - 3] Sept. 30th, 2013


I am on super early today. So I will just write to you about the week, although I don't have a whole lot to say... I forgot my notes at home in the middle of the rush of p-day.

This week went by fine. On Riss' birthday, I had a pretty bad stomach ache. It's not like anything I have had before. I don't know what it is. I still have it a bit, and I have no appetite, so I haven't been eating lots. I am alive, and it only hurts when I eat (possibly why I don't eat a lot). No need to worry, that was just one of the highlights of the week, I guess, haha.

We were supposed to have a baptism this weekend, and she was super excited, and then we all prayed about the date - either the 5th or the 12th, and we all got the 12th. Mainly because we don't have a font in our chapel thing, so she wouldn't have much support if she were to get baptized on conference, and she's all about that; oh well. I am sure excited about conference though. Sometimes baptisms are hectic, so it'll be nice to just enjoy it :) Her name is Y__, and she is 14.

We also have G__. She is 16 and knows English perfectly. I love her. We taught her about modesty one day, and the next day, she comes home, wearing a modest dress with cap sleeves, and she's like, "I thought of you guys when I bought this for my interview." She is rock solid. I am stoked for her baptism. Her parents, on the other hand, are not, and have yet to sign the papers. We've been praying and fasting for that to happen. :) She understands why we do things, and has a strong testimony about the gospel. It makes me so happy.

So there is this punk guy that always talks to us in the street. He only knows English. He's such a gangsta, and we've actually become very good friends. Which makes sense, since I am a gangsta :) haha. Anyways, we always talk about the church, and the other day, we gave him a Book of Mormon (that I had bought in the MTC forever ago) and invited him to pray about it, and he did!!!! He said that he felt super tranquillo and peaceful, and that he "wouldn't mind this tranquility all the time" haha he just makes me happy, and says "Man, I dunno" a lot, but in a gangsta voice, if you can imagine. He was deported from America to Haiti about 4 months ago, probably for drug dealing, let's be real. But we think he could turn his life around. If he weren't leaving to Haiti this week, I think we could really help him out. Maybe I will get a photo for you all.

Um.. that is all I can think about. We had sis splits the other day, and those were good. Nothing super great.

We're going to some ruins today, which is why we are on so early.

Also, I have no pictures. Oh!, just one. So Hermana Peck picked an ingrown hair, and it went CRAZY! like, super gross — to the point of it hurting to walk. I will send that picture, since it has been a highlight of this week. Haha oops, just kidding. The computer won't let me, sorry. Just imagine it being super gross, like a huge boil or zit on her knee. Super gross.

Last night, we had a frog in our house, we all freaked out pretty badly, and it eventually jumped out the door. After, I went into the room, and there was a giant spider right by our beds. The night had just begun, although it was 10:00. We spent about half an hour trying to murder that thing. We were screaming and smashing, but it was super fast and would hide under the bed. Such an adventure. We did not kill it. No, instead, we chopped off the legs with a pole, and with it’s remaining 4 legs, it scurried out the window into the unknown... ah... spiders are gross. The frog was just preparing us. haha

Now to answer your email ---

I did not know Krispen was prego!!! happy!!! Congrats to her and Jess.

I didn't get to see the broadcast live or at all. We were not allowed to. That makes... 4 years without seeing it. oops. Maybe I should get on that. maybe!

I am not in a ward, we are a branch off of the Villa Aura ward, and we're the La Venta Rama. So that's all, you stalker.

Thanks for the photos and the email. I am happy that Jake's finger isn't broken.

Have the greatest week ever. Just remember that the best blessing that you ever got, came this Saturday, 22 years ago. Just remember :) haha — Eat something delicious for me! We have nothing planned here, just conference, which is the greatest birthday gift ever :) I love this gospel. I hope you are all well and alive and happy and healthy.

Love you all to infinity and BEYOND! (al infinito y mas alla!- in Spanish. ) haha

ox ox ox
Hermana Erickson 1

Ps, sorry this is short, I won't forget the cheat sheet next week :)