Monday, June 16, 2014

#80 [Sabana Yegua - 16] June 16th, 2014

Near the end--the final countdown


This is super weird. I don't feel like I really need to email you, but hey, I have an hour on the computer, I might as well talk to my beloved family, right? right. :)


So, I have NO idea when my temple trip is planned. Me and Herm Brockman thought that we were going to leave tomorrow (Tues.) for the capital and go on the transfer bus, but last night at 10:35 (shame shame, calling after bedtime hours) they called us and told us that we were actually leaving today!!! Talk about stressful!!! We stayed up packing until about 1:00 and then I went to bed, but only slept until my bladder said so, which was at 4, and I couldn't fall back to sleep, so I went outside and wrote letters to people here and then soon enough, Hermana Brockman came out, too!! She couldn't sleep either!!! So we cleaned the house so we wouldn't have to do it later in the morning, and we could go do other stuff; :) so that was good.

So long story short, I have no idea when the temple trip is, and I probably won't know until I am actually in the temple; which is a little stressful, oh well!! :)

Anyways, this week was pretty good. We had surprise interviews on Wednesday, and they were great!!! President was just like, "I'll talk to you in a week!" So I kinda got off the hook!!! hahah, it was nice.

I also found out that day that K__ got married. So, no mission for him. :( I am quite sad about it, but at least he married an LDS girl. And they went to the capital to get married, but as far as I know, it wasn't in the temple. Maybe in December!! But this is just gossip from his cousin, so... I guess I will see when I call him from home. ;)

So we have a super great family that are working on their sealing in the temple. They were reactivated right before I came to SY; anyways, they are great. Awhile back, we were teaching T__, the husband's brother. He was very flojo (like, slow) and wouldn't do anything, but his brother was persistent. He’s also the same guy that was on the bed the other week–that my comp had to use her nursing skills on and put in the catheter. Well... he passed away. So we spent a lot of time siting under a canopy, (feeling VERY uncomfortable) and supporting the family. They are some people that you will meet from SY in December. 

And I think that is all. This week has been a decent one. I am very nervous to come home. I have not felt this uncomfortable in a long time. I don't know what it is. I am stoked to come home, but super nervous. I have been very blessed to serve here. I love all of the people. I love all of the experiences I have had. I am a very lucky girl and God loves me so much. I have learned that even more on the mission. I have always had a pretty close relationship with my Heavenly Father, but now it's solid and I am stoked to move on in life with this... feelings. What I want to say doesn't translate into English, haha.

But thank you all for your love and support. I could not have done it without you :) I love you all from the bottom of my heart :)

Peace out. Have a fun time with Jeff and then get ready for an even more fun time with me. :) :) :) :) :)

All my love,

Hermana Erickson–

SIGNING OFF for the last time :(

Monday, June 9, 2014

#79 [Sabana Yegua - 15] June 9th, 2014


A palm leaf on the church grounds
Wow, that was a nice, long, but kinda boring email :) I appreciate all that you said though :)

I am excited to see the house and the people inside of it :)

Jakey, glad you had fun at Clear Creek, and I hope Head has fun at EFY and doesn't kiss too many boys!!! :) :) hahahah

Congrats to John and Rachel and also to Krispen and Jess :) Families are great. I sure love mine. :)

So this week was fine. Nothing really happened. Like, we had some lessons, taught some people, we had ward conference this Sunday, and it was the best church I've been to in a long time. :)

I heard that 70% of the island will end up getting the virus. I think I'll be in the 30% that don’t. Perhaps I will get it and then bring it to the states and it will really be a giant mess. huh.

Dad, happy Father's Day on Sunday!!! I have a gift for you, but it'll come on the 18th :) hehe

Well, that is about all. Nothing really exciting. Just missionary work, but I sure do love it. Sometimes it's tough, but it has grown on me quite a lot :)

Thanks for supporting me this entire time. Thanks for your emails. Thanks for your dedication every week. Thanks for raising me well and helping me get out here.

I am super sad that my time is pretty much up. I have thought about my mission my entire life. Ever since I was a wee lass I’ve thought about it, and now it's almost over. What will I look forward to now? marriage? kids? grand kids? I don't even know. I have never prepared for something so much, and then live it, and have it be over in a heartbeat. It's a weird feeling and I don't like it. I feel like it'll be the same type of feeling when I die. But I dunno, I have never experienced it.

Ugh. I wish I could just transport back and forth between life and the mission, cuz it's super sad to have to leave it all behind. Only to visit every once in a while, and not even to preach. :) Like, I am super stoked to come home, not gonna lie, but I am going to miss this WAY too much. Normal life sounds so boring, plus, Riss won't even be there. Oh well, life goes on!!! —which stinks!

I am still working hard, but the members here are on the countdown, which makes it difficult. I am not counting down, or trying to think about it. Therefore, I will probably be super awkward around people cuz I will probably be in shock. It took me about a year to realize that I was a legit missionary and that I was living my dream, so I expect it to take me about a year to get back into the normal life, hahah.

Anyways, I feel really blessed to be a part of God's army. It's been pure bliss. Sure, it's had its hard times, days when I wanted to quit, but overall, it's been great. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to come to this beautiful place. I love the people here. I hope I am super rich one day so I can come back "all the times!!!" :)

Well, I am going to go, since nothing happened this week. Thanks for everything. Get your paper chain countdown up, cuz I won't have one :) Love you all so much!!!

I am nervous for transfers this week. I have a feeling that I am going to leave this place. And I hope I am emotionally prepared–haha, I am so funny :)

Love you all!!! :) Peace out my family!! Talk to you next week :) :) :)

Giant empanadas today for p-day.

Monday, June 2, 2014

#78 [Sabana Yegua - 14] June 2nd, 2014

Why hello there!!! :)

CONGRATS to JOSHY poo for graduating!! :) What a stud. :) Funny that no one wanted to go to his graduation. And Josh, no worries – I didn’t go to Lagoon day, either. Wanna know why? CUZ mom and dad made me go to Jeff's graduation. So... good to hear that for the other kids it was optional to go and sit through that boring ceremony. :) haha

But sounds like the week was good for y'all. My heart is heavy for Alice. I didn't even know she was sick. I am so sad to hear that she has departed from this life. But no worries, she is in a better place; with the Brady father (AIDS, right?) :/ Oh dear, Mom, you should've gotten a cake. There is always a reason to celebrate!!! :) Although death should not be one of them...

Head, CONGRATS for making your soccer team. I played today, but one is only as good as the team, and I was the only one who knew how to play. It was awful and pretty much gave me no hope to ever play again. Kinda depressing, but I am still gonna try. :)

Hmmm...ok; what happened this week to tell you? Let's see...we had a Zone meeting on Thursday, and we met the new mission pres. I really like them. They are filled with the spirit. I am pretty sad that I will not be able to work much with them, but I have a feeling they are going to spoil the missionaries leaving this transfer, so I am excited. :) haha

But anyways, Herm Brockman and I were super nervous because we thought we'd be testifying. I have thought that the last 3 conferences, but on Thursday, we actually did it!!! Along with Peck and the others. It was fun. I am sure people think I am really shy, cuz I talk really soft, but I don't really care. :) Anyways, that was good. :)

So there is a pandemic going on here. It's called the CHICUNGUYA virus. It's very dangerous, and probably more than 80% of the island has been affected, and many missionaries. It's transmitted from the same mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus. It makes you nauseous and throw-up and weak and dehydrated. Sounds like dengue, but it's Japanese. Luckily, no one in the house has gotten it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did. I don't know how to get away from it. A lot of our investigators have it, and being in the same house as them makes us more likely to be bitten by the mosquito that bit them. So...if I don't come home, it probably means I am dead from that virus. Oddly enough it kills more adults than babies; huh. Anyways, thought you would like to know.

Also, WATER came today!!! :) We hadn't had it for a few days, it was getting gross. And when I say that water came, I mean that our hose had water running so we were able to fill up our buckets to use that day. It usually comes once a day, in the mornings, and it came this morning, and we also had light!!! It was a miracle!! :) But yeah, we filled up our buckets and now we can shower "normally" and actually wash our dishes...

This is by far the grossest life I have ever lived.

So another miracle happened this week. Remember how me and my comp contacted for the entire day? Well, we got ZERO new investigators from that, which stinks hard core. All of our work...but the best thing is that God sees our effort and blesses us accordingly. So this week, we were able to find like, 10 new investigators that weren't from contacting. They just called us out or happened to be in the cita with us while we were teaching. It was a miracle. We couldn't see if they are going to progress, cuz they couldn't come to church (due to the virus and the rain), but they seem to be progressing. I love them all. :) It's a miracle.

Also, we have been SUPER obedient. Leaving exactly on time and working hard all the day, and God is sure blessing us with that. All these miracles makes me not want to come home (I thought I would never say it), but yeah. I just wanna stay here and work with these wonderful people. We also have some really great families that are not active in the church. But we are setting goals and such for them to progress. It's just sad to see people that were once so strong in the church fall away and become more hard, just like it says will happen in Alma 24:30 and again in Alma 47: 36. :)

Yay, for quoting scripture!!! I just love the scriptures. :)

Well, that is about all of this week!! I am super stoked to be here working :) I am super sad to be finishing, but then I can't imagine staying here longer. But, I can easily say, I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course, I have kept the faith :) (YAY!!! more scripture. :) haha)

But I hope you are all happy and well. I sure do love you all a lot :) Thanks for helping me through this mission, it's been a dream, and I couldn't have done it without you. :) So thanks, :) you're all the best. :) :) :)

Well, have a great week! Talk to you in a week! :)

Until then,

Hermana Erickson #1 :)

Zone meeting with new mission pres. & wife -- May 28th, 2014

Making 5 lbs. of spaghetti for a zone activity this morning.

Friday, May 30, 2014

#77 [Sabana Yegua - 13] May 26th, 2014

PIG head for sale--anyone?
Wow overload with questions!! I got my new flight plans for the 18th of June at 8:15 in the morning I think. I can forward the email I got. I should get one more chance to go to the temple. Maybe two more names would be cool to do, since I'll be going with the other missionaries that will be coming. :)

And the new MP came on the 23rd. We don't know anything about him really, but he speaks in English and we have a Zone conference on Thursday. This time for sure I will be giving my testimony.

Also, one more update, the short transfer IS happening, so that's good news. :)

I am happy to hear that dad and Jakey had a fun time on the campout and that the food was better ;)

Joshy, congrats on graduating!!! Don't do anything stupid in this next week to make it so you can’t!

I am glad that Jeff is having a good time in China!

Wait, so Grandma Farley is gonna be moving? Who will have the other house? Krispen?

Anyways, I think that is about all of your letter :) I already sent a few pictures on about this week. It has been a decent week I guess. Here is the update.

On Monday night, we found out who would be living with us (Hermana Peck's comp) and it made me SUPER EXCITED! :) It's........ HERMANA BROCKMAN!!! Does that name ring a bell? It should ring a small one cuz it was so long ago that she was mentioned, :) but she and I were MTC comps for a day before I got changed to the upper class :) fun, eh? – Yeah, so we are living in the same house for a few more weeks and then we are going home together. :) I am super excited. She is a great missionary and we are good friends, so it's been a fun time. :) I thought that her family was going to pick her up here, but then it is not happening, so... yeah!!! We are going to fly home together, maybe. Actually, I don't know cuz she is flying in to Vegas, and I don't know if I am... well, either way, we'll be leaving Sabana Yegua together. She felt a little weird being transferred cuz it’s only for a month, but God knows best. :)

Remember that pink sheet I brought? Well, I had someone make me three skirts from it :) she did them in one day :)
Another thing that I decided to do was to make a skirt out of the sheet I brought, which was fun. Ok, I didn't make it. There is a lady in our rama that is pretty poor, so I had her mom make it and I paid her for it. She made three skirts out of it; not quite grandma quality, but still nice :)

Also, on Saturday, me and my comp decided to contact the entire day. Yep, we were on our feet for 6 hours in the sun. It wasn't as awful as I thought it would be, but it was pretty bad, and to make it worse, we only got like, 4 return citas. Darn, that really stinks cuz we have about 4 investigators and they are not really progressing. This area is TOUGH. It's not the best thing in the world, but I somehow love being here.

The rest of the week went by slow, as the first week of the transfer usually does, but that's ok. I am glad it's going slow, cuz I am really going to miss being a missionary. The time is going by fast, but slow.

Anyways...yeah, That's my mission life. One more highlight would include:

H__ getting the priesthood!! :) yay! And that's all. This week has been not very high-lighty.

Well, I love you all!!! Have a great week! Enjoy these last weeks of silence and peace :) hehehe, kidding :)

Keep reading your scriptures, and cleaning the house. :) Sorry about the SUPER lame email.

All my love :)

-Hermana Erickson :)

New area to work in...where is everyone?

Monday, May 19, 2014

#76 [Sabana Yegua - 12] May 19th, 2014

Well, it sounds like you all had a fun week, and that you went and did some service, which is good. :) well done :)

Also, I hope that the camp out was super fun. Dad, was this the first time you shot a shotgun? I really want to buy me one. I think it is super fun. Maybe Jake got his shooting skills from his big sister :) haha

Thanks for the fun Email. I am so happy to be a part of such a cool, fun family :)

This week for me was a tough one. Not one part of me really wanted to go out, but somehow every single day we were out and every night at 8, I was glad to be home. But I was also glad that I went out to serve. It was just a tough one. I feel like Satan is really trying to get me to be trunky. Putting thoughts into my head about home all the time, and it's rough. And since my time is running short, he's working double-time! But I know that God is more powerful and HE can work WAY harder than the adversary, so I am not worried. I just really need to pray hard these next few weeks, or I might die. Ok, that was an exaggeration. But wow, they could be miserable. hahah

But here are a few of the things that are cool enough to make this week's Email :)

•    I finished the Libro de Mormon once more!!! and I am going to try to read it again before I get home. I think I will be able to, since I read 1st Nefi in about an hour. haha

•    A__ and C__ officially have one year as members of the church!! and they are going strong :) I love them so much and am thankful to be their missionary. :) Man, thy are great.

•    We had our theatre thing on Friday and we were in Azua all day. We had to make up skits as a district and me and Hermana Peck ended up making it all. Once again, it turned into a musical, haha I guess that is the only thing we know :) But our district didn't really practice until Wednesday, and we only ran thru it twice. Then the thing was on Friday, but it turned out great!! It was super fun. I had some solos again. I don't know how I keep getting all of these signing roles, but whatever!! I sure enjoyed it :) I wasn't shaking in my boots this time, so I am considering going into theatre, since apparently others think I’m cut out for it–hah haa, KIDDING. It's not for me. Although someone came up to me after and asked why I wasn't in Hollywood... hmmm...
    —For the musical, my hubby in the skit was addicted to cigs, and I got to use my skill of making fake cigarettes for the production. (Thanks Jeff, for all that practice!! I remember chilling in the basement making fake cigarettes. :) Hahaha, it paid off!)

•    The Azua branch had another temple trip. I know that K__ and his friends went. As did C__. I saw both of them at the thing in Azua. K__ is doing really well, and thanked me for the PMG I sent to him.

•    Apparently there is not going to be a short transfer. So... I will be coming home in the middle of one. Weird that all of this happened, cuz at first when there wasn't one, I was gonna come home this week. Then they said there is, so I changed my mind, but now that there is not anymore, I am still here. Maybe it was just part of God's plan to get me to stay a little longer. I guess I am supposed to find some really cool people here :) !!!!!! :)

•    T__, a guy we had been teaching - and a brother of a super cute family, came to church. Right now he is in bad shape. He can't eat anything and has lost like, 100 pounds. You can see his bones and he's getting worse. But he came to church. It might be a little too late, but we can just hope that God pulls a miracle with the poor fellow.

•    Sadly, S__'s baptismal date was moved back to the 28th of June. I guess that made me a little sad, cuz I won't get to see another baptism. :( But God knows best, and it doesn't really matter if I am here to see it, just as long as she gets dunked. :) I'll see her eventually :)

•    Also, I found out that one of our investigators is pregnant. She's only 14 :(

•    I was in church yesterday and I heard the men singing thru the walls. It was a sweet reminder that the church is worldwide and it is literally the same no matter where you go. I am so thankful to be a part of the true and living Church of Christ and that it is available to every one. :) Hearing the voices ringing out the happy chorus of "secreta oracion" reminded me of that great truth. It was happy :)

•    We have a cool investigator named Y__. She's like, 16 and super cool. The elders taught her before, and she didn't go anywhere, but she is starting to go somewhere finally. Anyways, we had a lesson with her the other day, and I testified that if she reads her BOM before studying her schoolwork, she'd do better in her classes. She told me she never had time, so I told her to do it then. So she tried it and then when we went back, she was able to testify of it as well. It was really a neat thing to see and experience. Her heart was softened. :) After, she proceeded to tell us that if you don't brush your teeth before going to bed, or if you sleep with honey on your mouth, you'll wake up to cockroaches biting your mouth!!! super nasty. Was she hinting at my bad breath? Trying to scare me? If so, it worked. You can bet that I'll never go to bed without brushing my teeth again!!! NO SIR! Also, the member we were with testified of THAT truth (instead of the scripture one haha) because it had happened to him once... YUCK!

The nights here are getting extremely hot. Saturday night, I went to bed after my cold shower around 9:30. Me and my comp stayed awake, sweating. Not one part of my poor body was not drenched in sweat. We have fans and such, but when there is no power, the fans obviously don't work, :( so we stayed awake, tossing and turning until the light came on around 12. Finally we were able to sleep. I am sure grateful for AC! Sadly, the last 2 nights

have been the same. No light. Oh well.

Today we went to the parcela with a member. The parcela is like a giant garden of fruit and stuff... we ate some mangoes and ate some salami guisado with onions and some platano and guineo sancochado. :) It was really good. Here are a few pictures from it. We had to peel all of those guineos (bananas). I will for sure make this when I get home :) I am stoked to feed you all of this Dominican food!!!
OH! we had transfers last night. Hermana

Alcantara - the Dominican that I am living with, is leaving. I hope they send another Latina here, cuz if not, I'll only have lived with ONE Latina person this entire time!!! :) So yeah, Hermana Peck is getting a new comp, and me and my Philippina are staying together. She's really sad that she'll see me die. Oh well, she'll get over it I think. :)

Yeah!! that was my week!! I found out that a bunch of kids have a really fun time feeling how poky my legs are... it's really a win-win situation. I don't have to shave, and they get to laugh and be entertained!!! haha

Love you all so much!!!!  Have a great week and go astonish someone!!! :)

Love you all beyond words. Thanks for your help and love, :) peace out my loved ones!!!!

-Hermana Erickson :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#75 [Sabana Yegua - 11] May 12th, 2014

Hello!! Yeah, it was good to talk to you for the little time that I had. Kinda sad that I never got to talk to dad and Head. But life goes on. It's not like I won't see you soon...

Speaking of that, HAPPY 17 MONTHS, to ME! That's weird. Where did these last 5 months go? The time has flown incredibly fast, ever since I hit a year. But whatever. OH! So my bestie from the MTC, Hermana R__ :) is HOME! And she went on a date already!! Man, she sent me pics of the airport, and it was fun to see. I sure do miss her, and I am excited to hang out with her (if she gives me some time–she has a boyfriend, and I might be like Jeff's go-cart in Uncle Bill's garage..:/ man) But yeah, people are doing great!

This week was good. I told mom about most of it. Our investigators are using their agency unwisely, but I can't do anything about it, sadly. We just have to keep teaching them gospel principles, and they will learn to govern themselves, like Joseph Smith said... I think. I just love this gospel.

The rest of the week was great. Just missionary stuff. We are working on a possible skit that we have to perform in front of the entire district of Azua. Hopefully it happens cuz it's fantastic. The only crazy thing is that I am singing again!!! but I have like, 3 songs... yeah, it's another musical. Hahah — I guess I am just so talented in the music department! Oh gosh, not true, but I guess it's boosting my confidence! :)

Um... let's see. Me and Hermana Peck have been hanging out all today, which has been so much fun. For some reason, our comps prefer each other, so it's nice cuz me and Peck don't initiate it, so I don't feel bad about hanging out with her. It's cool; but yeah, so we went around shopping and we ate at Pollo Rey (Chicken King! — like Burger king for Dominicans!! :) haha) but that was nice. It was nice to eat something that wasn't rice and beans cuz we sure have been eating a LOT of beans! ...which is alright ;)

These pics are me and Hermana Peck making tamarindo juice. It's like... sour. I want to take the fruit home, so I am planning on that, just so y'all can try how it is. :) The juicing process looks gross, right? But it's official! I asked how to do it from a Dominican. :) Also, the tamarindos were free–so they were good!!! :) MUST BE! :) haha. For me and my comp, we actually get free stuff every single day—mangoes, tamarindos, melons, pl├ítanos, chinolas (passion fruit-like the stuff Jeff drank in China!) and all sorts of good stuff! Life is just really good for me.

Oh, it was raining the other day. The first time since I have been here, so that was nice. :) I sure do love the rain. It's so warm and nice. I love the rain, and the constant thunder. It's a great place, the DR. :)

Yeah! I love being a missionary. It is starting to hit me that I don't have a whole lot of time left :/ and it really breaks my heart. I have been looking forward to coming home since the day I left. I have had it pictured in my head, how the reunion would be, but now that it's coming, I don't wanna leave! Like, I do cuz I miss you all to death, but I just know I am going to miss my life here. There are so many people that I have grown to love, and it makes me sad that I might not see them again. Well, I will, but I can't keep in contact with lots of them cuz they don't have email or Facebook or even a phone. It's just sad. But oh well. I will see them in the Celestial kingdom, right? But overall, the mission has been really rewarding. I feel like I have become a better person and that I have more trust in God and all of that fun spiritual stuff. So that's good :)

Man, I just love you all so much and I am grateful that we were able to chat for a few minutes last night. :) Thanks for all of your support and love. :)

Until next letter,

Hermana Rachel Erickson :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#74 [Sabana Yegua - 10] May 5th, 2014

So hello! Sounds like a great week for you guys, which makes me happy :)

CONGRATS TO KATY for graduating!!! Such a big deal, :) way to go! :)

The week for me was fine. Today, we went crab hunting, and it was fun, but I realized that I really HATE crab. They actually scare me. I sent some pics for your enjoyment haha. Also, I did NOT catch this. I failed at catching them. I enjoyed walking in the river, though. Also, if you can't tell, I pulled of the jean vest look really nicely, haha. Hermana Peck told me I looked like a hippie. I think I was born in the wrong era, cuz I would LOVE to be a hippie–without the drugs, and other bad things. Haha.

Um, apparently the Dominicans celebrate 5 de Mayo more than the Mexicans because every lumping thing was closed today, which really caused a heartache for some people. It was annoying, but whatever. Life is full of excitement I guess!

Um... something pretty gross keeps showing up in my bed. Poop—yep, and it's NOT mine (dad! haha) nor is it my comps. It looks more like lizard or mouse. I am hoping it is lizard, even though either one is undesirable! But hey, it's all part of the Dominican dream. Just living it up! :)

Also, mom, I don't know if Louie has a blog, but I would love to see pics of her. It's been so long, and I think about her a lot. Also, I appreciate Mishka, cuz she always updates me with dearelders, which is THE BEST! So thanks to her :) Speaking of friends, Derek's birthday is this week, so wish him happy birthday. (5-10 haha)

Um... our investigators are alright. People are progressing slowly, but I am happy doing what I am. I am completely oblivious to how much time is left for me. You should be proud, cuz I haven't let myself count days; but I know the time will fly by.

Yeah, that's my week. Sorry that nothing happened. All sorts of little things did, which made it a great week, but nothing noteworthy here. Just know that I am safe and happy, the two most important things, right?

Also, I am still obeying the rules, even though we are orphans without a president.

How are you doing on your resolutions?

Also, when I call on Mother's day, you should have a list of questions cuz I don't wanna be in charge of the conversation. :)

I love you all! Can't wait to talk to you in a few days! Keep up the good work being my great family. I am so blessed to have a family like you. I love you all. You're all great examples and I just miss you lots. Can't wait to credit card you all and do a beacons landing on Jakey. :) But I can wait, and I will, and I will enjoy the time I have left here. Thanks for everything! Peace and blessings, my dear family :)

Much pero, oh so much love, Herm Erickson 1

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#73 [Sabana Yegua - 9] Apr. 28th, 2014

Hello!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! :) Just so you all know.

Well, I am glad that my family is doing so great.

Ok, here is my short letter. No worries, I am fine, just busy :)

Ok, so the conference we had this week was great. I didn't share my testimony because it was a DESPEDIDA for our pres and his wife. They announced that they would be leaving this week, instead of in June, so I was originally worried cuz the transfer that I planned to come home on was made up for their departure, and I thought that maybe it was going to be changed, but no, still a transfer June 18th, so no worries. But yeah, I didn't give my testimony, and I may not, cuz I don't think we'll have another conference.

I got to see my bestie, Hermana B__, and that was a SWEET reunion. I just love her so much and miss her. We're like, bffs. I talked to her and it was GREAT – nuff said.

I got my travel plans.... that was weird. Still is. I just don't think about it. Turns out that my comp is more trunky than I am. Mainly cuz her bro comes home next week, and all she thinks about is that. Rough. Not me though, thank goodness!

We have been contacting this whole week, looking for golden investigators, and found some great people. Also, S__, the girl we have been teaching for a while came to church and brought her friend. They are both great. I love them. Their families are great, too. I am stoked to see them get baptized. :)

I finished Jesus the Christ. Good book.

Um... we have a complete creep guy that we have a "you-come-to-church-we-teach-you-once-that-week" policy. He didn't come to church! I feel bad saying that I am happy that he didn't come, haha.

But yeah, my week was short, and great. Nothing really exciting happened.

Actually, here are the pics.

The food is what we ate. Looks like poop... hehe.

And this is MY beautiful area. Riss always sends pics of her area, so I thought I would make you all jealous by sending you what I see daily :) enjoy :) haha. I can't include pics of naked children, that could get me arrested, haha.

Well, I think that is all. I love you lots. Can't wait to talk to you in a few weeks. Keep doing FHE and your scripture study and such! They are so important. I know the church is TRUE! and that our family is foreva! Yay for the gospel! Go share it and find references for the missionaries!!!

Peace and lots of love :)

Herm Erickson :)


Rachel will return home on June 18th. She arrives at the SLC International airport around 4:15 PM. (It is definitely a bitter/sweet upcoming event.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

#72 [Sabana Yegua - 8] Apr. 21st, 2014

Dad, thank you for to uplifting quote, I can easily apply that to the work :) hahahahah!!!! got me a good laugh. :) Glad you're my dad forever. :)

Also, HAPPY DAY TO JEFF AND SHAYLEE!!!! Congrats! how exciting! Throughout the week, I was thinking about it lots. I had a feeling it would happen :) yipee!!!

Thanks for your great letter :) as always, I love reading it :) Thanks for the updates and the love :)

Glad you had a nice Ham for Easter. I think I ate rice and beans—Yay! :)

But my week was pretty good. It was Semana Santa, or holy week here, and the people go crazy. All of the girls put trenzas in their hair (braids) since school is out, and so I decided to join in the fun! I did it to myself and to Hermana Peck, too :) it was super fun. It's a for sure perk of serving on a tropical island–it was totally acceptable! :)

On Thursday, we were helping H__ get ready for his baptism. We asked him some questions, and when it got to the question about participating in an abortion or a homosexual relationship, he said he was guilty, but "that was along time ago." My heart sunk. I asked, "the abortion?" and he was like, no, the other. NO! H__ in a homosexual relationship!? So I verified and was like, "So... you had a relationship with another man?" and he looked at me and was like, "Ew, no." And then my worries faded and we all laughed. Luckily, he has never had a homosexual relationship. Phew! Big sigh of relief.

I am reading Jesus the Christ again. I am almost finished. It was cool cuz I had a schedule, and it worked out that I read the assigned chapters on the same day of their happening (I read about the crucifixion on Thursday and the resurrection yesterday.) Cool stuff. Made it feel more like Easter, since they don't celebrate it here. Just beer and more beer. It breaks my heart.

Also, happy birthday to Grandpa Erickson this week! 80? wow... so wise.

Anyways, we ended up having the baptism on Saturday. It was great. H__ is great. Just love him. He's funny. Still got lots to learn, but he's great. Not much to say about that. I just love being a missionary and seeing people learn about the church and make covenants with God. It's great. The only bad thing abut his baptism is that now we have like, no investigators... darn. But it always happens, and God'll help us :)

Also, look at Herm Peck’s blog for more trenza photos. But yeah, that was the week. It turned out alright. The weeks are going faster and faster, but the days are going slower and slower. It's all in my head. I don't think about home often, so that's good!

I love being here. Sad that my days are numbered.

We have a zone meeting this Wednesday. It's a random one with the entire south, so I will get to see Herm Beesley, and I am STOKED! I miss her guts, so much. Do you still talk to her parents?

Well, I think that is all. Love you lots. Thanks for everything. Have a great week!

Love, Hermana Erickson :)

cute little creature

Friday, April 18, 2014

#71 [Sabana Yegua - 7] Apr. 14th, 2014

Thanks for the fun pics!  You all look like you had a great time! :) You all look older (except for you, dad:) haha.) Also, thanks for the play-by-play including traffic and line waiting :) always feels like I am in on the action when you give them :) haha.

So this week was great. It went by pretty slow, but the first week of every transfer seems to pass slow. All of Monday, I was wondering who my companion would be. Since I had about 16 months in the DR, and I had only had American comps whose first and native language has been English, I was curious to see if God would allow me to have a Latina comp, since most Americans here have at least 2 their mission. I was nervous to maybe get my first.

I might have Mom's gift of telling the future, since I guessed who my comp was going to be before it was announced. But her name is Hermana C__. She's great. AND GUESS WHAT? Turns out that Hermana Erickson will NOT only have American comps her entire mission!!! Yahoo! BUT, her second language is English, so we mainly talk in English. We can't talk in her first language, since it's Tagalog. YEP, that's right. She's from the Philippines. Therefore, she doesn't know Spanish. Well, she does now, but it is her 3rd language. But yeah, that is the most news this week, haha.

Hope that all makes sense. Her name is pronounced (ca-kim-ball). She has 8 months here and she is the oldest comp that I have had. She is so sweet! She always touches me though, which I am not really a fan of. She grabs my arm when we walk, and I just stiffen. But she’s cute and I like her. Her English is perfect, and she teaches me Tagalog sometimes. We have a switch-off, since I will teach her piano, she'll teach me Tagalog. :) haha. Also, when she speaks Spanish, she has a cute little Asian accent, it's so cute! Maybe I'll pick that up, haha.

In other exciting news, H__ is doing great! I have gained a stronger testimony of the power of the scriptures this week. We decided to go and help the family that he lives with (the ward mission leader and his wife/kids) read the BOM and when we read 1 Nefi 3, we had them memorize the first part of verse 7. Then we did role-plays with H__ about going to the colmado to buy cigarettes, and him saying, "no, give me 6 mints instead, for I Nefi said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded" and IT WORKED! :) :) :) He officially hasn't smoked for 4 days, and every time we go to him, he has a bigger grin on his face, and he recites the scripture! It's adorable. The scriptures have helped him overcome his temptation. So, si Dios quiere, he will be getting dunked this Saturday at 5:30. I am a little nervous, cuz he is going to the capital this week, and will come back on Thursday. I hope he doesn't smoke!

Oh! HAPPY EASTER this week! :) Hope it's a great one. It's Semana Santa this week, which is the time when people here go to the beach, drink all day and night, and just party. They do everything BUT remember the resurrection of Christ. It's a pretty difficult week, when it comes to missionary work. But God'll help us! :) YAY! :) Also, this is just a side-note about this country. Apparently they start their kids drinking REALLY young, so they are "good drinkers." I see kids drinking beer all the time. But when they grow up, they can drink and drive, cuz they don't get drunk when they are older... sad, right?

Also, happy Birthday to Jakey, and of course, happy half-birthday, to my pa :)

Um, something else that was great that happened this week! WE GOT INVERSOL! :) which is like a generator, so we have 24/7 light!!! :) It is such a miracle! It's a good thing, cuz my candle was getting really dim, and without a fan, I just sweat a lot. So it was great. Yeah... that's cool.

I think that is about all that happened this week. I am excited to work with my new comp. We get along just fine. And I am stoked for H__'s baptism. :) But after that.... we'll have a hard time with our investigators. We're going to have to look under the rocks and in the cracks to find those people who are ready!

But yeah, I hope you have a great Semana Santa! Be safe! :) Love you all and I am so thankful for each of you! Thank you for your support and love :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

#70 [Sabana Yegua - 6] Apr. 7th, 2014

Conference weekend with former teachees! (Azua district)
Wow, I love you! What a great family I have! Also, before I get too far, sorry about the lack of spaces in this email. The space bar is not working well, and I don't want to take the time to pound it to work :) so sorry :) have fun :)

That was such a long email, and it was so fun to read. Also, I hope you all loved conference! I did. I got to hear all of the sessions, so that was nice.

During conference, I looked for dad's old teacher. She didn't appear for a while, and I was worried, but then she showed up and all was well. Also, I was thinking about Bro. R__ – maybe he's gonna be a mission pres., that's my call!

Just a quick thank you to those who wrote me letters this week--especially my cousin, Liz. I am writing a reply, so get ready for that. :)

Um, nothing happened this week. I cut my finger open pretty deep last night. I remember why I hate knives, but it is still attached. Band-aids are great.

Also, transfer calls were last night. My comp is leaving. (They will find out more tonight as to who is going where, and who is coming, etc.

Well, I think that is all I am going to write. Honestly, nothing happened, and this keyboard is not worth my time to try to write more. I love you all and am grateful for you all. I hope the boys have a good time in Cali and are safe. I hope the family at home is great, too. I love you all!!

Have a great week. Sorry about the super lame email and–you did so well to write me. :) Thanks:)

More to come next week, I promise:)

Hna. E with H__ and Hna. Safeer

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#69 [Sabana Yegua - 5] Mar. 31st, 2014

Thinking of her "pal"
DAD! stop being so funny :) I love reading your letters! I am so happy to be your daughter and so happy that I inherited your funny genes! Hahah kidding, but let's be real, you're funny :)

My talk ended up being a "read" too. No one congratulated me really, and I tell myself it's because of the culture, but it really could've been pretty bad. I liked it. I really loved preparing it, since it was about the atonement. :) It was an honor, because the only other person that spoke was the branch pres. :) Lucky me. Also, no one laughed at my jokes. Which is good, because I didn't make any. Those are lame and they never translate into Spanish–haha.

Mom, your questions:
    •    I do know Hna H__. She was previously in this area. I saw her a few weeks ago. She's nice. Every time I hear her name, I think of Mr. H__, the music teacher :) good times.
    •    K__ is taken care of. Who knows if he'll go on a mission, but I can only hope and pray!
    •    The little branch here is nice. It has about 100 people on a good day. The young men are really active, and they are all filling out papers to go on missions, so we have a mission prep class. The church is about 2 minutes away from our house, it's nice.

I sent a pic of our ugly house. It really is the ugliest in the whole town. It's POOP colored!! Who chose that?! What an eye-sore!
Missionary Casa
I am super super super super excited about general conference!!! 

So the other day, we gave a BOM to S__, the 14 year old girl that came to church. We gave it to her on Wednesday. We went back on Friday, and she was in 1 Nefi 16 and had it all marked up and she understood!! It was amazing! So we put a fecha with her :) we're excited :)

Also, H__ is leaving coffee and smoking behind. We asked him to pray about the true church, and the next cita we had, he is beaming. Right after the first prayer, we asked him how he was and then he went on to tell us that he had had a dream and he knows that the church is true and he is absolutely convinced. God here works in dreams, and at first, I thought the people were crazy, cuz they'd have a dream about a black bear and some weird place, and they'd interpret it to be a dream sent from the heavens and they'd convert. It's odd, but now I super believe it. Usually the people who have dreams are the strongest members. Cool stuff, eh? So I have a dream journal, just in case God decides to speak to me.

So yeah, this week was full of missionary work, as usual. Miracles and blessings and all sorts of fun, exciting days. It's insane, every single day is different, and it's so much fun, even though missionary work is the same! Crazy stuff...
I love you all, and hope life is good. Keep being great. I miss you lots and love you even more! I can't believe that Mother’s day is this next transfer!

P-day truck ride -- Padre las Casas with district and members


Thursday, March 27, 2014

#68 [Sabana Yegua - 4] Mar. 24th, 2014

WOW! what an exciting week for you all!!! :) :)

So we went to the temple on Tuesday. I loved it! I enjoyed the film a lot, and I learned a lot. I took a bunch of questions, and I think they were all answered. As in, I got the confirmation that the way I want it is the way God wants it too, and that was nice. So that means, I am not going to school this semester. Which is what feels right, and good thing I got that answer, since mom deferred my scholarship until Spring :) haha

We went to Wendy's after. You can bet I got the baconator, and fries, and I ate some peoples' frosty. What's wrong with that?

I also got your package!!! Thanks so much! I loved it all. I appreciate the letters and the note from mom, Head, Isabelle, and even Shaylee. I sent all of the photos to my converts. I was going to save a lot from the wedding of A__ and I__, but I decided I could print them off when I return home, so I gave them to them. But yeah, thank you so much for sending that and thinking about me :) I am so loved :)

JEFF IS SO OLD!!!!! I already told him he was a menace to society cuz he's not married yet.

Dad, good luck on your talk this week! Yesterday, the Branch Pres. came up to me and asked if I would talk in church on Sunday, too. So the October birthdays are going to be talking on the same day! how precious! :) I know you'll do great, dad. I read the talk last night, and I might have some things you could share :) I will send them along, if I don't forget.

You know the game JUST DANCE3? Well, apparently there is song from the DR in it. Cool, huh? The BOOM song or something.

Yep, this week was full of cool things, and cool experiences. Right now, we are teaching a lot of men (go figure, we're American girls), but they are progressing, and they seem to have a genuine testimony of the GOSPEL, and not of us. And another bonus, they are NOT kids. WOO HOO!

One of them is H__. He came to church and then the first lesson we taught was the word of wisdom. It was an inspired topic to talk about. Anyways, that was last Monday. He hasn't smoked are drank in the last 4 days. It's great. We're hoping he progresses. I mean, he already is. We hope he keeps progressing. We're super excited for him. Most of the old people here are losing their minds, but his is fully intact. Well, maybe, for the most part. Yeah, H__!!!

We have a guy name S__. He is stubborn, but he likes to learn. He asked about the spirit world, and so we taught him some doctrine about that, and he is great. Just doesn't come to church regularly. I think I will see him get dunked soon; in like 2 months maybe.

Yeah, the work here is great. I don't know what happened, but all of the sudden, we have a lot of people to work with. I love it. It was tough, cuz we didn't have anyone, and now God has blessed us and we're doing well :)

But yeah!! that is my life. I love it. I love my mission and yeah. I sent K__ a PMG and a BUNCH of conference talks about priesthood responsibilities and missions. I am stoked.

I love you! Glad we're eternal! Happy birthday to Joshy poo! I forgot to mention it last week. Love you all! BYE!

:) ox ox ox

-Hermana Erickson :)

Love you lots! Enjoy the pics I sent!

Monday, March 17, 2014

#67 [Sabana Yegua - 3] Mar. 17th, 2014

WARNING: LAME :) and short...

This week has been pretty good :)

News from La Venta, is that the guys we were teaching, Y__, and D__ got baptized! I am so excited for him! He is such a 19 year old punk, and I am happy that I was able to teach him, and now he is a member :)

Ok, actually, this week was pretty boring. I can’t think of anything to write. I hit 15 months, we had a zone conference, and cleaning checks, but they were 15 minutes after we got the call, so we couldn't use to toothbrushes between the tiles–darn! :( haha

And that is about it. Life isn’t as exciting here, even though everyday is such an adventure. I love it. We plan for a day, and then NOTHING happens as we plan. God knows best, and I am glad to be working on His team. :) WINNER! :)

I am really excited to go to the temple tomorrow!

So a girl from our stake at home–Orem, is coming to this mission, did you know that?

But yeah, that is my life here. We are looking for people, and my comp talks about going home a LOT, so it makes it a little hard to not think about it, but overall, I am doing well with that. I am not super excited to come home. I am going to miss it here way too much. But yeah, I love the mission.

I hope you are all doing well. Thank you for your love. :) I love you all with a love beyond words. :) Thanks for everything. :)


-Hermana Erickson #1

Azua -- 2-13-13
Azua -- About a year later (3-10-14)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#66 [Sabana Yegua - 2] Mar. 10th, 2014

Hello my fambam!!! I love you all!!!

It sounds like you had a fun week, and I am happy that the water heater is... fixed or whatever. :) cool.
Sad about all of the deaths. But the great thing is, is that it's only temporal. What great news. I love the gospel. :) it’s  just so true.

Thanks, for the 100 days left wish. I was wondering if you would mention it. I don't have a countdown, cuz that is super foolish. And so far, I haven't felt trunky. I feel like I won't be  a trunky dying missionary. I am going to focus and just work hard and die hard as they say :)
Have fun tubing! Enjoy the cold weather. I am getting tanner again, so it looks like I'll come home looking like a complete sun-tanned babe. Well... at least on my arms and below my knees. hahah
The other day, a couple people got in an argument about if I was Peruvian or Mexican. I don’t know if it was due to my super dark skin or my Spanish skills. I am going to say the Spanish, cuz I am not THAT dark, yet :) It was quite the compliment, especially cuz I don’t practice it super a lot, sadly.
So we got robbed the other day :) We have bomba, which is the device that takes the water from the ground and puts it up into our storage so that we can have running water. So once again, we are without running water. Also, we got robbed in the night, and the guy must’ve jumped the wall. It’s super easy to jump. I am actually shocked that we are living in this house, cuz there is like, no security. 4 girls living in a delinquent town, maybe not the best idea. Good thing we have God on our side, right? But yeah, that was exciting :)

We're going to the temple next Tuesday, and I am stoked. It will be the last time I go on the mission, at least before I leave (we get to go on our last day here) and I will take the names. Also, the other girls I live with will take the other names. I asked them and they said YES :)

Mom, HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Friday!!!!!!! and Happy birthday to MISHKA on Saturday!!! :) and also, happy 1 year on the mission to my sister RISS!!! on Wednesday :) I love you all :) pero, so much :)

We have a zone conference this Thursday. We usually don't have the conference and the temple in the same transfer, but that's cool. I am excited. :) This will also be my last I believe. It's weird that I am considered one of the OLD HERMANAS. Weird concept.
So... guess what I am doing today?!?! :) I am going to visit my converts in AZUA! :) I am beyond thrilled. I am going to see K__, A__, T__, and C__, and whoever else wants to see me :) I am stoked; :) beyond words. I am worried it will be a little odd, cuz I have never talked to them about anything but the gospel. But I am going to try to convince K__ to go on a mission. Wish me luck!!! :) I think I can convince him. :) So that’s news in my life :)
We have an area in Sabana Yegua that is like, 1 hour away walking, and it’s a long stretch of dirt road. The other Saturday, we walked there. It’s the 12, yeah; so every Saturday, we're gonna go the 12. We got a lot of guys trying to give us rides on their motors, but we refused. After contacting and getting like, no success, we started walking back. A huge tractor passed us, and we joked about how funny it would be to get a ride on that. Then, when it was like, 200 meters in front of us, we noticed it backing up! We got excited, and then they gave us a ride! I was SKETCHY! Whoa, there were two young men, and one of them took off his flannel shirt and put it over a plank of wood over the engine of the tractor, and we sat down and held on for dear life. We got there safe and sound, and we were driving like, 5 miles and hour, and it was very bumpy. I loved it though. Tractor rides are fun. :) It was a once-in-a-mission-experience :)

Dad, good luck on your talk. I wish I could be there to hear it.

Um... we have a few investigators, we're looking for some that are older than 10. :/
I got Jake's dear elder and I have a letter for him ready to be sent off, so be on the lookout for that. :)
Life is good here, I miss you all. I am working hard and loving every day. We have a some really great people here, and the rama is nice. I am grateful to be a missionary. I am happy that Grant is able to go back out. Thanks for the update about the house and the people living within. It's nice to hear that everything is normal. :)
Well, I am off to visit my converts! :) I will take lots of pictures and send them next week :) I love you all. Thanks for supporting me and loving me and missing me! :)
-Your favorite daughter, Rachel (accept it.)
aka, Hermana Erickson #1
OR - if not daughter, favorite sister :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#65 [Sabana Yegua - 1] Mar. 3rd, 2014

Hello Family!

Her La Venta Rama family
Head!! Congrats on your Patriarchal Blessing!!! How great is that?! I am glad to hear that all went well with that. :) What a nice time.

Way to go to China, Jeff!!!! How exciting!!!! :) I'll miss you, but what's 6 more weeks?

So after transfer night last week, they had a party for me, and it was so super nice. A lot of the people cried. I think I will be missed, a little. I got Antonio to bawl like a kid, so I know he loves me, and Elvis just tried to pull jokes. What a crazy man. I will miss La Venta so much. I have grown to love them like family. They seriously became my family.

When we had interviews the other day with president he mentioned to me about Azua possibly becoming a stake before May, and he just told me all about it. It was fun to hear about. I miss Azua. But anyways, I had been thinking about that place a lot. And I was excited to see what transfers would bring, although going back to a previous area is pretty uncommon, but I had hope. :) I also found out that herm Peck was going to leave her area after one transfer, and we chatted a bit about it.

Monday night, at the party, we got the phone call. The phone call telling us where we'd be off to. People were at the pulpit talking great things about me, and so I stayed and listened, and they came back and told me the news. They said I would be comps with Hermana Safeer- Hermana Peck's daughter, and that I would be headed to Sabana Yegua! Which, as you probably don't know, is in Azua's zone. So right now, I am in the EXACT SAME internet place as I was in one year ago. It's super weird to be back. Already, so many things have changed. Like, one of our favorite restaurants has been taken over and now they sell shoes... that's weird. But yeah!!! I am in the same zone as Adabertino and Carlos and Tomas and Kendri and all of them!!! I am so stoked. :) Leaving La Venta was tough, but knowing I was coming "home" made it much easier to leave. :)

OH! so at the La Venta party, I got a few gifts. One more thing about that night. The same lady who gave me panties also quoted something about me, which made me laugh. She said, "to know her was to love her!" TRUE STORY! I felt proud, dad. :) The pres of the rama also said the rama loves you and they are really grateful to you guys for raising such a great, beautiful, amazing, hard-working, funny, awesome, witty, nice, cute, and genuine girl. Ok, they might've not of said all of that, but that's what they MEANT to say. They did say they love you, though :)
Former comps together again - bus ride to new area

Oh, speaking of hermana Peck, we met up at the bus stop, going south, and I asked her where she was off to, and she said, "Sabana Yegua." So yes, we are living together again. She has a Dominican comp, and she's great. It is actually the first time in the entire mission living with a Latina, which is crazy, cuz I have a few month under my belt. I would've thought that I'd live with Latinas the whole time, but this is nice. So for once, I speak Spanish more; mainly in the house. I am not used to it, and so I catch myself a lot speaking English, but whatever. Still haven't had a Latina comp. I think I might have one more comp, so she could be Latina!!! Maybe...

We met a man this past week who just barely went to Utah... he has family living there, and they live in Orem... small world. So when I baptize them, we can go to their niece's house. She lives behind UVU, weird. He showed us pics of the temple, and that was cool. Small world, eh?

I finished the BOM in Spanish again. That was nice. I am almost done with journal #5 as well, :) fun stuff. Lots of memories happening in the DR.

Man, that is pretty much my week. Right now, we are mainly teaching children. We have 5 investigators with a fecha, and they are all under the age of 12.

Um... being back in Azua feels great. We don't really have running water and I take bucket showers again and it's hot, so my awesome tan lines are returning. I love it here. I have missed the South so much. I love the campo also. We don't have rats here, so that is a bonus. We may have giant spiders, but no rats, or small ants.

Well, I think that is about all. Life is good here. I don't think I will get trunky here, cuz I feel like I haven't left here, and it's been over a year. It's weird, but in my head, I am not going home anytime soon. I have my whole mission in front of me, and it's exciting. I can't believe that Riss is going to hit a year this month. That is insane. I remember when she left. I remember when I left! That wasn't too long ago. I have learned a whole lot, and I have met so many great people. I feel like I have changed a lot, and even my desires have changed. I truly believe that God has shaped me into more of the person that He wants me to be.

I am stoked for this transfer, Hermana Safeer is great. She's super funny and chill and easy to get along with. I like her. She is from Farmington, I think. Also, she's tall; like over 6 feet tall. I like her. We'll have a great time.

I love you all so super a lot and I think about you and pray for you all daily. I am excited for your daylight savings time, cuz I seriously feel closer to you guys when we're only 2 hours apart. :) I hope you have a great, fun week and that you have a fun FHE tonight and tell everyone I love them and make sure to give lots of hugs. :)

Well, peace and blessings. :) Thanks for all that you do! I am who I am because of who I was raised by! :)


Much love, Hermana Erickson 1

Monday, February 24, 2014

#64 [La Venta - 24] Feb. 24th, 2014

Thanks for the update!! It's cool that Riss has such a cool assignment!! How fun. :) I hope she does well.

Interesting you mentioned the skeleton, I was talking to some elders about how mom wanted me to do that, and I had the desire to do it. Maybe I'll try it when I get back. Snow sounds nice :)

Also, Jeff told me that he had planned a rafting trip in June, and he'd be gone when I was home, so if he's in China or on the river, it don't matter. I won't see him for a long time either way :( My pal...

Well, I don't feel like writing much, so I will probably keep this short.

This week was good. We cleaned and cleaned all Monday, all of our free time Tuesday, and on Wednesday, we had our cleaning checks. We caulked, painted, and scrubbed. I had dreams about cleaning. We cleaned our rats poop and soap scum and even pond scum out of places that have probably never been touched. We seriously went all out. We even borrowed paintings and art from members to spice up our house haha. And it was all done in a spirit of competition, and a desire for a clean house. But let's be real— if it weren't for he competition, we would’ve passed the broom about and called it good.

But in the end, we WON! :) we beat the elders 98% to 96%. They brought us cookies today. The victory was sweeter then the cookies. Oh yes, :) we made the hermana cry when she left our house. It may have been the musical number we performed for her (brown-nosing? I think not); we claim it to be the house. She took pictures and said they were going to print them out and take them up to the pres. So... we're famous.

That was exciting, but the week got more exciting. Ever since Tuesday night, I haven't slept well. Like, I've been super cold, tossing and turning, miserable—no sleep, which results in no energy for the day. :( This happened all up until Saturday, but those days leading up to Saturday were miserable. I had no appetite, and I wasn't hungry, and I just slept during lunches and didn't really sleep. I had Inception dreams. Dreams within dreams. One time, Jeff and my feet were in a dream within a dream within a dream together. It was funny, but awful. Point of the story, no sleep. :)

I was stoked for Saturday, cuz on Friday night, I took sleeping pills. They did absolutely nothing, sadly. I woke up on Saturday and decided to go back to sleep. I ended up sleeping until 10 on accident, but I came out, and looked awful. I told the other hermanas, and they were like, "All of those symptoms are dengue symptoms." Dengue
I was super weak, my head hurt, my eyes hurt, I had a fever, I was way dizzy (had been since Tuesday), no appetite, and this weird rash that’s all over my body. (see pics, those are from yesterday, which were better than before) I felt so exhausted, so I went back to sleep. I woke up and expected it to be about lunch time, but it was 5!!!!! Man, I slept the day away!!!—which was nice. It was bad, cuz we also had a baptism at 5. Since I felt quite better, but still looked like a greaser, we went to the baptism. That's why I look AWFUL in the pics at the baptism, :( oh well. The baptism was nice, it was long (because the Branch pres. had to get a signature of approval from a parent), but nice. In the end, he was baptized by recent convert, and it was precious. :)

Sunday, I stayed home from church to try to sleep. All I have eaten since Friday night has been a sandwich the size of my fist and 5 oreo bombs, and some Gatorade. I'll eat more sometime. :) the rama missed me a lot at church. They announced my sickness over the pulpit, and food was brought. The sacrament was brought (I was in bed and didn't get it), and visitors passed by. I am going to miss this rama :( so much.

Sadly, I don't have much energy to pass by people and say bye, so I might have to forgo that.

Rash from dengue fever (a mosquito finally got her)

We had a lesson from ___ the other day. That went well. I looked like walking death, but they didn't mind.

Well, that's all. Sorry about this lame email. I feel better, but I should be better in a few days for sure. I love you all. Too bad the USA lost the Olympics. We never lose; darn. On the bright side, we won the cleaning check, :) yahoo. :)

Well, peace and love. Have a great week, fambam! Thanks for your love and support! :)