Monday, January 27, 2014

#60 [La Venta - 20] Jan. 27th, 2014


Thanks for the letter. Sounds like the family is doing well. I am glad that you got my letters, and that S__ got her letter :) I spent a lot of time writing that, so I hope she likes it and doesn’t hate me too bad :) hahah so funny.

Congrats on winning money!!:! ) That's always good. :) Well, that is about all of your letter, on to ME~! :)

First off, THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE!!! I got it!!! Finally!!! I feel like Christmas is over officially now. :) Thank you for all of the candy! goodness!! I tell you that I am gaining weight on the mission, and you decide to send me candy to help me feel better about it!!! hahah good one. The other herms were laughing pretty hard when 95% of the box contained edible stuff, :) but I don't mind, neither does my stomach. I told myself that I would exercise at nights....... we'll see :) But like I said, thanks. I appreciate it. And so does my sweet tooth :) And thanks for the vitamins and pills. I feel healthy now. :) The package was pretty much perfect it just was missing the only thing I really wanted which was pictures, but that is ok, maybe it's for the best. I have come to the realization that I will probably never get any. Oh well :)

So my update on the New years resolutions: I am still 100%%%%% !!! :) I don't think I have showered this many times in a row.... probably my whole life. So that's good !!!! :) that means I have taken 27 showers this month!!!!! :) Crazy; I feel great, I really like it. And to help me be able to do the splits (another resolution), I do yoga every morning. Herm Peck taught me, and I am trying to do some things. :)

As for this week, it was... uneventful. It is not that nothing exciting happened, It's just that nothing happened, at all!!! I will tell you some highlights :)

•    Actually a lo-light... M__ might move! MOM, could you paste the part that I sent you in our little messages? I don't wanna write it again — but man... she might move. Her duena (landlady?) is making her move if she doesn’t find 6000 pesos, and it's looking bleak. It's sad. So right now, we're praying for the duena to have a change of heart, or for money to fall from the sky. Tomorrow we will find out if she stays or leaves. :( I would be really sad if she moved. Also, I taught her the ILU hand sign, and she loves it. I will get a pic of her doing it :) so cute. But yeah... we'll find out soon. Her hubby seems to be softening, but it's a stressful situation right now. Time will tell :/ — But we're praying for her. I love her so much. She loves church and everything is just perfect, except she might leave :(

•    So this lady was getting caterpillars our of her tree, and they were giant! So me and my comp watched one cross the road. I was secretly hoping it would be run over, and the people were like, "you can save it!" but I told them that.... I wanted to see it... uh,... cross he road – haha kinda a lie. I didn't want to tell them I wanted to see it run over by a car, but when it happened, it was really gross and it had green guts. Yeah, that was a highlight. This week was seriously that exciting :) haha

Just cuz I have nothing to say, I thought I would mention this to you. I WILL MARRY A GENTLEMAN. The men here are dumb, and I would never marry anyone that didn't treat a woman with respect. Man, the men here make me never want to get married... except to a gentleman who opens my door and loves me a lot and helps me in the kitchen :) haha just so you all know, :) you can tell my future suitors :) hahah

So while reading in the scriptures, I have noticed many things. I will be a missionary and share two. :)
    •    Well, I have noticed that the Book Of Mormon talks a lot about the words ATTENTION AND DILIGENCE and how we need both of those things when we read. It talks about it all the time. It's cool to notice patterns like that.
    •    The other thing is a pattern too. Talking about how if we keep the commandments, we'll prosper. I have noticed that here, and it's amazing how the promise still rings true. :) I hope you are all keeping the commandments. :)

Well, nothing else to say. This email is lame, cuz I have been doing other things on the computer. Sometimes, one hour is simply not enough. I love you all so much, and I hope you are loving home right now, cuz I miss you all. The work is going well. We are helping to save souls!!! I love you all, and I hope you are well. Sorry about this lame letter!!! love you!!! :) I will try to send some pics :) peace!!!

Love, Herm Erickson #1

ox ox ox

Teaching English class

English class recess-- Happy faces; but what about those feet?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#59 [La Venta - 19] Jan. 20th, 2014


I love you!!!! How are things in the 801?

My new comp is Hermana Olsen. She is younger than I am, but I like her so far. She was in Azua right before here. She has 7 months, and is currently living, like her family, in Salt Lake? She's been all over the world.

•    Could you possibly send me Hermana Peck's emails from her blog? I think you know what it is. You can just dearelder them. I would love to know what is going on with her. I miss her.
•    The other new hermana is named Hermana Conrady. She is American. MOM! she is from Eureka, Illinois. I told her that I knew where that was, and she didn't believe me. Her family is from Peoria. Maybe you know some of them?! M__ is the name that lives there :) – she's cool.
•    Hermana Olsen is going into Neuropsych, too. So that's fun. We're similar, but very different.

SO, news from Azua —
    ▸    K__ is the YM pres!!! and the gospel doctrine teacher. :)
    ▸    A__ is the 1st counselor of the Elders quorum, and C__ is the secretary of the same group. LOVE THEM. Apparently they still love me, so that's good, too. :)

SO... J__!!!! He left for his mission!!! Crazy – they called him on Monday and told him he was leaving Tuesday. He's in Santiago, now; crazy. So we haven't had a mission leader for a bit, but they just called one. :)

No, I didn't feel the earthquake. (Marissa felt an earthquake last week in Puerto Rico, 6.4 mag.)

•    So the new mission leader is E__! He hit 2 months the other day!!! and he's now the mission leader!!! He'll do great.
•    Also, A__ is the 2nd counselor of the Branch Pres.!!!! – crazy. I am so proud of my so called converts. :)

- Ok, like two more things.

•    M__!!!! she told us for the first time that she wants to be baptized! It's a HUGE step, cuz she told us at the beginning that she didn't want to convert to anything that she wouldn't stick to. She didn't want to commit to anything that she didn’t feel in her heart, and now she loves the church and the gospel. She’s been sharing it with her friends, and coming to devotionals and she has like, 10 church books and she wants to finish the BOM in 40 days like the rest of the branch. :) Love her. Also, her "hubby" used to hate the church and God, but now he is opening up. She wants to be baptized with him. We'll see. :) Pray for them. :) I love them so much.

•    Pics... 
Our house. We live on the 2nd floor.Thought that would be good to know.

And also the new zone. I have 2 more sons, so that's fun. Makes 7 for me here in La Venta.  

Um...I think that is all. This week has been forever long, and it's been crazy. So many things have happened, and it's been insane. We've been teaching a lot of recent converts and I don't think Hermana Olsen is used to that. I think that she thinks we're slacking, but it's what we've been asked to do by the Pres. of the branch, so we do it, and it helps. If the branch isn't strong, the converts aren't going to last.

Dad, we do not have an iPad. I don't think this mission will ever have them. It's too dangerous to have them cuz if people see us use them, we'll surely get robbed. So the Pres. thinks we'll be one of the last missions to get them, which is fine.

Tell Pres. McGinn, HI for me!!

Also, it’s cool you're royla, dad! That means I am royal, too!!! :) Yay!!! (It's amazing what a little Family History researching will reveal.)

I didn't know it was my 400th day on Wednesday. I don't think I took any pictures; darn. That's a shame. 400 sure seems like a long time... it is! I am feeling super old, like, my body sometimes just hurts, and I feel like I look like I am 30 years old. It's sad, but oh well.

Well, that is pretty much my life here in Paradise. Life is different without Hermana Peck. Tis hard, cuz I expect my new comp to be like her. It'll pass, but it's different. We’ll, have a great week!

I apologize for this crazy letter, and all this random info. I hope it doesn't sound like I am complaining. I really love the mission and this area and my comp. I am glad that I am serving here and that I have met so many new people. I am in love with everything about this place. I love the gospel. I think that is part of the reason I love this place – I have so many good memories of it. Preaching the gospel really makes everything great. The gospel makes everything great. :)

Well, peace and blessings!!! :)               

ox ox ox

Oh!!! some white guys from SLC came to our branch on Sunday. They are doing a project about jobs or something. That was cool. :)


Hermana Erickson :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

#58 [La Venta - 18] Jan. 13th, 2014

It is past time to say goodbye!

Wow, so a pretty boring week then, that's ok. Thanks for the update anyways. Heather wrote me a lot, so that was nice. I haven't heard from her in a while. A lot has happened here. Ok, not a lot, but I feel like this email will be long; get excited. :) maybe.

So M__ came to church. And she stopped working all day, everyday, so that's good. We will continue to work with her. We taught her 8 year old son how to pray, and when he prayed for the first time in front of his mom, it was a proud moment. It was really cute. :)

So my bag is getting pretty gross. Here is a pic. I use it still even though I have others to use. I just can't seem to get rid of things!

Also, these are the pants that I got Riss, too. Me and Peck are modeling. So cute, super comfy. Ok, not so cute, but comfy. :) haha

My 13 months was lame. No one remembered until about 5 pm. Which was fine. :) I celebrated at church by taking the sacrament. hahaha

I got a package, but it was from the Abbott's :) it was a pretty necklace and a CD, which was nice. I really like them :) .... :)

Ok, so I actually don't have much to say. BUT on Saturday, we had a temple trip with the converts. It was great. We took a few people. E__ freaked out. He loved it so much. He is such a great man. He's fantastic!!!! ah!!!! I love him; words cannot describe. If you want to facebook friend him, you can find him under E__ B__. He knows English, kinda. Speaking of facebook, our ML got on our accounts to accept his friend request, so if it asks, it was him – just fyi.

The temple trip went great. We went straight to the baptism after, and it was nice. The other herms also had a baptism, so it was good to end the transfer that way :) 2 elders also had a baptism planned; we had no idea, and J__ freaked out and made everyone stressed.

Can I just say that I am super grateful for the mission? I have come to discover a lot more about myself. I am very grateful for my attitude, like things happen, and other people freak out, but I have come to realize that I am a pretty calm person, so that's good. Thought you oughta know :)

The baptism went well. F__ is fantastic. Fantastic F__. So far, he's well. :)

Speaking of converts, Y__ hit her 3 months yesterday, and she also finished the Book Of Mormon. :)  She told us that some days she had to read for up to 3 hours! She's great. I always worry about her cuz she wears immodest things, but then I realize that with time she'll change, :) love her.

So..... transfers were last night. We had NO IDEA what was going to happen. NO CLUE. We get the call, and find out that Hermanas Peck and Hamblin are leaving to who knows where!!! and that me and hermana Jorgenson are staying, and she is training. I am not. I guess my kid didn't turn out real good... hahaha, kidding. But there are 7 hermanas coming in this transfer, 6 are Latina.

Yeah, I am happy to stay here in Paradise. I love it here. I would be sad to leave, but at the same time, I love new things. I would've been happy to leave. Whate'er.

Well, I don't think I have more to say. Love you all and miss you all the time, but not super a lot. I hope you are all well, and I hope life is treating you well. Much love from the DR :)

Hermana Erickson #1

Monday, January 6, 2014

#57 [La Venta - 17] Jan. 6th, 2014

These are 4/5 of my "sons" in the zone. They think they have the coolest mom. They are right. :) This was at baseball today. The ones in the hat and the grey shirt are practically pro.Add caption

HELLO! :) Thank you for the updates :)

Just so you all know, I am 100% on my new years resolutions. I made a lot. I will talk about those later, probably.

This year for new years wasn't very crazy. It was a normal day. At night, there weren't many drunk people. Well, there always are, but there weren't particularly more. So that was good. We got to eat with Liu this time, and we went and helped her prepare a few things. I had some of that Pastel thing that Riss mentioned. I have had it before. I will send a picture, so you can know what it looks like... :) But lately, I have prepared SO MANY salads; still hate them, some things never change. :) But I have become expert on cutting up tomatoes, for future reference :)

This week went by super slow. I don't know why, but I feel like nothing happened. But some times the mission is like that. I celebrated my 1st full year on the island by doing nothing. I didn't mention it to anyone, and I think we were fasting, so I celebrated in my head. It's crazy that I have been immersed in this crazy culture for over a year. I love it here. It is so different, but I love it. Maybe I will live here... oh wait, probably not, but still, I love it. I feel like I have only been here for a few weeks because there is something more crazy that happens every week. Pretty much every day is a new adventure, and I love it. Man, you're gonna have to experience this :)

I did though, get a package of the testimonies from the ward. That was nice; some really nice testimonies. I don't know what I am going to do with them though,... they are all in English. So... we'll see what happens with that. The pictures attached are nice though. I plan on writing back and sending personal thank you notes to everyone, so look for that. :) And tell Bro. Brown thanks :)

So do you remember me telling you about a guy named G__ from Independencia? of the G__ family? Well, I found out that they are baptized :) They just recently got baptized. :) I am so happy to find that out. I remember the first time teaching them. Me and Hermana Beesley felt so excited, and they are so prepared. I think they had to get married. :) Man, missionary work is great. I love being a missionary. Even though sometimes you probably can't tell by my emails. :/ but yeah!!!!!

Speaking of baptisms, we have one this Saturday. F__ is getting dunked, and he is such a cutie. He's 13, and he takes his grandma to church and to baptisms that are 30 minutes away. He's adorable. He's very prepared. He comes to church early and sets up chairs and gets there before members. Like, the first 10 people at church are our converts and investigators. We are so blessed here.

Transfers are coming up; this Sunday actually. No one knows what is going to happen. The rama is praying super hard for all of us to stay. They have really grown attached to us. :) Also, J__, the mission leader wants to talk to Pres. Rodriguez about letting us 4 stay. Mainly because the event in Tierra Llana brought a few families, and we're the only ones who know them. The elders think I am leaving to my last area............ and I have no idea what to think. I wouldn’t mind leaving, but I would love to stay. We'll see what God has in store :)

E__ invited us over to cook the other day. He's a crazy man. We love him. He also bore his testimony for the first time. What a good guy. He's always trying to speak English with us. His son is in the US, and only speaks English, so he's practicing. He's also randomly practicing Portuguese. Reminds me of Uncle Ryan. How are they doing? and Cole? :)

Um... some of my resolutions are:
    -finish the BOM 2 more times in Spanish
    -floss daily
    -shower daily (You better believe it! I went there, and I haven't missed a day! Even when I have to use a cup because there is not much water!!!!)
    -I have like, 2 pages full of them, and I forgot my journal. Maybe I will write a letter to you guys telling you more. :)

I realized that I love making lists, so making a list of resolutions was great. :) Good times.

Do you guys have resolutions? If so, please let me know! I think they are great things. I support them :)

So we have an investigator named M__. She is great, but she just started working, 7-9pm daily, and she gets Sunday mornings off because she asked for them and she works in a cafeteria. She had a battle with her mind this Sunday to come to church, and she CAME! This was her 2nd time, but the first time she didn't like it... so I am glad she gave it another chance. She decided to come again because we had an activity a while ago and watched the JS movie, and she felt the spirit really strong. We're excited for her, but it's hard to teach her.

Also, we have a family in TL, and they are great. We took J__ the other night to our first cita, and he spent TWO HOURS talking. I said about 50 words, and that was weird. If they had enough patience to listen to that, I think they could be golden. :) We'll keep you updated for sure. :)

Well, I think that is all. This work is great. I love being here. I love representing Christ. I love this church. I love the gospel. I love that we have the Book of Mormon. I love our prophet. I keep wanting to write him a letter, but it's not allowed while on a mission. Maybe I will tell Bro. R__ to tell him hi. Or maybe I will write a letter to give to Bro. R__, and he’ll give it to the prophet. :) That would be a nice thing :) hahahaha loopholes :)

Well, I should go. I hope you are all well. I would never know, cuz only mom and dad write me, but whatever. I am not bitter. I just think it's funny that you all lumping wrote Jeff! Goodness; whatever ;) haha. I love you all so so so much. I hope you had a great 2013 and a happy new years, CHEERS! And that you are being nice to each other and going to church and reading the scriptures. The church is true and I love it.

With oh so much love, Hermana Erickson #1 :)

•    Me at 12:00 on new years. We woke up at 11:50 and made floats from Red rock. :) It's a type of soda. YUM!

Dominican Egg Nog