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