Happy Monday! And Happy 4th of July tomorrow! I am thankful for America and all the great things there. Also thankful for Peru and all the great things here, including everything that happened this past week:
This week so many people came to church and it was the greatest. Usually Sunday isn’t a day of rest, it’s a day of judgement to see if any of the people we teach will show up at church, but this Sunday was so good. I’m so excited! For real, you can’t know how true the church is if you never go, so it was great that our investigators were there.
We still have to sleep in Rimac every night and now the bus drivers recognize us so that’s fun. One of the bus drivers wrote his phone number on my bus ticket and I passed it on as a reference so the missionaries can visit him.
While contacting this week, someone said, “Oh, my grandma was Mormon, but she passed away a couple years ago…” I didn’t fully understand so I responded with something along the lines of, “Oh that’s great!” I didn’t realize until we walked away. My companion was cracking up. Oh well.
Favorite scripture this week: Alma 36:24. I love Alma’s enthusiasm for missionary work! Its so great to be here in Peru, teaching people the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so just like Alma they can be born again of God and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Love it.
*Last week’s message was flagged as spam by many email providers. Check your own spam folder for messages from Hermana Erickson and please mark “Not Spam”.
If you missed last week’s exciting update, you can find it here: ¿Yo También?
Now for this week’s news…
This week was great. The highlights:
Humberto and his entire family came to church with us this week!
We had interviews with Presidente and Hermana Larson and it is always fun to talk to them.
We are seeing miracles with the Book of Mormon. For real. Two different investigators started reading the Book of Mormon and praying this week and the next time we talked to them, they were convinced that it’s true because both of them were able to have super great opportunities at work which they really needed.
It’s incredible the spirit and power that comes into our lives when we read the Book of Mormon. It reminds me of Mosiah 2:41. It’s a commandment to read the scriptures and when we follow it we can have both temporal and spiritual blessings. Its been incredible to be able to see how people can have their hearts softened and change for the better as they discover that God answers prayers and as their faith in Christ increases.
Our house got broken into and some stuff was stolen but we are alive and doing great. As a result, we go to Rimac – a different missionary sector – to sleep in the Hermana Capacitadoras (Sister Trainers) house every night. It’s a party.
We tried to make cookies today but the oven in the institute building was out of gas so I guess we are just going to eat the dough.
Note: Wednesday night, Becky received a phone call from Hermana Larson, the mission president’s wife, who informed of us of the theft referred to above, although with few details. She shared that other missionaries were impressed with Rachel’s unflappable response to the break-in and referred several times to Hermana Erickson as a “Rock”. Via our weekly email messages, we obviously inquired of Rachel how she felt and for additional details. The following is the full account.
We woke up Wednesday morning to see all our stuff all over the floor and the doors open and one of the dresser drawers in the hallway, so obviously we wondered what on earth happened. The balcony outside our window is covered in dust and we could see footprints leading into the house through the window. Also there is a clinic next door with a security camera and [our landlord went and reviewed the recording]. Turns out someone scaled the wall up to the balcony, came in through the window, searched around a bunch and left through the door. The funniest part is that they entered at like 2:45 and left at about 3:10 and my companion and I were asleep the whole time. Even though they entered the room where we were sleeping and stole stuff out of our dresser. So now everyone knows that we sleep like the dead…how embarrassing. Oh well. Mostly I think it is funny that we didn’t wake up at all. I guess that’s probably better because if I woke up to see someone in our house I don’t know what I’d do. Also, just thinking if I was a thief, I’d feel bad robbing a house with pictures of Jesus everywhere!
It’s been interesting and I’m grateful that all is well. The Lord protects his missionaries, I’m sure of that!
Not sure what Hermana Larson told y’all but I told her that y’all are chill and wouldn’t freak out so I hope I didn’t lie!
My new compañera is Hermana Valencia! She’s 19 also and is from Santiago, Chile. It’s been a crazy week and training is hard but its been super good. We haven’t died yet, so that’s the accomplishment of the week. But no, for real, she’s great and we’re learning a lot together. She’s super excited to go out and work every day and talk to everyone. It’s been an interesting week because I have to talk to more people than before when I could just look at Hermana Machuruti and wait for her to say something. hahah. It’s all good though. Hopefully my Spanish is improving.
Yesterday we were contacting in the park and the funniest thing happened. We finished talking to this one guy and started heading down the sidewalk toward another guy and he just says out loud, “¡Asu! ¿Yo también?” (like: Oh no! Me too?)* and gets up and runs away. I was cracking up.
We were able to teach a bunch of lessons this week and I’m really happy about that. We have this one investigator, Humberto, who is doing super well. The first time we talked to him he was super adamant that he didn’t believe in any of our message about José Smith or the Book of Mormon or anything, but as he prayed and listened more he said that he knows we’re helping him come closer to God. It’s the coolest thing to help people feel that.
Have the best week!
*From How to Peru “a su madre” is a common expression of surprise, often shortened to just “¡asu!”.
The following is an excerpt from exchange between Hermana Erickson and her mother, Becky:
BECKY: I taught RS this week and loved this President Hinckley quote, “We have nothing to fear. God is at the helm. He will overrule for the good of this work. He will shower down blessings upon those who walk in obedience to His commandments. Such has been His promise. Of His ability to keep that promise none of us can doubt.”
And this thought by Elder Clayton, “The trial of our faith will always involve staying true to simple, daily practices of faith. Then, and only then, does He promise that we will receive the divine response for which we long. Only once we have proven our willingness to do what He asks without demanding to know the whens, the whys, and the hows do we “reap the rewards of [our] faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering.” Real obedience accepts God’s commandments unconditionally and in advance.”
I LOVE these ideas. Keeping mission rules was no real biggies for me but I wish I knew back then the correlation of my obedience and “success” as a missionary. I wandered those 18 months falsely thinking my every misstep and disobedient act would result in a lost teaching appointment or baptism or contact. At times I carried a heavy burden of guilt for silly missteps.
I no longer think my getting up 10 minutes late, or failure to have 100 pure thoughts, or whatever determines “success.” I now think, that although God expects me to produce ‘faith with good works’ and be diligent in keeping the commandments, his work rolls forward despite personal weakness of the players involved. It’s His show and “no unhallows hand can stop the work from progressing.”
Now I have to think if the reciprocal is true … I do like thinking my goodness makes a difference! Haha!
At the end of the day the best bet is to keep your nose clean, repent when you mess up, don’t get screwy and depressed over little weaknesses, and keep on trucking. Now this is a quote for a Deseret Books plaque, eh?!?
RACHEL: hahahahaha I am cracking up. Please put that on a plaque or something. youre hilarious.
Thanks for the quotes from your Relief Society lesson. Obedience is something we always talk about in the mission of course. It’s for sure that we have to be obedient but rebellion and weakness are different. In the scriptures whenever they talk about weakness its along with the grace and mercy of the Lord. SO, yeah were all going to make mistakes, but there’s no reason to beat yourself up about it – just gotta repent and keep on keeping on!!!
Also, last week we went on exchanges with the STLs (Sister Training Leaders) and Hermana Carrasco said something I think you would appreciate. We tried to contact these two young men approximately 20 years old. They just kept walking and didn’t want to talk to us. Hermana Carracci said, “I can’t believe they didn’t want to talk to us! If I were a guy and a pretty girl such as myself tried to talk to me, I’d stop and not even care what they were saying! hahhaha I was cracking up!!!
This week was wild! First off I officially have 4 months in the mission!
Secondly, on Wednesday we got to go to the temple! It was so good. What a blessing. I love how peaceful it is. And when we went, Presidente y Hermana Moore (president of the CCM) were just walking out and we got to talk to them! It was super fun.
Thirdly, I am so happy because Lesly got baptized this weekend! Yay! Her husband Manuel has been a member for a long time and always comes to church with their 2 little kids who are the cutest ever. So we decided to visit Lesly a couple weeks ago and she was finally ready to accept the gospel. So on Saturday, she was baptized along with her 8-year-old son Santiago! Their family was so happy. I thought Hermano Manuel was going to cry 🙂 It’s such a great experience to see people’s journeys into the church and how they change and grow as they learn more and more about the gospel. I hope in one year they’ll go to the temple to be sealed and be an eternal family!
Finally, the APs (Assistants to the President) called us on Thursday when we were eating lunch and if that’s not scary enough, they asked for me. Turns out I’m going to be training [a new missionary] this next cambio (transfer). Holy smokes. I feel very inadequate and have no clue whats going on half the time so it’ll be a heck of an experience. I’m going to miss Hermana Machuruti so much and the only reason I’ll have any clue what to do is because she’s been the best these past 12 weeks. So yeah, I need a lot of prayers this week so that my new comp and I don’t die! Other than that, happy fathers day to all the dads, and especially mine. Dad, you’re the best. Have a great week!
Letter from Hermana Erickson’s Mission President:
June 15, 2017
Dear Family of Sister Erickson,
I am delighted to inform you that your daughter, Sister Rachel Erickson, has been assigned to serve as a Trainer in the Peru Lima Central Mission. She will be the first companion of a new missionary in our mission. There is no more important assignment a missionary receives in the mission field. It is the most respected assignment one can receive in our mission. She will be responsible to teach her companion how to become the most successful missionary she can become. This significant responsibility has come to your daughter because she has exemplified the qualities of outstanding missionary service.
Stephen J. Larson
Misión Perú Lima Central
Yesterday we got a text from the zone leaders that said we weren’t going to have P-day this week – not on Monday anyway – because on Wednesday we get to go to the temple! Yay! But we get to write today, so it’s all good. Also, it’s a blessing because this morning we were able to teach a cute lady and her baby about the Restoration and there’s no way we would have found her if we hadn’t been out working this morning. It’s the little things that are so cool and such blessings.
This week was super rough. Not sure what the deal was but we got yelled at on numerous occasions, lots of people said they couldn’t understand me and just looked at my companion when I was talking, and we didn’t find any new people to teach until Saturday night.
However, this week was also super great. Lesly passed her baptismal interview and is going to be baptized on Saturday, together with her 8-year-old son Santiago! Pray for them that all goes well! They’re super excited!
This weekend was an opportunity to fast. Hermana Machuruti and I decided to fast specifically to be able to find a family to teach this month. So we finished our fast Sunday afternoon and then in the evening we were able to teach a cute family of mom, dad, and 17-year-old daughter about the Book of Mormon. Obviously, I don’t know how everything will work out but I am so thankful for the opportunity we had to fast and get an answer to our prayers so immediately. I know that’s not always how it works but I feel do grateful to know that Heavenly Father is mindful of us and fasting is super powerful. My testimony has grown so much this week, even though there was a lot of disappointment.
This past P-day we spent the whole day with the Zone and it was super fun. We went to the Waka de Miraflores. It’s an archaeological site, ruins, of the civilization who lived here in Peru a long time ago. It’s called Huaca Pucllana and the people who built the temple thing (where we got to visit) worshiped the sea, and we got to learn a little about their history.
Then we ate lunch together with the zone and then we went to the Institute building and had a ping pong tournament while the zone leaders and a lady from their ward made arroz con leche and massamora. Super fun!
We had a multizone conference in Magdalena this week which was great. Our zone met to all go together and at 6:30 AM everyone and their mom is also trying to take the bus towards the center of Lima. So we tried to get on this one bus, Hermana Machuruti and Hermana Zaldivar got on the bus but there was no more room and then it took off so I had a good time being on splits with Hermana Ruiz. We were all cracking up though. Also in the conference, we talked about honesty. I was cracking up because on the mission you have to lie way more than normal because you have to tell people their dog is so cute and their food was delicious and they have the cutest family even when you hate dogs and they cooked something weird and their kids are wild. Pero, así es.
It’s all good and I love being a missionary. This week I especially enjoyed reading Mosiah 26:13,14,33 as it shows a pattern for how we all can receive revelation from God in our lives. I know for a fact that God listens to and answers prayers.
Have the best week!!!!
Just wanted to say hey fam and I love yall tons!
My companion has a bunch of EFY music (in English IDK why because she doesn’t speak English but that’s not the point) and we were listening to it this morning and there is a song about families and how it’s so much more than just mom, dad, kids and a house but it’s also road trips and baking cookies and jammin’ out. Just wanted to say that I’m so thankful for y’all every single day and I love y’all so much! Keep on keepin’ on. Y’all rock! Praying for you!
I’ll apologize in advance for the lack of pictures this week, we have zone P-day and the Zone Leaders said we have to write this morning instead of later so…this is all you get.
I think it’s classic for missionaries to say in their emails that this week has a lot of ups and downs, but for real it’s true. We were blessed with the opportunity to knock so many doors this week, and get rejected so many times, but also to have some really good experiences sharing the gospel. Así es. (So it is.)
This week in district meeting we were talking about contacting (walking up to random people on the street/in the park/on their doorstep and sharing the gospel) and we did a cool activity. We had 5 minutes to read and ponder our favorite scripture about the atonement. I chose Alma 7:11-12. Then, with the atonement in minds, we had to practice contacting and see how we changed our approach. It was super powerful to think of the fact that Jesus Christ suffered for the sins and pains and challenges of every single person, including the person in the park or on the street to whom I’m talking. It’s also cool because at the end of verse 12, in Spanish, it refers to how Christ can help us because he knows our weaknesses (debilidades). Because of the atonement, we can overcome sin and death, but also every single pain and weakness that we have in our life that isn’t our fault. I loved this experience and have been trying to share the gospel in a more personal way with the people we talk to.
Jesus loves you all and so do I. Have a great week!