Search

Hermana Erickson in Peru

¡hola!

¿Yo También?

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!!!

P1000525
Hermana Erickson con Hermana Machuruti y Hermana Tania (our pensionista)
P1000530
My new companion, Hermana Valencia
P1000527
Pizza Raul

Four Months and a New Beginning

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.

Warmest regards,

Stephen J. Larson
Presidente
Misión Perú Lima Central

P1000430
Hermanas Erickson y Machuruti at Lima Temple
P1000441
Hermanas Erickson at Lima Temple. Notice Zone Leaders “Photobombing” in the Background.
P1000449
Las Hermanas
P1000456
La Zona
P1000469
Hermana Machuruti made breakfast to celebrate my four month anniversary as a missionary. Note the big bag of salt…she knows me too well!
P1000472
Our District

P1000473

Super Rough Super Great

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!!!!

Much love,

Hermana Erickson

BONUS NOTE:

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!

Love you tons.
Love, Rach

Huaca Pucllana or Huaca Juliana is a great adobe and clay pyramid located in the Miraflores district of central Lima, Peru. Built from seven staggered platforms. It served as an important ceremonial and administrative center for the advancement of the Lima Culture, a society which developed in the Peruvian Central Coast between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD.
Huaca Pucllana. Lima in the background.
Hermana Macharuti y Hermana Erickson
Mas de Hermana Macharuti y Hermana Erickson
The Zone. Alas, Hermana Erickson, it seems, will forever be in the back row of group photos.
Arroz con Leche y Massamora
Our Apartment
Llamas, because Peru

Super Powerful

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!

-Hermana Erickson

Check out last week’s message at https://hermanaerickson.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/were-it-expedient/

 

Were it Expedient

This week my companion told me I was sleep talking in Spanish. Even my dreams are about contacting people or teaching about the restoration. The mission is an interesting time to say the least.

We had interviews with Presidente Larson in the mission offices this week, so it was fun to go to Magdalena and talk to him and his wife. We were there seriously all day and left at about 6 pm when everyone else in Lima left work so we were headed home on a bus with about 100 other people. I wish I could have taken a picture, it was crack up with how many people they were trying to cram into the bus.

Yesterday the Zone leaders told us that they´re going to switch us the boundaries of our sector. At the moment we share a ward with a trio of elders, and its split pretty much down the middle one way (vertical), but starting tomorrow they’re going to split it the other way (horizontal), so we´ll still have half of our sector and now half of the elders sector. It’ll be interesting for sure to be in a new place and knock some new doors and hopefully find new people to teach!

This week I read a talk by Elder Bednar and here’s a quote I loved:

“Righteousness and faith are certainly instrumental in moving mountains– if moving mountains accomplishes Gods purposes and is in accordance with Gods will.”

Faith doesn’t necessarily mean everything will turn out perfectly, but if we trust in God we know that He could make everything perfect, but we accept even when he doesn’t. It reminded me of Mosiah 5:3

“And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.”

I love the part ¨were it expedient¨

Not everything we want to happen is going to happen but if we can trust in God’s will, we’ll be able to be happy and assured that everything is working out for the best.

Have a great week! Love y’all!

P1000367
Apartment roof view (1 of 2)
P1000366
Apartment roof view (2 of 2)
P1000356
Mazamora and arroz con leche. I am not really sure what exactly mazzamora is, but its made of purple corn and is kinda like warm jelly? There’s also random pieces of fruit like apples and peaches in it and we eat it with arroz con leche. Its super yummy though and people here eat it like there’s no tomorrow.
P1000352
Sorry my feet are ratchet but here’s my missionary shoe tan lines

Happy Mother’s Day

The highlight of this week: getting to Skype my family yesterday! Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom out there (mine) and to all the rest of the moms too! It is seriously such a blessing to be able to see and talk to my fam even though it was of course not long enough.

In honor of my mom, today we visited an old church. There’s a bunch of cathedrals here and we went to one in the center of Lima that’s a museum with a bunch of old art and books and interesting things that we weren’t allowed to take pictures of. Also, there are catacombs underneath the church and the bones are all arranged and it’s kinda creepy but pretty cool. There’s a bunch of femurs and skulls. Today the lady said that 20,000 people were buried there. It’s called Monastery de San Fransisco. It was cool because when I came to Lima three years ago, we also visited the catacombs and cathedral.

This week was pretty normal, we walked around, taught some lessons, ate some rice. I guess I forget that what’s normal here as a missionary isn’t normal back home so I’ll try to give some more information. One thing is that people here don’t really invite us into their houses so when we teach lessons, we mostly do it standing on people’s doorsteps. It’s interesting to pray and read the scriptures and teach in the middle of the sidewalk but it’s all good, I’ll take whatever chance we get to share the gospel with people.

This week I have been reading Joseph Smith’s History and the testimonies at the front of the Book of Mormon. It’s so special to know that God still talks to us, will answer prayers, and we have the guidance of a modern day prophet.

I also read a talk called “Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence”´ by Elder Jörg Klebingat that I loved. It was about how we don’t have to live every day being sad that we are not perfect and worried that we aren’t good enough in the eyes of God because we can use the Atonement of Jesus Christ every single day. Thanks to our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can repent every day and rely on his grace to become better each day and have the assurance that as long as we are striving to be our best, we´re alright before God.

Love,

Hermana Erickson

Post Script:

hey homies

I’m so happy I got to Skype with yall yesterday!!! I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say but I hope yall know how much I love each one of you individually and you jokers collectively. I’m so so so blessed with the best family in the world. Not sure if I said thanks when you said you sent a letter in the mail but thank you!!!!!!
Happy mothers day to mom. We are so lucky to have you as our mom. for real.
Yall look great, I’m glad everything is going well! Please keep me posted on the goings-ons in your life! and yes, I really do miss yall.
Tell everyone (the fam) hello and I love them!
Thanks for your nice comments about my Spanish  hahaha. I’m working on it. I definitely pray for the gift of tongues every day.
Oh yeah, I was going to ask if we could have a family prayer before we hung up but I forgot, so have one without me and keep me in mind, yeah? Praying for y’all always.
Sorry for crying (honestly it’s like the first time I’ve cried in the mission) but I love yall and am so happy to be able o talk with y’all and share my testimony. I hope y’all now that I love being a missionary and I love talking to people about the gospel all day long. And like I said I especially love talking about the Book of Mormon and for real, there is a special spirit that comes when we read parts of the BOM with people.
You asked what I wish I had known before coming on the mission, and I’m still not sure how to answer that, but I just wanted to say thanks for preparing me for this craziness. For teaching me how to work hard, how to love the scriptures, how to try new foods, be flexible when the plan doesn’t work out, etc. Yall are the best.
P1000326
Happy Mother’s Day!

 

WordPress.com.

Up ↑