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Hermana Erickson in Peru

¡hola!

Jonathan

The best part of the week: Jonathan got baptized! He’s one of the most prepared people I’ve ever been able to teach on my mission. He accepted everything since the first day we taught him. He shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon after his baptism and it was powerful. He’s already in 2 Nephi 25 and he talked about how much he’s learned from reading the scriptures, especially how 1 Nephi 17 impacted his life. That’s the story of Nephi and his family traveling to the promised land and Nephi’s brothers tie him up and plan to kill him. Nephi just trusts in the Lord and is patient and it all works out. For real, the Book of Mormon is so powerful and is the word of God and will help you so much in your life if you just read it :))

Other than that we are working hard here in Bolivar and seeing lots of miracles as always. Pray for me that I won’t be transferred next week! :) Just jokes)

I loved an article from the Liahona this week.

One of the weaknesses we have as mortals is to assume that our “leaf” is all there is – that our truth is complete and universal. An old Yiddish expression [says], “To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish.” The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses not only the truth of what was and what is but also the truth of what can and will be. It is the most practical of all truths. It teaches the way of the disciple – a path that can take ordinary, flawed mortals and transform them into glorious, immortal, and limitless beings whose divine potential is beyond our meager capacity to imagine. I want to emphasize that the truth embraced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints extends beyond leaves and certainly beyond horseradish. It extends beyond time and space and encompasses all truth.

I was cracking up at the part about worms and horseradish but what the article says is so true. All truth comes from God and we are here on earth to learn all we can. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps us know which truths are most important for our lives both right now and for the eternities. I am thankful for the gospel truths I know and am learning and am able to share with others, especially what we learn in the Book of Mormon! :)

Jonathan’s Baptism
Hermanas Erickson y Meroy, Jonathan, y Pablo
Hermana Erickson, Jonathan, Hermana Meroy
Comida Arequipeña (rocotto relleno, solterito, y pastel de papa)
Intercambios con Hermanas Ortiz y Tregaskes
We are getting really good at yoga!
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Twelve Things I’ve Learned

Due to the fact that I’ll hit my year mark this week, here’s a list of 12 things I’ve learned this past year as a missionary:

  1. It’s possible to eat rice, potatoes, and chicken every single day. Only in Peru.
  2. The Book of Mormon changes people’s lives. Just read it! I know it’s the word of God.
  3. Love people. That’s what is important. Just be interested in their lives and what matters to them and it’s so easy to love them and see them as children of God. Okay, maybe not so easy, but you grow to love them.
  4. God will make more of you than you can ever make of yourself. Your own efforts aren’t enough. Lots of people have great lives, good jobs, their families are happy. Why would they need God? But honestly when you humble yourself and keep the commandments, your life will be even better, your family will be even happier. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is so important and is the way to rely on God.
  5. Serving God and others is what makes you happy. Being a missionary doesn’t make any sense – I walk around all day, sweating, talking to random strangers, and am dead tired, but it is the happiest experience of my life.
  6. Faith is an action word. Make stuff happen! Change the outcome!
  7. But that being said: Miracles happen. No matter what, God can do his own work. 2 Nephi 27: 19-20. He can even help me, una gringa, learn Spanish. :))
  8. The gospel is what is really important in life. Nobody cares what sports you did in high school or what grades you got because what is important is helping God’s children return to Him. I’m so so so thankful that I have this chance to be a missionary. I’m so blessed to serve here in Peru. I’m so thankful for all the people who help, who care for the missionaries, who befriend the new members, who do what Jesus would do. Thanks.
  9. Sacrifice is worth it. Mark 8: 35. Forget yourself and go to work.
  10. Good isn’t good enough. God has way better things prepared for us. One of the hardest things to help people understand is that there is one true church and there are ordinances (like baptism by the proper priesthood authority) that are essential to returning to the presence of God. Just living a good life is good, but it isn’t good enough.
  11. God knows his children. I am very very very underqualified to help people change their lives or overcome their problems, but God knows how to help them. It’s incredible to see what happens when we are tools in the Lord’s hands.
  12. You show what’s important to you by what you do and where you spend your time. I’m so thankful for the faithful example of the members here and how much they are willing to sacrifice to help us and help our investigators.

Love you all! Hopefully, I made sense. I’ve learned so much about pritorities and how God can help us all with our goals and how to be happy.

I’m so happy to have been able to be a missionary for the past year and am excited for the next 6 months :) And just a little bit – actually a lot – sad that it isn’t longer…

Bonus Material:

We are doing so good!!! My companion is hilarious. HAHAHA  This week all the sisters we are in charge of were having problems. Hermana Meroy was like, “Is this normal? Why can’t they just work it out themselves?”
She’s so direct and blunt with them it’s so dang funny.
The other day a Distric Leader called us and was like, “The sisters are fighting, maybe y’all want to see what’s up.” So we talked to them and called the DL back with Hermana Meroy saying, “Don’t worry, they’re in round 10 of their boxing match but they will be okay!” hahahahah, she kills me.
We already know each other from the CCM (training center) so its not really that much of an adjustment. Hna. Meroy is great; she’s here to work and get stuff done. She baptizes people and helps the fighting sisters! We are working hard and seeing lots of miracles!
A Picture with the Pope
Hermanas Meroy y Erickson

Pope Francis in Town
Lima, Peru Temple

The Same Shall Save It

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. – Mark 8:35

Last week we had a meeting with the APs (Assistants to the President) and talked about sacrifice. Hermana Meroy and I decided that we needed to help the other Hermanas (Sister Missionaries) more, so this week was FULL. We went and did divisiones (Spanish for divisions or splits) in their sectors almost every day this week and it was incredible. I feel like we’ve been really blessed for this because we’ve been able to see how we can help the sisters better and love them more. Everyone has their own problems, whether it be that their investigators don’t want to go to church or something personal or they’re just tired and don’t know what else to do…going to their areas and working with them has really helped me a lot. I’m so impressed with the missionaries who despite everything, keep working and are so dedicated to serving the Lord.

This week, I’ve learned a lot about how to follow the Spirit. I am very underqualified to help people with their salvation or to help the Hermanas but God is our Heavenly Father and he knows what each person needs. I’ve seen that a lot this week. And although we weren’t in our own sector very much we’ve been able to find and teach families that are interested in the gospel and it’s just the best.

They cut the power to our house the other day.
Intercambios. Hermanas Erickson, Meroy, Vargas, y Law.

Faith

The big news this week: The Pope came to Peru! So yeah, they closed a few roads and people were a little bit more Catholic than normal but we’re hoping things die down a bit this week so we can teach our investigators the restored gospel. :)

My companion is one of the funniest people I have ever met so we’ve been cracking up all week.

We had interviews with President Larson and it was great to talk to him. He asked us to share a scripture that has helped us increase our faith. Mine is 2 Nephi 27:19-20. God can do his own work! But It is pretty incredible that he askes normal people like us to help him. I feel so blessed to be a missionary and help people come closer to Christ.

This past transfer I’ve learned so much about what is faith. We have to have really high expectations because we know that God can make miracles happen. But we also need to put in our work and do what we can so that those things happen. Elder Andersen has said that faith is a power that makes things that should happen, happen. We are trying to help change the outcome through our little efforts but ultimately I’m so grateful for all the blessings we’ve received.

Editor’s Note: The following was sent separately to Hermana Erickson’s Family, but contains a powerful message and we want to share.

Yesterday we had Stake Conference and visiting authority from Ecuador talked about missionary work and how when his daughter was on a mission her letters inspired them to be better. I hope that I can share a little bit of the spirit I feel every day with you guys through my emails. What else can I share with y’all? Is there anything I can do to help the family? I know yall are great and I love you guys so much. Please help the missionaries. They need lots of referrals, people who worry for their investigators and people to pick people up for church, to read the Book of Mormon with the investigators, to have (FHE) Family Home Evening in your house, to be the person that their investigators call when they have questions etc. I know yall are incredible, but maybe there’s something more yall can do.

Faith and Confidence

Hola fam

We are so blessed here. This week was so good and full of miracles.

My new comp is Hermana MEROY!! We were in the CCM together!! She’s 25, from Batangas, Philippines and has been out for 14 months because she served for 3 months in the Philippines while waiting for her visa to allow her to come to Peru. It’s so much fun. We were in the same district in the CCM and she’s hilarious.

This week I’m learning a lot about faith and how the confidence we have in God should make us act. Yesterday in church someone said we should work to make sure our prayers get answered. Today, our zone is sacrificing P day to work so that we can see more miracles and help more people :) We’re excited!

PS: Funny Story. Sometimes people think that when the missionaries come over to eat they have to prepare everything so fancy or whatever but yesterday we ate with the Bazan family– they’re super cool and it reminded me of you guys. Because after lunch they just passed around spoons and a jar of Nutella and were like “Go for it.” I was cracking up. miss yall :)

I found a Thai Book of Mormon in the other sister’s apartment

Real Intent

We went to the temple with some of our converts and with the ward to do baptisms for their family members! It was awesome. Everyone in our ward is so great to help the new members and to be able to go to the temple with them was super special.

Presidente and Hermana Larson came with us to teach some lessons! It was awesome. They’re so cute and just testified with such a strong spirit in our lesson.

Fernanda got baptized! Her brother, Francisco got baptized last week! Fernanda was having lots of questions and doubts and such and didn’t know if she wanted to be baptized. So we were there teaching her in the stairwell of their building (we can’t enter a house if there’s not another adult woman there) about real intent and receiving answers from God. Real intent is more than just really wanting an answer, it means you say that when He answers you, you’re going to do His will, even if it’s not the answer you wanted. We read DyC 9:8-9 and talked about how God answers prayers through the Holy Ghost and invited her to pray. We were just kneeling there in the stairwell and she says the most humble sincere prayer ever and the spirit was so strong, there are no words to describe it and she just said she was ready to be baptized the next day!! It was an incredible experience. These kids are such a good example of faith and humility and trusting in Gods will.

It’s Hermana Clarks last week so we are crying but that’s fine, she’s gonna be fine in Utah and going to keep #bautizandoelmundo :)) I’m seriously so grateful that we were able to be companions for these past 4 months, I’ve learned so much about faith and seen so many miracles with Hermana Clark!

Bautismo de Fernanda
Bautismo de Fernanda
Bautismo de Fernanda
Our district. There’s a senior couple in the office now and they’re part of our district!
Zona Magdalena
We ate Cuy this week! (guinea pig)
Zona Magdalena P-Day
Baptism of Fernanda
Baptism of Fernanda
Hermana Clarks last day at church. with Obispo Aldea
Noche de Hogar with our ward. (Did I ever tell y’all that this is the best ward ever? #barriobolivar)
Hermanas Clark, Erickson, Mendieta y Ramirez
Hermanas Clark and Erickson at the Lima Temple
Cuy (Guinea Pig)

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