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