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Hermana Erickson in Peru

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Book of Mormon

Oh, That’s Great!

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.

My favorite dog that lives in our sector. Its so huge and hairy and does nothing but sleep!
Mosaic of the Exploration of Peru
Tomb of Francisco Pizzaro
Creepy Skulls

I’d Feel Bad Robbing a House with Pictures of Jesus Everywhere

*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.

Love,

Hermana Erickson

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!


Hermana Carrascos Birthday. We stayed over at their house so we had a party!
Hermana Valencia Celebrates 1 Month as a Missionary with a “Dab”.
Wall Mural
Random Street View #2
Random Street View #1
Pollo a la Brasa

¿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!!!

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

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

Things are Bananas (Bread)

From May 8, 2017

Hola!

Transfers were past week and I am so happy that nothing changed, Hermana Machuruti is stuck with me for another 6 weeks. Hahah, just jokes – we are both happy to still be here.

Yeah, not much else happened this week. We played volleyball with the zone today. And we get to Skype on Sunday! Can’t wait.

Shout Out to Sister Harries for sending me a banana bread recipe last p-day, which we looked forward to making all week and it turned out fantastic. See photos. We’re pretty psyched.

This week (and all other weeks) I was struggling with Spanish. SO I was reading in 2 Nephi 27 and felt like those words from God were exactly directed at me.

19 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned. (aka I don’t speak Spanish)
20 Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.
23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.

How cool is it that God is a God of Miracles and he can do anything! If he called me here through his prophet to be a missionary in Peru, then that’s what I’ll do and if that means I have to speak Spanish, then I’ll be able to do what God needs me to do. It was a cool experience and made me love the Book of Mormon even more. It’s such a special book, and honestly, we can find answers to all sorts of questions. This week we were able to share the Book of Mormon with 4 different people and testify of its divinity and feel the spirit so strong in those moments because it for sure is the word of God revealed through his prophets!

Mom, I was hoping all week that your lesson would go well! I have been thinking about testimonies this week. There’s a cool part in Preach My Gospel, and I read a bunch of scriptures about testimonies and the cool thing is that whenever the prophets bear testimony they say they know what they know by the power of the Spirit. Even Alma who saw an angel says in one verse that he knows those things by the Spirit (Alma 5:46)

Spanish is hard, don’t laugh at me when we talk on Sunday. I do grammar exercises during language study and write new words in my agenda. I always ask my trainer to correct me but she doesn’t do it very often so that’s hard. I’ll ask again. I told her for real, don’t feel bad at all for correcting me. She and I started reading the Book of Mormon together out loud in both Spanish and English to practice, but we started in Mosiah because I can’t do 1 Nephi again right now. You know how it is.

Good luck with your Book of Mormon reading, it’s such a special book and my favorite to share with people, even when they don’t realize how special it is at the moment.

Love,

Hermana Erickson

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Hermanas Erickson y Macharuti Making Banana Bread
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Happy Mother’s Day! (PS: Check out the guy eating in the window behind me.)
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The Hermana Missionaries at Cerro San Cristobal
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Banana Bread

Joy is Possible

Joke of the week:

¿Que le dijo una pera a otra pera?

¡Espera!

HAHAHAHAHA. Puns are even better in Spanish! Hermana Machuruti told me that joke the other day and I cracked up for about 5 minutes.

This week I went to the immigration offices and received my foreign residence card so now I’m super official and can stay in Peru!

This week the weather was crazy and one day it was drizzling all day, which was interesting. If you can imagine the lightest rain possible while there is water still falling from the sky, that’s what it was. Also, it was not super hot but people were legit decked out in coats and scarves and sweaters while my companion and I were still rocking short sleeves. Interesting.

Our ward mission leader helped us put together an activity this week to which we invited our investigators. We played the simplest games – like hot potato and fruit basket – but it was so much fun and some of our investigators came and got to know some people from the church so it was good. They have a rule where if you get out 3 times, you have to do some sort of punishment such as sing a song in front of everyone or dance. I will never forget our recent convert Gustavo dancing like a chicken in the middle of the room, it was the funniest thing.

This week I love 2 Nephi 10:20, 23-24. It’s so great to remember that because of Jesus Christ, who is central to God’s plan for us, we can have happiness and be cheerful in this life! It’s so great that we are free to choose eternal life and every day can make choices to bring us closer to the Savior, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share this plan of happiness with people every single day.

I have a lot of photos to send and will do so possibly later, but this computer is from the stone age so it might not happen. Thanks for the patience, Love you all!

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Pizza de Peru
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Hermana Meroy y Hermana Erickson
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Hermana Erickson y Hermana Machuruti at Cerro de San Cristobal
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What I’m Reading
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We Eat Empanadas Nearly Every Night
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View of Lima from Cerro San Cristobal
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Using Church Magazines as Art
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Inspiration
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The Liahona has pages specific to NW South America, and they had an article about HEFY who I came to Peru with in 2015

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