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Hermana Erickson in Peru

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Happy New Year!

Holy Moly! Seriously, this week has been wild. I’ve never fasted and prayed so much in my life. and we’ve seen so many miracles. It was stressful trying to help all of our investigators and everything but in the end, it was incredible because 4 of the people we’ve been teaching decided to get baptized this week!

Francisco is 17 and he’s the best. He’s such an example of faith an humility and just wants to do the right thing and help people. He has such a sweet testimony and is helping his family too so they can get baptized soon! (pray for them :)

Nivia
Her family got baptized like a year ago but she’s way Catholic and the missionaries have been teaching her for about that time. She finally decided that she wanted to get baptized and it was super awesome to see that. She’s a great lady.

Jessica and Sebastian
Jessica is the mom, her daughter got baptized like 2 years ago and recently decided to come to church. We talked to them and the little brother Sebastian wanted to be baptized. One day we were praying in church for help about what we were going to do to and who would be able to progress and they just showed up! Since that time we’ve been able to teach them and they also were able to get baptized on Saturday!!

God is so good. Miracles happen!!! Still can’t believe its 2018 but I’m excited to be here in the mission and keep sharing the gospel here in Lima

This past year (11 months) in the mission have been the best. I’ve learned so much, most importantly about relying on the Lord and helping others and that the important part of life is living the gospel because its the way to find the peace and happiness we all need. Recently, I’ve been able to increase my faith so much and see that with the Lord help, miracles are possible. seriously its incredible to see the changes in people’s lives and the joy they can be as families when they strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ and repent and decide to follow him! I’m so grateful for the chance to be a missionary and for what I’ve learned this past year and all the miracles I’ve seen as God just puts prepared people in our way.

Happy New Year! I love y’all so much! Keep being great and reading The Book of Mormon and helping the missionaries, they need a lot of help. So too the investigators and the new members.

Recently I read a talk by President Hinckley called “Find the Lambs, Feed My Sheep“. I think y’all will like it too. :)

Anyway, thanks for everything! I love y’all a whole lot!!!

Nivia
Bautismo de Fransisco
Francisco was baptized by Jesus – just recently baptized – performed the baptism. Cutest moment of my life!!!
Francisco
Francisco, Jesus y Diego
La familia!!! Paul, Ursula, Fabiana, Fernanda, y Francisco
Jessica and Sebastian ALSO GOT BAPTIZED!
Our baptism was combined with the other ward :))))

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So So So Blessed

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I’m so so so blessed and thankful for too many things to write in an email.

This week:
-Lots of miracles.
-The YSA (Young Single Adults) of this ward are on fire. They help us so much with our investigators.
-Highlight: Face-to-face broadcast with Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard. They answered questions from around the world – including Peru :))) and three of our investigators went and had super spiritual experiences.
-Our investigator Fabiana participated in the primary program on Sunday!
-We hardly taught any lessons without members. Our ward is killin’ it!

Most of all, I’m thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. I’m thankful that I can be better every day thanks to Him. I’m thankful that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and was called as a prophet. I’m thankful for living prophets and their counsel that helps us know how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I’m thankful for the Book of Mormon and the way it teaches all the truths of the gospel and changes the lives of the people who sincerely want to get closer to God. I’m thankful for all the incredible people here that we teach every day. It’s incredible. I’m thankful to be able to represent Jesus Christ here in Lima, Peru and help people experience this change in their lives and be happy :)

Hermana Meroy from my CCM District
Intercambios
Breña is the “sketchy” part of our area…
…but there’s a tree that looks like a chicken, so…
La Calle

It’ll Make You Happier

This week was cool, we were supposed to have a zone meeting on Tuesday but it got cancelled last minute so we had 2.5 hours to knock doors and ended up meeting some of the coolest people who are super prepared for the gospel.

On thursday Gianella got baptized! Her friend, who is going on a mission soon introduced her to the church and she’s the best. She is so willing to do whatever the Lord asks and keep all the commandments and just loves the Book of Mormon and is seriously an example to me. It’s been hard because her family didn’t really want her to get baptized but she just told us that she knew it was true and she knew she had to go through with it.

Friday we had a multizone conference with Presidente and Hermana Larson and I learned a lot. Then Hermana Kilpack ended up coming to stay with us again for this weekend and it’s so crack up. She’s new in the mission and was staying with us before and basically its just a party all the time because she and Hermana Clark are super funny.

General Conference was the best, the members helped us again with the bus van to pick up everyone to go to the stake center to watch it. We were able to watch it in English and it is so powerful to be able to listen to prophets and apostles testify of Jesus christ. I loved Elder Nelsons talk about the Book of Mormon; it really is the word of God and has the answerrs that we need. I’ve seen so many times in my life and in the lives of the people we teach that we can find answers to our questions and our lives improve when we read the Book of Mormon every day.

(If you didnt get to watch conf, check out LDS.org and give it a listen, I promise it’ll make you happier :))

Zone Activity: Contacting with The Book of Mormon
The baptismal font doesn’t drain well and leaves dirt in the bottom, so we have to clean it.
(L-to-R) Hermana Erickson, Gianella, Hermana Clark
Gianella’s Baptism
Gianella’s Baptism
Gianella’s Baptism
P-day at the Beach
Las Hermanas a la Playa
La Playa de Lima

¿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

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.
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Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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

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