This week was great and full of miracles (like every week, but y’all get the idea that there are lots of miracles here in Bolivar). Here are this week’s highlights:
Ten investigators came to church yesterday! Woohoo! We were only expecting seven and turned around after the sacrament and three more people had shown up :)
Zone service project at the hospital. It was super fun. Fun fact: I have yet to see a lawnmower here in Lima, most people just use weed whackers and we used a combination of shovels, pickaxes, and bush trimming shears to cut grass and clean up the gardens.
Interviews with Presidente Larson
I got to accompany another Hermana to the dentist because she broke her tooth in half. Another fun fact: Here in Lima people just have random dentist offices in their houses so thats cool.
See the picture below of the funny message we received from our investigator Diego! He was contacting people in the street with Light the World pass-along cards. :)
“…following the Savior will not remove all of your trials. However, it will remove the barriers between you and the help your Heavenly Father wants to give you. God will be with you. He will direct your steps. He will walk beside you and even carry you when your need is greatest.”
– President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
We see this every day here in the mission, we spend all day inviting people to come unto Christ and it is incredible to see the changes people make in their lives to be able to do that, and the strength and help they recieve from God through prayer and reading the Book of Mormon.
I hit my 9 month mark. Not sure when all that time passed but it’s gone by super quickly. I’m so happy to have spent the past 9 months here in Peru serving the Lord and sharing the restored gospel :)
INTERCAMBIOS: I got to be companions with Hermana Machuruti (my trainer) again! She’s one of my favorite people ever. It was so much fun. (see pic)
There was a dog running around sacrament meeting. It’s a peruvian dog (picture attached) and it’s name is Stitch which kills me because it looks like an alien. (Side Note: Peruvian dogs all look like this but there are dogs of all sizes just all bald and creepy looking. Also people say that they can cure cancer…? No se.)
Multizone conference: We had a mini Thanksgiving feast.
This week I read the story of Alma the Younger. It’s always been one of my favorites. I love that thanks to our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can change. Alma was one of the vilest of sinners but afterwards you can see such a great change. Its incredible to see this change in all the people we are teaching!!!
This week rocked. Literally. hahahahahhahaha because I experienced my first earthquake! (Sorry for the awful joke). But for real we were leaving our house the other night after studying and felt the earth shake for a couple seconds and heard some noise. The funniest part was that both our recent convert and our District Leader texted us to see if we were okay and Hermana Valencia was almost offended because she’s from Chile and apparently it was nothing compared to the earthquakes they have there.
We have seen some miracles this week. Last month we set a goal to find and teach a family in July and have been praying for and working for it since the start of June. And this week Humberto and possibly his wife, Melissa are going to be baptized and I’m so excited for them. If yall could pray for them and their baptism this Saturday, it’d be bacon. ¡Gracias!
Also, we had p-day de zona and went to the zoo. It was super fun and the jokers here in Palao are great.
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!!!
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.
Stephen J. Larson
Misión Perú Lima Central
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!!!!
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!