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.
As of Saturday, April 8, I officially have 2 months in the mission! WOOT.
This week was wild, including an all day training meeting at the mission offices (where I got to see Hermana Shupe, Hermana Meroy, and Elder Baum from the MTC) and exchanges with the Hermana Capacitadoras (Sister Training Leaders).
Funny story: While on exchanges, Hermana Moffet and I were going to teach an investigator in the church but needed another woman so we didn’t have to teach outside the building. So we walk outside and a lady comes up and starts chatting with us about the Hermanas who used to be in that area. So we assumed she was a member and asked her to come help us out with the lesson. Turns out she isn’t a member but she was super down to come to the church with us, and we shared a spiritual thought with her as well. Super chistoso!
This week we had Family Home Evening (FHE) at the house of our ward mission leader and our investigator Gustavo came. We watched the video of the First Vision and it was great! Hermano and Hermana Ramos bore their testimonies and we talked a little more about prophets and conference and the spirit was so strong! I love sharing the message of the restoration and being able to testify that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and translated the Book of Mormon because he was a prophet called of God!
The reality of the resurrection of the Savior overwhelms our heartbreak with hope because with it comes the assurance that all the other promises of the Gospel are just as real.
-Elder Paul V Johnson, April 2016 General Conference
It goes right along with Acts 17:31. I love the opportunity to be here and share the message that we can have hope and peace through Jesus Christ who lives! As a missionary, we make a lot of promises to people:
If they come to church they’ll feel the Spirit and love of God
If they read the Book of Mormon and ask God with a sincere heart, they’ll receive a witness of its divinity
If they repent and follow Christ, they will feel – as in the quote above – the reality that they can be clean from sins through Christ and His atonement
This week I’m thankful for the opportunity especially to remember Christ and His resurrection.
PS: If you’d like to read some other information about my area in Lima and my first impressions of missionary work, click here: http://wp.me/p8k26H-75
What a week. For real. Today someone asked me how my first week in the field was and I honestly don’t have any words. It’s been crazy, but also super good.
My trainer, Hermana Machuruti, is ¡LO MAXIMO! – a phrase she says all the time. The language barrier is interesting, but she’s so cute and loves the people and has no fear to talk to people and invite them to church and ask when we can share our message about Jesus.
Spanish is SUPER TOUGH. It’s so hard to understand people, but its alright. I think Peruvians don’t believe in speaking loudly, so it’s super hard to understand.
The streets in my area kinda remind me of Thailand with wires everywhere and occasional sidewalks. If there is such a thing as building codes, I would be surprised. Also, there’s so much dirt and dust. It’s super hot so everyone’s windows are always open so it means there’s always dust on everything. I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll be covered in dirt and sweat for the next 18 months. 🙂
Today was P-day and we played kickball with all the missionaries in our zone. It’s an American game so it was funny to explain to the Latinos how to play. We, Hermana Macharuti and I, share a ward with 2 Elders who are super great. One is from Peru and one is from Kentucky.
We do a lot of contacting and invite people to visit mormon.org (Hey y’all, visit mormon.org. It’s super chevere and there are cool videos about Jesus!) and to Church. We’ve taught a couple lessons and the CCM prepared me way more than I thought. Teaching in the CCM was always hard but I learned so much and now I can teach people for real. One of our investigators, Gustavo, came to church yesterday! (YAY!). And another, Sandra, came with us to Women’s Conference. I love that people can have these opportunities to feel the Spirit, because that’s the only way we can know the truthfulness of the gospel for ourselves. Obviously when we teach it’s definitely not anything I can say in terrible Spanish, it’s the Spirit that can testify to people’s hearts.
This week I’ve been reading in Acts when Pedro y Juan are preaching. I love the first couple of chapters because they are such great examples as missionaries. They have the Spirit with them so strong, they have the gift of tongues, and they preach the exact same thing: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have little cards to hand out and when people see that that they have a pictures of Jesus, they are so much more willing to talk to us. We always ask people, ”Do you believe in Jesus?” and “Why?” I love people’s answers. So many people have such strong faith that Christ is the Savior of the world and they always say that he is everything in their life. I love it so much and am so happy to be here to preach that gospel and help people come unto Christ!!
Love yall! (Prayers are appreciated, we need them here)
Excerpt from 2nd Email:
Holy smokes (lol bad pun). The yard is hilarious! I’m cracking up and trying to explain the story to my companion in Spanish. I love the pictures and miss y’all so much. [This note in reference to a report that Erickson’s had a small grass fire in the back yard.]
This week has been something else. Its wild. (I miss the CCM :))
Nah its been good. My trainer is super great, I can sometimes understand people, the CCM really prepared me more than I ever thought.
It’s hard to be in a new place, and its 4,895,794,875 degrees every day, and there’s so much dust you couldn’t believe it, and I’m tired like 99 percent of the time, but its all good. Just something to get used to. We do a lot of contacting, teaching lessons is fun, our investigator came to church and we’re just doing the work. Pray for me please 🙂
Leaving the CCM was crazy, but it’s all good. The last week in the CCM was great and I learned so much. It definitely doesn’t feel like I’ve already been here in Peru for 6 weeks, but here we are. My teachers and district in the CCM were the best and I’m going to miss those jokers. Right now, my Spanish is alright and now getting thrown into it 24/7 is hopefully going to help me get way better real quick.
Today we just drove about an hour to our mission office here in Lima and had some training things and interviews with Presidente Larson and filled out paperwork. All the fun things. Presidente and Hermana Larson are from Idaho.
Some facts about the mission according to what people told me today, it’s the smallest proselyting mission in the world- smallest after temple square in Salt Lake City and it’s about 10 miles across. We’ve got about 175 missionaries total, and only about 20-ish are Hermanas. Also, I think our mission scripture or theme or something is 3 Nefi 5:13, which is the scripture on my plaque at home! I love that scripture so much.
My companion is Hermana Machuruti from Tarija, Bolivia. She has been out for 9 months and is 24-years-old and has never trained before and doesn’t speak any English so this is going to be interesante. She’s super sweet though and it looks like we’ve got a lot of things to do and people to teach. My sector is called Cayetano Heredia 1. I don’t know much about it except my compañera said the ward is pretty small. Also, in terms of area our sector is tiny; just a couple blocks. Tonight we’re going to go teach 4 appointments and an English class so pray for me because this just got so real today and it’s going to be crazy hard but I know it’s going to be so worth it. I read Moroni Chapter 6 today and it’s all about baptism. I love that through baptism people can come closer to Christ as they take His name upon them and I’m so excited to be a missionary here in Peru and hopefully help people make that step of faith in following their Savior!
P-day is Monday, so I’ll be able to write again then! Love y’all!
Excerpt from 2nd e-mail.
Unfortunately, it’s not Wednesday, my dudes. But it is my first day here in the field!!! HOLY MOLY.
Today has been surprisingly good, meaning I’ve survived so far. I was super nervous to leave the CCM, but now that I’m out here I’m sure its going to be great. I’m excited.
Anyways, I just wanted to write y’all and say how much I love and appreciate each of you. Thanks for everything! I hope all is well at home with job interviews and school and rugby and family visiting and wedding receptions and all that jazz. Have so much fun!
In regards to the weather, apparently there’s been a lot of rains and flooding here in Peru recently. A lot of areas, including here in Lima, were without water for like 5 days this past week, but it’s better now. The missionaries who were supposed to go to Trujillo [from the CCM] couldn’t go because of the conditions there, but everything is alright here. It’s real unfortunate that people are suffering but I’m hoping that it’ll allow us to do some service and that people’s hearts will be prepared to listen to our message as a result of the circumstances.
The following is an excerpt from an e-mail received from President and Sister Larson regarding Rachel’s safe arrival in the Lima Central Mission.
Dear Erickson Family,
We are delighted to report to you that your daughter, Sister Rachel Irene Erickson, has arrived to begin her service in La Misión Perú Lima Central. She looks great, is healthy, and is very excited to begin her service. We are thrilled to receive her and we will take good care of her. It was our privilege to share breakfast and lunch with her while she was being interviewed and trained in the mission office.
We thank you for the support that you give to your daughter during her mission. Sister Erickson will look forward to positive, uplifting letters from home. We ask that she corresponds with you weekly, and we encourage you to do the same, using the e-mail address she will give you if you do not already have it (the same one she used at the CCM).
We will watch over your daughter during this time in which she will be serving the Lord in this important work. We also know that your family will be blessed by her service.
Presidente Stephen J. Larson & Hermana Becky Larson