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Hermana Erickson in Peru

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Hermana Machuruti

¿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

Four Months and a New Beginning

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.

Warmest regards,

Stephen J. Larson
Presidente
Misión Perú Lima Central

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Hermanas Erickson y Machuruti at Lima Temple
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Hermanas Erickson at Lima Temple. Notice Zone Leaders “Photobombing” in the Background.
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Las Hermanas
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La Zona
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Hermana Machuruti made breakfast to celebrate my four month anniversary as a missionary. Note the big bag of salt…she knows me too well!
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Our District

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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

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

The Reality of the Resurrection

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!

This week is a big deal in Peru because it’s Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Pascua (Easter) is on Sunday. I love this quote:

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.

Love y’all!

Hermana Erickson

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

Hermanas
My Cute Compañera and Me
2 Months
Hermana Machuruti is so cute and made me this note to celebrate my 2 month mark 🙂
Lunch
Lomo Saltado

¡Lo Maximo!

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 🙂

Home Sweet Home
This is our neighborhood in Lima.
The Street, and Wires
Lima Streetview
El Baño
My first missionary apartment: El Baño
La Cocina
La Cocina
La Recamara
La Recamara
That's all there is
That’s all there is…

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