I’m thinking about changing my mission call from “Lima, Peru” to “Cayetano Heredia, Palao” because transfers were this week and I’m sticking around here in the same area. Despite the fact that we can walk across our entire sector in 10 minutes – including time to wait to cross the street – I love it and I’m super happy to still be here. Hermana Valencia kills me every day, she’s so funny, and I’m pumped to still be here with her.
This week everyone had “Sindrome de Fiestas Patrias” (according to Hermana Valencia), meaning everyone went on vacation for the holidays and nobody was home to talk to us and we knocked a lot of doors that nobody answered. It’s all good though.
This week Nicole got baptized! Yay! Her friend, Eileen, was baptized like 6 months ago and invited Nicole to church and has been answering her questions about the church. So Nicole accepted and we are so happy because we got to teach her these past couple weeks and see how much her faith is growing as she reads the Book of Mormon and participates in Young Women’s. It’s the best.
We have for sure seen miracles in our sector these past couple weeks, and honestly every day of the mission. I’m so happy to be a missionary and teach the gospel and learn so much every day. Today I read Helaman 3:27-28 and I love these verses. It’s so true, the Lord is so willing to help us, we’ve just got to trust in Him and work as hard as we can in everything and he makes up the rest.
Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.
Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
– Helaman 3:27-28 –
Oh yeah I forgot this funny story
We were in church yesterday and reading about how Jesus paid the price for our sins (pecados) but someone read it as PESCADOS which means fish. So we were cracking up and it makes me feel better about my Spanish that even Peruvians make mistakes sometimes as well. :)
Hermana Valencia and I almost died from the flu. I was only sick for like a day and a half but Hermana Valencia is still recovering. The funniest part was when we got a blessing from our district leader and they were like, “Sorry, Hermanas. We have to find out your names…” *** Super grateful for the power of the priesthood though and we’ve been able to keep working every day.
One of our investigators got married! Yay! It’s a big deal here. Lots of people live together but aren’t married and can’t be baptized until they do so. So he’s working towards baptism and we are super excited.
Transfer calls are tonight so we’ll see what happens. Honestly, we don’t have any clue how it will be, but if I stay here in Cayetano we’ll still be rockin! :)
That’s all for now folks. Peace and blessings.
*** Explanation why this is funny: A person in need of a blessing for any reason can recieve one via the laying on of hands. See also James 5:14-15. The one giving the blessing will call the one recieving the blessing by their full name. Since it is not uncommon for missionaries as they refer to each other by title – Elder or Sister (Hermana) – and last name, to not know each other’s given names, this becomes a little joke.
My heart is so happy this week. On Saturday, the family we’ve been teaching was baptized and they were confirmed yesterday! We found their address in the area book and decided to stop by one day. We talked with Humberto and he basically said , I guess yall can share a message but it’s a waste of time. But we visited him again and he was curious about the Book of Mormon and decided to read it and from that day there were miracles in their family! From the start he was able to see that as he read the Book of Mormon he was able to have so much more faith in God and Jesus Christ and be more patient and loving with his family. Also, he was having problems at work but when he read the Book of Mormon and prayed every day he was able to find solutions super easily. As a result of these changes, Melissa was more willing to listen to us and although she too was skeptical of something different she also put the Book of Mormon to the test and started to read. Again, more miracles in her work and her university studies. So we also talked to their 8 year old daughter who also wanted to be baptized and they all decided to take this step together as a family! This week I love the scripture Mosiah 26:18:
Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.
Baptism is such a special experience becasue people get to start a completely new life as disciples of Jesus Christ!
They have such strong testimonies of prayer and the power of the Book of Mormon and I’m so excited for them. It’s been such a blessing to teach them and come to love their cute family. The next goal is that they can go to the temple in one year and be sealed as a family! (Both Hermana Valencia and I will be here in one year so we are psyched to be able to go with them!
Other than that, this week has been good. We’ve been able to find people to teach although all the students we are teaching are about to leave for vacation for the next month so that’s a bummer. (There’s a university in our sector, so there’s loads of students who live here. The semester just ended so it’s difficult…) But yeah, there’s one more week in this transfer so we’ll see if I end up staying here for another cambio or not.
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.
*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.
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!
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!!!