Happy Monday! And Happy 4th of July tomorrow! I am thankful for America and all the great things there. Also thankful for Peru and all the great things here, including everything that happened this past week:
This week so many people came to church and it was the greatest. Usually Sunday isn’t a day of rest, it’s a day of judgement to see if any of the people we teach will show up at church, but this Sunday was so good. I’m so excited! For real, you can’t know how true the church is if you never go, so it was great that our investigators were there.
We still have to sleep in Rimac every night and now the bus drivers recognize us so that’s fun. One of the bus drivers wrote his phone number on my bus ticket and I passed it on as a reference so the missionaries can visit him.
While contacting this week, someone said, “Oh, my grandma was Mormon, but she passed away a couple years ago…” I didn’t fully understand so I responded with something along the lines of, “Oh that’s great!” I didn’t realize until we walked away. My companion was cracking up. Oh well.
Favorite scripture this week: Alma 36:24. I love Alma’s enthusiasm for missionary work! Its so great to be here in Peru, teaching people the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so just like Alma they can be born again of God and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Love it.
*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!
I’ll apologize in advance for the lack of pictures this week, we have zone P-day and the Zone Leaders said we have to write this morning instead of later so…this is all you get.
I think it’s classic for missionaries to say in their emails that this week has a lot of ups and downs, but for real it’s true. We were blessed with the opportunity to knock so many doors this week, and get rejected so many times, but also to have some really good experiences sharing the gospel. Así es. (So it is.)
This week in district meeting we were talking about contacting (walking up to random people on the street/in the park/on their doorstep and sharing the gospel) and we did a cool activity. We had 5 minutes to read and ponder our favorite scripture about the atonement. I chose Alma 7:11-12. Then, with the atonement in minds, we had to practice contacting and see how we changed our approach. It was super powerful to think of the fact that Jesus Christ suffered for the sins and pains and challenges of every single person, including the person in the park or on the street to whom I’m talking. It’s also cool because at the end of verse 12, in Spanish, it refers to how Christ can help us because he knows our weaknesses (debilidades). Because of the atonement, we can overcome sin and death, but also every single pain and weakness that we have in our life that isn’t our fault. I loved this experience and have been trying to share the gospel in a more personal way with the people we talk to.
Jesus loves you all and so do I. Have a great week!
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.
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.
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.
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