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Hermana Erickson in Peru

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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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Happy Easter

Thanks so much for the cute package/envelope I got this week!!! I LOVE Y’ALL!!! I really appreciate the old random photos and cute notes (I’ve read them like 15 times since Wednesday when I got them) and of course the Mary Engelbreit pics are appreciated. Y’all are the best!!!

I wish I was there to celebrate Easter with y’all. Nobody hardly even mentioned it here. Everything is Semana Santa on Thursday and Friday. There was a procession/parade thing in the street with all the Catholic people walking real slow holding candles and a crucifix of Jesus through the streets. It was muy interesante.

This week I have been reading a lot of Liahonas. Check out the article/talk called the divine power of grace by Elder Paul V. Johnson from the December 2016 Liahona. It’s the best! Also, I had to give a talk in church on Sunday about Día de Reposo (the Sabbath). Speaking Spanish in front of a bunch of people is always fun.

Funny story, we have these big jugs of drinking water and the guy who refills them came right after we woke up, so we went out in our pajamas and he complimented my Gremlins T-shirt which I wear for sleeping and we chatted about the movie for a bit. I was cracking up!

Our investigator Gustavo was baptized this Saturday!! YAY!!! (To be honest, last week we had no clue if he even wanted to, but this week was pretty cool to see the change and he was super into reading the folletos (pamphlets) and Book of Mormon chapters we would leave with him so it was really good. The only problem with the baptism was that everyone showed up on ‘Peru time’ aka 30 minutes late including the person with the keys to the chapel!

Today we had a Zone P-day and don’t have much time to write. We went to Fortaleza Real Felipe in Callao. It’s pretty cool. I’ll provide more info later if I remember; lots of old swords and military uniforms and such.

Please wish Grandpa Doran a Feliz Cumpleaños/Happy Birthday for me this week!!!!! Tell him I love and miss him!

Hope all is well at home!!! I love y’all. Thanks for all the emails and pictures. I’m so blessed.

Excerpts from notes Rachel sent to various family members:

  • I wasn’t going to tell you but the first Sunday here nobody in the ward plays the piano so we sang a capella. I felt slightly bad for not [having continued with piano lessons and] being able to play.
  • This week I was cracking up to myself because all the kids wear school uniforms that are basically sweatpants and t-shirts to match and I was remembering that town in Spain where EVERYONE was wearing a track suit! I was just laughing at the good times we had there and missing ya’ll. It was especially funny because that’s not something I can explain to my companion in Spanish.
  • I have to teach a 1 hour English class next week so if anyone has of any brilliant ideas of what to teach or an easy game to play, please let me know!
  • Yesterday I was eating soup and there was an entire chicken heart in my bowl. Yum! I love y’all! Hope all is well! Keep me posted on everything.

Editor’s Note: Given the limited time to email each Preparation Day, Rachel sometimes hand writes notes during the week and then sends pictures of the notes. See below.

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Letter to Mama Becky (Page 1 of 2)
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Letter to Mama Becky (Page 2 of 2)
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Letter to Hermanito Tomasito
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My Desk
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Gremlin T-Shirt
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Gustavo’s Baptism Day! (L-R: Hna. Macharuti, Gustavo, Hna. Erickson)
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Zone P-Day
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Fortaleza Real Felipe
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Hermanas Erickson y Macharuti at Fortaleza Real Felipe
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Photo Timer, but not sure which camera to look at when. Cheese!

¡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…

I GOT MY TAG TODAY!!

Hey fam,
I get 5 minutes to write y`all and let you know I´m alive. I definitely stopped in the interfaith chapel in the E terminal and said a little prayer to start off this crazy adventure. and then ran into a giant group of missionaries at the gate. Probably 20 of us on the flight!! Our flight was delayed but we made it to the CCM at 4 am, got to sleep at 5, and woke up at 8. It`s a great day.
I GOT MY TAG TODAY!! It feels so real now and I am SO excited. The CCM presidents wife said that it´s my name and Christs name on my badge and that we`re in this together. I love it.
Also P day is Wednesday so I´ll write you then. 🙂
I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!! Thanks for the cute cute notes in my bag. Yàll are the best!!! (made me cry but thats okay). Miss you and love you tons!!
Hermana Erickson
(PS cant figure out the apostrophes on this keyboard.)

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