Last Monday night President Larson called to break the bad news: (1) I was being transferred and (2) that I would be called to be a Sister Training Leader (hahaha biggest joke ever). I was so bummed to be leaving Cayetano and Hermana Valencia, but it’s all good….
My new area is Bolivar in la zona de Magdelena. My companion is Hermana Clark, from Bountiful Utah! My new area is so different from Cayetano, its way nicer and also HUGE, the ward is super great and the Bishop is so helpful already and I’ve only been here 1 week.
Hermana Clark ran track at the University of Utah, so let’s just say she loves to run and I do not, so it’s been an interesting week. hahaha, nah its all good though, pray that I survive.
The Hermanas de Palao (my previous zone) had a problem with their house and are living with us for like 2 weeks and it’s so fun. I was in the Zone Palao with Hermana Zaldivar for 3 transfers and she is training a new missionary Hermana Kilpack from Utah, so basically were just having a blast the 4 of us living together. And we go on splits every day so I’m having to learn the streets and members and everything really fast.
This week I reached 7 months in the mission and today is my 20th birthday so I feel super old. Today has been super fun though, including the peruvian tradition of smashing eggs and throwing flour at the birthday person :)
Not much time to say anything but theres lots of photos so hope that makes up for it.
Not gonna lie, this week was rough because literally nobody was in their houses or wanted to talk to us. But it’s all good because as always we are seeing miracles here in our sector.
First of all, finally Luis got baptized! His family is all members and he’s talked to the missionaries for years but just recently he was finally able to get married and make some great changes to get baptized this weekend. Literally, every day when we went to his house, he had another problem or obstacle to deal with but its been super cool to see him change his attitude and always say that now he’s putting God first in everything. With that, he was able to make this great step and enter into a covenant with our Heavenly Father. It’s incredible. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives, for real.
We had interviews with Presidente Larson this week, which are always fun.
After a whole week of not finding people to teach, we were blessed to find some super cool people on Saturday who are really great and interested in learning more.
At times, you may long for peace as you face uncertainty and what seem to you to be looming challenges. The sons of Mosiah learned the lesson that the Lord taught to Moroni. It is a guide for us all: “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all [who] humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
Moroni said that when he “heard these words,” he “was comforted” (Ether 12:29). They can be a comfort to all of us. Those who do not see their weaknesses do not progress. Your awareness of your weakness is a blessing as it helps you remain humble and keeps turning you to the Savior. The Spirit not only comforts you, but He is also the agent by which the Atonement works a change in your very nature. Then, weak things become strong.
It’s great to be able to help people feel this spirit and experience the Atonement in their lives and change as a result, myself included.
Tomorrow I hit my 6-month mark in the mission. It’s been the craziest past 6 months but also the best. I am so happy to be a missionary because I get to testify about our savior, Jesus Christ every day to everyone.
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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!
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.
Stephen J. Larson
Misión Perú Lima Central
This week my companion told me I was sleep talking in Spanish. Even my dreams are about contacting people or teaching about the restoration. The mission is an interesting time to say the least.
We had interviews with Presidente Larson in the mission offices this week, so it was fun to go to Magdalena and talk to him and his wife. We were there seriously all day and left at about 6 pm when everyone else in Lima left work so we were headed home on a bus with about 100 other people. I wish I could have taken a picture, it was crack up with how many people they were trying to cram into the bus.
Yesterday the Zone leaders told us that they´re going to switch us the boundaries of our sector. At the moment we share a ward with a trio of elders, and its split pretty much down the middle one way (vertical), but starting tomorrow they’re going to split it the other way (horizontal), so we´ll still have half of our sector and now half of the elders sector. It’ll be interesting for sure to be in a new place and knock some new doors and hopefully find new people to teach!
This week I read a talk by Elder Bednar and here’s a quote I loved:
“Righteousness and faith are certainly instrumental in moving mountains– if moving mountains accomplishes Gods purposes and is in accordance with Gods will.”
Faith doesn’t necessarily mean everything will turn out perfectly, but if we trust in God we know that He could make everything perfect, but we accept even when he doesn’t. It reminded me of Mosiah 5:3
“And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.”
I love the part ¨were it expedient¨
Not everything we want to happen is going to happen but if we can trust in God’s will, we’ll be able to be happy and assured that everything is working out for the best.
This week was pretty chill. We had interviews with President Larson, and district meeting, and a training meeting and general conference!
We had a training meeting at the mission offices about the new Easter video the church has made. It’s called Prince of Peace and y’all can watch it on Mormon.org. Its the best! When we contact people on the streets or in parks, we share the webpage and ask them to watch the video. The page is also great because there are other videos and 8 ways we can find more peace in our lives through Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace. What a great opportunity we have around Easter time to remember His atoning sacrifice and try to be close to him and find that peace in our lives that we all need. Here in Peru it’s especially cool to share because there is some flooding and other crazy weather related things in the north of Peru and people always say that we especially need peace at this time, so we are able to share that through prayer, coming closer to Christ. We can find it.