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Hermana Erickson in Peru

¡hola!

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¡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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Beyond Excited

Hola from the CCM for the last time! On Tuesday, March 21, our time here is up and I get to go to my actual mission! I’m beyond excited. This week has been interesting because we’re trying to learn as much Spanish as we can before we get thrown in the middle of Lima and have to talk to real people in actual Spanish. I’m nervous.

This week we left the CCM to go proselyting in the Lima East mission. We went with some missionaries from that mission and some members as well. We taught 2 lessons and then handed out pass along cards to people and invited them to church. It was so great to (attempt) to talk to people and share the gospel. [As I write this] I’ve only got 5 days left here in the CCM and then it’ll be for real all the time! (I’m only freaking out a little bit.)

Also, I had to give a talk in Church on Sunday in Spanish. The way is works in our branch: everyone knows the topic and prepares a talk beforehand, then after the sacrament, they announce who’s going to be speaking and its a surprise to everyone. So that was exciting. The topic was repentance and I love the scriptures in Mosiah 5:2 and Alma 34:30. I love repentance because it’s a chance to change and be better every day and to try and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.

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Last week was International Women’s Day, which is apparently an actual holiday here in Peru. Our teacher, Hermana Garcia is so cute and gave us chocolate. :)

 

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View of the turf field where we play soccer everyday.
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View of the CCM
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Our District at the Temple. I love these jokers!
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Mi Amigo, Rodrigo. He drives the bus from the CCM to the temple every week. I always chat with him and this past week I was able to share my testimony and favorite scripture with him. He’s a homie and we’re going to miss him!

Nothing I Can Say

This week has been interesting as we were the only avanzados and so many new missionaries came in! It’s great though. I love practicing my spanish with the other [native speaking] Hermanas but they speak so fast and I have to ask them to repeat themselves all the time. Good thing I’ve got 2 weeks left here in the CCM (Low key freaking out. It’s all good though).

I swear the CCM is the cleanest place in the world. Every week we have a service activity which is just cleaning something random and it’s always a good time with Percy the maintenance supervisor.

We are practicing teaching so many times a day now. It’s such good practice but still the hardest thing ever. I learn so much every day and am thankful for the Spirit to teach me.

This week we watched a devotional from Elder Holland and he shared Alma 26:13. Basically what I got from it was that this crazy missionary work thing is possible because of the power of the word of God which is in us. I know that nothing I can say to people is going to help them come to know their savior Jesus Christ better; its all about the word of God in the scriptures and the Spirit that comes from reading them. Being able to testify of Christ every day is the best blessing and I know that every time I share those words with someone, my testimony grows as well. I love it! Also check out Alma 34:30.

Love y’all!

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Avanzado

¡Hola!

I’m officially halfway done with my time here at the MTC/CCM! (Missionary Training Center/Centro de Capacitación de Misioneros) How crazy is that?!

All the older missionaries left yesterday so now we are “avanzados” (translation: advanced) – although everyone just calls us “avocados”. The new missionaries are coming in tomorrow and I’m so excited. A lot of the American missionaries had visa problems so there are going to be a lot more Latino missionaries coming in and I’m super excited to be able to practice my Spanish with them. Learning Spanish is super hard but it’s going well and I still love the CCM :)

Highlights from this week:

  • Everyone in our zone has now adopted a country drawl/accent like 80 percent of the time.
  • My companion’s name is Hermana Shupe and she has goats at her home, therefore her name is now Hermana Shupeacabra (cabra = goat) and it’s actually the funniest thing ever.
  • My district won our soccer game against the other district on Saturday – we’re not competitive. ;)
  • Our teacher, Hermano (brother) Castillo makes us do push-ups if we say slang words so his new name is Hermano Castigo (castigo = punishment).
  • We now are teaching twice a day almost every day. It’s the hardest part of the MTC but it helps me improve so much.
  • I heard that there was so much pollution in Lima that we’d never see the sun but we’ve been blessed with so many beautiful sunsets this week. holla.

I made the goal to read the entire Book of Mormon while here at the MTC and I’m about halfway through. I absolutely love studying the scriptures every day. Alma 5:62 really stood out to me this week because that’s my exact purpose as a missionary: to invite others to come unto Christ so they can receive the joy and peace and love of God. I’m so thankful for my time here at the MTC because it’s helping me improve myself so I can be the best representative of Christ I can be and do His work.

Here’s some additional passages from the Book of Mormon. They’re straight fire!

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Hermana Breen and I ended up reverse-matching today and didn’t even plan it.
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Hermana Shupecabra and I at the temple :)
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El Dormitorio
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Our classroom where we spend all day (attempting to) learn Spanish. I love it!

I Love It Here

The CCM is so great. I love it here!

Our district rocks. On friday we all wore floral print (skirts for us hermanas and ties for the elders) so Floral Friday is a thing now, but unfortunately I dont have a picture because we can only take pictures on P day. We are also such a good soccer team (just jokes, the other missionaries from south america wreck us every day, but its hilarious).

Every day, we practice teaching an investigator (really just our teacher pretending to be someone they know). Its all in Spanish and is so hard, but such a great experience. I learn so much Spanish and about how much God loves everyone and wants them to be happy. Im so excited to get out there and share the incredible message of the gospel.

This week I have been reading the Book of Mormon and it has been an incredible experience. I have also spent a lot of time memorizing scriptures in Spanish. The words of God and His prophets are so powerful! I feel like every time I read the scriptures for my personal study, theres something jumping out at me that is perfect for my lesson that day or just an answer to my prayer. Its amazing to feel the guidance of the spirit and know that God is helping me out.

Love yall!

Hermana Erickson

Editors Note: Hermana Erickson still hasn’t figured out the apostrophe key on the Spanish key board. It’s a thing…er, its a thing.
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Here’s the entire group of missionaries I met in the Atlanta airport.
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Sick turf burn from soccer. Don’t worry, I kept the ball from going out of bounds, so it was worth it…
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Chicken and Rice. Siempre.
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The CCM is so beautiful. Most of the places around are sorta ratchet, but the CCM is gorgeous and there are always butterflies around…like, that’s how great it is!
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If you can see the TINY speck on the map, that’s my mission.
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These are the casitas (little houses) where we practice our teaching. It’s the whole experience, knocking on the door and everything.

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