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Hermana Erickson in Peru

¡hola!

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Teaching

¿Yo También?

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!!!

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Hermana Erickson con Hermana Machuruti y Hermana Tania (our pensionista)
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My new companion, Hermana Valencia
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Pizza Raul

¡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…

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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