Saturday, August 30, 2014


Marissa returned home on Aug. 28th!!!

She speaks in church on Aug. 31st, at 1:00 PM.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for her and corresponded with her.

WE LOVE YOU and thank you!

~ Erickson FamBam

Monday, August 25, 2014

#76 -- [Ponce - 13] Aug. 25th, 2014

3 days! 3 days!

Congrats to Head on her first day of HIGH SCHOOL! Holla! I feel like I was just barely starting there... That's exciting. 

Haha, DAD! You're trunkier than I am! I love you and can't wait to see you! Well, not just him, obviously, I'm excited to see you all. Thanks so much for writing to me throughout my mission and for all your support. I can't wait to tell you all about everything I've learned!! I know this Gospel is true and I know the Church is true! I wouldn't trade my testimony of these things for anything. I love being a member of Christ's Church. I feel so blessed to know the ins and outs of the Plan of Salvation; there are no loopholes. It is real, this Gospel is real, the Restoration is real, and I am so happy to be a part of it.

Also, I got the flight itinerary info. Thanks for sending that to me. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. Now I know! I'm stoked to be flying again with Sister Cole! We came together and we're leaving together. Love her. 

We didn't have two baptisms like we'd planned; R__ backed out on the morning of the interview. We're not really sure why, Sister Leonardo plans to go back this week and see if he'll explain himself. But it just makes me sad knowing he won't be receiving the blessings of the Gospel yet. But, the Lord knows what He's doing. Hopefully we'll be able to find out what he needs. 

L__ was baptized, though, and it was SO awesome. I am so thankful I got to see one more baptism before leaving. It felt really amazing, seeing him go down into the water. He looked so.. clean. The only worry I have is that he moved to Florida this morning. I hope he'll be able to find the Church there. I'm sure he will, though. He was an amazing investigator, he reads EVERYTHING. He even read the pamphlets about preparing to enter the temple, even though he's not going, he knows he needs to work toward being worthy. It's been awesome too, to see him develop in his testimony of the Book of Mormon. That's been my main goal as a missionary, to help others see the truthfulness of that sacred record. I love that book with all my heart and hope to distill that within the hearts of those I have taught. I know it's true and I'm glad that he left knowing it, too. But you're right, maybe you'll be able to meet him when we go to Florida! I think that'd be cool!
We got soaked a few times this week because it's been raining like crazy! It's been a really nice break from the hot weather. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Friday evening it was scary, there were big thunderings and lightnings and Sister Leonardo is really scared of that, so we had to walk home in the pouring rain, and we sang hymns. We came to a flooded street and she said, "Sister Erickson, this is disgusting, we have NO idea what we're stepping in! There's DOG POO in this and who knows what else!" We smelled really bad when we got home. It was freezing cold, too. 

The bishop in my ward found out I was leaving this week so he was nice enough to let me have a few minutes in Sacrament meeting to say goodbye to the ward members. That's the first time I've ever been able to do that since I've just always been taken out of my areas by surprise. I didn't cry though. I'll miss it here, but I'm excited to come back, too. 

Well anyway, that's all I've got to say. I'll tell you more about life when I come home. SEE YOU SOON!! I love you! I'll probably call you when I'm at the airport in Texas. HOLLA!

-Sister Erickson

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#75 [Ponce - 12] Aug. 18th, 2014

2nd to last P-DAY!! :)

Wow, so sorry about not sending the letter last week. The Internet here was super slow and kinda just shut down on me without warning, and I thought I'd sent it. But obviously not. But like I said in the letter I just sent, YES, we got the package. Sister Leonardo loves the sweaters and the ring, she never takes it off, and she wore the white sweater yesterday even though I know she was DYING of heat. She is very very thankful. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for doing that. They don't sell those kinds of things in the DR.

I loved the picture collages. Dad, I'm glad you have the time to make fun stuff for me like that, take pictures, and what not. Thanks so much! I enjoy it.

Thanks for going to Jacob's wedding reception! I appreciate that. I asked if you'd go in my letter, but since that didn't get to you last week, I guess we communicated through the Spirit. How great! :) Thanks so much for supporting him, I'm happy that he's happy.

Okay, last week I had a funny thing happen to me. I got pooped on by a pigeon! We were standing outside of a house and reading a scripture, and then I looked down and there was some type of blue ink on the page. But then, I looked, and there was poo on my bag. The person went inside and gave me a napkin to clean it off, and as soon as I got it clean, I felt something land on my head. YES, the stupid pigeon got me! We were laughing a lot, but at the same time, it was so awkward. But the good thing about it is, apparently, it's a sign of good luck! They say that that means I'll be getting a lot of money soon. :) Seeing as it happened TWICE in the same 10-minute window, that must mean I'll be getting TWICE the amount of money a typically lucky person gets. Or at least that's what I hope.

This week was lame, though, because we were walking around a lot in the hot sun, trying to contact, but there was NO ONE outside. School started here, so everyone is at school or out shopping. Sometimes I get frustrated because it feels like I'm not doing ANYTHING. But PMG says "no effort is wasted," so I guess we've gotta have more faith that there's a reason we're just walking around like this.

This past week, I had exchanges with Sister Boaz in Juana Diaz. That was an absolute BLAST. I had so much fun! We celebrated my 17-month mark getting island-famous frappe's. Mine was an Oreo-Nutella mix. I loved my day in Juana Diaz, it felt like heaven compared to the heat I'm used to in Ponce. And we actually saw human beings! It was great! I was a contacting maniac, it felt good to talk to people and have them actually listen and want to talk to you. I loved it. It made me jealous that I don't get to work there. It reminded me of Cidra. Speaking of that place, there aren't any missionaries there anymore. So who knows what's going on there now.

Our investigators, L__ and R__, are both excited about their baptisms. L__ came back from Florida late Saturday night and didn't make it to church, but HE GOT THE JOB!!! He'll be working in DisneyWorld, so he's really excited. He's moving on Monday, so he'll be getting baptized on Saturday (if all goes as planned), confirmed on Sunday, and moving out Monday. He's got a crazy week ahead of him. But he's excited.

R__ is excited as well, We've still got a few more lessons to teach him, and we're going to his house Wednesday. He gets along fine with the members, and he's not dependent really upon anyone, he finds his own way around the chapel and everything.

The members here are sad to see me go. They've loved taking advantage of my beautician skills. The Relief Society President wanted me to teach a blow-drying class, but I don't know if that'll happen because they haven't really set a date up or anything for it.

An inactive member, T__, invited us over for dinner on Saturday. She said it'd been YEARS since she's had any missionaries over for dinner, so she must like us. That made us happy. She gave both of us dresses, too. She's a professional seamstress, and she has TONS in her little business that she never uses, and so I got a FREE dress! It was really nice of her. She still says she's not ready to come back to Church yet, so that's too bad. But she knows the Church is true. We visited a lot of less-actives and no luck.

Well anyway, I feel like that's all I had to say about this week. I'm excited for Saturday because of the baptisms. They'll be getting in the water at around 10:30 a.m., so hopefully all goes well with the baptismal interviews.

Well, bye. I LOVE YOU! Thanks so much for everything! Have a happy, safe week!

-Sister Erickson

1. The four of us living here in the Ponce house, Sister Oborn, Sister Dye, Sister Leonardo, and me at a Zone Meeting this last week.

#74 [Ponce - 11] Aug. 11th, 2014

(Received on 18th)

I haven't got my travel plans yet, but I'll just take your word for it. That's so weird! I'm so excited to see you guys!

To answer your question, yes, we got the package! The ring fits my companion perfectly and she likes the sweaters! I didn't take a picture yet, but we will next week for sure! Thank you so much for that! She loves it.

Hahah, Dad, you're so funny, about how many people will be in sacrament meeting. :) But I'm sure there will be about 300... Hehehe jokes. :)

This week was funny. We went to a members' house this week for Family Night and when they met Sister Dye's new companion, they called her "Wendy" because she has red hair and had it in pig tails. But anyway, "Wendy" was the very first thing they said to her, and then they made all these jokes about how if we go to Wendy's and what not, we'll get free food cuz she looks "just like her!" It was a really funny joke. I don't think she got offended, but Puerto Ricans just like to speak their mind. :)

We went contacting in a place we'd never gone before, and we found some new people to teach! A__ and M__, it's a husband and wife, and they're 7th Day Adventists, but they're super cool because they listen. We have an appointment with them next week and I'm excited.

We had interviews with President Boucher this past week, too. Mine was short, he just said I'll be having another interview in about three weeks, so there was really no need to say much this time. He just told me to focus! (I should've told him that my eye doctor said that "Focus" is my middle name! Hehe). But he's a nice guy. Too bad I won't get to know him better.

Okay! Great news! We have two baptismal dates! August 23rd! L__, who actually picked his own date! And R__! He came to Church again yesterday too, and loves it. L__ left to Florida this morning for a job interview, so if he gets the job, he's going to get baptized here and go back. He was nervous that the Church wasn't in Florida, but it is! And even better, there's a temple! So he's excited for his baptism. He's still struggling to give up smoking, though. That's my only worry. Haha, during our last lesson this week, he had been reading online about Mormons a bit, and he asked us about he "Magic Clothing" we use. It was kinda awkward because he asked, "Do you guys use it!?" But we explained what it is and he was fine with it. He's super cool.

R__, though, is good. He's keeping the Word of Wisdom, and just progressing slowly. So hopefully he'll be able to learn everything well enough for the baptismal interview.

N__ isn't progressing. She says she'll come to Church and we find her rides but then she never answers the door when we go to get her. So we've decided to give her a break. Her twins are starting school this week and so maybe after the whole school excitement dies down, she'll be more prepared.

We participated in a community project thing where we handed out backpacks to "less-fortunate" kids. I say "less-fortunate" because the people who live in government housing aren't less fortunate at all. They don't pay for anything, WE do, and they buy brand-name stuff with the money they do have. All have iPhones and what not. So I feel like the Church wasted the money doing that, and it was poorly planned, because we didn't know about it until Wednesday, AND classes started TODAY, so I'm 110% sure they already had backpacks for school. But whatever, they have a new dust collector. The coolest thing about it was, Minnie and Mickey Mouse showed up! Holla! I took a picture with Sister Leonardo's camera, but I can't send it to you cuz it's broken now. Oh well. I guess we'll have to take one when we go to Disneyland, right?? Hehe.

We had a good lesson with C__, she's been reading and what not, but I'm not sure what her motives are, so we've gotta have a good "Come to Jesus" talk with her to see where she sees this all going. We've explained where we expect this all to lead to, but who knows what she thinks. It was a good lesson though this week because we got there just in time; she was crying because she'd just found out that her sister-in-law is dying. So she was really sad and we were thankful that we could be there for her. She's such a nice lady.

Well anyway, I love you guys and miss you so much! I'm happy you're all doing well and are all happy. Keep being awesome and keep doing the good things we know we're supposed to do! I love you!

Also, if you have time, you can go to Jacob's wedding reception.

Well, bye!

-Sister Erickson

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#73 [Ponce - 10] Aug. 4th, 2014

Dear family:

Yes, I AM COMING HOME AUGUST 28th. I don't have my travel plans, either, but the office elders told me two days ago that my ticket has been PURCHASED. Cha-ching! :) I'm so glad you all wanted me to come home in August (and that it conveniently works out with the wedding plans) because geeze, I miss you all!

What's up with all the new temple films? Why are they making so many? Is there some type of Church-wide competition to see who can make the best one!? Cant' wait to see all... ten of them!

Rae's costume was SICK! She looked so real! What a good little professor she made! This calls for a trip to Harry Potter World!! Sorry the butterbeer was a disappointment.

SMART PHONES!? Where'd my family go to!?!? Haha, jokes. I'm excited that everyone is happy with their new devices! How cool. I hope, though, that you guys are still using your scriptures like normal. No phones at Church! Not even to read the scriptures! Bring the traditional ones. Deal? Deal.

This week was slow, to be honest. The best thing about it was that L__ and R__ came to Church. N__ was supposed to come with her kids, but when we walked over to their house to wake them up/make sure they were getting ready, no one answered. When we went by later on, she said that her brother had come early to pick them up and take them to breakfast... But I could hear the fan was on in their front room where they all sleep... So I don't know what to believe. BUT the good thing is, R__ came for his first time! We didn't think he'd actually come, but when we went to pick him up with C__ and H__, he was waiting on the corner of the street for us! He's such a cute little old man! He doesn't know a lot about religion; we had to explain how to use the Book of Mormon again. But we know he doesn't have Alzheimer's or anything, and he wants to learn more. We re-taught the Restoration this past week with C__, and he understood it a lot better. We're excited about him.

L__ is doing well, he's about halfway through the Book of Mormon. He came to Church yesterday even though he'd worked the night before until 4 a.m. He's SO awesome! The only thing is, he still hasn't tried to quit smoking and he's going to Florida today for a job interview. He'll be gone till Sunday, so he won't be at Church. If he gets the job, obviously, he'll be moving to Florida... And who knows after that. But he's great. He's finding out for himself if the Book of Mormon is true, and I think he already knows. We just didn't get to see him this week because he's so tired during the day and has a lot of things to do for his kids as they're starting school this next week.

We visited some less-actives. There's a less-active here named L__ who served a mission. From the moment we met her, she's always glared at us and acted like she's to good to listen to what we have to say. We honestly go there to befriend her, not to teach her. We shared our testimonies with her yesterday about why we decided to serve missions. She warmed up a little bit after that. She has six kids and only one of them is active. I'm just thankful that my parents are faithful, active members of the Church and I plan to be the same, if not for my sake, then at least for my kids'. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for always encouraging us to go to Church even when we didn't want to. Thank you, Rach, for encouraging me to go to Church at school even though I didn't want to. I love you guys and wouldn't be here if it weren't for your example.

We went to M__'s yesterday to see her and her son. She's been reading, she's in 1 Nephi 10, but she's not necessarily interested in finding out if the Church is true. She listens to us because she can't go to her Church's bible studies classes on Thursdays and she figures our visits make up for that. So this next Sunday we plan to be very direct with her and if she doesn't understand or accept why we go there, we'll have to drop her. She's awesome and the experiences she shares with us make me feel the Spirit so strong. Her son died when he was 16 of a brain tumor and I KNOW he's accepted the gospel and wants her to do the same. So we'll see how things go next week.

Well anyway, this week should be awesome. We have interviews with President Boucher this week. I really like President Boucher. He's very aware of how we feel and making sure we're okay. I really appreciate that about him and his wife. We haven't been able to get rid of the bed bugs yet, so they're sending some people to the apartment today to basically wipe out whatever we've missed. I like to think we've cleaned the apartment for bedbugs really well, but these things just DON'T DIE!! It's frustrating. I don't have them in my bed, just Sister D__ and her newbie, Sister O__. Poor things.

Well I love you so much and miss you all a lot! I'm glad you're all happy and healthy. Where are you guys at in your family scripture reading of the Book Of Mormon? I wanna read along with you!

Have a happy week!

-Sister Erickson

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

#72 [Ponce - 9] July 28th, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS TO MADELINE AND TYLER ON THEIR NEW BABY GIRL!! I am so happy for them! I was thinking about them all week long and praying that everything would go well! She looks so much like Tyler! I can't wait to see Elle in person and I'm so happy for everyone! I think the name they picked out is pretty. At least, prettier than most of the names I've heard here. Congratulations! What a wonderful blessing.

The Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo sounded like a lot of fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it even though you missed the best part (bull riding!). I don't want to have sleeves on my dress, I want to wear a sweater. I like that better and I miss wearing sweaters. Is it possible for me to do that? Or would that ruin everything?

I'm actually doing just fine, Sister L__ has been companions with a lot of people who went home and she says I'm not anywhere near as trunky as they were. So don't worry, I"m focused. I'm actually excited because of transfers, I'm staying here in Ponce with Sister Leonardo. I'm stoked to be working with her, she's awesome and is teaching me how to make lots of good food. Sister D__ will also be staying here in Ponce, she'll be TRAINING! I'm super proud of her! Now, all of my daughters have trained at least once! I've got 5 daughters and 8 grand-daughters! Life is great! I'll talk a little more about transfers later.

I'm bummed I'm missing out on the Butterbeer at Rachel's work! Be sure to try some for me!

This past week was good. I can't believe how quickly time is going by! I'll update you guys on last week and then this week, so get ready for a good, juicy email!

We found a new investigator named Radames. He's really cool. We extended a baptismal date, and he accepted. So hopefully he'll be able to understand everything in the five lessons before the 9th of August. That's the date we've got him set for, but the last time we went, he didn't really understand the Plan of Salvation, so we had to explain the Book of Mormon really well: helping him find the page numbers, understand the footnotes, and to use the index/guia del estudio de las escrituras. It was good.

L__ is doing well, he went to Church last week, but couldn't this week because of his work. He works the night shift, the poor guy. But he's progressing a TON! We had a Family Night activity at the Bishop's house last week and he went and was there with the members till 11pm. He really likes the Church. He needs to quit smoking, and we taught him the Word of Wisdom this past week and will start up the Quit Smoking program that we have this next week. Pray for him, please, because this is going to be hard for him.

N__ is also doing well, she was supposed to come to Church yesterday but she didn't, so something must have happened. She talks too much to be able to teach her, so please pray that she'll let us teach her, because I know she longs to hear about the truths of the gospel.

Zone Conference was good, too. President and Sister Boucher are good people. I like them because I feel they're on the same level as us spiritually and temporally, they don't act like they're too good for us. I like that they're young, and that he's a convert. He's very approachable, as well as his wife. I didn't get an interview with him, but they said they'll be coming back for interviews within the next few weeks. I'm excited to get to know them better.

This week was fine. I did lots of people's hair this week. I cut N__'s boys' hair, and I also colored and cut a less-active's hair. She had originally only asked me to do it just for her, but then she told me when she picked me up that her daughter wanted me to do highlights in her hair and give her a haircut. So I did it for them both, a little annoyed because she basically threw it on me, but she threw the bus completely over the bridge when she invited her friend over after I'd finished blow-drying and styling them both and had cleaned everything up and then she told me to do her friend's hair, too. It would have been super awkward to say no, because her friend was just sitting there expecting me to do it, so I did it. 

We're teaching a lady named C__ every Saturday. She's progressing, too, reading the BOM and what not. We taught her L2 the week before, and this past Saturday, we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, about faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It was cool because she said so herself that her baptism in the Catholic church isn't valid. So hopefully she'll be able to keep reading the Book of Mormon to know for herself the Church is true. Pray so that she'll have the desire and motivation to go to Church and to keep praying about the Book of Mormon.

Yesterday morning, when we were getting up, Sister L__ hurt her neck and has been basically paralyzed ever since. Okay, not paralyzed, but she she's in a lot of pain and can't move her head. Yesterday, we had to dress her and do her hair and makeup. It was a really funny and awkward experience for me and Sister D__, Sister L__ was crying and laughing at the same time because of the awkwardness of the whole thing. Hopefully the kink in her neck will go away, because yesterday after Church, we couldn't go out to work, and I don't want to be inside all week cuz I'll lose my tan line. Jokes! :)

Anyway, transfers this week! We totally called what would happen, too. Me and Sister L__ are staying together, like we thought we would, Sister D__ is training for the first time and super nervous about it (but I know she'll be just fine because she's been ready to train since the MTC), and Sister D__ is going to Arecibo to be a Sister Trainer (we TOTALLY saw that one coming!) I'm excited about transfers. They're moving the Elders from our ward into the other ward here in Ponce. So now there are only Sister missionaries in Ponce 4. I'm excited about that, because I felt like 6 missionaries is too much for our little ward.

I'm glad everyone is doing well and is happy. I'm happy too.

If anyone wants to send me mail/stuff, you can send it to this member's house:

829 C/Sauco
Urb. Villa Del Carmen
Ponce, PR 00716-2124

Okay, well, I've gotta go, I'm out of time. My fingers hurt from typing so fast and so much! I love you so much! See you in a month! :)

-Sister Erickson

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#71 [Ponce - 8] July 21st, 2014

Sorry, this email is going to be super lame, we don't have time for email this week, so I just read all the emails I got and am just replying to you guys. I hope you feel special! :)

This week was good, me and Sister Leonardo had a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll have enough time next week to give you a REAL update, because we were little pranksters to the other sisters this week and it was great. :)

Anyway, we have Zone Conference tomorrow all day. That'll be interesting.

Also, the Mayor (but she's a female, so I dunno what you call her, Mayoress?) of Ponce came to Church yesterday. I have no comment about that this week.

Well anyway, sorry this is short and so lame. I am glad you're doing well and are happy. I love you all so much.

Also, my Mission President called me last Tuesday and said that he accidentally put my name on the list to go home 2 weeks early, but I can decide if I really want to do or not. I've got till tomorrow to decide and I'm still praying about it. It sounds really nice... But we'll see.


-Sister Erickson