This is Going to be Incredible!

Erickson family!

I’m leaving the MTC! I cannot believe that it’s already been six weeks! I know it must seem much longer because of all the tears you’ve shed from missing me. Ha ha jokes! It really is nuts that I’m done with the training, and now I get to head out to the field. I’ve got the ibuprofen on deck for the three-month headache from trying to master the Samoan language. I spent all of today packing (minus time to go to the temple and laundry and e-mail some) and everyone’s blown away with how little luggage I have compared to them. I only have three bags! That rolling duffel (43 lbs) with the majority of stuff, my swim bag (31 lbs) to carry-on, (hopefully they don’t try and weigh that one) and my shoulder bag. Everyone else has like 2 – 50 pound bags to check and a carry-on and personal items. Crazy, huh?

I got your packages this week! Thanks! The large-print scriptures will come in handy when studying! Same with [the] General Conference Ensign! That will be so awesome to read on all my flights. I also grabbed more pamphlets and my goal is to give ten away on my way to Samoa. They’re about the first lesson on the Restoration. Hopefully someone listens and can come closer to Christ because of that extraordinary event. O the ilia o Iosefa Samita o se Perofeta. O the ilia e mari le Tusi a Mamona. O the ilia o alofa i le Atua i tatou. (I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know God loves us.) It really was an incredible experience going to where God restored his Church to us in its fullness [Palmyra].

I’m so ready to share this message with the people of Samoa in their native language! Ha ha my Samoan may not be very good but it will come as I study and listen and talk to everyone I can! I love this Work and this Gospel. It’s so simple and logical if you just sit down and think about it. I know through study and prayer we can gain testimonies of this Gospel.

Anyways…One of the Elders in my district has to stay for three more weeks because he broke his pinkie! It’s a bummer for him but he’s staying positive! I can’t imagine being here for nine weeks like all foreign languages used to! Six weeks has been great!

We saw more pictures from our teacher Uso Tolley, and oh boy is this going to be insane! All the missionary houses are usually on church grounds next to the chapel and they have those windows with the multiple panes of glass that kind of flip [fold] out. And there will be geckoes in the fale (house) all the time and bugs are huge. Insane! Hopefully Heavenly Father will bless me with the love for the food because right now I think I may have some difficulty getting used to/liking it. Pray for me in that regard. Please.

Don’t worry, I’ll constantly be taking pictures and hopefully I can find a way to print/send you guys some. It’ll be like the old days when we had to wait for your film to develop and then go pick them up. Hopefully there’s something like that. I’ll probably send a letter every week I can, so you may not get answers to questions for a while. So make a copy or whatever of the letters you send. Man, I cannot wait to get my butt kicked in the field! This is going to be incredible! Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten that “life is about telling better stories”. I’ll have some good ones for you.

Alofa atu,

Elder Erickson