Fa’amolemole Fa’amolosi Ma Tatalo i Aso Uma

This week was way slow and honestly lacked a lot of excitement. Since we baptized our two progressing investigators we don’t really have anyone new to teach. It’s really a bummer to not have a solid plan of what you’re going to do either. Without actual people it’s tough to fill our day with stuff to do. So this past week and the one coming up we’re working on finding good people that want to listen and make changes in their lives. Say some prayers that our time in the hot sun and rain will pay off with us finding some of God’s children that are ready to hear our message of the restored gospel!
This week I witnessed people struggling to make good decisions, and although trials are hard, it is good [for me] to see that just because I’m a missionary I still need to work hard to avoid temptation and to live a clean life. Satan doesn’t take a time out on me just because I have a black name tag on my chest. The situation helped me recommit to what I’m here to do and what I need to do to make that happen. It’s small things like daily scripture study and prayer that give us the strength to avoid and overcome temptation. I know that this is true and I’m thankful for a home where I’ve been taught good principles. I know that someday I’ll be able to apply them in my own family but for now I get to teach the people in Moto’otua some of those simple gospel truths that bring true happiness. Shout Out to Mom and Dad for being amazing and teaching their kids important truths.
O te alofa ia te outou. Fa’amolemole fa’amolosi ma tatalo i aso uma. Faitau 3 Nifae 18:19. O te fia fia lenei mau. Short and sweet. (I love you guys. Please stay strong and pray everyday. Read 3 Nephi 18:19. I like this scripture.)
Love,
Elder Erickson
Editor’s Note: Below are excerpts from other exchanges with Elder Erickson.
From Becky:
Doran:
I cried like a baby today in Relief Society because I miss you so much! We had the sister missionaries give a lesson today about preaching the Gospel and I almost got up and left.  They did a great job, the Spirit was strong, but dang, it made me super Samoa-sick for you.  How are you today?
In my Pathways class we learned about time management and goal setting.  We explored the idea of spending time vs.investing time.  Each of us can watch the minutes, hours and days pass us by, even events pass us regardless of whether or not we fully participate or engage. Or we can proactively invest in the moment, day, meeting, experience that is happening. An example given was how we all go to church on Sundayand sit through the Sacrament.  Some choose to spend time looking around, others make a grocery list, or hush the kids, or clean out their purse, or playing the Ipod, chomp the bread, etc.  “Investors” choose to devote their time to repenting of sins and recommitting to the Savior — using the Atonement.  See the difference?  Please don’t spend time in Samoa, but INVEST in Samoa — the language, the culture, the people, the climate, the food, the MISSION!
Then we learned another neat concept taught by church President Heber J. Grant.  He preached these three key principles:
  1. We can have confidence knowing God always keeps his promises.
  2. We must gain God’s confidence.  We do this by always keeping the promises He asks us to make.
  3. We must help others gain these two types of confidences.
I thought of you as a missionary and how you are teaching people to change and make covenants with the Lord.  It is wonderful to know our loving Heavenly Father is true and sure, as are his ways, thoughts and commandments.  I love knowing He is bound when I do what he says, and only goodness and peace will fill my life when I try my best to remain clean and pure.  Sure, I make tons of mistakes, but he is confident in me because of my efforts.  This is a cool message to share with people.
Again, I miss you. I don’t think I will ever send a note saying different so know even though the time is passing, I can’t wait for your return.
Love you soooooooooo much!
Mom

Doran responded:

Rachel says you cry all the time now because you miss Brad, Kat, and I. Haha know that we’re on our way back and I’ve almost been out for 4 months! I think about “Investing” my two years a lot. It’s easy to let the days drift by and kind of wait it out. Or you can get your stuff together and really make a difference in those 730 days.

That’s a great thing from Heber J Grant. The first one relates to the fact that because God is unchanging we can have faith in Him and always know that he’ll keep his promises. The second point is great too! Good to remember that covenants are two way promises and require us to work as well. And hopefully I’m doing my part for the 3rd point. I’m trying to do my best to help people.

O te alofa tele ia te oi. (I love you alot) and I miss you as well!

Crazy about Kat! Tell her to email me. or can you send me hers? I haven’t talked to her in ages.

Alofa atu,

Doran
Robert: We’ve been watching Tiny House Nation where people build homes of 300 sq. ft. or less and they just have to get really serious about what they need. Whenever I think I am going to tear into my closet and purge, I think, “Oh, do I want to get rid of this…?” I’ve just realized the question should be “I’m going on a journey, do I need this with me…?” That way I make a positive (vs. negative) choice which is so much easier.
Doran: Haha they should do an epsiode themed “missionary homes in Samoa”. There are some little ones, and honestly we really don’t need much. It’s been nice living in one square room. Haha  Matthew 6:25. Give that a gander.
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