I Get Choked Up

Man, this week has been one of the worst ones yet. I’ve gotten more sores on my foot again so my inability to walk cut into most of our proselyting plans this week. We only got to teach 8 lessons when we’re usually clearing 20 (Lesson meaning a spiritual thought and testimony with a family or less active all the way to a full lesson with an investigator). We were still able to meet with our investigator Pu’a though and committed her to be baptized! So this Saturday, the 24th, we’ve got another baptism for the Moto’otua area! She’s great! Eager to learn, engaged, sincere, all the things you want in your investigator. The next step is trying to talk to her husband and kids! So we’ve got one more lesson to teach her, have an interview, and then good to go!

The work is hastening and there are people all around us that are prepared to hear the gospel. We just have to make sure we get out there and talk to them. Don’t hide your light under a bushel! Make sure everyone can see it! It’s easy for me because there aren’t very many white people in a shirt and tie walking around here so it’s easy for people to spot me. It’s a little harder when you’re just sitting in the middle of 4th period math at West Forsyth High School. Just make sure your example shares that same light.

Thank you for all of your love and support! I finally got some antibiotics for my foot so say a prayer they work swiftly and I can get back to sweating and walking all day ;). Let me know if there are any special things you want to hear. Any experiences that would liven up a Sunday school lesson or seminary doo dah. Haha Just because I’m in Samoa doesn’t mean I can’t try and help you guys back in the states. I love you all. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Every time I share that part of the first lesson where Joseph says “I saw a pillar of light…” I get choked up. Haha I can’t explain why but I know with all of my heart that Joseph Smith was a man of God. Everyone can know for them selves if they honestly want to find out. Read the Book of Mormon. It contains true teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once again, I love you all. Keep it up and see you in 18 months.

Elder Erickson

POST SCRIPT (Q&A Between Becky and Doran):

  1. What service do you perform each week?  Samoan people are very humble but at the same time proud. They don’t like to let the missionaries do work for them even though we offer almost every visit. There have been some rare occasions where we’ve just jumped in and helped but there really isn’t a lot of “service project/yard work” service to do. So to answer your question we just visit members and people and try to let them know that their Heavenly Father loves them and that we’re here to help them with anything they need. We share spiritual thoughts and try and invite the Spirit into their home so I would say that’s a great service.
  2. What do you do on P-day (preparation day or their day off)?  . P-day depends. Every 2nd week of the month we have a zone P-day. It always ends up being volleyball. Occasionally some basketball. On the P-days we just have with companions we mostly just hang out. Email. Visit some families and just get to know them better. If someone invites us to some activity we come. Just depends.
  3. What has been your greatest disappointment so far?  Greatest disappointment? Probably the amount of missionaries that get sent home. Samoa is a high baptizing mission but it also has a high rate of sending missionaries home. That’s tough to deal with.
  4. What did you learn and companionship study this week?  In comp study this week we focused on the lessons for our investigator. So we put some scriptures to the third lesson to add some more validity and explanation. For “Faatuatua” or faith we just shared Alma 32:21. In my opinion one of the best ways to answer the question “What is faith?” For baptism we shared Matthew 3:13-17 where Christ is baptized. He goes to someone that has the proper authority and receives the Holy Ghost afterwards. Then for endure to the end I shared Mosiah 2:41. How we’ll have happiness when we follow the commandments and stay strong. So that’s just one thing. We just discussed who was to explain what and what we wanted to teach etc.
  5. It’s been six months… What is the greatest lesson you have learned so far?  Greatest lesson by far is that “It’s not WHAT you have, it’s WHO you have”. Stuff doesn’t matter, but people do.

From Sister Tolman, mission president’s wife:
We enjoyed a visit from our area medical advisers, Elder and Sister Brown. They toured medical facilities on the island, examined a few missionaries, and spoke to our Mission Leadership Council. Sister Brown reminded us to remain optimistic and find joy in the journey. Elder Brown instructed the missionaries on the giant threat of the mosquito. I say that with tongue in cheek, but this is nothing to take lightly. Currently, there is a mosquito that carries a human virus called chikungunya. It causes a high fever, rash and severe body aches. This disease is not for sissies. We estimate that sixty-percent of our missionaries have had chikungunya. Even though it knocks them down for a few days, they don’t give up, give out, or give in. The Browns strengthened us and our missionaries by their short visit. We are grateful for their consecrated service!

On Sun, Jan 18, 2015 at 2:08 PM Doran Erickson wrote:

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 9:09 AM, Robert Erickson wrote:
Good Morning.

On Sun, Jan 18, 2015 at 2:26 PM Doran Erickson wrote:
Manuia le taeao!

On Sunday, January 18, 2015, Doran Erickson wrote:
Good Morning! Haha how’s the crew?

On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 9:38 AM, Rachel Erickson wrote:
After 5 hours of church we’re doing awesome!! We all drove to MLK [Martin Luther King, Jr’s Ebenezer Baptist Church] together so we didn’t have enough cars to get home because people had to stay for meetings so M, T and I are riding in the neighbor’s car and Thomas just threw up…

On Sun Jan 18 2015 at 2:40:37 PM Doran Erickson wrote:
Classic. Man I don’t miss that…

The Foot. Ouch.

The Foot. Ouch.

It was so hot that day and the ice cream cone only cost 2 tala! I think we'll stop by there again.

It was so hot that day and the ice cream cone only cost 2 tala! I think we’ll stop by there again.

Fa'i and Koko. Easily one of the more delicious treats here in Samoa.

Fa’i and Koko. Easily one of the more delicious treats here in Samoa.

Just Walking Down the Road

Just Walking Down the Road

My name tag. Carrying on the family tradition of having our names mis-spelled, mis-pronounced, mis- a lot of things.

My name tag. Carrying on the family tradition of having our names mis-spelled, mis-pronounced, mis- a lot of things.

Elder Vaitu'u

Elder Vaitu’u