To Do Good, You Actually Have to Do Something

This week was good! Hate to say it but most of the week we tried to stay in to give my foot a rest and let it really heal. It’s getting better though. Thank you all for your love and prayers on behalf of my dumb foot. I got to go to the doctor this past week and that was really good for it. She’s from Australia so I felt slightly more comfortable than I feel when we visit the hospital in our area. She cleaned it up and gave me some good things to do to take care of it. Hopefully this week it’ll clear up.

This past week we mainly worked the phones. This coming week our goal is to get 4 people baptized just for records. Hopefully we can track them down and get everything in order so they can have that done. Then with the family we live with they have a cousin (14 years old) that’s been coming over on the weekends and coming to church and church activities. He said that he wants to start the lessons and get baptized! He was asking the family a bunch of questions and such and Elder Vaituu and I went up just to offer any assistance and talk to him. We gave him his own Book of Mormon and I shared Moroni 10:3-5 and explained that the Holy Ghost works softly and brings feelings of peace and happiness and when I said that he was like “Oh, like how I feel right now?”. Haha as a missionary that’s just one of the things you hear and can’t help but feel like you’re out here doing what’s right. I’m out here doing what I can to bring people closer to Christ and find the happiness that His gospel brings. I love it. I love the work, I love the Samoan people, and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.

It’s my birthday tomorrow and it’s great that I get to spend my entire 19th year of life serving and trying to give back to my Heavenly Father. I hope all is well and I’m sure it is. Love you all so much.

As always, Quote of the week:

Going back to a simpler life based on living by sufficiency rather than excess is not a step backwards.

And another:

To do good, you actually have to do something.

Both quotes from Yvon Chouinard. Keep it up y’all.

Alofa atu.

Elder Erickson

Becky: We fasted today for your feet. We have prayed that you will be healed.

Doran: Thank you! I know that eventually they will be I’m doing what I need to to care for them. Just patience now. And yeah the kid that lives upstairs (13 years old) just got circumcised and man my feet are nothing compared to that. We gave him a blessing to help with the pain and healing. Thanks for doing that straight out of the womb for me.

From Mission Newsletter: President Tolman sent each missionary a copy of Elder Lynn G. Robbins talk, “Which Way Do you Face,” from the most recent General Conference. He asked them to consider which way they each faced. He has said it has been an inspiring experience to listen to their insights as they have studied Elder Robbins talk. We believe his words have the power to change our mission and missionaries. As a follow-up President Tolman shared more thoughts in our February newsletter:

“Thank you all for reading and studying Elder Robbins’ talk, “Which Way Do You Face?” As you know, Elder Robbins suggests we must always face God and not fear men. The fear of men often manifests itself in the temptation to love and respect others by following traditions and culture even when doing so is inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is particularly hard here in Samoa, where culture and traditions are so strong, but being hard is no excuse when we’re asked to love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength. To do so clearly includes facing God even when it’s really hard. When we give in to the temptation to compromise our standards in order to win the love and respect of others, we do the work of Satan. When we do that, Satan laughs and his angels rejoice. (See Moses 7: 26.) In His ministry, the Savior often challenged the traditions of men. Hypocrites is what Jesus called those whose adherence to traditions kept them from keeping the commandments. (See Matt. 15: 2-3, 6-7.) Elder Dallin H. Oaks said,

There is a unique Gospel culture, a set of values and expectations and practices common to all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Gospel culture or way of life comes from the Plan of Salvation, the commandments of God, and the teachings of the Living Prophets.

Let us all evaluate our own traditions, whether they come from our families, friends or county in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and adhere to the culture of Christ in all we do and no matter how hard it is. In doing so, we must resist the concern that we have to reject or dilute Samoan culture. It simply requires us to appreciate and maintain the good traditions and reject those inconsistent with the Gospel. Samoa is rich with wonderful traditions, such of friendliness, love and support of extended family, generosity to visitors, etc. But Samoa also is burdened with cultural traditions that weigh it down and prevent spiritual progress, such as lying and stealing, unnecessarily burdensome and expensive faalavelaves, drinking kava, and inviting missionaries to break rules. As we begin to live the Gospel in its entirety, while embracing the good parts of Samoan cultural and rejecting those that are spiritually harmful, we as missionaries will develop stronger faith and begin to reap the rewards that come from facing God at all times. Just as importantly, our examples will bless the lives of others as they see the spiritual growth that inevitably will follow as we keep God’s commandments and honor our covenants.”

Taro and Palusami. Palusami is coconut cream baked inside of a taro plant's leaf. Both are baked on the stone oven called an Umu.

Taro and Palusami. Palusami is coconut cream baked inside of a taro plant’s leaf. Both are baked on the stone oven called an Umu.

Down to 201 lbs!! When I came out I was 225 naked. Now I'm right around 200 with everything on. It's that new "tala'i malosi" diet. (proselyte hard)

Down to 201 lbs!! When I came out I was 225 naked. Now I’m right around 200 with everything on. It’s that new “tala’i malosi” diet. (proselyte hard)

The nurse took me to McDonald's today for my birthday! Haha I'm getting to know her way too well ;). Take a look at those prices though! Nuts! ($7 USD for McChicken)

The nurse took me to McDonald’s today for my birthday! Haha I’m getting to know her way too well ;). Take a look at those prices though! Nuts! ($7 USD for McChicken)

Newest addition to the house! Haha nah jokes. This guy doing some work around the family's house just has us lock it in our room at night.

Newest addition to the house! Haha nah jokes. This guy doing some work around the family’s house just has us lock it in our room at night.

Collage Rachel made for Elder Erickson's Birthday

Collage Rachel made for Elder Erickson’s Birthday

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