God Bless America

June 29, 2015

Good week this week. I’m still trying to get used to the area and find my way around. I hate to say it but I’m not really up to doing a big report this week. Sorry to all. I’ll hit you with the highlights then.

  1. Baptism this past Saturday and one scheduled for the coming week. We’ve got a lot of referrals and investigators to work with so we’re busy!
  2. I did an exchange with my trainer Elder Vaai! It was just like the old days in Moto’otua. Except now I can hold a conversation in Samoan. It was great! Great to see how we’ve both grown since we’ve been apart.

Honestly that’s about it. Nothing really substantial this week. Just working everyday and time slipping by. I can’t believe it’s the end of July. Sounds like you guys are having a great Summer! Keep it up. Love you so much.

July 6, 2015

Hello all! Or should I say Talofa lava! First off the biggest of shout-outs to my wonderful cousin Brad Bascom for finishing his two year voluntary missionary service in Finland! It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to hook the Skype up at Grandma and Grandpa’s so we could watch you open your call. To be honest I think that moment helped push me to be where I am today. Thanks for your example and never-ending support. See you in a year ;).

Second Happy Fourth of July! I still think America is the best.

So for this past week. This past Saturday Elder Siaki and I had another baptism. Her name is Titi and her Uncle was the one that got baptized last week. It’s great to see families make decisions together that bring them closer to Christ. Something I was told right before my mission was that my goal as a missionary should not be to get people into the font. It’s to get them and their family to the temple to be sealed for all eternity. How true this is! I’m so thankful for a family that makes decisions that keep us all on the path towards the Celestial Kingdom. It’s great to see how families strengthen and help each other keep the commandments as well. Don’t ever forget to invite each other to read scriptures or have a prayer or anything that can help strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ.

Mom requested some things that I’ve learned since I’ve started my mission almost one year ago. Since my year mark is next week I’ll give it some thought and get back to you next week. Don’t expect anything sage-like but I’ll do my best.

Glad to hear Rach had such a great time in Peru. What a great experience! Bennett don’t forget to make the most of it as well! Matt work hard at scout camp! Ben keep working hard in scouts!

Yesterday (fast Sunday) I had the opportunity to bear my testimony about scouting! This past week they had a scout camp here for the stake and in our 3rd ward the 1st counselor bore his testimony about how great the camp was and what a blessing scouting is. A thought popped in my mind (probably the Holy Ghost) “Hey you know a little about the blessings that come from scouting; you should share”. So I did. I shared that I know scouting and the gospel are very closely related. I shared that “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent”. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ exhibited all of these traits. I shared that I got my Eagle Scout award and that it is helping me now on my mission. It honestly is. Like my dad so often says “kids need to suffer”. Haha maybe he doesn’t say it so harshly but it is true. Life is not easy. Missions are not easy. You’ve got to have some familiarity with suffering and pushing through. So all of you still in scouting: keep at it. I know it’s nearly zero fun sometimes but it’s worth it. Haha it seems that not so long ago I was getting yelled, I mean motivated, to finish up some dumb merit badge. I promise you it is a blessing though. You learn so much that really is helpful.

Anyways. Those are my thoughts from the past week. Love you all so much!

Elder Erickson

PS: A local Georgia newspaper published an article about the 20 missionaries currently serving from my home ward. Elder Hayes and I were in the lead photo. You can read the whole article at LDS Living or North Fulton News.

L-to-R: Elder Erickson, Elder Siaki, and Sa'oleone recently baptized.

L-to-R: Elder Erickson, Elder Siaki, and Sa’oleone recently baptized.

Titi, baptized this past week. I promise she really was happy to be baptized. Just maybe not so much for this picture

Titi, baptized this past week. I promise she really was happy to be baptized. Just maybe not so much for this picture

Fafaga getting fried chicken. Elder Havea and I in the back. The taxi driver (Tongan member) and Elder Uasila'a in front. Not only am I the only palagi all other three are from Tonga.

Fafaga getting fried chicken. Elder Havea and I in the back. The taxi driver (Tongan member) and Elder Uasila’a in front. Not only am I the only palagi all other three are from Tonga.

Elder Va'ai, my trainer and I on a boat.

Elder Va’ai, my trainer and I on a boat.

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