Good week this week! First of all I got your package so thanks so much for the love! Those pictures and such are great! Thanks so so much!
So this past week we had interviews with President Tolman and they were really good! The main questions he asked me were “Are you happy?” “How’s your companion?” and he asked about my Book of Mormon reading. One thing that really stuck out to me is President told me: “If you read the Book of Mormon everyday for the rest of your life I would never have to worry about you”. That was pretty great I thought. I can already see the power of the Book of Mormon in my life. I want to share an experience with you. So since I’ve been in Tafuna (about a month now) I’ve been feeling kind of down on my Samoan language skills. I’m at the point where I can understand and have good conversations with people. For the past few weeks though I noticed that I just wasn’t getting it like I normally do. And I realized something. I hadn’t been keeping up with my Book of Mormon reading. I was still studying but had slacked off on reading the Book of Mormon. So with my year mark approaching I did the standard self inventory and made goals to be consistent with the Book of Mormon. So for the past week or so I’ve been reading everyday and I’ve also started the New Testament and reading the Book of Mormon in Samoan. So now I’m right back up to that same level I was at. I’m understanding and speaking and all is good! So the main thing I want to tell you is that when we read the scriptures ,especially the Book of Mormon, Heavenly Father blesses us. It takes work but we have to show some commitment first. My sweet mother just sent me an email and made me realize something as well. She said “Recently I have been thinking about the term the “enabling” power of the atonement. I think this is a new thought for me. At least I never got it before and it was not on my radar. I have been pondering that the enabling power of the atonement can help me be smarter, more healthy, more spiritual, less judgmental, or whatever. Whatever the worthy pursuit is, if I turn to the Savior, he can give me greater power. He can help me. Because he loves me, He can make my weak things strong.” This is exactly what just happened to me. As I turned to my Savior through prayer and study He helped make some of my weak things just a bit stronger. What a blessing the Atonement is in every aspect of our lives.
We’re continuing to work with the investigators we have but this week we worked really hard to find some new people. So we cover three wards and most of our work has been concentrated in the 2nd ward. So we decided to get out and knock some doors in the other wards and go to some new streets. We found one lady who’s 70 in the 3rd ward who’s interested in hearing what we have to say and we anticipate starting lessons this week.
In the 1st ward we went to a resort in our area owned by some members and there’s an investigator there that I hadn’t even met yet. We walked in looking for the guy and some lady asked “Are you here for me?”. Haha we didn’t know anything about her but she told us that recently her parents passed away and she really wants to see them again and some one told her (we’re assuming the owner of the place) that through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints she can see her parents again. As a missionary this is kinda the concerns we like to hear and help teach about because Hello. See our families again? Temples? Sealings? Plan of Salvation? What a wonderful opportunity to share about our Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness for all of us? So we gave her a basic run down on the church and she asked us about some crazy stuff she heard happens in the Temple. Like weird crazy stuff that people spread just cause I suppose. One thing she shared was that she wasn’t sure if the stuff she’d heard was true or not but she wanted to ask some “real Mormon people” before she made any decisions. And again shoutout to my great mother and father for teaching me the gospel in our home. She asked if we believe in the Trinity and I shared that we believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate beings. She asked for some biblical evidence where it supports that claim. I shared the baptism of Jesus Christ as found in Matthew chapter 3. I asked “In this story where is Jesus Christ?” In the water. “Where is God?” Speaking from Heaven. “Where is the Holy Ghost?” Descending like a dove. She was like Hmm that’s pretty good but how about after Christ is resurrected? So I shared that after Christ was resurrected he appeared to who in the tomb? Mary Magdalene yeah? And what did Christ tell her? Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to who? My Father. She was really impressed and I was impressed! That just came to me I’m sure from the Holy Ghost. But the Holy Ghost can only bring things to remembrance if you already learned it. I know that my mother and father worked very hard to teach the gospel and scriptures in their home. I’m so thankful that every Sunday at our lunch/dinner mom asks the same question: “What did you learn at Church today?” I just want to tell the rest of you kids and anyone that may read this and prepare for a mission that you should learn and study now because once you’re in the MTC or the field it’ll be too late. Listen to your parents and your leaders. They really do love you and want to teach you.
Love you all so much. Hopefully this email makes some sense. Let me know. Have a great week!
Elder Doran Erickson