What I’ve Learned

Hey! Another good one here in Tafuna. Highlights from the week:

1. President Tolman allowed us to watch the Manu Samoa vs All Blacks rugby game this past week. It was played in Apia so it was a massive deal especially with the upcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup. It was a solid match but (of course) New Zealand pulled out the win. It was good to watch some rugby and just kick back a bit.

2. Another baptism. This lady is married to a member and lives with his family but hadn’t been baptized yet. We just had the chance to teach her, have her come to church, and accept the invitation to be baptized. Her name is Seselia and I think she’ll do great in the Church. She’s got four kids so it’s great that she can now raise those kids within the gospel.

That’s about it. Mom wanted me to include things that I’ve learned in my one year in the mission field so here’s a list of 10 although it could go much longer with a bit of thought.

1. God wants us to be happy and has given us all we need to have true and lasting happiness. Although times can seem dark and hopeless there is always hope and love from our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

2. The scriptures give us instructions on things of worth. If we need help with anything we can read the scriptures and together with the power of prayer can get answers. How to be a better parent? It’s in there. What do I need to be doing in my life? It’s in there. How can I know if God is really there and cares about me? I know it is in there. The scriptures are such a blessing to us and the least we can do is read just a bit daily.

3. There are blessings in every situation if you look for them. For example I recently got transferred from Siumu away from one of my favorite companions and good friend Elder Hayes. At first I was not thrilled with the whole deal. But now I’m in a district of missionaries that are teaching and loving me lots. I’ve had the chance to ask my Heavenly Father for patience and learn to deal with things that are really frustrating with love and tact.

4. I’ve still got a long long long way to go. Some people may think that because I’m a year out I kind of know what I’m doing. And I guess I kinda do. But not really. I’ve still got more I need to study and learn and do before I’m anywhere near where I should be.

5. Sharing is Caring. With anything we have we can share. I know before my mission I was not the most generous person with anything. I think I’ve learned how to better share and show others that I love them. This is especially true with things that really matter like the gospel! Matthew 5:14-16.

6. Make your own decisions and solve your own problems. I’m not always going to have my parents/mission president/zone leader around to help me make decisions and solve problems. I think that I’ve gotten better at taking a problem, thinking it through, and dealing with it. I’ve seen other individuals take all the problems to the ‘next level’ for help, which is warranted in some situations, but I think learning to deal with your own problems is crucial.

7. Work Hard, Play Hard. Haha I know that’s probably not what you want to hear from your only missionary son but let me explain. Maybe a better way to put it is ‘Have fun while you work hard’. Missionary work can really stink sometimes. It’s hot, people aren’t home when you try and visit, you walk from one end of your area to the other for a visit, etc. The list can go on and on. I’ve just enjoyed having fun while doing it. It starts with attitude. If you’re happy and have a good outlook you’ll have a better day. Joke around and don’t take everything too seriously. Just have some fun.

8. Appreciate your family/friends/parents/cousins/etc. Family and friends make my life so much happier and I really didn’t appreciate them the way I should have before the mission. So I’ll take this opportunity to say I love you all. Thanks for all you do. Can’t wait until we meet again!

9. Take time to ponder. I know some people scoff at that meditation/breathing stuff but it’s awesome. I love to just take time to think about stuff. Just take some time to sit and breathe deep, relax, and think about stuff. I’ve really tried to keep this up and take some time in the morning or night just calm down. Give it a shot.

10. It’s not what but who you have. I know I’ve shared this before but I just can’t help sharing it again. Stuff really doesn’t matter but people do. We all need to take time to build individual relationships. On that note I really appreciate all of you that reach out to me over email and I feel really bad that I don’t respond all the time. I really do love you it’s just that one hour isn’t very long and Mom comes first.

Ou te alofa tele ia te i latou. Faafetai mo lou fesoasoani ma lou alofa. Manuia lava le vaiaso ma feloa’i atili!

Love you all. Thanks for your help and love. Have a good week and see you soon!

Elder Erickson

Our baptism this week. Seselia.

Our baptism this week. Seselia.

The "Marvin Burger". 3 patties, 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 3 cheese. Plus fries. After non-stop soup and taro in Upolu this is a nice change. Except I'm getting fat so please no comments on weight gain. ;)

The “Marvin Burger”. 3 patties, 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 3 cheese. Plus fries. After non-stop soup and taro in Upolu this is a nice change. Except I’m getting fat so please no comments on weight gain. 😉