Having Someone to Back Me Up

Week one of training down and 11 to go. This past week has been pretty hard on me no lie. Haha I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted on my mission. Elder Speakman is great! He’s doing really well for his first week and it’s only going to get better. So we had an interesting week this past week as is expected with a new trainee and a palagi trainer as well.

So first of all there is the 12 week program that you go through when you’re being trained. There is so much stuff. In my own training we didn’t really do the 12 week program straight out of the book like you’re really supposed to. We did it just not all in order and such. I don’t want my son to get mad at me though so I’m trying to do my best to follow the program as best as we can. There is still so much stuff though, it’s crazy. I don’t blame my trainer for calling an audible and switching up some stuff.

I think the roughest, hardest part is for sure not having someone next to me that can kinda back me up and provide some input or have a clue about what someone is saying. I will say that I’ve seen a big increase in my language skills. There’s no doubt that Heavenly Father is looking out for Elder Speakman and I. At Elder Speakman’s first fafaga the family was just throwing all this Samoan at him and joking and such (all good natured don’t worry) but I just couldn’t help but crack up with them the whole time when they were joking around. One because it was funny but also because I can remember my first area when people would try to teach me a word or ask a question and I would have no clue what was going on and just try and smile and laugh along. But now I do get it! I was so happy and appreciative for all the help I’ve received of late getting me to this point where I can converse and joke and understand people from a different culture and background. There’s no doubt that all the experiences I’ve had so far have led up to helping me be a better missionary and all that entails when serving here in Samoa. And I’m not saying that I know everything or that I’m so great but after being out for 14 months I have gotten in a groove where I know what to do and how to help certain situations. It’s just such a blessing to see where I started and how far I’ve come and then how far I still have to go. It’s such an interesting and wonderful opportunity to train and teach and lead. I love it.

So anyways, hopefully some of that above made some sense. This past week we had a baptism! Getting my son off on the right foot :). His name is Sinapati Su’a and he’s staying with his sister’s family who are strong members. So Elder Siaki and I started working with him and teaching him and he’s the man. You can really see how people change when they accept invitations to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was great to see that this is how missionary work should go. The family let us know that they have someone for us to teach, we go and get to know them and invite them to start lessons or whatever, the family helps us help the investigator understand and keep commitments and provides a good example, the investigator comes closer to Christ and takes that step of faith and gets baptized. Just a challenge to all of you who already know how great the gospel is. Just do what you can to share it. I know you already do so thank you.

Also this week I lost our phone in a taxi. We got dropped off at the chapel and I noticed that my pocket felt a bit empty. Sure enough the phone fell in the taxi. So we used a member’s phone to try and call our phone and have someone answer, but nothing. And so a sister in the ward actually took us to the taxi stand so we could have the dispatch call for the dude to come back and give us our phone. Everyone was so helpful and so we did get it back. Just lovely how my first week leading in this area I drop the phone and have to go track it down. Haha dumb palagi.

Anyways, I love you all and pray for your happiness. Thanks for all of your support. I apologize to Rach. I forgot to give you a B-Day shout out. It was in my planner. I just forgot to include it in last week’s email. The Church is true. God loves you.

Elder Erickson

Elder Speakman, Sinapati, and I

Elder Speakman, Sinapati, and I

I'm such a proud father :').

I’m such a proud father :’).