Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sprinting to the Finish and Milking Goats

hey mom!

this week has been a great one! 

Omar is going really awesome and is cutting back on coffee. weaning off. it amazes me the willingness people have to change when they are reading the book of Mormon. it changes things drastically. he has great friends in the ward and stayed for the full 3 hours for the first time yesterday.

we got to meet pesenga, who was our referral that wants to be baptized. she is hard to catch but when we do she seems so solid. its kind of tricky just dropping by her house because she is rarely home and every single time we run into her stepdad who wants to save us. his name is pastor al. he begs us to follow him in prayer so we can accept Jesus into our lives and be saved. its so awkward saying we don't want to do that. he always looks so sad. but i love getting to testify of Christ's true and living church! he doesnt' super seem to get that though...

i can't say I'm a master goat milker but i have definitely tried. I'm not actually bad i just need to work on my aim! haha. luckily i will get to practice because we get to help twice a week for the rest of my mission! such a fun experience! we get the full farm experience! cleaning poop, collecting eggs, feeding animals. the dude offered to let us help him butcher a bunny. maybe someday i can handle that... i will send pics next week. the goats name is finney:)

we had a very culture-y day on Saturday. our dinner appointment fell through so we just went to a Mexican place we had coupons to, then we went to cheyanne's but she wasnt' home so as we were walking home we saw some people who were carrying a bunch of stuff in to a party so we offered to help. turns out it was a big Ethiopian graduation party. they wouldn't let us leave until our plates were FULL of food. which was fun to try Ethiopian food. it was pretty good. there was one dish of raw beef that we steered clear from! then we went to teach our sweet Muslim family and they made us a bunch of afghan food! we were so stinking stuffed by the time we got home. we did 5 minutes of jumping jacks in an attempt to puke or at least burn some calories. our calves are still sore from that. 

we exchanged with the sister training leaders. so i got to go with sister young. that was fun! we met a man who was juggling in the park who happened to be contemplating all the perfect questions! we had a great conversation! his name is jim we will teach him more this coming week! also since we exchanged i had a chance to get stuff to suprise sister northrup. today is her bday! since we are always together i could never surprise her so the exchange was great for that! i had libby run to the store and grab a bunch of birthday stuff and i hid it and then i set it all up and surprised her this morning! she is 20 today! so fun! we are trying to figure out something fun to do! 

we got to teach miguel this week and he seems really sincere. we haven't heard much from him since but we will hope for the best!

we had a really great lesson about repentence this week with libby and the less active members she lives with. that is something i just want to empahsize way more.

this next week us and the elders are going to do a 5th sunday presentation for the whole ward to introduce the new ward mission plan we have been working on! pray for us!

good luck with the sandwich shop! i will be there to help soon! way cool that addey is planning on getting her patriarchal blessing so soon!

i love ya mom! I cant believe i have been gone for over a year and a half! insane!

k well i hope you have the best week!

LOVE erin

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 16th: 4 weeks to go and so many good things

hey mom :)

this week was a little slower but the good things that happened were great!

like we met a lady who has a full blown farm going on in her back yard and she hurt her back so we get to do service for her by milking her goats! so excited!

also our investigator Omar is the actual coolest. he went all the way to Bellevue to the Deseret book to get the book of Mormon audio on cd. well actually first he went to the christian bookstore here in town and basically got torn up when he asked about the book of mormon!( poor guy!) but he is cool and took it in stride. he is reading and feeling the spirit and is really really excited about what he is learning and feeling. He reminds me of Libby in that he is so close to the spirit already and just knows this is right as soon as he hears it. He is on date to be baptized on the 4th!

we also got back in touch with Cheyenne yesterday. we have barely gotten to see her since she had her baby.and good news! she and her boyfriend are breaking up and she is moving to Portland. that might not sound like good news but she is excited to keep learning about the church and to keep the commandments which being with this guy makes really really hard! so we get to teach her for like another month and a half before she goes which will be good!

also we have been teaching a less active lady and we taught her the word of wisdom and she gave us her coffee. then a couple days later she called us and asked us to pick up the coffee she hadn't given us because she was for real done this time! and she has been good since then! infact she has set a date to come back to church and is planning a "return to church" barbecue for afterwards! so cute! 

we also had a zone conference this week. it was amazing, it was all about repentance and i learned so much. mostly about how repentance is the process by which we become new creatures, beings who are able to live in the presence of God and have all that he has. how we dont just repent to get clean hands but also to get a pure heart. it is a transformation! it removes the bad and makes the good better! so cool! we are focusing on helping converts repent, which should always be the focus. so im just super grateful for this training. also since it was my last zone conference i had to bear my testimony to all the missionaries. so that was fun.

it was also my last mission devotional last night! it was fun to be sure! last time im seeing so many friends!

im so excited to see this new house and see the stars in morgan!

OH! also i got my travel info today! did you get it?? i will be arriving in salt lake at 2:05 pm on june 13th :)

Good luck with the move! 

Have the best week! i love you quite a bit!

May 9th

hey mom!

yes its been too long! :)

i forgot to update you on our investigators yesterday! they are amazing! our awesome ones are pretty new to us. we just dropped quite a few people we had been working with for a while. they just weren't progressing. anyways so the new ones...

we have been teaching this guy, Omar for a couple weeks. he is so awesome! it was kind of a fluke how we met him! we knocked on his neighbors door  which is like inches from his. and we heard a knock come from the inside of his door. and he goes "identify yourself!" and we considered running away but we were just like "uh, the missionaries" and he come out laughing saying he was just messing with us. anyways he said he would come to church. and he did! and we taught him the restoration which was great! he likes the "environment" at church (aka the spirit). he is really doing great and looking forward to his next lesson!

we got a text today from the zone leaders for a referral we get to teach! it basically said she wants to be baptized and sealed to her family in the temple! i am so stoked! this is what happens when you keep working hard through slow weeks! basically my dream come true!

we also got another referral for a man named Miguel who seems so cool! a member of the lake sawyer ward called to give it to us! and he remembered me! we get to teach him for the first time tonight!

we taught a 16 year old girl last night for the first time and she committed to be baptized! woot woot! her name is yoseli

ok. we have been trying forever to have a lesson with this girl tristan who was baptized when she was 13 and wasnt active for long at all and dosent remember anything about the church. she is 25 now with a family. we finally got to teach her this week. and just taught like she had never heard the gospel before. it was such a sweet lesson! she prayed with us and got choked up because it had been so long since she prayed. i love teaching people who already have the gift of the holy ghost :) it was really great! we are hoping to teach her husband too!

also there is an old lady named shirley who we are teaching who is convinced i look exactly like one of her ancestors and that we are family. no one else thinks i look like her but i am going to check family search!

before i forget to tell you, there was only one brand new sister who came out to the mission and i was talking to her at choir practice today and she was like "whats your name " and i told her and he got all excited cause i looked familiar and apparently she had read the whole blog you had been doing! hah! she loves it and says you're funny! im excited to see this blog someday!

i think thats about it! 

Love you so much!

May 3: Last Transfer

hello my favorite mom! 

you won your bet:) im staying federal way! sister northrup is staying too! mixed feelings about that. i love federal way and her but i was really hoping for some change. i figured out this morning that its only 42 days though. and i can do anything for that long:) i am really excited to sprint to the finish! im setting goals and making plans  to work my butt off this next 6 weeks! stoked!

i will answer you questions 1st:

i am good for whenever on mothers day. we will be out of church at 2 on sunday. would 4 work for you? i guess that would be 3 your time or should we try for earlier?let me know asap!!

as for summer plans i would really love to do anything that involves swimming:) alot of swimming is my hope for the summer!

libby got some help from people who set up her familysearch profile. but they didnt give it to her so we are working on retrieving tht and then maybe you can help!

um im not sure about china. there are pros and cons i guess. if i go the pros are that it would be way fun to do with em. and it would be a super cool adventure and look good on applications and things i think. cons are that church attendance might be difficultish. missing christmas and getting home tightly before school.

staying  and going to school would be good. concerns there are money( well i guess thats a concern either way. i dont know if im going to be able to get much of a job before china anyway) and missing the adventure.. but i really do miss school and it would be better transition mode to set me up for lifelong activity in the church i think. which is most important. that sounds dramatic but a lot of people fall off when the get back from their missions. and i just dont want an excuse to do that:)

im happy with either. what are your thoughts?

we made a lot of cookies this week too but not for any kind of benefit to us. i am sick! our young women were doing fund raiser for girls camp and selling cookie dough. turns out a bunch of members bought some to give it to us. so we have 5 huge rolls of cookie dough. we baked a whole roll of them yesterday and gave them to christinas family. also the other sisters in our zone's apartment is being fumigated because they got bedbugs so we all have been squish-living in our apartment since wednesday. they will be moving back today though. anyways since the have been living with us we have completely run out of food so all we have are the cookies. this is why im sick. i ate to salads yesterday just to try to start feeling better. thank goodness we get to go shopping today! only veggies for the whole transfer im thinking will fix me!

but it has been way fun to have the sisters with us! one of them, sister ketchum, and i have been friends for a long time and she just went home yesterday! that was sad! but sister baxter was companions with both of us anfd she is getting married in utah in june or july so we will get to see eachother there! :)

 im glad you miracle got my letter!  maybe just invite people to my talk who ask to come... :)

we taught this guy named omar who is a miracle and talked about family history cause thats something he is really into. he mentioned before we even brought up the temple that that is something he really wants to see! then he came to church and a big theme of sacrament meeting was temples so that was cool! we havent talked much since then but im excited to hear what he thought!

we got to teach monique who is amazing!

christinas kids and us all fasted for the dads heart to be softened so kuol could be baptized. it was thier first fast ever. they are so great! we told kuol about the temple. and he was way excited. we came back to teach his mom a couple days later. and she said kuol had asked if he could lie to us that he was 12. (he just turned 10) so he could go to the temple.ha! it cracks me up that he asked permission to lie. he such a good kid!

we found some awesome people this week! good things are happening.

i cant remember the other things. but i love ya!


April 25th: Birthday :)

hey mom!!

yes i had a great birthday and a great week!

first to answer your questions. i am still of the opinion that no one should hear me give talks ever. good to know its on fathers day though! thanks for that information. Libby is still working on getting to the temple. she is unsure. hopefully we can get her birth moms info so she can take her name to the temple! i think that will help light a fire under her! Cheyenne finally had her baby on like Wednesday! and she comes home today! that girl has been in the hospital forever! apparently all is well and  the mom and baby are both healthy and happy! bree and tim came to church for the first time! yay! they could only stay for sacrament meeting which happened to be unusually boring... seriously. not good. but we are hoping the spirit filled in the gaps! also they finally read the scriptures! so many good things!

we visited sister callahan who is finally getting into a treatment center to help her overcome her addictions! she has been trying so diligently to get in and get straight! the finally accepted her! she just wants to be baptized so bad so this will be a great step! while we were there she wanted to make her son some dinner but he didn't want anything his mom was suggesting. he said he would make his own dinner. he got out mayo, jam, and white bread. he slathered both sides of three pieces of white bread with both the jam and mayo. stacked em up and at the whole thing. it was one of the nastiest things i have ever witnessed i think. but it was so funny to see how much he loved it and kept commenting on how it was his favorite food!

wood chipping at the cahans was fun! us and the elders hauled tons of branches and threw em in a wood chipper! we were covered in dirt afterwords. it was way fun! and a couple days later the called and said they had something for me. i was immediately suspecting dad! haha. so fun!

we met the litterally cutest baby ever. he is russian. his name is vadeshlav.

Saturday we had a service project at a park we got to clean out a bunch of blackberry bushes! twas fun! brother havili who we had dinner with on my birthday said he was going to bake me a cake. haha  i thought he was joking. but the next day we came and his wife brought out a desert after dinner. and he said wait i made sister orr a cake. and he is a big tongan dude that clearly dosent bake so we just laughed and then he told his son to go get it out of the garage fridge. and he had a huge giant cheesecake! so we had both deserts:) twas grand. they are so cute and funny!

we had a lesson with Christina's family this week. when we got there she was making"samoosas" which is like a meat and veggie mixtures stuffed into these tortilla triangles and fried. so we helped them make those cause the dad wouldn't be home for like 10 minutes. i am bomb it making african food it turns out. :)

we met some awesome new people to teach this week. one not awesome lesson ended with a lady convinced that our church wasn't true cause our choir dosent have robes. 

but we met an awesome lady named ariel and we had previously met her family but they weren't interested but she totally is! and way prepared to receive the gospel!

also we started teaching a lady named shirley last week and taught her about the book of mormon and she is sucked in! she loves it! so that is amazing and good news!

also a less active family we are working with decided to come back to church! which means kids being baptized and ordained with the preisthood! so many good things!

im probably forgetting things!

i DID get your package! it was way cute! im stoked for the laptop! and love the banana chips! also the decorations made the day!

sister northrup is a bomb companion to have on your bjrthday she made it so cute! she is taking me to a restraunt called saltys down at redondo beach so that will be fun!

all in all its been great!

this is the last week of the transfer so we will find out saturday if im staying or going for my last transfer!

sister eaton said to start aranging mothers day calls! any time in particular work for you? if i am still here our church gets out at 2. if im moving ..i dont know. 

I love ya mamma! have the best week!