Friday, May 20, 2011

The End

Well...I can't believe that I'm the one writing on the blog again. Yes, this is Erika. I came home yesterday bright and early and last night was released from being a full time missionary. I can't believe that the end has come but I'm thankful for all that Heavenly Father has taught me in these past 18 months. Serving a mission was the hardest and best decision that I've made in my life and if I could, I would do it all over again.
I know that this is the true church with the priesthood power from God. I'm greatful for church leaders who guide us and bless us in every moment of our lives and I'm greatful for the special moments I had on the mission that strengthened me and challenged me. I loved being a missionary and will love being able to help the missionary work here in my own country...but how I already miss Brasil.
The adjusting will take some time...but I won't be changing the spirit that I've felt the past 18's just going to get better!
Thanks for keeping up with my mission and for helping my mom when she hit difficulties with the blog :)



Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Entry By Truly Yours. . . . .Erika's Mom

Well...this is it! The last email home! The time has flown by, but I´m excited to see everyone again this week! We had lots of fun this past week recording the CD. Unfortunately, it won´t be ready until the end of next week...but the mission office promised me that they´d be mailing me a copy, so that´s something to look forward to. As you can see from the photo it was an officail recording studio that had giant bank doors to keep sound out. We used headsets and spiffy microphones that picked up everything...even the shuffling of shoes! We sang some group numbers and then we sang the duets and solos. OHHHHHH.....I LOVE MUSIC!!! I´m excited to see how the CD turns out! We spent almost 3 days practicing and recording and catching buses, so this week went by quickly.

The ward found out yesterday that I´m going home this week. They asked me to give a talk next week and my response was "I would love to, but I can´t. I´m going to be in a different country." That let the cat out of the bag and everyone found out at the same time that my mission is almost over :) Until yesterday nobody knew that I was going home so soon! Just how I wanted it! So...we said some goodbyes yesterday and then I finished packing. I´m surprised at how much so little can weigh! I have practically nothing in my bags, but they are super heavy! It´s all those journals I wrote in these past months...heavy stuff.

They want me to be in Goiânia tomorrow...first thing in the morning...but I´m trying to see if we can go tonight...I´m not to excited about catching the bus 5 am when everyone else in the city is going to Goiânia to work or school. So, we´ll see what happens...but whatever happens, I´ll be seeing you in a few days!!!! CRAZY!!!

I´m not sure what all you have planned for when I come home. But, if we don´t do family dinner, I would like for us to go out and eat @ Texas Roadhouse. I´m from Texas and I´ve never eaten there!

I´ve loved my mission and I´m looking forward to sharing my experiences with all of prepared for some storytime!!!! Thank you for your support and prayers this past year and a half!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We marked a baptismal date this past week with a woman named Fabiana....unfortunately it´s in 2 weeks and we all know that I won´t be here. She´s already been to church several times, but when she was younger. She now has a family of her own and said that she´s needing to find a church to help her teach and raise her children. What´s interesting about Fabiana is how long it took us to get a hold of her. She told us that she was at home the entire day...but after passing by her house 5 different times, we realized that her deffinition of "all day" is different than ours. Normally we take people off our list to visit after the 3rd time we pass by their house and there´s no one there, but I felt that we needed to keep on trying. Turns out the Holy Ghost knows who we need to visit because we finally managed to teach her the first discussion and after the first visit she accepted to prepare to be baptized! We´ll be working with her this week and then will be the pass off to the next sister who comes to Hidrolândia.

I´m trying to decide what´s the best way to break the news to the branch that I´m going home next week. I´m thinking I´ll just blurt it out at church on Sunday and say my goodbyes after sacrament meeting. I don´t like goodbyes, so it´s better to get it all over with in one clean cut.

Our branch activity that Sis. and I planned. . . . lots of participation and lots of cakes! (It was a recipe swap)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Apartment Hunting and Cake Bake Off

We´re working hard to find people to teach. We´ve got an activity planned for this Saturday...a Cake bake off and recipe exchange. The Irmãs are super excited, but we need to remind them that the purpose is not about the cake but to bring friends and introduce the church to them. We´ll see who the members bring. We´re inviting all of our investigators and everyone else we find on the street.

This week has also been spent looking for a new house to rent. The owner of the house we´re living in has randomly decided that she needs to use one of the rooms in our house. She won´t say what for...but there is no way I´m going to give a copy of our house key to anyone. So...we´re looking for a new house. Unfortunately, the road that enters the city is under MAJOR construction and all the construction companies are housing their employees here in the city. This houses for rent. We´re keeping our eyes and ears open, in hopes to arrange something soon. This reminds me of apartment hunting...glad that mom took care of that.

zone activity....yes..the elders played water balloons, but the sisters stayed out of it.

the overpass we take to get to our zone meetings every tuesday...we have to catch a 30 minute bus to arrive in the city of Aparecida.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"A Little More Time To Learn A Lot More"

I´m greatful for the time that I have here on the mission. It´s a time that I wouldn´t trade for anything and I know that I´ve learned a ton. I´ve got a little more time to learn a lot more. I´m taking care of Sis. Magleby to make sure that she´s able to adjust to mission life. She´s doing super well and I know that she´ll learn the language super fast. She still doesn´t know that I´m finishing my mission this transfer, but I think it´s better that she doesn´t know. Starting your mission with a companion that´s going home is rough...I would know because I passed through this.

I don´t have any photos this week to send...but next week for sure. We´re in Independéncia today for a zone activity. It was scheduled to have volleyball and basketball and barbeque, brazillian style. I´m stoked to play volleyball even though I´m no good. Elders are fun to spend time with because they are just like all my friends back home.

On Saturday we found a family that wants to get to know the church. They´ve been living in Hidrolândia for a few years, but have never visited the church. They´ve been curious to know what the Elders do, because they´ve seen lots of them on the street. The best part about this family is that they´re legally married! It´s super hard to find couples that are legally married here...some of them have been living together for decades but never made their relationship legal. I want to help these families understand that a family isn´t until death do you can be forever.

Last night we a had an easter activity at church. We read some of the scriptures of the last days of Christ´s life and then watched a 30 minute movie about the resurrection of Christ...and of course there was a snack after. It was simple, but I know that the members liked it. They´re wanting to have more activities to get out of the house and do something together with family and friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Enduring To The End

We were blessed last week with a surprise interview with Pres. Prieto. It was super good to talk with him because it´s been over 3 months since my last interview. I told him about the problems we were facing in the´s a small city, so everyone has already had contact with the church and because of this, the members are disanimated with missionary work. Together, Pres and I brainstormed some activities and firesides that can be done here in the area, to excite the members and the community. He thanked me for the work that I´m doing and the fact that I´ve taken the initiative to look for the problem and a solution. He told me that this is an attribute of a good leader. He´s not counting down the days, but he knows that the end is near and says that it leaves him sad. I´m really working to be a good missionary because I want to help this mission grow. I finished the interview with a closing prayer and he said that he felt a noble spirit every time he was near me. This is because of the dedication I have to the missionary work...what a compliment!

Sis. Magleby´s 22nd birthday...we ate monster cheeseburgers with monster fries.

I was doing laundry ,no big deal, when I ducked down to avoid wet clothes on the clothes line. When I went to stood up, I slammed my face into this metal support that´s part of a broken shelf the elders had made. As you can see it left a pretty line on my forehead which has now scarred over. I think the scar is pretty neat, not going to lie...very distinguished.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This week was hectic...I got a phone call tuesday night saying that I was being transferred the next day! I packed my bags...which are ridiculously heavy and I´m not sure why (I think it´s because of the journals, scriptures and other books). I said goodbye to our recent convert, Patrícia, Nilziele and Deise...I don´t like goodbyes, so I preferred not to round up all the ward members this time. I spent the night in Uberlândia and then the next morning caught a 6 hour bus ride to Goiânia. I´m re-opening an area to sisters...a tiny city called Hidrolândia has only had elders for the past year or so and this past month has been without missionaries. The real kick about this transfer is who my new companion is...or should I say companions. I´m training again...not one, but two new sisters. The two newest sisters in the mission arrived last week and Presidente put me in charge of them both! One is Brazillian from São Paulo and the other is an American from Washington...yup. Needless to say, I´m feeling more than a little overwhelmed in a new area, with 2 new sisters in a branch that has over 200 listed members in the area and a frequency of 30 on Sunday. I know that the Lord is going to give me lots of strength and will help me know what to do. I also know that Presidente Prieto is doing everything to keep my mind off of home...keep me busy with the work!

Sis. Magleby and Sis. Ferro

What´s good about this is that no one (not even my companions) know that I´m on my last there are going to be no jokes and no comments. I know that this is going to help me, personally, a lot!

The little town of Hidrolândia is...little. I´m greatful that I wasn´t transferred to some busy city, because I prefer the calm feeling of the suburbs. The city has a population of about 10,000 people and is known for it´s jabuticaba (yummy...too bad it´s not the right season for jabuticaba fruit), and it´s natural waters (which consequently also means it´s cases of dangue.) The branch may be small, but those that attend regularly have rock solid testimonies and I´m excited to get to know the members better. Our branch mission leader is super involved and is willing to help in any way to get the Lord´s work done here.

We´re going to have to be creative in our activities because basically everyone in the city knows a member, or knows the church, or is baptized. What´s funny about the city is that know one uses street names. Because the city is so small, everyone gives directions by landmarks. Instead of saying "I live at 864 silverthorne trail," they people here would say, "I live on the street that curves at the end close to Frank's house. The house with the small tree in front" And everyone would know exactly where I live. This is proving tricky when we try to find new investigators, because they describe where they live instead of pass an address. We´ve found various houses that don´t even have numbers on the front!

I´m excited to work here, but I know that we will need lots of inspiration to help reactivate and animate the members!