Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coordinating Sister

Calling: Erika received a calling (special assignment) in the branch (congregation unit). She says, "I am the coordinating sister which is basically the zone leader for the sisters."

Physical Fitness: "I dove again this past week and got a gym burn on my left knee. Volleyball is super fun!"

Thanksgiving Day: "We had the usual: turkey, potatoes, pumpkin pie. . . .setting up tables for the service project the MTC did later that day. . . .For our thanksgiving devotional in the morning, our speaker was Jeffrey R. Holland! He is a wonderful speaker that speaks with such great power and with the Spirit."

Highlight: "Last Sunday our fireside speaker was Dallin H. Oaks. For reals! Two general authorities in the same week! Things like that make me greatful that I am here in Provo."

Training: "I memorized the first vision in portuguese. . .Today we get to teach an 'investigator' the first discussion. It's where volunteers from the community come in and we practice carrying on a simple conversation with them in Portuguese and then we teach them one of the discussions. "

Saturday, November 21, 2009

District Chupa-Chupa

Erika writes: "I really am loving my district. We have dubbed ourselves district chupa-chupa. One of our teachers served in Mozambique and told us that means lollipop. Our other teacher served in Brazil and said that chupa-chupa translate to mean suck-suck. . .not lollipop. We got such a kick out of it that we made it our motto. So. . . chupa-chupa!"

Apparently, Erika lives in the quarantine building (where missionaries who are too sick to be with their companions stay). Due to the overload in missionaries at the MTC, Erika and her companions live on the 4th floor of the quarantine building. (The quaratine floors are actually the 2 floors below Erikas floor. . . . )

Every Sunday the missionaries have a special teacher for Relief Society (women's auxiliary) and Fireside. This past week Sis. Oaks taught Relief Society and Sis. Sheri Dew was the fireside speaker. Erika sat in the 5th row and had a great view!!

Erika also wrote: "My new love is volleyball. In the mornings I run a mile on the track and then go down onto the court to play volleyball with my companion Sister Knudsen and elders from other zones and districts. Neither of us are very good, but the elders are excited to play with sisters and show off a little bit, so they don't mind. Yesterday I was getting into it and totally dove for the ball. I got it over the net. . . I also got burns on my knee!"

"Today we got to go to the temple for our p-day (preparation day). I love the temple!"

Stacy, Nat, and Amy: Erika gets to see Elizabeth at least every Tuesday night. Elizabeth sings in the MTC choir that performs at the Tuesday night devotional.

Everyone please note that Erika's address has changed slightly.

Aunty Erika (late post)

Erika was due to leave for mission on November 10th. She was due to be an aunt on November 9th. As you can imagine, she was hoping for some possibility of being able to hold and personally meet the baby. Well, her wish came true. Kate Emi was born on November 4th and Erika was able to drive down to San Antonio to meet her on November 5th. Before she left San Antonio on November 6th, Erika left her love behind for Kate by washing all of her new received clothes and hanging them all up in Kate's closet.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First E-mail from the Missionary Training Center

Sister Erika Riggs is in full swing. She has already learned to pray and bare her testimony in Portuguese. She is very grateful that she took Spanish classes in school.

The missionaries normally get up every morning at 6:30 a.m. However, Erika gets up at 6:00 a.m. because her companions (yes, she has 2) want to attend special gym instructions for sisters only. Her companions are Sister Knudsen and Sister Kessler.

She has already run into several people that she knows. Elizabeth, Erika has seen your brother!!!

Unfortunately, protocols for vaccination is slightly different than what I went by when I worked as a nurse. Erika had to get two more shots in the MTC. Sorry, Erika!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Leg of Erika's Mission -- Texas to Utah

We all got up early to escort Erika to the airport. She did great. Her luggage were under 50 pounds!!! . . . . 42 lbs and 49 lbs. . . . .way to go, Erika!!! I am determined to cherish the hug she gave me. . . it needs to last 18 months!! I am so pleased with her decision to serve the Lord. Thank you to her wonderful friends who picked her up the airport in Utah and brought her to the Missionary Training Center. Natalie wrote to me: "Erika looked beautiful yesterday when we dropped her off at the MTC. She seemed so ready and excited to be there." I can hardly wait to receive her first letter/email to me!! (Sorry, in all the excitement I forgot to bring my camera to the airport. . .)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Missionary Models

This is Sister Riggs' mom and I will be updating the blog for the next 18 months.

There were a lot of requests to see the outfits Erika will be wearing on her mission. The dress code is strict for all church missionaries: skirts need to be between mid-calf and ankle length, blouses need to be modest in style and conservative in color. After talking to several returned sister missionaries, they all gave Erika the same advice, "Just because you're a missionary doesn't mean you can't dress cute." She and her sister Jennae really followed this advice as we all went shopping for her clothes. Erika and Jennae had fun modeling a few of her outfits.

The jumper dress she sewed herself!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh Provo...

I got to visit Provo for Halloween and spend time with some pretty amazing people. I am so grateful for the example and encouragement of friends especially my mezz girls. I've lived with these girls for the past three years and they're what makes BYU home. They've seen me at my very best and through my very worst and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Saying goodbye was hard...and I know it's going to get harder still once I have to cut off contact with them. I'm going to turn into one of those missionaries that waits @ the door for the mailman, only I'm not expecting letters from a boy; I'll be expecting letters from my mezzanine girls.  
I flew out of Salt Lake Monday morning and said goodbye to Utah for the next year and a half...or so I thought. As it turns out, my Visa's chances of arriving on time are pretty much nonexistent, and when I got home there was an email waiting for me saying I needed to have my flight changed because I am now reporting to the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center). Well, Provo here I come...again!