A Turkey and A Baptism! 11/28/2011

Thanksgiving in the field was pretty awesome. On Wednesday night a member called us and said she had cooked a whole turkey for us to take home! So we ran over there and she sent us home with a whole cooked 12lb turkey, 2 pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes and a bunch of vegetables. Then on Thanksgiving we first went to the Packs around noon for our first thanksgiving meal. Our investigator and his mom were there too so it was really fun. But even after that meal I was feeling full. Then around 3:00 we went over to the Copes and watched the end of the Lions game (they lost and now everyone’s mad) and then had a HUGE dinner. But it was all so good you didn’t want to quit eating! She made these yams that were covered in brown sugar and roasted pecans that were SO good. After that, Pres.Cope took us out to his dirt bike track in his Hummer and we did some off-roading in the mud. So it was a pretty fun thanksgiving.

Saturday was the greatest. This whole week was just a big countdown to a baptism. It was fun because we spent all week preparing the program, calling people to invite them, meeting with our investigator and showing him how everything would work and then getting him interviewed. He wasn’t scheduled to be baptized until 6:00 that night and the whole day went SO SLOW because everyone was so excited. It felt like Christmas Eve! We had to be at the Rochester building really early to fill the font because it takes 6 hours to fill all the way. So that only made the day go slower. The baptismal service was great and I got to perform another musical number on guitar (which everyone loved of course). When our investigator and Elder Erickson got into the font his mom started saying, “Now Elder Erickson that’s my youngest son and if you hit his head on the wall you’re going to have to answer to me!” The font is pretty small for a 6′ 3″ guy and Erickson has whacked someone’s head before so it was really funny. After he got baptized he told us how peaceful and calm he felt and he was really excited to get the Holy Ghost.

On Sunday, I got to confirm him in sacrament meeting and it was really cool. I was really nervous though and I probably gave the shortest confirmation prayer in the history of the church. Afterwards his mom asked him how he felt and he said he felt like his heart was burning. She was like ‘It’s what!?!’ and he said “no it’s burning in a good way!” We laughed and then HE explained to his mom that the Holy Ghost is a baptism of fire and that it’s supposed to feel that way. This Sunday hopefully he’ll have an interview with Pres. Cope and then he’ll be ordained a priest. I bet he’ll be just fine in this gospel.

I’m so much more grateful now to be a missionary than I ever have been. I love doing the work, I love teaching lessons but seeing my work pay off at the baptism was amazing. I know that missionary work isn’t about how many people you baptize, but being able to get that first one has just reinforced my testimony. I’m so glad that I made the choice to come back out here and preach the Lord’s gospel.

Well I hope everyone’s doing well at home. We had a nice 65-70 degree week almost all last week but it’s supposed to snow this week so I’m not looking forward to it.

Thanks for the thanksgiving letters and tell Luke and Alexa thanks for the pictures.
Well thanks for everything and I guess I’ll talk to you later.


Romeo Week 7

First the best news – We have a baptism for sure happen this Saturday which is AWESOME. We got all the details hammered out last night with him and his mom and they’re both exited for it to finally happen. Elder Erickson with be doing the actual baptism and I will more than likely be doing the confirmation in sacrament meeting the next day. So I’m excited and a little nervous.

One of our investigators is out of the hospital and we went to go see him on Saturday. He is doing really well and has been without alcohol for over a week now. It sounds like the 2 people he is staying with, are finally realizing the effect that alcohol has had on his life. I guess they told him that he’s not going to allow any alcohol in the house anymore which is great!. The problem we were having is that the people he was staying with would have alcohol in the house and even though they were not drinking it, our investigator was. He has no way to get alcohol unless someone brings it to him so unless that happens, he is basically forced to quit. He says he’s really resolved this time to quit and he’s going to meet with our branch president once a week for help. And he said he’ll be coming to church a lot more which is sweet. But he still doesn’t want to be baptized yet because he doesn’t want to give up coffee… 🙁

On Thursday I played a musical number at our mission fireside. I did well, but I was pretty nervous for 2 reasons. First, it was a church event and for whatever reason I always get nervous playing at church events; and second, I got a call about an hour before the fireside saying that I couldn’t do the song I had planned! I was originally planning on doing ‘I need the every hour’ but it turns out there was another group doing a musical number and they were doing the same song. Luckily I had that simplified hymn book so I was able to change pretty easily and I ended up doing ‘Come Come Ye Saints.’ I’ll be doing ‘I need the every hour’ for Emilio’s baptism and then I’ll most likely be doing another musical for our Christmas fireside in December.

Yesterday evening we had dinner and FHE with the Maxfields, Wilsons and Copes. They’re 3 of my favorite families in the branch and we had a lot of fun. The Wilson’s are going out to Utah in January to be sealed. I told them they should look you guys up so they might. The Packs are going to Utah in December too and may want to visit you guys too.

We didn’t get a third companion but we do have a Spanish speaking member that just moved up from Mexico who is a GREAT teacher. His name is Adrian and he’s only been a member for about a year and a half. He married his wife last year but he just barely got approved to come to America, and his wife waited to get baptized until he could do it which is cool. We take him and Bro. Pack with us and between the 2 of them teaching in Spanish, I don’t really say a word and Elder Erickson doesn’t say much either —haha. But Adrian is a good teacher and is studying Preach My Gospel more to help us. It’s nice to have him available too because we’re now up to 8 Spanish investigators.

Well, I hope the family is doing well.

Love you all

11/14/2011 Still Staying in Romeo

We got transfer calls on Saturday and found out that both of us are
staying in Romeo. So that means Elder Erickson will finish out his
mission here.
One investigator has been giving us a roller coaster ride of emotions. If you
remember, last Sunday he came to church and we were so excited! But
then we went over to his house on Tuesday and he was drunk… Then we
called him on Friday and found out he was in the hospital AGAIN! This
time the reason was he passed out because he’s diabetic and let his
blood sugar go to low. I guess his blood sugar was to high and then he
did the math wrong on how much insulin he was supposed to take and
ended up putting himself into shock. It was a pretty crazy story.
He did tell us though that he wanted to quit drinking finally and had
told a nurse that he wanted help. We were feeling happy again because
missionaries and members have been trying to get him to stop drinking
for a really long time! But then last night I called him and he was in
the hospital again. It turns out the hospital released him with some
pain killers and he went home and took 3 of them and then drank a ton
of alcohol. So now he is on suicide watch at the hospital too.
It was really depressing talking to him last night and I kept telling him
that he needs to quit drinking. He drank himself blind, he ruined his
liver, it’s really bad for his diabetes and now he’s on suicide watch.
He ended up calling us later and apologizing. I guess he then talked
to one of our really strong members, and our Branch President and
they both told him the same things. Then he called again
later last night and I got to talk to him again.
I don’t know how the Lord does it, but the spirit was in that phone call. He told me he wanted help and he knew that we as missionaries can help him and get him help. I told him that we pray for him every night and that if he
truly wants to quit drinking, the Lord will help him. We’re going to
call him later tonight and set up another appointment with him.
That was really the main high/low of the week. Other than that, things
have been about the same. We have a hard time getting lessons between
6:00 and 9:00PM every night so we end up tracting almost every night. It
gets dark around 5:00 now though and it’s super awkward to tract in
the country. We try and stick to more residential areas but there
aren’t many in our area. We used to just hit the trailer parks at
night but we’ve been through every street of almost every one.
We had a good family night with some members last Monday. We played a few short games, read some scriptures and I played some music. I played a
few primary songs we sang a long too and then I played some Pink Floyd–
haha. I’m supposed to play a musical number at our mission fireside
this Thursday too which I’m a little nervous about. I’ll probably do a
version of ‘I need the every hour.’ If you can find that ‘Hymns Made
Easy’ book that would be really great. I’m slowly slowly learning some
of the ones out of the book that dad got me last year but I’m nowhere
near being able to perform them yet.
Romeo lost last week so they’re out of the football tournament. If they
would’ve won, we could’ve gone to the next game. We are looking at a
possibility of going to a Lion’s game on Thanksgiving though. But
that’s still way up in the air.
I asked Elder Erickson about USU and I wrote some things down so I’ll
send it home to Austin today.
Well tell everyone hi for me!
-Love Erik

A Week of Highs! 11/7/2011

Erik's Pumpkin

My Pumpkin and I

Hi family!

This week was great! Halloween was really exciting. We carved pumpkins on Monday and then we went and hung out for awhile at the Romeo petting zoo. During Halloween they have a bunch of things going on that reminded me of pumpkin land. At night, since we couldn’t go tracting, we hung out at a member’s house. They invited us over for corn dogs but he told us not to talk to his wife’s family about the Gospel unless they asked us about it. It took a couple hours, but her mom and grandpa finally started talking to us. We didn’t really get into a very big gospel discussion, but they asked us a lot about our missions and different mission experiences. Then the member jumped in too and talked about his mission a lot which was awesome! We left their house with 2 new potential investigators!

On Friday we went on companion exchanges and I went and spent a day in the Clarkston area, which covers part of Pontiac Michigan. It was fun, but after I went back to Romeo we realized that one of the Clarkston Elders, Elder Greene, had accidentally taken our cell phone! We were really worried about how we were going to get it back, when all of the sudden they pulled into our apartment complex. By that time it was about 10:00 and there was really no point in them making the drive back to there apartment, so we called the Zone Leaders and they gave us permission to let them sleep over. So we had a missionary sleep over party! It was fun trying to cram 4 guys into out little bedroom– haha.

Sunday was the greatest day of the week. All week long we have been telling our investigator that he needs to come to church 3 weeks in a row. One to show he’s ready to be baptized, one for his baptism, and one to be confirmed. Not only did he come yesterday, but he arrived an hour early! It was great to have him there and now it looks like he will for sure be baptized next week. I’m really excited, Elder Erickson is excited, and the branch is really excited too.

Our other investigator, who is blind, showed up at church too! He hasn’t been in over a year! Lately though, he has been really into our discussions and has even pulled out his BOM cd’s again. The last time we taught him he said that he has been thinking about being baptized and that he’s been praying to know if the BOM was true. He’s a good guy and I’m hoping that this week we’ll be able to set a baptism date with hi.

Romeo high school won the first round of their playoffs. They played again on friday, I’m not sure if they won but if they did then then this saturday they play at home. We may possibly get to go too because one of our recent converts has a son that plays and he invited us.  Everyone in town LOVES the high school football team and they keep telling us ‘you don’t know HS football until you’ve been to a Romeo game!’

Thanks everyone for writing! I try to write everyone back personally, but just let everyone know I love them!