A Nice Rainy Christmas –letter from 12/17/2012

Hi family! I’m really glad you got my Christmas card and thought it was funny. When I saw those cards I just knew that I had to have them. (Erik sent us a Christmas card with a black Santa Claus on it)

Not a whole lot of things new happened this week for us except for the Warren ward party. We had a good turn out for it and had a couple non-members there. I didn’t get to play guitar like I thought I was going to but that’s ok. The Primary, YM and YW put on a little nativity play that was pretty funny. Our primary here is really small – only like 12 kids with the oldest one being 8 years old. It’s a pretty big change from home!

This week will be really busy for us. This weekend is jam-packed with stuff we have to do. On Thursday we are going to the temple in the morning and then the mission devotional for investigators is that night at 7:00. Elder Jackson is playing the cello at the devotional too so we have to be there early so he can practice with a pianist. Plus it’s like an hour drive to the chapel we’re going to so that pretty much kills our evening. Then on Friday we have our mission Christmas party which should take up most of the day. Then on Saturday we have a baptism for our investigator in the Morning. Then Sunday is church. For Christmas Eve we’re going to spend some time over at a members for P-day and dinner and then Christmas is Tuesday  So we have some pretty busy days coming up. But I like busy days so that’s ok.

We had dinner at a members last week and it was pretty cool. They always go out of their way to make us some cool Philipino dishes that we’ve probably never had before. This past time they cooked us this soup that had the full on you-peel-em shrimp in them. Elder Jackson was kind of weirded out by them for a minute which was funny. The next time we go by they said they’re going to cook us Belute (I think that’s how you spell it), which is partially developed duck embryo in a shell. It sounds pretty weird haha. But I told them I’d try anything once! Elder Jackson doesn’t know if he will try it or not yet – I can’t blame him.

Thanks for all the gifts and stuff! I really enjoy the 12 days of Christmas package and look forward to opening a present everyday. I hope everyone is having a good Christmas season. It’s kind of hard for me to get in the Christmas spirit when I’m so far away from family traditions and stuff. Plus it’s been in the 40s and 50s here with no snow. Not that I’m complaining though because doing missionary work in the snow sucks! I’m hoping for another nice mild winter like last year and so far we’ve been pretty lucky.

Well I hope you guys have a good week and I look forward to talking on Christmas!




Musical Missionary Christmas Dec 10th letter


In our apartment right now we have a guitar, trumpet, piano, cello, harmonica and jew harp. Of all the companionships in our mission, Elder Jackson and I probably have the most musical instruments. Hopefully our neighbors don’t hate us! Elder Jackson is playing as a piano accompanist for three different people at our mission Christmas party on the 21st, playing cello at the mission fireside on the 20th and playing cello in the warren ward sacrament meeting the Sunday before Christmas. I’m playing trumpet with Pres. Barberis who is a counselor to Pres. Holmes at the mission Christmas party and then guitar at the warren ward Christmas party on the 15th. Plus Elder Jackson and I are going to combine to play a guitar and cello duet at the ward party where I will mainly play piano chords on guitar while he plays the melody on cello. So we have a lot of practicing to do!


This week was a really slow week for us. Mainly because we were home confined for basically three days. On Thursday we had a lesson with an investigator who’s kids were sick and sure enough both Elder Jackson and I woke up sick Friday morning. I really wasn’t to bad because all I really had was a head cold. But Elder Jackson was pretty much dying all day with a really bad stomach bug. So on Friday we didn’t even leave our apartment and I ended up having to call four different people to cancel appointments. On Saturday I was feeling pretty much better except for a headache but Elder Jackson was still feeling pretty bad and sore from throwing up all day and night. So Saturday we went to one appointment and then correlation but that was pretty much it. Sunday though I was fine and Elder Jackson was feeling a lot better so we were able to get some stuff done.


We have one investigator on baptism date for December 22 and she should make it! I’m like 95% sure right now that she will make it. So we really will be having a white Christmas this year! It’s sweet to be able to help people change their entire life and come closer to Christ right before the new year. What better way to start 2013?


Anyway, things are going well overall in Warren. I’m really looking forward to an awesome Christmas this year with all the parties and the baptism and everything. I hope everyone is doing well and having a good Christmas! Love you guys!



Lots More Music–Dec 3rd letter

On Tuesday I got a new companion named Elder Jackson. He is from sunny Southern California and is a pretty awesome musician. I finally have a companion that I can talk music with and he knows what I’m talking about! Plus he brought a keyboard with him to so now I can mess around on piano again.

Overall this week was good. It was a slower week but we got a lot accomplished. We spent a lot of the week just taking Elder Jackson around and introducing him to all the leadership in the ward. It’s always been stressful for me to take over an area after my companion leaves me. Elder Stark had been in Warren for seven months so he really knew what he was doing and how to work with the ward and everything. I know a lot of that but it still is tough when you have a companion that knows nothing about the area. You end up doing all of the planning and area business by yourself for about the first week. Elder Jackson is picking everything up pretty fast though and he’s been out for over a year so he knows what he’s doing. Even though it’s stressful, it’s kind of nice taking over an area and leading it. Whenever I’m the junior companion it always feels like I’m just visiting the ward and the area. But when I take over, that’s when it becomes truly mine. Warren finally feels like home now instead of just a temporary place until I get to move back to Howell. Of course maybe I would never feel that way if I wasn’t in areas for so long! It’s tough to just pick up and leave when you’ve been in the same place for six months.

We have two investigators that that are really close to baptism! We had an awesome lesson with Natasha (She is the one that tracked us down on the street and told us she wants to be baptized)  this week and we put her on a baptismal date for December 22. She’s really committed to it so hopefully everything goes well! We found two new investigators this week that are pretty awesome too!   We had an awesome first lesson with them. They told us that they really want to raise they’re family in a church (they have two young kids), and so far all they’ve found is corruption and hypocrisy in all the churches they’ve looked at. We taught them about the Restoration and how our church works and they were like “that sounds great!” The only disappointing thing about our investigators this week is that not

The weather in Michigan really trips me out sometimes. This week started off in the 30s but then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday it got up to the mid 50s. If we can just have another really mild winter like last year I will be A-OK! But the chances of that happening are slim. And it doesn’t start dropping into the negative temperatures in Michigan until January so we have plenty of time for snow to come. Did you know that the highest peak in Michigan is only 900 feet? And yes, there is a ski resort on it.

Well I hope you guys have a great week! Tell everyone thanks for all the letters they send me!

-Love Erik

I’ll Be in Warren for Christmas -Nov 26th letter

So I found out on Saturday that I will be staying in Warren for another transfer. I bet I will end up being here for another 3 months actually. That would fit right in line with my time in Romeo and in Howell. We’ll see though. Elder Stark is getting transferred and we’re both happy and sad about it. I like getting new companions but at the same time it kind of sucks having to learn how to work with a new person all over again. Elder Stark was in Warren for 7 1/2 months so he is pretty nervous about leaving. The whole weekend was basically us going around to everyone so he could say goodbye. It’s always lame when your companion gets transferred because you always feel kind of left out during all the goodbyes. I remember when Elder Erickson left it was like nobody even knew I was there! Of course he was going home and he had been in Romeo for 6 months… Anyway, so I’ll be getting a new companion and I really hope he doesn’t suck. So far, I haven’t really hated any of my companions and I’ve gotten along fine with all of them. But before I came out, everyone kept warning me that I’ll get companions I don’t really like and I feel like I can only dodge the bullet for so long!

We have had a lot of cool stuff happen to us this past week. We have a couple awesome investigators that came to church with us which was great. Elder Stark spoke in sacrament and whenever a missionary speaks we use that to draw more people to church 🙂 Our strongest investigator is also going to be the one who is driving us to our transfer meeting tomorrow. We announced in Priesthood meeting that we needed someone to drive us to transfers on Tuesday, and before anyone else could even think about it he volunteered  So we might be the only missionaries that have an INVESTIGATOR taking us to transfers which is pretty cool.  He actually visited Temple Square while he was on a business trip to Utah and that’s where he first became interested in the Gospel.  So hopefully soon he’ll be getting baptized.

We’re getting prepared for our Ward Christmas Party coming up on the 15th. We’ve been doing a member lesson lately where we teach the members how to make a Family Mission Plan and so far it has gone well. We basically give them a sheet to fill out where they create a family mission statement, set goals they want to achieve related to missionary work, and then come up with actions they’re going to take to achieve those goals. A goal would be something like inviting someone to a ward activity, inviting a neighbor to family home evening or to dinner, and things like that. So far it has been well received in the ward even though we’ve only taken it to three families so far. We made an announcement in sacrament meeting that we want to come around and see every member in the ward during the month of December so hopefully we’ll have some members become more willing to have us over. We’re really pushing for people to invite people to the Ward Christmas Party. We had a really good non-member/less-active member turnout for the Halloween party so hopefully this one will be just as successful.

Well I hope everyone has a good week this week! I don’t know what time I’m calling home on Christmas yet. I probably won’t know until the Monday before. But I hope everyone’s looking forward to it!


-Love Erik