Friday, June 28, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Made It To California

My First Area and Companion

Hello and welcome to San Luis Obispo, CA. This is my first area!  Luckily I’m not training with another new sister. My first companion is Sister Stoker! She is from Burley, ID and is actually one of my teachers from the MTC's sister! She is amazing. She has taught me so much this week so far.

So we flew to Santa Barbara and then drove on a bus to Ventura. There the traveling sisters (head trainers...?) told us some about the area, rules, and what to expect. That day was kind of a blur. But I was put with Sister Dixon for the night and we stayed at a member’s house! They were so nice. We met the Castro family and they are so amazing. President and Sister Castro are so nice and loving. They knew almost all of us by name before we arrived. The next day went to TRANFER MEETING!! Ahhhh. President Castro spoke and the Elders who were leaving the mission shared their testimonies then we were assigned to our new companions and areas.

 As you know, I am serving with Sister Stoker in the San Luis Obispo 1st Ward. After I met Sister Stoker, we rode with a member family up to SLO. It was a long and beautiful drive up the coast. We live in an apartment.

Missionary Work

This past week we have been meeting with investigators that Sister Stoker has had for a while and we have been knocking on doors!! It's kind of hard to talk to people like that, but I am learning and trying to apply what I learn every day. I just can't be shy! It's been hard finding new people to teach, and we have only taught 2 or 3 sit down lessons this week. But man have I met some interesting people.

 There was one guy who was riding his bike and saw us walking and yelled, "HEY! Are you the Mormons?!" and we were like yes we are! And he said, "I want to know more about your church." We were just like whhaaat?! Easiest street contacting ever.  Turns out his baby’s mama is Mormon, and he wanted to know more. He doesn't live in SLO but we gave him a card.

Sister Stoker has been teaching a woman named Lee for a couple months now and she AMAZING. She is set to be baptized on July 13th. She is 55 and used to be a chef. Her husband died a few years ago and she is amazing. I can't wait to see how she progresses.


Yesterday I had a green dinner. One of the families in the ward had Sister Stoker and me over for dinner and because I'm a new missionary they made it green! Lots of green food. They said if they had more time they would have dyed the mashed potatoes green, and our drinks green. By the way, we eat dinner with members almost every night! I have tried lots of foods I didn't think I liked!

Message of Love

So how about that broadcast yesterday? Pretty amazing right! They really want members to be helping the missionaries with the work. One thing that I really took from the broadcast was that love needs to be the driving force behind everything we do. We need to love the gospel, love the people, and love what we are doing. Without love there is no motivation! I will write home and send some things! I love you guys so much! I am learning so much and loving the work and people out here!

BY THE WAY, if you want to send me a letter/package, send it to the mission office! Everything gets mailed there and then they forward it to us! That’s how it works.

Sister Erin V. Cusick
3301 West Gonzales Road
Oxnard, CA 93036.


-Sister Cusick

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's Finally P-Day!!

June 13, 2013
Our First Email from Erin
She sounds busy and happy!

Oh my goodness I am on a COMPUTER. I miss you guys and I love you lots!!
How are things going at home? Tell me!!
Okay so after mom, Aunt Linda, and Kristin dropped me off my host took me to a  building where I got my name tag and MTC ID card. Then I met up with her again and she took me to my room. At the dorms there are 6 girls to a room! In my room are Sister Anderson, Sister Hegstrom, Sister Mason, and Sister Snow. We have one less person in our district so guess who is a part of a trio instead of a companionship?! This girl :)

My companions are Sister Anderson and Sister Hegstrom! They are awesome and super amazing teachers. So after I dropped my stuff off at the dorms my host took me to my classroom and left me there. There I met my teacher Sister De Arton and one of my companions, Sister Anderson. Sister Anderson is hilarious. She was a dancer for the Utah Jazz. She is gorgeous and really passionate about the gospel. She pounds things with her fists and yells about how the gospel is true, she is great. Sister Hegstrom is my other companion. At first she was more quiet, but she is so funny too. She is more sarcastic. She went to BYU this past year and knows her scriptures like the back of her hand. She can explain any doctrine with ease, I'm hoping some of that will rub off on me!! Sister Mason and Sister Snow are in my district as well as Elder Spencer, Elder Howe, Elder Hill, and Elder Collard. Sister Snow was actually the girl in a bunch of the BYU Prank videos ( BYU mistletoe prank, bad breath) and she is so so so funny. Sister Mason is really sweet, we all get along. On that first day we had a lot of meetings and met a lot of people.

The food here is great. Its exactly like you said mom, there's a line where they just hand you a plate. But there are also wraps and salads and TONS of fresh fruit and deserts, so the food is pretty great. But don't drink the orange juice, one of the Elders in our district did and he got really sick!!

We have class twice a day, study twice a day at least, gym, and planning. We practice teaching investigators (our teacher and volunteers) everyday. Its really scary to teach people about the gospel actually. I'm working on my confidence right now. The lessons that we have in class are about the gospel, but they are sometimes about other things. Like Sister De Arton taught a class about stress management and she made us skip around the MTC and we had to "park our __" on every bench we saw. I'm pretty sure we disrupted a bunch of scripture study but it was so fun and funny :)
The first three days felt like WEEKS. We were talking about teaching our investigator Alec (our teacher) and how we thought the last time we taught him was two days ago when it was actually just that morning! Crazy. But after Sunday the days have FLOWN by. On Sunday Sister Anne Clegg came and spoke to the Relief Society. It was awesome. Oh and we have Sunday movie night!! Would you rather watch a movie about the restoration of the gospel, or a conference talk? ;) ha ha no 'real' movies but we did watch the restoration with part of our zone who was about to leave for Albuquerque , NM. They were awesome and I'm sure they are doing awesome! This Tuesday was devotional and we went to the Marriott Center on BYU campus for the first time ever. Three thousand missionaries were all on BYU campus at once. There were camera crews and people stopping their cars to take pictures of us. Elder Mervyn Arnold came and spoke to us (they thought the prophet was going to come) and it was amazing. First off we got pulled out of line to get in because 'they needed more sisters sitting in front of the podium' so we sat on the second row on the floor. It was amazing. Elder Arnold came and shook our hands and Sister Arnold gave us all hugs. One of my favorite parts was turning around to look behind me at all the missionaries.
TODAY IS P-DAY. We went to the temple and ate there! The guy serving food was giving the missionaries extra servings, it was nice :) so far today I have written letters, started laundry,\ (that's going right now), and laid on my bed and just sat there. Not having to worry about being anywhere at the time being. It was great.
I have already grown so much. I am learning doctrine and scriptures at a crazy rate and I can't express to you how happy I am. Sure I get frustrated and scared, but it is beyond worth it. I am so glad that I am here. I love you all and I miss you to pieces. I actually just started crying ha ha. I'm writing letters when I have the time and I appreciate everything you guys have sent me. My friends say thank you for the cupcakes and I loved the snacks you sent me! I am typing frantically because we only have 30 minutes. I will email next week!!! I LOVE YOU :) <3
-Sister Cusick

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Missionary Parade!

June 5, 2013
    I haven't heard from Erin yet but want to share what an exciting day Wednesday was.  Of course Erin was up early packing and repacking.  Deciding what to wear also took some time.  We made a trip to the store for a couple of last minute items, then to kill time we had an early lunch.  Since that didn't kill enough time went to a discount bookstore, a fabric store, and finally Michael's. It seemed like 12:45 pm would never come!!

     When it finally did the anticipation was unbearable.  The drive down University Parkway took about five minutes and we knew we had reached our destination we we pulled up in line to turn onto 900 East.  As we turn the corner onto 900 east we could see the long line of cars waiting to enter the Missionary Training Center gate.  The roads were lined with an army of helpers, greeters and hosts. Friendly traffic directors, people smiling and waving.  It was as if  we had joined a missionary parade.  The sidewalks were lined with Elders and Sisters from the entrance and around down the walk ways for as far as we could see.  It was a truly joyful sight to see and experience.  There was waving, shouts of greeting in different languages, smiles everywhere, hugs and luggage to rival a cruise.

     Before we found a spot to pull up to the curb where we could drop Erin off, she caught the eye of a Sister Missionary who was a Host standing on the sidewalk and they waved at each other. The Sister Missionary came up to the car and greeted Erin as though she knew her.  Erin got out of the car and they hugged each other.  What a wonderful way to start this journey of service.  I helped her get her luggage out of the car and before you knew it she was shaking hands with other  missionaries and I could tell she wanted to be on her way.  We hugged and she turned to join the others pulling their luggage up the sidewalk.

     She didn't want to be in tears as she went in so we decided to say our goodbye quickly and that's what we did.  Pulling away from the curb we had our windows down so we could continue to enjoy the spirit of the occasion.  There was no sadness just an overwhelming joy and pride in the group she was joining and the service she would give.

                                             Erin is pulling her red suitcase in the picture below

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Welcome to my mission blog!

Hey guys!

This is Erin. Tomorrow I get set apart as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have been called to serve in the Ventura, California Mission! I'm so excited! My mother will be updating and running this blog with things that I'm doing and with my new addresses. For now, here are my MTC and Mission Office addresses in case you want to send me anything! Love you guys :)

My Provo MTC address:

Sister Erin Valarie Cusick
2009 N 900 E Unit 125
Provo UT 84602

Send other letters to the mission office until I find out where my first assignment is going to be:

Sister Erin Valarie Cusick
California Ventura Mission
3301 West Gonzales Road
Oxnard, CA 93036
United States