Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Erin with her advent calendar we made for her.

December 16, 2013

Thanks so much for the calendar by the way, I really love opening something every day. I love hearing everyone's testimonies of our Savior. It builds my faith and brings me comfort. The chocolate is nice too.

Only one Christmas away from home. This time next year, I will have been home for AT LEAST a week :) I will mail some pictures today with my testimony. I would love to send presents home for Christmas, but this year it will have to just be my testimony and pictures. Please know that I love you all dearly and pray that you have an enjoyable Christmas. I can't wait to talk to you all next week, have a safe week! :)

Merry Christmas

 This week was awesome :) Charlene got baptized yesterday! It was an amazing service. Her son (a recent convert of 1 year) baptized and confirmed her. It was really special. She has such a strong testimony, I am so grateful for her example and the time I have been able to teach her.


This week we have had the chance to go caroling quite a bit! Which was amazing, because we went with members who introduced us to less active members and all of their friends, so that was great. We are planning on doing more caroling this week to less active members and to some friends of people that members referred us to.

On Christmas we will be having lunch with really nice lady we met who will be alone for Christmas and then we will have dinner that night with some members from the Church.

This week was also the Christmas Devotional! That was amazing, we had missionaries performing lots of different numbers on various instruments. We really are given our talents to bless others!

This week was exchanges too! Sister Stoker came!! She was my first companion when I arrived in California...AHHH!! I didn't get to go with her, BUT it was awesome to see her again! We got to talk some and we actually made one of the gingerbread houses that you (family) sent me during lunch!  It was fun :) I am so grateful to be serving here. I love this area and I love this work. I am very rooted and committed to this work. Nothing can shake my spirits! :) I'm excited to talk to family this week, I love you all! :)

Phone Call

Erin called on Christmas Day and we had a wonderful conversation with her.  She sounds really happy to be serving and has learned so much in the short 7 months she has been gone.  She says she is challenged by her experiences but is loving the opportunities she is having to learn more about the gospel, about herself and about serving others.  


Erin wanted us to let everyone know that she can receive email from family and friends would love to hear from everyone.  Her email address is 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas! Almost..

Hello!!! How is everyone doing? I am awesome. This ward is awesome.

 Goodness, I love being a missionary. I really do. So the Sister we are teaching currently is really progressing and is planning on being baptized next Sunday! She is amazing and she has such a strong testimony :) her son is coming home for the holidays and is going to be able to baptize her! Hooray! So we have been meeting with her like every other day to get all of the lessons in.

 We are really working on finding new investigators here, so, any return missionaries who by some chance read this letter, send me your finding techniques! I know there are lots of different ways of finding people to teach, I'm just not as creative! Ha Ha

 My new companion was pretty sick this week, which wasn't fun, but she is better now! There is something going around this area. I hope I don't get it! California is beautiful, this area is really pretty except I am not exactly sure where I am. I'm in Newbury Park in (or right next to? Maybe?) Thousand Oaks, CA. But I don't really have a map, we can't see the ocean, and we are surrounded by mountains so I don't know exactly where I am just that I am really close to LA. Not that it really matters, missionary work is the same :) But besides all of that, nothing else interesting has been going on! Just keep on keeping on.

I know this gospel is true and that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can experience true happiness in this life and the next. I have grown so much closer to my Savior on my mission and I am eternally grateful for his sacrifice for me. I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves each and every one of us. He cares about us and our trials and wants us to be happy, and that is why he gave us this plan. I hope everyone has a really great week! :) I'll be praying for you!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hot Dog!

Parent Note:

Seems I'm always apologizing!  So here I go again. Erin emails weekly and often those emails are short with the primary part of her letter being her report to the Mission President.  As I have said before they include people she is teaching and accounts of her work with them.  Needless to say she is busy and teaching a great many people. She appreciates everyone's support. She was transferred from San Luis Obsipo to Newbury Park.  Her address for mail does not change, it gets forwarded from the mission home.

It's a small world

OH! I ran into Ashley, Holly Romaniec's friend, from California.  We ran into her in Costco during lunch time.  She's going to Cal Poly.  It's amazing how small the world is.  It was good to see her.

 We have zone conference this week!!! YAY!!! Zone conference is when the whole zone (and actually a couple other zones too) all get together and President Castro speaks and we get some sort of training too. It's all day long, and it is a great time to try to receive revelation for our investigators. I am doing well, don't worry. The ward feeds us, and we feed ourselves haha. We have way too much food in our apartment right now. But! it's a blessing :) and I love blessings. So I hope everyone has a good week! I haven't been able to hear much about what happened in the Philippines recently, but if you aren't already make sure to include them in your prayers.

 This week we had exchanges and I was with Sister Kiyotani! She is from Kyoto, Japan and is super super sweet.

Hot Dog

Last Sunday, an older gentleman(91) walked into sacrament meeting and wanted to know more about the church.  He had recently lost his wife and wanted to know what we believe about where she is and life after death.  It was so funny when they introduced him to Sister Kemp and I as the people who would be teaching him he said, "These are my teachers?" Hot Dog!"  He was so funny!

Transfer This Week (Newbury Park, CA)

Holy Moly this week has been CRAZY. In like 17 zillion good ways though! So I am PINKwash(Sisters taking over an area where Elders use to be) training a new Sister! Her name is Sister Hardman and she is so sweet. She has a lot of love for everyone and such a positive attitude, so we are getting along great :)


We have a baptism in two weeks!!!!!  Her son joined the church about a year ago and that prompted her to start coming to church and investigate the church. She has been attending one of the wards here in Newbury Park and she lives in our area! She hasn't been taught any of the lessons officially (but knows and has been living the gospel) so we have A LOT to teach in less than two weeks!! So pray for us!!  We are so excited though. Our first lesson is tonight :)

Apartment and New Area

My new area is really condensed. There are a lot of families here and a lot of less active members.  We are working hard to meet them and work with them. We have already knocked into quite a few members of our ward (oops!) but that's what happens when you are new. I will admit, I do miss San Luis and I was sad to leave Peggie!! :( she bore her testimony at church last week by the way) but there is so much potential here. OH OH OH and our apartment has a DISHWASHER, our very own WASHER AND DRYER, and a FIRE PLACE. We feel spoiled.

Things are going well though, we are slowly but surely finding the Elders investigators (many of whom have been taught for several years) and are working to see where they are at in their conversion. So we have a lot of work to do!

 We have a car too! But is shakes like no other. It really scared us when we first started driving but then we realized that that was just how the car ran. I am happy here and learning a lot. I love being a missionary and I know that this work is real and that we can accomplish great things when we let ourselves be instruments in the hands of the Lord. Love you all, have a great week! :) OH! And Happy six months!! :) To me!!

We all have great potential

Something I really realized this week was the potential that every single person has. Something neat that really set in for me on Wednesday was that I can literally become and do anything that I want. I have the potential to baptize monthly. I have the potential to be the best trainer. I can teach with power and authority. I can know this area and remember the names of all the ward members. The only thing that is holding anyone back is their own uncertainty. I know that this is something everyone knows and hears all the time, but for me I came to the conclusion that I am going to become the best missionary I can possibly be. I will be effective and hardworking. I can and will try my hardest to develop those Christ-like attributes that we study is the scriptures . But I will also make sure not to take on too many goals at once. I am just so grateful for the drive and motivation that I am developing to do this work. I am working hard to let Heavenly Father mold me into the missionary he knows I can become.