Erica's Missionary Adventures

Erica's Missionary Adventures
Merry Christmas from Mesa!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 25, 2015

Saying goodbye to Sister T***

Bye Sister T***!!!
 Dear Dad,

Don't take that picture to work. Please. [John has a favorite picture of Erica when she was a little girl that he wants to frame and take to work . . . she does not feel the same away about that picture.]

Haha! I wondered why I hadn't seen an email from you yet! [John – thrown off by the holiday, emailed Erica late.]

I can't wait to walk in the morning with you and mom when I get home!! I loooovveee exercising now!!!

So, if you are giving a blessing to someone in the Spanish ward, do you need to give it in Spanish? Or will it later be translated into Spanish?

I really look forward to going through the Portland Temple again too!

I love the plan of salvation. :). I was reading in Alma about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and I was very inspired by their faith in the plan of salvation.

I love you dad :)

Sister Brady
 Exchange with the Hermanas!
My one night as a Spanish sister!
Dear Mom,

I love you too!!

Last week I said goodbye to Sister T***** and it was sad :( but she said she would save me a room for when I get to Provo! :)

This was on the envelope of the card that
Sister T***** gave me.....

Hahahahaha so funny/sad!!

I have a cold too.... I have had a cold all weekend. Yay :/ coughing and a runny nose mostly
Yes, I will feed you the best ice cream of course :\! [Erica says she will take care of John and I when we grow old and feed us the best ice cream!]

Our tripanionship is so great!!!! Haha we love to make each other laugh. Seriously, I love my companions and I think trios are the best!! I wish I could always be in a trio!!

I asked Michelle about her time at BYU - Provo and she had some AWESOME stories!!! She is the greatest!! I should ask her more of my mission questions!

I didn't know you had gone to Provo! (Actually I think I did, but I forgot)

Elder M****** gives Pokemon cards to everyone in his zones. He
gives you the pokemon that he thinks you are most like.
He was leaving 
this transfer so he gave me a Pokemon card.....
PIKACHU!!! Yayyy!!

Pikachu was the best.

I had a dream that Grandma Ferre sent me a Christmas package but I didn't get it until June and I cried because it was the most beautiful and thoughtful Christmas gift. It was a children's book about Santa's elves. And butterfingers. Hahahaha, I even bore my testimony about it in sacrament meeting (in my dream).

Just keep encouraging Emily to go on a mission. Always encourage her. But make it clear that it is ultimately between her and the Lord. But still encourage her. I know I probably wouldn't be serving if it hadn't been for your frequent encouragements.

Wow, do the new floors look good?

This has been a wonderful week! I fasted on Sunday so that I could receive an answer to a question I had. I got the answer and it was a really cool experience! And it helped to build my testimony of fasting and that my Heavenly Father loves me :)

I also was studying some of the general conference talks this week. One of them was Boyd K. Packer's talk, which was AMAZING! I love what he said about the Atonement and how we have to choose to accept it. If we don't accept it, we can't enjoy it.

My companions are really funny. And they are GOOD MISSIONARIES! I have learned a lot from Sister S*****, and I am already learning so much from Sister P*****. They are awesome!!
I love you mom!! Have a great week :)

Sister Brady

Saying hello to Sister P*****.

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 18, 2015

Birthday dinner!! Steak, swordfish, and shrimp!! It was amazing!!!!

 Dear Mom,

Please stop falling down!!!! You're making me so sad and nervous!! I've decided that if you and Dad ever get to the point where you can't take care of yourselves anymore, me and my husband are going to move in with you and help you. The only way I wouldn't be able to keep that promise is if my husband couldn't make arrangements to move. :( then I would stay with him. But I will certainly try! And I will make sure that whoever I marry will know that I want to do that for you guys (and he will have to be okay with that before I agree to marry him).

 Laser tag last monday!! For my birthday!

Hahahahaha Sister S** that that was really funny!!! (When you said that she gets her beauty and sense of humor from you!!)

I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!! Thank you mom!!!! I think I broke my record of how fast I can eat a box of Swedish Fish!!! And thank you for the money!!!!

I also got Grandmas card and money!!!! She is such a SWEETHEART!!! Thank you Grandma!!!!

The mail goes to the mission office first (about 2-3 days after you send it. Sometimes the next day!) so if I'm at the office when the mail get's there (which is usually the case because the mission office is right next to my area), then I get my mail! If I am not there, they send out the mail to our home/apartment address the next day and it gets there about two days after it got to the mission office. So over all, we get our mail REALLY quick!! The only week that they don't send out mail is transfer week because everyone is moving addresses, so they hold all of the mail at the mission office until Monday, and if you are at transfer meeting you can get your mail there.

Birthday morning picture! Right after cross fit!

Speaking of transfer week..... It's on Wednesday!!! And Sister S****** and I are getting a new companion!! Her name is Sister P***** (her first name is Katrina) and I have heard that she is a VERY GOOD MISSIONARY!!! Yayyyyy!!! I'm excited :) and she can play the piano! And it should be fun being in a trio companionship!! They are doing that because Sister S***** is leaving mid-transfer (on June 3rd!!)!!!!!!! Crazy right!!!!!?

The M****** family is doing better. They are in Vernal, Utah right now for Poppa's burial. The funeral was on Saturday. They are such a wonderful family.

I loved the cast photos!!!! Sister S***** said they looked like Harry Potter

I didn't know J***** T****** was in a care facility! What is dementia exactly? Is it like Alzheimers?

I love Nick and Char too!!! And all of my nieces and nephews!!! And my two nephews on the way!!!! And my best friends baby who will be here SO SOON!!!

Has Gordon gotten assigned a place yet?

Yes - I got all of the birthday emails!!!! Tell everyone on Facebook that I say thank you and I love them!! And that missions are the best and that they should all serve one! And that if they aren't members they should meet with the missionaries!!!!! 

Emily is the same height as me....

I haven't been to Costco in almost a year...

I LOVE the talk “Mountains to Climb”!!! Wow - that is up there in my top 20!!!!! Probably even my top 10!!!! The video makes me cry soooo much!!!!

Send me pictures of the new flooring!!! And the new walls!!!

I love you Mom!!!!!

Thank you for everything :)

Sister Brady

 Baseball from two weeks ago!

Dear Dad,

Haha! Thank you for all of the new ways to say I love you!!!

Did I tell you that there is a sister coming to our mission from Bangkok? I am so excited!!!! I hope I will get to be her companion at least once before I go home!!

Aunt Annie's sounds really good!!! Your week sounded so fun!!

Thank you for sending that message from my ward mission leader!! He is great!

Will we go on daddy daughter dates when I get home?

What movie did Emma need to watch for history?

Did you know that there is a new Jurassic park movie coming out?!??

I love you dad!!!

Sister Brady

I got a surprise on Thursday morning!!
 I walked out of my apartment

and saw this on my car!!!!!

Elder R**** and Elder H***** are the best!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Skype Call

Dear Mom,

Aloha Kakahiaka!!

I am glad you are getting more painting done!!!! And I am so happy that we got to Skype yesterday!!! Sister S***** says that you are beautiful and she thinks you and dad are super funny! She likes your
sense of humor!! Hahaha she says she can tell that I get my sense of humor from my parents. :)

Boy I am really tired today.

Wow! What is dad learning in his retirement class? When is he retiring? [Not for a long time :/!!]

How is the male quartet going? [I am helping with a musical number in BSYT Brush Up Your Shakespeare production.]

Thank you so much for the money!!!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!! [Birthday $$]

I'm sad about Poppa passing away :( keep the M**** family in your prayers please!

I love you mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sister Brady!!

May 4, 2015

Me and Sister P*** on exchanges!!
 Dear Mom,

On Tuesday we had exchanges (I went with Sister P***) and so I got to go back to my first area!!! Vista Peaks ward!!! But then we had to another exchange during our exchange (exchangeception) and so I went with Sister M***** to....... COOLEY PARK AND MIRAMAR WARD!!! My second area!!! 

While we were there, we first stopped by brother B*****'s home and we read from the Book of Mormon with him. He had some really good insights about what was going on historically around 600 BC in Jerusalem.

Then we went to get FroYo with a 16 year old investigator, T*** and Sister M***** was happy that I could be there since Tazz knew me already!! It was so fun!!

Then when the F***** fanukt came to pick T**** up, I got to see Brother and Sister F******!!! (Brother F**** is the ward mission leader and they are AWESOME!!) also their 11 year old son S***** was really excited to see me because we have the SAME BIRTHDAY!!! Which by the way is coming up in TWO WEEKS!!! I'm gonna be 20 years old!!! No longer a teenager!! WHAT!!

And then Sister P*****'s dinner canceled on us, so we went and had dinner with Sister M****** and B****** at....... N**** AND T*****'s HOUSE!!!!!! :) <3 it was so wonderful :) I miss them a lot. They are going to be in Gresham this summer. I think in June? It would be so wonderful if you could meet in person!!

 Me and Sister C*** at the batting cages.
PS - When Erica's Nephew Nick saw this picture
he said, "that''s mine" referring to the Batman t-shirt!

Then after dinner, I went back with Sister P***** to the vista peaks ward and we taught a lesson to an investigator named L****. I had taught her once when I was there. It is a part member family. We taught her about the atonement and I read the scripture Luke 22:41-44 and the Spirit testified very strongly to me the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ. How incredible that sacrifice was. Ever since then, I have been focusing on coming closer to Christ and trying to gain a personal relationship with Him. I have a testimony that He is real and that He really lives. I know that the atonement is real and that it is for each and every one of us. What I want to gain is a knowledge that Christ is my literal brother. I want to be able to recognize Him the moment that I see Him. I certainly believe these things, but I want to be converted in them.

We also had a very insightful and inspiring zone conference on Wednesday. The church has come out with a new program called "myplan" that returning missionaries have to fill out. Since Sister S*** goes home next month she has been filling it out. When I first heard about it, I was rather grumpy and "Laman and Lemuel"-like about it because I found out that not only does your mission president have access to it, but you will be required to share it with your home stake president, your relief society (or elders quorum) president, and a high councilor will be assigned to you so that all of them can make sure you are keeping up with your "myplan". I was grumpy about it because I hated the idea of so many people being aware of my goals and plans. I mean, what if I don't reach all my goals? Or what if I change my plan? What if they laugh at my plan, tell me it's bad, or just flat out reject it?! On top of all that, missionaries who are returning home are encouraged more than ever to stay focused on their mission. How can you stay focused if you are to spend 20 minutes every day focusing on your home life? Haha I know, these all seem kind of like shallow and prideful excuses. But President addressed "myplan" at zone conference, and while he was standing there talking about it, the thought came to me that our Heavenly Father is a PLANNER!!! For goodness sakes, one of the lessons we teach is all about Heavenly Father's PLAN OF SALVATION!!! And what did He do with that plan? He shared it with US!!! And yes, 1/3 of his children rejected it!! And quite a few of the 2/3's that made it to earth struggle to follow His PLAN for us. So, even though I started out kind of grumpy about "myplan" I am now happy to do it because I know that planning is of God!! Also, I support and sustain our church leaders, and I know that they know that "myplan" is inspired of God.

I love following the prophet!! Oh, and I was able to share the story about how you and dad paid off the house because you were following the council of the prophet and then how dad lost his job and it was okay because we knew we had followed the prophet!! I shared the story with the young women in one of our wards. I almost cried. Can you believe it has been a year since that happened?

We had lots of miracles - where we knocked on people's door this week and they responded with "I was just thinking about you!" Or "the Mormons have been on my mind all week!"

It's been a great week :)

Let's plan on 3pm to Skype on Sunday. :) I'll Skype you. Because I still don't know where I am Skyping yet.

Emily and Jordan should totally open a theater in Gresham. I would audition!

Yeah they [BYU-Hawaii] should do “Annie Get Your Gun!” Or Into the Woods.

Hahaha – I love the story about dad wearing his teeth!! [John put on his funny teeth in Primary and stood behind me when I was trying to lead the children in a song – really helped with reverence . . .] Hahahaha!!

Congrats to Kara getting that job!! How long does Kevin have in Hawaii?

I love that talk!!! It is so true and it goes along with what I said before!! God even has a PERSONAL PLAN for US!!!!

Okay mom I love you!!! Can't wait to see you next week :) :) :)

Sister Brady

Here are some of the quotes/stories that stood out to me this week:

"If you want to know that you know that you know, a price must be paid. And you alone must pay that price. There are proxies for ordinances, but none for the acquisition of a testimony."
-Douglas L Callistar. Knowing that we know.

And this one:

"Sister Hinckley’s roots sink deeply into rich pioneer soil, leaving an indelible imprint on her life and character. She wrote this about her great-grandfather:

      “On a beautiful Sunday morning in the fall of 1841, my great-grandfather, William Minshall Evans, then sixteen years of age, was walking down the streets of Liverpool, England, on his way to church. Suddenly he heard singing that thrilled him beyond anything he had ever heard before. He followed the sound down an alley and up some rickety stairs into a room where a few people were holding a meeting. John Taylor, who later became president of the Church and who had a beautiful tenor voice, was the singer. The song he sang was so beautiful that William remained to hear the sermon.

      “Upon returning home, William was reprimanded by his elder brother, David, for being absent from his accustomed place in the choir. Asked to give an account of himself, William replied, ‘I have been where you should have been, and I shall not be satisfied until you all hear the wonderful truth I have heard this morning.’

      “… William and David were converted to the gospel, and then helped convert other members of their family” (Ensign, July 1981, p. 48).

      Sister Hinckley commented, “I never sing the hymns of the Church without remembering that it was the singing of a hymn that opened the door to the gospel for my family and made it possible for me to enjoy all the blessings that have followed” (p. 48)."

I love you all!!!

Sister Brady!!!!! :) :) <3

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 27, 2015

Me and Sister S
She doesn't like photos
so I snuck a selfie with her :)

Letter from Erica To her Daddy


You went to eat out with the Scotts? How was that? Where did you eat? How long does Ian have left on his mission?

Haha! Sorry mom woke you up! I used to get really angry when people would wake me up. But then I bought a little fan and it makes great white noise so that I can sleep through almost anything!! You should get some white noise.

I LOVE EMILY!!!! I look forward to telling her all about my mission!!! She is the only sister I have who will let me tell her everything in great detail without getting annoyed!! :)) [just kidding other siblings . . .kind of]

I love you dad and I will try better to respond personally to all of your emails :)

I love you!!!

Sister Brady

Letter from Erica To Mom

Dear Mom,

I LOVE the painting analogy!! Yes! You are good!!

Will you make me a MONSTER cookie for Christmas?

Is it nice that only Emma is required to be at the Saturday Drama work party?

I am soooo sorry that you didn't make it to the game!!! [We were going to go to Henry's little league game but thought it was at 10am instead of 9am – with an hour drive . . . we missed it]. That makes my heart hurt a little!

Who is playing the main girl and guy in Much Ado About Nothing? Ugh, I can't even remember the character's names!! Nice Emma! Hero is a great part!!! I got cast as a Witch when they did Macbeth in 8th grade! But, then I quit so that I could be in the Oregon middle school choir :)

So, is Susan expanding her "youth" theater and officially making it a "community theater"? Cause Alec is def not a youth [actually Alec is a youth – I will let Erica know], and neither is Deanna and she was in Willie Wonka. And I was technically 19 for the last 3 days of Sound of Music... Black Swan Community Theater. BSCT. [Willie Wonka and Sound of Music were rare exceptions with some added adults to the cast.]

I love Kiss Me Kate. They should do that at BYUH.

Mom! Stop falling down! That makes me want to cry! :( [I fell down my driveway taking the recycling out, rolled my ankle and skinned up my knee. #klutz]

Who did Sydney McCarry marry?!??! I didn't even know she was engaged, let alone dating someone!!!!

No I didn't know Grandma Ferre was teaching Seminary!!! Wow!! That is great! She will be great. They are only putting the best teachers in Seminary these days. Seriously. The youth need really good teachers.

I love the Schaffrans!! Tell them I'm sorry about their dad :( and tell them I say hello!! And thanks for the popsicles!! Hahaha!! If you ever see them again.........

Hahahahaaha I love Dad!!!! I used to think the porcelain dolls in my room would feel left out if I didn't talk to them and tell them I love them every night. I was worried they would try to kill me in my sleep
if they got mad at me.

I love dress rehearsal week. It has almost been a year since I've last been in a play....

Actually, I hated dress rehearsal week when I was in high school. At the time I thought it was too long :( but hey, McCarty and Susan always put on AMAZING shows!!! But, Grandpa was always able to put on amazing shows and they didn't seem soooo exhausting. Maybe that's just cause it got easier as I got older and more use to rehearsal schedules. :) (And I didn't have early morning seminary and classes all day long every day . . . so yeah . . .). I LOVE being in plays and musicals. I wish President would let us perform the musical that the church wrote: "Savior of the World". That would be sweet.

Yeah, we will figure out a time to call. I will write you about it next week. Would you prefer morning? We could shoot for 9am? Or if you prefer afternoon we could try for 3pm?

Oh yeah!! Tali's silvery hair!! Someone was just telling us that gray hair is a thing right now! That and pale purple.

Listen to the song Blue Hair and tell me if it is good! I've never heard that song and I've never heard of the musical!

What does "the wrong dosage can ruin teeth" mean? What kind of damage does it do? No, Crest Whitening Strips hurt my teeth. Baking Soda does not.

Thanks for the Alamo info!

We helped one of our zone leaders clean one of their investigator's home. There was about 24 of us missionaries. And we were there for about 3 hours. Sister S**** and I cleaned the windows, walls, and
doors. And then she vacuumed some rooms while I scrubbed dishes. It was a great zone service! And the man was very grateful. He kept walking around the house and thanking us and blessing us. He told us that he didn't think any of us would show up! And there was 24 of us!!! But the best part was when we got a text from our zone leader that night that said "dear Heritage zone! THANK YOU for helping with B****'s home today. You have no idea how much of an impact you had on him :) #LoveYa'll". Serving people softens their hearts!!! It makes me think about the song "Have I Done Any Good"

I love this line:

"There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying "Sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today."

This song makes me want to serve everyone I see!!! I need to be better at that!! I will go and do something today!!!!

Me, Sister S****, and the rest of our district helped one of our members fill a huge hole in their backyard with dirt (another service project, but this time it was just with the district, not the zone).
There was just this humongous dirt pile that we kept shoveling. It took us two hours to finish it (plus the two hours that we had spent on it a few weeks ago). At one point someone brought up that it was
like the movie "holes"! So then we all decided that our district was like all of those kids on holes and we all picked names from the movie. I am Caveman (Stanley Yelnats).

I wanted to be Zero, but they said no cause I'm white.......

And remember Elder R******? From the Portland airport when you guys dropped me off? He is in my district now and he claimed Armpit! Sister S****** said she wants to be Kissin' Kate Barlow, hahaha!

And we decided to make our zone leaders "Mr. Sir" and "Mom". Hahahaha. Anyway, we decided to make this the basis of our district T-Shirts :) I'll send you pictures if we actually decide to follow through with it.

Also, when Holes was initially brought up, someone quoted the line that Mr. Sir says: "Once upon a time.... there was a magical place.... Where it never rained.... The end..." Hahahahaha it was funny because we live in Arizona...... The desert.... Where it never rains....

BUT GET THIS!!!!! Right as we were almost finished with the dirt pile, IT STARTED RAINING!!!!! NO JOKE!!!!! My life was legitimately "Holes" for thirty seconds!!!!

I love my district. And my zone. I was in my last zone for 6 transfers!!! That's 9 months!! I was really close to all of the missionaries in my last zone, so it was hard for me when I first got to this new zone and district. But I am grateful that we were all serving together this week. We bonded!! Serving is the best!!

Okay, I love you Mommy!!!

Sister Brady

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go 

Letter from Erica To Emily

Dearest Peter Panic,

YOU ARE THE BEST LITTLE SISTER EVER!!!!! Okay, don't tell anyone, but I miss you. And I LOVE getting emails and letters from you! I so look forward to the day when we star in a Broadway show, and then a movie, and then a spin-off TV Show together :)

Remember when we used to imagine ourselves into our favorite TV shows? Like how I imagined I was Tawni's little sister in "Sonny with a Chance" and how Chad Dylan Cooper would fall in love with me :) hahahaha good times!

What did Dave and Zach do for their duo musical? What did Cami and Natalie do for their duo scene?

Okay, this is very important: what did Natalie S. Do for her monologues? And can you/she find and save me some copies of them for future reference?

Also VERY IMPORTANT: what did Ellie do for her monologues?! And can she/you find and save me some copies?!??! Please??!!!

Finding good monologues has always been very hard for me. So I need your help. Ask them if you can get copies of what they did.

Did you do monologues for regionals? Or for districts? What did you do? Can you get me copies? :)

How do they select which three main stage productions get performed? Is that a part of the competition? Or so they just rotate which schools get asked to perform a show?

Hahaha, what is Neighborhood 3: requisition of doom about?! Hahaha it sounds like a video game, or a cartoon network series.

​What did you mess up on? Did you forget a line? I struggled with remembering lines all throughout high school. But once I got to college, I haven't struggled with it at all!! Yay! I hope I don't struggle with memorizing lines after the mission!
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE!!!!!!!!! I miss that show!!!!!!!!!

How did it go? Was it better than the BYUH production? Could Millie belt? Was Mr. graydon good looking? Were Jimmy and Miss. Dorothy good actors? Was the dancing/taping good? Tell me about Millie. Compare her to me. (i.e. "You could belt better, but This Millie was a trained dancer..." Etc.)

I want to be in that show again someday!!
You're too close to the boy in his picture:

Tell him he better step back.


Also, what was the theme of state this year? Why was everyone wearing T-shirts that say "I wish to go to the festival".. ? That is from Into the Woods... Have you seen that movie yet?

Yeah, please tell me what Ellie did for her monologues. If she showcased they must have been really good!!! And unique!! Bah!!! You should have recorded it!

What did centennial do for group musical this year? Did you guys even make it to state? Man, Centennial used to show case at state every year! I bet you'll bring glory back to Centennial's name :) and I will be home to help you prepare for next year!!! Right? Maybe. When is regionals?

I love you so much MC Clapp Yo Hands!!

A skinnier version of Chaz Bono

(Haha... actually, I can't remember if I am Shaun or Gus....) hahahaha I always forget because it could go either way with us!! Love you Emmy!!!!