Thursday, May 16, 2013

37th Epistle from Elder Kaleb Erickson serving in Far Rockaway, NY

New Adventures Await!     written May 13, 2013

Finally, the call came! I'm being transferred to a new area tomorrow! It's a very bittersweet time in my life right now. On the one hand, I'm really excited to go to a new area and meet new people and get a change in scene. On the other hand, I'm going to really miss the people here in the Far Rockaway branch. 

Sister Phiri and daughter from Zambia.  She once served me boiled caterpillers!

They are such sweet, loving people. In sacrament meeting yesterday, the primary had a Mother's Day program where all the little kids got to go up and say something about their mom. It was the sweetest meeting ever. It's so hard to say goodbye to these people who have been like my family for the last six and a half months. I wish I had my camera cord so I could send you some of the pictures I took yesterday. This branch will forever be my home away from home. I don't know how my next area can compare with this one.

Primary Children in the Far Rockaway Branch
Yesterday was such a weird day because I got to talk with you guys, then the rest of the day I was saying goodbye to everyone. Those are two things I don't do very often, let alone on the same day. 

Emilia Lima and her son.

Elder Hart and I just made a blitz to visit as many people as we could before the day ended. And that's our plan for today too. It is fun to see everybody one more time and I'll hopefully be able to come back someday and see them all again.

The O'Reagan Family from the Far Rockaway Branch
But anyways, I'll find out tomorrow where I'm headed and who my new companion will be. It will definitely be a new adventure; one that I'm excited for. I'll have lots to tell you all next week!
Elder Erickson

Thursday, May 9, 2013

36th Epistle from Elder Kaleb Erickson serving in Far Rockaway, New York

Cinco de Mayo!

Hey Mom and Dad!            Written on May 5, 2013

Well it has been another fun week here in the Rockaways. Elder Hart and I are excited because we have a woman we think might accept a baptismal invitation this week! She is a really nice woman from the Dominican Republic that we met from the English classes. She has been coming to church and seemed open to the idea that she needs to be baptized again by proper authority. Last week we committed her to pray about baptism and so we're going to follow up on it today and try to set a date for her baptism. We're so excited over here.
I had a way fun exchange with my District Leader, Elder Durkin, last Tuesday. He has been working almost solely in the heavy English area that we did most of the hurricane service in. So I got to go out there with him and just walk around and meet people. It was an awesome day. We saw this older woman outside sweeping up some sand, so we stopped and helped her out. She just had some brooms, a dustpan, and some trashbags, cleaning sand out of her driveway. We chatted with her about various things and she told us a bit about Judaism. Elder Durkin and I had been curious about some of the things that Jews believe and she told us a bit. We worked for maybe 15 minutes and then both of her neighbors came out and talked with us and thanked us for all the help we gave. It was awesome, just this small act of service, leading us to meet two more families.
We had an awesome beach cleanup day in the Rockaways on Saturday. Some 80 missionaries or so came down for New York City's official Park Cleanup Day. They have these cool things on the roads called malls. It's pretty much a divider between each side of the road where they plant grass and a couple trees. When Hurricane Sandy came through, it stayed true to it's name and dumped a ton of sand all over these malls. So we came in and raked the sand out of the malls, then put in new dirt and layed some seed for new grass. It was fun to work with all those missionaries again. My only regret was that I missed out on getting a free shirt from the event. Though I met a guy there who owns a T-shirt design shop and he said he would get me some free shirts for all the work we did. That was an awesome encounter there.
Last week we focused a lot on trying to get less-active families to church. It worked to some extent. It's always the question of how much time should I spend on these families who always manage to come up with an excuse. I'm not even mad, it's amazing how there's always a new excuse. We did set up an appointment with a new family for this Saturday that Elder Hart and I are really excited about. Hopefully that pans out, it would be fun to start working with a new family.
So things are going well out here! We're getting nervous with transfers only a week away, but whatever happens will be for the best. Until next week!

Elder Erickson