Monday, December 30, 2013
Dear Mom, This week has been a blast. Aldous and Burckle are the best comps anyone could ever ask for. They have helped me through my whole experience with Sis P and they're so fun too. We make the best companionship ever. The ward has never loved missionaries more than they do us. Because we're hilarious and awesome. We all cried on Sunday night when sister B was being transfered and the "Triple Threat", the "Trouble Trio", the "Three Amigas", the "Three Musketeers", etc. was breaking up. Brooke Called it... I'm a sister training leader. I just finished training myself last transfer, and now I'm expected to boost the whole zone. I'm supposed to be the example, so I guess I'd better grow up quick. I'm supposed to be a mature person that others can look to. No pressure. Yikes. My new comp is Sister Whitney Ellis (Graduated from Orem High in 2011). On Sunday, the first person I saw, I walked up to her and invited her to baptism. She accepted. New investigator. Be BOLD!!! It was sooooooo good to talk to you guys on Christmas. I loved hearing your voiced and seeing your faces. Dad's letter was great.. keep sending them. Michael seems really happy with Anna. Kevin should shave his face and I miss him. Grandma looks the same. Dace has doubled in size. Jennifer's hair is getting long. Brian didn't say hi to me. Brooke looks like a barbie. And I miss my momma! us and the Houstons
Hey! How was your Christmas?? Mine was awesome!!! The very best part was, of course, SKYPE!!! It was at the Beckett's too (I wouldn't have chosen any other family to be with out here!) So, remember the Pearce family? They were the refferral from Mary Whitmire... Austin (the 16 year old) told us yesterday at church that he knows the Book of Mormon is true!!! And that this church is true! and that he wants to be baptized in a couple weeks!!!!! He also told us that he made the decision to go on a mission when he turns 18! What a blessing! He will make the greatest missionary. It's a missionary's dream come true! Also, we taught his mom and stepdad the stop smoking lesson and David (the stepdad) took it really well! He's smoked 2 packs a day for 31 years and he is very strong in his desire to quit. We also taught them the Restoration and David again took it really well. Austin bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and had a talk with his mom for an hour telling her that it's true. HE'S GOLDEN! He convinced her to read the Book of Mormon and to find out for herself. We are expecting 3 baptisms coming up soon. Austin wants to get baptized in a couple weeks, then he can get the Priesthood and baptize the rest of his family. He really wants to do that!!! He is so amazing! I love you more than Southerners love Grease! Michael: Yes, I still love Gerard Butler... did you know he's waiting for me? HAHA!!!! Anna sounds to great! Even the fact that she loves stargate! Who knew? You got a long board? And glasses? You have to send me a picture of you wearing your glasses! Are they reading glasses or everyday ones? I always thought you had really good vision! I've been away too long... I'm missing everything! Mom: Yes! Send pictures of everything! It sounds like the wedding turned out really nice. And it took a lot of work too! Joji's funeral sounds like it was great! You should talk to the 'uncle' guy who made all the food and have him cook for mine and Erin's homecoming talks! Just a thought. Ya, my talk was very short notice. I was so terrified when they called me up to speak. I was shocked! It was a surprise! It's so funny that Erin spoke too! Dad: Don't be sad, Dad. I just wish that these next 14 months go by fast (ask mom, she knows why). The rest can slow down. I saw a guy at the store the other day who was wearing a shirt like yours! It was a grayish blueish plaid shirt. You wear it when you work on the car sometimes. Are you back to work already? Kevin: Write me! Also, I loved seeing you on Christmas! Sister Beckett told me that she really likes you because you were so patient with her as she tried to figure out the Skype thing. I said that if she had any daughters, they would have one heck of a guy to marry! Michael is already taken... I was talking about YOU! (Then, we could be related!) Jen: Did you have a good Christmas? What did Santa bring you! You weren't sick like you were on Halloween, were you? I love you! You are the greatest big sister ever! My Halloween Costume
Monday, December 23, 2013
Lots and Lots of Pictures to see. Dear mom, you can absolutely share those pics on FB. I don't care who see's me. After all, it is me. I thought it was hilarious!!!!!!!!!!! We couldn't stop laughing. This is from Sister Clarke in Peachtree City..... "Soooo, your daughter got up to look at our picture and see how her skirt is tucked in her shirt! I seriously thought she was goofing around, but nope! I made her let me take pictures cause it was so funny!!!" We all have laughed so much here at home just imagining this happening. It is Soooooo Erin!!!!
No Pictures this week. I forgot my camera at home. Hey family! This week was sure crazy. One of our less-active members named Mary Whitmire gave us a referral for Michelle Pearce. We stopped by Michelle's house, and she wasn't there... but her kids were. Austin (16), Victoria (7), and Brandon (almost 5). We taught them the restoration and we gave Austin a Book of Mormon. He told us that his mom's birthday was in 2 days... perfect! We went by on her birthday and brought her gifts. She was SOOOO touched! They invited us in to share some of her birthday cake. We taught Michelle, David (her husband), Austin, Victoria, and Brandon! They are all very interested! Michelle and David even told us that Austin had read a lot of the Book of Mormon. He had been asking them questions about it and was really into it. :) :) :) They are a GOLDEN referral! Mary did good! Michelle told us that she met Mary for a reason and that she thought this was it. David told us that he's very set in his ways being Penecostal, but that he thought if anyone was going to change his mind, it would be us and what we teach! We are still going to be Skyping from the Beckett's home on Christmas. We are going to be there around 2-5. We only get an hour. :( I wish I could talk to you all day! I love you more than a fat kid loves chocolate! Dad: How are you?? Have you been busy? Did you do Joji's funeral? Just curious, has the house been a lot quieter since 2 crazy girls left? I should think so! Thanks for sending a letter! I can't wait to get it! Kevin: I'm STOKED to call on Christmas! It will be the very best part of my mission so far! Have you started your Temple Prep? Mom: I LOVED the hot chocolate bar! Pinterest is the best! I'm glad I went off of it for so long because I really miss it. I'm glad I didn't have to go through withdrawls like some other missionaries. Joji died? At least she is dancing again! And with Brother Logan! Why did Erin's companion go home? Michael: Of course I'm excited for Christmas, because I get to talk to my favorite people on the planet (except Gerard Butler won't be there :))!!!! How are things going with Anna? Did you two do anything fun this week? I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I doubt I'll ever know. If there was a way to make a living on doing humanitarian service in Africa, I'd do that. Jen: Oh my gosh! That picture of Dace Face is SOOO funny! His face is priceless. He seriously looks so different from the last time I saw him. I had Mom explain the whole 'Micah' thing. It does say 'Muah' but I thought it said Micah. You'll have to have Mom tell you my whole "Micah story" when she gets a chance. It's pretty funny the way it turned out.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Hi family! How have you been? This week was normal. In the picture of the 2 kids, the little boy is 4 year old Oliver. He sat next to me when we ate at the Beckett's yesterday. Next thing I know, he kissed me on the cheek and told me that he was aiming for my lips. HAHAHAHAHA! I could not stop laughing! When we were leaving, Oliver told me that he wished I was in his family, and then said, "I will marry you!!" in a very deep voice. I bust up again.... FUNNY KID! This week, we met with Shane and taught the Plan of Salvation... best part is that there were 6 other nonmembers there... we taught his whole family! It went great too, because they were all involved and asking a ton of questions. For Christmas, the whole day is a proselyting day. We have to be out and about and teaching people just like any other day. :( We will have to open presents and gifts when we have time throughout our day sometime. We are only going to be at the Beckett's for lunch and Skype, and then we have to go out and teach... doesn't seem like it will be very effective. I'm sad that we only get at most 1 hour to skype. How long does Erin get? What's her Christmas agenda? This week, it has rained so much! I think we are up to 8 feet so far this year. FEET! Roads are literally paved river beds. Good thing I'm a good swimmer... They say missionaries can't swim, but you have to around here in a subtropical rainforest. :) Thanks for sending me our family Christmas picture/letter! I take it everywhere I go! I thought it was funny that it says, "Echols Family" on the letter, and the picture is just Erin and I... :) I love you more than a fish loves water! Mom: I love that you have a countdown! Did you know that Sister Holden is in Utah now? She'll be there for over a month. St. george I think. Just like I said, Christmas is a normal proselyting day for us. Too bad. Did you like the Dickens festival? PICTURES? Dad: I got your letter! It's crazy how much things have changed since you were a missionary. I've loved the 12 days of christmas package! For roasting Chestnuts... MAKE SURE YOU DRILL A HOLE IN IT BEFORE YOU ROAST IT!!! Otherwise, they explode. I've learned a few things out here in the sticks. Kevin: YAYA for the temple! You'll do great! I really can't wait to see Catching Fire. And apparently, I'll have to watch Frozen too. I don't know what that's about, but don't tell me! It will be a complete suprise when I get home! Michael: What I meant was... 14 months is plenty of time to: 1) find out if she's the right one, 2) marry her, and 3) have a kid. Plenty of time... no rush. ;P Jen: I got Dace's hug! What a handsome boy! P.S. Who's "Micah?" You wrote his name on the thing you drew me.??
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Happy "you get to skype with your two favorite missionary daughters for Christmas"!!! We found out that we only get an hour to skype, but it's better than nothing! The Becketts are having us Skype at their house... which is fine for me because they are my favorites! They got Skype just so we could do that. :) This week was so busy! Sister Paxton has an unlimited amount of energy when it comes to missionary work. She is crazy good at being a missionary! This week, we met with Sam... He's 26 and he lives with some college guys. When we first met him, he was completely closed off to the gospel. Now, he's told us everything there is to know about him and he completely trusts us. He is into drugs, alcohol, and smoking, so Sister Paxton was like, "Sam, you need to change your life!" (Reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost!) We told him that if God was going to trust him with a good girl and some more kids, he had to live in a way that God would give those to him. We told him to quit smoking. When we left, I was like, "We should have taken his cigarettes." so we ran back up there and grabbed them and said, "Hey, Sam! Can we have these? Thanks. Bye!" and we ran away with them. He realized that we were serious about it. :) He even saved my life. His nickname is Spiderman, and he has a HUGE spider tattoo on his back, but this guy is TERRIFIED of spiders! Too funny! When we were talking with him, there was a massive creepy spider on me that I didn't even notice. He lunged forward, grabbed it, and threw it off the balcony. He then started to freak out. He was like, "I just grabbed a spider! I HATE spiders! Why did I just do that??? I must like you guys or something!" It was really funny. His friends gave him a hard time about letting us take his cigarettes and he was like, "Hey! Their trying to help me quit smoking!" It was great. He stood up for us. Oh ya, we went and dropped by an inactive lady because neither of us had ever met her. She threw a blender at me. Good thing I played basketball and could get out of the way fast enough. Let's just say that we were out of there before she could grab the knife block. :) We got to watch the Christmas Devotional last night! Elder Nelson is so amazing (I love how he's Sister Irion's dad, so he's like my mission grandpa!) We met with Vivian this week. She's 87 and only has 1 leg. She is thinking about being baptized! She has been VERY strong in the Methodist church her whole life, until we shared the Plan of Salvation with her. She was AMAZED! We extended the baptismal commitment and she said that she'd think about it! YAYA for old people! I love you more that all the books in the library of congress! Mom: Wow! So much snow! and the tree looks great out front! I can't believe Delyce is married already! She is GORGEOUS! Do you like her husband? Dace is making a pretty funny face in that picture. He looks so different from when I saw him last! I probably won't even recognize him in 14.5 months. Dad: I haven't got your letter yet, but you know these mountain people. I look forward to getting some more news from you and everyone else too. My companion loves hearing me tell about your missionary stories... like the one where you taught the Mistress's "girls." Kevin: I would LOVE to be able to go through the temple with you! But I think you should do it now, so that if Michael gets married, you can go through with him. Also, I want to go through the SLC temple the minute I get off the plane, so you'll be able to go with us then! ;):) Michael: You DEFINITELY have to keep me posted on Anna! Mom sent me a picture... I approve. Get a move on! P.S. You should write me a letter and send pictures too. Tell the rest of the family the same thing. :) Erin sent me a package
Dear Family, This week has been a rough one, but I'm still working my hardest. My arm is doing weird, it feels like it was run over by a tank, then I went bungee jumping with the rope tied to my arm... but that's just how it feels, at least it still looks like an arm. I'll be going back to the doc sometime soon and I hope and pray that they find something wrong so they can fix it. Did you know Paul Walker died?!?!?!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOO! What a beautiful man... so sad. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More than Yin loves Yang! DAD: I'm glad the car is coming along. Cool that there's snow, we got snow the other day, a couple snowflakes floated, and the whole town shut down. Crazy. Thankyou sooooooooo much for your letter. It was so good to get one and to talk to you on the phone. And, no, I didn't get homesick... I needed that extra boost. MOM: Thanks for the letters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved them. It was so good to talk to you too. I wish we could have talked for hours. I can't believe Delyce is married! So weird to me! MICHAEL: I'd love to come home to a new baby. KEVIN: How do you like work? Any new movies you seen lately? BEST.DAY.EVER.Lots and Lots of Letters.
Monday, December 2, 2013
11/26/2013 Dear Mom, My Companions name is Sister Melany Perkins. She’s brand new from Augusta Georgia. She didn’t go to the MTC because she just came straight out for a ‘mini mission’. She’s serving a 3 month mission because she suffers some health issues. I go to physical therapy 3 times a week, and they all LOVE me. Well, its official…I’m in the club of ‘Missionaries who farted on a door step’. We were tracting and I approached a door and a toot just managed to squeeze its way out. Oops. I could not stop laughing. I was shaking so bad. Sisters Aldous and Burckle died when I told them that night. They embraced me with open arms because they’ve both done it. I cannot believe Brooke’s hair!!! Holy smokes, it’s so short. Is she liking her mission? Is she a trainer too? Does extreme stress cause your face to break out? Because I’ve gotten 3 zits in one week. That is not normal. I found out that I emotional eat too. Good thing it’s oranges. Could you get an over dose of vitamin C? Will you have the family write me letters! The only people who have written me letters are: Burnt and Teresa Oliphant, Grandpa and Grandma Bodily, and Allen Davis. The other sisters get daily letters and weekly packages. I don’t care if you don’t write anything. Even if you would send a blank piece of paper in an envelope. I would love it. I just miss seeing something with my name on it and hearing my name. The other day, I couldn’t even remember what my name was. It freaked me out so bad that I went raging through all my papers looking for something to help me remember. I thought I had amnesia because the only name I knew was Echols because it was on my tag. It was the weirdest feeling not knowing who I was. I think my memory is getting worse. I also get super confused a lot too. My brain pops a lot and then I can’t move. I think I’m going crazy. It’s pretty cold here now. You actually have to wear a coat and some tights. I’m extremely glad I brought my boots. I seriously wear them everywhere. I’m lucky too, because I get to wear socks underneath. I’m excited for the day when I can come home and snuggle up in sweats ant boots in front of the fire while I watch a movie and eat an orange. And so I can stay inside during those storms instead of being out in them. I’m also excited for the day when I can go to bed before 10:30-11. I can’t wait to see you standing at the airport ready to run and give me a hug. I can’t wait to see you in 15 months! I love you so much….more than Pluto loves being a planet. Love Erin PS..Sister Perkins told me that the only reason she's staying on her mission is because she wants to be exactly like me when she gets off of it. What?!?!?!?! that totally caught me off guard.
This week, as you know, was thanksgiving! We ate at Karla Bertleschoffer's house with her son Jonathan, and her Aunt and Mom. It was pretty fun. We were able to sneak in the gospel as we talked to them. Also, Sister Paxton is great! She's very different from Sister Eckman, but I know we'll be good friends. It's hard to change companions, but she really is great. Apparently at transfers, President Irion called Sister Paxton to tell her that he was putting her with a missionary that he really likes. He didn't tell her it was me, but he said he likes me! That's a start, right? :) haha. So, people here know Erin better than they know me! It's a good thing we have a lot of fun stories, otherwise people wouldn't know me at all. :P So, we got some more snow this week! It actually stuck to the ground, but it was mostly melted by the next day. Also, we got so much rain that it flooded the area where we live. It's a good thing that we live in the upstairs apartment, if you know what I mean... On thanksgiving, I met a lady who lives here, but she went to Orem High! She was here visiting her relatives, but she knew the Orem Tiger school song as well! This week, we set a baptismal date with Shane Owen! He is Shirley Owen's son. (She was baptized probably about 5 years ago) He has a fear of water, but I know he can overcome that. Shane even came to church! We also have been teaching Shirley Owen's brother, Robbie, and he said that he wants to be baptized too. And, we have been teaching Shirley Owen's cousin, Dennis, and his sisters, Martha, Ady, and Bobby. And Martha's daughter Katelyn, and Her grandma, Opaly. We just plan on baptizing the whole family!! So, at night time, my mind has been so active and crazy that Sister Paxton and I decided that I should make a TV series! My dreams are insane! How has good old Orem been? We have been getting crazy weather warnings here in Brevard. At 2 in the morning, the warning sound went off, so we checked our phone, and it said a massive ice storm was coming and that we should stay inside! Luckily, it passed over us. We met with a 26 year old guy named Sam, and he's really prepared for the gospel, but he doesn't want to accept it. :( Life as a missionary. At least I get to call home in exactly 23 days!!!!!!! That will be the highlight of my mission so far! :) :) :) :) :) I seriously can't wait! I don't think I'll be able to Skype, but I will call for sure! Also, I have some jam and stuff that I'm sending home. I don't want to carry it around my whole mission, so you can enjoy it! You can count it as your Christmas presents! Also, at thanksgiving... I tried Greenbean casserole for the first time.. BLECH! I felt like I was eating a salamander! Oh well. :) Michael: You have a girlfriend?!?!?!? And you didn't tell me? I know all, so don't try to deny it. :) Give me some details, boy! By the way, 15 months is plenty of time for me to have a new sister-in-law and a new niece/nephew by the time I get home. ;) Get a move on! Kevin: Just think, in 23 days, you'll get to hear my voice! I know, not anything spectacular, but it's something! :):) I love you too! Dad: Thank you for sharing your missionary experiences with me... I really like it a lot. It helps me to know that I've got some of your blood in me, so I know I'll survive. :) It helps me also to know that you love me! :) Mom: Holy cow! Dace Face looks so old! He's getting so big! Next time I see him, he'll be helping Erin do some quantum physics. I love the news about the family that you share with me! Thanks! Jen: You're son is so big! I can't really decide if he looks like you more, or Brian, but hey, you did good. He is one cute kid. I got me some new boots.