A year ago she made the decision to get baptized.
And who would've guessed that exactly a year later she would make an even bigger covenant with God and go through the temple? I did! :)
It has been so amazing to have seen Erika's journey and the beautiful person she has become. It all started at the 2012 Halloween dance. We were in the church bathroom when I struck up conversation with her and Rebecca...not an awkward place at all which is why I love Brasilians! We exchanged numbers, went out a couple weeks later to eat Brasilian food and the rest is history.
Erika has allowed me to be apart of her life and journey and for that I am eternally grateful. She has been more than a blessing in my life.
I was there the first time she went to institute, stood up and introduced me (as if I was the visitor, not her)! To the time we went to see the temple lights and she dissed the Sister missionaries and told them that if she ever had questions she'd ask Rebeca and I, not them. To the time the missionaries first approached her after institute and she felt semi uncomfortable. To the first time she laid hands on a Book of Mormon and told me she would read it. To all of her lessons with the missionaries. To the first time she said she prayed about the church and knew it was true. To the time she accepted baptism. To the time she started feeding the missionaries before she was even a member. To the time I saw her dressed in all white and was overwhelmed with emotion and tears on the day of her baptism. To the time she gave her first testimony. To the time I helped her write her first talk. To the time she accepted a calling in her ward. To the time she promised to never work another Sunday. To the time she became a member missionary and taught others through her personal conversion. To the time I saw nearly her whole family discover the truthfulness of the gospel in Brasil and get baptized. To the time she sent me a picture of herself in her first one piece. To the time she got out her patriarchal blessing. To the time she swore she would never wear garments to the time she was counting down the days until she could wear them! To the time she decided to remove some of her tattoos despite the costly procedure. To the special reunion with Elder Nelson (missionary who'd taught her) and our friend Tom (intern at the time who'd participated in all the lessons) the weekend she went through the temple. To the time I captured a glimpse of Heaven, as I witnessed her in all white inside the temple.
To this time, I will never forget.