Thursday, April 18, 2013

Last Letter

Dear Family,

Question #1: What foods are you most excited to eat when you get home?


Question #2: What's the most valuable lesson you've learned while on your mission? 

We are nothing. In a good way.

Question #3: How did Alan's and Heather's baptisms go?

It didn't end up happening this last week due to a few things, they'll get baptized later.

I don't have much time today, because I have to jump into London to get some stuff. I'm excited to see you guys.

In case you don't have the info,

I arrive in SLC at 7:05 p.m. in Terminal 2.

Thanks a lot.

Elder Larsen 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Making the Most of the Time I've Got Left

Dear Family,

 Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: How was your interview with President Jordan?

It was great. We didn't talk too much because I'll be talking with him again soon.

Question #2: What did you learn at your Zone Meeting? 

At Zone Meeting we learned some new tracting strategies and trained on asking inspired questions.

Question #3: What are you going to do to make this the most awesome week of your mission? 

I'm going to do what I am supposed to do. I'm praying hard so that we can find someone who will accept the gospel and get baptized after I leave. I've got to make the most of this time I've got left and love these people.

General Conference was indeed amazing. My dreams came true and the last session will be packed with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Holland, and Elder Christofferson. I hope to watch that tonight at the Whittakers. Elder Ellis gave a great talk, I am a no sugar type of guy. Joey, I had the same problem earlier on my mission with that Cambridge stuff. We have this case study in our missionary binder that talks about missionaries working in Cambridge, then I found out it's the Cambridge that is in New England where Harvard is.

Mom, you've got a good point. I have had several times on my mission where I did something that seemed foolish, but ended up making a miracle. Last week when we found the Nigerian family, I had actually intended to go somewhere else to tract but missed the turn, haha.

That's a good idea to write myself a letter Joey, I think I'll do it. I have some great plans, which are probably easier to say than do. Such as reading the Old Testament... haha.

I'm not done yet.

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Great New Investigator Family

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question 1: How was the fireside last Sunday? What did you say?

It was really good. I spoke about my conversion and my mission. I also explained about how the church is in Provo and how pathetic my commitment was at times. Haha.

Question 2: What authentic British dish will you make for us when you get home?

Ummm, I'll try to make Toad in the Hole. It didn't ever work out making Yorkshire puddings with that guy, so I'll have to find someone else to teach me.

Question 3: What has been one of your biggest changes since going on your mission?

It's difficult to say what the biggest change has been. I have realized what the important things in life are.

It's a bank holiday today, so the library is closed. Right now I am at the Whittakers. It is great to be here. I was talking with Elder Whittaker about all sorts of things while Elder Delannoy wrote his family.

We went to Colchester for church yesterday rather than the school because it is closed for Easter. It was a great service. At the end for the combined portion they did a presentation for the advertising being done in central London in response to the Book of Mormon musical.

We found a great new investigator family last week. We knocked on a door and a man came to the door, "We're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ and we are sharing about the Book of Mormon".

"Would you like to come in?" he said.

We went in and explained the Book of Mormon, the Saviour, and the restoration. He said everything we said goes with the Bible and when he looked at Elder Delannoy's Quad he asked how he could get one. He said he wanted to buy one but we said we could bring him an old one. We did the next day and taught a proper Restoration lesson and it's great so far. We should see him tomorrow, he's a great man.

Sounds like good things are happening across the pond. I've got interviews tomorrow with President and Zone Meeting on Thursday. Have a great week.

Elder Larsen

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Think, Eat, and Sleep New Investigators

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1:  What are some easy meals you think any missionary could make? (The Young Men in our ward are going to have cooking lessons to prepare for missions.)

It's hard to say, because there are things you can get in some places but not in others. Here I love a good beans on toast, tortellini with cheese, etc.

Question #2: What were you most grateful for last week?
I am most grateful for our Branch Mission Leader. He doesn't have a lot of money, his health is quite poorly, but he does a lot for us. Yesterday in Priesthood he strongly encouraged the members to think of someone they can refer to us, it was great.

Questioin #3: What was your favorite lesson you taught last week?

Last week we taught Alan and Heather about Christ-like attributes. We taught all the pre-baptism lessons, so we are getting a bit more creative now. They are really good kids.

Last week was a great character building week. We didn't have the success that we hoped for, but it help me to reflect. I am happy to be a missionary, I have been well blessed, and I will do Heavenly Father's will even if it doesn't always make sense to me.

We as well got some snow last week, it hasn't melted yet though.

I really enjoy learning from Elder Whittaker about the scriptures and church history. Oddly enough I now enjoy reading, and talking with Elder Whittaker, there is so much I want to learn more about.

This week we have set a goal to find 3 new investigators. We have put up reminders on the wall, and decided that we will think, eat, and sleep new investigators. It's amazing that when we have strong desires for something, ideas and opportunities come.

Tonight we have a Branch fireside for singles and Elder Delannoy and I will each be talking about our missions. I hope I'm not "stunned" in that situation. It's difficult, there's so much I could share, but I need to decide what will be best.

Matt, that story about the test was amazing, what a genius. We listened to a talk from President Monson that that story reminds me of. President Monson was in a class, he noticed a student that never came prepared for the lessons, and he wondered, "what will he do when it comes to the final exam." The day of the final exam came, it was very cold, President Monson noticed that the student was wearing flip flops. They all put their books on the ground for the test, then the student took off his flip flops and flipped throught the pages of his book for the answers. The student got one of the highest grades in the class. Later for another test, the teacher last minute changes it from a written test to an oral test. President Monson said something like, "The student now had his foot in his mouth." Haha.

I've been doing my best to exercise as well dad. Right now I do push ups (normal and triangle), sit-ups, ab wheel, and use dumb bells mainly for my biceps. I'm going to need to start jogging again so Matt doesn't wear me down on the ultimate field.

What Lisa, you don't have a halo over your head? I do.

Thanks for reminding me of that talk mom, I think I'll pull it out and give it a study again.

Have a great week, I will.

Elder Larsen

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cold Hands and Being More Thankful

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: Have you had any snow lately?

Last week we had a day where it was a mix between hail and snow. That was the strangest day of weather I have seen in my life. Sunshine, blizzard, sunshine, blizzard, etc.

Question #2: Will the Whittakers stay in the Tendring branch for their whole mission?

I am not sure, they may or may not. I know the church leased the flat for 1 year to start.

Question #3: What were some of the tasks that you put on the calendar you made for Heather and Alan to help prepare them for baptism?

Read the scriptures, do something nice for your mom, be positive today, etc.

Who would have thought, Alan and Heather's baptism now looks to be on April 13th. To our horror they want us to sing a song with their mother at the baptism. They will regret that. They are great kids, they make me laugh a lot, and I think I might make them laugh too much.

The Branch is so good to us. At times I get a bit frustrated that the work isn't going better, but they are positive with us. I always remember good old President Patch, he always said, "Elder Larsen you're a great missionary, I've got great confidence in you!"

Right now I am working on being more Thankful for all the blessings that I receive, even the things that don't seem like blessings. I was making a list the other day of changes in me throughout my mission and I'm so grateful. There is still so much to do, I've got to make the most of my time.

Wow mom, try to stay all in one piece please.

Hah, the cold weather continues, I have inherited dad's poor circulation. Every time we shake hands with people they mention that my hands are cold and Elder Delannoy's are not. Even though I wear gloves and sometimes he doesn't. Like you Lisa, I am waiting for Spring, and more excited than ever for it.

Matt, I remember going on a camp out like that too. They tried to demand that I take a tent, I refused. That night it rained and rained, I didn't sleep too well. Good times.

Dad, I must let you know that I am having to fight daydreaming about dirt biking these days.

I try not to think too much about the munchkins or else I get too excited to see them.

I emailed Elder Sikahema last week and he replied, he's giving me some great tips to stay focused.

Elder Larsen

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'm Happy to Be A Missionary

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: Has your investigator taught you how to make yorkshire puddings yet?

I have not yet learned how to make yorkshire puddings.

Question #2: About how many people do you approach each day?

Not too sure, probably around 100. In some areas like Lea Valley, it was probably more like 300+.
Question #3: Did transfers bring any changes for you?

Nope, it's still me with Elder Delannoy.

That's great that John had a baby, it seems like it's been ages since a few people I know have had babies... hint hint.

Last week was great. We have started a Book of Mormon study class on Wednesdays and a Branch FHE on Mondays. I like listening to Elder Whittaker talk, I learn lots of new things from him.

We had a couple of great moments this last week in our work with less-active members. One night we got a call from a sister saying that she invited a neighbor to meet with us and he accepted, then later she invited another, we will see them this week. Another Brother in the branch invited a friend of his to our FHE, it's great.

We have been teaching Alan and Heather still, and it looks like they will be baptized this month, which is exciting. We made them a calendar to prepare them for baptism giving them tasks every day, and it has worked great. We celebrated Alan's birthday with them last week, he's 12. Matt, I use my funny joke with them when I say "Hi Alan!" while I'm looking just to the side of him. It's too much fun. I also thought of a new funny thing that I'll have to show you 'eye to eye', haha.

I'm happy to be a missionary, I want to keep focused. People always said that the mission goes by fast, and that has been true for me. I love to wear the Saviour's name on my badge, and also our family name. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. The Gospel is true.

I like the fake twinkies, I just wanted to make a funny joke, haha.

The pictures will be printed today, I will post them within the next couple hours.

Thanks a Billion.

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Zerefore, Beware of False Twinkies

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions. (Mom's note: Andy also asked the questions since we failed to come up with any this week.)

Question #1: Did you happen to meet someone this week who has been prepared to receive the Gospel?

Actually yes. We were talking to people in the town centre (yea centre), we stopped a man and set an appointment to see him, then went to catch a bus to a village. We jumped on the bus, and so did he, we sat together and talked more. Turns out he lived in Colorado for 30 years, knew some members, and wants to teach me how to make yorkshire puddings. We taught him last week and it went well, and we will see him again this week. Good question.

Question #2: Did you like your Birthday presents?

Why yes I did. The Peanut Butter M&M's (aka Bruv Bits) are gone, as are the juicy bugs, half of the jerky, some of the fake twinkies (aka Squidgy Crumpets) . . . (by the way, isn't that one of the signs of the second coming, that twinkies would be taken away? And also beware of false twinkies? The world is really making a turn for the worse), I also have dipped into the war heads and am saving the rips for good time.

Question #3: Tell us something funny about your companion.

Well it's not really a question, but sure. In French they do not have the "TH" sound. Zerefore it is difficult for him to speak correctly. We have fun in language study practicing. We have been working on the statement "Thus saith". Here are some examples. "Zus Sais" "Thuth Thaith" "Zus Saith" etc. Everyone loves his French accent, but he wants to get rid of it. Lots of the more experienced sisters at church mention how great his accent is, he gets embarrassed and I laugh.

It was a good week. Just about every day we jumped on the train or a bus to explore the area. We had a few very special experiences in which we were blessed to be able to give people comfort. More than once we knocked on the door of someone that was grieving for something and shared our message of hope. They may not get baptized now, but it's just good to be able to brighten their day.

Yesterday we were sharing our testimonies with members about the restoration and we got talking about the need for a living prophet. In quite a few instances the Bible touches on something but doesn't give much explanation. Such as: baptisms for the dead, Christ being baptized to fulfill all righteousness, Christ preaching to spirits in prison, how do you baptize and who can baptize, etc. I'm very thankful for the restoration. Only with revelation from God could everything be brought to light. I can't wait to attend a General Conference session live.

Transfers is next week, this one was 7 weeks long to fit in with the MTC or something. The next one will be 5 weeks.

We are going to go to a store to print off photos, then I will post them to you. Get well soon.

Elder Larsen

Mom, I asked Elder Whittaker about what church book I should read first when I get back, he told me to get "The Story of the Latter-Day Saints". If you could get that for me, that would be great.