Monday, June 13, 2011

27 Total Lessons, Woohoo!

Dear Family,

Answers to your questions:

Question #1: What is a work over (which you mentioned 3 times in your last letter)?

Answer: A work over is when you trade companions with someone in your zone for a day. So far I've been on four. Two times I went to a place called Bury St. Edmunds with an elder from Switzerland, one time to Coldchester with 2 zone leaders, and once here with a zone leader. It's just a good way to learn from many different missionaries. Everyone is very good at different things so I learn a lot. The two times I went to Bury we did those work overs because we needed the District Leader to interview investigators for baptism. I like workovers but the two at Bury were kind of a let down because they were on Saturday and Saturday is the best day of the week by far.

Question #2: How big is your area and how many members and missionaries are in it?

Answer: I think the farthest away places are about 45 or 60 minutes away by car. To be honest, I'm not real sure of the exact boundaries of our area. We usually stick around the city center. The ward seems to be quite big. Honestly, yesterday there weren't a whole lot of empty spaces in the chapel. This month the Area Presidency has a challenge for every member to bring someone to church either once this month or every week. We have 4 missionaries in this area, us and sister missionaries that live about 3 blocks away from us.

Question #3: How do you get around each day?

Answer: We usually get weekly bus passes, but most of our finding and teaching is in the city center which has a big mall, parks, and the famous colleges (Kings Parade, lots of different very old colleges). It's about a 20 minute walk from our flat to the city center and we usually walk and stop people on our way there. We take the bus maybe a couple times on average each day.

Mom, today I may know somewhat how you feel. I woke up with a horrible headache, probably from drinking water from a puddle. . . I was thirsty and can't buy water on the Sabbath so I had to do it. England is kinda weird that way, no water fountains, very few public bathrooms. I just laid low for a while and now I feel pretty OK.

Oh Marty, if only I could be around to feed you ice cream when no one was looking. . . haha. So many things are going on, cousins getting serious, people playing night games and ultimate frisbee. What, were you just waiting to start the party when I left? Haha, I'm having a party over here too. Last week we taught 27 total lessons. Woohoo! Twelve of those were with a member present. A guy in the ward named William who is a family history guru and knows a lot of high class people was responsible for the majority of those lessons. Good times.

Out of nowhere we had a baptism this Sunday. Vincent, an investigator of ours is going on a trip this week so we moved up his baptism and it was great. I wish I could send you the picture. It was amazing. After he was baptized, there was a glow about him, after he was confirmed you could see the change that the spirit immediately made. This coming Sunday we a have a 9 year-old who we have taught that will be baptized. My companion is going out swinging. It's too bad we only have one more week together. (Elder Sikahema is more of a rugby guy than football. He isn't 100% sure if he will play that at BYU or not.)

Our investigator 15 year-old Eunice wants to be baptized so badly. When she heard there was a baptism Sunday morning she said, "I'm going to get baptized today!" She lit up. Sadly, no, her mother wants to know more about the church before giving permission but she never comes to church and was only at one of our teaching appointments.

Yesterday we taught a Chinese lady for the first time and it was great. In the middle of the lesson I started smiling ear to ear and thought, "This is why I'm here". There are a lot of reasons I'm here but my favorite is so I can teach those that are ready to receive the gospel. It is so strange to me that the country with almost no Christan influence produces the most humble people. When we try to stop people on the street 90% or so of the Chinese at least stop, 65% of Africans and Indians stop, and 10% of Caucasians stop. Very strange.

Something great that happened this last week was that my companion and I split up stopping people (same street just about 15 feet apart) and we both stopped people and taught lessons right there. We were sitting down on a small wall on a busy street teaching. Yes, I said the opening and closing prayer with people walking all around me. Weird, right? The guy I taught is a 17 year-old from Mexico. Hopefully we can go teach his mom, him and his sister this week. He seemed very interested.

I am starting to get more and more comfortable teaching people and getting to know them. When I find out something about a person that I can relate with, it makes the situation so much more comfortable. I had a swell time talking about Domino's with a guy from Taiwan. It was fantastic. (I've had Domino's a couple times now, 5.99 pounds for a carry out lunch time.) It's easiest to develop a real love for someone when you find something in common with them, so I'm trying to do that more now.

We ate at a member's house and they are from Spain, so we had paella. Good stuff. The wife served her mission in Barcelona so we had a good conversation. (Mom's note: Andy's brother, Joey, served his mission in Barcelona and our family went back there with him a year after his mission.) They were at BYU for 6 years and one of Brother San's professors was David Belnap.

I'll make sure to send some pictures next p-day. Have a great week. Dad, juice the 450 up the cliff. Mom, get feeling better. Joey and Michelle, keep stuffing Marty. Heidi and Steve, keep Nunners (Savannah) chubby. Lisa, keep playing around with the munchkins. Matt, keep up the night games, and Devin, I'll send you a letter.

Elder Larsen

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