Monday, August 29, 2011

Elder Larsen, Looking Good


Dear Family,

Question #1: What came of the three investigators you found last Sunday?

We saw one again and taught her but now she goes back to Italy, another we will see this Wednesday at the church to teach with a member, and the other amounted to nothing.

Question #2: How do you and your companion divide up the work such as approaching people on the street, teaching lessons, etc?

Let's see, we sort of take turns, he is still quite new and learning the language so I stop a few more people on the street. Right now I am letting him teach the lesson and I just cut in to testify or to say something he forgot. Also I usually have him answer the phone and make more calls so that he can learn more. He outdoes me when it comes to dinner. The guy deserves a big hug for all the pasta he cooks me, good stuff. He is learning a lot and I am trying to run the area and teach him as best I can.

Question #3: What is the weather in Cambridge like these days?

The weather is a bit colder and rainier than previously. Elder Biondi wants to buy some winter clothes today. Haha.

Matt, you are totally right, home teaching is something that should not be taken lightly. You will help the people a lot. When you prepare the lesson you should actually make a proper lesson plan and invite them to do something as well. You are going to be the best missionary ever.

Dad, that is terrible that you can't go riding or weight lifting in a while. (Mom's note: Joe had 2 teeth pulled last week.) At least you got a couple good rides in beforehand. I was talking to Elder Biondi about our dirt bikes today, and just imagined riding up the cliff. Not quite as fun as the real thing. Haha.

Mom, I hope you always remember that way across the ocean you have a son who loves you and is thankful for your hard work and dedication to teaching him the gospel and good values. I feel so lucky to have been put in a situation where I have such high standards. I see so many missionaries struggle with obedience and for me, honestly, it's natural. Have a great week!

Lisa, you have a proper job now, that's like $90 a day, good grief. In two days you make as much money as I live off here in the UK. Fine, not really. The flat is 700 pounds, the travel is 66 pounds, and the food etc is 110 pounds, but still, that's a lot. Sometimes I wonder why the church doesn't just shut down this mission and use all the money on other things. Haha. I know why. . . Because it's the best mission in the World! (No doubt. Don't argue about that.) This mission is 2nd to Tokyo for most expensive. The flat that the AP's and a couple other Elders live in costs like 2200 pounds in South Kensington. Good grief. That's like 9 missionaries' money for a month.

Summer is coming to a close. Woohoo. I can't wait for the students to flood in, that will make our teaching so much better. As well as having more student members to teach with us.

Things are going well. Ting Ting was not baptized, oh boy, but she said she will most likely get baptized in 2013 when she goes to the U.S. for school. I hope she can stay strong until then, and after.

Things are going well, this week is going to be crazy. No work-overs all first three weeks (of this transfer), and apparently we will have 3 this week. Don't ever take me away from my companion for 3 days in one week. WHAT WILL I EAT! Oh yeah, I have pizzas in the freezer. I love the work so much, I think could stay with Elder Biondi for a long time.

Matt, tell Mr. Cherry I say hello, and I will send a letter in the mail today for him that you can give him. Mr. Cherry is the best.

Love you!

Elder Larsen

Monday, August 22, 2011

Elder Vitorio, Prasna, Elder Larsen

Open Your Mouth

Dear Family,

Did you know that Joseph Smith was 14 when he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ! And my little brother is now 14! Amazing. Happy birthday! This is a great age to pray and receive a witness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love you, and I can't wait to hear from you on your mission and think of how rubbish I was.

Here are the answers to your questions:

Question #1: Are you fluent in Italian yet?

To be honest I don't ask Elder Biondi too much Italian, because he is learning English and I just want him to focus on that. I suppose I could look in his MTC book to learn though. He taught a lesson yesterday to an Italian girl, in Italian. I understood a lot of what he taught, but that's probably because he taught something that I know front to back. The Restoration. I did, however, understand a decent amout when they were talking about Italy and whatnot.

Question #2: Have you noticed any cultural differences with Elder Biondi?

Well, we get in arguments quite a bit over McDonalds. Being an Italian, he lies to himself, saying that McDonalds is rubbish. Thinks his Italian food is superior. Haha, funny guy. We still go to McDonalds once or twice a week and use the coupon on the back of bus passes. I collect all that I find on the ground. . . 1.99 pounds for a big mac and fries.

Question #3: What advice do you have for Matt as he starts going to Timpview High School?

Well, Tina the fat lard, Timpview is a time to start fresh. As you go to a new high school with many new people, from the first moment you should take a step out of your comfort zone and talk to people. Never let people lower your standards or spend a lot of time with those that bring your standards down. Take seminary seriously. When we find and talk to people on the street, we call it OYMing. To OYM is to Open Your Mouth. It is amazing what it does. Like everything else, practice makes perfect.

This week we had Zone Conference, which is when we meet with 2 zones, the President, and the AP's. Quite amazing. We practiced a lot of things to improve teaching, such as, spirit pause, and asking inspired questions. As a companionship we have already seen our teaching quality increase as we apply the things we learned. I love listening to president talk, the guy is amazing. He inspires me to always be obedient and to continue in working hard and being bold.

Ting Ting, the Chinese girl I talked about, is being taught now. She leaves in about 1 week. I asked president what his opinion was on baptism for her. He said we should invite her to be baptized before she leaves so she can attend a branch in China. Tomorrow is the day we push it as hard as we can to be baptized next Sunday. I am praying so hard that she will. I know she is ready, she's a great investigator. I just hope that she sees that as well.

Right now we are starting to see a small indication of big increase of success. Yesterday, with church and a lot of meetings, we were only able to be out working for about 4 and a half hours. Yet, in that time, we got 3 new investigators. All of them we will see again tomorrow or Wednesday.

Elder Biondi is progressing a lot now, he is much, much more bold now, and stops a good amount of people.

Hopefully today I'll get some time to take pictures in town with the colleges and things to send you.

I love this work, and I cannot believe that I have been out 4 months now. It goes by much too fast. I sent a letter to Elder Sikahema, which he may not get for a long time because they are on vacation, and when his parents get back they'll have to send it to him at BYU. I told him to come for dinner sometime. He can tell you how rubbish I was, and about #1 and #2.

Yes, rubbish is my new favorite word.

Love, Elder Larsen

Monday, August 15, 2011

She Wanted to Be Taught By Elder Larsen and No One Else

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: How often do you see your mission president?

About 2 or so times a transfer, not a whole lot, call him on the phone when we have questions and whatnot. President Patch is the best.

Question #2: What have you learned from Elder Bionde and what funny experiences have you had with him?

Elder Bionde is a good worker. He constantly has ideas of how we can find and teach better. We have loads of funny experiences each day, but nothing really funny yet. The funniest is that a hobo that I hadn't seen for 3 weeks, after seeing him every day for a while with Elder Vitorio, found us again. He always tells us, "I'll pray for ya's." So that was a fun thing for Elder Biondi to be introduced to Cambridge.

Question #3: How is your apartment?

Our Flat/Apartment is alright. It's super small, but everything works well. We have heating and good water, all that we need as missionaries.

John's wedding sounds like it was pretty nice. I'm glad that he is finally married. Tell him I expect one child in 9 months and two by the time I get back home. And tell them congratulations for getting married.

Oh summer, funny how it goes by so fast, even for me. Apart from the first week or two of my mission time has gone by so fast. Just a couple months ago I was with the best missionary in the the mission (Elder Sikahema).

This week has been a pretty good week. The best thing that happened is that a Chinese girl who has been involved in the ward my whole time here finally wanted to be taught by the missionaries. She called the lady in charge of YSA and said she wanted to be taught by Elder Larsen and no one else. . . haha. I don't really know why, but maybe because all the other missionaries were pressuring her too much. So we have taught her a couple times and things are going good. She has a good knowledge of the gospel, and her questions imply that she is the type of person who wants to really take it seriously. She goes back to China on the 30th, so we will challenge her this week to be baptized on the 28th.

Continually we are still learning, trying to do all we can to make Cambridge one of the best areas in the mission. It really takes a lot of effort, but that's what we came here for so it's not a big deal.

Right now things are a little bit tough because of summer, no students to teach, and very few member students to teach with us. So we sent a list around in Elders Quorum asking for people to teach with us. Things are on the rise, and we are doing what we can to keep it that way.

Love you guys,

Elder Larsen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Are you a Senior Companion now since your new companion has been out even less time than you?

Yes, I am the Senior Companion.

Question #2: What have you learned about your new companion, Elder

He is from Genova, Italy. His mother became a member sometime around 15 to 21 ish and served a mission where she met and baptized his future father. . . sketchy. . . haha. So he has been a member his whole life. He was the president of the YSA Center in Genova, so that should help us as we try to get a center here in Cambridge. He speaks very little English, and unfortunately had a not so good trainer.

Question #3: When transfers come how do you hook up with your new companion?

I went to the Mission Office to get my new companion. Mostly you go to the office unless your companionship is the same.

Ahhh, well today I have little time to write, sorry about that. Crazy things that happened this week were: I gave two blessings, one to a guy recovering in the hospital, and one when I confirmed Prasna from Nepal. That makes my second and third blessings ever.

We are working really hard. Although my companion didn't have the best transfer ever for his first, he still has the desire to work. Thank goodness. I have such a hard time when people want to waste time or be disobedient in any way. Today we had Zone Meeting. It was quite good, we had some good trainings and got to see a lot of other missionaries. The mission just shipped in a whole lot of new rules which doesn't bother me. It will help me keep focused.

One Miracle that happened last week was:

We were walking down Kings Parade finding (Kings Parade is the street with colleges on it so there are many people) when all of the sudden, "Elders!" We turned around and a girl came up to us and started talking with us. Turns out she is a member from a place one hour away and hasn't been to church in a year but wants to come now that she will be living in Cambridge. We gave her our details because she was working. You see, she had run out of work when she saw us. On Sunday she came to church and enjoyed it, and will be living with members here until she finds an apartment to live in. It was fantastic.

Got to go. . .

Love you lots,
Elder Larsen

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm Staying in Cambridge!

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What scripture would you have had on your missionary plaque if our ward still did them?

Alma 29:9 - I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Question #2: What is President Patch's main strength or focus?

President Patch's main strength, hmm, not exactly sure. Something I have come to know with him is that he puts us where God wants us to be. He calls leaders and companions that help us grow in the best way possible.

Question #3: Have you met any British royalty such as a duke yet?

I haven't met anyone of royalty, what a shame.

Transfers: Oh my days, I thought I was going to leave for sure, but I'm staying in Cambridge! Elder Vitorio heads off to Tendering to be District Leader in another District in our Zone. Elder Bionde from Italy comes here with me, don't know a whole lot about him but he has been out for just 1 transfer.

Baptism: The baptism on Sunday went really well, I feel great about Prasna's future as a member of this church.

It's been a good week. I have to say, I was sure I was leaving Cambridge. I had to force myself not to think too much about what would happen. Now I've got a lot of responsibility. Not only do I have to continue to grow myself, but I have to help a newer missionary grow as well. The great thing about having a young missionary is that he will hopefully be moldable.

Exact obedience is my goal this transfer, along with broadening my abilities. We have so many rules as missionaries because we need blessings, and blessings come with obedience. "There is a law irrevocably decreed. . ." I can't wait to get to know a new person and really bring this area higher.

We got new packets that we are to use in Companionship study for the next 2 transfers, and we also get DVD players to watch Preach My Gospel movies on during Companionship study. It's great to see all the changes that happen to improve missionary work. My focus has to increase even more with so many things to keep going without a senior companion.

Congratulations to Joseph and Olivia on being Married. I expect at least 2 children by the time I get back. Haha. (You could have twins.)

Have fun at the reunions, play some night games, play some card games and board games.

I can't wait to see what transfer 3 has in store. Both 1 and 2 resulted in a totally different person. Strangely enough transfer 2 was much more of a change than I thought it could be. I suppose 3 could be the same.

If you could send me Emma's address that would be great. I have a Portuguese letter for her.

I love you guys.

Elder Larsen