Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Two Emails Two Days Late

Dear Family,

The library was closed on Monday and Tuesday so today is the day we can email but I have a letter that I shall send you instead of writing much now so we can do some good work.

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What were you served for Christmas dinner?

Roast meal, yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, turkey, duck, carrots, tried some horse radish, etc.

Question #2: What were the highlights of your Christmas?

Seeing how great the ward looks after us, being able to make Christmas a bit happier for Sister Page, and talking to you.

Question #3: Can we send things to the mission office yet or is it still being remodeled?

I believe it's still under construction.

Great to talk to you guys. Matt, enough of the pish posh.

Elder Larsen

A few minutes later. . . .

Dear Family,

Well, it seems I have 10 minutes while Elder Mahendran finishes his letter to the President.

I love the potential we have as Children of God. Today at District Meeting we had a training by our Zone Leader Elder Solomon (he is a monster). It was on effective study. I am so excited to improve my study. I need to start using a journal more often.

As a mission, everyone is setting goals for the year 2012 (if the world doesn't end). In our district we are taking 3-5 missionaries that have impacted us and 3-5 Book of Mormon heroes and looking at their attributes to set goals for what we want to become.

The missionaries I look up to are Elder Sikahema (my daddy), Elder Paramalingam (Elder Mahendran's counterpart), Elder Solomon, and Elder Mahendran (my baby). The Book of Mormon heroes I chose are Abinadi, Ammon, Helaman, and Captain Moroni. That is a lot of power right there to look at but if the coming year is anything like this one, with Heavenly Father's help, I can accomplish a lot.

Love you,

Elder Larsen

Monday, December 19, 2011

Have a Wonderful Christmas

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What are your plans for Christmas day?

We so far have some open invitations. We haven't really set times for anything at all though.

Question #2: What have you learned about Christmas traditions in England?

Christmas is a bit similar here as in the USA. They have mince pies and a few other things but it's quite similar.

Question #3: What was the highlight of last week?

The highlight was seeing a new investigator called Joe. Joe is 17 and doesn't have a great family situation. He's living with some friends. He has a desire to get onto the straight and narrow. He came to church and we will be seeing him tomorrow evening and hopefully we'll be getting him a lift to Young Men's.

Alex, the one Elder Sikahema taught, is doing really well. I love being able to dive a bit deeper into the lessons since he has had them a few times already.

Another highlight is that a less-active 18 year-old boy came to church this week for the first time in 2 years. It went amazing, the members haven't forgotten him and he felt like a million pounds. We walked with him to church 5 miles. It was easily worth it.

We are now entering the very cold times. It has snowed briefly a couple times. I love it. The best way to keep warm is to work really hard and build up a sweat. That is motivation.

Recently I have been astounded at the spirit that many people in this mission carry. President Patch makes me feel so excited and inspired, Sister Patch makes me feel peace and love. My Zone Leader Elder Solomon has such authority and power behind his words. My goal for the new year is to have a spirit like that about me.

Very much I have taken notice of the individuality in many amazing people. The First Presidency and the 12 Apostles are all amazing people yet they all speak and act in unique ways. When President Monson speaks he eminates such Christlike love. Elder Holland speaks with much boldness and authority ("I might singe your eyebrows just a little bit.") The potential we have is amazing, Heavenly Father's plan is all about helping us reach our highest potential.

Such a wonderful time it is to give extra focus on the birth of Jesus Christ. As I believe President Hinckley once said, "There would be no Christmas if it weren't for Easter." How true it is. The Saviour was born to rescue us from sin.

As a missionary I have a wonderful opportunity to have the best Christmas ever, a time of service, a time to bring people to remembrance of that babe lying in a manger. There is no place I would rather be, nothing I would rather be doing than where and what I am. I love helping people remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas. I think my gift will be a bit late. I'm making something and just may not finish it for a little while longer. "It's gonna be big!" (-Hercules, about indoor plumbing).

Love you guys,

Elder Larsen

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What are your responsibilities as District Leader?

Watch over 5 other missionaries, give them training where needed, try to be a good example, plan District Meetings, go on work-overs with each missionary, etc. Two of the missionaries in the District are Zone Leaders. I don't know what I can do to help them. Haha.

Question #2: Where are the missionaries in your District from?

Arizona, Orem, Provo..., Germany, Utah, and Utah but lived in Abu Dhabi most of his life.

Question #3: How often do you have Zone Conference and where do you have it?

Usually every 3 months we have a Zone Conference, both times they have been in an area in my Zone at a Chapel.

Mission work is going well. I am excited to learn a lot and be able to serve others. I found out that the guy we are teaching that will be baptized on February 4th was taught by Elder Sikahema (my first companion) about 2 years ago, haha.

Right now during this Christmas time, it seems to be a bit harder for people to listen, they are all so busy. Also, the library near town centre is closed for a couple weeks. Things are good, I'm learning a lot.

As I continue to grow in knowledge and experience it sometimes becomes a challenge to rely fully on the Spirit. Right now I am trying to follow the scriptures and lean not to my understanding. I have found that as I listen to the person we are teaching that the Spirit puts the ideas in my head for me. Sometimes listening can take a lot of effort, but as we do, the promise in Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-6 is definitely true. I love that Heavenly Father is a completely honest and true God.

We had Zone Meeting yesterday. It was really good and we did a white elephant gift exchange. I got your package. That music is real good and so is the candy! Haha.

I belive that for the Chrismas phone call I get 30-40 minutes so it would be great if you could think of the things you need to ask and want to talk about. Can you let me know when you will all be home so I can know when to call.

In Mosiah 18:30 it says Mormon 6 times. In 1830 the Church was officially organized with 6 men.

Judges 4:21 is the crazy Old Testament scripture of the week, haha. Lately I have been enticing a less-active member to read the scriptures by giving him a crazy or interesting scripture as a bonus.

Love you,

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

District Leader

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What was your greatest challenge last week?

The greatest challenge was that we had lots of places to go to and used the buses. Using the buses takes a lot of planning and sometimes a bit of luck. One day, because of slow buses and buses coming late, it was quite hard.

Question #2: What was your most uplifting experience last week?

We taught George last week and then didn't have any contact with him for a few days. Elder Mahendran and I fasted for him and in my personal prayer I asked that we could be able to contact him and see him. Sunday evening after the fast I gave him a call and he picked up and we will see him tomorrow. I think it's just hard to get a hold of him when he's always out training on his bike.

Question #3: What has been the highlight of your time with Elder Mahendran?

Probably just everything. So far he has been one of my favourite companions. We are both learning a lot.

You are correct, transfers are this week. The chain continues: non Brazilian, Brazilian, non Brazilian, Brazilian, non Brazilian, Brazilian! I am going to Dover with Elder Fernandez. OK, that's not true. The chain was broken and for once I stay with my companion.

Yet again I had a frightening surprise. President Patch called me and now I will be a District Leader. Your prayers would be very much appreciated. As you know, I'm not exactly a born leader. Haha. The missionaries in the Grays area are called Elders Paul and Ostermiller, in Basildon Elders Solomon and Potts, and in Southend Elder Mahendran and "some other guy" (aka Elder Larsen). Please pray that the Grasilend District can be successful.

Dad, I bet Uncle John is laughing his face off that OU and BYU have the same record. Joey, I was under the blanket, I cruised over while my companion was asleep with my Abomb speed. Mom, he was never innocent. Matthew, no one beats the blind wonder. Lisa, there is no such thing as Santa Claus, only "Father Christmas". Haha.

Mission work here in Southend is seeing many improvements. One investigator, Alex, who is married to a member has a baptism date for February 4th which we are hopefully going to move a bit sooner. And we have many others that will have dates this week.

This transfer will be fantastic because there is nothing to slow us down, Just as Joey said, no prayer goes unanswered if we are in sincere need. It seems like every transfer I am having experience after experience that strengthens my testimony. I am so confident that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon, prays about it, and comes to church will gain a testimony if they want to know if this is true.

Hope you guys have a great week.

Love you guys,

Elder Larsen