Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Character of Christ

Dear Family,

Question #1: Have you been cooking much lately?

Not much. The last thing I cooked was some pasta on Saturday. Occasionally I will also make bacon or hamburgers, sometimes sausage too, but theirs isn't quite like the sausage in the USA.

Question #2: Who are the new missionaries in your area?

Elder Dongen is from Holland, he was released as a Zone Leader to train Elder Davis who is from Sandy. The are both really great and we have fun times, it can just be hard to focus sometimes when we are all in the flat.

Question #3: How do you divide up the area now that you have two more missionaries?

There is no actual line to divide up where we do our work. We gave them some investigators, recent converts, and less actives to work with. Now that we have more we end up visiting a few more places we normally wouldn't go.

Matt, I am totally with you. I have been trying to get the other 3 elders to come outside with me and play night games but they keep ranting on about some rule about being in the flat by 9:30. Strange.

Skype could be possible on Mother's Day. I know other elders have done it, I would have to ask President Patch and find a member's home to do it at. It seems like it could be a bit of a hassle to set up, but who knows.

We ended up having President interviews this past Tuesday rather than this coming Tuesday due to other commitments President will have on this one. It was once again great to have interviews with President Patch. It is so great, I always feel really excited and filled with faith after talking with him. He really cares about us missionaries. It is strange to think he will be heading home in about 2 months now. I'll hate to see him go.

This past week the talk on the Character of Christ was resting on my mind a lot. I am really trying to see the needs of others even if my needs seem to be greater. The amazing thing is that when we sacrifice our needs to satisfy the needs of others we end up being more blessed than had we satisfied ourselves. For me that is a testimony of the Gospel, why else would we be blessed in that way unless it was by God.

Right now I am beginning to make a notebook of personal experiences that I can share in teaching. I know that as I share more of what I have gone through it will really help me relate the Gospel to others. If any of you have some good experiences that relate to a topic in the 5 missionary lessons in Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel it would be great to get a letter so I can add those in too.

RKC House, Flat 4
586 High Road, Wembley
London HAO 4TL

I really enjoy being a missionary, I am learning a lot. Love you guys,

Elder Larsen

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Choobs (aka subway or metro)

I Read Alma 5 in the Choobs

Dear Family,

Another great week. Guess what, Matt, I also played some ultimate frisbee this week, in fact today. The Zone was basically divided into the 2 districts. It was great to get out and run but indeed I am out of shape.

I can't believe Michael is going to Tulsa. Maybe he can go knock on the old house and baptize the people that live there. It is great to hear about everyone going on missions, good choice. I hope to continue to hear more.

Do I ever get annoyed with companions? Bah, you know me, of course not.... It can be hard to live with someone 24/7 but it is good practice they say. It is great with 4 people in the flat though. It shakes it up a bit. It can be hard but you just always have to realize we are all different. Our strengths may be different than the strengths of others, as well as our weaknesses. I am trying to learn to let my strengths fill in my companion's weaknesses and his strengths fill in my weaknesses.

Recently I have been reading a few talks that are amazing. The talk by Richard G. Scott about receiving revelation and inspiration is good. I made a list of the do's and don'ts of receiving revelation. They are long lists. Another is called Missionary Work and the Atonement by Jeffrey R. Holland, amazing. The other the whole mission read for an Easter Study. It is about the Character of Christ by David A. Bednar. That talk is amazing and I see it helping me to be better. I recommend them.

I have really focused this last week on being able to recognize the needs of others over my own needs. What a great example Christ set for us. In some of his most painful moments he thought of others when he could have done with the help much more than they. "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

I read Alma 5 in the Choobs the other day, it was a bit of a humbling experience. "Have you been stripped of pride... if not then you are not ready." I'm not ready, I know without the Saviour I never will be, but with him it can be done. "If you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love.... can you feel so now?" I try to read that chapter every once in a while to help me humble myself.

Experience of the Week: Saturday we were out knocking on doors, it was wonderful, within 20 minutes we got a couple of very good potential investigators. One is a lady who loved the idea of the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation, that God doesn't leave anyone out. The other was a lady who we will go and have an FHE with her and her family. They were both amazing first contacts, but both we will see in about a week and a half. We are excited nonetheless.

I hope you guys have a great week. Love you lots,

Elder Larsen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Queen's Guard

Four Elders in Wembley

Dear Family,

It is possible my email didn't send. Sorry for that if it didn't. (Mom's note: It must not have sent and he sent off a quick email with the little time he had left.)

Question #1: How did your move go?

It is good, not totally finished yet.

Question #2: Are you a District Leader? How many elders in your district?

Yes, with the 2 more coming to Wembley, 8.

Question #3: How does this transfer affect you?

I will stay here with Elder Young.

I really liked Dad's profile. At church in Wembley we had over 20 countries represented. I refuse to believe that Grandpa is 89. I believe in Christ. I have 1 minute left. I am excited to have this new transfer ahead. This one will only be 5 weeks. The new missionaries in Wembley will be Elder Dongen (Holland) and a new missionary from Utah. It's gonna be big.

Love you again, bye,

Elder Larsen

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Buckingham Palace

Becoming a Diamond

Dear Family,

Question #1: Are you and your companion responsible for all of the moving to the new flat?

So we are going to do the main moving on Thursday. We are responsible for everything. I think our ward mission leader can get a van to help us. We also need to get some new furniture for the other companionship.

Question #2: What is a good teaching experience you had last week?

We have an investigator called Solomon, he is a great guy. When we teach him, he always mentions how great the gospel is. I love teaching him about the Atonement because he really yearns to be forgiven and have peace.

Question #3: What was your favorite talk in General Conference?

I really liked Russel M. Nelson's talk, "Thanks Be to God." I loved how he talked about the amazing abilities of the body. Would an explosion in a printing press create a dictionary...that reproduces newer editions...haha. As far as applying to missionary work, I will definitely be printing off Elder Scott's on Personal Revelation.

It doesn't matter what I see, the Cabin will always be my favorite place in the world. (This was in response to a comment by his Grandpa that now that Andy's seen the world he wouldn't care about his grandparents' cabin home anymore.)

Montana! I can't believe Devin got his call letter back in less than 2 weeks? When does he leave? I remember when me and Devster were just little kids playing at the cabin. Life is too fast.

Conference has again come and gone. I love it so much. I remember as a kid I used to greatly anticipate the new video game or new movie, now I feel that same anticipation x100 about hearing living Prophets speak.

It is exciting, today at a leadership meeting I talked to one of the assistants who is likely to be released at the end of the transfer and he says there is a good possibility that he will come to Wembley. That would be great, I would love to learn from him. He is a really funny Scottish guy.

It has been amazing trying to prepare this area to receive 2 more Elders. Elder Young and I have put a lot of effort, prayer, and faith into our labors this transfer. We are really seeing a lot of miracles as we share our righteous desires with Heavenly Father and work to achieve them.

Today there was a leadership meeting, it was really good. We had some trainings on being a District Leader. I am excited to apply some more things to help the missionaries in this District be more effective and excited about the work. I love to hear President Patch speak, it just puts a big smile on my face. I can't believe they are only here with us for about 3 more months.

Rumor has it that in 2 weeks they will re-open the Hyde Park chapel. A General Authority should be coming to re-dedicate it. That will be exciting.

Being a missionary has greatly polished my testimony. It kind of reminds me of Uncle Tracy's machine. Take a big chunk of carbon and make a diamond. Sadly though, I think I'm one of those drill bit diamonds and not a clear nice one, haha.

Thank you so much for all of your support and all you have done for me in the past.

Love you all,

Elder Larsen