Saturday, June 23, 2012

No Small Miracles

Dear Family,

Question #1: Does England have Father's Day?

Yes, it was yesterday as well.

Question #2: What is the scariest thing that happened to you last week?

It was a pretty lack of scary week. The scariest was when we were watching "The Testaments" and the bad buys were plotting to overthrow the government.

Question #3: What small miracles did you see last week?

Hmmm, we didn't really see any small miracles, I'll have to give you some big ones. President Patch interviewed 2 investigators for baptism and they are ready. The other two younger ones were also interviewed by another missionary and are ready to go. Yesterday a lady showed up at church that we talked to about 2 weeks ago.

Happy Father's Day Dad! Whenever I hear a motorcycle I remember speeding up the cliffs with you.

I think I should stay on a mission forever... everyone had such trouble getting married when I was home... I wonder why.

The kitchen looks just a wee bit different.

This week has been good. It was a missionary-packed Sunday. Elder Birberg and Elder Montgomery both gave talks, then I taught Gospel Principles because the teacher didn't show up. The ward is very excited about the missionary work. Lots of them will be coming to the baptisms on Saturday.

This morning we taught a man from Vietnam. He is a really nice guy, we won't see him for a while now because he is busy but we will see him in a week or two.

Right now we are teaching people from Ghana, Peru, Portugal, Brazil, Uganda, Pakistan, China, Lithuania, and Romania. No one from England, haha.

Wow, Matt has an adam's apple.

I am always amazed at all the things there are to learn in the Gospel. Lately I have been studying the testimony of John and looking out for the character of Christ. When he raised up Lazarus he says, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me... I say this not because I didn't know thou hearest me, but so those around me may believe" (along those lines) John 11:41-42 or so. He was always looking for opportunities to help others develop faith.

I hope everything goes well with all you have going on this week. I am excited to go out and do the Lord's work.

Elder Larsen

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Queen?

He Planted One On My Right Cheek

Dear Family,

Question #1: You mentioned you have been teaching some South Americans. How can they afford to live in expensive London? Do they have good jobs?

They have pretty good jobs, yes. In fact, Denci has been looking for a job since meeting with us the first time and she recently got a job to be a sushi chef in central London.

Question #2: Do you mostly do street contacting? Do you sometimes knock on doors?

Honestly, we mainly stand in front of the church and invite people to come have a tour and hear a short message. In London knocking on doors is pretty rare, there are always people to talk to on the street.

Question #3: What was your best meal of the week?

I was on a work-over in Hyde Park and we went to a Chinese Buffet. This was a very delicious meal.

I have once heard that story of the old lady who had to have the missionaries read her patriarchal blessing to her because she was nearly blind but had somehow been blessed to be able to read the Book of Mormon. It was an amazing talk.

Yesterday, on the Sabbath, we were walking down the road talking to people and I stopped a man. I talked to the man and he started bashing the Bible, etc. I ended the conversation, then he said, "I think you're a good person, and you are good looking, I want to kiss you." Then bam, he planted one on my right cheek. I smelled booze on his breath. I had been praying for a smack in the face... but not like that. (Don't worry, I wasn't reallly praying to be punched in the face, it just makes for a better story.)

Matt, I'm sure Youth Conference will be great.

Sounds like the house is giong to be turned upside down.

Today we had a Zone Meeting in Hyde Park. President and Sister Patch arranged it so they could give some departing words. It was just great to start the week that way. I am really pumped up to go do the work. Right now I am forcing my mind into denial about them leaving.

Things are going just great here in Lea Valley. We had a really good appointment with Denci yesterday helping her to be confident about her baptism. It can be really hard to make a change like that, family, friends, life-style, it must be a difficult transition. As a missionary I can be narrow minded and think, "None of that matters, just get baptized." When I put myself in the investigators shoes, I realize it would be a very difficult decision for me.

We have had another spell of rain for about the last week or two. Hopefully we get some of that sunshine again.

Have a great week.

Elder Larsen

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Eating Chili Like Joey

Rely on the Lord

Dear Family,

Question #1: What do you do to motivate the missionaries in your Zone?

The missionaries in the Hyde Park Zone are great, they are taught correct principles and they govern themselves. The mission has many different goals that we help them to apply and accomplish.

Question #2: How many people are there in the Lea Valley Ward?

The ward has around 110 people or so, less than 10 youth, 5% British.

Question #3: What teaching experiences did you have last week?

We were able to take an investigator from Peru called Denci Baptista to the home of a Colombian member family. We had a good meal and the family shared their testimony of the gospel. She was touched. Denci is really solid and later helped us teach a man from Chile that speaks little English. She gave her testimony of the Book of Mormon. She will be baptized on the 23rd.

We have a mother and her 2 sons now that are very solid investigators also being baptized on the 23rd.

Thank you, Grandma Larsen, for your great faith and prayers.

Zone Conference was great, we were able to listen to President Patch, have a training from the Assistants and hear the departing testimonies of the giants of the mission. It really hit me during the meeting how much we need to rely on and trust the Lord. As to my strength, I am weak.

Again as a mission we will study the Character of Christ. I have found so much strength and change as I do this study. His character really amazes me. I find it so satisfying to be able to eminate that character as a missionary.

I really enjoy serving the Lord. I have realized how weak I am. I don't know very much but my foundation is strong. I hope that I can improve, I hope I can give the Lord the only thing that is really mine. I hope I can do as He did. I pray that I may act as if the Saviour were standing beside me. I hope I can be the missionary my mom thinks I am.

Elder Larsen