Friday, September 28, 2012

Missionary TP?

Miracle Story

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What is your area in Northampton like compared to being in London?

It's much different, it is fun getting back into the town center finding. In the town center you have people to talk to, out there is barely anyone. London is kind of just one big town center. We get to knock much more, I like it a lot.

Question #2: Does everyone in your area get a car?

All Zone Leaders except the Lea Valley Zone Leaders have a car. Out of the
seven areas in this Zone, three have cars.

Question #3: What have you learned about your new companion, Elder Brownley?

He was born in England and moved to Canada when he was 3. He's a funny guy and is really good at sharing powerful messages with members.

Tips for contention I have learned on my mission: slow down and think if it really even matters.

Mom, I have something new for you to try making. Its is called "Toad in the Hole." Basically sausages with yorkshire pudding poured over it.

Miracle Story! We were early to a dinner appointment with the Elders Quorum President and his wife so we did a bit of tracting. At about 5:26 we knocked on a door. The lady wasn't interested but when asked, said that a guy across the road might be. We knocked the door at 5:28 (2 minutes before dinnner). He invited us in, we stepped in only to ask if we could come back at 7:00 after dinner, he said yes. We had a great appointment with the members and invited the EQP to come teach with us. It was great! Then at church the Elders Quorum President was sharing it with the other elders. It was great.

I really think the member work in this ward is about to kick off. Speaking of that, I am actually in the Duston area and ward. Recently the elders here had two wards but sisters came in and now they are Northampton and we are Duston.

We teach a guy who plays professional rugby. He is married to a member, he's really cool.

Sorry, my time is cut short a bit today. Have a great week!

Elder Larsen

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mom's Attempt at Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

They Are Shipping Me Up To Northampton

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Have you ever had bangers and mash?

I think so, I'll have to check in the Tesco (grocery store) here to refresh my memory of what it is. I think it's just sausage with gravy and mashed potatoes, in which case I have had it.

Question #2: What kind of service have you been doing for people?

We cleaned a sister's fridge, ironed, took stuff to the dump, etc.

Question #3: What is the funniest thing that happened last week?

Remember when I told you about getting spit on, rock thrown at, companion swung at, etc? The same man this week ripped the Book of Mormon out of my hand while I was talking to a man on the street and then tried to walk straight into me another day (I dodged). It was funny. Every time I see him I kind of start to laugh. I need to hold it back or I'll have a Joey story.

Matt, a one handed snag? (In ultimate frisbee.) That is pleasing to hear. You better bulk up so Emma can't woman-handle you around. Haha.

Got a call this morning. They are shipping me up to Northampton. My new companion will be Elder Brownley from Canada (born in England). I've served around him recently and it's going to be great.

Replacing me here will be Elder Silva from Brazil which will be great because I seem to be great at finding great Brazilian people but terrible at speaking Portuguese. This past week I had some great conversation with a  Brazilian family of 3, I think I mentioned recently talking to a lady and having her daughter translate, it's the same family. This week they will bring the copies of the Book of Mormon in Portuguese and teach them.

I took a few pictures with some people as I was saying goodbye, I don't have the device to attach it to the compouter now, I may have it later or next week.

The member work here in Lea Valley has really been picking up. The Bishop trusts us a lot. We now teach a missionary preparation class.

I've really loved serving in Lea Valley. It can't quite surpass Cambridge, but I love it a lot.

I was just scrolling over your email and saw "Erik (Lexi's husband)." That just sounds weird.

It should be fun to jump back outside of London. I am excited for the new task. I will also finally be in a car area! My feet will have some rest!

Have a great week. I know the Saviour lives.

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

Faster Pace

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to this week's questions.

Question #1: What do you miss most about Elder Flament now that he is gone?

I miss doing role plays in the morning with him. We would practice teaching every morning with him and it was really fun. We would do different accents and what not.

Question #2: How did your driving test go? Is it hard to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road?

I failed the test. Driving was really quite easy to get used to but I didn't use the mirrors or signal too great. Now that I know what they grade on, I could pass pretty easily.

Question #3: Have you taken any pictures lately? (hint, hint)

No, I will try to take some.

Lisa, of course you should go on the Dirty Devil backpacking trip.

We are transitioning now back to just the two of us without Elder Flament. We are moving back to a faster pace and leave the flat earlier without the new missionary studies. We are trying to do all we can to be led to people who are prepared for the gospel.

The Lea Valley Ward really has a need for leadership. This week we are going to pray for a vision of what we can do to help strengthen the church here. We may end up knocking on doors more, going to different finding spots, etc.

In working more with members recently, we have started to see some success. A sister in the ward that we shared a missionary message with has a daughter who isn't a member that we will teach this week. When we showed up to do service for another sister in the ward last week her friend was there and we are going to try to teach her next time we visit.

Missionary work is so different from normal life. We are not subject to normal problems in life. I love being able to put all my focus on serving the Lord. I always see evidences of the Lord's hand in our work.

I'd really like to hear more about Dad's and Joey's missions. I wonder how they are similar to this one? How did you find people to teach, etc?

I love to read the scriptures. The Book of Mormon and the words of living Prophets really do help me to understand more about Jesus Christ. I love how everything in the Church always traces back to Him.

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yorkshire Pudding

Gareth Was Baptized

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What is Yorkshire pudding like?

Yorkshire pudding is kind of a misleading name. I don't really know how to explain it. It is sort of like a roll. It sort of reminds me of scones. You are best off to look online.

Question #2: How did your Zone sports go at Hyde Park last P-day?

I love sports. We played some American football. Quite a funny game to play with Europeans and what have you. Everyone was saying, "Elder Larsen, you should play football at University." It was good to give me a little pride boost, and bad because my body was sore for days.

Question #3: How did Gareth's baptism go?

Gareth's baptism was great! It was quite the funny day though. First we started the day with Zone Leader Council in South Kensington, then we visited a member about a 30 minute bus ride from the church. We were on our way back from the member's to the baptism on track to be about 15 minutes early. The bus went on a diversion, then stopped. We got off because there were police blocking the traffic. There must have been around 100 policemen. We waited for quite a while (with a box of 40 copies of the Book of Mormon...), then they let us through and we got there about 15 minutes late. The baptismal service began at 6:30 and went great. Gareth is a great guy. Elder Fament baptized him and I confirmed him. I know you're wondering what the police were doing. To be honest, I'm not quite sure. Something to do with freedom of speech.

This past week was one of the craziest weeks of my mission, just about every day we had some sort of meeting to be at. One of those weeks where you wish you could just be a normal missionary.

With the emphasis on working with members now, we have had some good experiences. At a member visit (actually, the one before the baptism), we met with 2 brothers and asked them if they had recently had any missionary experiences. One of the brothers had gone to his old flat to pick up post and found that the new family in the flat was from Ghana, just like him. They talked and he found out that the sister had gone to this Church back in Ghana. He acutally called her when he was with us and invited her to church. She wasn't able to come this last Sunday but seems excited to come next time. It was so great to see members were sharing the Gospel.

We have quite a busy week ahead of us. We have loads of member visits and a few investigator visits already scheduled. We are trying to take care of all we have the best we can to qualify for more.

Elder Flamen is going to be shipped off to Ghana on Friday. It will be sad to see him go. He's been great. He is going to teach the MTC teachers there a thing or two.

The payment on my card was for the practical test for my driving license. Tomorrow I will  have 2 hours of practice driving and on Friday I will go to take the test.

I love to stop and think about the work. In the day to day sometimes it can be hard to remember the greatness of this work. I feel so blessed to work in this place where so many great missionaries have walked. I strive to put myself in line with Alma 29:9, "that I may bring some soul to repentance and this is my joy." How blessed I am to have many souls around me making changes in their lives to come closer to Jesus Christ. This is His work.

Elder Larsen

PS I hope Dave fails his interview in Virginia, but I suppose it will give me a good reason to visit the East Coast.