Monday, October 22, 2012

The Zone

Cow Stomach, Cow Toe, and Chicken Gizzard

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What do you eat when the members feed you?

We get fed Pizza, Pasta, Sandwiches, Roasts, and all sorts.

Question #2: How much do you drive? Do you have a limit?

We are alotted 1500 miles a month.

Question #3: What is the best lesson you taught last week?

We taught Samu the Rugby player this past week. He really opened up. He talked about his religious background and we answered some questions that he has had for ages. He came to church yesterday!

I'm almost positive that an Elder Duncan didn't leave this most recent summer from the England London Mission. How strange. It's the type of name I would remember.

Oh Mom, I feel so badly for you. It must be so hard to wait so long to see Marty. Haha.

We have a flat inspection in the coming week. Do you think you could send Nunners (Savannah) over to clean for us? Unlike her, I'm not a lover of cleaning.

I got a letter from Elder Ashcroft this last week. I'm a bit jealous. He said he's already tried Elk, Deer, and Bear meat. The coolest things I've tried are cow stomach, cow toe and chicken gizzard. It sounds like he's really enjoying his mission.

Matthew, I accept your challenge for an ultimate showdown.

The last week has been great. The work in the Duston ward has really improved in the last couple of weeks. The past week we contacted a referral we got from a member. It was great. She was a Russian lady with a few kids and her husband who almost became a Church of England Priest back in the day. Right now we just teach her. She wants her kids to learn but they aren't keen right now. Hopefully they come to the ward's pumpkin party this week.

In this area we don't really do any street contacting, just tracting and working with members. Lots of other missionaries don't like tracting but I like it a lot and it's successful so far.

I like the people in the Duston ward so much, I think I'll come back and live here some day. The members here are super amazing. They just give and give and give.

I hope everything is going great in the U.S.A.

I love teaching about the Restoration. Have a great week.

Yes, I did get the packages. Thank you for the Twinkies. I'll give out the Zone Perfect bars this week. Thanks.

Elder Larsen

Monday, October 15, 2012


Top Secret Talk

Dear Family,

Question #1: How often do you meet with the missionaries in your Zone?
We have Zone meeting once a month, district meetings 3 weeks in a month, we typically just attend the district meeting of the district we are in.

District 1: Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Northampton, and Duston.

District 2: Huntingdon, Kettering, and Bedford.

Both Districts make the Zone.

We used to go on 1 or 2 work-overs with all missionaries in the zone (except sisters), now we only go on 1 with each district leader, and others if there is a necessity.

Question #2: How large of an area does your Zone cover?

I'm not sure the size of our Zone in miles or anything like that, I bet end to end it would take an hour and half to drive across? Something like that. It takes about 35 minutes to get to District meeting in Milton Keynes. Yes Milton Keynes is in our Zone. (Mom's note: We were interested in Milton Keynes because one of our neighbors used to live there and it's near the small town of Deanshanger where some of Andy's Norris ancestors are from.)

Question #3: Now that you work more with the members do they feed you more often?

To be honest I never really wanted to have dinner appointments before we started to do member work. They pass around a dinner list here, although since I've been here they only passed it 1 of the 3 weeks, because they forgot a couple weeks. The week they passed it we had 1 every day, the times they didn't we got 2 or 3. Previously on my mission I probably averaged 1.5 a week.

I'll be honest Matt, I didn't do my scripture mastery, you're an enlightened man for doing so yourself. I think that scripture is in Psalms(58?), don't quote me on it.

Lisa, I think the difference in our two falls was mainly preparation and also water levels. You see I thought it would be smart to take skater shoes to the Dirty Devil that wouldn't stay tied while I was standing completely still. With the combination of muddy shoes, tired legs, and wearing my bag as I went down, it made for a bad fall. My shoes fell totally off, with my socks, and I planted right on my bare feet, sending a jolt up my body ending at my head and then the wall of rock. Not a worry though, my bare feet were so numb I didn't even feel it. Haha, good times. I wish it would have left a nasty scar.

Better a crazy black cow than Paul dry heaving all night. That was scary.

Did Matt take a head picture? Did the rock of the free fall move? Did anyone try any MRE's, or interesting food? (I have got to try an MRE).

I've heard of an Elder Duncan before, he may have left before I got here. (He isn't related to Tim is he?)

The work here is continuing to go well, members are really liking us, and we continue to get a few referrals. Last Saturday we layed down a concrete floor with a member for a part-member family in the ward. Talk about a great Home Teacher. I'll get a picture for you when it dries.

This is an idea for a talk I thought of, it is top secret.

There I was reading a case study of Sister Missionaries who served in the states. One sister was amazing at getting the ward to do missionary work. One example of how she helped them was a talk she gave. It was about her conversion... Her friend invited her to church, she became a member, etc. She said how thankful she was for this friend.
I thought, how can I apply this myself? I'm from Provo Utah in a family that has been in the Church for ages.
"Brothers and Sisters, I want to tell you about the man who baptized me, Joseph Martin. Joseph Martin is the one who invited me to church, he taught me how to pray, he read the Book of Mormon with me. If it weren't for Joseph Martin, I wouldn't even be alive, etc."
That is a really shortened version of the talk. Essentially, I make it sound as if I'm a convert and Dad did all these great things being a great member missionary (which he is). Then at the end I say, "Joseph Martin...Larsen is my dad." Then explain the importance of helping your kids be grounded in the gospel and say all of the principles in the talk can apply for their missionary work.
Haha, hopefully I get a chance to give that talk one day, it is just hard because the members already know me here. One day.
I love this work, Alma 29:9-10 remains to be a great scripture for me. I love being able to commit all my time to serving God. Thanks for all your support.
You're the greatest.
Elder Larsen

Monday, October 8, 2012

An Inn at Duston in 1955

Working With Members Has Been Great

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: When were you able to watch General Conference?

-Saturday Morning Session at 5:00 pm on Saturday
-Priesthood Session at 10:00 am on Sunday
-Saturday Afternoon Session on Sunday at 1:00 pm
-Sunday Morning Session at 5:00 pm on Sunday
Haven't watched the last session yet, will have to watch it at a member's home.

Question #2: What do you think of the new policy allowing young men to go on missions at 18 and young women to go at 19?

I think it's great. I imagine the number of Sister missionaries is going to sky rocket.

Question #3: Have you been to or heard of Deanshanger where Grandma Larsen's Norris and Terrell ancestors came from? (It's about 15 miles south of Northampton.)

No, I haven't been to Deanshanger. Our area is Duston which is just barely north of Northampton. It is probably in the Milton Keynes area which is in our District.

Conference sure was great. I have learned to really appreciate it now that I'm a missionary, I hope I always listen with the same intensity  as I do now. I always loved the talks where the Priesthood get rebuked. Elder Christofferson's talk was great. As always Elder Holland's was amazing. I really like the invitation President Monson left to take an inventory of all the blessing you remember in your life. I'll do it.

Just after we finished watching conference, a lady from our ward came up to me to give me a referral. She explained that a man who was a friend of her brother showed up at her door and told her he had cancer and he wanted to be baptized. We dropped by last night just to set an appsointment. His Book of Mormon was on the table, he seems really nice. He does seem to have a smoking problem, but we will help him resolve that.

This past week working with members has been great, again. We had appointments with some members who know the ward really well and got some great insights on who we can help. I sat next to a brother in priesthood and he pointed out members of our ward and told me about each of them. Some members have such a great desire to help us, especially those who are returned missionaries.

Brother Mace served a mission in France, he is married with 2 kids. They are a very nice young family. They have a son who is about 4 and a baby boy.

So this is Dirty Devil week. I don't know if a girl has ever survived it before, we shall see. Matt, if Lisa is in the head picture and not you, I will send you some black pudding to eat. Make sure you get a good head picture, a good mud picture, and fuel up before the back breaker. It sure is cold over here, I hope for your sakes it isn't as cold there.

Matt, I think that scripture is in Isaiah? That was too difficult for my weak mind. See if you can find the scriptures that begin with "In the beginning.."

I know you guys will have a great week.

Elder Larsen

Monday, October 1, 2012

Scripture Cover

Rugby, Phone Call, and Member Work

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Are you a Zone Leader still? If yes, how many missionaries in your Zone?

Yes, 14.

Question #2: What percentage of your ward is English? Are there fewer foreigners in this area?

90% or more are English. A bit different than London.

Question #3: What was the strangest thing that happened to you last week?

We went to a Rugby match.

Matthew, I believe it is Psalms 3:5. (Moms note: Matt quoted a scripture and told Andy to name the reference.)

Joey, I guess if those are the only options, I would choose B. (Mom's note: In Joey's letter he asked Andy, "If a bunch of thieves ran up to you wearing only loin cloths and blood, would you: A. Be afraid or B. Fall down and pray?")

What does Nelson mean that going on a mission doesn't make you automatically perfect? Haha.

Oddly enough, I'm not a big fan of British sausage either. It's still delicious but doesn't compare to the stuff in the States.

The members in this area are amazing. They seem to just give and give and give. We are really making an effort to go tracting around the homes of returned missionary members so we can invite them to come teach with us. I think the ward here has been prepared for us to come and work with them. When I previously read through the thoughts on my setting apart, I always thought, "When are the things about members trusting me, referring friends to me, etc. going to happen?" The answer is now!

Brother Mace was super inspired to call you, Mom. He saved me. I knew your birthday was on September 26th but it didn't cross my mind as I was emailing last week. Although I'm sure half of the things he said were lies or exaggerations. Haha. Happy Birthday! I'll do my best to send some pictures this next week. (Mom's note: The Elders Quorum President in Andy's new ward called to thank me for sending Andy over there on a mission. He was impressed with all Andy had accomplished in just one week in the area. The call just happened to come on my birthday!)

Oh yeah, the Rugby match. So, our investigator Samu, who plays Pro Rugby, offered us tickets to a game. We gave a call to President Jordan to ask if we could go and he said yes! Last Friday night we watched the Northampton Saints play and it was great. Rugby is actually a very interesting sport. The only downside is that we just have to take a couple hours out of our P-day to make up for the work. Haha. which isn't really a downside.

We have been teaching an investigator from China called Orient. He is a really nice guy. He has come to church a few times and is good at reading and praying. Last week he brought his friend Lily to a lesson and we taught her too. It has been a long time since I have taught Chinese people, so it was great. Teaching them is so great.

I can't believe the Dirty Devil is coming up again. I have so many great memories from that campout.

Things are going great here in the Duston ward, I'm excited. I really have enjoyed studying Preach My Gospel this last week, applying it in our work with members has been a great success.

Have a great week.

Elder Larsen