Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baggy Suits and Frozen Face

Dear Family.

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: What are the differences between Duston and when you were right in London (Lea Valley)?

In the actual Duston area there aren't many places to do proper street contacting. The place we go is the town center that isn't actually in our area, whereas Lea Valley had loads of places to go to street contact. Duston has a good size ward and many strong priesthood holders, Lea Valley had a smaller ward and very few strong priesthood holders. Duston is mostly British and Lea Valley is mostly African and Pakistani.

Question #2: What will you do if Matt is taller than you when you get  home?

I don't know. You'll just have to wait and find out... I've got secrets of my own. OK, no I don't, I just wanted to get you excited.

Question #3: Do you know what time you'll be able to call us on Christmas day?

I'm not sure exactly what time I would call. We will be at a member's home, so possibly I could call while my companion is on skype.

I still haven't seen the Elder that has the USB with the Book of Mormon video yet. When I see him this Thursday at our Zone Meeting I'll try to get the video and send it to you.

No need to fear, I have all my winter gear. It's funny you mentioned about the guy at the missionary store saying it is better for missionaries to buy clothes in their country to fit in with the style. I and, as far as I know, 3 other missionaries from the Summer 2011 groups are the only ones that haven't bought an English suit. Everyone loves that slim fit style. Personally, I don't see the sense in buying new suits when the ones you have are perfectly fine, even if in this country they are a bit baggy. Haha.

This last week has been really nice. We didn't have any meetings or anything so it was empty of distractions. For a couple of days it was very cold and the other days it wasn't too bad but rainy. I have to laugh at myself sometimes when it's cold, my lips are a bit numb so when I say things I have to either speak really slowly or sound funny. For example, saying, "We usually meet people in the library" can be a very hard thing to say with a frozen face. Town is really great this time of year, there's a couple bands and a few other stands doing really cool things. It does make it difficult to talk to people sometimes with all of the noise and hustle bustle, but people are nicer this time of year as well.

I've been reading Genesis and 1 Nephi this last week, I really enjoy it. Sometimes when I read the Old Testament I laugh. I'm thankful that the Book of Mormon exists for simpletons like me. I still find it really hard to understand why more people don't accept it as the Word of God. I know it's true and, reading it every day, I have a greater portion of the Spirit.

Paul is getting married! I really was a bad luck charm. (Mom's note: Since Andy has been on his mission two of his Larsen cousins have gotten married and six of his Hall cousins have gotten married and two more are engaged.)

Talk to you on Christmas! Our preparation day next week is on Wednesday, so I will email you then.

Elder Larsen

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Staying in Duston

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Are people more willing to hear your message with Christmas getting closer?

Hmmm, I suppose they are. So far in December we have had a bit more success in our finding efforts.

Question #2: How did your Zone's Book of Mormon story video turn out?

The video was quite amzing. Out of the 6 they showed, it was a clear cut best film. I was hoping I would be able to send it to you today but we didn't end up having district meeting yesterday so I couldn't get the usb. I will try to get it and send it sometime this transfer.

Question #3: What was a miracle you experienced last week?

Last Sunday we went to the Stake President's home for dinner. He and his wife asked us to find young men because there are 1.5 active young men in our ward (their son and a less active, both 15 years-old). We had the chance to tract for about an hour after that. Before doing so, we prayed to be led to a family with a young man. We knocked a few doors and on our way to the next, we stopped a lady walking her dog. She was previously investigating the church, is interested, and has a 13 year-old son. It was a miracle.

It is a new transfer tomorrow. There aren't any changes with me. I get to stay here in Duston ward for Christmas time. The members of the ward here are so great.

A while back we did service for the neighbor of a member with several members of our ward. Yesterday we were able to teach  her after having lunch with the members. It was really amazing to see the example that good members are to those around them. I hope it goes well. The lady (Joe) has had quite a difficult life. I know that the Gospel will help her. I shared with her the story of Joey snatching me up from the darkness and taking me to the rest of my family in the light. That's exactly what Jesus Christ came to do for us.

We had our Zone Conference last week. It made me laugh when we got invited as a mission to read the Book of Mormon front to back between now and General Conference. I was on page 240... All well, can't hurt to go over it all again. President Jordan sure knows a lot about Church History. I can't wait to learn more about that myself.

Christmas time is a great time of year to be out doing the Lord's work. People's hearts seem to be a bit more open to our message. It is also a very cold time of year, haha.

I saw a picture of Matt with Dave and they appear to be the same height, at least they did back in July. That would mean that he was my height as well. Scary stuff. My little brother is as tall as me, knows scripture mastery better than me....good thing I'm the ultimate ultimate player. Dave also mentioned that Matt is quite the speedy hiker.

Hope you guys continue to have a good Christmas time, I will.

Elder Larsen

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Smile and Set Lots of Appointments

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Who invited you over for Thanksgiving Dinner? Were they Americans?

It was an English family oddly enough. This ward has two amazing Sisters that rotate feeding the missionaries each year. Both are English. We had turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, pie, etc. Very tasty thinking about it, haha. I have one  hour left in my fast.

Question #2: How did your Zone movie on a Book of Mormon story go?

We didn't actually end up doing it last Saturday but we are all meeting today to make one. We'll see what it is. Hopefully I can send it home.

Question #3: What was the spiritual highlight of your week?

We had our monthly zone meeting on Saturday. I prepared a training on Developing the Faith to Find. Part of it was having all the Senior Companions share their best finding miracle of their missions. It was great. We also set a goal for the Zone to smile when we find and to set lots of appointments. Later that day we were in town center talking to people, with huge smiles. I stopped this African couple. At first they started to walk away.
"Where are you from?" I said.
They replied, "Ghana."
Then I said, "A to sain." (How are you in Twii, pardon my spelling.)
The said, "Have you been to Ghana?"
"No, but I've served in London" I said. "Mei ding di Kwaku." (My name is...Kwaku is the name for people born on Wednesday.) "Yey fro sain?" (What's your name?")
They said their names.
Speaking to the man I said, "You remind me of my friend in London but he's 8 (convert in Lea Balley from Ghana). You're just like the 24 year-old version of  him. Are you 24?"
She said, "Yes!"
He said, "Magic."
I said, "When can we see you?"
...we will see them on Friday. All those great miracles and a smile on my face allowed my faith and excitement to grow, therefore the spirit was able to help us find.

Wow, mom, please don't sneak into our apartment. I'm afraid our dishes aren't spic and span either and Elder Klobcic is 26 and still not potty trained...haha. (Mom's note: I had told Andy how Heidi's first reaction to my surprise visit for her birthday was fear that I would see the unwashed dishes in her kitchen. Also, the joke about his companion was because I told him that I potty trained Savannah as part of my birthday visit.)

Matt, I can't believe there are ten teachers. I was still passing the Sacrament when I was 18, in fact I still pass it now most weeks at 20.

The rule on music is now changed, our mission rule is now just as the white handbook reads, which means BYU Vocal Point is approved.

I went on a couple of exchanges this last week and did a 2 hour blitz with another area. It was good fun to be with all fresh misisonaries for about 50 hours straight. The two exchanges were with 2 and a half month old missionaries, haha, and the blitz was with a month old. Everyone we talked to in the street stopped because they were just so cute, haha. The worst part was having to carry them around all day. New missionaries are great, they are a clean slate and just need some good examples and a little push.

The work is going on an upswing right now, I'm really excited.

We have our Zone Conference coming up about the Book of Mormon on Thursday. It's going to be great, especially since I've been plowing through it.

Hope you guys have a great week.

Elder Larsen