Thursday, April 18, 2013

Last Letter

Dear Family,

Question #1: What foods are you most excited to eat when you get home?


Question #2: What's the most valuable lesson you've learned while on your mission? 

We are nothing. In a good way.

Question #3: How did Alan's and Heather's baptisms go?

It didn't end up happening this last week due to a few things, they'll get baptized later.

I don't have much time today, because I have to jump into London to get some stuff. I'm excited to see you guys.

In case you don't have the info,

I arrive in SLC at 7:05 p.m. in Terminal 2.

Thanks a lot.

Elder Larsen 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Making the Most of the Time I've Got Left

Dear Family,

 Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: How was your interview with President Jordan?

It was great. We didn't talk too much because I'll be talking with him again soon.

Question #2: What did you learn at your Zone Meeting? 

At Zone Meeting we learned some new tracting strategies and trained on asking inspired questions.

Question #3: What are you going to do to make this the most awesome week of your mission? 

I'm going to do what I am supposed to do. I'm praying hard so that we can find someone who will accept the gospel and get baptized after I leave. I've got to make the most of this time I've got left and love these people.

General Conference was indeed amazing. My dreams came true and the last session will be packed with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Holland, and Elder Christofferson. I hope to watch that tonight at the Whittakers. Elder Ellis gave a great talk, I am a no sugar type of guy. Joey, I had the same problem earlier on my mission with that Cambridge stuff. We have this case study in our missionary binder that talks about missionaries working in Cambridge, then I found out it's the Cambridge that is in New England where Harvard is.

Mom, you've got a good point. I have had several times on my mission where I did something that seemed foolish, but ended up making a miracle. Last week when we found the Nigerian family, I had actually intended to go somewhere else to tract but missed the turn, haha.

That's a good idea to write myself a letter Joey, I think I'll do it. I have some great plans, which are probably easier to say than do. Such as reading the Old Testament... haha.

I'm not done yet.

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Great New Investigator Family

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question 1: How was the fireside last Sunday? What did you say?

It was really good. I spoke about my conversion and my mission. I also explained about how the church is in Provo and how pathetic my commitment was at times. Haha.

Question 2: What authentic British dish will you make for us when you get home?

Ummm, I'll try to make Toad in the Hole. It didn't ever work out making Yorkshire puddings with that guy, so I'll have to find someone else to teach me.

Question 3: What has been one of your biggest changes since going on your mission?

It's difficult to say what the biggest change has been. I have realized what the important things in life are.

It's a bank holiday today, so the library is closed. Right now I am at the Whittakers. It is great to be here. I was talking with Elder Whittaker about all sorts of things while Elder Delannoy wrote his family.

We went to Colchester for church yesterday rather than the school because it is closed for Easter. It was a great service. At the end for the combined portion they did a presentation for the advertising being done in central London in response to the Book of Mormon musical.

We found a great new investigator family last week. We knocked on a door and a man came to the door, "We're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ and we are sharing about the Book of Mormon".

"Would you like to come in?" he said.

We went in and explained the Book of Mormon, the Saviour, and the restoration. He said everything we said goes with the Bible and when he looked at Elder Delannoy's Quad he asked how he could get one. He said he wanted to buy one but we said we could bring him an old one. We did the next day and taught a proper Restoration lesson and it's great so far. We should see him tomorrow, he's a great man.

Sounds like good things are happening across the pond. I've got interviews tomorrow with President and Zone Meeting on Thursday. Have a great week.

Elder Larsen

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Think, Eat, and Sleep New Investigators

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1:  What are some easy meals you think any missionary could make? (The Young Men in our ward are going to have cooking lessons to prepare for missions.)

It's hard to say, because there are things you can get in some places but not in others. Here I love a good beans on toast, tortellini with cheese, etc.

Question #2: What were you most grateful for last week?
I am most grateful for our Branch Mission Leader. He doesn't have a lot of money, his health is quite poorly, but he does a lot for us. Yesterday in Priesthood he strongly encouraged the members to think of someone they can refer to us, it was great.

Questioin #3: What was your favorite lesson you taught last week?

Last week we taught Alan and Heather about Christ-like attributes. We taught all the pre-baptism lessons, so we are getting a bit more creative now. They are really good kids.

Last week was a great character building week. We didn't have the success that we hoped for, but it help me to reflect. I am happy to be a missionary, I have been well blessed, and I will do Heavenly Father's will even if it doesn't always make sense to me.

We as well got some snow last week, it hasn't melted yet though.

I really enjoy learning from Elder Whittaker about the scriptures and church history. Oddly enough I now enjoy reading, and talking with Elder Whittaker, there is so much I want to learn more about.

This week we have set a goal to find 3 new investigators. We have put up reminders on the wall, and decided that we will think, eat, and sleep new investigators. It's amazing that when we have strong desires for something, ideas and opportunities come.

Tonight we have a Branch fireside for singles and Elder Delannoy and I will each be talking about our missions. I hope I'm not "stunned" in that situation. It's difficult, there's so much I could share, but I need to decide what will be best.

Matt, that story about the test was amazing, what a genius. We listened to a talk from President Monson that that story reminds me of. President Monson was in a class, he noticed a student that never came prepared for the lessons, and he wondered, "what will he do when it comes to the final exam." The day of the final exam came, it was very cold, President Monson noticed that the student was wearing flip flops. They all put their books on the ground for the test, then the student took off his flip flops and flipped throught the pages of his book for the answers. The student got one of the highest grades in the class. Later for another test, the teacher last minute changes it from a written test to an oral test. President Monson said something like, "The student now had his foot in his mouth." Haha.

I've been doing my best to exercise as well dad. Right now I do push ups (normal and triangle), sit-ups, ab wheel, and use dumb bells mainly for my biceps. I'm going to need to start jogging again so Matt doesn't wear me down on the ultimate field.

What Lisa, you don't have a halo over your head? I do.

Thanks for reminding me of that talk mom, I think I'll pull it out and give it a study again.

Have a great week, I will.

Elder Larsen

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cold Hands and Being More Thankful

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: Have you had any snow lately?

Last week we had a day where it was a mix between hail and snow. That was the strangest day of weather I have seen in my life. Sunshine, blizzard, sunshine, blizzard, etc.

Question #2: Will the Whittakers stay in the Tendring branch for their whole mission?

I am not sure, they may or may not. I know the church leased the flat for 1 year to start.

Question #3: What were some of the tasks that you put on the calendar you made for Heather and Alan to help prepare them for baptism?

Read the scriptures, do something nice for your mom, be positive today, etc.

Who would have thought, Alan and Heather's baptism now looks to be on April 13th. To our horror they want us to sing a song with their mother at the baptism. They will regret that. They are great kids, they make me laugh a lot, and I think I might make them laugh too much.

The Branch is so good to us. At times I get a bit frustrated that the work isn't going better, but they are positive with us. I always remember good old President Patch, he always said, "Elder Larsen you're a great missionary, I've got great confidence in you!"

Right now I am working on being more Thankful for all the blessings that I receive, even the things that don't seem like blessings. I was making a list the other day of changes in me throughout my mission and I'm so grateful. There is still so much to do, I've got to make the most of my time.

Wow mom, try to stay all in one piece please.

Hah, the cold weather continues, I have inherited dad's poor circulation. Every time we shake hands with people they mention that my hands are cold and Elder Delannoy's are not. Even though I wear gloves and sometimes he doesn't. Like you Lisa, I am waiting for Spring, and more excited than ever for it.

Matt, I remember going on a camp out like that too. They tried to demand that I take a tent, I refused. That night it rained and rained, I didn't sleep too well. Good times.

Dad, I must let you know that I am having to fight daydreaming about dirt biking these days.

I try not to think too much about the munchkins or else I get too excited to see them.

I emailed Elder Sikahema last week and he replied, he's giving me some great tips to stay focused.

Elder Larsen

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'm Happy to Be A Missionary

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: Has your investigator taught you how to make yorkshire puddings yet?

I have not yet learned how to make yorkshire puddings.

Question #2: About how many people do you approach each day?

Not too sure, probably around 100. In some areas like Lea Valley, it was probably more like 300+.
Question #3: Did transfers bring any changes for you?

Nope, it's still me with Elder Delannoy.

That's great that John had a baby, it seems like it's been ages since a few people I know have had babies... hint hint.

Last week was great. We have started a Book of Mormon study class on Wednesdays and a Branch FHE on Mondays. I like listening to Elder Whittaker talk, I learn lots of new things from him.

We had a couple of great moments this last week in our work with less-active members. One night we got a call from a sister saying that she invited a neighbor to meet with us and he accepted, then later she invited another, we will see them this week. Another Brother in the branch invited a friend of his to our FHE, it's great.

We have been teaching Alan and Heather still, and it looks like they will be baptized this month, which is exciting. We made them a calendar to prepare them for baptism giving them tasks every day, and it has worked great. We celebrated Alan's birthday with them last week, he's 12. Matt, I use my funny joke with them when I say "Hi Alan!" while I'm looking just to the side of him. It's too much fun. I also thought of a new funny thing that I'll have to show you 'eye to eye', haha.

I'm happy to be a missionary, I want to keep focused. People always said that the mission goes by fast, and that has been true for me. I love to wear the Saviour's name on my badge, and also our family name. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. The Gospel is true.

I like the fake twinkies, I just wanted to make a funny joke, haha.

The pictures will be printed today, I will post them within the next couple hours.

Thanks a Billion.

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Zerefore, Beware of False Twinkies

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions. (Mom's note: Andy also asked the questions since we failed to come up with any this week.)

Question #1: Did you happen to meet someone this week who has been prepared to receive the Gospel?

Actually yes. We were talking to people in the town centre (yea centre), we stopped a man and set an appointment to see him, then went to catch a bus to a village. We jumped on the bus, and so did he, we sat together and talked more. Turns out he lived in Colorado for 30 years, knew some members, and wants to teach me how to make yorkshire puddings. We taught him last week and it went well, and we will see him again this week. Good question.

Question #2: Did you like your Birthday presents?

Why yes I did. The Peanut Butter M&M's (aka Bruv Bits) are gone, as are the juicy bugs, half of the jerky, some of the fake twinkies (aka Squidgy Crumpets) . . . (by the way, isn't that one of the signs of the second coming, that twinkies would be taken away? And also beware of false twinkies? The world is really making a turn for the worse), I also have dipped into the war heads and am saving the rips for good time.

Question #3: Tell us something funny about your companion.

Well it's not really a question, but sure. In French they do not have the "TH" sound. Zerefore it is difficult for him to speak correctly. We have fun in language study practicing. We have been working on the statement "Thus saith". Here are some examples. "Zus Sais" "Thuth Thaith" "Zus Saith" etc. Everyone loves his French accent, but he wants to get rid of it. Lots of the more experienced sisters at church mention how great his accent is, he gets embarrassed and I laugh.

It was a good week. Just about every day we jumped on the train or a bus to explore the area. We had a few very special experiences in which we were blessed to be able to give people comfort. More than once we knocked on the door of someone that was grieving for something and shared our message of hope. They may not get baptized now, but it's just good to be able to brighten their day.

Yesterday we were sharing our testimonies with members about the restoration and we got talking about the need for a living prophet. In quite a few instances the Bible touches on something but doesn't give much explanation. Such as: baptisms for the dead, Christ being baptized to fulfill all righteousness, Christ preaching to spirits in prison, how do you baptize and who can baptize, etc. I'm very thankful for the restoration. Only with revelation from God could everything be brought to light. I can't wait to attend a General Conference session live.

Transfers is next week, this one was 7 weeks long to fit in with the MTC or something. The next one will be 5 weeks.

We are going to go to a store to print off photos, then I will post them to you. Get well soon.

Elder Larsen

Mom, I asked Elder Whittaker about what church book I should read first when I get back, he told me to get "The Story of the Latter-Day Saints". If you could get that for me, that would be great.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Can't Believe I'm 21 Tomorrow

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Have you received your birthday package?

Yes I have received my birthday package, thank you very much.

Question #2: Since when can you make tortellini with cheese sauce and since when do you like such a thing?

Since I learned how to take tortellini out of a package, put it in
boiling water, and served with a Slovenian companion. At first the cheese was a bit overpowering for me, but over time I grew to love it.

Question #3: What is a memorable moment of the week?

It was amazing when we went to teach a less-active lady of the
branch that is starting to come back. She offered to say the opening
prayer, and just after it she said, "I have this feeling that we are
going to talk about the word of wisdom today." I whipped out my
planner and showed her the planning we did for her the day before
which was... the word of wisdom! In the few weeks we have been
teaching her she has changed a lot.

Paul is married, wow. The pictures are really strange. The picture of
the Brooks grandchildren has some random blond haired boy on the left.
Matt must be wearing high heels, and Lisa will be in trouble for
picking up some random kid.

This last week has been nice. Heather and Allan were gone for their
half term break, we talked with their parents and tonight we should be
okay to set a date for them to be baptized. The less-actives we work
with are making a lot of progress. I don't know if I mentioned that
Elder (David) Whittaker has co-authored some books, and knows loads
about church history, but he does. We have had a few opportunities to
ask him some questions and what not, it's great.

Elder Delannoy and I gave talks again, it was fun. I reached in my
pocket to read a quote, and it wasn't there, haha. The last two weeks
we have been meeting in the library of the school rather than the
hall, it's a bit different. I love to see the dedication of the
members here, it's definetely not a 2 minute walk to a nice chapel.

I can't believe I'm 21 tomorrow.

Joey, shape up, haha, for every hour of board games you play this week
you need to do 15 minutes of exersize. When I go running for my
exersize in the morning it wakes me up and makes me more alert
throughout the day.

My talk was "Love Thy Neighbour". I love you guys. If I've said or
done something in the past that hurt you, please forget. If I meant it
then, I certainly don't mean it now. I know that the Atonement is

Elder Larsen

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thirst For The Gospel


Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: Is your companion a good French cook and are you learning from him?

Hmmm, Elder Delannoy is pretty good at cooking, but I have produced our favourite meal. Tortellini with blue cheese sauce. I think I've learned all of his secrets already.

Question #2: Is the sea breeze in Clacton freezing you?

The breeze is a bit chilly, the weather lately hasn't been too bad, but as of late it is getting cold again.

Question #3: How are your investigators doing?

The few investigators we have are doing quite well, they have struggled to come to church for various reasons, but this week they should be able to. This week we should set a couple of baptismal dates but it depends on approval from their father.

I have never met a girl called Ebenezer in my life. (Mom's note: I came across a female from Northampton in the 1800's who was named Ebenezer.)

The senior couple, Elder and Sister Whittaker, have arrived here in Tendring to labour with us in the field. It is very exciting. They are from Orem, he was a Professor at BYU in Church History and she was an administrator there. The Branch is very excited, as are we. I am very excited to learn from them.

The main thing that sticks out over this last week is my thirst for the Gospel. I keep finding myself reading an Ensign or the scriptures in any spare time I have. I think this week, after learning so much, I ought to work a bit more on applying all of it, that's always the hard part.

Zone Conference was yesterday, which was really nice, we talked a lot about the B word. As missionaries we need to pray, think, talk, and eat Baptism. Ok maybe not eat. The Stake President of our Stake spoke to us there as well. It was amazing to see the impact his parents being converted made to the church. From 2 to 50 or something like that.
I don't know if I told you about the GAP trainings we do now. We study a principle from Preach My Gospel, memorize a scripture for it, and then practice 2 minute drills teaching our companion. For the second time in a big missionary meeting President picked on me to go up in front of everyone to do one. Haha, that was fun. It helped me remember how much Heavenly Father helps me overcome my fears.

Missionaries keep reminding me that my mission is heading to the end, haha, "naa, I have about a year left".

Thanks for the great support.

Elder Larsen

P.S. Sorry for writing so late, we had a district p-day and our train got back just as the library closed and there is not another place to email. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Proper Meals and Last Minute Talks

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: What have you and your companion been eating now that you've had a chance to do some proper grocery shopping?

We had a proper breakfast every morning last week, things like bacon, eggs, pancakes, beans, and so forth. We had tortellini with a special blue cheese sauce, chicken nuggets and fries, burritos, and pasta. This week will be even better.

Question #2: What talent does your companion have that is helpful in missionary work?

He has a very strong French accent that people like to hear.

Question #3: What new approach have you used when finding investigators?

I haven't been using many new approaches recently, more just recycling through old ones. I'll try some new ones this week and let you know how they go.

This week was really good. We saw a lot of progress in the people that we can work with. We had a dinner and shared a message with a part member family, and they invited a friend. The friend asked for a Book of Mormon, and the 2 children both want to be baptized. We are going to continue teaching them and help them overcome a couple of obstacles they have that their mother mentioned.

On another day we were talking to people in town and I stopped a guy. He asked if he could get something out of his car then came back. He had a few pages of an article about the church that he got off the internet (they were a bit anti, but at least he was interested in the church). He opened up to a page that showed how the Book of Mormon was different than the Bible. ... The Bible says that Christ was born in Bethlehem, the Book of Mormon said he would be born in Jerusalem... I responded, "OK, Elder Dellanoy where are you from?"

"Paris" he said,

"Are you really from Paris?" I said.

"No, just right next to Paris" he said.

"You see, the people in the Book of Mormon wouldn't have understood Bethlehem, all they knew of was Jerusalem," I explained.

He accepted that and we taught him in the Library, we should see him again this week.

Last minute Saturday evening we got a call from the Branch President and got asked to give a 10 minute talk each because someone dropped. I am so thankful that my mission has helped me so that that isn't such a scary thing anymore. It was still scary, but not nearly as much as before.

We are still reading the Book of Mormon as a mission, now we are in the Alma 30's. I really love the story of the people of Ammon.

So wait, is Julia getting married soon too?

I got Paul's wedding invitation in the post. Sorry, I won't be able to make it. Haha.

I love you too.

Elder Larsen
P.S. So, I had my camera here to send some pictures but the computer doesn't have a slot for my sd card. Today I'll try to buy an adapter so I can send them next week.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Know the Book of Mormon is True

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: How close are the nearest missionaries to you?

The nearest missionaries live in Colchester, which is about 15 minutes by train.

Question #2: How long has your companion been on his mission?

Elder Delannoy has been on his mission for 4 1/2 months.

Question #3: What percentage of missionaries in your mission are American? It seems like you've had an extra high percentage of foreign companions, is that true?

I couldn't tell you for sure what the percentage of American to non-American missionaries is, but yes I have had loads of non-American companions. I believe more than the average bear.

Good grief, Marty looks like he has got some attitude. Haha, I was making funny faces at a 3 year-old at church yesterday who was the same.

This week was pretty good, the work is moving forward with the Ward. Investigator wise it has been a difficult week, but we have been led to some better places to knock doors. On Saturday we had a step in lesson with a man, it went pretty well, we were able to share the Restoration. Sadly, when we pulled out the Book of Mormon, he quickly wrapped things up and we were on our way. His reaction to the Book of Mormon really disappointed me, he saw it on my face, and said, "You don't need to be disappointed, you should be happy that I let you in and that I believe in Christ." (He was a member of the Church of England). I replied, "I thank you for your kindness, I'm just sad that you aren't willing to read the Book of Mormon and find out for yourself if it is true." I hope that he remembers the short message we shared with him and has a desire to learn more in the future.

There is so much to learn in the church, lately I have been going through Ensign articles about the Book of Mormon. Some talk about the evidence that supports it, which is very nice and interesting to learn, but I have learned on my mission that a spiritual witness from the Holy Ghost is essential. I know the Book of Mormon is true.

Matt, it is very sad that you lost your friend. Don't let it get you down in the wrong way, let it make you a better person.

Thanks for your prayers. I love you.

Elder Larsen

Monday, January 28, 2013

Funniest Companion, Plain Pasta, and Cowardice

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Do you still have a car in your new area?

Nope, we don't have a car here in Clacton.

Question #2: How many active members are in the branch?

Somewhere around 50, probably a bit under that.

Question #3: Where in France is your new companion from and what else have you learned about him?

He is from 15 minutes west of Paris. He's my funniest companion so far,
we eat pasta every day, and he was baptized 2 years ago. He has a
brother and his parents, who are not members. He has cousins that are
members, and he was brought into the church by one of them who served
in Africa.

This last week has been great, once again my feet are in constant
pain, which is great. I feel like a missionary again. We are both
really excited to be working here in Clacton, it's a great place,
people in town are pretty willing to talk with us. We are putting a
lot of focus on finding families and people that are seeking the

It is so great to see the way the church is in different places around
the world. I couldn't have imagined going to a Branch with 50 people
in it before my mission. I really love being able to make a difference
in building the church here.

Last week we came to the flat with no food, so we bought some pasta,
cereal and milk. Haha, we have had pasta (basically plain) for all our
meals so far. It will be nice to do some proper shopping this week.

Elder Delannoy is really funny. He is quite afraid of dogs, he makes
me look so brave. The other day we were knocking on doors and a dog
ran up to the door. We went, "uh oh". We hadn't seen the dogs head
until it lifted up to the window, wow, massive German Shepard. Elder
Delannoy just ran off, so I waited a second and left too, luckily
there was no one home to see our cowardice. It's great, we both have a
real focus on our purpose, and both like to laugh.

Hope things are going great in Provo. Take care.

Elder Larsen

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Clacton on Sea

Andy has been transferred to Clacton on Sea where he'll be working with the Tendring Branch.

Transfer to Tendring Branch and "The Dream"

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Question #1: Are you still hoping to extend your mission?

So I asked President Jordan in a President's Letter if he wanted me to pray about extending and he didn't reply. When I'm around him again I'll ask him about it.

Question #2: Do they have Pringles in England? (We saw some in one of your pictures.)
England does have Pringles, although, unless they are on sale, they are quite pricey.
Question #3:What has been the highlight of your time with Elder Klobcic?
Haha, last week was the highlight. Things are really picking up here in Duston. Roger is interviewed and set to be baptized on Saturday and our teaching pool is a good size now...

And now I'm leaving, haha. Last night we got the moves calls, I am going to go to Tendring Branch (in Clacton on Sea) with a French missionary called Elder Delennoy. Both of us are coming from other areas, so it will be a white wash. In February they are going to have a church building, right now they meet in a school I think.
Oddly enough, a couple hours after the call from the Assistants, President called at about 11 p.m. He said that one of the old Assistants that finished his mission came to visit and when he saw that I was going to Tendring, he said, "Wow, Elder Larsen is being released from being a Zone Leader and going to Tendring. I remember him telling me that he had a dream that he got released as a Zone Leader and went to Tendring." It took me a second to remember that, it was in my last transfer in Lea Valley that I had that dream. Funny, huh?

I'm excited to go to Tendring, it's on the east coast, in the Ipswich stake. Which is the same stake that Cambridge is in, but it would take over 2 hours to travel to Cambridge from there, haha. It will be great to get that cold breeze coming from the sea... haha.

All the best.

Elder Larsen

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We Should Be More Like Superman

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: What advice do you have for the new teachers quorum president in our ward (aka Matthew Kenneth Larsen)?

I'm not really sure. Matt, you know these young men and you preside over them. The best I can tell you is to pray about and for them and think about them often. I try to think about investigators and other people we work with as I am falling to sleep, oddly enough it's a great time to receive inspiration.

Question #2: How many members attend the Duston ward each week?
Somewhere around 130 members attend Duston ward each week, I would say that is the biggest congregation I have been in. That is except for Cambridge during the summer when 40 extra BYU students came.

Question #3: Have you continued working with the Chinese student who stopped you on the street?

Yes, she and her friend came to church yesterday. They had an appointment so they only stayed for the Sacrament Meeting, but the ward was so excited. They came up to me at the end of the meeting and said, "Do you know who those Chinese sisters are?" A few members introduced themselves before they left. We will see them again on Wednesday.

I sent the pictures 2 weeks ago. I just asked to send it the cheapest way, which may have been a mistake... I hope they didn't send it on a boat.

Speaking of Super Heroes, I was so excited when our Stake Patriarch spoke yesterday. He talked about Batman, Spiderman, and Superman. He said Heavenly Father wants us all to be like Superman. When a real disaster would happen, Superman would fly into the atmosphere and circle the world so fast it would turn back time and he would fix the problem before it happened. We can be like Superman by doing family history. Good, huh.

Speaking of our Stake Patriarch, we have this investigator that we had seen a couple times. We had gone with an 18 year old prospective Elder and in the teaching she always talked about how we are too young to teach her, haha. So we brought the Patriarch with us on Saturday, the lesson was amazing. She had a question she wanted to ask and he answered it without her even asking. I hope one day I can be that close to the Spirit.

The work has really been moving forward, we are having more people to teach, more people are coming to church, etc. Roger's baptism will be postponed just a little bit more, 1 or 2 weeks. We are thirsting for new investigators, and it is working pretty well. Yesterday I called a couple potential investigators that we had met quite a while back, a 90 something year old lady and her 57 year old son. It turns out that just before Christmas the son passed away. It was quite unexpected to call someone you saw doing just fine a few months before and they are now dead. We will go to see her on Tuesday and share the Plan of Salvation and try to give her some comfort.

We received training from President Jordan on Prayer last week during our interviews. I think that has a big part in why we are seeing more success now. During interviews President Jordan pretty much told me I will not be in Duston next transfer. I will be put with a missionary that needs help turning around their mission or with a new missionary.

Dave's moving to New York!? At least that gives me an excuse to visit. He better still come for a few camp outs.

Thanks for your support.

Elder Larsen

Monday, January 7, 2013

Are You Missionaries?

Dear Family,

Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: Has it been freezing cold in Duston like it has in Provo lately?

Actually, the weather has been fantastic for the last 3 or 4 weeks. Every day it is between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius (43-50 degrees F). Not too shabby at all.

Question #2: What do the English do to celebrate the New Year? What did you do?

There are big fireworks in London and all around the country, other than that I think similar to the U.S. So we secretly wen to London to watch the fireworks at midnight... or we just went to bed at 10:30 as usual. Haha.

Question #3: What is a good teaching experience you had last week?

Last week we were heading to a dinner appointment with some members about 10 minutes late and in a fast pace. We walked by a couple of Chinese students, just as we walked passed the girl said, "Are you missionaries?" We had a nice conversation and found out she knows the church in Hong Kong and had been to Salt Lake City. We exchanged details and continued on rushing. The following Saturday we had an appointment with them (She and her Boyfriend). They made us a nice Chinese lunch. After the lunch her other Chinese friend came in and we taught a lesson, it was great. They are all coming to church this next Sunday and we'll work on getting them baptized!

Hah, Elder Krebbs, what a great missionary he was. I served around Elder Krebbs for 6 months, he was my District Leader and Zone Leader. (Mom's note: Andy's cousin, Julia, works with Elder Krebbs at BYU.)
I see in the pictures that there seems to be a new fence around the garden, and the kitchen isn't the kitchen anymore.

No, no, no, Lisa of course there are no sketchy people here in England. I didn't get verbally and physically attacked last Saturday, I didn't have the police called on us while we were tracting, the man in the flat below us does not use illegal drugs... Haha. Don't worry it wasn't really physically attacked.

There I was in Huntingdon area doing a little blitz with the missionaries there knocking doors. Elder Fullmer and I knocked on a door, a dog started barking like mad, then a man answered the door. I took a short uneasy look at the dog (German Shepard) then started to say, "Hello there s..." but was interrupted by, "Swear word every other word commanding us to leave and never come back." We walked away being yelled at, walked around the other side and knocked the next door. As we came out from knocking that door he came out across his yard towards us with his dog (sound familiar Joey?). Still swearing every other word asking us if we understand we are to never come back again, etc. In the process he gave me a nice push, which I am excited about. I have been trying to write more in my Journal and Heavenly Father has blessed me greatly. Mom, don't you love the way Heavenly Father answers my prayers? (Mom's note: No, I do not. Why do my boys value persecution so much?)

The work has been picking up again after the Holidays. Roger should be baptized a week from Saturday, and we have quite a few other people that we hope to set baptismal dates with. We have set a goal to have 12 lessons taught to investigators with a member present this week. Church yesterday was fantastic, a Less-Active member we have been working with bore an amazing testimony and in Elders Quorum quite a few people got up and shared missionary experiences.

I got one of the Christmas letters you guys sent. Matt, I can't thank you enough for that letter. I love you guys.

Elder Larsen


Two Minute Teaching Drills

Dear Family,
Mom, you ask what I have done with your son? What have you done with my "little" brother, Nunners, and Marty? And who is this Abby you keep talking about?

Don't worry, you aren't the ones having all the fun with little ones. Yesterday I did a baptismal interview in another area, and their 15 month old baby girl ran up to me and offered me a smooch, sadly I had to decline.

This last week has been filled with all sorts of good experiences. We made a real effort last week to drop by the inactive members of our ward and wish them a "Happy" Christmas. A few people accepted to have us drop by again, many appreciated our drop by, and just one was not too cheerful at all. The activities we have had during these times have been great, many people who don't show up to a normal service would show up to the carol service.

Right now as a mission we are reading the Book of Mormon and a new study to improve our teaching. After getting all the way to Alma in less than 3 weeks, I am now back at Jacob. It has been great to read everything again. As I read the Book of Mormon I really feel that it is true. To help us in teaching we have been memorizing scriptures and doing 2 minute teaching drills with our companion throughout the day.

Hope you guys have a great week,

Elder Larsen

I Love Gravy

Dear Family,
Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: What was the best part of your Christmas Dinner?

The best part of Christmas dinner was the stuffing, I love stuffing... or maybe the gravy, I love gravy. (Mom's note: Who is this boy? Before his mission  he wouldn't touch stuffing or gravy.)

Question #2: What was the worst part of your Christmas Dinner?
There was no worst part about Christmas dinner, "I like food". Matt or Joey, I hope you know where I got that quote.

Question #3: What stands out most to you from our Christmas Day phone call?
The thing that stands out most to me from the phone call is... this strange little girl voice I heard in the background all the time. (Mom's note: That was 3 year-old Savannah.)

I as well almost gave up talking to you yesterday as well, it took about 15 minutes to finally get the call to go through with that calling card. I saved it for last so you would appreciate it even more, haha.

I believe Matt's shirt has his name on it disguised as a super letter. That background isn't our house is it? The trim and wall looks like our house, but the rest of it does not. What have you done to the house?! haha.

This week sure has been great, the recent church services have been especially good. We had a carol service with the nativity on Sunday and a carol service with some scripture reading on Christmas. The way I feel about going to church has completely changed. The members here treat us so well.

It has been very special to study the scriptures and watch the devotional and other videos about the birth of the Saviour. There is a very special spirit about it. I really love the Bible Videos that the Church is making, they just go through the scriptures like it is. I hope that we can continue to take advantage of this wonderful time when peoples hearts are softened towards the Saviour.

It's funny that yesterday I mentioned Brandon's pointy toed shoes in the phone call and then this morning I see that you wrote that in your email. I'm going to have look around some of the stores for a suit and shoes, this time of year they have the big sales. Don't count on me wearing them while I'm still here though. Have a great week!

Elder Larsen