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