Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

Hello Family,
it sounds like you are all doing pretty well. It is sad to hear about all those things going on everywhere, but it is the last days. I have not gotten the package, but I will probably get it soon. I got my transfer, and I will be serving in Ekaterinburg and be with Elder Zhdanov from Ukraine. I have really loved serving here in Perm and there are some really unforgettable moments here. I have really felt the support of members here, and I feel like I have grown the most here. The weather is a little warmer, and I am really excited again for summer. I heard from Hung, and it sounds like he is doing excellent now and active, and it touched me to read the letter he gave me talking about how much the Savior has influenced his life. I know that through him, we can really change our lives and find happiness. I have really noticed how much happines the Gospel brings us and that we can really change and become more like Christ. I really loved this last companion, and we have been very obedient and very happy because of that. I know that even though a lot of things didn't happen in the work, a few great miracles did because we were willing to serve each other, understand each other, and work together to build the kingdom. I hope family that you can find ways to serve and grow closer. I know you will grow closer. I love you all. I will describe my new place next week. Have a great week, and really be happy and grateful for what you have. Bye. -Elder Larson 

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Hello Family,
This has been an interesting week, and it sounds like you have all had interesting weeks. Shane has been here and there, but stuff like that happens, more often than one would think. I hope you're doing well Shane. It sounds like the journey was successful and fun. Erik will have to tell me about the cruise, and I hope the rest of the family is also doing well despite surgeries.
This week, the patriarch was in Perm (1 of 3 in Europe East area), and I had the opportunity to spend some time with him. Patriarch Rodgers. He is American, knows Russian, German, and taught at BYU russian and russian literature for 31 years. He is very nice. Our mission president was also here, so we got to spend some time with them. We helped the sister missionaries move apartments, and will will move soon about a 5 minute walk away. Russia is generally really safe mom, and the apartments we have are quite nice, but we just have to move due to a new law.
The snow is finally melting, and it is warming up outside so that it is not very often below freezing, so that is very nice.
A few of our investigators, we have not been able to get a hold of, and even a few people that were seemingly very interested had stopped answering their phones, but on the other hand there have been a few exciting things happening with our other investigators. We met with женя and had committed him to a baptismal date. He wondered why we committed him to a date, but he said he would be baptized this week if his mom were not against it. He is older than 18, but respects his parents and lives with them. He says that she is also growing more open to his association with us. He is regularly coming to church, but we want him to stay the whole time and help him increase his commitment level. Hopefully his mother will see that and be okay with him joining the church. He has met many members now, has a connection with them, and hopefully his mom becomes okay.
Another investigator, надежда katia's mom has agreed to a baptismal date and has a desire to find out if the church is true. She also invited a friend to be on a meeting, and it seems like he will be interested as well.
This week I had an interesting experience. We saw a drunk man in the middle of the street. He could hardly even move he was so drunk. I had made a selfish, haughty remark, and my companion caught me. We decided to help him, with the help of another person on the street so that the man would not get frostbitten, and to open up the street. At first I had looked at him like an animal rather than looking at him like person. After I had carried him and served him, I saw him differently. He, even the very drunk man, is a child of God. Although we shouldn't be around those people or talk to them because they do not have any sense, that event has caused me to look differently at others. I know service is really important, and if do serve others that our love towards them and God will grow. I love you all. Bye. -Elder Larson.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

Hello family, how are you doing?
I am doing very well. Sorry for the short letter. We do mail at the library, but it was closed for women's day. It is one of the biggest celebrations in Russia. It is like mother's day but for all women, and it is a governmental holiday. It is cool to hear that Shane is working with a mini missionary. We have a mini missionary here and perm, and we also recently sent out a mini missionary sister from here. I am really enjoying Perm, and our mission President and a patriarch came into town today. They will be here for a week so that people can receive their patriarchal blessings. There were also problems with housing. There is a knew law that changes how missionaries get registered, so we needed to move out. Our former branch president is helping us find a place. We recently have been trouble finding new investigators, but we have been thinking, planning, and praying, butht the land lady of a house we looked at today really wants help from God for her husband, and that is the place we will move, so it was a miracle. I really  enjoy my companion, he is really great. I love you all, and I am very thankful for all that you give me. I know the Lord directs our lives, and he helps us know really what is right and best for us. I once again have little time, but next week for sure, I will write more. Thank you all. I love you . Bye. -Elder Larson