Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 25, 2011

Hello Family,
Thank you for your letters and your care. It is cool to hear that the garden is doing well, but it is strange to me to think that the plants are already producing because it is just starting to get warm here. I used to base the time of the year on the seasons, but it is a little different here, and time is really just flying by.  I am glad to hear that Madison thinks about me.  It is good to hear of the spirituality of you mom and dad. It sounds to me that you have really grown a lot and it makes me happy. I know the gospel is true and that through Christ and his teachings we really do become more refined people that are closer to God and closer to happiness. Maybe you have the question of how calls will work for mothers day. It is coming soon (in 2 Sundays). We may be able to do skype, but maybe not. If we can and you want to, you will want to send me next week the name that I can find you, and I will tell you on next monday how I will do it. If I do it by phone, I will tell you the time and the number which you can call me on.
The city that has been the prettiest is probably Ufa, because it is actually a fairly clean city. Ekaterinburg has some cool architecture, but it is in the city. Something interesting is that a BYU perfoming group Living Legends will be performing in Ekaterinburg and in other cities in our mission. You can look them up, but I hope some people might get interested in the church some how because of it. This week I had a visa trip, and my companion did, so we were with different companions. Right now, we have Love you, no time, bye. -Elder Larson

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011

Hello Family
The past week went fairly well, and we had a few really cool experiences. Elder Zhdanov and I are doing well, and we are getting along well. We have been trying to keep postive, faithful attitudes, and as a result, we have seen quite a few miracles, and there have been a few miracles in other companionships as well. Sometimes I start to complain, nothing really big at all, but Elder Zhdanov even helps me stay positive in those situations. Although we have not been able to have a whole lot of investigator meetings, we did have an investigator come to church for the first time in a long while. He has been investigating for around 10 years, so we want to continue working with him and help him feel the Spirit. In another instance on the bus, a woman started talking to Elder Zhdanov, but many others heard and another woman asked for an invitation afterwards. The first woman even started reading the invitation to the next lady who sat down next to her. We also had a new woman come to English club, and she said she was interested in meeting, although she works all this week. My visa trip went smoothly (Thus why I am writing today) and we were able to talk with a man who met missionaries in Moscow but may have somehow lost contact, so we got his information and can get it to missionaries in Moscow.
I am enjoying Ekaterniburg, and although not a whole lot is happening, I have recently felt and better understood how goalsetting, planning, and faith can work to help us achieve things. Attitude really makes a big difference in life, and through Christ our attitudes can be made really solid and positive. He has atoned for us, so we can always improve. If not everything is working out, that is sometimes okay, because changes can be made, and we can do all we can to improve, and whatever else happens happens. I enjoy my companion, and He has made huge changes in his life,especially on the mission, and I know that people can change.
The weather is nice, nearly all snow has melted, and It is almost warm enough just to go out in a suit top. Hung did write me a letter, and it seemed like everything was excellent. congrats Alex. I love you all. I hope the best for the rest in the family too. I love you Shane. Bye.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Hello family. Hello Madison. I do not forget you, I just forget to write your name down, but I hope all of you are doing well. They have a fairly nice ward building here, and there are about 40 regularly attending members in our ward. They are really kind. It is a pink building, sacrament hall on the second story and probably 3 quarters the size of our ward building. Here though, our church buildings cannot be too visible from main streets according to governmnent, so it is not too noticable, but it is nice on the inside. There are various people at church, a few families, and quite a few older ladies, and some younger people too. Here in Ekaterinburg, it is interesting because there are a few labor workers, but often times they are tajikistani, kind of how Mexicans are commonly labor workers in the states. there is a little more diveIt sounds like yo uare all doing well, having aunt Brenda come in all, and Erik on the honeymoon and Shane has been in the same place for a while. It is exciting to hear about Alex, and I was glad to hear that mom and dad you want to do FHE more. I really enjoyed conference and I watched it this past weekend. I enjoy Elder Uchtdorf's talk in priesthood, and Elder Scott's talk. You are right dad, they did talk about marriage a lot, and only looking towards a temple marriage. Erik has set a good example and now he can have experiences like you, mom, and Elder Scott. I also had a lot of help for missionary work. This week, we looked for some apartments, and we got ready to close another one. Soon our mission will be fairly small, and then maybe later it will get more people, so for now, a few areas might be closed. I love you all. I thank you for raising me with love, kindness, and I have learned so much on my mission. Right now, we are trying to find people to teach, but I have really learned a lot about myself the past while. I also like Elder Christofferson's talk about correcting yourself because you can always be better. It is also very hopeful becasue through Christ, you can become that much closer to perfection and being even more like him. I really like my companion. He is really happy, and he chooses to look at things positively. It is a great example to me, and we help each other with language quite a bit. He speaks English well, and I enjoy being with him. I love you. Think about conference and the words of the leaders. I know Christ lives and this Church is true. Good bye. -Elder Larson

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

Hello family,
I am doing well, and it sounds like conference was really great. I am excited to see it this next weekend. I was really excited to hear that grandma listened to some conference and enjoyed that film. I am enjoying Ekaterinburg, but I still do now know a whole lot about things and people here. My companion is really cheerful and funny, and he speaks English pretty well, so we speak russian on street and english at home. Ekat is a lot more compact and higher and more densely populated than Perm. Perm feels pretty relaxed and open. It is actually larger in distance in perm, but Ekat is slow traffic and high buildings. We have a very nice church building here. we live on the northern part of the city called Ural Mash. It is finally getting warmer and the snow is melting. I love you all. Quick story too. There is a girl here we met with that lived in America at a mormon family, and she really saw them as an example and enjoyed them. She came here and wanted to know more about the church. It really impressed her to see the family genuine and strong in their belief. She sees a lot of hypocrisy sometimes in the orthodox church and was an atheist before she saw that family. Our example really can have an influence on people even if they do not live in the same place as us, even if they are just visiting. I hope you are all safe and I am very excited to hear that you are reading scriptures and watching conference. That is really important. I love you all. Bye. -Elder Larson