Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 26, 2011

Hello Family!
Things are going really great here. This past week, 2 missionaries came in to the mission. The ones from Ukraine and Moscow. They are very kind and very sincere in their testimonies. The elder has only been a member for about a year and a half, but he is really excited, and he was actually found by missionaries who went street contacting. He is the only member in his family, but he is very loving, and they are both excited to do the work. I enjoy seeing knew missionaries, and they help me to learn because they are just so excited to do the work.
Also, that young woman we told you about last week came to church again, and she seems very committed to coming. Before she met us, she had learned about the church, and had been searching for something, so we want to help her and find out where she is at in her search for truth. She is very smart, and it is fun to see someone so young really search for the truth. She is 14. I found it interesting because that is the same age that Joseph Smith had posed the same questions in his life.
It is cool to hear about the baby that Nathan and Mindy had. I was also unaware that Nathan's back was getting so bad. I hope you get feeling better mom. Everytime you feel the pain, just remember Christ's love. He has felt all of your pain and understands your situation. It is sad to hear about your friend Kim. I wouldn't worry about it. You did your part in trying to reach out and help someone. Continue helping others. It is just sometimes sad that people abuse the things that you give them, but you in doing that you have come closer to Christ. It is great to hear that Erik feels better, and it was nice to receive a letter from you mom and grandad and grandma Larson. That looks like a nice elk, but that is kind of a funny story how you split it between 2 people. Cool snake too, kind of scary. It is nice how Matt is dating a nice woman. Is she a member?? She also has two kids. That is cool how they are really supportive of each other. I am able to email other missionaries if I have time, and I hadn't heard about Jeff Rodgers too much, but I wrote him and he wrote back, and he sounds like he is doing well there in Chicago. He says he is close to down town and he can even go there on p-day.
Shane, there are right now 45 missionaries in the mission, excluding senior couples. At the end of the year, there should be 50 missionaries. There is someone in my branch that is actually from Argentina, from Buenos Aires. I want to know if he is from your area or around the place you're at. Which ward do you go to? My branch is called Verkh-Isetsky. How many missionaries are in your mission? That is cool how that woman was baptized and was feeling better already the next Sunday. We have a lot of older women in the branch, and they are very strong members of the church.
Now it seems that we are really moving into the fall season here. I hope you all will have a good conference. Pay good attention to what everyone says. We will watch conference a week later here. I have really learned on my mission that it is really a great opportunity to hear from your leaders, and we really need to know and heed there words especially in an increasingly evil world, so that we can be strong and firm on the Gospel foundation. I love you all. Have a good week. Be a good example for others and true to what you know. Bye.- Elder Larson

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20, 2011

Hello Family!
Once again, sorry that the letter did not get off last week. I did write it last week, and I had plenty of time, but somehow I saved it instead of sending. This week you get a 2 for one. Dad, I hope you got an elk or Ryan or Matt. From my last week letter, you heard that we had Pres. Bennett came and talked to us, and we tried our best to apply what he said, and we got an investigator, and there were 2 that showed up to church. In August, we were walking on the street, and we tried to find a copy place. We went to the wrong one, but a lady wanted to speak with us interested that we were American. She showed us where to go, and we talked for a while with her and her daughter. For the past month, we have been seeing them as we go by to our recent converts home. We talk a bit, and we gave them a Book of Mormon. The daughter Anya(14) is very sharp, and she started to read the Book of Mormon, and she talked her mother into going to church, so we met them at the bus stop, and we went to church. They enjoyed it, and although we never had an official meeting, we feel as if they are very prepared, and they are pleasant people. They know french very well, and Anya has a desire to come more and to meet with us.
There was a new set of missionaries that came in (8 alltogether including a sister from Finland). It has been fun to see missionaries come and go, and it has also been fun to help in the organization of their travel from place to place. The office elders take care of that, but we also help out a little bit in knowing how it works out. Our mission is very young now, and there are many miracles going on. Hung sent a small email and it says that he created a profile on mormon.org, so it sounds like he is doing alright. There are also 2 missionaries coming in this week from Moscow and Ukraine. My trainers left from the mission last week. It is interesting to see the contrast and how much you grow in 2 years. The new missionaries are coming out of the MTC now quite prepared, and there is also a lot that we all learn while on the mission. I hope that Erik and Alesha start to feel better from their colds and more at home. Now that Erik is in Provo, I don't know if he could look up someone by the name of Paul Gallo. He is a great young man, returned from a mission in Moscow west before I left for my mission, but maybe it would be fun for them to get acquainted. Paul's brother was one of my best friends at BYU who is ironically serving a mission in the Provo mission. I hope that grandma has a fun time in Arkansas. I hope all the kids and family are doing well. I love you all. It has been getting cooler here, so that's also a little exciting, but I am really enjoying life.
If you have any specific questions or want to know something, please ask. I will try to do a better job in answering but maybe your questions can help guide me in making more interesting letters.
I don't know if I told you, but my companion's great great grandfather Zachariah Bruin Decker, and my great great grandfather, Mons Larson know each other. As I was reading through our family history, I came upon the name Decker, I asked him about it, and his family tree had a link. We had been part of the same company at the hole in the rock. His family stayed in southern Utah, and they now live in Cedar City. Family history is important, and it is cool what kind of links we might be able to find between people. We really are all God's children.
I love you all. Bye. I checked to make sure you got this at the right time this time so hopefully it does.-Elder Larson

September 12, 2011

Hello Family!
This past week was really wonderful, busy, but I learned a lot. I had a lot of letters from you all the past 2 weeks, and it seems that life is going well. I am grateful that you all have so many blessings. Mom, just keep doing what you can and pray for the strength to do what the Lord wants for you. I was happy to hear your's and dad's comments about celestial marriage, and I too know that will happen and that is what we are working towards. Erik, it was nice to here from you, and I congratulate you on getting that job at the MTC. I didn't think you could get hired without being a student of BYU. Missionary work is great and it is nice that you and Alesha already have plans to serve a mission when you are older. Too bad that you couldn't get that elk dad. Maybe next time. It is wonderful that Jack's girlfriend is getting baptized on Saturday. Now she has accepted the Gospel truth, and I feel like that will be a good example to a lot of other youth. Simply to answer on your question about school next spring, I would want to go if I could start supporting myself at the same time by working. I would like to go as soon as possible, but I don't really want to worry about all the sign up and such until after my mission. I would give you two permission to select some of my classes if you would want. Shane, that is cool how you are a zone leader now. That is a lot of missionaries that you are over. It is almost half of our mission, and it is great how you have such a responsibility.
This week, we had the zone conferences, and it was amazing. We had a member of the Europe East Area Presidency come and help teach as we had the conferences. He is a member of the 2nd quorum of the seventy and his name is Randall Bennett. He is really great, energetic, intense, and really brought the Spirit. He came in large part to us to repentance. It was very spiritual, enjoyable, helpful, humbling, and it was exactly what our mission needed. Our mission had been talking to people less often, and we had gotten into the mindset that contacting was not effective. Of course it is best to get referrals from members, but he woke us up to the fact that when they do not give referrals from members, just dropping by people will not do a whole lot of good in finding investigators or really helping the inactives. If we work with inactives, we need to be working with the members, or we will not really make any lasting difference, and we should always be in the mindset of finding and fulfilling our missionary purpose. The missionaries all took it very well when the conferences came to a close. I really want this part of my mission to end out very strong. I have had priceless experiences, and I know that in doing what the Lord wants us to do, we receive incredible joy. It is really fun to be a missionary, and I enjoy hearing from the other missionaries from the ward, and I feel that they are working hard in the areas that they are serving. It is getting a little cooler, and I am starting to feel the full fall coming on. My mission President and other leaders are great, and I know that they really point us to what the ward wants us to do. Although I don't have any planned baptisms coming soon, it feels like there have been a fair bit of baptisms happening in the mission. I love you family. Bye. -Elder Larson