It sounds like things are going very well there in Arizona. It is finally starting to cool down here, and it seems to be dipping close to freezing. Some of the Elders from the mission use an adapted P90X as part of their morning exercise. I have also been learning a lot being around President Rust. He is a very gentle and understanding man. He is very successful, but he and his wife are also very humble. It is also interesting to hear that Dad is planting since everything here is dying. It sounds like Erik is also doing well, and I am so glad to hear that Shane is working hard. I am trying to work hard too, but it feels like I can always be doing better and I can. Recently I have had the opportunity to hear from President, other missionaries at trainings, through email from Blaine and Shane, and we also saw a missionary who is part of another mission who was with us in the MTC, and we shared a few ideas. This week there was training for missionaries who have only been here 3 weeks, there was zone leader council meeting, we had a visa trip in Finland (I got to go to the temple) (We also met an american who got married to a finnish woman through ldssingles.net who is slightly related to my comp. It was strange. She spoke perfect english, but he was a really funny man, and they were able to give us a ride. They had two daughters, and they hadn't watched conference, so we gave them a commitment to watch Elaine S Dalton's talk.) I also went to a place called Surgut with President, which is a northern place. We got to interview a young woman who got baptized, and we helped President with interview and talk translation. I think that as we find and teach people, and even outside of the mission, there are many ways to share the Gospel and it is important to be creative. Our mission has recently set goals, and we are trying to be more open and accept change if it is what the Lord wants so that we can accomplish his work here, and the Lord gives us many talents so that we us them in building up the kingdom as well. Some missionaries do plan of salvation chalk drawings in Moscow, some do Book of Mormon stands, we have been focusing a long time on teaching, but now we want to look more closely at our statistics to see what we can work on, and Blaine sounded like he had a pretty successful open house. I also get excited when I hear about how missionary work is going in other places, knowing that everywhere, the Lord's work is going forth. With the elections and Mitt Romney in there, there will probably be a lot more opportunities for you to share a little bit about the Gospel. Matt's going to Jamaica? cool. Pig hunting will also be fun.
When I was in Finland, I saw some things in preparation for Halloween, so they probably celebrate it, but here there is nothing, and I almost completely forgot about Halloween.
I am really enjoying the mission, and it truly is a wonderful time to dedicate life to the Lord. If we forget ourselves, and give to the Lord, he really can carve us into whatever we need to be. I have seen some people change on the mission, both converts and some missionaries, and the Lord gives us so much, and he asks for so little in return. I love you all. Bye- Elder Larson