Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 19, 2011

Dear Family,
I am having a good time, and it is fun but interesting to be in Perm.
I got to see some of the members, and some of the people that aren't
recent converts anymore because they were baptized a year ago. I was
here in Perm exactly a year ago. It is different because I know a lot
more Russian, and I am a lot more used to things, but a lot of other
things are still the same. It is a lot different training. I forgot
how it was just coming into the country, and I forgot that there
probably is quite a large cultural shock, but I am excited, and the
new training seems like it will be good. I did say goodbye to Elder
Ray and tell him that you appreciated his letters, Dad. Maybe he can
get in touch with Erik since Elder Ray also lives in Provo. He was a
great missionary. I will be calling this week probably Sunday night
around 7 or 8 meaning your Christmas morning. I said differently last
time, but I think that it will be better this way for doing the calls.
I am excited and hope I know what I can say to make it exciting. There
has just been a lot of moving around this past week and getting
planning. This week is actually zone conference, but I think that we
will be able to get started with our work, and I am excited to really
get out. I am grateful for my blessings.
Right now I am reading in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. I
enjoy that part. There is one time where Amalakiah sends lamanite
forces to attack weak parts of the Nephites, but they were actually
made strong. I thought about how we often just neglect and avoid our
weak qualities. If it is not being used, it is not doing any harm. I
thought thought that I should not just accentuate my good qualities,
but the Lord would probably want us to try to reach towards perfection
in all things. I know that through Christ our weaknesses can be made
to strengths. I love you and how you are a strength in my life. Talk
to you on Sunday. Bye.-Elder Larson

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 12, 2011

Dear Family,
I am having a great time here, and a lot of interesting things have happened this past week. there were 2 trainings, 1 for a set of 9 week new missionaries, and the second was actual zone leader council. I learned a lot, and it is always fun to hear from and learn from President. We had a meeting with the daughter of a recent convert who had agreed to be baptized, so that was pretty exciting. She wasn't comfortable with setting a date, but she seemed very excited and ready to learn more. We had passed her off to the sisters, and they have a meeting with her tonight. She is a great woman, so I feel confident that she will progress towards baptism here in the near future. I had a nice birthday. Since there was a training on my Birthday, I did get cake, a few other treats, and a lot of happy birthdays frrom other people. On Thanksgiving, there was turkey, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, banana pie, green beans. rolls. It was tasty. It feels a little colder this week, but it is clearer today compared to what it has been.
I received a transfer. I will be training in Perm (I will be in one of my former areas). I am really excited. I have had many great experiences here in Ekat and especially with Elder Parson. I am very glad to train though, and it has been a great desire. I hope to get a lot of work done this next transfer and see a lot of miracles.
I will probably call you using a calling call on Christmas morning (your Christmas eve) around 7 to call you. tell me if that will be fine.
We just got the conference Liahona. There are some great talks and things happening and information in there. Sorry you only received a small first letter. An emergency unrelated to me came up, and we had to quickly do something, but it turned out okay. Now I can continue. I know that Christ is my Savior. Sorry I lost my trains of thought, but I want to tell you that I love you. I have learned a lot about Christ recently, and I know that he is my Savior. It is interesting to know how he would act in every situation and what he would say and do in a modern day society. What about the people of Ammon. I know that we can come closer to Christ. I know that in our society, we can be examples and especially this time of the year we can remember Christ. I love you all. We will talk soon. Prepare questions to ask me that you want to know, maybe send them next week so that I can tell you answers and already know how to answer. I will try to prepare some info. Love you. Bye.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 5, 2011

Dear Family, 
I had a great week this past week. We found 2 new investigators. There is the daughter of a recent convert (older woman), but she has come to church twice. Her mom and son are members, she is really friendly, so hopefully she can feel the Spirit and also go through the conversion process. As I have said before, with single woman, we often pass them on to the sisters, and the sisters were able to meet her at church. They set up a meeting with her, so hopefully we can smoothly transition her to the sisters. It also sometimes gives the people more opportunities to meet because we are sometimes out of town. Another man we met on the street was very interested in the Book of Mormon. We came to his house and have met with him twice. He is considerably tied to Orthodox religion, but he is really searching for truth. He says he needs time, so hopefully we can get back in with him and he will be ready to move on and apply some things. He is really a nice and inquisitive man. At the end of the week, we were at Church in Ufa with President. On Sunday was Russian election day, so we could not proselyte, but President and Sister Rust did some training and we also did some training. We did an activity where you related objects to principles of the Gospel, and it helps us during times when people ask a strange question or get distracted. We want to listen to, not ignore the people, but at the same time, we want the to learn, feel, and live the Gospel. It has been fun serving with Elder Parson for the past transfer. He has helped me push myself and become a little better as a missionary. 
In Ufa, it was snowy and pretty, but in Ekat, there is not a whole lot of snow, and it is kind of dirty. Today is a nice day though because the weather is not too cold. It sounds kind of cold there, more cold than usual. Make sure you don't freeze. I am just kidding, but after being here for a while and talking with people and seeing the weather, it is weird to imagine a place that just really doesn't get below freezing. It is very convenient, and a lot of people are kind of surprised that there is never snow when I tell them about where I am from. Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I hope it is a very great birthday. Mom, as you advised, I will buy myself a birthday/Christmas present. I intend to buy a new suit today. My old suits are getting worn down, and I think that would probably be a fairly good present. 
This past week, there was also a training for a half group of fairly new missionaries. After brand new missionaries come in, there is a training program that is 12 weeks, or the 1st 2 transfers of a missionary's mission. During that period of time, there are 2 trainings with President, and this is their last training that we help with. There will also be one tomorrow for that group because it was so big. there were 10 new missionaries from that group. next transfer, there will be 6 new missionaries, so our mission is now fairly young. There are role plays in many training opportunities, and I really enjoy role playing, and I think that it is quite helpful.
It is nice to hear that you are keeping up with basketball, Dad, and thanks for putting money on,  Mom. I received a nice birthday congrats from Madison, so that was cool too. I love you all. I hope you have a good next week. I sure will. On my mission, I have learned how (hopefully) to better recognize spiritual promptings. I have looked back and seen that a lot of them come form my thoughts, and a lot are somewhat random, and I almost just randomly follow some without any opposition. The large key is being worthy of those promptings and making sure not to drown them out. If we hear them at all, it is  likely that we act on them I think. Of course not always do we not act on them, but we miss 100% of the shots we don't take, meaning we cannot act on spiritual promptings that are non existent, which come from obedience. My companion and I have been talking about things like that recently. I know Christ loves us. I love you. Bye.-Elder Larson