Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Merry Christmas!

Tis the season!!
So... Last week, I didn't write. SORRY!! Things got switched around and time got crunched... Anywho! We are so excited for Christmas!!! I haven't seen my family for 9 months now, and I was just starting to forget what they all looked like!! We have everything set up with a member in our ward, except for the time... My companion has a sister on a mission as well, and we are still trying to get everything worked out so that he will be able to Skype with her as well. The Christmas season has been strong in our little Hmong apartment this year, as we have our little 3 ft Christmas tree decked, lights put up, and Christmas cards tacked up along our hallway. There has been music playing almost constantly, snow falling heavily, and we even splurged and bought ourselves a nice little half gallon carton of eggnog! We were part of the ward Choir concert yesterday, and we had so much fun with it! Everyone in that choir had a good time, good voice, and good spirit, making it a very memorable Christmas Sabbath.
Along with the Christmas theme, last night we went caroling to all of the Hmong people that we could think of! We ended up staying out for over 4 hours singing the same 5 little carols that had been translated into Hmong. We came home and just CRASHED! But again, what a great memory of my first Christmas in the Missionfield! We went to somewhere near 15 people, and even stopped at a few investigators houses. We were thanked with hugs, and many many thank yous. We were more than happy to do it, and would be more than happy to do it again. I just want to share my testimony during this special time of year. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He came to this earth as a part of an Eternal Plan of Happiness, and by following that plan, I know that I will again live with my family and my Father in heaven. This is the greatest gift that I have ever been given, and it is a gift that I can never repay. I've heard it said that we don't spend Christmas, we keep it, and that the gifts Christ gave us were his life and his sacrifice. That is the best that we can give him as well, our lives, and our sacrifice.

Elder Larsen

Monday, December 9, 2013


All I can say is -20 isn't very pleasant. I know I've started off the last couple of e-mails complaining about the cold... but come on now!! Other than that... Great week for us!! We had some very exciting things happen! Wednesday we met with some referrals that we got on sunday night. The referral was for someone named Choua (Chew-uh). When we went over to talk, it turns out that there was more than one coincidence (or should I say MIRACLE!! <a favorite word in every missionary's vocabulary>) We started teaching him, and his wife came in to sit in on the lesson, and immediately started offering feedback, and questions. We asked her if she wanted to learn as well, and she said absolutely! After introductions, we found out that she has relatives who are already members, and she had no idea! Elder Burgoyne had served in Sheboygan, where they lived, and somehow, we found out she is related to members there. After some more discussion, their brother, Kong, came and started listening... THEN after a little MORE discussion, their GRANDMA came and sat in on the lesson. We ended up teaching for about 2 whole hours, and we were invited back this next week... We are very hopeful for all of them, and as it turns out Kong and 2 OTHER siblings that weren't there had previously studied from the missionaries, and were even committed to baptism, until their father disallowed it... That means from 1 referral, we have 6 new investigators... And a partridge in a pear tree. We are blown away, and very thankful for this blessing! On friday, we went to the house of a way less active named Jessica. We REALLY enjoy our talks with her because she is not afraid to ask questions. We just know that they are personal questions that she wouldn't ask anyone else, and they are very deep, very spiritual questions. We are able to answer each one with scriptures, and we leave her house each week feeling very accomplished. This past week, she told us how much she enjoys the time we spend together. She doesn't know it yet, and hasn't been to church or in contact with anyone from the church for at least 10 years, but she will make a great relief society president when she returns to activity. Finally, last night we saw the Christmas devotional, and what a blessing that was! I encourage you to watch it if you weren't able to last night... That's about all I have time for this week, but I love you so much, and thank you all for your support!!!
Elder Larsen!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

To All Y'All

Wooooow... Where to start with this week?? We'll start on Thursday (thanksgiving) We had two dinners with Hmong families --and when I say families, I mean FAMILIES!!! It was so crowded and so busy! The star of the first dinner was the deep fried turkey bits... Yes, nothing says "I'm thankful" like clogged arteries. We were so incredibly full after the first dinner, that we forgot that we had another dinner 3 hours later... woopsie... BUT we enjoyed the second one just as much. The star of that dinner would have to be the 2 turkeys that just gleamed. We were extremely thankful for the hospitality of these people, and made sure that they knew it! The talk turned to the gospel very quickly, and I heard many good testimonies born of how thankful they were. It was a pretty special experience for us... And as a side-note, we had 3 different types of rice along with our turkeys... Next, Saturday! Our radio broadcast went off without a hitch! We were so proud of how it turned out, and we are excited to get more and more confident every week. After all the hours of preparation, and worrying and planning, we were very proud of what we did. There is no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father helped us through everything. We felt so comfortable, and so fluent during the broadcast, and that couldn't have come from anybody else. We were stressed out the entire week, and were still able to perform. Thank you to all those who listened, I'll translate it for you all when I get back! And finally... A miraculous Sunday! First thing to note, 4 weeks ago we invited an investigator. named Lilly, and her family to church. Why did we invite them so long ago? Her schedule is absolutely INSANE, and as a single mom, she has a lot of obligations. She wasn't willing to come at first because she doesn't have a car, and didn't want to accept a ride from anyone, but we insisted that she come and try it once. We set everything up and her and her four kids came and stayed for all three hours!! She made friends and said she might even come next week! Miracle!! THEN, we had another investigator, Anthony, there. He hasn't come in months, and came all by himself AND stayed through all 3 hours AAAAAND a baptism that was happening afterward! Whew! Miracle!!!! THEN, we had a less active, Cheeta, who also hasn't been to church in months come for all 3 hours... After, he told us how much he misses church... MIRACLE!!! We are feeling extremely blessed, and again, I thank my Heavenly Father for everything. Also, I am very aware of the many prayers coming from family and friends at home, and for that I offer my sincere, deepest gratitude. I have to go and do other p-day things, so that's it for today... But I love you all!!