Monday, December 15, 2014

Hmong New Year!!!

We had a super exciting weekend! So I'll give a brief overview of everything else and get right to it. So this week, we met with Joyce again. She is as funny as ever, and surely as talkative! We spent the lesson talking about the Plan of Salvation, which she has had the most questions about. She seemed to understand and like most of it, but we are still trying to break through that wall between knowledge and application. She cried at one point in the lesson and asked "Do you ever feel really sad for Jesus Christ and all he went through?" I had the opportunity to bear my witness of the reality and enabling power of the atonement. It wasn't for nothing, and it wasn't just so one Man would suffer, but so that all men wouldn't have to. Skipping to Saturday, we went to the Hmong new year event! We didn't think that we would be able to make it, there were no buses to the sports complex where they held it, but at the last second, we got a ride with 2 investigators! It was awesome! I was able to do a little souvenir hunting, and scored 3 English movies translated into Hmong: Cars (Tsheb) Monsters University (Tsev Kawm Ntawv Dab) and Despicable me (something like... Saib kuv khawb qhov muag) We had great food, and saw quite a few members and investigators there. Afterwards we had our branch Christmas party, with more food, more members, and more investigators! I may have even snuck a picture with the big jolly elf himself!
--Elder Larsen!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thanksgiving...and a LOT of it!

I'm still working off all of that food that I ate this last Thursday. I'll just give a little recap of what went down. It all started on Sunday. We still had no invites to Thanksgiving, so we were debating whether or not we should mention it to anyone. Of course we didn't because, c'mon, that's just something that you don't do as a missionary. Church started, and our Branch president mentioned it over the pulpit, so we felt confident that something would happen, but by the end of church, still nobody had signed up. We weren't too terribly bugged by it, so we planned to eat out at one of our favorite restaurants. We got a text later that night though, inviting us to a 3 family Thanksgiving meal. So Thursday came and we had our turkey bowl at 8 (bus riding that early on a holiday STINKS!!) but we got there. It was only 15 degrees or so for most of the game, but we played hard and each shed layers by the end of the game. We're all still sore too. We then went home for a quick repose, and then traveled to the Leakes house where we had everything that you would imagine that a normal Thanksgiving would have-- turkey, rolls, potatoes, pies, ciders, stuffing... MMM!!! I even had sweet potato casserole for the first time in my life! I ate myself sick, and had to take a little break to let it all settle. Thanksgiving and a LOT of it! Unfortunately there is NOTHING else to report. A very slow week. All but 1 of our set appointments cancelled, so we tracted pretty heavily.... Anyway, 25 days til Christmas!! LOVE YOU!


Hello to one and all!!
Elder Lor and I are having a GREAT time so far! We have had some things keeping us from doing a ton of work (cancellations, bus rides, missed appointments, bus rides, dinners, bus rides...) But, we're still having a blast! We've already decided that we're going to write a rap and put it to a music video of us just dinking around. It's weird to think how soon this Christmas is coming! Only a month from now what will I be doing? And along THAT train of thought, 4 months from now what will I be doing. There isn't much to report on other facets of the work, Tony is still reading the Book of Mormon, Eh Say and Say Paw are working towards a baptism date (I'll have to tell you more about them next week!) and Joyce rescheduled our appointment for next week. I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving with a list of gratitude, and here is a good little sample:
Family, friends, Hmong people, my warm coat, my warm apartment, my companion, my scriptures and studies, my education, my health... Gosh, the list goes on... But my time doesn't. LOVE YOU, have a good Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Transfer Surprise!

​Well, we had quite the exciting news today... Elder Cutshaw is being transferred to Wausau! One of my top 4 areas (I hope y'all get that joke...) He is super excited to go and I just can't stop telling him all of the good things that are there in Wausau and all the people that I want him to go check up on. It seems like I was just there, but I got transferred there about a year ago! My new companion is Elder Lor, another Hmong companion, he said, "This is going to be the best freaking time of our missions." I haven't served around him, but I've talked with him a few times, and I don't deny that it will be the best time of our missions. Transfers are Wednesday morning so the rest of today and tomorrow are already packed with packing and saying goodbyes.
This week, I'll take a little break from the updates on Tony (he rescheduled the lesson for next week). I WILL however, tell you about our newest investigator, Joyce Hill. Joyce was a media referral that we got last week, and after one very unsuccessful attempt to contact her, we weren't very optimistic that she even lived there. The next time we tried, we were miraculously able to get in the apartment building because somebody thought that we rang their door. We knocked on her door, and she looked a little bit rough, so again we weren't too sure. We began speaking and she was pretty short with us, so AGAIN, we weren't sure about her. Then we mentioned that the referral mentioned that she needed a blessing. As soon as we said that, she broke down in tears and asked "can you bless me with a new heart?" She needs surgery soon, and we did our best to comfort and console her. We gave her a blessing and ultimately she warmed up to us and has now essentially adopted us as surrogate grandchildren. We have another appointment with her this Wednesday that we'll have to push back due to transfers, but we are VERY excited.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


This week was a fun week, lots of running too and fro. One of us lost the phone, so we had to take the hour bus ride to the mission office TWICE!! The first one we went and NOBODY WAS THERE!! We had no idea why and no way to call... We went again the next day and sheepishly forgot to mention that we had been there the day before. Again, just another update on our most promising investigator, Tony. We had yet another morning meeting with him on Wednesday. We followed up on our invitation we gave to him to pray. He had prayed, and his answer was-- get this-- I think that I need to read the Book of Mormon to find out if it's true. Uh, YEAH!! I don't think I've ever told an investigator NOT to read the book of Mormon, so he is right on par there. Oh my goodness, we were only slightly excited when he said that. Disappointed that he didn't get a Yes to baptism, but that's like being disappointed that you got cookies in stead of cake. It wasn't necessarily a yes I'll be baptized, but it might as well be because the power of the book of mormon is undeniable. He will know of its truthfulness, I know that. Tony is going to progress, and before you know it I'll be sending some pictures of him in white!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An "off beat" week...

We had sort of a strange week this week... not bad strange or anything, just... strange. I think what really kicked it off was an emergency exchange with my district leader, Elder Ward. His companion, Elder Allen has been very sick really ever since I have been here, and this week it progressed to a sinus infection. Anyway, Elder Ward and I covered the two areas for the day, spending most of our day with their investigators in their lessons. We also taught one of their recent converts, Victor, who is a funny little man with a mustache. Anyway, while we were out, Elder Cutshaw and Allen had a good lesson with Tony, they invited him solidly to be baptized and he responded with something to the effect of "that's a big decision, I'm going to have to pray about that!" We are excited to meet with him again on Wednesday to hear about that experience. We know that everyone has agency, and sometimes it can be hard to hear an investigator say "this isn't for me" when in reality we know that it's for everyone. We pray that Tony prays in sincerity of heart with real intent and then listens to that still small voice so that when we go back, he will be prepared to accept our message. And now... something totally different! I just thought it would be good to shoot over a couple of videos that I've really enjoyed watching the past few weeks... LOVE

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tony..and See!!!

The best thing that happened to us this week was our lesson with Tony. First of all, we were on exchanges so it was Elder Allen and I, we got to his house and after some chatting for 2 minutes or so, he left the room to go grab us some water. While he was gone, his mother, See, came in the room and started talking, asking us who we were and why we were there. Needless to say, we were MORE than happy to tell her why we were there! We talked with her for a good while, even talking about temples, and we then turned our attention back to tony, and included her in a lesson about the Plan of Salvation. It was a VERY good lesson, if I do say so myself, and We have a return appointment with the two of them set up for every Thursday morning at the same time. As we left, she kept telling us, "God bless you! Please come back!" I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

hello there, friends!

I am adjusting to the new pace of Milwaukee, because believe me, it is new to me. We are having success because we really are striving to be out as much as we possibly can, always knocking on one more door, being positive, and above all, having faith and a good humor about everything. We have been finding a lot because many of our scheduled lessons have fallen through, but that means we have EVEN MORE appointments for this week! We are going to be very very busy, and I can't wait. I am most excited for Tony. He is 29 and very prepared. He had a bad experience at his last church (greed) and he kept his faith. I know that we have the gospel that will answer every one of his questions. He recieved the first lesson well, and accepted the invitation to pray about our message and the Book of Mormon. Sorry for the choppiness of that letter, but we had a weird day today... LOVE YOU ALL!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

hello hello hello...

Hello, hello, hello!
Greetings from the Library in Milwaukee! I have wanted to come to Milwaukee ever since the beginning of my mission, and so far it has exceeded my expectations. For one thing, the buses here are a million times better than the ones in Madison, for another, we live right on beautiful, scenic Marquette campus! Our apartment is a little bit small, but what do we need a big apartment for anyway? My companion is Elder Cutshaw, and we are pretty dang similar. Among other things, we are both Alexander and we have a younger brother named Zach. We don't have a ward here in Milwaukee, but rather we have a branch. I was pretty shocked coming to church this sunday where I found out that we normally have around 50 people show up... 50! I'll have to take you all on a video tour of the building because it is one of the most unique that I've seen. We have some promising investigators, but we're kind of waiting to see them a little bit more frequently before we know that they are ready. In other news... well, there isn't a lot of other news. I do have an address though, for all of those who are just dying to write me... (thanks mom ;))
525 N 20th St apt #105
Milwaukee Wi

General Conference, baptism and TRANSFERS!

Wow! What a great week we had this week! For starters, we had a lesson with 9 year old hudson, our baptismal date, after the 1st session of conference yesterday. Hudson is the smartest, brightest young man I've met on my mission, and I have met a lot of them. We invited him and his brother, 18, to read the book of mormon together for 10 minutes a day, praying before and after. They both accepted readily, and agreed to be followed up on often.
Then, conference itself... I mean WOW!! I couldn't take notes fast enough!! I have to say, that if I had a favorite talk, it would be from Jorg Klebingat. I've said that I need to print out that talk, shrink it, laminate it, and take it everywhere I go, because he basically gave the keys of peace and happiness to me! My biggest takeaway is that God answers the questions that I didn't even know that I had. We had been teaching members for about 2 weeks to prepare for conference by praying and writing down questions that had for conference. I unfortunately procrastinated that day until friday night. I didn't give myself enough time to think of these questions, but God came through, and showed me how much he cares by answering those questions, and some that I didn't even know that I had. I was very blessed, and even though I didn't do my end or my share of the work in asking these questions, God still made up that difference.
And now.... TRANSFERS!!! It has been revealed to us this morning that I.... Elder Alexander Steven Larsen... Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.... Will be transferred to.... MILWAUKEE!! This is exactly what I wanted, though not exactly what I suspected. I'm veryveryvery excited, and I'm already almost done packing!!
Love you all, you'll have my address as soon as I do!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


MIRACLE!!!! We had a member take us to Janesville yesterday where we had a Hmong gathering in the home of the less active Yangs that live there. They have progressed very very well, and they are on the edge of becoming active again and are striving to come to church. But that isn't the miracle part! They have a 9 year old son that they want to be baptized, and we set a date with him! Hudson will be baptized on November 16th! We have a couple of lessons set up already, and everybody in his family, including him, seem to be really excited! Not a lot of time today, I apologize... But God loves you!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


​I'm just gonna go right for the good stuff... We taught an amazing lesson this week. Brother and sister goue have a friend (song Thao) who they took us to meet this last week. We were going into the lesson thinking there would be maybe 4 people there... NOPE! They had their family there, about 10 or 11 people total! They listened intently, participated, and asked great questions. Coming from a completely unchristian background, that is saying a lot. Not only was the lesson great, but afterward we had pho, cake, fruit, nava (a coconut, tapioca pearl drink) and talked for about another hour or so. We SO look forward to meeting with them, and I would ask that you all keep them in your prayers. On a sadder note-- I sent my SD card home last week in a package and in transit the package was damaged, and the SD card fell out. Frustrating!! There will be a little wait before more pictures are going to be put up.... But the gospel is still true :)​

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


​Goooooood Morning!!!!​
We had one of our best weeks this past week as far as getting out and talking to people. We had 17 other lessons which just BLEW our goal out of the water. We met with a lot of people and are going back to talk to a couple of them who showed great interest. Our biggest miracle this week was Song Thao. She contacted a member of our ward and said that she wanted the missionaries to come over and teach her entire family. Not only that, but her father is a clan leader, which would give us a great amount of influence with the Hmong people if we are to be received well. And to cap it all off: last night we had a madison Hmong family home evening. All of the Hmong members gathered, cooked, ate, talked, sang, and yes, played a little bit of football. We had an amazing time, and it was the perfect end to a nearly perfect week. LOVE

Monday, September 8, 2014

Doing Well....

Well, on this short week, again, not very much to report on. It does seem like I was just writing you all, 6 days is not a long time to a missionary. Elder Lee and I didn't have very much time to be out, about and teaching people, but we did have a GREAT Saturday where we taught 6 lessons in about an hour and a half. It has gotten to the point now though where we were weekly planning and we kind of just stopped, looked at each other and kind of came to the realization that we really didn't have anybody that we were teaching. We have had a couple lose interest, and a couple that have moved away. This week will be largely focused on finding those new people to teach. I just have to make a little mention of how excited I am for this weeks weather.

Local Weather
Madison, Wisconsin

Current Temp: 70°F 21°C 
Sep 08
Sep 09
Sep 10
Sep 11
Sep 12
How about that?


Friday, September 5, 2014


So with a holiday weekend, this last week we saw fewer people than usual, but it was compensated for by service opportunities and a great conference yesterday!! The conference was for every single HMONG member in Wisconsin. We were able to make it (the conference was in Sheboygan, 2 hours away) and we had a blast! There were more there than was expected, between 100 and 150 people I would say, and we had 4 hours to socialize, learn, teach, and, my personal favorite, EAT! All I can say is that it was a major major success, and this is the sort of thing that will accelerate the work here in Wisconsin. 
Due to a lack of super super exciting stories, I will share some brief (and very random) thoughts that I have recorded in a little book I carry with me. Bear with me...
God is a family man.
There are such things as bad questions: The bad questions justify; "How little can I do?" Good questions bring knowledge and understanding; "How can I more fully..."
How could I trade what I know for what I don't know?
The only gift we can give God is our will. It is the only thing that he does not have.
Why settle for blessings when you can have miracles?
The Spirit is a most eager missionary.
"Don't kill, don't steal, no adultery, respect your mom and dad, and be nice to everyone so God lets you live a long time. I'm 6 years old, so I must have been good!!"--random lady at the bus stop
To know and not to do is to not really know.
The heart to the brain is the longest 12 inches in the world.
Choices are the little hinges of this life. Everything revolves around these little moments in time.
"Women have been at the blunt end of a man's stupidity" --Sister Martin
We can cause earthquakes directly where people stand.
"8 years ago I came to this church with a plethora of problems. 8 years later I still have a lot of problems but I'm a happy man" --President schubert
If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.
The chief reason for unhappiness and failure in this life is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.
If being a Christian was against the law, is there enough evidence to convict you?
"We might not be sleeping through the restoration, but some of us are dozing off" --Sister Braun
As a missionary, savor every chance you have to look at a calendar, because before you know it, it will change.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From a rainy, hot day in Madison...

From a rainy, hot day here in Madison, I bid you all a good morning!! Cutting to the chase, there are a few very very exciting developements in the Hmong work here. First: we had our first investigator in weeks come to church yesterday! His name is Kaj Nrig (pronounced like Ghandi). He is a student here at UWM and we met him about 2 weeks ago on the bus. He has made some subtle but significant changes since that first meeting. He didn't want to accept a book of mormon the first time that we met him, but accepted one at church. His biggest obstacle right now is that he is just too dang smart for his own good! He thinks that everything should have a solid concrete answer with verifiable evidence. As we all know, sometimes that just can't happen. We are helping him to see that we also must live our lives by faith and trusting in the Lord! Second, we met with 2 other very cool people this week, Mee and Singying. We had a 2 hour lesson with Mee (also too smart for her own good) and Seethong came to the lesson with Singying. They both said they would come to church, but both kind of flaked out the morning of... We will continue working with the two of them, and hopefully something miraculous will happen! Finally, there is a Hmong Member conference this week in Sheboygan! ALL the Hmong members from accross the state will be gathering together to be fed both spiritually and physically. We also got permission from the mission president to go! WAY outside of my area, but for a special purpose. The focus will be missionary work, and Elder Lee and I will be leading a discussion on how members can be missionaries. The work is progressing, and I truly truly believe that God is blessing this area, and this entire foreign land of Wisconsin! LOVE


Good morning everyone!! We had mission tour this week (when a general authority comes to visit the mission) and it was absolutely fantastic. I took a notebooks worth of notes, and I'm still doing my best to try and work my way through them to get them highlighted, cross referenced, and implemented in the Madison Hmong area. We did already see some successes with this. Seethong Yang invited us over to his house to teach 2 of his family friends. It went so well, so much better than if we had been the ones contacting them, or if we had taught them in their own home. We meet with them again this week. Not only that, but Seethong has taken the initiative in setting up more appointments FOR us next week. We will be going out with him this thursday to visit all of these people. He is on fire for this work and has been an absolute asset to us and to this ward. Sorry for the short and semi-disjointed letter this week... Keep on keeping on!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hmong Mission Conference and a Rapper?

Well hidey ho neighborinos! (sp?)... It is a fine pday here in the Madison 2nd ward Hmong area! We have so much time, and nothing to do, this is truly a blessed day. I might just throw some laundry in, close the blinds, turn on the AC and take a cool nap. I just got chills thinking about it. We are due to have our haircuts (I basically just look like a shaggy mess) and a member offered to come out to our house tonight and give us cuts right on our porch. How nice is that?! I can think of 2 things that tie for the best things that happened to us this week. First, we had our Hmong conference. They gather all 14 Hmong missionaries from across the mission and have a 5 hour revelatory meeting on how the Hmong work can better progress. I absolutely loved it!! I came in with questions, and I left with answers. Our mission president, his wife, and our two APs gave trainings, and for the last 45 minutes, a Hmong member from my ward here in Madison came and trained in 100% Hmong. I can't explain to you what a blessing this conference was to me, and will surely be to all the Hmong areas in the mission. Not only that, but for lunch, Sister Cutler (the President's wife) made us home made Cafe Rio. I can't complain about that. And then, David Yang. So David Yang is a popular Hmong Rapper. You read correctly, Hmong rapper. So on his second day in Madison, my companion Elder Lee asks a random Hmong guy we tracted into if he knows David. Believe it or not, the two are really good friends. Elder Lee asked for David's number, got it, and called. We have a meeting with the Hmong rapper tomorrow at a chinese restaurant.... WHAT?! He will be baptized, rap for the church, and be in a Mormon message. I'm seeing the blessings of hard, diligent work, and I hope that the Lord will strengthen me this week, and continue to bless this work! 
--Elder Larsen

Friday, August 1, 2014

Monday in Madison

Good morning to all! I'll just cut to the good stuff today. So I am the district leader here in Madison, and I LOVE weekly calls with all of the missionaries. Hearing about all of there miracles and blessings makes me way more apt at recognizing mine. During calls with the sisters in my district, the fact was brought up that God loves us and even with the little things that matter a lot to us, but might not matter so much to him, he shows us that love. For example, I lost my wallet a few weeks ago. I had probably $100 worth of gift cards along with my mission credit card, and my card from home. Also inside, my drivers license, recommend, and bus pass. I was distraught! I just felt sick. I knew that in the long run it didn't really matter, but I prayed that my wallet would be returned. The next day, it was, with everything in it. The sisters this week had a hard week. One, sister Martin, was very stressed and her companion, sister Johnson, wanted to do something nice for her and make cupcakes. They had no mix, and only had some simple ingredients. She didn't know how to make them from scratch so she prayed, and went to work. Miraculously the cupcakes turned out delicious. So now, to the point of it all. In conference, Elder Anderson said that trees that grow up in harsh environments grow stronger. "You are infinitely more important to God than a tree." I am infinitely more important to god than a cupcake or a wallet. Love you all, have a great week!!

P.S, we got this email from our mission president this week. What a fantastic husband he is!

President Cutler

Today (July 28th) is Sister Cutler’s birthday. Today is one of those BIG birthday’s for her, so text her or call to let her know why you love her. Here are SIXTY reasons why I love Sister Cutler (and there are many more):
1) She is my eternal companion (no more transfers for us).
2) She loves God and seeks to do His will.
3) She is a tireless worker.
4) She cares about people and is a good listener.
5) She has beautiful handwriting.
6) Her lessons are based on extensive preparation.
7) She prays with faith and works to make things happen.
8) Tennis is a sport we both enjoy.
9) She gave Swedish blood to our children.
10) We share a common love for classical music.
11) She studies the Book of Mormon every day and thirsts for gospel knowledge.
12) She is a good friend to many.
13) She loves the temple.
14) She is an exceptional mother.
15) Missionaries and missionary work have always been important to her.
16) She looks for quality before price.
17) She loves a good conversation.
18) Keeping the mission blog current for parents is important to her.
19) She knows how to make stained glass windows.
20) Her testimony is deep and constant.
21) She arises early and uses her time wisely.
22) She listens and gives counsel to our children.
23) She is good at English and editing documents.
24) She likes to camp and is willing to backpack.
25) She remembers birthdays.
26) Her decorating skills have blessed all the homes where we have lived.
27) She never has turned down a church calling.
28) She exercises even when she doesn’t feel like doing it.
29) Her grandchildren adore her because she loves them.
30) She loves and studies the doctrines of the Atonement.
31) She can live on a budget.
32) Temple covenants mean everything to her.
33) She loves to play board games.
34) She enjoys playing the piano.
35) She is an excellent cook and uses this skill generously to feed others.
36) She read to our children when they were young.
37) Family vacations and reunions are important to her.
38) She is willing to sacrifice for others.
39) She takes pride in her appearance.
40) She loves to read and has a hard time putting down a good book.
41) She loves to share the gospel and is always looks for ways to do it.
42) Norway is dear to her heart and she speaks good Norwegian.
43) She will be your friend for life.
44) She loves to sing.
45) Family study hour (the lesson) on Sundays and Family Home evenings (the activities) on Mondays are priorities in her life.
46) She teaches truth and it is worth listening to what she has to say.
47) Her chocolate chip cookies are famous in the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission.
48) She likes to hike.
49) She has abiding faith in Jesus Christ.
50) She loves to be around family.
51) She expects a lot from you and believes that you can do better.
52) She is virtuous.
53) She sustains the leaders of the Church and overlooks their faults.
54) She loves theatre and going to plays.
55) She ages well and gets better looking every year.
56) She writes faithfully to Hanna (Hermana Cutler serving in El Salvador).
57) She invites the Holy Ghost into her life.
58) She likes to experiment with recipes and share improvement with others.
59) She keeps a study journal which is of great value to her.
60) She has hope of Eternal Life and testifies of the importance of families.

Just remember, there isn’t another one like her. You hit the jackpot when she was called to the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission! We love her dearly!
President Cutler

Thursday, July 31, 2014


For anybody who hasn't heard, I love miracles. And for those who haven't heard THIS, missions are miraculous times. I have to say that some of the most blessed times of the mission are when you have a new companion and you just hunker down and do some good work. Elder Lee and I have hunkered down and done some work. At the beginning of every week, we have a lengthy weekly planning session. Part of that weekly planning is setting goals for what you want to accomplish that week. Elder Cook and I usually could get a total of 10 lessons a week, 5 of those being "other lessons" (no member present, and not a member themselves). Our goal this week was 5. In the 2 days before Elder Cook left (one being pday, and the other being taken up by district meeting) we had already managed to get 4 other lessons. Elder Lee and I got 10 bringing our total up to 14. We nearly TRIPLED our goal this week!! I totally know that it was because of the faith that we had that we could. We had people literally just coming up to us and talking to us. We aren't usually able to hand out copies of the BOM either (very few hmong people can read) but we handed out 3. Just been super blessed, and I am grateful for the success that heavenly father has seen fit to bless us with.

--Elder Larsen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Transfers yet again!

Good morning to all y'all! What a fine pday morning this is! So I'll just cut to the chase I guess... I will be staying in Madison (that one was pretty obvious) and I will be district leader again. My new companion will be a native Hmong elder, Elder Lee (Lis). I'm very excited!!! Elder Cook and I HATE to have to say goodbye, it isn't often that you have somebody you can goof off with every second of every day (while being awesome missionaries, BTW). We never fight, never argue, and always get along. Our biggest argument was on the ethics of Wall-e. I totally think that a society could be run like that, he doesn't.... Anyway.... Yes. Madison is Madison. Lots of buses, lots of heat, more rain. We DID have a miracle this week. We were out tracting and we ran into Danny (hmong) He believes in jesus, but as of right now his testimony is just beginning to sprout. I think we caught him at the perfect time, his heart is soft and he is willing to learn. We have a lesson with him tomorrow I believe, and as always, we are super super excited to see how it goes. I guess that's really it for now... Love you all and ttyl!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hello Everyone!

First off, a quick apology.  I have missed writing the past couple of weeks and hopefully I can get back on track.  Not that I expect you all to hang on my every word or anything!  So I'll do my best to give a large juicy wrap up on all in Mad Town.  So as for the unimportant stuff, yes, Elder Cook and I went to the zoo.  In Madison there is an awesome free zoo, and I'm never one to miss free stuff.  We had a great time and got some really good pictures and videos.  On Monday we got to go fishing with a very kind member of our ward, Brother Bauers.  We had tried and failed once to get fishing licenses, so he stepped up to bat for us and took care of everything.  We spent about 2 hours out on the shore having a grand old time.  Most of what we saw wasn't big enough to bother with, but I'd go again in a heartbeat.  I have a very nice tan if you excuse the watch tan line and the point where all of my short sleeve shirts stop.  As for the city of Madison itself, I love it!  This area is so much different than my others.  We bus EVERYWHERE!  I feel like I can at least get around semi-functionally on buses now, but when Elder Cook leaves, I will have to be the guy getting us around!  But enough of that...
The work here is also different.  In my other areas I had a car.  If I so chose, I could go tract out Hmong houses and get 3 or 4 other lessons a day.  Here, we get maybe 1 opportunity a day to speak with a Hmong person.  Because of that, I have had to do a lot of growing up, having to redefine my definition of a "successful" missionary.  Coming out, it was baptisms.  Then it evolved into lessons. and by now, here is my personal definition of a successful missionary.  A successful missionary never thinks he is successful.  He always wants to be doing more and can't be satisfied doing what he does because he desires to do more.  I've got to say, being in this area made me feel unsuccessful at first.  But my desires to do missionary work have increased 10x!  I love you all so much.  I'm fine, Elder Cook is still goofy (we think we are the most hilarious Elders in the mission!) and we LOVE this work!
~Elder Larsen

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hey Hey!!

I'll just start this week off with a bang... MIRACLES!! We had an absolutely amazing string of awesomeness this week. I'll start at the very beginning (a very good place to start) On Tuesday this week, we were getting off of the bus at capital square, and we heard somebody call out to us from behind. Madison being a big place, we didn't think much of it, but they continued to call out and we turned around. A man in his early 50s came up to talk to us. We greeted him, but he motioned to us that he was deaf. He brought a pen and paper out of his bag and wrote "I have heard of the Book of Mormon" We, of course, were ecstatic. We wrote back and forth, and he asked if our church had ASL translation. We had no idea if anyone in the ward translated ASL or not, so we told him that we would find out. We exchanged information,his name is Ricky by the way, and texted the bishop to see if he knew of anyone. Pretty amazing right? BUT WAIT, there's more! We went to a member dinner that night, and being good missionaries, we shared that experience with them. We could not have anticipated this, but as soon as we finished, Sister Cope said, "well.... I have a masters degree in ASL." :O Elder Cook literally fell to the floor when he heard that. Amazing right? BUT WAIT, there's more. Saturday night, we got a random text from Ricky. He asked "is anyone picking me up for church tomorrow?" :O We scrambled and found him a ride and he had a great experience at church. He wrote to different people "I have found a new home" and "I'm definitely coming back"... Miracles. :) I love you all! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

MAD Town!!!

So first of all. Hi :D How is everyone doing this fine monday morning? I'm doing pretty dang good. So I guess that I'll start from the beginning then? So. Tuesday. I pretty much did most of my packing within the last 2 hours of the day. I don't want to say that I delayed packing so much as the thought of having to pack delayed me. I don't think that I forgot anything, but a few of the things I did take with me took damage, for instance, my pillow took a dip in a pile of sludge (missionaries don't know how to handle my things!) and my $12 watch from walmart, no great loss there. Ultimately, Tuesday flew by. Wednesday. We woke up at the normal time, I threw a few last minute things into my full to bursting bags, and we set off for Stevens point an hour away. When I got there we had about 15 minutes to throw everything into a huge Hoggan sized bus, get pictures, and get gone. We drove from there to Oshkosh where people just sort of milled around waiting for all of the other buses to get there. I was able to be reunited with some of my past companions and others I've served with: Elders Kimzey, Croft, Thompson among others. Long story short I got to Madison at around 2 and from there we've just gotten to work. This is a busing area, so a lot of what we have to do takes some extreme planning to prepare. Our Baptismal dates live 2 hours out and 2 hours back making it extremely difficult to do anything else during the day. Along with that, if they end up cancelling.... We're in the middle of nowhere. I haven't been able to meet very many people yet (a ton of our lessons have actually cancelled this week) but I'm pretty excited about what's going on here. A member that I served with in Appleton, Seethong Yang, moved here to Madison not to soon before I left. We actually go out with him every Friday to do some work. What else to say? I have another moldy apartment, but at least it is bigger, has a dartboard, and possibly the most comfortable chair I have ever had the great pleasure of sitting in. Again, as far as how the work is going here, I have yet to see very much, the buses here aren't all that fantastic, but I hope that I will have a lot more to report on next week. Love you all and CTR!!

-- Elder Larsen

P.S Thank you to all of you who sent me birthday wishes! I was surprised to open my inbox expecting the usual 4 or 5 and seeing so many awesome birthday e-mails! I even got one wish in Hmong (Thank you Degn family!) One year older, one year wiser, and my life statistically 1/4 over... Sigh... I think I'm old enough now that I'm justified in wishing that I was younger. My joints ache, my hair is graying, taxes are too high, and I'm not as spry as I once was... :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Transfers, yet again!

Its that time yet again, transfer time! I'm not going to lie, a lot of this past week has been ongoing debate about if and where I'd be going, and who would be my replacement. We had narrowed it down to 3 areas for me: Green Bay, Madison, or Milwaukee. We talked pros and cons, we talked companions, we talked places to shop, we talked active members, and ultimately, I thought it was most likely that I would go to Milwaukee, and least likely that I would go to Madison... WRONG!! On June 4th, I will be going to the wonderful city of MADISON WISCONSIN!! We got the text on saturday morning telling me that I was leaving, and then later in the day President called and told my companion that he would  be the district leader of the Wausau area. Then he told me that I would be going to Madison for another surprise... I'll be re-uniting with Elder Cook!! He has been in the area going on 6 transfers now, so he knows it very well, and I was told that he will be leaving after this next transfer. I get to spend one whole transfer with Elder Cook! Just like old times. We have had radically different missions, yet eerily similar. We haven't even served near each other, he was for a time switched to english speaking, I was district leader, etc.... BUT we've both served in wausau, we've both served with Elder Burgoyne AND Elder Thompson, and we were MTC companions! Strange world we live in... Anyway, we met very briefly with Chou and Mai this week. It seems that she is very willing to come to church, but he will be the only one holding them back. I have faith that he will come around, and that he will see all of the great things that are already happening in their lives. Mai told us that when we re-contacted her she had prayed for a job interview. After that, the phone rang and she was offered a job, and not 30 seconds later, we showed up at her door. Again, strange world we live in, but it is all guided by a loving Heavenly Father... LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


We had a very pleasant surprise for us this week! I'm sure that I've said it more than once, but one of the hardest parts of Hmong work is getting a more than one lesson with promising families. Such was the case for Chou and Mai, a referral from a member in Rapids. We taught 2 fantastic lessons to them, they asked us to come back, and in between lessons Chou even called us to pray for him over the phone. However, we were disappointed when they dropped our next appointment and for the last 4 months haven't met with us. We had plans on Tuesday to see some potential investigators, but we were prompted to try by Chou and Mai's once more. They were home!! We had a fantastic lesson, and we will be going back on Wednesday to set a baptismal date with them! MIRACLE :)

Sorry about the semishort letter this week, we really did have a good week, just that sometimes there isn't much to write about. I love you all! Less than 300 days to go!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Hopefully none of you forgot, and for those of you who did, it's probably too late, but yesterday was MOTHER'S DAY!! And I mean, this week was great and all, Sunday's are always fun, and things in wausau keep chuggin' along, but what could compare to getting to talk to my wonderful family? We were able to talk for quite a while, and skype didn't have any technical issues this time around (thank goodness!) We talked about everything from the new taco bell down the street from my house-- which I will be frequenting all too often-- to my Hmong, to what I'll be doing when I come back home. All in all, I was just so happy that none of my family had changed. Dad is still bald, Megan and Annie aren't married yet, Tanner is drooly as ever, Zach is still a lanky goofball, Taylor still thinks that he can beat me in football (never gonna happen, punk!) and Mom is still concerned with my happiness, health and safety. All was well. We also talked a little bit about the time I have left. Geez, I'm not dying, I meant the 10 months that I have left on my mission. I've decided now not to waste a single second. I'm going to make sure that I leave this mission just as firey as when I came out, and just as focused on the Lord's work. I love you all, and until next week!!
--Elder Larsen

Monday, May 5, 2014

Stake Conference

This week we had the opportunity to listen to the stake presidency, and a few others in stake conference. While my jaw still aches from about 4 hours straight translation (usually we only need to translate for just an hour) I was able to take some scattered notes. I have to say that this was probably one of my favorite stake conferences that I have ever been to for many reasons. Overall, I would have to say that it was just so... simple. That's one thing that I love about the gospel. Sometimes I think that we make things in this church so darn difficult!! So much of the time we try to be great orators, trying to please, convince, or even trick the human mind into believing what we are saying. But this stake conference was different. We had prospective elders, return missionaries, recent converts, and long time members again and again and again tell us that it all comes down to one thing: The Book of Mormon. Either it's true or its not. If it isn't true, then we have no prophet, no revelation, no modern scripture, no priesthood-- in essence, no religion. But if it is true, than this church, and all of the claims espousing it, are true. I have read the Book of Mormon for myself, and I know that it is true. We have convincing evidence of all of these things: Prophets, revelation, modern scripture, priesthood etc. Evidence that we can hold in our hands and read. We just need to READ :) Anywho... I ramble. Stake conference was fantastic :)
Love Elder Larsen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Alright, alright... Our trip to Wisconsin Rapids wasn't as nearly as exciting as the name of the city. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had some referrals trickle in from other missionaries in Wisconsin Rapids. Rapids is a smallish town about an hour away from where we live. We just wanted to make sure that we had enough miles to make the 140 mile trip, so we waited until the end of this month to make the trek there... Unfortunately, of the 4 addresses we were given, 3 didn't even exist, and one had already moved out... Grr... Elder Stegner and I definitely took this as a learning experience. We both know that getting disappointed and snippy with each other will only make the situation worse, so we turned the 3 hour journey into a pretty fun road trip. Other than that, again, this week has been focused towards finding new investigators. Fun fact about Wausau, it has the highest population of Hmong people per capita... Other fun fact, they are AAAAALLLLL old culture. That means that we can teach and teach and teach, and they will listen and listen and listen, but in the end, it all comes down to their desire to change, and in many of them, it just isn't there. They are too rooted in what they know, and I completely understand that. Annie had a missionary opportunity this week and said that it is much easier to just talk about your testimony than it is to stand up and say "I'd like to bear my testimony..." I completely agree. All missionary work is is stating the things that make you happy. All you have to do is let people know "[the] reason of the hope that is in you." I'm truly blessed to be called to do this, and I'm happy to labor all my days in the vineyard if this is all it takes!

Monday, April 21, 2014

5th time is the charm!

I'll start off with this... Boy was I surprised that I'm staying in Wausau!! Not a bad surprised at all either; I had all but resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to pack everything up and start again somewhere else, but I guess that the Lord has more work for me here. And I say bring it on! I'm very excited for what the next 6 weeks will bring, especially if Heavenly Father thinks that I have more things to do in Wausau! I think that Spring will be a great time for us, especially in street contacting. With spring comes many opportunities to help the Hmong people with their gardens and yard work. Last year we had many many opportunities to help some of the older generations to do some of the more backbreaking labor of having a garden. You'd be surprised at how spry some of these older Hmong people can be in their element. Other than this boring ish news, I'm happy healthy and well! We expected at least 4 or 5 people transfering (hmong) but were surprised to find out that only 2 were. That means I'm not the only one doing a 5 transfer, 3 with one companion stint! Next transfer will be HUGE, I'm sure, because we are also getting a new Hmong speaker!! Love you all!! Don't let those darn Earthquakes bother you!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Hey gang! Transfers have sneaked up on us yet again, and in just one short week, I'll know where I'll be for the next 6. Isn't this missionary work a weird thing? I don't want to say that I'm leaving just yet, but I have already been here for 4 transfers, and going for 5 doesn't USUALLY happen unless you are training a new missionary, which I'm not. Another of my weekly weather reports? Cold again... We were SO CLOSE to spring!! We even thought about playing baseball for sports today, but we got dumped on last night. Anyway, this week was admittedly very slow for us. Mainly because we were again without a car (just a minor fix, but still, 3 days???) and so we had to resort to the lowest form of missionary work... Bikeriding. All I can say about that experience is A.) I am still sore, and B.) We were still able to find success!! We were still able to make all of the appointments that we had made, and even trying to plan out a trip to our church, about 6 miles away, we were blessed with rides from willing members. The Lord blessed us in a time of need for sure. But now, looking back at it, would it have been the worst thing to have to ride 6 miles? No. Could we have rescheduled appointments? Yes. Ultimately, the Lord in his infinite love, blessed us with those things that would make us happy. He truly is a loving God, and his tender mercies are over all of us, I can testify of that.

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference: 3 down, 1 to go!

General Conference this weekend was absolutely amazing! It is honestly like Christmas out in the mission field. I went into conference with a few questions in mind, and a few of them received direct answers while others I was only given little threads to follow in my personal study. I made sure to make fairly detailed notes, but I can't wait until we get the Ensign next month so I can really begin to study the words from our prophet and apostles. We were supposed to see an investigator there, but unfortunately he bailed on us at the very last second. We did, however, find that a friend of one of the less actives in the ward is interested in our church, and he attended two sessions with the less active. We were astonished, and feel absolutely blessed! Chee Nou has no idea how much this church can bless his life, and we will (hopefully) be meeting with him on thursday to teach him more. In other news, we cracked the 60's yesterday, and I can see lake underneath all of the ice now. I've made a new goal this month to take a picture a day... I'm so bad at remembering to take pictures... Transfers in two weeks, but honestly, I would be lying if I said I was sure I'm going. I'm not sure at all! My time in Wausau has flown to who knows where, and if I were to stay another six weeks, I'm sure they would zoom just as quickly. I'm happy, healthy, and blessed as usual. Missionary work is the same today tomorrow and forever, and I'm glad to have even some part in the hastening that is going on. Everything is going well, and I love you all!!
Elder Larsen

Monday, March 31, 2014

Good day t'ya!

Hello and good morning from Wausau Wisconsin! The birds are singing, the snow is melting, and the sun is shining (okay, it's about 32 degrees, windy, and overcast, but that's no way to start an e-mail!) The last week, lets see... Well I guess nothing of extreme import happened, but there was still a lot that went on. We had an appointment scheduled with a potential investigator and we picked up our member, all ready to go... And nobody was home. We were pretty embarrassed, so we tried stopping by some less actives and managed to have some good lessons anyway... but darn!!! I'm not sure if I have told you or not, but we have a member up in the Steven's Point branch (about 45 minutes away) and he has contacted us, willing to bring us to Steven's Point to do some tracting and visits with Hmong less actives in his branch. We of course were VERY excited, because our "area" is technically the entire stake, but we don't have the miles to travel everywhere. We will hopefully start the Saturday after General Conference. Feeling good, feeling happy, and we are WAY WAY WAY excited for General Conference this weekend. We pray for you, and love you!!
--Elder Larsen


This week we had a couple of great surprises for us... First of all (and I know, I know, least important) I reached my year mark this last Thursday! I was very excited, and we were able to celebrate at a member's house with pizza and cake. Our next surprise came while tracting. We knocked on a house and someone from inside shouted "who is it?" in Hmong. We answered her and everything went silent. We were so disappointed, because this is such a common occurrence in Hmong work. As we left to get back in our car, she shouted out of her door to come back! We went and taught a short lesson,  and have a return appointment where we can bring another male (we can't teach single women... no matter how old) and have a more in depth lesson. Our next two surprises came at church. We have been teaching a less active named Cha to try and get him to understand the importance of church. Ever since I have been here, he has promised to come 3 or 4 times, but has never shown. Well, this Sunday he came for the first time in three years!!! We know he is making great strides of progress. And finally, Anthony was ordained a Teacher this Sunday... So much happening, and so many blessings!!

--Elder Larsen

Monday, March 3, 2014


Anthony Chang Galvan was baptized this last Saturday!!! And it all went........ Well, it all went! So, of course, the baptism was just absolutely the best part of the week, but it certainly wasn't the easiest part! I'll take you through the day, and the many little stresses that tried (and failed) to take us down. It all started early that morning, we were up a little early (6) to make sure we had enough time to get through everything. We left the house at 7 to fill the font, but got stuck behind a train for (I KID YOU NOT) 30 minutes... Frustrating as that was, it was just a little hiccup. We got to the church and found out that the church wasn't unlocked like it was supposed to be. So we had to drive to the zone leaders to borrow their key... Still not too bad. We started filling the font, and I had to go buy a new camera (I checked mine the day before to find that it had a cracked screen... GRR!) THEN Anthony wasn't ready when his ride came to pick him up, delaying the program 20 minutes... Still, everything went well with the program. We were emptying the font afterwards and the pipes had frozen earlier, so water backed up EVERYWHERE! It was so bad that they cancelled church the next day... BUT... Anthony Chang Galvan was baptized!!! He did so well. He couldn't stop from laughing the whole time. The ward has been so supportive, and we had a fantastic showing. He was interviewed to recieve the priesthood and will be ordained and confirmed next week. As crazy as it all was... Was it worth it? 100%, even if it were 100x worse. Thank you for your prayers and continued support. As I come up to my year mark, looking back I can see the Lord's hand working in my mission. LOVE Elder Larsen

Monday, February 24, 2014


We have been so blessed this week (and this coming week as well...) We exceeded every single one of our goals, had some pretty amazing lessons, and didn't die (okay more on that later, but don't get too disappointed in the over-exaggeration.) So, I guess the biggest news of this week is that Anthony had his baptismal interview this past weekend and he was okayed for his baptism... Saturday at 10:00!! I hate to mention it, but the Wausau Hmong area hasn't had a baptism in 2 1/2 years. We feel that this should only be one of many to come. Anthony, again, has just been so prepared. The ward has been so helpful to us, and when we went into the Relief Society room to announce his baptism, before we even asked, the question was posed "do you need us to provide refreshments?". Oh my goodness, I can't believe this day is here! I know that prayers from us, the ward, from home, and from temples across the world. Thank you to all! --Oh yeah... We had a small backing accident in a parking lot. We had spent the whole day tracting, and I felt that I had earned a well deserved little ceasars pizza (with garlic and parmesan crust). I decided it would be a good idea to take a corner parking spot, and somebody else thought it was a good idea to park behind me... I had my companion back me out-- per the missionary handbook rules-- and didn't stop as soon as he told me, and dented our car and the other one. Damage was minimal, no one was hurt, no ticket was given, I felt very sheepish, and my pizza was cold... But I didn't die.
Love Elder Larsen!

Monday, February 17, 2014


Not too much interesting going on here in the field, but enough to give an e-mail full of some small updates and insights into my life as a missionary. So finally, the weather seems to be taking a turn for the better. We haven't seen below zero for a few days, and this week we can see as high as 40. Talk about balmy! If I was able to wear shorts, I totally would. Anthony is well on his way to baptism, and a member in the ward, Yee Lang Yang, has really become a father figure to Anthony. This week Yee took Anthony to see the new LEGO movie, and they both had a really great time. We had a small miracle this week. We went to go see a less active named Vang Mai Chang, but he wasn't there. As we sat in our car planning our next move, an Elderly Hmong woman approached our car. I thought maybe she was just getting in her car, but she just waited outside our car and smiled at us. I rolled down the window and said hi, and she asked for some help reading a couple of bills she had (she must have known missionaries can speak Hmong)... Anyway, long story short, we will be teaching her this upcoming week!! Valentines was... Meh. It's funny, as a missionary, that day means almost nothing (sorry to disappoint, ladies!) Other than that... Boring week=boring letter... Just know I love you all, and keep you in my prayers!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dented, but not done

Yes, this week was another challenge, but honestly, what else is new? Just have to roll with it!! About 2 months back, we discovered a baseball sized dent above the rear driver side wheel on our car. After all of the registering, estimating, and waiting, last week we finally had our car taken in. We were without transportation for 3 days, and just had to try our best to be productive as possible. We did have a few good lessons, and even walked out in the bitter cold a few times. All in all, we survived, and even got our car back before the ward's famous annual chili cookoff. We were truly blessed ;) Anthony continues to progress to his March first baptismal date. We meet twice a week in preparation for his date, and we have seen leaps and bounds in his progression. He is a very different person than he was when I met him in November. Lilly has also bounded forward. She asked for every Sunday off from her boss, and even though she was denied, she said she will keep asking. Lent is a busy time for her work and that also prevents her from meeting with us and coming to church, but she is still progressing! As far as everything else goes, we are just extremely happy to be here! Happy valentines day!! :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shorty but a goody!

Like I said, this one will have to be a little bit shorter than normal, but I have some exciting updates! We have a very promising baptismal date! Anthony Galvan is scheduled to be baptized on the first of march!! He has been taking lessons for almost a year now, and finally thinks he is ready. We were talking to him the other day about it and he wasn't sure, but we went back and had another lesson, and he seemed 100x more excited. All I can say is that we are very very excited. I have a new companion, Elder Stegner. He comes from Seattle Washington and needless to say, he was very excited about the outcome of the super bowl (yes, we heard...) All I can say other than this, is that I'm doing extremely well! Almost halfway done, and it goes faster and faster and faster every single day. Again, sorry it's so short, but all is well, and the work is here for us to do, and we are thrusting in our sickles with all our might!
Elder Meej Mom

Monday, January 27, 2014

Be careful what you wish for!!

We had another warning today that for the next two days, we are not to be outside any more than we need to be. Temperatures are expected to be 27 degrees below zero... AGAIN!! These temperatures are something that haven't been experienced since 1980-81... And I'm doing juuuuust fine! Everyone says it's cold, and it is... But like I've said before, cold is cold. Whether it is 0 or -20 outside, either way I dress warm and either way I end up being in a car or a house most of the day anyway. Something interesting to note... At 0 degrees, your breath is taken away when you walk outside, at -5 if you inhale through your nose at all your nose hairs freeze, at -10, without a hat your eyebrows begin to freeze, and at -15 it starts to snow... INSIDE your car. Life goes on here, missionary work is missionary work. We were able to stop by Elizabeth and John's house Saturday, just to check in and say Elder Burgoyne's goodbyes (more on that later). They were glad to see us, and were happy to have a short lesson. They know the church can help them, and they still read the book of mormon, but they just don't believe that they are ready, even though we know that they could be. We love them so much, but are so sad that their progress is being stopped only by fears... We may stop by in another month or two to track how their progress is going on their own.  Last Sunday, there was a talk that was given about having mountains to climb, trials that will make us better and bless our lives. I, thinking that my mission experience thus far has been easy enough, thought that I should pray for a change in my life that would make me struggle to become better... I was faithful that my prayer would be answered, and it certainly was. This week is transfer week. Elder Burgoyne and I had expectations of what WE thought was going to happen, but we were almost entirely wrong. Elder Burgoyne will be leaving to serve in Green Bay. I will be staying in Wausau to serve as the District Leader and Senior companion. WHAT?? I was called Friday night unexpectedly by President Cutler and was asked to fulfill this calling. My new companion has been out for about 6 months, which means the both of us will seriously have to step up our Hmong. I was very very very stressed out about this for quite a while, until I read a quote from a talk that my dad sent to me. It says "When we are on the Lord's errand we are entitled to the Lord's help."My heart was softened, I was humbled, and my fears and worries were calmed. I am grateful that the Lord has seen fit to bless me with this opportunity, and I ask for your prayers as I try to magnify this calling. I've certainly done my fair share of prayer!
Love Elder Larsen

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wausau is Wausau

What more can I say than that? This week has been much the same, many hard things, but many miracles as well! All I can say is that I have seen the Lord's hand in my life, and as it happens with many things, it may only come after all that we can do. I will be honest, this week was one of the hardest of my mission. I kid you not, one day this week we tried Every. Single. Investigator in our pool, and that only took us until 4 o'clock. For some reason, I feel that this week has just been a trial of our faith. BUT, like I said before, sometimes that is when we see some of our biggest blessings. This struggle has only strengthened my resolve to try my hardest to bring souls unto Christ. Every time when we reached the bottom of the barrel, something else popped up to save the day, every time we thought that we had worked our hardest and couldn't bear another denial, we found ourselves moving forward yet again. Each and every time one of us began to doubt or be depressed, the other has been able to pick him up. God is truly mindful of us, and I know that He knows me. I can bear testimony of the loving atonement of our Savior, because this week, maybe more than any week of my mission, I have had to rely on Him. Again, I can't wait to come home and see everyone smiling and happy faces! I love the Lord, and I love you all!
Love Elder Larsen

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The "Wau-Sauna"

First of all, and most importantly, no, it isn't -50 anymore. It's an amazing 80 degrees warmer... 80 degrees!!! I just imagine if it was 80 degrees warmer than it is right now, it would be 110 degrees. What a huge difference it feels like. And yes, the rumors are true, people DO wear shorts in this weather. Okay... now for the good stuff :) Actually, this week was a little bit of a downer for us. We have a couple families that we just can't get in contact with. They all said that after the new year, they would be able to fit us into their busy schedules, but unfortunately, we have been turned down at every single attempt at an appointment. Grr! As frustrating as it is, I have certainly learned the value of patience, perseverance, and diligence on my mission! We just keep praying, keep loving, and keep trying, all while keeping our heads up. The most exciting thing that happened this week was our lesson with Jessica. (very less active, and I'm not sure if I have mentioned her before.) For the last 2 months we have been meeting with her and chipping away so so slowly at every concern, and every misunderstanding. We never went in with a planned lesson, because we knew that her questions were more important than anything that we might have to try and teach her. So last week we finally decided that it was time for us to go on the offensive, if you'll excuse the expression. We knew that at the root of her (and really anyone's) concern is the question of whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. She believes that there is more than one way to return to God, so we were there to tell her, that unfortunately, that is not the truth. "There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism". We spoke for about an hour and by the end, we knew that she had a lot to digest. We brought the spirit, and we just have to pray that it softens her heart. She wants so badly to believe, but is hanging on by threads to what she thought to be true.... Gah!! Pray for us! I love you all!!!
Love Elder Larsen

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


For those who care, and of COURSE I'm not complaining or anything... It is currently -25 degrees with a windchill making it feel like (Yes, LITERALLY) -50. The coldest weather that has hit in 20 years... It's so cold that it can kill you in minutes... But I'm nice and warm sitting in the Wausau County library :) On my walk from the car to the library however, my eyebrows froze. Stiff. Solid. 20 seconds tops. Lucky for us, our Mission President told us that for the next 2 days, we are to stay inside as much as possible. That means no outside activities, and unless you have appointments, no proselyting. We will be doing a lot of personal scripture study the next few days I'm sure... With the short amount of time that I have to write, I'll tell you of an experience we had just this last Saturday. We met with Chou and Mai (maybe I already mentioned them?) a few weeks ago, but for all of our return appointments, we get to their door only to find out that they aren't there, or are busy, even after we confirmed appointments with them that morning. So last week, after our radio show, we decided to just try and drop in unannounced. BUT, AS WE PULLED INTO THEIR DRIVEWAY we got a call from Chou. He was inconsolable for the first minute or so that we talked with him. Eventually we gathered that he had had some sort of meltdown and was in a very dark place. He has had many hardships and trials in his life, and we suspect that something from his past had reared its ugly head again. He called us to ask us to pray for him. What great faith he showed in calling two 20 year old boys to ask them to pray for him. We said a prayer over the phone and asked if he wanted us to stop by, but he declined, saying a friend was on the way to pick him up to talk to him. We challenged him to pray for himself, and promised blessings that come from prayer. He had the faith to call us, now he just needs the faith to call on God. We definitely hope to meet with them again, and hope that everything turned out well for Chou.
That's all for now! Love you all, and have a warm week!
Elder Larsen

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Big ol' E-Mail...

First of all... A very Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope that you all had a great Christmas, I know that I most certainly did! I'll just give a brief overview of our day, and hope not to bore you to death... So first, naturally, we woke up at 6:30 to open our presents. We had a great time, going back and forth, and really really enjoyed everything we got. Some of my favorite presents: A replica copy of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, a big BYU blanket, and some cold medicine... We will DEFINITELY be needing that! After all of that, we got ready to go to our first meal of the day, breakfast at the Thomas house. We had some delish french toast with home made syrup. MMM!!! We definitely enjoyed ourselves, and they were so nice, and actually bought us some Christmas pajamas... SO SO nice! Next, we went home for some studies (yes, the missionary life NEVER stops) and then to our NEXT appointment at Txawjzoo's house. Txawjzoo is awesome, and we had another great time. I ate a plethora, and the hightlight was probably the Qabpon, which is sort of the Hmong version of Pho. Very good, very fun. They too were very nice, and gave us each new cardigans, which may I say, I look very dashing in. We ran home to do a quick clean and then again, off to our final dinner of the night. We ate at the Johnstons and had a grand old time, just playing a lot of Christmas themed games. By the end of the dinner, I was ready to pass out, and after a quick run through all our night activities (plan, journal, brush, pray) I knocked out. It was a GREAT first Christmas, and one I won't forget.
Now, I just want to take a quick second to say thank you to everyone. I definitely felt the love from home, and I'm glad to have such a wonderful support system :) Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!! Kuv Hlub Nej!!!!!