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!!!!!