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!!!