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