Monday, August 26, 2013

It's All A Blur

One Month Feels Like a Week


Hey, this is your son checking in. Uncle rick told me that that's the most important part of p day. True.
I love you so much. Every time I wake up from  dreaming I'm at home, I think, dang, I can't hug mom. That hug in 23 months is gonna be the best thing ever.

I like writing you a physical letter the best, so I will do that during laundry. I love you so much, and just wanna let you know I'm doing well here. I'm happy, and I'm alive. :)

Love you (for the last time I promise :P)


So Saturday was officially one month! Yay :) Can't belive that. It really feels like I've been here for 1 week. The first 3 days felt like a week, and the last 4 weeks felt like a day. Crazy, but good.

SO, some cool stuff happened this week! I saw Jesse at choir last tuesday again, and I saw Ethan at choir and dinner last night!! I will send a pic. Looks like he got a companion he'll get along with just fine. Can't wait to meet up with both of them at Tuesday choir. Choir is the Bomb. I love Brother Eggot, the director. Choir is the time I laugh the most, and calm down. Lucky me  I got companions who like it too!

The official date I will be moving will be the 16th of September.... ish. Thing is, they haven't told us anything but, they did tell our Branch Presidency that on the 16th, they have meetings on West campus. I will do my best to get the new address for snail mail, but so far Nobody is in the loop on this thing. They have never moved districts in progress is my guess. Hmmph. Also, my companions might change. We are getting three French Elders into our district (learning Tahitian), and they might split the Trio's. Hope not, but we shall see.

One neat thing that happened this week was a lesson with my teacher Frere Asay. He's from Boise, and has been SO good. He's leaving the MTC though, because he is super smart and his major will take like all of his time (BYU classes are starting wow). Bummer. Anyways, we were teaching about keeping the Sabbath day holy and the prophets. It wasn't an earth shattering lesson, but the spirit was SO strong. It was amazing when Elder Palombo gave his commitment in Tahitian too! He surprised us with that. We start Tahitian either today or tomorrow (YIKES). Frere Asay said afterward that it was a super solid lesson, and that he'd planned on refusing the commitments, but because the spirit was super solid he went with it. Really happy the Lord helped us there. It's such a good feeling (even during role play) when you know that the person is comming closer to Jesus. Can't wait to do it in real life (out side of the TRC, which is still awesome).

Things are going well. Last night I realized that I am happy here. And that it's a opportunity that might never come again to be surrounded by 2000+ missionaries. Even though I have tough days, and need to improve, I know this is the right thing to do. The tender mercies here pile up so fast.

Also, I am so happy to hear that Kendal is getting baptized! I will try to write him. SO GOOD TO HEAR! Wish I could see the service, but hey, this is the only other place I'd be. I AM SOOO happy for you Kendal!

Love you guys and thanks for the mail. Mail, even at the MTC, is SO valuable to missionaries.

-Elder Larsen


Is anyone writing you too much e-mail?  I can encourage them to snail mail.

Nobody has written too much email. I've been sending short replies and directing them to the blog (Thanks for doing that)

How is your knee?  Are you keeping up with therapy during exercise time?

My knees are ok. My ankle has caused the most grief... The trainer here thought I might have sprained it at therapy that one time. Ugg. It's been the most sore, but is getting better. I do therapy at least 4 times a week during gym, and I've actually been running on it a bit too. Happy about that. Just hope and pray othopedics remain as they are right now.

How did you survive fast Sunday? I hear it can be long there. Another one coming.

The first Fast Sunday was GREAT, but that's cuz I was still 'Not throwing up'... so not eating was easy (Heavenly father, I'm going to fast not to puke...) Not that bad, but I have been nervous the mornings here. I'm nervous for next sunday fasting. If I can't make it, theres a billion vending machines here. I'll be fine.

Does your snail mail address change when you move?

 [From above] I will do my best to get the new address for snail mail, but so far Nobody is in the loop on this thing.

Did everyone catch up to you and Elder Randal on their French?  Are you still most fluent?

Not most fluent (that's always been elder Randal, the one in the blue shirt with Palombo).

I am doing good at the french,  I'm not "FLUENT"... that was supposed to be in air quotes as to suggest ''yeah right''.... umm yeah. I hope I didn't sound that cocky...... Elder Randal thinks I'm better than him at grammar (maybe...) but I know he's the best at speaking. Hes the guy who lived in Paris.  Also Elder Hunsaker neglected to tell us that hes amazing at french too. He took 5 years (High school and middle school). Just don't want everone to think I'm the best here. I am not :)

Sounds like Jesse was sick.  Wash your hands!

I wash my hands obsessively. Will keep it up.

I love you SOOO MUCH!!! Thanks for the mail too. Love the pictures you send to fishing. Also I loved the postcard, and map, and letters.

Be well, my family. I love you, and also, if you could Dear Elder me the responses to:

GMT, Lat and long for Tahiti (watch settings)

[Other requests edited out -Steve]

Sorry email here is PAINFuly slow. Sorry bout that.

Gotta run now. Thanks for the mail, and dear elders and email. I'll write you some snail mail today.
Sorry for shotgunning your inbox lol. 

Elders Franco and Palombo
With Sister [Cousin Jocelyn] Larsen
"Elder Lewis from McCall, going to the West Indies"
"Elder Lewis' awesome comp, Elder Call.
These guys have been sweet friends"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mom's Letters are the Best

Best District Ever

This week has been so amazing. It flew by, and plenty of tender mercies happened.

TRC this week was great. We met a guy from France, who's Parisian french was SO FAST! Some how I actually kept up though. Only missed a few sentences in the 20 min. We got to see the same sister as we did last week too. She's so nice, and showed us a sweet picture of her driving a Lamborghini Galadaro at the Tooele Larry H. Miller place. Awesome. The spirit helped Elder Franco and I, but it would have been better with Elder Palombo. He taught with our instructor, so he'd get more time to talk. Good thing for him, bad for us. He brings such a good spirit.

Also, Sunday was the BOMB as usual. I got to go on a temple walk after sacrament, and I met a guy named David who got back from his mission like 10 days ago. He was so nice, and told me to just look at everything thing through a positive light, and it will be great. He lives in Georgia, but is going to go to BYU in a few weeks.

Also on Sunday, we had the lesson for district meeting. Elder Palombo and Franco taught it with me, and our branch president sat in. We all felt the spirit so strong there. I love my companions, and am so glad that they love the gospel. After district meeting and temple walk, I got to go to choir and Devotional. GUESS WHAT!?!?! Vai Sikahema was the speaker! It was so cool to hear him. He told us about a convert on his mission and how they've stayed close for 30 years. His family and the converts family are still best friends, and Via also spoke about how EVERY good thing in his life has been tied to his mission. Super cool to hear one of my BYU football legends talk about missionary work.

On Tuesday, I saw Richard G Scott!! Double awesome! He spoke on the power of prayer. I fell asleep for like 7 min, and wish I hadn't have. I guess his voice puts me out when hes there, and not just on Saturday general conference haha. He brought such a tangible spirit, and when he left, EVERYBODY stood up and waved. Nobody moved after the closing prayer until he got up and chuckled. It was such a cool thing.

So, in short, I have the best district ever. They are all super nice to me, and serve me when ever they get a chance. Elder Randal is awesome too. I probably sounded cocky in my first letter about his french. But no, he is the real deal when it comes to speaking it. I thought he was kidding, but it turns out he lived there. I am no good at spoken french, but hope I will be in the field. Elder Hunsaker is nice too. Last night I came home to 10 snack bags of doritos, hidden in my bed, my laundry, and my desk. He and elder Du Pre know I like them, so they brought a bunch back from the Cafeteria. Nice guys
I love it here. It's so different than what I'm used to, but in a good way. Home seems like a dream still, but the Spirit makes all the preparing to teach, and studying worth it.

Thanks for the mail everyone, and God bless.

~Elder Larsen
Elder Martin from Meridian
Also, SD's is the BEST way to go. [I.e., take small SD cards to the MTC and mail them home with pictures. -Steve]  I've been struggling to get ones out, and get noreply emails 30 min after I'm off telling me the message didn't send. Attached SHOULD be pics of my shoes, I'm a bit worried about one of the heels. The sole is sepparating from the shoe, but not flapping or anything yet. Have any advice on that? Mail shoe goo or send them to you to get fixed, or not a problem or whatever?

Also, I think a smaller bag would be the way to go. I'll take you up on the pictures thing. I still have 7 weeks here to figure that out.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weeks Flying By

So apparently most of the pics I tried to send failed to send (and the automated reply service emailed me that like 2 hours after email time... ugg). Getting pics onto the computer, and getting Gmail to successfully email them is a PAIN. Hopefully west campus has it better figured out. I bought a SD to USB adapter (because the computers refuse to mount my camera with cable) and it works on about 1 out of 10 computers. Ugg. Disgusted that they wont let me return it either... stupid, but anywho, onto news. If anybody asks for advice, just tell them to get a pile of low capacity SD's so they can mail the pics.

So it turns out that weeks fly by here. The days have been SOOOOO long, but once its sunday night, I can't tell you what happened what day, or how long I've been here.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGES!!! I love the Doritios (still have one bag) and cheetos, and those Kakis are the best for the sunday Temple walks. Also, thanks for the laundry scooop, letters, and other goodies. It was really nice. Mail here is SUCH a blessing. Also, I have some questions. Is there anything bad with using AntiBacterial Dial (the gold package one)? It turns out we need our own soap, but they don't sell the blue/white packaged dial soap at the book store. Also, my ankle has been swelling up a bit lately. The trainers at the therapy place say that it was probably a sprain, and it should stop swelling soon. If you decide to send annother package, blue dial, and a tiny ammount of dish soap (like a super tiny bottle) would be nice. But not needed at all. If i run out this week I'll just try the gold stuff at the book store

one cool thing that happened this week was TRC. We got to sit down with a member and talk in french for 20 min, and give a home teaching type lesson. We did it with two members (so like 40 minuites of teaching). It was super cool, and I was SO nervous before hand. I prayed and prayed that the spirit would be with me, and as we went in I calmed down and I actually followed 99% of what he said. I was able to talk confidently, and had only a few pauses or slip ups!!! Definitely the Holy Ghost. Then, on our second visit, the lesson really hit home with her. We talked about making scripture study better, and challenged her to improve her study. The spirit was super strong. Awesome

Another cool thing that happened was receiving mail from Aunt Leanne and family! She sent the COOLEST stamps. They are classic muscle cars, and really nice. Super thoughtfull of her. She sent blank paper and a nice letter too. I'll write her durring laundry today.

I got to see Jozzy last night! She leaves today, or left today, something like that. I also saw Josh Wilson from High school, bryton neild from high school and a few friends too. At choir I saw Jesse! He's on west campus, so I'll get to see him often when we move.  I'll mail more storries when I can sit down with my journal and remember what happened. Like seriously, though, these past two weeks are fuzzy. For now I'm gonna send one pic at a time. LOVE YOU!!!
Hey, also, it turns out that my timbuk2 bag is huge. Its a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Is there anyway to conveniently return it and swap it for a small? If not, not a problem, just if its easy to do than I'd be for it. I haven't used it yet and have not written on it at all

You're in ALASKA!!!  So cool!

I wasted lots of time trying to figure out how to get pics to work. to no avail, ish

SO, I wrote dad a med sized email, and I'll send some handwritten letters for you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

Thanks for the goodies, and for being AWSOME!! LOVEYOU

BTW I got to go to the temple! It was so nice. Didn't see the new film, but I felt like I was at home. love you!

With the Elders of the Zone
Elders Palombo and Randall
With Elder Erramouspe in Residence Area
With Elder Wilson at the Temple
With Elder Vincent at Choir

Bags and That and Cousin Matt

Monday, August 5, 2013

Losing Weight and Trading Ties

Hi mom! I wrote twice, I think. I found out we're not supposed to write letters at night durring personal time anymore (just a first week thing)  I can write letters on p day and email only though I can read snail mail all days of the week.

THAT PACKAGE MADE MY DAY! Thank you so much! I love the bottle though I haven't been able to wash it. Still tastes like new bottle. I don't think I can buy dish soap at the bookstore either. Maybe the smell will just leave after a while. Either way, its perfect. The doritos were the best! I haven't opened the green ones, but the purple ones are all but gone. Fun to share idaho spud bars too:) Also, the hacky sacks are SWEET! I can juggle them at night hahah. Getting the Kakis was SWEET! Thanks for that. They will not see use for 2 more months, so I can have fresh pants in Tahiti. Thanks for the stamps, books, and paper too!

So, yes, I have seen Jocelyn and I gave Jonah his tie tack and temple magazine the day before I left. Classes are going ok. They are so long, and full of language. I think that's the hardest part here, other than learning to release stress without disc golf, and friends. Excersice is great here. Today I weight 10 pounds less than I did when I left.... Yeah, that was not what I expected. I have just been keeping up on my therapy stuff, and I eat a lot less here. Yesterday was fast sunday and WHOA! That was neat. We had a devotional with Jenny Oaks Baker (Elder Oaks daughter) and she played the violin. Also we had a HUGE mission conference where everyone from the MTC met in one meeting. It was sooo cool, and spiritual.

John Morgan Eramouspe has been a GREAT friend here. He left for Lyon today, and that was a mild bummer. I really like that guy. It was a tender mercy for me to have a friend just 4 doors down the hall from me during residence time.

It sounds like we will officially be moving to west campus in september. Not sure why, but they decided to move the french programs there. I hear the food isn't as good, but I just hope we'll get to go the the temple. We go on Monday mornings (it opens next weeek, so I'll get to go starting then). You should go. They changed the film, not sure if you heard about that, but I am super excited to see. My instructor, brother Asay said its awesome (what else would he say about the temple haha)

I'm gonna email dad now. I love you SO MUCH. YOU are the coolest mom ever, and the person most often on my mind. I miss you, but I will get to see you in 100 weeks. Good luck at the doctors, and HAVE FUN CRUISING!

Love, Brigham

[E-mail to Dad:]

I'll start highlighting. Oh, and I discovered that we're not supposed to write letters at night any more (just a first week thing) so I can only mail snail mail or gmail on mondays... oh well. At least I can read mail on nights

So, this week went pretty good. Suprise suprise, we went to San Francico. Yeah, that was crazy. I wrote about that in the snail mail letter so I wont spend to much time talking about it here. I am still figuring out how to send pictures, the networking here at the MTC is not so great.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE!!! and for sending food other than cookies :) there is a 10+ pound box of cookies in our room alone..... I was so glad to get all that mail, and then all that mail again the next day! I love you tons.

I emailed mom first this week (she sent me an email titled EMAIL YOUR MOM!). You can compose a blog entry based on any combination of whats been sent. I am not too worried about redactions, but I will highlight stuff when its for sure.

The free box is awesome, and I am SO glad I brought so many ties. I trade them a lot, and have one from spain now. Everybody's gotta have a hobby.

I LOVE YOU SOO MUCH. I think you you and mom all the time. I miss you, but know that it's worth it.  Oh yeah, I saw the picture of president bishop! [My MTC Mission President -Dad]

My comps and I are going to try and find computers that will let us email pictures, so I will get back on in a few min and start doing that. I have 28 min of email left today.


Oh, and have a fun time with mom. If you get this while you're out and about good. I'll send some snail mail for Eulalia and Reese today.

[Elder Larsen's Bed]

[Companion Elder Palombo]

John Morgan's spanish companion who is also my friend :)
I think that's all the pics that are worth emailing so far. I love you! gonna help elder palombo figure out how to do it. about 1 in 6 computers will let you attach a jump drive. uggg,

[Note from Dad: So we're eager to see some pics and he sends one of his bed, and none of him :) ]

and thanks for the prayers