Monday, September 30, 2013


So the last week pretty much flew by. Yup. It feels like I emailed you like yesterday, and that I got dropped off a week ago. Still getting used to the time here.

WEEK 11!!! So cool. We leave ON MONDAY!!! That's in 7 days... or 6, depending on how you count.

This week was full of spiritual moments. We had the coolest devotional last night. The Provo Temple president and his wife came and spoke about how the temple empowers me as a missionary. We went to the temple today, and having his comments fresh on my mind was wonderful. We did initiatories and had a really good time. I love the temple, and will miss getting to go so often. When I get back I want to find out how to be a worker during college too. An elder in our zone, elder Molinari did that at BYU, and he said it's awesome.

During the personal study this week, I studied the Christlike attribute of hope in PMG chapter six. I read from elder Holland's article in the sept. ensign too. It was so cool! It went right with my study, and helped me feel more confident. The blessings he promises at the end are sweet. Goes with Isaiah 41 really well. Super cool. You should read chapter six, and do the box activities too. It is really rewarding, or at least it has been for me.

During the devotional on Tuesday (last one at marriot :( ) we got to hear from a member of the seventy who was awesome. Forgot to bring my note book with his name, but It was good. He spoke of promises that God gives to missionaries, and had scriptures from D&C and the New Testament to back them all up. It was what I needed to hear (as usual) and we got to shake his hand afterwards.

So, this week we have some fun stuff to do. Culture class will be our last class with the teachers, on Friday Night. We LOVE THEM! I seriously had no idea that the MTC teachers would be so good, and that they'd give support in areas other than the language. I will miss these guys, and hope to see them again so I can talk Tahitian to 'em. I also decided I want to be a TRC volunteer when I get back. We had our last TRC visit last week, and we met a guy from Tahiti who came here just for Conference. Really nice man. We taught him for 40 min in Tahitian (super hard, but super cool!) This week instead of TRC we have in field training, which is like an all day devotional, plus some specific advice about health and safety, and teaching. Everyone says its the bomb. Also this week, we get to pack. Since they scheduled our packing time for the day AFTER we leave we will most likely pack on Saturday between conf sessions. Conference will BE THE BOMB! Sounds like we all get to watch it in the same building, and we get to see Music and Spoken word too. I am so excited. All my teachers said that Conf. at the MTC is so good because everyone is focused for all the talks, and the spirit is so strong.

Also on Saturday I will probably email home, because we wont on Monday in Tahiti. So I will plan on emailing between sessions while i'm doing laundry. I plan on calling in the airport like dad emailed me about too.

Also, the mail this week was AWESOME! Thank you all for the Dearelders, the letters, and the prayers. I needed them all, and its good to hear from you.

I LOVE YOU!!!! Have a good week. I'll send some more stuff on Saturday. ENJOY CONFERENCE!

~Elder Larsen

Monday, September 23, 2013

Worst Day Ever and Best Day Ever

Week nine is over! Week ten is here! (Only thirteen days till I'm in Tahiti!!)

This week has been great. Had the WORST day ever on Saturday, and the BEST day ever on Sunday. I lost about 3 hours of sleep and woke up with a fever on Saturday. It went away (mostly) on Sunday, and I felt the spirit very strongly that day too. That's most of what I remember from this week. Yeah, kinda funny how the days are just blurred. On Tuesday I saw Elder Bridger West! I was having a tired, slow day, and after I saw him I KNEW that heavenly Father made that happen just to make my day better. That was really nice, and fun to see someone from home.

I got to go to the temple today! I love the temple. Kendal emailed me pics of him at the Rexburg temple. SO COOL! I'm so happy for you Kendal! Those made my day. I only have one more visit to the Provo temple before I leave. Weird.

Tahitian is still coming along. We've had some good, and bad teaching experiences with Tahitian. The most important thing is still just to have the spirit. Language means SO little compared to the spirit's presence. The easiest way to invite it is to make sure the lesson is planned REALLY well, and that it's connected to their needs. Not easy to connect everything in Tahitian. Hard to ask stellar questions when you wont understand the responses. haha!

I know I wont be any sort of 'fluent' with it when I leave the MTC, but that's ok. For now keeping up French and learning how to do the simple things in Tahitian will be my best. Just gotta have faith, and the spirit, so that the Gift of tongues will work. The MTC's minimum goal is that you know 1000 words by the time you leave. Still got a LONG way to go toward that one. On the bright side, I can make my own words with the ones I know! haha, funny how that works. Haa or faa +any noun = verb (of the noun), and any verb+raa = the noun (of the verb...) yeah still  a little confusing. If you understand the little things like that though, you can get a lot more ideas across. Haamaitairaa = blessings (maitai = good, so to make good, noun) . Yeah

Elder Ganne-Soulary left this morning for Lyon France. He got reassigned because of health issues. Super sad. We all miss him, and wish him the best. He has had the MOST positive attitude about having to get reassigned, and has been an example for all of the Elders and sisters in our district. He will be an awesome missionary in France.

Our branch president (President Mangum) got released, and our 2nd counselor got called as President (now President Barker). I love president Barker. We have Brother Burnah now as 2nd counselor. He is so cool. We also lost our 1st counselor last week (brother Howes) and have Brother Carter who was the mission president in Mongolia just a while ago. Really good brothers all of them. We've had members of the MTC presidency in the past 2 sacrament meetings. that has been really cool. It's also been cool to get to know the new members of our presidency, and to hear from the MTC presidency too. I am so glad we get to have mission conference on Sunday too. We lucked out, we get 3 mission conferences (one per fast Sunday) and General Conf. here at the MTC. Awesome.

Anyway, thanks for the mail, and for all the support. I love you my family. Have a good week!


~Elder Larsen
Me With The Package Last Week (YAY!!)
Group at the Temple
Another Group Pic at the Temple
What Happens When You Give Your Camera to Your Zone Leader to Take a Picture of You

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Temple is So Cool

WEEK NINE!!!! Yay!

WEEK NINE!!!! Yay! After Tuesday, we will have been here at the MTC longer than anyone else. And will stay that way until the 7th. So funny to see elder's faces as we tell them, yeah this is like week nine. And we have three to go.

Some cool stuff happened this week. We got to direct traffic for the new missionaries! I was the first one inside the gate, so I waved about 1000 cars the right way. I got to see the Giggers! That was a surprise! So cool though. I've seen sister Gigger here a lot already too. The sisters in the zone know her, and she has meals the same time as we do I think. She's super nice, and will be a great missionary. I was super nervous to direct traffic, but it turned out to be the funnest thing we've done here. Got to use the radio, and tell others what was coming in. Saw some cool cars too.

Elder Palombo's dad says we'll have a guy come talk to us about our bikes, and what the deal is there, this week. I will share any info I get. Sounds like in the airport there is a huge pile of everyone's luggage, and the zone takes turns shuttling it to where it's gotta go, leaving people with the luggage on either end. I'll see how that goes. Also, we can call from the airport is what I have been told. They're saying to call from SLC not LAX, because we have no idea if we'll make or miss the LA flight. That means phone calls if any will be at like 3:00 AM. I will find out about that too. The book store knows whats up.

Went to the temple today! That is always such a relief. I am the most calm, and relaxed there. Also this week I have been trying to learn more about the Holy Ghost. I realized that I he's there 24/7. He doesn't whimp out on his end of the deal. If I can't tell he's there it's usually because I am not listening, or I'm distracted/nervous. That hit me about Thursday or Friday this week. Our lesson went SO GOOD. I came out of it kinda dazed though. It was the first time that the french has just flowed without any translation, and the first time where instead of 'how do I say that?' it was "What do I want/need to say?" The spirit helped us out, and it was so good. Going to shoot for that again. That day I felt him there 24/7. Super neat

Another cool thing happened in the TRC this week. Tahitian TRC is so much different. As in: I follow 2% instead of 97%. Yeah. I was supper worried, and prayed for help while we prepared our lesson. During the lesson my companions did GREAT, and I did OK. I asked a question about the volunteer's testimony, and when he bore it, I understood 2 words, but felt the spirit SO STRONG and I knew what he was talking about. It was sooo cool. I received another witness about the restoration, even though I personally, couldn't translate the words. The spirit is so cool. I think I already said that... It was neat too, when he (in French) told us that even though he was from Tahiti, he spoke only french before his Tahitian mission. That helped me feel more confident about my chances. He spoke SO well.

Tahitian is going better though. We've learned most of the grammar concepts (there are so few) and will learn vocab till the day we get back from Tahiti. They only have 2000 words (English has +30,000) so almost all Tahitian words have like 5 meanings. Context is the only way to stay afloat. The word for "to be able to" is the same as "beautiful". Nehenehe. yeah, that's a weird one. Another one is "maramarama." It means light, but it also means knowledge! WHAT! I had no idea I was learning the language of Adam here! All kidding aside, the language is so cool. The scriptures are described as pure, because with so few words, you can't twist meanings much at all. Neat. Brother Nash also told us there's a saying there that "the more you speak, the more you lie." They like the missionaries to be brief because of it. Interesting.

I met an elder going to Pocatello from Tahitit!! His name is elder Turina. He's like 6 feet tall, and pretty tough looking guy. He's super nice. I told him if he ever is in our stake you'd feed him, and if I'm in his stake I'll say hi to his parents. So watch out for him :D He is super nice, and his English is great. Kinda fun to meet someone who's EXACTLY switching you for 2 years! I'll take a picture with him some time.

I love you all. Thank you for your support, letters, love, and prayers. I am so excited to go to the field. Our whole residence just left today. Something like 90 elders just from our building I think. All elders going to France (Lyon and Paris) and some going to Brazil. Stays that way for the next 2 days, and then we get 26 more. Crazy. We try not to realize that they came in, and left while we were here. Can't wait to do 'real' missionary work. In TAHITI!!

Again, I Love you all!
~Elder Larsen

Monday, September 9, 2013

This Week Has Been Interesting But Fun

There's a Cat In My Throat

Hi family! How's it going? This is week 8... yikes. We just had our 7th Sunday here. Kinda odd to think about.

This week went pretty well for me. Our district has had an interesting one. One of the elders may be getting reassigned for medical reasons, and we've had some homesick elders too. It's not quite the week I'd recommend for 1st week as district leader, but I have learned a lot in training, and through loving these elders.

For devotional last Tuesday, we had some really cool people speak. An elder from the seventy and his wife, who both served as mission president couple in Japan. They shared some really neat experiences about faith, and prayer. I really liked hearing that.

So it turns our there's no MTC choir number for general conference (with elders, hint hint). Bummer. At least we get to do choir for devotionals still.

This week Tahitian has taken a turn for the better, ish. Ua maruuru vau i te Evanelia a Iesu Mesia. (I'm thankful for the gospel.) That's mostly what I can say, simple sentence, : Tense marker, verb, subject, i te, object. Sounds like caveman speak, and after doing it for an hour, your french and English gets all messed up. "Now to have I of the confusion."

Yup. At least if I ever learn Japanese I'll have a start on the structure (lol, not happening).

We did our Tahitian TRC for the first time last Thursday. That was crazy. I met Daniel (formerly elder) Gunderson, the guy who lives in Blackfoot. Talked to him about Idaho during our TRC visit. Think his dad works at ON. That was a tender mercy. He's a super nice man who speaks Tahitian and french very well. We actually had a lesson and conversation for the full 20 minuites after like 8 days in the language. So cool. Hope this one goes even better. We realized that we only have two more TRC visits after this one because the last week we do infield training on Thursdays

Sunday went GREAT! During sacrament meeting I took notes and listened actively for the spirit, and had a cool bunch of thoughts given during the lessons I needed. The devotional was boss too. Richard I Heaton, MTC executive spoke, all about prayer. It was so cool. I love his devotionals. He gives like one a month I think. Afterwards, we watched the Testaments movie. I LOVE THAT MOVIE! The last time I watched that was with Zeph at home a loooong time ago. Its so cheesey for about 1 hour and 10 min, but the last 8 minutes makes me ball. The spirit is SO strong. Just like when we teach about the restoration. Every time we get a new witness. That's something I never expected.

Mail! I got some sweet dear Elders last week. Uncle David, what you said was 100% what I needed. And Mom, and Dad, you're letters helped me a LOT. One elder was thinking about going home, and like 10 minutes earlier I had read your letters. I told him about how this mission thing has already brought some cool blessings that you pointed out. Then I gave him that D&C 31 that you printed out dad, and it was just what he needed (so can you mail me annother :P. I really liked it).

Today I got to go to the Temple. Wow. Just wow. I felt the savior's love SO strong as I was going through. I have only felt it like that a few times. I remembered a lot about the first time I went through, and how Mom and Dad helped me. I really am so glad we have a temple family. I want one too, when I am old. Going today resolved a lot of pent up stress, and concerns I had. Super cool.

On a silly note  before I leave:

In class elder Goutin (from France, he's awesome) and I were looking in our 300+ page Tahitian grammar and vocab book. In the back there is a list of idioms. In that list there are at least 10 idioms that we NEVER say. Lol. Some translate VERY poorly into french. We laughed so much. One was: It's as easy as falling off a log. French: C'est facille comme 'bonjour!'. Where did they get 'as falling off a log', from 'bonjour'? Another was: There is a frog in my throat (we say that one) but the french "I y a un chat dans la gorge" was soooo funny. It means there is a CAT in my throat. A CAT!?!?! So funny for the french elder to hear frog, and for me to hear cat. haha

There were some better ones, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. I'll mail some other funny ones.

Anyways, I love you all. Thanks for the support, and for the prayers. Some times when I'm having a rough day, I remember that you are praying for me, and all the other missionaries. Makes the day go easier.

~Elder Larsen

Silly Pictures

Got a new card! The old one got THRASHED in a vending machine haha. Also a pic of me. Awkward one, but its what I could do in the lab right now.

love you all

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wow, It's Already September!

Tahitian is Straight-Up Crazy


:D I love you!!

So, this week I found out I'm not moving to west campus. They cancelled it last week, not sure why but I will take it :D So my address will not change till I'm in tahiti.

Thank you so much for the CES talk from elder scott. I read it today durring Personal study time. Good to read that, and my pariachal blessing, and scriptures. Thats the type of stuff I like to read on P-Days.

I love you so much. I am so glad you're my mom, and that you care about, love and support me.

Running out of time. Had to email Kendal some CONGRATS!!! I'm so glad he got baptised. They I got baptised he gave me a card that said he wanted to be too, and was happy for me. I still have that. I am so glad he got to be. So cool.

Again, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! I am doing great here. I will write you a snail letter in a few min!

Brigham (elder your son)

Week seven here we go!

Week six went well, but felt just like the first week again. Long classes, fasting was rough, and a whole bunch of changes. Our new teacher Brother Nash is sweet. He got home last year, and is pretty cool.

MAIL!!! I got a bunch of mail this week. Thank you all so much!! The soap made it, as did my bag, and shoes (another email has details about those...) and that little package you (dad) send. Thank you so much!

So, the move is off. Yay! I'm so glad there's one less thing to worry about!

We got 3 new elders this week, all from France. Elder Ganne-Solary, Elder Doit, and Elder Gouttin. All from the same stake in the north of France. They speak pretty good english, and they speak faster french than I'll have to in Tahiti. They came in as a trio, and the branch pres decided to keep it intact, along with our trio, so we don't have to get split up (that was nice of them). Now we have 11 in our classroom, and it's super crowded, and loud. Sometimes we study in another class to get things done. Hard to get 11 people to all be focused at the exact same time, in 3 languages.

I had a great time at devotional this week! Elder Neil Anderson (yeah, of the 12!) came and he and his wife told sweet mission stories, and taught about the fact that we are doing good, and when we get discouraged to be obedient, and remember that we're doing all we can, and God knows that. It was so good. After his devotional, we had to stay in the Marriott for an extra 30 min while thunder and lightning was outside the building. Elder Anderson got up and shook a whole bunch of missionaries hands. Didn't get to, but wasn't bummed; I feel lucky to have been there. While he shook hands we sang hymns, and had a super cool spirit there. I really enjoyed that, and felt like it was a tender mercy just for me.

After the devotional let us out, it was still pouring (but the lightning stopped). We had so much fun walking back in our suits, getting drenched lol! I let mine dry well (don't worry mom!) and will get it dry-cleaned in a bit.

Saturday was rough for me. Had a bad night's sleep and had no confidence. That night I started my fast and asked for better self esteem and reassurance. Sunday morning I got called to be the District leader... Not quite what I had in mind, hahah! Thought that was super funny. I will do my best, and am still a little shocked. The meetings to go to are a nice break from class though :D.

Tahitian is crazy. Straight up Crazy. I feel exactly what elder Palombo felt during French. He's a champ at tahitian. Sounds like the Hawaiian he knew has really helped. The grammar is stupid simple, but the vocab is killer. Still trying to figure out how to pronounce like 2 vowels next to each other, after each consonant. Also the T, K, S, D, Z, Q, G(sometimes), & C ALL MAKE THE SAME SOUND..... Kinda hard to spell when you have know idea which letter that t sound is represented by. I know I can do it, but still get worried now and then. On the bright side, saying stuff in french seems 100 times easier! and we still get to teach an investigator in French so we don't loose it. yay!

Again, thank you all for the mail, and thanks for supporting me. Thanks for the prayers too. So far at the MTC I have had soo many tender mercies and prayers answered. Its crazy. I can't wait for October 7 to go and do REAL work (not that the MTC isn't good or anything).

Love you and have a good week! :D

~Elder Larsen

PS We decided my name would sound like elder Tartan in Tahitian. The L turns into the rolled r like in 'daddy' (no r in daddy.... odd, but that's how they teach English speakers to say it), and the s to a t. Kinda funny. Love you !