Monday, December 30, 2013

Broken Transfer

Hey, Things are going good.

Yup the Tahitians go to the New Zealand MTC. They do the same 2 week program like in Provo; Pretty cool.

Today I go to the mission home and pick up an Elder who will not be [the Elder that was planned]. The transfer got broken, and even President isn't sure how things are gonna settle out, hahah. Im a bit nervous, but happy none the less. This has just been one good adventure :)

I will try and send a pic today, not sure if it'll make it.

I love you all, and was so happy to see you on Skype. Have a good week.

Sorry busy day, will email next Monday more :)


Elder Larsen

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Call!

We had the great privilege of speaking to our beloved missionary last night, for just over an hour via Skype!

Here are some nuggets from our conversation:

He doesn't know what he weighs, but he has lost a lot of weight, especially in his thighs and waist.  This is likely due to all of the bicycle activity.  He described his area in Faaa as very steep like parts of San Francisco.  On the third day he was there, he thought he would die from cycling up the hill, but now he is very used to it.  He said the thinner, tailor fit shirts would fit better now [but they would have been too slim when he left].  His pants and shirts are holding up well, but he needs some replacement garments.  He likes cotton/poly but the distribution center by the temple has only mesh and (Dri-Lux?).  

His shoes are fine but he wears mostly the Teva sandals.  They are holding up so far and are getting sun bleached.

The bike is holding up well but if he keeps riding at his current 9miles/day rate then he estimates his tires will last about 10 more months.  The slight upgrade on the bike, with 29-in. tires and disc brakes was a good idea based on the strenuous use in his current area.

His stomach was unsettled when he arrived back in October but now it is great.  He loves the local food and his favorite is raw tuna.  Breakfast and lunch are mostly bread and fruit, and lunch is very light.  A generous dinner is provided by members most every evening, with the staples being rice and meat.  He has "touched the stove once," to heat a can of ravioli.

He is keeping up on his knee therapy and they feel good.  The bike riding is probably helping them a lot.

He writes in his journal nightly and thinks he will fill his current journal x 3 by the time he is finished there.

Since Sister Taylor's accident, they are all getting new, more protective helmets with more coverage, like skater helmets.

All the missionaries on the island of Tahiti will be participating in the big celebration in May, commemorating 160 years of the church in French Polynesia.  This will likely be near the time that President Sinjoux is released.

He is one of the three "tall Elders,"  with Elder Hunsaker from the MTC and one other.  They are friends and think it would be a fun thing to work together someday.

They do laundry in a washing machine at home that "kind of works most of the time."  The clothing is hung to dry in a room there.

He will be training a new Elder starting on Monday.  The Elder is very local, coming from a neighboring ward that meets in the same building in Faaa.  The missionaries are about half local and half imported.  Most of the imports are from Utah.

He described how to find his apartment, and we shared some more personal moments.  This was a great Christmas present for all of us.


Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23 Snail Mail

This letter was received on March 3, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hi all! It's me again.

Things are going good. Still no news on transfer, but I will know by the skyping on Christmas. Skype is looking pretty cement for about 18h (six pm) here. Sorry its late, but I think it will work. Talked with the member today and its go. I will call moms skype address some time around six or six thirty I think. If that falls through, I will use the phone to call moms phone if skpe is bust.

Thank you for the mails. I love you guys, and I am doing good. I had a personal miracle yesterday, and I have been calm and happy since. In a hand letter I'm writing there's some more details, and I can tell you about it on Christmas :) I'm OK.

Oh, also thanks for the xmas gift Grandma and Grandpa! I will probably save it. I haven't used my debit card once here. I will email them too.

I love you all so much. Thanks for the support and the prayers. Have a good week and I will see you Wednesday, or at least hear you! :)

LOVE YOU! Merry Christmas,

Elder Larsen

PS attached should be a pic of me and the temple :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hi Family!

Hi family!

Hey! I got to email today instead of Monday, but I'll be on next Monday too.

Thanks for the emails. Mom, I can hear the grandmas Christmas party theme. I can't wait to hear it in person in two years.

Still a bit in the process of figuring out the Skype thing. If you can leave Skype on during the day just in case that'd be good. I am going to talk tonight or tomorrow with our dinner appointment to do it at their house on Christmas. Gotta coordinate it, but I expect it to happen around 5 or 7 pm here. know that's late but I will definitely find out by Monday. If not, the mission will pay for me to phone call plan B.

Mom, your letter made it from 24 Nov. Thank you!! It was super good!

Things are going OK. Transfers in ten days and President said a change is coming. Not sure exactly what.

These last few weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have never prayed like I have here, and I have never felt the Spirit like I have here. After going to the temple last Friday, I felt SO GOOD. I wish I could go everyday. It changed my perspective a bit, and REALLY helped me feel God's love.  I know He loves me and that you guys do too.

I Love you all so much. I miss you but I'll hopefully get to see you on Christmas. Gonna coordinate that before next Pday.

Again I LOVE YOU! Be happy and thank you!

Elder Larsen

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dec 9 Letter

This letter was received on December 27.

Brief E-mail

Hi. Not a lot of email time today, in a Internet cafe, and got a meeting soon.

Things are going OK. Thanks for the email. Sad, but happy to hear Tommy passed. He is such a nice guy.

I cant send a pic today, sorry. Tried and tried last week, but wouldn't send. I will try next week too.

We got to watch the First Presidency thing last night! It was in French, but still good :)  Took our investigators to it and it was a success! Got our ami George to come and it was his first time in the chapel. Yay!!

Had a big miracle too. We fasted, and at the end of our fast we invited our ami to pray. She was reluctant, and refused the baptism, but after 30 min. of discussion she decided to pray. During her prayer, EP and I were praying for her that shed feel the Spirit. about halfway into her prayer she started to talk about baptism; and burst into tears. After she described how the Spirit acted on her, and she said shed never felt that before. SO COOL. We all felt it during her prayer. Hope she will decide to be baptized.

Thanks for the letters again. I love you. I miss you my patient family.

Have a good week. I'll have details on the calling thing by next Monday. maybe Skype. Sending a Skype name or hangout name would be good.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Dec 2 Letter

This letter was received on December 27.

Happy Thanksgiving, TAHITIAN Style!

Hey Mom and Dad!! Thanks for the emails. Dad, that was awesome to see the Tahiti weather forecast. Really good email, and I appreciated the story from pres Hinckley. Got to a Mac this week so typing is MUCH better, even if the keyboard is still rearranged, the keys FEEL right, hahah.

This week was great. Things are going awesome with Elder Petis, and we are getting along fine. We taught the LEAST lessons this week that I've been here. Had about 10 or more cancelled. CRAZY week of backup plans :P

Again, I want to thank you all for being so awesome. Every day I see more famillies with SO MANY PROBLEMS, and I know that the Gospel that Jesus gave us is TAILORED for the family. Its the perfect place to implement and live His teachings. I know that I have a family gospel centered. THANK YOU MOM and DAD!!

This week some funny stuff happened. I ATE SUSHI. Its weird, not bad, in fact I liked the one with carrots, and cucumbers with the fish. The crab sushi is the undoable thing. hahha, still time to love it :P After a lesson, one of our investigators daughters said Happy Thanksgiving! It was Thursday and she knew better that it was a thanksgiving than me! Cool, she learned all about it at school, and quizzed my pilgrim knowledge. Good that the schools here teach that the people came for religion. Thought that was cool.

Another funny thing was the McDonald's. Insert angelic voices here. Hahah. Our faatamaraa (a member family feeds the missionaries EVERY night, that's the DA [Dinner Appointment]) Sunday ran out of time to prep food so she bought us McD's. SOOOOO GOOOD. I had fasted for the whole day, and ended with a big mac and coke. Laughed as I remembered what Elder Vincent has been saying about McD's, how good it is in a foreign land. SO TRUE after the fast..... happy boy :P

This week I'm starting the BOM in French. Our stake is doing a thing for the youth and all the members too, to read it in 170 days. Using it as a chance to help my French and Tahitian. Excited to start.

Again, I LOVE YOU ALL!!! You are all so cool. Have a good week, and know I love you. Thanks for the prayers and mail. Dad, your letter marked the 28 Oct got here this week, and I think that it was perfect for this week. The things mentioned directly applied to how I was feeling, and it helped me. Tender mercy.


Elder Larsen