Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Quick Note to Mom

Hi, Mom!

Sorry I didn't get to e-mail you yesterday! Things were super busy at the office, and we had to help with the 'goodbye' meeting for some missionaries. I felt bad going to bed last night, without having written. Sorry mom! I hope dad has a good camp out, and I hope that you have had a good rest!

Things were great this week, and seeing you was AWESOME :D I really really enjoyed that, and I was happy to see everyone. Thank you, thank you!!!  The next time we skype will be Sunday May 10th. (If skype is available, as Dad said. But I think it will be. :D)

This was a special weekend too. We had a marriage of two of our investigators, and we had the baptism of two others. They went really well. One of the baptisms was an old old man, taught by the sisters. He asked me to baptize him. It was a special moment, helping him into the baptismal font.

It was really really funny though, I had completely, forgotten to get DRY clothes :D I came to the baptism, without dry garments… Had to put pants on over the wet ones and it was really funny. At first, after toweling them off, I thought, ‘Oh that will work out’, but then about 3 minutes later my pants started looking wet, so we ran to the house, and back, and nobody noticed, heheh.

Yesterday was transfers day, and we still got to teach a bit, go to the airport, give a blessing in FAAA, and work  a little in the office. Not much of a P-Day though. I wake up on Tuesday’s sometimes, completely lost as to what day it is, because it feels like Monday was another Saturday or a Thursday or something. Funny.

That’s good to hear that Eulalia will be going on splits. I should have… oh well. I know that for a while there were sister missionaries, and elders once in a while; but I’m sure if I’d have asked to do splits, elders would have appeared.

Things are going well. I am happy to be a missionary, and to be your son! I miss you! And I know that things will be alright. So sorry that I didn’t send an e-mail yesterday!
 
-Brigham

PS. I will send some pictures later today I think. I got a meeting soon, but will be able to after, I think.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hi All!

Hello my family. It was good to read your emails, it will be GREAT to see you! :D

Good to hear Dad, that the ice fishing went well, and that BYU football isn't a totally lost cause. To reply to your question last week, I weigh about 87 or 85 kilos. Depends on the day, I guess. Either way, I gained a bit of weight back, and now I think I'm leveled off for a while.

This week has been a good one. We taught eleven investigator lessons this week, and fixed another baptism. Most missionaries talk about the work slowing down during Christmas, but it hasn't slowed down in our sector. Woohooo!

This week started off well, with the good P-day, and with some meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have been working on the January, and February transfers already, and that has been good. I really like being able to work with President, and during the long meetings with him, we get to learn from him, and learn about how to be a good leader. He says that the ability of a person to lead, is determined or tied to the number of decisions he or she has already made. If you can't think, and make your own decisions, you will only be relaying instead of leading. I've thought a lot about that.

This week, we went to the airport to pick up an elder who just got back from his mission in Australia, and at the same time, an elder who'll be awaiting his visa to serve in Brisbane. It's fun to meet the new missionaries, and to see them at the same time as those who finish. A lot of growth and change happens on the mission. 

One neat experience has happened in re-finding an old investigator I taught at Heiri. I remember telling you all about how deeply I wished that she could change and that she'd feel the love that Heavenly father has for her. She had a really rough go, and she has been in and out of addictions, and pregnancies. Then about a year later (a week ago) she came to church in our ward! She moved in with her sister in law (member of our ward) and she decided to take the lessons again. Wow. It has been a special chance (that not too many people get) to teach her again. I remember teaching her during my training, and now realizing some of the errors I might have made, and being happy that I am a better teacher now. I remember that in Faaa, she could barely understand me, but now she hasn't had a problem. It has really been a special experience, and I hope that this time, she will start living the gospel more.

Also this week, elder White and I had some hard news from one of our friends. A small boy died, who was the son of his co-worker and buddy. It was a really tragic event for him, and now we are trying to help them be ok during this really rough time in their life. I remember when dad's coworker's son passed away from a bacterial infection, and now seeing another young parent lose his young son, I see more of the real impact. Being a little-er guy at the time, I don't think I comprehended the gravity of that type of a loss. It is something nobody deserves to go through. All we can do, is help them get tied back to God, and find the love and security that is available through Him. RE-LIGION means getting re-attached or tied to God. Elder Neilsen told us about that in conference a year a go I think. True religion (or true uniting of others back to God) consists of visiting the needy, or the widows (James chapter 1 or 2), and crying or morning with those that mourn (according to Mosiah) . I felt that part of discipleship this week. I really am thankful for God, and I really am glad to be able to be one of his servants. An instrument, for re- ligature; so to speak.

Well, that is the summary of the week. Things are going so fast, and I feel like I am never gonna get to all the things on my to-do list. The small one in the planner (10 blanks) fills up so fast! :P Just know that I am doing well, and that I LOVE YOU!
Thank you for all your support, and love, and everything. By the way, my IDL made it! 

Have a good week, and say hi to Grandma and Grandpa for me!

-Brigham
Elder White and Pineaple from Rurutu :) Our Investigator taught us how to cut pineaple

Our Ami, and Lobster and Mahimahi Head
The fish was HUGE! But it was a female, and much much smaller that the big ones that others catch.
It is of of the best fish ever. The taste is really rich, and it is a fatty fish. 
We only saw it after it'd been cut into three, and we had some of it fried. Good stuff ;D

The Zone of Papeete at Sr. Naylor's Goodbye Testimony Meeting

Me and Our Investigator's Cousin

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scattered Thoughts for Today

Hi family! 

This week has been a good one. Things are flying by, and I just cant believe it is Christmas. Really though. It is so weird thinking that it will be Christmas in like a week or so.

This week, I officially ate the biggest steak frite I have ever seen. Ever.  Attached should be a picture of it. Our Elder's quorum president took us there with our ami. That is the fine maa (food) here. If you want to eat out, it is always at a roulotte (van with grill inside). This one is know for having the biggest steak and fries. Oh boy. Don't worry. I did not eat it all in one sitting.... that would have been impossible.
Thanks for all of the support, and all the emails this week. I am so lucky to have a loving family, and a good bunch of friends and companions here.

This week, on Tuesday, we had a baptism (shout hooray)! It was a good service. This sister was so ready for her baptism. She'd had the lessons for about 6 years. She is one of the people who got married recently too (sent pictures I believe).

This weekend, we had the chance to see a concert given by the LDS regional choir. Wow. It was awesome. A lot of the government people (mayors and presidents) came to the concert at our chapel, and it was broadcast into the islands. The songs were really powerful, and I felt the spirit help me feel calm, and feel motivated to be a better missionary. I love music, and I really appreciate the spirit of church songs.
 
The guy just came to fix our laundry machine, and the center of employment closed so we needed to go to the office to finish emails :P

I was saying, we had a great missionary concert last night. WOW, it was powerful, and I felt the spirit as I listened to the songs. Every concert type situation, or devotional, or fireside, is like a little spiritual boost. I love meetings like those.

This evening, we will be doing an FHE with President, and some of the members who've come to the temple housing to get endowed or sealed this week, It is a pretty neat opportunity, and meeting the saints from the outer islands is pretty cool. Last week we drove, and met people from the Marqueese. They speak French, but prefer Marqueesian (like Tahitian, with some new words, and changes in the alphabet... :D) They have some cool testimonies to share, and plenty of neat conversion stories. It is a sacrifice for the members to descend to go to the temple. At least the temple is now in Tahiti, not in New Zealand.

Well my family, those are my scattered thoughts for today. I am doing well, and I am happy to be a missionary. I know that the church is true, and that we are an ETERNAL family. Pretty cool huh?!

This next week, will be a fun one, getting ready for some more smaller transfers, and getting some coordination time with President. He is a cool man, and I look up to him and Sr. Bize.

Have a good week my family! I'm excited to see your faces this Christmas :D 
Oh, and dad, have a fun fishing trip, and be careful! 

I LOVE YOU!

--Elder Larsen

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sounding the Conch and Kolipoki Comes to Church

Hi everyone!

So, I am writing, and it's Monday! Wooohooo! The transfer took lots of energy and time away, but now it's over (Whew!). Good to have the time to write P-day emails, on P-day. Hooray! Don't worry Dad, there are plenty of YAAFP's on the list.

This week has been really a whirlwind. I think I say that pretty often, but it is true. Monday, all we did was prepare for our new missionaries, and Tuesday and Wednesday were completely spent with them. I was THE driver taking them around in the big van from the temple, into town, and to the airport and etc. Fun to read your letter, Dad, and see that Elder Larsen has done that before me. I really, really enjoy being with the new missionaries too, and I will really miss that after my mission. I feel soo lucky to be a missionary, and I will miss it sooo bad. Good thing I don't have to think about that yet.

Oh, and Dad your weather observations were correct. It is RAINING.... It rained sooo hard this morning, but now its calmed a bit. I'm sending a pic of the parking lot outside of our house (and just out side of the employment center, where I'm doing our emails) right now.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were good days spent mostly teaching. Again, I am lucky and thrilled to have Elder White as my companion. He is such a good guy, and he is a good teacher. I enjoy being able to teach with him. This week we told the first vision to some investigators, and it was really noisy outside. I felt the Holy Ghost tell me that we needed to say it again, and I did. It was a good thing, because they didn't get it the first time. When we said it the second time, they were really interested in it, and they committed to pray about it. Then, we came back the next day, and as we talked with one of the sisters, she told us about how she had a dream that night. In her dream, she lived the first vision. She said she felt like she was in the forest, and that she saw it happen. She said she needs no other proof, and believes that it happened. WOW! Such a cool testimony experience.

This weekend, we had some fun dropping luggage and bikes and missionaries off too. We did the tour of the island two or three times this week. Whilst in Papeari (my old zone!) I took a picture with Elder Lee and Tago (the ZL's right now). They are awesome missionaries, and I really love them and their zone. Elder Lee let me try out his conch shell. It stunk sooo bad, but made a legit horn noise JUST like in the movies! NO WAY! Sending a picture of that  :D

Sunday we watched the broadcast. Bummed about the lack of President Monson speaking, but hey, it's not everyday we get to hear from Pres Eyring either... :P It was good.

At church guess who was there!? KOLIPOKI! President Groberg came to our chapel this Sunday. They are on vacation here. An older brother who was with him, is named Larry Larsen! Funny to see President Groberg and Larry Larsen in Tahiti! :D I should have taken a picture with them, but didn't want to bug them on Sunday. We chatted a bit between meetings. It was pretty neat.

Today has been a nice laid back P-day. The main event so far has been the laundry adventure. I took a nap, as my white shirts were in the dryer. I had a TON of laundry to wash, and have like no whites left. So I loaded up the washer with ALL my whites (like really, ALL of them), and then when they were done, I placed them in the dryer. I pushed go on the dryer at like 7 AM then after my nap, I checked it at 8:30. I opened the door and it was all wet.... :/ Like not dry at all.  Then, for the rest of this morning we've been trying to get the drying working :P Tried changing the gas tank, unplugging it, resetting it, and now a man will come by to check the pilot light. Woohoo! That's been the main event today, and it has been a nice break from the office though. My shirts are currently drying in one of the couples machines (they live next to the temple, about a block and a half away). Can't wait to have my white shirts (yes ALL of them) back, so I can go to the office. :P

That is about what the week has been. Again, thanks for all the mail, support, and love. I miss you all, but I know that I am WHERE I need to be, and that I would rather be no-where else. I LOVE my mission, and I am so thankful that I decided to serve. I always knew I'd go on a mission (since I was 3) but I am beginning to see why it is such a blessing. I am so blessed, and so happy to be a missionary. I love being around all the couples and other missionaries, and I am excited too for one day to go to my next sector. In the office I realize the importance of teaching, and the value it has. Being in the office is fun, but teaching is still the highlight. Feeling the Spirit's help is so rewarding, and we get to love the people. I am just happy, and lucky. Oh man, I am sooo glad I am here. Thanks for supporting me out here!

Have a good week my family!

Oh and PS, still coordinating the Skype call. I think it will be like last year, but I'll confirm. I think I know where we will go, but will let you know soon.

Oh, and PPS (now it's just getting ridiculous), I was wondering if you know anything about BYU housing and class deadlines. I have heard missionaries say that Fall housing schedules are opening as early as next month. Could you help me figure that out? If I need to use the computers to do any sort of school registration, it's not a problem, but I'd like you to help me if possible.

LOVE YOU!

-Brigham
The Zone in the Visitors Cente, with Elder Tarati of the Seventy

Elder Lee's Konch shell from Tubuai :D hehehhehe

At the Airport dropping off Elder Taylor's new companion (Elder Tripp)

The Parking Lot with Some Mild Rain

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Really, Really, Really Busy Day

Hello everyone!

Yes, I know it is late :/ Today has been a really really really busy day. We have 23 missionaries in the air right now, and in 8 hours or so, I'll be pick'n some of 'em up. (that was a grammatical disaster... sorry Mom). The program is now OFFICIALLY finished (good grief, it is for tomorrow....) and I sure hope it goes well :P

Next week's letter will be a good one. And yes Dad, maybe a postcard.

This week has been amazing. Really though. Heavenly Father has done so much for us in our area, and has helped Elder White and I get some good work done in the office. Transfers have been kinda super time consuming, as has been preparing for this new batch of missionaries. I am SO STOKED! I can not wait to see them. Like really though. I love meeting missionaries, and getting to interact with the new ones is pretty cool.

Today, we got up, and drove to Arue to get haircuts from my friend Elder Twede. He is from my MTC group, and did a great job on my hair. After haircuts, we went to the office to finish the program, we ran some errands in ville, and we picked up sister's bags from the docks, and drove them out to Mahina. I was on a split with my buddy Elder Sorenson. He is a great guy, and just started 3 months ago. He's been at our place with Elder Tumarae (ZL) while Elder Tumarae waits for his companion. Whilst together we laughed, and talked about the mission, and then I had an odd sensation. He asked, ''So like how long have you been out?" And I said, oh about 16 months...and it just hit me. Time has really really gone by so fast. I can not believe it has been 16 months. I remember being the guy who'd been out almost 12 weeks. I thought the other guys (out for 16 or 18 months) knew it all...... Wow.

These past two weeks have been filled with some special experiences. Sunday, all of the Pacific area was asked by the area Pres. (Elder Pearson) to spend the Sacrament meeting talking about the atonement. My bishop asked me to give a testimony just at the end, and I was really happy to. I felt so lucky, and I really really enjoyed the service. Weird, when you start liking to be on the program.....

In the area, there has been a crazy weird-named virus, the CHIKUNGUNYA or something like that. It's passed by skeeters, and just gives you a fever for a few days (only dangerous if your a little baby or a grandma.) It also makes old wounds, or bruises hurt again. Weird huh? Anyways, this virus has been the biggest gift from God to our sector, for the last few weeks. EVERYONE wants blessings, and EVERYONE who we've blessed has accepted to receive the message, because they felt something special. One man came to church all by himself (we didn't even invite  him... I know, right!) One family, we gave about 7 blessings, and got about 7 new investigators. It has been such a special experience too, and has helped me realized the POWER of the priesthood, when the bless-er and the bless-ee (:P) have FAITH. It has been so special, and I have seen miracles.

So, again, this week has been great. Super stressful, but great. I know that things will work out and that I am doing my best. Thank you sooo much for your support!

I am gonna finish up some last preparations for tomorrow, and then I think today is over. Thanks for everything. I love you my awesome family!

Brigham


A good friend of mine, who I saw the other day. He is a member from Hitiaa, who is coming to church again!
 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Just Know that I Love You and Am Doing Well

Hi everyone! This has been a crazy week, and I have really not too much time to write. :( Found about 20 minutes this morning to say hello.

Hello!

Monday we were taking care of the 12 finishing missionaries, and have been working on the transfer ever since. We've gotten 2 lessons taught this week so far, and have really been doing lots of organizing for the new missionaries, and did transfer calls yesterday all morning. I've been to the airport like 6 times in the last 4 days, and soon the new missionaries will be here. Gotta get all that organized.

Sorry I don't really have time to write a real e-mail about this week. I am SO thankful for all your letters and Emails! This was an awesome email week !! I LOVED the pictures Zephne, and Cherise!

Thanks for all your support and love. Sorry I couldn't write back to all the emails individually. Just know that I love you and that I am doing well.

Next p-day might be a bit tight on time too, but I will try and write a good e-mail. Having no p-day makes you realize how nice p-day is :P

I am sending some pics from this week.

Heavenly Father has been helping me out as the responsibility is getting bigger. Thanks for you prayers and your love. I LOVE YOU!!!

OH, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
 
Transfer last night

Our office missionary Elder Anderson at the BBQ for the missionaries' last meal

Transfer last night

Monday, November 24, 2014

Long Day, Short Message

Hey Mom & Dad! Long day. I will write tomorrow (or another weekday).

Sorry, for the delay : P

Love you!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Old Ship Zion

Hi all!

This week has been a good week.

So, I wrote a TON last week. I doubt I will write so much today. I have been WAY faster typing here than in my other sectors, and I am finally re-trained to use the QWERTY keyboard. I got used to the goofy French one, and then here, we do so much typing on English keyboards that I have lost the french keyboard ability.

Seeing as I have sent no physical letters for this last transfer, I will try and get one written to send soon. Sorry...

How are you all!? I am happy to hear from you! Thanks for being my family, and for supporting and helping me. I hope that you all pass a good Thanksgiving! (next week?) and that you have some good times together. I miss you, and the turkey, and clam chowder; but I know that I am doing good here, and that I will see you all in summer. I am enjoying the 80+ weather, and the beautiful green-ness here. It's like the garden of Eden. Seriously though.

This week started with some small conferences. We did half of the mission one day, and the other half the next day. Elder Taylor (not my companion, but an area medical missionary) came, and talked to the mission about stress management, and how to communicate positively. It was a great training, and we had the chance to meet him, and to have him come to our monthly leadership counsel, to talk about Christ-like leadership. It was a good meeting.

This week we also had some good meetings with President, and we were able to do a split with the zone leaders of Raiatea. It was cool. I was able to work with my old companion Elder Teihotu, and we actually had a good time. I was really happy that it was a positive experience, and that he enjoyed it too. I'll send a picture of that. The other guy in the picture is my buddy from the MTC, Elder Gouttin. He's from France.

Friday, we picked up Elder White, from Provo, to be my next companion. Elder Taylor, who's been in the office since like February, will be going to Takaroa (the Tuamotu's) this Tuesday, and now it'll be Elder White and myself holdin' the fort down. :P I will miss Elder Taylor, but I know that he will finish strong at Takaroa! He's got about 3 months left. I'll send a picture of us with Elder White. He is a great guy.

This weekend, we had a baptism (shout hooray!). Actually, we had two baptisms, and a marriage. Yeah. It was a loaded week for the ward, and to add on top of that, a member of our ward died, and we had the funeral Thursday. Friday was marriage number one, and Saturday was marriage two, with two baptisms afterwards. I am really blown away by the ward in which I serve. It's about half or two thirds of the size of the old Highland 3rd ward, but the members here magnify the calls, and do so much for each other, and for the missionary work. It is a FUNCTIONAL ward, and I love our bishop. I think this is probably the biggest ward in which I will ever serve.
 
The baptisms went well, and I confirmed the young man. It was a good service, and I even got to give a talk about the Holy Ghost at the service. While at the service, and later, while listening to another missionary concert the members sang, I thought about how lucky I am to be a member of the THE true church; the church of Jesus Christ. How cool is that!? Right!? I remember Elder Ballard's talk about staying in the ''old ship Zion'' and how important Brigham Young said it is to STAY in the boat. I never want to leave the old ship Zion, and I can't stop thinking about how good the old ship Zion has been to me. Oh how lucky we are to be in THE true church, to have all the never ending blessings that are found within. How lucky I am to have a family centered on Jesus and His teachings, to have a group of kind Christian people with whom to worship, to have been taught by kind volunteer teachers at the Sunday school, to have studied with President Campbell at the seminary building, to have been called on a mission, and to be able to help others find joy and make it back to Father. I will never leave this old ship Zion.

Thanks Mom and Dad for all that you do! I love you, and I look up to you! This was a good week. Your son is doing fine, and he loves you! Thank you for all your prayers, your love, and your help. I hope and pray that you are well, and that Heavenly Father will keep looking out for you! I love you!

Brigham
Elder Teihotu, Gouttin and I at the airport. They flew in to come to our leadership meeting.

Elder White's first Sunday night call-in report.

The Baptism

One of the marriages. The town hall here is REALY NICE! it is one of the cleanest, coolest buildings I've seen here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Could Not Be in a Better Place

Hi everyone! Early emails this week.

Thanks for all the mail, and emails :D. I really am spoiled with all the letters you send. Thanks bunches :D

I am doing well, and I am happy. I could not be in a better place right now, and I know that my mission has been the best thing for me so far. I am sooo happy to be a missionary!

This week has been great. So, before my mission, and earlier in my mission, I always saw the week updates that missionaries sent home, and I thought the format was weird. This day I did XYZ, Tuesday XYZ, and so on for the week. But now, I get it 100%.... If the day -by-day thing bothers you, please lemme know, and I will try and write differently.

Here are some experiences from this week:

Monday, after writing you all, we got to go to the chapel I served at in Heiri, and play soccer, and basketball with the elders in the zone. I got to talk to elder Christensen, elder Randal, and some other mission friends. It was great, and my old companion E Christensen and I got to talk about the old sector, and about Hitiaa (my last sector, where he served about a year ago). Elder Christensen will finish here in just a few weeks, :/ and I will miss the guy. He has been a great friend, and was an excellent companion during a time of learning on my mission. It is weird seeing all my buddies finish. Elder Clark will finish with him too. I love those guys. Monday night, we had a FHE with a member family. The husband is a highcouncilman, and his wife is our ward's primary president.

Tuesday we had several meetings the morning, then we were able to do some work in the sector later. Same with Wednesday. We taught one lesson Wednesday that was soooo different. We taught a woman who is from Raivavae (an island in the Australes, south of Tahiti near Tubuai where E Pratt first arrived) On the island of Raivavae, normal Tahitian isn't really spoken. The dialect there is pretty much Tahitian, but instead of R's they say G's..... it is so weird. Normal Tahitian does not have any G sound, but their crazy island dialect has no R's. So, for example: RAI-VA-VAE (ray va vay) becomes GAI-VA-VAE (gay va vay) trying not to laugh.... the verb 'To speak' - PARAU, become PAGAU (pah gauh) and 'thank you' - MAURURU (mau - roo-roo) becomes MAUGUGU (mah goo goo) :P
The lady speaks french (but prefers Gay va vay) and she gets Tahitian. 

 So I am struggling to comprehend anything being said, and on top of it, MUSIC

We taught the lesson in front of her house, and her neighbor began BOOMING crazy dub step rap, trash music. It was so loud. Like more loud than the theater speakers. SO LOUD. It was straight up LOUD.

And then it starts raining.

I got almost nothing during the beginning of the lesson, and while I was thinking about how much we should find another spot to teach, my companion was teaching like a champ. We asked the guy to turn it down, and he wouldn't, and so we just kept teaching. It turns out that the spirit came, my companion taught really well, and the woman had some questions answered. Wow. Really a funny, crazy lesson, and leaving it I was just speechless. It was cGazy, Gight? It's Geally diffeGent tGying to undeGstand, let alone talk without the letteG R, i mean G.... :P
 
Heavenly father looks out for us, and I sure felt happy that we kept teaching. I will never forget that lesson.

Thursday morning, we got to do a service project, and paint for our Primary president's family. It was a great project, with the Zone leaders who live with us, (elder Jessop and elder Tumarae). After the project, we had crepes, and we had pancakes! :D We spent the rest of the day with president. The morning we did some study with him and then for about 5 or 6 hours, we worked on the transfer. Sister Bize made BURRITOS!!! :D
 
Thursday night, we got to do a Family Night with some of our investigators

Wednesday, we found out that Elder Pearson, who was coming down for the Stake Conference of Papeete, had a few hours free, and wanted to talk to the missionaries. So, we organized a quick mission conference Friday morning, and we got to hear him talk for 2 hours! He talked about the holy ghost, and it was really amazing. It's the 3rd time I have gotten to see him in the mission, and every time I learn more and more. We're pretty lucky in the mission that everyone can be gathered within an hour or so (except the companionships in the islands, who watch by Internet), and we can do these types of conferences. It has really been a treat.

Saturday, we got to hear him again during the night sessions of Stake Conference. Elder Taylor and I got to go with President, and the talks that night were great. President even gave a talk, and it was awesome. He had the whole crowd laughing, and had all of their attention. He really is a great speaker, and has the honor and respect of the members and missionaries here. He reminds me of Dad when he gives talks. Very enthusiastic, and makes good points.

Sunday was another session of conference, and they we had the chance to have a dinner with President, and Elder and Sister Taylor of NZ (not to be confused with my companion Elder Taylor) They came down to talk about the health of missionaries in the mission. They have a special call, and tour the pacific area, and E Taylor is in charge of the mental health of missionaries. He is here to talk about stress, and will give some presentations in the next few days. Right after their plane got here, we took them to a concert! The stakes here, under the direction of Elder Tarati (our local 70), are doing a missionary choir. The members are singing a concert, with the purpose of inviting investigators and non members, and then inviting them to come to church, and take lessons. It was an amazing concert, and holly cow, they sang sooo well. It was almost professional, with all the best singers from Tahiti, and some really special arraignments. I love music, and being able to hear it was just like a spiritual re-charge for me. And, lucky me, I will be able to go again, seeing as my companion's testimony is on the program :D

I'll send a pic of the concert, and dinner last night.

I'm going to send some pictures now, and then I will write a bit more later if I have time.

Anyways, that is a large summary of this week. I hope you liked the Gay va vay story :P I sure did

Have a good week all, and thanks for the support. I look up to you, and I am proud of you, my family. We have an ETERNAL unit! We are an Eternal Family! MANUIA! (success!)

I love you!
Have a good week!

-Brigham
 
B-Ball Last P-Day

Service Project Thursday

Our ward's youth, at Stake Conference :D

Us at the concert last night

Dinner Last night :D Sister Warner (the mission nurse) made BBQ chicken and POTATOES!! Also in the picture are President and Sister TEFAN (Temple President!) I got to sit next to them and talk with President Tefan. They are great people :D

Monday, November 3, 2014

This Week Has Been a Whirlwind

This week has been a whirlwind. Things are going by really fast.

Tuesday was a very special day. My old WML from Vairao, who was baptized by my companion, Elder Taylor a few months before, went to the temple! We got to accompany him and his wife, and elder Taylor was his escort :) It was a cool day, and we were there for their own endowments, and for their sealing. It was the first sealing I have ever seen, and I really thought it was a simple, beautiful ordinance. In the temple, I think I was the most awake and captive of the teachings, that I have ever been in my life, except for maybe the first time. I really appreciated the chance to go, and I really remembered why I love the temple. I felt a strong feeling of closeness to my Heavenly Father, and I had images in my mind of leaving the pre-earth life. How important Christ's role is for us, and our Father had HUGE trust in Him and in us. He trusted Him because all the people he was sending down, to forget, would be completely lost without him, and he trusts us to find his son, and to use his Atonement to get back. I thought about the conversations we had as I left for my mission, and I think about the conversations we must have had with Father, right before leaving his presence. It was just a special trip to the temple. And it was a tender mercy, that before Mom had her scope, I got to put her name in the temple :)

Wednesday, Elder Taylor and I taught some lessons, then we did a split with the Zone Leaders of PAEA. I was with elder White, from Provo, and Elder Taylor was with his companion. E White is a super great missionary, and I had a good time with him. We had a ward missionary coordination meeting, and we did some lessons together. Wednesday night, we made what has to be the highest cholesterol meal I have ever made. Spaghetti and sauce, but with TONS of cheese in the sauce. It turned out really yummy, like a hot, sticky, noodlely lasagna. It was really good. Elder White and I had fun, and in meeting him more, I found out he loves fishing and hunting too. Had a good time, and learned from him.

Thursday, we ended the split so that Elder Taylor and I could have a meeting with president. It was a good meeting, and we had dinner with them. President whipped up some crepes, and we had crepes and jam. We were all surprised by the quality of the crepes, including sr Bize, and we chuckled a bit about that. President has such a dynamic personality, and makes people laugh so easily. I am so lucky to learn from them, and spend so much time with them. They are such good people.

Friday, was Halloween. :P We had the coolest zone meeting ever. My companion gave a training, involving a blindfold, a maze of chairs in the RS room, and pin the tail on the donkey. It was a great object lesson, and we had lots of fun, and then all felt the spirit and were all involved as the spiritual part was shared. We had a great day of lessons, and doing office chores. Then at the end of the day, we ate with a member family, and had McD's pumpkin pies for dessert....! :D That was a great surprise. :P One of the perks about being in the city.

Saturday we had a baptism, a young woman in our ward, and a young boy. The parents of the boy were re-activated, so that his dad could baptize him. It was really a sweet ceremony.

Sunday, we picked President up from the airport, and did some lessons, before going to the temple garden concert (it rained so the moved the concert into our chapel). We had a good day.

That's about all for this week. I will send a few pictures. In all, it was a great week, and I am very happy to be here. I will miss being a missionary, and I will miss Tahiti. Good thing I still have 9 months here! Gotta use EVERY minute of it, like Elder Gifford told us in his meetings.

I love you so much!!! Thanks for everything, and have a good week my family! I'm gonna go talk at a baptism next door, in the ward of Papeete 2. I love you guys!!!!

Brigham
Zone Conference

One of Our Baptisms

Our Vairao WML and his wife at the temple right before they got their ordinances. I really liked the light behind the temple. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

This Week Was a Great Week

This week was a great week.

Monday and Tuesday, like I said last week, were with Elder Nielsen; and Wednesday we got to have lots of time in our sector.

Thursday and Friday were filled with office tasks, and lessons, and a nice meeting with President. We have had some awesome miracles this week, and have had a lot of investigators changing. Two marriages fixed in this last week, and three or four baptisms. Woohoo!

Saturday, we got up to take an Elder to the doctors (he's been stuffed up for a while now) and we went with the senior couple Warner. Sister Warner takes care of the health in the mission, and Elder Warner is in charge of the visitors center here. It was really fun to be with them, and they surprised me and took us to get pizza at a place in Papeete :D  I told pretty much no-one that it was my b-day, but lots of missionaries found out anyways :P

The Warners are like foster Grandparents, and talking with them reminded me of you, and was a special birthday treat. Saturday night we had TACOs! A family here made them (it is like the LEAST likely thing to find in Polynesia) without knowing it was my B-Day; that was a special treat too! In all it was just a fun, happy B-day, and I really enjoyed it. We had some good lessons too!

Sunday, we had a fireside concert with songs and a little program all about the plan of salvation. A lot of people (non-members and members) came, and I really loved the songs. Not all of them were hymns, and it was just nice and well done.

I am getting a headache, I've been looking at the screen for a while, and I think I will send you some pictures in stead of typing too much more. I'm having a rough time typing, but don't worry about me, I am fine. Sorry if today's email is a bit short

This morning we played Beach soccer! It was loads of fun, and the whole zone came. We even got the couple Teinauri to come (senior proselyting couple from here). I'll send a pic or two from that.

Thanks for all your support and love! I love you guys sooo much! Thanks for being my family, and for praying for me, for supporting me, and for helping me. I had a great week, and I have only 9 months left. :/ It has been flying by, and I am just so happy to be here. I hope I am doing all I can, and that my best is good enough.

HAVE a good week!
I love you all!

Brigham
Zone activity :D

Our new convert and his son. Great people :D

Cranes at the huge Papeete marina. It is really cool (I feel like a little boy looking at them).

The Evansons, a couple who just came here to work a 6 month temple mission. He (Elder Evanson) has been a mission president, a temple pres, couples mission in the CONGO, and lots of other cool service opportunities. Should be a great help to the temple. We got to meet them Saturday.

A photo of a ferry to Moorea (80X zoom :P)

B-day cupcakes for our monthly zone reunion (Sr Naylor and Martin made them. They are our STLs, and Sr Naylor was in my district au MTC) It was Sr Kuhn's b-day, sr Tetua's b-day, and mine in the same week.

Beach Soccer :D

A Picture of Today.  LOVELY park.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Elder Nielsen Visit

This has been an adventure!

Thanks for the patience on the day late emails... :P It was for good reason though! We have been with Elder Nielsen, and have had so many amazing opportunities this week.

Friday, we met Elder Nielsen, and that morning we took him and President, and their wives to a small press conference. There were two reporters, and the church public affairs group, so it was pretty simple. It was in the stake center next to our house ( in the same parking lot) and I was really impressed by Elder Nielsen's humility, but respectful boldness. He is a big guy, and makes quite an impression next to the shorter Polynesian people. During the simple conference he had E Taylor and I answer a few questions (O_O) It was fun.

Then, this weekend, he went to the island of Tubuai, and got back Sunday. Sunday night we were with him, and some missionaries that finish, and the couples missionaries. He had a Q&A session with all present, and it was SO COOL to hear his testimony, and to hear his amazing experiences with the Prophet, and the other brethren. His testimony is very powerful.

Then, Monday, we had some conferences. A big, multi-zone conference the morning, and then in the evening we had a FHE/Leadership counsel (with all the ZL's and DL's, and STL's). I conducted that meeting (nervous...) and it went pretty well. Elder Taylor was really nice, and knowing it was my first conducting (like ever) he ran me through everything and helped me get ready. I am lucky to have a good companion like him :D

After that meeting, Elder Taylor and I got to eat with E Nielsen. A lovely French soup, with bread and salad. It was a really good, simple meal, and during the meal we discussed with elder Nielsen, about the mission, and how things are going. It was cool, and I was really impressed by how much he listens, and values the opinions of others. He's not here to lecture, or to read us the rules, but to listen to us and to give us direct help, and teach according to the needs of the missionaries. He is a very good leader. It was awesome.

Today, we had a second multi-zone conf (with the other half of the missionaries here on the main island). I got to see a lot of my buddies, like Elder Squiers, Elder Millett, Elder White, and some other missionaries you don't know. I was fun, and the trainings were good a second time over. I felt lucky being in two times the meetings with him, and getting to hear the differences in the meetings as he followed the Spirit to adjust the teachings. Same with Sister Wendy. She is really nice too, and has the funnest attitude. She teaches well too.

That's what the weekend has been like. I forgot that the beginning of this week we did a major transfer... Feels like that ways a WHILE ago. Things go really fast, but looking back we have been getting more done in days, than I probably would have expected in a weeks. Elder Taylor is someone who ACTS, and doesn't quit or run outta gas. It has been a nice chance to serve with him. Driving the Toyota Hiace has been an other adventure too. Skinny little Tahiti roads, and the awkward van. Its fun though :P

I'm gonna send some pictures.
Me, Elder Welegtabit from Vanuatu and Elder Peterson. They are awesome people. Elder W's first time at McD's..... :D

Taken last night. Elder Nielsen is a big man, and I am actually about as tall as him, it's just that his shoulder is over mine, took the top arm. Either way, he is a spiritual giant. Such a cool chance I have had.
Anyways, that is about it for this week. I know that the church is true, and I am thrilled to be here and to know I am where the Lord wants me to be. I really have been thinking more and more about that, and about how lucky we as missionaries are, to have that assurance. I need to stick with the Holy Ghost after my mission, and always try and be where and what the Lord wants me to be. I am just happy knowing that the Lord wants me as a missionary in Tahiti, right now. I find great satisfaction, and happiness in that. As I look back on the different parts of my mission so far, I am just THRILLED to be here.

Again, I love you!

Have a good week!

Brigham

Monday, October 13, 2014

Photo Essay

Gonna send some photos first to describe today, and this week, then write more after photos.

Elder Petis's group from the MTC, left today. They served their two years, and so we had their release meeting at the mission home today. I am so happy that Elder Petis will always be a good friend. A very nice man!

Today, I HAD TACOS!!! Sister Clawson made the Tacos, and real home-made enchiladas.... SOOOO goood. First real Mexican food in a while :P

A Deacon in our ward.

This weekend we had a baptism! Shout hooray! (to the tune of you've had a Birthday, hehehehe)
Actually we had 3.... coolest service I've ever seen! 
The young man is L___, the old one is the man who got married and his wife was baptized a few weeks ago, and the middle aged one is V___. He is an awesome guy too. They have all changed tons, and I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! The service was really powerful, with three baptisms, the Papeete region (all of Tahiti's) LDS choir, and President and Sr. Bize

Also this Saturday, we had a YM YW missionary day! We did surveys (door to door survey approaches) withe the young men, and the sisters did with the young women. It was awesome. We got about 50 names, and 30 people accepted to receive a visit. It was pretty awesome. Fun to go on a split with a deacon and the YM President (he is the one right next to me)

During the week this week, we showed President the houses of missionaries all over the island, We had hamburgers and fries a few time this week.

The burgers were at a place called Beach Burger. Elder Clark and I drove by it all the time, thinking how cool it'd be to stop there. We went with President, and it wasn't that bad, but the burger was cooked on the grill with fish i think, Makes for an interesting after taste.

There's the Photo essay of this week.

Things went well. I am doing well, and I am happy to be a missionary. I'm still learning what it's like to be a missionary, and I am still making mistakes, and progress. In doing the work I am finding joy.

This week we spent lots of time with President. I really look up to him and Sister Bize. Fun people, who are strong strong strong, in the Gospel.

This week for my studies, I read the whole book of Philippians. Super good book, letter by the Apostle Paul. The more I read the epistles, the more I feel the value of my covenants. Not sure if that makes a lot of sense, but it does for me. There's a talk by D Todd Christofferson, which I'm gonna study some more this week called the Power of Covenants ( https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/the-power-of-covenants?lang=eng ) When I read the epistles, I think of the quote in his talk "Make you covenants paramount''. For these apostles, their covenants were paramount, BUT I am convinced that the importance of covenants was de-highlighted by the translations of the Bible. It doesn't come straight out, but in reading the New Testament, several times I have felt this. I am soo happy to have made holy covenants, and feel the same confidence as the apostles who said they were soldiers for Christ (2 Tim 2:3) I really love the book of Philippians.

We'll that is about all for this week.

I love you my family!!!

Brigham

PS, thanks for the mail, and all the support, I LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Nothing Is Better Than This Mission Right Now

Hi!

This week was a good week.

This week, we finished all our zone conferences, woohoo! Now we can be in the sector a bit more, and we have the time to prepare for the transfers here in the mission. We've been working with President on them, but have not yet finished. It's a lot different, seeing how it happens, and seeing to what extent that President really knows ALL the missionaries, and is doing his very best to understand where they should go, and who they can become, It is a pretty cool process, and I just feel lucky to participate.

Monday, we had an awesome experience going to the hospital, and giving some blessings. Elder Taylor and I took elder Jessop, and elder Tumarae (Papeete's ZLs, who live with us), to the hospital so we could give several blessings. I took elder Tumarae, and we had just a name to go visit; it was someone from Sister Naylor's old ward in Raiataia, and she told us that he'd come to the hospital, but had no idea where he was at, or in what state. We showed up to the front desk hoping to find the receptionist, but it turns out they leave at like 5. So elder Tumarae and I poked arround the hospital a bit  looking for a receptionist or nurse, and eventually wound up talking to a nurse who took us to his room. We were 'lucky' (blessed by the spirit) enough to have found the guy, and then he was super touched by the blessing. It was a really cool experience for me, that the spirit took us to him, and that he wanted the blessing badly. He'd received a large operation, and had lots of recuperation to do.

Tuesday was mostly spent in the office, and prepping for the transfers. Wednesday and Thursday were the final two zone conferences. They went well, and our formation ( I think one says Training in english) was well received. We had talked about the sacred nature of our call, we made copies of everyone's call letter then cited it as scripture. It was a good formation, and it helped me and elder Taylor at least, remember our calls.

Friday we had lessons, and our weekly zone meeting. It was a great day, and we had a marriage of two of our new converts. They separated before their baptisms yeah, SEPARATED (instead of married), and then prepared to be married, responsible people. It was cool, because they are much happier now, and they really showed their level of conversion and faith in obeying the laws and sincerely repenting, not just marring so they could be baptized. Any ways, it was a great marriage, and they looked really happy. Made me think of Cherise! Getting SEALED! so cool!

Saturday and Sunday, general conference was AWESOME! It is pretty much like Christmas for missionaries. Seriously though, we were all stoked, and seeing it in English was nice too. I got a cold I think, and have been stuffy, and a bit groggy since the Sunday morning session, but I shall be fine.
During conference I felt the spirit very strongly, and just realized more and more how happy I am to be a missionary, and a member of the church. I know the church is true, and am a happy, member!

We got to watch Priesthood with President Bize. We took him to our stake center so he could see it (net crashed at his house), and afterwards we ate with him and Sister Bize. It has been fun to get to know them, and learn from and love them and their examples. They are such very nice people.

So, that is one charged day to day report of the week. :P I am tired after our fun zone activity today, but happy to write you guys! I love you all so very much and I cant wait to see you again, but I know I will. Its now been 1 year in Tahiti (as of tomorrow.... yikes) and on the 24th, I will have been out for 15 months. I think you have no idea how fast things are going. I can not believe this. I am happy to be here, and the more settled in I feel, or the more used to missionary work I get, the faster it happens. I am just happy to serve, and I hope that meaningful, and lasting fruits will come from our labors. I feel so very blessed, and can not imagine a better thing to do. Even though hunting or fishing or disc golf or dirt biking sounds sooo fun, I realize that NOTHING is better than this mission right now. I am exactly where heavenly Father wants me right now, and I have the assurance that if I do my best, I am in the green. If I put in my all, no matter how much or little my all equals, I will come out on top, and beyond that, Heavenly Father will bless you guys, and me, and people in Tahiti. This really is just the coolest thing, ever. I feel so lucky, and so blessed. I am very happy, and doing well. Again, I love you SOOO MUCH, and I think of you, and pray for you all daily. Thanks for the mail and prayers too :D

Have a good week, and thanks for everything. I love you!

Brigham

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Letter from the Mission Office

[Dated August 18, Received October 4]

August 18, 2014


Dear Brother and Sister Larsen;

It was our pleasure to have recently been introduced to Elder Larsen. We are happy to be here in the Tahiti Papeete Mission with your missionary and look forward to serving with him in hastening the work of the Savior in this part of the world. The experiences that your son will have while serving here in Tahiti will bless him throughout the rest of his life and we are grateful to be a part of this work. Please be assured that we will love him as though he were our own. May the Lord bless you and your family in the support of your son.

We have enclosed a photo that was taken at our first meeting with the missionaries.

Sincerely,
President Pierre Francois
Bize Sister Brigitte Bize
Tahiti Papeete Mission

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Return Visit to Vairao

Hi all!

This week was a good one. We had some more zone conferences, and we had a split at the end of the week, I got to go to Vairao again! I saw some of my good friends there, and got to teach some of the new investigators too. Elder Millet and Elder Ball currently serve there, and I got to stay with Elder Millet while Elder Taylor and Elder Ball were in ville. It was just a good experience for me, and I really enjoyed being with Elder Millet too. He is awesome, and he and Elder Ball are doing a lot of good work on the almost island (Presqu'isle). SO, this week, I am sending some pictures from the split with elder Millet. I love the scenic beauty on that part of Tahiti. I miss seeing the sunsets on the ocean, but I love seeing the temple everyday. That is such a cool thing about my sector.

So, how are you all? Good to hear about your being back from Europe. Flying has got to get old I imagine. The eight hours coming here were enough for me, and I don't look forward to getting back on a plane. My femurs weren't made for it. :P I think Dad, you have it worse though. I am excited to see General Conference, and its fun to think that you will be watching it too, and at the same time as me! It feels like I just got done watching it with elder Clark in the Papeari stake center. I only have one more conference after this one, as a missionary. Then maybe I'll see the one after that with you guys, in PJ's!

This week coming we are gonna finish the zone conferences, and then I bet we're gonna get ready for transfers. A big group of local missionaries finishes soon, and it will displace a ton of missionaries. Should be fun! As far as today goes, I think I am going to take a nap, and I hope a haircut. It's getting kinda long. Cant wait for the short buzzed feel. I love having short hair, and cant imagine having long hair here in the pacific climate. It feels like every week, I just told you about getting a hair cut. Things are going way too fast.

Congratulations in advance to Cherise and Brandon! I am happy for you guys! Have a good wedding, and good luck with everything! I love you, and whether or not there is a cardboard cut-out of me, know that I wish I could be there. Freeze a piece of cake for me! :P And send me some pics!

This is about all for this week. It was a good week, and I am happy to be here. I love you all SO MUCH, and thank you for your support. Have a good week, and happy Birthday, happy Wedding, and happy General Conference!  I love you all!

Brigham

Oh, and PS, Mom and Dad, have you had Roquefort cheese in your Europe travels? I just thought of that, and realized you guys have access to THE BEST cheeses in France and Belgium. I love trying cheeses here, and will miss that in the states. Next time you guys go to Europe, try a sandwich with sauce Roquefort. SOOO good. Its a strong blue cheese.

Me and [a previous] investigator and her son. I got to see them this week, and it was super cool to see how she's progressed.
With Elder Millet