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!

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!

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! 


--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.


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!


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