Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 8 in the MTC... One more week to go!!

Ola Familia!! Time is flying and im ready to bounce to Teresina! Crazy its the last P Day in the CTM!
Thurs- My Portugues is really taking another step forward! Its so fun to talk to Brazilians now, rather than stressing so much before! My prayers and just speaking period are so much more fluid! We had a great street contact practice here in the morning with new missionaries, so funny how they think we are completely fluent! Ive been reading in Alma lately and the later parts where the nephites and lamanites are in battle is my favorite. Not only are the battles themselves interesting, but the testimonies of the Nephites that were willing to put everything on the line to protect their religion, freedom and families from such ferocious people like the Lamanites.
fri- My first contacts with people are definitely my strongest point right now! I love to small talk and just get to know them. Its fun trying to find ways that the book of mormon can relate to peoples lives. I love the work im doing here. Ive been blessed with patience so much in my learning and everything else.
sat- Im so grateful for the way ive been progressing as a missionary this week. I know i couldnt gain this kind of knowledge anywhere else. Our professor, Irmao Zamignani, made a promise to us that we would make us homemade peanut butter a few weeks ago and he finally brought it to class! We bought bread and honey and had a feast! It tasted like i kissed an angel! actually, anything thats not beans and rice is wonderful! My organization has improved so much as a missionary! I hope i can carry it with my after my mission.
sun - The speaker was so great tonight at devotional. He really just fired us all up like we were in a pep rally! He stressed how we can be better companions and walk the extra mile to be a better missionary. When we are in the service of our fellow men, we are only in the service of our God. I had to teach our district meeting today as well. Its always just the elders in our district, but President Sugiyama and his wife sat in today on it so that was a tad nerve racking! haha! It went great though, he pat me on the back afterward.
mon - Proselyting Day!! It was so awesome! We gave out 5 Books of Mormon in 3 hours! We also ran into the guy, William, that we gave a book of mormon to a few p days ago! Hes been reading and enjoys the it! We ran into a 40ish year old guy today tooand he was really interested! He was about to get on his motorcycle but we stopped him and talked for like 30 mins! I was able to quote James 1 v. 5 in Portugues to him as well without a stutter! Another cool one was a guy named Alexi thats 20. He was sitting outside of his house texting so he just started chatting up with him and he went and pulled a book of mormon out and we read it with him and explained and cleared up a lot of things. Another cool guy, Michael, is 18 and we started just walking and teaching him! When we finally got to his destination, he stopped and let us talk for a while and he seemed genuinely excited to read the book of mormon! They love hearing about us in our personal lives too! I was able to talk to a guy at a car wash too and told him that i used to work at one as well. It really broke the ice for us and we gave him a book of mormon! It wasnt all golden. We ran into a few transvestites and toothless people along the way as well.. they werent the friendliest. The last one was the best though. It was a little 9 yr old named Leonardo! He was walking his little chocolate lab so we just chatted it up with him and told him to share a book of mormon with his mom and he was really excited about it! Especially when i mentioned the wars and such hahah!
tues- Well we all learned not to judge people today! We had a different instructor teach us today that none of us liked, but by the end of the lesson he was our best friend and ended up giving us a ton of great advice and knowledge! Elder Allen, Miller, Farr, and i all sang in a choir of about 10 tonight for devotional! It was a great idea to do it. We did so well! I guess Shilo didnt get his visa, i havent seen him here today so i guess he is in provo! Last thing, If you want to read a good story in the book of mormon, read helaman chap 9! Love it! P.s. Every Brazilian says they already have book of mormon when you introduce it, ive learned not to fall for their lies! hahah!
Love yall!!
- Elder Larsen

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 7 in the MTC... 2 more weeks to go!

E Aí Família!! Had a really productive week at the CTM!!
Thurs - We got new brazilian roomates today, Elder De Oliveira of Campinas and Elder Moreira of Porto Alegre! Theyre 20 and 25 and rock solid, plus theyre both black which means we are automatically friends! They were both converted to the church just a year ago too! They speak SO SO fast though, but the one knows some english to help us! Ive been doing a lot of scipture tabbing this week too and it has helped me in lessons so much! Elder Miller drew some caricatures of our whole district today too! They are all DEAD ON. I will send a picture of it soon! I dont want to waste money sending pictures right now because i will be in the field in LESS THAN 2 WEEKS!! We talked to some Brazilian sisters today from Recife too and they make all of their own clothes! Crazy! they said they would make us ties!
Fri - We were investigators again for TRC but 2 week missionaries taught us! It was so funny because you can just say whatever to them and they will just nod and laugh! I was like, man my farts smell so you agree? And they nodded their heads hahah! Its crazy how far we have come thoough and that we were the same way!
Sat - BOM DIA! Had workshop today and taught lessons in groups of 10 missionaries. It was in english was SO odd! I mean, speaking normal conversations in english is fine, but teaching in it was HARD! All we have done is taught in portugues! Ive really gotten better at asking meaningful questions that open the investigator up a lot though. It is so fun to be able to talk to new brazilians here every day! I dont think ive met one who has their whole family in the church and most of the time theyre the only member!
sun - Spiritual boost day! Elder Steadman of the presidency here gave a great talk on obedience. He related the story of Naaman in the Bible. He had leprosy and walked many miles to see the profet Elijah to be healed. He was just told that he should wash himself in the Jordan River 7 times. At first, he was like, What the heck?! I walked this far to hear this, but went and washed 7 times and was healed! Perfect obedience brings about blessings, not 70 percent or 80 percent.
mon - Ive been busting my butt studying this week! I didnt do that great in our morning discussion, so i said a prayer and did SO much better in our later one. I started to rely too much on my own knowledge and not the spirit. All of our knowledge and gain comes from God. The glory isnt for us, but for Him. Ive learned that being humble is a sign of strength, not weakness.
tues - Its crazy how i have doubts about the language and then something pops up where im able to use it! for example, i was talking to Elder Allen saying how hard it will be to understand people in the field! Right after i said that, some Brazilians came into our room and we talked to them for like an hour like no big deal! Heavenly Father knows our thoughts and intentions and helps us when we are humbled!
Ok, now a quick story from the week:
Me and Elder Winn went on splits to the bathroom one day. I always make the voice of this one instructor here, Irmão Peçaña. He has this deep, slow voice and i have it so dead on. Anyways, we were in different stalls and he walks out first and starts knocking on the stall and sticking his feet under the door of another stall thinking it is me. He thought i replied to him in a Peçaña voice, ELDER THIS IS NOT A JOKE. DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS? He was like, youre really funny elder larsen. A second later, i walk out of a different stall, and hes like OH MAN THATS REALLY PEÇANA and just books it outta there hahaha! It would be so much funnier if you knew Irmao Peçaña.
Haha! A mission is making me the person i want to be and sharing the gospel brings happiness that words cant describe! Thank you mom and dad for raising me to be worthy to be here. Thanks everyone for your letters and all too! They make my week! Time is flying so fast! especially this 30 mins to email! Haha! Gotta go!
Eu Amo Vocês!
- Elder Larsen

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Week 6 in the MTC...

Hey Y'all!! I'm still alive! Here's how the week went!
thurs - not a ton happened today. We taught a fake discussion to Elder Farr. He gave us a good situation of him being an investigator who got offended by someone in the ward. It was tough at first, but answered well!
fri - We thought something crazy was going on here this week because the whole MTC was getting crazy cleaned more than it ever has! Like, they were cleaning the crevices on the ground with toothbrushes, but we found out it was just for mission conference. We all thought a general authority from Salt lake was coming or something hahaha! Days are getting so repetitive here now, i cant wait for something new every day!
sat - We were investigators for TRC today! It was fun. I was the main investigator and i had 4 friends with me. I told him my name was Fernando and so they asked what everyone elses names were and Elder Searles says his name is Fernando too because he wasnt paying attention! haha! I was like, Feshe sua boca! Eu sou Fernando! Não você! hahah! we practiced street contacting at night during workshop! It was a lot of fun! I was companions with Elder Reams from Fairmont, WV! I just went off saying whatever i wanted when we taught! You realize how much you know when a younger elder teaches with you because theyre just like, WHOA.. haha! I felt so confident after that though, i needed it!
sun - We had fast and testimony meeting today and it was so awesome. The spirit was just there. I bore my testimony on how grateful i am that my grandparents joined the church and that missionaries like us can affect just one family and their posterity eventually like the missionaries who taught papa gary and grandma sue! We had mission conference as well which was really cool! The concluding speaker was Pres Aroujo. Such a cool guy. The biggest Brazilian youll ever meet and hes the type of guy that just slaps you on the back and just grabs your shoulder like a grizzly bear when he talks to you hahaha! He told a self experience of his that was used in a general conference talk before! He was a member when he was a boy, but went inactive when he became good at surfing in his later teens because competitions were on sundays. His priesthood leader would always come to his house in the morning to pick him up for church before he could go surf. He would always complain, but his leader would be like, Well thats nice, you can tell me about it on the way to church ahhah! One day pres aroujo woke up at like 5 in the morning and got to the beach and thought he was safe! Then he saw his priesthood leader off in the distance from the water.. He quickly dove under water and when he popped up for air his leader called his name, but he ignored it! The third time he popped up for air, he didnt see or hear him so he started walking up to shore, then he felt a hand on his shoulder.. His leader was in all of his church clothes and was like, you ready for Church? hahaha! He said he was so grateful for his leaders example and was able to go on a mission because of him haha!
mon- We decided to write down our goals for every study session now and it has made a huge difference. When you have a clear cut goal, it is so much easier to accomplish! I was able to talk to some new brazilians today in the laundry room just by myself and i caught myself just rambling on with them without even thinking about it! It was so cool haha! Elder Allen and I schooled some big jock guys in basketball today too. Jacobo would be proud of my outside shot.
tues - Elder Allen and i taught elder acosta today in a fake discussion. It was really good because all 3 of us speak pretty good português! We had a district arm wrestling tournament today too! Irmão Zamignani, the little ginge professor, was the only one that could beat me! Hes a little tiny squat, but strong somehow! I was reading in Alma today and it is crazy to think how King Lamoni and his father were converted unto Christ. They were wicked as wicked could be, but through Ammons submissiveness and love to the Lord, he was given the power to soften their hearts. Nobody is too far away from receiving the truth and fulness of the gospel! A heart can be changed, no matter who it is! Our district performed Que Firme Alicerce (How Firm a Foundation) for devotional tonight and nailed it! Everyone told us we did so good and a sister told us she wanted to hug us, but couldnt! hahah!
Eu presiso sair! Eu amo vocês!
- Elder Larsen