Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas & Lots of Pictures!!

hey guys! awesome week, what can i say its christmas!! it was so weird and fun talking with you all! its crazy that i only have one more call! Well, we had a productive week still being the week of christmas! We baptized Isac and Raíza on friday! It was a great service! We had to get Raíza´s mom´s signature in the morning though. They all call her the dragon because she´s hard headed and tough to compromise with. So we said a prayer and asked for all of them to pray as well the night before. So we went there in the morning and talked with her. She said "no" right from the get go, but i was like "calm yourself lady" let me explain! So i showed the whole young womens program to her and everything and talked a little more and BAM! signed it! its crazy, i have to be the tough companion nowadays! i usually was the one who listened and watched! hahaha! we will baptize 4 people this week as well, if everything goes right! today we went to Campo Maior to hike with the sisters! A family there took us by car to a mountain to climb! it was a really rewarding experience, you´ll like the pictures! good thing we went in the morning when it was a cold, 80 degrees! haha! 
love you guys!
Elder Larsen

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from Brazil!

hey fam!! last email before christmas!! WHAT?! lots of good results this week. We have a completely new teaching group, but almost everyone is progressing. This friday we will baptize a family of a single mom, Diná. She has a son, Isac and daughter, Adriele. Her niece, Raiza, who is living with them as well will be baptized. What an awesome family. I love teaching them and being at their house. Isac is 14 and absolutely loves the missionaries. He gives us a big ol hug every time. His mom told us that he was passing a bit of a rough time and giving her a bit of trouble, but ever since we´ve been teaching him that he´s become a good boy. We´re teaching another girl, Euria, from São Paulo. She´s here visiting for christmas break and his staying at a member´s house. she wanted to receive the lessons and came to church. we marked a baptismal date for her as well. We´re also teaching a cool family, Jesus and Maria. Jesus lived in Portugal for a while and loves to talk! They show a lot of promise. They are a reference of João de Deus or "John of God". I love peoples´ names here! we had our ward christmas apresentation this week as well. it went well, it didnt have a great turnout but they had a good choir and all. I love the city of altos. its one of the best areas that i´ve had in the mission. lots of great péople to teach, good members, and lots to do. We stopped at a recent convert´s house last night, joanara. she works as secretary for the city. She had a lot of people over for her mom´s birthday. I had to opportunity to speak with a lot of upper class people there! I spoke with a few judges and lawyers from Teresina. They have visited a lot of places in the U.S. and other countries. The daughter of one lived in england for a while and spoke a little english with me. One judge will be visiting Cleveland next july! i told him to rent a car at Thrifty! hahaha.

i fooled an investigator this week saying that i was brasilian and that elder massa was american. He was like, "yeah, you can clearly tell by their accents. elder massa speaks with such an american accent." hahaha blew his mind when we told the truth! but i´m excited to talk to yins! see ya in a bit!
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas to You!

~Awesome Week~

hey hey!! next week will be my last email before christmas!! WHAT?! flip, i´m gonna have to practice my english... well we had another meeting this week of district leaders. it went well, just the only problem is that we had to grab 3 buses to get to the meeting! i have to take the bus quite a bit in this area. there´s no buses in the city itself, but only ones that go to teresina and campo maior. i go to campo maior every tuesday for district meetings and to do interviews for the sisters. last district meeting went really well. i think i learn more than anybody in these meetings! its crazy how my ability to teach by the spirit has grown in the mission. i think that is one of the biggest growths that i´ve had. Elder Massa and i worked to no end this week, but lots of appointments fell through and we had to change our whole teaching group because nobody was progressing. we fasted on saturday to find more people to teach. we went through our Area book and picked out 20 names to visit. the first 4 we visited didnt live at the address anymore or didnt want to hear us. a little frustrating, even more when its 110 degrees. 5th one was a charm. We met sister Mazé who´s an inactive and her daughter Diná, who has 2 kids Isac and Adriele. A niece and nephew live with them too. They had all been taught by the missionaries a few years ago, but somebody got offended or something. We hit it off with them well though and taught them a lesson. They accepted to be baptized on the 27th! By the way, did i say that bishop silva is superman? he saw that we were struggling and went with us on friday, taking us to members´ houses to mark family home evenings with them. he gives a message with us and pretty much commands them to invite investigators for when we come to the FHE. He´s one of the best, spontaneous speakers you´ll ever see. He´s bishop of the ward since he was 19 years old!! WHAT?! i hope he´s present when i call on christmas. you have to hear his laugh, you´ll die! we´re probably gonna call from the chapel, it has the best connection. OH, sunday, when we were heading to lunch, someone stopped us on the highway, Valcélio and his family from Parnaíba! he was the priest quorums president in my first area! it was crazy to see them after such a long time! he gave me a lot of good news, but the biggest was: the contruction for the chapel was announced last district conference there....they start in february!! my 8 months there wasnt in vain! ahahah! made my week! cant wait to talk to you guys soon!
Elder Larsen

Our Bomb District of Sister Missionaries! 
 Chapel in Campo Major
 The girls apartment... of course its pink! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Teaching the Sister Missionaries...

hey hey niños!! good week of work with my broski companion. We had a so so week with all of the meetings we had and with me getting to know the area still. Altos is a funny area, its kinda redneck and backwoods and there are some churches with abbreviations on their signs that cuss words in english! hahaha i´ll send pictures soon. we had interviews with president today. he´s really hastened the work here in the mission. he gave an inspiring training on wednesday about being missionaries of faith and for us to recognize our authority....and use it! we left that meeting with fire in our veins! we are inviting people and making more gutsier promisses as well instead of the basic "if you read and pray, you´ll get an answer". i´m getting used to having a younger companion as well. my companion has always been older than me until now! its gonna be a good experience for me to learn to grab the reins a little more and be more bold. Elder massa a great missionary, he´s still learning, but he´s excited to work. how do i know? the fella walks FAST! its sweet that i can say stuff in english to him during any situation. it makes me wonder what it will be like after the mission to use my secret language! i interviewed someone for the first time on saturday as well, Mikou, who the sisters baptized. He´s a 20 year old guy that looks like the fella on the movie, THe Blind Side. Big fella! it was a spiritual event, i liked it a lot. alot of missionaries read the questions word for word in the interview, but i made it more of a conversation with him. I like being district leader, there´s way more responsibility, but more fun. on christmas, we´re gonna skype from the chapel because it has the best connection...and air conditioning! crazy, this will be my last christmas in the mission! its coming up fast! we organized to do a presentation in front of the city as well about the church. they´re doing this 12 days of christmas thing with groups that will present things, so should be interesting! president saw our teaching group today has a lot of girls...he was like, elders, i know you guys are handsome and all, but you need to find more men! hahaha! 

Elder Larsen

District Leader...

I´m....dreaming...of a, PSH! who am i kidding, its 110 here!! Well well, i´m in Altos finally! i took a little field trip on tuesday when i grabbed the bus. the bus driver passed through altos without even stopping! i looked the other way after a bit and saw "Altos 10 km"! i was in the middle of nowhere!! He finally stopped in Campo maior and i asked him if he passed in altos and he said yes! I told him he didnt even stop!! He was just like, sorry about your luck but you´ll have to grab your luggage and get off my bus.. i was by myself, sweating to death, with all my luggage, and no money.. couldnt get worse huh? i talked to another bus driver from the same company there though going to teresina. he was like, youp´ll have to pay, son. I told him i was a missionary and that i had to get to altos. he took it into consideration and let me on!! So, i´m glad i can negociate with people in another language!! I got to altos and i spotted my companion in an instant. everyone said he looks like harry potter...HE DOES! Elder Massa a goofball, i love him! He´s from Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul close to Porto Alegre. He´s whiter than me! Everyone thinks we´re both americans! He knows a good bit of english as well, so we can converse if needed. i said something in english to him and he was like, "dude, you´re english sucks! you said that with such a brazilian accent!" ahahha! first time i was corrected by a brasilian. he´s been out for 8 months. first companion that ive had thats younger than me. he´s an only child and studied music before the mission. we get along really well. The members here are sweet!! They all say that i speak perfect portuguese and all conversed with me. the bishop here is a STUD, bishop silva. everything he does Very organized and well done. He´s been bishop for 10 years and has helped the ward grow a lot. he goes on divisions every week with the missionaries and organized a movie night every wednesday with a projector in the chapel. he has the FUNNIEST laugh ever as well, literally a mcbride laugh! already had a baptism set for sunday, Homeres. He´s a great guy. Its a very happy, missionary loving area, i like it a lot. What do i have to say about having 2 companionships of sisters in my district? Its actually not annoying, i like it! I wont give my first training until next tuesday though because of zone conference. There´s 2 brasilians, sister pedreira and santos, 1 american, sister mckinney who spent 6 months in nashville waiting but got here last transfer, and sister ramos from bolivia! interesting group! good news is that i here they bring snacks to district meetings! natal está chegando!!
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

waiting on the word of transfers....

good last week here in Esplanada! We´ve accomplished a lot of things here. This last week we taught a few families that will be getting married on the 13 of december. Two families are set to be married and baptized. This last week was kind of crazy as to the weather. It rained almost every night....i actually went to sleep COLD. yes, 80 degrees is cold for me! We were invited to participate in Belcheor´s wedding on saturday. he´s an RM that´s clyde´s age. He got marriage civily in the chapel of Angelim and will be heading to the temple in Recife today to be sealed. The sisters had a baptism fest there beforehand in the chapel. They baptized 7! pretty impressive. I hope that the boxes you guys sent get here before christmas! only 30 days away! i´m still waiting on the word of transfers, there were some changes. i´ll let you guys know asap

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taking a Swim in the Font!

heyy yall! thanks for the pictures of snow and blizzards! makes me SO excited to return to the heat here in a few minutes! We had a good week this week! Fernanda was baptized on Saturday morning. I had the privilage to take a swim in the font 
she´s not very supported by her spouse, but she´s being a great example to her family and friends! she invited her neighbor to come as well to watch. it was one of the most spiritual baptisms of the mission. it was very reverent and the atmosphere was great! We had a service project this week as well at Ronaldo´s (RC). We had to break up the ground and dig it out to start building the foundation where he´ll add onto his house! The dirt here is SO TOUGH. Literally steel. I used my other shirt as a turban...the sun is so strong in the morning. Mauro and conceicao are progressing well and understanding the gospel quite well. we´ve given them a lot of materials to study. Next week is transfers...should be interesting. I´m way pumped for christmas and to see some old faces!
Elder Larsen

 Visiting a little boy that got beat up at school!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Holidays... in Brazil

hey yins! i´m alive still, i´m saying this because of fast sunday.. Fast sunday was so much easier at home. I didnt burn any energy there. Its a little bit different when its 115 degrees and humid.. So, there were 2 holidays this week.. lets just say that when there´s a holiday in Brasil, EVERYTHING shuts down! It was quite frustrating. I feel like i´m preaching to the lamanites sometimes. We had a baptism this week though! Rogéria was baptized on tuesday and confirmed on sunday. Elder Ribeiro baptized her (it was the same day as his birthday) and i confirmed her on sunday. We found 2 new families this week that are willing to get married and are receiving the discussions well. The first is Michel and Angelica who live one road from the church! They have a good income, she is a professor and he is a salesman. and they have 3 kiddos. The other is Mauro and Conceição. Mauro made a contact with us in the road one day so we went to visit him a few days later and to our suprise he had already read and filled out the whole pamphlet of theplan of salvation. They live in a little mud house, but have a good knowledge of the bible and doctrine. We had zone conf this week as well. It was focused on controlling stress and managing a missionary schedule. I used a few of clyde´s tactics on my companion this week (yes, it was funny). Thats about it for this week though,
Much love,
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elder Pinky...

well well, its monday again! Its been a way better week! We´ve got a great pool of investigators to work with this week. Its amazing how we started this week with practically nothing.. we had 2 people progressing, but after a running all over the place, back breaking week of contactsm, lessons, etc, we got good things ahead. We were waiting in the square for a few minutes to go with bishop to an appointment, passed by about 5 minutes and i saw a big, athletic guy on the other side. It was just us 3. I looked at my comp and was like lets talk to him, he kinda neglected it, so i went myself to shoot up a conversation. His name is Rafael, he´s 18 and has a girlfriend that has a child as well. A few days later, they turned out to be our best investigators! So humble, they want  us to stop by their house every day. Seriously, Rafael is huge, like linebacker huge. Its so funny what people think when i strike up a conversation with them out of the blue. Whats this albino with blue eyes talking with me for?? ahaha! Actually, i´m not even white anymore, i´m pink. In fact, i was called elder pinky by an investigator.. Our other solid investigators are Poliana and Ana Clara. They went to church as well this week and dominated in the classes! Everyone thought they were members. Ana Clara is the one that we found her cell phone and poliana is her mom, she´s a private bus driver. We only work with sophisticated people! haha! AND, we have a baptism tomorrow! Rogéria will be entering the water at 8 oclock pm tomorrow! We´re gonna make her a cake today...should be interesting, never made one. She´s been able to comprehend everything very few and is very self sufficient and doesnt need to be hounded down for not fulfilling goals. I realize that when we put everything we have into the work of the Lord, our other problems dissolve. Sunday, i was asked to give a talk, good thing i already had something planned! I spoke very comparable to elder nielson of the 70 about the time is now. It was really weird when i spoke, i didnt stumble at all, i had no doubts or anything, i think it was the best portuguese i´ve ever spoken. I feel really comfortable right now with the language, its so crazy how a mission teaches these things so rapidly. I used a lot of clyde and jake´s mission tactics this week, and turns out that it worked. I´m getting old! Crazy i´ll already be home in 10 months. The time to work is now! haha love yall!
Your beloved,
Elder Larsen

the house that the lady forgot to feed them lunch! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Challenging Companion.....

hey family! not the best of weeks, but we had some good points. Rogéria has a baptismal date set for the 29th of this month. She´s excited and progressing very well. we went to a cool place last pday called, Encontro dos rios, where 2 rivers meet and divide in color. We had a neat experience this week where we found a little cellphone in the middle of the road (seriously, LITTLE, like zoolander size) that was still functioning. We got a call from its owner and marked to meet up with them in the square to return it. It´s a girl named, Ana Clara. We gave her a book of mormon as well and got her address. Later on we taught her and her family. turned out to be a good investigator. We also met a good family last night that was a reference of the other missionaries. They knew quite a bit about the church, very educated. They also have one of the only 2 story houses here! They gave us a full on dinner after the lesson as well! It was the closest thing to mexican food that i ate in the mission, which was awesome! As for my companion, its really hard conversing with a 27 yr old guy all day that lived by himself before the mission. There´s days that are very frustrating that honestly want to hit my head on something. I hope i can get through this rough bit right now. 
My guess for rachel is that she´ll go to boston, massachusetts. I dont have a ton of other news, but i love you guys. you´re in my prayers as well
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Service Work Overload!

hello família! Finished up another transfer here in Esplanada. Me and my companion are staying. This next transfer goes until nov 26th! I´m thinking i´ll be out the next one and he´ll finish up his mission here. We had Rogéria´s baptismal interview last week and she PASSED! so she´ll be jumping in the water here soon :) We had a big service project this week as well helping brother Ander. He and his family are from Angelim, the neighbor ward and will be moving into their new house in december. We moved a MOUNTAIN of dirt by wheelbarrow for him with 2 other fellas from the ward. I got battle marks (blisters) to show. There´s a ton of housing developments opening up in our area. its really booming. Because of this, we robbing members from a lot of other areas :) the contruction of the chapel will begin in no time. President sent me an email saying for me to take a picture of the little school that we meet in now to remember when i visit the mission one day in the future when there´s a huge chapel. We got 2 boxes of book of mormons as well this week, but HARD CAP this time!! the moment we left the house with those babies, it was already calling attention. A lady on our own road stopped us and asked us to visit her! Her name is Márçia.  She´s 37 and is a geography professor. She lives only 6 houses from our house! She´s very intelligent and has a lot of potential! We had stake conference sunday downtown. She even went to conference! It was way good! President and Sister spoke, the stake president, and an area seventy of brasil northeast. The seventy gave a great talk. He compared us to the apostles when christ was suffering the atonement, they were sleeping. When many are needing of us, we´re sleeping as well! He said, if it were women they wouldnt be sleeping though. Burnt all of the men in the congregation. ahaha! I got to say bye to 2 guys taking off today there as well, Elder Howe and Elder Cooper. Elder Howe´s my great grandpa, plus i followed his blog before the mission! I always showed you guys pictures of what the mission would be like from his blog. Elder Cooper, i went on a division with him to caxias when elder nakazoni was sick at the beginning of the mission. Its crazy how fast time flew! They had my time that i have in the mission now, when i arrived! I´m excited for Christmas! Its just a few days away!
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Share the Gospel!!

Hello fam!! dang, i open up my email and there´s a new niece!! congrats kara and jake! she looks like jake. Haylee´s gonna be a lacey with kara all over again. Now i have to change my photo album again! We´ll see how many nieces and nephews there will be when i get home. We had a short, but good week of work from conference. We´ve been getting help from a few members giving us references of families. One is really good, Carlos and Elizangela. They are christian and know the bible very well. So, when we taught the restoration, we got to use some deep scriptures. We related in revelation 17 with i think its 1 nephi 13 where it talks about only 2 churches: the church of christ and satan´s church (the great abominable church). Its amazes me that you can teach everything about the restoration and the plan of salvation with the bible. i´ve really gained more testimony of it in the mission. we got a call out of nowhere saying that we had zone conf in buenos aires....super far and we´ve never been there. So we got the wrong bus and had to walk 20 kms after to get there.. Every other companionship knew about the meeting last monday, but they told us the same day.. frustrating. Conference was way good! It was weird listening to talks in english. i really had to pay attention to understand. I watched priesthood in portuguese though. There were so many general authorities who focused on praying specifically for something or someone. M Russell Ballard went at the throat of the members! He said: ask the missionaries who they´re teaching, get to know these people, and pray for them, specifically! If you pray blindly for something, you´ll get a blind response! He also said that members are scared to get a specific answer sometimes because THAT MEANS THEY HAVE TO WORK. hahah! Uchdorf was the man as well. I know dad went crazy for him. Everything he says, he words so well! The phrase i liked the most is "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith!" Jeffrey R Holland was very interesting as well. He said, God´s love NEVER changes, regardless of what we´ve done. I love the new 70´s. S Gifford Nielson was a stud! I loved his voice, he´s a wirey, excited guy! ahha! He said, if we really love the gospel, wouldnt we want to share it with our friends? WE have to develop and carry out our own gameplan. This time right now will go down in the history of the church. Like the restoration, or when the salt lake temple was built, or when the conference center was built, this is a historic time in missionary work! the church jumped to 15 million members this conference with 80,000 missionaries in the world. 3 words: hasten the work! I´m excited to be able to read these talks again and put them into practice. 
Love all of you!
Elder Larsen

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Going Strong & So Proud!

hey yall! Annoucement: I´m officially an old fart in the mission! hahha! great week to start off the second year. We prepared Maiara this week for her baptism saturday. We got a call from president thursday saying that he wanted to interview us. so we went to the mission home after lunch. He said he´s really impressed with the work and wants to keep us in esplanada for a little while. The mission has a lot of elders going home this transfer, but not many coming in because of visas. good luck to any american getting called to brasil right now... i think the president is mad because of the espionage that happened. He will have to close a lot of areas. He said he wanted to visit our ward on sunday as well! Saturday was MAiara´s baptism! Not a ton of people were able to go, but it went smooth! Awkward moment, after i baptized her, she tried to hug me! hahaha oops, we forgot to explain that part in the lessons! hahaha! Later we organized an activity of MOVIE NIGHT! our ward mission leader brought a projector to show the movie, Defying Giants, that cristian football movie. Everyone loved it, but didnt understand the rules of football still! hahah! Afterwards, i started itching....LIKE CRAZY! i didnt know what it was, but i started breaking out and my face started swelling up. I realized what it was...when i changed clothes at the baptism, my shirt fell on the ground, and a few fire ants jumped on it. I threw it on after without thinking and they started biting me like crazy! I forgot to take a picture,but my whole back, chest, face were all blotted and swollen! man, it was ugly. i got medicine though, and the next day it all cleared up! we had a good crowd at church! brought 14 investigators to church and broke the attendance record! President Siedschlag gave training in sunday school and spoke in sacrament meeting as well. He killed it! he´s one smart fella. He spoke about how our reaction should be when we converse with non members. not just how are you, and you respond, "i´m good" we have to say WHY we´re "good". Respond, i´m good, i went to church and learned this in relief society or primary, etc. When you say something like this, naturally the person will say...whats relief society or whats sacrament meeting? we have to say things that will open someone´s ears! thats about all my news for this week! CANT WAIT FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!
Elder Larsen

Monday, September 23, 2013


BATISMO!!! week full of miracles!! first off, on pday i heard somebody speaking english...fluent english at the bus station. i followed the voice until i saw this little old couple. i asked them if they spoke english and they said yeah! they´re from virginia...i was like what the heck are you guys doing in teresina?! they´re missionaries! baptist missionaries.. hahaha they´ve been here since the 70´s! but i speak better portuguese than them still.. hahaha! so we spent this week preparing 2 families to be baptized, Ronaldo and Eriani, and Francisco and Leiliane! We had a great zone conference about our perspective of our areas. We read a passage in Numbers that talks about missionaries that were sent out to scout areas and how all of them reported good things. Our perspective is key as missionaries. President was there as well and told us that our zone is the most excited and active of the mission. So friday, we got a call out of nowhere from a girl named Maiara. She thought it was sisters still in the area and asked for a visit! She had been taught before and has been to church 6 times! saturday we had a baptism explosion! every companionship in our district baptized! I was asked to baptize the sisters´ investigator, samia. then after i baptized eriani and elder ribeiro baptized ronaldo. then AFTER, elder montero baptized rosilene! Whew! then came sunday. we went to francisco and leiliane´s to accompany them to church. When we got there, nobody was ready so we told them to get ready while we cleaned the house! and we did! hahaha. they were doubting baptism as well, but we told them that if they procrastinate, it´ll never happen. and whatever feeling of doubt that comes to your mind comes from satan. he always wants us to doubt so that he can steer us in any direction like a blind sheep. When we got to church with them, Maiara was already there! and...she has a baptismal date marked for saturday?!?! and guess who marked her date...the bishop´s wife! hahaha! You go girl! She is practically a member by the way she participated in the classes. Later, the baptisms went down! To our suprise, there were about 50 members there to support them! The wards starting to love us! Weekly baptisms are pumping them up. I´m grateful that the Lord in putting quality families and people in our path. Couldn´t ask for a better way to enter into the week of my ONE YEAR MARK ;)
Elder Larsen

Monday, September 16, 2013


BATIIISSMOOO!!! Hello beloved ones! What an action packed week! We had a baptism yesterday of a little girl we´ve been teaching, Sabrina. She´s 9 yrs old and has been coming to church with a friend. She´s such a smart little girl and really grasped everything quite fast! She´s being a great example for her family because they´re starting to open up as well to hear the lessons. We´ve been teaching/preparing a lot of families this week! Francisco and leiliane will be getting married this week and the next week will be their baptism!! It´s crazy the success we´re having, even with an annoying companion! hahah! We did a practice interview with the couple and they both passed! We have a lot of good investigators....even some that make hamburgers for us! we did a little blitz with bishop santos and jonas, a young man. They went and taught a few of our investigators while we taught as well because we  marked too many appts! Then, later on we held a family home evening at Francisco and leiliane´s with bishop and his wife. It went swell! We had an activity that blew everyone´s mind after! We played a game where someone would have to leave the room and everyone else has to choose an item that they have to guess in the room. So, one of us would supervise and ask the person, holding up and pointing to items, asking them if it was the item that we chose. Nobody was able to guess right. Little did they know that we combined before the activity to know that the item would be the NEXT thing after the supervisor pointed to something BLACK. so when me and when elder ribeiro guessed right it blew everyone´s mind! hahaha! sunday went really well! We had 2 families in sacrament meeting and 9 people! The ward had the best attendance it´s had yesterday as well! I dont have a lot to complain about here in Esplanada! I´ll take advantage of the situation here and get some work done ;) Congrats to all those who got their mission calls...especially those going to BRASIL! Voces vão gostar muito meus peixinhos! AMO VOCES, FAMÌLIA!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Setting up a Wedding?!...

what up fam?! i´m not with our address right now, i´ll get it to you next week when i look at the water bill! We had a crazy week! I set up a marriage for the first time in the mission! francisco and leiliane, the family we´ve been accompanying alot accepted to get married. we found a few loop holes in the brasilian law to marry people without cost! we got to the city registry office and showed them our documents showing that the couple could marry without cost. they got all ticked off. They didnt accept the whole without cost thing very well. we had to play tough, but we did it! on the 20th they´ll be signing papers. We had a member from church this week hounding us to visit this person who lives years away from our house. so after about the 5th call, we went. it was literally an 1 and a half away. we got there, knocked on the door, and...a lady opens it up, tells us she hates us and slams the door. not to mention, it was 49 degrees celcius.. Its tough to accept situations like these. We´ve been teaching 2 teens, Tiago and Eduarda lately as well. Eduarda is 13...and tiago is 19. This area has a lot of pedophiles.. We started teaching eduarda and when we found out they were dating we tried to plan and seperate them somehow, but it turns out now that we´re teaching the 2. Tiago has a lot of potential. When we talked to him about serving a mission and all of the benefits, he became very interested. he´s been to church 2 times already! we had a good turn out of investigators this week as well!
general conference is just around the corner! i´m siked! i´ve been studying the liahona a lot lately to prepare for conference. i read a really good talk from jeffrey r holland that talks about justice and mercy, grace as well. he says that anything we plant, will always grow to be something bigger and evolve more seeds. so, if you plant a small seed of hatred, it will grow into a branch of hatred and after, a tree. grace as well is the cost that christ paid to allow us to be forgiven. like a parent pays a teacher to give piano lessons to their child. the teacher and the parent really gain nothing, but joy from the success of the child. christ is the parent that paid the price to the teacher (heavenly father) so that the child could learn and apply his talents. When we play one key wrong though, we dont just give up, you PRACTICE. when we feel bad about our sins, it shouldnt be just to punish us or to make us feel stupid, but to make us CHANGE. just like when we do something wrong in a math formula, we have to erase, go back, and restart. you can never just "keep going" and hope that everything works out. its the same way with life.
I´m getting old in this mish! and burnt! hahah we´ll see if anyone recognizes me here in a year. I´m burning a cd with photos to send you guys!
Èlder Larsen

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Learning Patience...

hey fam! good week here in Esplanada! I learned to work on my patience this last week and turns out that we had a lot of success. We have FOUR new solid families in our teaching group. 2 that bishop and his wife visited with his wife. Bishop santos is a tank when it comes to missionary work. The guy that should have every excuse in the world to not help, is the only one that helps us! He´s a math professor, has 2 little kids, does an english course, but still finds time to help us 2 times a week. He says, "I PUT DA TEAM ON MY BACK DOE!" (thats for clyde and jake) I cant believe i´m hitting the year mark this month! Its going by fayast now! I went on divisions this week with, Elder Allen, my comp in the MTC. We killed it! we work really well together. He´s a contact making machine. People understand me even better when i teach with him. We had a cool experience during the last lesson, A guy, Marcilio, that they´ve been having a hard time to open up, opened up! He´s been taught by a ton of missionaries already, but i cracked him with a scripture in alma 34. I forget which one, but he started to open up and asked more questions. I think it all started though when we started complimenting a lot of the things in his house. He got all flattered and opened up! He likes to paint and do murals as well. He´s got a TON of fruit trees in his yard as well. pineapple, caju, acerola, mango, etc! They made juice for us there on the spot! Afterwards, i was able to chew the fat with elder nakazoni and a few other elders in the Staff House (where the secretaries, lz´s, and a few others live) That's about it for the week.
Elder Larsen
p.s. watch some college football for me!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Feeling Loved by the members!!

hey fam! good week of work here! 11 months today!!! I´m getting to know the area and the people here well. We passed the 100 mark in attendance this week which was a shocker! The members are receiving us really well. I´m in the best area with the best members that i´ve had in the mission. but you cant have everything, thats why i´m with one of the stinkers of the mission. Elder a ribeiro is 27 yrs old and weird...really weird. all he does is talk about deep doctrine and make our investigators feel out of place. Even outside of lessons he´s strange. luckily i was able to go on a division with bishop santos on thursday. ´he´s only 36 years old! he´s so fired up about having elders now. he told me he´ll go on a division with me every thursday. I was able to learn a lot from him in our lessons. he has been a member for 8 years and has a great desire to serve a mission with his wife. I honestly think he will be a mission president in a few. I honestly walked a good 100 miles this week! We got to know a lot of the area this week. We taught a lady this week, Eva, who lives with her mom. her mom has 22 kids!!! is that a record?! i think it is! sunday was really really good! Bishop made it so that every meeting was focused on missionary work. he spoke last as well in sacrament meeting and lit it up! Every came running to us afterwards with references...a good 20! lunch was a good time on sunday. It was a big family about the same as ours with 3 returned missionaries and their wives and kids at the grandparents´ house. I felt like i was at home joking around with clyde hahah! I called them out on their "dad jokes" hahah! We have a family that is ready to be baptized, Ronaldo and Eriani. We´re just waiting for their interview! Not a lot of other news, but transfers are next week! who knows what will happen!
Elder larsen

Monday, August 19, 2013

Transferred & Living the Life!

hey yall! Well, this week was a little different than what i was expecting! We worked like crazy this week in Satélite, especially preparing Francisco for his baptism saturday. So, friday morning, we get a call from the assistants during study hour, saying that me and elder a. ribeiro were being transferred! that same day! So i´ve been transferred to Esplanada, on the other side of teresina! Its an area of sisters, but the 2 that were in Esplanada had health problems and went home. So president grabbed one from each companionship in Satélite and put us here! Its way far from the other parts of teresina! President came and got us that same day and took us there. Its a nice area, a little more high class. The house here is AWESOME though. Now i know how sister missionaries live! Its huge for us two and all of the appliances are brand new! We meet in a little school owned by a member here because they are waiting to buy land to build a chapel. So we jumped right into a situation where 2 people were going to be baptized saturday, Carlos, a 40 yr old guy, and Pedro, a 15 yr old ym. We met up with them and finshed up their discussions and all. I hit it off with Pedro well, he´s a good kid. Sunday, when we arrived, everyone was shocked to have elders instead of sisters! They treated us like rockstars! hahaha the leaders are all so good here. Our ward mission leader was called sunday. His name is Nicolas and doesnt even look brasilian. He served in Florianopolis and got back 4 months ago and got married a month ago! His brother is serving in london right now. Bishop Santos is a boss! He´s a young guy with a young family full of energy! Sunday night we had the baptisms. They hold them at the chapel Angelim, where esplanada divided from. Fanciest chapel i have ever seen! Carrumba!! So we got there and started setting things up and out of nowhere Pedro came to me and was dude, i want you to baptize me! I had no other clothes with me or anything, so i just threw on the jumpsuit! It was a very spiritual meeting though, especially in the chapel there. I never baptized in a real font yet! I´ve never seen so many members at a baptismal service either! over 50 people were there! So....everything´s just fine here!
Love yins,
Elder Larsen