Monday, January 28, 2013

Lazy Race Cars....

I live another week! Things are going well here, but we could always do better. Its hard when your companion has no drive. its like i´m pulling a truck thats stuck in park. He´s always "tired" and tells me i´ll be the same way when ive been out for the same time as him. We havent had a group of younger missionaries come through yet. probably will be a few more months. Our mission might be increasing in missionaries though with the large amounts of applications coming in. We are at 60 companionships of elders right now.

We got a golden golden golden reference this week! Its a young couple, Germano and Luiza. When we visited them, they welcomed us in like old friends! They are both very intelligent and interacted a lot in the lessons. The Spirit has really been guiding my tongue on what to say. The next day we went and did service of painting and moving furniture almost the whole day at irmao marcos's house. They fed us breakfast and lunch though! When we were walking back to the apartment we were talking about cars. Its so funny, cars that are grandma cars in the U.S., the brasilians consider to be race cars! They think that the VW Gol is like a Ferrari! I later went on a division with Elder B...he isnt a good teacher..but i had a great opportunity to speak and explain things a lot more clearly in the lessons we taught. Each of the lessons we taught were so specific to each person though, which was good!

The next day we had a few appointments, but they all fell through. The zone leaders came out of nowhere and interviewed us today. In the interviews they found that Elder B had an Ipad. What a joke. He was like, "i didnt even use it" So many brasilians think that a mission is just a cute little vacation. All of the guys in our apartment knew about and didnt say anything either and didnt tell me. In my interview the ZL told me that i really have to live every rule to the dot and be an example. Its so hard to get these guys to work, theyre just satisfied with whatever. They look at me like i'm crazy when i say "lets go".

We had about the same attendance at church this week because all of our investigators bailed out last second. I sat by ana vitoria and their family and the little boy, Pedro, leaned over and whispered to me, "Hey ! when are you guys coming over again? Its been a week! I miss you guys!" ahaha we used to pass by their house almost every day before ana vitoria was baptized but now its just once and a while! We had lunch at , Irmao Valcedio´s house today which is literally like walking from the police station in wintersville until 100 degree weather, BUT we got lucky because he used his mom´s car to pick us up and drop us off!! last time....we walked..both ways. Thats about it this week yall!
-Elder Larsen

Monday, January 21, 2013

Teaching Away....

STILL ALIVE! Everything is going great here. Our baptism for last saturday got moved to this saturday because the family was out of town in Fortaleza. Our district meetings are every tuesday and this time me and elder nakazoni taught for the first time. We taught about the importance of carrying a book of mormon with you always. I taught the whole first 20 minutes and elder nakazoni taught the next bit. We planned it out really well and showed great examples with practices as well. I really taught myself more than anything in this lesson! We didnt have a ton of lessons on tuesday because a ton of them fell through, but we had this 90 yr old lady from the branch, Irma Quaresma, called us over to teach her. A lot of members here like to be taught because they dont have a deep knowledge of the gospel. It was so funny, she rambled for 2 hours about her entire 90 yrs of life! And then she pulled out 2 hymn books and asked us to sing for her....2 hymns!! And elder nakazoni cant sing...yikes. We had training with President siedschlag wednesday and interviews as well. He was one of the big guns for the company Wizard before the mission and really stressed to us to teach more of what the church offers and sell it like a product! In my interview he was really really impressed with my portugues and hinted to me that "i will be leading soon"...i dont know what soon means....a few months or next transfer?! We went to subway afterwards! It was unexplainable how good it was! Felt like i was in the US!! 

Went on a division with the ZL in his area on thursday but we ended up not doing a lot because one of the other elders there was really sick, so we passed time with them in the hospital...or should i say, "hospital". hahah! We made a lot of great contacts this week! We found a lady who was an old investigator and started teaching her again! She is so excited about us teaching thing though..she cant read! We will just read with here though in lessons. We taught a pastor this week too! It wasnt even a bible bash either! We actually taught him and gave him a book of mormon and will return! Ive really found lately that i can communicate so much better when i relax. Every time i get nervous, i lose my train of thought and end up just repeating what i say. Since our branch doesnt have a ton to offer as well, we decided to organize an activity for this friday for the YSA. The branch in general hasnt had an activity of any sort in YEARS! we´re changing stuff up here in Parnaiba! Thats about it for this week! 

Abraço por todos voces!!!
- Elder Larsen

Monday, January 14, 2013


Hey yall!! I live another transfer in Parnaiba! all of us are staying except for elder leite! he is off to timon....the place with no dinner appointments! he will be training Elder Olds from pa that i knew before the mission! he will be great. I really got after my comp one day at the end of the day. im tired of him hogging the lessons and leaving one little part for me like im a child. The day after was a lot better. he let me take almost the whole lesson and i did really good! the people are understanding me a lot better too. the key is just to talk slow and not worry or plan on what to say next. i really found out how good of a resource preach my gospel is this week too! its the next best thing after the scriptures. We were in this one house and my comp points at the stereo and says "home teacher"...i looked at him like he was crazy but then i realized he said " Home theatre" hahahah! On friday we did service at the house of ana vitoria! Made and poured cement, painted walls, and cleaned their whole deck...which is huge! the brasilian city slickers in my house dont know how to do any kind of manaual labor..i had to teach them everything! making and pouring the cement was kinda cool because i remembered the things dad taught me and put them to use. Especially using a board to smooth it out like we did at napa in the garage. LAter on i fixed our toilet in the house! I´m really becoming a handyman! LAter that night we taught a golden lesson with a guy named Savio. Hes a college student and just rock solid. Everything we taught him he absorbed completely! I like teaching people that are intelligent and ask good questions. its more challenging! Saturday we cleaned out the font and the whole chapel in the morning and had the baptism! Ana vitoria has fear of water and was nervous as all get out! I talked to her and calmed her down and said, "You´re nervous?! How about me?! First baptism, in portugues, and a girl with 5 names!!" hahahah! I pronounced everything fine though, but had to baptize twice, because her long hair didnt go all the way under the first time! I really felt the spirit so strongly though. We had a lot of people show up. It was a really great service! AND...Next week we have another baptism of a girl named Isabelle! She is 8 and is smarter than all get out! On sunday on the way to church we passed a guy wearing a carnegie mellon university t shirt! Strangest thing! How could someone in Parnaiba have that shirt?! Taught a TON of lessons today and gave 5 blessings!! we´re leading our zone right now in numbers! Wee´re definitely busy here! We had about 80 in sacrament meeting again! This branch will definitely get a chapel within the next year! one funny thing, we were walking one night and passed a group of ladies and 1 was a member so we stopped and talked. Out of nowhere, one of the ladies there just blurts out right in my face, "OOO QUE LINDO!!" "OOOO HOWW BEAUTIFUL!" hahaha i dont know how these women expect me to react here! I just give an awkward thanks. hahaha well i hope all is well for you all back home! I love pictures! and if you get time watch the movie 17 miracles! Best church movie! 1 question: can you guys send me pictures of pittsburgh and home to show people where i live? And can you email videos of my swimming so i can put it on my camera and show the young men? thanks!
- Elder Larsen

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Raining... It's Pouring...

BOM DIA YÁLL!! I forgot my journal to write about the week, but i will try to remember what happened! I will be sending a CD next week too with all of my pictures on it. And FELIZ ANNIVERSARIO BROCKY BOY! cant believe he is 3!! The kids are looking so much older in every picture! I died at the picture of Khloe especially with the batman mask! hahhaha! It was a productive week here this week! We are really changing this area up!

For New Years we all went to the Zone Leaders house and had a Churrasco! The mission pres didnt want us out during this time because Brasilians love to party and get loco! Its fun being with all of the other missionaries there. My Portugues accent is better than all of the americans here the brasilians in my house said. 
Not a ton happened this week, just normal teaching and proseltying. Its starting to get hard thinking in english! Everyone says you get to a point where you dont know a ton of Portugues and you forget youre pretty much dumb as bricks for a period of time! hahah! We had zone conference on friday and it really pumped all of us up! Our goal this week is to contact 10 men per day, 5 of them be new  investigators, and bring 5 men to sacrament meeting. If we do this, we get X-men t shirts with our names on them! Except brasilians say (Shees-men) which sounds like Shes a man! hahha! The main focus here is to find leaders and priesthood holders. This area is so weak in terms of leaders. The leaders in a ton of branches are only 18 or 19. Its a tough job here and theyre really challenging us, but its accomplishable. We just need more help from the members here! After Zone conf i went on divisions with Elder Luz. He arrived here the same day as me. We went to his area and taught 4 lesson and made 10 contacts! The young bucks got stuff done! It was really good because we split the time in our teaching so equally! I enjoyed working with him. It DOWNPOURED on us today though! It rained 2 days straight here and it really came down!! I was completely soaked. Not one cm of my clothes were dry. I had no extra clothes either when i went to spend the night at ZL House. The DL went with my comp and interviewed Ana Vitoria for baptism! It went well and she will be baptized this saturday! She chose me to baptize as well!
We brought 3 investigators to church on sunday and the other dupla brought 3 as well! We had a ton of less actives come as well!! My first week here, there were 48 people here. Today, there were 84!!! We only need an attendance of 90 or more for 3 month straight to start building a new chapel here! The Church  already bought a huge plot of land here on the avenue! Theyre just waiting for the attendance! Its cool we´re really making a difference here! 
We got news on transfers this morning! Im staying here in Parnaiba with Elder Nakazoni and Elder Antonio will stay as well! Elder Leite is off to Timon! One of the toughest areas of the mission! And he will train for the first time! He´s crazy nervous though! I really would like to train next transfer! I feel  more and more comfortable with the language every day! Lately, ive been teaching a lot of the families in our area english! Its a lot of fun, especially hearing them pronounce! The "TH" sound is literally impossible for them. And the word "World". I´m excited about the work here! Time´s really starting to fly as well! 
-Elder Larsen