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