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