Thursday, September 4, 2014


"I´M COMING HOME, I´M COMING HOME, TELL THE WORLD THAT I´M COMING HOME!".......QUE LOUCURA!!! I´m a week away from being called a returned missionary!!! Dang i´m getting old... hahahah! I don´t even know where to start to explain this grand, 2 year experience. All i know is that it was definately 2 years that i needed. I never felt so happy and joyful and at the same time i had moments that were so depressing and lonely. I just know that Heavenly Father exists and that He loves me personally and chose me to represent His son, Jesus Christ. What an honor it was to have His name on my chest for 2 years! I am so happy for the change that i have made in my life. I will never forget the love that i felt teaching these people here and the wonderful conversions that i have seen along the way. I know that the mission was a time for me to understand more the atonement of jesus christ. It was not easy at all, but i learned to embrace it! I have such a deep love and conviction for Brasil and its people. I felt really grateful and blessing as a bore my testimony in my last zone meeting yesterday! I can´t believe how i even survived these 2 years being that i threw up for any little thing before the mission! (i went 2 years without throwing up one time!) hahaha! Heavenly father has really blessed me with good health and ability to overcome sickness and injuries quickly in this time! The zone meeting yesterday was really good! All of the elders that bore their testimonies with me were very sincere as well, it was so spiritual. I know the Lord has put me with every companion that i´ve had up until now for specific reasons. I´m glad for all of the wonderful friendships that i´ve made as well. I´m really grateful for my last companion. Elder Alves. What a humble, selfless guy he is. He always offers me things of his and is always looking to serve his companion. I really have learned a lot with him. It´s one of the principal reasons why we have had a lot of success. Love the guy!
So this week was awesome!! On saturday we had a baptism, of Tita! She was so was really a great meeting! i had the honor of baptizing her! Josy was supposed to be baptized on saturday too....but she was feeling a lot of pressure from her family and friends. We invited her to just come watch tita´s baptism. So she came and watched and really liked it. Later, right before we were going to sleep, we got a call.....Josy! She asked if she could be baptized the next day!!! What a miracle!! she was baptized after sacrament meeting!! what great people and leaders that we are baptizing here!! I love Caxias and these people! I´m happy with the way that i´m going out!! 
Well, i´ll be hugging you all here in a week!! We´ll see if you recognize a skinny, burnt up, elder! hahaha THE CHURCH IS TRUE! EU AMO BRASIL, DEUS VÓS GUARDE! PESERVEREI ATÉ O FIM!!
Elder Larsen
 Last Zone Meeting
 The Guys going home!  oliveira, me, beraldi, and antonio
 "boi" museum!!
 I found a Taco Bell! haha

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Book of Mormon is True, Jesus Lives!

Hey Fam!! What a week! We had great success this week as a district. we brought 13 investigators to church on sunday!! we broke a record! ahha! There´s been a continual growth here in the branch....from when i got here with 28 to 45 now! We will have 2 baptisms on saturday, Tita and Josy. Tita is a lady who´s been taught for a while now. Her husband is a member (ward secretary as well) in Cuiabá...he comes home in december! He will help a lot here. She finally came to a conclusion to be baptized! Josy had been taught before as well, liked the church, but didnt really grasp it before. We kept on persisting with her and she has come around! She will be an awesome member! Super intelligent. Elder Rodgers actually was the one who started teaching her! 
We had a funny lesson this week with a man named Claudio. I asked him, "what do you know about jesus christ?" he was like," well i can tell you her cured like crazy! he did it very quietly though. When he cured the diseased he said, "be cured, and shut up!"" hahahahahah! i died! so much funnier in portuguese. Honestly, i think this last transfer of mine is being one of the best of my mission. We´ve been working our tails off, but having fun along the way as well! I love this country! i´m gonna miss it a lot! Its so wild that i´ve been here for 2 years!! Who would´ve guessed that i would survive?! Skinny little twirp that was scared of his own shadow before! The church is true, the book of mormon is true, jesus lives!
hahaha love you all!
Elder Larsen

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hard Work Pays Off....

Hey yall! Crazy how every week i have such little time left here! Congrats to Clyde and Jess! Archer´s a cute little guy. Takes after his uncle well. This week went very well. We are following up on a lot of people! We invited a lot of people to see the baptism on saturday....almost nobody came...but out of nowhere, one of our families, Sandra and Marcio came with their 2 kids! They loved it and participated very well! They werent one of our priorities to teach before, but now they sure are! The only problem that we have with our families that we´re teaching is that they all travel a lot. its tough to find them at home and hard for them to be at home on weekends! The group of youth we are teaching are doing good. There are 4 especifically that are progressing more than the others. We are teaching a college student as well that is really coming around well. She left an offer to go to some program at the college to come to church on sunday! So, when we were walking in the road the other day, we were glued to the wall as always to be in the shade, i smacked my head on a steel bar that stuck out of a house! I thought i just pulled a dad and that i would just shake it off....then i touched my head and it was gushing blood all over the place! My companion got really freaked out and ran me over to the hospital to get it treated. First time i went to the hospital in the mission! The lady that took care of me kept on calling me sugar and beloved! kkkk made me laugh! Sure hurt like none other! Good thing i got my tetanus shot as well! That thing was rusty! Our recent converts are doing extremely well! Natália is already gonna give a talk this sunday about gratefulness! She showed us what she prepared....its legit! Looked a lot better than what old members do! We gave her some tips on how to give a good talk. This is something that i learned in the mission! Before the mission, my talks were just a story in the Ensign and then i´d bear my testimony! hahahah! Everything´s going swell here though. The leaders are really happy with our work here. The attendance has a constant growth every week!
Love you all!
Elder Larsen
People do anything to stay cool
My District

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lots of things happening!!

hey family! what a wonderful week we had. lots of miracles happening here in caxias. last pday, we were invited by one of our investigators to visit the insect exibit at her college laboratory. it was really neat, some crazy bugs they have here in brasil! I took a ton of pictures. Me and my companion elder alves are working really well together. our personalities blend well together. So, one miracle was me playing soccer with a few little boys at a less active´s house. Out of nowhere, a man stops in his car and asks me if i was german. I said no that i am american and he responded," well, you sure play good for an american" His name is Nilson, a professor, who spoke with the missionaries a few times when he studied in Paraguay. He invited us over to his house to be taught with his family. We taught them and marked baptismal dates for them! He is incredibly intelligent...i feel future stake president potential in him. He stopped us in the beginning of the lesson and grabbed a notebook and pen to note down stuff from the discussion! i NEVER saw this in the mission!! It was so funny/awesome!! he always offers us a ride in his car as well! I feel a great spirit teaching their family! another MIRACLE was a reference from a member in brasilia gave us. We visited her, Ana Teresa, a 17 year old girl. She has a lot of family that are members. So, the next visit, she invited 5 boys from her dad´s soccer team to hear us as well! Then the next visit, 2 more came! Then the 3rd visit, 3 more came!! incredible!! We have already marked baptismal dates with almost all of them! Almost all of them went to church on sunday as well! They absolutely loved it! They all range from 15-20 years old! What a great addition they would be to the branch that really doesnt have any youth!! They all are respectable and good youth. We had the Zl´s here yesterday. They interviewed a family and a man for us! We just have to prepare them a little more. I went out with Elder Christie for the day. He said he learned a lot with me and that i´m the first of many missionaries that he´s seen on the last transfer thats not dead! hahaha. Our district is doing really good. The other companionship will have a baptism this saturday. We are currently with 20 people with baptismal dates that we are following up! lots of work! i really love a scripture in doctrine and covenants that i want to share with you:

D&C 84:106 And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.

This is so true, i´m a witness of it. A great example of this is Ammon in Alma 17 where he encourages the other servants of the king to not give up, and because of his strength, he made the others strong as well.
Love you all,
Elder Larsen

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ONE MONTH.... Countdown!!

hey family! What an awesome week this was. I´m getting along so well with my companion, elder alves. He´s a good worker and doesnt complain. We only got to work 2 days together last week, but we found 3 huge new families! Our goal is to baptize 2 families this last transfer. I left pday at night to teresina. When i got to the staff house, there were over 50 missionaries there! Our mission has grown a lot from 110 when i got here to 180 now! Lots of new areas have opened up! The training was really inspiring, it was cool to have a conference with just experienced elders. I got to see everyone from my group as well. All my sisters missed me ever so much! ahaha! it was weird because i traveled alone, my companion wasnt called to come with me! Sunday we had a good fast and testimony meeting. I´m teaching the young men on sundays now instead of the quorum. I like it better! So, our 2 recent converts, Diná and Natália both bore their testimonies on sunday! it was so cool! We took diná with us to teach her neighbor this week, she really enjoyed the experience and said she felt the spirit a lot. She bore her testimony about it even! Natália said that she really was grateful that we persisted so much with her. I felt really good leaving the church that day. We´re finding a lot of great people here! In the afternoon we had to head to teresina for zone meeting monday morning. It was my second to last!! It was a good meeting, but we had to leave a little early to go to interviews with president. I had a great interview with him. He really complimented me a lot and said i was doing a great job. He told me to help out the elders in my district and help them to be leaders for next transfers. I feel like i have a really good relationship with him. We resolved my byu stuff their as well! So crazy i only have 1 more interview and one more zone meeting!! GAHHH!!!
Love you all!
Elder Larsen
 The group I will come home with!
 The President

 Mission Office

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Staying here till the End!!

HEY FAMILY!! Well what a good last week of the transfer we had! We baptized Natália, who we´ve been teaching for a bit. She´s the one that has a pet rabbit at home! hahaha She´s a lawyer....super intelligent! It was awesome...on tuesday we visited her and asked about baptism and she said she wasnt ready, so we fasted from tuesday to wednesday before her interview thursday! When she left the interview, she said she felt totally ready! AWESOME! The baptism turned out really well. Elder Gauthier  and Elder Nessen were transfered to Piripiri and Horto to be companions of elder rodgers and elder steed from my group! hahaah! So the Zone leaders gave us wrong informations about transfers saying that elder shepard´s comp would get here monday at was supposed to be tuesday at midnight. so we waited at the bus station til 3 in the morning....flip! so my companion is Elder Alves from Fortaleza, Ceará....right next door! He´s chill....super quiet! He´s also only 18 years old and has been out for 6 months. Elder Shepard´s companion is from Cabo island off the coast of Africa! He´s a crack up! So 2 americans, 1 brasilian, and 1 african! funny combination! I´m excited for this last transfer! Lots of work....its gonna fly! Tomorrow there is a leadership conference of the WHOLE mission! Should be cool....i´ll see everyone! Well, i love you guys!
Elder Larsen

Thursday, July 24, 2014


hey yall!! this was a GREAT week! We had a cool open house activity on Saturday where the stake came to help. We put up paintings and tables up all over the square in front of the church. I made literally like 200 contacts that morning! It really drew a lot of attention from everyone. We also had a cool family home evening activity this week at the church. We did a "tour" of the temple! We went around explaining all of the parts of the temple by room. There were more people that came to the family home evening than sacrament meeting! Well when sunday arrived, we had 51 people at church!! normal for here is 30ish. We had a ton of less actives and investigators come out! I felt so good. The stake president was visiting as well and was quite impressed. I feel that everyone felt the was so good to see all of the benches full and everyone singing together!! We are gonna start teaching english in the chapel friday nights now. The youth are really excited for it. We taught a less active, Laércio, who led us to find a really awesome family! He let his aunt borrow his book of mormon. I got her number and called her and marked an appointment. Last night we went and taught them. What an awesome family!! She had already read til 2 nephi 27....before the first visit!! She works for the healthcare of caxias and her husband is a police officer. They both paid a lot of attention. They have 3 kids as well.....and a car! in fact, they gave us a ride home after!! Things are going quite well here, other than health! I´ve had this rough cough for about a week now! I couldnt even sleep the first couple nights! Well, LOVE YOU GUYS!
Elder Larsen

So excited for lunch!! 
 the warriors of caxias

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This is the only true and living gospel...

hey family! This week was very good. We started giving our friday night leadership trainings in the chapel last week. Me and Elder Shepard prepared an awesome training about "how to teach a sunday school class". We based it off the talk of elder mckonkie of the general sunday school presidency. I felt like it made a difference on sunday. The classes were a lot more vigorous and upbeat. A lot were just reading from the manual. Friday morning we did a DEEP CLEAN of the chapel. There was some green moss growing on the concrete. I sprayed some bleach, got on my knees and scrubbed the crap outta that concrete! I´ve learned to love cleaning the church...something i learned from dad, the all-star church weeder and snow-plower! hahaha! Saturday was Diná´s baptism....went very well! I had the pleasure of baptizing her....the water was SO cold! flip! i feel bad for her who was completely immersed! we are working a lot now close to where her and her sisters live. There´s a lot of good people to teach that live close to them. Sunday was the world cup final....lets just say that Brasil felt COMPLETELY satisfied that Argentina lost on their home soil! So funny, everyone here thinks that we´re we play it off and say that we are. But if they throw a soccer ball at us...they´ll quickly know that we´re american. We´re gonna make one sick pizza for lunch today, us 4! I´m excited! I´m grateful for the things that i am still learning here in the mission. Its a test until the last minute. One thing i´ve been totally convinced of in this time is that i can never doubt that the church is true. Too many things indicate that this is the only true and living gospel on the face of the earth. I´ve developed so many talents and qualities through this divine calling that also leaves me no doubt. the church is true!
I love you all!
Elder Larsen

 bring it caxias!!
  my buddy elder puggina!
 Our Study Room... Mine is on the orange wall... 
 Bombs Away! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ups & Downs...

hey meu povo! sad day here in brasil!! Yesterday we watched the game with some recent converts and investigators. I felt the sadness of everyone in the stadium through the tv! It was so weird that i felt like a brasilian citizen watching that game! It was like my own country losing! Well, at least brasilians are very positive people. They wont be sad for long. I think all of the women are glad to have their husbands back now! hahaha they were all glued on the tv! I´m rooting for the netherlands now. Brasil will play again saturday for 3rd place. This week was a wonderful week of work! We will have a baptism on saturday of Diná who´s 19. She chose me to baptize her! I´m happy to jump in the water! We have been teaching a REALLY good family Antonio, rosilene, and nathalia, but the women were the only ones going to the activities at the church. Antonio always dropped them off but left! Sunday they ALL came to church! SO AWESOME! This week i went on a division with Elder Puggina (ZL), that lived with me in parnaíba. It was awesome teaching with him! We lit up Caxias! People came up to us making contacts with least 10! WE taught antonio´s family as well and invited them to be baptized and they accepted! Miracle! I learned a lot with him. I respect elder puggina a lot....he´s a great example and always looks to serve others. They are a family that could change everything in the branch here! They have a car too! nobody here has one! We are going to start giving training here every friday about everything...ex: how to give a talk, how to teach a class, how to sing hymns, how to play piano, etc. Its gonna strengthen the branch a lot more! They´re eager to learn. Well, thats about all of our news!
LOve you guys!
Elder Larsen

Thursday, July 3, 2014

World Cup 24/7

OI PESSOAL!! Everythings going swell here. What a craze this last saturday! Brasil played Chile and won on penalty kicks!! EVERYBODY WAS ALMOST DYING OF NERVOUSNESS! When the won, the lid went off of the city!! The world cup, no matter what game it is, is on 24/7 EVERYWHERE! You wouldnt believe how nuts these people are. I´ve actually grown to like soccer quite a bit. So, my language study this week was fun, i dedicated it to learn the brasil national anthem! I can sing the whole first verse now! Its crazy that i´m getting on the last stretch now....but i feel like i´m more focused now than ever! My companion gave me a good idea about work yesterday. Since i will be learning the hertz system, maybe i could apply that to something in brasil. Hertz is the biggest rental car business in Brasil as well. 
Our work was really good this week. We have quite a few people we are preparing for baptism, but we are focusing a lot of our time on new members as well, strengthening them. There are 2 recent convert girls rosa and berenice who are 23 and 21. We are teaching their sister Diná, who´s 19. The 3 of them want to be sisters! hahhah i asked Diná, and how to you expect to be a sister when you´re not even a member yet! She was like yeah, lets get a move on on that! hahaha she will be baptized on the 12th! We had a cool lesson with them yesterday talking about how a mission is and about temples, etc. After, we taught an awesome family....the dad is a taxi for the mayor, and the daughter is a lawyer! They´re loving the stuff we´re teaching! They even came to our activity saturday! The month of june is crazy in brasil...they have tons of holidays called "Festa Junina" So the branch put on a little cookoff with a little program about pioneers. they asked me to speak about it, so i did! it was good! We later did some games, especially pioneer ones, like stick pulling! It was kind of dead at first though, but us four brought the fun quickly! me and elder gauthier taught everyone how to dance to, "cotton eyed joe"! hahaha they thought it was hilarious!
Poor U.S. is already out of the cup....just have to wait 4 more years..I´m hoping brasil pulls it off....and i hope that they meet argentina in the final! Biggest rivalry!
Well, i hope all is well there!
Elder Larsen

Friday, June 27, 2014

Still lots of Work to do!!

HEY! well, what an interesting week! First sunday that i´m here in caxias, they give me the manual to teach the priests quorum! hahaha we teach all 3 hours here practically! I will have to speak at least one time a month here as well. WE had an attendance of 33 this week! One thing cool about being in a little town again is that everyone looks at you like a superhero and everyone stops to talk to you. Honestly speaking, 20% of the population knows the church here. Bad part, there´s nothing to do here! hahahah on pday i just sleep and eat because i live with 3 nerds! They all play like yugioh cards whenever they free time. And they always speak english when they´re together. Then they come crying to me later saying that nobody understands their portuguese. My companion gave me a few hard times this week. He´s quite stubborn and doesnt like to be told anything. He gets mad that i speak well and he doesnt. So i speak portuguese 24/7 trying to help him and he gets mad and tells me to speak english so he can learn. Good news though is that we have a lot of good people to teach who really have a strong desire to be members. The branch president and i have already made a good relationship. He´s a good, humble guy that has good ambitions. I hope i can make a difference here, but i got a lot of weight on my shoulders right now. I read the conference talk from elder bednar this week that gave me a lot of comfort. He says that our load gives us more spiritual friction and thats not a bad thing! Many people think that true happiness is the state of doing absolutely nothing. I´m happy that president siedschlag has confidence in me and wants to test me. The branch here has a lot of maturing to do. WE arent just teaching investigators, but members as well! The members have so much to learn as well. we are thinking of starting a class on saturdays to teach on how to give talks, how to sing hymns, etc. we had zone conference on friday, it was really good! I slept at the staff house. Elder Steed and Elder Beraldi are living there, i talked with them forever! Then when we got back from the meeting, i saw elder machado there who i trained! he and his companion are in teresina with problems in the tendons! I talked with him for a while! he´s in parnaíba 3 where i started! I have a few trunky thoughts here and there, but i´m hanging on still! Got lots of work to do!
Love yall,
Elder Larsen
 The Chapel
 River in Caxias
 World Cup Fever!! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Transferred to Caxias!

Heyy family! Well, i´m starting on my last 12 weeks of the mish! I got the crazy suprise of transfers on monday that i was heading to Caxias! I was quite sad to leave São Luís, i liked it a lot there! Just when things were getting comfortable, the Lord sent me to another place! ;) I´ll miss elder de jesus a lot, i hit it off with him...he´s a goofball! I´ll miss the sisters a lot as well, especially now that it´s just elders in my district! 90% of the mission changed this transfer! It was really crazy! Caxias is a tough challenge that president gave me! I feel like i left Vinhais a lot better than it was before though....the members were more excited, we found a new house closer to the chapel and area of work, we got  a ward mission leader, and we baptized! I traveled with a lot of elders and sisters that were heading to teresina. Nobody was really happy with the transfer, but just go with it! I´m gonna be finishing off the mission skinny.....with only 30 members here, lunch isnt an everyday thing....My companion is Elder Gauthier from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He´s a good missionary, he got here 2 transfers ago, after serving 2 transfers in california waiting his visa. The other 2 elders are shepard from chicago, and elder nessen from north carolina. The 3 are big we´ll see how this goes! It´s been chill so far. The house here is very nice! we watched the brasil game yesterday at the branch president´s house. Really nice guy, he loved me! Couldnt believe that i was american! I´m excited for the adventure that i have here to finish off the mission. It´ll be different, but vamos lá! 
Love you guys.
Elder Larsen

Thursday, May 29, 2014

loving life here in São Luís!!

HEYYYY!!! what a good week we had! The Lord really blessed us this week in our work. WE had quite a few moments where we were really guided by the spirit. Brasil is crazy right now....nobody is studying because the world cup will start! also, the city buses are on strike...since they are on strike...everyone is!! we were going to mark the marriage of a couple we´re teaching, but the marriage office was closed!!! :( hopefully these strikes pass soon. Sunday we finally got some investigators AND various less actives to come to church. I feel like my teaching ability is at it´s best that its ever been in the mission. We´re really seeing difference in the people we are teaching. The members are helping us a lot in the form of meals....We finally found an apartment to rent....we just have to talk to president to confirm it. We have zone conf on saturday as well with him. On sunday, we were walking and i started looking at our contacts on our cell and i saw a name, edson. i told my comp that i felt like we should visit him. We called him and visited him. He went less active just because he traveled, hurt his foot, and never came back to church! We ended up teaching his whole family as well! They also gave us a referral of their neighbor as well who accepted us very well. We´ve been finding a lot more less actives being that we are getting to know the area better. A member passed by us the other day and was like, "elders, i really like you you see that pizza shop? if you ever are hungry, just stop by there, grab a pizza, and tell them that i´ll pay for it." I was like, well.....ok! perfect with me! no problem....! We´re teaching a girl named Vanderleia that is way cool as well. She went to a devotional in the chapel out of nowhere last sunday night and invited us to teach her! She was loaded with questions! Finally things are coming together in our area. loving life here in São Luís!!
Elder Larsen