Monday, May 11, 2015

Traveling Missionaries

More of Elder Larson's pictures

                                          This looks like a bathroom shot.
                                            Mexico City MTC or CCM
                                             Elder Zuniga and Elder Larson
                                               Elder                       in Tennessee
                                           No Elder, now you see him, now you don't.  :)

More pictures of Mexico City Life

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tennessee week 7??

jaja wats up? its been way too long!!! jaja okay so the last week of CCM was super long and great and everything except for one thing. another person left from our distrcit. elder peterson left  4 days before we left for the field. so sad! he didnt even say good bye. we fouhd out he was leaving and raced over to the resepcion and he just barely left. and then it started raining like a minute later. like seriously just like a movie. and it was like the sky was crying. it poured more than it ever had in the CCM before. it was krazy. anyway. im in TENNESSEE!!!! whoop whoop! it was krazy! the flights over here were awesome! we talked to people about the gospel and stuff and it was great! i also took a really long nap which i totally needed! so when we got to atlanta Georgia. the first thing i did. the first thing. was get through customs and security jajaja but then i got CHICK-FIL-A!!!!! score!!!! ive been dying for chick since before i left! finally got it!!! tasted sooo good!!!! jaja so then we went to TENNESSEE!!!! and the first thing taht we did was meet pres Griffin and mommy griffin. she came up to me and i shouted "MOM" and she gave me a hug and stuff. it was pretty cute. almost as good as the hugs my mom gives me. almost... but then i stepped outside and BAM! i got hit by a heat wall! it was so humid and sticky and the air was so thick! i could feel myself start sweating right when i walked outside! ridiculous! its been like that for a couple days but it is supposed to cool down for fall. so im excited for that! so my trainer. my dad. is elder Baird. he has been out 5 months! krazy. so we both are like noobs. so jaja learning is fun here! its great though. i love him. he really likes computers and video games and im just like "yeah you can talk about that stuff" and then i just listen and nod. its great! jaja he is super chill. so im in sevierville. pretty chill. krazy people here tho. i mean in pigeon forge anyway. so our area covers three cities. sevierville, pigeon forge and gatlinburg. pigeon forge is like a tourist attraction. they have an upside down building. a titanic. i dont even know about that one. its tennessee. there aint no ocean round these parts!!!! i dont get it. and our church building is being renovated right now so we meet in a theater. right across from the titanic. so thats wehere we tell everyone our church is jaja and at noon everyday the titanic horn goes off three times and it always is interrupting people jajaja its hilarious. so we have two elder pairs and a sister pair in this distict. elder flynn and elder zuniga (i call him zuchinni... dont know how to spell that vegetable) and then the sisters are hermana collier and hermana guevara. pretty sick. pretty sick. so we are in a car share area so we trade off everyweek. this week we had the bikes. yay!... we biked like 20 miles on saturday!

one night we were coming home from biking and tracting and knocking on potentials houses and there was this drunk guy sitting on a park bench and we stgarted talking to him and he went off man. just went off for a good 30-45 min just rambling. it was pretty frustrating cause we would try to get him talking about the gospel and stuff but he was talking about vietnam and how he went thru Hell and how he knows GOd loves him and we were just like "thats great. thank you for your service sir. he also know God loves you..." and then he would go off again. that was frustrating.

jaja i biffed it biking. jaja so funny! we were coming home from talking to some people up in the woods and they were talking about their church and how its so lively and how they sing lots of songs and there was this one guy who said he built like a ton of churches. like he just makes one when he feels like it.  we were coming home and it was dark and we were riding on a busy road and there was no space to ride a bike on the side, so we are on the road and i saw a car coming behind me so i ditched to the right. the car passed and i was still riding on the side and apparenty there was a dip in the grass and i couldnt see it so i hit it going as fast as i could and just flew. seriosly i sailed into the middle of the road. that was scary. luckily there were no cars coming otherwise that could have been bad. jajajaja....Sunday was good. interesting. got to have church in a theater. first experience. first time for everything. but you could still feel the spirit. which is the main thing. so yeah basically that was my week. jammed in to a little tiny nut shell. we taught more people and we ahve lots of appointments. so im excited for that. okay Tennessee is being good for me for now. its all good. i love it here. everything is so green and beautfiul. love you all! thank you for your support! ill try and include a spiritual moment next time. cause there are a lot of them. love you all!

 Week 5: Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos   Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM
This week has been up and down, up and down. its been crazy. seriously so many highs and so many lows. so Elder Beckstead went home. it was pretty sad. he could never recover from his kidney infection. so yeah. he left. also hermana Bell left too. she left the day after beckstead. it was crazy. like just bam bam. we were down two missionaries. it was pretty hard to stay focused. it makes me so sad though. beckstead and bell would have been awesome missionaries. now we are trying to make elder peterson stay. but any way. this week was pretty good besides those low notes. elder bryson and i taught twice a day this week. that was pretty new and i kind of liked it. we started teaching each other now. so we teach our own district. but elder bryson and i dont get to be investigators. cause we are just too cool for that. haha we actually had are really amazing lesson me and elder bryson. we were teaching about the gospel of jesus christ and some how we got into the investigators guilts and sins that he feels bad about and then we told us some stuff and so we switched the lesson on the spot and it was amazing! you could actually feel the spirit so strong! it was crazy and like we apparently asked some really inspired questions and it was just a boost cause the day before was really unsolid with people leaving and all. so i was grateful for that opportunity to grow with elder bryson and to learn how a lesson driven by the spirit is supposed to be like.
haha so this week was the 1 month mark! whoop whoop! crazy stuff! ive been in the CCM for 3 months! july, august and september! haha yeah! we leave in a week! crazy stuff! hermano medina was quick to remind us to continue to learn and stay focused. he says the last week in the CCM is igual to the last few months out in the field. he said we can learn so much this last week so thats the goal. grow more. so ive actually tried to learn a lot more. and not just in spanish... haha so there is an Elder Han from LIndon. he was actually in my stake haha and he is teaching me how to play the harmonica! haha i can play like 4 riffs. its pretty fun. Gyebi-Quarcoo is also teaching me French. im so bad at that. i like spanish more. 
so i just got back from the temple. and it is beautiful!!! my goodness! i wished i could have actually gone in it! it was so cool. so we just got to go to the visitors center and see the christus there. taht was pretty cool. its so nice in there! probably like the nicest in mehico city. haha seriously. and we got taught by the sister missionaries serving there. 
anyway, we have a new district in our zone and one of the kids i totally know! his name is Elder Frampton. he played for lone peak. baskteball. and he is dang good. haha i played cage soccer with him. it was great. our entire zone just goes and plays cage soccer for gym. its the greatest. oh! and monday we had FHE!! it was pretty awesome. we sang and had cookies and we had a poetry slam. elder han and elder ostergar came up with some pretty good ones in spanish. it was pretty fun and awesome and totally brought us closer as a zone. and i totally forgot. i spoke in sacrament meeting. i almost got away with it but i got to speak. yay!! haha i talked about profets and how super important they are and how its super important to obey the word of the profet cause its the word of God. it was pretty good. but the only thing i thought i should have done was talk slower. which i didnt think would be a problem but i totally spoke way to fast. it was pretty nuts. i dont even know how i spoke spanish that fast. i tried asking people if they understood me and they were like uh... kind of? haha oh well. presidente rodriguez understood me. so thats all i care about. 
anyway, that was basically my week in a tiny,  miniscule shell. i think it will be two weeks probably when i get to email again. so this is ta ta for now. love you all! thanks for the support and love!
with passionate love
Elder Larson

 Week 4: Ciudad de Mehico   Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 8:36 AM
This week was crazy! seriously nuts! it all started with beckstead throwing up. he had been sick for like 14 days and so he and elder thomas went to OUTSIDE the walls to get a check up at the clinic. they did some tests and got some x-rays and then they came back. and then the next day they had to got OUTSIDE the walls again to get the results. but they never came back. that was thursday and that was the day we were supposed to have TRC which meant we would teach in actives or people who arent members but we didnt have enough investigators so we just taught hermano medinas wife. that was awesome. she had a cute little baby which looked exactly like a mini medina. haha it was awesome. anyway, that night beckstead and thomas didnt come back. and i was freaking out! elder JBQ told me to "simmer down elder".  he thought i was totally overreacting and so he wouldnt let me stay up until they got back which was a very good thing because they never came back.... so during our personal study the next day, friday, around 7:30 a guy comes in and asks for elder bryson and elder larson. he told us how elder thomas and beckstead were at the hospital and that thomas had stayed overnight there because beckstead had a kidney infection. it was pretty freaky. so they told us we would go to the hospital to switch out thomas. so we went. we left the WALLS! for the first time! it was so cool! haha it is crazy in mexico city! everyone drives insane! i cant tell if everyone is super crappy at driving or super awesome at driving really close to other cars and almost getting into crashes. its crazy! its nuts and the air always smells terrible! its gross. when ever you stop at a red light, a ton of vendors come run around selling stuff adn there are randdom people offering windshield washes. but all they do is throw water on the windshield and smear the dirt around. its nuts. there are so many stray dogs too! its crazy! and they have playgrounds in the weirdest places. i saw one in the middle of an intersection right underneath the freeway. it was so weird and it was made entirely of concerete. it was funny to see. so when we got to the room, elder thomas looked so relieved to see us and he looked exhausted! so then edler bryson took a shift and elder thomas and i went back to the ccm. we got back in time to teach a lesson! yay! haha yeah i actually taught with elder JBQ with was awesome cause hes awesome and hes black which is awesome! Gyebi is pretty good at spanish. we taught an okay lesson, not the best, but certainly not the worst. so at 5:40 i was supposed to go to the hospital to switch out elder bryson but before that elder thomas and i wanted to teach a lesson together. and we totally did. it was seriously so good! we meshed so well! it was great we were definitely on the same page and i can only give thanks to God for that blessing. it was the best lesson ive ever been apart in. and it was onyl because we were intune with the spirit and inspired what to say and how to say it. it was invredible. hermano medina even said it was good. which means a lot cause hermano medina doesnt give that stuff out like ever. so after our lesson, i got my turn at the hospital. oh man! they speak so fast! i could hardly understand what they were saying! it was super frustrating! i wanted to understand so bad! but it was all good. elder beckstead and i made it out okay. i got to sleep over at the hospital. that was pretty crazy cause every like 2-3 hours a nurse would come in and check on beckstead. and it was always right when i was so close to falling asleep! haha oh well. anyway. beckstead got better and he came back actually on saturday. that was an awesome blessing. so i left around 10;00 from the hospital and elder JBQ took a shift. and that day the coolest thing happened! it rained for like 3-4 hours straight! it was so awesome! i love the rain! it just poured! and i ran through lots of puddles and it was so great! made me feel alive! haha 
sunday i got to play the piano agian in priesthood! yay! turns out im the only elder in my branch taht can play the piano haha i doubt it but oh well. its good for me to learn more hymns. haha but i love playing. it feels so good to play the piano! oh i miss the guitar too! aaahh!! so the oldest district in our branch left on monday and now my district is the oldest. we will be the oldest for like 2 weeks! haha that means im gonna get called on to speak on sunday! yay! 
haha an awesome experience my district had this week was our tuesday devotional was about specific prayers and that if we ask God specifically for something and if we have faith that he can provide and if we put in the effort he will answer. so a couple days before, the comedor served actual good food! it was amazing picante pollo. it was so crispy and it was way better than KFC! it was awesome! so we decided, as a district to pray for more picante pollo. haha it was awesome! and in 2 days, we got more picante pollo! it was seriously the coolest thing! greatest thing ever. so that was basically my week. on sunday we watched a movie about the construction of the salt lake temple. and it just got me thinking about how much i truly love the temple. like it was such a blessing in my life to live so close to so many temples. im grateful that i got to take advantage of that opportunity and go. and it just brought back memories of going with friends but the biggest was when Hope was sealed to us for time and all eternity. the biggest feeling i felt when i was 13 going in the temple was how peaceful and wonderful everything was and how peaceful i felt. its almost indescribable. i just felt so much love for my family and for everyone that it brought tears to my eyes and i just was filled with this love for everyone around me. it was the most incredible feeling. i had never felt that way before in my entire life and it was the best feeling in the world. you could just feel the love of the lord radiating thru the walls, floors, and ceilings. it was amazing. i realize now, how special that moment was, seeing my baby sister being sealed to my parents forever. for all eternity. and it made me realize how very special family is. because friends can come and go but family is always there. constant, unmovable, comforting and loyal. Just like Him. familes are just like Him and i love that. 
thank you all for your love and support. your letters and packages. emails. whatever. it makes me feel so blessed and loved. thank you! i know i couldnt do any of this without your support and most importantly the lords support. he is my rock. he has blessed me so much here in the CCM. with learning the language, understanding the gospel, teaching the lessons. everything. he is in every part of my life. and i love him so much!
with love unabound,
Elder Larson


This week had so many ups and downs. it was crazy. its amazing to me how high you can get and how low you can get here in the CCM. i notice as soon as i start thinking of myself, thats when i get discouraged, thats when i things start heading down hill. so it is my goal to look for ways to serve and love others. its my prayer that i may have my eyes opened and realize the opportunites that are presented right in front of me and take advantage of them. because i know that as we serve, not only are the hearts of the people we serve are softened but our hearts are softened as well and then the spirit can really guide and direct and testify. so thats my goal. lets see how i do.
ANY way, this week was really a rollercoaster. last tuesday, i started practicing my soccer skillz. elder thomas is a freak of nature when it comes to soccer. he is so coordinated with his feet and he has so much balance its amazing. he taught me how to balance the soccer ball on my foot and i can almost catch the soccer ball in between my butt and my calf. its super hard and i can never quite do it but im so close! elder thomas also taught me how to catch the ball on my back so now i can throw the soccer ball up and catch it in between my shoulder blades, kind of cradling it with my neck and my shoulder blades. its sick! i can also balance the ball on my forehead for like 4 seconds but tahts nothing compared to elder thomas.  i so want a soccer ball when i get out in the field haha. alright so wednesday, the 13th we had our service project and this guy named fernando was in charge of us and has us clean the apartments. it was awesome and funny cause fernando only speaks spanish so we really had to bust out our good stuff to really converse with him. it was great though haha. i understood what he said and i could reply. it was great. so we have tried talking solo espanol twice now. and i am so bad! yo no hablo mucho cuando hablemos solo espanol. haha its great practice though.
I kind of dreamed in spanish!!!!! hahaha it was actually kind of crazy but it i dont think it really technically counts cause it was entirely in spanish. well most of it wasnt spanish. okay only one sentence was spanish. haha the line was "hago lo que quiero" which is supposed to mean " i do what i want" but i dont know if thats actually correct. elder JBQ(hes black and hes awesome) says i do what i want all the time and so elder ostergar translated it into spanish and now everyone says it in our district. so i guess it was said so much that it finally got into my sub-conscious and i dreamed about it. haha but hey! its spanish! 
any way we taught vicente and guillermo a lot this week. some lessons were good. some lessons were terrible others were okay and one was pretty good. im so glad elder bryson knows spanish! we are basically the only companionship where our spanish is like equal. all the others have a really bad spanish speaker and a pretty decent one. we arent good at speaking spanish, not really when it comes down to it but we get by okay. its great. i love elder bryson. ive gotten a little frustrated with the language cause i sometimes during lessons freeze up and forget easy words like we can, podemos, easy stuff that i use all the time and i probably had just used like thirty secs ago but i just couldnt think of it then. its kind of dumb and frustrating but oh well. ill keep working at it. studying prepararing better for lessons. 
oh okay, so for gym now, all elder thomas and i and elder bryson do is play cage soccer. where we are on a basketball court that has been turned into a soccer court and its freaking awesome cause we are in a cage and there are no out of bounds and you just go. but anyway like our first time playing in the cage court, there was a high ball and i was jumping to head it, but then this kid, elder graham, came up and like tried to head it to, and so we both went for it and our heads totally clashed. it was so bad! elder JBQ said he could here the crack from outside the court like it was ferocious. it was so bad! my head hurt and i was so dazed and i got a goose bump haha, but after like thirty seconds we started plahying again. it was great!
so i have been sick, like sore throat, coughing, and sneezing for like 5 days. its not that bad, but its kind of painful sometimes. its not as bad as elder beckstead though. he has been really sick since august 9 or soemthing. its been like 11 days, and he keeps throwin gup and he cant keep anything down. haha i actually gave him a blessing! first one! whoop whoop! it was so awesome! it was crazy! it was awesome to feel the spirit and to feel what he needed and stuff like that. it was awesome!
so my distict loves to sing. like LOVES to sing. its awesome, but at the same time super annoying! we sing for like 10-15 minutes some time! and most of the time we just seen nearer my god to thee. really slow. haha but its funny cause thats like the only hymn i can play on the piano. haha. and on sunday, i played the piano in priesthood meeting! yeah, i was pretty good, everyone was impressed with my skillz, no big deal. seriously though, i did way good. way better then i do in priesthood opening exercises at home. haha like exponentially better. and now my entire distrcit thinks im good at literally everythin gi do. basketball, soccer, piano, singing,(i dont know why, im a terrible singer) spanish, spiritaul stuff, scriptures, like serciously everything. its really annyoing. sunday was the best though! we had amazing devotionals! we watched elder hollands talk addressing the importance of missonaries being converted to teh gospel before they can help otehres become converted. he talked about peter and the 11 and how, after chirst died, they didnt know what to do so they went to fish, like they did before he called them. christ of course comes to find them and tells them to cast their nets on the right side after they had been fishing all night without any luck. and then their catch was so big that they coulnd pull it in. it was a miracle that their nets didnt break, let allone the catch. and immediately john said, "its him" and peter jumped overboard and swam to him. then christ proceeded to ask peter if he loved him. which peter responded of course he loved him, more than the fish and the boats and the nets. then christ asked him again and peter kind of said the same thing and then the third time,(the third time for peter is really sensitive to him right now because of the crow and everything) and this time peter said i love thee more than anything else. and christ said " feed my sheep". so what i learned from that was if we try to bring in people to the gospel on our own we will be very unsuccessful and it will be terrible work, but if we turn to the lord and heed his promptings, the work will be still hard but more profitable. "once you are called to the work, you are never released until the end" that really smacked me in the face, i need to work, work work.
it just made me want to go out into the field and just testify to everyone i meet that i know God lives. i know he loves us and he sent his son, jesucristo to atone for our sins. i know he lives, and it brings joy to my soul! i know that the gospel was restored through the profet joseph smith and that was truly a profest called and prepared by God. i know that this church is true, how can it not be? i know the book of mormon is another witness of jesucristo. i know that is it inpsired of God and written by ancient profets who lived here, in the americas. i now that thru cristo y su expiacion, we can recibir perdones por nuestros pecados. i know that thru the atonement we can receive peace, consuelo, y happiness. i love this gospel. i love this church. i know with every fiber of my being and in my heart thru the witness of the Holy Ghost that these things are true. and i can never deny them.
i love you all! thank you for your support and love! i miss you deeply and i pray for you daily! 
with love and undying affection
Elder Larson