Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 27, 2015

(every week will be christmas until i come home.)

I am doing good, Elder Foote and I are both EXHAUSTED, we woke up at 4:00 this morning to go and help with a CSP, i wish we could have been doing the other kind of CSP (Companion Sleeping Program) but.... maybe next time for that CSP. we got up to an area called Manlayag, it is about 30 minutes away by car, i took my sundang (machete) because the CSP was making "uling" (charcoal) well, when we got there we had a giant mango tree that all the limbs were cut down already we just had to saw them, and make them smaller to transport. well all of this was done on the edge of a cliff, well a very steep slope. i used a sundang and hacked away at some very large branches, i honestly think that machetes are better at that job than axes that we usually would use in America. It was way fun, and helped us continue to build good relationship with the ward. through our service we were able to see the changes in the attitudes of the members about a missionary, or missionaries, when you actually decide to bring Christlike Service into the work.

this week was a very long one, and the Key Indicators didn't show it. it was almost as if there were a couple of days that just got taken off of the week, because they were so low. Elder Foote and i have been rebuilding  or actually establishing a teaching pool. and we both said this week that we want a fun pool, not just some lame kiddie pool that can still be called a "pool" but we are working way hard. we found 13 new investigators this last week, and we have plans to have at least that many if not more this coming week... we have been using referrals for the most part, we received 16 referrals this last week, and contacted 12 of them. we just ran out of time to contact the other 4 of them, but we will contact them this week.

so my studies this week have been quite a bit better than in weeks past. i have been going back to read in PMG. i have also been listening to some General Conference talks from back in the 70's and 80's. trying to get a feel again with how to speak in church, and in English... neither of them being my strong suit. i have been listening to President Monson, President Hinckely, and Elder Holland... also some older ones, Bruce R. McConkey, N. Eldon Tanner. and trying to figure out how they produced such great results with the talks, and speeches  and things they did.

Um! later we are going to be eating more TURKEY! 3 more of them, for our Christmas/New Years dinner... Dont worry ashlee, i wont have pics of them,.... i wish i would though! ;PPP

I love you all, enjoy your NEW YEAR!!!
-Elder Larson

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas, well, i think that it is going to be an AMAZING Christmas, being 1 more year in the Lords service, not to mention the 3rd Christmas in the Philippines. it is difficult, but when i really think about the "REASON FOR THE SEASON" it becomes so much easier. it has also gotten so much easier with my new companion, Elder Foote has been a blessing and a half. it is crazy what changes he has already helped me make to be sure that this last part of my mission is as successful as possible. the changes that i have been making have been fun. it has been so much more effective, and we have been working so hard. We have been working on finding, and growing our faith to experience "CHRISTMAS MIRACLES" i have been working the hardest i have and it seems to just be going the slowest.

We have been working super hard this week, and found 5 new investigators. we need a ton more of those, but we have both been praying for Christmas Miracles... and they are starting to come, just anything good, or even bad that happens we say that it is a miracle, or a miracle in disguise....

the members have seen a change in my attitude, and my desire to do this work, and they have jumped along for the ride, on Saturday we had a mini MTC, where the youth were all invited to come and work with the missionaries we also had copies of the Book of Mormon that we took everywhere in Danao City... in total the youth of the stake hand delivered 60 copies of the Book of Mormon. it was fun to go along and help them, because i remember when i was like that as a missionary, super awkward and shy when talking to people. i can't believe that i was that shy... the technology in our day has really hindered our sociability...

On Sunday after church we went and did a caravan, where we went and worked with the members, Elder Foote got assigned to a part of our area called Sandayong, well it is about 2 hours away up hill... it is almost like walking up Big Cottonwood Canyon... they had to walk all the way there because we can't ride on motorcycles. i got assigned to another area that was 2 hours away by car... and even more mountainous, and foresty.... i am not sure what words would, or should be used to describe it... just look for yourself.

Also for the second Christmas in a row, i am moving houses.. we have started moving, mainly because the land lord is ridiculous to deal with, also not to mention the almost 50,000 pesos that were stolen in the last almost 6 months from the apartment... i wonderful right???

ALRIGHT KITA KITS PAHUN!!! amping ug mahal kita!!!

(see ya next time!!! take care, and i love you!!!)
-Elder Larson

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 15, 2015

hello to all of you! it has been a very long transfer week so far, well a very long week in general. it has been full of ups and downs, and twisting arounds...

well i am going to be in Danao Zone for my last transfer, i am staying as the Zone Leader here, and i will be training a new ZL, Elder Foote, i have known him for his entire mission because he and Elder Head were batch from the MTC. He is about 1 year and 3 months in the mission, and just finished training his 2nd trainee. we have a ton in common already, i am looking forward to these next 6 weeks. it is going to be a big change from how i have been doing missionary work for a while. i know i have not been "in a very good mood" for what seems like a very long time, i haven't been "(MYSELF)." well i am hoping that i get back to my joyful, fun loving self. Honestly, this transfer that is upcoming is looking like a ray of light from the clouds.

this week i have continued to read the D&C, and as of today i am down to D&C 40. even though it is exactly 42 days until i get home, i will be traveling for almost 2 of those days.... technically, but it will only be a few hours. i cant remember if i told you all when i get home, but on January 27 at 5:00 in the evening. i can't remember who i told, but now you all know!

Last week we had our mission Christmas conference, it was way awesome to go to, it is sad to say that this is my last one as a full time missionary... i know i should be thankful that i was able to have 3 of them, and will finish out my last Christmas this next coming week... but i don't want them to end... I love the feeling of being a missionary here in the Philippines Cebu East Mission... my mission has changed me so much, and i know for sure that it is not quite done changing me. I have realized what matters in this life, and what doesn't. believe me i'm not perfect, i still make a ton of mistakes, but i feel like i am doing better than i have in the past.

So yesterday morning i went and printed off the transfer sheet, i can't explain how nerve racking it is to tell everyone where people are transferring, and who is going to be coming in to the zone. what made matters a little bit more interesting was that sister tanner showed up randomly with her kids, and grand-kids... i was not expecting them in the least bit, and then they sat through our transfer calls, then afterword they wanted to ride in the Pedicabs (we call them Sikad). so i paired them up with some missionaries and sent them on their way, well because they drove the car up to Danao. so sister tanner gave me the keys, and said, "Take good care of it, also no joy rides." well needless to say, i followed what she said, and took the car over to a place where she could get it after we finished our lunches.

this last weekend i was chosen to do 3 baptisms, one of the reasons is because i am an american, another is probably because i am their English teacher. but they all chose me to baptize them. it is on Sunday morning at 6:30 before church, because on Saturday all the people were busy fulfilling their callings. Margie, Varnie, and April.

Oh yeah, MAKE SURE THAT YOU SAVE SOME SNOW FOR ME!!! don't melt it all before i get home!
-Elder Larson

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 6, 2015

another week is over, which means another week closer to coming home. honestly i have had some of the most difficult challenges in this last week. Every first week of a new month we have a meeting called an MLC (mission leadership council) where all of the Zone Leaders, and all of the Sister Training Leaders meet together, in the Mission President's house. In this meeting we discuss as leaders what needs to be done so our mission can run smoother, and be more effective in bringing people/souls unto Christ. Well in this meeting and pretty much anywhere now, i don't feel like i really have a place in the mission still. One reason that my companion pointed out to me is, "you don't act like any other American." well, if i look at that, i guess i can say yeah, you are right. i don't, on Tuesday we had the MLC, and then on Wednesday we were supposed to have a companion study to prepare for the ZTM... (Zone Training Meeting). we didn't have that, because we didn't have studies, we just had an hour long conversation where a lot of things got brought up, about being a "LEADER"... we both agreed that we need to do more, and that we are not setting a good example. well i don't know how long it lasts, usually 2 or 3 days, and then it is back to the 'same ole, same ole.' i still expect so much from everyone in the mission, and nothing ever happens... i guess this is President Tanner's same feelings...
My English class has been doing ok... we have slowly dropped in numbers, we started it with 35 people, this last week we only had 20. i think that they just forget that they can come still, or that we have a schedule... but i think i figured out how to do it. i just taught a little about pronounciation, and then i had them all talk to one another (filipino to filipino) and then the americans/english speakers went around and helped and talked as well, i feel like it added and helped them a lot. at least they said that it was better. the big problem is that they are shy to speak english to an american (ME)....
On Thursday we had our ZTM, and it was way good, some people said that it was the best ZTM they have had in their mission. i agree it was a very good one, it was full of the spirit, and some strong emotions, and the spirit. Ummmm.
i am not sure what else to say...
when you have time i would like to invite you to watch the churches christmas video. it is an awesome video, and if you dare, watch it in Cebuano. i love it!
-Elder Larson

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 22, 2015

well, my thanksgiving was a lot different than you would believe. i got to experience all the joys, and stress of a father, and mainly a zone leader. i made a deal with the missionaries, well not really a deal, i just told them that we would have TURKEY, and potatoes, i also told them ABSOLUTELY NO RICE, well, the last part was changed, we ended up with rice. but we had 2 turkeys for thanksgiving and 14 missionaries. the thing that was different is that we went and we butchered the turkeys. all together it was 10 kilos of turkey (while alive). well, i am not sure how i should tell you but they are no longer living, but they were delicious, we had them roasted style. it was so good. look at the pictures if you dare... cautionary DON'T LOOK AT THEM IF YOUR NAME IS ASHLEE, OR YOU WILL BE MAD AT ME...

so this week we had another slow work week........ 6 lessons.. it wouldn't have been so bad but it was a lot of improperly used time. we went to Camotes again to do a baptismal interview for the District Leader. so we missed 2 days, and then i also went back to the doctor on Tuesday to have a follow up appointment on my ankle. the doctor looked at my x ray, looked at me and said "you have a sprained ankle" BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME! i could have told him that... i was pretty irritated with him after that analysis of my ankle. but what could i have done differently.

Camotes is so amazing!!! i have been there 2 times now, and we go back again tomorrow to attend their District Meeting, and go on exchanges.

TAKE SOME TIME AND LOOK AT THIS VIDEO,, and remember to always be thankful for whatever comes into your path.

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 15, 2015

Well, in this last week i figured out the benefits of being a Zone Leader of Danao Zone. our zone is from Compostella to Catmon, and also Camotes. (as i typed this i just realized how many "C" cities are in our zone.... wow. well, on Thursday after our ZTM(zone training meeting) i wen't over to Camotes on exchanges with a new missionary, Elder Crapo. His companion is the District Leader, and had a meeting called DLC(district leader counsel). well while he was gone, i went to Camotes to work, also i had to make sure that the sisters got home. well i am the only one with a licence, so i got to drive the Camotes car!!!!! it was super fun! i wish these roads were like america, it is super hard to even try to go fast, well the fastest i got going was 60 KMH.... Unbelievably slow in america!

on Thursday we were headed to our ZTM, we were riding a tricycle(3 wheeled motorcycle) with a basket in the back. well because i was taking clothes to Camotes, i toke another bag with me so that i had some clothes. but when we got off the tricycle i forgot to take my bag with me. so after the meeting we spent about 30 minutes just wandering around the terminal looking for the bag, or maybe the driver. with no success we went to the traffic office. i talked with them and told them what happened, then they put Elder Crapo and i in the back of the Police car, and took us around looking for the bag, with no success, we told them that we had a boat to catch at 5:30. so we checked one more spot and it was no good either. they told us that if they found it before we left for Camotes they would bring it to me. well we got on the boat, and at about 5:20 one of the crew members of the boat came up and asked us if we were missing a bag. the 2 police officers were down waiting just outside the boat with the bag. it was super awesome, and they had impeccable timing.

on tuesday we had MLC (missionary leadersip counsel) it was pretty sweet, president Tanner sent a text to all of the Zone leaders, and Sister Training Leaders ahead to have us come into the meeting fasting with an open heard and ready to learn from the spirit about how we could improve our mission. we learned a ton. it was so crazy to see how many problems really do exist in our mission... try and see what we as the leaders could do, and will do to help them fulfill their callings.

this week i learned a very important thing... the old saying "IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL" is true, this week we haven't made any daily plans. to be 100% honest, i didn't really feel like a missionary this last week with all of our running around. i worked 2 days out of 7. Monday-Pday, Tuesday-MLC, Wednesday-ZTM, Thursday-ZTM and camotes. Friday-Camotes still Saturday-Xray/running around Sunday-Church.... i have decided that i can't go to bed until after we do our planning, or even changing out of prostlyting clothes.

this week i have really learned the importance of fasting, we as the leaders in the mission fasted tuesday, and then on thursday we invited the entire zone to fast as well. the spirit was so much more abundant, and felt so much more powerful! i have really learned to love that feeling, and really appreciate it!
-Elder Larson

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 10, 2015

well today i am emailing way late, we had a small CSP today where we were helping the 2nd counselor of the Bishopric with his house. it was pretty easy and yet took way longer than it should have.

so it is super crazy how fast the time goes especially when you are working hard, maybe that might be why this last week has been so crazy long... i don't feel like i have been pushed or have been working very hard. i also haven't worked with my companion. the first day here we went on exchanges, i went and worked with Elder Ferrer in his area, they are just opening up that area, so neither of us knew their area... it was kinda fun but pretty difficult. then on Saturday we went on Splits, i went and worked with a ward missionary, and so did he. it was weird because i had no clue where the investigators were, and neither did he... well on Sunday we had only 1 person accompanying us so we finally did get to work together.... for the most part. we had to stop at 6:00 because we had a dinner with our Bishop.

it is weird being one of the last 16 American Elders in the mission. but that will be ok, it isn't for too much longer. (mainly because there is another batch of Elders from the Provo MTC.


Nagsisipagsisinungasinungalingan - trying to tell fake lies to another.

I will have a lot more stuff to write about next week, we have MLC tomorrow, and then my first ZTM on Thursday... hopefully it will all turn out well!

​I was looking at the Blog of my oldest son Elder Head, and i saw something that i really liked, so i don't get hit for plagerism. "
On my mission, I've seen a lot of different kinds of happiness but there are three that come to mind at this moment. Temporary happiness, such as the happiness of a child who get's a peso snack; Fake happiness, the charade of happiness of people who use means of alcohol to do away with their problems to become happy; The last is true happiness which, coincidentally, is the kind that lasts. True happiness is the kind of happiness that comes from a life of obedience to God's laws, from having a clear conscience of guilt from sin, from doing those things that will qualify you to have the Spirit with you in your life, and from the confidence that you are doing the things that will qualify you to live in God's presence with your eternal family for time and all eternity.

-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3, 2015

good day to you all! i hope that you all enjoyed the changing of the time, and the extra hour of sleep. we here in the philippines don't get any extra or lose any sleep... well because it is transfer week i am sure that you are all excited to hear about my week. as well as hear about what is going to be happening next transfer... TRANSFERS!!! 

I am transferring after 6 months here in Tagbilaran, Bohol. i am transferring to Danao, Cebu. My new companion is Elder Banawan, and our assignments are to be the Zone Leaders in Danao Zone. when i found out all of that i was so shocked, and surprised. we made the request about 2 years ago to be companions. he is my junior-junior batch to arrive in the mission field. i wasn't sure that i was ever going to become a zone leader, and also i thought he would have put me in a smaller area because of my knee. but it is all good to. because i know that i was put in this area for a reason, i just need to go and find that reason.

i have some fun stuff that has happened, some of it is not too fun, but either way, there was quite a bit that happened.

the first thing i will start with the most recent, yesterday Elder Hall was not feeling very good. he was filling sick. well his symptoms match those of Dengue... which is not very good, but it could be worse.. other than that he is doing good, just has very little energy, and has a weird rash developing.

the second is that on Monday we were playing basketball. and the last game we were playing i went up to grab the rebound and i came down on someone else's foot and sprained my ankle way bad... it hurts way bad, and hurts to walk, i haven't gone to the hospital, and YES MOM! i did do RICE, it was better while it was still swollen, now that the swelling has gone a little bit it hurts way worse. it is super tender. when coming back to the mission i had almost planned on spraining it, so i brought an ankle brace (looking back with 20-20 vision i should have been wearing it DUH!) but now i am wearing every day.

we had zone interviews with President Tanner, i believe the last ones of my mission. but it was super awesome to get to talk to him about all of my concerns and problems in person and not have to try and explain everything in a letter, it worked a ton better, and we were able to start problem solving together.
-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 25, 2015

so this week has flown by again, i feel like i was just here emailing.. after email we went and got lunch, we ate pizza hut, it was delicious. on our way out of pizza hut there was a foreigner that just walked up to us and started to talk to us well we found out a little about him, he is from Israel. so Elder Hall was pretty jazzed because he hasn't met anyone from Israel, and he has been reading in the Old Testament about the Israelite people and so forth... he was taught before in Danao by some missionaries. we invited him to church and he said that he would try. but he wasn't sure if he could make it because he is getting ready to go home! well, Sunday came and he wasn't there, but it was still interesting to talk and invite him.

i didn't make a list of things to write about this week so i am not exactly sure what happened.... i know that i did update my journal. i didn't do it for 1 month. but i was reading in D&C 93, and felt impressed to update it and try to keep it current... some days are super hard to do it, for a couple of reasons. 1-nothing worth writing happens during the day. 2-EXHAUSTED from a full day of work... well as you could guess it is usually the 2nd one.

this week we had 2 baptismal interviews, they both passed them. but when we presented it to the ward they weren't too happy, bishop said that they couldn't be baptized because they hadn't been to church... but they have been to church, just not in the ward where they reside, they have been going to Cortes Ward. but now that we told them where they are supposed to go to church they come to the right ward. well, the thing about Ruben is that he has really long hair and a beard. well the ward council talked about how they would like him to cut his hair and be clean shaven before the baptism. so later tonight our bishop, WML (ward mission leader) and EQP (elder quorum president) are going to come with us to teach them.... i don't really get why they didn't put that effort forth in the first place. i have had to force people to come and work with us, but now i can't stop them... i wish it would have been like this for the last 6 months i have been here.

i have texted all of the ward missionaries, as well as all of the other members that would be able to come and work with us, but all of them have said "no, i am too busy" so we haven't been able to work very well, we dont have anyone to help us teach, which means we can't teach some of the sisters, or all of them that we would like to.

on Friday we had our weekly planning, and at the last part it is called Companionship Inventory, well we tell each other the strengths and weaknesses, and try to help each other improve. when it was time for Elder Hall to share my strength, he just said "You will be a great father." he then went on to explain the reasons why, well.. just like my older brother stated in his email, "Dad thanks for going on a mission and leading us by example." The example that i have learned from my dad has greatly impacted my life, as well as other men that have been in my life to teach me how to be the person i am today...

ingat at mahal po ko KAYO!
-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 18, 2015

well last week our P-day ended pretty spectacularly weird... we didn't have any time to shop for food because we played basketball. we also didn't have time to do our laundry, so we did that throughout the week. also we had just gotten home from proselyting so we were exhausted, we also hadn't put away our luggage. Elder Hall was standing and he put his hands on the electric fan -don't jump ahead- and he had just turned it up to the fastest that it will go. well one thing he didn't see is that there was a part of the metal cage that was bent just so perfectly that a finger could fit into it. well he did and hit his index finger with the blades of the fan.. well lucky for him the blades aren't super sharp.. it hit him, and gave him a blood blister and cut his nail, also it sprayed blood across the room. that was super fun to clean up.

well i told you before about our investigator that is from Missouri. well we went to teach him on Saturday and well, Elder Hall taught while i sat there... every time that i tried to teach i just ended up speaking in Cebuano... i literally could not teach him... i was trying to share about why being baptized by proper authority is important and it came out very broken. i then tried to use the scriptures and i couldn't speak at all, my tongue was tied... i was over thinking it.

it has been a challenge with teaching again. going from a companion that was fluent in Cebuano, and Tagalog to one who speaks English and knows a little Cebuano. it is a difficult challange but it is one that is possible. we have just been basically translating the entire Restoration, and hopefully other lessons into Cebuano that way it will be a good language tool. he is learning a ton of words, and hopefully more importantly he is learning the meaning, and also the way to use them.

i wish you could all experience the same things that we do daily... you would all love it!
-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 11, 2015

well, i spent the last week listening to all the talks, and was able to listen to all of them before General Conference on Saturday and Sunday, but i waited until we actually watched them to take notes. it was so good! i really enjoyed how most of Saturday was talking about the Plan of Salvation. as a missionary i looked for the similarities to the message that we share daily. it was interesting to listen to the way they teach/give their talks, my goal is to become as effective as Elder Bednar. his talk was amazing, or Elder Holland. (it is going to take A LONG TIME).

oh yeah, so on Thursday there was an Emergency Transfer... we recieved a call from President Tanner on Wednesday morning, he asked first, "How is your knee Elder Larson?" well, every time i see him or talk to him that is his first question. i was super nervous, i didn't know why he was calling, he then said that there was a companionship that wasn't working out and that he needed to ask a favor. well to make the long story short, I SUSTAIN MY LEADERS. Elder Caindoy transfered to Carmen, Bohol. and i am now compaions with Elder Hall. my 16th companion and my 13th foreigner companion... it is so weird always being with Foreigners... he is also 2 months in the mission, so i am still training.

at General Conference there were a ton of members that came over from Panglao, and i got to see them all. it was funny because they all said that i am getting thin, or that i am thinner than i was when i saw them last. well, that is part of my goal. 4 months to thin, and in shape (other than round).

on Wednesday night we were headed home at 9 and we were just about to turn down a street, and there was a tricycle driving all over the road, and then ended up flipping it on its side, well he had his hand on full throttle we biked super fast to go and help him back up. when we got fairly close, probably with-in 10 feet i could smell something that you don't want to smell coming from a driver of a vehicle. the man was drunk as a skunk... he probably had a blood alcohol level of 1.6% or higher... he was beyond intoxicated...

last night on our way home we were at that same corner and my bike decided to have a major malfunction, and the chain fell off. because that happened i hit my knees on the handle bars and fell off the seat... well i was going fast enough that it kept going forward but i ended u sitting on the frame of the bike... lets just say that was SUPER painful!!!! i don't want to experience that again.

received a revelation/prompting from the spirit on Monday last week. i was looking at the bikes outside, and i felt a prompting to lock them up or bring them inside. i followed that prompting and locked them up. well in the morning they were still there, but someone had come by and stolen the lights, and also my seat from the bikes... i am glad that i followed that prompting!
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-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 4, 2015

well, i say general conference, because all of you have already had the opportunity to watch it... i still have to wait until the 10th and 11th of October, but the great thing is that i am able to download the MP3 version, put it on my USB, and then listen to all the talks before Saturday... i guess in a way "cheat".

well, it has been raining a ton recently... actually this morning we were getting ready to come and email. we headed out the door, and we could hear something in the distance. i looked at Elder Caindoy, and said we need to run or we are going to get really wet... well it was super cool to see a wall of water moving across the sky. the rain drops were about as big as a gum ball, and they felt almost like it was hailing... but it was just rain, (when i tell Filipinos about hail they don't believe me. i tell them it is just balls of ice like rain drops.) well, i haven't ran for a very long time, so it wasn't the most graceful run but we managed to out run it for about 30 seconds until we turned the corner headed to a dry place, then we were hit hard with it. it felt like someone just picked up a bucket of water and splashed us with it. that was so awesome, not everyone gets to experience that, especially on their mission.

so we have a very interesting investigator, i am not sure what religion, or faith he belongs to. the reason is that he doesn't have normal beliefs... we were teaching and we asked just a basic, super simple question... "kinsa ang Dios?" or "who is God?" well his answer was, God is Jehovah... well before i could answer yes, and provide more enlightenment, he continued and said that Jesus is the son, Jehovah is the Father, and Allah is the Grandfather of Christ... well, i honestly have no clue how he came to that answer, or that conclusion... neither do i have any idea how to teach, and help him to understand, who God really is, even though i have told him, testified to him, opened the scriptures to Alma 18, and Alma 22... no success yet.

so on Tuesday last week we went over to Cebu to have a Trainers/trainees meeting at the Mission Home. it was unexpected and very uplifting, it was super awesome to get together with all those missionaries that i have seen come into the mission... (weird as well... mainly because i watched all of these missionaries come into the mission.)

so there has been many things that i have been thinking about, and my dad put it very well "Work hard. Harder you work the more blessings and better you will enjoy the last few months of your mission. You are now there longer than all the others that you went out with. Show them why you are there - to be a great and true leader - not a slacker. Rise up and be true and faithful and great my son." i just keep thinking about the D&C 121:34-36... many called but few chosen. i have also been thinking about how it is a Covenant that we are all under, and not a calling. yes, we may receive callings, but it is you that chooses if you have been called or chosen to serve in that specific role to help progress the kingdom of the Father here on earth.

sorry, no pictures this week.....
-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 28, 2015

well, we are all moved into our new house. it was kinda a difficult move, we got all packed up on P-day, but we were still trying to figure out if we actually needed to move or if we could still stay there. but on thursday morning we were out of there. it was a painful process because we have no car, or vehicle, so we had to wait for the senior couple. we waited for public transportation for about 35 minutes and then we finally just called the Halladay couple to see if they could pick up our luggage.

well our new house is super far away from our area, i dont know how it is going to work yet.

on saturday we woke up at 4:30 to go to a FAMILY FUN WALK here in Tagbilaran City. it was pretty fun, it was about 1 kilometer (.5 miles) that we walked.

ummm.... i guess that i will have to wait until next week to tell you all that i really wanted to because i forgot my planner with my list of stuff to email... darn!

oh yeah, i am on D&C 119, i read D&C 124 last P-day. it was so HUGE!!! 145 verses.... 

we found a dead snake, and decided to take a couple of pictures of it.
-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 22, 2015

ok, so this week is transfer week, which everyone was thinking ahead of time that i was going to become a ZL because i am the oldest missionary now in the entire mission... all my batch has now left, and should be home either today or tomorrow. so yeah, well, we are both moving, but we are staying together and in the same area, and i am the DL again, so what is happening is that we are moving houses, we are staying in the same area but moving. so we are NOT TRANSFERING. i am staying in Tagbilaran 1 Green with Elder Caindoy.

So here in the Philippines they have a ton of spiders, (i know, shocker right). but here they have spiders that the kids catch and then they fight spider against spider, until the death, well i have a couple of these fighter spiders. they are super fun to fight. it is also super crazy to watch them fight. they put them into match boxes for keeping so they don't run away.

so i was thinking about when i was home or hearing from Elder Larson how they were always helping move people out of houses, or apartments. while i was home all of my parents kind of joked about he would help move people to a different house, and i help people move their house... well up until this last week that was just a joke. we helped a guy we just barely met move his house about 200 yards away from where it was. the house is small. it is about 5 ft, by 5 ft, and is about 4 feet tall... made out of bamboo.

so this week was super rainy, which is good because it cools it down a little bit, but terrible because of the mud, and water. i have had to do laundry every night... it is no fun! especially by hand.

our RC, Jake, is very acrobatic, i took some pics of him doing a backflip. i am super jealous, i wish i could do that.
-Elder Larson theYOUNGER

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 13, 2015

so those 2 resources on the top were emailed to me by one of our investigators. the first one shows the up-to-date earthquakes here in the Philippines. i dont know if i told you about the one at about 5:20 in the morning, either way that is pretty cool, especially after the 7.2 earthquake. the second one is a current view of weather, i haven't really used that one, i am pretty sure that you already have one like that, but our investigator showed us it. it was pretty cool to see especially because he was able to show us those typhoons that just went over us here in bohol.

That investigator of ours that showed that all to us is an american from Missouri. it has proved to be quite a challenge to teach him. i have almost forgotten all my english. the only real time that i use it is when talking to President Tanner, or emailing. in the philippines the people that dont understand the other language they say "NOSE BLEED AKO." and they put their finger up or cover their nose so that you know that they don't understand. well, that is what i have had to do with our investigator. i try speaking and teaching and i end up throwing in Cebuano, and then our investigator had to just stop us while we were teaching, and ask what i was saying.

we have a family that we have been teaching the Velasco family, and we were on our way home from one of our farther appointments and as we were biking my bike randomly blew a tire. so we pulled off to the side of the road. well here in the philippines you go to a vulacanizing shop to get your tire fixed, they just melt rubber on to the tire to cover the hole. so our investigator shows up and says to me, get on the motor i will take you and your bike to go get fixed. it was around 8:30so pretty much everyone of them is shut down. i then told him that we would go get it fixed the next day. well he wasn't satisfied with that answer... and persisted to tell me to get on and he would take me to get it fixed right then. i then told him that it was not ok for us to ride on motor cycles any more. he was angry with me for that, i told him that it is "bawal" against the rules. well to make the matter worse, he was a little bit buzzed with alcohol, so he didn't take that answer any better. Now it looks like we are going to have to drop them because he won't let us in to their property... sometimes obedience hurts. but to look at it the most positive way, i know that the savior can rely on me a little bit more if i am willing to obey.

this week i had a random thought, "trying to explain the gospel to someone who doesn't want to learn is like trying to explain the color blue or red to someone who is blind, or explain the sound of a bird to someone who is deaf" it just wont happen.

on Sunday i was one of the speakers.... well lets just say, i was super nervous, 1 reason there was 112 people in attendance, and the other i don't know how to do it in English, the speaker before me spoke  in English, so i got up and said that i didn't prepare a talk in English, so hopefully everyone could still understand me. i don't even want to think about giving a talk to almost 300 people, that is my idea of torture. the funny thing is i now know how to give longer talks as in 15-20 minutes. i remember my farewell talk was 10 minutes and 5 seconds (i timed it).

-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Sunday, September 6, 2015

September 6, 2015

So this week we had some fun, we had a way fun CSP. we basically got to take down an entire forest with machetes, and shovels. it was super sweet because i finally got to use my machete for real! we got there at about 8:00, and then worked for about 2 hours, some worked hard, and others hardly worked... i guess that is what could be expected of a bunch of 20 year old young men and women. i am just super glad that i have been raised better by several good leaders, and my amazing parents. i was one of those working hard... i worked for 2 hours straight cutting down trees, and clearing bushes. by the time i was done i was literally dripping from everywhere. my shirt was soaking wet, and it looked like i had just got out of the shower. I had Sister Halladay take some pictures (she is the grandma of Elder Tolman, senior couple). it was super good, the only wounds are superficial... 

i was chopping some wood that was pretty dry, about the last 10 minutes of the CSP, and a piece of it flew up and hit me in the right eye. well it cut my eye just a little bit. but it is ok i can still see. also the other injuries were just from the plants we were cutting, and ant bites.

So my other news is that there was a baptism in Duero. they baptized a family that we started teaching, the Floralde Family. i am super happy because Elder Jennings, and Elder Borego were able to baptize them.

this week has been even more exhausting than usual. i am not exactly sure why but for the last week i have just felt... well down in the dumps. i haven't been my usually self, happy and excited to do the work. i just was teaching lessons, which is not good!!! we are supposed to teach people the lessons, and not just teach lessons to people.
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30, 2015

Hello, so my learning of Tagalog is SUPER SLOW!!! i am glad that Elder Caindoy is picking up Cebuano faster than i am picking up Tagalog, otherwise we would be in some trouble right now. i can understand a lot of it, it is still just super difficult to speak.

so this week we were doing way good, on Friday we had an appointment with some investigators, well the brother had "just a little bit" to drink... well that went right to his head. even though he was a little bit intoxicated we determined that we could still teach there because there were others present. there were 4 others there. we taught about the restoration and then after word we asked them if they had any questions. there were 2 younger boys, they are bible students here and... well they had a lot of questions, they were all very factual, and easy to answer. we took turns answering them. then they said that the next time we come back that they would have other questions. they said that they learned more from us than they had been learning in the bible school/class. so tomorrow we are going to go back and teach more about the restoration.

on Sunday morning there was a ton of commotion going on, they have started clearing the property in front of our house, and there was 4 large trees, i say was because on Sunday morning at around 9:30 they started to cut them down. let me tell you! that was LOUD! the first one was super big, they have used machetes to cut down some of the branches over the last week but yesterday they were going all out and went for it all. after about 10 minutes with the chainsaw it finally fell. it felt like an earthquake when it hit the ground. super loud as well.

so i have been super diligent for the last 2 weeks writing in my journal. after not writing in it, some days there is a ton to write, and other days there is only a few sentences. but as of yesterday morning it was up to date.

i have been doing my research, and study about that question. (attached is a pic from my personal study about, is it possible for a spirit in spirit prison right now to obtain Celestial Glory in the kingdom of God.) hope you get some insight from it as well... it was about 2 weeks of thinking, reading, and pondering.

umm. dont really have too much else to say.
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 23, 2015

does anyone know where the pause button on the remote of life is?! i really need to find it. my mission is going by so fast, and i want to at least pause it or at least slow it down. it has been a fast 5 months, and it is only getting faster... it is super stressful because there is a ton of stuff that i have not yet figured out, and there is other things that i feel like i should know how to do but i don't yet.
This week has been way fast as usual, the hard part, or one of them, was that we didn't have new planners for the new transfer, so it made it super difficult for planning and making sure that i was training Elder Caindoy right... i have forgotten how difficult it is to train, i really hope that I am doing the right things to help him start his mission off on the right foot!
This last little while has been really heating up, and with that so has our work, we gave 8 IBD's this week (Investigators with Baptismal Date) brother Roney Velasco has been thinking about becoming a member, and has been looking at the benefits as well as the difficulties, well the spirit was beating on my heart, as well as the heart of Elder Caindoy, so i told him to do it (part of the training) and Roney said no... well then we asked why, and he said he wasn't sure yet. so we asked him again and then he said YES!!! ahhh! we have been waiting for them to realize the church is the only way to be SAVED(everyone has their own definition).
there have also been a ton of mosquitoes everywhere, especially towards dusk around 5-6 pm. well these mosquitoes carry Dengue Fever, as well as Malaria. the only thing that you can do is try and slap them before they bite.... the only issue is that there is about 5 TRILLION of them!!! insect repellant doesn't work, it actually attracts them to you.... yeah!
So as you all should know, my anak(kid) is TAGALOG, so over the past week i have learned a lot of Tagalog phrases, and words, it is kinda fun because when he doesn't know the word in Cebuano, he says it to me in Tagalog, then i tell him it in Cebuano. Also i help by translating for him to Cebuano the lessons, and he translates them to Tagalog for me, because we have some investigators that only understand Tagalog. so i cant teach them at all, other than try to bare my testimony in my understanding of Tagalog so far. i can understand a ton of it, it is just super hard to speak because of the crazy use of the tongue in the language!
So for those of you that read all the way to the bottom of this email, i want to ask you all a question. i have spent the last 2 weeks trying to study about it, but right now i want you to give me your thoughts, and if you can... back up your statement with a scripture or a few of them...

i know that this may be a difficult question but that just means that it is just hopefully a good one.
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 12 & 16, 2015

August 12, 2015

well, this has been one of the longest weeks of my mission, by longest i usually judge the time between emailing. the last time we emailed was on the 3rd of August. so it has been about 11 days.... wow... mind=blown. 


Well, so i am sure that all of you are as excited to hear about transfers, as i am to tell you about them. so, without further ado. We received transfer calls on Tuesday after district meeting. the district meeting was on APPLYING the principles, i don't know, i just don't really know how to teach super clearly because my mind likes to wander as i am talking, and i guess typing as well. so at the end of the meeting we all gathered together and talked about what we thought was going to happen for transfers. everyone said that they thought our area was going to be "white-washed" and that Elder Jennings and I were both going to get pulled out, and i was going to become a ZL.... well, that is NOT what happened. Elder Jennings transferred to DUERO, BOHOL. The area that i just came from. and the person who would replace him was not told to me because they didn't know who he was. now if you haven't caught on yet, I AM TRAINING AGAIN! I just had my 3rd kid in the mission. Elder Head in Mandaue, Elder Jennings in Tagbilaran, and Elder Caindoy in Tagbilaran.

Elder Caindoy is from a part of Luzon, which means he is Tagalog. so we might struggle a little bit with language barriers for the first little while but i am looking forward to it. I am so excited. 
another part of this transfer is that, i was "stepped down" which basically means that i am just a 
trainer, and not a District Leader anymore. which is OK with me, it is kind of sad i wanted to have 

as much leadership as possible to learn as much as i could from the other missionaries, but it is OK either way. there are many reasons why, or at least i think so.

this last week has been one of the longest for several reasons... we have a, i am not sure what to call him, that we try to teach, so when we were talking he kept saying "no hard feelings," which, he was just trying to make sure that i didn't get offended... well at the end we asked him to ask in prayer if our message that we were sharing was true, and he said, "NO" he then told us that he wouldn't ask God if our message is true... that was probably the hardest part for me to hear, is just him saying No,
we can't change that answer, nor can we force him to ask if it is true.

so on Wednesday we had our TLC (tagbi leadership council) in the Hospital because Sister Storey got Dengue fever way bad and spent 3 days in the hospital. that is one of the pictures... it was one of many illnesses this week.

on Thursday after our ZTM we went out to lunch and there was a missionary that got super sick, and passed out in the CR(restroom) well, we got her up she still wasn't feeling good so they went home. well, at about 9:45 that night Sister Tanner gives me a call and says that i need to go save her. when i got to their house, there was 8 sisters gathered around her and she was very sickly, they had heard through the grave vine that, that sister is going to be sent home, they were then saying how much they were going to miss her... so we told all the other sisters that they needed to go home, it was BEYOND
CURFEW, so they left, and then we took her to the E.R. well, after waiting about an hour they came
to us and said that all the vitals were normal, they weren't sure what was wrong so they said that they wanted to keep her for 24 hours for observation. well that was exhausting because they had to then find her a room, she ended up getting put into a female ward. we ended up finishing up there at around 1:00 A.M. and then Elder Jennings and i had to find a way to get home from there.

but wait.... there is more! on Saturday we had some sisters working, and one of them slipped on a 
rock, fell down and dislocated her elbow... she ended up going and getting it fixed in the ER. the 
best part is that i had no clue about this until on Sunday after church when i called the sisters to see how work went that week. that is one of my pet peeves is when people who are under me don't let me know what is going on and i hear about it through a 3rd source, or when sister Tanner has to call me and say, DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON??? it kinda stresses me out!!!!

Either way, i am super excited to be with my 3rd ANAK(child)!!!!! 
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER


August 16, 2015

well, this week has been a fun one. i think one of the fastest ever, mainly because we just emailed last Thursday.

so last week on Monday morning at 4:20 there was an earthquake, i am not sure if it was just an aftershock of the 7.2 almost 2 years ago, or if it was a new one. all i know is that it was about 20 seconds long. in our apartment we sleep on the second floor so we could feel it a little more. i woke up at 4:20 to the entire house groaning, and it shaking. well after it stopped i noticed that Elder Jennings hadn't even budged a little so i sat there and was kinda freaked out for about another 10 minutes, when there wasn't another one i just thought to myself, "I'm a missionary, i should be ok, and well, I AM EXHAUSTED, well i guess i will get up at 6:30." so when i got up i asked Elder Jennings if he felt anything last night, he said nope. so i thought that it might have been a dream. but everywhere we went and i asked about the earthquake everyone has said that they felt it too.

So this week we also had a Baptism! it was super awesome, we had Rian Autor baptize him. it was super great, we taught him what he is supposed to say, but didn't really explain super well what he is supposed to do. so the first try he didn't go all the way under, but Rian kept him down for about 10 seconds because he wasn't sure exactly what to do, i told him to bring him up. Bishop was one of the witnesses, and still saw a hand. so he did it again, the second time was a little bit quicker, but his hand was still about the water. so before the third time i told Rian that he would need to get a little wet as well. so finally on the third time he got it perfectly. it was so awesome, even though there were mistakes they finally got it, and the spirit was still super strong.

on Sunday was the confirmation, i couldn't hear what was being said, but i could feel the spirit testifying of the truth of the gospel. the sad part is that none of our other investigators made it to church to feel what i was feeling.

it is so awesome to have my 3rd kid in the mission, he also conveniently is my 2nd Filipino companion. so it is kind of cool that i am getting to learn more about that. with being companions with a Pinoy it means a lot more rice! so far in 5 days i have eaten RICE with EVERY SINGLE MEAL! it has been crazy, i don't mind it, i just need to not eat a ton of it!

I have also started to really work out in the morning, i do about 50 pushups in the morning, and then i do another 50 before bed. i also started to do other stuff to work out as well! hopefully i can keep my rice belly down, and start to get back to at least football shape.

well i started to write in my journal again (sorry everyone, especially mom, dad, mom, and siblings). i got lazy with it and didn't write in it for 5 months. but now i am not working on it.
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER