Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April, 26, 2015

well this week i wasnt really sure about what i was going to write about, it has been a VERY SLOW week. may i make an emphasis on SLOW! this last week we only taught a total of 6 lessons... but it wasnt because we werent out doing missionary work, but just because Duero is a different kind of difficult. as you all saw hopefully from the last weeks letter, our area is about 12 times bigger than my last area in Mandaue. also about 40% of the area is rice fields so it makes for long walks.

so monday we didnt really do much we were going to go to Tagbilaran to go to an actual store to shop, but it took about an hour to catch a ride going that way so we just went to the next town over to do our shopping because by the time we would have got there it would have been around 6 maybe 6:30. so we would have had to run around while in Tagbi. but then i remembered that we had told some people that we would come by and eat at their small karendaria *restaurant. so we went there instead for dinner, it was AMAZING, we had something called Bicol Express. it is super hard to explain, but you could probably google it.

Tuesday i gave a workshop on tracting because that is what the district said that they would want to learn how to do it better. the workshop was a lot better than last week, which is way good, and i am happy about that. but the practice teaching after word was a little bit off, and not as good as i hoped. also on Tuesday i went on exchanges with Elder Talan, to the Jagna A area. it was super fun, i got to do a ton of training and help him with any of his confusions he had. we did a bunch of tracting because it seemed to me that he was struggling with it earlier.

Wednesday we traded back companions and met up in Duero. for lunch elder Talan cooked some amazing pork SINIGANG (google it if you want to know). it was so delicious. we then walked/hiked up to one of the hardest parts of our area. (2 hours of walking up hill) it took a toll on my body, and on elder head as well. we were so tired and sore when we got home. we made a couple of contacts, but it is always super hard to do finding because every single male is out working in the rice fields or doing construction during the day.

thursday, Elder Head had a "bukid story" we were out walking in the bukid (foresty area) and he had been complaining all day that his stomach didn't exactly feel right, so around 4:30 he saw an opportunity, he dropped his bag, and said to me that he would be right back. well that is exactly what he did he went and used the forest as a restroom. it was even better because he came out about 10 minutes later and grabbed some banana leafs to go back and finish up.... after that we went home because his stomach continued to bother him.

on friday we were working from about 2-7 and we didnt get a single lesson.. it was kinda frustrating because we were working so hard trying to find people to teach.

Saturday the 25th was the NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE, so we had a CSP as a branch, and our district of missionaries (from Valencia, and Jagna) came and helped us, it was way fun and kind of difficult as well because we were cleaning up garbage from off the streets. which was super dirty. i was in charge of a group going around one way and then President Tingson was in charge of the other group going around the other way. in total we had almost 30 people out helping us. we finished around 12:45 and then had lunch. elder Head and i got some nice sunburns on our necks, and legs.

after the CSP we went and helped clean and prepare the chapel for church, by cleaning, and moping the upstairs. we found 3 dead birds in the church, and A LOT of bird poop... it was pretty exciting. after cleaning i was able to build my relationship with the branch president, he wants to make burgers to sell, so i wrote out everything that he needed to do. it was pretty awesome, so later tonight we are going to go by his house and help him make them, hopefully we do a good job with them.

sunday i was the teacher for the gospel principles, and also for combined priesthood and relief society. it was... i hope... good. i taught about the talk from the 2014 October general conference "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence" by Jorg Klebingat. it was pretty good, i just didnt feel like i did the talk its justice. also at church we had 2 investigators, it was so awesome to finally see something happening here in duero. but it went pretty good, after church we had PEC, and we finally got out of the church at around 3:45. then we went and had a late lunch. our only appointment for the night was that we went and taught Noel, he was very talkative... like a 2 hour long visit talkative. he was talking about everything. and we managed to get about a 20 minute lesson in about church. and then invited him to come to church.

today we went to Jagna falls, the water falls here in bohol, it was way fun. but on our way up we got into a small crash on the motor cycle we were riding, there was 4 of us on the motor. we were going up a hill with gravel, and loose rocks, and right when were about to the top the rocks slid out from under the motor, and it landed on it side. Elder Robanakadavu(yes that is his name, he is from Figi) was on the very back, he fell off and landed awkwardly on his shoulder, Elder Head fell awkwardly and his calf landed on the exhaust pipe, i fell off and tried to push off so i wouldnt get hurt, but ended up burning my calf on the exhaust pipe as well, but not nearly as bad as Elder Head. (the picture in Doc4 of the back of his leg). it was way bad. elder Robanakadavu and elder Head are on their way to Tagbilaran right now to get checked out, elder Ro is going to get an xray, and elder Head is going to get some ointment or some medicine for his burn. 

other than the crash, it was so beautiful up there!!!

umm, that is just about our week.


so when i was being reset apart by my stake president he said to me that it would take literally days for me to be able to get the language back, so that i would be just as fluent. well, it did, it took maybe 4 days of me being back, and i felt like i never left

-Elder Larson the YOUNGER
JAN 2016

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19, 2015

well, i am glad to say that i have officially made it through a full
entire week here in the field! it has been a crazy week, hopefully i
can remember everything that happened and be able to write it down...

alright so this last week we finished off our P-day by going down to
Valencia, about an hour away by bus, to play basketball as a District
at the chapel there in Valencia. we thought that we would have
district meeting the next day (tuesday) which got changed so we just
slept in Valencia with the ZL's because there are no more
vehicles(sakayanan) going to Duero after about 7:30. and we finished
basketball around 9:00. after basketball we got a ride on a motor
cycle(hable-hable) to the house of the Elders, but because of my luck
i touched the tail pipe with my calf when getting on and got a pretty
good sized burn on my calf. so tuesday morning we woke up at 5:00 so
we could get back to our house on time to start our studies and
prepare for the day.

On tuesday we had a really difficult day teaching, we only taught one
lesson, but it wasnt a good lesson. we did finding and we found a
family, they didnt seem very interested and they said that they would

"minaw lang mi" (we'll just listen). so we taught about our Heavenly
Father... when we tried to set a return appointment they all sat up
and said that they were "super busy," the father had been laying down
the entire time, and then promptly sat up and said, "naa koy daghan
kaayo nga mga buhaton, kinahanglan ko maggab didto, ug unya
kinahanglan ko magkuha mga mangga... wa koy orasa para niini." which
roughly translated to... I DON'T CARE, I DON'T WANT TO LISTEN TO YOU
AGAIN... (very roughly translated). so we kinda just marked them down
as... they have been given a seed to start growing.

alright so on wednesday the AP's(Assistants to the President) came
down to us in the Valencia Zone, because they were going around the
mission making sure that every one was doing good, and seeing what
concerns or problems we were having with our branch, or with our
areas. it was really awesome, our AP's are amazing! also on Wednesday
i had to give my first workshop.... that was so crazy, the only issue
right now is that our district, even though it is 16 missionaries, is
very quiet, they dont really like to participate very much... so i
kinda felt like i was up there begging them to give some input, and
their thoughts.

also on wednesday Elder Connolly came and worked with us. we went to
our Branch President and made plans, and set goals for him, and the
branch to improve. it was an amazing lesson.

hopefully this week will be a little bit better, and they will have a
little bit more input, because on thursday i called all of the
companionships and asked what they wanted to learn or do for the
Workshop. most of them said that they wanted to learn about trackting
and finding. so that is what it will be on this week. Thursday we also
met a man by the name of Noel. he was up in an area called Labogon. he
is a chemistry, and food science teacher at the high school. we just
talked with him about our Heavenly Father, and then set a return
appointment for Sunday. after we left him we continued to walk up the
hill, when we got a little further up, Noel came and told us that he
would come and go with us to teach other people. that was super
awesome because he wanted to learn more.

on friday we spent the entire day walking, about 5 hours of walking
and looking but  lessons at the end of the day. we couldnt find anyone
to teach the entire day, it was exhausting. when we got home i crashed
so hard at about 8:30 before planning...

on saturday Elder Albar and I went on exchanges, i went over to their
area, and Elder Acosta and Elder Head stayed in our area and worked.
this was one of the best days that i have seen in Duero. we had
brother Eds (BML{branch mission leader}) come and work with us. we
started off way strong by teaching a couple of quick but powerful
tracting lessons. then we went a little while without another one
because we had about a 30 minute walk to get to the next teaching
appointment. one of the last appointments was amazing.

i believe our second to last appointment we taught an investigator of
theirs. his name is Reden. so our lesson with him started off with us
just kinda talking about the Gospel so i could kinda get to know him
and so he could get to know me a little bit. so we shared about Mosiah
18:8-13, and then about baptism. we asked if he believed that the true
church of Christ had been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
he then said that he was fairly sure. then he told us about a dream
that he had, where he was dressed in white, and there was another
person dressed in white. he remembered seeing a bathtub type thing
there, but it was big enough for them to stand in. he then started to
tear up a little over it. Elder Albar then offered the baptismal
commitment, and he said he didnt know if he was ready. but then we
both testified of the overwhelming feeling that was around us. we
testified that it was our Heavenly Fathers love for him, showing him
where he needed to go. we then offered a date for him to prepare to be
baptized, MAY 16. we then asked him to close the lesson with a prayer.
my heart was just going to jump out of my chest. UNREAL!

so on sunday we helped President with his goals that we had set up and
started to work towards a more spiritual sacrament. it was amazing the
difference that it made. also on Sunday the Robertsons(senior couple
from Tagbilaran). they both gave talks at sacrament and i just gave a
brief testimony, (first week here).

after church we took the Robertsons to Noel to help us teach. it was a
very hot day, and we were all dying of the heat. but the lesson we
taught was amazing, i cant tell you all everything that happened
because that is personal that we need to help him with. but it was an
amazing lesson, and we were so blessed to have Elder and Sister
Robertson come with us to help teach. we then went home for lunch.

we tried making adobo... but we had no meat, so i just made adobo with
potatoes... it was not very good, we added too much brown sugar, so it
was way TOO sweet.

ummm.... that just about sums up my week! Hope that the pictures are
awesome. i love this area, and my comp, he is THE BEST!!!


-Elder Larson the YOUNGER



Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015

well those few words i have heard a few times in the last week, it is
so crazy to think now that i am back in the mission. so MABUHAY AT
MUCH", through my travels from SLC to the mission in Cebu, i heard
that be said a ton of times especially in the last few legs of my
journey. So when i left my parents in the airport i was met by about
40 missionaries going to Japan, as well as one of the new Area 70s,
Jairus Perez.

His wife (Sister Perez) recognized me from the back and came up behind
me and tapped me while i was talking with one of the sisters going to
Japan. so i turned around and spoke with them for a second, (before i
came home i served 5 months in their home ward). After that we headed
down to the terminal and i chatted with the missionaries about how the
MTC was, and really tried to encourage all of them with the language.

we then traveled to Seattle, then we got on the plane to Tokyo, Japan.
i was sitting next to a sister missionary... i cant remember her name,
nor could i read it because it was in Japanese. (Short people are
blessed when traveling on airplanes because they can sleep on the
tray... us tall people cant manage to get comfortable). oh yeah the
plane was missing a piece in one of the engines and we had to wait for
them to get that fixed....... that was the longest hour and a half
just waiting...

When we arrived in Tokyo we were about 1 hour behind schedule because
of the delay in Seattle. so i didn't have much time in the airport and
i basically ran through it to get to my next flight, we had to go
though a security check, unlucky for me they were a little bit lacking
in the English department.... but somehow i managed to get through
that and make it to my flight on time.

when i arrived at the boarding gate i met up again with the Perez
family, and i also met up with a senior couple going to a mission in
Luzon(northern Philippines). all of the missionaries that were with me
coming from Seattle and i departed ways in Tokyo. we arrived in Manila
around 8:30 at night and i was taken to the Manila Airport Hotel just
right beside the Airport. Already in the hotel was Sister Johnson,
Sister Pinkham, Sister Grigg, and Elder Mafeli'o from the Cebu East
mission. it was so crazy seeing them, especially since they were
leaving home and i was going home... or was it the opposite.

we were up until about 2 maybe 3 AM talking and eating dinner. and
then i had to be up at 5 to go to the Immigration office so that they
would let me back into the country... all a success there, i made it
and then made it back to the hotel, so i spent the rest of the day
with Elder Mafeli'o, because the sisters left at around 6:30 to head
home. my flight headed to Cebu left around 4:30, and arrived around

when i got to Cebu there was no one there, no missionaries not
president, it was just a bunch of filipinos... so i borrowed someones
phone and called the mission office (thank you dad for giving me the
number on that paper before i left, it saved my life a couple of
times!!!!) when i got a hold of the mission office they were super
confused, even though they were the ones who scheduled my flight. i
told them where i was and they said that they could come pick me up, i
said that would be more difficult and that i would just take a taxi to
the mission office because i knew the way.

i arrived at the mission office about an hour and 20 minutes later,
and got to see a ton of missionaries. about an hour after i arrived at
the mission office President Tanner got there, he was shocked to see
me, as well as sister Tanner, they thought that i was coming in
tomorrow(AKA Thursday) but they were super excited to see me, and
promptly let me know who my new comp was and where i was to be

I arrived the next day in my area with Elder Head in Duero "Red",
after a day in Tagbilaran waiting for transportation to our area.

From the time that i left my family in the airport in SLC, until i
arrived at the mission home (other than the night i spent in Manila) i
was traveling for 24 hrs, 12 minutes, and 47 seconds. and i had slept
for about 3 hours in Manila, but other than that i didnt sleep the
entire journey.

so about my area...................
well, it is probably one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL pieces of land, it has
the most amazing scenery and blows my mind. i will send pictures when
i have a faster computer, because in the "BUKID" (mountains, away from
the city) the internet is... for lack of a better term, CRAP! but oh
well, i still manage.

in duero there is an average attendance of about 21 members and then
the 4 of us as missionaries. so we definetly have a lot of work to do

Our area is about the same size as SLC, but there are hills,
mountains, and a ton of rice plantations.... it is so beautiful.

So also i was made a DL, which is pretty intersting, i am not sure how
to do it. all i know is that i just lead by example and try my best to
help them, help their areas. But each sunday the missionaries in my
district send me their stats

I will tell you more about my area next week when i really get to know
it, but for now, i have a pretty good sunburn on my arms and face from
walking all day in the middle of the summer without much shade on the
paths we take. it is amazing to be back in the philippines, and able
to speak cebuano whenever and wherever i want.

basta, amping lang mo kanunay, ug nahigugma ko ninjo.
*well, take care always, and i love you all!!!


-Elder Larson the YOUNGER