Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015

so as many of you that read the subject last week, and then read the actual letter, i am sure many of you if not all are wondering how they were related, well. i figured i would start of this one explaining what happened. we were riding our bikes and we were going though a field, just when i thought we were golden i was just about to stand up on the pedals of the bike and caught the top of my head, about hair line on a clothes line that was almost invisible. so if i had stood up i would have LITERALLY been clothes lined by an actual clothes line. my helmet tore a little bit because of how fast i was going, and how it caught me. but it was pretty sketchy, also the next day, my companion (Elder Jennings) did just about the same thing, and his helmet tore even worse. so we will be getting some new helmets this week... hopefully.
Transfers, so this week is transfer week. which means that possibly one of us might be leaving, but because we have been putting some word into the AP's (assistants to the president), zone leaders, and even occasional word into president tanner. we will both be staying here in Tagbilaran! that is way good news. i am super happy that we are going to stay together. we have a lot to learn from one another. and i feel like i have more to learn from him than he does from me.

so this last transfer we have been trying to find all the members nga dili na tigsimba (that don't come to church) we have found almost 20 of them and have started to teach them. we have had some really good luck the last week because we have found some that aren't even on our list that are from another part of the mission, or even in some cases they are from another part of the world.

the last week has really been CRAZY rainy. it is impressive with how much it has been raining in the last week, especially when just a month ago we were lucky to get even a drop of rain. "with great rain comes great amounts of MUD!" well, i think that is how the quote goes. every night we have been coming home covered in mud because we need to keep using the bikes because our area is ENOURMOUS! so we have had to do laundry each night, but it is super exhausting because we dont get home until 9 most nights, and then we still have to cook dinner, plan, and do laundry (by hand mind you).

this week i had the opportunity to conduct a baptismal interview for the sisters in the Cortez area. it was a very spiritual experience, it also made me rethink my commitment to the Lord and His work, and what it really means to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. i have been thinking about how i can become an even more effective and powerful teacher of the truth. and i have been told how it all starts in our studies that how if, and when we use the time that we have been given, even more specific that i have been given to serve a mission that the spirit of the Lord will be able to take a hold of our hands and guide us to where we need to be.

i have given 2 workshops for district meeting since i emailed last. i really like the one that i just did yesterday, i had a workshop prepared, but right when i was giving it i was prompted to give a different one, but i incorporated more aspects of missionary work, i drew on the board, and helped them think about the things that as a mission we need to get out of the rut that we are in. we have dug ourselves in so deep that we need a ladder (the atonement) to get us out of the hole. President Tanner has related it to us being held down by the Chains of the adversary. and how we need to break them.

I love you all and you are all in my prayers. just keep your HEADS up always, dont ever feel down!
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 21, 2015

So before i get into how i almost died, i figured i would tell you all the great stuff!

So i was talking to some of our new investigators and they were trying to decide who i looked like most. i have heard Paul Walker, and John Cena the most. which i guess is not a bad thing, because they are both not bad looking! also, i have been told that i act a lot like Seth Rogan (from the Green Hornet) just the way i act, and my kind of funny. it was kind of shocking because i dont really know what his type of funny is. but i am sure that it would be right.

This week we were super lucky because we had the privilege for 2 different CSPs. 1 of them was in Catigbian which was about an hours drive from our area, it was probably one of the most difficult and most amazing, and worthwhile CSPs i have done in my mission. we built houses, mixed cement(that is DIFFICULT) we just used a few shovels, and then mixed it on the ground, it is super heavy. we were there for about 5 hours, and it was not easy work. lets just say that i am still sore from it. i am not very good at getting pictures because of many reasons, the main one is because i am too busy doing the work. especially when it comes to service, i can't get enough of service projects. there was 18 of us Elders that went to do the service.

alright so on Saturday we had another CSP where we did some clean up their land, and we (Elder Jennings and I) went and worked on their Payag (little hut) by re-roofing it with NIPA or leaves from a coconut tree. it was grand, the only bad part was that i cut my hand on the bamboo strips we were using, because they are so SHARP!!!

On Sunday there were about 28 Americans at church, most of them from ARIZONA, around Mesa area. it was pretty cool because we could speak to them, and Elder Jennings could participate and understand everything. they were here doing a service project repairing stuff from after the typhun Yulanda, and the Earthquake of 7.2 back in 2013. (REVIVESERVICETOURS.COM) they are awesome, we met the Executive Director Ryan Ogden from Utah. he served his mission here in Luzon (up north).

alright so this last week were doing a lot of finding, and we were blessed at the end of the week. we had a total of 14 new investigators. we have a family of 10 that we just met, they are so amazing the oldest child is 17 going to be 18 in august, and the youngest is about 1 year old. All of the names of the kids start with a "J" Jennylyn, James, Janice, Jarom, Jaya, Jessel, Joymi, and Joshua. They are so ready, they have been humbled through their trials and desire to come unto Christ. Brother Roney was SUPER drunk but wanted us to talk to him. we talked to him, and the only thing that he wanted was to help his family. so we told him about the "word of wisdom" and how he needs to start living it today, which means no more getting drunk, cigarettes, coffee, and tea. he could deal with everything besides the coffee. 

he then asked "WHY???" i think that he is the first person/filipino to actually ask "why?" we told him about how God revealed it unto a prophet in our day. we also had an amazing conversation with him about the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. we talked about the things that we need be doing in order to help our families, and then (even though he was drunk) the spirit in a way helped us to invite them to follow the example of Jesus Christ through baptism. it was crazy because the entire family accepted it.

we are going back to them tonight. but before we left, i said to Brother Roney (the father) that i had a question for him. my question was "can i hug you right now"? he said "yes," then Elder Jennings said "me too." it was so awesome!!! usually Filipinos are against PDA like that... so i was kind of shocked with his response. we also told him "Happy Fathers Day."


TO MY DAD! i love you so much, i am so thankful for everything you have done for me up until now, i love you so much, and you (and the rest of the family) are in my prayers daily!
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 14, 2015

so we have spent quite a bit of time contacting LA's, basically inactive, in the last week. We found one, the Niluag family. they were baptized about 8 years ago and went inactive about 4 years ago, and haven't been visited by the missionaries for upwards of 4 years as well, they have 7 kids, the oldest being 28, and the youngest 11. almost all of them have been baptized, but the oldest and the youngest haven't been yet. we taught them yesterday, and it was a way good lesson, i feel like it had an impact on them. we committed them to read the Book of Mormon, and also to come to church this next week. We read Moroni 10:32, with an invitation from Moroni telling all people to "COME UNTO CHRIST" "moduol ngadto kang Kristo." then later in the same verse it talks about how we need to have a love of God! it also talks about the things that we need to do in our daily lives "deny yourselves of all ungodliness."

after that i related it to 1 Nephi 11:16-17. about how much God loves His children (US) and he wants to see us change and be better, he never is disappointed in us, but he ALWAYS wants to see us do so much better because he knows our FULL potential.

so this week, i am not sure if you heard about the MULTI STAKE CONFERENCE here in the Philippines, there was a broadcast from SLC to the whole Philippines in which Elder Niel L. Anderson presided, also Brent H. Nielson (the old area president {also went to the Omaha Nebraska Mission to do a mission tour after he was done here}), Craig C. Christensen of the presidency of the 70, and finally Rosmary M. Wixom the General primary President. it was very informative, and super awesome, cause of many reasons.
  1. i got to see my old friends from Panglao again, all of the members that i had shared with, and had grown close to.
  2. all the missionaries from Tagbilaran, and Valencia Zones.
  3. learned from a member of the quorum of the 12, also other GENERAL AUTHORITIES!!!
This week was also zone interviews, which is where president tanner goes around to all the areas/zones and talks with EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY!! so he is super busy, the only problem was is that almost everyone had a ton of stuff to talk to president tanner about. so our scheduled time was supposed to be at 6:30 on Friday night, so we got there around 6:15 after passing by our house to grab the food that i cooked for dinner for President and Sister Tanner. (BICOL EXPRESS) i LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! We waited there until 9:30, then he decided that we will just come back in the morning to finish off. so we didn't work for the last 2 hours of the day. and we also got out to work way late!!!!

we only had time to teach one lesson. but that one lesson was super awesome and we got 5 new investigators from it, because we went to a new part of the area, and found a family that was interested in learning about the gospel.

THE MISSION IS GOING TO CHANGE, actually THE ENTIRE PHILIPPINES is going to change now. there was a new announcement from the area presidency to all missions in the Philippines that MOTORCYCLES are now not allowed to be ridden.... which hurts so much. there are some areas that might be closed down because they dont have transportation to their area, or home at night. for us it is the same way, it is going to require a lot more walking and a TON more time is going to be taken away because now we dont have the same transportation.

The last couple of days has been SUPER rainy, which makes it very muddy.... i will take some more pictures of my mud covered self when we get home each day.

here is just a couple of pictures from the last few weeks, sorry that there are only 2. but they are a good 2;)
-Elder Larson the YOUNGER

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 7, 2015

so i know i wasnt able to email last week because the email server was down for the entire church last week.... well this week i can email.

so we as a companionship have really been focusing on learning the doctrine of the lessons, so with all of our time walking, we spend it talking, and teaching the doctrine we take note of what the doctrine is in the lessons, i feel that it has really helped me be a better teacher. it has been a good experience for Elder Jennings, because it is forcing him to use the language more, and especially in teaching situations.

well, i have been stuggling with preparing for the district meetings, about what to give a workshop on, and how to effectively help them. so this week i have planned a DM (district meeting) on the DOCTRINE from PMG. so it should hopefully go effectively, and they will learn a lot from me, but even more from the spirit!

Elder Jennings and i made a companionship jersey, so i will take a pic of that when we pic it up later and send it to you! it should be pretty legit!

i have been working on my cooking, i think that i have finally figured it out!!! well, i hope so anyway, i learned how to cook Bicol Express (for those who like spicy this is the one for you) you add about 10 chili peppers and then you add Coconut milk and shavings for a creamy taste!!! it is so DELECTABLE!!!! (i dont think that is the proper word)

we had DLC (District Leader Council) this last week on friday where we all went over to Cebu(all the DL's). it was an amazing experience, we were all taught how to be a GOOD/GREAT district leader, what we need to do to help the missionaries...

umm, i am running out of time.... in many ways, with email. and also in my mission.... 6 months and 3 weeks to live it up and make it the best i can... i should be home around January 25th...

so this last week we were having our companionship inventory, and elder Jennings says that "Elder Larson, you could sweet talk a sour apple." it was super funny, and fits way well! charisma!

-Elder Larson the YOUNGER