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