Monday, October 26, 2015

First Week in Canton!

Well this week has actually gone pretty well!

In our district we have the STL's (sister training leaders), The AP's, another set of sisters and then another set of elders so it is a big group but it's nice being with the AP's, they have a lot of knowledge and are great to learn from!  The sister missionaries are nice too, they take good care of us!

Wednesday went pretty well, we taught a few lessons!  This week was basically tract all day every day so that was super fun haha.

Thursday we went to visit a member who's husband isn't a member and when we knocked on the door he came outside and freaked out at us like "Why the @#%$# are ya'll ringing my doorbell like that, next time I'm gonna come outside and shoot the *&*#% outta ya'll!" and he had his gun in his hand hahahaha so that was interesting.  I honestly thought he was joking so I was kind of chuckling but I guess he was being serious.   His wife came out and so we talked to her for a while.  I just kind of played it off like nothing happened!

Saturday we went and did some service for a member who got a divorce and now she has like 64 acres of property to take care of all by herself.  They had a pretty cool set up, like a snack shack and then they used to have a barn with a spook alley in it and a huge corn maze!

That's pretty much the extent of my week.  The area is huge!  It covers 3 county's and we got hosed on miles so we are like 100 over already and there is still a week left!  It was a pretty good week though!

Training has been going good!  Elder Clement is excited to be here and I think I am doing the best I can to help him feel welcome!  We get along good, he talks a lot more, like a lot more than my last comp!  We have done lots of tracking and it has been boring haha but hopefully it will start to pick up!  Everything is going ok, we have yet to teach a second lesson but hopefully we will get some this week!  He is working with me on his english so we'll see how good of a teacher I am!

The ward is more up to date than the other one I was in but I don't think all of them love the missionaries as much as they did in Brookhaven!  I will probably never have an area like that again.   The members live so far away from us here.  It's a nice ward though, there are a lot of young families!  One of the members invited us over for a party on halloween, so we will go to their house!!  We have another dinner tonight!  We had dinner with Brother Richardson last night and it was good!  Elder Clement eats only rice, like a huge plate of rice and fried chicken.  That's all he likes so dinner appointments could be a little interesting with him haha… we might never get invited back.  He likes his Utah shirt!!!

It has been raining for 2 days straight!  I have been trying to eat better, lots of sandwiches, pasta, and chicken.  We are making our own food a lot more…  I bought me some shake n bake!:)  Our apartment is a tiny shack in someones backyard, it is tiny…haha and the water pressure is so bad we have to use a bucket to shower…
Our Canton apartment
I'm being serious.  Our water pressure.

I like Canton, it is pretty small, it's smaller than Brookhaven but it's closer to a city!  Madison.  It's an old historic city and pretty cool!  They play jazz music around the town square like all the time, we ran by one morning at like 6:30 and they were playing it!!  It's pretty funny  Canton is 99% black people. The church here is 100 years old this year, it's like the oldest church in Mississippi!  Pretty crazy!

I'll talk to you all later, love you!!:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Transfers and Training!!

Hey guys!
This week was alright!  It wasn’t quite as good as last week but its ok!

Monday we went and played basketball at the park it was pretty fun! We were the only white kids there! It was super crazy... So we had 2 lessons planned one at 5, and the other at 5:30.  We went to the one at 5:00 and when we were leaving and on our way to the other one, we drove passed a park that had a ton of people playing basketball.  Every time before then when we drove by, there had been no one there!  But this time there was like 15 or so high school kids there playing. I told Elder Davidson that we had to go play because I had never seen anyone there before and he was alright with it and so we went and played basketball.  It turns out that where our appointment at 5:30 was, there was a shooting at 6:00 and it went until midnight, they had to have the swat team there and everything! It was literally like 50 feet away from the apartment we were going to. A cop got shot and one guy died sadly but I would say that is pretty crazy!! The Lord is watching over us!

Tuesday wasn’t the best day ever, we had a lot of lessons planned that day but then no one was home! It was pretty frustrating so we went to Foxes to get ice cream and got free food as well haha so that made it a little bit better!

Wednesday we went and taught a less active lady named Dianne and her daughter Laney and answered a lot of their questions and they came to church on Sunday!! Then we went to Tamoras house and taught her a lesson, it went alright!

Thursday was rough we had to tract a lot because no one was home!!

Friday we went to lunch with a Presbyterian preacher and talked with him a lot. He was asking us a lot about what we believed about the Atonement. Our views on it are completely opposite haha.... His idea of grace and how we are saved is very weird... But that’s alright. He was really nice and respectful and so were we!

Saturday Elder Davidson got permission to go down to Ocean Springs to go to a baptism down there and so we drove 2.5 hours down there to that! It was a good little break especially with the rough week we had! There are actually people down there!! I didn’t feel like I was in a tiny town so it was kind of nice!  It’s definitely bigger than Brookhaven!
Elder Davidson and I in Ocean City, MS for a baptism!
A view of the ocean!

Sunday we went to the ward and the branch and had to say bye to everyone! Brother Cox was sad.  He wanted to feed us dinner and so we went back to his house that night and he kept saying how much he was going to miss me! But I think me moving to another area will be good and a great learning experience for me!

We went and had my last dinner with the Webbs last night.  They said that they would get me anything I need up in Canton!  They work up that way and said they’d come see me. They are awesome!:)
Last dinner with the amazing Webb family!

We come to the stake center in Clinton for transfers and since I won’t be going very far I will just hang out here all day, eating and playing basketball!:)  My new companion is from Nigeria haha! He is super nice and a pretty funny kid!  He speaks english fairly good and his name is Elder Clement!:)

My new companion, Elder Clement!

I am excited to train! I will have someone that wants to work hard and follow all the rules so it will be easy for me to do it too! I am going to a new area called Canton, it’s about 30 minutes north east of Jackson I think... something like that!  Kinda crazy, it sounds like Canton is fairly big and a pretty rough area haha so it will be fun!:)  The town itself is pretty small though. It is a brand new area.  I don’t know what to do when opening an area, I'm assuming just tract a lot??  If you have any advice on opening up an area it will be greatly appreciated!  I will be in both a ward and a branch there! And I am full car again! Elder Davidson is staying here in Brookhaven and getting another missionary who has been out for 6 weeks!  I feel good! I feel like I have done all I can here and am excited for the change!
Love ya all!   Have a great week!!!
Love, Elder Larsen

Monday, October 12, 2015

Got the Cops Called on Us!

Hello Everyone!!

Monday we went to a lesson and after we taught that we were walking back to our car, a little girl came outside and said "Hi missionaries!"  It ended up being a less active lady that we have been looking for for almost 3 weeks now!  We talked to them for a while and they told us we could come back!  Then we went and visited our investigator named Bresha and that went well and she basically placed a Book of Mormon for us with her friend named TK.

Tuesday we had a really good day, we taught 7 lessons!!

Wednesday we had a DDM and then we went to a really good BBQ place after that was pretty good!  We then went back and taught a family who we found last week when we were going to see some potential investigators.  They are awesome!  They accepted a baptism date and are excited to continue learning.

Thursday our week of good fortune kind of stopped haha…Bresha dropped us and told us that she was to busy to meet with us anymore, so that whole day we were both pretty upset.  Later that night while we were tracking at like 7:00,  3 people called the cops on us hahaha…  One guy was out next to our car looking at it and stuff and got a call from the cops right as we were walking up and he asked us if it was our car and then he called the cops of.  It was so dumb haha… No, the cops never made it to our car but they were on their way!  I thought I was through with cops!  I guess not tho haha!

Friday our bad day kind of continued,  we didn't talk to many people and did 2 hours of tracking.  When we were driving around we didn't know where to go tract so we said a prayer and then kept driving and both felt like we should go down this certain street.  We went down the street and the last house  we knocked on was a girl,  Sincere was her name, who let us right in and started asking questions and we started teaching her the Restoration and she asked "Who is our prophet??"  It was awesome!  So, we left her with a BOM and she told us to come back whenever, she would be waiting for us!  She has a little girl named China, she is awesome!  After that we went home and were going to go to the football game but right as we sat down to eat it started pouring so we didn't end up going!

Saturday went alright,  we taught a few lessons and then had dinner with the Maxwells.

Sunday we were super excited for church because multiple people had told us that they were going to be there and then when church started no one came so that was pretty upsetting, but it's ok!  We had worked so hard all week!  We didn't really talk to anyone else that day either but we had another lesson with Sincere and it went really well,  she accepted a baptismal date as well!
Sincere and her daughter China, sent this to mom
via text after one of our lessons!

Overall this week was pretty good, we taught 21 lessons!!

I'm doing good!!  That's so crazy that the Utes are doing so good!!  I'm so jealous haha!  When we were tracking yesterday, I asked a Presbyterian preacher if the Utes won!  Elder Davidson and I are getting better at teaching together!  I enjoy being with him.  I hope I make it through another transfer, I love it.  My apartment is nice, it's right next to the train tracks and trains come non stop!  The bathroom and kitchen are tiny and there are only a few cockroaches!  The Oglesbys are doing well,  I have called them once a week but we haven't gone down to visit them since they were baptized.  They are solid in the church, they live so far away it's hard for us to make it down there.  The weather is cooling off a little, it hasn't been in the 90's the past few weeks and has felt pretty good outside.  My jumprope broke, I think I can fix it with a wrench.  We have been eating pizza like every meal for the past week…I'm done with pizza haha…

Hope everyone is doing well!:)  Thanks for everything!  Love you guys!
Love, Elder Larsen
Elder Davidson doing some cooking!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Commitments and Conference!

Sent to Mom via text after lunch with the Jacksons!
Hello everyone!!

It was a good week but the biggest struggle is getting people to follow through on their commitments. No one will follow through on anything haha!

Tuesday after pday was over we went and did a little tracting and we met some nice people and set a few return appointments.

Wednesday we had a good day! Most of our appointments were home!! We talked to a guy named James who was just sitting there questioning us about the 12 tribes of Israel and all the foods that we shouldn’t be eating like pork, shrimp, and cat fish haha... We also talked to a lady named Lawanda and last time we met with her she told us that she would listen to us all day but she wouldn’t read the BOM, but when we met with her this time we had a really good lesson and at the end we asked her again if she would read and she looked at it and said “I'll think about it” I think she will read it! While we were tracting I asked one person if he could ask God one question what would it be and he said "Why?? Why all of this?" and that was perfect because I knew a scripture that would help him! So we left him with a BOM and told him we would be back! We also met a lady that had grown up with LDS friends and she said we should come back too!!

Thursday wasn’t as eventful of a day. Our appointments weren’t home and we had to go get flu shots and our car fixed again it had a flat Patience is key!  But we had a lesson with Tamora and reset her with a Baptismal date!

Friday we had to tract a lot because we didn’t have anything else to do. We ran into 2 preachers and that was fun as ever. One said that he had seen a video at church about Joseph Smith and the first vision and it was like outer space stuff. Haha, what the heck?? We went to see a few potentials and no one was home, then the last lady we were going to see was outside talking to her neighbors who had just moved in. It was a younger family, and so we went and talked to them and she had been around LDS people before too, she was interested in what we were saying and they told us to come back!  Hopefully they will turn into something!! That night we went to Foxes and then to the Old Brook festival which was like a bunch of street vendors right in town and they had a band and stuff! It was cool!
Old Brook Festival on the streets of Brookhaven!

Elder Davidson and I at Old Brook Festival!

Saturday and Sunday we just watched conference all day. We were at the church in Brookhaven. They had a little TV set up for us, but we got on the projector instead! Sadly none of the 3000 people we invited showed up to watch it with us! But conference, especially the priesthood session reminded me of being home watching it with you guys! I was glad that I had been able to grow up going to it with Dad, Grandad and Konner! I liked Elder Christophersons talk, Elder Hollands, and Elder Durrant that challenged everyone to ponderize a scripture every week for however long. I think that is a cool idea!

I have decided when I get home and maybe save some money, we need to start going to all the church history sites, Like over in Jerusalem area, down to all the Mayan temples in South America and Mexico, I think they would all be cool to visit. Especially the temples down South!  And when we went to the BOM sites down there, there has got to be some cool swimming holes that we can go jump into off a cliff or a vine or something haha!

It is starting to cool down, it was 60's all last week it was so nice!! Send me some salsa!!! I want to try it!!  Elder Davidson and I are doing well and we still continue to get fed a lot!  I have played the piano a lot this weekend while we have been at the church!  I am learning how to play How Great Thou Art now and I almost have it figured out!  My laundry is going good! I just throw it in turn it on cold and then I'm good! haha… We already went shopping so we don’t have any plans for the afternoon! I might go get a hair cut! We’re moving quick today!! We have 2 appointments tonight and we have quite a few appointments planned through the rest of the week so it should be a good week!:)

Love you thanks for so much!!:) I'll talk to you next week!!:)
-Elder Larsen
Some of my halloween decorations from Mom!
Kevin Miller from Mississippi- served his mission in Long Beach.
The Buberts, from my home ward were his Mission President and wife!