Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Hello Everyone!  I hope you all have had a great week!

This week was pretty good teaching wise!  We taught a lot of lessons and are starting to gain a bigger teaching pool.  We have started to get some cooler weather.  It has been like in the 50's here so not terrible but it's been a great change from the heat!

We were able to teach Allyson a little bit more and she is going to be a great investigator.  Her grandpa passed away this week so she wasn't able to come to church but she is going to be solid.  We haven't been able to meet with Gladys again, every time we go over to her house she has a ton of people over and they are all smoking and drinking.  We have been waiting to teach her the Word of Wisdom but we still haven't gotten the chance haha…

We had a cool experience while tracting.  We talked to this lady and taught the restoration and left her with a Book of Mormon.  After we left her house we went and knocked on the next door and when we were walking away from that house she came outside looking for us and she had an older copy of the Book of Mormon in her hand along with the one we had given her.  She told us that before her dad passed away he started looking into our church and that when he died the Book of Mormon was next to him with a pen in it.  He had tried to write something in it but you couldn't tell what he was saying.  He had also written on the verse 3 Nephi 11:32-35 talking about baptism.  It was pretty cool to see that and hopefully she will take it as a sign and become very interested!  Other than that, this week wasn't to exciting.  We didn't have anyone come to the open house even though we printed off over 200 invitations and handed them all out to people, we didn't have anyone come.  That's alright though it was still good.  We had a good time with all the branch members!  We told the President about it and he said it was a good thing to get the members involved!  It is cool to see how the Lord really does prepare people to hear the gospel in a variety of ways!
Setting up for our open house!

Our open house spread!

I am still waiting to find a non member that is a huge fan of Mississippi State to take us to the games haha!  We are in the closest area to Starkville about an hour and a half away!

Today isn't a normal pday, pday is on thanksgiving, so after we email we will go out and do what we normally do,  we have an appointment, and then we are seeing potentials and tracting, but that's ok,  we get to play in a turkey bowl on thursday!!!:)   I don't think I have ever been so excited for something in my life!;)) We have been invited to Thanksgiving dinner by people from both the ward and the branch!

Things are going well, little miracles happen everyday and it's so cool to see how the Lord prepares people for the gospel!  Everything is good here,  we just got loaded up with food from the branch, like our apartment doesn't have enough storage for it all haha!  That's good though!  We also got a tooooonnn of dinner appointment from the branch, like almost every night!  Pray that we will find someone to serve, no one lets us help with anything!  Elder Clement and I are doing great!  He is easy to get along with!  I have been doing great too, you learn a lot as a missionary and it's been awesome!

Take some pictures of everyone for me!  Love you!!  I'm thankful for you guys and all that you do for me!  Every time I am faced with a hard decision I just wish I could ask my dad or mom what to do!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great week!
Elder Larsen
Enjoying life in Canton!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Object Lesson Fail!

Hello everyone!!

This week has been pretty good. We have been able to meet lots of good people and teach some good lessons as well!
Random Guy wanted picture taken with us!
Teaching a lesson!

Wednesday we had an appointment with our investigator Gladys and she was outside smoking (we were planning on teaching her the word of wisdom haha) so we were talking to her outside and her friend named Clara walked up. She started talking to us and asking us what we were doing and then she also asked if we could help her out with her house. She has a bunch of holes in her walls cause of her nephew punching them or something, I think she wanted money from us but we told her we could come by and try and fix them. She kept telling us how we were god sent and that she was going to come to church on Sunday haha it was kind of funny!

Thursday we did a lot of biking and poor Elder Clement he was dying I felt bad for him. We are riding bikes more to save miles.  After that we went to dinner with the Alhaltehs to a place called "Cock on the Walk" or something like that. It’s this place right on the big reservoir. We had some catfish which was pretty good, It didn’t taste different at all from any other fish, and some fried chicken, It was really good!  Elder Clement loved it too. The problem with him is he just won't try anything that’s a little different haha. He is getting better though!!:)  The Alhaltehs are awesome, they feed like 3 sets of missionaries a week!! Their son is in SLC right now on his mission.  After that we went to their house to do a lesson. Their daughter Carly wanted an object lesson so I was thinking and I remembered that a Sister was telling me that if you squeeze an egg that it wouldn’t break. I had never tried it before so they gave us an egg and Elder Clement started squeezing and he couldn’t break it and then the second time he started squeezing his arm was like shaking cause of how hard he was squeezing and the egg cracked and shot everywhere......... I felt so bad... So their house was messy and the object lesson was ruined hahahaha...
Dinner with the Alhalteh Family!

Friday we had ZDM (zone district meeting) and President Olson taught it. It was a good meeting. He talked about being on a mission, being a missionary, and being a disciple. After that we came home and went to an appointment we had with a lady that had told us to come back. Her name is Allyson and she started asking us all these questions and talked about how her Grandma had always taught her that there was a place in between death and the resurrection that your spirit would go, she explained it exactly like we believe it to be! It was kind of cool we asked if her church taught that but she said no, that her grandma talked about it to her and then she started going off about how she hates how churches only teach what please the people. They don’t include everything in what they teach. So basically she is a golden investigator.

Saturday and Sunday were both good, sadly Gladys didn’t come to church because she was out to late partying but that’s alright. We will get her next week!

Things are going good! We have been working hard and trying to get people to come to church. We have a mission goal of everyone getting a baptism in the month of November. It’s so hard because in Utah the missions there are like the highest baptizing and there are so many non members down here you think it would be opposite but it’s because there are so many members there, that the work is doing so good, I wish we could get members to see that and try and get a little out of their comfort zones to invite people to hear the gospel.

We are doing a little better at finding. We found a more upper end neighbor hood that we can start tracting. Less people will be open but they will be more likely to keep commitments. We are having the open house this Friday and we are trying to get the members to bring people. We made little invitations and every door we have knocked on the past few days we have put one on there so hopefully someone out of the 100 doors or so will come haha...
Out finding people!

My Ponderizing scripture last week was Moroni 7:48
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

I have been working on loving people more and seeing them as God sees them not as I see them and this has helped me out a lot!!

My scripture this week was the one I put on my plaque Alma 26:22
Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

So we are allowed to listen to music that you could sing in sacrament meeting so like BYU vocal point hymns we could listen to. Do you know of anyone else that has songs that are somewhat exciting that you could listen to in sacrament??

Today we found this store where everything is like super cheap and I bought some pants that reminded me of Ryker for 15 bucks so I'm gonna send them to him you will have to let me know what he says haha. This store everything is like under 20 bucks!! And they have sweaters and stuff like that so I will probably get something from there too! Probably matching pants with Ryker!  My socks are doing good, I haven’t put any holes in them yet!  My eating has been fine I just don’t want to gain weight but it's so hard to find food to eat haha!  My stomach has been doing good! The weather has been so nice. It’s been like in the 60-70 degrees range. It’s been nice!!!  

Today we have done our shopping and then we have a few appointments planned for tonight! Hopefully everyone is home! We have a few appointments lined up for the week and we are having the open house this friday night!  So hopefully people come to that!   
I have been thinking a lot about being grateful lately, and its nice to know how great of a family I have!!:)  Hope you had a fantastic week!!:) will talk to you next week! Love you!:) Thanks fore everything!!
Amazing Canton sky!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sharing Our Message with the Baptists!!

Hello Everyone!!

This week went pretty well!

Tuesday we traced for 5.5 hours haha I wanted to kill myself…:))

Wednesday we had to go to the doctor because Elder Clement had an ingrown hair or something that had been killing him.  It was in his armpit and he could hardly move his arm.  So we missed district meeting.  This week was sooooo long because we missed going to it!  Later that night we went to visit a girl that we had met at a store and she and her mom were rushing out to go to their Bible study class so they invited us to that.  When we got there she introduced us to the Pastoress and the Pastor and everyone else and they were asking us questions about what we did here as missionaries, and then they asked us if we would share our message with them and I didn't know what to do so I just told them sure!  We taught them about the restoration and we got some pretty interesting looks!  They started asking us questions about if prophets are the only way we can have a relationship with God, what we believed about the Holy Ghost, and then they asked us if baptism was essential for salvation (implying that they didn't believe in baptism) and I told them yes, and shared a scripture.  Then they asked "What if someone has never been baptized but then on their death bed they say Lord save me?"  I said they would still have to be baptized and taught them about baptism for the dead.  After that the Pastor was like alright that's enough…hahahahaha.  I honestly don't think that they believe in being baptized by water.  It was some little church, I can't remember what they called the church but it was a Baptist church!  They probably wouldn't be very happy if we showed back up haha but I think we will go this week and listen to them talk this time!

The rest of the week was pretty plain we didn't do a lot but tract.

Sunday we had one of our investigators come to church!!  Her name is Gladys and she doesn't live in the best of conditions.  She doesn't have a car so we had to get a ride for her but she showed up and loved it!  So that was good!!

I'm only a little bummed that my family is in Hawaii without me, but it's ok!  I'm in a good place.  It has been raining here a ton lately.  It's hard to get out and do stuff in the rain, especially when all you have planned is tracking.  We traced 12 hours last week, that's almost double what the standard of excellence is.  We are going to try and do an open house and watch Meet the Mormons.

I found someone to cut my hair!  I went to a real barber shop haha!  There were only like 80 year old guys in there.  The guy that cut my hair was 73!  The next transfer is Dec. 2nd.  I hope I stay in this area for a few months!  I have been enjoying being with Elder Clement!  I think it has been a good experience for me.  It is a little hard to deal with his talking, and he likes to be contentious with people but I have kind of helped him with that to see that it doesn't hep with anything!  It has been good though!!  He's awesome!

Hopefully you've had a fantastic week!:)
I love you!
Elder Larsen

Dinner at Cock of the Walk with the Alhalteh family!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!

This week was pretty uneventful!  We did a lot of tracting and taught a lot of first lessons but no one will listen to us when we go back the second time so that's been pretty frustrating.  That's alright though!

Saturday for Halloween we went to a members house with all of the missionaries from our district and hung out, ate food and played games.  It was fun and was nice because it was kind of a break from things!
Halloween Partay with the Feller Family!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday we went to the Raytown branch building for church.  The building is so cool, it's like 100 years old and super small.  It's in like the middle of the woods too, it's pretty awesome!  I know it was built in 1906.  In the dedicatory prayer it is said to stand until the millennium!

Raytown Branch Building

Such a cool sign!

After church we went to the Branch Presidents house and ate and then we went to see some less actives.  President Comans dad died about a month ago and he was talking about that to the less active guy and talking about Gods plan for us.  I was thinking, how can we relate this to get him to see the importance of church so I asked him  "What do you think about Gods plan for us?"  He answered, and then President Comans said something that tied right in to the purpose of our life so I shared a scripture with him, and then Elder Clement said something that led right into the Atonement, repentance, and baptism so I shared another scripture with him and then talked about how the sacrament is like us being baptized every week and how we need to be clean to enter into the presence of God.  It was pretty cool to see how everything just played out perfectly and we didn't even talk about it before!

We tract a lot, we teach a lot of people but never see them again!  Members aren't very good with referrals, I haven't received one while I have been here!  That's why I think this is one of the lowest baptizing missions.  That's probably been the hardest thing for me.  Not having tangible success.  Like no one coming to church and no one progressing that's been the hardest thing for me to deal with!  I guess I should stop worrying about what I can't control and just work.

Things are going good, we have had some good success.  There has been rain almost every other day this week it's been so nice haha!  We went to get haircuts but no one around here will cut my hair because they don't know how… they all only know how to cut black people hair!!!  We went to Brother Alhaltehs store (he owns like a suit store)  and he bought us some food!  And gave me a sweet deal on a cardigan thingy,  idk though, it might not loo very good on me haha!
Dinner with the Alhalteh Family!

Sharing a message!

Love you all, Elder Larsen