Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Visit from Elder Neil L. Anderson!

Hello everyone!

We had a great week this week! Definitely one to remember. At the beginning of the week we had a pretty rough start. Not a lot has been going on in our area despite the hard work we have been putting in. 

Tuesday it poured rain all day and we didn’t have much success while we were on exchanges, we didn’t get to talk to many people. 

Wednesday we had Zone meeting and it was good to see everyone again! 

Thursday we started Transfer planning. We spent all day with President Olson discussing the different missionaries and where they should go and we got done except just a few things that needed to be worked out. That night we went to teach a part member family with a 10 year old and 2 14 year old kids that haven’t been baptized yet. As we were teaching the little kids, who were all so intrigued and asking crazy questions, they all wanted to come to church and find out if Joseph Smith was a Prophet. It was really cool to see! 

Friday we continued transfer planning and the first thing President told us when we got in there was this. He said "So Elder... has been praying to get this certain Elder has his companion. Guess who it is?” So we guessed who it could be and I asked if it was the companion we had had him placed with at the moment and he told us that it was! It was pretty cool to see that one persons prayer can be answered in such a simple way. It wasn’t like we received a huge spiritual prompting from the spirit to do that but it just kind of felt like it was right. Then after we had them placed together, we found out that one of them had been praying to get the other one as a companion. It was a pretty cool thing to learn about how the spirit works.

Saturday we were lucky enough to go to Shreveport! We went over there and worked with some missionaries for the evening and then on Sunday we got to attend their Stake Conference which Elder Neil L. Anderson was speaking at. It was such an awesome experience! Elder Anderson talked about a lot of different things, listening and reading the words of the Prophets, about how life is fragile and we have to be ready for it, The Saviors Resurrection and how the Book of Mormon testifies of that and The Atonement. He said " If you need another witness of the Restoration, pick up the Book of Mormon and read it from cover to cover." He also shared a story with us about David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery. He mentioned how both of them fell away and only Oliver Cowdery came back. He said that in the year before David Whitmer died he had heard rumors of people saying that he had denied his testimony of the Book of Mormon. David decided to write a pamphlet declaring that he or the other 3 witnesses never will nor have denied their testimonies of the Book of Mormon. He also shared Oliver Cowderys last words to David Whitmer as he was lying on his death bed, he said "Brother David, be true to your testimony of the Book of Mormon." It was such a faith builder to hear his testimony of the Book of Mormon and its truthfulness. Another thing that stuck out to me about what he taught was this, he said " The Lord is so fair, so merciful, so loving. Be not afraid. Have courage to live the Gospel. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Get on your knees, open the scriptures and move forward." 

He spoke about how when he was called to the Holy Apostleship he received a stronger confirming witness than he could ever have imagined that, Jesus is the Christ.

As he was finishing his talk he was about to take his seat and then he turned around and came back to the pulpit and said "The Lord has reminded me that I need to leave a blessing on this area." He paused for a second listening to the spirit and said "Under the authority of the Holy Apostleship I would like to invoke a blessing upon the Shreveport area. That Shreveport may have faith to be its legacy" He mentioned a story that happened a while back in Shreveport with President Monson. It was a really cool and interesting thing to be apart of! The spirit of that meeting was so strong. We even got to shake his hand. Elder Beckstrom still hasn’t washed his;)

We picked up 18 new missionaries yesterday, we had a pretty good group! There were a lot of them. Transfers are today so hopefully we can get that all worked out!  Elder Beckstrom and I are staying here!  The weather has been good. Its rained quite a bit but luckily no flooding in our area.  The missionaries on the coast we have heard that they have started to have to stay inside.  It was getting bad.  Tomorrow morning we drop off the departing missionaries.  They are all staying the night with us.  We have a few good appointments lined up and also planned sleep this week haha, we have been crazy busy!

Well you are all probably sick of reading this super long email but I hope you are all doing well!  Things are going good here! Stressful but good! We had a really awesome week!!:) 

Love you all!
Elder Larsen
Fun with Elder Beckstrom!!

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