Monday, July 31, 2017

RAIN, TRANSFERS & NANCY'S BAPTISM!!!

Squad,

This week has been a fantastic week. Luckily for each of you, this will be the last time you will have to read my weekly email because I will be returning home this Thursday. I have mixed feelings about entering into this next phase of my life, nevertheless, the past 2 years has been desirable above all other fruit. I wish that I could put all of the things that I learned and experienced here in Maryland! I sincerely encourage any of you that could potentially serve a mission to forget yourself and go to work in the service of the Lord. And for those of you who are past the age of serving a mission, there are a million other ways to lose yourself in the work of the Lord. I'm not going to even try to explain to you how you will be blessed for doing it, but you will and you won't regret a second of it!

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to the Washington DC temple, it was fantastic! If you are ever around the DC area, at least drive by that temple! It will take your breath away! There isn't really anything better than starting off your day in the house of the Lord, I invite you to go to the temple this week! After that we headed over to the mission home and began working on the transfer board with President Christiansen. We spent pretty much the rest of that day figuring out transfers and in the evening they took us to Sakura for some good Japanese food! It was amazing to be around the mission president and witness the inspiration that he receives on where the missionaries should be transferred!

On Wednesday we drove out to Frederick and picked up Elder Chambers and brought him back to Columbia for exchanges. We had an awesome exchange! While we were knocking doors we knocked into a lady, Sister Brown, taught her the Restoration and picked her up as an investigator! Solid! Then we had a lesson with a recent convert named Victor who is from China. He speaks very little English so we taught most of the lesson through Google Translate on his phone. That was a pretty cool experience! Then right after that we got a media referral for a kid named James. We contacted him and he told us that he was watching videos about Jesus online and the most legit ones that he saw were on the Mormon Channel! I agree! So he ordered a copy of the Book of Mormon and was interested in learning from us. We taught him the first lesson and he is seeking the truth out it's amazing! On Saturday we had the return appointment with him at the church. We gave him a church tour and he really enjoyed it! He is from China as well and his only hold ups are that he has social anxieties and that he isn't a native English speaker so he feels uncomfortable going to church with a majority American church. He's awesome though!

On Thursday we took a missionary that was returning home to the airport. His name is Elder Jenkins, he's a stud! Then on Friday we drove out to Chambersburg, PA for exchanges with the zone leaders there. I went there with Elder Bird, he's a stud! Unfortunately, that day it rained all day long and it wasn't light rain either. So we spent the entire day and evening walking around in the rain talking to people. That's missionary work right there! Everything worked out super well, we exchanged back and on our way back to Columbia we stopped in to see Nancy's baptism in Waynseboro! So sick!! She wanted me and Elder Jones to come to her baptism super bad because we were the ones that first started teaching her! It was awesome to see her and a bunch of the people in the Fairview ward again!

I can't believe my full-time service as a missionary ends this week, it has definitely been the greatest thing that I have ever decided to do. I know that the Savior lives and that he leads this work and this Church. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for him. Whatever thoughts you have had to improve as you have read this letter, I invite you to do them because they were from the Holy Ghost. I love y'all!

Have a good week!

-Elder Larson



Mission Office Staff

Tracting in the rain

DC Temple

Temple trip with Burtenshaw


Nancy's baptism!


 

Monday, July 24, 2017

C1 IS GOING D1!!!



video

Howdy!


This week was solid! On Tuesday we drove all the way up to Lancaster, PA for district meeting at Elder Lehnig's district. It was pretty solid but we were 45 minutes late because there was a big crash on the freeway on the way up there, oops! After that we exchanged and Elder Jones (yes my last companion) came with me to our area here in Columbia. It was a ton of fun to be with him again!! When we were companions we made 2 raps about missionary work and had a member (who is professionally certified) record and mix them for us. They turned out pretty sweet!! It worked out great because the member finished them up and sent them to us the day before we went on exchanges so we got to listen to them together. I will attach the songs at the bottom here. Share them with your friends and they will probably get baptized!!

The next day we exchanged back and on our way back from Pennsylvania we had to make a stop in Baltimore at one of the apartments to take care of some things there. It is an apartment that hasn't had missionaries in it for a while and in it we found an electric bike. If you were wondering, it has been cleared with President Christiansen for use by missionaries. Score!!!! We have been flying around on that thing! We just need to find another one now to go along with it!

On Thursday we helped set things up for the Sisters Specialized Conference (no we didn't attend).  But they hooked us up with some good breakfast! For work outs that morning Elder Burtenshaw rode the electric bike around while I jogged, good times! On Friday we drove out to good ole' Hagerstown and went on exchanges with the elders there. Hagerstown is the ward that I was trained to be a missionary in and it was pretty dang weird to be back there! We even got to work with some people that I worked with when I was there that are still working on getting baptized! Crazy!

On Sunday our investigator James came to church so we were pumped about that! The C1 (Columbia 1st) ward has been on fire with missionary work lately! We have put a bunch of effort into working with them this transfer and they have been coming in clutch! Some members invited their friend Isaac to church and we hooked him up with the missionaries in Ellicott City and they are going to start teaching him. #D1Bound!! Also we picked up 2 new investigators this week!

Have a good week!!

-Elder Larson
 
Office Staff - Elder Gerhart vs. the Shark

Office Staff - Elder Rudd vs. Satan


The District

Monday, July 17, 2017

BACK TO THE PEAKE (CHESAPEAKE)

What's good!!

This week was solid! Monday night we got out and hit the pavement too hard!! It was super hot and humid and I was very sweaty!! But I don't think that y'all are here to read about my sweat so I'll leave that out from now on. Tuesday was a magical day! We drove out to the town that is desirable above all other towns (Essex)(that's not necessarily truth) and went to district meeting with the Elders from the Jones Falls ward. Afterwards we exchanged with the Baltimore zone leaders and I got to go with Elder Skarda to my home back in Chesapeake:):):) Baltimore has not changed since I left it! We saw a man run (on foot) from the cops and impressively got away. It was super cool to see a bunch of the people that I used to work with all the time! We stopped by a recent convert that I taught, Katrina, and had a solid lesson with her. Instead of us teaching her anything, she taught us the lesson this time! In church on Sunday she learned about the spirit of Elijah and temple and family history work so she taught us about how Elijah came to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers and the hearts of the fathers to their children and that's why we have genealogy and family history. So solid!!!! She's killing it! We shared a scripture with her after she taught us and she said (paraphrasing) "Dang, my friend needs to hear that. I'm gonna show my friend that scripture. Can you give me another Book of Mormon? This will be my 4th one I've given out!" That's what's up!!! I miss Chesapeake!! It was so good to be back there. Also we knocked on a less active lady's door, she hadn't been to church in 40 years, and she told us that she would be at church on Sunday! It's her time to come back! Money!

On Wednesday we got up at 4 in the morning so we could drive back out to Chesapeake to pick up the other set of elders in Chesapeake and a bunch of other sets of missionaries on the way so we could be out in Martinsburg, WV by 8! It was for the New Missionary Meeting and that was a ton of fun! Maybe this is just because older missionaries get worn out by the end of their missions, but it was so refreshing to be around all the new missionaries all day! They brought so much hype it was so sick!!! They are all super solid! That meeting went until 4 and we got to instruct and help out with a bunch of that meeting. Afterwards on the way back home we stopped in at the beloved Cafe Rio for some dinner. That's a good day! Hopefully I will have pictures from it to send to you next week.

On Friday we drove out to Woodstock, VA and went on exchanges with the elders there. I went with Elder Petersen and he was in my math class in high school:) Haha he's a stud!!! We had a lot of fun and got to talk to a bunch of people! We also got to see blood stains that were spilled all over the carpet/wall in a sketchy apartment complex, I will not send you the pictures because that is not edifying! We finished off the week by driving up to Lancaster, PA to deliver some goods to the missionaries up there. We were in 4 states this week! #EastCoast

Have a good week!!

-Elder Larson



Elder Petersen & closest thing to mountains out here #VirginiaSwag

Bridge Life

Hammock Life

Sunday, July 16, 2017

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Hey guys!

We had a good week out here in Maryland! Our preparation day was moved to Tuesday because it was the 4th of July, so we got to get out on Monday and hit the pavement! We had a ton of appointments so we were running around like crazy! It was good stuff! For the 4th of July we had a BBQ cookout with our zone and it was tastey!!! Elder Burtenshaw and I were on the grill. Then we played some ball re-assuring me that I am in fact out of shape. Then Elder Burtenshaw and I hiked up into the mountains and threw up the hammocks, it was some much needed rehab time for my weakened body. Later that night we got to stay out a little bit later and watch some fireworks here in Columbia on the lake, it was a good time!

Wednesday we got back to work and went on exchanges with the zone leaders from the Eldersburg ward. Elder Simmons came here to Columbia with me and we had a good exchange! We picked up Mylea as a new investigator and it was a solid lesson! At the beginning she told us about all the concerns and things she had heard about the church and we didn't even address them! We taught her the doctrine of the Restoration and every one of her concerns was resolved by the end of the lesson. It was pretty sweet to see how the Spirit was working with her. She closed the lesson with a very real intended prayer, there aren't too many things sweeter than to hear an investigator pray like that! Good stuff! Thursday we exchanged back and then drove some cars around so people could get around.

On Friday we had a meeting out in Frederick in my old stomping grounds (Walkersville) and that went well. It was the Mission Leadership Council and it seemed to have gone well. We were able to instruct to everyone and the Spirit was strong in the meeting! President Christiansen decided that it would be a good idea to show everyone the "Hello" by Adelle missionary parody  to everyone haha it was very edifying! Afterwards we had to drive up to Waynesboro and then back down here to Columbia, a total of 4 or 5 hours that day. Then we got a call from President that some missionaries needed to be moved around and they happened to be in one of the furthest areas of the mission! Luckily they drove here so we didn't have to pick them up but we still got to drive around Pennsylvania all day dropping people off! When we got back later that night we picked up a care taker for one of the older gentlemen in our ward. Then on Sunday we picked up a man named Tony as an investigator as well.

I hope that y'all have a good week!!


-Elder Larson 

4th of July BBQ


P Day hike



Hammocking:)

Monday, July 3, 2017

SO MUCH TEACHING!!!

Howdy!
This week was solid but it was crazy! We started off the week good with a money lesson with Eunice and Carol! Eunice is from Nigeria and Carol is from Africa somewhere as well. You know what that means, they are super solid and open to listening to the Spirit! We initially contacted both of them on the street and next time we are going to go back and teach the rest of their family as well. They both accepted baptism if they come to know that it is true and are new investigators! Solid! Tuesday morning we exchanged with the Ellicott City zone leaders, Elder Dyer and Elder Ewald, and Elder Ewald came here to our area with me. We had another solid day and were able to pick up 3 new investigators then too! One of them is Jim, he is an interesting guy for sure! He is older, probably in his 70s, and has met with missionaries in the past. We taught him the Restoration and he already knows that all of it is true! And I'm not talking about how he has faith in God so he says that he believes it's true or anything like that, he literally knows that it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost! He testified to us many times in that lesson that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the world needs to read the Book of Mormon. He read the entire Book of Mormon and prayed and got a very strong answer that it is true! But, buzz kill, he has some weird concern where he is fine with just "living the New Testament" and drinking coffee and alcohol and stuff because the Book of Mormon is only for the newer generation. What the?? He doesn't want to get baptized, yet, but the Spirit has worked with him before and it will work with him again and he will be baptized one of these days! He even wants us to come teach his kids and grand kids because he knows it's true. He's gonna get there though! Later we taught Reggie and Liz and it was at the perfect timing, they were going through some crazy stuff and are going to be evicted soon.... But the message that we shared brought a ton of peace and joy to them. 

On Friday we had a meeting with President and then we drove out to Winchester, Virginia for exchanges with the elders there. It was a long haul out there! I went with Elder Shouse, he's a stud! While I was there we were able to have several lessons and we picked up 2 new investigators there! I feel like I'm in Brazil out here with how much we teach! Then we drove back to Columbia and found out that we needed to move an elder that was being intermediately transferred to his new area. So we spent the rest of the day/night driving missionaries to where they need to be. I am tired of driving! We didn't get back until late Saturday night so we didn't get a ton of sleep that night.

Sunday morning we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Dameon! He is hard core Catholic but he has super real intent in meeting with us and read the pamphlet like crazy that we left with him! He said he would be baptized if he finds that the Book of Mormon is true (which it is) so he is gonna get baptized!! Sick!!!:)

Have a good week!!
-Elder Larson



Our Friday and Saturday route

Our Friday and Saturday route
 
Elder Salazar, late night Taco Bell

Elder Shouse!

Chandler Leavitt, former missionary here!!  Stud!