Monday, December 31, 2012

12/31/2012

Dear Fam-Bam,

 1. It was so good to hear from you guys. Sorry I cut off right in the middle, but the time card I had ran out. But I think you guys know how much i love you :)
2. Mom a little package filled with pictures from the primary arrived. It was so fun (and funny) to read and look at all of the papers. Please pass on the message that I really appreciated every letter and that they helped me remember the Christmas season.
3. We almost had a problem with the baptism of stefany. Her dad didn't want to sign to give her permission to get baptized and wouldn't come out so we could talk to him. His daughter was actually pushing him to the door. He saw us and said something like "hey you're just kids?" I think he was expecting a pastor of the Mormon church or something, and after we talked he had no problem signing the paper... because if the church made kids into men like this he wanted his daughter there. He even came to the baptism and sang the hymns so loud.  I almost laughed. It was wonderful.
4. It is crazy to think that we will be starting a new year. Today won't be the same without having mom say "lets make our new years goals." 
5. Mi compi had a hard day this past week. Every missionary has that one day were he could really choose to go home because you miss your family so much. I told him that if he can make it to three months he will be so changed he won't ever want to go home. We talked about new goals and it seemed to help. I wish he knew how much of a blessing he is to me. A real break/blessing compared to the other missionaries I had before. He is all good now and I can't wait to see the miracles we see together. 
6. sorry to hear y'all got sick
7. Dad mi license is in the office of the mission and so I will call and have them give me the number and send it to you next week. 

I love you all so much and hope you have a great new year.

Elder Larson

Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/2012

Dear Family, 

It was so wonderful to get that video and hear you all singing. I had to play it out loud so about fifteen missionaries and 5 other latinos were chuckling, but i didn't care. It was awesome to get that from y'all.....
Also, I am totally proud of Soren for fulfilling his role as member missionary. I can tell Soren will be an awesome missionary wherever he goes....

 Well training has been a BLAST!!!!! It was so awesome to have a "greenie" so excited to contact and teach and who really was excited about the work.  I will tell you, my comps from the city and is kinda of a baby when it comes to being out in the middle of nowhere where we are.  haha.  He complained really hard about the cold here and tried to call the president to say that the room we had was not up to par as a missionary should have.  I was so happy to hear the president say, to put it simply, that we have one of the best rooms of the mission and to suck it up!!!!! hahaha. But he really is awesome.  I think he will toughen up with time...

We had the baptism of Natily and i think this foto really describes how it feels after our baptisms.

I also had the amazing experience of having a less-active member come to church. We taught a lesson and I have never felt the spirit so strong. He and I both started to cry and at the end he said he was going to talk to the bishop to start his papers to go on the mission.  He is awesome and we are going to have him acompañarnos for a few citas to prepare him. It was awesome.

For the Christmas party I had to be Santa.... I got up on stage all dressed up and danced around for a couple of songs. It was hilarious.

Oh and I was coming back from Lima, picking up my companion, and I got a call from the President that he forgot to tell me I was also now District Leader, so needless to say I have been praying a lot for the help of the Lord.  One day while i was studying I was readying in prov. 27:23 and this scripture really helped me understand that in the mission I have my area filled with my people and i have the responsibility to look over them...... i don't know thought I would share that...

I am so excited to talk to you guys tomorrow at 8:00 here 7:00 there. You all look so different, especially Lukas. I wish i could skype but there really are no places to skype out here in "bumfly egypt".... (quote from dad).

Remember why we have this Christmas season, and hug all those less-active cats in your wards because a lot of times they just need a friend to go to church with.
love y'all nos vemos mañana,

Elder Larson





Monday, December 17, 2012

12/17/2012

Dear Family,


It was so good to hear from you all and I was so happy to hear that the family is a huge part of missionary work. I also want to say thanks to Em for the email and talk from Jeffery R Holland. That is literally going to be me this Christmas. Last night at 11:00 as I was leaving my comp in the bus station the president of the mission called the leaders of the zone and asked to talk to me. I head to Lima in one hour to train a new missionary...... WOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO.... I can't tell you how excited I am to get a missionary that will be excited about the work. I really think he will help the work here and I am going to learn so much from him.


I got news also that one package arrived at the mission home.... I am going to see if i can bring it back with me :) 

I want you guys to know i love you. Every one of you has been an example at a time and i use muchas experiencas de mi vida para enseñar las personas aqui. Hope all is well in the states. I was saddened to hear the story of that kid who murdered those 28 people. It just goes to show that Satan, even though he knows is going to lose the fight, won't stop from dragging as many people down with him. Be quick to forgive and slow to anger. Do all you can to be the bigger person. You will be amazed at how happy you can be even when there are drunks yelling cusswords at you ;) haha I know this has helped me. 

Love you all and see you soon.

Elder Larson

I forgot my camera so the pictures will have to wait till next week.... however i will forward the fotos from a conference from my president


Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/2012

Dear Family.....


First off i would like to direct my comments to Soren.... Soren, FREAK YEAH!!!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO  I cant tell you how proud i am of you. the minute i read that  i yelled out hear wooohhhooo with a big clapping, all the peruanos here looked at me, but I didn't care.... you're are the best example Soren. This story reminds me of the one that president Monson had about standing up even if you have to stand alone.... way to go lil bro....

Second, I would have gladly been shot yesterday night. I don't know what I ate but I have never been so sick in my stomach my whole life. I literally was up every thirty minutes to go to the baño and I had to sleep on the floor.... I took some pills that took the pain in the stomach away but i still got the boo pretty frequently.

Third, I had the opurtunidad a bautizar 2 people this week. A mother and her daughter. They are so awesome. I also had another "best two years" experience. I had a strong urge to contact an elderly man in the street. We talked and I told him about our purpose as missionaries. He didn't really seem interested so I invited him to church and we left... but the great part is the following day he arrived at church!!!!! I found out his name is Evangelio which in ingles is Gospel. The only bad part is that it was the primary program so he was a little confused, but he loved the priesthood hour and really participated. Cant wait to visit him tomorrow so we can really help him understand everything he learned in church.

Also em y mom, I have not received a package but it should arrive here before Christmas i hope....
about the calls home i have two options, they say that i have 40 minutes to talk to you guys, but that includes logging in and if there are problems that time too.... sooo you guys choose if you want a call or skype. i say skype because my pensionista has a pretty good connection. but y'all choose.

I love you guys so much and thanks everyone for writing me. Love you.

Elder Larson

Monday, December 3, 2012

12/3/2012

Dear family, 

Welp we are now in Christmas season. And it feels a lot more like it here than California. I had an amazing opportunity to have Elder Uceda, the 1st counselor of our area to speak to us. Wow, it was awesome. He talked a lot about how we need to face our fears of offending people and teach the truth.  He also said we need to leave the little sins we have on our mission.

We had the same rule that if we didn't bring an investigator we couldn't watch the Christmas devotional. So once again we looked hard for someone to come. One investigator named Stefani was able to come and got to see it. I really enjoyed Elder Eyrings talk. I couldn't help but think of the time that dad bought the boys a plane, and no matter how hard we tried it would not fly.... haha. But I had the greatest memory just being with the family that Christmas. I also began thinking about how we sometimes focus a little too much on giving material presents. I said to myself that I only have one gift to give this Christmas, and that is the hope that comes from the gospel. But it is the only gift that is really of worth to give. With this in mind, I am pumped up to work hard again

I am really happy to hear from Ricky and that he is doing so well, and that all of my friends are loving the mission. It's a help to me to know that the work is going forth so strong :)  I am also way stoked that the package arrived. On the outside of the package there is a envelope from the mission. Make sure you don't throw it away because it has a picture.

I love you all, thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Elder Larson

Monday, November 26, 2012

11/26/12

Dear Family,

I am so happy to hear y'all had a great Thanksgiving. I am not going to lie, the Peruvians down hear have never even heard of this holiday and in truth I forgot that Thanksgiving was this month. Holidays aren't the same without the family, but I guess since I didn't remember it was a blessing because i wasn't home sick. :)


I had the opportunity to baptize a sister named Mercedes. She is the mother of two girls who got baptized last month. 
For mom-- who wants to know about the area-- I will talk a little more... the members are great. They all are really helpful in the work, and I can say it is thanks to them that we can enter houses to teach. My area is big and so is our zone. (Not like dad's mission, but still.) My bathroom of hour dormitorio is kinda funny. The shower is literally over the the toilet. haha.  I have the strangest urge to go to the bathroom and shower at the same time but we will save that story for a later date. haha, 

I am loving this work. Yesterday I felt the spirit so strong. There was a less-active girl of 16 anos that we were teaching. I started to explain that church attendance brings happiness and obedience. She told me that she didn't believe in happiness.  At first I was a little confused. She kept saying how happiness only brought more sorrow later on. I didn't know what to say.  I said a prayer and asked for the ability to know what to say. I started to say how there are two types of happiness-- a temporary happiness which we get from things of this world, and an eternal happiness that can't be bought or purchased. I then asked her if she knew about the Atonement. She said no. I said, not I nor mi companion nor the family understand her family, but I had a testimony that Christ knew her trials because he felt them personally for her. I saw her countenance change from night to day. Of course her life was sad, she didn't want to go to church.

Family, let me tell you that I know the Atonement of Jesus Cristo changes lives. It is our only hope for true happiness forever. I am grateful my family and my parents know that. 

Fam bam, know that i love you, and when I get back we are going to talk and laugh and play alll the time... BUT I have a mission I need to do here. I can't explain how, but I feel a love for these people. I no longer have fear to talk and share my testimony always.....I love these children I am serving, and I love you all.

Keep calm and carry on.....cant wait to skype..... i pray for you all,,,,, and soren we can grow mustaches when i get back :) thanks whit for the pic, allison for keeping up the blog and em for your emails, hannah stay away from those boys, lukas keep me upsated on sports. mom dad i love you and miss you....

Elder Larson


Monday, November 12, 2012

11/12/12

Dear Family,


I have officially experienced my first transfer. It was hard to leave the ward and my converts behind, but I want to get to know other parts of Peru. I am now in Huancayo and let me tell you.....IT IS FREEZING!!! I am now glad I came with gloves and a sweater. haha.  It feels like Ephraim in the fall here and it made me think of the deer hunt. Also, the elevation should help me to drop a few pounds (Mom, I don't know how much I've dropped because i don't have a scale). I have trouble walking up and down the hills but I am happy for the exercise. My Pensionista is awesome but i don't know why people think i can eat a truck load of food. I have to tell her to stop giving me food this week or my stomach will burst. 

My Companion is Elder Lopez he is also de Guatamala and will be finishing this change also. He works hard but I can tell he is excited to go home, but he works, so I am happy as a clown to be here with him. This Bishop here is hilarious. He reminds me of Brother Fifield and is a big help to the work. Also there are a lot of kids getting ready to go on a mission and they help us with exchanges.  The people here are a little bit richer than in Haunaco and don't really listen to us but I know there are people here ready and willing to listen. 

I know Christmas is coming up and i will be sending a package home in the next three weeks.... HOWEVER, you cannot open this package until Christmas!!! If you could send me the address of our house again that would be great!

I love you all so so so much i will send pics soon.... love ya hug those cats and if necessary eat them...

Elder Larson

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/2012

Hey fam bam,

This past week has been an adventure. We have officially been without water for ten days, and they say we won't see water at least until Saturday. A pipe broke under a 3 story house, and the owners won't let them enter to repair. Stupid. It has been pretty crazy watching people fight for water from trucks that hand it out. I can't imagine how a real catastrophe would be here. People would literally kill!  Needless to say, I haven't showered for a little bit, but luckily college life prepared me for this. hahaha.

We had the baptism of two children this week. They were cousins and the little girl was honestly the cutest thing. A member bought the girl a dress to be baptized in and the girl looked like a princess. She almost cried when she saw it. The boy on the other hand was baptized in my shirt because somebody took all of the baptism clothing. He actually liked it and asked to have the shirt to sleep in, but i need my shirts so I think I will just buy one for him.

This week I really tried to focus on finding less active members to bring to church. We went to the house of one lady who lived way way way up in the hills. She was an old lady who was so excited to see us that she sang to me in quechua. I took a video and partway through she burst out crying and said she felt like she had been forgotten and had prayed for a sign that someone loved her and the day despues me y mi comp arrived. She came to church this Sunday with her son who is also less active. He is 23 and very quiet but likes to talk to the Elders. They were a testimony to me that God never ever forgets his children.

I got an email that yes the package you sent arrived in Lima and would get to me in 2 weeks.  Can't wait to see what's in it. Also mom, I know it's your birthday coming up but I might not be able to get the package I want to you on time...we will see...

I hope you're all good and know that I miss you to death! Keep fighting the good fight... love you like the cool side of the pillow... chau

Elder Larson



10/8/2012

muy buenos dias to yáll

So this week for conference our president of the mission said that we were not allowed to attend conference unless we had an investigator in the session with us. He said we could wait to read the talks if we didn't get to see them.  My comp and I worked so hard and fasted for people to be able to come.  The miracle we had is that we had at least one investigator in every session. It was a testimony to me that if our desires and work are united you can see miracles, but man was I tired after.

This week I had the opportunity to teach to people that helped me grow my testimony. They were both named jhon. One has 45 years and the other 13. The 45 year old is the dad of his sons that we recently baptized. We were teaching about arrepentmiento and he interupted and said, "elders your apostol said something today about tithing... I can't explain why, but I feel like I have to pay my tithing. How do I do it so I can truly repent?" I was like, wow, you rock.

The other is a non-member. He also came to conference but we didn't have the opportunity to teach him any lessons. We left him a book of mormon to read. The kid marked his favorite scriptures and memorized 3 of them and then asked how he could be baptized.  He honestly has more faith than I have ever seen in someone and I wanted to cry when we were teaching him because he is better than half the priesthood holders his age.

I am so greatful for this blessing I have to work in this work... thanks for everything mom and dad... I show our fam picture to everyone, to teach how the gospel can make a family happier than any other thing.

love you

10/1/2012

Dear Family,

So my new companion arrived last Wednesday. His name is Elder Carpio. He is from Guatamala and has only 3 months 'til he finishes his mission. I am still in the same area, San Luis Huanaco Peru, and loving it.  My comp knows so much about the scriptures I can begin reading a verse anywhere in the bible and he will tell me what book and between 2-3 chapters of where it is.... he is awesome and knows so much. I get along great with him and we are working hard.

However, this week I had my first big experience with mormon haters. My comp and I were walking off to the side of the road. There was a pretty big puddle in the dirt, but it was off the asphalt road so we thought we were fine. Then this car swerved off the asphalt splashing water all over my companion and me, then turned back on the road and left. At first I was mad, but I looked down and I nor my comp were wet or dirty...call it what you want, but in my eyes it was a miracle.

Last Saturday was Johan, one of my recent converts birthday.  I passed by and gave him a white shirt and one of my ties. He showed up to church dressed and looked bombdiggity. That Sunday we taught him about the priesthood and he was excited to talk to the branch president about getting the priesthood.  He is a great guy and a real convert to the church.

This week I had what is called papas rellenos or refilled potatoes. They are different than refilled potatoes and when I get home I want to make everybody one. They are delicios!!!!!!!!!!!!

The work as always is hard, but worth it. I was feeling a little discouraged this week because we didn't have baptisms until I read in Preach my gospel pg 10.... it talks about how a missionary can really measure if they are having success, and list about ten points analyze yourself.  One of the ones that hit me hard was "you concern yourself with the salvation of souls of your investigators and their desires to serve god... " I am not trying to get into my head that I am not here to baptize only, but to really save the lives of people. It helped me to think like that.

As always, I love you guys and miss you like you wouldn't believe...but, I need to be here.

love everyone so much chau.........

9/24/2012

Dear Family!!!

I am so grateful for the Lord´s hand in the work this week. We had 5 very great, awesome people get baptized this week (johan-19 andy-11 jhon-11 chris-8 stevin-8 years old). They are all awesome and Chris especially has an amazing testimony for an 8 year old. Their parents are all also investigating the gospel. They have to wait to be baptized because they are not married, but are saving the money and attending church with their children. I want to get the Dads baptized so they can get the priesthood and ordain their sons when they turn 12. We are going to have family home evenings in their homes this week. It should be way fun. We (mi and my comp) are going to make chupetes (popsicles).

My new companion hasn't arrived yet and won't arrive 'til Wednesday, which stinks because I can't work in my area until Wednesday because I am with the liders de the zone until then. I hope my investigators will be alright...

I attached a photo of the baptisms, and one of Elder Barney. He has been out here for only 1 month more than me and will be going to BYU after the mission too... he is awesome...

I havent heard alot about my package yet? Has it arrived? I hope so because it had alot of cards for different people...

Sorry it is so short i hope you guys know i love you.... talk to you more later
Elder Larson



9/17/2012

Dear Family,

I am so sorry for not writing last week. I had an emergency exchange of companions and the day was hectic.

Elder Bareiro is now the secretary of salud and my new companion is from (you wont believe it) Perris, California. We know a few of the same people and it is pretty crazy. He will be leaving to go home, he finishes his mission this Sunday, so I won't get a lot of time with him. We have been working really hard (I mean really hard) and we have 4 people that will be baptized this Saturday. I learned a lot from him in these short days. Also, we have been focusing on looking for families to teach rather than people, solo. There is something awesome about teaching a family and all ending on our knees in prayer and having the Dad pray for the first time. It is a powerful experience to see the family learn and grow. Glad I had that opportunity to serve with him. 

The package is officially in the mail. I tried to send some things but it came out to 200 soles soooo I just mailed the cd of pics and some letters, oh and also inside there are letters with stamps from another missionary.... please put those in the mail for him also.

I will try to send more màs cerca de christmas..... i love you all and miss you so much!!!!!

Your Elder Larson

(also mom will you send me the recipe for pancakes and french toast as simple as possible....thanks love you)

Monday, September 3, 2012

09/03/2012

Dear Family,

Welp, tonight I will once again be traveling to Lima. This time to finish my capacitation of a new Elder. I also have some good news.  I am going to send a packet home with a CD of all my pictures. Hast ahora I had my pictures saved by a member with a computer.  Don't know how she had them. And also I am going to send a whole bunch of letters to you guys in a packet and if you could mail them to the respective persons I would be really grateful.

I had a great spiritual experience that really testified that every missionary is called to that place for a reason. My ¨pesionista,¨the lady who feeds us and who we live with, isn't a member. She has had a grand number of missionaries in her house and every one of them has tried to teach her.  But something always kept her from getting baptized, even though she went to church read the Book of Mormon and everything.  Well Elder Bareiro y yo had a lesson with her. She finally, after 1 1/2 years, told us what her problems with the church were. We were able to resolve it and she was baptized 3 days later along with her sister.  In all truth, the two are a latin version of Grandma Judy and her sister. It is so funny. And I got to baptize her. To celebrate, of course like Grandma, she wanted a big meal and invited the bishop and four sets of missionaries. We had...you guessed it...guinea pig, and the way it was prepared it was honestly the best meat I have ever tasted.  I mean like I crave it now... delicious.

HOWEVER, this week I also had what is called tokosh, a potato that smells like a turd and tasted about the same too. Look up a description online.  It will say the smell is terrible. The reason I had it was because we were tracting and the family who lives in a hut made of whatever they could find in the street invited us in. We walked in and the smell was horrendous. I asked my companion "what is that smell?" and he just said ¨oh no."  I ate it all and made the mistake of lying and telling the sister that it was good.  So of course she brought out another plate.  Needles to say the night was a long one. I felt horrible, but I am now better. haha

Hope you guys are awesome... and to all the returned missionaries who read this... any ideas on how to have appointments not fall through? Something I can say or do that will help them for sure stay in their house for our appointment.

*** Mail update: While the mail in Peru is still somewhat on strike, Sheldon is now able to receive letters from dearelder.com again and will be sending letters to the states soon.  Thank you to all who continue to write him!***

"The Baptism"
"Killing and skinning my guinea pig"
"Guinea Pig Head (delicios)"
The infamous"tokosh- took this picture when they weren't around"

08/27/2012

Hey everyone,

Wow, had a busy week this week. I had to take a nine hour trip to Lima for my visa and to print my Peru ID. Then, nine hours back and while coming back, a movie was playing and it was set in California.  I  couldn't help but think about all the fun times we had at the beach and how much I miss you guys....

The good news is we had a baptism this week and I was so excited for the 11 year old to be baptized.  Her mom was the only thing keeping her from being baptized and we finally got permission for her baptism.  She is awesome and has been wanting to be baptized for a long time.  I will attach a picture in another email.

For last weeks p-day we went to a museum and saw some mummies. It was pretty cool.  I will attach those pics too.

Hope everyone is alright. Miss you all. Sorry, short time to write... love ya

Elder Larson

08/20/2012

Dear Family,

I am not going to lie. This week has been a trying one. It is hard living in the mission where the motto that we say at every reunion de districto is "in the Peru Lima east mission we baptize and confirm  converts weekly" and everyone is doing just that except your area. It is trying, but I know I can learn something from these hard times. We are going to try every form of contacting we can and be way more direct in our teachings. We will see how it goes.
   
Saturday was the prophets birthday and there was a special broadcast. If you guys saw it, it was pretty cool. However, me and my companion thought that the prophet was going to talk and some apostles like general conference. We brought two investigating families to the transmission and explained that the prophet and maybe some apostles were going to give talks about the gospel. You can imagine the look on their faces when the boy scouts came running out all with American flags, and later they had to listen to 7 trombones all in English. It was something that made me and my comp laugh. However I was grateful I got to watch it because there were songs from Phantom and Les Mes and I thought all about my family.  And when Josh Groban came on I couldn't help but think about Grandma Larson. So I was grateful I got to watch. My investigators, not so much they left thirty minutes into it. haha....

I am glad you warned me about the "pocket talk" Dad because I literally have given a talk at at least one of my branches every Sunday.  It helps me practice my Spanish and now the members know my name, so yeah it's all good.

I hope you guys know I love and miss you.

Elder Larson!!!!

p.s.  Sorry i cant talk or spell in english or spanish now....
p.s.s I tried to say my prayer in english and I couldn't do it haha..... can't wait till 7 months from now haha...

08/13/2012

Dear Family,

So Presidente Ardila just cut our email time down from an hour to 45 minutes, so I will type as fast as i can.

Primero, this week had it's ups and downs. We have had lots of lessons and investigators but nobody will commit to baptism. It is frustrating. However, I am now taking part in the lessons more and the investigator can really understand me now... so that is good.

I have found the secret for success. The harder you work, the faster you walk, and the more people you talk to, the faster the day goes by... AND it is way more fun.

Also, to make my missionary change complete I did the unexpected.  I now have a comb-over haircut. I will try to take a pic for next week.

I also found out that the Peru mail is on strike so lots of letters have been delayed for weeks now, including dear elders.  Sending stuff out of the country is impossible now. Two letters I tried to send have come back, so I will try later in the year.

I need a favor from the family though.  Could you send pictures of our cars through email to show my companions because they don't believe I have a mustang back at home.

This past p-day we bought a whole bunch of meat and cooked it over a camp fire.....so friggen delicios. This p-day is p-day multizona and I will get to see Elder Burgi from the MTC. I am excited. Well, times up. Sorry I couldn't write more... chau chau

Elder Larson

Cooking meat on p-day

08/06/2012

 Dear Family

First off-- Congrats to Dad!! Emilee sent me the link of your change of command. I couldn't watch the video, but I read the article and I tried to picture everything as if I were there. Dad, you are so friggin cool. I must say that I really do have the best family in the world!!!! Thanks for all you do...
I am happy to hear the move is going well. Soren, I was missing you this week. I was thinking of spongebob episodes and tried to explaion the scenes to my companion in Spanish.  They aren't as funny in Spanish. I knew if you were here you would get it.  Hope all is well with the second and first generation. In all honestly, I can't wait to see you guys again and just talk.

I have begun to notice a theme here in Peru that is really different than America. My comp and I have tried really hard to contact, and we find people that sound really excited and interested, so we make a meeting with them. BUT when we return there isn't anyone, or they send out their kids to tell us nobody is home.  It's really frustrating because it's hard to see if a person is actually going to listen or if we are just wasting our time. I know we are going to be blessed with people who want to listen because we are diligently searching.

Like Mikol, he is somebody I never thought would want to see us again, but honestly out of all of our contacts he is the only one who received a lesson and is keeping his commitments. I know it is worth it.

I would love to have the family's new address. I am going to try to mail a letter home but I need the new address.

I really do miss you guys. It has been hard without my parents, sisters and brothers around. But you know what? I have developed from this a grand respect and testimony of the plan of salvation. I know now heaven is not gonna be heaven without my family.  That is for sure!!!!

Oh, I finally found all of you the perfect diet. I call it "rice and diarrhea diet." All you have to do is eat rice for every meal.... (yes, breakfast too) and have diarrhea every time you are teaching a lesson... Haha, sorry I shouldn't talk like that, but it is true because I have gone down two belt loops...

I hope you know I love and miss you guys...

 ***

Elder Larson

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

07/31/2012 - I love you guys!

 I am glad you guys are on your way to Kansas. I hope you don't feel too stressed Dad, but if you do feel stressed, go ahead and knock Soren around. That always helped me when I was stressed, and he probably did something to deserve it.

So every Sunday we eat lunch with a member. It is really delicious, but every Sunday night I have [major stomach issues] and can't sleep at all... it has happened every weekend since I got here without fail. But you know what? I went down a belt loop so I can't complain...

This week started off tough. We weren't having much success and a lot of our family investigators went out of town. Nobody wanted to listen to us. So we decided to try to visit some menos activos (less-active church members). This is when I stopped being selfish Sheldon and started thinking about others. We found a lady named Inocenta. She is a wonderful old lady. She is now in a wheelchair, and has severely misshapen feet and hands. She hasn't been to church because she is the only member and her family wasn't taking her to church. She was so happy to see us. She had been praying that somebody from the ward would remember her because she felt forgotten. She asked us to sing for her because that is what she missed most about church was the hymns. So me and my companion sang three hymns. She tried to sing along. I have never heard a more humble voice. She then asked for a blessing of salud (health) and asked me to give it.  I hadn't ever given a blessing in Spanish before. I was so nervous, but it went well and she was so grateful. She is an amazing lady.... please family be grateful for all you have.... she then introduced us to her family. They invited us to eat lunch and we talked great. We are going to have family home evening with them tomorrow. I am grateful i dont have to do missionary work alone. The Lord is always there.

Aside from that I finally ate guinea pig (head and all).  It was actually pretty good!!!

We also had missionary work night. There were four teams and each missionary was a captain and had a team... it was so much fun. We got some new investigators from it.

I also went on splits with an elder named Morales. It was fun and we went to a place that had lots of farms and people who only lived off the land...

I hope you guys are excited about your new house and home... I miss you all very much. You guys remember I love you, k

Elder Larson


Elder Larson and some chicken/bird

Splits with Elder Morales


That would be a guinea pig head (with the teeth???)

7/23/2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry again for last weeks letter. I was so mad I couldn't write all I wanted to, but I will try to write it all now.

Congrats to Dad and your pinning on. Em sent me pictures and you looked awesome. Mom, thanks for your prayers as always. Em and John thanks for fasting and Emilee for the pictures. Whit I hope your baby shower went awesome. Alli thanks for keeping up the blog, I owe you big time. Soren, hope magic mountain was bomb. Hannah stay beautiful. Lukie you need to watch rugby because I have been playing it a lot down here and it is soooo fun.

First off, I just got a bunch of letters that were from way back on July 4th. Apparently you can send envelopes of stuff  to the mission office. They inspect it and then once a month they send a big package of all your stuff to you. So I will only be getting your letters once a month. But dear elders do get here every month, so yeah that's cool.

This week we had a baptism of an 18 year old girl named Deysi. Her family is all Catholic except her mom, and she had to wait until she was 18 to be baptized. She has a wonderful testimony.  She was a great person to teach. We have a lot of investigators who want to get baptized, but the problem here in Peru is that nobody is married. It is a lot of money to get married here, and most of them really can't afford it. But a lot of them have promised to start saving up and we are going to talk to the obispo to see if we can help that way. 

Last P-day we went to ambo and hiked up these waterfall trails. It was so awesome, but my legs are full of bug bites. I will send pictures in the other email.

This week for service we helped build a wall around a members house using only dirt, clay and our feet. I don't have pics but it was soooo awesome. So Soren-- waboosh-- we are doing the same thing just with different materials.

One thing that is funny here is that when we walk down the street at least three times a day, there are people that cross themselves because we are Mormons. It gives me a good laugh.

I have had rice for every lunch and dinner since I got to Peru, and I don't think it will change. But I crave it now. Like, I have to have rice or I am not full.... haha

Hope every one is well. Please know I love you and think of you often and can feel your prayers. Do a good deed daily and hug those cats....

ELDER LARSON

P-day
El Libro De Mormon!
Elder Larson and Deysi

07/16/2012 - A spiritual experience & THE BROKEN KEYBOARD

TRANSLATED:

Dear Family,

Sorry guys, this has to be a short letter because this keyboard is missing all the letters.  So I am just guessing at the letters.  Hope you can understand.  I had a really good spiritual experience this week.  Had a great experience with following the promptings of the spirit. After weekly daily planning and my personal prayer, I felt a strong prompting to look for a lady to serve the following day. I like saw what she would look like and everything. I wrote it down as a reminder and went to bed. The next day while my companion and I were walking to "yanag" I saw the old woman walking with a big bucket of rice. I walked up to her and asked if I could carry it. She said yes, and while we walked Elder Bareiro talked with her about the church. We will be visiting her tomorrow for another visit. I am so thankful for the spirit and that when you listen to it you will be directed to people who are ready to hear the gospel.  I have two new progressing investigators.  They are named Deysi and Javier. They are both great. Man this keyboard sucks.... love you guys u will write more next week.

Love you,

Elder Larson

ORIGINAL TEXT:

fear famoly
sorry guys this has to be a short letter because thus keyboard is missing all the letters. so i am just guessubg at the letters. hope you can understand. had a really good spueitual experience thos week.  had a great experience with following the promptings os the spirit. after weekly daily planing and my personal prayer i felt a strong prompting to look for a lady to serve. the following day i like saw what she would look like and everything. i wrote it down as a reminder and went to bed. the next day while my companion and i were walking to yanag i saw the old women walking with a big bucket of rice. i walked up to her and asked if i could carry it. she said yes and while we walked elder bareiro talked with her about the church. we will be visiting her tomorrow for another visit. i am so thankful for the spirit and that when you listen to it you will be dirrected to people who are ready to hear the gospel.
i have two nw progressing investigatords they are called deysi and javier. they are both great. man this keyboared suxks.... love you guys u wull write more next week. love you

elder larson


Sunday, July 15, 2012

07/09/2012

Dear Family,

Welp "the hour of my mission has come" D&C 31:3. There is so much that has happened I don't even know where to begin. First, my new native comp is named Elder Bareiro. He is from Argentina and is awesome. Our area is in San Luis which is in the city Huanaco. The mountains here are so beautiful and we are surrounded on all sides by the tallest mountains. This area is growing, but I have never seen a poorer people.

Oh, haha, I am second counselor in one of the branches in my area, so you can tell we have a problem with menos activos here. But the good news is we had two people get baptized this week!!!! Ketin y Victoria Revera Mata. They are brothers and sisters. Right now we are working on baptizing the Dad, but he has a problem with the law of tithing, and that is the only thing keeping him. That I think is the hardest thing here. When you have to ask a family whose has so little to give what little they do to the church. I mean, you have to have a testimony of it to be able to ask them to do that. 

We have another baptism scheduled for Saturday. His name is havier. I love everyone here. They ask me what sport I like to play and when I say futbol american they exclaim CLARO which means like "of course!"

We live in the house of a member of the church that is directly above a bar, so we get alot of run-ins with borrachos or drunks.  But they are the nicest drunks in the world. They always want to thank us for serving god, but they never sit still long enough to listen to us or for us to get their direction.

The hermana that we live with is a combination of Grandma Judy and Mother Teresa.  She makes all this food and because I am bigger always loads the plate full.  I pray every meal in my head that i can finish it because it is a lot.  I finally asked her for lesser portions. She also has a qui (guinea pig) farm. There are thirty-two, yes thirty-two, guinea pigs where I live.  She says once they get bigger we will have them for lots of meals, haha. But she is the sweetest lady in the world and I love her.  I just found out that I don't have to do my own laundry either...SCORE!!!!!!

The work is tiring but it is impossible not to serve when you see the faces of these Peruvian people.

So grateful to be here....

I love you all and hope that your doing great.... try huggin more cats...

Elder Larson

P.S. - I'm still getting letters from Dear Elder so keep writing them!


Elder Larson -- baptizing Ketin and Victoria  
The guinea pig farm where Elder Larson lives
Sheldon's pillowcase all the way in Peru

Elder Larson with his companion Elder Elder Bareiro from Argentina  

      


Some weird fruit that looks nasty but actually tastes really good!





Friday, June 29, 2012

06/27/2012 - Finally, some pictures

Sheldon wasn't able to write this week because of time, but he did manage to send some pictures (these are in no particular order-- some from Peru and some from Provo):
Closest to a family picture we'll have for a while





Elder Larson's district at the Lima, Peru temple

In front of the temple in Peru

In front of the Provo temple


He did quickly say "I want everyone (Dad, Emilee, John, Rachel Slauson, Sarah and Abby) to know that I got your letters, but since I cannot buy stamps, you won't get one back until I can buy some....sorry for the wait.... here are the pictures. Love you all.... God bless..." -Elder Larson

ALL of Elder Larson's pictures HERE

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6/20/2012 - First week in the CCM

Dear Family,
 
All I can say is, wow! What an amazing experience I am having here. So to start from the beginning…

First off, Happy Father's Day Dad!  I sent off a letter but it won't get to you for probably 2 more days.  It costs six American dollars to send a letter through the mail system, so I sent it through the church.  Hopefully you know I love you and you were in my mind the whole day.

My stomach feels great.  I only got sick after one meal but since then I have been solid as a rock.... but man do I sweat here.

I have two companions for two parts of the day, one for my classes (who is American) and one for everything else (who is a Latino). They are both freaking awesome. My American one is from Wyoming and he is named Elder Maddock. He is awesome and is straight a cowboy through and through. Reminds me of a combination of Dad and uncle John. He is so awesome and we get along great. My other companion is from El Salvador. He is a convert and has only been in the church for 2 years. His name is Elder Flores, and man is he good at soccer. Seems like every Latino is...

Anyway, my lessons are going well, but they are much harder to teach down here because literally all my maestros barely speak English. I am learning that Peru has a lot of slang that they use in their conversations that other countries don't. Also, they are all either HARDCORE Jehovah's Witnesses or Catholics down here. So that should be fun. I go out Saturday proselyting with my native companion. It should be hard, but fun.

Holy cow, the food down here is amazing, and all the native Peruvians say this isn’t even the good stuff, so I can’t wait to get out there and try some of the REAL PERU FOOD. Also it is fall here and I am sweating like a pig, but I talked to my Latin comp and he said that parts of our mission are like the coldest in South America. So it looks like I get the best of both worlds. Also, I found out the MTC or CCM is in my mission. So it stretches really wide. Oh, and I got called to be district leader again.

We got to hear from Elder Holland this week, and as you can imagine, it was mind boggling. He talked specifically about how we need to teach and it got every single missionary pumped up.

Riding the bus down here is crazy, too.  It costs about fifteen cents or 50 pesos (half a sol) and no joking, the busses do not stop. They only slow down while people get on and off.  They are packed full.  Today while going to the Peru temple (which was amazingly beautiful and awesome because I did a session in Spanish), the bus made a right turn in the third farthest left lane.  I have never heard so many horns honking.... haha. It was soooo coool....

I love this place and once I learn Spanish I probably won’t ever want to leave.  My teachers are also great. One is a native Peruvian who speaks no English. He is hilarious. He always gives me a hard time because I am district leader.  He just nods his head  and says....ay ay ay mi lider de districto... all the time then busts up laughing....
I hope you guys are awesome and know that I love you. Thanks for your prayers. I feel them every day.

Love you and be thankful...

Elder Larson

Pictures to come next week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

06/13/2012 - I'm Here

Wow,

I am here everyone. I don't have a lot of time to write so I will try to just put short sentences in. Holy cow, landing here was crazy. There is like a line for everything. We met up with some missionaries that were from Ecuador and I realized there must be two types of MTC Spanish. I could understand them when they spoke slow, but they don't speak slow.  Also, it is hotter here than anywhere I have ever lived. My clothes seem wet allll thhhheeee timmmmmeeee!!!! But I am sooo soo excited to be here. Walking out of the airport was humbling as well. The buildings here are about to fall over and it was like being in Tijuana. Also, there are loose dogs everywhere!!!! And holy cow I saw a person get hit by a car and a car accident on the way to the MTC... there are no rules for driving here!!!!!!! But the MTC is in a way nicer area. Those missionaries I met at the MTC are way nice.... except they were all weighing themselves on the scale and had me get on and all said "OHHHHHHHHHHH" at the same time when my number came up. It wasn't in pounds so I didn't know how much more I weighed than them.

DO NOT SEND PACKAGES HERE!!!!!  So you can send pouch mail or just regualr mail but I don't know my address.  I am here for nine weeks and can guarantee I will be working hard. I love these people already.  Nobody speaks English and I hope I don't turn into a hermit crab because I can't communicate. I will try to write as much as possible, but I really want to focus while here. Also I realized that Americans are nothing but a bunch of complainers. I hope you are all thankful back home for what you do have and never ever ever complain!!!!.... Write when you can.

Love you....
Elder Larson

Everyone who can, please try to write Sheldon this week.  Elder Larson's current address for the next 3 weeks (I will updated it later. Remember you need about 3 stamps.):

Elder Sheldon Keller Larson
Peru MTC
Centro De Capacitacion Missional
Melgarejo 159
 La Molina
Lima 12
Peru

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

06/06/2012 - THE VISA IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welp, the Visa is here!!!!.... I am so excited to finally be heading down to Peru and really begining my mission. I am so grateful to all of you who kept me and continue to keep me in your prayers. I feel your help all the time and I love and miss you all....

The details go like this.... Tuesday, June 12th, I will be be leaving at 3:00 a.m (yes in the morning) and head to the Salt lake City Airport. I fly then to Fortworth, Texas have a layover 'til 10:55 then I fly to Miami, have another layover 'til 4:30, then fly to Peru and arrive (9:10 their time). I will be able to call home at each airport stop, but once I am in Peru I am done, so I don't know how we can talk, but I will try to call everytime just pick up the phone :) and sisters if you want a quick call give me your phone number, because I forgot it...

Thank you so much for my rootbeer and warheads, I shared the rootbeer with the guys in my district and told them i was a connoisseur in the rootbeer field....but seriously thank you sooo much for the letters and packages. I am so grateful.

So something hilarious happened while teaching this week. We were teaching the law of chastity to an investigator and towards the end elder Burgi wanted to bear his testimony. He was doing great 'til he got to the end and said something along the lines of "I have a daily good relation with women, they bless me very well" and I just saw our investigator do everything he could to not laugh, and he was surprised and looked at me and I just gave him a big thumbs up.  I bore my testimony after and we left and I explained what he said.... it was a good laugh.... glad it happened here not down in Peru....

The speaker last night was amazing. Elder Marlin K. Jensen who is being released spoke and he was awesome. He said he wanted to give advice to missionaries. He talked about why is it that we stray away from our temple obedience and promises. He also said that some guys come on their missions not wanting to change, but he said you cannot go home and be the same person you were if you were an honest missionary.  I liked that and I hope it is true. He also talked about when he was a mission president. He had 210 missionaries to interview and could only have 5 mins with each so he asked one question, "what would you want me (mission pres) to know about you?" I liked that. I thought about what I would have said-- that I wanted to work hard for two years and never miss an opportunity to open my mouth like it says in D&C 33 7-10. That's what I would have said.

Also, Elder Chantz Davis got in here (MTC) a daily early and I ran into him.... It was soooo awesome to see that bud of mine. He was lost and and I guess didn't have a companion, so I took him with my district for a little 'til he got settled in. It was great to see him.

Had a fun trip down memory lane. There was a kid singing william tell overture, and I remembered how when me and dad would go to the dump he would sing that song but to the words.... ""to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump"" and I started to laugh right there.  So that was fun. I also used mom's saying "a goal not written down is a wish" in one of my lessons. So thank you for that mom....knew your saying would help me someday ;) 

I also have begun to try memorizing scriptures and things in spanish. I memorized my purpose, the first vission and now am trying to do D&C 4. Wish me luck.

I want you all to know I love and miss you, but that I am sorry I can't come home because this work is too joyous and fun. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Keep being the wonderful people you are.
I want to leave with you my two favorite quotes.....
1. "Only a fool would trifle with the souls of men" -Joseph Smith
    meaning get serious about the work and work hard or it is on your head....and.....
2. "you cant hug every cat, but you should try" -crazy eHarmony girl
     pretty self-explanatory
Hasta Luego,

Elder Larson

05/30/2012

Dear family and friends,

Wow what a week. I am so amazingly lucky to be a missionary. This week we heard from a member of the seventy named Elder Craig Zwick. I wish you could have heard the amazing testimony and experiences he had with the Book of Mormon. He served his Mission in 1968 in Argentina.  He talked about all the amazing experiences he had with the Book of Mormon. He talked about how in all truth, it was what truly converts people to come unto Cristo. I want to add my testimony to that. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have felt the love of it in my life and have seen its powerful influence in others' lives. There is no doubt in my head that this book was NOT written by Joseph Smith, but translated by a Profeta of God. I am starting to re-read the Book of Mormon again and challenge my family to do the same. I am simply reading 10 pages a day and should be able to finish it about six times on my mission. I encourage you all to do the same. I also encourage you all to continue living as a witness of the truthfulness of the restoration. It is a powerful thing in our lives and we must never be ashamed to share it. The hymn that was sung after the talk by Elder Zwick was " How firm a foundation." When in doubt look up the last verse to that song.... "I will not, I cannot desert to the foes" Thank you family for having prepared me to serve.

 And on a different note Elder Cooley received his visa yesterday at 3:00 and had four hours to clean and pack before he was on the next flight at 11:00....which mean the visas are still coming, but i have not yet received mine. Elder Burgi and I are now in a trio companionship with Elder Quilter who is a stellar Missionary! My soccer is continuing to rock but my english is getting worse and worse each day.

Oh, and here is a small little answer to my prayer this week. So lately I have been really missing not being able to go to THRIFT STORES.... you know how much I love them. Well, this week I knew it was starting to be a distraction. So I literally prayed for Heavenly Father to take away my thrift store urges so i could still focus.... He did me one better..... They have boxes all over the place called "free boxes." They are like thrift stores in a box!!!!!!! AND FOR FREEEEE!!!!! I honestly knew it was an answer to my prayer. Just goes to show you God truly does know our hearts wants and needs. And this helped my testimony of prayer grow.
A new District arrived today in our Zone and wouldn't you know it, there is another Elder Larson going to Tranquillo Peru..... Crazyness... this new district is really a focused group and I already look up to them.... just good people I guess.....

Mom thank you for always asking if i need something, and actually yes, there is one thing.... Warheads the candy. I had one yesterday and I was instantly addicted again. I hadn't had one since the 5th grade and I forgot how much I loved them. So if you could send a bunch of those.....make sure they are the hard candy ones though....Soren will know what i am talking about. Thanks you're the best.... remember hard ones and lots!!!!!! k thanks

I want you all to know that.......I LOVEEE THE BEACH!!! and I love you. I miss you, but as Dad keeps telling me, "we will be here when you get back." Thanks for you letters and again i love you all.....
Hope your week is amazing
live Long and prosper....
go ahead and hug all those Cats....
You Rock
Elder Larson
p.s remember the hard sour warheads....lots.... K love you

Thursday, May 24, 2012

05/23/2012

Dear Family and friends-
 
It was so nice to hear from all ya'll this week...
 
This past Sunday I was interviewed and I am now the new district leader. I heard from Dallin this week and he said he is loving it out in the field. I cant wait to get out into the field (wherever that may be) and start serving, too. I am sorry to say that they just got rid of the pictures machine and no computer at the MTC allows me to send them. So you wont be getting some for a while. But yes Mom, I would love to get some from ya'lll. My two investigators that I am teaching are so awesome. I am growing a love for the people I teach and even more so for the gospel.
 
This week we had Elder Rasband of the seventy speak to us. He talked about how it isn't enough just to have the spirit when you teach and study, but that you need the CONSTANT COMPANIONSHIP of the Holy Ghost. He said the three ways to do that is to 1) Bridle your Passions 2) Let virtue always garnish your thoughts and 3) Ask for it all the time. I loved this talk because honestly the times when I am the happiest out here are the times when I recognize I have the power of the Holy Ghost in my actions and thoughts.

I am now completly 100% feeling awesome. It was sad to send off four guys to the Peru MTC but I am so happy and proud of the work they will be able to accomplish down there.

I also love how in the mission field, ties are the only thing we barter. They are the only things we have to trade, and let me tell you, I have gotten some bomb-diggity ties now.

This week let me just say I dominated yes dominated in soccer. So Lukas you may have basketball but I got you in futbol..... I hope you all are doing great. Please know I love you and miss you, but I have never been so happy to serve the Lord. I want you to know I feel, yes can actually feel your prayers influence me. You are all great. Love you, see ya.

Keep huggin all those cats, no matter how crazy it may seem. Love ya

ELDER LARSON

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

05/16/2012

Hello Everyone!!!!!!
It was great to hear how everyone is doing. Congrats to Whitney and Ian on the news of the baby! So excited I am goiong to be an uncle. Sorry if i don't say all that I want to.  There is a timer when missionaries write emails and it will just kick you off if you don't hurry.
First off, Happy Mothers Day to Mom! The way it sounded the card got there in time? I would have called but I wasn't allowed to email or call.... but knowing mom she understands ;)  Congrats to Lukas on his win in the playoffs and to Soren you are a spoiled punk for being able to have a LIMO for Prom!!! JK that is actually really cool.

This week has been way way better than my first week. I am much healthier and feel great. Teaching of investigators went a lot better too. We received two new investigators and I am starting to develop a love for induvidual people, which seems to be essential to missionary work. I memorized the missionary purpose in spanish and am now wiorking on the Joseph Smith's first vision in spanish. Me and my companion are really starting to work hard. We were teaching in a lesson and he was struggling with words, then all of a sudden he just starts crying and just bears his testimony on the church and the Book of Mormon. After that he has really buckled down and wanted to work hard with the learning and teaching in spanish. Yesterday we had the privilage to hear from Elder L. Tom Perry. Wow, talk about an apostalic witness of the Savior. There have been few other times when i felt the spirit as strong as i did during his testimony. He spoke with such conviction it was impossible not to feel the spirit.
Today I went to the temple, and who do i sit next to but my best friend and college buddy Derek Christianson. It was so funny.  I love that kid sooo much. I found out he is two floors above me in my residence, but we didnt see each other before cause we are always gone.  THEN, walking back from the temple i saw Katherine, the girl you met at the bookstore. I told her to write me and that it made my day to see her.
On another note, I am now playing soccer as a supplement to my basketball, and i dont mean to brag, BUT I AM AMAZING.... haha jk, but it is a lot of fun and the best workout I get here at the MTC.
We almost had an Elder go home this week, not for any rule breaking, but because he wasnt sure if he had a strong enough testimony to be here. BUT, after Elder L. Tom Perry's talk, he had a beautiful change of heart and is now working harder than ever.
Days are beginning to blend and I am honestly working so hard it doesn't matter what day it is to me. I was kinda bummed at first when my visa didn't show, but two seconds later I remembered the saying "you can't hug every cat" and I was fine. Besides, Dad always taught me not to worry about the things i dont have control over!
I cant wait to hear from ya'll and know that i love and miss you.
Quote from L Tom Perry's Talk "Priesthood is the means of Exhalation. Without it men are lost."
Also, sorry for the spelling errors Whitney. I hope they didnt bother you too much ;)
Lord Bless,
Elder Larson