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


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

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


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