Monday, July 28, 2014
Padre!! Okay, so this has been a nutso week. I don't have much time to write but I can shoot you some fun photos of all that we've been doing. Being out in Bend and Redmond rocks. We've been having way to much fun and we've been talking with some of the coolest people out here. I've been blessed to meet some awesome people out here. The pictures that I'm going to give you are at Tumalo Falls in Bend, its awesome. The work has really been progressing, we are teaching over 20 lessons a week again which is right where I prefer to be, but we'll be seeing quite a bit more soon. Honestly the work is hastening here in Oregon, life is good and I'm glad things are going well for ya'll! It sounds like a really exciting summer ya'll are having! My thought of the day comes from 2 Nep. 5:27, go look it up, it rocks. But the people of Nephi chose to live after the manner of happiness! It truly is all about finding happiness. If we live under the gospel of Jesus Christ then we will always find the happiness we are looking for! I love all ya'll!!! Here come pictures!
well that sounds like a lot of fun!!! im glad all is well! im glad that life is going well for the the family! as for leaving right after the ceremony that should probably work im trying to figure out how everything will work in just 2 days. we can work it out though. sounds like everyone had fun at the reunion! well thanks for the recepie i like it lots! i have a gnarly tan line now that last 4 or 5 days it hasnt gotten below 104 degrees and its pretty killer. life is good out here we had 2 baptisms this week and i got to perform one of them in water only up to me knee and he was twice my size so that was tough but we got it in one try. i am doing well here but im in close work with the zone leaders! my last assignment is probably the hardest one i have had. im building up a district of 10 missionaries and over half of them are discouraged and when they are successful they don't really give god the credit they just kinda don't care that they had a good day or week and move on with their lives. i have 2 companionship's that are so great the zone leaders are in my district and they are awesome! my comp is doing better now that he has a comp that is going to work no matter how hot its been. My comp though gets really upset and past feeling quick and then he just shuts me out and doesn't care about anything and gets very prideful and he recognizes it and doesn't wanna change. that's difficult but he loves me and we get along he just gets mad at the hand god deals him often. he is great though! we baptized a homeless man and a man that was in my last area! Life is good though im happy! we have 3 more baptisms lined up 1 this week and 2 on the 16th so thats awesome! there is a guy that lives in sandy out here visiting so thats cool! However he is moving out here and i told him bad move but he said it was for work so i cant blame him people get paid big bucks out here but thats because the government takes big bucks from you haha! uuhh..... i went on exchanges and that was cool, a missionary opened up to me big time and is testifying of how important it is we become REAL missionaries but he doesnt know how. the missionaries right now in general have a hard time baptizing because they are too caught up in mission drama and other similar things to focus on how to be a effective missionary and thats what my next training is going to be on so i can help them understand how and why this is important. very stressful i feel very inadequate. but i know that god will bless me. my comp sometimes tells me to not worry because i only have 4 weeks but thats why i care so much haha its my final mark on the mission thats actually spiritual rather than that missionary that got no bonesed off his bike into a ditch, people still talk about that so thats cool haha! well i love you all so much! i love the work im excited to chill with yall soon. did you get a letter from the mission saying when to be at the mission office? if so just lemme know real quick like right now if possible love you all so much! bye!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Padre! Wait wait wait... We talking about Jesse Riddle? Did he move out? That's crazy! Okay so how long are we planning on being in Oregon on the ride back? If I know then I can let ya know what we can do. So this will be a bit of a short one. Things have been awesome this last week. I feel more and more that I am doing exactly what The Lord would have me do. It's been a bit difficult for some of the missionaries to grasp the change of pace that is being brought but they are trying to change as well. It's been a bit hard for some of them but it's never easy to change and become more like the savior, it always requires some sacrifice. Okay just so you know also I'm in a beauty school right now getting a haircut from a LA... Definitely an interesting situation but for some reason this is what The Lord was needing us to do, somebody here to talk to for sure haha This last week I was with Elder Moon again which was awesome! I love that kid. He has grown so much, his area has been pretty tough and the last ZL here really killed his faith in so,e leadership in the mission so his faith has just been rocked a bit. Keep him in your prayers. We saw a ton of miracles. Seriously, the way The Lord works is nuts. We prayed about what to do with some surprise free moments, so we decided we needed to go to the park. Right as we got there we see this guy sitting in the middle of he park, he's got a big ol beard and we decide that's who we need to talk to. We go up to him and start talking and he says "hey I was just reading about you guys!" At this point we are totally confused but pumped outta our minds. We leave him with a BofM and invite him to really look into it. He travels all around Oregon and it just happens that he is there right when The Lord tells us to go there and he was just reading about us.... That's a sign hahaha and he admitted it, totally cool. Moon rocks though, nuff said, I love that guy. I give him the hardest time though. We have some LA we are working with howling at him, same with the youth (howl at the moon, get it haha) well that is some of the happenings of this last week. It's been wild, I'm exhausted... The bags under the eyes are getting wild, but I'll just keep on going forward. It's all about the experience and I'm runnin low on time so I've gotta make these last moments the best... And they will be. I love all of you so much! Spiritual thought of the week: REMEMBER! For the kings that were successful and righteous in the time of the Jaredites they had one common connection, they remembered how generous and loving The Lord had been in bringing their fathers across the deep and not cursing them. The most common phrase repeated save verily verily is remember, remember. We must always remember, we have even covenanted to do so. So remember, easy way to do it is write down one blessing you get during the day and then write one down from a month or a year ago. You will see the love our savior has for each of you as you do it! love ya! Elder Larsen Sr.
Monday, July 21, 2014
hey papa! im stoked for ya too! we need to go to the temple on saturday there is a wedding i got invited to that day. so saturday at 9:30 i believe. im figuring out logistics with what we will be doing im thinking we will have an elk grove and Carmichael day and then a lodi possibly a south sac day im not a fan of the ghetto! Did president really speak highly of me? that means a lot. its been kinda tough out here one its hard to stay focused i dont let anyone know so i just keep trying to work hard nobody in the ward knows im going home i just tell em all i came out in august. Anyway things are good here just ghetto! we cover a road that is one of the highest murder roads in sacramento if that makes any sense. I ran over a serynge and got a flat tire and now it has aids haha! i miss biking i dont miss flat tires! My companion is pretty great he is from delaware and that is cooL! i have not really had to man Utah companions! The work is great here, we have set up two baptisms which is sick they haven't baptized in a year. We are baptizing a homeless man named Pride and he is very humble ironic huh? he is cool, looking at him you wouldnt know he was homeless he owns a business and is trying to build himself back up he is just a victim of the economy and lives in the bushes behind star bucks haha! I have a list of people for you to pray for. they all have baptismal dates and i really wanna see them go through with it! There is Erika Contrera, Ben Nelson, Fabian, Pride evans, Mike blackwell, victoria, and anya. Life is good and i love the work! im happy to be here in this district, it needs as lot of help and work and i cant do it alone and i dont dream to. the lord is truly guiding us to people. we are contacting and tracting pretty much all day because we only have pride and mike as investigators. i got a flat tire and this non member picked us up fixed my bike and took us home and said stop by anytime and we are praying that we will find more people through our efforts. the ward hated the last missionary (the one i replaced) so they are semi standoffish but they are warming up and we are visiting them :) life is goo i love the work i love you all so much and i love being a district leader again because i can work more in my area and i have a good relationship with my missionaries! thanks for the cookies! can i get the recipe for those cookies a member wants to make them for us :) they loved em and so does everyone in my district we call em crack cookies because they are so good and addicting we just keep eating them even when we say no more! well i lvoe you so much!! please tell gma adams i love her i haven't heard from her or written o her so please tell her im thinking of her! LOVE YOU!!! see you in 5 weeks!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Best advice I'd give to you is to not listen to everything you hear! I'm definitely not the best missionary haha I've just been super blessed with awesome areas, companions and just general circumstances. However I've become a lot like you in the fact that I've become a bit of a workaholic... I eat live and breath the work, but I've also learned the importance of celebration and playing hard in general. This has been a really interesting few weeks. I've gone from a zone and with people that generally are competing to see who can be the best in the work and best at things to a zone that are generally really relaxed and laid back. Its been an interesting change. When it come to the work its been a problem for some areas but for ours and for a very few others we are picking up some serious speed. We have found 15 new over the last few weeks and are just having a blast talking to a lot of people. There is a lot of abuse around here though. Something I've noticed is that each companion I've had has had a specific type of people that come to them. Its been an interesting thing to see how the Lord really does have specific people and types of people for us to work with. Elder Lightfoot is going to be an amazing counselor one day and so he seems to get a lot of people that struggle with some very deep seated emotional pain and scars. Its been a sad thing to see so many people battered into complete denial and kids and grandparents stuck in the middle. We've been talking a lot with bishop on how to work with these situations. I've learned a lot about the importance of keys as an assistant as well, thats been something that has become so real when it comes to revelation. I've loved being with Elder Moon again and Elder Munoz, Elder Lightfoot rocks also, so life is so good. I'm going on a 5 day exchange with a bunch of people this week to see how things are going throughout the Redmond zone and Bend zone! Its going to be a ton of fun! Exchanges always bring miracles. This last week we had a fun time doing our ZTM, we focused on Charity, Faith and Revelation. Its really interesting how they all work with one another. Elder McGlothlin and and Elder Montierth came down for ZTM and to help build some faith in the zone which was awesome. So we had gotten into some banana fights at Elder McGlothin's place, literally we were throwing bananas at eachother at the end of the day before we had a zone conference. We destroyed that place haha I did that (different variates of destroying their place) a lot. So they came to my place now.... and needless to say we had chips emptied out in my bed, everything was destroyed by the time they left. The funny thing was we just had inspections............... It was sad. We have seen some serious miracles though this week. I'll tell ya, of all the things I've come to know is that this really is Gods work. He wants this work done and he'll get it done if anyone just goes out and believes its his. I've done nothing special my whole mission, I just have comps and myself that believe that this really is Gods work. Since it is his work we don't need to try to hard, just need to take a step back and let him do it. So some revelation for the week. I have been pondering the fact that loving our God and neighbor are the 2 greatest commandments. So encompassing that "on these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets"Matt 22:36-40. In Romans 13 Paul explains why pretty well by saying "if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." I have come to speculate the reason behind this is the fact that God has perfect charity for us. Our purpose is to become like our Heavenly Father, he doesn't need faith, or hope. He doesn't need prophecy or anything like that. He does need charity though. Christ was perfectly motivated out of charity- "And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men. And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father." Ether 12:33-34. So unless we have this Charity we are not like our Father, therefore we cannot return to live with him, we cannot see him as he sees us because we aren't motivated by the pure love of him and his son. More important then being obedient is being obedient because we love our Father and each other. Just my thought of the week. I love you all so much, I'm glad ya'll had fun at Trek it looks awesome! I'm loving life, things are just going to fast for me. Also what about the room thingy??? Where are we sharing a room? I look forward to hearing from you next week and I hope everyone knows how much I love them. Tell the Grandparents how much I love them and how much I think of them. How is GMA Brailsford? and Adams? Let me know. Love ya! Elder Larsen Sr.
a cool experience! i got to give a blessing to a missionary which was super cool! i just felt like non of the words were my words and it was really great! a very spiritual experience for me because i feel like its been a lil dry for a bit as far as really spiritual experiences go so thats cool! it makes me happy! i enjoy them and the missionary felt it too! well love you! On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Zachary Larsen
im on my last 6 weeks bro! its crazy and im stepping out of being a zone leader! they want me to build up a struggling district that has just thrown in the towel and given up on missionary work. they gave me a comp who hasn't smiled since the jazz took a national championship (get it its a joke in how he has never smiled ;) ) and two of the companionship's are training so thats going to be a lil intense and im nervous. this is going to be a stressful but fulfilling last 6 weeks! In my district is one of my boys though who is solid because he is just coming in as well its elder wong!!! and brandon is in my zone so thats cool too!! talk about president refocusing me haha! new mish president is switching a lot of things up man! im back on bike for the first time in 20 months and i gave my bike away to a struggling missionary to help him so thats good haha! they are moving me to the ghetto in south sac so that will also be fun!!! i get to see more shootings haha! ill miss the country but i know that god puts me where i need to be and where ill have the biggest improvement for others and myself so here we go!!! The trek sounds like it was awesome! i liked it a lot when i went! life is pretty great aint it? Thanks for the cookies we did not give them to the zone we have kept them to ourselves and we eat them and drink orange juice every night while playing Monopoly and im winning big time :) I OWN BOARDWALK!!!!! Thanks for the housing switch! i like it lots! im always about going cheap! did shio talk to you? has parker talked to you at all? you should just call him directly :) yea i can talk to the priests just fill me in on a lil more of what you want me to cover and i will cover the material and such and you know me i am a story teller so i can tell stories thats for sure! kayla looks like a model in training i like it i think i can show her a couple good facial poses! yea we heard Germany won in sacrament meeting its pretty much been a part of church for a while i guess haha! its like the unofficial 4th hour haha! well we just had a baptism and we have 3 more in teh next two weeks so we are really excited things have really picked up here and its just amazing i love this work and it will be sad to leave it but at the same time it will be exciting to move on to new things ya know? its prolly good im leaving one of our investigators has developed a small crush on me haha but i feel i could have done my last 6 weeks here so im just nervous for my new assignment! thanks so much for the birthday cookies and stuff its amazing i love it so much! i appreciate it lots!!!
Monday, July 7, 2014
Let it begin! My streak of actually writing you will now continue again! So its hard to really tell you all of the things that have been going on in life... First off being in the last phase of the mission is really really weird. Something else that is weird is that every area I have gone to since Forest Grove at least 3 people have all thought that they had known me from somewhere. I have felt the same about them. The reality of a life before this has become more and more apparent over the last year. Since Salem I have felt like the places I have been at I have been foreordained to be at. The people I have met I was supposed to meet them. Its been an awesome feeling because that means that I've been where the Lord has wanted me to be. I feel like I'm truly walking the path that the Lord ordained me to, and it doesn't feel much better then knowing that. I've loved it out here, it is just like Utah, at least the weather. We've been working our tails off... I definitely feel like the pressure is on cause of the lack of time I have in to do what I love. I've never felt such a sense of urgency in anything before but I know I've got a job out here and the Lord needs it done. He put me here when I've got the most experience as a missionary so I know this is going to be an area full of miracles! We are already seeing them come in. We have been able to find 6 new this week and 2 of them are with some solid families. We went canyoneering (dont know how to spell), which is walking the canyon looking for investigators and we met 3 guys who looked like they were pretty shifty, but those are my favorite people to talk to. So they let us into their cave and we started to talk to them. They were wearing ICP (Insane Clown Posse) So I listened to Tech Nine before the mish, and they are also Juggalos so I had a way into the convo! Plus we had similar backgrounds, same with my Comp Lightfoot (I seem to get the wild comps who are all doing better, gotta love that Atonement). So we talked they were pretty interested, had some questions and we are meeting them next week at McDonalds haha. So then as we were walking back I was feeling unsatisfied, like we had totally missed something. We then saw this couple playing with their dogs in a field and we yelled out HAPPY 4TH! and they started to walk towards us. Turns out that the guy, Bro. Graves, was a LA and he was in the Navy as a rescue swimmer up from San Diego. His girlfriend was unaware of that fact. The spirit told me we were there to help her come to know that he was Mormon and then we just chatted and left. You could see in her face the interest she had and also that Bro. Graves was looking for activity again. The next day turns out that we had dinner with some friends of the girlfriend and Bro. Graves and they were going to talk to them about the gospel again soon! It was crazy to see the Lord working things out. He's all in the details! I felt assured after we left those two that the reason we went there was for talking with them. Totally going to be an eternal family in 2 years! The place I'm at is beautiful also. We've got the 3 Sisters (Faith, Hope, and Charity) on the horizon as well as the rest of the Cascades. We have Smith Rock, Black Butte, and so many others so P-Day is going to be hikes from now on! Its going to be a great great few months! Also some other crazy news, a few weeks back I saw Elder Raulston! He was at the mission home when Norton and I were figuring out Transfers with President and I heard is voice and jumped down the stairs as fast as I could! He was there with his Mom. He is getting MARRIED! Norton and I are going to be Groomsmen, that'll be nuts! its going to be October 16th, day after the Semester starts. I've had 3 of my good friends get married since they went home now, its nuts. For you guys it sounds like life has been nuts! Katie in Europe spreading the gospel like a champ! Tell her she's awesome and I love her. Also could you send GMA Adams this email! I havent been in contact with her forever and I just want her to know how much I love her and have been thinking of her. Jason is a boss, that's all I gotta say. How are they doing? Sounds like I'm going to have to get up to date on all of the games these crazy kids are playing these days haha Honestly, I bet Alex is going to own me at Pokemon, I'm washed up... Kinda like Obi Wan when he was fighting Darth Vader for the last time (I know it looks like he gave up, but what really happened was he knew he was going to be defeated when he started. He just stalled so that Luke could get out of there...). How weird is it that P Young is home!! Our first reunion is in October.... You all sound super busy and like the Summer is in full swing. It sure is here in Redmond. I love you all so much and hope the days only get better. As I have been reflecting on the mission, which I have been a lot (some missionaries get trunky, so far I'm trunky for past areas like Roseburg, Takena (Albany), Springfield 2nd, etc.), I've come to see that all this life is about is getting a little better everyday. Not wasting a second because I don't have to many left to waste. I'm so happy to say I've progressed every day... But I can't believe how fast this is happening. I'd love to go back to the beginning but I know that this is just the beginning in all reality. My scripture of the day has been just a snippet of one but its this: "and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear." I know that my mission is just beginning in life and that we each have a responsibility to carry the light of the Lord to those that he has trusted us with. Our neighbors, our friends, work peers, etc. We can instigate the change in their lives necessary to bring them home! INSTIGATE CHANGE! that's what I'm all about and its what we have the ability to do. I love you all so much and I pray for you and your missionary work in the family and among others daily. I love you all so much! Elder Larsen Sr.
Well thanks for the birthday wishes! This week has been crazy! we got our new mission president who i imitated his voice and now has that first impression of me and also the impression of me doing an old new York mafia voice impersonation so that's good. i also didn't shave for 2 days in hopes that he would kick me out of leadership but darn it he is inspired and saw right through my plans. I have been a zone leader for almost a year and that's just straight up draining. everyday someone comments at LEAST 1 on how tired or exhausted i look, i agree with them haha! Lets see i got to do baptism for the dead with my black convert, i got to baptize him that's so cool! i have never done the baptizing and ITS AMAZING! really a great spirit i felt there. uuuhhhh lets see.... that's a sick story about Jason! Guess what my license is expired too have you done anything with the state to fix that? As for kate way to go! she is a great missionary already! i have not met any jews out here, they are like the only religion im missing out here! Ya'll are doin some landscaping huh? well i would be more than happy to help out when i get home :) i like landscaping honestly! If darlene likes country she will like where she is staying thats for sure! the thompsons home is in Deep Wilton haha! well like mid deep wilton its the center of the ward boundary i think. So we had some financial mishaps, one of our missionaries cars exploded with battery acid and we needed to fix it so we were asked to pay for the new battery, it was 140 dollars, needless to say thats more money than we get on our card for the month so i had to sue some home card funds and we dont have much money to get food this month ahah! i think we are getting reimbursed but not sure how much so if i can get some help that would be great!The 4th was great we played zombies in the church building and capture the flag which was cool! No real fireworks but California doesnt really have any fireworks that are cool due to a corrupt political system and crazy liberals in charge of laws haha! They all go to Utah to get fireworks or to Oregon so i think thats funny. so man people go to Utah to register cars which i think is funny too! Well i love you all lots! we have so much happening! I am really excited for our baptism this week and we have one set up for the next two weeks along with one in august. its great! the lord is blessing us with work, sometimes to much work i would rather preach then do zone leader work because zone leader work and missionaries make me tired haha! i think thats why president jardine is keeping me in the position of zone leader because im the only one in council that has been there so long as a zone leader. nobody is close to me haha! the only other one in the leadership council is AP haha! its funny! well i love yall lots im having a great birthday, im creating a gangster shirt for me on my birthday. "its my birthday present to me! im so happy" loves bunch!
Friday, July 4, 2014
Popaa! Sorry for not writing in the last few weeks... Its been crazy, not crazy enough to not let you and the family know how much I really do appreciate all that you do and have done for me though. I have been incredibly busy, but I've chosen to be so at times as well. So I have been moved out to Redmond to be the Assistant over the Bend and Redmond zones. I'm serving as a ZL as well out here so its been good to be back into a more proactive position with many of the missionaries. I stayed in Newberg until the Thursday to help Elder Montierth and McGlothlin with Transfers, picking up the new missionaries and taking them to the rock and so forth. It was fun to be with those two, they have become two of my best friends. I was with both of them down in Salem a few months back. I was there when Elder McGlothin was born and Elder Montierth was the Zone Leader over the Spanish zone in Salem. He was pretty much my companion as a Leader there when I was training Moon and Parkinson. Its weird to see this but all of my good friends in Salem are Leaders in the Mission now. We all grew so much together in Salem its really cool to see them now all grown up mission wise at least. Elder Parkinson is a ZL now and Moon is my DL out here. So many of my good friends in the mission have gone home, Shipley, Norton, Ande's (who is married), Raulston (who is going to be married in October, I'm going to be a groomsman woot), Worsencroft, and so many others.... Its crazy to be the old guy now. Honestly though its been more motivating then anything else; I've been winding down but speeding up. I'm with an Elder named Elder Lightfoot now. He is such a good Elder. He is from Utah, he is a wrestler and is just a fun guy over all! He is a ton of fun and we've been really enjoying the work together. The high desert is where I belong haha We have our work cut out for us here though, the zones have been struggling but Elder Shipley and a few others who just went home have been working hard to build trust and we are seeing the benefits now. We put two new on date this last week, A gal by the name of Kennedy Laford and then Cindy Parcel. Please pray for them! They are both with sweet sweet families who are needing the spiritual nourishment as well. I'll write more on Monday, know I love ya padre and hope all is well. I'll definitely hit you up on Monday! Elder Larsen Sr.