Monday, June 28, 2010

Thanks for the Support!

Good Morning!

Wow, I have the greatest family and friends in the world! I feel like I am the one that everyone is trying to comfort and here I felt bad that I wasn't there to comfort Mom and Dad! Thank you for the emails and pictures! I love you all so much! It was good to talk to you all again but I am asking please let's have that be the last phone call!!! No more hitting your head on the trunk of the car, choking on milk, I don't know what else but please just be careful!

Mom, I love you! I am thankful for your positive attitude through all of this because it helps me see that it may not be as bad as I think. I keep reminding myself that I am a drama queen, so whatever I think it is, it is about 100 times better! I hope that everything goes well for you this week at the doctors and I will be praying and fasting for you to be able to have a clear prompting on what decision will be the very best!

Dad, YES I GOT THE CARD FROM MADDY!!!! I told you guys on the phone but I guess you weren't on at that moment and I think it got lost in everything. But yes I have the card. I haven't tried it yet but the paper work said that it is ready to use right now. I just need to register it online, but to be honest I don't trust these computers so I will either wait until I get to the office or if you tell me what you need to register it I can send it. I am glad that everything is looking up there and thanks for sharing your love for mom with me.

Brynn, I am actually thinking about maybe running a race when I get home but I will need a lot of time to train. I am a lazy butt when it comes to morning exercise. I exercise but not enough to work off all of the candy we eat. Let's make a deal with all of us to pick it up and leave the candy behind! Deal! I actually just remembered the "Brown Chicken Brown cow" joke last week and I told all of the missionaries that we were with. They laughed as hard as I did! I wonder if that is a sign that we are all just weird or if that joke really is that funny.

Chase and Ashley, thanks for the email. I will try and send something to Britney next week. I am running out of time here. I can't believe that you have been married for a year! Man time flies! Keep me updated on your lives and how everything is going! I am super excited for you guys to get to Boston! I know it will be hard to be away from everyone but you will meet some of the most amazing people there! You guys just attract fun good people!

So these last few days have been a little tougher but I have seen some of the most amazing miracles. This week started out really tough because almost everyone canceled on us. We met with Ludmilla, the lady that got baptized last week and she was just the happiest I have ever since her. I think that was the turning point. We also met with another one of our investigators who was planning on getting baptized in 2 weeks and everything seemed to be on track. Our week was starting to look up. On Saturday we had a Missionary ward activity where we tried to help the members overcome their fear of sharing what they love with those around them. We did the trust fall and a lot of the older men and women in the ward got up and fell like a champ! We then took the members out on splits with us to contact in Kiev. The streets were pretty empty but we had some really great contacts! I think they really liked it. A lot of people didn't come but I think that those that did come really felt that it isn't as hard as they think!

Then when we got in on Saturday I saw "private number" on my phone and I almost considered not answering it... but then when I heard Mom's voice on the phone my first thought was "she really shouldn't have left the number on the cupboard... wait I never gave them this number!!" It wasn't my favorite thing to hear but I was happy to hear all of your voices. After our conversation I couldn't really sleep and I was having a hard time controlling my thoughts so I started reading the Book of Mormon. I don't do this very often but since I am right now in the ward chapters of 3 Nephi I decided to open to a random page. It was the story of when Jesus healed the blind man, then I did it again and it was the story of King Naaman. I thought, man this is pretty cool so I continued to open randomly to different parts of the scriptures, every time was the same, a story of someone being healed by their faith and the power of the priesthood! I felt right then a comforting feeling that everything is going to be okay. I know it might be hard but I have never been so grateful to know what no matter what the outcome is and no matter if we have 40 or 10 years all together we will some day sit at the Savior's feet all together! Isn't that a great thought!

I also read a story that President Mckay told about a little girl. A little blind girl was sitting on her father's lap. He had become tired from travelling a long ways and a friend asked if he could hold the child. The man took the child into his arms and the father asked the girl if she knew who was holding her. The girl answered, "No, but I know that you do." Heavenly Father knows and even though we can't seen what this entire process is going to be like I have faith that He knows and He will help us!

Yesterday was a blessing. The elders gave me a blessing of strength and they said that everything will be okay! There were a few tear jerking moments, like when we sang "Love at Home" (I think that is the first time I have sung that song on my mission and of course it had to be the day that my heart was so tender! I kinda just had to laugh at myself!) We also met with a lady that really wants to be baptized! It was our first meeting with her and she said that she loves the feeling at church, when she reads the liahona and when she sees us. She asked who she needs to talk to in order to be baptized. I smiled at her, broke down crying and we set a date for her to be baptized on the 31 of July! I bet she was a little scared but I couldn't help it! I was happy that she would soon have the knowledge that I have and hold so dearly!

Well, last of all I wanted to inform you that our baptism that should be in 2 weeks has moved up to this Saturday and now we have the task of finding a jumpsuit that would fit a grandma about 1/3 the size of me! We are going to the totally opposite side of the spectrum! I will let you know what it all turns out next week. It should be fairly interesting!

Well I love you all! I pray for you all daily! My testimony in the Plan of Salvation has grown so much on my mission and I KNOW with my whole heart that this Gospel truly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is the Gospel of Good News because even when you get bad news your heart can rejoice because of the knowledge that Christ has enabled us to receive the highest blessings! I love you all and I wish you the best this week!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Editor's post

Hi Readers!

I wanted to let you know that we got to talk to Brooke yesterday afternoon. We contacted her mission president to inform him that we would be sending Brooke an email this weekend informing her of Teresa's breat cancer diagnosis. He told us to just go ahead and call her Saturday night. So, we did just that. After breaking the news to her and reassuring her that all would be well, we had a nice, sometimes teary chat with her. She is doing well and will be home in 6 months!!!!

We got a package from her with some audio CDs and some photos. Here are a few photos we thought you might enjoy!

We feel great about Teresa's prognosis because at the end of the call, our precious little missionary offered a prayer asking for blessings of health and strength to be with her mom.

Thanks for supporting and loving our daughter.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Hey Family!

Thank you for the emails! I am glad that you all have had an amazing few weeks and I am so happy that the party went off without a hitch! I was trying to be really careful not to hint anything in all of my letters! It sounds like the party was a smash and that mom really felt like the queen of the ball! It also sounds like Boston is amazing and I might need to come and check things out when I get home in December... yeah it will be towards the end of December most likely after Christmas around the 28th. Sorry to break the news! But I still love you guys! I got another box yesterday with the summer clothes! Thank you so much! I am looking forward to trying some of them because it is so hot and humid here!

Mom, I am glad that you had an amazing birthday and that all of your dreams came true. It sounds like you had a packed weekend in Boston with the Lakers and Celtics, the Red Sox and the crazy parade! I am will have to agree with you that a week in Cape Cod sounds pretty nice!

Dad, I got your letter to the German student! She sounds pretty cool! I am excited to meet her! I did get to speak with your friend a little on the phone. He told me how you guys are doing and how excited you were for him to meet me. We were both pretty sad that it didn't work out. They were are a train to Odessa when I called them. But I will meet up with Maddy when she comes up to Kiev on the 25ish of this month. They seem really nice.

Brynn, I hear you did a really amazing job on the flowers! I am glad that everything is going well and that you got a little rest this last week! I hope that you enjoy your new job this week and that you can adjust okay! Do you have a lot of weddings this summer? Are you staying pretty busy with flowers and stuff? Have you still been looking at a shop to buy?

Chase and Ashley, I heard that you had a great trip to Boston and that both of your schools are pretty amazing! You apartment building doesn't look to shabby either! I am excited for you guys and excited to hear about all of your adventures!

So this week has been really great! Sorry I didn't write yesterday we had an amazing zone conference which I will tell you about in a minute. So this week started off with a lot of meetings we were able to find a lot of new investigators and it seemed like they were just coming to us. We didn't get to see a lot of the city yet because most of our lessons are at the church building or really close to our apartment. We like about 15 mins outside of the city center in a really pretty area. It is still big city but it is a little quieter which is okay with me! And we have carpet! The only problem is the city has turned off the hot water for the summer so every morning we have really cold showers. We both have little colds because of the cold water but we are on the mend now.

Friday was Sister P's birthday so we went to lunch with some of the Elders in our district. She was not feeling well at all the whole day! I felt really really bad for her! It is not fun to be sick on your birthday but we also still had to work all day... She has started feeling better but then I got what she had ha ha. As companions we share everything!

Sunday was a pretty amazing long day. One of our Wards (yes I am working in 2 Wards in the stake) is doing a 24/7 fast where each person fasts for 12 hours so that someone is always fasting until the temple dedication so that the temple will be finished by that time! Sunday was our day to fast but we decided just to do the 24 hours together. We have 2 wards which are about an hour apart so each Sunday we get to 6 hours of church and then we have ward council and other meetings! I will never complain about long Sundays another day in my life! ha But This Sunday was fast Sunday and I bore my testimony in both wards. Something really unusual happened which really strengthened my testimony. About 5 or 6 members came up to us and gave us names and numbers of people that they wanted us to meet with. And the members met with us after church to help us plan a baptism on Saturday of a woman that we have been teaching, Ludmilla! They have taken a huge part in the work here and I am really excited to work with them!

Okay so now to tell you about Zone Conference. So yesterday we had an amazing zone conference and President shared with us a tone of stories about his mission while teaching us about how he discovered how to become a powerful teacher. It was pretty amazing because I could really relate to him as a missionary and I got a lot out of hearing his personal experiences. After zone conference I looked out the window of the church and I saw some of the missionaries walking up the pathway to the Temple carrying boxes and then they disappeared inside! President then told us that there were some smaller boxes and that if we wanted to help we could! We were able to carry a bunch of boxes into the temple! The couple that is in charge of the temple allowed us to look into 2 of the sealing rooms and the Celestial room! IT is BEAUTIFUL and really close! The grounds are almost done but there is still a lot of work for just 2 more months! Please keep the workers in your prayers! I felt such an amazing feeling there and how the Lord truly does have a plan for us! He loves us so much that He provided us with knowledge and a way to return to Him! I could feel His influence even though it isn't even done yet! I can't wait for 1 1/2 more months to see the finished building!

I need to go and I promise I will try and figure out how to send pictures from this place! I love you all! I hope that all is well with you at home and that you have an amazing week! If you have the chance go to the temple and remember what a great blessing it is that we have so many so close to us! Thank you for your love and support! I miss you all so much!

Sister Larsen

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Mother "T"

Good Morning Everyone!

Happy Birthday again mom! Sorry again about the lame letter last week. We went on a small excursion to an old fortress and we got back with very little time to email. Sorry again! I am glad to hear that everyone had fun at all and Derrick's last night! I got the package with the watch (thank you), all of the cake mixes and Crisco! I am excited to make some of those sweets! I also really loved the talk. I have really been studying on how to recognize personal revelation better!

Mom, I am glad that you have had a relaxing birthday week, and that you have a great day planned out ahead of you! I will pray that you can get that new outfit because we all know how good it feels to feel cute on your birthday! I am sorry that Ellie ate your shoe! That would make me so made. My landlady's dog almost ate my shoe while we were over there saying good-bye last week... I guess she was upset that I was leaving too haha. You will have to let me know how your actual birthday and your birthday week end up!

Dad, I am glad that all is well with my ol'd. I looked at a picture that I have of us at the Jazz game this morning and it made me smile as I started my language study! I am way jealous that you will be in Boston for the Playoff games. I am sure that the city will be really active and energized. Be careful walking around! I am also happy to hear that you are swimming again. We have decided to run with our district because they live really close and so we will meet and run a few times a week.

Penny, I am proud of you for going back to school! It will be a good experience for you to finish up down in Salt Lake. I hope that everything works out for you and that you get to finish up in 3 semesters! How are all of the flowers coming this summer? Are you super busy? I am guessing that you are having weddings almost every weekend!

Chase and Ash! I am glad that you guys have been having some fun while you are still in Utah. It sounds like you have been working hard but still finding some time to chill. That is crazy that none of the guys from your year came to play. I bet that was fun to get out on that field again though! Have you been to any Bee's games lately?

Alright so I bet you are wondering where I am and who I am with. I am back up in Kiev in the center of the city!!! I talked with Maddy and she will be up here in a few days so I will call her and try and meet up with her some how, or have her drop off the envelope at the church. I am now the "senior companion" (I don't really know what that means because we are always just companions ha) and my companion is Sister Povodova. She is from Ukraine but her dad is now serving as the Mission President in St. Petersburg! She is a really amazing missionary and she has only been out for 2 transfers! We are really excited to be working together and we have already had a lot of fun together! She is probably one of the sweetest girls I have ever met! Our area is really huge and it covers most of the city! We are actually serving in only 2 wards in the stake but the cover a lot of land. I will most likely be here for the temple dedication and then some, I could possibly finish my mission here which I wouldn't mind.

Last week we finish the week out by saying good-byes and teaching some really cool lessons. Vlad came back on Friday and so the elders will now be working with him to get ready for baptism. Katya has started regressing. She still hasn't come to church and she said that she wants to wait until the fall because she wants to go to the beach in the summer. It is really sad because she knows it is true but she is allowing fear to get in the way!! Kristina came to church on Sunday and loved it! She even stayed after and talked with one of the members about baptism and what she needed to do! I am so sad to leave that area but I am excited for the things to come.

We came up to Kiev on Thursday night and when we got here Friday we had a big transfer meeting with President. We went out and worked for a lot of the day and then we all met at the temple site to have dinner together and to prepare for our meeting the next day with Elder Scott. On Saturday we had a 4 hour meeting with Elder Scott and he gave us a lot of information. He taught us how to teach and he invited up some missionaries to teach a lesson in front of him!!! How terrifying is that! I learned a lot and it was interesting how he just talked from his heart the entire time. He just spoke pure inspiration! He told us a lot of stories and tried to help us see how we could understand how the spirit speaks to us! It was amazing!

After the meeting we came back to our area and Sister P helped me to kinda get to know the area.

Well I love you all so much and I should probably get going! I hope that you have an amazing day/ Birthday/ week! Good luck this week with everything and have fun in Boston!

I love you and miss you!
Sister Larsen