Monday, August 30, 2010

I can't believe the Temple Open House is over!

Good Morning everyone and Welcome Jenny!!

Thank you so much of all of the emails and the pictures. I got all of them! I also received a package from mom a week ago. It had stuff for oreos and such. Thanks a bunch. There was something about gift cards written but we didn't get them. I don't know if you put them in the box or not but they didn't make it. The box didn't look like anyone had gotten into it. I just wanted to check so that if you did send it that we would know for the future. I am glad that all of your week went well. It sounds like you are all so busy and doing well.

Dad, It sounds like you are so tired and that you might have to take some time and teach Jenny how to golf before it gets cold. She might already know but it might be some good R and R with the girls. What is going on in Bermuda? Sounds like you have a crazy few months coming up with work and church. How were the meetings with Elder Hales? That sounds like it was pretty eventful! How is your German? It sounds like you may not need it as much but I bet it is fun to chat every now and then. I am doing good by way of money and I think I should be okay until the end of my mission.

Mom, I am so happy that your first week went well of radiation. And I am glad that you are keeping your running up. You will have to let me know how being back at cottonwood felt. How is your business coming along? Have you had any time to even think about it? I really enjoy hearing about what thoughts you have read ha. Also I saw Carole on Saturday and she gave me a great big hug and said it was from you. We didn't have a lot of time but we talked for a few minutes and she said that you are all doing great. Thanks for doing all that stuff for me for school. I can register here I think I just need to know what day I can register. I think it will be easier because I need really certain classes and I might try and do a double major with Russian, I don't really know yet we will see.

Brynn, I am glad to hear you are staying busy. One thing I have realized is that life never really slows down, we just changed what we are doing a little. I think Larsen's only have one speed and that is busy. It will be fun to have Jenny around, it sounds like you guys have already hit things off! I hope that things get a little better this week and that you can get used to juggling everything. You have always been good at being able to do everything but know that you need to sleep sometime in there as well.

Chase and Ashley, I loved hearing about all of your adventures. I am so so so excited for you and it seems like you are already enjoying the new people and new experiences. It sounds like you are in the perfect place, an hour from the beach, close to your schools and not to far from the temple. I would say you are pretty lucky. I am glad that you have already met so many good people. Chase I completely relate to what you wrote about. I have to say a little prayer when I know that someone knew is coming.

Jenny, Welcome! I am so sad that I wasn't there to welcome you in person but I am sure that the family did a good job of that! I hear that you have had a packed first few days. I promise our lives aren't always crazy. I hope that you have an amazing first day at Cottonwood. I went to that school and loved it! I hope you will have fun there and that you will make some good friends today! Good luck and have fun!

So after 3 really busy weeks we are finally starting to do missionary work again. While we were at the temple we had to be hostesses and not really missionaries. It was hard not to answer every question with my testimony of what I truly believe but we had to answer with straight facts. I don't know if I really succeeded. It is hard to talk about something you love so much with out sharing how much you love it. Well in short it was amazing and I am way tired. It was a different kind of work to stand all day and not teach but now we are in the process of contacting all of those people and meeting with them! So the fun has just started.

In this last week at the temple there were a lot of people! Many of which have family members or friends that are members and are now sincerely interested in learning about the church. Being at the temple open house was amazing and it brought be back to the beginning of my mission. It was amazing to be in that room when people came through after their tours. I saw return missionaries be reunited with converts and old investigators and members reunited with life long friends that they haven't seen in years. It was amazing to see the pride on the members faces and the happiness when they brought their friends and family members. It was great to feel their fire and love for the gospel and for the temple. There is one family that I have been very close to my entire mission from Borshgovka. The mom and her daughter and her daughter's family are all members but the husband is not. The husband lives the laws of the gospel but for some reason will not get baptized. We met with them several times while I was working there and he started to read the Book of Mormon but still had no desire. We talked to him so many times about the blessings of the temple and how families can be together but it seemed like it didn't effect him. Well he went through the temple twice and the last night he decided that he wanted to go through again. His daughter has no idea what has come over him but she said that she feels his heart is softening.

Also my first convert who has completely separated herself from the church came the very last night of the open house. I called her so many times but to be honest I had lost hope in seeing her there. Our last night after our last shift there we went on a tour. At the end of the tour our guide was held up as we were waiting to leave the temple and another group came up behind us. Svetlana came up from the back of the group and gave me the biggest hug. I have never seen her so happy! Her husband was also there and the last thing I had hear was that she had left him and was having serious problems. At the end of the tour I sat with her for a few minutes. She still has a lot of problems and a lot of things to get back into order but she was reminded of that spirit that she felt before her baptism. All of her family that was there felt the power of the spirit and they all expressed desire to return there. I love this work so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work along side of the Lord. I know that the temple will bring power to these people and will bring those back that were lost. But we can't let them forget that spirit, we can't lose them.

And finally there was a woman that we had been meeting with for several weeks who when we asked if she wanted to know more about us or our church she said that she believed in God and that was all that she needed so we continued to teach her English with out the spiritual thoughts. On Saturday after our English practice I felt prompted to invite her one last time to the temple. She said that if her plans changed she would come. Well we walked out of the church after our meeting with her and she called and said her plans had changed and she needed directions. We told her how to get there and we were there when she came through at the end of the tour. She said that she loved it and she had no idea that we were Christians! She said that the whole time she was in there she kept thinking, "I have got to talk to my girls about this." She said that next lesson she wants us to start from the beginning and she wants to know more. She also wants to find someone to be sealed to in the temple.

These are just a few of the stories that have happened this past week and I feel so blessed that I have been able to be here to see people feel the Love of Christ in His House. Carole was here and I am so happy that she is writing a story about the temple. She interviewed us about the work and about the people. It was fun to talk to her. We might meet up again this week to do a little more on the missionary work here and the missionaries. She is a really great woman.

As to the Authorities of the church coming, I am not sure. I know that they will be at the cultural even on Saturday and then the dedication on Sunday. I don't think we will have an opportunity to meet them but it will be great to see them on Saturday. Sunday we will be watching the dedication from our church building here in center. We get to watch all 3 sessions, and we actually have transfers this Saturday and I will probably be saying goodbye to cute sister P. She will be heading out to her second area and I will be holding the fort down here in Kyiv. Well I should get going but I love you all so much and I hope that everything is going well!
I love you so so so much! Have a really great week!

Sister Larsen

PS. It is cooler, our fleas are gone and we should be moving tomorrow :D. I think I got all of your questions.

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