Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to the Ukraine!

Hey all!

Good morning and thank you for all of the mail! I loved all of the pictures and it looks like you are all having so much fun! I am glad that C-wood killed Murry and that Roy won. Good for Terry. The family looks good and tell them all happy birthday for me and Congrats. I swear you haven't taken much of a break since I left. I feel like you are all just constantly running at high speed. I hope you get to take a little time out in Lake Powell.

Mom, I am so glad that you are doing well and I am so proud of you and Brynn for running 20 miles!! I talked to a member here last night that mentioned that she had fought cancer and we were talking about some of the side effects and everything. She said that it really wasn't too bad but that she just got tired. But it sounds like you are hanging in there! I can't believe that it is already that time again for the race. I am way excited for you guys! I hope you get to find some Mom time in these last 3 days and get some of the stuff done that you wanted.I will for sure tell Svetlana hi for you! That reminds me I need to call her tonight.

Dad, sounds like you gave a really powerful talk. (edit) But I am glad that your talk went well. It sounds like everyone really liked it. How is the working out coming along? I am doing pretty good, minus the candy bars and the cookies that everyone gives us... but I have a new goal. I am afraid to see what Jenny would say to that big dress. It might even be fun to see just a picture of the bad boy again.

Brynn, Hey sis sounds like you are staying pretty busy! It sounds like you need a change of scenery. I know that whenever I am in an area for a long time I get really ready to move just to see something new...............

Chase and Ashley, how is school going for you guys? How are your kids doing Ash? Are they pretty well behaved? You guys will have to let me know. I got the picture of Chase in his scrubs, lookin good!

Jenny, It looks and sounds like you are having a ball and that you are staying pretty busy. I hope that everything is going well and that you are making some good friends. How are you liking American Football? That was always my favorite season! I hope that you are enjoying it and I can't wait to meet you!

Alright so here is a run down on the highlights of this week. It has been another whirlwind week that has flown by! I feel like I just wrote you. So we had a lot of really good meetings this week, zone conference, and a session at the TEMPLE!!! I can't explain how amazing it was, but I guess I will have to try.

We gave up half of our pday in order to take the time to go to the temple on Friday and it was worth a lot more then that. As we sat outside and waited we talked and looked in awe at the amazing building towering above us. The temple president came out and gave us some words of wisdom and some very inspiring thoughts that really helped me to focus on the meaning of the temple as I sat through the session. Also as we dressed and I waited for my companion in the hall I watched all of the workers scurrying around trying to get everything in order but there really was such an amazing feeling because 3 weeks ago there were hordes of people there and now it is a sacred house of the Lord. I cried as I remember the time I had spent there before my mission and I am so thankful for the love that I have for the temple. I think a lot of that comes because of the example of my parents. I realized something that I think is really important this time. These last few weeks I have been really concerned about what I need to do when I get home and as I sat after the session I realized that the Lord will direct us if we really dedicate our lives to Him. I realized that I might be able to do a lot on my own but I can't do what He wants me to do with out him. I loved being there and I don't know when we will get to go back but I hope it will be soon.

Zone conference was also really good. We have moved everything to a monthly schedule and not a transfer schedule so we will only be having zone conference every other month.. bummer. I really love zone conference. But we starting working on part of the training that we got last week. It was really great to practice and get ideas from each other and then we went out and worked. I love this work so much and I am starting to get bugged whenever something like lunch stops me from working... I hope I am not getting too weird. I should probably cool it a little.. ha. But Sister Zenger is doing amazing. She is catching on really fast and she is always so positive. I don't think I have heard her complain once and I have had her running almost all day everyday. It is kinda just how things have worked out, I promise I am not trying to run her out. She is great though and a really good missionary. She has a strong testimony and you can tell that she really wants to work. She is a lot of fun!

So we met with one of our temple referrals this last week and it was pretty amazing. She name is Luvbov, It means love, and she came to church last week. We met with her during the week and she loved every minute of our meeting. It was a lot of fun meeting with her and I think that she will do great. Also another one of our temple referrals stopped drinking coffee and tea after our last meeting and she has really enjoyed the Book of Mormon.

Well I just found out that I am not going to Bulgaria this week I will be going in October so I guess we will see what happens with my visa stuff. But I gotta jet! I love you all so much and I hope that all is well! My prayers are with you!

Sister Larsen

PS. I don't think that Sis. Walker told her mom yet but she said she would today... Thanks for checking on that. And thanks for the box of Reese's bars. Man they were amazing!


Good morning everyone!!

Thank you thank you for all of your emails! I love you all so much and I loved all the emails. I really loved the Farrellisms but I have all of my mail get forwarded to my home email and I guess it didn't make it because of the mouth that grandpa had. Maybe try and avoid sending anymore Farrellisms, or anything like it, because this is a filtered email system and I could lose my email privileges if it keeps happening... but I loved them ha.

Mom, to answer your questions, I was talking with Sister Walker and I think that we might want to live together. Maybe either at that place or maybe at Bellmont. We kinda want our own rooms if that is possible. Mostly we don't really care as long as it is clean and if there is a chance that I will have a car it would be nice to have a parking spot. Maybe talk to her mom and see what you think is best. It might be nice just to lock something down and then not have to worry about it. Thank you for your email. It really was a spiritual pick-me upper. I love reading about how you have come to realize truths about life and about the eternal scheme of things. It helps me to think of things that people really are searching for and helps me to know how to help them. I am glad that everything went well this week and that you are still feeling pretty good. And I am so glad that you are enjoying those little notes. I really hope that they give you just the right amount of energy that you need.

Dad, I loved reading your outline. I don't think that anyone can judge you for saying the truth. They may not like it because they are guilty of it but one thing I have learned is that you have to give them all of the truth and not just the sugar coated part because if you don't give them all the truth then it isn't from God. Also you might want to look at the chapter in "Jesus the Christ" about Apostasy and how a lot of it started from the inside of the church to the outside. I think it is Chapter 40. When I read it I thought about your talk and thought that you might find something that could help. By the way I am glad that there were no injuries at BBall... ha

Brynn, I am so so so happy that your wedding went well. It sounds like it was a killer job. Did you take any pictures? You will have to send some when you get a minute. It sounds like you have been pretty pooped lately. How is getting ready for the marathon. I think that Sister Walker and I are going to try and run with you guys when we get home. Maybe having her in Provo will help me to train a little better ha. What do you have going on this next week? anything new? Tell Jamie-jella-beana that I say hi!

Chase and Ashley, It sounds like you are all doing amazing! I guess you start school this next week! good luck to both of you! It will be so much fun! Mom and Dad said that they got to talk to you on Skype! It sounds like you have had some pretty fun experiences already. I can't wait to hear more about everything. Btw, keep an eye out for a really smart, cute, funny guy... just in case....

Jenny, I was so happy to get your email and to hear all about your experiences this last week. It sounds like everyone is being really nice and that things are going well. I have heard so much about you and wish that we could meet sooner but time will fly. Congrats on being in the school play! That should be a really fun experience for you! The best part about Cottonwood is being involved in as much as you can. That is what will make this experience memorable.

Alright so to answer mom's second question.. I think it would be cool if you used Svetlana's story. She was my first convert and an experience that shaped my whole mission. I couldn't understand a lot but I felt the spirit so so strong and I know that she did too. As she was investigating the church she was embraced by the members and they will never ever let her fall too far away. Maybe you can used part of one of my first letter's about when we gave her the baptismal date and then about when I saw her in the temple with her family during the open house. Or maybe something from this letter.

So this last week has been really interesting. I spent almost all of the week in Borshigovka with Sister Robinson and Murphy as we waited for our companions to arrive and we had training every day from 9-5. It was like a mini MTC and it was amazing! We have started to change the way that we use PMG and I love it! I have been wondering why I have been teaching the way that I have for the last 14 months! We have started a new way of asking questions that really make us listen to the people that we are teaching. In short it just helps us to see the concerns of our investigators that we can know how to really help them rather then just hearing something that we have heard a million times and trying to fix it right at the beginning. The whole training got me pumped and ready to work! It was a really great start to this transfer because as a mission we have receive over 600 referrals from the temple that are not members of our church. Out of the 13,000 people that visited the open house that is a pretty good number of referrals. Our area received the highest number of referrals and of course I haven't been there for about a month. To add to it. Next week I have to go to Bulgaria to renew my Visa! I will be there from Tuesday to Thursday...

So Saturday night we got our new companions. My companion's name is Sister Zenger and she is from St. Louis. Crazy thing is she and her mom have been reading my blog for awhile. It is crazy that my blog is actually being read ha! But she is super cute and so ready to work. I feel bad because she had to sit through 8 hours of church meetings yesterday and I remember how tired you feel after that flight. But her Russian is pretty dang good. She was talking to the members a lot more then I was my first day! She was laughing and having a good time. We also had a really amazing meeting with a member that lives here and her husband lives in Iran. I think she is feeling kinda lonely so we went over and had fun talking with her and playing with her son. They are a really amazing family and I think it was a good first meeting for Sister Zenger. She participated a lot more then I expected her to so I think we will be okay. It is kinda overwhelming a little to think that all of the work is sitting on my shoulders and I am a little stressed. We have a lot of work to do to catch up on all of these referrals and to get things moving with that.

Quick little story because I want to boast to my family. So I got pick-pocketed on the bus and my phone got stolen. The church reported it and the police actually found it so I spent a few hours in the police station trying to file a report. When I first got there the guy didn't believe that I had only been here for a year and couldn't understand why me Russian was so good so he took my passport and started questioning me about where I had been, who I lived with and why I was here. Then he said that no one learns Russian that well and that he didn't believe me. I felt kinda proud of myself, but I know that my Russian still isn't perfect. [Editor's note: Brooke wanted me to leave this out of here post because she didn't want to brag, but as her dad, I will brag for her.]

Well I got to head out. I love you all. Have a great week! Tell the Winder 9th that I say hi and send my love! Sorry I didn't have time to send a note!

Love Sister Larsen