Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Elder Kade Larsen is coming home.  Yahoo!!!!

Wow.. My last written testimony through this email.

The mission has helped me grow and change so much. I feel I have changed in many ways in these two short years. I am still myself but I have changed. The Lord and the work has changed and molded me into who I am now. Everyone tells you what to try and expect on the mission but once you get here nothing is like what they said. Every mission is different and the only way to know what it's like; you have to try it yourself. I know can say with assurity that I KNOW what its like to be a full time missionary. The Lord has given me the chance to come to the Colombia Bogota North Mission. 

I know that I have come to know my brother Jesus Christ a lot better. Before the mission I knew who he was and what he did but didn't feel it. During the mission when the load was just too heavy I felt him take it off and let me relax. He bore my burdens because he loves me and each and every one of you. We have been protected through many times of danger and confusion.  I have learned many new things about Him and about His gospel. Honestly before the mission I didn't understand very well what the Atonement really meant. Now I know, I have put it to work in my own life. The atonement is the most important thing that has ever happened in this world. 

I am Elder Larsen, a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his word among his people so that they might have everlasting life. Our calling as a missionary is more important than anything we could be doing at this point of our lives. Later on our job is to raise a family and that is our next calling. Yo amo el Señor. El me ama y me lo muestra por el hecho de darme bendiciones diariamente. Se que si soy fiel a El, el sera fiel conmigo. El ha dejado su ejemplo perfecto para seguir. El tiempo es ahora para hacerlo. Actuemos ahora. Gracias a ustedes estoy aquí donde estoy. Amo esta misión. Amo el país de Colombia. Me ha cambiado y moldeado a ser un hombre. Nos vemos el Sábado por la noche =)  Les amo y les quiero mucho! Chao!

   Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogotá Norte
​There was a cool conference here just for Colombia. We had some awesome speakers.​ Elder Holland, Elder Nash, Elder Pino, and a Sister Wixom. Don't have time to write much about it but yeah. It was cool.. ha Well Gotta get going love ya!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kade said they cook meat like this for a large group. It looks yummy!

I cant believe Jade (his cousin) finishes (his mission) on Wednesday. That is pretty cool. When is his welcome home? Here we had our fast and testimony meeting yesterday, I don't know why.. Maybe to not have to push it back to far or something.. who knows. When I get home, I am going to have to start going to a lot of the temples.. Totally slacked on that when I was home before the mission.. As a couple (with my future wife) would be cool.. 

Our investigators are doing really really well. The only problem is that one of them needed a job really, really bad and we have been trying to help her get one with a member here. She ended up finding a job but its a job that she has to work on Sundays. NO!! Their baptismal date is for the 11th. We will have to get that all fixed up this week so they can get baptized and so they can attend General conference this weekend. 

I am really excited for General Conference, should be pretty awesome. It will be my last general conference in the mission. I am stoked to see it all though. It will be a pretty good boost for our investigators if we can get them to attend it. This week... will be kind of crappy. On Wednesday morning we are leaving to go to Bogota and we will be back Friday morning. We are going to the monthly meeting again. Its an awesome meeting but not too excited for the bus ride, ha. We will get back around 6 or 7 Friday morning and work all that day. Saturday we will be in conference A L L day.. It will be a rough week with lessons..  

We are doing well here in Yopal. I feel like there isn't time to do ANYTHING.. its kind of frustrating, wont lie.. There is so much to do but so little time. 

Looks like you guys are doing pretty well. I liked the pictures from Saint George. Its similar to the climate here I think..

  Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cow hide slippers

Dear Family,

This week was a pretty interesting week I guess you could say. Like I said last week, I had to go to Bogota on Wednesday for the meeting on ThursdayOn Wednesday we left here around 10 in the morning because we had an emergency appointment in the morning. We arrived to Bogota around 7 because of traffic entering through the south of Bogota (horrible..) We got to the assistants house around 8:30 or so and we bought Dominos pizza (I LOVE AMERICAN PIZZA!!) We had my comp and I and also 4 Elders from the 2 Bucaramanga Zones there.  With another gringo (North American) named Elder Shumway (from Arizona) we stayed up talking till around 1 or so until the assistants called us saying 4 more Elders were coming and would arrive around 2 am. So we both stayed up to receive them and in the end we ended up falling asleep around 3:30 or so and getting up at 6 haha. Somehow we had enough energy to get through the day ha. It was a cool meeting (concilio) where we learned quite a bit of new stuff that we will now have to teach the zone on Wednesday.

The Family we are teaching had some tough moments with the son going to the Army but they are now back on track. The forms to get married should be ready today or tomorrow and we will be able to send those in this week. Last night we had a great lesson with them, we watched "On the way home". It was great and they related to it a lot. They both teared up in the movie. We will be working hard with them getting them prepared for the wedding and all.
We are teaching another neat lady.  She and her son have baptism dates for the 5th of October but we will probably move it up to the last week of September because the 5th is General Conference.. haha And they are going to be ready early =)

Another couple we are teaching have already decided they want to get married and do what they need to do to get baptized before leaving. The problem will be his job letting him go to church Sunday morning. We´ll see what God can do.. He makes miracles happen ;)

Of course I know Mary Curtis, I had to cut and pull weeds at her house for years. I also did fast offerings and sacrament with her for a long long time. Sad to hear about her death. 

About Dad losing weight.. I can totally tell. I have thought about asking but its kind of one of those awkward questions haha. Here in Colombia its actually not a big deal to tell someone that they are kind of fat.. (its weird sometimes).. Well fam, I gotta get moving with some stuff to send to the mission. I love you guys and hope your having an awesome Monday. I love ya´ll and hope you have an awesome week. Today I bought a souvenir. they are sandals called Cotizas! They are so awesome and are from Cow leather (with hair). Here is a pic of them. they are classic from this part of Colombia. Totally going to rock these in the house when I get back and at college haha. They are supposed to be worn without socks. Well Have a good one! chao! 
  Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte

Monday, August 18, 2014

Elder Larsen and Elder Bringhurst

Dear Fam, (This letter has been edited and names have been removed)
Wow, well like I said on Monday, we had transfers. My companion finally ended up getting in on Wednesday morning around 5 in the morning and the other group that arrived got here at 4. At least they arrived around the same time so that we could do everything a bit easier. 
The people that come to church are almost always progressing in the gospel. There is still a lot of work to do but we are doing well. The family we are teaching has a baptismal date for September 6th. They have to get married first so we are working on that.  They are an awesome family. (He is the dad of our last baptism).
Its crazy you guys went to California. When I get back I wouldn't mind running out there as well to check it out ha. Kind a crazy about fishing and all. Its been a LONG time since I have been fishing. Who knows if I remember how to do all that kind of stuff. 

Today we woke up early and hiked up to "La Virgen" There is a big monument on the hill by the city so we all got up and a bunch of members as well to go with us. We were at the base of the mountain around 5:30 a.m. Wow, it was hard to get out of bed an hour early haha. We went up, took pics, and came down. After we went and played soccer and basketball until around 1 in the afternoon before coming back to the house and passing out.. Now we are here at internet ha. It was cool and there were plenty of members which was good because it helps us get more trust with them when we do activities like this.
    Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte

This letter is from August 11th.  We had given him this puzzle for Christmas and it looks like he finally got it put together.  Kade is a zone leader and so they help a lot with transfers.  It sounds like they are really busy when he writes this letter.  

Dear Family,

Things are going well down here. A bit hectic but well.. ha This last week in all honesty we weren't able to have many spiritual experiences.. My comp and I ended up going to the clinic on Tuesday morning because he was still sick. Turns out he had an infection in his lungs and they gave him some time to rest. The first day we were actually able to go and out work was on Saturday.. Dang! During the week we had a couple appointments by the house and that was it.. Other than that we had to just sit in the house. It was horrible. I was able to get some work done in the house though. Set up some new things I have been needing to do.. But anyways, the best part of the week was Sunday. We picked up an investigator to go with us to church because she needs to attend to get baptized. We got there and there were already others investigators there. Basically all in all, there were 13 investigators that came to church! BAM! Without teaching them the entire week that many people coming to church is insane! We usually average around 6 or 7.. It was so sick. To me its a testimony builder. It also means that they are also growing in testimonies. It was awesome. 

In the afternoon it was cool as well but I dont have time to say much about it.. Today are transfers and there were many many transfers in my zone.. My companion was changed to Bucaramanga and My new comp should get here tomorrow. He is C
olombian and his name is Elder Reyes (Elder Kings). We are doing well here though. Well I honestly have no time to write because we have to go pick up other elders.. I love ya though and hope you're doing great. 
Elder Larsen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kade shares a nice testimony while serving his mission in Colombia.  I said to him that I hoped he was writing in his journal because his letters covered his travels but not a lot of experiences.  That is why he comments on the journal.  I had also asked him to share a spiritual experience.  I shared a very strong impression that I'd received once and he comments on that.  I do need to say that the majority of time the Holy Ghost does not give us strong impressions needing immediate action.  Most of the time the Holy Ghost whispers to us.  The more we listen to those whisperings, the better we get at hearing them and acting upon them. (Kade's letter has been edited.)

Dear Family, 

First off.. In all honesty.. I am kind of struggling on the journal part. I am making up days from last week and so I have to write like 2 or 3 days at a time. It was worse when I was in Bogota for a week because my journal was here in Yopal. Now I write every day so that I can hopefully get caught up to where I should be. 

In all honesty mom, I haven't had a huge spiritual promptings about things like that. For me, its usually something saying that we need to go and visit a certain person or at least call them. Usually when I don't listen or we decide not to.. I pay for it. 

When we moved to our new apartment it was a really rainy day but there was a member (a 19 year old) who drove us in his dads car to bring our stuff over. It was nice. It was raining really really hard and the streets were basically rivers here. Anyways when we got out and left I told him over again to drive slow so he doesn't hydroplane. On the way back to his house, when he tried to stop at a light, he couldn't stop in time and rear ended someone. Before he called us I could feel like something had happened and low and behold, right after he sent us a text telling us to call him. He didn't get hurt and neither did the other person. But they had a pretty big check to pay to repair the other guys car. 

Today was an interesting day because we are planning to get up and go play soccer/basketball. Right before leaving, a member (not that we know and is from Bogota) called us saying they needed blood donors to help her brother that is here in Yopal. He is in serious condition with about 5% of his body working. We started calling people and texting many people to see who could go to the hospital and donate (we can't as missionaries). In the end, they called us and told us that many members of the church showed up (probably around 7 or 8) ready to donate blood for the member. With the blood they donated they gave him the blood and life flighted him to Bogota. We were basically on the phone the entire morning and never even had to go to the hospital. It was fantastic to see the members offer their service (It wasn't easy, it's Monday and everyone works. and they need O+). To me it made me really happy to see the members offer their service for someone they have never met and probably will never see again. 

The work of the Lord is big. There is a lot to do. We can't waste time. I know that every second that I waste someone else might be dying (spiritually). I can't let that happen. I have been called as a representative of Jesus Christ to bring others unto Christ. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord.  He payed all so that we can live in peace. He "offered" all, so that we wouldn't have to. Every time we sin (with knowledge that its a sin) we are torturing him once again. I know he is my Brother. He is my light and my guide through the times of peril in my life. 

I love you all and hope you have had an awesome week. Never underestimate the power of the Lord in someone. People change through the love of Christ.  Thanks for the email and I hope to hear from ya next week. Don't forget to write if you go up on the mountain =) Chao!

    Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte

Monday, June 30, 2014

Totally excited about Colombia playing in the 2014 World Cup

Thanks for the pics of the missionaries (cousins) last week. It was pretty cool to see. Brady and Jade have changed a ton. They both look pretty dang old now. Alex is still a young gun but I think in a year in the mission he will change quite a bit haha.   

We are doing really well down here and honestly it feels like we have been running around like crazy without control.. Its frustrating because it feels like some of our investigators are falling out of the picture. Today was changes and there will be some big changes. President sent us 4 more missionaries to our zone and so our branch will have 8  missionaries. It will be awesome because we definitly need them here. We will be moving out of the old apartment tomorrow morning hopefully so that we can be out before the new 2 elders get here. We have a new apartment down in our area which will be a lot better. 

This week we have to go to Bogota (first week of the month). We will be leaving Wednesday probably around 3 or 4 in the morning. We will have to see what happens with the tickets. I kind of hope we leave around that time so I can sleep on the bus a bit better. 

I totally miss camping.. Like crazy.. We will have to get up in the mountains when I get back home. You guys never bothered letting me know if I drew out for the deer hunt or not.. If I did, you should go in and turn in my tag and maybe we can buy a tag later on for November or something. (So far it looks like Kade's release date will be October 31, 2014)

Colombia is playing well in the Mundial (Brazil 2014 World Cup). They haven't lost yet. They won last Saturday against Uruguay (HUGE game) and this Friday will play Brazil. We can beat them but it will be hard because Brazil is obviously home team in the country.. There are a lot of Colombians there to support them though. Colombia is pretty excited about every game and so are we =) I love it! Hope you guys watch the game =) Its on the 4th of July though.. 

Well I gotta get going..  Love ya and hope you have an awesome week =) thanks for everything =). 
   Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Elder Larsen leaving Barbosa

Elder Kade Larsen's letter 5/20/14.  He didn't write on Monday because he got transferred and was traveling all day. I was able to chat with him for a few minutes when he e-mailed and I have just inserted those parts in to his letter.  CL

Dear Family,

Well it turns out that I got transferred from the Barbosa Branch. I am now a Zone Leader and my new city is called Yopal (pronounced Joe-Paul). My area is called Cravo Sur (Cravo South). This is also a branch, but a big branch. Supposedly we have around 170 attending on Sunday. That will be a nice change =) haha. 

My new companion is Elder Morales from California. My first real Gringo Companion so that will be a bit different than before. He has one change less than me in the mission. He has been here in the area for 3 months. This Saturday there will be 4 baptisms for my area. They are all children of reactivated families so its pretty cool. The other area also has a baptism so that will be cool too. 

My Zone is a small zone of 10 missionaries; our branch and the other branch called Agua Sul. There are 4 in the other branch and there are 6 here, 2 of which are sister missionaries. 

The reason I didn't write.. Yopal is pretty far away from Barbosa. I left Barbosa at noon yesterday and went to Bogota, got there around 530 or so (traffic) and we left Bogota to come to Yopal around 7. We arrived to Yopal around 4 in the morning. It was a long day. Got to the house and I still couldn't sleep (couldn't on the bus). I probably slept an hour before getting up at 7 or so. I think it will hit me hard later on today ha. 

I asked why they traveled so late at night and how many hours he had traveled.  He answered, "Its better at night than in the day. Basically around 13 or 14 hours. Should have been like 12 but there was traffic at times."  I asked why it was better at night and he said because it is cooler and some people can actually sleep so they can work the next day.

Last week did go a bit better but we still weren't able to get baptismal dates because they didn't accept them. Frustrating but we had some good strong lessons with the spirit. Unfortunately I don't have time to tell ya about it all because we got to get going soon (to lunch). 

Pretty cool to hear that there are a lot getting their Eagles back home. Well I need to get going, I love ya and I hope all is going well for you both. Sorry I couldn't inform you yesterday that I wasn't going to write..

I told him that I had seen a picture on Facebook of him and his companion both with luggage.  He said, "My comp didn't get transferred but he had to go with me to Tunja and he has to stay there till Wednesday to pick up his new comp so he will be going back to Barbosa. I still don't know anything here. haha  You will have to look it up. Its close to the south, close to the Amazon, I think.. But its flat here basically.. Like Kansas. ha chao!

   Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte

Monday, April 21, 2014

Elder Larsen getting plastered with foam for his 21st birthday.

Elder Larsen wearing a new team's jersey from Baranquilla.  Thanks to friends from there that sent it to him.

Elder Kade Larsen turned 21 on April 16, 2014.

Dear Family and friends,  (edited by Cindy to remove people's names)

Things are going well for my companion and I here in Barbosa. We are still planning for the baptism on Saturday, the 26th. She seems really firm  in her decision to get baptized. She will have the interview on Friday afternoon. We are really excited for her though. She told me on Saturday that she has already decided that she wants me to baptize her. One of these months I will have to try and find some bigger pants because the white ones I have are really really tight.   My companion used them for the last baptism we had. 
Last week went really well. Not many of the members knew about my birthday so it wasn't as big as last year but a few of them found out so we had a little party. I will send you the pictures in another email. It was a fun night with them. They brought out a birthday foam thing and sprayed it all over plenty of times. There is a pic of it with my comp. The one who bought it and brought all the stuff is F.O.  We were in the house of J. O.  We are teaching him and also his girlfriend.  They need to get married so they can get baptized.  It was a fun night though and it went really well.

The other picture with the jersey is a new jersey that some investigators sent me from Barranquilla. The team is called Junior and is from Barranquilla. It was a cool gift from them. 

 This last week I was actually able to send a package home. I sent it with a return missionary called Zack.  He should be passing by one of these days. Hopefully you guys will get it soon. He is from St. George. He is a good kid and was passing through and offered to take it. I spent a bit of money on the stuff but still haven't bought anything for my birthday. Just stuff for you guys. Well love ya´ll and wish ya the best this week =) I will send ya the pics of the baptism =). Chao! 

Elder Larsen

   Elder Kade Larsen
Misión Colombia Bogota Norte 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Elder Lazo and Elder Larsen

Elder Larsen said that last week they were able to go to Bogota and hear Elder Uceda speak.  He mentioned that he heard him once while he was in the MTC in Bogota but was concentrating on translating it to English so much that he kind of missed out on the spirit of the talk.  This time he didn't have to worry about translating and thought that Elder Uceda was a very powerful speaker.

This past week they were able to have a baptism of a sweet girl that he says is so spiritual and ready for baptism.  Her family is also listening to the lessons and they look forward to teaching them.

He is really excited for General Conference this coming weekend.  They will travel to his old area for it and he is excited about seeing the members there.  He says, "Watch ALL of the sessions of General Conference. I now understand how important they are in our lives.  (I did before...Just not as much as now.)"