Friday, December 28, 2012

 Elder Larsen in front of the Bogota Colombia Temple

Three Elders from Sevier County serving in the Colombia Bogota North Mission. 
Each representing a different school in the district.
Elder Brennan Franks, Richfield High School (left)
 Elder Kade Larsen, North Sevier High School (center)
 and Elder Chesley Gale, South Sevier High School (right) 
We were able to speak to Elder Larsen on December 26th.  He couldn't call on Christmas because they have to use a public computer and everything was closed on Christmas.  He looked so happy and excited about being on a mission.  He is serving in Tunja, Boyaca, Colombia.  It is about 3 hours North of Bogota.  The temperature there is usually around 56 degrees.  February is the warmest month and it gets up to 66 degrees. 
His letter says, "Tunja is very very different from Bogota.  It's quite a large city yet there are only two companionships for the entire city.  My companion and I are in the South area.  My companion is from Ecuador and a pretty good Elder.  We have SO many people in our area it's insane.  Everywhere we go we walk.  So it's pretty obvious why we had to have three pairs of shoes for this mission.  Most of our appointments are 20-35 minutes away from our house.  And thats like a powerwalking/jogging speed, lol.  I have been having A LOT of pain in my knee and it's been hard to keep up all the time.  It's on the backside of my right knee.  Started the day before I got here. 
Anyways, here they celebrate Christmas a lot differently!  They have fiestas building up to Christmas.  Like, for example, I think that on the 10th it is for Mary.  They have concerts every single night in Central Square, which we can hear from our house every night, all night. 
The city is very poor compared to Bogota.  You've heard the stories about dogs being everywhere in South America.  In Bogota, no nada. But here, yes everywhere.  They don't really bother you at all and just lay there all day.  So many though it's kind of disgusting.  the people here are really nice and the ward is great.  We have about 120 active members or so here.  There is only 1 ward in all of Tunja.  We had a ward Christmas party last week and it went great.  The people thought my Spanish was actually very good, especially since this is my first area.  Cool huh?!  I can understand most people all the time but there are a few who I think are from the Coastal areas who speak SOO much faster. 
Last night we taught a lesson to Alexander and his mom.  He is around 40 or so.  We taught about the word of wisdom and then after we invited them to be baptized on the 19th of January.  They accepted!  He has had problems with Tobacco but I think that this is a big step.  Another great thing was during chruch.  We had like 6 investigators come to church.  Two of them are from my first lesson here in Tunja where we invited them to come but they said no.  During sacrament meeting they showed up.  Martha (60+) and her daughter (40) came in!  I think they really enjoyed it so I am excited to have our next lesson with them.
Entonces, Grandma & Grandpa Webb and the Mattinsons, thank you for the money.  It's going to be buying a few things I need for Christmas.  We mainly need food.  Our fridge is pretty empty but it's because we only eat breakfast at home.  Members feed us lunch here and we kindof skip dinner which I don't like at all because I love having dinner.  Elder Burt is in my prayers.  I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas back home without me.  Thanks for sending the package Caci and Tim.  Thank you, Aurora 1st Ward for the package as well!  I need to get going.  Love you guys.  Have a fantastic Christmas! 
Love, Elder Larsen

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Family, I'm sorry about the few word emails that this computer keeps on sending to you.. It's a pain in the butt. But anyways, that “Wheres the Line to See Jesus” sounds pretty cool and interesting. Did you guys go up to Temple Square for the lights again this year or is that picture from something else? It looks so cold there lol. Here it is a steady 70 degrees usually, I think. Definitely never cold here. One thing about here is that a lot of people have Christmas lights in the city. They are weird Christmas lights but hey, they have them lol. The MTC even puts up some lights along some of the bushes outside of the building. We also have a Christmas tree at the end of our hall. It makes things a little nicer here at the CCM.
And mom.... I hope that you forgetting the number doesn't affect it THAT much because I definitely still want something for Christmas lol. If it doesn't work out, I will be fine. When I leave the MTC next Tuesday I need to get to a store pretty soon and buy stuff like Shampoo, deodorant, and gel. I have been out of gel for quite a while now and it's horrible. There are other things too probably, but yeah.
Caci and Tim said they sent something so hopefully that will be able to make it as well. Thanks for sending that you guys. I am wearing the green paisley tie you guys gave me right now!
That's great to hear that you guys are all doing well on your finals and good luck to Lindsay who still has two, I think. Finals are never fun but it's the best when they are over, ha. I really don't miss that part of college AT ALL. I do miss baseball pretty bad and I don't think I will really ever get the chance here.
We didn't get to go to the temple this morning because there was another talk from an Elder? from the Area 70. I never even got his name but it was a great talk. We will go to the temple tomorrow and that will be the last time we get to go probably for awhile because of being in the field. We will leave next Tuesday to enter the actual field and I think we find out which area we are going to on Monday afternoon or something like that. But yeah there isn't really a way for me to tell you guys until I am actually there. Today when listening to the guy talk I was able to understand probably 90% of what he was saying to us, in Spanish. Bam! Made me feel pretty good. My Spanish is definitely getting better and better as time goes on so keep on praying because it helps.
This week our district gets the chance to go out as a companionship on the street for an hour and talk to some people. Elder Gale and I haven't been able to go yet but we will probably go in the morning which I am pretty excited for. Our District here is awesome and I am going to miss them. We just recently switched from playing volleyball in the morning to playing 21, the basketball game. We get into it but it is so awesome. Reminds me of home to tell ya the truth. Its funny because they are always talking about how high I can jump. I can dunk it with a little ball here but not a normal size ball. One day maybe... lol. But yeah, it's fun to surprise people like that. They think I have played basketball for years and years, ha.
That is crazy to hear about Oakley getting arrested but also pretty awesome. Hopefully everything is going okay for him out there. I think about him a lot and want to get a letter out to him. Daniel as well. I sent one to Mike and Dallin already. Entonces, I need to get going and sort laundry and stuff and my time is just about gone.
Hope you guys are doing great and I love you and miss you. Mom the Skype thing can work anywhere as long as the computer you're using has Skype installed and a webcam. Just got to know all of your login information, talk to Caci about it. Its not bad at all. Hopefully we can Skype though, who knows. Anyways, good luck this week with all that's going. Sounds like you all are keeping busy, that's good.
Love ya,
Elder Kade Larsen

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Family,

Its good to hear that the week went really well. Thank you for the addresses. I got a lettter from Emily last week and she said she was leaving Provo on the 4th. I actually got the letter with the workout plans that day that I told you that I didn't get it. I got it like three hours after I emailed you, so sorry. The fourwheeler looks awesome! I am jealous that I can't be riding it up above town or up 12 Mile.

Yeah, Makenna and Chris were definitly lucky that the tire didn't blow out on them. I'm glad you guys were able to get it fixed before she she went back home. I love the pictures you guys send. I have now started saving them on a flashdrive so that I can actually view them later because when I open them in the email they are huge and you can't even tell what they really are. I need to go back and save the ones you all sent when I was in Provo, so I can actually see them too.

That is so crazy that Coach Johnson is now going to be the head coach at North Sevier. I bet and I know that he is nervous for that job. But he does know what the team needs. We talked about it all the time. He will be good for the program, I think, in the end. I am glad that those three guys got All state.

I am sorry to hear about Dahl Brown, I hate hearing about new people that are dying around town.. Seems like there is a new person every week but I need to know so don't just not tell me. This last week was pretty slow for me, probably because our p-day was on Tuesday last week and it just made the week an extra day. It's with all new people too, so it is moving slower I think. Yea, the elder related to the Bullards is Elder Franks from Richfield. We want to get a picture of all three of us in the Sevier valley and send it home for the Richfield Reaper or something. I think that would be cool, one elder from every school.

By the way, the laptop I am on is totally crappy and everything I am typing is not showing up until a minute or two after I type it. I am getting kinda frustrated with it. Besides the new Elders coming, there isn't much else that is new this week. I just wish I could write you guys a longer letter but this laptop is pretty set against that idea. Thank you for the pictures of the fourwheeler and stuff, they are awesome. Sorry that this is sent later at night then the usual time, you have probably been waiting for it most the day. 

I am so stoked for Elder Burt and Hermana Judkins! I am also pretty jealous but I know I definitly need this last two weeks. Tonight we taught a CRE lesson and the teacher said I did a great job so that was kind of reassuring, ha. My Spanish is getting better but yeah it's always going to be hard. Present subjunctive stuff is just so confusing. Apparently they have like 15 total tenses in the Spanish language but we probably aren't going to try and learn them all because it's just so much to know.

I have only one more temple visit while being in the MTC. That is so crazy. Two weeks from yesterday (he leaves the MTC). Apparently if we are serving in the city of Bogota then we can go every 3 months or so. Not very often but I guess that is better than never getting to go right? When we got there today there was a bunch of Elders from the Bogota North Mission. They seemed like some cool missionaries and they said that they will be training some of the new missionaries when we come out. They have only been out for 3 months and they are already going to be trainers. Guess you got to learn pretty quick because of the big missionary boom that is supposed to happen right behind us. I am glad I am on the front of that boom, ha. Well, good luck with everything else. I love ya and miss you guys a lot. Sorry again that this letter is short. If the laptop worked I would write a better one. I will work on the invitation you offered, thanks! Good luck this week!
Elder Larsen

P.S 2. I sent you guys a letter last week so hopefully it gets there next week or within the week after.

(It is good to hear that Elder Larsen finally received some mail.  Sounds like he might get his Christmas gifts after all.)