Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Colombia Bogota North Mission, Bogota zones meeting for Christmas.
 263 missionaries in mission and this is only about half.  Elder Larsen said he is one of the two tall gringos in the third row back, just left of the center.

This is called a Ruana or a poncho.  There is a ward member that has a business making ponchos and hammocks.

We have sure appreciate the hard working companion that Elder Larsen has right now.  He is from Peru and has been a great Elder.  They were thanked by the ward mission leader and the ward council for all of their hard work in the area.

Dear Family, 
This week was pretty good I guess except many people travel because of the holidays and stuff. We still were able to have a decent amount of lessons though so I guess it wasn't as bad as we thought. But many of our investigators left so we will be anxiously awaiting for when they come back to continue the process with them. This Sunday we had 5 investigators come to church. We should have had more but who knows what happened with some of them. 

On Tuesday night, the 24th, we went to visit the S_______ Family, which was pretty cool. (He sent us a picture telling us the names of each person but I can't post it without permission).   

For the 25th, after the call home, we went to the L______ Family. (Another photo I can't post) They are a really cool family. On Christmas we honestly had like 1 or 2 lessons so most the day we just walked around to every ones house asking if they could meet and most people were sleeping or busy.. Turned out to be an okay Christmas though.

Last night we had another little Christmas party with our 2nd counselor in the bishopric. I didn't take the picture so I will have to try and get it from the other Elder who took it. They gave us a mini Christmas stocking with a little chocolate bar or two. The little sock has our names on them too. I forgot to take a pic of it before leaving the house. 

We still have our 2 baptismal dates for the 11th of January.. Some of our investigators aren't here and won't be back for a little bit so we will be searching for some new people this week as well. Hopefully January will be full of baptisms.  We will have to see.  We will also have to see if I am still around.

Sounds like everyone is doing well back home. I miss you guys and hope you are all doing well there. Hope you enjoyed the pictures that I sent today, I sent quite a few. I enjoyed seeing your pictures as well. Minute to win it and all of that stuff. I remember that show ha. Its funny because most of our programs in the states they have copies of here in Colombia. Minute to Win it I haven't seen it yet so I don't know if there is a show like that or not. But there is The Voice, Colombian Idle, Price is Right, etc. In Spanish obviously, ha.
Anyways, we are going to rest up a little bit. P-day ends at 5 today because President told us we have to be in the house at 7:30 for safety reasons tonight so we will try and get some visits in before that time. Love ya all and miss ya. 


           Elder Kade Larsen
Colombia Bogota North Mission 

Monday, December 9, 2013

This is Elder Larsen's letter from December 9, 2013.  He just received a new companion and they are working hard together and seeing success.  The letter has been edited.

Dear Fam,
 This week has a been a really busy week for us I guess you could say. It turns out that we aren't going to the temple tomorrow. We had been planning on it and everything but they called and told us that this week we won't be able to because they changed our zone meeting to Tuesday and we have our Christmas Conference with President on Wednesday. Dang it right? We had planned appointments and everthing for today so that we could go. 
Sounds like its getting pretty cold there in the states. I am kind of glad I am not sitting there in the snow. Here its getting hotter every day because the raining season is finishing up. Hopefully it doesn't get too hot here.
A good friend from my ward here is going to the same mission as Kyron, in January. He is 26 years old and will be Elder Perez. How long has Kyron been out on the mission? He plans on searching for him once he gets out there. 
I know how Jade feels (about being turned down by their zone leaders when asking if they could go to the Centro). Happened to me before too. It was because our ZLs were both new in the area and they didn't know if we could or not so they would just say to no to everything. Pretty dang frustrating to tell ya the truth.
My comp and I are doing really well. This last week were able to have 10 new investigators which is good. One of them has a baptismal date for the 21st of December. He is a old investigator who had a few problems and didn't finish the process but really wants to get baptized, so thats the plan. We also have some other investigators that are two older women but who are also progressing well. They have some relatives who are members from another ward. The family members are from a ward in Northern Bogota. But they come for every appointment we have with them which is great. We have some others who are progressing as well and we hope to get dates for them right now as well.
My companion doesn't know any English, but thats ok with me. We are actually searching for a new house right now so that we can live on our own instead of living with 4. President likes it with 2 in a house as well. It's just a lot easier of a life I guess. 
One experience... On Friday night we were in an appointment when the Assistants called us. They called us and told us we needed to head over to a certain house. We had to go and see what was happening as soon as possible. We got there and when we got there we immediatly had to leave to go to the Clinic because one of the Elders there was sick and had to go there. We went with them to help with everything. Ended up having an infection in his stomach or something and will be fine in a few days. We left the clinic around 11 at night.. So late. I was so tired. The clinic is about 45 minutes away from the house I was with the Elder in the ER and everything because his gringo companion is still learning Spanish and doesn't understand much of what the doctors say. Turned out to be a long night but turned out ok. ha
We have to leave to go and have a lesson right now. Its because today we were pretty dang busy with everything. I did recieve the letters from seminary last year. I also recieved a package from Bishop, which I assume is from the ward in general but who knows, ha. I love ya and hope your doing great at home. I miss ya and love ya a lot.  Have an awesome week this week. Love ya

Elder Larsen

Monday, November 18, 2013

                                                 Helping a member move, November 2013

I was on the computer today when Kade wrote and so we were able to write back and forth just a little bit.  I have inserted a bit of extra information that he gave me from our chat.  I have also edited the letter.

Dear Family and friends,

Yes, I am fully aware that there are only 11 months left. I was thinking about it quite a bit and I wont lie, this last month went by pretty fast which means I honestly hope it slows down a little bit more. There is just a lot of work to do and not that much time do it.. Only 11 months. 

This last week we had interviews with President.  I totally forgot to ask them about the person you guys know. My interview went pretty well. I let him know whats going on here.  My companion will be leaving in a week and a half so that will be here pretty quick. I have a lot to get to know in a week and a half. Wish me luck, ha. 

I can't believe that Alex's farewell is in 3 weeks. He probably feels pretty good about not having to be in the MTC so long. How long will he be in there? He will probably have 6 weeks anyway. The crazy thing is that knowing the language from classes and knowing it in real life is a whole new world but it will help him get started. I am stoked that he is getting out there. Make sure you get me his email and address when he gets out there. 

I also would have loved to go to Oakley's welcome home.  (I told him a story of following a prompting that Oakley shared.)  I won't lie, a lot of times we ignore the small promptings because we are running to appointments and stuff like that. I have been trying to focus a lot on that as well. (Elder Larsen has had an experience where the spirit told him to talk with a certain guy sitting on the street.  They are having a hard time getting appointments with him) We haven't had much contact but we have an appointment tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure. 

This last week we found 7 new investigators. I decided we needed a new crop of investigators which means dropping the ones that just haven't progressed. Dropping people is one of the hardest things to do as a missionary. But a lot of the times it's the best thing for them. 

Today we were going to go to Monserrate but we didn't end up going because my comp decided not to. I am kind of letting him decide what to do for this p-day and next p-day because they are his last p-days. Just because usually people have stuff they want to try and get done before leaving.  (The weird thing is they ended up doing "nothing.....absolutely nothing.")   

I worked on our area book for 3-4 hours this morning which is good because I got quite a bit of work done. Nobody has been keeping the area book for like 8 months. Joy right? haha. Its ok, I like doing it my way anyway. This week we also bought a new study table so now I can finally study on my own personal table! Woohoo =) It was around 30 bucks. The mission will pay me back for it as well.
This coming Saturday we are going to have a baptism. It will be nice to have a baptism. I'm pretty sure her uncle will be baptizing her, which will be pretty cool. This week we need to pick up a lot of new baptismal dates. Mainly with all of our new investigators. Without goals there isn't progression so we need to start making goals with them. 

I can't lie, I love my mission! I am not excited to have to come home in 11 months. (I lied, I am excited but it will be really hard). I feel like I have a lot more to do here. President told me in my interview that I should have quite a bit of time here. Who knows, I could be one of the few missionaries who only serve in 4 areas on their mission. There just isn't time to waste if you get what I am saying.  I know that God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in that Sacred Grove. I know that through him, they restored the priesthood authority once again on the earth. I know that The Book of Mormon contains the word of God. It was written by inspired prophets from the antig├╝edad (I don't know how to say that word in English). Through studying it we can learn "The mysteries of Heaven." I love the mission and love this opportunity I have to serve here in Colombia. This is the mission for me!
I love you and hope all is going great with you guys. Have an awesome week and hope you are having an awesome holiday season so far.

Elder Larsen

Monday, October 28, 2013

This picture is from a year ago when Elder Larsen was still in the Bogota MTC.  It is just to show the size of the city of Bogota.

Elder Larsen got transferred to Bogota last week.  It was a ten hour bus ride back to the city.  They arrived in Bogota at 10 P.M. and were dropped off at an address in a rough neighborhood.  It ended up being the wrong address so there they were, two guys in suits with five pieces of luggage, no phone, no numbers to call if they had a phone, after dark in a bad area.  He said it was pretty sketchy for a little bit.  It's a good thing Elder Larsen's mother knows that Heavenly Father takes care of his missionaries.  They were able to find someone and borrow a phone.  They had to call his old zone leader that lived ten hours away to get them help.  Luckily they found a man that let them use his phone and receive a call on his phone.  They were about two huge city blocks away from where they were supposed to be.

Kade said being in the capitol city of Bogota confirms his roots that he is NOT a city guy.  He's a country boy born and raised.  ;)

Elder Larsen's companion is an elder that goes home in one month.  So they are trying to keep busy. 
He said this week was actually a pretty long week. They have been working well and have been able to have some good lessons. They hope to have a baptism in two weeks of a young women. He has been able to meet quite a few people. Sadly, he only knows where a few of them live. He is still confused most of the time of where they are going in the city. He hopes he can pick it up soon.  He said "Our ward has around 100 people attending so hopefully we can raise that up a bit." 
He writes that one of the Elders that he lives with had to have surgery this morning and his companion had a doctors appointment so that has taken up their whole day.  The elder that had to have surgery will be on bed rest for three days.  
He writes, "I am exhausted.. Today it rained hardcore.. Elder M. had to run to the drug store to buy medicine for his companion that had the surgery. We were in the rain for like 10 seconds and were drenched. It's stopped now though."
"Have an awesome Halloween this week. It will be interesting to see how Colombia celebrates it. Everyone says they celebrate it though so thats good. Have an awesome week."
Elder Larsen

Monday, October 14, 2013

This statue is called La Gorda de Botero (The Fat Lady of Botero).  Elder Larsen said that many families have a picture of it on their walls or a statue in their homes.  It would be interesting to know what the meaning is behind the statue.  I suppose the U.S.A. has naked statues in different cities also although I've never been a fan.

Kade has been out one year on Thursday, October 17th.  Can I just say HORRAY!!!! Gary and I got shirts printed and I got the goodies ready and took pictures of them.  A Colombian lady was coming up to conference and I was supposed to meet her to pick something up and send a package back with her.  She never called so I just mailed the package.  (There was already a half-way package in the mail that he may get on time.) I sent him a copy of the pictures because I knew the box wouldn't be there yet.  The problem is that I sent the pictures to all of the family and I forgot to send them to Kade until he wrote back today and asked what pictures I was talking about. haha  The candy is all cut in half because it is his Half-way mark.  He gets half of the treats and his companion the other half.  .

Sounds like his week could have been better.  They've had some disappointments and he says that Satan is working hard in the area.  Here is his edited letter.
Dear Family,
Half Way Mark!  Just like in your subject line, ha. Well I guess I will complete one year this coming Thursday. Crazy right? I guess you could say I complete the 365 days on Wednesday or tomorrow I think. Elder Himes had the count going but I don't. First, what happened to the pictures that you said you were going to send? I never recieved any pictures this week. You paid quite a bit of money for the postage for the Christmas packages.  Hopefully they all get here well. What I actually wanted to ask you (that I thought of this week) was Dr. Scholls Gel inserts. Just because my feet are killing me and have been for the last two months. Let me know if you happened to put those in it or not. If not, don't send a new package. If worst came to worst there is a person in Utah that I know from here that could bring them back. He is coming back in December sometime but we could figure it out I think. Who knows. Just let me know. There aren't any Dr. Scholls here, I dont think.
This week was kind of a rough week mentally I guess. We DID have some baptismal dates for 18th of October. BUT, right now we don't. We had one lady set for the 18th but she is pretty hesitant right now. We don't know why she doesn't feel ready but hopefully we can help her during this week so that she can do it next week or in two weeks. Who knows. The story that you don't know, remember we started two new people after Conference. On Tuesday we met up with them and invited them to be baptized on the 18th as well. They accepted and were progressing really well. We were teaching them almost every day this week (with the member that found them) until Saturday they called us and told us that the people where they were living kicked them out of the house. They had been here about a week and a half and were living with a friend of hers, the friend never paid her rent. So it ends up that they had to leave Saturday night to go back to the city they are from (close to Bogota) because they had no where to live here and no money to live off of. How frustrating. I hope that the missionaries there can follow up where we left off and get them in the church. They were changing a lot. Seems like I have the worst luck here in this area. When finally good things start happening it just seems to crash back down. Satan is working hard in this world. Satan seems to like ruining everything. 
I will be leaving this coming Monday. Who knows where I will be going but It's pretty dang sure that I am leaving. This is my 4th change here in Diamante (finishing 6 months). I don't really know where I want to go. I wouldn't mind going to Bogota so that I can visit the temple once again. I also wouldn't mind going to Cucuta (but its hotter than here). But who knows where. Hopefully somewhere where the work is already started. In my first two areas when I arrive we have had to open the area basically because they didn't have any investigators when I arrived. The work is growing really well in Cucuta and Bogota which is great. Here in Bucaramanga its kind of stayed the same but hopefully the work can pick up soon.
Today as our last P-day. We went to Dominos with our Ward Mission Leader. He is also moving this week to Bogota which stinks for this ward because he was a good mission leader.
It was awesome to have some American pizza once again. Its been a LONG time. Colombia pizza is horrible compared to ours, ha. Dominos opened like 2 weeks ago here in Bucaramanga. So today we made the sacrifice to go there and buy it. After we took a picture with the Fat Naked Lady Statue.. lol  Its a statue called "La Gorda de Botero" The Fat Lady of Botero. There is this statue and others in other cities here in Bucaramanga. Many people have paintings and what not of "la gorda de botero" in their houses. How weird right? Grover wanted to take a pic so we took one. Hope you like it.. lol 
Well we got to get going so I guess I am done writing for today. Hope you guys are doing great. Have an awesome week this week with the deer hunt and all that is going on. I miss you and love ya. Hopefully we have a little party here ha. I am supposed to burn a shirt (I will burn a crappy one) ha. Love ya.
Elder Larsen
(Later in the day)
Ha I like the pictures. We had to pass by internet again because my comp needed to write President. He forgot earlier.. Love ya. Have an awesome week. Of course they spelled Colombia wrong.. Everyone who writes me spells it wrong lol.Well love ya all!

Elder Larsen

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dear Family and Friends, (edited by mom)

Things are going really well I guess you could say, here in Colombia. Conference was obviously awesome. We were able to watch all 5 sessions in English so that was a big plus. President puts a big emphasis on that just because he wants us to understand 100% of what they say. Understandable. It's Gods word, we need to know. There were loads of talks that were great. My favorite session was probably Saturday morning and also Saturday afternoon. The sessions were packed full of the 12 and also 70s who gave great great talks. For example Elder Dube, the African guy. Awesome. Edward, "Never look back, look at what we have left to do." There were many many themes and sayings that I have written down in my journal back at the house. One was like "Don't forget to look up!" I wish I had my notes! Dang it. Also when Thomas S. Monson said that it was the most powerful session he had been in. Do you know how many conferences he has had to attend in his life!? Wow. That says something pretty big.

That lady that went to the states ended up just giving the poster to Elder Himes' mom, I am pretty sure, and she will get a hold of you. So I´m pretty sure she won't be calling to pick up the package you prepared.. Sorry about that. Remember how Elder Himes, Elder Grover, and I all arrived here together and we were all going to have our 6 months together. That changed last night. The assistants called Elder Himes late last night to tell him he has to leave today to go and be a secretary in Bogota. Meaning we won't be able to have a party on our one year mark together, ha. They also called Elder Nieman (from our same MTC group) to be a secretary as well. Both from my MTC group got taken out to go be secretaries. Dang it... lol I guess stuff happens.

We are doing well here. Our investigators are progressing. One was having some doubts but she was able to come to conference  (three sessions!) and I feel she really enjoyed it. We have changed her baptismal date from the 11th to the 18th. And we still aren't too sure about the 18th because she is kind of on the iffy side right now of it all. I think she is just scared to actually make the change in her life. We have a lesson with her tomorrow so we will be talking about that with her. We also had two new investigators go to conference and they really enjoyed it. A lady and her son. We actually might be able to baptize them on the 18th but we will see what happens with them as well. That is pretty dang fast but hey, people have done it in two weeks before, why not now? The other families are doing well as well. They weren't able to come on Sunday which was heart breaking but we are working with them.
There are many members who are getting involved with the work. FINALLY. There are many who want to visit those families in their houses, without us missionaries. This would be good because it would make us less important in the conversion process of these people. Which is a good thing. We are the least  important people in the process. I have learned many things I guess you could say. My comp started working a bit better after the conference sessions so that is great to see.

Kind of crazy to hear about the capital (Government shutdown)  and all that stuff going on down there. Sorry to hear about it. People have brought up some stuff about it but I haven't heard anything about it because we don't watch the news. Fricken Obama (sorry about the fricken but I'm just not a big fan of the guy).

Did you guys listen to ALL of conference this weekend or did you miss some sessions. If you missed, get on the computer and listen to them (it isn't the same but you need to do it).

Today we had a SUPER P-day because our mission had 120 baptisms in September. We basically played basketball all day and right now I am about to fall asleep at the computer. We played pretty hard, but hey it was cool because it was with Gringos and they know how to play a bit better, ha. But anyways, I love ya and hope all is going great for you guys. I need to get off because we have an appointment right at 6 and its not that close to here.
Well love ya all. Chao!
ELder Larsen

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,  (edited by Cindy)
I am pretty sure I would die if I had to be in 30 degree weather right now. Sorry but I think I would. Here it has been the opposite. It used to rain almost every day but now its just HOT and a lot of the time its really humid. How great right? ha. Like today we went to La Cumbre (an area in our zone) and had a little BBQ with other elders and it was HOT.. I got burned.
That is pretty cool that you went to the Women's Conference. I guess they do broadcast it here but its not very well known. Like not that many of the sisters go to it. Kind of sad right? We are really stoked to have conference come up this weekend. Hopefully we will be able to bring some of our investigators to some of the sessions. Its always a given that they will feel the spirit during some of the talks. 
Things here in Colombia have been going pretty dang good actually. Its kind of amazing. I guess you could say that in the last 2 or 3 weeks all of the sudden many of the people that I have found in my time here (3-6 months ago) all of a sudden had the *click* moment. Its been amazing to see. Seriously, like people I found when I first got here that we basically had dropped, all of a sudden have clicked and want to follow the gospel plan. Its been legit. Crazy but awesome. The family is progressing a lot, they couldn't attend yesterday though. DANG IT. But there was a dance on Friday that the stake put on and so we invited them (a dance for adults with a Pioneer them). AND THEY CAME! BOOM. It was awesome. We introduced them to the Stake President and the Bishop and then we had to leave because it was already 9 o' clock. They will have to get married so we will see what happens with that as well. They might be able to get baptized before I leave if we hurry the process up.
We actually have quite a few people who had that clicking moment and so in reality probably in the next change my comp will have like 6 baptisms. So frustrating that I will be gone. I have worked with these people for so long. But sometimes you only get to plant the seed and you don't get to reap the harvest. Its hard when that happens, kind of a downer on the confidence part of the mission.
We are working hard. We are getting better every week with our stats so its going well. The ward is also waking up a bit more and wanting to accompany us quite a bit and that's a huge deal.  Its awesome because we can have a lot of lessons with members. 
There is a sister from Tejar (the other ward that meets at our chapel) who is going to the states tomorrow. She is going so that she can watch the General Conference.  She is going to take my painting that I received in Tunja to the states. It has all of your numbers and what not so that she can call you when she gets there. I was also thinking that if you can, you should prepare a little package so that she can bring that back to here. She will be coming back next week.
(I told him I recognized his hand holding a bag of hormigas, the big butt ants, in a picture that another mother posted from her Elder)  I don't remember if I was holding the bag of ants in the picture. I would have to see the picture. Elder Grover told me he sent a pic but that was a week or two ago so I don't have a clue. I bought some too and will also be sending them to you guys. =) And like Grover told them. You can't throw them away and you can't give to animals. Everyone in the family needs to eat them and after you can give some to friends. We also decided that you need to wait to eat them when we are talking on SKYPE so that we can see your reactions haha =). Awesome right? haha.
Well anyways, I need to get going. I hope that all is going well for you guys. I miss ya and hope you have an awesome week with conference and all. I'm pretty excited for it. Conference is totally different as a missionary.. just sayin. Love ya.

Elder Larsen 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kade sent some pictures of his p-day activities and they usually include playing soccer.  He was excited this week because they got some members to come and play with them.  He asked me to post this picture and said that he had received permission from everyone in it.

He is excited about the missionary work.  The way that they keep their records has changed and there is a lot of emphasis being put on reactivating members.  Kade has spent quite a bit of time doing that and so he is excited about being able to count those statistics. 

He has some great investigators that they are working with and is excited to be teaching some with baptismal dates.  It is exciting to see people accept the gospel into their lives and make the changes needed to be baptized.

They had investigators at church last week and he said the meetings were great.  The talks were all about families and so it was great to have a family there with them.  The missionaries sang the song, Praise To The Man and Kade had the little tape recorder I sent in his pocket.  I'm excited to hear that.  He said that he and Elder Grecci sang the low part.  The other two, Elders Grover and Barros' voices didn't pick up as well because they were further away from him. 

He was impressed that their Gospel Principles class had about 20 people come.  Between the two companionships they had a lot of people attending church this week and they were excited about that. 

I told him that his Dad and I had made fresh salsa and it was the best we'd ever made.  He LOVES salsa and misses it a lot.  He's put in his request for that to be the first thing that he eats when he gets home.  He also said he misses the leaves changing color in the fall, the deer hunt, the smell of a campfire and the smell of a 4-wheeler exhaust.  (yuck) 

He is excited about Conference coming up and wants to encourage everyone to be sure and watch all of the sessions.  He said that there are three "Gringo Elders"  this time in his area and so he will get to watch it in English.  They are planning a Gringo party which means they are going to have FOOD.  =)

Monday, September 16, 2013

I happened to be on the computer when Kade sent an email and was able to email back and forth for a few minutes.  He said, "Love ya and hope all is going well for your guys.  Put a smile on =) if you don't already have one on =)  Miss ya and love ya.  A nice big HUG for ya right now.  It's Dia de Amor y Amistad here in Colombia (yesterday). Like St. Valentine's Day kind of but it's bigger here.  Well love ya =)  "

Kade has been serving for 11 months tomorrow.  He thought he was going to be transferred last week and wasn't.  He will be in Bucaramanga for six months by the time next transfers come around.  His companion did get transferred to a different place in the city and he got his old companion from Tunja back again.  I don't think that happens very often but I think that transfers were affected by the unrest in Colombia.

Kade said, "We ate "Mute" for lunch.  Its a typical plate from this state here in Colombia.  It has some things in it which are kind of gross.  One of which is called Tripa.  Which is like intestines or the animals gut."  He said that overall it was good.  I can't believe that he is eating these things because he was quite a picky eater before his mission.  It makes me wonder what we eat that Colombians would think was really weird.

This week he introduced his new companion to all of the ward members and they were also able to start teaching some new people. He is excited about that. 

Today they were able to go out and play soccer on the synthetic field for p-day. They were able to get quite a group of members and investigators together to play with them.  He enjoys the friendships that he is building while serving on his mission.

He received some packages today and was excited to get a new journal so he could start writing every day.  He also loved the dill pickle sunflower seeds that we sent.  He said just putting a handful of those in his mouth brings back loads of memories.

We are thankful to the members in Colombia who have been keeping us updated with pictures on Facebook and with little messages about Elder Larsen.  Thank you for caring for him.  He did send some pictures but I can't share them without the permission of everyone in the picture.  Sorry.

Monday, September 2, 2013

  There has been a lot of rioting in Colombia for the past few weeks.  The Colombian Missionary Mom site was very helpful to keep us informed of what was going on.  There was a special fast planned for Saturday and Sunday to protect the missionaries and to have the problems in the country resolved quickly so that the missionary work could move forward.  We want to thank everyone that was involved in that fast.  Many temples around the world had the Colombian missionaries on their prayer roll. It is always a worry where there is such unrest and violence but we also had faith that Heavenly Father would protect his missionaries.  We were very saddened to hear of a missionary in Colombia being shot this past weekend.  Our hearts and prayers go out to his family.  We were so grateful to hear from Elder Larsen today and to hear that things are slowly improving in Colombia.
Dear family and friends, (Edited by Cindy)
This week has been quite a bit different than usual I guess you could say. Yes, things in Colombia were a bit crazy this last week but it is getting a lot better. I think the agriculture argument has calmed down quite a bit so now there are only a few other groups that are looking for agreements with the government.  It feels like almost all types of people have a beef with the government right now. The Zone Leaders are supposed to go to Bogota this week and we don't know if they will be able to go. Supposedly everything has cooled down quite a bit compared to the past couple of weeks. But who knows if they unblocked the road to Bogota or not, hopefully. Transfers are this coming Sunday and if things are still bad by then, we probably won't have transfers. That would be kind of crazy wouldn't it? It would throw off the time scale pretty badly for a lot of missionaries.
On Thursday, the Zone Leaders called us around 7 in the morning saying that we could not leave the house for any reason for the entire day. It was because throughout the country people had planned a bunch of marches so it was better to not leave the house. So NOBODY (missionaries) left their houses on Thursday. On Friday we were able to leave but only till 6 at night when we had to return to our house. When we saw the most stuff happening was on Friday morning. There is that bridge in front of our apartments and that bridge is highly used. There was a group of like 250 motorcyclists or more that blocked the bridge for a bit and then they all went to the center to block it there so it wasn't in front of our house too long.
We had the baptism on Saturday night and it turned out really great. I was able to baptize her.  My companion confirmed her at church on Sunday. My companion and I will only have one more week together here in Diamante. 
This week we don't have any baptism dates because we weren't able to get our investigators to church this week. DANG IT. So Frustrating sometimes how people don't understand the importance of the gospel. We have quite a few people that we are teaching who are doing really well though so it has been really good. 
Today we went on kind of a nature hike. You have NO IDEA how far we walked because we didn't really know how far it was to get there. My companion was pretty mad at me that we went. We went as a zone so I couldn't really say that we wouldn't go.  
Today we are exhausted and we want to go to the house and rest a bit. I hope that you guys have a super great week. The things here in Colombia are getting better so all is well here for us. Thank you for the fast that you guys put on. It was cool to hear about it. Love ya and miss ya all =)

Elder Larsen


Monday, August 26, 2013

Elder Kade Larsen wrote today and mentioned the uprising that is going on in Colombia.  I heard about it briefly from the Colombia Missionary Mom site but hadn't heard that things had gotten out of control in some areas.  I am so glad that Kade isn't in Tunja right now although there are still many missionaries and members there. It sounds like the missionaries are taking some precautions and trying to have some food on hand. The Colombian Missionary Moms are holding a special fast for our missionaries and for this situation in Colombia to be resolved quickly this Saturday and Sunday if anyone would like to join us.  I looked up a little bit about the strike on the internet and am sharing this tiny bit.  Feel free to it up yourselves.
"A nationwide strike in Colombia—which started as a rural peasant uprising and spread to miners, teachers, medical professionals, truckers, and students—reached its 7th day Sunday as at least 200,000 people blocked roads and launched protests against a U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and devastating policies of poverty and privatization pushed by US-backed right-wing President Juan Manuel Santos."
Kade wrote, "Well this week in Colombia has actually been pretty crazy as well. You will have to look it all up online or something. I am surprised you haven't heard anything about it. Elder Grover's mom knew about it, ha. There have been a lot of protests here. I don't know if it's in the country or kind of just our mission. Probably most of the country. The worst part of it all is Tunja (where I was at a few months ago). The protests are basically about everything. There are also quite a few going on here in Bucaramanga but not close to us. The protesters are blocking off the highways between the cities so that people can't leave or enter the cities. In Tunja, (I called them), they can't leave their house and haven't been able to since Friday. How horrible right?
The assistants called us all and have told all the missionaries we have to go out and buy rice, water, pastas, things that would last for at least a week if we weren't able to leave the house. My companion and I bought some rice the other day but in all honesty I have NO money. I didn't want to take more out without saying first so I am now asking you to put some money in there for this emergency. We need it to be able to buy some things and also to have some money if we have to leave all of the sudden. In Bogota it is a bit crazier too. YOU DONT NEED TO WORRY, NOTHING HORRIBLE IS HAPPENING HERE WHERE I AM AT.  I promise. Its just kind of precautionary type things. 
Things have been going really well here.  Of course, there have been some rough days and all. But we are getting better and better every day we are here. I hope that all of you are doing great back home and I hope that all is well. Thanks for the emails. It was great to hear from you guys after a long week."
Elder Larsen

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kade eating hormigas, big butt ants.

Dear family and friends, (this letter has been edited)
Well this week has gone pretty well for us here in Diamante. First off, I am super stoked that Brady was able to get put back in the field without much delay. Was he home for a week or what? (His cousin was sent home with a medical issue that was resolved)  About Dakota, that is super awesome and Elder Grover and I are pretty shocked she was able to do that. Who gets to say they were able to do that? lol. (Dakota was able to give President Thomas S. Monson a hug.)
This week was a good week but a little bit rougher than before. We still have our families but they still don't have baptismal dates. Neither was able to attend but we had 2 other investigators come to church so that was good. It stunk that the two families couldn't come on Sunday. They need to attend and if they do I feel that they will progress so fast. We are going to have a lesson with an investigator tomorrow and we are going to invite him to be baptized. We had decided the same thing as you, to give him the opportunity. He is an awesome guy, awesome investigator.
Today for p-day we went to the Center to buy some things with other Elders. We were in a group of 8 and shortly after arriving we felt like we shouldn't have come with that big of a group. We caught a bunch of peoples attention which isn't always a good thing. There were 3 or 4 references we got out of it though. It was a weird 20 minutes there. 
We hope to have a week with A LOT of member lessons. That is one thing that we have struggled a little with lately so we hope to boost that up a bit. Lessons with members are a whole other world when it comes to having an effective lesson. We are searching for some really good members that can help us with these two families so they feel welcome when they come to the church. We were able to have a good lesson with the a family but the problem was the son wasn't there. We hope to have one early this week as well to get a date for them. We are working hard here. We are going to do service project hopefully this week.  We took pictures to see what we need to bring when we come to do the servfice project. We have 3 or 4 people in the ward that want to come and help us with it so it will be cool. 
I am still the District Leader here in the area. The Zone Leaders are still in my district and another area called Bucarica is in my district. There are two sister missionaries that just got here. So that will be different now that they are in my district. They are the only two hermanas here in Bucaramanga. Crazy right? I still haven't met them face to face. This Wednesday I will be able to.
One of these weeks coming up I have to buy one of those backpacks that are to the side because the whole mission is switching to that style of backpack and we have to do it before September. That's ok though, I had thought about buying one quite a few times but now just need to find one that will last awhile. Well It was cool to hear about everything that has gone on this week. Hope everything is going well for you guys back home and in the new job. It will be a cool job for you I think.  Love ya all!
Your elder,
Elder Kade Larsen

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dear Family, (This letter has been edited for posting by Kade's mother)
Wow, sounds like a lot of things happened this week. I won't lie, a lot of those things didn't bring me much of a smile, lol. For example Kyle (his cousin getting in a bad dirt bike accident and) breaking his foot (accidents happen) and also Brady (his cousin having a seizure and) getting sent home. About Brady getting sent home, it actually makes me pretty mad. Poor kid.
Sounds like your new job (at the prison) is treating you well even though it is a bit different. Sometimes different is good right?  A lot different than working at an elementary school? ha.
I miss going to Rodeos. It's actually one of those things that are in my top 5 or 10 things that I miss. They were always pretty cool to go to with the family or on a date. Can you believe I almost have 10 months. That means 10 months without going on a date. haha Anyways, transfers didn't really change much for us. I am still here with my companion, Elder P____. Elder G_____ is still here as well and will be starting a new kid on Wednesday so he will be with us two until Wednesday. Should be pretty fun actually. 
All right normal stuff. This week has gone well for us. We have had some really good lessons with those two families. We still don't have a baptismal date for them but we hope on Thursday to get it for the family. They weren't able to attend on Sunday which stunk but hopefully this coming Sunday they will come to see what its like. The wife wants to go to see what its like. She brought it up before we ever did. We had a good lesson with them about the restoration. They received it pretty well I believe. 
About the other family that only can on Sundays, they are also progressing. We had a good lesson yesterday. They had read a little bit during the week but we felt that we should read the first chapter to really get it going and they accepted to read one chapter a day together and when possible with the brother that lives there who is also listening to us. He is progressing very very well and now has gone to church two times. He is awesome.
I am happy to hear that you sent the package. The peanut butter you dont need to worry about because I found JIF peanut butter here in Bucaramanga. Its more expensive here but we are all good on PB. 
Hey did I ever tell you that here in Colombia they eat ants? They are called hormigas. They only come out on Holy Week (which is like spring break) they are really big. People catch them, cook them and eat them. I first tried them with another elder and have had them a few times since. That's something that I have forgotten to tell you guys. Search that name for them. Search like "eat hormigas" or something like that. They are good, not the greatest snack but good. People eat them as a snack. They are actually really expensive here. haha (He can't believe people would pay to eat an ant.) Alright, I know that my letter is a bit small this time so sorry. I am trying to write a few short emails to some people from Tunja today.
R_____, the RM from Tunja that helped us with a lot of appointments came to Bucaramanga this week and we talked for a bit. It was great to see him ha. Anyways I love you and hope you all have an awesome week. Love ya.
Con mucho Amor,
Elder Larsen

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Elder Larsen took this picture to send for his dad's birthday. 
The picture is taken at the internet station.

Dear Family and Friends,  (This letter has been edited for the blog by Kade's mom)
Wow. Sounds like you guys are having some good times back home. I wont lie, I was thinking about you guys a bit Wednesday-Saturday. (for the Webb Reunion) Getting a little trunky, ha ha, no just kidding. But I do miss going up in the mountains with everyone. The pictures that you sent are great and wow its amazing how many little kids are running around now. Is the little boy in the arms of Cory the same little boy as when I left? He is huge now.. just saying. Did people actually write the missionaries in the writing station? I hope so ha, I have been in a drought of letters for quite awhile now ;).  Sorry that Tim and Dad were sickish for the weekend. That always makes the weekends a bit rough for sure.
I am stoked Alex got his mission call. France, that is super sick that he got what he studied. Most the time it changes, ha ha. But I bet he will learn really, really fast that French class in high school is nothing compared to real French living there. It will be super awesome though. Leaving December 11th. That will be kind of hard but hey that means he will come back right at Christmas which is pretty awesome. He will only have one Christmas in the "Field" (one is in the MTC). 

This week for us was actually a really good week. Yesterday was an awesome day, better than we have had for a long time. But everything in reality was building up to yesterday. We started two new families yesterday. One of the families are relatives to some recent converts so they already know a little bit about the church. We had a good lesson with them on Sunday. It was a good lesson and they were very receptive. They can only listen on Sundays but we are still excited to get them going with everything. We had an appointment before this one as well that was huge. We had contacted a guy in the street. He was a cool guy and the reason he accepted for us to come to his house is because we said no when they offered us beer, ha. We had the appointment around 3pm or so.  They are a cute little family. They honestly don't know anything about the church but they were very receptive. We are going to invite them to be baptized this Thursday night. I am excited to have these two families  to work for sure. They are awesome people. We also have other investigators that have been progressing really well.  There is also another lady that we have started teaching. She is a neat lady too.  She is also progressing well and has started attending with us.  We are getting really excited for what we have here. One lady we were teaching moved and so they live in another zone. So frustrating because she had just started to progress a lot.
Transfers are this coming Sunday. I hope I don't go anywhere. Now that we have got things rolling a bit here in Diamante I really don't want to leave. Who knows what will happen. I will probably have one more transfer here to finish training my son.
(I warned him about getting on the roof because there had just been a missionary in South America get killed trying to help someone up on their roof)  Mom, I won't get on the roof of these houses. You can tell when houses are supported but in this area, and some others, the roofs are just like sheet metal placed there so rain doesn't fall in.
Glad to hear Uncle Robert is doing well back home. I also hope that your first day of work was pretty awesome. You will have to let me know what you think of it. Those first days are always weird in my opinion. You always feel a little out of place. Well I hope all of you are doing awesome back home. I love you and miss you loads. Thanks for writing letters in the buckets at camp.
Well love you guys and hope your doing awesome back home. Thanks for all of the emails today. 

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elder Larsen said that he wrote later in the day because they had been doing a service project putting in a support system for a future house that they will help put together later this week. He said it's sad the circumstances that some of the people live in. He will have to try and take a picture or something later if they have a break. He said it felt good to actually have a service project where it was "hard labor" again. He says, "One of the guys there handed my companion a shovel and my companion looked at it like it was a sword from the times of the Book of Mormon or something. He had never used or done anything like this in his life, so I think it was good."

Kade is excited for his cousin, Alex, to possibly get his call this week. "That just blows my mind to tell you the truth. Makes me feel old and it also makes me feel like I left SO late compared to the people my age, lol. In two days I will have 9 Months in the mission." Alex will only be a year or so behind Kade even though he is two years younger. Kade will probably feel that way a lot with the mission age changing to 18 years old.
"This week has been an OK week. We actually ended up having a few different meetings that we had to go to. On Wednesday it was a normal Zone Meeting that we have once a month. On Thursday we also had one all morning for the trainers and their kids. That one was with President and his wife and some of the zone leaders. It went well and I learned quite a bit. We even learned a few things that might be changes in the future. Like using smart phones and using tablets with Skype and what not. It is actually a very good chance that we will be the first mission in South America that receives these new updates. President Andelin was talking with President Donaldson (Yes Tanners old mission president) about all these things and he said they were going to try and put it in our mission first. But that won't be until the beginning of the new year. To tell you the truth I don't know how we will do it with Tablets and all that because even with a cell phone it's dangerous and you have a good chance of getting robbed. If God told the Apostles to do it there must be a good reason. It will be really interesting."

"Contacting by knocking doors, in reality, is horrible and the ultimate goal of this new plan of missionary work is to get rid of knocking doors. Which is kind of cool but to tell you the truth we do it just to teach my companion how to do it. If they don't learn how they won't know how if they all of the sudden need to.  My companion and I contact more in the street than anywhere else. We have found a few good people that I am praying that we can get a baptismal date this week."
"Our ward is getting more active in the missionary work which is great. We definitely need the help. We are doing our ward council and more and more leaders are coming. Hopefully we can get them all here within this week or the next. Just think 2 or 3 weeks ago it was nonexistent lol."

We asked Kade what they usually eat in Colombia.  He said, "I have given you a lot of details about food and what not. A normal meal here in Colombia is the rice, beans, patacones (The smashed banana thing, really good), platano maduro, salad, soup. The soups here are way good. The best are the creams. There is one of pumpkin (calabasa) which is SO good. But I have only had it 3 or 4 times in the mission. My favorite by far though. Its also way way good to put the rice in the soup. That is a Boyaca (Tunja) thing but its good so I still do it." 

He wants me to tell James Holmes and Taylor Shepherd hello for him.  He said it seems like they've been on their missions forever. haha  

"Thanks for the emails and all this week it was great.  I Miss you and love you guys. Have an awesome week."
Love, Elder Larsen

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Elder Larsen with his companion, Elder Paliz

Elder Larsen is doing great and getting along well with his new companion.  It is always an adjustment for a new missionary but Elder Paliz is doing fine.  Kade says,  "We have been growing closer and don't really have any problems so we are doing really well."  I told him that we had the local missionaries over for dinner on Sunday.  The first words out of one of their mouths was to ask us if we read the scriptures every day.  I told Kade that I hoped he would talk with the people first and get to know them a little bit.  There is a right time to ask that question but it probably isn't the second you walk in the door.   Kade said,  "I hardly ask the question if members read every day because I know that 95% don't. We just encourage them to read more often and when reading, search for the answers that they need in that moment."   

I updated him on all of his cousins that are serving missions right now.  He also has a cousin awaiting his call.  That will make five first cousins serving.  Wow!  He said, "Thanks for sending those clips from the cousins. It was good to hear a little bit from them. That was the first time I had heard anything from Jade so that was good. Don't worry about the story from Emily. When we tell stories we don't really tell every detail possible.  Those little gaps that we forget, try not to make conclusions like walking through the streets with beer, haha."  His cousin took a man's case of beer after he said he wouldn't drink any more.  I laughed and said, "I can picture it now, two Mormon missionaries walking down the street with a case of beer." I've been corrected for making conclusions.  ;)
They were able to start teaching some new people and received a referral from the other missionaries.  It's a man who lives in their area but works in the other zone. He told the missionaries that he wants to be baptized but he wants to hear the lessons from the missionaries who work where he lives. "US! For the first time, here in Diamante. It seems like every person we ever find or ever contact that is actually genuinely interested in the gospel is ALWAYS from the other area by a block or two. Man it is such a killer at times. We found a family, around 8 or 9 people in all. They are all excited to learn more BUT  live in the other area. Story of our lives it feels like. Hopefully this new reference we got will be a good one."
They are excited for the future in Diamante because the ward will have a lot more participation with the new missionary program. "They will be giving us 15-25 references EVERY week with this new program. Hopefully it works like a beauty, ha." 
When I am on his Facebook page I have people contact me from Colombia thinking I am Elder Larsen. I have been able to message back and forth with people from Colombia.  When that happens I always tell him about it.  He said, "Cool to hear you talked with Z____ a little bit. She is a pretty cool investigator. She doesn't know any English so she uses Google to talk to you but Google doesn't always translate correctly."  She is the lady that owns the monkey.  I enjoyed "chatting" with her.
This week he wrote on Monday but we didn't receive the email until about 24 hours later.  Everyone that I know with Elders in South America had this delay.  He said that he was teaching a family home evening on Monday night about the Armor of God.  He was really excited about it.  He has a medallion that hung on the mirror of his car that he took with him that he will use for the lesson.  I would love to hear the lesson that he prepared.
Because they always have problems with finding investigators and having to give them to the other elders, they are looking for a new apartment deeper in their own area.
He said that the changes made to missionary work in the World Wide Conference will change the mission a lot!  There will always be a companionship in the church for the entire day in case someone decided to enter.  They are hoping that it will boost the missionary work. They are getting new computers in August or September to also further the missionary work.  He is excited about being a part of these changes. 
He sends his love to everyone.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Bucaramanga Sunset
Elder Larsen received a brand new companion on Wednesday morning. The new missionaries arrived at 4:30 in the morning in the terminal. They call themselves the Dad of  a new elder.  Once the new missionaries arrived the Zone Leaders decided that they would wait around in the terminal until about 7:30 a.m. and then they could go to the immigration office that day. So they waited the three hours there in a corner with all the luggage of 5 new missionaries. At 7:30 Kade and two other elders, that had all been in the same MTC group, (woohoo!) were assigned to stay at the terminal with the luggage while the zone leaders took all the new guys to the immigration office. He said they took FOREVER. They didn't come back until 1 P.M. So the Elders had stayed almost ten hours in the terminal. They were pretty frustrated. Kade's new companion is from Ecuador. His trainer was also from Equador.
Kade had been in conferences for two days straight.  They had a conference with the Misson President on Saturday from 8 to 4.  It was also their stake conference and so they had their Priesthood Session Sunday morning from 8-10, regular session from 11-1 and the Worldwide Broadcast from 5-7. He said it just felt like they were in conference after conference after conference.  He wants us to clarify exactly what the deal was with the missionaries being able to use Facebook and technology to do missionary work. He said,  "You will have to let me know some of the details that you liked. I really did like the conference. How would that have been to be an Elder and have the chance to see Elder Holland (my fav), Scott, Packer, etc. all in one night. Wow. Jealous..."
Kade had a really good spiritual experience and so I am just going to share that in his words.
"Before our kids got here Elder G____ and I were together, two Gringos haha. We had a really good lesson together though on Tuesday with a 20 year old young woman who has been feeling like she is living a lost life. She had lost hope of ever going to heaven and ever having the chance to repent for the things she has done. We had a powerful lesson with her. She hadn't prayed for 6-7 months but had recently started once she started with the missionaries but had a big fear of telling God her sins. We promised that once she starts to confess these sins to God, He will manifest unto her that she can be clean. I even said something like ¨There is nothing that we can do that God won´t forgive, through the atonement of Christ. Use the atonement. Use this gift that He has given to you. He loves you and has His hand out to help you. Take it and let go of all the things that you have done.¨ We promised that if she prayed and asked she would instantly feel better. She prayed right after we left and called us that night. She was excited for the first time in weeks. She had felt it. She had felt cleansed from the things she had done. She now has a baptismal date for this Saturday." He commented about how strongly he and his companion had felt the spirit during that lesson.

If any of you know Kade very well, you also know that he was a very picky eater.  He mentioned that he ate chicken hearts and that they are very small and so you have to eat a lot of them.  He said "weird stuff for sure." I can't even believe that this is the same Kade. haha  We are proud of him for getting over his pickiness and eating what the people feed him.

Elder Hooker came and spoke at their stake conference on Sunday.  Kade said that he is an excellent speaker.  They also had conferences with the Mission President on Saturday and Kade said that they announced a six week fast from pop.  Some elders drink pop a lot and in the mission there have been quite a few missionaries that have been sick.  Sister Andelin thinks it is from drinking too much pop and not enough water.  Boy, I say once you're off pop NEVER go back! 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Elder Botera, Elder Larsen and Alvero Martinez with their matching ties.

Elder Larsen with the monkey named Baby

Finally a picture of the Monkey!  A few of you have mentioned that you were waiting to see a picture of the monkey so I am glad that he sent one this week. Kind of a cute little feller.  He was going to that house again tonight for a family home evening.
The other picture is of his companion, Elder Botero, Elder Larsen, and Alvero Martinez with their matching ties.  They went to the Centro and bought them as a kind of good joke.  They all wore them to church on Sunday and everyone thought it was funny.  It's pretty noticeable for sure!
Transfers are this week.  Kade's companion was transferred and he will be receiving a new elder straight from the MTC on Wednesday. Elder Botero was transferred fairly close and would still be in his district if he is still the district leader. 
Elder Larsen says, "This week we had kind of a rough week, to tell ya the truth. It felt like everyone we were working with, less actives, investigators, etc., were just not progressing and not wanting to progress. And then Sunday came and we had more than we've had this whole transfer in our Gospel Principles class.  We had 13 people that we have been working with come. It was pretty awesome, a good way to finish off the transfer, haha. I have grown pretty close with three or four families here. Its been really good."
I tell Kade when I talk to people and they ask about him or comment on his Facebook page that I keep updated.  He appreciates you thinking of him and wants to thank you for your support.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Elder Larsen and companion eating chicken tacos.
Elder Larsen said that things are going pretty well. This week they had to focus on talking to some new people. They were able to start teaching a new family. They had their first lesson with them on Sunday and it went really well. They met them in a mechanic shop. Kade said, "Who knows where you can find people that want to listen to the message of the gospel? Tonight we will have two family home evenings so that will be really cool. We are definitely gaining a lot more trust in the ward."
"Last night we also went to the house with the monkey. The Monkey is called Baby and is kind of a crazy monkey. It make sounds more like a gorilla than a monkey, lol The weird thing is that he REALLY likes me. I walk in the room and he runs over to me and jumps on to me. I had only met him once before. They say that he always likes to go to missionaries. I would give him to one of the other missionaries but 3 or 4 minutes later he would leave and run back to me. It was cool but a bit different haha. Not a big fan of holding him for a long time because they live down in a valley where its really humid and then he just clings on to you making it 100x hotter."  I need to tell Elder Larsen that we all want to see a picture of him with the monkey.
"Today we made the Chicken tacos with the seasoning that you sent. Oooooh they were good. We had three tacos each and were feeling pretty great after. I also found the same seasoning packet here in Exito (like Walmart). How crazy right? We had to take a picture. In the picture we only have two each but we still had more left so we decided to have one more after we finished. They were awesome though, reminded me a bit of home, haha."
This last week was a little rough in the category of health. The last half of the week Kade was really sick on Saturday and Sunday. Today he is feeling a lot better. He feels like he's been sick his entire time in Bucaramanga and he's getting pretty annoyed.
Kade thinks it's funny his dad didn't draw out for the deer hunt. But said that it's ok, he will draw out next year when it really matters. Kade gets back next year right before the deer hunt. =) 
Kade said that he got three letters this week. One from Jill, one from Brady, and one from Elder Mike Hales. The ones from Brady and Mike were sent on March 12th and he got them on May 30th. He said, "WHAT! horrible right?"  I have asked him and he said that even if you send a letter through Dear Elder.com that it still takes quite awhile to get to him.  However, he loves getting letters so don't quit writing.  His address is on the left side of this blog.  Send them to the mission home address or you can email him at kade.larsen@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Elder Larsen wrote and said he had been thinking of Kaesen, Christin, and Heather all day last Wednesday as they entered the MTC.  He can't believe they only get two weeks in the MTC.  He said that he learned so much in there that really helped him.
He says that things are picking up for them in Bucaramanga.  The ward members are helping a lot more.  There are some returned missionaries and two future missionaries that are helping them a lot. He has connected with some pretty neat families in the ward.

The family he's been teaching is doing well and still progressing but still haven't been able to come to church. The parents are reading the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon. They are still working with them and trying to fellowship the son more and more.
This week they received a reference from other missionaries about a guy who said he had read the Book of Mormon and loved it all. They have tried to meet with him a few times but he has never been home. But they have started teaching the Older lady that he lives with (he is renting a floor in her house) and she is really cool.  He said she was very cold to them at first and wanted nothing to do with them.  They said a few jokes to warm her up and now she really likes talking with them. They have had a few good lessons with her so far as well.
For P-day they were going to go play Ultimate Frisbee at a park. BUT they couldn't find a park so they just played futbol (soccer) again at the church. It was fun, better than the last time because it was more competitive. He hates playing if its not competitive at all. He was able to throw with another Elder.  He says, "Man it felt good to hold a baseball in my hand again. I can definitly tell that my shoulders are out of shape. Need to be more persistent in that shoulder workout program I got before the mission. There wasn't much space so we weren't able to throw all that long. I got pretty burnt today. It was overcast skies I think is why and we didn't think much of it. Gotta love bein' white. lol"
"Hey remember the parable thing that you had sent me last week? I remember where that was from. Its from a talk that Elder Holland had given called ¨Laborers in the Vineyard¨ I have it on my i-pod. Its a great talk. I have some others as well from him. He is my favorite to listen to."
He sent a couple of new photos but I can not post them unless he tells me that he has permission from the people. I'll have to ask him about them and will possibly post them later.
He has been sick but the bishops wife is a doctor. He ended up having to go to the doctor (her) twice in the week. He says the week before he could barely hear out of his left ear but now he has had medication and is doing fine.
One of the members from Tunja sent him some pictures of Tunja at night.  I thought they were pretty and can post them.  Thank you.

On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Cindy Larsen <cindyngary6@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello Elder Larsen, We have had a great little vacation. I am at Tanner and Lindsay's apartment using their laptop to write this. I am not so good at laptops so I hope that I can figure this out.

Tuesday night I left the Family Research Center and to leave I either have to back out of the West side of the driveway or just drive around the back of the Stake Center. I drove around back and there stood Kaesen and his family. He had just been set apart as a missionary. Heather and Christin had both been set apart earlier that night. I don't leave there until 9 p.m. They all entered the MTC on Wednesday. I've seen Ellise and Lisa since then and cried with them as they explained their final sendoffs. It's such a hard time for mothers. :)

My last day of work was on Thursday. It was field day. Remember that? It went pretty smoothly. They have the same old games every year. I guess the big news is that Lisa Crane applied for a job at the District Office to be over all of the Special Education Departments in the district. Kade Douglas has been moved to superintendent. The person that was over SPED moved in to Cades job and Lisa will take that job. So she was only our principal for six months. Can you believe we have to get ANOTHER new principal?!!! I am a little worried about who it could be. I sure wish that Nolan Anderson would come to our school. I don't really want Paul Torgerson because I hear he has been going ballistic over at the high school. He doesn't seem to handle the kids anymore. So I"m worried about getting someone in there that is high stress. I guess they will let me know when they pick who it is.

Dad and I took off on our little trip on Friday morning. We stopped in Spanish Fork and visited with mom for a little bit and then headed out. I had a few errands in Orem and then we headed to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Do you remember going there. We stopped on our way to Yellowstone. We went to the temple there on Friday night. I was really impressed with the Garden room. They had a three dimensional set of trees on the front wall. The paint was really beautiful and made it stand out pretty. Then in the Telestial room the walls were painted and it looked just like Utah when the pioneers came through. They had pioneers with their wagons and growing crops. They also had pictures of the seagulls eating crickets. The Celestial room was really beautiful with gorgeous chandeliers. The temple has the movie and we watched a section of it in each room and then moved to the next.

We didn't get out of the temple until 9:30 P.M. I had asked someone in the temple where the locals liked to eat. They said a restaurant called the Sandpiper and another place. When we got to the Motel parking lot we realized the Sandpiper was right across the street. We walked over there and ended up eating there. We got our food at about ten at night. We chose to sit out on the patio even though it was cool. There was a long gas fireplace that ran the length of the patio. We sat right by it. Wow, talk about ambiance. We looked right out on to the river. There was a whole bunch of ducks and stuff. We could see the temple from that view also since it was right across the river. It was one of the coolest things of the trip. The food was pretty good but not sure it was worth $26 a plate.

I had also asked someone in the temple how far it was to Rexburg. We had only planned to go to The Idaho Falls Temple because dad didn't want to sit in the temple the entire trip. But when we found out it was only 20 minutes away we figured we better go there while we were up because we may not make it up again. So on Saturday morning we drove to Rexburg. We had gone by there while it was being built. We had only pulled over and taken a picture then. That temple was also so beautiful. In the Telestial room they had the most beautiful walls. It was painted just like you were up in the forest. There were elk and deer, oak trees, etc. It looked just like Yellowstone to me. The paint was such deep beautiful colors. The Celestial room had beautiful chandeliers also. It is a very beautiful temple.

In Rexburg we went to Pizza Pie Cafe to eat. We've never eaten there. It was pretty good. They have quite the buffet of pizza and dessert pizzas. Then we headed to Lava Hot Springs. We stayed in the same place that we did when we went before but I made sure that I got a newly remodeled room. It was MUCH nicer. We sure enjoyed lounging in the Hot pools. We stayed there for two and a half hours. I was so relaxed by the time we got out that I could barely stay awake long enough to have prayers and kiss dad good night. We even ran in to Brent and Syd there yesterday. Syd's dad built a family cabin up there and they were up for the weekend. Dad had happened to talk with Brent the week before so we knew they were going to be there. We followed them up to their cabin and visited a bit. We ran in to them at the grocery store when we went to buy breakfast foods for Sunday morning.

This morning we enjoyed eating breakfast by the river. It would be really fun for our family to have a little trip up there. The married couples could stay in tents in one of the many camp grounds or get a motel room. But they have river rafting that goes right through town. It would be fun in the summer but it was a bit chilly to do that this weekend. They have made some huge improvements and new slides in the water park that you jumped off the really high diving platform. It would be fun to go up there and play around for a few days.

We are spending the night with Tanner and LIndsay. They fixed us Cafe Rio style burritos and they were really good. We went to the Burt's house and had ice cream and played games with them. Do you remember that name game where they try to guess who wrote a certain name? Shiloh is actually pretty good at that game. I actually won once. The funny thing is that I had written down Emily Judkins. They had tried to guess forever who wrote her name down then just figured that she had been guessed and forgot about her. So I was going to write her a letter saying that everyone had forgotten about her. jk

Tomorrow we are heading back home. We are not really in a hurry and we have no plans. I think Tanner and Lindsay are going fishing and not sure if we are going with them or just heading back. We may stop in Salt Lake and see Caci but I haven't talked with her. We keep missing each other's calls. She was up here in Logan until last night. They came by to see Tanner's apartment and then headed back to Salt Lake. I'll wonder what to do with myself on Tuesday when I don't have to get up and go to work. However, I have made me a list a mile long of things that need to be done this summer.

Alex and Dakota's graduation announcements came in the mail last week. I guess I mostly looked at the pictures and didn't read the details because I knew I wouldn't be going. Tanner read Dakota's invitation and happened to stay and Grandma and Grandpa Webb's house the other night. He said her graduation date was May 13th on the card but my mom was planning to go up on the 30th for graduation. My mom talked with Vicki and hers says the 13th also. So mom wrote Linda an email and pointed that out. Linda didn't even notice that it was wrong. It's funny what we miss when proof reading stuff. So when we went there today I said, "I am sure sorry that I missed your graduation on the 13th." It's kind of a funny joke now. Dakota is just hoping that nobody reads the invitation and just looks at the pictures.

We are excited to hear how your new investigator family is doing. Let us know. That is cool that you were waiting to teach someone else and she called you over. I hope things work out with them. We love hearing mission stories like that. Did the baptism go through on Saturday? Now I understand why you had to turn her over to the other elders, she lived in their area. Bummer.

I will have to send pictures next week of our trip. We love you and sure hope that you are well, working hard, and being blessed in your labors. Everyone says hello. Love, Mom

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Kade Larsen
May 27 (1 day ago)
to me
I forgot a few things..

Maria Fernanda´s baptism went through and was really great. The dad of the family that she lives with did the baptism. THey have a really good relationship. Sunday morning she asked me to confirm her a member of the church! WOW! I wont even lie I was scared to death but I confirmed her in Sacrament meeting. It was really cool and I feel really good that she chose me out of everyone she knows ha. We will be having a Family Home Evening with the family tonight. ALSO, I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I only knew about it two or three days before because the bishop called and asked me to. So I had to do two NEW things in Sacrament Meeting that I havent done in the mission lol.

THe bishop added me on facebook. You will have to go to his page and look at some of those videos and photos from our ward party. I am only in one photo and I am in the corner but yeah it was way fun. It was a week and a half ago or so.

Other questions that I need..

WHat is the email/address for Elder Brady Judkins??

Can you send me all of those mission photos that we took for the mission? I need them because I need to print one for someone here. I will have to tell you why later. All the ones you can find on your computer.

Do you remember the ring that we bought? The CTR ring? Can you look and see if there are cool HLJ (Spanish) rings in those stores as well, I think you can look online as well. THere is a future missionary here that really wants one and is willing to pay whatever cost basically for you to buy one and then send it. Let me know what you find and with pictures please as well.