Monday, February 18, 2013

Dear Fam, Man, I wish I could have heard both Doug and Kyron speak this week. I didn't know that Doug was leaving this soon! I thought he was leaving in March or something because you never told me the date. I am so excited for both of them to get out in the field. Doug will only have 2 weeks in the MTC, that is so short and crazy. Kyron will probably only have 6 which is also crazy because that's not very much time to learn a language and what not. That was a pretty good story about the boy and the lamb. I hope they are both excited to get out there in the field. When are they both entering the MTC? I don't remember Kyrons and I don't know Doug's date. That would be really awesome if we had 9 missionaries from our ward out in the field at the same time. Heather and I will actually be getting back almost the exact same time. Crazy huh? Yeah I was thinking about Daniels birthday. He is one of the few people I can remember for some reason. But I thought it was on the 17th right? not the 16th. Who knows. I am glad Robert is out of the hospital, it would be hard to stay there all the time and I am glad he is able to work from home a little bit. I hope he keeps on progressing. Yeah, you guys didn't have too many people at your Women's Retreat. Whats up with that?? lol You guys need to force the importance of it or something. Why was it in February this year? Isn't it usually around the deer hunt more or am I just thinking of something else. I am glad Josh liked “A” town. People think there is nothing in small towns like ours but hey, it's “A” town! We got just about everything... except stores and things like that lol. The double baptism didn't end up going through on Saturday, but we did have one of them. I baptized Maria L. She is 19 years old and the girlfriend to a return missionary. He had surgery the night before on his leg and was in the hospital until the baptism that night, I am glad he was able to come and watch. He was in a lot of pain, his name is Alejandro. He is next to her in the photos. The picture with the other elders is like this. The ones with the suits are the zone leaders from Duitama, Elder Holmes and Elder Rodrigues. The other elders, without suits, are the Elders from Unicentro (The North Area of Tunja). Those 4 had to leave after I baptized her because they had other lessons they needed to be at. It was a good baptism though and I am really happy about it. Jaime was not able to return to Tunja last week because the baby is having worse problems. She needs a heart transplant but he is coming back this week, possibly today. He will be baptized this coming weekend with Sneider, one of the ones from Facebook. They are both really awesome and I am really excited for it. TOday we are sacrificing the latter part of our p-day because we are going to go with the Sabedra Family and buy the Registros for the Wedding. This was the day that they could go so we need to go and do it with them or else they probably wont do it. Their date is for the second so they would need to get married this week or early next week. Depending on if their older son, Sergio, wants to get baptized later we might move it back a week. We had our first lesson with him this week which was mainly practicing English and stuff but he became a lot more receptive to hearing the message. That would be cool, a whole family on the path of righteousness together forever! About the money thing, this week I bought a backpack. Yes I know I had a really good backpack. My companions backpacks (he had 2) both broke this week and he doesn't have much money to buy another because a decent to good one here is over 100 mil so he bought mine for 50 mil, which is what he had and I bought a new one for around 100 mil. That's what the last two withdraws was for. Sorry but it kinda needed to happen. I bought a smaller one, its actually a High Sierra backpack from the States and has a warranty on it here for 2 years. I got the package for Valentines day! whoot whoot! Thanks for sending that, I was a little nervous I wouldn't get it until March. I got everything in it which is awesome, thanks for the photo album, the ipod, the candy and all. I also got a package from Weapon with a few things. The package from Joetta never came so I don'tknow whats up with that. Oh and the Seminary letters. Did they ever send them or no? lol Yes, mom I know about the Jersey but I couldn't wear it unless it was P-day and I couldn't wear it that day, soon I will have a p-day where I will wear it. Today I can't because of the registros with the Sabedra family. Hope all is well back home with the family and all. I miss you guys a lot and hope you like the baptism pictures from this last Saturday, my first baptism! I should have 2 more this coming Saturday as well! I am excited for this coming Saturday. Hope you guys had a great Valentine's Day and have a great week this week. Love you all and miss you. Thanks again for the package. Love, Elder Larsen

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear Family, This week has actually been really great. That is sweet that Marcus and Morgan are leaving really soon on their missions. Heather! WHAT THE HECK! That is so awesome! lol I am so excited for her to get out there in May. I honestly didn't expect that. Indiana will be so awesome for her. I know how Marcus and Morgan feel about speaking at Stake Conference. It's a scary experience for sure. Wow that is a lot of sisters, (going to Emily's mission) but yeah that is cool they are receiving a lot more in March. Sister Missionaries can touch people differently than Elders can for sure and they always seem to have baptismal dates. We are getting new people here and there as well and they created another zone in Duitama for sisters and after 2 days of work they had 2 baptismal dates. Wow right? At the end of this last cambio we get 32 more new missionaries (some are probably temporal as well) but quite a few. They are planning for a huge increase here as well so I think I will be training sooner than most people do in their missions. Maybe similar after this cambio which ends at the end of March but who knows. That kind of stinks about Jade and where they have to wait for 2 weeks for permission (to go anywhere on P-day). Why two weeks? Thats a long time! We call the zone leaders in Duitama and see if its all good, we have a bigger trip planned later this month but we have to meet a goal of 6 baptisms before leaving. There are rules in our mission like we need to return to Tunja before 3 o'clock P.M. The music thing as well, dang. (I told him in his cousins mission they are not allowed to have any music) No, I haven't recieved your package or anything because we haven't had the zone meeting. Zone meeting will be next Wednesday in Duitama. I am betting that I get it next month though. I am praying that no one will mess up the music thing for us here because, like you said, music is the song of the soul! lol To tell you the truth I do not want to leave Tunja for quite a while. Why? Because of this next sentence haha. "My companion and I now have 9 baptismal dates!" Bam! lol As of right now we have 6 in February and then 3 for March 2nd. This includes Jaime who is getting baptized this coming Saturday. He will be my first baptism of the mission! Im not going to lie, I am really happy he is the first because I think he will go on a mission too. We have about 4 people preparing for the 23rd of February. One of them is Sneider. The one from Facebook. His mom and sister are Mormon but he is Catholic because he wasn't here when they recieved the lessons. He didn't really want to learn about the church but one day we had cambios and I was with a new latino Elder and we had a lesson on the B.o.M. He accepted and began reading. He reads every pamphlet we give him in one night and always has great questions for us. He accepted the date on the second lesson and attended church yesterday for the first time. Through the last like 4 or 5 weeks we have grown pretty close as friends and I am so excited for him to enter the waters of baptism. Later today we are going to go and play basketball with him, Jaime, Ronny (RM) and more people. Should be pretty fun. We have a family that now have a date for the 3rd of March. The daughter, Vanessa, and the mom, Lus Marina, have been investigators for the last 4 months or more and attend church every week but they are not baptized. The problem is that she is not married to her boyfriend (The father of both their kids) They accepted the baptismal date but now need to get married before that date. He hadn't recieved lessons because he never wanted to this whole time but we were able to get him last week and now he is progressing very fast and enjoying all that the gospel has to offer. THe other kid is a son who is like 22 but he doesn't want much with the lessons. I am so excited for them. We have Noche de Hogar with them tonight, (Family Home Evening) where Elder Avila and I are making pancakes and other stuff. So yeah we have 9 dates and we have probably 14 progressing right now overall. We have a pretty heavy workload but I wouldn't have it any other way. We are trying to set some kind of record for Tunja or something for this cambio, lol. Who knows, we might, ha. Super Bowl! I heard that it was going to be on yesterday. That is super sick that Pitta scored the first TD. Cougar Alumni! lol I like the 49ers more overall but its kind of cool because they are both not the annoying teams like the Patriots or teams like that. I wish I could have watched a play or two haha ;) lol One day we had lunch with a member and there was a basketball game on when we came on. That was cool for a few minutes. It was Miami Heat vs Brooklyn Nets (Deron Williams). I dont know how it ended we just watched it for a minute or two before turning on a church movie. D Will and King James did good for that minute or two though. Bryce Canyon stuff looks pretty awesome. For some reason a lot of people know about the Grand Canyon here. I dont know why. There are lot cooler parks than the Grand Canyon, in my opinion. Hope you guys have an awesome week and I will be sure to send pictures of my first baptism this Saturday with Jaime. Love you guys, be safe and have fun.
Love, Elder Larsen