Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Elder Larsen had a rough week this last week.  To start off, he and his companion celebrated and bought out dinner last Monday because it was their last P-day together.  A few hours after his "stomach started to go a little crazy but not too bad.  Within a day it was a killer!  It's like a cat is in my stomach and wants to get out."  He says the worst part of it is that he is having so much pain in his back where his kidneys are.  He said it was too painful to sit and type a very long letter.  (Now I am worried sick!)
Saturday a baptism was scheduled for a family that they have been working with.  They have worked really hard to help this family receive the blessings of the gospel in their lives.  The pictures were taken before the baptism.  The talks were given and then an older son and his girlfriend came in.  The girlfriend had been looking up all kinds of anti information on the internet and had already discussed it with the family before they came to be baptised.  The son talked with the dad again for ten minutes right before he was to be baptised.  Finally the dad put back on his street clothes and the baptism was called off.  This was really hard for the elders and I'm sure they were heartbroken.  There were a lot of great ward members there to support the family and I think everyone was in shock.  I believe Satan hates to see families come in to the gospel and will do everything he can to keep them from entering in to the true church of Jesus Christ.  The family is still talking with the missionaries to have their questions answered.
Elder Larsen's companion was transferred and so was the other American elder that was in Tunja.  He is receiving an elder from Barranquilla that has been out just over a year.  He said that now he will be the only American in the entire area and will have to speak Spanish ALL of the time.  He said it will be six weeks of a lot of progression with his Spanish.  To top the week off, during transfers his phone fell out of his pocket and now he doesn't have a phone and may not have one for a month. 
This week is Holy Week called Semana Santa.  He said that everything is closed.  He hopes it's not like that the entire week because it sure makes the work harder to do.   The celebration is huge there and he hopes to send pictures next week.  They have taught some good first lessons this week and are even teaching a professor.  He said he is teaching him English for about 20 minutes and the gospel for about 40. 
It is starting to be the rainy season there and they have had rain almost every day for the last week.  For the next two months they will be getting a lot of rain. "Yipee!"  The best part of his week was when he got his scripture cases that were special made for him.  This is what he bought with his Christmas money.  His favorite is of Enos praying but he loves them both.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I have discovered this past week that we are not allowed to repost the Elder's actual letters.  This is to protect people that they are working with and their companions.  So if I do post a picture or give a name, I have permission to do so. 

Elder Larsen wrote a great letter this week.  He's all excited about missionary work. He said that he wrote us much earlier last week because they were informed that they were heading to Bogota for some special meetings.  They had a bus prepaid and were scheduled to be picked up at 5:45 on Monday night.  The bus never came. Around 8:30 P.M. a different company came and offered them a ride to Bogota.  He said that on the temple grounds there is an area that is almost like apartments/motels for the people that travel from far distances and need to spend the night.  All of the missionaries in his zone spent the night there.  The next day there was an awesome devotional with Elder Nash as the speaker.  He is a member of the quorum of the 70.  He is currently living in Salt Lake City but has been in Peru for the past four or five years.  His area was the northern part of South America.  The missionaries were taught many things and it was a very spiritual meeting for them.  They also had a question/answer session and were able to get some questions answered about how best to do certain things in the mission like get people to get married that had been living together for years and had children together.  Elder Larsen said that it was an awesome experience and he learned a lot.

They have been working towards getting a couple married in his area before they could be baptised.  The couple got married this week.  He was so excited about that.  The missionaries said they would bring the pop (gaseosa) to the wedding.  The couple thought they were joking and were surprised when they actually showed up with the goods.  He said, "We don't kid around about stuff like that. haha  But yeah, it was really fun and we met a bunch of new people."  They are already teaching some of them and they have come to church.  The couple that got married has been working towards a baptism date of this coming Saturday.

His companionship will change next week.  Elder Larsen thinks his companion will probably be leaving Tunja and he will be staying.  There will also be a third area created in Tunja to help absorb all of the new missionaries coming.  He is so worried the new area will take some of the people he is working with or that he's become so close to.  He'll soon realize that is what happens in a mission.....you get transferred and leave the people behind.  It's hard.  It is nice to hear that he has become close to the people and has learned to love them.

Kade has been helping people with their English homework and helping to write important letters for a girl that is coming to America on exchange.  He joked that he feels like he sometimes studies more English there than he does Spanish.

He was excited to hear about the new bishopbric at the prison branch in Gunnison.  He thinks Bob and Don will be terrific.  He was also wondering if that meant Weapon and the old bishopbric got realsed  or if there is more than one ward there.

He loves hearing about all of his friends being called on missions and is so excited for Kaesen who got his call last week and it's the exact same mission and departure date as another friend of his.  He wonders if anyone that he knows will ever get sent to his mission.  He said, "I have a feeling that stuff like that is going to happen a lot more often because of how many people are heading out.  How cool would it be if someone gets sent to my mission (just saying ha)."

Elder Larsen sends his love and hopes that everyone has an awesome week. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dear Family,
That is so awesome to hear about Brady´s new mission call. He leaves in April as well. 
That is so awesome. Before my birthday even, lol. I am excited for him. Yeah it was a
pretty bold promise for Emily to say (he would be serving out on his mission before
 her birthday in May) but I had been thinking about it as well and I thought it was
definitely possible.  Family and Church History is an awesome calling. We had a part
of our training where we studied some things about the Church history sites and how
 to use it. It was probably my favorite part of my training and is a fun thing to do. It will
 be awesome for him to help other people, members and nonmembers, search for their
ancestors. Family is the central unit of society and people from all cultures believe that
so he will be able to have some great experiences with it all.
Emily´s situation sounds kind of crazy but hey, I guess that kind of stuff happens right?
She will probably be training this coming transfer so she doesn't need to worry. If I get
 to train I think it will be fun. I honestly think training will be better than not but who
 knows, I haven't experienced either of the two. I will experience one or other starting
on March 25th. It would be rough having a companion that was negative. Makes things
a lot harder but Emily knows how to be happy and nothing can stop that. 
I will send you a note for the Bells. That will be really great and so I really thank them
for that.  It really means a lot when people send stuff or offer help for the mission.
Oakley is a total stud and I have had a few emails with him during the mission. He has
had some pretty neat experiences. Maybe I will have some other cool ones like he has  
had sooner or later, ha. The other day I ate a chicken foot for lunch. We had a normal
lunch and then the Hermana brought out a bowl of them. I could only eat one but she
didn't care because she loves them and ate the rest.
Those pictures for sight seeing and bowling were the week before last. Last week we
had to go to Duitama and help some Elders over there and we got back to Tunja too
late for email. Yeah, who knows what (knowledge) I will end up using. I have fixed a  
pipe or two so far but it was basically just gluing it back together. Most people here
that have these pipes don't bother spending the money for the glue or at least not much
glue so they don't last that long (in my opinion).
The baptism went well.  Jaime was the only person to get baptized. The family has some
internal problems they are trying to settle before they get baptized.  Its been hard for the
North Elders with this family because they have been focusing so hard on them but just
cant quite get them there. They called about 15 minutes before the baptism and said they
 wouldn't be able to do it that day. Jaime was baptized and confirmed in church the next
day. He was given the priesthood as well and everything went great. He showed up in our
house Sunday morning before church in a suit ready to go but didn't have a tie so I gave
him one of mine. He plans on leaving for a mission in a year from now because he is done
studying after this semester.
I am staying healthy, well I think so. I really want to check my weight but I don't know
where I can do that. Hopefully I am gaining weight but who knows since we walk so  
much every day. We also eat quite a bit as well. I love you guys and hope that this week
was a great week back home. 60 degrees will be good for you guys. I don't know how
 hot it is here but to me its pretty nice. I think its around 17 degrees celcius and I don't
 remember how to convert it. Anyways, I hope you all are healthy and safe. I love you
guys and miss you a lot.
Elder Larsen
P.S. The ZL called and said I have another package, its from Whitney Calton. I'm excited
to get it.  I don't know what happened to the one from the seminary´s and Joettas.  I hope
they arrive eventually.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I better update Elder Larsen's blog since someone told me last night they were so worried about him because I hadn't heard from him for two weeks. Elder Kade Larsen has been writing every week but his mother has not been blogging every week. Sorry. I will try to do better. I do appreciate all of you telling me that you actually read the blog. It inspires me to keep it up. Sorry the one picture came in sideways. It is not on my file like that so I don't know how to turn it in the blog. Letter from February 25, 2013 Dear Family, Hey I am really glad that you guys were able to get the package. How could I forget the stupid zip code?! lol Next time I will remember, I promise. The problem was is I was running through the house and what not trying to get it ready for that same day and must have just forgotten that part. But I am glad it got to you before your birthday, that was the goal anyways. I hope you wear the necklace and earings once in awhile, after all, show off that Colombian pride! Yeah it is a kind of nut and the flat peaces are as well I think. The same kind of nut as the kind in that zoo place in San Diego remember? I can't remember the name but its probably easy to find on the internet if you want to search for it. Those picture cd's I sent were good. The problem with the CCM (MTC in Colombia) is I dont think they are actually in order from old to new so I will have to try and remember which was the first group and which was the second group when I get back. I am glad that Caci, Tim, and Kenna were able to go to the house for your birthday! I thought about ya all day. I even mentioned it to some of the people we were with. I was helping a 12 year old boy with his english homework yesterday and his mom and I were talking a little bit and I mentioned today was your birthday and it was her birthday as well. So I drew a little paper thing saying happy birthday to you and we took a picture together. They are some great members here in the ward. Sounds like you guys had some awesome food this last weekend. I miss stuff like baby back ribs and Cafe Rio food. There is nothing like it here. Hey do you have some kind of recipe or anything for chicken tacos. Like what spices and stuff to use on the chicken? I want to make chicken tacos. Its better than Ramen almost every night. I miss A LOT of American foods, or I guess the way that we Americans make it. Like, spaghetti, shrimp and these kind of things are way different here. The food here is usually always pretty good though and I like it a lot. In Boyaca, this state, they eat loads of potatoes so when I get back I will be eating more potatoes, lol. (Kade NEVER ate potatoes) We have probably 4 or 5 potatoes in every meal with a member. That's on the plate and doesn't include what we have first, which usually has more. All of these young women are getting mission calls! It is so crazy but so exciting. Michael is in the Atlanta Georgia North Mission so she might be in the same one but there are probably 3 or 4 Atlanta Georgia missions. Let me know about Sara too if you can. I am excited for Doug in the MTC and everything! The baptism for Maria went great last week and we had the one baptism this past Saturday. Jaime was still in Bucaramanga so he couldn't make it back yet again, BUT, I baptized Sneider B. (*We try not to post full names in the Blog) He is one of the ones that you said wanted to be friends with me on Facebook. He is a stud and I was so excited for this baptism! We have grown really close throughout my time here. And I am so happy he made the decision to become a member of the church. The Sabedra will probably be getting married next week because we have to wait 6 days after submitting the paperwork. We have a lot of lessons with them, last night was on the word of wisdom and went well. Even Sergio, the son, accepted to follow it and this was like his second lesson so that was awesome. Supposedly the zone leaders said I have more letters and another package in their house in Duitama and they are passing through Tunja tomorrow and should be bringing it then. They said it was a small package so I don't know who it is from. I guess we will find out tomorrow. I hope that you guys are doing awesome back home. This coming Saturday we should have a huge baptismal service. There is a family of three from the north area and we should have Jaime, so four. The other elders in Barbose (our district) have 3 baptisms this week as well so our district will rock it hard this week. Thanks for the email and the info. I love you guys and miss you a lot! have a great week back home and I hope it is warming up a bit ;). Love, Elder Larsen Letter from March 3, 2013 Dear Family, First off, I did get the package from The Sorensons earlier. Turns out the package that came this week wasn't from Joetta or the Seminary, it was from Brother and Sister Mason. So thank you both for sending packages. It was awesome! Sorensons sent some cadbury eggs and a new book by Elder Bednar which I have been reading and its been awesome. The Masons sent 3 CDs and a Christmas tie. The Christmas tie might have to wait till next year but its pretty awesome as well. I recieved quite a few letters this week but I won't list them all. A few are from the ward members; Brother and Sister Bennett, Brother Johnson, you guys (the obituaries), J. Durrant, the Brunsons, and Elder DeGraffenried. So quite a few. It was Christmas all over again haha. Thanks for sending the chicken seasoning and stuff. I look forward to getting it. Looks like Elder Avila won't be here to test out the chicken tacos but the next companion will be, haha. He will probably be leaving on the 25th of March. Thats when this transfer ends. I will more than likely be training after this change like Emily is right now. To tell you the truth I am actually pretty comfortable with the language I guess you could say. I can say what I want when I want to. Sometimes I have some troubles conjugating but that will probably be my entire mission, lol. Elder Franks is a stud and it will come with some more time. He is in Barranquilla and people there speak a different Spanish and is very very hard to understand. Just comes with more time I guess. Right now I am talking to a man about the states and music there and just got his information for the Elders here in Duitama. I am in Duitama right now because we came and picked up our mail and brought a package or two for some other Elders that are here. John was a pretty good guy to work with. He liked to work hard so we were able to get quite a bit of things done. Hopefully he can get in to some classes at Snow or something like he was planning on doing. It was good working with John and his brother Rodger, especially up in the mountains cutting trees. I don't think my skills installing sprinklers will come in handy down here. Why? Because people dont have lawns here and I am pretty sure that 98% of Colombia is the same way but who knows, maybe one day. I have never seen sprinklers being used in Colombia yet. Its amazing how many people are heading out on missions but it's the coolest thing ever. I will be anxiously awaiting the call of Kaesen ha. Sara is going to Malaga Spain! That is totally insane! We will both know Spanish! Whoot Whoot! They speak differently over there though, they speak with a "lisp" so its kind of funny to listen to them talk. There was an elder in the MTC in Colombia from Spain so I talked to him a bit. He talked pretty fast as well. I am glad the kids at school enjoyed the earings and jewelry I sent for your birthday. The thing you have on your rearview mirror is actually like a key chain key ring thing but its kind of big so I don't blame you for using it in the car. This last Monday we went to a place called "Pantano de Vargas". Its a pretty famous monument and the soccer from here in Tunja has a picture of it on the jerseys. Its really huge and pretty awesome. The guy in the middle of our picture was a less active member until he found us in the street a few weeks ago and is attending again with his new girlfriend. I have never seen someone with so much energy or craziness than this guy. That includes everyone from back home, Christin lol. Jaime is finally back from Bucaramanga and will be getting baptized this coming saturday. My companion will baptize him. The Elders in the North also have a family getting baptized this week of 3 people. I hope all is well back home and you guys are great. Love, Elder Larsen