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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Elder Larsen wrote this week.  He shared some missionary experiences that I thought I'd share on his blog.  I think he really enjoys being on a mission and doing the Lord's work.  He says:

This week has been a bit better than the last week. We have been really trying to focus on having lessons with members. Why, because lessons with members is basically a different level of success than a normal lesson. They understand more and they have more trust in us as representatives of Jesus Christ.  We were able to find a new family through contacting. They are an older family that has a son around 31 and a daughter around 24 or so. The parents are around 60 or so I think. We had actually been contacting for about an hour or so without success, we had a lesson planned at 5 with an investigator so we went to his house and he was on the phone a little ways down the street and told us to wait a second. It was raining pretty hard so we stood under his porch. 
While we were waiting for a minute or two a neighbor, standing in her front door, waved for us to come over. So we went because we were just waiting. She wanted to know what religion we were from and what not. We talked for a moment and told her we would be back within in an hour because we had the appointment with the other investigator at that time. We came back after an hour and talked with her, her husband, and her son. We had a good talk for about an hour about a few basic things. We learned they have had people from a bunch of different Churches come and talk to them about their church. Jehovah's Witnesses, Evangelicals, etc., but a lot. They seemed to really like us and kept saying that we are great young men that are humble and know the doctrine. My companion knows the scriptures like no other. He knows the Bible better than the Book of Mormon. He is a stud. We met with them 2 days later and they had all read the pamphlet and we gave them Books of Mormon to start reading. We talked and explained The Restoration of the Gospel and the spirit was very strong. We will have a lesson with them on Wednesday about that. Today we played basketball with the son, he has a few medical problems but is good at basketball. We have grown a lot of trust with this family so fast and they are very interested to learn more.
Remember the woman that we had to give to other missionaries to teach because she lives about a block and a half into another zone? She will be getting baptized this Saturday. The member of the church she lives with will be doing the baptism, which will be awesome. We have grown close with that family as well.
This is one cool thing about the mission. There are people you just instantly have relationships with. Strong relationships with trust with everything. Its all natural and its great. Sometimes it doesn't happen that way but with some it does.
Elder Larsen

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Elder Kade Larsen wrote saying, "I'm a Dad."  Don't worry.  It means that he has a newer missionary and is completing that Elder's training.  He had his first transfer this week.  Here is what he said with some paraphrasing.

Whoo.. Things have changed quite a bit lately for me to tell you the truth. Its been a little bit crazy for sure. Anyways, yeah I got the email from Whitney as well. That is super awesome that she is going to Missouri. That will be an interesting mission where she will learn a lot. She said she doesn't have many church history sites in her mission but she will still learn a lot about them.  
"Yes I got transferred. I got transferred out of my birthplace/hometown. I seriously grew so close to the people there it was so hard to leave. BUT, I got transferred to a place where all the missionaries want to go! Bucaramanga! Whoot! I am in an area called Diamante (Diamonds). Its a pretty wealthy area of Bucaramanga they say so that will be interesting. I left Tunja yesterday around 5, we went to Bogota and waited in the terminal to leave for Bucaramanga for another 2 hours. The crappy thing is to go Bucaramanga you have to pass by Tunja.  When you get transferred it is mission policy that you go to Bogota first. Its about 3 or 3 1/2 from Tunja to Bogota. And then from Bogota to Bucaramanga direct is 10 hours. So, I was in a bus for 13 hours almost straight. Wow. Seriously sucked. It was better than what some missionaries had to do but man it was miserable. The whole night in the bus. I probably slept around 2 hours of it all because its not a very soft ride.
 I got to my apartment/new companion around 8:30 A.M. My new companion is from Cali, Colombia. He is a lot more like I am in the way of sports and all that kind of stuff. I think we will get a long really well. He is new. I will be his "dad" for the second half of his training. So, he is my first son. I guess I am a step dad but dad is easier, lol. Today we played futbol (soccer) around 10 (I had no energy) and I probably lost 4 pounds in sweat. ITS HOT HERE!! UGH. People always say its hot but not too hot in Bucaramanga. Well, in my opinion, its pretty hot, lol. After we went to the house showered and went to centro comercial.
Oh, we don't have hot water here in Bucaramanga. I thought it would be refreshing. I WAS WRONG. Its like having an ice bath when I used to play football in high school but its a shower.
I had north American food today! I had McDonalds Chicken McNuggets. We also found a Subway so next Monday we are going to go buy Subway (oooo yeah!). Meatball sub here I come..
Leaving Tunja, wow, I honestly felt a lot like I did when I was leaving home for the mission. There are so many people there that I am close to. One of my first investigators had been training in Bogota for his cycling stuff. He came back to Tunja to say goodbye. We were talking for a minute and we both started crying after a few minutes of talking. Man, he is literally like another brother. So many families were very hard to leave as well.  We had to cancel our lunches because we had to be in the house before church got out to receive the call about the transfers. After we found out, I started calling a few people to say I was leaving. One family came and picked us up and we went there for lunch before I had to leave.
In Jade´s letter he said he doesn't like the Panita. Panita is Mondongo here. Its the same thing I said I hated awhile ago. Its horrible, seriously horrible. My first time eating it I didn't know what it was till after. I wanted to throw it all back up. I just thought it was chicken or something but with loads of fat on it. (I had told Kade that his cousin ate something called Panita.  It is cow stomach.  It has little hairs and is like eating pure fat.  They serve it in a soup.)
We need to get going. Thanks for the letters and all this week. I heard from quite a few people.  I will send a pic of my new companion next week. He really is a pretty cool guy. He says the only problem here in this area is that the members don't care about missionary work and the young men don't want to go serve missions. Well great, I guess we will have to get some of them excited about missions.  
Hopefully we get to talk with Elder Larsen on Mother's Day.  He did not mention a time that he would be calling. We'll have the whole family here to talk with him so hopefully we can connect. 
Gary looked up Bucaramanga and it is a huge city.  There are two stakes there for the church.  He also said it was  pretty close to the Venezuelan border.