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