Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 6 – December 22, 2014

Another week has come and gone. It is amazing how fast each week passes. The days can seem so long but the weeks seem to just fly by. Once again, I just want to thank all of you who have been so sweet and have been sending me Christmas cards and packages. Our Christmas tree is looking real good and it is all because of YOU! And Mom I LOVE MY PILLOWCASES!!! You’re the BEST!!!

This week we were given the challenge with the Elders in our ward to visit ALL the members in our ward, active, less active, or even people we just have on our records. So we have been spending quite a lot of time making visits. Most of ours are to people we haven’t ever seen at church. It’s always fun to see how people react to having missionaries knock on their door. You all better be nice to whoever knocks on your door even if you’re not interested! You hear me?! Any who, let me back up and go over a few key things that happened this last week.

Monday night, December 15th, Sister Bone and I had a teaching appointment with one of our investigators Jennifer. Before we ever get out of our car we pray to be able to have the Spirit with us so those we teach are able to feel that same Spirit. So Monday night, while we were praying in our car, in the total dark, we heard a knock on our car window. It startled us, but when we opened our door we saw that it was a little old lady. She explained to us that she was lost and she couldn’t find her way home. She told us how she had been praying for God to lead her to someone safe that could help her. This poor sweet lady—she had gotten turned around in the woods and had been lost in the dark, freezing weather for the last couple of hours. And to make things even scarier she was on oxygen and her supply had seemed to run out. Luckily, we were able to help her. We were teaching our lesson at a member’s home and they were able to take Candice (that was her name) back to her home. Thankfully, she could remember her address still. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord! This poor woman was lost, lonely and scared. She found herself turning to God for help. God heard her prayers and was able to answer her prayer by leading her to our parked car. How often do we find ourselves lost, lonely and scared in our lives? We must remember to have the faith Candice did and turn to the Lord for help and support. He WILL help us! He loves us so much and is always reaching out—it is up to us to turn to Him.

Wednesday, the 17th, I had a new missionary training. It was great because all of the missionaries I came out with were able to get together for this. That meant I was able to see the missionaries I had in my MTC district. I can’t begin to tell you how much love I have for those missionaries. It makes me so happy to see them growing and succeeding in their missions.

That afternoon Sister Bone and I went on exchanges (this is when mission companions switch with another set of missionaries so you have the chance to spend the day with a different missionary and learn how someone else teaches and runs their area. I was able to go to Bloomington. I worked with Sister Smaely and Sister Wooley out there. It was so great to be in a new area and to be with some other missionaries and see how they do things. I learned a lot!

On exchanges with Sister Wooley and Sister Smaely.
That night we went and taught someone they use to teach in the past named Dominic. He was home and he invited us in. We were able to teach him the restoration lesson. The spirit was there and Dominic had a lot of good questions. We were able to answer his questions and put him to ease. At the beginning of the lesson he was very skeptical but by the end of the lesson you could see him grasping it! It was so exciting to watch! He talked to us about how it made sense that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Once we told him that Joseph Smith was 14 years old when he had his first vision and that he never once in his life went back on his word about that, Dominic said he believed. He told us that he knew that no 14 year old would go through so many trials and persecutions if he hadn’t seen God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Dominic then expressed his desires to come to church and learn more from the missionaries. When we were leaving I was bummed that I wasn’t working in Bloomington because I wouldn’t have a chance to continue to teach Dominic. At least I know he has great missionaries there who are going to be teaching him.

Thursday, December 18th, I spent most of the day in Bloomington on exchanges still. While I was there I had the chance to go out to lunch with the missionaries in that zone at good ol’ Taco Bell in the ghetto part of town. When we were there we bumped into a large, black, loud and most likely under the influence woman, but boy did she LOOOOVE us! She was so excited to see us. Apparently, missionaries had taught her back in the day too. Before we left, she grabbed all 12 of us right there in the middle of Taco Bell and asked if she could pray with us. So there we were holdin’ hands in a big-o circle in the middle of Taco Bell as this lady was praising the Lord. I have to say I have never done anything quite like that in a Taco Bell before but I guess there is a first for everything.

That afternoon, we went tracking for a bit. Most of the apartment buildings here are locked where you have to be buzzed in. First I tried a random number and no luck and then we decided to pray and ask God to help us know what number to press to be buzzed in if it was His will. Sister Smaely then tried and sure enough we were buzzed right in! Gosh, I love the power of prayer! While we were there, we knocked on two doors. The first door we were able to shard a quick message at their doorstep and the second door invited us in before we even had a chance to introduce ourselves. That NEVER happens but we were super excited to be welcomed right in. Both times Indian women answered the door. The second door that we were welcomed into had several Indian women with their children. They were just getting together for a potluck lunch since it is so cold out now and they can’t enjoy being outside with their children. We were able to share the “HE is the GIFT” video with all of them. It was really neat because they were all Hindu, but even still they were able to recognize the Spirit they felt watching that short video. The Holy Ghost is such an amazing thing and how grateful I am that we are all born with the light of Christ and have the ability to feel the Spirit in our own lives.

Tonight it was time to go back to Minnetonka and switch back to having Sister Bone as my companion. We had an appointment with the Cedar Lake Sisters (missionaries from another area) and two of their investigators that just moved into the Minnetonka area. We met Tanneh (she is from Liberia) and her boyfriend Joshua (who is from Haiti) and their three beautiful children. Tanneh just cracks me up! She is this large, loud woman with a lot of personality. And then there is Joshua who is also awesome but in a different way. He is much smaller, more quiet, and reserved. For being so different from each other somehow they just seem to work. They both expressed their desire to get married, be baptized and get back on the right path. I’m excited to start working with them!

Saturday, the 20th, we had a voicemail on our phone from one of our investigators when we checked it they expressed that they would like us to come over and visit. They didn’t sound well and so we decided to stop what we were doing and go start over to their place. Once we got there it was very clear that things were NOT good. Our investigator opened the door with two black eyes and as soon as we were sitting down they informed us that they had tried to take their life the night before. It just broke my heart. I hurt so badly for them! We prayed together, talked for a long time, and were able to get the Elders to come over to give this person a Priesthood Blessing.

This experience reminded me how grateful I am for the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. He has felt our pains. He knows each one of us perfectly. He will ALWAYS forgive us and take us back no matter how many times we may have messed up in the past. Christ truly is the best gift given to each one of us. I hope we all can take a minute to reflect on His Atonement and what He has done for YOU personally. This is what Christmas is really about. This is a time to not only reflect on our Savior’s birth, but His life, His perfect example, and His Sacrifice that has made it possible for each of us to one day return home to our Father in Heaven. Let us all have the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Christ in our hearts this season!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

With Love- Sister Larson

Lunch at one of my favorite places SNUFFY'S.

I found a human size gingerbread house.

Oh Christmas tree.

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