Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 8 - January 5, 2015

Well, happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week and are jumping into 2015 with both feet! To start off I have to back up to a few years ago when Trevor Petersen and I were sitting down at the beginning of a new year to set some goals. We decided that we wanted to try something new. We thought we were going to make a motto for the year that we wanted to strive to live by and work towards. I have to say it was a success because each year since then we have kept this little tradition of ours going. I am happy to tell you I have my 2015 motto. You ready for it? Okay, here it comes…

“Embrace each day with enthusiasm and gratitude as you love, serve, and have fun!” 

Short, simple, but it just about wraps up the things I would like to work on this next year while I’m out here on my mission.

Now let’s see what I can tell you about this last week. I think all I really need to say is, BRRRRRRRRR!!! Holy cow is it COLD! No seriously—you don’t even know what COLD is! Yesterday, Sister Bone and I were out knocking doors and it got down to -30 degrees!!! I thought I was going to die! I looked absolutely hilarious out there! Every inch of my body and face was covered. I even wore my glasses to help keep the cold away from my eyes. It was absolutely insane. I’m trying to wrap my mind around why anyone lives here and so far I got nothin’! I can’t tell you how happy I was to bring every single piece of warm clothing I did! And Mom those hand warmers are going to be getting some good use!


Last Tuesday, the 31st, we had our weekly lunch at Snuffy’s with Brother Longstreet. Today we had an awesome conversation about faith and courage. I studied Alma 14 and was so pumped to share that story with him. It is amazing how sometimes the courageous and most faithful thing we can do is sit back quietly and not fight back. I would encourage all of you to go read Alma 14 and let me know your thoughts. If you don’t have a Book of Mormon to read it from you can find the Book of Mormon at

Later, we went to visit our favorite Bob and Carol. Their daughter Daisy was over with her little two year old Nia. We were over for more than 15 minutes before all five of us adults were dancing around in the living room doing the hokie-pokie for little Nia. She was just loving watching us dance around. The next song that started playing was the chicken dance so course we had to dance to that as well. We full on had a dance party right then and there in their living room. It was pretty darn funny! After we were able to share a scripture with them and WOW—the spirit just filled that room! You could tell by their eyes that they wanted more. Don’t tell but I saw a tear rolling down Bob’s cheek. I love this family and can’t wait to go back and hopefully start teaching the lessons.

We also stopped by and visited the Artegas family. Now Canyon you will like to hear this… we taught them about the Holy Ghost and how the Holy Ghost is like a traffic light. The Spirit gives us red, yellow, and green lights which tell us to stop and repent, warns us of danger or tells us to keep going because what we are doing is right. It is one of my favorite lessons to teach and I always think of when I was lucky enough to speak at my favorite nephew’s baptism about the Holy Ghost. Thanks for letting your Aunt Jessie Bob do that Canyon!

On Wednesday, December 31st, we went to see Cira. Cira is just amazing! She is so in tune with the spirit and wants so badly to do what God wants her to do. However, she is struggling with understanding why God would give us The Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible. We were able to have a great discussion about the blessings that come from the BOM. We know God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And if that is the case wouldn’t He want to share His Gospel with all people not just those in Jerusalem during the time of Christ’s ministry? That is exactly why the BOM is so important! The Book of Mormon is a record of those people in the Americas during that same time of people prophesying and testifying of Christ. We read part of 2 Nephi 29 with Cira and that seemed to help her grasp this idea a little more.

Notice our SNUFFY'S shirts ;)
On Friday, January 2nd, Sister Bone and I had a pretty funny experience. As I sit here just thinking about it, I can’t help but laugh to myself. So we went to go visit one of our potential investigators Courtney. When we got to Courtney’s apartment both she and her neighbor and friend Debbi are just as drunk as can be. Neither of them really knew what was going on, but they knew we were the missionaries and they just seemed to love us! Debbi in her completely drunken state was straight up ready to be baptized on the spot—Bless her heart. She was just killing me! She asked if we could come and teach her but mentioned that we would need to go someplace because her husband wouldn’t want us coming into their home. She suggested we could meet up and talk over some coffee at a little cafĂ© or something. When we told Debbi that we didn’t drink coffee she just about died. She instantly didn’t know if she could be baptized anymore. Alcohol was no biggie, but the coffee now that was going to be a problem ;)

Since then we have gone back two times and they were in a much better state! Debbi says she is interested in taking the lessons and Courtney is truly ready to make some major lifestyle changes to help her have a relationship with God again. The two times we have met with Courtney she has been brought to tears as we read the scriptures and pray together. We are also helping her get involved with the addiction recovery program the Church has set up. Making these kind of changes are so hard! But we know that all things are possible with God. I’m going to be rooting for these two cause I know God is!

There is only ONE WAY ;)
I have to say just on a side note how blessed I feel to be able to use my background in social work and with my three years of work experience at New Haven to help the people I have been able to meet out here. My heart hurts for the broken hearted. I have seen what mental illness, addictions, disorders and different kinds of abuse can play in a person’s life. I have been able to relate with some of these people. I have been able to kneel down with them, to hold them and to pray with them. I loved my job but I had to be extremely careful about what I could and couldn’t say when it came to God. Now I can bear my testimony to those I teach and I let them know they are never alone! Our Father in Heaven is always there! How blessed I feel to have this knowledge and how grateful I am that as a missionary I get to share that with the people I meet out here.

Saturday, the 3rd, our ward had another baptism! Yeah, I know my ward is on fire! Jose a 17 year old who got baptized and Johnny a recent convert of about a year was able to baptize him. Both Johnny and Jose have incredible stories. Before the missionaries found them they were both part of gangs. They were involved with drugs and alcohol. They both knew what it was like to be thrown behind bars. They were lost to say the least. After the missionaries found them both, separately, they started making changes and noticed they were starting to be happier. Soon they gained their own testimonies and decided to be baptized. Jose is 17. In just one year his entire life has done a complete 180. Jose is even talking about how he wants to go on a mission. It was amazes me how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change someone. The blessings that come from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ are ENDLESS! Everything we choose to do and live is worth it!

I love you all. I know the Church is true. Bring on 2015 baby!
-Sister Larson

You can see Minneapolis in the distance. This is from one of the apartment buildings in our area.

Reading a letter from my YOU (Trevor) and eating OUR favorite FOOD.

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