Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 17 – March 9, 2015

Last Monday night, March 2nd, we went on exchanges. Sis. Parke left me and Sis McDowell came to Minnetonka to spend the next day with me. So Tuesday we ended up spending most of the day together and she was lucky enough to get introduced to SNUFFY’S! We also went to see Sis Yule at her work. She works at a dry cleaning place and it was super slow so we were able to sit down with her there and do a lesson and check in and see how she’s been doing. She has come to church the last three weeks in a row! GO SISTER YULE!!! I’m so proud of her! Then we also stopped by to visit our dear sweet Carmon. Again she was so happy to see us. Still with the language barrier we were somehow able to have a conversation for about 30 minutes. We looked at different pictures from the scriptures and talked about the different scripture stories. When we showed her the picture of Christ holding the baby lamb tears just started streaming down her face. She pointed to the little lamb and then to herself. It was so sweet and tender. It was such a good reminder to me about how we are all that tiny little lost sheep that our Savior has gone after. I’m so grateful to know that Christ is ALWAYS there for me!

This is the picture.

That night we switched companions back and I had Sister Parke again (I was happy to have her back) ;) That evening we had a lesson over at Rahel’s with her two sweet daughters and Mercy and Blessing joined us again. We decided we needed to spend some more time teaching about prayer and HOW to pray. That morning I made a small whiteboard with the main parts of a prayer on it and then they were able to fill in things they were grateful for and things they wanted to ask God to help them with or bless others with. They seemed to really enjoy the lesson and I think they’re slowing understanding more of how prayer works. Next week we are going to teach them more of WHY we pray and WHAT comes from prayers. Their understanding is so basic but it really makes teaching fun. I have never seen girls ASK so many questions! They are constantly asking WHY? WHY? WHY? It’s cool to see their desire to learn and understand about God and His plan.

Wednesday, the 4th, we went to FMSC to do a couple hours of service packing food. We always enjoy being able to go there and help. It’s really a pretty cool program that helps hungry people all over the world. After, we went out to lunch to Subway as a district and then it was time for our district meeting. Elder Hughes had asked me to do a training on PRIDE based off of a talk given by President Kim B. Clarke. It was a good topic to study up on. I sure have a lot I need to work on, that is for sure!

Helping at Feed My Starving Children.

Thursday, our district had the chance to go to the St. Paul Temple to do a session there. The temple here is identical to the temple back in Spokane. It was good to be able to finally get to go and do some work in the temple! It has been a long time since I’ve been. Before, when I was living in Utah, I was able to get to the temple pretty frequently so it’s kinda weird not being able to go as much. Sister Cupkie was kind enough to come and pick us up so we had a ride. I was able to have some time to think in the Celestial room and that was really nice… and yes there were definitely some tears involved in that experience (thanks a lot Dad- I totally got that from you I hope you know) ;)

At the St. Paul Temple with Sis. Parke.

That night we had dinner over at the Joyce’s and boy is it always FUN going over to their place for dinner because 1. We get to play with pearler beads and 2. We always seem to have so much fun doing our dinner messages with those silly kids. This time we really took it to the next level… costumes and all. Dodge seems to always be dressed up as some super hero when we come over, so I figured I should probably join in on the fun, I mean shoot why not right? The kids loved it and if we are going to honest you all know I loved getting dressed up too!

Dinner at the Joyces... Oh yeah that's how we roll.

Our last lesson of the night was with Jennifer over at Isaac’s place and Steve joined us too. They both just got baptized this last fall. We watched an awesome video off of called “Scripture Legacy”. We had watched it a few weeks back with Mercy and found it to be a powerful reminder of how we shouldn’t take our scriptures for granted. So many people sacrificed so much in order for us to be able to have the Bible and Book of Mormon today. I would highly recommend you take 20 minutes this week and watch this video. It would be a great Family Home Evening lesson or a good kick start to a personal study. Jennifer is learning more and more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is loving it! I think there is going to be a baptism pretty soon here.

Friday, March 6th, we stayed at home most of the day doing our weekly planning and then Sister Parke had a few hours of phone calls she had to make to other Sisters. I didn’t complain one bit because being at home meant I GOT TO STAY IN MY COMFY CLOTHES!!! Yippy! I promise you will never hear me complain about that! ;)

That night we went to the Klenotich’s for dinner, went to see Brother Dam with Mercy and then were able to go and visit Tanneh and Josh. We had been trying to see Tanneh and Josh all week, but things kept coming up and they were never able to meet up with us. So we were so excited when we finally were able to catch them! We got a voicemail from them the night before telling us that they didn’t think they were ready to be baptized on March 14th. We were just crushed! After visiting with them we were able to help reassure them that they were ready. Satan is working so hard on them right now! He doesn’t want to see them go through with this, but we are going to do everything in our power to help them rely on the Lord for strength so they will be able to get to March 14th! (FAST FORWARD>>> Sadly, Tanneh and Josh didn’t make it to church on Sunday so it isn’t looking like they will be getting baptized on the 14th, but don’t you worry, IT IS STILL HAPPENING… It’s just going to be on a later day. I promise to keep you posted).

Saturday, the 7th, we had a normal Saturday morning meeting with Bishop Patterson with the elders. Afterwards, he talked with just us sisters and shared the COOLEST TALK/SPEECH ever with us! Elder Holland gave this address up at BYU-Idaho and it is called, “Living after the manor of happiness”.  Now this is something you MUST check out!!! Please promise me you will watch, listen, or read this talk. It is so incredibly powerful!!! (2 Nephi 5:27). Thanks Bishop I needed this!

Later we went to see Sister Erlendsson, but sadly she hasn’t been doing too well this last week and hasn’t been up for having visitors. She seems to have sunk into some deep depression. We still call her every other day or so just to tell her we love her. But today, we knew a phone call just wasn’t enough. So we decorated a big giant poster board with all of the different reasons why we love her and slid it under her door. We hope that was able to at least put a smile on her face. I just love that lady and I hate to see her be so sad.

Saturday afternoon, we went up to Elm Creek (that was Sister Parke’s last area) so she could be there for the baptism of one of her investigators Mardea. Mardea just moved here from Liberia six months ago and is a rock star! It was fun getting to spend some time with her. After her baptism Sister Christensen took four of us sister missionaries and Mardea out to dinner to celebrate. I can’t tell you how excited Sister Parke was to be able to see so many people she knew! She had served in that area for seven months so it was hard for her to say goodbye so being able to see them again was just able the best thing in the world for her. So glad we were able to go up there for her!

That night we had a mini lesson with Bob. Oh Bob—he is such a pickle! He loves what he is learning. It makes sense to him, BUT he refuses to do anything about it! Next week he is getting what we like to call the “Do or Die Lesson”. He needs to come to know for himself that what we are teaching is true and once he knows he needs to be willing to follow Christ and do what He asks of us. Come on Bob I have faith in you!

Yesterday was a great Sunday! Sister Parke spoke in church about the restoration (and Aimee was there, so that was AWESOME!!!) and then they had me share some things in relief society. I decided to open up about being married for the first time with the ward. They were totally surprised and shocked, but it is amazing how that trial of mine has been able to help me help so many others and for that I am grateful!

Sunday we were able to go and see my top three favorite people! So that just made my day! The Kuceras are back in town from being down in Alabama at the beach for the last month staying nice and warm and boy am I happy to have them home! I sure missed those two! Brother Kucera totally reminds me of Dad (Dad in about 10 years, but still Dad). Then we went to see Sister Erlendsson. She still wasn’t up for visitors, but Sister Parke had left her water bottle there like a week ago so we had a good reason to have to see her ;) Sister Erlendsson came out and met us in the lobby right outside of the elevator on her floor. We were so happy we were able to at least give her a hug and tell her we love her. We also had a little surprise for her. We brought her a Book of Mormon coloring book and some coloring pencils. We told her that this might help her fight those cigarette cravings of hers when she is just sitting at home bored. She can color! I mean who doesn’t like a good color every now and again?! And then on top of that she is also able to learn about the scriptures while she sits there coloring away. I know, I know, we are pretty sneaky ;) And then my other favorites that we were able to go and see were the Mussers! Oh I just can’t get enough of Sister Musser! That woman just always seems to know how to put a smile on my face! We called on our way over and she let us know she was in her nightgown already so we better be ready because that only meant one thing… SLEEPOVER! She’s so cute! Sister Musser’s sister, Lisa Hess (who lives with her), actually got to go through the temple for the first time on Saturday so we wanted to come over and hear about her experience. Lisa just loved it! There were so many people from the ward that went to show their support. She said she just felt like she was there with family. What a special ward we have here in Minnetonka!

My most favorite Kucera's.
I really did get lucky coming to this area! I’m crossing my fingers that I am going to be able to stay for at least one more transfer after this one so I can at least see the lake I live on… I mean I think that would be only fair, but I guess I’ll go where they need me. The weather here has warmed up, in just the last couple of days. It has been in the 40’s!!! Funny because you know you’re in Minnesota because once it hit the 40’s, EVERYONE seemed to be outside in nothing more than a little jacket or sweatshirt. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I saw out on walks yesterday. It’s almost as if the world is awaking up again from being asleep all winter. Oh and the time changed which is just awesome! It was light last night until 7:30pm!!! I am so ready for spring to get here! Come on Mr. Sun, come out and play, this sister is ready for green grass, blue lakes, and the smell of BBQ’s!

Love you ALL!!! Thanks for the letters—keep ‘em comin’!

Sister Larson

Driving through Minneapolis.
Bree sent me this little guy and we have named him Theodore (Theo for short).
Theo comes everywhere with us... And don't you worry, he is bucked in ;)
Last P-Day we were STARVING... Let's just say we ate like queens that day ;)
So much goodness.

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