Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 19 – March 23, 2015

Another week down! Ok so let’s just start off by telling you about a little phone call I had from my mission President this past week. President Forbes called me up out of the blue and asked if I had a minute to talk. I told him I did, but I had NO IDEA what was going to come next!!! He then asked me if I had ever taken another language in high school and instantly I was thinking, “Oh, crap! No! No, please don’t ask me to learn another language!” I told him I had taken two years of French, but even after two years all I could say was “Hello, my name is…”. President said, “That’s okay that’s how it is for everyone.” This wasn’t looking good for me! He then went on to explain how there are a group of people here in this mission who speak the language “KAREN” (I think you pronounce it Car-Ron not totally sure). He told me that we have a native sister here who speaks that language and he is trying to find her a companion for the rest of her mission and he has been thinking about me the last couple of weeks. What the heck?!?!? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! He went on and told me that this language isn’t spoken by very many people and they don’t even teach it at the MTC. In fact, they don’t even have Book of Mormons printed in this language. It’s only spoken by about 2 million people in the whole world in just this little area over in Asia! Then President asked me how I would feel about learning a new language… at this point we had been knocking on apartment doors and I now was bent over on the stairs TOTALLY freaking out inside! If you know me you know, I DON’T DO LANGUAGES!!! I kindly let President know my feelings, but told him I would do what God ultimately wanted me to do. President Forbes thanked me for talking with him and told me to have a good day and that was that! I haven’t heard anything since that phone call and I really have NO IDEA what is going to happen, but I am crossing my fingers that after talking with me he has come to the conclusion that there is another sister here who is meant to learn that language. But we’ll see. In the meantime, google “Karen” the language and check it out! The language itself is crazy looking! Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but totally insane at the same time!

Okay, now other than having the idea of having to learn this new language and having dreams about it all week it has been just another normal week out in the mission… other than the crazy snow storm that hit us last night! Grrrr…. Where in the world did that come from?! It hit 70 degrees last week and now we are back to snow. That’s Minnesota for ya!

This is what I woke up to. Boo!

Monday, March 16th, Sister Mercedes finally let us come over to her house to see Roshawn. For some reason she has been making up all of these excuses for why she doesn’t want us to come over and then when we do come over she turns into Miss Grumpy Pants! Oh well, what do you do? Anyway, this past Monday she let us come over and watch “The Testaments” with Roshawn. I am so proud of that little girl! She is 10 years old and she is such an example to her mother. She is always praying and reading from the BOM! Way to go Roshawn! She loved being able to watch this video about the coming of Christ here in the Americas.

Tuesday, was St. Patrick’s Day! It’s crazy to think that just ONE YEAR AGO TODAY I shaved my entire head! You would think my hair would be longer by now, but nope! Speaking of hair… I am starting to rock a mullet again. I think it might be time for a little trim, will see ;) Tonight the Relief Society put on a little dinner and party for the ladies in our ward. We had a great turn out and everyone seemed to have lots of fun! We even had three of our investigators come (Angie, Tanneh, and Rahel). I would say it was a success!

Wednesday, the 18th, we switched things up a bit and ended up going out to DINNER with Brother Longstreet at Snuffy’s. We normally meet up for lunch. But today it happened right when I needed it. I was having a hard day and somehow Snuffy’s and Brother Longstreet together just know how to lift my spirits. I mean shoot, how can a hot fudge and banana malt not make you feel better?!

After dinner we went and did some visits. We went to see Sister Whitlock and her daughter Abby and then the Artega girls. And then we got together with our favorite Sister Yule for an evening walk around her parking lot. (It was still warm enough then to enjoy a nice evening outside). I just love that woman! She is so raw and real and that is refreshing to find! She has a lot of hard things she has to face and fight, but we know with God, ALL things are possible. Heavenly Father has promised us that He will never leave us alone! We must remember to be STRONG and of good COURAGE! (Joshua 1:9)

Thursday, March 19th, was a special day because Sister Erlendsson FINALLY let us come INTO her apartment to visit her. She has been struggling the last couple weeks and hasn’t felt up to having companion, but TODAY was the day that changed and boy were we happy because WE MISSED HER! We read out of the BOM when Nephi was commanded to build a ship and then I just happened to have a BOM coloring book about that same story so we all picked a picture and colored one together. It was so good to be able to brighten her day just a little. What can I say, I sure love my little Minnesotan Grandma! ;)

That evening Sister Spurlin had spoiled us with a $50 gift card to go to her favorite restaurant called, “The Crossroads”. It was quite a treat to be able to go out to a nice restaurant just for the fun of it. Thanks Sister Spurlin! The Larson clan will be happy to hear I had my first RUEBEN sandwich since being out here. It was good, but it was still nothing like biting into one of Momma Larson’s homemade rueben sandwiches! Mom you better know I want ruebens my first night back home… then again you probably already knew that ;)

Later we taught Jennifer a lesson with Sister Donely about keeping the Sabbath day holy and HOW we do that. Everyone seems to have different ideas on what that looks like. I think the thing that is the most important is to remember the Sabbath is a day set apart to reflect and think about our Savior Jesus Christ and all of the many things He has done for us. Take a minute to think about someone who you love who has passed away. Every year on the anniversary of their death you take time to think about that person and do things to celebrate their life, things they would want you to do. I think that is the same principle with the Sabbath. We should use that day to celebrate Christ’s life, to think about Him and do things He would want us to do. It was a great lesson and I think it got through to Jennifer. Giving a day to focus on our Savior is the very least we can do considering it is ONLY through Him we can be saved and live with our Father in Heaven again.

Fridays are kind of weird days for us. We spend most of the day at home getting things done. We have our three hour block of weekly planning and then Sister Parke has lots of missionary phone calls she has to make. And then this Friday, we also happened to go serve at FMSC (Feed My Starving Children) so it was a pretty busy first part of the day. Then every Friday we also typically go to see Brother Dam so we did that with Sister Sawyer. And then we ended the night by going over to visit Sister Keltner. We had a great discussion about the standards of the church and how they truly bless our lives! We went over the “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet. If you haven’t read that in a while, I would encourage you to look that up online or get out your old copy and go over the things inside. I remember a few years back when Dad suggested I go over it and it was a great review about our standards and why we choose to live the way we do. I know God only gives us these standards to help us become more like the children He wants us to be. Every principle He gives us is for our gain and to help us one day be able to return back home to His presence.

feed my starving children... hairnets and all ;)

Saturday, the 21st, we got to do something new and different… Brother Longstreet taught us how to do a little self-defense. I have to say, it was pretty darn fun getting to beat him up (granted he was holding up a big padded shield, but nonetheless it was still really fun!).

That night we had an Arby’s date with the Kuceras and Sister Erlendsson. They were able to get her out of her apartment and we all went out to Arby’s for dinner. The Kuceras are just the BEST! They’re just always wanting to help out. After dinner Sister Erlendsson was planning on having them take her right back home, but we were able to talk her into driving over to the church building with us to do on a little tour of the building while no one was there. We figure we’re taking baby steps and if we can just get her comfortable with the building that is a start. We walked around and then we ended in the chapel were we sang a song and I read a scripture. Sister Erlendsson told us that she had this really calm feeling and we were able to explain to her that she was feeling the Holy Ghost. She said, “Really?” She was happy to know that right then in, that very moment, she was feeling and recognizing the Spirit. What a neat experience for her!

Today we also were able to visit Angie which was awesome because she hasn’t been letting us come see her lately either. And then we also went to see Cira. The night before while we were out, we saw some fire trucks and ambulances pull into some apartments where we happen to know a handful of people, so we waited to see if they went into any of the buildings of people we knew and they happened to go into Cira’s building. Instantly, I thought something is wrong with Cira. I know she struggles with a lot of different health problems and I just knew it was Cira. I called her cell right then and of course there was no answer. I left a message and soon after we heard back and later found out sure enough it was Cira. She actually didn’t end up going to the hospital then, but she was there the day before and then later that night she went back. I was so glad that we happened to see those fire trucks pull up! It was good to see Cira! I was glad she knew she was loved by us and that we still cared so much about her. She too was grateful to have us over. Before we left she said a prayer and in her prayer she thanked God how the Sisters always seem to show up just when she needs them. God and His angels truly watch over each one of us. And we truly can be the answer to someone’s prayer.

Yesterday, Sunday March 22nd, we had a few new people at church. Rahel was finally able to get her work schedule switched around so she could come and bring her girls. Mercy met a girl who just moved here from Columbia, named Poochie and brought her and Steve and Keri Nelson (who we live with) brought Steve’s haircut lady, Laura and her daughter. It is awesome to see the members here be such great missionaries!!! I have never before in my life seen a ward wanting to share the gospel with so many. It is really an exciting thing to watch!

Sunday evening is when it all hit. Back came the SNOW!!! We went to dinner with the elders at the Broadbent’s home. When we walked inside there wasn’t a single drop of snow to be seen. While we were sitting down eating dinner we looked out the window and somehow it had turned into a snow globe. When it was time to leave we were already up to four inches of snow! Seriously, something is wrong with that picture! I’m just going to cross my fingers this doesn’t last long and soon we will be back to hammock weather out here.

Love you all!

Keep on keeping on!

Sister Larson

Rahel and her girls Heaven (9) and Coco (7)
Picture from the Nielson girls.
Don't worry... they made sure that in the end I found my prince charming who took me to the temple to get married. How thoughtful ;) 
i spy... can you see Tanneh's lipstick mark? Yep you can miss those big black lips! ;)

My District this transfer.

My room. Had to finally put up pictures of everyone. Love you all.

Fun at church with Sis. Parke.
Now that's my kind of studying!

Yeah, I got it rough ;) hehe.

Oops ;)


Flip flops baby!

Spring is in the air.

Andrew this is for you. You remember this? You totally had this little guy when we were little :)

Last week. Dinner at the Larsens.

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