Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 21 – April 6, 2015

Oh my, this last week has been full of some pretty funny memories! The week kicked off with P-Day (Monday March 30th). All of the sisters in the Minneapolis Zone got together to go into St. Paul together with our Mission President, President Forbes and his wife. Some of the sisters planned a lunch for all of us to go out to. When we got there the place totally ended up being a PUB/BAR! I thought there is no way President is going to let 14 of us missionaries go out to lunch here, but to my surprise we went right inside and sat down. I couldn’t believe it! I was just cracking up inside at the sight of 14 missionaries going out to lunch at a pub. We did order something that Minnesota is known for— they’re called “Juicy Lucy’s”. They’re hamburgers that are stuffed with cheese inside of the meat. I have to say Juicy Lucy's are pretty darn good—messy, but good! Now if the fact that 14 of us missionaries went out to lunch there isn’t funny enough it is about to get a whole lot worse!!! When it came time to pay for lunch our waitress told us that someone had paid for half of our ticket for all 14 of us. We couldn’t believe it— how sweet was that dear person?! Anyway, Sister Forbes thought we needed to do something to show our gratitude so she told ALL of us to stand up and SING, “I am a Child of God”. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing!!! Did we hear that right?! Did she want us to stand up in the middle of a bar and sing, “I am a Child of God”?!?! We all just looked at each other thinking you have got to be kidding us right?! But Sister Forbes insisted that we get up. So slowly one by one we got up and before we knew it we found ourselves SINGING in the middle of a pub! We were totally embarrassed!!! Not only did we feel awkward, but everyone else there felt uncomfortable. The lesson is there is a TIME and a PLACE for certain things and singing “I am a Child of God” wasn’t the right time or place!!! Oh well, I’m pretty sure there are ONLY 14 people in the world that can say they have sang “I am a Child of God” in a pub and I am just lucky enough to be able to say I am one of those 14! ;) After lunch we did go check out an old Catholic Cathedral. It was pretty cool, but after seeing so many AMAZING ones over in Europe this last summer they all just start to look the same ;)

Outside of Shamrocks (the pub/bar) hehehe.
At the Pub.

At the Catholic Cathedral.

Sister Parke and I spent the evening tracting. The weather warmed up a bit so we enjoyed just walking around Hopkins talking with people. In fact, this whole week we spent a lot of time contacting people! I can’t tell you what a difference it makes having nice weather!!! People have just started emerging from their homes now that the weather has seemed to warm up a bit. Oh and speaking of warmer weather… Minnetonka Lake (the lake I live on) has FINALLY thawed out!!! It no longer is a big giant skating rink. It’s so beautiful!!!

Tuesday, March 31th we had a meeting with the elders. We met them at the Hopkins library and it was so nice out that we ended up just meeting outside on the GRASS… yes GRASS! It was absolutely wonderful to be able to be outside!

We have a great relationship with the elders in our ward. We are always teasing and joking with each other and that makes things just more fun. Now let me back up and explain something… whenever the elders find our car they seem to have fun messing with it. We will come out to find our car with the side mirrors pushed in, the bike rack on the back turned up, and our window wipers flipped up. We had this little war going on for a while and I thought maybe if we kill them with kindness they will return the love instead of all this hatred ;) Sadly, even after leaving candy all over their car with a note they still wanted to mess with our car and soon we found them writing on the side of our car in the dust. So we let them know that only meant one thing… it was WAR!!! They told us to bring it on, so that is exactly what we did… and boy did we get them!!! We had been planning with for a couple of weeks and last Tuesday ended up being the perfect day to attack. After our meeting with them, the elders had a teaching appointment at the library and of course they had just left their car in the parking lot calling our name! So it was time to ATTACK!!! Sister Parke and I went to town on their car and then we hid behind a fence to watch them come out to find their car. When they finally left the library, and turned the corner they found their car totally decked out with “JUST MARRIED” and lots of other lovely dovey wedding stuff. Oh man their faces were absolutely PRICELESS!!! Sister Parke and I were just dying in laughter as we watched them take the walk of shame to their car. So just try and use your imagination… you are driving down the road and you look over to see two men in suits driving in a car decorated with “JUST MARRIED” all over it. Oh those poor elders! We got them SOOOOO GOOD! Oh course it wasn’t seconds later before we got a phone call from them… I have a feeling this war is just beginning. Later they did mention that they got a few thumbs up and waves. However, they didn’t wait long before heading to the car wash. Oh man, I have to say, Sister Parke and I did GOOD! For a couple days afterword, people in the ward were asking the elders how their “Honeymoon” was. Bahahaha ;)

Having just a little too much fun pranking the elders!

Oh and that night we happened to find their car again and it was nice and clean and we thought that just wouldn’t do, so somehow… “JUST MARRIED” ended up on their car again… oops ;) Good thing the elders can take a joke!

Wednesday, was April Fools and Sister Parke and I were on a roll! Unfortunately, Steve and Keri left that morning to go out of town so we weren’t able to do any of our pranks. However, Steve and Keri did try and get us and we tried to get them over the phone that night, but really it was quite pathetic so we decided that the whole month of April is free game! All I have to say is Steve and Keri have it coming! (Hehehe)

Later that day, Brother Longstreet taught us a little more self-defense. We love being able to go and HIT stuff. It’s actually kinda fun. I’m sure Brother Longstreet gets a kick out of watching us try and beat him up ;) And then after we went out to Snuffy’s for lunch of course.

Beating things up with Brother Longstreet.

That night we were driving around doing some visits and holy cow I had my very first BIG THUNDER STROM out here!!! It was crazy cool to watch! The thunder was LOUD and the lighting went all across the sky. It was just awesome! While I was driving it was raining and then all of a sudden the rain just went CRAZY and started pouring down so hard that we could hardly see the road so what did we do?! We pulled over, jumped out, and started dancing in the rain of course!!! It was so FUN! The thunder, the lighting, the rain, the puddles, and us just dancing around! Good times for sure!

Thursday, April 2nd, we treated ourselves to lunch. The elders and us went out to Applebee’s and it was really fun to “just be” for an hour. We were able to just chat and get to know each other a little better. I have tried getting Elder Hughes to loosen up a bit and I think it’s been working. I actually got him to say, “I love you” which is HUGE! He refused for the longest time to say “I love you” to any of the sister missionaries, but I told him he needed to get over that and just show and express love. And now he actually tells both the elders and the sister that he loves them. Look at that— I’m able to even soften the hearts of the little 20 year old boys ;)

That afternoon, we went over to drop off a little Easter message on Cira’s door and she actually came out because she was doing laundry so we were able to go inside and catch up for a bit. She expressed that she had been thinking about us and that she had wanted to ask for a priesthood blessing. Cira has a lot of health issues and last time we were over there visiting we mention that the elders could come over and give her a blessing. It’s amazing how every time she feels like she needs us, we just happen to show up. God sure works in amazing ways! While we were over there, we were able to call the elders and have them come over to give her a priesthood blessing. It was so neat to be able to feel the spirit so strongly as they blessed her. I pray that Cira will recognize that Spirit and the power of the priesthood! I have a strong testimony of the Priesthood and I am so grateful that we can ask for blessings of healing or comfort and strength. It is neat to watch these young elders give blessings. They are just young teenage boys, but as soon as they put their hands on one’s head to give a priesthood blessing the Spirit instantly fills the room and you know they have been called of God and they truly hold the priesthood power.

Later that night we were able to have a teaching appointment with Rahel and Jennifer. They both are moving right along and progressing well. It’s so awesome to see how the gospel is changing and blessing their lives!

On Friday, the 3rd, we received a miracle! Tanneh and Joshua have been struggling a lot lately. The last couple of weeks have been very stressful on them financially. They haven’t been able to find work and their one car broke down. They have been staying with Tanneh’s Mom so they haven’t been around for us to be able to help reach out to them. But TODAY we got a text from them with some really good news!!! They let us know that they got a job and that Tanneh’s Mom fixed their car and also bought them a van as well. God is providing them with MIRACLES! We are just praying that they will recognize God’s hand in this and continue to work hard and want to follow God’s plan for them.

This last weekend was General Conference where we were able to hear from the Prophet and apostles, and other church leaders. I was really looking forward to it! And the best part was we got to watch three of the four sessions at home in our COMFY CLOTHES! It was so good to be able to hear from different church leaders and to get some much needed counsel from them. Sunday morning, Rahel and Mercy and us all went over to Bishop Patterson’s to watch and that was cool to be able to teach Rahel more about how we have a Prophet today and how Christ’s Church is set up. And then after we had a little Easter egg hunt for the kids.

Conference Baby!
Blessing (Mercy's daughter) at the Bishop's for our Easter egg hunt.

If you didn’t have a chance to check out General Conference this past weekend you can go to and watch, listen, or read any of the talks there. Here are my favorite talks/speakers from each session of conference this last weekend.

***Sorry folks, I tried to embed the videos and it was not working***

I hope you all were able to have a wonderful Easter and spend some time reflecting on our Savior Jesus Christ and what He has done for each one of us. I know that it is ONLY through Jesus Christ that we can live with our Father in Heaven again. Christ lives and because He lives, we can live again.

Oh and you might like to know that transfers came and it looks like I get to stay in good o’ Minnetonka for six more weeks. I have a feeling I will probably be moving after this transfer so I will have at least through May 13th here.

Love and miss you all. Go and do something that makes you HAPPY TODAY!

xo- Sister Larson

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