Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 22 – April 13, 2015

So yesterday I hit my FIVE MONTH mark! Crazy to think it has already been that long. In just a few short weeks, I am going to be at six months and be 1/3 of the way through my mission! Wowzer!

Last Monday the 6th of April, Elder Hughes asked me what “I” wanted to do for P-Day (since every week they pretty much always go and play basketball and we all know how much I love playing sports) ;) So I told Elder Hughes I thought our district should all go out and get manicures and pedicures naturally. I honestly didn’t really think he would go for it, but the next thing I knew we had it all planned out and my entire district was going out to the spa! ;) Elder Burbank and I got manicures, while Hughes, Tillotson, and Parke all got pedicures, and Garrett sat out and was our photographer. I mean shoot this HAD to be documented!!! We all had a great time… even the elders admitted they enjoyed being able to get pampered a bit, they probably won’t ever do it again, but there is a first for everything.



On Tuesday, April 7th, we went on exchanges and Sister Woolley came to work with me for the day. We went to Snuffy’s to meet Brother Longstreet, but something came up and he couldn’t make it so we ate there WITHOUT him! Oh, man I won’t lie I felt like I was cheating on Brother Longstreet in a way. I promised myself I could never eat at Snuffy’s again without him there! But I could take Sister Woolley anyway after I had gotten her so excited. And of course she fell in love with Snuffy’s instantly!

Later that afternoon, we had an accounting meeting with my district leader Elder Hughes at the Hopkins library. When we got their Elder Hughes surprised me with my favorite vanilla diet coke from the gas station down the road. It was so sweet of him! I just made my whole day! It’s amazing what just a little vanilla diet coke can do for your spirits! It has become my new favorite pick me up out here. ;)

Later Sister Woolley and I went to visit Sister Erlendsson. We helped her put together her new vacuum and do a little spring cleaning around her place. I sure love Sister Erlendsson! If I could adopt a person I wouldn’t even have to think twice—it would be Sister Erlendsson hands down! She is just the sweetest thing on earth!

That night we had dinner over at the Lewis’ and then Sister Lewis came with us to go and teach Rahel and her girls Heaven and Coco. We taught them more about prophets and read to them out of the illustrated BOM storybook for kids. I can’t even begin to express how cool it is so see the growth and change in them! They are learning so much about Christ and His Church and how we should live our lives. It is neat to see the kind of faith they have, coming from having very little knowledge before we met them.

On Wednesday, the 8th, we had our weekly district meeting and then it was time for another exchange. This time Sister Hiatt got to come and work with me for the next 24 hours. Oh man did we have a good time together!

The next day, Thursday, Sister Hiatt and I went to do some service at “Feed my Starving Children” with the other missionaries in my district. We were working in one section and the elders were in another area and of course that meant it was a race to see who could pack more food. I will have you know, WE won! We had be get very creative towards the end, but we pull ahead toward the end and made it out in first!

After working hard, Brother Longstreet took us to Snuffy’s for lunch since he couldn’t make it earlier in the week. And once again another sister fell in love with that place and not to mention with Brother Longstreet! He is just the coolest!

I also took Sister Hiatt to go and visit another one of my favorites, Sister Yule at her work. We try and catch her once or twice a week. That woman is just so raw and real and to me I simply find that refreshing! Thank Heavens the world has Sister Yules out there!

Friday, April 10th, we had the CRAZIEST WEATHER I have ever seen in my life!!! That morning we were on the phone with someone and they asked us if we had looked outside and we told them no. She told us we needed to go and take a look! What I saw just about gave me a heart attack!!! It was April 10th and it was a full on BLIZZARD outside! It looked like we were living in a snow globe! I couldn’t even believe it!!! We had to get something done that morning at the house and just a couple hours later when I went to look out the window I couldn’t believe my eyes! Somehow our snow globe had totally transformed into a full on sunny summer like day! It was absolutely nuts! It was as if we had Christmas in the morning and then 2 hours later we were celebrating the fourth of July! It was just totally insane! But don’t get me wrong, I was so thankful the snow was gone! But seriously, who would have ever thought?!?!

April 10th...

A few hours later, on the same day!

That evening, we had dinner over with Sister Khon and she had invited her friend, Anthony and his girlfriend, over for dinner. We watched the “He Lives” video with them. It was awesome to see how the spirit touched them and how that simple 2 minute video truly invites the spirit. We were able to have a wonderful conversation about our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. If you still haven’t had a chance to watch that video put out by the church I would not only encourage you to watch it, but to share it with someone you know and help them be touched by the Spirit.

Friday night we were walking to one our potentials to visit and we bumped into a group of young African Americans playin’ ball in the street. Sister Parke is a straight up baller and loves to play. So we figured why not get in with the boys by playing a little ball? So that is exactly what she did. She asked if she could play and the next thing I know she had jumped in and was playing along with these boys. They thought it was pretty cool that some random girl just jumped in. We are going to be back in that area later so we are hoping that might have got us a good in with them. You have to get creative as a missionary! The more creative, the more fun you have and the better results you get!

Saturday, the 11th, Jennifer had her BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!! Jennifer is finally doing it! Next Saturday, April 18th, Jennifer is going to be getting BAPTIZED!!! Okay, so I know we were really wanting five baptisms but Jennifer is a good start. Rahel and Heaven will be our next goal. We just need to be able to get Rahel to be able to get work off on Sundays so she can start coming to church regularly. And sadly, Tanneh and Josh have pulled back quite a bit, which is so heart breaking because this is like the fourth baptism they have called off. We are just keeping them in our prayers that they will remember the spirit they have felt, the miracles they have seen, and the testimony they have gained.

Saturday afternoon, we were able to go and visit Sister Haggen. Her son Ted passed away last week (it was his funeral we helped at last week). We went to see her with Sister Yule (her visiting teacher). We were able to have a wonderful time together. Right when we were walking out of the door Sister Yule saw a picture of a man in her house and asked who that was and Sister Haggen told her that was her son Ted. Sister Yule couldn’t even believe it- She KNEW him! She had been friends with Ted like 20 years earlier. Talk about a small world and a tender mercy that Sister Yule was assigned to be Sister Haggen’s visiting teacher. None of us could believe it. Sister Yule had many memories with Ted and was able to connect in a new and special way with Sister Haggen. It was pretty neat.

Sunday, was Ward Conference and it was just awesome! All of the speakers and lessons were incredible! It’s cool when you can go to church and truly be fed by the spirit. Yesterday was one of those days.

Later we went to visit the Artegas and read with them about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is so fun to be able to teach children what Easter is REALLY about! Then Sunday night we were able to go and visit Sister Petersen. It had been so long since we have been able to go and see her. She has been working some crazy long hours and it never around. She was able to make it to church today and we were so happy to see her. She told us that her weeks just aren’t the same when she isn’t able to get to church and isn’t able to get visits from us. I love that she recognizes that difference these things make in her life and how they can totally affect her entire week. Sister Petersen is such a wonderful example to me of how to live the GOSPEL! She might not have the whole church thing down, but she has been converted to Christ’s gospel and that is what is truly important. We must remember there is a big difference between living the church and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Maybe ask yourself where you are living and if there is anything you can change or improve on?

Now, just this morning, April 13th, Sister Parke and I woke up extra early at 5:30 for a little bet we had going on with Steve Nelson (the guy we live with). You see, Sister Parke usually toasts the guys when it comes to playing basketball— so Steve and her had made a little bet. They were going to play each other and if Steve won, Sister Parke had to sing in sacrament meeting, but if Sister Parke won, Steve had to… take Sis. Parke, me, Keri (his wife), and himself to go and get pedicures, but the catch was we got to pick out the COLOR of nail polish he was going to have to get it on his toes! Oh yeah—we bring it!!! We were thinking, you know, hot pink or lime green would probably be good! ;)

So anyways, this morning all four of us woke up early to go to the church. We also met the elders and Johnny and Steve Burnham there to add to the pressure. Steve won the first game… Sister Parke won the second game… and the third game came down to the wire, but the final win went to Steve L Us girls were bummed. Honestly, we didn’t see it coming, but we were good sports. So now it looks like Sister Parke will be getting to sing at church. But since Steve is such a trooper he told us he will still take us all out to get pedicures next month (BUT he made it very clear that he would be getting NO nail polish) ;)

Sis. Parke and Steve playing ball.
So there you have it folks, that’s another week of the life of Sister Larson out here in good ol’ Minnesota. Hope Spring has sprung for all of you and you are able to enjoy some blue skies, green grass, and sunshine!

xo- Sister Larson

Love you all!

Beautiful Minnesota sunset!

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