Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 28 – May 25, 2015

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes, packages, and cards that you sent (I think there are still some on the way too). You all sure knew how to make a missionary's birthday special!

This area is quite different from Minnetonka and this last week there was no school because it was a break between semesters so it was very dead around campus so we really didn't do much contacting.

Monday 5/18
Last P-Day was a day full of all sorts of hick-ups, but we tried to make the best of it and get as much done as possible. That night the ward had FHE, but we ended up just staying for the spiritual thought.

Tuesday 5/19
Today we had our first district meeting with our new district in this area and again it was very different than what I have been used to, but I am open to change, it is just going to take some getting used to. Our district here is much bigger and then today we happened to also have the zone leaders, APs and STLs there were like 20 of us. But we had a really good training on leadership.

We did spent a little time this afternoon down in Dinky Town doing some contacting down by the restaurants and let me tell you we sure met some interesting people. But the cool thing is, as different as we all are, we are ALL still sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and each one of us needs our Savior Jesus Christ.

That night we met up with Hilary to say goodbye. She has been working with the missionaries here since the fall and is pretty darn close to getting baptized, but unfortunately, she just graduated so she is moving away. But on a happy note, we were able to contact the Bishop and the elders where she will be moving to make sure she won't be forgotten about. She will be welcomed with lots of open arms! Oh, man I just love how the church works the same ALL OVER THE WORLD. How blessed are we?!

Saying goodbye to Hilary.

And we finished the night off by going over to visit Jenna. We had a lesson on our individual worth and on self improvement. Then after we all spent time coming up with some goals we wanted to work on in these five areas: PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, and MENTAL, we talked about how there is a balance in all things and how God wants each of His children to take care of themselves in ALL five areas of their lives. If you haven't sat down recently and thought about where you are right now and where you want to go, I would suggest maybe taking some time to think about these five different areas of your life and possibly set some goals for yourself. Maybe just pick one or two things you want to work on so you don't get overwhelmed. After you master those things then you can start working on a couple other goals you want to work on. Remember, Mosiah 4:27 (thanks for that scripture this week Andrew).

Wednesday 5/20
Today we attempted to go contacting on campus, but that was a complete failure considering there were literally ZERO people on campus, but hey at least we tried, right?! We had our weekly meeting with our Bishop and then we went out to dinner with a couple of the sisters from the ward. Opal and Allison took Sister Steadman and I out to Potbelly's for dinner. It was fun to go out with some other young ladies our age (just another perk of working in a singles ward).

Then that evening we went to help out Ranelle (from our ward) with a recital she was putting on for her music students with special needs. Oh my goodness, it was so neat to be able to be apart of that! These children were so sweet! You could just feel their sweet and innocent spirits. Her students had all sorts of different kinds of handicaps, but they were able to use music therapy to help them. I loved being able to simply watch how enthusiastic they were to get up on stage and show off their talents. Being around these children helped me remember what is truly important in this life. So often I get caught up in little silly things that mean absolutely nothing when you step back and look at the big picture. It simply comes down to loving one another and following Christ's example- NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! I hope and pray I can become more like these children who helped open my eyes.

Thursday 5/21
This afternoon President Forbes and Sister Forbes came to the institute to meet with us and let us know that we are going to be getting a new senior missionary couple this weekend who will be working in our area with us. That will be another first for me, but I hear working with the senior couples is awesome so I am looking forward to that.

Sis. Steadman, Sis. Forbes and me.

We went to visit a girl by the name of Zoua (a less active member). She was so cool, but gosh dang it she just graduated too and is moving so that was my first and last time getting to visit her :(

Then we went to see another less active member, Eva, but guess what she is STAYING! She is also pretty cool so I look forward to working some more with her. Then we saw Brei one last time before she left for the summer. Hopefully, we will be hearing about her mission call next week and where she will be going! Ahh- so exciting!

Friday 5/22 (MY BIRTHDAY)
This morning I heard the alarm go off extra early and saw Sister Steadman sneak out of bed... And then when our actual alarm went off at 6:30 and I got up I realized she had gotten up to decorate the house! I know, I have the best companion EVER! Thanks Sister! I think my favorite part was when I went into the bathroom to discover our full length mirror covered with 28 different things she loves about ME! How sweet is that?! I also was spoiled with lots of love sent to me from back home! Here is a BIG THANKS to everyone who sent me love and made my birthday so special!

Birthday love from Sis. Steadman.

We kick started my birthday off by actually going over to Jenna's to celebrate her birthday (it was the day before and apparently it wasn't that great so we wanted to have a re-do for her). So we went over to her apartment and made a big birthday breakfast. We made pancakes or I should say we "tried" to make pancakes. They turned out absolutely HORRIBLE! I think Jenna's were ok, but mine were totally doughy on the inside so we had to pull them apart and try to cook their guts which helped cook them, but they were still quite nasty and dry, but at least we had a good laugh and made a good memory.

Our nasty Birthday pancakes.

Sister Steadman ended up going back to our place to make some normal food which consisted of tuna sandwiches and potato chips—I would say a pretty good birthday lunch. And then it was off to go serve with the St. Paul Zone. We went to Feed My Starving Children, but it was a new location so that was fun to mix things up a bit. Oh and here is the coolest part, if you go there on your birthday, they give you a FREE t-shirt since it's your birthday and they have cool shirts so I was pretty stoked. Plus—we all know how I am about getting FREE stuff. Just another thing to go with my collection now ;)

FMSC with the Zone!

Saving the world one meal at a time.

For dinner, Monique from the ward made me a birthday dinner and let me request what I wanted. I had heard about her famous crepes so that is what I went with and let me tell you they were quite good! Pretty much we ate dessert from dinner, but it was my birthday so why not, right?! Oh, and then she topped it off by sending us home with ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone because I told her it was a family tradition to have ice cream cake on our birthdays—I know I was so spoiled!

Ice cream cake on our faces?! I'm not sure how that happened. 

Friday evening at the ward activity, we ended up having a chalk drawing contest out in the institute parking lot. The elders and us made a team and let me tell you our parking spot looked pretty dang good and it even had a spiritual theme. Ours was totally the best, however, the judges gave us third place cause they didn't want everyone else to feel bad ;) JK Oh and after, somehow, my body started getting traced and a crime scene was drawn around me—it was not a pretty picture, good thing, my guts where only chalk guts ;)

Chalking it up Missionary style!

Saturday 5/23
Today, we took Becca from the ward with us to go and hunt down a sister she visit teaches who actually happens to live in Hopkins. Sadly, she wasn't home, but since we were already in Hopkins I figured we should probably swing by and see how Kathy was doing and sure enough she was better than ever just soaking up as much of the gospel as ever. Turns out she is actually going to be speaking at the President's Fireside next month—isn't that awesome? Go Kathy! I can't wait to go and hear her speak—oh man that lady is one of a kind! I'm so happy I was able to sneak in a quick visit with her. Her grandson lives by the University so we gave her our information so she could pass it along to him. Hopefully, he will contact us. If he is anything like his grandma I already know we will like him!

Then tonight we had our weekly planning session at the house... and yes there may have been kettle corn involved ;)

Sunday 5/24
Church was awesome today—there was a special feeling of reverence there. I love how quiet it is during the sacrament service at a singles ward because there are no children making noise. It really does give you the time to check in with God and think about all that our Savior has done for us. I am so grateful for the sacrament and for the beautiful gift of forgiveness the Savior has provided for each one of us. We are truly eternally indebted to Him!

This afternoon, we met with Iris (a student Sister Steadman had taught once before). We went over the plan of salvation. It was such an awesome lesson! She grew up in China and doesn't have a very good understanding of God or Jesus Christ so it is so neat to be able to teach her about them. She LOVED learning about God's plan for us and is excited for us to meet with her again. We didn't have a BOM (Book of Mormon) on us, but she is EXCITED and looking forward to getting one soon! Iris is serious amazing! I am looking forward to continuing to teach her and help answer her questions.

Tonight we had dinner with some of the summer sales people who are out here selling for the summer. We have about 60 new people in the ward who have come in these last two weeks, it's insane! We are hoping to go around and meet all of them. We all know how hard summer selling can be so we just want to make sure they are getting the support they need from the ward because this summer is going to be rough and heaven knows they need all the support they can get.

And then we finished the night off by heart attacking our elders here. They are so good to us and we just wanted to show them how much we appreciate all they do for us. Oh I forgot to mention that even the elders went out and got me presents and wrote me the sweetest letters for my birthday. What awesome guys! Our relationship with these elders is quite different than my last area. I love them both we just show our love differently here in Dinky Town :)

Love you all, Sister Larson
Scripture for the week: D&C 24: 8

PS- The "Spiritual Summer Workout" started today MAY 25th and goes through AUGUST 22nd. Sister Steadman and I have already done our spiritual workout for the day. Have you?

Yeah... I live here!
BRR... it's COLD again! I sweat the weather here is bipolar!
Theo and Uffda's second date!
How cute are they!
Theo and Uffda celebrate with me!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 27 – May 18, 2015

Oh my, my, my... I just want to start off by saying that I am going to be turning 28 years old this week and, well, I still CAN'T parallel park! Shoot that is just embarrassing! Being here in the city is sure different. I honestly can't say I have had to parallel park since I was 15 when I had to do it in drivers ed. About 20 minutes ago I was able to give some people some pretty good free entertainment by simply letting them watch me TRY and parallel park. Sadly, I eventually gave up and drove away. Sister Steadman was laughing so hard we could hardly breathe! Good times! Speaking of being with Sister Steadman, it is AMAZING!!! We truly are the DREAM TEAM!!! I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back with her! But don't get me wrong I sure as heck miss my Sister Parke! Last Monday feels like it was FOREVER ago with all of the changes that have been going on, but lets see what all I can cover.

Last Monday, May 11th, when we were at the library e-mailing home when the elders finally attacked our car. Sadly, they were very creative! They copied us and had gotten a car marker and written on our back window, "WE LOVE MORMON BOYS!- Please Honk". Come on guys you can do better than that! But I guess that's the best they could come up with. Well, you know how Sister Parke and I are... WE NEVER LOSE. So later that day we found their car and got them back! And we figured we should just do the SAME thing back to them. So we wrote on their car, "WE LOVE MORMON BOYS!" Ha! Oh man- we were dying laughing when we drove away. Apparently when they saw it, they couldn't believe it. Once again, the sisters had won!

Serious Elders that's the best you can do?!
Gotcha!!! Bahahaha!

That afternoon we went to see Bob. I was so happy we were able to see him one more time before I left. He was the only one home so we had to meet outside on his deck. Sadly, it was pretty cold and it had started to sprinkle. I wanted so badly to have this lesson with Bob! We both said a silent prayer and asked God to help us and to hold off on the rain, just until we were done meeting with Bob and guess what?! That is exactly what happened! Heavenly Father heard our prayers and the rain held off just until we got into our car. The best part about that was the fact that we had an incredible lesson with Bob. We read about the tree of life and talked to Bob about where he was and where he wanted to be and how he was going to get there. I think Bob had a bit of a wake up call. Oh and then before we left I asked Bob if he would say a sincere prayer with us. Normally, he jokes through his prayers and this time I asked him to be sincere with his Father in Heaven and TODAY was the first time Bob actually said a sincere and real heart felt prayer. It was so cool! It made sitting outside in the cold weather so worth it!

That night we went over to Sister Larson's for dinner and then headed over to visit my favorite Mussers! We had a great time just chatting with Sister Musser and her sister Lisa for a while while we bundled up in blankets trying to get warm from being out in the cold for so long this afternoon. Then we watched the Restoration. Such a good video! If you haven't watched it in this last year... WATCH IT! It is just a great reminder of the restoration of the church and how powerful it is! And then our last stop for the night was to go and see Sister Harman and Sister Sangrin. Months ago, I had given Sister Sangrin a picture of "my tree" (it's MY place—where I have spent many hours sitting and talking with God). Anyway, she surprised me tonight with the sweetest gift! She had painted me a picture of "my tree". It meant so much to me. That woman is in so much pain and has very bad vision, but she did that for me! I will cherish that painting forever! Thank you Sister Sangrin!

Tuesday, May 12th, I hit my 6th MONTH MARK!!! It's official I am 1/3 of the way through my mission. Wow—I can't believe it! Today was also my last day in Minnetonka so it was full of many goodbyes. First we stopped to visit Sister Kucera. She has been so down ever since her dear husband passed away, but I wasn't leaving without seeing her! She is an angel! I had my very first teaching evaluation with the Kuceras and they just have always had a special place in my heart and always will!

Next we swung by to see Sister Yule at work and to let her know I would be leaving. Then, since it was my last day, I had to go to SNUFFY'S of course with Brother Longstreet. I enjoyed my last California burger. Now, normally we get a malt every week, but this week we switched things up and went for a sundae. The thing was absolutely HUGE, but don't you worry Sister Parke and I were able to pound that whole thing down. We don't mess around when it comes to Snuffy's ;)

Lunch at Snuffy's with Brother Longstreet. Sure going to miss it!

Then it was time to go and see Angie. Oh man, I am going to miss that woman! She is so stinking stubborn, but I love her! I hate the idea of leaving and knowing that I no longer will be around to help these people, but I have complete faith in Sister Parke so at least I know I am leaving them in good hands. While we were there, Sister Parke threw out the baptismal date of June 20th—Go Parke! Come on Angie you CAN DO THIS!!! And get this, before we left, Angie gave me a HUG! That was my first and last hug from her. I had tried to hug her in the past and learned that was a no no, but since I was leaving she HUGGED ME!!! Yeah—now I know I really did get through to Angie. She loves me even if she has a hard time showing it—I know it ;)

After that, we drove to Hopkins where we went to see my two new Minnesotan Grandmas, Sister Erlendsson and Kathy. First we went to see Sister Erlendsson. Now hands down she is going to be the very hardest person for me to leave! She truly has become MY Grandma! I love that woman and would adopt her if I could! We played a few last rounds of Hi-Q (our favorite game—but we've added a gratitude twist to it). And then we were actually able to talk Sister Erlendsson into coming downstairs to meet Kathy. My dream is that those two become best friends and can just help each other out! They hit it off quite well so I would say they are definitely on their way to becoming besties ;) Kathy informed me that she had already looked up where my new ward meets so she could come and find me if she needed to. Ha—oh Kathy—I just love her!

My two Minnesotan Grandmas.
That night for dinner I requested to have dinner with Steve and Keri (since it was my last night and all). We ate out in the backyard even though it was a bit chilly and shared the good memories we have shared over the last several months. Bishop Patterson came over to the house that night and he gave me the sweetest beanie from Peru (where his son is serving his mission right now). I had seen it over at his house before and mentioned how much I loved it. I couldn't believe he actually was giving it to me as a gift! He explained to me that I was like this hat. I didn't need to try and be a boring gray hat when I was a bright fun colorful hat. I liked that! Bishop is always giving me wise counsel. Thanks Bishop—you and your words of wisdom will be missed!

Theo wearing the awesome hat Bishop Patterson gave me.

Then it was back out for a couple more last goodbyes. I had to go say goodbye to Rahel, Heaven, and Coco of course. And then we stopped by Jennifer's too so I could give her a hug bye.

We ended the night off with Steve and Keri by having an ultimate bubble gum blowing contest! I found out last week that Steve absolutely HATES gum so it was only right to go out and buy some DOUBLE BUBBLE to celebrate my last night together. Steve was dying just at the idea of having to put that stuff in his mouth, but he was a good sport. Turns out Steve actually never even learned how to blow a bubble before. Trying to teach him was absolutely hilarious! I was laughing so stinkin' hard! Keri showed off her skills by doing double bubbles. You will be happen to know Steve was able to get a couple little baby bubbles before he finally had had enough and spit his gum out. Thanks for having fun with it Steve! It is kinda funny though—this guy can do iron man races, but he can't blow bubbles! Before going off to bed we had "family" prayer together. I honestly can't even begin to express the love I have for Steve and Keri. They are going to be missed tremendously!

Wednesday, May 12th, was the big day. Transfers had finally come. Before we left I made sure to get one last moment in my hammock, out on the dock and I even had a moment with God in the sauna (that was my special little place through the winter—where I would go to talk with Heavenly Father). And I honestly don't know what has happened but even on my way out the door, Jack (their dog) got a kiss goodbye from me. I'm even going to miss my little Jack Jack. Oh man, this place truly has become my home. When we drove out the drive way and down the road tears slowly streamed down my face at the simple fact that I knew I wouldn't be coming "HOME" tonight. But I know change is good so after a minute of tears I cheered up and looked forward to the future!

A TON of missionaries were at the transfer meeting. Sister Steadman actually wasn't there, because she was on an exchange, so I had to wait just a little longer to meet up with my new companion. But my new Zone (the St. Paul Zone) went out to lunch together. They seem like a pretty cool group of missionaries. I'm looking forward to working with new people! I really do like change so this will be fun and exciting!

Finally, it was time... I was in "DINKY TOWN" (my new area- where I live). We pulled up to my apartment building and I saw Sister Steadman. We instantly just ran up to each other and gave each other the BIGGEST hug ever!!! We couldn't hold back our excitement! WE WERE COMPANIONS!!! This was actually happening! We couldn't help but scream with excitement. We got my stuff moved in and got me all unpack.

Welcome to DINKY TOWN... My new home!

That afternoon we had a meeting with the Bishop here and I was able to meet the elders in our ward—Elder Evans and Elder Chou. We work with the elders a ton here in this area and they are both super cool so that will be good!

Thursday, May 14th, we got a ride to Bloomington so we could get a car. There was a minute there where this area didn't have a car (because well Sister Steadman totaled it—but shhh don't tell her I told you). Thankfully, the mission was nice enough to get us another one, but now I have to drive it ALL the time (which means I better get the whole parallel parking thing down and quick). We helped in the mission office for a bit and then Elder Thompson (one of the senior missionaries) totally hooked us up by taking us to what they call the "Celestial Kingdom". This is the storage unit for all of the extra stuff old missionaries aren't using. Oh my goodness—it truly was like walking into heaven! Our apartment was lacking to say the least. We were in desperate need of some things, not to mention some major TLC! But Elder Thompson told us to take whatever we could use so that is exactly what we did! We so got hooked up!

Later that day I was able to go and meet Dona and teach her about God—we shared Alma 22 with her! It was a good lesson. And then we stopped by to see Brei. She is getting ready to go on a mission so we just talked to her about things she could do now to help her prepare herself now. The sad part is they're both leaving—in fact most of the people I taught this week here are leaving now for the summer since this was the last week of the semester so that's kinda stinking. Looks like we are going to be doing a lot of contacting and less active work!

Brei and us outside of the church.

Our last visit for the night was to go and see Jenna (she is less active). She was awesome! We had a great lesson and then were able to do some handy work by putting a broken bookshelf back together. Sister Steadman and I felt like quite the little handy-mans.

Oh and then on our drive home tonight I did the worst thing ever... by total accident of course. Oh my goodness, I can't even believe I am telling you this... So it was crazy raining out and there were lots of puddles and there was this one road with some construction on it which had a big-o pot hole with tons of muddy water. Anyways, it was dark, it was raining, I couldn't see very well and I totally ran right over the pot hole- not a big deal right?! WRONG! The next thing I heard was a high pitch scream! And then I saw what I had just done! There was girl walking down the road in a little white jacket with her boyfriend who was holding the umbrella for her when BAM! I hit the hot hole and a wave of nice muddy water came flying through the air drenching this girl. She screamed, her boyfriend busted up laughing, and I drove away fast feeling like the biggest meany ever! I swear it was an accident. But I am telling you what happened I thought only happened in the movies, but nope tonight I made that little scene a reality. Poor girl—please forgive me!!!

Friday, May 15th, Sister Steadman and I worked on a huge project! We made a "Spiritual Summer Workout" for those of our investigators who will be going home for the summer. But then we got to thinking we should do it with them and even give it to members of the ward and then we thought shoot why not give it to our family and friends back home to do it will us as well. It starts this coming up Monday, May 25th, and goes for 13 weeks. Okay—so if you are up for the challenge and want to bulk up SPIRITUALLY then this is for you! There is a scripture, video, or talk to read or watch Monday through Saturday. It's going to be AWESOME! I totally challenge you to do it!!! Please let me know once you have started :)

This afternoon we helped Arlyne move, had dinner with Jaren, stopped in to the Friday night ward activity to see Hilary (one of our investigators who is graduating),and then it was back to finishing up our little summer study guide project.

Saturday, May 16th, we had to say goodbye to Dona, but she was so excited about her summer workout we gave her. I'm going to cross my fingers that I am still here in the fall when she gets back so I can continue to work with her.

This afternoon we had a meeting with our ward mission leader. We went to visit Naye (a less active member who is also graduating and moving). And then we did some campus shopping! HOLY COW!!! You would never believe how awesome Sister Steadman and I did! Okay, so tons of people are moving away right now and in every dorm building they have huge boxes of things people are getting ride of like clothes, electronics, food, etc. Remember how I mentioned that our little apartment was in some need! Well, we figured we needed to take advantage of our resources so that is exactly what we did! We did what I like to call upper class dumpster diving! Heavenly Father was truly watching out for us because we were able to get hundreds of dollars or worth of stuff for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Oh man, Aunt Trish you would have been so proud of your little Niece Jessi Bob! I got 'er done!!!

Oh yeah! We rock at this dorm shipping thing! 
But dragging this stuff across campus just able killed us in the process!
Dumpster diving at its best!
Check out ALL OUR FINDS! We did dang good! 

By the end of the day we were so totally pooped we went home and enjoyed making a nice dinner out of our free finds! What a glorious ending to a fantastic day!

Sunday, May 17th, I got to go check out my new ward for the first time and it's good! I have a feeling I'm going to really like it here! Proselyting hours here are quite the opposite of everywhere else—nights and weekends are our dead time and day time is the time to be out on campus getting work done. So tonight we did our weekly planning. While we were planning, we enjoyed some popcorn and needed a little break at one point to bake some chocolate cookies (don't worry we shared them with the elders) ;) We also set some awesome goals for this up coming transfer. I have to say I am so looking forward to these next six weeks working with Sister Steadman. We have already decided that this is going to be THE BEST TRANSFER EVER!!!

Making our new planners and having way too much fun!

Love you all!
-Sister Larson
Scripture for the week: 1 Corinthians 9:24 Look it up!

Home sweet home.
Sister Steadman does such a good job at welcoming me! Gosh I love her!

You think we have enough glasses? What if I told you we had more?!
Theo found himself a little lady! Her name is Uffea. And let me tell you it was love at first sight! Sorry he is in his whitey tighties... he got caught sunbathing in his undies—don't tell. It's a dang good thing Uffea takes him as he is. Stay tuned to see how their relationship unfolds... ;)

*** Note from Trevor***
I will be traveling next week and thus, Jessic.... Sis. Larson's blog will be updated one day late, on Tuesday. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 26 – May 11, 2015

Shoot dang, this week has just been JAM-PACKED!!! Let’s see where to begin… I guess the beginning is a pretty good place…

Monday 5/4

For our P-Day today, we decided we wanted to spend the day out with Steve and Keri Nelson (after all, we do kinda love those two) ;) Keri planned the whole thing out. We all went down to Minneapolis to go see Minnehaha Falls. The falls themselves were kinda pathetic since they didn’t get so much snow this last winter, but you won’t hear me complaining about that! We grabbed some grub at a place called “Sea Salt” and then we went on a nice lessure walk down by the river. The best part was at the very end of the trail, we came to a place where the shore just turned into lots of sand and I walked around BAREFOOT! I once heard that if you aren’t barefoot then you are overdressed! Amen to that! There is nothing better than walking around with sand in-between your toes!

Goofin' around.
Minnehaha Falls
At Minnehaha Falls with Steve and Keri Nelson.
Minnehaha Falls

That night we went to see our favorite Mercy and cute little Blessing. They are doing well! Mercy will graduate from her pharmacy program on May 22nd (my birthday) so we decided we are going to have to go out and celebrate together! And then we finished the night off with Kathy’s interview for baptism. Isaac (one of our new converts from last fall) drove her to the church for it and the entire way there he was just bearing his testimony. Kathy said he is so excited about the gospel that it is as if he is a child who is still excited from Christmas morning! It’s just amazing to see the fire that is lit inside of people once the find the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Mercy, Blessing and Me.

Tuesday 5/5

Today Sister Parke had a conference so I got to hang out with Sister Woolley for the day. (I just found out last night that Sister Woolley is going to be taking my place here in Minnetonka- that lucky duck!). We went out with one of her new converts Rodger who I have had the chance to meet with a few times now so that was fun being able to see him and catch up. But Tuesday night was when Sister Parke and I hit the JACKPOT (as far as fun goes). Steve somehow had gotten us tickets for the playoffs to watch the Minneapolis Wild play the Chicago Black Hawks and not only that, but he got us tickets for the 5th row!!! BAM! Now that is what I’m talking about! They say Minnesota is the Hockey state and here I was getting to go see the real thing in action! Man, do Steve and Keri spoil us! (And I have to give President Forbes (my mission president) props too because he is the one who gave us permission to go). Being able to be right here front and center watching this hockey game was absolutely awesome! It will definitely be a night for the history books, minus the fact that our team lost… oh well, it was still so stinkin' cool, it didn’t even matter! Thanks Steve and Keri!!!

At the Wilds game.
Just being silly.
Go Wilds Go!
Wilds hockey game.

Wednesday 5/6

We had our last district meeting for this transfer and all six of us got up to bare our testimonies with each other. I am sure going to miss that group. We have gotten super close and have been able to see each other grow a lot.

That night Sister Parke and I had dinner over at the Fors with Kathy. We had a yummy dinner and a great lesson with her. Kathy is sure getting around and meeting lots of people from the ward—it’s great to see this little lady just blossom in the Minnetonka ward.

Tonight we were able to also go and see Sonia! She was my very first baptism here and now she is the secretary in the relief society in her ward- it’s awesome! We also went to see Jennifer (my second baptism here). I can only hope and pray that these people will stay strong in the church. It’s so hard to say good-byes, gosh dang it!

Thursday 5/7

This morning was our last district service trip down to “Feed my starving children”. I’m kinda gonna miss going to that place each week. It is always so neat to hear how many meals we were able to pack up in our two hours there. Afterwards, my district went out to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. I wasn’t a huge fan of the food, but the company was great.

That afternoon Steve picked up Kathy and we all met up at the Klenotiches to watch “The Restoration” video. We watch the 20 minute one, but boy was the spirit there! The Spirit just filled the room. You couldn’t deny the presence of the Holy Ghost there in that room. Kathy bore a beautiful testimony after about how she knew she was truly a daughter of God. Kathy’s testimony was powerful. She knows!

Next Steve drove Kathy over to the Hicken’s where we joined them for dinner. I sure love the Hickens! They are so loving and kind. Some of the most Christ-like people I know. Of course they just fell in love with Kathy and I mean who doesn’t—let’s be honest?!

We ended the night out by going to see Rahel and her girls with the Elders. We decided to watch “The Restoration” with them as well. Before we reviewed the story about Joseph Smith, Heaven (9) said, “Oh, yeah I know all about that!” She opened her illustrated scripture stories we gave her and flipped right to the story of Joseph Smith. This little girl is on fire! She has read that book inside and out. I’m thinking it’s time we switch it out for a new one. But seriously she is just absorbing this stuff like a sponge! And then after watching the video, Coco (7) turned to me and whispered, “I want to ask God what church is true.” I couldn’t believe this little 7 year old girl. I was so impressed. So we talked about that for a minute and how it is good to ask God questions like that. And that Heavenly Father will help give us answers through the Holy Ghost. Before we left we had a our normal family prayer where we all kneel down together, hold hands, and take turns giving thanks and asking God for help. Coco was the last one in the circle and when it was her turn she was able to ask Heavenly Father to help her know what church is true. It was so cool to see this little girl exercising her faith. I am sure going to miss these girls! I have truly fallen in love with them!

Teaching Rahel, Heaven and Coco.

Friday 5/8

Tonight we drug Kathy around again. This time we went over to Bishop's for dinner and a lesson and Mercy joined us too! Kathy is a total hoot! She gave us a whole lesson on God’s food vs. the Devil’s food. She informed me that Oreos and M&M’s are the Devil’s food and we need to be eating more of God’s food. Sounds like Kathy had a testimony of the word of wisdom before ever even hearing about the word of wisdom. Bishop made sure to have a little of both types of food… we all enjoyed some pizza AND salad! ;)

Saturday 5/9

We kicked off the morning by going over to Bishop's for our weekly meeting and our favorite Great Harvest scones and muffins. (Thanks Bishop!)

We love our Bishop Patterson.

Saturday afternoon you will never believe WHO we saw! TANNEH and JOSH!!! We text them and let them know that I was going to be leaving and asked if we could see them before I left and well, that’s all it took! It was so good to see them! They looked so good! They got a job about two months ago and that has been keeping them very busy, but has been a huge blessing for their family. They opened up with us and let us know that they had gotten their feelings hurt and that is why they stopped coming to church and really started second guessing everything. But let me tell you, it is so clear that Tanneh has a testimony! She was even telling us that she has been having dreams about how she needs to come back to church. They know it’s where they need to be! After we left I told Sister Parke you better not give up on them! They are so close! I WANT TO BE AT THEIR BAPTISM!!!

Tanneh, Josh and the fam.

Speaking of baptisms… today was Kathy’s!!!! It was an all-time record! We only met Kathy 3 weeks ago from this very day! Kathy was so excited! So many people from the ward came to show their support. That woman is already loved by so many! Her baptism has to have been the most powerful baptism I have ever gone to! It was like a spirit bomb went off! And get this, it gets even better… Isaac baptized her (it was his first baptism) and Steve Burnham received the Melchizedek Priesthood right after her baptism so he was able to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost the following day at church. Kathy has A LOT of health problems so simply the act of getting her baptized took some effort. Luckily, she was able to fit in one of our suits and then both Isaac and Steve helped lower Kathy into the water and bring her back up. Once she was back up tears were streaming down her cheeks and she just held on to Isaac and buried her face into his chest and then she did the same thing with Steve. It was so sweet and sincere to see the love and care these people already had for one another. Once we got Kathy all dressed and back into the room she bore her sweet testimony. I wasn’t on the program to speak, but before Bishop got up to talk and welcome her into the ward, I asked if I could share my thoughts. I was able to get up and share Kathy’s story with the people there. I let them know that there are people out there who are READY and WAITING for someone to reach out and share the gospel with them. And then I turned to Kathy and thanked my new Grandma for helping to strengthen my own personal testimony and both of our eyes welled up with tears. It was a pretty touching experience! Kathy’s baptism was definitely a success! A day she will never forget!

Kathy's Baptism.

We we weren't totally sure Kathy was going to fit in the baptismal suit so we figured we better test it out first and make sure we could fit ;)
Yep... There we go again... having too much fun! ;)
Kathy made me some slippers. So fun!

Sunday 5/10

MOTHER’S DAY!!! First off, I want to give a shout out to my Mom! Momma Bear, thanks for being the world’s greatest Mom! You are one of the most selfless and loving people I know. Heavenly Father sure spoiled me when He sent me down here and I got you for my Mother. I love you!

This afternoon I was able to talk with and facetime my family. It sure was a treat to be able to talk with them! I loved being able to see everyone too. And Ally and Katy, thanks for the sweet songs (you know your Aunt Jessie Bob loves those!)

Since it was Mother’s day, we had to go and see our favorite Grandma Sister Erlendsson. Sadly, she was having a down day, but she still let us in and we were able to the book, “You are special” to her. (If you have never read that book I am going to challenge you right now to go to a book store or the library this week and read it! It is a wonderful reminder for all of us that we are special and God doesn’t make mistakes!)

Ok, now to rap things up… I got the news… it’s official… I’m getting transferred! I am going to be moving to Minneapolis and am going to be working on the University of Minnesota campus! It is going to be very different! I am going to be in the heart of the city and am going to be contacting all day, but the best part is I get to be companions with SISTER STEADMAN!!! I can hardly wait! We are going to have a blast busting out the work down there!

Love you all!

Sister Larson

Maybe you can try out my new mailing address just to make sure it works ;) hehe

326 6th Ave SE #305
Minneapolis, MN 55414