Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 25 – May 4, 2015

This last week has been full of quite a lot of amazing things! Let’s see how much I can cover in my short computer time…

Last Monday, the 27th of April, we had a Zone P-Day where we all went bowling and then to a Park to hang out for a while. So not totally sure what the last thing I told you about Theodore (our teddy) was, but the elders kidnapped him! However, today when we were at the park they left their car window rolled down which meant only one thing… WE WERE GETTING THEO BACK! We were able to get into their car, pop their trunk, and rescue our little guy back. Theodore is safe and sound with his rightful owners.

Theo, safe and sound.

The best part of the day was went Steve Nelson tried to PRANK us back (we have an APRIL FOOLS PRANK WAR going on for the month of April). I have to say he did a dang GOOD JOB! That afternoon we got a voicemail from someone from the church audio and visual department asking Sister Parke and Sister Larson to call them back because they had an opportunity for us to play a role in an upcoming church film called, “Sisters around the World”. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing! What in the world?! We listened to it a couple of times and then it HIT! STEVE! He totally got us! Well, we knew we couldn’t fall for this and call it back (and thankfully we didn’t because they had SO MUCH more crazy stuff planned for once we called back the Utah number). Anyway, we ended up calling up Steve at his work and leaving a message with his secretary from the same department about how we wanted Steve to play a part in the new “Meet the Mormons 2” video. Sadly, those calls show up on Steve’s office computer and he recognized our phone number… BOO. Oh well. At the end of the day we all had a great laugh!

Tuesday, April 28th, we had exchanges and I ended up going to Edina to work for the next day with Sister young and Sister Zimmerman (one of my companions from the MTC). We went to see Sister Hall and her daughter Linda (visiting from Chicago). Linda isn’t a member, but she had a whole notebook full of notes she had been taking while reading the BOM and a ton of questions written down for us. Linda is awesome! She has cancer and probably isn’t going to be around for very much longer, but she is gaining a testimony. We got her information so we can get some missionaries out in Chicago to go visit her and get her baptized! That night we went to teach Annika (a 12 year old girl who is getting baptized next Saturday). She is just the sweetest little thing. Her 14 year old sister, Bergin, joined us and seemed to LOVE what we were teaching. Hopefully, she will start meeting with the missionaries too!

Wednesday morning, Sister Larson put her skill to work! Bless these dear sister's hearts… they are sweet, however, they’re SLOBS! So what did we do once we were all ready for the day… WE CLEANED! You wouldn’t believe the kind of mess these sisters were living it! We ended up taking out TEN BAGS OF GARBAGE!!! TEN!!! They had piles of garbage in their house. They hadn’t taken it out in weeks! And laundry oh dang! I cleaned away while the other two sisters simply worked on laundry. We didn’t have time to finish, but I have to say we were able to make a pretty good dent. But shoot dang, that apartment looked a heck of a lot better after I came to visit!

During that exchange, I was able to learn A LOT! I realized very quickly that I was doing a pretty good job as a missionary. I think sometimes it’s easy to focus on the things you need to work on and pretty soon you forget all of the things you’re doing right. But after this exchange, my eyes were opened very quickly to the fact that I’m doing a pretty good job. I have a lot I need to work on, but I’m doing ok. I do have to say, I enjoy being able to work with other sisters and try and help them learn new or different ways to try and do things. (But first things first… you gotta get out of bed) ;)

That afternoon a bunch of us missionaries from our Zone went to the temple. It is always great to be able to get to go to the temple. We are very lucky that we are so close to one out here! We had dinner over at the Nielson’s which is always fun with those little girls. And then we ended the night off by going over to Sister Donley’s to have a lesson there with Jennifer.

Thursday, April 30th, we spent the morning at FMSC and then that afternoon we had our weekly district meeting. That evening we went over to Sister Petersen’s to have a Pizza Picnic in the Park! It was so nice to be able to just sit outside and enjoy a simple dinner together. I’m telling you, it’s the simple things in life! Afterwards, we went over to Rahel’s to have a lesson on Alma 32 and how faith is like a seed. They girls seemed to like the lesson, however, Coco (age 7) kind of had a hard time for a while there. She thought a plant was literally going to grow in her heart. Hopefully, we straightened that out for her. Coco had just planned seeds at school that day so it just fit in perfectly and soon Rahel wants us to come over and help her plant her very first vegetable garden! It’s going to be so FUN! I guess ALL those many hours I spent in our garden growing up will pay off. ;)

Our last stop for the night was to go and see Kathy. We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kathy hasn’t stopped ceasing to amazing us! That woman is on FIRE! She is soaking everything up and is studying like a mad woman! She just wants to know EVERYTHING! Where did this lady come from?!

On Friday, the first of May, we had an AMAZING lesson with Sister Erlendsson. Steve Burnham came with us. Steve got baptized this last fall and he is a missionary machine! He has a whole bag devoted to just missionary stuff. At different points he pulled out BOMs and pamphlets to help with our lessons (he really made us missionaries look good—not). But we really appreciate everything he does! He is awesome! Steve smoked for 23 years and last fall he was up to 3 packs of cigarettes a day! He wanted so badly to get baptized, but he didn’t know how he was ever going to be able to with his smoking addiction. He was given a Priesthood blessing and the very next day he ONLY smoked 3 cigarettes and then he NEVER SMOKED AGAIN!!! Talk about a miracle! Anyway, Steve was able to share his story with Sister Erlendsson who happens to struggle with smoking. It was amazing to see how inspiring Steve’s story was for her. Steve was her angel. They instantly became friends. Now I can only hope and pray that she will hold on to that faith and ACT! Come on Sister Erlendsson—God will help you!

Rockin' out with our favorite Granny — Sister Erlendsson.

After we took Steve to come and visit Kathy with us. She just lives on the floor below Sister Erlendsson. We were planning on teaching her the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, and about tithing and fast offerings. When we started teaching her, she informed us she had already read ALL of those pamphlets! What in the world? She also let us know that she had already read the next Sunday school lesson and was prepared to answer all of the questions. She even told us she would like to teach the class! Holy smokes, I swear Kathy is practically a better Mormon than I am. Shoot dang! She hasn’t stopped reading and studying. SHE IS TOTALLY READY TO BE BAPTIZED!!! Okay, normally when you teach someone they need to come to church AT LEAST THREE times before they can get baptized, but Kathy was ready the day we met her! So we pulled some strings and made some calls and got the okay to get Kathy baptized NEXT SATURDAY!!! That will have been exactly three weeks from the day we MET her! She will have ONLY come to one church service and then stake conference, but why on earth should we keep her waiting! So KATHY IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON MAY 9TH!!! We can only thank Heavenly Father for leading us to her!!!

Saturday, the 2nd, we went over to Angie’s to help her rake up leaves in her yard. After Angie took us to get ice cream cones from Dairy Queen and then we went to a beautiful park to go for a walk. It was great to get Angie out and to just simply be able to BE with her. I think it might have been just what she needed. It’s hard to connect with that woman, but we are sure trying our hardest!

That night we had Stake Conference. It was great! We learned about how the “Sabbath Day” should be like “Game Day”. We get to prepare all week long and then on Sunday it’s time to PLAY! Or in other words, we need to be focusing on what is really important and then top it off every week by going to church and being able to partake of the sacrament.

Sunday morning, we had another session of Stake Conference. Steve took us and Kathy in her truck. Kathy really enjoyed going, but then again are you really surprise?! Later that afternoon, we went over the baptismal interview questions with her and WOW! That lady’s testimony is ROCK SOLID! Every time Sister Parke and I leave her place our mouths are wide open and we are speechless! We have NEVER in our lives seen anything quite like this before!

We went over to Aubrey and Mike Nelson’s for dinner with their three boys. Man, do those boys get us laughing. We pretty much spent the entire dinner exchanging jokes and riddles. What can I say; you can always plan on having a good laugh over at their place. Mike isn’t a member but he sure does a great job supporting his family. He comes to church and reads scriptures and says prayers with his boys. I have no doubt that one day… it will click and he will join the church and be sealed to his family.

Well, that’s about it for this last week. I’m guessing this is going to be my last week here in good ol’ Minnetonka. We find out about transfers next week, but I’m thinking that I’m going to be moving. The idea of leaving is so hard. You really fall in love with your areas and the people here. Plus have you seen my backyard?! (hehe) ;)

Love you all! Sister Larson xo

Enjoying a little bit of Minnesota.
We love our sunsets out here.
On exchanges... I met the "Flower Lady" cruising around downtown. Check out her ride! 
If you look closely you can see Lex (he is our bald eagle friend). Both Lex and Lucy live in that tree. On one of our morning walks last week we saw Lex come back to the nest with a big-o-fish in it's mouth. Breakfast baby!
Me and My little man.

Not a bad place to study.
Comp unity baby!
Only in Minnesota!

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