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

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