Saturday, June 27, 2015

Week 33 – June 27, 2015

Oh man this last week has sure been a whirlwind of events. Last Saturday (June 20th) we spent our P-Day playing catch up. It was a "get 'er done" day for Sister Steadman and myself. We spent most of the day catching up with writing letters to people. It is so hard to stay on top of that as a missionary, but I will have you know I try my darn hardest. And you also need to know I REALLY appreciate all of the LOVE I get from all of you in the form of letters. I feel like very blessed to have so many amazing people in my life who show so much support.

Sunday, June 21st, Alex Boye was here and he had a fireside. We were able to invite both Iris and Dixon to come. I have gone to one of his firesides in the past before and he is so good! The neatest thing happened at the very beginning. It was Father's Day (Happy Father's Day Pops) and when he got up he started off by singing the song, "I Can Only Imagine". This instantly brought up so many tender feeling to me. This was the song that was played at my best friend, Bree's Dad's funeral. Bree's Dad, Dan, was one of the most loving and Christlike people I knew. It was a special moment to reflect back on Dan's life and how wonderful of a man he was and what an example he was to me on that Father's Day.

Alex Boye also talked about the power of our thoughts (2 Nephi 24:24). I loved that simple reminder of how powerful our personal thoughts can be. Sister Shogan (My most favorite YM leader growing up) used to always say, "IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME." I have a strong testimony of that! With the help of our Heavenly Father and the power of the atonement we truly can make ANYTHING come to pass.

He also had us ask ourselves if we were wearing a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign? Were we letting God come in and CLEAN us out or were we wearing one of those signs and keeping God from being able to help us cleanse ourselves and become better? That's just some food for thought that I jotted down from some of the things Brother Boye talked about.

Monday, the 22nd, was a bit interesting. It started off a bit rough, but by the end of the day, things were looking up again. That afternoon we did have the pleasure of meeting Mike Gould. We met Mike down in Dinky Town outside of some shops. He was out playing his guitar and reading from the Bible and preaching the good word. Turns out that Mike Gould is also running for Mayor right now and asked for our vote. He was kind enough to even give us a flier he had personally made for his campaign. Mike actually contacted into us. He saw our name tags and said hello to his Utah friends. We got to talking and he asked if we had something to give him. So we gave him and BOM and in return he gave us a copy of the New Testament he had with him. Mike then had to test out how the BOM sounded so right then and there on the street he opened up to Moroni 10:3-5 and read Moroni's promise to people passing by. I have to say Mike had quite a lot of enthusiasm and read it with a lot of gusto! Go Mike Gould! You got my vote ;)

Tonight, we taught Dixon the plan of salvation. While we were teaching, something came up about needing to do what Heavenly Father has asked us and right then and there, Dixon started bearing his testimony of how he knew that was true. We hadn't even told Dixon about the word of wisdom yet, but he said that over the weekend he was hanging out with some guys from the ward and they mentioned to him that as Mormons we don't drink alcohol. Apparently, making beer here in Minneapolis is a huge thing and that had become quite the hobby for Dixon. But after hearing that, Dixon told us he went home that night and took all of his beer bottles that he uses and threw them ALL away! He said it was going to be super hard, but that he truly wanted to do the right thing and follow what God wanted him to do. Can you believe that?! WOW—Dixon never stops amazing us! That night we gave Dixon a baptismal calendar to help him prepare for his baptism on July 11th. YAY!

For my day starting out tough it was starting to really turn around, but it wasn't over yet! When I got home... I found a BIG BLUE PACKAGE! So after I was done planning and getting all ready for bed I opened it and let me tell you this little package made my whole day!!! I had wrote my pen pal Jeremy and told him that this was going to be my first summer to NOT be able to go camping so what did Jeremy do?! He sent me an entire missionary approved camping trip! We are talking flash lights, "PINE" air fresheners, stuff to make s'mores, and he even threw in some GLOW-IN-THE-DARK STARS so I felt like I was sleeping under the stars! Talk about spoiling me! Sister Steadman and I were so stoked to put these things to good use and go on a little camp out in our living room. Jeremy, thanks for helping me be able to sleep under the stars this summer ;)

Best "indoor" camping kit EVER! Thanks Jeremy!

The next day, Tuesday the 23rd, things just kept on getting better! I received the BIGGEST tender mercy from Heavenly Father today. He seemed to know exactly what I needed and somehow was able to provide me with a personal miracle. June 23, 2015 will be a day I NEVER forget out here on my mission! Right now, I just want to thank my Father in Heaven for watching out for me and being very aware of my needs. I also would like to thank E.B.F. I sure love you!!! :)

Later that night, we had dinner over at Megan Lowe's where she cooked us up a delious homemade meal. And then we met with Dixon to finish teaching him the plan of salvation. Tonight was a pass off lesson which means we no longer will be teaching Dixon :( Since Dixon is 32 years old he needs to be going to the family ward and we work with people going to the singles ward so from here on out the missionaries in the family ward will be teaching him. Thankfully, Dixon will still be able to come to all of the singles activities so we will still see him quite often, just not at Church.

Wednesday, June 24th, we did a little neighborhood clean up. You would NOT believe the amount of garbage that is around here. There is garbage everywhere! After picking up trash for a bit we hit up Maxwell's to wash his windows. We spent a good hour washing windows and dang was it HOT! But even in the hot heat of the sun it felt good to be able to serve and help him out with his restaurant.

Tonight Harry (from the ward) made us and Karem dinner. And then it was off to go and teach Eva (one of our less active members). Matt another member joined us for the lesson. It wasn't the greatest lesson simply because Eva wasn't really in it. It is so hard to try and get someone to WANT to WANT the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is only so much we can do. We do as much as we can and then the ball is in their court and they NEED to ACT! No one else can do it for them. We do all we can for others and then we pray like crazy that God will help them with their desires to want to change.

On Thursday, the 25th, we did some contacting around campus and met a couple really cool people! Sister Steadman and I decided to play a game that Trevor introduced to me to help spice up contacting. You pick a word and then you have to try and use it in your conversation while you are talking with someone. Trev, you will be happy to know we did have fun with it ;) We were able to meet this cute couple who happened to be visiting and originally is from China. They were so sweet and when it came time to part ways they asked if they could take a picture with us. Oh Asians. So cute! Something that was pretty cool though was the fact that I just happened to only have one restoration pamphlet on me and it happened to be in Chinese! I mean shoot what are the odds?! I'm pretty sure God wanted us to meet them! Then we also met this neat guy, Deckan, who was visiting from Ireland—talk about being prepared! He is so READY for the gospel! I don't think I have ever met someone this prepared before. He has been searching for truth. It was crazy talking with him because EVERYTHING just pointed him to the gospel. But get this, we got his e-mail and now that we have I-Pads we might be able to teach him over skype. How cool is that?!

Tonight we had dinner and a lesson with Iris over at Matt's. Matt lives in downtown St. Paul. He picked the three of us up. We parked in some parking garage and then we had to walk about five blocks to his apartment, but the weird thing was we NEVER once stepped outside. Since it gets so cold here in the winter they have sky-ways connecting all of the different buildings together. He can even walk to his work without ever going outside. It was the strangest feeling! I felt like I was living in a video game. It was just another confirmation that I am NOT a city girl! After dinner we had a lesson with Iris on Temples and it happened to be perfect to meet at Matt's because he happens to have an amazing collection of beautiful artwork of different temples. Iris seemed to really enjoy learning about them. She is progressing so much, but she still hasn't been able to get to church with her work schedule so that is what we are working on next with her. If she wants to get baptized she is going to need to be able to get to church.

Friday, June 26th, we went to the store on the corner of our street to help out Moe (he's the owner and we talk with him everyday). We helped unload a new shipment they got of drinks. We love Moe! He is so kind and always has a smile on his face! We have some pretty interesting neighbors around here, but we also have a couple real quality ones and Moe happens to be one of our favorites!

This afternoon we met up with Dixon and the new missionaries who are teaching him. They went over the word of wisdom today so we figured we should introduce him to a new drink... a better drink! So now on his Saturday nights we wont be as tempted to sit down and have a glass of wine when he can sit down and end the day off with some delicious orange julius. Momma Larson you have taught me well... your orange julius is getting to be quite popular out here ;)

Tonight for the ward activity we played water balloon games. Oh my goodness, I was laughing so hard watching some of these games! By the end of the night everyone was soaking wet and had big smiles on their faces. I would say it was a success!

Sister Steadman ended our week off the perfect way... yep, we CAMPED OUT!!! And yes, it was AMAZING! Thanks to Jeremy for providing so many fun camping goodies and Paul for the tent and sleeping bags we were able to have a successful camp out! We enjoyed setting up our tent, rolling out our sleeping bags, smelling the pine aroma, (we may or may not have even sprayed bug spray just to give it that extra touch), we roasted s'mores, and even put put our glow-in-the-dark stars. I have to say, last night will go down in the books! Who says you can't go camping as a missionary?!

Coolest sister missionaries ever!

Oh yeah... now that is one good lookin' s'more!

This morning, Saturday, I woke up to the sound of birds chirping away and the sun coming through our tent... Awe that is the life!

Rise and shine!
Aren't mornings just beautiful?! (PS- Do you see the stars we slept under?!)

Well, I hope all of you back home are not taking the outside world for granted! If you haven't gone camping yet, NOW is the time! What are you waiting for? I know I always feel closer to my Heavenly Father when I am out enjoying His beautiful world!

Love you all-
Sister Larson

Scripture for the week: Mosiah 4:30

Sometimes you find the strangest things... ;)

There are just some days when you would rather wear a paper bag over your head... today was one of them ;)

Theo and Uffda Honeymooning it up down by the water!
How do you like Theo's speedo? ;)

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