Saturday, July 25, 2015

Week 37 – July 25, 2015

Okay, so last Friday, July 17th, I woke up in the middle of the night to the most intense thunder and lightning storm I have ever seen! It was none stop lightning. I was counting and literally every second there was lighting coming down! I ended up getting up and going out to the living room where I stayed up and watched it out our windows. I was up a good two hours and the storm never once let up while I was awake. The craziest part about the storm was the fact that I got to watch our neighbor's tree almost go down in flames many times! You see, they have electrical lines running in their backyard and the lines go through this one tree. While the storm was going the lines would spark and cause bursts of sparks and little flames to shoot out into the tree branches. It was a dang good thing it was really rainy and wet outside because the tree never actually caught on fire, but let me tell you I thought for sure I was going to be having to call 911 to report a fire. It was scary, but I'm not going to lie it was actually pretty cool to be able to watch mother nature being so fierce. I got quite the show while Sister Steadman slept through the entire thing ;)

Shoot dang!

Endure to the End!


The following morning, Saturday, July 18th, the elders came to pick up the car from us and when we went outside to meet them we saw some of the damage from the storm from the night before. This huge tree split in two and came crashing down. We figured it would probably be our only time to be able to carve something into a tree without getting in trouble out here so we ran back upstairs and grabbed some kitchen knives and went to work. The funny part of this story is the fact that once we were done and went to go back inside someone had shut the door we had propped open so we were left locked outside of our apartment building early on a Saturday morning. Don't worry we were only out there for almost two hours... yeah... we learned our lesson... don't EVER leave without the keys!

Locked out and waiting... and waiting... and waiting...

That afternoon our ward was able to go to the St. Paul Temple. Us missionaries were able to go and do an endowment session and then after we got to go and help the ward with confirmations. It was neat to be able to be there with so many members from the ward. Afterwords, we had a dinner for the ward at the church building right next to the temple and then the Temple President came and spoke to us for a little bit about the importance of temples.

The St. Paul Temple

Sunday, the 19th, Iris came to church and we had a wonderful sacrament meeting. The talks were focused on pioneers, but they specifically talked about how WE are modern day pioneers. It was so cool to hear Iris express how she felt like a modern day pioneer for her family. It is true though, we each are a modern day pioneer in some way. Check out the video #IAmAPioneer

That evening, we had a President's Fireside and guess who spoke?! None other than my very favorite Kathy! And oh man was so great! She was getting everyone to bust up laughing! It was so wonderful to be able to see Kathy and so many other people from back in Minnetonka. I sure love my Minnetonka folk!

Reunited... Sister Parke, Kathy, and me!

On Monday, July 20th, we started the day off by going to "People Serving People" with the elders. We were able to serve lunch to some of the homeless in Minneapolis. We saw some of our favorite kids, but unfortunately we weren't able to play with them afterwords today.

This is how I roll... at People Serving People ;)

That afternoon, we met with Iris and talked more about her baptism. She had talked with her parents and they had some concerns (as most parents do) and just wanted to make sure she knew what she was getting into before she jumped into being baptized. We had a wonderful lesson and were able to talk about faith to move forward. We promised her that her parents will be able to support her by her baptismal date if she continues to keep them involved with what she is learning. So Iris has set the goal of getting baptized on August 15th and is going to move forward towards that day. We are so proud of Iris and her progress!

That night for FHE the ward went out to play softball. Sister S. and I ended up going out with Elder and Sister Higbee. The Higbees and us were able to have a great little heart to heart about somethings that have been weighing on our minds. let me tell you, those two are so full of wisdom! Our ward is sure lucky to have them around! I wish everyone had people like the Higbees they could turn to. I personally want to thank the Higbees for all their love and support!

Tuesday, the 21st, we met with Iris again. We had given her some reading assignments from the BOM so today we were able to go over those. We studied about when Aaron teaches King Lamoni's Father (in Alma 22) and King Lamoni's Father is willing to give up ALL his sins to KNOW God! This is one of my most favorite stories from the scriptures! I love his faith and desire to know God.

We did some contacting this afternoon and we met the most interesting kid, Cole from Homer, Alaska. He was quite the character to say the least. After spending just a few minutes with him I have decided to put Homer, Alaska on my list of places to visit. Cole explained it as this this tiny community of about 40 people who do everything together. They garden together, they eat dinner together, and they even give thanks at the end of the day together. Who doesn't want to check out that little community up there?! It sounds like a little piece of Heaven if you ask me.

Tonight, the Higbees were teaching institute so we were all about joining in on their class. It was nice to be able to sit in on a religion class. I love being about to see all of these young single adults come together in the evening to learn and grow in the gospel! The strength of the members is just incredible!

On Wednesday, July 22nd, we did more contacting around campus and we actually bumped into one of our neighbors from our apartment building. We were able to talk to him for a bit and left him with the challenge to pray and come to church this Sunday. Hopefully, he will come with our other neighbor Ague. We're crossing our fingers!

We got together with Dixon later that day. Dixon has had so many crazy things thrown at him since the day he decided to be baptized. It's very clear Satan doesn't want him to get baptized, but Dixon isn't letting anything get in his way! We ended up having the elders join us so they could give Dixon a Priesthood blessing. Dixon is tough and he is TOTALLY relying on the Lord—I have NO doubt Heavenly Father is so proud of Dixon and all he is doing! Talk about a modern day pioneer!

To help release some stress Dixon challenged me to another ping-pong game and again... I won. Poor Dixon—he just can't beat me ;) Don't worry Dixon—one day ;)

We went to visit Jenna on Thursday, July 23rd. It had been awhile since we visited her. She is doing good. There are some other sister missionaries that live down the hall from her in her apartment building so they have kinda taken her under their wing and she has been going to the family ward with them. It was good to see Jenna. I miss that girl! We had to check in with her and remind her of her goal of finishing the BOM by the end of the year. She hadn't been reading the last little while, but she committed to pick it back up again. Yay! You can do it Jenna!

Tonight we helped Dixon get moved out of his place. For a couple of days there Dixon didn't know where he was going to be living, but he kept relying on the Lord and BAM guess what?! God took care of him! Dixon ended up getting the perfect set up! Patience is something I struggle with, but I am starting to see that no matter what everything always works out! Heavenly Father has a plan! We simply have to trust Him and exercise our faith and patience!

Friday, July 24th, we went to FMSC with our zone in the morning and then in the afternoon the Higbees took us and Dixon to the temple. It was Dixon's first time to go to the temple! He instantly fell in love with it! He couldn't stop talking about the wonderful spirit that he felt simply walking around the temple. The five of us read from the scriptures and prayed together. It was a special time to simply reflect outside of the Lord's House. I am so grateful we have a temple so close here in St. Paul. I look forward for the day when Dixon will be able to enter inside and receive more of the blessings the temple has to offer!

We sure love Dixon!

Sister Steadman and me... gosh I love this girl!

Brad invited us over to his place tonight to join in on his Mom's birthday celebration. They had cooked up a TON of Indian and Jamaican food! This meal was nothing short of a feast! It was a good thing there were a lot of people because there was enough food to feed an army! People don't mess around out here when it comes to their food! Their motto is, "Go BIG or go HOME!"

Sister Steadman ended the night off by getting stuff ready for the ward talent show that is coming up. We are working on our own little part for the show... I don't want to give anything away, but let me just say... it's HILARIOUS!!! The ward is in for a treat that is for sure!

Scripture of the week: Isaiah 40:31
Theo and Uffda... or should I say G.I Joe and G.I. Jane?!
Yeah we have some tough teddies!

Just hanging out with the ELDERS!!!

Is my tie straight?!

"Elder" Larson, at "his" best ;)

This is in honor of our favorite Elder Heaps and Elder Koster from the MTC!
We sure miss those guys!

Have I mentioned that the misquotes here are BIG and BLOODY?! Nasty huh?!

Thanks for the surprise package Sister Petersen! I loved it!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Week 36 – July 18, 2015

Last Saturday, July 11th, we stopped by Maxwell's to see how he was doing and he seemed to be doing pretty good. He actually ended up inviting us to come back to his restaurant at 9 pm for an Indian feast. He had invited a ton of his Islamic friends to come and break their fast together tonight. When we showed up we couldn't believe our eyes! Maxwell had out done himself! He had cooked enough food for an army. He set up a table just for Sister Steadman and me and brought out our own huge plate of food. Oh, and let me tell you, the food was AMAZING! Maxwell sure knows how to bust it out in the kitchen! Thanks for spoiling us Maxwell!

On Sunday, July 12, 2015, I hit my 8 MONTH MARK!!! Sister S. and I had worked really hard all week to try and get a new investigator to come to church today. We exercised a lot of faith and said a lot of prayers. We had a few solid potentials who said they would come. In fact, we were even going to meet one at her apartment and walk with her to church. Unfortunately, all of them had fallen through. The girl we were going to walk with to church told us later that she had got a bit to drunk the night before and didn't make it home, but that she wants to come another time. Her name is Agua and she is our favorite neighbor here. It's just too bad that she and all of her friends are constantly drinking and getting high. But that's what the gospel is for right?! It changes people! Anyway, so when we got to church we were a bit bummed thinking we weren't going to get our new investigator and then BAM Heavenly Father answered our prayers and sent us Cesili. She had looked into the church a couple of years back, but nothing ever came of it. And then TODAY she just randomly showed up and wanted to start coming back to church and learning more. Wow—how cool is that?! God is so good to us! He knew we had done everything we possibly could and then He provided a way for us to get our new investigator.

Sunday evening we had a group of people (and a couple of investigators) come to the church to watch the movie, "17 Miracles". (I believe it is on Netflix if you want to watch it). The movie was about the Mormon pioneers walking across the plains. There wasn't a dry eye in the room by the end of that movie and only more tears came afterwords when we opened it up for people to share their testimonies. I am so grateful for all of the sacrifices the pioneers made and I love hearing about the many miracles they saw along the way. This would be a great movie to watch on a Sunday evening! I highly recommend it!

Monday, the 13th, we helped Jen Reek move with a bunch of other people. On the drive back, the Higbees stopped at a gas station and let the elders and us get some treats. I just love those Higbees! They're just the cutest country folk I ever did see!

The Higbees are so good to us! Those were the BEST chocolate donuts ever!

That night we had a going away surprise party for Daya for FHE. She is going back home to Mexico so it was a fiesta theme. Dixon challenged me to a game of ping-pong and we all know me and sports... but I decided to give a wack at it and guess what?! I WON!!! Yep, I guess all those years at our Larson family reunions played off. Nick– you would have been so proud of me! Your cuz dominated! Dixon couldn't believe it! To tell you the truth, I couldn't believe it either, but it's true, I beat Dixon!

Before we left to go home, there was some extra cake that hadn't been eaten from the party and well, I hated to see it go to waste so there was only one thing that could clearly be done with it! Who says cake is just for eating?! ;) Yep, there we go again... Sister Steadman and me at our BEST! (Bahahaha)

Here she comes!

Yup, that's my face!

The next day, Tuesday the 14th, we had some awesome lessons! First, we met with Iris. We were wondering where Iris was really at with the gospel. She was keeping her commitments, but we didn't know if she was really progressing, but today we were able to have our questions answered. This was one of those lessons were the Spirit just took over! I asked her what her favorite thing about the church was and she answered she love how it made her feel. We talked about that for awhile and then I felt very strongly that I should TELL Iris that she already KNEW the church was true! I couldn't believe what I was saying. But then Iris agreed with me. And then before I knew it, I was asking her if she would be baptized and she said YES! We talked about some dates and then prayed about it and decided on August 8th. Now the coolest part about this was during the opening prayer Sister Steadman had this strong feeling come over her that Iris was going to be baptized on August 8th and this was before we had talked about any of this! Man, I just love how the Spirit works! I'm so grateful for the Holy Ghost and for the promptings we can receive from Him.

After meeting with Iris we met with Dixon. We ended up listening to the conversion story of Bill Carpenter (I'm not totally sure where you can find a copy, but if you can IT IS INCREDIBLE!!!) Dixon has had a lot of challenges come at him in just the last couple of weeks that have made it hard for him to be able to go through with his baptism right now. It's so hard to watch him have to wait when there is nothing he can do. Dixon has the most faith I have ever seen a person have. He has to have one of the strongest testimonies I know! He is simply amazing. He wants so badly to be able to be baptized, but for some reason other people's choices are stopping that from happening right now. Bill Carpenter's conversion is unbelievable! We wanted Dixon to be able to hear about someone else who also had to go through a refiners fire in order to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Dixon was brought to tears listening to this man's story. But once we were done Dixon walked out with faith in God's timing and with his head held high. If only we could all be like Dixon!

Wednesday, July 15th, I spent a good chunk of the day at the "sleep" doctors trying to get some things figured out that will hopefully help me. I can't even begin to put into words how I felt walking out of there. For the first time in 28 years, I felt a hope I haven't ever felt before. God was answering my pleading prayers. The coolest part about this is the simple fact, that I wouldn't have been able to get this medical direction unless I had come on a mission. Looks like God really did know what He was doing when he sent me out on a mission. I'm so glad I listened!

The rest of the day we spent doing iPad stuff. We are having to switch over all of our area's paperwork onto our iPads and let me tell you it is quite the task to say the least, but we are slowly getting it done.

On Thursday, the 16th, we had a great district meeting where everyone in our district had a chance to share "their story". We're working on being more unified and part of that is being able to be open and vulnerable with each other. It was neat to be able to hear about everyone. There were some pretty cool stories that I would have never guessed. It just goes to show you that everyone has a story! We must love all we meet and look for the good in everyone!

That afternoon, we met with Iris again. We watched the restoration video so she could better understand the story of Joseph Smith. And then Iris asked us to tell her the story about Jesus. Sometimes, we forget that Christ is still very new for her. We were able to break down the story of Christ's life and we watched a little video about that as well. Iris loves learning and it is so exciting to see her grasp new things!

We also met with Dixon and went over Christ-like attributes. Jarrod joined us and the four of us were able to take a quiz out of "Preach my Gospel" to see where we were in different areas and see what areas we could work on improving in. We had a great discussion and were able to learn a lot from one another. I love how our lessons with Dixon have turned into these amazing discussions where I end up feeling like the student half the time. I think it is so neat that we can learn and grow from one another!

Telise, from the ward invited, us out to this fancy restaurant called Crave for dinner. And it was only appropriate that I order sushi of course! I'm not going to lie it felt a little weird going out to such a fancy restaurant on my mission, but it was still fun. My favorite part was when they brought us out our own individual warm wet towels to wash our hands with before our food came. ;)

After dinner we went back to the institute where Dixon was waiting patiently to play me again at ping-pong. He thought it was only fair that we have a rematch because he claimed he injured his finger on Monday night when we played. I figured I should let Dixon have another go, but once again this little lady WON 2 out of 3! Yep—sorry Dixon, you have no excuses this time! ;)

Just Ping Ponging it up with Dixon!

Yesterday, Friday July 17th, we helped Courtney move in the morning and then we went to see Cesili (our NEW investigator). Cesili pretty much knows everything already. She wants to simply get involved with the ward and go at her own pace. Apparently, the thing that made her stop coming was the fact that she felt pressured to get baptized. So we're just going to be there for Cesili and help her make friends in the ward. Honestly, she is pretty solid already, she just needs time.

We switched things up again this week and ended up having our P-Day today. We got a good nap in, some letter writing done, and then we decided to take a trip around the world . Yep, that's right, the world. Our first stop was Italy. Sister S. took me to this little place called Cossetta's which is an Italian restaurant where we got pizza and gelato! Then we hit up the Global Market. This place has food and shops from countries all over the world. I ended up getting a cool little head scarf thing from Nepal. We had a fun time walking around and looking at random things from different countries.

At the Mexican market... Does that poncho look familiar Trev? ;)

It's been another good week here! Hope you had a super duper awesome week! I'm praying for you all! Love you bunches!

Sister Larson

Scripture of the week: Alma 38:5

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Week 35 – July 11, 2015

This past week has been a bit weird. We haven't done much, but at the same time we have kept very busy. Then again I'm not sure when missionaries aren't busy.

Last Saturday, for the 4th of July, Sister Steadman and I decided it would only be appropriate to celebrate with my most favorite Nelsons! I mean I have been at the Nelson's for every Holiday since Thanksgiving so I figured I might as well keep that little tradition going.

When we first got there, the Nelsons decided to go to the park to play for a bit which ended up being perfect since we still needed to get our weekly planning done for the next week. Now let me tell you, that was the BEST weekly planning I have ever had! We went down on the dock, took our shoes off, let our toes just barely dip into the water while we sat there and planned under the sun on the lake with my favorite diet coke with vanilla! Oh man—it was good! That was until we were rudely scared by Sister Parke and her companion Sister Hunt! Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to die! And Mom I will have you know I got my startled screams from you! And boy did I scream! I should have know... that's Sister Parke for ya... always scaring me!

Ahh. Now this is life!

Best weekly planning EVER!

Goofin' off... it's what we do BEST!

All smiles.

Then Steve and Keri made an amazing dinner for everyone. Two of Steve's kids were also there (Brian and Kelly). It was fun to feel like one big family just hanging out in the backyard on the fourth of July. After dinner, Steve made us a fire in the backyard and we all sat around and ate dessert and just as it started to get dark, people started to launch off fireworks around the lake. We stayed for a few minutes, but sadly we missed most of the good fireworks because we had to get home for our missionary curfew. But we did get to see quite a lot on the drive home so that was kinda fun.

Lovin' me some good 4th of July dinner with my favorite Nelsons!
Yep... Sister Parke and I doing a little yoga ;)

The next day, was Sunday the 5th, which meant it was fast Sunday. The best part of the day was the fact that Iris CAME TO CHURCH and she even fasted for her first time! It was so cool! And of course I love fast and testimony meeting. We have such an awesome ward so it is always neat to hear from different people.

That afternoon, we taught Jordan with the elders and officially passed Jordan off to be taught from the elders now. We have loved working with Jordan, but it will be better if he can meet with Elders and start getting fellowshipped by guys in the ward. But Jordan did tell us that he WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!! He is just trying to figure out when he wants to be baptized now. Yay!

On Monday, July 6th, we had a meeting for the sisters in our zone and Sis S. and I were asked to give a training on testimonies. One of the talks I studied for it was called "Testimony" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks (I would highly recommend reading it). Anyway, he quoted something President Kimball said that I really liked. President Kimball said, "The moment we begin preaching to others, our testimony is ended." I thought that was a good reminder. There is a power when we simply bear testimony of what we know or believe in, while leaving all the other fluff out. Another thing I liked was when Elder Oaks said, "We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Some even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them." I would challenge each of you to find one person this week that you can share your testimony with. Remember, testimonies are simply telling someone what you believe. I have faith in you!

Tuesday, the 7th, we had our weekly district meeting and then went out to Five Guys with everyone. The owner is LDS and he was sweet enough to hook us all up with FREE fries and drinks! Thank you Brother Five Guys! ;)

That night I had an awesome chat with Elder Benson (our district leader) and Elder Roberts (the new elder serving here in this ward). Oh man, do I love these guys! It is so neat to see what a mission does for these young boys! They really do a lot of growing up while they're out here. For being 18-20 year old boys I am very impressed (with these two at least). Since being out on my mission I have come to appreciate the Priesthood so much more! It truly is neat to be able to be around men who are worthy to hold the Priesthood.

The next day, Wednesday, July 8th, we actually switched things up a bit and had our P-Day today because President Forbes invited the missionaries in the surrounding areas to come to a Twins baseball game. There were probably, about 100 missionaries that ended up coming. It was pretty fun to have so many of us together. The Twins are a big deal out here. I really know nothing about sports, but I made sure to get into it... you know I got my dollar hot dog and my dip-n-dots and made sure to clap and scream when everyone else did ;) Sister S. and I decided that if you're not eating... baseball is just kinda boring. The saddest part was when the Twins got two home runs in a row we were out buying our food! Can you believe that?! What the heck! Oh well, it was still fun and we got some sun which is always nice! (Oh and just so you know... the Twins WON!)

Sister Parke and me. 
Take me out to the ball game... GO TWINS!

Even Mickey likes the Twins!

I was lucky enough to sit between my two favorite companions at the game!

Me and Sister Steadman.

You think we stood out?!

Oh I almost forgot but Theo loves his Twins too!

That evening we went to Jennifer's for dinner. She told us that her place was about 7 minutes away from the institute building, but for some reason it took us 45 minutes to get there! And that reason is called CRAZY CITY ROADS, DRIVERS, AND TRAFFIC! My goodness, let me tell you, it is going to feel dang good to be back on my gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere! Jennifer lives on the 19th floor of her building though so when we finally did get there we were able to enjoy a beautiful view of the city. At that point I was just happy to be looking at the roads and not be on the roads.

What a view of downtown Minneapolis!

On Thursday, the 9th of July, Dixon was sweet enough to cook us up a delicious lunch with rice and some of his yummy peanut butter sauce. That afternoon, we spent a good chunk of time doing some iPad training. There is a lot to learn with switching over to doing everything on iPads instead of paper. Once we get things down, it will be cool. It's just the getting things down part that is going to take some time.

We love Dixon and his cookin!

That evening the Higbees had the elders and us over to their place for dinner. Sister Higbee is an amazing cook so going there was such a treat! She actually even opened her own restaurant at one point. This woman knows how to cook!

That night we did some contacting and I met the cutest girl, Allison, who had her head shaved. Oh man, it made me miss those days. What do you think... Do you think my Mission President would let me shave my head? Just Kidding! Don't worry my hair is staying as tempting as it is...

Friday, July 10th, we were able to go and teach this girl, Valerie. She was baptized at the age of eight, but since then she really didn't go to church so she doesn't have much of an understanding of the gospel. It was an interesting lesson to say the least, but I think with time and as she prays for answers she will be able to know for herself that what we are teaching her is true.

We also were able to have a lesson with Iris. Karem joined us as we taught her about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. It went well and she committed to follow those commandments. We are trying to figure out where Iris really stands with the church. She is going to be able to come to church again this week so after, hopefully we can sit down with her and get more of an idea of where she is and what is holding her back from progressing towards baptism.

Friday night, we were in charge of the ward activity and we ended up doing skits in a bag. We collected a bunch of random objects and put them in different bags and then divided everyone up into two groups and let them choose a bag of props to use. The groups had to re-act out a Disney movie. Oh man, they were total disasters, but that was the beauty of it... it ended up just being a night full of laughs. So I guess, in reality, it was a success. You gotta love single wards!

Now for a little update... the plan was for Dixon to get baptized today, but that is on pause for now. We are waiting for a few things to clear up, but Dixon is doing great! We met with him for three different lessons this week, we have seen him everyday, and to be completely honest he has become quite popular in the ward. It is so neat to see how well he is doing and how much everyone loves him!

Tomorrow will be my 8 MONTH MARK!!! Holy smokes—can you believe it?!

Miss and love you all!
Keep on keeping on!
-Sister Larson

Scripture of the week: 128:23 :)

**Sister Larson forgot to put what book she was referencing above, but because I think I know her, I believe it is Doctrine and Covenants 128:23. Read it and I think you'll agree, that is very Jessica. 

Sister Woolley (a sister who is now home) knew my LOVE for chocolate covered cinnamon bears and how they're impossible to find out here so what did she do... she totally hooked me up by sending me some! Thanks Sister Woolley! You're the BEST!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Week 34 – July 4, 2015

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and is going to enjoy some good fireworks! I honestly don't even know where this last week has gone. It truly has just flown by and has been jam packed with all sorts of different things!

Last Sunday, June 26th, we met the two sweetest sisters, Claudia and Alyssa (they're Vietnamese). They have been coming to sacrament meetings the last couple of weeks and this week after sacrament we were finally able to catch them before they got out the door. We were able to have a quick mini lesson with them. They want to be taught the lessons, the only problem is they both have crazy work schedules so we are just going to have to prayer that somehow, some time will open up so we will be able to teach them. They both are so ready to receive the blessings of living the gospel.

On Monday, the 29th, Sister S. and I spent a good chunk of time walking around campus trying to contact, but seriously we felt like we were in a zombie movie because NO ONE was around. Honestly, it was almost a little creepy feeling. When we started walking back we met Alex. He was weeding in his little vegetable garden so we offered to help and the next thing we knew we were down in the dirt teaching him! It was great! Hopefully, we will be able to see more of Alex in the future! He seemed like a pretty cool guy and he did throw down a beat for us right then and there about weedin' in the garden—it was pretty sweet!

That night Karem and Jarron totally spoiled us to what they call "FOOD OF DOOM". I guess each missionary that comes through the area gets a special meal prepared just for them and tonight was my night! They didn't tell us anything, it was a total surprise, but they did tell us to come dressed in bright colors... so you know how we are, we took that very seriously and came totally prepared for the occasion! Well, so it turned out that Karem and Jarrom decided to make me my very own "Candy Land"! How cool is that?! It was so stinkin' cute! They didn't mess around- they went ALL out! The decorations were fun, the food was absolutely delicious, and the companion couldn't have been better! Thanks for spoiling me guys!

Welcome to Larson Candy Land!

The cupcake looking things are actually meatloaf with mash potatoes on top with a baby tomato. How cute is that? And boy were they YUMMY!
Following our colorful path the the dinner table.

For FHE that night the ward carved watermelons. They broke up in ten different teams and went to town. It was so cool to see the different things they came up with! My personal favorite was the shark.

Check our that carved watermelon. BAM!

While all the carving was going on Sis. S. and I were in the other room meeting with Dixon. He had called us up earlier and asked if we could meet. We didn't really know what he wanted to talk about. Long story short, he wants to stay in the singles ward! And I'm not going to lie... WE ARE SO STOKED!!! The entire ward loves Dixon. In fact, half the ward thinks he is already a member! He is at the institute everyday and is always doing something with someone from the ward. So it looks like Dixon is going to be in the singles ward after all, at least for the next few months :)

Tuesday, June 30th, Sis. Steadman and I had to get creative! (Nothing new there). We had like five hours of contacting ahead of us and it was going to be long so we had to think of something to help get us through the next five hours. So while we were walking the streets (we CAN'T knock doors here) we tried to see how many different license plates we could find from different states. I think we got to 28! Oh yeah—we're good! I think now we have seen over 35, and have pictures of 32 of those. We are shooting to hit all 50!

Zoua took us out to Annie's Parlor. It is a very well know burger and malt shop here in Dinky Town. It was good, but I have to say my heart still belongs to Snuffy's. Now speaking of Annie... I need to give a shout out to my best Annie back home! She had her baby boy on June 15th. His name is Cole Dylan Burbank and he is a cute as ever! I love you Annie and know you and Chase are going to make wonderful parents! Cole is one lucky little guy!

Annie's Parlour.

Our last appointment for the night was to teach Iris at Lilly's. Lilly is 18, got baptized just a year ago, and is here for the summer doing an internship. We talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was a great lesson and the best part is Iris is going to be able to come to church for the first time this Sunday! And we are all going to fast together to help Iris gain her own testimony of the church and know if baptism is the next step for her. Yay!

Wednesday, July 1st, we had our district meeting and after went out to lunch. We have a brand new elder who just got here last week from the MTC. It's crazy to think I once was that new missionary. That feels like that was so long ago. My district bumped into Dave—such a good guy. He is homeless, but he is doing what he can and I LOVE that about him! Best of luck my friend!

My district ran into Dave. Dave lives on the streets and is known for the umbrellas he makes. He has people write all over them and then he donates them to a fundraiser to help other. He is working on his 64th umbrella right now.

Tonight we had a lesson with Dixon and President Forbes actually joined us. It was the first time I have ever had President Forbes in a lesson with me. That night when we got home we got a text from Sister Forbes and this is what it said, "President said you did an outstanding job tonight. You were well prepared with scriptures and the lesson was well presented. He also said, that you taught with the spirit and he could not have done it better." Wow- what a compliment coming from our Mission President!

On Thursday, the 2nd, we met up with Dixon for lunch at Potbelly's. There has been some interesting things going on with Dixon as he has been preparing for baptism, but it has been so cool to see how Dixon is fighting Satan, head on! He has one of the strongest testimonies of anyone I have EVER met! He is going to be able to serve in so many different capacities—I can't wait to see what Heavenly Father has in store for him! If only we could all be more like Dixon!

We helped Catherine and Hung (our neighbors) do some more weeding. Their yard is amazing and there is always work to be done. We are trying to follow Ammon's example and serve with love hoping that one day we will be able to share our message with them. They are wonderful people and we have loved being able to get to know our neighbors—it's kinda fun especially since we live in the city!

Contacting today we were able to meet a couple different really neat people. One of them was Victor. After we shared the story of Joseph Smith with him and said a prayer he told us he doesn't normally walk home that way, but he had a feeling he needed to walk home this way today and that he felt like it was because he needed to meet us. Love it! And I love that he recognized that! Way to follow the spirit, Victor!

We had dinner at the institute with Becky and Jake tonight. After cleaning up we were able to help God preform a miracle. Check this out... so this random guy came walking into the institute building. He was clearly older that a college age student and he didn't look so good. He came in and told us his name was Mike and that he needed to get home to get his medicine. We sat down and had him explain what was going on. Apparently, he was trying to get back home and he didn't money for his bus ticket. It was $57 and he only had $17. We ended up saying a prayer with Mike and getting him some much needed water (he said he didn't want any food). And then I decided to make my rounds and see what I could round up to help Mike get the money he needed to get home. There were four people there so I went and asked each one of them if they had any money they could spare to help with the situation and get each them put in ten dollars. They gave us the exact amount we needed to get Mike home! We gave that to Mike, said one more prayer of thanks, and Mike was on his way. The neat part was that they all just happened to have $10 cash on them. It hard to find anyone with cash on them nowadays. And two of the girls we asked both shared separately how earlier in the day they felt like they needed to put $10 in their wallets. How neat is that? They both were prompted by the Holy Ghost and listened and followed his promptings. Wow! Talk about a true miracle!

Yesterday, Friday, July 3rd, Sis. Steadman and I helped serve lunch at "People Serving People" (a homeless shelter downtown). We are so blessed! Helping others who are in so much need is very humbling. I grateful for all that I have! And Mom and Dad I hope you both know how truly grateful I am for you and for the way you raised me. It is so heartbreaking to see the way some of these children are being brought up now days. You are wonderful parents. I love you!

After serving lunch, we played with some of the kids outside for a while. We taught them the "Macarena" dance and told them that was a dance from back in the day ;) The one little boy said he liked old school style so I guess we're in with him now. ;) We also taught them a clapping game and a few other things. We all were having so much fun together!

Then yesterday afternoon, we met with Moe. Now I think I mentioned Moe works at the restaurant on the corner of our street. We see him everyday and we just love Moe! Well, last week we gave him our card and told him if he ever needed help to give us a call. Since that day we haven't seen Moe at the shop. But Friday morning, he called us and asked if we could meet somewhere privately and talk. We ended up meeting him at the institute. He told us how he has been having a lot of personal problems lately and is actually no longer working at the store. He told us he has been wanting to call us the last couple of days, but hasn't been able to get himself to. He went on and said, that he has had a hard time sleeping and last night he couldn't sleep at all and that in the morning he had the strongest feeling he needed to find our card and call us. So that is exactly what he did. We were able to listen to this grown man pour out his heart to us. We then told him that there were people in the church that could help give him support and counsel (Bishop, employment specialist, etc.) and then we had the elders come and give him a Priesthood Blessing. The Church is truly amazing! I have such a strong testimony of how it is set up! This truly is Christ's Church and He knows exactly how it needs to be run. We are so blessed to be members—we must NEVER take that for granted!

This morning we got a text from Moe and you will be happy to hear that he slept like a baby last night ;) I have know doubt Heavenly Father was blessing him!

Alright well I think that about sums it up for this week, until next week...
Have less. Do more. Be more.
I love you!

-Sister Larson
Revelation 3:20

Some say we make great Walmart Missionaries ;) 

Just hanging out with Goldie the Gopher (the school mascot).
Trev, I got this pizza just for you! It is a macaroni and cheese pizza! How about that?!