Monday, December 27, 2010

Follow up to Christmas call

Hola to all-

That was a nice, quick 30 min i believe on Saturday. It was fun to talk to you. I'm glad your excited to come down here. It should be fun from what you told me we´re going to do. But the holidays here, like you both know are always different than for for anybody else. They had a ton a fireworks at midnight but i slept right through it. Christmas was pretty chill. And just these past few days because no one seems to be home. But it should be better this next week. But other than that I'm doing fantastic. Thanks for everything again.

Love,
Elder Erik Larson


P.S.- There is a book called The LDS Missionary Workout Program or something similar to that name that i would like. You don't have to send it but i would like it when i get back. Only if you can find it. If not than that's ok.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas coming up

Hello to all-

So the rumors on the street is that its Christmas this week. I don't know if you caught the memo but it is coming up pretty quick. Saturday i can call around 9 or 10 my time here in the morning and we can talk for a good 30 min. But the Christmas season is always enjoyable in one way or another. Its just the way we look at it i believe.

But I'm so happy that all is well and that you guys have been kept busy. As for me we have been kept pretty busy. We have been running around to help the other elders and sisters with their baptisms, getting them medicine, and trying to help a few people come to church.

But on Friday we had the Christmas party for the ward and we got one family that we´re teaching to come. We weren't allowed to go but we dropped them off and they had a great time they said. We didn't have anyone come to church on Sunday which was hard to take again but alli vamos right?

So we tried to pass by with that family last night but the husband wasn't there. They have a small little tienda as well. But instead of talking with her we saw another lady that looked lost or
she was waiting for something. So we quickly noticed that and we started to talk to her. At this point of time, around 7:30 she has been waiting for her husband since 2pm. She basically started talking to us about life and just personally things. She said that he was probably drunk again. And just with talking to her i felt really bad. I asked her about if she is attending i church and she said no, but that she used to. And then i asked her how has been her life without church. And then she told us how it has changed a lot and a lot more problems have come into her life. And i just stood there shocked because she has had a tough past few years and that she really needs a change in her life. She was going out of down but we gave her a BOM and we´ll be in touch these next few days. Its just hard to think how this can happen to a family. And how it really hurts the kids and the wife as well. I have come to have a lot more respect for the moms and wives out there that are trying to do whats best and not give up trying when i would think i could not handle it.They just have that buso about them which make me want to be a little better.

But in other news.....today we had a big soccer tournament with the whole mission. It was fun but of course we lost. I'm a big fan of soccer now. I'm obviously not the best but i love it.

But thanks for everything this year and we will talk SaTuRdAy

Love,
Elder Erik Larson

Erik's recipe - wow (Sweet potatoes)

Erik sent this recipe last week. (I'm posting this Dec 28)
We made it for Christmas and it was pretty good!

Erik's words
Something potatoes and its amazing


3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
TOPPING:
1/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter, melted
Combine all above ingredients until smooth. Pour into 2 qt. casserole dish.
Mix all topping ingredients and spread over sweet potato mixture.
Bake at 350°F. for 35 to 40 minutes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things quieting down in Guatemala

Hello to all-

Well today is one of the last days for the people going home this change. They´re going home a week earlier to avoid the Christmas traffic. But that just leaves apparently less than 50 days. I knew the weeks but the days i didn't really know until now. But its been an alright week with the people that we´re teaching. None of them ended up really coming to church but with one guy he is set on getting baptized and wants a big change in his life. We just hope that he really wants it so we can help him in his life right now.
But other than that I'm doing good. A couple days ago we ran into a guy pushing a cart full of soda bottles. I started off by saying, can we help you push your cart, and he said sure. So while i pushed it i told him that my companion would share with him a message that we have for him. And so we went for a 1/4 mile. Me pushing, and just having Elder Claunch talk to this one guy. He doesn't like to talk so it was fun giving him time to talk so he could practice his Spanish. I
really enjoyed it.
But we´re looking at 2 baptisms at the least for this month to early January. Cross your fingers.

Elder Erik Larson

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

From El Bosque

Hello to all-

So apparently we´re getting close to Christmas and 2011 at the same time. But as for the weather down here it´s been hot turning the afternoon and just freezing at night. It´s been fun but getting sick for a little bit always stinks. But we have had a pretty good week this past week. We have found a couple new families that are really cool and we got one of them to the Christmas Devotional on Sunday night.

The other guy we are visiting and teaching is Miguel and he is one of the coolest guys i have met. We were getting to know this one part of our area on Saturday and we ran into this lady who has all gold teeth. She was really cool and it was fun talking to here about the gospel for the first time talking to her. We said he would becoming back the next day and so we did. We went back but we ran into her oldest son. Oh and she has 11 kids. So we taught him about the Restoration and watched the DVD with him and it was one of the most powerful, spiritually lessons i have had in a very long time. He was very interested and asked a lot of questions so he understood everything. The lesson that we had with him last night was just as amazing but more. We talked to him about baptism and the importance of the sacrament and it was a very incredible lesson. We taught about Alma 7 and the importance of why we need to be baptized. And that's really what he was worried about. His past. The things he did in the past. But since he wanted to learn and change he was able to listen to the spirit teaching him. I haven't been this happy in a long time because its always amazing when you teach and they actually get and grasp everything you teach them. I think this was luck when we met him. As of two weeks ago one of President Lorenzanas secretaries came and talked to us and he said that ¨Luck is when the preparation meets the opportunity.¨ And so finding Juana, his mom, lead us to find Miguel and have the luck we needed at this time.

And so yesterday we had our big Christmas party as a mission and it was pretty cool. We rented out the nicest hotel or convention center here in Xela and has a fun time yesterday. We all had to pay 100 quets which paid for the whole thing which was pretty cool. The food was good and we had hymns and skits from every zone throughout the day. And so they gave us today as a P-Day you could say. We all got a small little bag with a tie and goodies in it. Oh and E Ava had to wrap up all the presents and give them to everyone this year. Lets just say I'm glad i didn't have to that last year. haha. Oh and he was dressed up as Santa Claus and everything. It was pretty funny. And if you could send a letter to Elder Ava that would be great for me.

But I'm glad that everyone is staying busy and i hope that your surgeries go well mom. It sounds like its the Holidays because you guys are always running all over the place. Which is a good thing. Keeping busy is one of the things i lacked before the mission. But now I know that if i keep myself busy doing worthwhile things that there will be a less want to things of lesser worth. The gospel of Jesus Christ takes action and sacrifice on our part. And i love the lyrics to one song about Joseph Smith...¨Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.¨ Which is true. Nothing of a good value will come free on our part. I love you all and if you think of anyone i could do something for just let me know.

Love,
Pencil Man - aka - Elder Erik Larson

P.S. I don't remember the BYU-I email that i had. And to answer your question about my companion. I am his first companion so in other words you can say I'm training for the second time in a row. ha ha

Monday, November 29, 2010

Infinite Atonement

Thanks for sending that information about that one guy were looking for. That´ll make her happy a lot. But I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving and its really true about what you said about Granny and Grandad and why she is still alive with all that cancer. I wish i can see them again. Probably will but we´ll see.

But we had a nice Thanksgiving here. We spent it with the family Boj and we had a true thanksgiving meal. And to tell you the truth i was so full that i had to room for the dessert. Crazy right? But anyways this week has gone by fine.

We ran into a lot of cool new people this week but then when we return with them its completely different. We have to find a family to baptize in December.That's the goal. Oh and i think that were having our Christmas party next Monday so if i don't write then you know why. But I'm reading the Infinite Atonement book you sent me and its really interesting. I just came across and learned a lot from the part where it explains that Jesus knew the pain, suffering, and sins he was going to pass through before he did it. He knew his plan and role of it all. But you can study and plan all you want but when you are actually in the moment of something those feelings cannot be felt or known to the complete affect beforehand. And that's why he asked if there's another way but we knew that there wasn't. I'm getting to know more of the person who canhelp me overcome my weaknesses and guide me to the eternal light that is most desirable. I love my area and there's a lot to do. I just hope we can help a lot more people come unto Christ right now because of this Christmas season. I love you all and have a great first week of December.

Erik Larson

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello mom-Just to mention a few things before i start.

1- Is there anyway of finding someone in the salt lake city area.There is a lady here who as an uncle there and wants to find him so they can get in touch. I think hes a member as well but I'm not sure.His name is Carlos Enrique Soto de Leon (i hope) and his son is Carlos Enrique Holl. If there is anyway way to find that out just let me know. She was pretty excited when i told her that i would see what i could do.

2- A couple things for Christmas or for when you come for a couple of latins that i know. One wanted the ¨Journey of Faith¨ DVD. I think its a DVD but I'm not 100 % sure. And they wanted 2-3 pair of the spandax garment shorts. Their sizes are 32 and 30. If there is a way you could pick those up that would be just amazing but if not i understand. I just want to help them out in whatever way i can to make them happy you know?

3- I would love to go to the Philippines if that is possible and to your parents house. I think it would be a great experience and if you want to we´ll go. There is no problem with me. Once in a life time experience. Well for me at least. You've already been there. haha.

4- Cheez-its would be amazing

But this week has been alright.

Like i said we live four in the house and i think we just all took turns being sick this week. But we are all better now and hope to stay healthy. We´re slowly getting to know the members and doing a lot of contacting. My companion is not a big fan but that's what we´ve done these past few days. We´ve found a couple families that we´ll be going back with in these next few days.Its hard but its worth it founding people that want to hear from us.Yes thanksgiving is coming up and i think we are going to have 3-4 Thanksgiving meals on different days with different people. This area is a lot different than san juan because it seems like everyone has a nice car and eats well and they have been to the states at least once.So they know a little about thanksgiving. It should be a lot of fun but at the same time i hope I'm healthy on Thursday. A weird kind of experience happened yesterday when we were going to church. We ran into a family that was looking for a different church asking us where it was. I said we had no idea and i asked why. They told us that on the radio that morning they said that today they were going to heal and cure everyone that was sic and needed help. I just was really shocked and really didn't know what to say after that to this man. We invited him to come with us to church but he said he would think about it. We left and i just kept thinking of how Satan works in mysterious ways. It caught me off guard and i tried my best to help them realize how they needed to come to church not just once to get ¨healed¨but to come to follow Christ and have his spirit with us during the week. But its just interesting how churches get out there messages here. I just hope one day this effect that has the radio can change with people so they can come to the truth of all righteousness. Well send my best to the family when your with them and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Erik Larson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Transferred to El Bosque...Zone leader again

Hey mom and family-

Let me first start off by saying i got changed this past week. I'm truly going to miss San Juan. It was fun there. Basically starting from scratch and building that weak branch into a stronger one. I stayed here in Xela and I'm now in El Bosque. A new thing that president is doing right now that Elder Clark told him to do is to have the assistants and zone leaders train. Well I'm now a zone leader again and training Elder Claunch. He´s from Lyndon. I don't know if that's how you spell it by its right next to Orem which is right next to Provo. Not to mention how the members give us food everyday for lunch. I have never had an area like this before. Apparently we have lunch with the Boj Family every Sunday and i ate like a King. It reminded me when we went to the house of David Thomas. Lets just say they are very rich and go to the states whenever they want. But anyways the ward is really cool and they are all living a lot better physically than any other ward i have been assigned to. But we are 4missionaries here in El Bosque now. Ever since the mission split we have received a ton of missionaries. There are a lot of areas that have 4 missionaries and there are a few that have 6. Its kind of crazy right now if you ask me. And plus we opened up 3 areas here and just getting them houses, the things for the house, and making them happy has kept us a really busy. Not to mention that we are now living with the other 2 elders in the same house. There will be a lot to learn with living with 2 companionships in a small house that has never really happened before. But its fun. I'm happy where i am right now even though that a lot of the people we talk to are just passing through and live some where else near by. I just love Xela. But i don't love it that much that i would name one of my kids Xela. If i ever do,i give you the right to re-name her. haha. Hope all is well and that the family of David Thomas are doing good as well. Have a great week.

Love,

Elder Erik Larson

Monday, November 8, 2010

What a week! (with pictures!)







Hello Family-

What a week if i do say so myself. Cutting down corn, having Elder Clark come to our mission, and helping one of our investigators come to church.

So as of 2 months ago Martina got baptized and she is just amazing.Comes to church with the attitude of what can i do to better my life.We asked her what we could do for her with the days coming up and she told us we could help her cut down her corn that she has. 2 things that maybe you don't know. There are a lot of corn fields here and it seems like everyone has a little property to a big property of cornfields and it is the month to cut them all down and start over. So she said she had a little but it was still pretty big. And the other thing is that here there are no machines to do it so you have to do it all by hand. So we went to help her and it took us 1 hour to cut the corn down with 3 people. To a lot of people here it is a great time (month)to have work because there are tons of fields to cut. But after doing this for 1 hour, under the sun, i just thought maybe i wont pursue that type of work in the future. I enjoyed helping her because she needed help and she deserves it you could say because she lives a little far away where she doesn't get a lot of visits. But i love her.

Secondly, Elder Clark came and talked to us and it was fun hearing from him. You wont fall asleep when he´s talking. Very animated and spiritual at the same time. Just a couple things that i found to enjoy was that he said that if we don't like missionary work we will never enjoy the celestial kingdom. So i stopped and thought, i have to be doing this type of work with this type of attitude my whole life to receive Gods blessings and guidance more. And something that i will enjoy my whole life. And the other thing he explained was how the people that we teach tend to forget very quickly and that we have the tendency to tell them what we talked about in the previous cita we had with them so they remember. So when we start asking them what they remember and learned in the previous cita we just need to be quiet and listen to see if they are really learning or not. Its just a tendency to tell them we talked about this and that and they say ¨oh ya, i remember now.¨ Just the small things to change to become better missionaries. And afterward everyone got a whole pizza and surprising can finish a whole pizza. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

And for right now we don't have a lot of investigators but the lady that we´re teaching is really cool. Her boyfriend is a member from a different branch, she has her own nice CTR ring, her family are less actives, but the only down side is that she works on Sunday. But can take the day off is she wants i believe but the family is in debt so she works because Sunday is the best day for gamers. (Its like a small arcade with 10 machines). But were working with them both. And we told them they need to go together and we got that arranged and that was perfect. And we put goals with her that she would come for one hour one week, the next week the 2 hours, and the next week the 2 hours and work half day until she can keep the sabbath day holy. Little by little are the words i learned from Elder Clark that are helping Natalie come to church with us. But it seems like she knows everything but just doesn't want to get baptized because ¨what if i stop going after one month¨ she says. And she doesn't want to do that. If you have any suggestions that would be nice.

But its been fun. Its getting cold but that doesn't matter right?Have a great week!And give my best to Aaron and Becca

Love,

Elder Erik Larson
p.s. And I'm craving Chees-its if there's anyway of getting them

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day of the Dead in Guatemala

Hello a todos-

Yes i know i should have written yesterday but the good old day of the dead is quite the holiday here. A lot of things were closed so there was nothing open. But here i am, rocking like a hurricane. But since it was 5th Sunday the leaders talked a lot about what to do when there's earthquakes, floods, and all that jazz. But we are now having the visit of Elder Clark on Thursday. It should be a lot of fun. But i have now decided that i need to learn mam. More than half the people we talk to know mam better than Spanish. But alli vamos right? I feel like i´ll end here and at the same time, i want to. Its been fun here.But right now we´re teaching a lady named Natalie and basically she knows everything about the church but the only problem is is that she works on Sundays. She also has a boyfriend that is in a different ward. She is really cool and says all the right things but coming to church is that hardest thing. She has her own arcade and has to be there to give them the tokens and says that no one else can stay and watch it for her. So i have been thinking for a long time what can we do to get her to come to church. So yesterday we passed by expecting to see what time we could visit her with her bf the next day but when we walked in we saw him as well. So we talked to them both and really made it clear why we are here. And then we asked, in what way can we help you come to church? They didn't know and we talked about something else and then we asked the question again. And she smiled and said i have an idea. We can have my bf come to my house and pick me up so we can go to church together. And i was like, that's perfect! We just haven't thought about that, thinking that we just need to talk with the 2 of them together and see what we can do. It was a pretty funny lesson but I'm glad the spirit was there to guide us to the result we got. So hopefully she comes this next Sunday. But all we´re lacking is more people to come to church and teach. But other than that I'm doing great. I hope you all have a great week.

Love,Elder Erik Larson

PS- I also need to know what the name of the airport in Dallas and Sacis. And the full name of Pres Harrison and his phone number by next monday.

so im thinking.
Mon 31 jan- San Juan
Tues 1 Feb- Xela
Wed 2 Feb- Huehue
Thurs 3 Feb- Visit the coast if you want, and pass through Coatepeque and Reu
Fri 4 Feb- Whatever you guys have planned. Antigua, ruins, waters of mormon, etc

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Hope Factor




Me and Jorge, Most recent baptism
Birthday picture
And a lovely dog after it rained one day

Hello to all-

For me two years go by really fast but just to think that a lot of things happen in that time that you wouldn't think would come to pass.But i guess you can always say that there is a X factor where you have no idea what will come to pass with a lot of things. But there is that hope factor that comes into play that helps us realize that whatever the X factor that comes into our lives will be for our learning. It may not be something that we want or except that would come into play but with the H factor it helps us counterbalance the X factor. And without the H factor we will follow the X factor throughout our lives not knowing where we will end up or what kind of person we will become. But what blessings come into our lives when the H factor guides our life for good. Because it says that all good things come from God. The best factors in our personal lives is something that is worth fighting for. (Or ¨the girl whose fighting for,¨ Mulan). Ok sorry. I like the movie Mulan and the music. The factors that make us step out of our box and grow personally and strengthen our character.Because someone has said ¨We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day¨ In the way that this quote and the talk about what faith and character really is has no words to describe how much it has changed me personally. The X factor will come but that wont change me for the worse. But it will help me change for the better. I cant say i wont change from it but i can say i can take advantage and learn from it. How much i enjoyed this week because it went by slow and we had a lot to do. But how much i love learning more of this gospel. It takes that extra effort and a true desire to do it but i can say its worth fighting for. Gives your life more light,peace of mind, and that true inner happiness that we have all felt at least once in our lives. Christ lives and because he lives he can help me and you become the person we both want to be. We can become like him by doing the little things they try to stick in our minds in primary and live the gospel on a day to day basis. HE is willing to bless our lives a little more when we learn from the X factors that will always come. May he bless you with the strength to believe in him and follow his example.
Love you all,
Elder Erik Larson

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jorge's baptism

I'm starting out with this so i don't forget. I would like a couple family history stories about Jacob Hamblin or any other interesting stories about our family history. Another thing is if you could send some more CTR rings in Spanish because they love them here and they're fun to give away. And an etch-a-sketch thing where you draw on a board thing and then you move a ruler thing and it erases what you drew. I would like it to teach with. Hopefully you know what I'm talking about.

Hello family-I left my camera in the house but i will send photos next week with the baptisms we have had. Jorge just got baptised and it was fun seeing him change in these past couple weeks. He asked me to baptism him and i was privileged to do it for him. And its always funny when the person with the keys to the church shows up 5 min before the baptism should start and the next person who shows up is the person getting baptised. And then slowly all the members start to show up.The talk was given in mam and i really want a lot of the things we doing the church here to change into mam because a lot understand mam a lot better than Spanish. Even though i cant understand it and i can just tell that it sounds good. haha hopefully i can learn a little of mam before i leave here. Oh and yesterday we had 95 people come to church and normally just 65-70 come. The meetings were great and it was a very enjoyable Sunday. Its always so fun getting down to the end of the month because you budget your money a lot more. Because right now we are working a lot in some areas that are kind of far away. So sometimes we take buses to get there. But we walk most of the time.And when people find out that we walked they are shocked and don't believe us because everyone takes a bus. Oh how i love San Juan.

Love, Elder Erik Larson
P.S. i hope the trip was fun and that you had a great birthday dad.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Special trip to HueHue

Hello family-

Who knows where you are today but i hope all is well and you're enjoying the time you have out there. It goes by fast. But as for me i had a pretty good week. We ended up going to Huehue on Monday and we came back Thursday afternoon. We went to an area called Chinaca where for the past 3 weeks they have had 30-40 people come to church that weren't members. So we went down with 8 other elders to see who they are, if they're positive, and to help them make the first step of following Christ through baptism. Monday they had a big FHE and we got to know everyone and it was a really cool FHE. Then the next day we took a few people each person and contacted a lot of this area. After the first day we noticed that about half would progress. And it shrunk in half again the next day kind of. By Thursday president said that we were needed back in our own area with 2 other elders. In Huehue we stopped by Zumbas and it was fun to see Enrique again. Hes such a nice guy. ha ha he´ll be our tour guide. just kidding. But we came back and had a nice few days here in San Juan. This one guy who we are teaching, named Jorge, is going to get baptized this Saturday hopefully. He came to church by himself, with his white shirt and tie,and his hair combed. I love see that change in a person. He lives with Elmer and its pretty far away. He cant read or understand that well but you can just see the change that has occurred in his life.Hopefully he can keep on going. I could definitely see him being a leader and helping the people who only know mam in the branch know more about the gospel. I love it here in San Juan. And Happy Birthday Dad! A cruise for you birthday. What a way to go right?

Love you all
Elder Larson

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Erik and Elder Whittaker baptism photo


Elder Whittaker's mother, Lori and I have been emailing. She's a doll.

She sent me a picture that Erik had not sent me from a baptism the two had. I don't have the details but thought I'd post it! This is Elder Whittaker's first baptism! Elder Whittaker is 6'4". Erik is 5'10".

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy October


Hello family-

What happened to September? If you could tell me i would really like to know.

But to start off i would like you guys to thank when you get the chance The Grundys, Mecham family, your parents mom, The Myers, and of course you guys for remembering my birthday. I was seriously shocked when i saw the mail i had. So thanks and really you shouldn't have. But after all is said and done i am just thankful for everyone i know. Ive just been in a thankful mood for these past few days and the prophets talk and elder Holland's talk just made me want to keep that feeling i have with me.

But my birthday and now conference is done and over with so whats next. probably dads birthday i would believe. haha.

But besides that we helped this one guy we are teaching, Jorge, come to conference with us so he could see the prophet. It was such an amazing conference and i cannot wait till we can get the talks online.

I believe elder Scott's talk was just for me and Bro. Myers, though. I'm just so thankful for this gospel and the happiness it can bring in anybodies lives who live it. Conference is just a testimony to that.

I'm not sure yet but we might be going up to Huehue to work up there this week. I will tell you more about it this next week.

Take care and know that i love all of you.

elder larson

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy 21st Birthday!

Hello

Well apparently today is a big day right? The big 21 where everyone should now know me as a man. Not joven anymore. Its where in one night all my thoughts, desires, actions, and everything i will do in the rest of my life will change. I am now a completely different person right? Well to be honest....a little bit. It didn't change in one night but it sure has changed. And i certainly have become better for it.The people that i have got to know in this past month and a half has just shown me what it means to actually live the gospel. Not just go to church with your beautiful family with a car and a nice set job,but humble people coming to church on foot with their change for their tithing in a small little black bag in their pocket. What a blessing it is for me to get to know people who truly put their trust in the Lord first in all things. Sadly some cant read and some don't understand Spanish that well but their they there every Sunday at church. We had a good attendance of 70 yesterday with a baptism after church of the daughter of Hna. Martina, named Sandra. I love just being around them and them wanting to get to know the gospel by asking questions and doing the things we tell them to do. Hopefully we can get to know more people who want to get to know who Christ really is this next month to help bless their life. What a blessing and a beautiful thing it is to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.We met a guy this week who told us, when we talk about Jesus Christ,we are only talking about blessings. (Sorry, it was better said in Spanish). But its really true. But i hope all is well and that whatever your weakness may be, just remember that the spirit that will be felt at general conference can and will help you strengthen that weakness to become a great strength that you will have.

Love,

elder Larson

p.s. if there's anyway you can find a 3 month study plan for the BOM,or D&C, or the NT or the OT that would be great. Thanks mom!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Hello family-

I hope you had a great independence day like i did. Yes Guatemala's independence day was this past 15th. Yes it was a great day. Probably not for missionaries because everybody was watching the fair and parades that were going on. But this week was pretty good. Were still trying to get to know everyone and its weird to think that we've been here for a month now. But i cant wait for general conference though.And i apparently will be completing aƱos this next week. Where did that come from? Its weird to think that but that is just reality right?? I don't know if you guys have ever experienced a time on your mission where you were trying to speak their language and they just don't understand you because they know a dialect more than the normal language there....well....thats how it is in most the little cities here. Some know mam a lot more than Spanish and its just funny when were talking to them and you can just tell that they don't understand us because they know mam a lot better than Spanish. But I'm here for a reason right? But i can honestly say i love it here and that i hope to learn a little mam so i can communicate myself with them. Very slowly the branch seems to be getting better here. We just don't have a lot of men in the branch which is hard at times because most are all working or they are out drinking or are in the states. But are focus now is to mainly focus on them so the branch can be strengthened. Its going to take a little bit of time to motivate and teach the people here the importance of everything we try to do in the gospel but that's the fun of teaching the gospel. There's always something new to learn or to focus on. Well i hope all is well and that you enjoy the Relief Society Conference this next week.

Love you all
elder Larson

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hola de San Juan

Hello to all-

I hope all are well and that you feel better mom. So like i mentioned at the end of my last email that we might have 2 baptisms at the end of the week...well the Lord blessed us with 2 and it was fun to help them get baptized. Ones name is Martina and has been investigating the church and going for a while but then everyone lost contact with her for a while and then we found her and she really wanted to get baptized, The other is this 12 yr old that looks like he's 8 but he's pretty cool and really mature. I will show you where they live when you come down. ha ha its pretty far and they both come to church every Sunday. They were the firsts ones to show up to the baptism...about 45min before it was going to start. But we ended up starting about 20min late waiting for the branch president to show up. But in the end it all turned out well and they both got confirmed after the baptismal service. And yesterday was pretty cool because it was stake conference and they put in a new stake presidency and Elder Falabella was there.Just think that in a couple of weeks he is going to be with the prophet in salt lake receiving training from him and the apostles called from the Lord. But i cant wait till conference. Well this week we need to find more people. We don't really have anyone anymore. And not to say that this week is huge because of independence day on Wednesday. haha So i hope we can find people at their houses. Have a great week and thanks for everything.

Love you all
elder Larson

Hola de San Juan

Hello to all-

I hope all are well and that you feel better mom.

So like i mentioned at the end of my last email that we might have 2 baptisms at the end of the week...well the Lord blessed us with 2 and it was fun to help them get baptized. Ones name is Martina and has been investigating the church and going for a while but then everyone lost contact with her for a while and then we found her and she really wanted to get baptized, The other is this 12 yr old that looks like hes 8 but hes pretty cool and really mature. I will show you where they live when you come down. ha ha its pretty far and they both come to church every Sunday. They were the firsts ones to show up to the baptism...about 45min before it was going to start. But we ended up starting about 20min late waiting for the branch president to show up. But in the end it all turned out well and they both got confirmed after the baptismal service.

And yesterday was pretty cool because it was stake conference and they put in a new stake presidency and Elder Falabella was there. Just think that in a couple of weeks he is going to be with the prophet in salt lake receiving training from him and the apostles called from the Lord. But i cant wait till conference.

Well this week we need to find more people. We don't really have anyone anymore. And not to say that this week is huge because of independence day on Wednesday. haha

So i hope we can find people at their houses. Have a great week and thanks for everything.

Love you all

Elder Larson

To answer the questions yes I end on Tuesday Feb. 1st. But i already talked to pres and i can leave on the 31st of Jan if we need more time. And for my birthday idk..........maybe........reeses, butterfingers,take 5, some more Gatorade packs, peanut butter, cheese-its and whatever else you would like to put in their. And some more CTR rings.

Thanks mom

Monday, September 6, 2010

Busy week

What a week you guys all had. I had a great week as well. The days seemed to go by slow so we could get everything done and i think we used our time really well and we both really enjoyed it. Like i said before there hasn't been any missionaries here for a long time and when we talked to the references we have received they just seem ready and all we have to do is guide them in the right direction. There's a couple areas that we have that are really far away and it just seems that the people over there have really strong desires to go to church and get baptized. And it just really helps when the members have strong desires to serve with us. We planned the appointments we had with members and the people that we were teaching could really feel the spirit and have the friendship they need. I hope i finish my mission here cause i love the people here. Sorry this is so short. Have a great week.

Love,
Elder Larson

Hey Dad-

What a week you had. Marrying sophie and combining your practice. Thats sounds pretty exciting. And thats to bad to hear about Allan and hear that mom doesnt want to go into the garage anymore. Haha oh mom. All is well here. Had a great week and we possibly may have 2 baptisms this upcoming week. I love opening up an area where there has not been missionaries in a long time. People just seem to be ready when we find them. Have fun this week dad.

Love,
Elder Larson

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lots of rain

Hello family-

I hope all is well and that your trip to Utah was fun. Well I'm enjoying life here in San Juan. We have been living basically in one room this whole time and i love it. We should be getting the other room but one guy is still using it for storage. When i got here i wanted to find something small and i got what i wanted you could say.

But its been fun with elder Whittaker. He just reminds me of myself when i started. For example it rained pretty hard yesterday and it was the first day we decided to go to the farthest area that we cover. And he was all soaked and didn't seem to enjoy it. And then when we got home found out that the water went through all is backpack and into his stuff. I could tell that he didn't have a good day so i backed off and just remembered the first few times i got soaked and that the water entered my scriptures. I was a little mad as well but now its kind of fun. Today we bought umbrellas so i hope they last a long while.

But we cover a small branch here and more than half of them can also speak an other dialect, called mum. Idk how to spell it but just listening to it is crazy. We are in the process of learning it so that should be fun.

With all the rain, mum, small house, and the little food we've eaten Ive really enjoyed it here and I'm looking forward to the time i will spend here.


We have a lot of people that we have visited that are friends of some of the members but the thing is that they all live in different little towns that are far away from everything. So were just stuck in the situation of timing our time well so we can get all the things we need to get done.

Thanks for the package and everything that you've done for me.

The elder quorums pres has been quite a blessing here. It seems like he has always put the things of the Lord first in his life. He has always been willing to drive us where we need to go or show us where everyone live. If it wasn't for him we would still be lost here. The people here are great and i just hope i can learn a little from them and make them a part of my life.

I hope all goes well with Aaron and his family. Send my love to them.

Have fun this next week.

Love,
Elder Larson

Monday, August 23, 2010

Transfer to San Juan, training new missionary Elder Whittaker




Hey family

Here are the answers to your questions that you asked.

1- i will like to visit huehue and xela and 3 days should be good enough.
2-Huehue is about 2 hrs away and my new area here in xela is about 20 min away.
3- Guatemala City we could spend one day there.
4- Xela we can spend 2-3 days there.

And here is a rough draft of what we could do
Feb 1-2 Xela
Feb 3 Huhue
Feb 4-10 Touring the best places in Guatemala
Feb 11 Guatemala Temple
Feb 12 Head back home

But i had changes this past week. I'm not in Huehue anymore. I'm in a place called San Juan here in Xela. Its out of Xela and our area here has a lot of little towns outside of it. A lot of people but its been fun these past few days. We came in and we didn't even have a house or anything. Missionaries haven't been there for a think 2 yrs now. It´s a branch and here was the shocker....church is only for 2 hrs. Sacrament meeting and priesthood. But its a pretty small church building but the members come from all over to come to church.
Oh and i am also training. Elder Whittaker from Utah. Its been fun so far and i hope we can lift the branch here. It was sad leaving Huehue because i love the members there but I'm glad to be here in Xela.
I sent a letter to the Brandons about a week ago and i hope it gets there to you guys before they leave. And in it has another one for me which i will read when i get home and the other one is for the Grundys.
Well i hope all is well and that you guys have a great week.

Love
Elder Larson
Photos of Erik and Elder Whittaker
Photos of their living conditions :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Photos of baptism - Aracely and Amilcar








These are the pictures of the baptism we had yesterday,

And with Aracely she is really afraid of water and we tried to heat up the water for her but it just didn't work, The water was cold to tell you the truth, But my companion baptized her and she did it but at the same time was not a happy person. That must have been really tough for her,

But had for Amilcar. He is pretty tall and to tell you the truth there wasn't a lot of water. But it all turned out great,

But ya, here are the photos for you

Elder Larson

Companion wants to practice English

Just 2 things mom.

My companion wants to write you in English. And all you have to do is write him back in English. He just wants to practice his English and i said he could write you. And the other thing is that you said you will send the photos in a package but if you could send them to me through email as well that would be great

Thanks mom

Hola from HueHue

Hey all -

I hope all is well over there. But as i said last week that we might have a baptism, well yesterday after church we had 2 baptisms. They were ready to get baptized but we just had to ask them if they wanted to and they said yes. One is a sister of a convert that is serving a mission in El Salvador. We were working with her mom for a long time but she just didn't want to get married. So we stopped going over there for a week or so. But then we thought....we can go back but we can focus on her daughter. So we went back and we had some good lessons and watched a few good DVD´s of the church. It was really cool to see the change that went on while we were with them. The scriptures say that people are searching for the truth but don't know where to find
it. With her, Aracely is her name, and with other people i believe it seems like they're not looking for the church but they're looking for a true remission of their sins. And they can find that in the church. That´s why missionary work is so important. To help those that are
looking for the truth find it. And its really amazing when it finally clicks and they accept to get baptized and follow the Lord. And with Amilcar...he has 18 yrs and when i was with elder Williamson we tried to get a hold of him but we just couldn't put a hour to visit him. But
we finally got to talk to him and he was ready. He wants to go on a mission in a year so that's pretty cool.

But i´ll send the photos when i can but as for me right now I'm doing well. We find out if we have changes tomorrow and i think i have changes but we´ll see what happens...

Elder Larson

Monday, August 9, 2010

Young Men's President killed

Hello mom and all the early birds that will be waking up very early for seminary-

I won't mention that seminary here is at 5 in the morning and that we have helped more than a plenty of times helping the jovens get to seminary. Oh the days when i had seminary and that you were my teacher. You probably remember but it came to mind again when you were taking your siesta on one Sunday afternoon when at 6ish i came in and told you that you were late for seminary. You looked all confused and believed me for a few seconds because it was a little believable because it was dark out side like it is around 6ish in the morning. Oh how i got a laugh out of that.

But on to right now this week was a little tough. On Wednesday, the young men's president, Hno. Fidel died. It came as a shock to everyone and it still kind of is. He was coming back from an errand in his car and got out and about 8-10 feet away there were 2 guys on a bike that were trying to rob from a drunk guy that was lying down, when he asked ´´whats going on?´´ They shot him in the chest and then they took off in their bike and he followed them in his car. He didn't get that far when he lost control of the car and crashed into another car because he couldn't handle the pain. They took him to the hospital and he died in the hospital. So the whole ward as been really shocked these past few days. We have just tried to be there for them to help. Its been tough for everyone and it just isn't the same. Hno. Fidel reminded me of Uncle Terry. Anything that Terry does, Fidel did has well, but he seemed to be a lot quicker on the funny comments. Just a great guy to be around and there is no way you wouldn't smile if you were with him.

We also had Stake Conference yesterday. It was interesting but overall he called out all the jovens that haven't served missions to serve a mission and for all of the RM´s to get married. 2 topics that they have tried to help with but at the same time have really forced it with him them.

But overall its been a good week. We had interviews with President on Tuesday and i may train in a week an 1-2 but we´ll see how it goes. I'm pretty excited. And we may have a baptism this Saturday. We´re hoping for the best.

Have a great week. Love ya all

Elder Larson

And you asked me if i wanted anything else. Everyone says that Doctrine of Salvation (the best parts or sections taken from the 3 volumes) is very good as well. So idk if there's anyway of getting that as well. But if not. Its ok. But yes the cookie cutters as well. Thanks mom

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning to work with sisters in the Zone

I hope all is well and that dad retires soon.....(from racquetball i mean).

Today was a week full of helping the new hermanas and getting to know a few more people. It was fun to see the people we are visiting come to church on Sunday but we´ll see how they feel in this week. It´s going to be tough this next Sunday because it is stake conference and the stake center is kind of far for the people here but we´ll see how it goes.

You said what a blessing mom (I said it was a blessing to have sister missionaries in the zone! ) blessing to learn more patience. Right now they sharing an area with 2 areas. They have half and the elders have the other half but just a few days ago they were going back and forth with scriptures. like a scripture fight. and lets just say that the 1 cor 13:11 or was it 11:13 was
included. hahahaha not good but i think all is solved. 2 Latinas to answer your question. But other than that we are doing well.

I saw Enrique today and he is excited to see you guys. His email is farrout51@yahoo.com if you want to try to get a hold of him in these next few days to plan a day where we can be with him. But I'm thinking you guys can come when i finish and see my areas for a couple days and tour Guatemala for a few days. You plan it mom. You've got the technology. But I'm doing well and have learned to accept my companion how he is. It has taken a while but i know i can change what he does but what I can do is change what i think and do. Its a work in progress.

But hey...i got to go. But Happy August to all

Elder Larson

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Busy setting up things in Zone

Hey mom and dad-

I hope all is well and that you are all healthy. Sorry i didn't have anytime to write yesterday but we received hermanas in our zone. So we were helping them with their new house, and with all their new things that they received. We found a house for them and they are basically starting from scratch. But it seems like the hermanas that are now in our zone will lift us up a ton. One of them is one hermana that has baptized more than anybody in years here in this mission. So it should be fun learning from her. But to tell you the truth is that i cant do al ot what she does because she is a female. Kind of in the same way how the sister missionaries got to talk to grandpa. With some people there is just more trust with the sisters and desires to hear them.But we will see miracles with the work here.This past Thursday we had a meeting with the presidents of the 2stakes here in Huehue with Pres Lorenzana to talk about what we all can do to help these 2 stakes become 3. Very cool meeting to see what a stake needs to become a stake and to see what role everyone plays in all this.

But other than that were still looking for people to teach-baptize. We've been working in a small little town that's basically in the middle of no where to see what we can do there. The Bishop here in our ward is from there, so on Sunday we went and visited with him. The lessons seemed to go over a lot better than if we went without the bishop because there's more trust and confidence with the people.The weeks seem to be going by a lot faster and its hard to believe it.But it is. I have to face it. haha.I hope you guys have a great week in Chicago, Utah, at the house, or out visiting
Elder Larson

And whenever the next package comes down here i am really interested in the book Infinite Atonement by Tad R Callister and if you can get me 4-5 cookie cutters. Like of a snowman, or a star, or an animal or anything of Christmas or Halloween that would be great. I am now becoming a cook. But thanks for everything mom and if you can tell Brother Fisher thanks for the soccer balls and that the pictures will be coming soon that would be great.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Greetings from Huehue Guatemala

Hello to all
I hope all is well and you don't still have a cough like i do.

Sorry i don't have any funny stories this week like Elder Palmer's story about his mission leader.

But hey, we just received a new mission leader yesterday and we´re excited to see what we can do differently here now so we can help strenghten the ward.

This week has been tough because the week before the people we were teaching all fell. Fell as in, they won't progress anytime soon because of marriage problems and divorcements. That seemed to be the biggest problem we had and that there is out there right now. I think that Elder Holland hit it dead on when he gave his talk about love and lust. We all thought, wow that was a really good talk, but to actually see people go through it and see that they are victims from it is very tough to watch. But it´s true. It doesn't just happen in the states but wherever there are bad magazines and people of the opposite sex. Its one of the biggest temptations out there and at the same time, very hard to stop once it has began.

But as for right now we are basically starting all over again. But it´s interesting you know? Its another chance to learn and to do things differently. That´s what i hope we can do differently with the mission leader here now.

But this past week we had a mission conference and i really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. He talked about our thoughts and how they strengthen us or destroy us and how they can help us increase our spirituality. Getting right down to the root, like Elder Holland did in his talk, is that everything starts with our thoughts. Whether good or bad. It´s a big factor to help my character. It was cool because President explained character in the words of ¨the valor we have to follow Jesus Christ.¨

I'm glad i have this chance to strenghten my character and do things that are pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. And i just hope i can be a blessing to all the people that i will come in contact with to help them know the true love of Christ.

Have a great week.

Love ya all

Elder Larson

Monday, July 12, 2010

Accidental call to a General Authority

Hello mom-

I'm still in Huehue!!! And this week we opened up 2 new areas and I was sick these past 2 days. But hey! what a week. We were kept very busy though. Buying medicine, things for the house, and showing the elders their areas. But I'm a lot better now but my wrists are acting up again, kind of like yours. But life goes on right?

Sorry i don't really have a lot to say this week but i will tell you something that just happened about 5 minutes ago. So we're in Huehue and there is a small zone in Las Huistas (about 2 1-2 hours away from here). The assistants dropped off a new phone for them with me on Thursday. They caught an early bus this morning and then we met up with them at the same Internet place. So he wanted to know if the phone was on the same plan as all the other phones. For example.....instead of calling the number 1234-5678 you can call pound 1234 and you wont use any minutes and its basically free. So he wanted to test it out and i gave him pound 1159 for example. He called and nobody answered. About 5 minutes Elder Falabella (he's in the first quorum of the seventy and the first counselor in the area presidency) calls him and says he had a missed from this number. He said he was sorry and then he starts asking him a lot of questions and by the end of the phone call this elder that just received this new phone was very mad at me. Instead of giving him pound 1159 he said i gave him pound 1151. It was quite funny. But at he same time kind of crazy.

I hope all is well and that you guys don't accidentally call a wrong number that turns out to be a seventy of the church.

Elder Larson

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Photo of Quetzaltenango missionaries

This is kinda a "where's Waldo" picture. If blogger will allow you to click on this and make it bigger you can find Erik near the top center, to the left of the gate opening, no suit coat on. Big smile on his face.

Monday, July 5, 2010

We love you Will !

William Murdock is our sweet 8 year friend who is battling cancer. Erik sent some pictures from Guatemala last week to cheer William up. I didn't post them last week because I wanted to take them to Sam's Club and get them enlarged and take them over to William first. Here they are! This is Erik and the children of a family that he and his companion have been teaching in Huehuetenango. The last photo is of William holding the photo of Erik in Folsom! We love you Will ! You can check out William's blog here! http://www.ittakesvillages.blogspot.com/

Baptism, a cement soccer ball and more


The first picture is of Jason and his family on Saturday
The second picture is of Leilie in her new room that she is living in.


Hey mom and family-

I hope all is well and that the Laurens birthday, Grandpa Lawson's birthday, and the fourth of July was fun. It rained almost all day yesterday so it would have been pretty hard to do the fireworks here.

We had a baptism this past Saturday for a 10 yr old kid (Jason) of a less active that is coming back to church. At the same time a reference that we received from members in our ward was baptized. They were cousins to this family and they got married and baptized back to back.

So all in all it was a pretty good Saturday. I felt bad though. We met this couple at this members house one day. The member introduced us to them and we took down there information and we said we would pass the info to the other elders. Well i forgot to do it that week and then we saw them again that next week and told us that the other elders haven't gotten a hold of him. I said sorry and then immediately called the elders and told them to give this a guy a call. They taught them for 3 weeks and they said the whole time they were a golden family. It was really cool to see that they got baptized and have support with their family in our ward. I learned a lot from that experience. Saying to myself ¨i´ll do this later today when i have time.¨ Well....at times we say that but the ¨later¨comes but we don't remember. ha ha. I'm getting better at doing the things that come unexpectedly but at times i just need a little reminder.

Funny story of the week- We got to the baptism with the bishop and he parked in the parking lot. We hopped out of the truck and we were going to go in. We walked across the grass and my companion saw a little soccer ball that the kids use here to pass time. He said something to me like ¨watch this, it´s going to launch.¨ I don't remember what exactly he said but he wanted to kick it pretty far. So he went for it and kicked it about 6 ft. It then came to me that the ball didn't have air in it by the way it bounced. It was a cement ball that one of the liders filled with cement to bowl with the jovenes. My companion had troubles walking for a good 30 min and he thought his big toe nail was going to fall off. He´s doing a lot better now but i still get a good laugh thinking about it.

We also visited Hna. Leilie again this week. She moved places and is in a better place right now. Hopefully she can find some place where they can watch her kids so she can find work. The ward has really helped her out with this but she just needs to have time to go out and find work. But she is active in everything. Went to the day of service here in Guatemala, the baptism on Saturday and went to church yesterday. Its a tough situation to go through and Elder Alvarez and i learned a lesson that we were very shocked to learn. We were with her and the kids one afternoon and when we got there the kids were very out of hand. We tried helping her out somehow but it seemed that nothing worked to get them to settle down. I then turned to my
companion and i told him ¨I always thought i had patience but i have now come to realize that i do not have patience.¨

So today was supposed to be changes but it will now be tomorrow and we will leave Wednesday in the morning instead of Tuesday in the morning for changes. I think i have changes though. I kind of want to train but we´ll see what happens. I will let you all know what happens this next week.

Love you all and i hope that you all have a great week

Elder Larson

PS -i need contact lenses. I'm almost out. And I'm blindisimo without them

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feels like Christmas

First of all i just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. This week felt a little like Christmas and i just wanted to share the joy with you all as well.

Boise, Montana, Georgia here they come. That's pretty exciting. They´ll all leave and i´ll come back. haha. But good for them.

Its been fun for these past months. Its weird to say ¨a year ago i was in Coatepeque.¨ Because that means I've been here a long time. But i love it.

But this week we found out the story of Leilie and she has had some problems in the past. Sad story that she told us that her husband got her in trouble. She had some property and he wanted her to sell it. So he sold it to someone and then he told her to try and sell the land and she did....which means that they sold it twice., in other words....shes the one in trouble and on the run. She cant get baptized for a long time now. But she practically is a member and will get baptized and we told her when she does get baptized she needs to call us. In other words, she doesn't know English. Entonces, If anyone calls the house and is speaking Spanish to you, you then have to let me know immediately so i can call them back. haha. She told us that shes going to move as well to in a way start over again. I hope she can get everything fixed so she can live in peace with her kids.

But we continue trying to find the ones that are ready to hear the gospel. The biggest problem we are finding here is that the people are not married. And sometimes it takes a while to marry people because of lost paperwork and of course, their desire. But i love the ward here. We´re trying to focus in the members to guide us to the people that are ready to hear the gospel. Its a fun process but like always we want it to go by faster. The Lord is at the head of this church and he is just waiting for us to turn to him, so he can help us and others receive the blessings that he already has for us.

Hope you all have a great week. Love ya. Happy Birthday Lauren and a Happy 4th of July

Elder Larson

Birthday Greetings to Lauren

Lauren-

I hope all is well and that you're enjoying school. Your birthday is coming up and i hope you have a great one. Sadly I'm not going to send anything, but what I'm doing right now is the gift i want to give you. Me being here, means that you are doing well in school, work, and in anything you want to do in your life. I would call home and call you for your birthday but i cant, but what i will do is keep you in my heart on the 3rd of July and on everyday. Happy Birthday Lauren!!!! You will always be the younger sister that i can always beat up.

Love,

Elder Larson

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day

















Hello dad and family (while mom cant until Thursday, but happy Thursday mom)-


First of all........HAPPY FATHERS, PAPAS, OLD MANS, LARRY'S, HUSBANDS, AND DADS DAY!!! Please take a day off and just watch the World Cup on me. Kidding of course. But i hope you liked the breakfast in bed though. I'm kind of jealous but i have recently find out that any kind of jealously is for the most part bad. But i hope this week turns out to be a busy, enjoyful week.

Like for us here, the weeks go fast. But i love it. Beautiful things happen here and i hope i can just take everything in and remember them but I'm human and i cant. But we had the conference on Tuesday and it was really good. There was something like, 300 missionaries there and it was a powerful conference. We got around 45 missionaries from the central mission and they all said they love it here in Xela. And i used to know everyone in the mission but right now i have no idea who is who. But missionaries that want towork and love the Lord. President was excited to have all of them and talked mainly the whole time and it was really really good. Talked about the importance of listening to the spirit and the natural man. Very well said and i hope i can be guided by the spirit the rest of my life. Its going to be tough of course but i know it will guide us to the blessings that the Lord already has for us. We just have to listen to the council in our day. Leaders that can help us keep our eyes and lives on the Lord.

We´re teaching a hna. named Leilie that is a perfect person to get to know. Her faith that she has can be seen from a distance.

Attached is the photo for William that i took with her kids. A very humble family and told us that his situation is a lot worse than hers. (And they barely had food for barely 3 days and had very little blankets to sleep with and she told us she almost gave up the night before she came to church for the first time). But she is amazing like Ive said. We just have to clear up some things with her and we´ll see how it goes. Helping people that are having a hard time and can see the light of the gospel is just an amazing thing to see.

Its something that I'm glad that the Brandons can be a part of. Please email me as soon as you know. Because i send dats on Fridays and i would love to know as soon as you know.

But i hope the Fathers Day Spirit lasts over there at the house. Happy Day of the Fathers DAD!! I love you and I'm glad that i have an example that you show how to live a blessed life with our family.

Have a great week dad

Elder Larson

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quetzaltenango Temple Pictures



I know that Erik is really looking forward to this temple being done. He says he is trying to prepare the people for the temple!


Monday, June 14, 2010

What the gospel is all about

Hey mom and the millions who will read this-

What a week full of blessings i would say. This past Sunday we had a lot come to church but i didn't have time to talk to all of them and i was upset because i wanted to get to know them. But i remembered who they came with. There was about 4 who came and everyone of them came with a member and that is always a good sign.

So we stopped by this one ladies place (Connie). She rents out small little rooms that is in a complex here in Huehue. We saw the lady who came to church and we just sat outside and talked with her. At the same time he was talking to her i was talking to an old lady right next to him that is a member of the church but cant go because she cant walk there. I talked to her for about 10 minutes and then we went and joined in with them. Her name is Leli and has 3 kids. We talked and she seemed really positive. We went back and we taught in her little room. And now this is when we really found out what was going on in her life. To keep it short, her husband left her, sold all her stuff, kept the money, and is with her kids and in this point of time doesn't have any money, food, blankets and a bed. She told us the first time we visited that she doesn't have work and we told her she could talk to the bishop on Sunday and she would be helped out a lot. But after what she told us we went to where the bishop works, (not that far away) and he came and they talked for a few minutes. That same day she received a little bit of food and we bought her some Chinese rice for them later that night. Oh and she told us that the Saturday before that they didn't eat anything. Wow, with three kids that would be tough. And Hna Connie knocked on her door Sunday morning and told her that she was coming to church with her. She told us that that Saturday night and that day was just one of those days where you just want to forget about all that past by during the day. But then in the words i put in my journal ¨and then came Sunday.¨ Hna Connie invited her and she came and felt an overwhelming peace that made her feel a lot better. Didn't change her situation that she was in but changed the way she was going to act in the future. And she loved it. It was amazing. But anyways that next morning they received a little bit more food and we stopped by with some more things like Morcaff and some more rice. And i thought again, ¨here comes Sunday.¨ For her, it was a day where to find ANSWERS. She enjoyed it and came by herself to church. And has read everything we have given her. She loves it and always has questions for us. And one of the days before we visited the second time they received a chicken soup for her and her kids. And at the same time the old lady that lives in the same complex, Gloria, was very sick and she OFFERED the soup to her so she could feel better but she said she didn't have hunger. If that's not how to show your love for your neighbor i don't know what is. My companion and i talked about it and that sure is a heavenly trait that we both want to obtain. Getting to know her and her situation is sad but at the same time very happy. She told Hna Connie that ¨the Mormons are going to help me change my life.¨ We haven't done anything. We have just been in the right place at the right time, we have a ward that wants to help, and we have the gospel that changes the way people look at life and live it. We have given a lot to her because she deserves it and i can honestly see the light at the end of the tunnel. She will have clothes and food for her and her kids but now its mainly up to her if she can find a job. Because right now its tough for that part in the life down here.

We took pictures with them and with the poster with my companions camera but he forgot it today so i will send it next week. But that is what is going on down here in Zaculeu. We also have been visiting the family of a girl missionary that seem to be really positive that are not members as well. I feel very blessed to be here and to know that the gospel and the church blesses lives for people who need it. And now ever sense we have gotten to know her and her kids i have felt bad when i have wanted to buy a small little snack to eat because i know of the circumstances that Hna Leli is in with her kids. But the change will come because of the gospel of JESUS CHRIST and the blessings that he has waiting for us every week when we know and prepare ourselves for that day, when Sunday comes.

Hope you all have a greatisimo week.

The conference is tomorrow and will give the info about it in mas o menos 8640 minutes.

Elder Larson

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nancy & Ramon's visit to Quetzaltenango


My sister Nancy is married to a wonderful Guatemalan man, Ramon. Ramon is temporarily living in Guatemala and Nancy went down to visit him recently. They know they can't see Erik (per Erik's wishes) but they wanted to "be in the same area" he is, just to feel his presence so they made the long trek, overnight, by bus to Quetzaltenango from Guatemala City to spend a day there. Here's the email my sweet sister sent me. I love you Nancy. Erik will love knowing you were there too. Love, Diane

So......Ramon and I made a roadtrip to Erik's town on Friday, It took some time, we left Guatemala City around 1am and got to Quetzaltenango around 6am. Not the smartest thing, but neither of us could sleep, and we wanted to get there in time to spend the day and get back to the City for Dinner with Carlos (my Brother in Law) on Friday night.

It was a humbling road trip, we went through an area that had been very hard by Agatha, we came upon mudslides just as they had happened. We said a prayer and put our faith in God that we would be safe. Erik's town is on the other side of a beautiful mountain pass and his town sits in a valley. To me, it is one of the cleaner cities in Guatemala, I took pictures, I'll send them soon. We tried to find his address, we did ok, we were in the general area, I took lots of pictures. At one point, we spotted 2 Missionaries walking down the street and our hearts started pounding! We turned around to pull over and talk to them. One was Elder Lopez and the other I believe was Elder Burton. They knew of Erik but not too well, as they were just in the office for a meeting but this was not their area. I asked to them to tell Erik that his Aunt and Uncle were in the neighborhood and said hello. I hope this was ok. They gave me directions to the office, we drove by but didn't go in out of respect for his purpose of being there. I cried a lot and got emotional just knowing that we were in his town and experiencing the culture and people. It was very much worth the trip. On the way back it was daylight and we were able to really see the destruction from the mudslides, I cried so hard, as I watched people trying to clean mud and trees from their destroyed homes to salvage
what little they have anyway.

We also went to Ramon's Aunt's house to visit in Ville Calle's outside of Guatemala City. This town was hit hard by the Volcano. Her roof (which is tin) was hit by the rocks from the eruption, it brought tears as well. Ramon is with her today, working on her house and trying to repair what they can.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I made it to Erik's town, it felt good to just be there. I know that you know how special your Son is, but I wanted you to know how lucky I feel to be his Aunt!!!

I read his blog, I just read from yesterday and cracked up about the "Spanglish". I teased Ramon that he and Erik will be quite a pair when they both get back, hopefully we can understand their stories!!!

Love ya,
Nancy


Monday, June 7, 2010

Erik's English & grammar are disappearing.......

Hello to all who read-

Everything is well down here. Its getting kind of crazy though with the World Cup and everything starting up. It happens every four years so its kind of a HUGE deal down here. I bet we won't be able to talk to a lot of people when Guatemala Honduran o the USA play though. It´ll be interesting to see. Please watch the mundial for me and tape the championship game for me.

But besides that everything is going great down here. Its been hard these two past weeks but we have more people who we are teaching, so I'm excited about that. Christian got confirmed yesterday. 2 weeks later haha. But he's awesome. I'm glad he feels good in the church. We bought him Morcaff because we promised we would get him some because all his family drinks cafe and he didn't want to give it up. (Don't worry you'll have some and love it in a few months). I can't believe how time just keeps on going. It's our goal to master it and use it the best to our ability. Especially right now. That's what I'm learning poco poco right now with my companion. (Idk what it is but i love talking english-spanish, spanglish). But with not having church in all of Guatemala last Sunday i think it was a lot better of the assistance for all the wards yesterday than normal for the things that past by this past week. And the third hour we talked about food-storage and what to do when this happens again and its a lot bigger.

We did divisions on Sunday. I stayed in centro and my comp went to another rama. It felt weird cause i kind of felt solo but it was alright i guess. About 8 came to church that i had no idea who they were but i didn't have the chance to talk to them before they left. Hopefully they come again next week. But who knows.

But with the things that are going on in Guatemala, i would like you guys to keep anything or record anything there is about Guatemala on the news so i can watch it one of these days. I kind of want to see the over all picture of this because here it didn't hit that big in Huehue. But i heard its not over and that it will come back but i have no idea. To be honest, i don't watch the news, (haha neither does dad at 11 pm on the couch)

But apart from the weather here and church I'm doing alright. The work is progressing and i hope we can be more of a blessing to the ones we come in contact with and know.

Have a great week and don't forget that Laurens birthday is coming around the corner. Next week i´ll tell her what my present is for her if she writes me before Monday and reminds me.

Con amor,
Elder Larson

Mission conference next Saturday

Hey dad-I knew you would remember Enrique. He´s a really cool guy. He said he's going to take us out to lunch when you guys come but his restaurant is better than any other restaurant in town. He's pretty funny. He's got the memory like you though. Remembers everything ha ha. But that's really cool about Brandon. I know a guy who is serving there right now named Mark but i cant remember his last name. There is also a elder from Guatemala serving in Billings right now but i think he's going home in August. Its a cool mission i heard. Now i cant wait to hear about the other Brandon and see where he will be going. But they´ll leave and a couple months later i´ll come back. Almost 4 years. That's pretty weird to think about. So Saturday i believe we will have a mission conference and we receive changes into the 2 different missions. And then in 2-3 weeks the new mission president will come and then it will be official. But this will all be crazy. But really cool at the same time. I honestly think I'm staying here in Xela because i put a lot of time in the office but whatever happens happens. But i´ll let you guys know what happens in these couple of weeks.
Elder Larson

Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome to Huehue


Hello Family-

I hope all is well all en California. So this week was changes and four out of the eight are new to the zone. It was a tough week, I'm not going to lie. I felt bad because we didn't find a lot but i hope we can change that this next change. So on Tuesday and today we went to a restaurant called Zumbas. Well he is from the states and we talked and he asked me if i knew any Larson's that lived in Torrence. I said yes and he said he remembers dad and uncle terry. His name is Enrique and lived with the Farr´s. (Dan and Janell). He knew dad really well and was a really cool guy. I'm sending a photo of him in this email and of the ruins that we went to today. That was fun but that's not why I'm here you know. I'm glad i met Enrique and went to the ruins but i want to have more success here and i hope to be a blessing to these people here. The little storm thing passed by us on Friday and Saturday and we didn't leave the house for a good while. Kind of went crazy but I'm better now because I'm out of the house. There wasn't church in total Guatemala and its just been a weird few days i guess. All is well here and I'm in the same area as the members in your ward. Just that its probably a lot smaller than when he was here. Sorry i don't have much to write this week. Time flew by today. Love you all. The Book of
Mormon is true.
Elder Larson