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


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.


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,

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