Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 21, 2015 Puerto Rico!!

This last week and a half has been crazy!! During my last week in the MTC I was allowed to go see the Christmas festivities in the park across the street and it was awesome!! I'm attaching a picture of a small exhibit that was in the park.  

Ok, now for the good stuff...I made it!! I love PR, it's so green and the people here are incredible! I don't have any pictures of my area yet but I'll be in Toa Baja for 12 weeks... it's up in the mountains. I have so pics of old san juan from my first day here!

My Trainer is Hna Garcia and she is an angel and I love her! Everyone here understands english and that try to help me out when I'm struggling to speak spanish.

All is well, I love the lord, I love puerto rico, and I'll hopefully send pictures of my area next week!!

Les amo! Hna Larsen

I'm in my Mum's car...vroom vroom

Sunday, December 13, 2015

December 3, 2015

I survived the first month out on a mission.... Yes I know that I've only been in the MTC but it still an amazing feeling!! I'm pumped to see how the next 17 months go!!

I hope everyone had a greeeeat Thanksgiving and enjoyed being with family. Since there is so few of us here we're all really close and it was almost like spending Thanksgiving with family!! The workers here are so sweet and gave us a traditional American Thanksgiving meal....it basically felt like Christmas but that might just be because there's been Christmas decorations up since I got here. I definitely forgot how much I've missed food that wasn't rice and beans!!

On Friday I was able to go practice talking to be at the near by Univeristy. I was super sick that day so it was an adventure! Every two weeks we're able to go to the store soooo for all of you that know me well know that means that every two weeks I stock up on diet coke and reeses PB cups! A new group of native spanish speakers arrived last nice which has been has been awesome because I'm able to practice speaking Spanish during meal times.

Some exciting news is that tomorrow I start going on splits with the missionaries serving here in the Dominican Repubic!! I'm not going to lie, I'm completely terrified and I'm praying that I don't accidently say something offensive! Oh, that reminds me! On saturday while practicing teaching I accidently told a group of people that they had a "lunch" father in heaven instead of "loving" father in heaven....I miss english sometimes!! I have high hopes for this week and I hope everyone remembers that even on your worse day your "lunch" father in heaven loves you!

Te amo!

November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

So this week has been amazing! On Friday afternoons we walk down to the university (which is only like 2 blocks away) and practice talking to people. I was smart enough to realize that there was probably an English building there so me and Hermana Gardner decided to make our way over there. We found a lot of people who were kind enough to listen to us and even wanted to practice their English with us, so we would teach in Spanish and they would respond in English. We placed two Books of Mormons last Friday and I'm pumped to go again tomorrow! ON Monday I had a really cool experience. Mondays are TRC (basically FHE with our MTC grandparents) and the lesson we had to teach was how we receive answers to prayer. Up until this point I haven't really understood how the gift of tongues really works. I thought that I was struggling to speak the language as some sort of trial. As I was teaching sister Nelsen I felt an overwhelming impression that I needed to tell her that prayers are not answered right away. Sometimes we have to wait to receive answers as a trial of our faith and that often times our prayers are answered through other people. I took a leap of faith and my mouth was filled with the exact words that I needed to say. The Lord provided me with the words that I had already studied. I now know that as I study and apply myself, the Lord will help me to recall what I have called when I need to be an instrument in teaching others. 

 On Sunday I sang in church (have stranger things happened in this world???) with the other three Hermanas in my district and it actually sounded amazing!! We rearranged Abide with me. I seriously love Hermana Anderson, she reminds me a lot of my friend Brittany. We're both hoping that we get to be companions like a year into being out in the field. Anyway, she and I sang alto and were able to stay on key while Hermanas Gardner and Robinson sang soprano. I started a trend here. I've got my whole district saying "I just saw my brain" when they want to roll their eyes. Most of the time it's directed at the other district who has some very immature elders. Oh! I have a calling...I've been called as the music leader which just means I have to find people to sing musical numbers, lead songs, and play the piano. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but we sing A LOT of hymns. It's one of only two leadership positions that the Hermanas can have here so I feel pretty important. 

On Tuesday I also had a really cool teaching experience. My teacher (Hermano Eve) pretends to be "Ricki", our fake investigator. Each night we have to teach "Ricki" a lesson according to his needs. This particular night me and my companion felt as though we needed to teach about faith. Usually during our lessons Hermana Gardner has a tendency to dominate the lesson and I just try to add in a couple of thoughts here and there whenever I can. We had talked about it, and decided that I was going to speak for most of the lesson and she would only cut in if she felt strongly as though she needed to say something. This would allow me to gain more experience with speaking the language. I was really awkward at the beginning of the lesson, but as I started relying on the spirit it got easier. I have never felt the spirit so strongly during a fake lesson.  I didn't have to look at any of my notes!! The words I wanted to say came to my mind (in spanish) and I didn't stutter or have to stop and try to translate my thoughts into Spanish! After we were done teaching and had gone back to the classroom, my teacher came in a slyly slipped me a note saying "you did soooo good!" with a piece of chocolate. It was a huge confidence booster. 

Yesterday there was a couple mini earthquakes which was fun. I was teaching "Ricki" when all of the sudden it felt like someone was kicking my chair! I looked over at the Haitian(he teaches the two elders from Haiti who speak french) teacher who was also in the room, because no one else could feel what was going on. It happened 3 other times last night. 

Today we went to the temple as we always do on Thursday mornings and afterwards I had my first emotional break down since being here. Up until this point I have missed home but I haven't cried. The people that work in the kitchen knew how sad all the missionaries were to be away from their families on Thanksgiving, so that put together a Thanksgiving lunch for us. I didn't cry because I miss home today (which I do), but because of the love and the charity that these people have for us. They must have had to slave away for hours putting everything together and it must have been hard trying to find everything needed to put together a Thanksgiving feast, but they did it because they care about us. I'm sending you some pictures of how the decorated the cafeteria and me holding a "Happy Thanksgiving" sign with this email.

I love you all and I pray for my family multiple times a day! enjoy your dinner and eat an extra slice of pie for me!!

te amo,

November 19, 2015

Buenos Tardes!

This week was so much better than last week! Each day I am able to understand and speak the language so much more than the last! This week we started TRC which basically means that I teach a family home evening lesson to one of the senior companionships staying here. One of my teachers took us for a field trip to the super market and I was able to buy a Diet Coke....or 4! Me and my companion have very different teaching and learning styles but we have been able to work through are differences and we make sure to encourage and help each other. Tomorrow I get to go the university here and practice talking to strangers in spanish.... I still don't know if I'm completely terrified or excited or both!

This week I was pondering a lot on the fact that many people do not know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves and knows each one of them. This is sad to me because I have always felt very loved by my Heavenly Father. As I was pondering this thought I read Moses 1:39 which says: "Behold this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". I decided to look up all of the footnotes related to the scripture. After an hour of researching I found a greater understanding to this scripture. My understand is now: Behold this is my Plan and my Purpose to bring to pass the immortality and eternal happiness of my children. Hopefully this thought can help you as you continue with your week. Always remember that you are loved!

Te amo!

November 12, 2015

I have very limited computer time but I made it through my first week as a missionary!! It's been really hard but I know that I can do it!! So far I love my companion but  really struggled to understand the language. Thursdays are my P-Days so hopefully I will be able to give a better update next week! Have a wonderful week and keep me in your prayers. 


Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10, 2015

Christmas Lights from afar

Hi everyone!

This week has been pretty fantastic! Last Friday I went on splits in the field with Hermana Gines. It was very humbling to see how little the people here have. The appointment she had planned fell through so we ended up contacting for a couple hours. It was so great to be able to walk around...outside... away from the MTC!

Sunday was my birthday and sister madsen made a cake that was to die for!! 

This is my last week in the MTC before I head out to Puerto Rico and I'm so stoked! My new P-days will be on Mondays!

Have an awesome week and enjoy the holidays!

Hermana Larsen

Happy 20th Birthday!!

Happy Birthday message

Hermana Larsen and Hermana Gardner