Monday, February 29, 2016

Baptism Week!

Michelle's Baptism February 27, 2016
So this week was amazing and the baptism on Saturday was incredible and so spiritual.  I'm at the point with my Spanish that as long as we are talking about a gospel topic, I can understand almost everything.  The sister that gave the opening talk had me in tears and it was the greatest feeling to see Michelle get baptized!  She is so accepting and loving of the gospel.  I hope that I can see her go through the temple after I finish my mission.  It felt amazing to see someone that I have prayed, fasted, and worked so hard for finally get baptized!  It made my whole week and I can't wait to continue to work with the people of Puerto Rico!

Every week I have a new trial/hardship.  I am tried and tested in the worse way.  I know that this is because Satan knows the impact my mission will have.  I am tested beyond my own abilities. I think the Lord has allowed all of these trials to happen to me because it gives me a constant reason to turn to Him to help me make it through each day.  I have never been so miserable yet so happy at the same time.  I love the chapter in the Book of Mormon about the people of Alma.  They suffered great hardships but they did so willingly.  They turned to the Lord and he made their burdens light.

New Fanny Pack!  (Which is bigger?  The Missionary or the Fanny Pack?)

This is the "Great and Terrible Tower of Candy"!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Zone Conference

This week has been so good! We had zone conference and I was able to have an interview with my mission president. I love the area that I am serving in! The weather has been warming up which makes me really scared for summer!

Lately I have been reading a lot about humility and I love the words of Alma when he say: "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy (Alma 29:9)". 

I have learned just how important members are in missionary work. Right now we have a policy where we don't eat with members unless they are willing to host an investigator/less active as well. This has been great motivation for me to work with members because if you know me you know that I really like food. Everywhere we go my companion informs the people we are with that I love to eat 

Transfers are March 8 and I'm excited to see what changes are made to my district and companionship!!

My grandma (Mayita) taught me how to make Lasagna and I also have a picture with Alejandra, Michelle's little girl. She's just a couple months younger than my Fin... I'm super ugly in both those pictures... I embraced the veil that day. 

This is our Super Fancy Clothes Dryer!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 15, 2016

This week I have been reading Alma 26 in the Book of Mormon. I feel like I have a lot to learn from Ammon and his hardships. When he and his brothers first declared that they were going to go serve the Lamanites, people laughed at them. They told them that they were crazy and basically that it wouldn't be a baptizing mission. After they started their missions they suffered so many hardships and trials and thought about giving up and coming home. In this moment they turned to the Lord. He promised that if they would just endure and hold on, he would bless their efforts. 

Ammon and his brothers said that they would be content if they just converted a few souls. They continued to work, they didn't give up, and they relied on the Lord. They were able to convert thousands to the gospel and received the promise that the Lord had given them. 

My favorite scripture is in verse 12 when Ammon says:

"Yea, I know that I am nothing: as to  my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many might miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever". 

I love his humility and I love this chapter, it has helped me a lot this week!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Señor yo te seguire (Lord I will follow)

This week we had exchanges and I stayed in our house while Hna Garcia went to Vega Baja. Usually if you're in training you don't stay behind because that means that you're in charge of planning everything. I was so stressed out!!! I needed it though. Hna Lopez ( one of the sister training leaders) came Thursday night. She and I had a long talk and I told her about some of my feelings. I told her how I knew that we could make Puerto Rico a baptizing mission and that the culture will always be the same, it's the missionaries that need to change. After I was done speaking she said some things that really touched me.

She said:

 "Hna Larsen, you are so much more than a presence, you are a light. When people ask me what one thing I want to carry home from my mission I always think of you because I want to be a light to those that surround me. Every year we have a meeting with all of the leaders in the mission where we discus the growth in  the mission, I feel impressed to tell you that next year you will be in attendance in this meeting."

Her words were exactly what I needed. The next day all of the plans that I had made fell through so I decided to trust in the Lord and follow up with some old contacts that I had made with Hna Garcia but this time I decided that I wanted to teach the way that I had always wanted to. That day we had so many people who were excited and willing to let us into their homes and we even had one lady ask me when we could baptize her. This experience made me realize that I can be a missionary and that I am getting ready to finish my training and spread me wings and leave the nest (my trainer).

Yesterday I had another really cool experience. As me and Hna Garcia were walking back to our car after doing some contacting, we saw a man sitting in a car outside. We decided to go give him a pass along card. We started talking to him and I felt impressed to share my testimony that I knew that families could be together forever and that there is life after death. He broke down and explained that his wife had just passed away yesterday from cancer and that he had been looking for something that could give him comfort. We are going this week to teach him.

Sometimes I feel like the old grandma in Mulan who just closes her eyes and crosses a busy street. She has no idea where she's going but she knows she'll be ok because she has a lucky cricket. In this case the lucky cricket is the Spirit. I don't know what some people are saying but I just open my mouth and express the feelings that I feel impressed to share with them. I love how I don't need to understand every someone is telling in order to feel their words and feel what I need to say. 

I love you all and I hope everyone is having a great week!!!

Hna Larsen

Three Months!!



Wall of Love

Asombro me da (Amazed)

This week was so good! We started out the week only having one investigator who was truly progressing and then by the end we had 6!! The weather here has been great and even though it rains almost every day, it usually does so really early in the morning. We had one of our investigators that I feel so good about attend church yesterday!! She's amazing and she really wants to change her life and be a good mom to her two little kids.

D&C 24:8
"Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for lo, I am with thee ever unto the end of thy days."

When I saw this scripture I was having a particularly rough day and I felt like Heavenly Father was speaking right to me.  My biggest challenges right now are my own personal weaknesses.  This might come as a shock but I am a little impatient...or a LOT.  I have to pray that the Lord sends me angels to whisper thoughts of peace and love to my heart and mind.  It probably sounds like a crazy thing to pray for but I need all the help I can get.  Every Sunday I fast and pray for help in overcoming my weaknesses and personal faults.  I want to be an effective missionary so badly and I know I can't be if I am "quick to anger".

I've made it through half of my training!  I'll probably be in this same area for a couple more transfers after training.  Maybe with a new companion too.  I love my trainer and I am so grateful for her. When I realized that she is all I have here, she became so precious to me.  She is my best friend here right now. 

Besides that all is well.  I can somewhat speak Spanish and sometimes I can understand what people are saying!

I love my cute family!

Hna Larsen

A Finley Hug from Home

Valentine package full of love (and new clothes!)