Monday, December 21, 2015

12/21/15 - MANUIA LAVA KERISIMASI!!!!!!!

MANUIA LAVA KERISIMASI!!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!! I"M SO PUMPED TO TALK TO YOUS ON CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I'm not sure what time, it may be pretty late for You's, but I'm not sure...I'll know more about it on Thursday when we Skype to see if it works. You'll be getting a call from "Buddy Francisco"...Haha if you can name the Christmas movie, YES!!! Kyle or Cade I bet could, its a combo name "that is fun to say"!!! What's yous Skype name!? That'd be awkward if I didn't know.... Thursday will probably be around 10 or 11 our time, after studies...not sure what that would be for yous all. CANT WAIT!!!!!!

It's impossible to not gain weight in this area!!!! We've been dropped enough food to last us til the end of Jan, and we're still giving away stuff to other missionaries and families!!! I got to Samoa at 167, and I'm pretty positive I'm up to 185 now)': Oh and I had to open both packages I got because the ants had gotten into them and I didn't want all the food to be a waste, but we haven't opened any presents beside the Ensign and temple recommends!! I promise!! Thank yous soooooo much for sending those!!!! I'll send a thank you to Aunt Sonia today over email! I sent all the families on both yous and dads side a Merry Christmas letter, but I sent those out before I opened the packages so I didn't get a chance to thank her! Thank you soooo much for them!!!!! Haha my comp laughed pretty hard when he saw my pic on the b-day package haha!! I told him in not too long, that's how tight my mission clothes will be!! 

I love yous and all yous do for me!!!! Yeah the lights over here in this area have gotten pretty dope!

Welp, for me this week, we got invited to Tafuna 3rds Christmas party that the primary kids put on for us and sang and danced and performed Christs Birth and it was so awesome!!! I wish I could send yous a video, because this one kid, it was totally like a flashback, I wanted to get up and dance with him so bad!!!!!! Haha they performed a big dance and then turned on "Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae" and OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! It took everything in me to not get up!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha but it was so nice, the kids baked us cookies!! And I want to share a bomb experience Elder Speakman and I had this week!! We have an investigator, Lui, who was also a big drug lord back in Cali, like the other Lui Lamoreaux and I taught in Leone! We met with him Thurs and we had planned to teach the first lesson, but instead we sat there for 2 and a half hours while he talked to us about his life and religion! At first, it felt like a complete waste of time cause this is exactly what happened the first time we met...until he closed the visit with this..."I love my wife, and my 2 kids, and because of the things I've done, I don't get to see them very often(cause they all live in the states right now he's on probation in Samoa for another 3 years), but when I do it brings me the greatest joy! And that's what you two give me each time we visit...all the other missionaries would just try and try to share scripture after scripture and wouldn't joke around with me or laugh, yet you two, when yous come visit me, it makes my whole day and I love setting up my house for you two cause you're the only ones that really see the inside of my house, and it just makes my day great and a whole lot brighter!" After he said that, I immediately regretted thinking what I did. I guess the Lord wanted me to realize that missionary work doesn't always come the way we think it should, we sat and listened to a guy for 2 and a half hours, didn't share a message of the restoration, but we shared an underlying message of love for him through listening and he definitely felt it!!! That's probs the biggest thing I've learned out here...LOVE!! Showing kindness to EVERYONE, NO MATTER YOURS OR THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES!!! When it's sincere, they will feel it, and it's so powerful!!! These people will give you the shirt off their backs, yet they hardly have any food to feed their kids! I know the Lord blesses them immensely for their love and I am striving to show that same love to everyone I come in contact with!! Love yous all and have a bomb week this week!!!!! MERRY CHRISTmas!!!!!!!

LOVE YOUS ALL FOREVER!!!!
Elder Larson
 

The Willis' put lights on our house for Christmas! They're so BOMB!!!
 
I'm thinking about becoming a model when I get back...HAHA!

This is a pic of us last night as a zone, we went to the top of an elders area and took some skux pics!! Our area is to the left of my head! 

This is a cow dog...EWWW!!!
 
This is me and one of the Masoe kids! We went caroling, and if you remember that way awesome family where the mom and the kids are baptized, but the dad wasn't', in Bybee's area, we went to them and caroled to them which was bomb!!! So much fun and the other little Masoe is the one taking the pic!

Monday, December 14, 2015

12/14/15 - MY FAM!!!!! Malo lava soifua!!! Manuia lava le aso!!!!

MY FAM!!!!! Malo lava soifua!!! Manuia lava le aso!!!!

Hey hey hey!!!! Haha not much happened this week again...we cannot find any of the referrals we've been given from our stake president!! He gave us about 13 names of individuals and families and no one has addresses down here, so it's nearly impossible!!! It's been really frustrating, but we've been getting some help from our home boy Daryl Crichton!! He's Samoan, even his  name is straight white. Anyways, Elder Speakman and I are doing great, just trucking through the heat this week! Our bikes broke and we can't seem to fix them as of now, so lot's of walking and finding new shortcuts!!! Yeah and our living quarters are separate from the house which has been bomb cause now I don't feel like we bug the fam, every time we come in at night!! I've only had 1 interview as DL and it was for James, a 10 year old for the sisters, haha and when I asked if he has committed a serious crime, he said yes, but I don't think he understood the question so I had to reword it but it was very funny none the less!!! haha please don't send any McDonald's or Carl's Jr gift cards!!! Haha we're gaining weight like crazy!!! I left my last area at 167, and now I'm at upper 170s!!! We're trying our best to keep it off but we literally don't have enough time to get crazy good workouts in, so we just deal with it and try and eat healthy....! Haha and the pic of the umbrella I sent last week of the umbrella....when I hit the dog, it only bent the bar of the umbrella, the rest was part of my freak out (; 

And congrats on Rachel going on a mission!!! That's dope!! I've been in contact with Talon a little bit which it sounds like he's doing great!!! Man I love that guy!!

And I'm so glad You got my package so quick!!! I sent that the first of Dec I think!! Haha no worrries on reading the letters, they were meant to be read! I can teach everyone how to tie the ie's (lava lavas) when I Skype yous all on Christmas!! And we should be good to be able to Skype with the family that lives next to us!! Speakman said we just have to ask! Elder Bybee for reals was bomb! haha we're gonna try and kick it after the mish, he's going to Oregon State, but we're gonna try and figure it out! And Coco's baby is sooooooo stinking cute!!! Haha that kung fu pic is awesome!! Loved it!!!

So this week, I just want to share a very cool experience!! We were out trying to contact some of the referrals and we're having zero success!! So we decided to go tracting instead, and we were over by a Methodist church, which Crichton told us to just get ready to get bashed by someone when we knocked a door. But I had just finished studies that morning, and had read over Isaiah 41:10 again, and the verse popped back into my head..."Fear not, for I am with thee.." And both Speakman and Crichton really didn't want to go in, but I really felt there was someone over here we needed to get a hold of. So they kind of reluctantly followed, and I decided on a white and blue house, right behind the Methodist chapel...we knocked and found Luisa, a mid 30s lady who had been to our church a couple times, and loved it and had been wanting to learn more about missionary work and such!!! IT WAS A VERY COOL EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Such a testimony builder for me to listen to the Spirit when he prompts!!! Even if it seems like you're probs going to be bible bashed to timbuk2!!!! (Don't know how to spell that)!! Not much happened this week, just getting bigger physically and spiritually!! My ponderize scripture for the week is Mosiah 2:17! I can't remember if it's a scripture mastery or not, but its a good one to ponderize!!!

I loves Yous all and hope this week has been a bomb one!!!!(;

LOVE,
Elder Larson
 
This pic is way random, as my comp just snapped it of me getting off this old wall, but it looks way dope!!! Don't know why, it just does!!

I tried to take a cool pic of my feet and the ocean, and failed miserably!! My comp got a better pic of me trying to take it!!

We needed to clean out our house very badly cause it had 25 years of rubbish in it, so we took a night after planning and went to town!! This is about a fourth of all the stuff we threw away!!

Pulling rubbish part 2
 

12/7/15 - Malo LAVA FAM!!!!! 3 MONTHS IN SAMOA TODAY!!!!

Malo LAVA FAM!!!!! 3 MONTHS IN SAMOA TODAY!!!! (So Elder Speakman and I bought a cheap cake and ice cream to celebrate=P)

Haha actually the past couple days have been quite dry! Just really hot! My arms and face are tan, but everything else is quite white (; Yeah, Elder Lamoreaoux and I had to say our goodbyes, so he's my zone leader now with Elder Faletoi from Utah! Elder Lamoreaoux was the bomb!!! Definitely the comp to set my mission on an awesome course and foundation!!! The Lord definitely knew he was the trainer I needed, even if he was only out 4 1/2 months when we started!!! Elder Bybee was the bomb, too! He's with Elder Wilson in Aunu'u now which is a smaller island off the coast of Tutuila! So yeah, I'm with Elder Speakman now from my intake (MTC group)!! We've both been out 3 months today in Samoa, which is quite difficult because both our Samoan isn't quite what it could be, but the Lord has been blessing us according to our work!! So our area now is Tafuna, which covers the tiny airport to get on and off Tutuila. I think square mileage and people wise, we have the biggest area with the biggest population! I think our last area in Leone was just too big cause it wrapped around to the other side of the island and the people were spread out. But yeah this week, we just tried to masani (make familiar with...some Samoan words just don't have a good English translation, sorry) with the area and members! We also went tracting which was probs the scariest thing I've done, cause we can both get by on speaking, but the understanding is not even close!! So we don't know if people totally bag on us or not, we just kind of smile and act like we know whats going on! Haha its kind of fun in a weird way, but we're making it work somehow! We found 2 new investigators door knocking this week, and they both speak English which is PHENOMENAL!!!!!! One is an older couple named Petelo and Visilevo and the other is Maria, an older lady who lives with her daughter and granddaughters behind our house! They're both really receptive of the gospel and hopefully this week when we teach them again, we may invite to baptism if the Spirit confirms it!! Its VERY exciting!!!!! Haha yeah, we've met our mission Pres a couple times now and his wife. They're really gung ho about the work. He's awesome!!  Anyways, I did receive all your pics, THANKYOU SO MUCH!!! I loved em!!! Haha yeah we had a Thanksgiving with the missionaires on the island with the Schafermeiers, the senior couple here on Tutuila, and Pres Lesa and his wife, the area councilor over here! It was all American except for some octopus they got at a the market! Haha but it was very good and we all loved it!! Haha and THANKYOU SO MUCH for sending the packages!!!! I sent mine last week so who knows when it'll get to yous! Props to Kyle for getting all those awards!!!! Keep up the good work, and honestly, if he gets the protien that I was drinking and drinks it with peanut butter and milk every day, he'll gain weight in no time!! Apparently here in Tafuna, every missionary that's served in this area usually stays for a minumum of 4 1/2 months, and leaves almost 15 pounds heavier, so I'm also gaining weight over here, just not good weight haha(; 

Hey! I'm glad yous got my letters!! There are short ones in the package I sent too just fyi! And did Coco have her baby!!?!? Another cuz?!? That's wassup!! That's awesome!! Papa is definitely been with me a couple times, I can feel him helping!!! Such a blessing!!! Yeah I'll double check the emial and look for it. 

Oh and I'm also district leader, I forgot to mention that. I've get to report weekly numbers for my district to the zl's and then do baptismal interviews which hopefully they can speak a little English!! We'll see how those go, I've got one for the sisters in the district this Friday, so we'll see!!

Honestly all I really want are letters, and I've got everything else so everything is going great!!

I wish I was there too, it's getting a lot harder as Christmas rolls up, cause now since we're kind of in city area, people play Christmas music everywhere and it makes my heart hurt cause I'm not home with yous all, but that's one sacrifice I'm willing to make for the Lord!! Blessings in the long run right?!? Anyways, I LOVES YOUS ALL, and it was so awesome to hear from yous this week!! LOVE  YOUS FOREVER AND ALWAYS!!!!! 

Love
Elder Larson

 
I broke my umbrella while protecting myself from a dog...and it had been kind of a long day, and I lost it a bit, so this was aftermath of what happened......haha


This is equivalent to a mall while we waited for our family to meet us there for our fafaga that day! MERRY CHRISTMAS YA'LL!!!!! I LOVES YOUS ALL!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

11/30/15 - Hey Fam!!!

Hey Fam!!!!

Haha loved them email!!! Sounds like this week was a blast!!!
Welp, my week has been crazy weird with everyone transferring before transfers and such!! Elder Bybee was supposed to leave with his new comp Wilson, on Tues, but then ended up staying cause we had a hurricane this week which luckily only skimmed the tip of the island where us 4 were, but they're saying that it will be the first of many before April comes so we'll see how those fair!! Lots and lots of rain and wind, but it only got up to 60mph so thats good!!! We also had a mission tour this week with Pres Hannemann, his wife, Elder Haleck of the area seventy, and his wife do a conference for each island! It was way cool and the Spirit was so strong when Elder Haleck got up and spoke!! He's such a down to earth guy, even though he owns like half of Tutuila, and heaps of companies in food, cars, hotels!! Yet he's so humble and puts God first!!  He took us through heaps of scriptures and answers the question..."What seek ye?" from 2 disciples and Christ said, "Come and see"! I can't go through the whole talk but these are the scriptures so You can kind of put them together with the story!!
1 John(all of it)
2 Cor 3:2-3...epistles of Christ from Pres Nelson
Mosiah 5:1-2
Jer 31:33
2 Nephi 31:3
2 Nephi 31:12
And he closed with the statement..."We are all a work in progress, so make every minute count!!"
I LOVED IT and it was so humble and AWWWWW....I JUST LOVED IT!!! 
Anyways, that was pretty much the week, it was hard to proselyte because of the rain this week, but Mandy got baptized on Saturday, and we're not worried at all about her being a lasting convert to the church, her testimony is SOOO strong and it'll get her husband back to church so they can go through the temple in a year!! Oh and also, Elder Lamoreaux and I's companionship is coming to a close, he's becoming my Zone leader in the west side of Tutuila and I'm transferring over to Tafuna, near the middle of the island with Elder Speakman from my intake!!! Both our Samoan is not even close to where we need to be, so we are going to be praying and fasting like crazy!!! 2 palagi's (foreigners) and they've only been out 3 months!!! Definitely going to test our faith!!! But the Lord doesn't give You something You can't overcome so we're going at it with open arms!! That's pretty much my week for ya!! 

Know I LOVES YOUS ALL SO MUCH!!!! And hope everyone has a bombtastic week!!!!! LOVE YOUS!!!
Thanks heaps!!!!

LOVE FOREVER,
Elder Colbz Larson

Colby's attempt at Mary Poppin's flying...fail!

Colby being crazy...Samoan version of the opera Carmen

Monday, November 23, 2015

11/23/15 - QUE PASA CALABASA!!!!(;

QUE PASA CALABASA!!!!(;
 
Thought I'd just mix things up a bit! Boom! My Samoan is picking up a little more, it's all I can ask! This week we're in a three some still with Elder Bybee, Elder Lamoreaux and I so it's really hard to cover both our areas seeing as our areas combined is about a 1/4 of the island...but we've somehow worked it out!! The only problem is that this week went at about a snails pace but we're trying! Some weeks just don't fly like others do..the work some weeks doesn't fly like others do..but you learn quickly, you only get what you put in! Something real quick I've learned is now that my training is almost over, I'm kind of leaving the Honeymoon faze as well and you realize really quickly, not everyone comes out for the same reason. Some go through the motions, some come out cause they're parents wanted them to, etc. Yet the mission changes people more than you could ever imagine! I've come to see the change in myself, looking back on me before my mission, I wasn't the greatest at charity or loving others as best I could. With Samoans, they'll give you the shirt off there back if you compliment it while they're wearing it! Literally, you kind of have to be careful with that! But I'm trying my best, I've gotten heaps better but I've got a long ways to go!!

Sounds like it's quite cold over in Boise!! Haha oh please could you send some cold, it would be greatly appreciated!! It's the beginning of summer over here and it's hotter than Zeus' lightning bolt! Haha and Cade, I would like to give you a word of counsel when going to a scout camp....Be Prepared. Haha just kidding, I'm not like that, you'll have campouts like that trust me! Our klondike kind of ended up like that, but it sounds like you toughed it out a lot better than I did! Haha and keep having fun feeding the animals!! Honestly you have no idea what I'd give for under 80 degree weather! Goood to hear the fam is doing great!!! Haha sorry I didn't eat a ton at thanksgiving, I promise I'm getting my fair share over here...every night! Yesterday after church we ate possibly the best BBQ I have ever eaten...Samoan or American!!! Barbequed chicken lathered in homemade sauce, taro in pe'epe'e and turkey rump (all it is is fat)! Come what may and love it! Anyways! This week during my personal study, I'm finishing up Helaman, but when I was in Helaman 5, I just had read the first 3 words of verse 9 that say, "O remember, remember" Being the natural man, I tend to forget the power and influence I have on others, whether it be good or bad! And as a representative of Jesus Christ, I should not be doing anything contrary to what He would do. Also this is why we need to read, pray, and walk by faith EVERY DAY!! It's not a matter of dang it, just to do it, but doing it to come closer to Christ! That is when I have found most peace and joy coming closer to my Savior! 

With investigators this week, we are trying our best with Lui and his word of wisdom problem, but he's come a long ways and has improved immensley! He's cut back from coffee and smoking heaps, only 1 cigarette a day and he's trying to drink cocoa instead of coffee which is an awesome substitute!! The only thing is we can't get him to church and that is probably whats most frustrating, but we keep trying! We'll have a baptism service this week with Mindy, her testimony is solid and she's been bringing her husband back to church which is awesome because he hasn' t been to church in quite a while!! We haven't been able to go to Amanave unfortunationly because our area is so big but we're doing our best until transfers which will split Elder Lamoreaux's and I's area apart so we'll see where we go on Dec 1

That pretty much sums up the week, we're staying alive and doing well! Haha had some cereal this week and it brought back memories with the bros sitting in front of the tv, Saturday morning watching cartoons like That's So Raven, the Replacements, Arthur, it was like when I was 7!! Haha makes me appreciate the times more!! 

Hopefully the bros, yous all got my letters!! If not, hopefully in a couple days! Oh, and for christmas, could I get just a small speaker with an aux plug in, and a container for concecrated oil?? I've seem to have misplaced it in moving houses...OH!! And something really fun that you would all like!! I'm running out of ties because as soon as they get wet, they seem to get alittle moldy and there's nothing to save them, so Elder Bybee's fam did this, is each member of the family picks a tie from D.I. or Goodwill to send, so he has a tie from each family member and it makes thing fun!! 

Loves Yous all and have an awesmoe week!!! I'll be chattin with Ya as much as I can!!!
Elder Colbz Larson
 

This is their album cover--LOL! Elder Lamoreaux, Elder Bybee, and Colbs!

Monday, November 16, 2015

11/16/15 - Hey hey hey to the Fam, it's Monday Monday Monday!!!!! I LOVE YOUS ALL!!!

Hey hey hey to the Fam, it's Monday Monday Monday!!!!! I LOVE YOUS ALL!!!

So I just wanted to answer some of Mom's questions to begin!! No more dog bites this week, but a sly little group of war ants, found their way into my bed last night (I don't actually know what they're called, but when they bite, they leave like a little poison thing so it itches and burns kind of like a fire ant)! I'll be ok without a dog whistle, Elder Lamoreaux and I just make it a game now! If you stand still and don't back down, they usually won't get any closer but there are still some who are out for blood. The whole picking up rocks thing doesn't really work with certain dogs so it's always a little on the sketchy side when they come snarling up to you, but so far so good! My comps doing great!! We're both a little stressed this week because there have just been a lot of random meetings and song practices for a Christmas program we're putting on, so that's been that! We didn't get to meet with Taua or Ma'i this week, right now we're on an exchange with Elder Bybee because Elder Reid got put in Manu'a for a week with an AP, because they're opening up some new islands for the work to get sparked back up again! So we're covering about a 1/4 of the island now as we also have the Leone 1st and 2nd wards to visit, but we're making it work!! OH! And some celebrate Thanksgiving here, but we''re just doing a Thanksgiving dinner as an island with the other missionaries so we'll see what we get!! 

This week!!
We met with Rosa, one of Elder Bybee and Reid's investigators, and we taught her the first lesson, and I invited her to be baptized in Samoan, and she accepted! It kind of freaked me out though because she had nodded and I was still trying to finish the question, but it all worked out!! It's way cool to see these people accept to make these covenants with our Heavenly Father and take that step through the doorway!! Now it's just up to them to continue on the straight and narrow path towards Him!!! We also met with another family, Aiga Masoe, who the dad is the only non member, and the wife and 3 kids are all baptized, he just hasn't been ready to accept the lessons because he feels inadequate because he still has a problem with the Word of Wisdom. The entire time as we taught him O le Togiola o Iesu Keriso, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all I could think about was that through this atonement, that is when he will feel adequate! I think that's one thing not being a convert, I have taken for granted, which I strive never to do again! Like I said in my farewell talk, not repenting and moving closer to the Savior through Him, is like going to an all you can eat place and ordering ramen!! The Savior's love for us, we can't even imagine, and I loved a picture I got from Bryan and Jessica this week of the Savior hugging a guy, that from the back looked a lot like me, and the smile on the Savior's face is just beaming and on the back, it just has a little phrase, I don't remember exactly, but it's called "Home"! 
"Picture the day we will see the Savior again. What will it be like? Think of the embrace that He will take you in and the love that you have never felt before. As you both laugh, smile, and cry together, He turns to you and says, "Well done faithful servant. You have ruled over a few things, and because of your faith, I will make you a ruler of many things." That's not exactly but it's close! The dad at the end of the lesson accepted the invitation to take lessons which was amazing and we just faamasani (got to know) with the family and that is how I hope to feel once my Samoan is up to par to joke around with the people! That's when they open they're hearts to you and the Spirit is able to do his work by testifying of our message, and everything goes so amazingly it's incredible!!! I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!! 

Haha so actually Elder Lamo has cut my hair the past couple times and done a really good job (not like your haircuts though Mom, no one comes close!) I emailed Tal, Grandmama and Buddy, and I sent a letter to Grammy a while ago, did she happen to get it?? If not, whats her email?? And thank you so much from the insights from Tad Callister and MOM!!! That's one thing that I'm trying to work on as a missionary to be really good at teaching is the atonement, because in my patriarchal blessing, it states that I will have the opportunity to be a testifier of the Savior and be anxious to testify of Him!! My Samoan isn't quite to full swing, but it's only been 3 months, so I'm learning patience as well!! 

I got sick a little bit cause it monsooned on Saturday and we tala'i (preached) in flips and rolled up our pants and we were soaking wet head to toe! But it was so much fun! 
 
Haha this week too I also just sat down one night, and just missed You bros like crazy!!! Know that I miss you guys immensely!

I loves YOUS ALL and hope all goes well this week!!
ALofa atu outou!!
Elder Larson
 
He loves the sunsets in Samoa.
 
On the beach the day a monsoon hit.

Monday, November 9, 2015

11/9/15 - HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Just thought I'd send some English your way!!! How's the American life?? THankyou for the pics, haha I loved em! But mom, where was you at?? Haha still working my flowers off as they say, and yes my comp is athletic. He did gymnastics and football before he came out so we're both on working out terms. Taua and Ma'i we haven't been able to meet with this week, cause being Matai's and everything, they're way busy so we weren't able to contact them this week but we're going to try and get them this week!!! This week we set goals to put more effort into FINDING people! We don't have a ton of SOLID progressing investigators and so it's been a little harder these past couple weeks, but we're working hard!

And I want to send just kind of like a spiritual thought, spiritual, testimony grower, that sounded really weird in English, I'm sorry, my English is kind of going down the dirt. anyways,
Saturday night, my comp and I went down to Poloa i lalo (Poloa down below) to visit 2 investigators, Alafua and Pacifika! Alafua is really interested, really loves conversin with us about our message, but doesn't want to change churches. So we testified to him of how there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Ephesians 5:4 or 4:5 I can't actually remember, I get a little confuzzled) and either The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church, or it's the church he attends. he's going to pray this week about it and we're going to keep up with him reading the Book of Mormon as well!! And then after, Pacifika kind of bailed on us cause he was with a bunch of buds and they were only on their first beer but he politely asked to reschedule because he didn't want to say anything disrespectful while we were there so we're meeting with him tomorrow.....hopefully(: So afterwards, one thing in Samoa is that it gets way dark around 7:30ish, and it was about that time when we were walking back up to Poloa i luga (Poloa above) and we just kind of sat down in the middle of the road halfway up, we didn't have any appts to go to for the night and we were way tired so we stopped for a bit on the mountain, and just looked up at the beautiful sky and stars and peaceful night...that sounds way cheesy but that's how it was!! And we just got to talking about blessings, (sorry tangent real quick, I've made it a goal to learn a Chirstlike attribute from each of my comps and with Elder Lamoreaux, it's been patience. Not because he bugs me or anything, he just likes to sit and think some times and honestly, with me before the mish, I would have bumped some music while sitting there, but the spirit has able to hit me more because I don't have that, and so I'm grateful for it cause honestly, while we sat there, it was like the Lord was there just looking over us, giving us a thumbs up and a pat on the back for the week saying, "Great job this week my sons". It was honestly like a Alma the missionary moment with the Lord, I'm not trying to sound sacreligous or anything, it was so spiritual and testimony builder!!! I LOVED IT!!!!

I loves Yous all and thankyou for the updates!! I'm finishing your little packages I'm going to try and send tomorrow! it's nothing huge, I just wanted to send you some fun things from Samoa!!

LOVES YOUS ALL!!!!

Elder Larson
 
Posing while his comp is grabbing a baby coconut on the beach that has naturally carbonated water in it.

 

Found some popsicles that melt faster than they can eat them.

 

Monday, November 2, 2015

11/2/15 - MALO LAVA AIGA FAAVAVAU!!!!!

MALO LAVA AIGA FAAVAVAU!!!!!

How's Ya'lls week!!!??? I LOVED THE PACKAGE and so did my comp!!! Not gonna lie though, I did cry a little bit, but my comp was in the bathroom so that's alright! I want to send some small packages to You guys, so I'm gonna try and work that out cause I have extra money from the money we got reimbursed from the plane ride over here!

So honestly, my comp and I did not have a very good week, it was a struggle. but first I'll hit Ya with some funnies...sorta!
I got bit again by a stupid dog around my calf
We got a ride home from a drunk guy, we didn't die though thankfully
We had to break into our own house cause we left our key inside
And the dog by our house that we've fed a couple times, (we call him Stupid Disgusting cause the poor guy is flea ridden and just hair is falling out all over), BUT...these two other dogs we have to pass to get to our fale(house) attacked us, and he came riding so valiantly around the corner and took out both dogs and bit one of em on the neck and so they took off and he rode behind us til we hit the main road and then trotted back so valiantly to our house, so we now call him Valiant, or Stupid Disgusting the Valiant!

But for the week, we could'nt get into any house hardly, almost all our appts fell through for the week, everyone was drunk Saturday for Halloween so it was way sketch. But we did have Pilikaki's and Chris's baptisms on Saturday which helped the whole week get better! They we so excited and you could totally tell after they came out of the water they just seemed so peaceful and clean!!! I had the priviledge to baptize them but I want to get something straight that I don't really like that most missionaries say, is that "I got MY first two baptisms" or "I have 56 baptisms so far!"....no you don't. The Lord has chosen us as missionaries to go out and find the people HE has prepared for US to find! Now I understand missionaries have a big impact on the converts, but they're not converting to US, they're converting to HIM! I'm hope I don't sound like some preacher, because I'm not trying to sound like that, it's just I've made it my own thing not to say that they're MY baptisms cause they're not. Pilikaki's family has been trying to get him baptized for 10 YEARS we found out after the baptism! We were just the missionaries who had the priviledge to finish off what other missionaries had planted and the Lord led us to them. This is the Lord's work, not ours! Let's do it His way cause He does it BEST!!!!!! 

Sorry if I sounded like a ranting preacher, I didn't mean to be, it's just something that stuck out to me when people asked me if I got my first two baptisms. No but I had the priviledge to baptize 2 children of God, so they can fulfill their coventants with the Father! Anyways, Sorry for ranting, I just want to get that out there! 

It's kind of a wierd week, but I LOVED THE PICS Ya just sent!!! 

LOVES YAS!!!!
Elder Polbin Jacob Larson

Ps.THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE!!!! I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!!!! Even though I cried a little bit, it was so awesome to get that package!!! LOVED IT ALL!!! Especially the little cards from all the fam and the awesome quote from Elder Bednar!!! it's the centerpiece for my desk....or what is like our desk!!
 
 
Colby with Pilikaki and Chris on their baptism day - Oct 31, 2015

Colby and Elder Lamoreaux taking a pic while emailing on p-day
 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/26/15 - MALO LO'U AIGA!! MANUIA LE ASO!!!

MALO LO'U AIGA!! MANUIA LE ASO!!!

So glad everyone's safe and doing well this week!! This week I thought I'd just go through a Day in the Life of a Samoan Missionary!!!

6:30-Prayer for the days activities, interpretation of tongues, to not have the runs, and to thank for all the blessings I've received with all yous at home and here on the mission! We then usually get a solid workout in. The food here isn't exactly on the "healthy, better homes and garden health page"! Anyways, we then shower in the cold rain water that fills the tank from the mountain above us, so sometimes we get some leaves which is always fun! Then we get dressed and ready for the day!!
8:00-Prayer to begin personal study, and throughout personal study, faitau le Tusi A Mamona, sauna (prepare) mo lesona ma tagata sailili le aso na (for lessons with investigators that day), then study PMG!
9:00-Comp Study!!
10:00-12 Week Training!! Basically just go over how to become the BEST missionary the Lord knows you can become!!
11:00-Language Study!! Wonder what the heck everyone is saying around me first of all, then usually sing some hymns and read in my Samoan BoM to better understand! Then I've got a fat language study book that I hit up for about 20 minutes or so!
12 noon! We usually get a nice lunch of peanuts, water, and sometimes a muffin! Trying to eat healthy, but sometimes it gets a little sketch! (like Keato said, sometimes we get some pringles and ice cream cause we're way hungry!
Then around 12:30ish, we begin Preaching the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!!! We have appts set throughout the day, our first with Pilikaki ma Chris!! (they're getting baptized this week hopefully) We walk around the bend to the next village where they are, Asili! Then we finish the lesson, well my comp teaches most cause I have no idea what they say half the time, then we go to our next apt wth Lui ma Mau, which is about a 20 minute walk to Se'etaga, 3 villages over. We teach him in English, cause that's what he prefers, and he has a way strong desire to be baptized but he hasn't commited to a date yet because he wants to attend church for a couple weeks which is awesome, cause he needs to anyways if he wants to be baptized, but we heard he didn't attend this week, so we'll have to see what happened. (Quick tangent, each week we switch off from Leone 3rd to Amanave branch because our area is so stinking big, so we can only attend church with one or the other so our investigators in the other ward or branch that we're not in sometimes don't come because we're not there, which isn't good, but we're trying our best to work with the members to help our investigators but it's coming along as best we can!) Then when we finish that lesson, we'll try and contact another referral at the edge of Amanave, in a village called Agagulu, but we can't get a hold of her, so we come back to Se'etaga and contact a less active, while he was drunk he asked to have us come over, so we met with him and the bishop has also been working with him we found out, so hopefully we can get him back to church! We then go to a lesson with Mindy, we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ, leson 3, and she's commited to baptism the 14th of November which is awesome! The family she lives with is all LDS, her husband and his family, and she's been coming to church the past two weeks which is phenomenal! Haha because in Samoa you'll get heaps of people telling you they'll come to church, yet no one will...it's sad because every 1 in 3 people we will meet in Samoa is LDS, (from our mission pres, President Hannemann, which we met with him on Friday which was way sweet!! He's awesome and he served here in 1974, he's a little tougher than Pres. Tolman, but I think they're are missionaries that need that push! Anyways sorry for the tangent!) and there are so many in actives its so sad! They've already made those covenants with the Lord, yet they won't renew them each week and it hurts to see because they don't receive as many blessings as they could, if they came to church and has really opened my eyes and made my testimony grow about the importance of the sacrament each week!! Then about this time, we have our fafaga with a member family in the ward, and we get to eat stuff like taro(a purplish root), pisupo(basically fat and cabbage soup), fa'i (boiled bananas), fried chicken(the fattiest chicken you can find basically), faiapilikaki(basically a tuna and other fish soup that's really good with taro!!), niu (coconuts with the top chopped off and you drink the water inside which sometimes is carbonated), and there's heaps of stuff that I haven't gotten to try yet cause I'm on Tutuila but we don't usually have this all at once usually just a couple but it's great food, heaps of protein and fat so it's a love hate relationship but it's all good! Then afterwards we go to an appoint ment at the edge of Leone with a lady we met getting off the bus named Samoa, she paid for our fair and then we just got to chattin and her entire family is LDS but they're all back in the states, her daughter just got baptized, and we're going to meet with her tonight actually so I'll letcha know if she actually wants to take lessons, we'll see! And then we walk 30 minutes back to our house so we get in before 9, plan for the next day, and then shower and pass out!

So that's kind of a normal day as a missionary in Samoa, at least in our area which it's so big a lot of our time is spent walking to appts which is kind of a bummer, but we look for opportunites to help God's children a long the way!! I LOVE IT!!

Mom Dad- Loves yous both and I cannot believe how much I miss you guys!! It's so comforting to me though because one of the typography quotes I brought from Audrey was one from Elder Holland and I can't remember it exactly, but it says along the lines of, "Because of your faithful call to the response of the Lord to serve Him, He will set You and Your families free!" Something like that but know that I love you both and cannot express the amount of love respect and admiration I have for yous!! Hopefully I'm becoming the son you want me to become!!

Glad everythings going great this week with yous all and glad that the party that went down at the barn wasn't as messy as the last!! I know the Lord is blessing yous all when you serve Him and continue to strive and become more like Him!! Good job on the "ponderizing" this week!! My comp and I are trying, he's doing well with it but I'm struggling a bit just cause my samoan isn't quite up to par, it's like at a +12 over right now but I'm working on it! Training half way done, we finish in Dec 1 I think, and I have a way strong feeling I might train whether it be this next transfer or another but we'll see!! I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which He commandeth them!!!

Love yous all FOREVER!!! And so glad our family can be together forever with this amazing gospel!!!
Elder Larson


Taking a pic in front of some beautiful flowers

On the road with a flower for a tail

Monday, October 19, 2015

10/19/15 - TALOFA LAVA FAAVAVAU AIGA!!!!

TALOFA LAVA FAAVAVAU AIGA!!!!
So glad the weeks' been legit!! Holy cow Mom, when You read later in this, You sent almost the exact thing I wrote!!! If thats' not the Lord really trying to nail in a point, I don't know what is!! LOVE IT!!

Sope, this is my week! Haha thats not Samoan, just me(:

Oct15th,
Wow, words cannot describe how today went. Today I found out for myself what I must do in this amazing work of the Lord, to be able to feel successful, no matter how hard the day was, how cruddy the weather, how non inviting the people were, appts falling through, nothing will hold You down. When I can go to bed at night knowing with all my heart, that I gave my perfect effort that day, that I have no regrets!! While in Zone meeting today, one of our ZL's Elder Robertson, was talking to the other ZL during the week, and he told him something that he relayed to all of us that will stick with me forever..."At the end of the day, week, month, year, mission, we are the only one's on this earth who will KNOW if we were a successful missionary or not." Just me, and the Lord. Can I look back with no regrets and say to my Father in Heaven, I gave you my all, no matter how many baptisms, referrals, contacted, new investigators, anything it may be, it may not have been and seen immediate blessings, but I know that if you look back and say, I gave it my all, THAT is what Heavenly Father asks of us!!

Boom!! So next week, Pilikaki and Chris are being baptized on the 31st!!! We didn't get to meet this week cause they were way busy, but there still progressing!! And we met with Taua this week and taught her the Plan of Salvation!!! WOW. She knows it's true, without a doubt this week, both Elder Lamoreaux and I could feel it and hear it in her voice! The problem with here in Samoa is that people care a lot about what other people think!! We're having the same problem with Lui because he's been going to another church for so long with his family that he's still worried about what others might think. Both he and Taua know they need to be baptized, it's just a matter of when. Elder Lamoreaux and I can only do so much, they just need to have the faith and act! They have their agency, which sometimes can be a little frustrating, but we can't control them so we don't worry about it. We just continue to invite and hope they feel an undeniable answer from the Spirit about the truthfulness of the message we shared! And we're teaching Ma'i tomorrow...well, he asked me to teach cause I didn't say too much in our first visit so I'm freaking out, but that's what studies and role play are for!! THankyou for all Your prayers, it's such a comfort for me when the Lord blesses you all at home, and continues to bless this work as I strive to be the best missionary I can be! 

Yeah my soa and I are doing great, still kickin and puttin in work!! We go to an actual building when we're in Leone, but in Amanave we still meet in a members house, but we;re working with Ma'i though cause he has land that he wants to give the church, so we just need to contact our stake president and have him get a hold of him! BUT....we had 5 investigators at church which was unreal!!!!!!!!!

I'm glad I can chat with ya'lls for a bit while we're emailing!!! LOVE IT!! Continue to strive to become like our Savoir and the Lord promises to bless us INFINITELY!!! WE WON'T HAVE ROOM ENOUGH TO RECIEVE IT!!!

Love yous all!!!!!!
Elder Larson
Memorial of the 2009 Tsunami - close to his home

They found the end of the rainbow!

The only dog that wouldn't bite Colby until he picked him up....

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

10/12/2015 - MALO LAVA!!!

MALO LAVA!!!

HEY FAM!! 
Thanks for the photos You sent this week, I took pics of all of them so I've got em kept!! Haha I don't need toilet paper they sell it here, on Upolu, and even Savaii, I think....we'll see! I can load up in Upolu if I end up getting transferred over there... The food is really fatty but we're trying our best to eat as healthy as we can! I got a little chubby for a bit and hated it so our workouts got more intense! The langauge is still a struggle...it's just way frustrating right now cause I'm rolling into the weeks where I can't even speak english let alone, samoan. I'm hearing words while people talk, but I can't put it together and it's just really frustrating cause as soon as they ask me a question, I sound like an idoit cause I don't know what they asked...definitely keeps me close with prayer though cause I cannot do this by myself!! 

So this has kinda been my week!

We set 2 baptismal dates this week with Pilikaki and his son Chris!! So excited for them to take the next step to our Father in Heaven!! And we're working with anohter guy named Lui and he's not a member but his wife is, and we're meeting again this week to see if he really does want to be baptized, he's knows it's true, he just needs a little more faith to take that step!! And I want to invite You do do something this week that has been making my days a lot easier and way more Spirit filled!! I finished the Book of Mormon this week and I was reading in Moroni 7:45-48!!! And it speaks of the Pure love of Christ, charity!! I've seen and testify of the blessing and power that come from serving others with a positive attitude! My soa, the people, anyone!! I promise it will brighten Your day and it with definitely brighten theirs!! That pure love of Christ will shine through as you serve those around you, even if i'ts way small, they appreciate more than You know!!  Don't let the opportunity pass You by, it will bless you as well as those you serve!! It will stregthen not only your testimony and faith, but the way that you see God's children will be so much brighter!! 

And we were'nt able to meet with Taua this week, thank you so much for praying for her!! We found out from the High Chief, Ma'i, that Taua is the only person who is holding back the church building from being built, because Ma'i who isn't a member, (but we're going to start teaching him this week;) is willing to give up some of his land so the church could build a chapel there!! And we're teaching her the plan of Salvation this week so please please pray she will feel the Spirit!! WE're going to extend the invitiation to be baptized to her this week too!! We know Heavenly Father has been preparing her because she's letting her family, who are members, do the work for her husband in the temple, who passed away a couple years ago, and she really misses him, so hopefully she'll feel the spirit and know with a surety that families can be together forever in this wonderous gospel!!!!
And yesterday in Stake conference we learned we are entering hurricane season, which lasts til the end of March so let's hope we don't get hit too bad(:
That's kind of been the week though!! 

I'm glad everyone's kicking muli in the football pads!!
Kyle-keep the work my man!! You'll be blessed for stickin with it! You man not see it not, but it may come at the end of the season or maybe even during rugby! 
Cade-Good job with sticking with your work during school! Props for the grades! THe Lord's blessing you for being obedient!! 
Keato-I'm so sorry to here about Po. SHe's up in heaven though right now so no worries, you'll be able to play with her again! And I'm glad Shadow is awesome!!

I sent yous all a letter yesterday, I wrote it last Monday, but the spiritual parents that come weekly didnt come til yesterday instead of Tuesday so it'll get to you within a little under two weeks! Keep up the good work, I know the Lord is blessing you all for Your faith in Him and obedience!! Come what may and LOVE IT!!

I'm trying to catch you on the pic email to talk with yas, hopefully your still on!! I LOVE YOUS ALL!!!
Alofa atu,
Elder Larson
 
Under a mango tree waiting for the rain to subside
Studying in their hut (Colby meant to grab his scriptures before the picture snapped, but the closest thing to his seat was a can of Pringles). 

Colby and Elder Lamoreaux found some pretty flowers and wanted to show them off.
 

Monday, October 5, 2015

10/05/15 - A Little Bit of Heaven

MALO LAVA LAVA LAVA LAVA LAVA LAVA LO"U AIGA!!!! I LOVE YA!!!

Thank you all for the update emails!!! Haha I know you want a face pic, but I really looked horrid the past two weeks but I'll send one next week I promise! Elder Lamo and I are gonna kick it at the beach today, but it's raining way hard and we don't care! I really want to send more but I can only send 2 a week): Haha thanks for the flea email Grandmama! We found out it was bed bugs, but we got bug bombs to set off in our room for tomoroww when we go over there so we'll do that then(: It's basically a poison grenade, so we'll probs reenact a movie while we do it just for fun! Haha yeah the packages and letters here get here in 2 weeks, even though they tell you 3 days. BUT I did get your package with goodies and my soa and I ate all the boogies!! THANKYOU SO MUCH!!! Oh and the speaker is bluetooth and the walkman isn't cause it doesnt' have the right plug in, so should I keep it til I send a package back to you?? It'll be a while cause I want to send you all ie's so it won't be til I get to Upolu. I might be able to buy one here but I'm not sure/: I'll have to look and let you know next week!! THe bag is fine, I just carry around in my left hand away from my body so it's a good workout! 

The language is semi coming along, it's a little better, but not quite there yet...my soa and I are getting along great!! We've been blessed with enough food each week, with fafaga's falling through and they just give us like $20 so that get's us by through the week so don't worry about sending money! The Lord will bless us as long as we put in work!! 

Anyways!! This has been my week!
Oct 1nd
Welp, real quick I've just got to jot down some things cause I'm way tired but I'm awake so I've got time(: Anyways, real fast today was way awesome!! WE caught 2 rides all the way to Poloa where we were to meet an investigator and while we were riding in the back of a pick up, we were talking about how the Lord blesses those who set out with a purpose! So we got all the way down there, and our investigator, Alafua, wasnt' home...so we thought, "K, there's no way Heavenly Father would have us come all the way over here, just to walk all the way back, there's someone else we need to visit.....but there are only 2 other houses in the section of Poloa (we thought) and one is a faifeau's. So we decided to go check out down the road to see if there was another home we could visit, and we said we'll walk for 5 minutes and if we don't see a house, then we'll walk back. So we started walking and we got to the end of the road in a couple minutes but we saw that it curved up towards a house!! We went up and met with 2 guys working on a car in the front and chatted for a bit, and when we asked when we could return visit he said the coolest testimony builder...."YOu know, it's a miracle you two found me because I work at a car body shop and I'm NEVER home, nor my wife yet today my plans fell through and I needed to work from home." THIS IS WHO WE NEEDED TO VISIT!!! His name is Pacifika which is Pacific in Samaon, (they have some dope names btdubs) and we set up to visit later this week, we'll give him a call today and check his schedule, but it was the MOST AWESOME EXPERIENCE of listening to the Holy Ghost promptings!!

Oct 2nd
Guess what?!?!? First baptisimal invite today, with a possible yes!!! His name is Lui and we've been visiting him and his wife who's a member but less active twice and we invisted him first lesson, but he said he didn't want to really belong to a church, he just wanted it to be him and the Lord. But we gave him the 1st 2 lessons, and the Plan of Salvation hit him hard because he really want eternal life and to spend it with his aiga!!!(family) So hopefully he accepts!! He's going to pray about it with his wife and we'll meet with him on Tuesday!! AND....right before we visited Lui and Mau, we went to a house, knocked and were invited in. It was an older guy, Malota, and he had lots o family milling around the house. And whe it came time to bear my testimony, I struggled for words and nothing came out right, I haven't been having a problem until just then, and then he interupted me during it all, and I just felt like kaka. AFter we left, my soa slapped me on the back and said MY MAN!! And I was just totally lost cause I thought I totally just sounded like an idiot, but when he interupted me, he said, "I know it's hard for you to speak the language and there's that barrier, but you both have the language of the spirit which is way more important." And we're meeting with him again next week sometime, so I'm way excited!! WE were watching the Preach My Gospel segments today and in one of them, Elder HOlland said, "These people you are teaching are not just baptismal numbers in a book! They are your brothers and sisters and they NEED what we have!" It's not exact but it's close! Ou te alofa le Talalelei ma la'u Faaola, o Iesu Keriso!!!

And I don't know if if everyone caught conference, but I just want to reiterate what Elder Bednar concluded with Sunday morning(it was morning for us cause since we watched it live, we had to wake up at 3 to get to the stake center by the time it started at 5am(:) But he quoted D&C 1:38 near the end and testified that we need to really listen to these prophets an apostles the Lord has called to lead His church!!! And then during personal study, I read Ether 4:10-11!! And it says almost the exact same thing!!! So I challenge You to go back and read, or listen, or watch and study the talks again, because GC is basically scripture for what we need right now!! 

Thankyou for all the updates!!!

Kyle..hope you had a bomb week this week!! Keep up the lifting and growing your spiritual and physical muscles!!!!!! I'm still coming home bigger than you though!

Cade!! Haha I didn't get fleas, we found out it was just bed bugs(: Hope school is going well and you're choosing the right!!! Good job at staying awake during confernce!! To you and Kyle and Keato...Go back and read them as often as you can!!! You'll find that some of them will help you with school and keep you on the straight and narrow, even though no else is!!

KEATO!! My cracka! Thanks for the update!! Hope you had fun with Jacko!! Haha with the "way" thing, everything said that during the MTC and out here, so I just kind of caught on(: I pretty sure it's a Utah thing, cause a bunch of people we're saying at the ambassador retreat! 

LOVE YOU BROS!!!!!!

MOM AND DAD!! First of all, Mom, during Elder Hollands talk during conference, all I could think about was You, Audge, Grammy, Grandmama., and Grandma Merrill! I just want to thank you so much for hleping me stay on the straight and narrow and keeping me in line!! You've loved me even when I was being a poo, and I hope that I've lived up and continue to grow into the young man you want me to become!! DAd, thanks for being awesome! I can't remember who's talk it was, but they talked about there son, and all I could think about was playing football with you in the back yard at the HIdden Springs house, and that one flex pic we took together when I was like 11! I INIFITELY LOVE YOU BOTH!! 

All is well, and I can't believe that I'm already 2 months done with my mission! It's flown by, yet at the same time I look back and I've made so many memories with so many awesome people!! Oh and Elder Lamoreaux and I got knives this week for our food to open cans with(totally ghetto but it's dope) and we reenacted the scene in the Princess Bride where WEsley and Inigo Montoya fight on the top of the cliffs of insanity!! 

I LOVE YOUS ALL AND I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!!!! I'M SO HAPPY THAT OUR FAMILY CAN BE TOGETHER FOREVER WITH THIS WONDERFUL GIFT OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN HAS GIVEN US!!!!!

ALOFA OUTOU,
Elder Larson
A little bit of Heaven

Colby and Elder Lamoreaux (in Upolu a couple days after arriving in Samao)