Monday, September 28, 2015

9/28/15 - HEY YA'LL!!!!!!!! Malo lava!!!!

HEY YA'LL!!!!!!!! Malo lava!!!!

Hey one thing...Talofa is said only in sacrament meeting here, haha no one says Talofa, it's always Malo Lava! Just thought you'd ought to know why!! Thankyou so much for keeping me updated, you have no idea how awesome it is to read your updates of the week!!! I'd love to hear from Keato though!! 

So this was a couple days of my week...

Sept 25th!
Malo lava! Lenei aso was feololo..(don't know how to spell that) but it was a way good learning day!! We had zone meeting this morning from 10 to 2:30ish, which was way long but I learned quite a bit!! 
#1. We need to be way good and understand the 2 most important stories we teach...
                              The Story of Joseph Smith
                              The Atonement
#2. When the Lord asks us to go do something, the only 2 words He want to hear, is "I will" (Matth 8:1-3, 1 Nephi 3:7)
This is one just from my thoughts...
#3. Don't let ANYTHING stand in the way of You and fulfilling your purpose as a missionary!!
OH, and today I got my first dog bite!! We were visiting a tagata sailiili and she wasnt' home so we went around back to check to see if she was there, and she wasnt', so we turned around and this dog just crept by and I didn't really think anything of it, until it latched onto my ankle, but I pulled it out fast enough so it couldn't catch a good wasn't way back, but it did get me some nice bite marks and swelled up a little bit(: But it's all good! Nothing's gonna keep me from Tala'i Lana Talalelei!! (Preaching His Gospel)

Sept 26th
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! Today was a TOF day!! (Trial of Faith or Tofotofoga o Faatuatua...either way it's TOF, who knew!!!?!?!) We were in Amanave fale, (which what we though was the middle of our area) and walked to the backside of the island where our area ends. WE walked for 3 1/2 hours in one direction and didn't even reach the end...and this is not just some path by the beach, this is a hike through, around, on top of, below, the mountains!!! We did find an older lady that seemed way excited about the church which made the walk worth it, but we definitely felt it in our swollen feet. So we got back to the house, and I've been getting these wierd red bumps and we realized our beds have fleas!!!! But come what may and love it ya know!?!?!? Lose yourself in the walking, swollen feet, flea biting beds, mosquito infested places, the hills, the dog bites, and ESPECIALLY THE WORK!!!!!! 

REal quick I'm going to summarize Sunday yesterday!!! So I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting which was possibly the scariest moment of my life, but I came out alive and no one was laughing so I think that's long as they felt the spirit, it's all good right!? Oh and please please please pray for our investigator Taua!!! I can't remember if I told you about her earlier, so I'll recap! She's the matai of the Amanave village and she's been giving the church a hard time about building a chapel for the branch on this land she has in the back, but she's been a rock about it apparently. BUT, about a week and a half ago we taught her the first lesson, and invited to baptism and she almost accepted!!!! She knows its true, her roots just go way deep into the church she's in right now, because she's a deacon and they get paid, and all her family came from that church, but we're teaching her the Plan of Salvation this wednesday so please pray that she will know with a surety that this church is true!!!! If she gets baptized, it could change the entire area!!! Please please pray for her!! Manuia le po!!

Awesome dream Dad!! Just so you know I would've hugged you both as fast as I could!! I miss you guys!! I didn't get the package yet, it takes about 3 weeks to go through customs and stuff, so hopefully I might get it tomorrow!! THank you so much for sending it!!! Haha we will watch conference this week, but it'll be at 5 and 9 in the morning and then priesthood at 1! So that'll be a long day, but awesome!!! I got a way sketch haircut as well this last pday, so I'll keep your eyes nice and not scarred from not sending any pics of my face for a couple weeks til my hair grows back(: 

THanks for keeping me updated with football too!! Elder Reid and I are in the same district, and when we get together we just chat football and we laughed at the BYU thumping they got!! His buddy is a true freshman at Utah and he caught two TDs against Oregon this week!! 

Don't worry about sending money, my soa and I realize that if we pay $10 of our $50 each month in Fast offerings, the Lord will bless us!!! And He definitely has!!! And I'm actually gaining good weight now, mostly in my legs cause of all the walking, but in the mornings we get some crazy workouts, so don't worry we won't be fat!! No gonna lie, my buns aren't as solid as they once were, so I'm gonna have to start doing lunges or something....=P

HAha and please, could you send a good backpack?? MY strap broke on my bag and I have to carry it around away from my body, cause it gets way dirty and my white shirts, aren't staying to white on my left side, so that would rock, THANKYOU THANKYOU!!!! Again I really want to send a package home, but I'll have to wait til I get to Upolu cause the ie's are cheaper there! (an ie is a lavalava....lavalava is the word for clothes over here:) And some way good shells!!!!

Keep hitting me with the updates too!!
Oh really random but way funny..last night I had a dream that we went to our fafaga for the day, and Jimmy Fallon was serving us chinese food and a panda bear was cooking the food!!! Way reandom but way funny, am I right!?!?!?

Haha anyways I love ya all and the work is a little slow just because we have to go to each area for a week so it's hard to get contacts with the investigators we have, but it's all in the Lord's time!!!! Do it His way cause He does it BEST!!

ALofa atu!!!!!
Elder Larson
Tag with a hermit crab

Just being a weirdo...

Monday, September 21, 2015

9/21/15 - Malo lava Lo'u Aiga!!!

Malo lava Lo'u Aiga!!!!!

It's so good to hear that everyone is safe and doing well!!! I love yous all!!!! 

So this is just a couple journal entries and then I explain Samoa a little bit...
Sept 15th,

Lenei aso, manaia le aso! We met some sekia tagata,  over close to the Amanave area and in Amanave! These people are so humble and loving and today I'm finally starting to understand how much I need to change to grow and also have that Christlike love! My samoan, thanks to blessings from the Lord, has gotten a little better! I'm beginning to understand bits and pieces and I feel like I can now contribute a little more so I'm not using my comp as a crutch. These humble and loving people definitely deserve to live in such a heavenly place!

Sept 16th
Wow. So we started off going to Leone 3rd area cause that's where our fafaga was (fafaga is where we eat at a members house for dinner), so we headed that way to some tagata sailiili houses, turns out, no one was home. So we needed to hit this one fale with this older lady, Meaalofa. Her fale is way back in the boonies so we decided to prosilyte on some houses along the way. Turns out, no one was home. Then it started to pour rain, hardcore. We tried to wait it out under someone's overhanging roof, but it just kept going. So we decided, 2 yrs isn't a very long time and we needed to declare the Restoration of the Gospel so we started walking in the pouring rain. No one else was home, but we found some sketchy dogs!! We got to Meaalofa's sweaty and tired, and guess what, she decided it was a good time for a nap, so we didn't get to meet with her. We walked back prettyticked, but we passed on the way up (and before this, a couple days ago, we passed it and the borther that we were with, Vaitafi, said it was haunted and no one lived there) but I felt impressed to go and check it out the house and low and behold, a lady in her 40s was out working near the back and we got her number to set up a return appt to teach and begin lessons!!! Definitely the work of the Lord!! So we headed over to some other new investigators and none of them were home so we stopped for a quick lunch. Then we went early to our fafaga at 3, ate there and while we were there, the senior couple of our area called and said the island was on a tsunami watch! we were literally on the edge of our area east ward, and we hiked all the way back to the tsunami safe zone and hiked all the way up a mountain waiting to see a group of people gathered, yet we never met one. Then we hit the top, and then got a call 2 minutes later that the tsunami warning was canceled and we're goin to just get some big shock waves in the evening, nightime. Well, we were not very happy cause we left the area we wanted to get some new investigators in, we hiked up a freaking mountain, all for nothing. But then, we thought on the brighter side of things. maybe there was something dangerous we could have run into had we stayed in that boundary of our area. So we hinked down and decided to see if one of our other investigators, Isaac, was home. he wasn't and we were honestly so lost, we did not know where to go, every appt fell through. And I remembered my patriarchal blessing says along the lines of, pray for guidance and you will know with a surety where to go with your decisions in life. So we said a prayer and began walking down a road we didn't usually go on to make our way back and a family called us into their home as we passed. if we had gone the way we usually come from, they wouldn't have seen us walk by. We found out they were members and they had heaps of referals for us! Just when your day is full of trials and hardships, did you think to pray? The Lord was there the whole time, we just needed to reach out to Him for help and guidance. This is His work and His church! We as misisonaries are His instruments in inviting others to come unto Christ! You may think that some things are a waste of time and that it totally ruined your day. But you didn't realize the Lord needed you in another area to find His children who were willing to be taught and there was no other way to get you over than to send a tsunami warning one way. The Lord knows what He's doing, and EVERYTHING happens for a reason so what at first may seem like a total waste of time, may be just the way Heavenly Father will guide you to His children! Ou te alofa lenei le Talalelei!! This is His work,so do it His way cause He does it BEST!!!!

And I know I need to explain heaps of things so I'll try my best!!!!
Yes my comp, Elder Lamoreaux is from Idaho but he's from Shelley. His grandparents were just here working at the temple on a mission! He's only been out 5 months, but his samoan is way good!
We are living with members right now, but we have another place to stay in Amanave cause our area is way huge!! We've got cold showers and its phenomenal!!!! And don't worry about me getting fat!! Right now we get $50 a month because in other areas, people with give elders money for food, so they keep our monthly rate low, but in our area, no one does that, so we sat down to budget yesterday and realized next month, we'll be living off a fafaga and a $1 for lunch and breakfast!!! So we're gonna pray like crazy for miracles!!! 
We don't have to wash our clothes by hand, if we catch a bus into town, then there's a laundry mat, so that's a huge blessing!! Oh and Mom!! That purple potato thing we had! The taro!?!? I love it now!! if you cover it in pe'epe'e, which is the coconut meat all squished down to a creme, its way good!!!! And it's huge in protien so that's been my protein shakes for the day!!

So that's me! I sent two pics this week hopefully they got to yous, last week they never sent cause we ran out of time and the internet over here is slower than dirt. But it's internet so whos complaining?! 

Mom and Dad, it's so good to hear everyone is doing well and safe!! Keep telling Kyle that his eagle scout will reward him in ways he'd never imagined!! I'm glad work is going well and I pray for you all on the daily!! Oh and for the plane ride, the ride was in the morning and I didn't have time to put a patch or pills cause it takes 4 hrs to kick in so I had to go without. Send Talon some love, I pray for him!! Thank you for all the support and everything!! I can feel your prayers and it's nice to whip out all the notes you sent in my luggage at night sometimes cause it makes you feel like your there with me!! I want to send you all stuff, but the budget right now is way tight as you read, and all the stuff here is way expensive, so when I get to Upolu, I'll try and send some ie's for yous all!! And some way cool shells that my comp and I found on the beach last pday!! Love ya!!

Kyle, keep up the hard work man! Get into the Book of Mormon every day cause it's such a blessing and you'll read heaps of things to help with school, sports, and life!! Tell that to Cade and Keaton too!! Good job on this weeks game!! keep lifting and you'll be a samoan by the time you leave for your mission! Love ya homes!

Cade!! Hey homes, I heard you had bye week this week but you'll get more chances to pic off those QBs! I know jr high is way wordly, but stay in the Book of Mormon every morning or every night and it will keep you on the straight and narrow! Also, if a bad thought or anything pops into your head, have a church song ready to sing!! Right now, mine is Praise to the Man and it works wonders and really helps!!! Love you man!!

Keaton!! Hey bud, keep trucking through school man!! Pretend your a super hero conquering villains everytime you finish a book, or complete a homework assignment!! Mom and Dad and trying way hard to get you into sports, so keep practicing and you'll shine my man!!! Love ya!

I love yous all and am glad your all safe and doing well!! Keep up the good work!! Oh and an awesome scripture!! D&C 6:36!! REmember it!! And look up Brown Hymn Book!! It's basically hymns that this polynesian group made and they're way good!!

Alofa ia te outou!!!
Elder Larson
Posing on the beach

One of the clearer days as it rains pretty often

Monday, September 14, 2015

9/14/15 - Malo lava FAM!!!

Malo lava FAM!!!!

I'm so sorry I don't have a ton of time cause this p day the zone leaders didn't come pick us up til way late so we only have a little bit of time! I loved hearing from everyone, so sorry I can't reply to everyone know that I love ya all! 

Here's kind of my weekly update...

So I'll start things off back on Sept 9th and then the next paragraph is a new journal entry....Elder Lamoreaux (my comp) and I both got to Tutuila today on the possibly the sketchest plane I have ever seen or ridden!! It was only 30 minutes, but it possibly could have been the longest 30 minutes of my life...I filled 2 barf bags and almost a third before it was through so that was fun. So, Elder Lamoreaux has only been out 4 months and just barely got done with his training and we're whitewashing an area (which means we both get transferred to a new area) and honestly now that I'm here, my samoan sucks. 

So to tell You where I'm at, Tutuila is the island of American Samoa and our area is the western most tip of the island, but it's the biggest area on the island (its about a fifth of the island)! 

So the Lord blessed us with 6 referrals and we were able to contact 2 of them, the rest were'nt home but it was fantastic! One thing real quick though, when you go to a foreign country, and you can barely speak the language already, it gets way lonely. It gets way discouraging because you can't understand what everyone around you is saying and this is when you turn to the Lord for help! We cannot do this on our own! And you know what? When I put on my tie yesterday morning, I realized I grabbed the blue one that Papa used to wear. I could feel that Papa was there with me and it made me tear up. When you think something is too hard, and you feel like no one is around to help or comfort, the Lord will always be there for you! It is up to us to reach out to Him, and He will then be able to bless us with comfort! And to know that Papa was with me yesterday

So yesterday, I honestly felt like garbage. I felt alone, dumb, unqualified, like a flippin rock. And today, I was looking at pictures of you all, and I lost it. I balled like a 2 year old. I want to help preach this gospel so badly, but I can't even understand the people's concerns, problems, questions, anything! I felt so alone, because I can' t communicate at all, as soon as my soa begins in Samoan (his samoan is way good!), I feel like the odd man out, I feel like I should totally have this but I don't. And I said possibly the most heartfelt pray in a long time. Only then did I realize what I was missing. I didn't fully understand the way the Lord was molding me as His instrument. He needs to sometimes break us down, so that He can build us up, 10x stronger. I didn't fully understand that I was actually contributing, just not the way I thought I could. I didn't fully understand why I wasn't picking up the language like I thought. But now I do. We don't know how the Lord makes stronger or helps us before hand, all we can do is put our trust and faith in Him. THis is when He will be able to form us to best use the talents He has given us, to invite others to come unto Christ. THis is what we know. God will ALWAYS love us. When we feel alone, He is only a prayer away. When we learn and build our faith through Christlike attributes and getting through trials, that is how we show our Heavenly Father our diligence and faith, enough for Him to entrust us with building up His kingdom and spreading His gospel! 

I got to read all your emails, thank you so much for all of them, I love em all!! Keep me updated on all the sports!!! 

Kyle, no worries, you'll know when the right girl comes along! 

Cade great job with your pick skux!! Defense for life!!

Keato, you'll find a good sport, just keep toughing out with school! Keep tossing the rugby ball around and get way good, cause it'll help ya later! 

Mom and Dad, so sorry they had that crappy cleanup. You'll be blessed immensly later, you just may not have seen it yet! The Lord blesses in His own time and way! I hope you can find my area, you can't really miss it its huge! I love ya'll! Keep up the good work!! I can send only 2 pics cause the data over here isnt' great, so I'll send those real quick! I love you all, and yeah I got way sick, after that stupid plane ride and that day we had to stay in cause I couldn't get up without feeling like junk, but we're all good now!! 

I pray for you all everyday day!! I'll pray you find a better job, cause that one sounds way junky! But you will be blessed, trust me!! Keep leading your lives the way Christ did, and all will be well with you!! I love you all forever and miss you like crazy!!!!

Alofa atu!!
Elder Larson
(NOTE: We will update with the pics as soon as we get them as they haven't come through yet.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9/7/15 - Safe Arrival Letter


8 September 2015

Dear Family

We are thrilled to welcome Elder Larson to the Samoa Apia Mission. We are grateful for his willingness to serve the Lord and the people of Samoa. We are excited to watch him achieve great things. We will watch over him and help him to have faith building experiences as he invites others to come unto Christ.

Weekly contact from home will be a great source of strength for him. We will keep in close contact with him through mission conferences and personal interviews. We look forward to a personal and positive relationship with him. You can email him through his account.

We invite you to follow our mission efforts on our blog “The Work of Miracles in Samoa.” The blog address is

Thank you for supporting Elder Larson’s choice to serve the Lord.  We pray you will enjoy the blessings of his service; there will be many.  We look forward to great things and miracles as we work together in this great effort of building God’s kingdom.

Warmest regards,

President Thomas Saunders                          Sister Wendy Saunders

Colby with President and Sister Saunders

09/04/15 - MALO AIGA!!!


I hope everything has been way sweet this week!!! Thank you for all the awesome DearElders and keeping me updated!!! I'm so sorry I haven't been able to write thank you letters because this week has been way crazy trying to get everything done before we leave tomorrow!! But know I love you all and thank you immensely!!!!!!! Know that you're all in my prayers!! 

I think I'm actually set with all my stuff, I actually am going to send some stuff home because I have too much and I want to save some stuff for after my mission! So I'll send that tomorrow morning!! 

We actually got released as ZL's on Tuesday, and it was way sad because I loved getting to know everyone in the zone and the Tongan districts did really well adjusting and they're mingling in with all the other misisonaries in the Island Zone so it's been way sweet!! I'm way excited for the field though because our teacher showed us so BEAUTIFUL pics (I hope I have email so I can send some when I get down there cause they were awesome!!)! I'm actually way nervous, or it may have been the chocolate milk I had for breakfast, but either way, it's sketching me out...the plane from NZ to Samoa is like those small planes in the movies that are always shot out of the sky and go down in the ocean, but I know the Lord will be with us!! 

And holy cow!! I've met almost all the USU ambassabro's here!! 2 are gone and I found 2 more today actually!! It's been so sweet!! I don't know Dallin's email but I'll give him your email so he can get a hold of you! 

SO!! This week has been way nuts, like coconuts!!! But so many way sweet things happened!! So guess who spoke on our last Tuesday devo!!?!?!?!? ELDER DALLIN H OAKS!!!!! 2 APOSTLES IN 5 WEEKS!!!!! His wife, Kirsten, began and she served in Japan on her mission and she said the coolest thing!! Her mission brough her so much joy and it worked her to become such an amazing missionary!!!! And she gave 3 Truths that she found on her mission...
1 Make sure investigators KNOW the Plan of Salvation
2 Know You have a loving Heavenly Father that loves and always watches over You
3 LOVE your companion!! Both mission and eternal!!
It was fabulous!! And then Elder Dallin H Oaks spoke on the most important aspect of a mission, which begins in Preach My Gospel chapter 10!! It's a way big quote so I encourage you to read it! This was his topic and he spoke on how EVERY member should memorize the sacrament prayers because of its constant reminder and promise that if we live obediently and follow Him, we will be blessed with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost!!! It is so important for teaching investigators not only for you, but your investigators to have the spirit!! But that isn't the biggest topic I wanted to talk about that was a WAAAAAY sweet experience!!!! I can't remember who said it, I think it may have been Elder Bednar, but he talked about how when we listen to a spiritual thought, a talk, or a lesson, not only write down notes from the thought, talk, or lesson, BUT ALSO write down the spiritual promptings you recieve from the spirit!!!! Tonight was the way coolest experience because it was the first time that I did it, and it was ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!! The spirit was way strong and the talk was amazing, but the one word that kept popping into my head during his talk, was "PREPARE". At first,I didn't quite get it, but then I got to thinking and it was EXACTLY what I needed! I realized I needed to BEST prepare myself, before I may be able to prepare and invite the investigators and the spirit may testify of the truthfulness of my soa's and my message and testimonies!! I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!! I know Christ and the Lord love us unconditionally and when we prepare ourselves to again meet Him in Heaven, He will gladly and loving help and guide us through our trials, and He will NEVER leave!! But it is up to us to keep Him near by following Him, take upon His name, and ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM!!! YES!!!!!!! 

And now with my travel schedule....we're leaving the MTC tomorrow at 1 and our flight to LA doesn't leave til 5. Then we leave to LA and we'll be at the LAx airport after a 2 hour flight til about 9:45ish! Then we have a 13 hour flight to New Zealand and we'll get there about Monday morning cause we skip time zones, and we'll be there with a 10 hour layover til around 3 NZ time, and then we'll take a 4 hour flight to Samoa and get there around 8:30 ish in Apia!! 

Kyle! Dude stop getting hurt man! I'm praying for all of you bros to do well in your sports!! Cade keep it up, stay aggressive homes!! And Keato, once you start your sport, go to town dudey!! 

Honestly, toilet paper and prayers and pics of the fam is what I would like!! The speaker doesnt' work, so I'm sending it home with the other stuff so you can get a refund, and I'll just get a cheap one in the airport!!! Thankyou for all the support I love YOU 5 INFINITELY and pray for you all daily!! Just because You're on a mission doesnt' mean you can do misisonary work!! We taught a TRC this week with a guy from Samoa named Don about Helaman 5:12 and building our foundation in Christ, and when we do this, we cannot fall!!!!!! 

I LOVE YOU ALL AND THANKYOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! Hopefully I'll have email, but if not you'll get a letter in about 3 weeks!!! 

And I'll be able to call you tomorrow!!!!!!! I'll call mom's phone cause I can't remember dad's so Mom keep your phone close!! It'll probably be around 1 for like 5 minutes and then I can call at the airport in Salt Lake!!!!


Alofa atu,
Elder Larson
Colby with Elder Bickmore and Elder Shwenke

Colby with Elder Chugg

Colby with Elder Ward

Temple selfie