Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10/26/15 - 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


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(:

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!!!


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


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! 


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!! 


Elder Larson
A little bit of Heaven

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