Thursday, March 31, 2016

3/31/16 - Extra Pics and Story from Elder and Sister Schaefermeyer

Story from Elder and Sister Schaefermeyer upon meeting Colby when he arrived in American Samoa.

Elder Lamaroux - right (from Idaho, a trainer who has only been out 4 months, we met him in the MTC)

Elder Larson - left (from Idaho via the MTC) - His is a great story.  He get motion sickness very easily and the small plane ride from Apia to Pago was very rough.  He got sick and the fellow behind him kept handing him barf bags and patting his back.  When we met them, the Samoan fellow who had been behind him came up and asked, "How you feeling Kolipoki."  It was so cute.  Well, he was green all day.  We finally got him and Lamaroux to their home on the far west end of the island.  This is an area they whitewashed so they are both new to the area.  It gives us something to do, to keep in contact with them.

Playing rugby with his zone.

Playing a little towel volleyball.

Trying to eat an Oreo cookie from his forehead...we assume he failed with no cookie in his mouth.

One of the first photos of Colby on the far right in his first area.

American Samoa missionaries - Colby is second row, third from the left

Eating Thanksgiving dinner - you can see Colby's head looking at the food near the front of the table on the right.

Same picture as above, but from a different angle.

Colby is standing to the left holding a cup and either eating or licking his fingers.

3/28/16 - #BLESSED

Malo lava Aiga!!!!!

Mom, that dream you had was way amazing! Especially Easter weekend! It's so sad over here because all people talk about is Christ suffering on the cross and they don't ever talk about the actual Resurrection! Especially as members of the church, we're not supposed to focus on the pains, the afflictions, the sufferings that the Savior went through. Don't get me wrong, that's all super important, but that's not what we need to focus on. Like Dad was saying in his email, the Atonement entailed EVERYTHING, in 3 events...The Garden of Gethsemane, the Cross on Calvary, and the Garden Tomb! ALL 3 we need to focus on together!! That's what makes it special!!!

Welp, this ONLY word to describe this week. George got baptized on Saturday!!!!!! And we had spiritual on spiritual experiences this week!!!! I wish I could share all but I don't have time so I can only share a few! But the first one!! The POWER OF PRAYER!!! So Pres Hanneman came this week with the AP's and we had a zone conference together, but they all missed they're flight to Manu'a, and so they stayed and went with us to George's baptismal interview Friday night! Haha it was us, the ZL's, the AP's and Pres and his wife! We got there 8:30 at night, and George wasn't there. So we waited for a bit, but 20 minutes later, he still wasn't there. My comp and I were starting to get worried cause usually he would've tried to contact us by now. He wasn't one to just not show up. And we know how much Satan was trying to get him off the path of baptism the entire week, and we prayed that George would have the strength and diligence to overcome anything that came his way. We were all still standing there waiting, and George still wasn't picking up his phone. We were all about to leave but I wanted to try one more time and knock on the front door. I turned the corner to his house with E Tuimauga to go knock one more time. Still no one. We had no idea where he was or what he could even be doing, we just prayer he was alright. So we turned the corner in the back to where we usually teach him, but still no one. So we knelt and we prayed. Prayed the Lord would hear our prayer. Prayed the Lord would bless George with the strength to overcome any temptations. Prayed the Lord would bless him to keep George out of harms way, wherever he was. And then we closed. We literally walked around the corner, and Pres said, "Look someone's coming"...I don't know if I've ever been so speechless in my life. George was running our way in the dark across the field in front of where he lives. I was the first to meet him and grabbed him and just gave him a bro hug!! I have never been so blessed to see a Samoan in my life!!! He was baptized on Saturday and Pres and the AP's attended and when I say everyone knows George, I literally mean EVERYONE!! We all went to dinner and we didn't even make it into the restaurant before George spoke with 3 different people! Which brings me to my other way awesome experience!! We were all sitting at Jade, this Chinese restaurant that the only way I can describe it, is like the Chinese restaurant that's at the end of Christmas Story, with the waiters talking like that as well hahahahah!! Anyways, Pres, his wife, George and my comp and I are all talking, the AP's are outside making calls to the ZL's, and we're all just talking. We were in a private room, and I looked over out the door and an old as man was walking into the other private room next to us and I looked at him and I just smiled and waved. I didn't think he saw me, so I smiled and waved again, and he turned and came and walked into our room. He walked straight over to me and said,"I apologize for intruding and interrupting, but I just wanted to come and thank this young man here. He smiled and waved at me from the door and I wanted to come in because I was attracted by his light." I don't know this guy from Nom, I just thanked him and asked what his name was. Bill Satele. You can call it a coincidence or whatever, but I KNOW that God put him in that spot at that moment for Pres and his wife! This man's best friend, is Pres Hanneman's best friend!!!!! Short story shorter, we have no idea who is watching us! It was such a testimony to me to continually, no matter what I may have on my mind, to ALWAYS have a smile, and ALWAYS be happy to greet ANYONE we may come in contact with, whether it be on the street, in a passing car, or in a home! 

Anyways, I love Yous all and I hope Yous have a bomb as week!! Love YOUS!!!!
Elder Larson
After thoughts from other emails:
The joy that they feel is so much more to me! George sat next to us in sacrament meeting yesterday, after we confirmed him, and we were singing the sacrament hymn, he stopped singing during the song for the sisters part in the hymn, and then when the men are supposed to come in, I didn't hear him singing. So I glanced over, and tears were just rolling down his face, and I just put my arm around him and kept singing and it was so awesome!!!!
This is the road to Heaven

Colby was getting up and then all of sudden they said, "Stop!" and decided to take a picture.  He's crazy!
This is George, "the boxer" who knows everyone on the island, at his baptism!  He is an amazing man and was ready to accept the gospel!

3/21/16 - Another day, Another March, and it's still hotter than a...

Hey hey hye!!! 

Hows the life fam?!?!? Thankyous so much for sending that package!! We finally got the sd card and the little goodies and shirt!! Thankyous so much!! It's for reals a sick as shirt!! All goods about transfers, it's not for another 4 weeks haha! This transfer is the long 8 week transfer!

Welp, this week, yes. 
This week was a blur. Literally. I went on a split with E Faletoi, my MTC comp's dad, so my uncle, sort of haha anyways! Being a ZL over here is way hard, there's so much stuff they have to do over here, their basically like the AP's of this island. Welp, I can't remember if I let yous know about George, but we had another lesson with him and he's getting baptized this Saturday!! Haha and Pres Hannemann was in on the lesson with his wife! Haha they were the members present! (They spoke at our stake conference yesterday and then just stayed with us after to sit in on our lesson) was honestly a sweet as experience because the spirit was so strong!!! He bore just a bomb as testimony of things that have happened lately in his life and work!! He's got a bomb as testimony of the gospel and just an all around skux!!!

Welp, for the spiritual thought this week...I actually wanted to just ask yous to do what I did, and then yous pull out what would best help yous all through anything yous are going through right now!!

1.) Read Joseph Smith History ( and also Oliver Cowdry's testimony after it)

2.) And then LISTEN to, NOT READ, Safety for the Soul by Jeffrey R Holland!

I know everyone is crazy busy, but all I ask it you take 15 minutes of your day to LISTEN to Elder Hollands talk!! I PROMISE it will strengthen yous testimony of the Book of Mormon!!!!

THat was this week, love yous all and have a bomb as week!!
Elder Larson

After thoughts from additional emails:

Over here, everyone believes in Christ, everyone believes in God, but its hard because I think Samoa has the Most churches worldwide percentage to land size!! There is literally a church on EVERY STREET!

Fam we had fafaga with and they were dropping us off at our next appt!

haha another fafaga with the Williams! The little guy's name is Naiya! Sound familiar!

3/14/16 - LO'U AIGA FAAVAVAU!!!!

What's crackin!?!? 
Welp, this week we had possible the most spiritual experience of my far! We have this investigator, Mele, that works 7 days a week, and we met her at the beginning of when E Tuimauga got here, and we were able to teach the first lesson, but we haven't been able to catch her again til Friday night. The day had been running kind of slow and we decided to say a prayer before we went in, just praying the spirit would touch her heart. We went in and had planned on teaching the Plan of Salvation, and the first thing she did when we got into her house was testify to us of the light that was beginning to shine in her life. She said that we began the light when we first met her, and then her daughter, Lydia (16), has been coming to church with her aunties in our first ward, and has been loving it! She brought her brothers the last 2 weeks and they both enjoy it as well! And Mele told us that her daughter has been that shining light to the family and she's beginning to see the light and example and blessings from the Savior! And then she thanked us for not giving up on her, because throughout the 2 months that we hadn't been able to teach her, we'd drop by here and there just to check up on the family, and literally all we did was testify of families, our purpose here on earth, and then testified of the amazing families that we had and how blessed we were to have them and how the center of the gospel is families, to help support, encourage, and strengthen one another in coming closer to Christ! Haha, I'd be lying to you if I said that all of us weren't crying at some point during the lesson, the Spirit was so strong, 150% positive!! She cried during both of our testimonies and we cried during ours and hers!!! We closed and left, and said a prayer of thanksgiving, both of us so grateful for being the instruments of the Lord to help this family!!! It was for reals the sweetest experience ever!!!!!!

And just a spiritual thought from studies!! And it goes along with my experience!!! 
Power of Prayer!
Alma 19:14
I didn't realize and I always thought that things just happened in the Book of Mormon, the big and amazingly spiritual experiences just because! But it says in the scriptures the origin of where it began, but I've passed over it so many times, and finally caught it this time going through the BoM. Right now, King Lamoni has just risen from his first encounter with the Spirit and is telling everyone of the marvelous things that are to happen, the coming of our Redeemer! Then he and his wife "sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit." I thought this all just happened for the learning of everything, but it had to start somewhere and it was with Ammon! he saw the Spirit being poured out "ACCORDING TO HIS PRAYERS" upon the Lamanites, his brethren....the Power of Prayer. It's so simple that we a lot of the times we take it for granted, yet the power it holds with God...indescribable. And then he immediately feel to his knees and offer a prayer of thanksgiving! So bomb as!!! 

Anyways, that was the week!! Hopefully yous all enjoyed it all!!!
Love yous forever!!!!!!
Elder Larson

Ps. Bros, I was thinking about this week, and I think it'd be cool for yous to study Helaman 56-57 and study what the stripling warriors did and WHERE they learned all the did!!!
This is Jordan on my right, and Venci to the left of my comp!! This fam is the bomb!! Haha they're not members, but we've been teaching them for a while now!

This is our district after saturday night devotional we had for our investigators! It was way fun! We played heaps of games with the ward members and bishopbric and the investigators!! It was basically a big FHE!!!

this is a dinner we had for the YSA that we were invited to and no one is looking but it's the clearest pic we have haha!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

3/7/16 - WOOOP WOOOOOP!!!

Hey hey, I've got nothing much to say, hay hay hay!!!!

Not really, jokes!!

Life is going great! Not much happened this week, lots of our investigators have been too busy, so this week was spent a lot tracting and helping less actives and members out with service and such! I know, it's crazy thinking about it!!! It's flying by!! This transfer is still 6 weeks away though cause this one is a long one, which is dope as cause I don't want to leave E Tuimauga! This guy is just so fun to be around a just a stud missionary! Haha its hard in this area to grow in the language, just cause so many people speak English to us, no matter how much Samoan we try and speak, so the language is sort of hitting a wall, but we're trying! Loving the food still!! Haha I dropped a little bit for a couple days, and then we got hit with heaps of food for fafaga the last couple days so I'm probs sitting around 195 now heehee! Speaking of Lilio, she bore her testimony yesterday, and it was so cool, because the entire time, all I could think was that the Lord placed us in her path to help her get out of this whole catastrophe! Her testimony is so strong, and I have no doubt, that she is converted to the Lord!!! It's just been so cool to see her progression, coming closer to the Savior, and it's just so AMAZING!!! And Mom!!!! Haha that talk from Elder Holland is my favorite talk too!! Haha the quote I always say from him, is from that talk!! It's the one I used in my farewell!! 

Welp, this week, kind of a struggle, like I said, lots of our investigators didn't have opportunities this week, BUT, I do want to share a way cool analogy I made up during Wed Personal study!!! I need to perfect it, but this is just kind of a rough draft!! 

"Life's Song"
We can liken our lives like a guitar, God being the creator of us, and learning how to play music! When we first begin, we're not super good and every time we strike a string, it shakes, but doesn't give off music. We're just trying to get used to things. Likening it to us, we look at the strings first. They sit still not giving off any sounds, not progressing! But as soon as it's struck, it's kind of like our trials...we're still everything's going great, we're on the right path and then a trial or bad thing will hit us shaking us. BUT we will always make it back to that still moment, back moving towards Christ! But, we're still not playing music right? So we need to tune the guitar, kind of like ourselves....fine tuning, not making drastic changes to our lives, but just fine tuning, learning more of the Savoir, and how to become more like him. But trials will still come with every strum of the guitar...BUT, as you practice, those trials don't sound terrible anymore, you begin to play music, you see the good things out of the trials, and music begins to be played! But sometimes we trip up, we make mistakes, our strings break! We need the Atonement to help mend us, before we can again "play". But pretty soon, we're able to play our "Life's Song", on a pretty beaten up old guitar, BUT the lessons learned, the music played, and the peoples lives touched surmount all of that! 
I know this is really rusty, but this is just my rough draft, any one can use it for a lesson if they wish or fine tune it up, or use it however they like, just music for thought!!

Loves You's all!!! Have a bomb as week!!! 
Elder Larson

not sure what this pic is....haha not sure what I was going for...but...anyways!
We stumbled upon this in our tracting....SICK!!!!!