Thursday, January 26, 2017

1-22-17 O le a foi lenei faigamalaga ma le vaa ua goto...

Fam in the really freezing 208!!

Whats happening?!?!

Sounds like you are having heaps of fun with all the snow!! I'm not even going to go back into how hot it is over here...cause it's hotter than burnt pancakes in the Sahara...that's hot.

SO! This week was full of trials, but that's just how the work goes...but a very special experience I want to share. So at the beginning of the transfer my comp and I talked about our goal of 10 baptisms...and we've been going over it ever week, yet the 2 bapt dates we have set with Chelley and Moaga keep getting pushed back because it seems as though church isn't there first priority...its really a bummer cause the ward is already struggling, but we're trying our best. We've just been praying for a miracle, working for a miracle, and striving to have exact obedience for our miracle. It's just been a struggle because the whole week, great things happen, great lessons with the strong Spirit, investigators keeping commitments, and then Sunday comes and we're thinking by the works of the week, almost everyone will come, but sacrament starts no one shows up, not even the other half of the ward. My comp and I talked, and we feel as though we're doing everything in our power to help these people but nothing seems to be moving forward. But we had our weekly planning yesterday, and we talked about what's going down...our conclusion, and may we always remember..."When we go through trials and the tribulations with the thought that seems to jump at certain times, "Where is you Lord?"Let us always remember, The Teacher is always silent during tests!"

But one particular special experience that I will never forget. We are literally going all over our erea to find new people to teach, and we came to the house of the old woman that lives at the Mcdonald's colored house, and her name is Lolofi. We went to visit her on Thur, and she quickly hustled us into her house after she said she had been waiting for us to come visit. You have to remember this lady is almost 9, but she's moving around like she's 55! We sat down and just began getting to know her and her fam. So her husband passed away, leaving her and her 13 kids, who are spread all over the Pacific..New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, Apia, everywhere! And some of her kids are even Mormon! The whole time we just had in the back of our mind, she might be our miracle. And then we introduced the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were just praying she was ready to except it, so I explained a bit about the Love of God and it has come time to restore His gospel upon the earth, and then my comp brought up Joseph Smith and how God has now called another prophet to lead his church today....and this is the first time this has ever happened on my mission, and might be the last...she seemed kind of receptive, just kept nodding her head, and then we told her we had a small gift for her, and then we gave her the pamphlet of the Restoration with Christ on the front holding the lost sheep. My comp stood up to give it to her and she met him halfway, took the book and then just stood there looking at the picture of Christ. Then she began to cry, and kissed the picture three times while saying Iesu, Iesu, Iesu...and as she sat down she held the book to her chest and then went into thanking us for bringing this book of Christ and just crying as she thanked us for this blessing. And then my companion and I just kept looking at each other not really knowing what to do, and then he asked me if we could share the BoM. It wasn't part of what we planned but I knew he was being led by the spirit, so he went into a small explanation about the Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and then we gave her a copy. And almost the same thing happened, she took the book, held it close, and thanked us for these blessings  and before we could even invite her to read it, she said she won't stop till she finishes both of them!!! The Holy Ghost was so powerful because her heart was ready and she was prepared, and I thank my Heavenly Father for trusting us to find her through our work! And then it was over just as fast as it had started. We set up to visit with her Tues and we are praying that she will remember through the spirit, that this was the plan from the beginning, God giving us this gospel to bless us and our families, restored to earth through the work of a young prophet named Joseph Smith! So just an amazing experience that we had this week and we are praying that the miracles that are promised through exact obedience are around the corner!

So that's us! Love you all and hope you are having a great week!! Love you!!

Elder Larson
Taro Root peeling!! Sooo fun !!!

In our busy lives, sometimes you need to stop and smell the flowers!!

I have a hard working, cool comp!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

1-15-17 #E tainane le paia lasilasi o le 'aiga alii nei.....

FAM!! What is happening!?!?!? 

Sounds like you have had heaps of fun in the snow... lucky ducks!! I'm turning maroon and my comp is turning black over here it's so hot, we just keep yeah!! 

So this week, it was kind of a trial of faith week...haha, things are sort of moving, but then as soon as things start moving, people stop progressing....Sunday comes around and we get to church and no one seems to see the importance of church. For the past 2 weeks we haven't had a single investigator at church. Its super depressing because it feels like the district where the sister missionaries are are really trying to get some people to church too, but they usually cancel like 15 minutes my comp and I talked about it, never done it before, but we're going to go about an hour and a half before church next week, and literally give ALL our investigators a wake up call to come to church!! haha We're hoping it goes well, never done it before, but if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got! 

So I just want to talk a little bit about a young family we found tracting this week...Salele'a and Penina, and then their 4 little ones under 7! So we were really just trying to find more people to teach and went down this road that I don't think any missionaries have ever gone down, because it's almost hidden, but we went down, then we found a Mcdonalds house, haha painted red and yellow with a matching fale apa next to it, no one home so we went to a little fale samoa in the back, where we found this family. We sat down with them and just got to talking with Salele'a and his wife more about them, and then we just shared a 10 minute message about the Plan of Salvation and then asked for a return date so we met again on Saturday and let me tell you, I have never seen a couple so into these teachings, especially these two!! They were just drinking in the Plan of Happiness, Penina was straight reading cover to cover the pamphlet while Salele'a was asking questions and we were talking more about it, and the Spirit was so strong, it was just the BEST!!!! Penina had to leave near the end though, so she left, BUT she came back and asked when the next time we were coming over to have another family teaching session and was super happy about it, which NEVER happens! So we kind of wrapped it up with Salele'a because we wanted them both to be there! So we're going back Tuesday, and then as we were walking out, a man in the next fale Samoa over, called out to us, asked how we were doing, and then out of the blue was like, "So when can you come to my family and talk about the teachings your talking about with Salele'a fam??" So we were like ABSOLUTLEY we'll come and teach you... got his name and we're going back Tuesday! AND THEN, the last house in this area, the Mcdonalds house, the old lady that lives there called out to us, asked what we'd been doing, then said we were really good, and then asked when we could meet again with her!!!!! IT WAS SO WONDERFUL!! So Tuesday we're going back!! 

My comp and I walked out of there on cloud 9 it was so awesome!! We've just really been hoping for a miracle, cause our presidents goal for the mission is for each month, each zone in the mission gets 30 baptisms, which by the end of the year will get the mission to 3000!! One, he is called of God, two, they fasted and prayed for this, and 3, we have promises from Pres Russel M Nelson than Obedience will bring Success, but Exact Obedience will bring Miracles! It's just another testimony of how much our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us! He's always watching over us, and helping us along our eternal journey back to our heavenly home!

Love you all and hope you have an awesome week!!! Thank you so much for sending the package!! Love you all!!!
Elder Larson

PS...When things aren't moving, it's always nice to go sit on the edge of the ocean and regroup our thoughts...

And then we both found coconuts to drink and we busted the shell, and they came out like big white snowballs haha! 

My awesome Soa! (Companion)

Friday, January 13, 2017

1-1-17 #2017 #ManuiaLeTausagaFou

My apologies this post is out of order. I thought I had posted 1-1-17 weekly email of Elder Larson's.

Fam, what's happening!?!?! How are you doing?!?! It was so awesome to talk with you on Christmas!! Fantastic!!! Good to hear all your voices, even Cade whos voice dropped by 5 octaves haha! 

Well, here's whats happening in Samoa!! E Fesolai is officially done, haha love the guy. It was a great learning experience! I'm now with E Leaitigaga, and we are going to absolutely just kill this transfer!! He's from Long Beach and has almost hit his year mark, next month! He's awesome and we're both really excited to really dig down and just go to town with the work that is ready to be done here in Faala! Our goal is to get 10 baptisms... which we're praying, fasting, and striving to be exactly obedient which is not the easiest thing, but it's the right thing, and we're seeing so many blessings come from it it's awesome!! We only got about 3 solid days of proselyting this past week, cause Fesolai wanted to faamavae with families and was just really ready to finish his mission, but Friday to Sunday, we went missionary crazy, and we just asked for referals, looking for service, and talking to everyone we saw, and in that 3 days we got 12 referals, with more on the way this week, and we are having an FHE with a part member family tonight that we're hoping to extend 2 baptismal invitations tonight!! The work is moving and the Lord's Church will not be stopped in progression! 

Just really excited to get really working again!! It's fantastic to have a comp who is ready to work and willing! Pres Hannemann is always stressing that we become "I will" missionaries! Something new comes up, we don't question we just say I will. Like Nephi, we we are faced with trials, we need to say, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for the Lord giveth NO commandment unto the children of men, SAVE HE SHALL PREPARE A WAY FOR THEM, that they may accomplish the thing that he commanded them." We may be given things that are too hard, or too difficult to follow, but I promise and more powerful the Lord promises that He will Prepare a Way for Them, that we just have to be willing to follow. So I guess my question is, when trials come your way this week, will you sit and crumble or will you stand with the strength of Nephi in seeming impossible things and say "Lord, I will"?

Love you all and hope this week is just a fantastic one!! Sorry not much, but Love you all and hope yous are having an absolutely fantastic new year!!

Elder Larson

More preaching in paradise!!

Elder Larson got a Samoan Rugby shirt for his 20th birthday! Woot! Woot!
Love you ALL!

Monday, January 9, 2017

1-8-17 #OsoTheMea

Family, How are you doing??

I wish it would snow over here, but that will never happen soooooooo, it hailed over here and people went nuts....if it snowed, world war 3 might occur in the pacific islands haha!

Anyway, sounds like you have had some very fun snow over there! It's hotter than hot cocoa out of the microwave poured over your head....burn. Yeah, it's just very hot over here. If you want to switch... that would be great! ANYWAY, so this week was FANTASTIC!!!!! We set 2 baptismal dates with Chelley and Moaga for the 28th of this month! Really happy for them.  Chelley just moved in with Afele, both really young, but she really wants to be baptized, but they'll need to get married first which Afele isn't super excited about. The 3 of us fasted, Chelley, my comp, and me to be able to help her partner want to get married! We are praying for them! And then Moaga just came up out of no where. We were trying to get faamasani with the area, and this fam we came to, Keilagi and Li, just started to get faamasani with the fam, and then asked if they knew anyone who would like to talk to us! Then Li, the mom, started asking Moaga if he had been baptized, but he said he started lessons but never finished because he moved here. And he had a huge word of wisdom problem, still did, but then he talked with the family and just said you know what, I should stop....and it was AWESOME!! That has never happened with any investigator in my life! We showed him a pic of Christ and we testified of the love of Christ for him and the Atonement that Christ performed just for him....and then he just said right then and their after we taught him about the word of wisdom, I'll stop. And he said he hasn't touched it since....this gospel is true! (We continually pray for his strength and when he's ready...he wants to be baptized!)

I just find so much joy and peace testifying to people about the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what it can do for them. We may always ask "No one really knows how I feel", "Christ never went through this kind of trial", "How can he REALLY know what I am going through?"....and then we turned to the teachings of Alma, where he is teaching about the Atonement to the Nephites and how Christ
"shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 
And he will take upon him death , that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

Christ knows us. He loves us. And he would not have performed the Atonement had it not been for the Love he has for each one of us! He knows us, individually, perfectly, because he is perfect, and he performed a perfect atonement, so yes. He knows us perfectly. So turn to Him. He knows how to help you overcome weaknesses, trials, sin, heartache, he knows it all. Because of his love, he suffered for us and knows how to succor his people according to their infirmities! 

Anyways, love you all and hope it was an amazing week, full of snow, snow and more snow! 
Love Elder Larson (I'm just're all snow-burned!)

Samoan missionary fun on Prep day!!