Finding Happiness even with No "Real" Halloween

Weekly Update 11/2/15  

Note: New pictures uploaded to the "Gayton Area" gallery

Also, Elder Larson wanted me to stress that he tries to write everyone back but doesn't always have the time to do it right away.  He still LOVES to get your letters & emails (addresses on the home page) and appreciates all your love and support!  We (Tera and I) appreciate all you do for him as well, thank you!

Tuesday

So I’m going to try and start to include my study thoughts too if I think it's something super awesome.  Today I studied happiness.  There was a lot I looked up and read including a talk from President Uchtdorf, and a bunch of scriptures, and a cool article about a trucker.

Talk: Of Regrets and Resolutions 

Scriptures
D&C 101:16
Mosiah 2:41
Alma 41:10...(really the whole chapter)
2 Nephi 2:11 contrasted with 2 Nephi 2:25
D&C 31:3-5
Alma 36:24-25

The Trucker Missionary

But, my favorite thing I looked at was the story of the Prodigal Son.  

I studied it a lot and it was really interesting.  Elder Holland has a great talk about it and there is just so much to get out of it.  I would encourage everyone to go look it up.  I can't even write all my thoughts about it and they are always changing, but I think we can all find something to liken to ourselves from that story. 

Tuesday around lunch time we had something pretty crazy happen.  It's kinda personal for the person who we saw, but I'll just say they don’t train missionaries for stuff like this, haha.  After that at like 2:00 we tracted this apartment complex by our apartment.  We were there for a while, but didn't really talk to anyone, then the managment came and kicked us out.  It's actually pretty normal haha and we just shrugged it off. 

Tracting in the rain

Tracting in the rain

That night was so long.  We tracted in the rain for like 3.5 hours and walked forever.  Not a ton of people wanted to talk to us, but we did talk to a member family, the Spaldings. They are super awesome.  He's a lawyer, and one of the elders quorum teachers and has a really interesting way of teaching that I really like.  But, they were super nice and let us in from the rain. 

Wednesday

My studies today were also on happiness.  Some stuff I loved was D&C 130:20-21, and a talk by Pres. Uchtdorf (yeah he's my favorite!) called "A Matter of a Few Degrees".  I love that talk and I think it was given in my first ever priesthood session. (Dad help). (editors note: This would have been in the conference right before he turned 12, but I probably made him watch it anyhow!) 

Today we went to see Robert, the guy we had set on date last week(editors note: meaning they committed him to a baptism date).  Robert dropped us... I know he is just hitting a bump in the road and will come around though.  After that we were biking around and went past Martin's house, the guy I met with Elder Strong on exchanges, so we decided to stop by.  Martin let us in and he was great.  He is really into religion and is just trying to follow Christ.  The lesson went great and he said he would try and come to church.

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

After that we dropped by another potential and then went home for dinner.  After dinner we got a call that our 2 lessons for that night got canceled.  It was such an off day for us and so I don’t really remember what happened that night. 

Thursday

At 10:00 we did some service at the church with the Spanish missionaries.  We moved food from the church to a trailer for a food drive they did.  After that at lunch time we went to Buffalo Wild Wings again, haha.  I still don’t love that place but, it was fine.  After that we did our weekly planning.  It is soooo long and boring and I really, really don’t like it.

At 2:30 we went to the care home and played BINGO with them.  That night was Bible Study class at Brother Maldonados house.  We studied Alma 2-3 about trials and appearences and it went really well. 

Friday

Friday morning I studied the story of Jonah and the whale.  Sometimes we are like Jonah, I am anyhow, and we don’t want to do what the Lord has planned for us.  We run away and think we are smarter than God.  But, He is going to show us who knows best, and He is going to use us for His purposes whether we are willing or not.  Also, God loves all His children D&C 18:10

Today we started out with a zone meeting.  It was fine, haha, just a normal meeting.  After the meeting we had another exchange with the district leaders.  I stayed in Gayton and Elder Kinghorn came here this time.  Elder Kinghorn is a good kid.  It was kinda funny because he is sooo much like Dexton, they could be twins(editors note: Dexton is Tyson's cousin).  But, anyway, we had a pretty good night. We went to Latashias and had a really good lesson on family history work and temples.  After that we went to the ward trunk or treat.  It was fun, and we talked to so many people.  It's still weird being with people from a different ward.  I really did have 2 amazing wards growing up.  

After the trunk or treat we had a few houses we wanted to see.  So, we biked from the church to those houses.  The first 2 we went to were dark and nobody opened up.  But, as we were leaving the last house at like 8:40 a lady came up to us on the street and asked us if we were looking for anyone.  We get this at night a lot cause people think its weird to be out so late.  But, she ended up being the daughter of the person we were trying to see!  She talked to us, and even though she wasn't a member she is really involved in the church because her parents are.  We talked to her for about 20 minutes and she was so nice.  We got her number and are going back to see her again sometime.  That was kind of a cool miracle! 

Saturday

Woke up with Elder Kinghorn today and worked out and did studies.  Today was Halloween, and I knew it in my head, but it wasn't a normal Halloween, it was just another day and that kinda messed with my mind a little.  Elder Bronson came back at like 11:00am and we went out at around 1:00 to go see people.  

We had a list of members and former investigators that we wanted to go see.  So, we ended up walking like 5 miles all around and seeing people.  People didn't really want to talk to us because it was Halloween.  We did talk to a lady that practiced and believed the ancient African religion.  She didn't really want to hear anything we were saying, haha, but, I thought it was so cool to hear about her beliefs.  

That night we went around with the Spanish Elders.  We aren't supposed to go out on Halloween and tract, but, we had a few appointments with members that we went to.  The members here are awesome and they always let the missionaries in.  It was a much different Halloween than I've ever had, haha!  It seemed like a normal day and we didn't even get any candy!  But, the work goes on. 

Sunday

Sundays are my favorite!  Church was really good today, I think because it kinda just gives me a little bit to relax and focus on Tyson.  Fast and testimony was really focused on missionary work which was good.  In Sunday School we got to go in a class of 13ish year olds and do missionary role plays with them.  They were so fun!  In Elders Quorum we learned about the difference of work and duty.  It was a really interesting discussion and I liked it a lot. 

The rest of the day we talked to 5 families.  After that we went to dinner, and then had 2 lessons.  The first one was with Tammy.  She is awesome and I think I've talked about her before.  She says she has a calling in life to be a foster mom and she has had like 40 kids over the years.  She has had all the lessons and now it's just about her knowing for herself.  She is so nice and her testimony is there,  she just needs to see that. 

After that we went to see Joseph. We read Ether 12:27 with him and talked about it.  He has a hard time reading during the week and so I made a promise to him.  I had him write down something on a paper that he wants from God this week, then I had him put it in his scriptures and I told him if he reads this week that it will happen.  He said he knows it will happen and so now it's up to him.  It was a really cool lesson though.  The mission is so great.  I’m finding happy things out here every day and the people are so awesome.  

Still trying to write people back, so sorry if I haven't responded to you yet.  I love you all and hope to hear from you all :)

Elder Larson