Santa's Bag of Garbage

Blog week 12/5/16

This week was unreal.  Honestly so good.  Things didn't really start picking up till Wednesday but after that we were pretty much busy all the time.  Wednesday morning we did some weekly planning because Thursday we had MLC[mission leadership council].  One of the best parts about Wednesday was when we got to go help Sarah fix her car.  Sarah is a lady we met a while ago.  If you don’t remember here's the short version.  We got a referral to go give her a blessing because she's really sick.  Well she lives in the sister’s area (like one street out of our area) so we just decided to go since the sisters can’t give her a blessing.  Well she ended up being awesome.  She is pretty sick but isn't sure what it is yet.  She also has an 11 year old son named Tyler and he’s a stud.  First time we were there he said he was going to read the whole Book of Mormon and I could tell he meant it.  We've been over there a couple of times and this week we actually ended up passing them off to the sisters because they live way closer and it’s just better for them.  So back to Wednesday...  we asked Sarah the first time we were there if there was anything we could do for her.  She was kinda joking and was like "yeah the headlight on my car is out." Haha, I think it kinda surprised her when we were all over it.  But it was a good time. 

Wednesday night we went out with Brother Murrell and had a lesson with Kathy.  She's been on vacation and finally got back.  We talked about temples and work for the dead and it was so great.  Kathy is one of my favorite people and even when she's having a rough day she's still positive about it.  Then we went and saw the Tedder family.  They're a great part member family who Brother Murrell has known for a while.  We shared the #LIGHTtheWORLD video and talked to them about it.  That video really brings the spirit so well. 

Thursday was MLC.  This time it was a little different.  We had 2 brothers from the Church Mission Department come and talk to us and they wanted to have a pretty good selection of missionaries there, not just the MLC.  There was about 40% of our mission in attendance and it was so fun.  The guys from the mission department were Brother Mills and Brother Donaldson.  Brother Donaldson was the mission president in The District 2 and is an amazing teacher.  We talked about a ton of amazing topics, focusing on the doctrine of Christ which is a huge focus for our mission anyways.  Then we talked about planning a bunch. 

One of the reasons we talked about planning so much was because in this meeting we were also told that our mission was going to be able to use more technology now.  We have our iPads which are a huge help, especially with the area book.  Now we can do even more with them like Skype and Facetime our investigators to have lessons with them.  One of the huge advantages to this is so that we can better daily teach and study with them to build their testimonies.  We can also better work with the members in the wards because they can get on and teach with us over Skype.  The trainings were awesome, but I think it was so cool because they came in to train us on using the Book of Mormon, teaching others to repent, and planning and the new technology was just a new tool that we can use for that.  You can tell that President Smith and the First Presidency trust us a lot by giving this to us and it’s so cool how we can start to connect with even more people.  I know that this will help us to further the work of salvation. 

Thursday night after MLC we had 3 pretty good, quick lessons.  We saw the Hise's who are a really sweet part member family.  Then we saw Kathy for a minute and talked with her some more about the temple and gave her a bunch of info about things that are going on in the church for the holidays and stake conferences.  We also told her about the video lessons and she was really excited.  Then we had a good lesson with Bruce and Genita.  We have been going over the basics with them and just reading and talking about the Restoration and it’s slowly starting to click.  They will need some work but I think they will be baptized if we keep working on it. 

Friday was a big day of service.  We went in the morning to help at Lewis Ginter and put some mulch in their flower beds.  Then we went and helped the STL's[sister training leaders] figure out their Skype because we were all prepping for zone meeting.  Then we went and helped Brother Buck and Norman put in some of Brother Buck’s new wood flooring.  We also loaded up a bunch of the garbage that they had taken out of his house and put it in the back of the truck.  It was kinda fun because I had the idea to get a huge piece of old carpet and line the back of his truck with it.  It was big so the sides were hanging over like 3.5 feet on all sides.  Then we loaded all the old wood and stuff inside of that, which normally wouldn't have fit in only 1 load.  But, when it started to get too full, we just pulled the sides of the carpet up ad kept going.  At the end we threw the old toilet up on top, closed the "bag" and strapped it down.  Looked like Santa and his bag of toys going down the road lol.  Shoulda taken a pic sorry. 

Tonight we had zone meeting.  So in our zone the only missionaries that were able to attend the MLC training were us and the STL's.  So we planned it all out and our trainings and stuff and we also got to tell our missionaries all about the new technology.  We decided to just give them a demonstration in the meeting so we went over to Kathy’s and set it all up with her.  She's just that amazing that she would FaceTime us in the middle of a meeting! And we kinda prepped her for what we were going to ask. 

The meeting was awesome and Kathy was great.  Everyone seems really excited about all of this.  After the meeting we had a district leader training with Elder Tanner who's a new district leader and that was also a really spiritual meeting. 

Saturday was pretty cool as well.  Elder Gordon just came from Charlottesville and one of the people he was teaching there was being baptized.  Brother Leber took us so that we could watch and it was awesome.  Really, one of the most spiritual baptisms I’ve been to.  Really cool to see that happen. 

We had a lesson with Paul then had dinner.  This week was also stake conference so we went out to the stake center and went to the adult session which was really great. 

Sunday was the same thing.  Usually they broadcast it from the stake center to our building, but this time the stake president did 2 sessions of conference.  One at 9am and the other at 12.  He came out to our building and we had the 3 surrounding wards there.  President Mullins really loves his calling and this shows it. 

After conference we had a baptism in our ward of 2 little girls.  They asked us to help out so we did.  The real reason it was so cool was because Tyler was there! The sisters had been working with them all week and Sister Mead even took Tyler to hang out with her kids because Sarah wasn't feeling well.  He is a freaking stud!  So, we were sitting in the back row and Tyler told us he wants to be baptized on Christmas Eve and is going to be the youngest elder in the church and set a record!  Hahah I was laughing so hard.  We had an amazing talk about the Holy Ghost and baptism though and he really feels it.  He is one of the most spiritually in tune 11 year olds that I’ve ever met.  I have no doubts that he and his mom will be baptized.  So freaking cool. 

Like I said it was a packed week.  I love being a missionary though and there is nowhere else I’d rather be right now.  I’m a little jealous of the snow yall are getting out in Utah though haha.  Elder Gordon and I came out of church and we looked up and both said that it looked like it was perfect snow weather (grey clouds and just that snow feeling).  Going out to Charlottesville made me miss my mountains haha. 

If you haven’t been on mormon.org yet just go do it right now.  Share it, like it, tweet it, and whatever else the kids are doing now.  #LIGHTtheWORLD

Love yall

Elder Larson