The Trainee Arrives

Quick note from the editor (Elder Larson's dad):
I don't usually do this, but we are within a month of our 1/2 way point so I thought it would be a good reminder:  If you like what you read please take a minute and send a quick "You're the man!!" email to Elder Larson  

Also, if you want to have this sent to you via email every week just let me know (jeffreylarson5 at gmail dot com).  I send it to a lot of people and adding you is no problem at all. 

Weekly Update 7/25/2016


This morning was transfers and trainer meeting.  We got up at 6am and got ready and Elder Edwards finished his packing and stuff, then at 7:30 Caleb and Elder Dickamore got here and we packed up and drove down to Richmond.  Trainer meeting was pretty good, they basically just told us what was expected of us and how we could do our new assignment the best.
Well at like 10:00 we met our new companions/trainees.  My new companion is Elder Maedgen.  He's from Layton, UT and did a year at USU before coming out, so he graduated high school the same time as I did.

Really, really sincere kid and seems like he's excited to work and just get out there.  We we ate lunch and just sat around and talked, it was way fun to just be at the meeting with all the guys I know in the mission, tons of homies.  Then at like 12:00 we had the transfer meeting where everyone finds out their new places.  Elder Edwards is going to Downtown Richmond, back on a bike. 

Then Elder Maedgen and I left and went back to Hartwood.  We threw his bags and stuff in the apartment and then went and hit up Target so he could buy a blanket and pillow, since you don't bring those out.  Got home for dinner and the Dudenhefers had us up for dinner, it was fun and they got to meet Elder Maedgen.  We also got to go see Del ‘cause I left my hair stuff there the other day and I had to pick it up ‘cause Elder Edwards took the extra ones, haha.
Our night was awesome and we taught Angela and her girls.  They're doing so awesome and have the biggest desire to be baptized.  I took my white board and we taught them the Plan of Salvation and it was an awesome lesson, so good for Elder Maedgen’s first day.  At the end of the lesson we set up to go on a tour of the church with them on Thursday so they can see how it works and everything that's going on during church.  I think it will be really good for them and help them not be so nervous.  Really good day.


We had a really good day of teaching, I was happy about it.  We started off going and seeing Fred, it was really funny ‘cause he pretended to be a non member and threatened to go get his gun and stuff.  Elder Maedgen was freaking out a little bit, but afterwards he was fine haha.  It's good to give him a little jump like that with someone that is actually really nice before someone that’s actually mean does it to him.  After that we taught this lady who's son we we’re trying to contact but we actually were able to teach her like the whole Restoration which was awesome!
It was way too hot to knock doors so we went and saw Frank.  Elder Maedgen got along really well with him too, everyone we've seen so far is super nice and he's just loving it.  We also taught Sister Demby and she's doing good, it's still tough on her with her mom living with her but she's trying to find a bigger place so hopefully she can.

Our evening wasn't really productive but it was still good.  We taught this dude named Darrell who’s talked to missionaries before.  He's not really interested but likes talking, so we did…and got trapped there for like 40 minutes! Yeah not the best but whatever.  Super nice guy though.

Elder Maedgen is really great so far.  It sounds like he's trying his hardest out here and is just really wanting to work hard and teach a lot so that's what we're going to do.  I laugh when he is always like "in the MTC…" haha It feels like that was sooo long ago but at the same time it was yesterday.  I did a lot of talking and explaining today and it was good, he's a quick learner and wants to improve.


This morning was good.  We were supposed to have a lesson in the morning but it got canceled so we went and knocked some doors.  I did the first couple then Elder Maedgen took over and he did great.  It's good to see him learning and gaining more confidence.  We met this really great girl named Yarida who walked right out and talked to us about Jesus as soon as she heard His name.  We taught her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and she said she would read it.  She was really nice and Elder Maedgen did great.
We went and had lunch with the White Oak elders at the giant pizza place, Benny's.  It's so good and the pizzas are huge.  It was awesome!  A lot of the rest of our afternoon was taken up by weekly planning.  It took a little longer this week ‘cause I had to explain everything to Elder Maedgen but it was good for him to learn and for me to slow down a little.  Still not my favorite 3 hours of the week, haha.

Right before dinner we had a really good lesson with Sean.  He's been a little hesitant to come to church but we found out why.  He didn't really understand the whole Restoration and we explained it and answered a lot of his questions and it was great.  He really got hung up on the authority and apostasy and it was good to explain it to him.  Very spiritual and sincere guy.
Our evening was unreal.  One of the best lessons I've had in a while. 

So tonight we were supposed to go to the church and have a tour with Angela and her kids.  Well the youth conference for our stake was this week and it got moved over and was happening at the church so we weren't able to meet there.  Well one of the families in our ward was great and we were able to have them invite Angela and the girls to their house for a lesson and dessert.  It was so spiritual and so fun.  We taught the about the Doctrine of Christ and read 2 Nephi 31:5-12 with them and they were so excited.  We invited them to be baptized and they said they would and especially read and pray about the Book of Mormon first.  It was a great night.


Just so you know this week has been hot like I've never known.  It's nuts out here, haha I look at the weather in Utah every once in a while and it sounds like a paradise.

We took a priest in our ward, Kyle, out today to a couple lessons with us.  First we taught Norma who is still kinda interested but I don't see her progressing much.  She still just doesn't understand how our church is different from the others and how we have the authority.  We've had like 3 lessons about that with her.  She loves the Book of Mormon but won't read it or understand really what it is.  But we watched the Restoration with her and talked about it again and hopefully it helped her.

After that we went and saw Chandler.  She's really into a lot of religions and we talked about the Restoration with her also and focused on the authority and the gospel of Christ and being baptized.  She's really great and I think she will really pray about it and ask God.

The rest of our day was good even though we didn't teach we still got out there and worked.


So today Elder Maedgen had his fist bout of homesickness.  It was a rough day but we worked hard and tried to teach a lot to get over it.  Went over to Danny’s and had a lunch of J-Dawgs which he really liked a lot, thanks to my mom for sending me the bottle of sauce!!(Tip for missionary moms, do that!)  We had a good lesson with Fred.  We were supposed to have a lesson with Emily too but she wasn't there.  Then we had a lesson with John who is a recent convert who we haven't been able to contact in a while because he's been going to church with his girlfriend in the YSA(young single adult ward).  It was great and he really has the strongest testimony.

We were able to tract a little and then go and try to talk to Richard who wasn't able to talk.  We did talk with his wife a little and they're exactly the same.  Really they need to have faith in God that he can answer their questions.  I know the Book of Mormon can answer them and with the help of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things.  She was really nice though.

Dinner was awesome.  We ate with Colin and his family then after dinner he came out with us to teach!  Love the priests in our ward!  We tracted around old forge and it was great.  I let Colin and Elder Maedgen do a lot of the talking and they did amazing. 

 Left to Right: Colin, Elder Maedgen, Elder Larson

Left to Right: Colin, Elder Maedgen, Elder Larson

We ended our night talking to our friend Stephen who is a Catholic guy that likes talking to us.  I don't think he's really that interested but it was good to expose to him more of the Book of Mormon.  Hopefully he reads it.


So church was awesome.  I really love this ward and Elder Maedgen seemed to have a good week.  Caleb, one of our friends, gave his farewell talk and he leaves for his mission in 8 days.
His talk was awesome and he's going to be a great missionary.  We had a couple people show up to church, most of them were less active and it was so great.  Hopefully they can keep coming.  Our ward is really trying to help get them all back in the groove.

After church we were able to teach Sharon who is the lady we took to the baptism this last week.  She is really sincere and interested and she said in her final prayer that she wants God to help her become a Mormon.  We taught her the Restoration and answered some of her questions she's been having about the Mormons and it was a great lesson.  She wants to be baptized so we're going to work with her on that.

We tracted tonight a little, when it cooled off a little, and had an amazing miracle.  We were starting in a new area of apartments and the first door Elder Maedgen knocked on was a guy in his late 20’s named Austin.  He said his grandparents were Mormon and that he wasn't a huge religious person but that he would talk to us.  We went outside and talked to him about the whole Restoration and it was so spiritual, he was so ready for the gospel and was so interested.  He said he knows that a lot of the religions out there have truth, but which one is the right one? We focused a lot on the Book of Mormon and how it can answer his questions.  He even said at the end how sometime he feels this weird feeling when he's doing something religious but doesn't know what it is, he even felt it right then.  He knows now that it was the Holy Ghost and was really excited to read the Book of Mormon and have us come back.  It was a huge blessing.

I had a great week and I'm so glad that I could be here in RVA serving the lord.  Training is so fun and I love Elder Maedgen.  Talk to y'all next week!

Elder Larson