Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Five Baptisms!

Dearest family and friends,
Our AWESOME investigator Ken was baptized this weekend!! He has such great faith and such a strong desire to follow Jesus Christ. We had an awesome spiritual experience with him on Thursday. One of the elders gave him a priesthood blessing because he was sick, and afterwards he was just so happy and grateful. He asked if he could say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father. He's the bomb.
Ken's baptism was interesting, to say the least. One of our recent converts baptized him. It was his first time to baptize someone so he was pretty nervous. Ken was nervous too, and the water was freezing, and everyone was watching, and... Well, between saying the prayer exactly right and making sure Ken was completely under the water, it took five tries to get him properly baptized. FIVE. And the last two, our recent convert held Ken under the water for a good ten seconds just to make sure he got him under enough. Luckily Ken thought it was pretty funny. We were laughing about it yesterday and he said, "People kept asking if I was okay. I said yes, but inside I was thinking, I need an oxygen tank!" Poor guy. But! The deed is done. Ken is baptized. And he is so happy.
It's the best experience ever to see people grow in their desire to follow Jesus Christ! Ken is from Thailand and didn't know much about God before coming to Australia. But as he has learned, he has had such a love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and has such a desire to follow them. His faith just shines!

I love you all! Keep smiling! :)

xo Sister Larsen

Monday, August 18, 2014


Dearest family and friends,

We got the opportunity to spend a couple days with Sister Kim, who finished her mission and left for her native Korea this week. She served in the city branch for ten months, so chose to spend her last two days here. It was so cool to see how much the people in the branch love her and how much she loves them. Sister Kim is a prime example of finishing strong and fulfilling her purpose until the end! She took any chance she had to GQ wherever we went, even though she would not be the one teaching these people. On Tuesday we took her to the mission home and had her farewell dinner there. We also got to say goodbye to Sister Burton, one of my good friends in the mission, who is going back home to Wales. Sister Kim's German and Korean companions sang "God Be With You 'til We Meet Again" in German, English, and Korean, and there were many tears. It was a lovely evening.

This week we met Juan, who is a student from Colombia. He is definitely not the kind of person who I would expect to be someone who is interested in learning about the gospel. He has earrings and this tough-looking beard and at first glance looks kind of intimidating. Lam, one of our members, pointed him out as we were walking through Melbourne Central station and said that I should GQ him. I was hesitant, but I'm really glad I did. Turns out he's super nice and actually really funny. After we taught him the restoration, he expressed that he has been on a search for something, but doesn't know what it is. He is so honest in his intentions. We gave him copies of the Book of Mormon in Spanish and in English so he can understand better. I can't wait to keep teaching him and helping him to find the answers to his search.

Ken is doing great. He has been faithfully coming to church, even though he has to leave after sacrament meeting because of work. If he didn't have to work, I'm sure he would stay all three hours. He gets baptized on Saturday!! He's really excited, and so are we. He loves the gospel and loves following Jesus Christ. I have never met someone who so willingly and immediately accepts all the commandments as we teach them, even the Word of Wisdom. he is so full of faith.

I love you all! The church is true!

xo Sister Larsen

Monday, August 4, 2014

Another great week

This week has been so great! I feel like I say it every week, but it's always true! It's always good to be a missionary!
Ken, our Thai investigator, is progressing so much! He has come to church twice now and loves meeting all the people there. He is so kind and just understands the gospel. His English isn't the best, but he always speaks so politely. He is just golden! He is a prime example of someone who has been prepared to hear the gospel. He has even started talking to his friends about his lessons with us, and two of them want to come to see what it's all about! Our investigator is already doing his missionary work!!
This Saturday we had the opportunity to do another mini mission! We just had our mini missionaries for one day, but the Lord sure pulled out some miracles for us and for them! While we were eating our lunch in the branch, the Chinese sisters brought up a man named Fuji who was visiting Melbourne from Japan. They gave him a tour of the chapel and then handed him over to us to teach a lesson. He was so interested in who God was and how to pray and asked if he could keep the pamphlets! We said yes, of course, and got him a couple of pamphlets in Japanese as well as English. He was so amazed that we had material in his language! He asked if there were churches in Japan, so I told him about mormon.org and how he could look up a church near his home. I truly hope he does! He could be a pioneer of the gospel in his country! I always have such hope for the travelers who visit the branch because they have the potential to carry the gospel to the whole world!

On Sunday we had the opportunity to go to the mission president's fireside at the mission office. We drove there with some of the girls from the branch. On the drive up we talked about prayer and our favorite scriptures and what keeps us going in the gospel. It's so amazing to be able to hear their strong testimonies. I know I'm meant to be here serving them, but they serve me and strengthen me more than they probably know. Being a missionary is such a blessing.

I love you all! The church is true!

xo Sister Larsen