Monday, December 22, 2014

White (almost) Christmas

G-day! Merry Christmas mates!

Christmas is upon us! Being in the bubble of missionary life seems to have eliminated a good deal of the hustle and bustle that usually accompany this time of year. People have started giving us cards and small gifts and I realized that I completely hadn't thought about getting Christmas gifts for anyone at all. As one of my favorite Sudanese investigators would say, "too biz!"

Our darling Kitty was baptized this weekend!! After six months of patience and love, her husband was able to baptize her! :) As soon as she came out of the water, she shot up a fist pump followed by two peace signs! It was probably the most excited I've seen her ever. She and Ed just glowed afterwards. :) They're headed off to Malaysia for about two months on the 23rd, so we had to say goodbye on Sunday. Kitty blew us two kisses and left with a big smile on her face. In a year, they can be sealed in the temple! What a blessing it is to unite families in the gospel!

In other news, Chirag was finally able to come to church!!! His boss rearranged his schedule so that he can make it to sacrament meeting now. It's the greatest!!! He manages this really nice restaurant in the city, and he invited us to come have lunch there last Saturday! It was divine. And free. Remind me to teach more investigators who can get me free food. :)

I love you all! Have a merry merry Christmas!!

xoxo Sister Larsen


The City District!

Sister Pastor and me at the mission home. It feels like Christmas there! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Families are Forever!

G'day mates!

We had our mission Christmas party this week! The highlight: We got to watch How to Train Your Dragon 2. It was so good. I almost cried four times.

This week has largely been focused on Kitty, the wife of one of our recent converts. She has been taught by missionaries for about six months and has dutifully come to sacrament meeting ever since her husband, Ed, was baptized. She has had a fair few baptismal dates but hasn't made any of them...yet. About a month ago she suddenly decided that she really wanted to get baptized! She had been learning how to pray and communicate with God, and she finally got her answer that it was time for her to be baptized! About three weeks ago she agreed to meet with us daily to prepare for her baptism! She has such an interesting mind and always compares gospel things to objects to help her understand everything. Her favorite analogy right now is the strait and narrow path as a water pipe. You need to be baptized to enter the water pipe, but once you're in you need to have strong faith and God will give you blessings as you flow towards eternal life. She's really excited about temple marriage and she can't wait to be sealed to Ed for time and eternity! Her baptism will be December 20th. Ed is so excited to be able to baptize his wife. :)

Adventures down under:
1) We dropped our phone down the gutter while we were on exchanges! :( Luckily the zone leaders drove by and big strong Elder Seuli pulled off the drain cover so we could pull it out.

2) Our mission Christmas party also included and excellent variety show! Some of our talented elders sang, played instruments, and danced!

First photo on the new camera! A very nice man named George spent a very long time telling me how to set it up, and very graciously took our first photo. :)

The branch relief society Christmas party! Some serious card making was happening, accompanied by lots of Vietnamese chatter. The darling girl smiling at the camera is Nalin. She and her husband Eljay are from New Zealand. They are two of the few lifelong members in our branch full of new converts!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Australian Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas down under! Well, in the Aussie way. Which means barbeques and summer clothes and fluoro colors. A bit different, but still merry!

This morning a few missionaries went to the Epping hospital and played some Christmas carols in the outpatient ward. I got to borrow a flute from a member in the stake! It was so exciting! I've also been able to play with a small orchestra that will play with our stake's Christmas devotional. It's been so thrilling to be able to make music again! I didn't realize how much I missed it.

We've been taking as full advantage as we can of the #SharetheGift initiative. I hope all of you have seen the video on! It is so pure and beautiful! We've been handing out He is the Gift cards to everyone and spreading Christmas cheer...the true kind of Christmas cheer. :)

We shared the video with Chirag this week. We've been working with him for a while now, and he is an absolute dream. His only problem is that he works so much and it's hard for him to make it to sacrament meeting. But we showed him the video and asked him what he can give to Jesus Christ for Christmas. He said that he wants to be baptized...on Christmas day!!! Here's to hoping and praying for the best kind of white Christmas! <3

Love you all!!
xoxo Sister Larsen