Tuesday, March 17, 2015

G'day g'day!

G'day g'day!
We had the wonderful privilege this week of witnesses Jorge's baptism!!! He was so prepared and so very excited to be baptized and make this covenant with Heavenly Father. Our wonderful bishop baptized and confirmed him. Jorge cried when he came up out of the water, the softie. He's been crying for the last two weeks or so because he's been feeling the Spirit a lot and been so happy to be a part of the gospel. We tease him a bit but really we're thrilled.

Jorge received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday, and is planning to attend the temple on Saturday to do baptisms for the dead! If all goes well, Samantha and Jancy will be coming too. It will be a blessed day.
Samantha and Jancy's mom, Shanti, has been so interested in the gospel. She doesn't speak much English, so after we leave Samantha and Jancy tell her everything we taught in Tamil. We saw a total miracle with their dad, who is Buddhist and doesn't really like Christians. He noticed that ever since Samantha and Jancy started coming to church, everything with their visa application has gone without a hitch. Normally it can take up to 2-3 years to get a visa here, but they got theirs in about 3 months! Their dad took that as a sign, and has since started coming to church! He even bought some nice shirts especially for church! :) We're so hoping to be able to teach them properly soon. If only I spoke Tamil!
I love you all!

xo Sister Larsen

 Sister Larsen with her beautiful companions from South Africa and Tonga teaching a man from Afghanistan. She is loving every minute of her mission! (Caption written by Kathy Larsen :-))

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Elder Bednar and a Baptism!

Our mission had the priceless opportunity of spending three hours with Elder David A. Benar this week!! It was the most amazing learning experience! He asked us to study three of his articles beforehand, "Ask in Faith," "Converted Unto the Lord," and "Seek Learning By Faith." They were all spectacular and I learned so much from them. When we met with him I was expecting a three hour talk of amazingness and inspiration, but instead Elder Bednar chose to spend his time talking with us, not to us. He set some expectations, cracked some jokes to make everyone feel comfortable, and then asked us what we learned. Missionary after missionary answered with insights they had from studying the articles. After each insight was shared, Elder Bednar asked, "Elder, may I ask you a question?" and then would ask another question to help deepend the missionary's understanding and help him dig a little deeper and learn more. It was amazing to watch. After a few minutes of that, he asked us all, "What are you learning from the comments being shared?" And later, "What are you learning from this teaching pattern?" I honestly learned so much about teaching from his example, not from his words. He taught us about listening and discerning and understanding and loving, all by doing it himself. He showed us how agency is so important in the learning process, and how we must act in order for the Spirit to carry the message not only unto but into our hearts. He showed us how the Savior would teach by walking with us and helping us to truly understand and find answers for ourselves. It was so valuable. I want to always teach like the Savior does.
After our amazing afternoon with Elder Bednar, we sped off to Samantha and Jancy's baptism!! They were so beautiful in there white dresses. They were baptized by Bishop Lavaka, who is the most gentle, kind, Christlike man. There was such a special spirit during their baptisms and confirmations, and especially when they shared their testimonies with us. There bore testimony of the Savior, of the Book of Mormon, and of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was so amazing to hear them bear testimony of the things that the Spirit has witnessed to them are true. Samantha and Jancy were so filled with joy after their baptism, and are even more excited for their next step: going to the temple! <3
I love this work! I know it is the Lord's work. I have felt His hand so tangibly in my life. I have felt Him lift me and strengthen me and give me power and peace beyond my own. I love Him with all my heart! It is my greatest desire to be with Him again once my work here on earth is finished. And I'm taking everyone I can with me. :)

xo Sister Larsen