Sunday, May 24, 2015

Persians are my favorite people

G'day g'day!
We are continuing to see miracles in Dandenong! We are so blessed to be able to serve here.

Mohsen, Rudy's Iranian friend, is doing AWESOME. He's all set to be baptized on June 13th! He could be baptized next week if it weren't for scheduling conflicts in the ward and Mohsen's trip to Sydney with Rudy and Jorge. But he is so ready! He's been praying and praying to know the right path to take. Yesterday he told us that since he's been learning from us there has been so much more positivity in his life and he can tell that this is good! He takes that as his answer that this is the right path for him. We taught him all the "big" commandments the other night (Word of Wisdom, law of chastity, tithing, all the ones that missionaries are scared to teach) and he's all goods with it. He said it will be hard but he is willing to change. Jorge shared his experience with changing to live all the commandments, and he told Mohsen about how it was hard for him too but he was able to adapt and now he's happier than before. Mohsen really looks up to Jorge. And we are so incredibly proud of our Jorge! He's only been a member for about two months and he's already teaching gospel principles and helping us so much with teaching his friends. Yesterday after church he took Mohsen to go meet Bishop. He takes such responsibility for things in the Church and shows so much commitment to the Savior. We're lucky to have him.
Remember our miracle Persian family from last week? They invited us to go to their church with them on Saturday, but the day of they texted us and told us that we couldn't come anymore because their priest doesn't welcome Mormons. Let me tell you how much we freaked out when we got that text!! So many things starting flashing through our minds... What did the priest tell them about us? What are they thinking now? Are they going to avoid us like lepers now?? I was so nervous. We dropped in on them yesterday morning to see how things were. Turns out they were really surprised that their priest didn't welcome us. Giselle was really upset about it. She didn't understand why someone wouldn't welcome someone else into the house of God, especially a fellow Christian. She and Dylan asked us a few questions about things their priest told them, about differences in our doctrines and such. We were able to answer them, but we always directed them back to gaining a witness from God and asking Him to direct us to truth. Giselle really wants answers, so she is going to Bible study at her church on Wednesday and asking her priest all her questions. She's going to tell him that she's reading the Book of Mormon and she doesn't care what he says because she wants answers! And if his answers don't convince her, she's going to come to our church on Sunday and ask our bishop. We are hoping and praying that they will be guided by the light of Christ and by the Holy Ghost to know what is true. It was just such a miracle to meet them! I guess we'll find out what happens after Wednesday...
We have been so blessed with wonderful people to teach! And it's such a blessing to work here among so many people of the holy land. We are able to teach people who would have no other way to hear the restored gospel because of the way their countries are. Mohsen was telling us how grateful he is to be here in Australia where he can learn about other religions and really find the truth. It's such a blessing to be able to teach here! I love the Lord's work!
Much Love,
Sister Larsen

Thursday, May 21, 2015


G'day g'day!

(Sister Hatch and I practiced our Aussie accents this morning. We're still not very good.)

We have been blessed with the BIGGEST miracles this week! We met the most amazing family who we already love so much and can't wait to teach more! A couple of days ago we were GQing at the Plaza, which can be pretty hectic on the weekends because all the other GQers come out too. I was looking around for who to talk to next when I saw this young guy from across the way. When I saw him, my heart just jumped inside of me and I knew he was someone special! When I talked to him I found out that his name is Dylan, he is from Iran, and he and his family moved here about 6 months ago...and they're Christians! If you don't know, it's so rare and amazing to find Iranian people who are Christians, because it's so dangerous to be a Christian in their country. I told him about the Book of Mormon and he agreed to have us bring him a copy. His parents came over a couple minutes into our conversation and they said they were happy to have us over!

We went over the next day and brought a Book of Mormon in English and in Persian. Dylan speaks perfect English but his parents speak next to no English at all. When we came, we spoke with Dylan and his mom, Giselle. We talked about Jesus Christ and their conversion to Christianity, how they forsake their country and risked their lives to come here and be baptized. We spoke a bit about the Book of Mormon. Dylan would translate for his mom every now and then. When we said Mormon, Giselle perked up and listened more. We showed them a copy of the Book of Mormon in English and Giselle started talking in Persian. Apparently when their boat first landed in Australia, they were in a detention center for a while and Giselle spent some time in the hospital. One of the carers at the hospital was a member, and he gave her a Persian Book of Mormon to read. She read the entire thing while she was there! She loves the book! She says the stories are so easy to understand. When she finished it she loaned it to the other person in her hospital room to read, but she was discharged from the hospital before she could get it back. She has been looking for the Book of Mormon ever since! She asked her friends at the Persian church they attend, but no one knew anything about it. And we were, showing them the Book of Mormon! She said she wanted to look for a Persian translation. So I pulled one out of my bag and gave it to her. She looked at the book like an old friend, and started reading it right then.

We invited them to come to church with us, and they were so excited to! On Sunday, Dylan, Giselle, her husband Sayed, and their younger son Amir all came. Even though Giselle and Sayed didn't understand much, they said they loved church! The ward was so warm and welcomed them. We hope to be seeing a lot more of them!!

It's amazing to see how Heavenly Father prepares His children, and how He leads them to His word! I know that this is God's work. He prepares people to hear the gospel and will always help those who want to follow Him! Especially those like Giselle who are brave enough to risk their lives and forsake everything to follow Him. It's such a blessing to be a part of this work.

xoxo Sister Larsen