Monday, July 27, 2015


G'day g'day!

Transfers are coming up, and as crazy as it is I'm giving my departing testimony at transfer meeting tomorrow! It doesn't quite feel real. I'm leaving Dandenong to be in a trio for my last two weeks, and I've been blessed enough to go back to my beloved city for my remaining time!

We have been so blessed to see the greatest miracles here in Dandenong!! I hope you all remember Samantha and Jancy, our wonderful Malaysian recent converts? They were baptized at the end of February, and they were so solid and so happy for about a month afterwards. Then they started to drift off until they weren't coming to church at all and didn't want visitors and we didn't really understand why. Fast forward a few months... Shanti, their mom, texted us, reaching out and asking for help with some trials they had been going through. Turns out they had some conditions and some people in their lives that were preventing them from coming to church and being a part of the gospel like they wanted to. They were going through some pretty dark times. But now those people are out of the picture and they are free! They are so much happier now and they are back like the way they were before all their trials happened! They've welcomed us back into their lives and were thrilled to be welcomed back into the Dandenong ward family on Sunday! Samantha talked about how their burdens have been lifted now, and she feels like the way things worked out was all part of God's plan. She was lost but now she's found! She said she could feel that people were praying for her and she knew that God has pulled them back to Him! The Lord indeed moves in mysterious ways!

Samantha and Jancy and Shanti all came to church on Sunday and were absolutely radiant. They smiled so big and were so full of light! Mohsen and Rudy taught gospel principles and did a wonderful job. And our beloved Kylie, a less active sister we're working with, went to the temple again on Saturday and has been to church so many times in a row! I'm really proud of my little flock here in Dandenong and how far they've all come.

I love to serve the Lord and I am so grateful for all He has allowed me to do, learn, and witness as a part of His work!

Much Love,

Sister Larsen

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Miracle and a Half!

G'day g'day!
So remember Robert from last week? Our miracle guy who loves church? Well he's gotten even awesomer this week. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon on Sunday and he was so excited about it. We saw him again on Thursday to teach him at the chapel, so, as we always do, we followed up with how his reading went. Here's how our conversation went:
Sister Larsen: Were you able to read any of the Book of Mormon?
Rob: Yeah, I finished it!
Sister Hatch: Wait, you finished it?
Rob: Yeah, and I'm reading it again!
Sister Hatch: Wait, how long did it take you to finish it?
Rob: Three days! I couldn't stop reading it! I kept missing my bus stops because I was just reading and reading! I especially love the first and second books of Nephi because he journeys in the wilderness like me. The Book of Mormon really relates to me! I've read so many religious books before, but none of them speak to me like this one does!
*And it came to pass that the missionaries fell to the earth, for their astonishment and their joy was so great as to exceed their strength*
I may have forgot to mention that this conversation was taking place in front of the baptismal font because as soon as Robert walked into the church he said, "Where's the dotted line? Where can I sign up? I want to be a Mormon! I want to be a missionary!" So we showed him the proverbial "dotted line"...the baptismal font! Which he will joyfully be entering on July 25! He probably would have been baptized right then and there if we let him!
He's had to go to the Gold Coast this week, but he looked up a chapel near him so he could go to church and he wanted us to sent the local missionaries over to teach him while he's there! He wants nothing more than to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints! It's amazing to hear all the experiences that he's had since he found the Book of Mormon... things are turning out with his family, he's finding a place to stay near his son, he's noticing a change in himself, and he's feeling the love of God and the love of others for the first time in a very long time.

It's such a privilege to be a part of the Lord's work to witness miracles like this! It seems like the Lord pulls out such miracles right when people are finishing their missions. It's such a huge blessing and I am so incredibly grateful.
I love the Lord and I know this is His work! I love to serve Him and be His representative!

xoxo Sister Larsen

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Coconut

G'day g'day!
This week has been so gloomy and rainy! Australian winters are actually quite cold, and really dreary. But it's alright because it's better than the 40 degree summers! (That's in Celcius for all you Americans... Don't ask me what it is in Farenheit. I just know it's really, really hot.)
We've been working a lot with this lovely Sri Lankan lady named Dharshi! She is studying with us for all the right reasons: so that she can know which church is God's true Church so she can raise her children in the truth! She's currently 7th Day Adventist but she has a lot of questions about her church so she's searching to find what is really true. So she's studying with us and reading the Book of Mormon! ...Aaaaand she's studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses and going to their church every Sunday, as well as her church on Saturdays. Soooo we shall see. It's kind of interesting to see how splitting your focus between so many different sources kind of prevents you from getting a solid answer. Dharshi is really excited to come to church next week and see what the Mormons are all about!
We also were so blessed to meet the most wonderful guy this week, Robert! I met him at the Dandenong Plaza (the best place to meet amazing people!) and I know it was no coincidence! I talked with him just briefly about the Book of Mormon and offered to give him a copy. He was, as we say here, "keen as" and agreed to meet us at the church the coming Saturday! A few minutes after our conversation, he came up to me again and said, "Thank you so much for talking to me! I was just thinking that I needed to pray again, and then you talked to me! I think it's a sign from God!" I told him that it definitely was!! He unfortunately wasn't able to make it to our appointment on Saturday because he sprained his ankle about half an hour before we were supposed to meet. But he came to church on Sunday and loved it! He cried a little bit after testimony meeting because he felt so much love at church and felt like he was finally part of a family again! He told us how his whole life has been looking up since he met us at the Plaza--how his son, who lives with his ex-partner, is moving to a better, drug-free environment, how he's feeling God's love again, and how he knows that he needs to be here right now! It was so amazing! We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon before he left and he was reading it as he walked away! It's so amazing to see how the Lord prepares people to hear his word!
It's interesting to see how differently people respond to the gospel. We get so many people who, as soon as they hear the word "Jesus," slam their doors in our faces or say unkind things. But then we get people like Robert, who are like coconuts that fall out of nowhere who are ready for the gospel! It's interesting too to compare the types of people who react the way they do. Often it's those with large, beautiful houses who don't want to listen to us, and it's humble people like Robert, who was homeless until just recently, who are willing to accept the message. Just a lesson to all of us to be humble and teachable despite our circumstances!
I love you all! Catch ya later, mates!

xo Sister Larsen

On exchanges in Footscray we went to GQ at a park near the water! Williamstown is so so beautiful! Even though it's cold and gloomy. :)