Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Week 48: Ministering angels, SLC broadcasts and Leadership Training

Hello Family, and Friends! 

I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Thank you for what you do, but mostly thank you for who you are!

This week has been amazing! Hard in some ways, but overall amazing. The highlights include leadership training, ministering angels and Salt Lake broadcasts. 

On Wednesday we had a leadership training meeting all about empowering the leaders. It was great and I feel a lot more confident in my abilities as the Hope district leader. We also learned how observing, listening, and discerning all come before speaking when it comes to teaching anyone. I am really going to work hard this week to listen twice as much as I speak. 

Here is an update for Dewon and Jodi. They are progressing so quickly! We have only known them for 2 weeks, but I know that they are some of the choice souls that the Lord called me on a mission to find and save. We have taught them almost everything and last week we came up with a plan to help Jodi overcome her addiction to tabacco. We had a tender moment on thrusday when we gave her a priesthood blessing to help with all this. I know that there were many angels ministering to all of us as we blessed her that through the Lord's divine Grace, and through her faith she would be made whole. I will never forget how I felt that day. I thank my Heavenly Father every single day for calling me to represent His Beloved Son as a missionary. 

What added more to my Joy this week was that everything with the ride situations worked out so that Dewon and Jodi were able to come to church on Sunday. The Hope Branch out performed my highest expectations and adopted them into the Hope Family. I'm struggling to find words to describe my JOY! AWE it was so amazing! 

What made Sunday even better was we received instruction from Salt Lake in a special broadcast for the Southern States area. We heard from Elder Solores of the Presidency of the Seventy, Sister Marriott of the Young Women's presidency, Bishop Davies over the Presiding Bishopric and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They talked about the temple, patterns in the Gospel for our lives, and of the inseparable connection between Faith & Repentance. My favorite quote is from Elder Bednar. "I can think of few Gospel doctrines more Joyful then Repentance."

How amazing is the gift of repentance!!! Through Christ We can be clean and set free from all our sins, shame, guilt, and regret. If I could not change & repent I would be woefully discouraged. I'm so grateful that the Savior condescended down to my level and is lifting me to where He is. I know that through His Grace I can be transformed little by little, time after time, into a better version of myself who is a little more like Him. 

"Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found. Was blind, but now I see." 

 With Love, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 47:Recap of Past 3 Weeks

Hello Family and Friends!

I rejoice with y'all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank you for what you do, but mostly who who you are. 

Holy Mole! It's been three weeks since I've last had a chance to email you all. Sorry about that. I will try to give y'all the reader's digest highlight reel. 

The Christmas party that the mission put on was awesome! We had an amazing testimony meeting. The spirit was so strong as we bore witness to each other of the truthfulness of the work that we are engaged in as missionaries. 

After the party I had the opportunity to bless a sick child at the Arkansas children's hospital. I know that the Lord loves little children with a perfect love, and that he weeps with them when they suffer. It was a tender experience to be there and represent the Lord. 

Christmas was amazing! We spent the day with the Garcias and I have adopted them as family. We played games and enjoyed our time with them. 

I loved being able to see my family again on skype. The time went by way to fast, but it was a Joy to see them. They anchor me in life to all that is good and I wouldn't be half the man I am today without them. Thanks Family for being there for me. 

New Years eve was chill. We had a fantastic lesson with our top investigator Jodi and Dewon. Dewon is a recent convert and Jodi is his Fiance. They are planning on getting married and then Jodi wants to be baptized. We have had 3 stellar lessons with them this last week and they are on FIRE!

New Years day we went to go help a member who was having electrical problems in her home. The weather turned really REALLY cold recently and her heaters were not getting enough power to run. We had a member take us out there to help with the problem and we got everything worked out. 

Transfers are coming up this week and I'm tore as to what could happen. I have been in Hope for close to 6 months and I've started to love it here. I feel like it could go either way with me staying or moving on. Pray for me I guess. 😂

Anyway I wanted to bear witness to you all that I know that this is the Lord's true church. He set it up in such a way that we always have someone to look up to. One of the heros in my life is President Thomas S. Monson. He lived the way the Master did, showing pure love to all mankind. I know that He was indeed a Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that prophetic promises that President Monson gave to us last April about the Book of Mormon are true.

If we read from the Book of Mormon then we will:
1. Be able to hear the voice of the Spirit.

2. Have the power to resist tempation.

3&4 Overcome doubt and Fear

5. Receive Heaven's help in our lives. 

President Monson's promise encompasses all aspects of life. The Book of Mormon is the cure all for the problems of life. PLEASE read from the Book of Mormon everyday, Everyday, EVERYDAY😄. I know that if you do then these promises will come into your life. I've done it and it has worked for me. 

I love you all! Please keep praying for me and I'll keep on praying for you. 

With Love, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Week 44: Living in the Moment

Hello Family and friends! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank you for all you do, but mostly for who you are! 

I'm kinda short on time this week so let's jump right in. The highlights of this week were Zone conference, a temple sealing, and Golden referrals! 

But first - a funny story: We got a flat tire on Saturday. That makes 3 flat tires so far on my mission. We had to drive 80 something miles on a donut tire to get it fixed. We spent the whole day in Hot Springs getting it fixed.  I'm getting pretty good at changing these things.   Haha what a life this mission is. 😂

So first one of the members in the branch that I've been helping in their temple preparations went to the house of the Lord in Dallas and were sealed together for time and all eternity. I'm so happy for them! They were so well taken care of and they had an amazing experience. The Gospel is true my friends and the Lord blesses those who make it to His home. 😄

This week we saw miracles in Hope! I was feeling real discouraged last week, so I made a Massive Action Plan or a MAP to help me feel better. As I put my MAP into place my positivity increased and the Lord blessed us with golden referrals. When I say Golden I mean GOLDEN & prepared of the Lord. One referral we went to see has had many spiritual experiences throughout her life and we were an answer to her prayers. She literally prayed us to her door. It was so amazing! God,  our loving Heavenly Father,  really knows everything and will answer our prayers. 

Probably the highlight of the week of miracles was Zone conference. I was richly taught by the Spirit of the Lord. I learned more about the Plan of Salvation, and what love for the Savior really is. Love = Loyalty. If we REALLY love someone we will be completely honest, obedient, and loyal to them. This impacted my heart strongly.  I love Jesus so much. I can not even begin to express the tender feelings I have for my personal Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him I am nothing, but with Him I am able to do all things because His grace is sufficient for me. I make mistakes all the time, we all do, but our Savior's Grace is sufficient to help, encourage, inspire, and bless us. I know that my Redeemer lives, that He knows my name, my struggles, my desiresfor good,  and my potential. 

I hope that we can all remember the reason for the season. "For God so loved the World that he gave His only Begotten Son..."(John 3:16) What does the precious gift of God's divine Son mean to you? Maybe take some time to thank God for His Beloved Son this Christmas. 

Sincerely, 

Elder Larsen



 

Week 43: "Light" the World

Hello family and Friends!

I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to thank you all for what you do, but mostly for who you are. 

This week has been pretty good. We were on bikes in the freezing Arkansas humidity, but other then that it went well. Probably the highlight of the week was Saturday and Sunday. 

Saturday we went helped out 2 families. One family we replaced some electrical plugs at. Elder Anderson is a jack of all trades and He came in handy. The other family we helped put up Christmas lights for the annual Oakhaven Ilumenary. That was really cool. It is where the whole town of Oakhaven puts up lights for Christmas. Then people go driving down the one street in Oakhaven and look at the lights. One guy there went all out and had his lights programed to music and broadcasted his Christmas music over the airwaves for all the people to listen to on their radios. 😂 It was something to behold. I've attached pictures a videos. 

Sunday was absolutely delightful. I LOVE Sundays. I have the blessed opportunity to go to the house of worship and bless the sacrament every week. The sacramental prayers are so important and sacred. The words just fill me with awe every time I read them. I love being able to renew my covenants with God each week and associate with amazing people. 

If any of y'all are struggling to be happy and cheerful this Christmas season I would recommend you participate in the #LightTheWorld campaign that the Church is sharing. Each day there is some way that you can shine the light of Christ into people's lives. 

Y'all know what to do, keep reading the Book of Mormon, praying with Heavenly Father, and going to church. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. 

God bless Y'all and have a blessed week!

Your friend, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Week 42: Hope for the Holidays

Hello Family and Friends! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank y'all for what you do, but mostly for who y'all are. 

This week has been incredible! I hope y'all are participating in the #LightTheWorld compaign that the Church has put on. It is definitely inspired. 

As y'all can probably tell I am staying in Hope for the Holidays. I'm really excited as we are working with a lot of amazing people. Right now we are working with Latoya, Lisa, and Kedrick and his family. We are trying really hard to help them all commit to be baptized before the end of the year.

The whole mission has a goal of 80 baptisms by the end of the year. President Hansen received this guidance from the Spirit and I know we can do it. We must help 46 people enter the waters of baptism by the end of the year. PLEASE pray for this. We need all the miracles and tender mercies we can get. 

Two investigators from my past area were baptized on Saturday. Jordan and Andy are a Father and son from Blytheville. Jordan was baptized, received the Aaronic priesthood and in turn baptized his son. Now the whole family is united in the faith and I am so happy!!! I love how the Lord works things out so that many people can be blessed. 

This week we had a fantastic meeting with Elder Robins of the Presidency of the 70. He taught us about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how much our Savior loves us. One scripture that stood out to me that he used was Isaiah 49:13-16. Isaiah compares the Lord's love to the love of a Mother for her child. It was amazing to learn from Elder Robins. 

I'm running out of time y'all, but I know that this church is true. I have felt the Spirit of the Lord witness to my soul that this is the Lord's church. If we want a personal connection to our Savior we need to read the Book of Mormon. The whole book talks about Jesus. Don't forget to Pray. Heavenly Father wants you to talk with him. He is so kind and wants to listen to you. 

Please keep praying for me and I will keep praying for you. God be with y'all and have a blessed week. 

Sincerely your friend, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 41: Exchanges, Thanksgiving and Lots of Driving

Hello Family and Friends! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank y'all for what you do, but mostly for who y'all are. I thank my Heavenly Father Everyday for all the AMAZING people in my Life. 

This last week has been pretty good. I had a great Thanksgiving and I hope y'all did too. The highlights of the week include exchanges, thanksgiving, and lots, and lots of driving. 

This week I had the great opportunity to go on exchanges with my Zone leaders. Elder Armstrong and Elder Paopao are some Stellar Men of God. Elder Armstrong has a special spot in my book, because he has been helping me grow in my district leader responsibilities and has been there for me these last 3 transfers. Elder Paopao served next to me when I was in Jacksonville so we have had some good times together. This exchange I was with Elder Paopao. It was awesome. That night I made some soup and Pasta for everyone and we played some Phase 10. I love the men I serve with. 

One funny thing was I was driving the Zone leaders to and from Camden where their car was and on the way back to Camden to unexchange to our Horror we found that their car keys were all the way back in Hope. So 2 hours later they were back on their way headed home. It was really funny. 

I had the great opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with the a family in the Branch. We all had some great food and talked and played uno. It was amazing and helped me not be homesick. 

I love being a missionary!!! It is the best decision I have ever made in my life.  "Behold, I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been Called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have Everlasting Life." (3rd Nephi 5:13) I Love my Savior and I have come to know him personally as I have been in His service among his people. I have seen Him work miracles in my Life and in the lives of those around me. I am here to help the Savior find His lost sheep and bring them safely home again. I have never been happier in my whole life as I have walked with Him. I won't ever leave His side. 

How will you follow the Savior this week?

Your friend in Christ, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen


Elder Larsen in the Boonies


These are some tired Zone Leaders


Elder Larsen's Holy Place


Week 40: Back in Jacksonville (for the musical tribute)

Hello Family and Friends! 

I truly rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to thank you for what you do, but mostly for who you are. 

Holy cow!!! This week has been incredible! I don't know if I will be able to tell you all of the tender mercies and miracles that have happened to me. God our Father is SO Good to his children! 

So the highlights are probably yesterday and today.

Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with the Rasmussens again. Oh what a Joy it was to meet with them today. They are tender friends of mine. They have helped me so much and I love them dearly. I was able to pray, take a picture and hug them one last time as they are leaving for home in a few short weeks. 

Yesterday I was blest to be back in my birth area in the mission, good Ole Jacksonville. This is where I met and began my friendship with the Rasmussens.  I went to the church building for Sacrament meeting to find that the power was out because a massive tree fell down and destroyed a power line. They ended up pushing the Sacrament meeting back an hour and had it without power. That was an incredible experience. The spirit was very powerful. 

Now some background to the next part, Saturday I performed for a musical tribute in Jonesboro and it went AMAZING! My vocal cords though had taken a serious hit. My voice HURT. I didn't know how I was going to Sing Sunday for the musical tribute in Jacksonville. Well the power came back on during the middle of Sacrament meeting, but the microphone was not working. Turns out the amplifier had blown a fuse and they didn't have another. So now I was looking at singing with a hurt voice with no mic. Needless to say I was worried, but as a testimony to you that God is very aware of us I will show you the Lord's tender mercies are over all those He hath chosen. (1 Nephi 1:20)

So My companion is very technical and with help from the stake technology specialist and a fair amount of inspiration they were able to somehow fix the mic! 

I also felt inspired to ask for a blessing from my Mission President. For those who may not understand what a blessing by the laying on of hands is please refer to James 5:14-15. Anyway He gave me a very tender blessing and in it pronounced that by my faith my voice would be healed and that I would be able to sing with such power that this would be my best performance. After he closed in the name of Jesus Christ I felt healed. I felt the pain I had in connection to my vocal cords vanish away. I felt AMAZING. 

Our performance at Jacksonville was by far the best one. Such a fitting end to an amazing opportunity to share my tender feelings for the Son of God with all those within the sound of my voice. I LOVE my Savior. He is SO kind to me. He has sent Angels in recent days to be with,  and strengthen me. I could feel ancestors near me as I Sang. There were there. I know that is true. 

Brothers and Sisters, my dear friends, in the words of Nephi of old "For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, (Jesus)  and be saved.

Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world"

Please, come unto Jesus Christ and let him help you. He knows life is hard sometimes. Trust me, he understands you. If there is one person who understands you better then anyone else it is the Son of God. He understands me. He loves me and all of you and wants to give of His Amazing Grace to those who come unto him. 

"My Chains are gone! I've been set free! My God, My Savior has ransomed me! And like a flood, His mercy reigns! Unending love, Amazing Grace!" 

Humbly yours, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen