Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 30: Transfers and the District.

OK so small interruption before we get going into the letter. 2nd Nephi 33:1 states:

1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

I just wanted to throw that out there because I feel like Nephi. I'm not mighty in writing like unto speaking, but I humbly pray that something that I write to you will make it so the Holy Ghost can touch your heart,  and so that you may feel Your Heavenly Father's love for you, one of his precious Children whom he loves VERY much. 

OK here is the letter for you all. 😊

Hello Family, friends and other children of God! I truly REJOICE with you in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I want to thank you all for the charitable things you do to make this world a better place, but mostly I thank you for the Saints that you are becoming!

Oh my, what a week this has been! God is good and has blessed us immensely this week! I've had the amazing opportunity to see the Hand of Almighty God more this week then ever before.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and all the good Karma that you have sent to us. It has paid off and miracles have taken place in Hope Arkansas. Some of the highlights include Mega exchanges, mission wide challenges, AMAZING contacts with prepared souls, and Revalatory Studies. 

So this past week we have been continuing our Mega exchange with our zone leader Elder Armstrong. Elder Armstrong has been staying with us since last Friday because his companion went home early for school. I have learned so much from him, and he has helped me become so much better. I've seen what I need to work on and how I can improve. It has been such a great experience. This exchange has helped me to become the man that God has needed to lead the Camden District as the new District Leader. I'm pretty scared to be the new district leader but I know that this call came from the Lord God Omnipotent through President Hansen. Even though I feel inadequate I know the Lord qualifies those whom He calls. I'm really excited for the continued growth that will come because of this new opportunity. Please keep praying for me. 😊

This week we have had a giant mission challenge. President Hansen has wanted us to keep track of how many Atempted return appointments we have each week. So he issued a challenge for each companionship to get 70 ARA's this week. This was hard but the blessings were so evident. We went from having 3 potential investigators and really struggling last week to having 17 potentials. I'm so excited for some of the families that we met. One of the Women that we found had a young family and we shared Helamen 5:12 with her and the Holy Ghost came and gave her a hug. She was really touched and I'm so excited to go back and see her and her family again. This same thing happened a couple other times. BLESSINGS!!! 

This week President Hansen also wanted us to learn how to Pray better. He shared a talk from the April 2007 general conference titled "The Supernal Gift of Prayer" by Richard G. Scott. I challenge you all to study this talk this week and write to me with what you were able to get out of this talk. I've gained so much on what I can do to make my prayers more personal and to have Communion with the Holy Ghost. (read and look up definition of communion. Jarom 1:4) 

I want you all to know that I know without a shadow of doubt in my mind that God our Heavenly Father lives and that He listens to our individual prayers. He knows each one of us by name. He created us and knows the desires of our hearts.  He knows our wants and needs and He will give us what we need in the way that will be for our eternal good. He is Near. He love you more then you can comprehend. Please pray and speak with Him. It makes God so happy when His children talk with Him. Remember Jesus Christ and what He has done for you. He knows and understands you. He knows perfectly what you feel. You are never alone. You are never beyond his reach. He wants to help you. All we need to do is reach out and take his hand. 

2nd Nephi 4:35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

I really hope that someone somewhere was touched by the Holy Ghost while reading this. I may not know who you are, but I know that God does. I pray for you all and I love you. Please keep praying for me, and those who are in great need. I hope you all have a blessed week.

Your friend, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Week 29: Pine Bluff mega exchange, baptisms and exciting changes

Hello Family, Friends, and other Children of God! I rejoice with y'all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank y'all for what you do to make the world better, but mostly I thank y'all for who you are the amazing people that y'all are becoming. 

This week has been one of changes galore. So one of the big announcements is that the ALRM has been hand picked as one of 12 missions to Pilot Smartphones and Facebook until the end of 2018! We are going to use this technology to hasten the work of the Lord. I'm really excited and it goes to show that the Lord is in the timing of everything. Had I come on my mission when I first wanted to I wouldn't be able to use this technology as long as I will now.

One thing that has been pretty cool about this week is that I've been able to spend a majority of it with my Zone leader Elder Armstrong. He is a great guy and has given me a ton of advice on what I can do to become better. He is real personable and connects with people super easy. Reason why I'm on exchange with him still is because his companion left for home so that he could start college and so we are together until next Monday which is transfers so don't send anything to me after today. I think I'm going to stay in Hope, but then again that's what I thought when I was in Blytheville hahaha. 

So as far as investigators go... We are still struggling a bit. If y'all could continue to pray for us that would be much appreciated. Elder Armstrong will be down with us in Hope starting Wednesday, so we are excited for his leadership and for his impact that he will have on the area. 

This week I have been able to spend some time in Pine Bluff which is Elder Armstrong's area. They are in FIRE. They had a baptism today that I was able to witness for. It was a real special experience. They have some other amazing investigators who are on date and progressing. This has been really amazing to learn from and I am looking forward to putting into practice what I have learned on exchange. 

One lesson that I've been really working on learning is how to have more charity and love for people. One major part of this is the Big 2 commandment that our Savior taught. 1. Love God with all we are. 2. Love our fellow men as ourselves. We can't love our fellow men if we don't love God. We can't love our fellow men above the love we have for ourselves. If we hate ourselves because we are not measuring up to our expectations then we won't be able to love others. 

I've seen how if I cut myself some slack and rely on God more then I'm able to better love Him and his children. So summed up real easy "cut yourself some slack, you are doing better then you think you are." Charity is an amazing gift that God bestows to those who ask in faith and work with all their might for it. Pray for it and work hard for it and you will be richly rewarded. 

If you are not reading the BOM every single day I encourage you to read from its pages. The Book of Mormon has become an old friend of mine,and my sincere hope is that one day soon it will feel the same for you. 

I want you all to know that I know that God is intimately aware of our challenges and struggles. He knows just how hard life is. Life is hard on purpose because we can't become perfect without being put through some fire. It just so happens that trials and struggles are actually blessings in disguise. They are developmental opportunities. While it may sound all fine and dandy on paper it is harder to put into perspective in the real world. This is where we rely on the Grace our Savior brings. His Grace is like the healing balm of Gilead.  I know without a doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is REAL. He knows my name and everything about me. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Best Friend. I love Him so much. He is making more of me then I ever could, and the best part is He's not done yet.   Brothers and Sisters, may we ever be moldable like clay in the hands of the Master. Oh how I Love Him, and oh how he loves us! 

Have a blessed week my dear friends and Remember, Rejoice for God is Good! 

Your faithful Friend,

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Week 28: Museums, Archives, and Civil War Day

Hello Family, Friends, and other Children of God! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank y'all for what you do, but mostly I thank you for who you are and the little ways you make this world a better place! 

This week has been interesting to say the least haha. We are so blest here in little Ole Hope Arkansas. We feel like the Lord is having us direct more of our attention to member relations, retention and activation. This week we really had some amazing experiences with the members. 

(So I got to give a little shout out to my comp Elder Patterson. There were some really neat experiences this week and man he is so kind and compassionate. He has helped me to stay positive and in the words of Dory "Just keep Swiming" or as we say it in the Mish "Just keep Working".) 

OK so as far as the members are concerned we were able to teach the Gold family again! They are progressing leaps and bounds in they journey toward to the Temple! I am so happy for them!!! Not only have they read the entire temple book, but they had really good questions about it all too. It is such an amazing experience to help them, and what's better is they fed us dinner! Can Life get better? I submit that it cannot! Dinner and spiritual experiences are da best. 

Anyway we were also able to help Brother Paul this week. Paul has a really cool "hobbie". He helps the local museum in Prescott which is housed in an old train depot. We were able to help him set up a new shelf and got to check out the cool archives that they have. I felt like a rich kid in a candy store. It was so cool looking over the old books and posters that they had. They had so many neat things in there I could spend days there. Brother Paul is also super into the Civil War so after we helped him he took us on a Civil War tour around the town of Prescott. Prescott is where the battle of Prairie De'ann took place. He told us all about it and it was so neat. He also took us to lunch, so that was awfully kind of him. 

Oh and a little side note, Paul has probably the coolest house that I have ever seen in my life. It is a log cabin in the middle of a Forrest that he owns. He has a spring pond in his back yard and tons of land for his 5 horses. Paul and Robin are some of the coolest people I've met. Such a neat couple. 

Saturday we went back up to Prescott and helped Sara move into her new home. It was really nice to build relationships with her and her family. We are hoping to fully reactivate her and her family. Please pray for them. 

OK so not to rant or anything, but Contention is firmly of the Devil. That is how he works. He works on the children of men to contend with anger one with another and it is NO good. We read in 3rd Nephi 12:22 that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his Judgement. This is different then what is recorded in Matthew 5:22 which reads whosoever is angry with his brother "without a cause"  is in danger of the Judgement. This makes it clear that we should not be angry with our brethren and sisters. We should act out of love and respect for them and help each other out. I firmly believe that if we went out of our way to do one loving act each day and help each other out then the world would be 1000 times better. Do not, Do not , DO NOT let contention into your hearts. There are 2 things that push the Holy Ghost away and that is sin and contention. It drives him crazy and he leaves immediately. Trust me I have seen this from many experiences in my life. Please learn from my mistakes and live a more peaceable life. Trust me you will be blessed beyond measure. 

Phew.... Sorry for all that seriousness, but I had to throw that out there. 

Anyway I want y'all to know that I know that God lives. He is our Father literal in every sense of the word. Just think of it, out of the millions of titles God could go by such as "almighty, King, Ruler" etc, He has asked us to call him Father. Doesn't that just blow you away! What an amazing doctrine, and what is even more amazing is his Love for each of us! God really is our Loving Heavenly Father.  We read in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I know that My Savior is real. He really lived, atoned, died, and rose the 3rd day. He did this for each of us. Because of the Atonement that he performed for each one of us we knows intimately what, and how we feel, and he knows just how His Amazing Grace can heal us. 

Please my beloved Brothers and Sisters, Please don't go through life without Jesus walking with you. It is such a lonely road without him. He doesn't want you to walk alone. He knows how hard and lonely this life can be, and He wants to help you every step of the way. He truly is the Prince of Peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

I love you all so much. Even though I may not know you individually, I know that God does. Whatever you are going through, whatever challenges you are facing, I promise you that God is ALWAYS there for you. Please pray to Him. He wants to hear from you. You are his child and you mean the world to him. 

God be with you always, and Hurrah for Israel! 

Sincerely yours, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

P. S. 

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I will repent and get more this next week. I love this one picture of Jesus and I wanted to share it with y'all. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 27: Monkey Business and Exchanges in Camden

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

Before I get into the main part of the weekly report, I wanted to extend a commitment to y'all. If y'all aren't reading the Book of Mormon every day. Please do so. The Prophet was definitely inspired when he asked us to read it everyday, Everyday, EVERYDAY! I know from personal experience that y'all will feel more of the Love of your Father in Heaven. 

I have received some questions as to the music solo that I will be performing here in a few months. I will be singing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" in the Missionary Tribute to the Savior program that the mission is putting together for the 5 stakes in the mission. I have attached the program. It has a few errors in it, but for the most part it should be similar to what will actually happen. I'm not sure how it will all work out yet, but I will be singing at all 5 stakes, so I will be able to see people that I haven't seen for months again so this is really exciting. Please pray for me. 

So, this week has been a bit more bumpy then usual. The work here has been slowing down despite our best efforts. We know that there are people out there who need the gospel, it has just been difficult to find them. Please keep praying for us and the people of Hope. I have hope that there is hope for us yet here in Hope. :P

Anyway some of the highlights of the week include exchanges in Camden, monkey business, and tender mercies from the Lord. 

This week I had the opportunity to go on exchange with Elder Hoyle my district leader over in Camden. He had to do interviews with some baptismal candidates before we left Arkadelphia so it was cool to help him prepare for that. I was also able to receive a lot of good guidance and counsel from Elder Hoyle. He is a really awesome missionary. 

On the way back from unexchanging on Thursday we went to a member who has actual monkeys that she takes care of. It was way cool! She had a capuchin and some other kind but it was really cool. The capuchin monkey came up and shook my hand. Needless to say it was a really cool experience. 

This week has been pretty hard, but I have been able to see the Lord working through it all. The Holy Ghost can bring peace to a weary soul in such ways that words can't describe. I know that the Holy Ghost is real, and that he brings messages from Heaven.  Because of the Holy Spirit I know that Jesus is the Christ, the immortal Son of God. I also know that my Heavenly Father is very aware of me and my circumstances. I know that He cares about me,  and about all of his children. That is why God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to set the example, and to mark the way that we need to live so that we can return home.

I know that the work that I am engaged in is the work of the God of Heaven! I Know that My Redeemer Lives!  I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the Lord! I know that I am a Missionary for My Savior,  and Oh how I Love it!  

Hurrah for Israel!!! 


Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Week 26: Watermelons Galore

Hello Family and friends that I love! I truly rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank you for what you do, but mostly I thank you for who you are! 

I've officially reached the 200 day mark! It is crazy to believe that I've been a missionary of our Lord Jesus Christ for over 200 days. What a privilege and blessing it has been to serve him. 

This week has been interesting. I got to fill out my first (and hopefully last) incident report for our car. Someone hit our car in a hit and run on wendesday. They scrapped the bumper and ran. Crazy but thank goodness nothing else happened. 😥

We had zone conference and interviews with President Hansen this week. That was incredible! The spirit brought some things to mind that I can improve on and he also helped me learn so many things. The work out here is definitely lead by the Lord. That is 100% true. 😁

Now y'all might be wondering what is up with all the watermelons in the title. Well we had the 41st annual Hope Arkansas watermelon festival this week! 🍉🍉🍉😂 Dang that was fun, we spent 2 days there and handed out over 100 cards on Saturday. The Lord has helped us so much this week. We were able to talk with so many people at the festival and plant seeds of faith. You know how it goes, sometimes we plant and sometimes we harvest. Either way we are doing the Lord's work. 

We have had some really good lessons with Paul this week. Paul is our top investigator right now. He has a baptismal date for the 20th of September and is looking forward to it. He has really felt the spirit and knows that this church is different. We were planning on having him to church but for some reason he wasn't there. Anyway pray for him because he is awesome. 

Speaking of church I love the Branch that I am serving in! They are so cool. It feels more like a family then a church. We had a branch potluck on Sunday which was great. After that Brother Gold came up and took us aside and asked us to help him and his wife attend the temple! 😁😁😁 I'm so happy I can't even explain it. I am looking forward to helping them do whatever it takes to make it to the house of the Lord. Please pray for them! 

I have one big thing that I need y'all to pray for. The mission is going to be doing a stake musical missionary tribute in the 5 stakes in the mission, and President and Sister Hansen want me to do a solo in each of them!  I'll be singing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul". I'm not sure how it will all work out so that's why I need y'all to pray for me. It's a bit nerve-wracking but I have faith that God will help me. 

I love being a missionary. It's been the hardest and scariest thing I've every loved to do. I've developed so much into who God needs me to be. I can feel the Lord molding me into a better person. It's hard to describe, but it is real. 

I know that my Redeemer Lives! I know he loves everyone and that includes you! Please reach out to him and he will help you. He is my best friend! Oh what Joy this sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer Lives! 

I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week. 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Week 25: What a time to be alive!

Hello Family and Friends! 

I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank you each for what you do to make this world a better place, but mostly I thank you for who you are! 

This week has been one of change for sure. Lots of things have happened this week. I got to my new Area in Hope Arkansas, and life has been great here. I'm really liking being the Senior companion. I got it pretty lucky with Elder Patterson. We served right next to each other in Jacksonville and Cabot, so that was nice to already know each other. I've already learned a lot on how to lead a companionship in a successful way. 

Elder Patterson is from Idaho Falls and is a real cool guy. He comes from a Family of 7 and is the 2nd oldest. He did Robotics at the same conference that I did when I was in so that was pretty cool. It was kinda a random connection, but you know all roads lead back to Idaho.  We have been working on adjusting to each other's teaching style and role plays have really helped in that. We are also working on our doctrinal points so that we can use our scriptures better. 

Doctrinal points are something that is kinda unique to the ALRM. I'm not quite sure when it started but it really is just a process that the missionaries go through to be more accountable to the doctrine. We go through each of the 42 doctrinal points that are in Preach My Gospel, and we pick at least 1 Bible and 1 BOM scripture that best supports each point. So for instance for the Creation I have Genesis 1:1&27 and 1 Nephi 17:36. We also have to be able to recite these during any meeting with no help. This has really helped me realize how important the scriptures are and why we need all of them to properly understand the whole plan that God has for us. 

I am serving in a branch again down here. I really love the general feel of Branches. It feels more like a family then a church. We have about 30ish active members who live in an area roughly the size of Delaware. It's pretty awesome. 

I know that there are a lot of reasons why the Lord has brought me here to Hope. I'm not quite sure what all of them are, but I know that he is in all of this. 

So a couple really amazing scriptures for the week are Ezekiel 47: 3-5. Just reading scriptures isn't enough. We need to go through them with the Lord as our teaching and we will see that every time we read a scripture that we have read previously something else is going to stand out. This scripture blew my mind this week. 

I love you all and I know that my Redeemer lives! I love having this opportunity to serve him and to help the good people of the south come closer to him. If your faith is struggling then read the Book of Mormon. It solves so many problems in our life if we but read from the Holy scriptures. 

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God. Deuteronomy 8: 2&3

I love you all! Have a great week!! 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Week 24: A Week of Miracles

Hello Family and Friends! 

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

This week has been overflowing with miracles. Thank you all so much for your prayers! We have been richly blessed. 

We baptized Kym on Sunday!!! It was such a splendid special experience. I learned so much from this experience. Elder Trendler baptized her and I had the special privilege of confirming Kym a member of the Lord's restored church and gave her the Holy Ghost. It was amazing how the Holy Ghost rushed through me when I said "receive the Holy Ghost". I love being a missionary! My heart if full of Joy! I'm so glad that the Lord has let me serve alongside him in this wonderful work! 

Another miracle happened Sunday too. Reggie asked me to Baptize him in the coming weeks! I really hope that I get permission from President Hansen for this. So a little more information about Reggie. Reggie is a super cool guy. He has been coming to church with his girlfriend in the branch. We taught him the importance of the Priesthood and the restoration during church last week and he was like "that makes so much sense". I have seen him change and light has filled his countenance. It had been amazing seeing the spirit bring love and light to him. I feel so blessed to be able to help him come closer to Christ. I asked him if he wanted to be baptized solely for his own sake and he said yes. I'm sure he will be baptized and be filled with even more light really soon. 

This week we have been on bikes so I'm a little sore, but we have seen some amazing things happen. The Lord has kept us safe as we have biked and we have been able to talk with many different people. 

While I am sad that I will be leaving Blytheville, I have received confirmation that this was the Lord's will and that I accomplished everything that the Lord wanted me to do there. I helped the branch get on their feet and improved the relations between the branch and the missionaries. I was able to show them what a missionary can do to help the branch, and as much as I've given to them I have received double in return from the Lord. I love the people of the Blytheville Branch, and I thank God for the time that I had there. 

I have a testimony that my Savior knows my name and that I know him. I love him with all my heart, might, mind and, strength. I love having this opportunity to serve him. I have learned so much about where I fit into his divine plan. God is our Father. Jesus is our Savior. The Holy Ghost is here to help us everyday. 

I look forward to the time that I will serve the Lord in Hope Arkansas. I'm going to be a senior companion for the first time so this will be a growing, developmental opportunity for me. I know that there is someone in Hope that needs me. I will search for them and with God's help I will find them and help them come closer to his son Jesus Christ. 

I love you all and I pray for you everyday. Please keep me and the good people of the south in your prayers. 

With much love, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen