Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 34: One incredible spiritually jam packed week 🤓

Hello Family and Friends! I truly REJOICE with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  I want to express my gratitude for the people you are and the selfless acts of service you do to make this world a better place. 

Oh my, where do I begin. So many amazing spiritual feasts have happened this week. I will try to give y'all the highlights. I had interviews with President Hansen, we had a mission tour by Elder Klebingat, and I had the amazing privilege to perform and take part in the first Missionary Musical tribute to the Savior put on by the ALRM.

Before I get into everything thank you all for your prayers. They really do make a difference. Please keep Robert and Esta and their family, Londa and Charles and their family, Chris and the rest of my wonderful investigators in your prayers. Please also pray for my district and their investigators too. I love you all and send me an email if you would like specific prayers from a missionary 😊. Oh and if you have people you want to take the missionary discussions with or want to be taught yourself message me in Facebook and I can teach them. 😀

One thing that I love is how the Lord has set up His church. It makes so much sense. All the leaders are given specific stewardship and are entitled to divine revelation and help with regards to their callings. I've seen the Lord work wonders though those who He has appointed to be my leaders. My Zone leaders have helped me take good care of my district members. The Assistants to the President take a goodly amount of the stress off of my Mission President. This in turn frees up President Hansen to do the harder things that bless my life. I was blest to be able to meet with President Hansen and create new goals for the next transfer. I know that He can receive revelation for me. I trust him and I know of his great love for me. 

On Saturday we had the amazing privilege of being taught from a General Authority 70. Elder Klebingat taught us for 7 hours. It was SO amazing. He helped us see a part of the vision that God has for this mission and the heights we can achieve. He challenged us to use the Book of Mormon as the greatest tool in our arsenal. He likewise challenged us to study and delve deep into the rich life sustaining waters of the Book of Mormon. He shared his conversion experience and his tender feelings for the most correct book on earth "The Book of Mormon." I walked away from this experience spiritually enlightened, and ready to take my testimony to the next level of conversion. 

One thing that struck me more then just about anything else He said was what "exact"  obedience really is. You see there is no such thing as exact obedience. Exact is either perfect or imperfect, true or false, black or white, and since we live in a fallen, imperfect world it is impossible to be exactly obedient in everything. The Son of God was the only one to be perfectly, exactly obedient in His mortal journey. Elder Klebingat suggested that we change exact to consecrated, so that it reads consecrated obedience. When we are consecrated and trying our best to be obedient then our efforts are enough to please our Savior and put a smile on His face. He knows we are Imperfect, that is the precise reason He offers His Amazing Grace to us. He is so happy when we try our best to emulate Him. When our Savior is happy with us, then we can be truly happy. 

I can count on one hand the times in my life where I have been almost paralyzed with fear, and anxiety. My performance in the Musical tribute was one of those times. We had a fantastic turn out. The entire overflow was full of people. If I had to guess there were almost 400 people, and I was right in front of them all. I was so scared. My heart was literally about to jump right out of my chest by how hard it was beating. My singing wasn't perfect like I wanted, but I know the people who were present could tell how much I Love and Adore my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. He has redeemed my soul. His mighty hand has made me whole. His wondrous power has raised me up, and filled with sweet my bitter cup. I can not begin to express the tender feelings of my heart about all that He has done for me. I have had a mighty change of heart. I don't want to do anything that would displease Him. I love singing the song of redeeming love, and I feel His love take me to heights I have never before known. Oh my dear friends, I would implore you to seek this Jesus. He is my Best Friend. The more I come to know Him, the more I love Him and want to walk with Him. 

If you don't know Him, or want to come to know Him better start today, this very hour. Please do what is necessary to come to know Him. More blessings await you then you could ever dream possible. You have a Prophet's promise that if you want a better relationship with your Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ then reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily are your best options. The Good Shepherd is calling to you day and night. You are so dear to Him. Please heed His call and come, follow Him. 

Sincerely yours, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

P. S. My District is pretty phenomenal. Just saying.

Oh and Reggie got Baptized, received the Aaronic Priesthood, and went to the Temple! I taught him in Blytheville. Oh my heart is so happy 😀😁😊.

Week 33: Conference and District Mtg.

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! 

It's hard to believe that it's been another week. Things here in hope have been a bit slow but it's probably been because of Bike week haha. The highlights for this week include my first ever District meeting and General conference. 

Last Tuesday I had my first ever District meeting instruction. I was nervous but with the Lord's help I lasted for 45 minutes with enough time to do a role play. God is so kind.  seriously! He knows what we go though and wants to help us so much. 

I LOVED General Conference. It was so amazing and it felt like it went by way too fast. I thought it was really interesting that most of the messages included the Book of Mormon. It really is the word of God and we need to be reading it every single day. Blessings will come from following prophetic counsel. One talk that really stood out to me was Elder Holland's talk about perfection. Those who know me know that I am a perfectionist when it comes to how I want to live everyday. I want to be the best I can and when I don't measure up to my expectations I feel like a failure. This has been a big deal for me so I was so happy that it was addressed in conference. I would encourage you all to read the conference talks as often as possible. It is the voice of the Lord for us today. 

I love you all so much. I have a few things I could use some prayers for. If you all could pray for me this week to have a good performance for the first ever Missionary musical tribute it would be mighty appreciated. Also keep Robert and his family, and Londa and her family in your prayers. 

If y'all have questions or would like to talk shoot me an email. 

I love y'all and have a blessed week! 

Your fellow disciple of Jesus Christ, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Week 32: Temples, zone conferences, Super Studies and 8 Months down!

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 is in part a continuation of last week. Last Monday I didn't have a lot of time to write because I spent most the day in a car traveling, but it was well worth it. I had the sublime opportunity to go to the House of the Lord and commune with my Eternal Father. I can't say enough about how much I love going to the temple. I really felt the Love that my Heavenly Father has for me while I was there. I challenge everyone to become temple worthy and go to the temple as often as your circumstances permit. I know you will be blessed as you fix your eyes on the temple. 😊❤

This week we had an amazing Zone Conference. While we were there we got smartphones and became authorized to use Facebook in our proselyting efforts. This was really exciting and we are looking forward to the miracles that will take place because of this. The Lord is hastening his work. 

This transfer I have had the added responsibility to lead the District I'm in. This has been a great learning experience and I've loved it. As I have been preparing for my first district meeting I've had some profound thoughts come to me. One has been on how precious a gift Prayer is. We are SO lucky to be able to pray. All we have to do to talk with our creator is to address Him.  He is willing to listen to us with 100 percent of his attention. Nothing is more important to God then his Children. In the scriptures we learn what God's purpose is. Moses 1:39 says " For Behold, this is my work, and my Glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." All that God works on is to help his children become like him. We are his pride and Joy and oh, how much He loves us. 

If it wasn't for all the help I have received from God, and all the people he has put in my life I wouldn't be here celebrating my 8 month mark as a Missionary for my Savior and Friend. My God has helped me over come disappointment, fear, and doubt in so many scary experiences. I have come to learn that Life in general is just one scary experience after another. Things are constantly changing for the good and bad. In this midst of change there is one thing that I know won't ever change, and that is my God, and His beloved Son,  Jesus Christ. I have truly lived and loved every single minute of my mission. It has been the experience of a lifetime. I have grown so much closer to my Father in Heaven. I know he listens, understands, and trusts me to do his work. 

Oh,  what a Joy this life is! 

Oh,  how I love being a Missionary! 

Sincerely your friend, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Week 31: Temple Trips and Learning Experiences

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

This week has been really good. I don't have a lot of time today because I have been on the road. Today was our day to go to the temple for the last time while we are missionaries so that means lots of time driving back and forth. 

I am so happy that I had the chance to go to the House of the Lord again. Oh how I love the Temple of our God. It really is his Holy House. I love going back and feeling my Father in Heaven and my Savior near me. 

 This week was my first week as Dist it leader and it went pretty good. I feel like I'm stepping up to the plate on all my responsibilities as a district leader. If y'all could pray for my district that would be mighty appreciated. I have Sister Black and Esplin, and Elders Robinson, Green, and Patterson under my stewardship. Thanks y'all for your prayers. 

If y'all could also keep my investigators and the members in your prayers that would also be mighty appreciated. The names of our focus people are Kortni, Londa, Aurora, and Francisco. The members we are working with are the Gold family. They picked a day to go to the temple and it is October 18th! Oh how I love this family! I'm so excited for them. I have come to love all the people that I get to work with. All are amazing children of God and me being able to help them know the precious truths I know is such a fulfilling experience!

I want to leave y'all with 2 commitments and my testimony. First off PLEASE keep praying to God. He loves hearing his children pray with and speak to him. It puts such a huge smile on his face when he can listen to you pray, so please keep doing that every chance you can get, multiple times a day. My second commitment is to PLEASE keep reading the Book of Mormon. There is a special power that comes into our lives as we nourish our spirit with the Daily Bread of the Book of Mormon. It fills our spiritual reserves and helps us have the strength to resist temptation and to feel the Holy Ghost more abundantly in our lives. 

I love all of you. Even though I may not know exactly who you are, I still love and care about you. God knows you personally. He is your creator, and Father. He knows exactly what you need and He wants to bless you. Keep the commandments and that will make it easier for God to bless you. Your Father is near you. Your Savior loves you. Joseph Smith really did see God our Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. Thomas S. Monson is our living Prophet today. Temples are the house of the Lord. I Love being a missionary in the service of my Heavenly King. 

I love you all and Hurrah for Israel! 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

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.