Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Week 38: Missionary Leadership Training

Hello Family and Friends!

I REJOICE with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I want to take a second and thank y'all for what you do, but mostly for who y'all are! Thank you for the Birthday wishes. It has been a great day. 

This week has been pretty amazing. The highlights were meeting with amazing people and the Missionary leadership training meeting. 

We have recently been tasked as a mission to do hometeaching for our wards and branches. This has been an interesting twist to missionary work here in the south. It has Definitely been inspired though as the Lord has poured out His blessings upon us as we have gone searching for the sheep that are lost. We recently contacted a less active couple and they have been so kind to us. We are helping them increase their testimony of the keystone of our religion, The Book of Mormon. It has been so neat seeing their love for God grow as they have read from the Book of Mormon. 

Recently in our mission we have been changing the culture in many ways. We have changed the culture to include the following elements: 

1. We teach repentance and Baptize Converts.

2. We use the Book of Mormon as the Foundation for Conversion.

3. We understand and teach the Doctrine of Christ.

4. We invite "All" to come unto Christ

5. We live our lives in accordance with the White Handbook and strive for consecrated obedience.

This new mission culture has been the result of much fasting and prayer on behalf of the leaders of the mission, specifically President Hansen. It has been really amazing as we have cut out the bad and replaced it with good these past few days. I'm really excited for the days to come as we adapt to the new culture and place our aims a little higher and stand a little taller. 

One other highlight from the Mission Leadership Training meeting that we had was implementing the new Preach My Gospel Chapter 8 on Fulfilling our Purpose as missionaries. This chapter introduced a new way to do planning that is more spiritual and overall more effective. 

The Process includes 5 simple steps. 

1. Pray for and seek inspiration.

2. Review progress.

3. Set goals. 

4. Make Plans.

5. Pray Again and seek the Lord's Approval. 

This is the process that Heavenly Father has used with many of the Holy Prophets. One example is the Brother of Jared when he was seeking to know how to have light in the barges. The Brother of Jared followed each step and asked the Lord for his approval with the plan of having the Lord touch the 16 stones. This was incredible to see for me. I know that this new process will help me better guide my investigators thought the repentance process. 

My Brother and Sisters I know that Heavenly Father Lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. I know that the Holy Ghost testifies of the Father, and the Son. If you have trials or tribulations, seek the Lord and He will help you transform your trials and tribulations into Developmental Opportunities. The Lord knows the Saint that you are capable of becoming and wants to help you. Please remember to Pray and speak with Heavenly Father as you would speak to your best friend, by so doing you are connected to the Supreme Being of all the Universe. Please remember to Read from the Book of Mormon everyday, Everyday, EVERYDAY! If you read from the Book of Mormon you are connected to Jesus Christ. Please go to your Holy Sabbath meetings, by so doing you will be connected to the Holy Ghost. 

What can stand against you if you have all three members of the Godhead on your side? 

I love you all so much. I love my Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. They do so much for me every day. I can't begin to properly express my tender love and feelings about them. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His Divine Son. 

your brother in Christ, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Hope District
Elder Robinson, Elder Green, Elder Larsen, Elder Anderson, Sister Black and Sister Esplin

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 37: Sweet is the Work

Hello Family, and Friends! I truly REJOICE with you in the amazing Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you all for what you do, but mostly thanks for who you are. May God bless you for the good you do. 

I just love being a missionary! It really is the best! I get to go and share the greatest news since the resurrection of Jesus Christ with people and bring peace, and promise blessings. It is just FANTASTIC!

This week I had a new companion and we worked really hard. We have had good days and bad days this week but overall it ended on a good note. 

This week we found 5 new investigators who were really amazing people. We found a lady named Jinny who has never met with missionaries before or ever seen them for that matter. We taught the restoration to her and she said that she has been looking for a new church and one that could answer her questions.

One thing that was kind of sad this week was our golden family dropped us out of the blue. We gave them cookies on Friday and then Saturday when we went over for the lesson that we had set up the husband asked us not to come back. That ripped my heart out. The Holy Ghost came to me though and comforted me. I know that they will be baptized one day. We were their first contact with the church and on average people need 7 good positive contacts before they will be baptized. Sweet is the work!

We had the 4th of 6 Musical tributes on Sunday and WOW this one was really special. I was asked last minute to help in a quartet turned quintet. The Elder singing tenor needed some help so Sister Hansen asked me to sing the Tenor part with him while we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer". It was AMAZING!!! I was also asked to share the First Vision as everyone "oo"ed the song behind me. The Holy Ghost was so strong, and I'm sure there were Angels singing with us. It was such an amazing experience and I will cherish those memories forever. 

I also was privileged to sing my Solo piece again. Oh my, I could feel the Spirit of the Lord singing through me to touch the hearts of those in attendance. I was calm as a summers breeze and I had full confidence. I count those as the most tender mercies of the Lord and I love how much God knows what I stand in need of. 

My dear friends, I know that Heavenly Father is there and He is listening to our prayers. He knows the thoughts and intents of our heart. He knows our good intentions even though sometimes we have bad execution of those intentions. Jesus is the Christ. He understands all of us in a very personal way. He knows what strength we stand in need of and He wants to bless us with His AMAZING Grace. When we are obedient it shows our love for Him and He in turn is able to show His love for us in the form of blessings. When we are obedient He is so JOYFUL, because He can then relieve suffering, or strengthen us to be equal to our challenges. 

Please Pray every single day to Heavenly Father. He wants you to talk with Him as a friend talks with another. Heavenly Father wants you to read the Book of Mormon, because it testifies in plainess of His Divine Son, Jesus Christ. Please attend your Sacrament meetings. If you do all 3 of these things you are connected to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. 

What Challenges can stand against you when you have the Entire God head on your side? What can they do if God is your friend? 

My Heavenly Father, my Savior, and the Holy Ghost are my best friends. They help me out so much. I have been filled with peace, assurance, hope, faith, chairity, and every other good thing because they love me, and I love them with all my heart, mind, might, and strength. 

I love this Gospel!

I love being a missionary!

your friend in Christ,

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Week 36: Nine Months Down!

Hello Family and Friends! 

I truly REJOICE with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! I want to thank yall for what you do, but mostly for the awesome people y'all are. 

I can barely believe that I've been out for 9 months!  It feels like a dream that is going by incredibly fast. I've learned so much and still have much to learn. Oh how I love being a missionary! 

This week has been a blur. I've been on 3 exchanges and spent a lot of time in the car. Transfers came and I'm getting a new companion!

I have a few things I need all of you, each one of you to pray for. Please pray for Robert and Esta and their family. Also please pray for my mission to find the 80 people who need to be baptized this year. President Hansen has told us all that the Spirit of the Lord has said that there are 80 souls who need be baptized before the end of the year. Please have everyone pray about this in every single prayer. This is of utmost importance. This is part of the new mission culture that we are working on developing. 

One highlight I do want to share was yesterday at the missionary musical tribute to the Savior in Bartlett Tennessee. The program went FANTASTIC! The Lord sustained and supported everyone. My solo was perfect and oh how my heart was filled with joy and love. Heaven opened up and Angels were singing with us. This whole performance was recorded and is going to be taken back to a recording studio and get remastered and we will all receive a copy as a gift. 

My beloved brothers and sisters, I know that God our Heavenly Father loves us and knows us individually. He cares deeply about us and wants us to be happy. God so loved YOU that He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus knows how you feel. He understands you. The Book of Mormon is unequivocally the word of the Almighty. I love reading the Book of Mormon. It has become my daily bread for my soul. 

Please pray for me for this new transfer and I'll be praying for you. Don't forget to pray for the 80. God bless y'all! 

Your brother in Christ, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Week 35: Book of Mormons because of Burger King

Hello Family and Friends! I REJOICE with you in the AMAZING Gospel of our Living Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to take a moment to thank you all for the Love that you have for the Savior that you put into action, and I want to especially thank you for who you are. God our Father thanks you as well as His Son thanks you. Keep being AMAZING! 

Before I get into my letter I need you all to do something for me. First keep reading the Book of Mormon everyday. Second PLEASE pray for this mission to find the 80 souls that God has been preparing. President Hansen said that there are 80 people who need us to find, teach, and baptize them before the end of the year. Please pray about this in every single prayer you have. It would be much appreciated. 

OK here we go. 

My goodness, how do I even begin to tell y'all about this amazing last week? So many blessings, miracles, and tender mercies have happened that it is quite difficult to keep track. I'm not sure I will be able to do it justice but here it goes.  

 Probably one of the greatest things that happen this week was when we placed 9 copies of the Book of Mormon in one day! The plans for the day were a little rocky but we ended up having great success and it all began when we went to Burger King for dinner. The manager asked if we had any extra Bibles. That got the conversation rolling and we gave him a Book of Mormon and a Bible.  The rest of the day we spent in Prescott and that is where we gave the other 8 copies away. It was such a miracle!

 Facebook also saved us an investigator. One of our investigators was about to drop us because of the busyness of her life but when we mentioned that we use Facebook to teach,  she gave us or Facebook information. Blessings!

 We also taught a family on Saturday. The were some critical conversations that the Spirit of the Lord lined up to make this appointment work. We taught the restoration using a puzzle that I received from some friends earlier in my mission and the lesson went fantastic!  we committed Robert, Gabriel, and Tristan to be baptized on November 12th. We almost committed Esta to be baptized but the Holy Ghost made her start to cry so she excused herself a little earlier in the lesson.  I really love how the Holy Ghost can testify to people and help them better feel of Heavenly Father's love for them.  It was probably the best day we have had in Hope. 

Sunday was amazing!!! we had a good day at church, and drove up to North Little Rock. After we got to North Little Rock we hopped in the transfer van with a bunch of other missionaries who are performing and drove to Memphis.  The performance was amazing! The Spirit of the Lord helped me nail the song so that it went great. There were many people in the crowd who I could tell this touched by the Holy Spirit.  when we started to sing amazing grace there were people singing along. It was such an amazing night. We had about 100 ish people there. Overall it was well worth all the time and effort involved.

Oh my dear friends, how I love being a missionary for my Best Friend, and Savior Jesus Christ. He has poured out an abundance of His spirit to be with us this week, and I have been filled with Heavens love. One thing that has really touched my heart this week was what I read in the Book of Mormon. I have such tender feelings for this Book. I read 3rd Nephi chapter 17 where the Savior called to the people to have them bring their sick and afflicted to Him. He then went on to heal every, single, one of them. He put no limit or restriction on His healing power. He simply called to all that would hear Him. Oh my Dear friends, He calls out to you and me and says "Please come to me so that I may heal you." Jesus doesn't like to see us suffer. He weeps with us in our suffering. He knows perfectly what we feel. When He performed His Atonement for us he felt every temptation, infirmity, pain, and weakness that we will ever have. This allows Him to heal us with His Perfect Mercy and strengthen us with His Amazing Grace.

Oh how I Love my Savior. He truly has redeemed my soul. He has lifted me up,  and I know He will never fail me nor forsake me. 

I love you all so much. If you have family or friends who would like to take the missionary discussions with me over Facebook and Skype please let me know. 

Have a blessed week! 

Sincerely your friend, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

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