Monday, July 16, 2018

18 Months Down - 6 to Go!


Hello my Family and Friends! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Thank you all for what you do, but more importantly for who you are. 

Can you believe that we are at the 18 months mark? How crazy is that? It seems like just the other day that I was a brand new missionary in my first area. At the same time though it feels like an eternity has gone by. The saying for this feeling in the mission is "The weeks are days, and the days are weeks". So true, so true. 😂

Anyway this week has been mostly the same old stuff, lots of driving, moving furniture and "Going about doing good." (Acts 10:38) 

We did have zone conference this week and we were instructed on finding those of our Brothers and Sisters who are ready to accept the Gospel. Nothing in missionary work moves unless we have someone to teach. The more we teach the more will come to church and be baptized. We were also instructed on how we could use the Bible to teach LDS doctrine so that people would be more accepting of the Book of Mormon. 

President Hansen made a helpful book avaliable to the missionaries to help us increase our doctrinal understanding with the Bible. It is incredible how much the Bible has in it. Aren't the scriptures just amazing!😉

We also had interviews with the President this week. This last interview was really good. I was able to set some really meaningful goals to improve and become even better. 

That was pretty much it.... But wait there is more 😂

Spiritual thought for the week: Mosiah 2:41 "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

I know that the Commandments of God are not barriers to our happiness, but are guide posts to the happy and productive life. I have seen in my own life how obedience to the Commandments of God has brought my family and I such joy. 

What are some blessings that you have seen in your life from keeping the commandments? 

What are some things that you can do to better keep the commandments?

I want y'all to know that I know that God lives. He loves us. His Son Jesus Christ really did die for our sins so that we can be made clean. I love him, because he first loved me. (1 John 4:19) I am so grateful for his patience and long-suffering with me. This mission hasn't been easy, but oh how grateful I am for it. Because of all I have experienced out here I know that it is only through the Savior's atoning sacrifice that mankind may be redeemed and brought to eternal glory in the heavens above to live with our Heavenly Father in never ending happiness. I also know that we must choose however to live our lives in accordance to the Commandments of God to be redeemed. It won't be easy, but oh my, will it be worth it. We will find the joy that we all seek if we keep on trying our best everyday Everyday EVERYDAY! Let us all press on in the work of the Lord is my humble prayer. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, 

Amen. 

P.S. 

Y'all have a blessed day! 

Sincerely a missionary in Arkansas, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen




Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Beginning of July


Hello my Friends! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for what you do, but more importantly, thank you for who you are. 

I'm sorry for the radio silence these last few weeks. The office has been keeping me really... Really busy.  Anyway I think the grand total is over 4000 miles driven and over 110 hours in the car for the month of June. I know that it is only because of the Good Lord that I am still here. 

For the next transfer I will still be in the office. I think that even though I have had trials and hard times while I have been here I can still make it work. As mortal beings we are all a "Work in Progress". We can only try our best every day to become who we need to be. To the Savior our direction is ever more important then our speed. If we try our best then the Lord is happy with us, and He will make up the rest. That is something that I have had to keep in mind constantly the last few months. 

Sometimes in life it seems that even though we try as hard as we can it doesn't seem enough. Sometimes we are given trials that we don't think we deserve. In the midst of these trials remember what the scriptures say, Hard times didn't come to stay, they came to pass. Remember that the Lord does indeed know what he is doing. This ain't His first time at the rodeo, or His first time around the block.  All things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. (2 Nephi 2:24) He loves us and everything he does is for our eternal benefit and is done with love. 

I love y'all. Thanks so much for your faith and prayers. They mean a lot to me. Keep on praying for me, and I'll keep praying for you. 

Y'all stay blessed!

With love, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Is it June Already?


Hello my Brothers and Sisters! I 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!

Can you believe it? It is already midway through June. Time seems to be moving by faster and faster the older I get. Before I know it I'll be home, married, and have 5 children haha. 😂

Anyway this week was busy, busy, busy here in the Mission office. We actually had to do some office work today that's why this is a bit late. We were blessed and only had to drive to Memphis once last week haha. We also found great favor with the Lord and we were blessed to get caught up on all the office work. #TenderMercy

This week though we will be driving to Memphis and back twice in 2 days. I'm not really looking forward to the drive, but hey the temporal needs of the mission need to be taken care of somehow. The work of the Lord must go forward. 

It is really interesting to me just how involved in our lives our Heavenly Father and the Good Lord are. For example we received a new 2018 Chevy Crew Cab Silverado last week (Which is so awesome!) and we were running into some difficulties with the Tiwi device and the truck's computer. For those who don't know the Tiwi is the tracking device in the mission vehicles that tracks the car and helps us to drive better. When we speed or drive aggressively it will prompt us to change and repent haha. 

Anyway the technology wasn't wanting to play nice with each other, and after about 2 hours (and much work and prayer) the Lord blessed us that things worked out. I mean how petty and insignificant is it that we were having trouble with our car and the Supreme Governor of the Universe who lives in Heaven above looked down with mercy and love and blessed us that things worked out. I mean He works with stars, galaxies and worlds without end, and yet he loves us all enough to take the time, listen to us, and bless us in our times of need. This magnificent eternal truth never ceases to fill me with awe, wonder, and profound love for our Loving Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. They really do hear and answer our prayers. 

I love being a missionary and helping others realize that there is a source to true and lasting happiness in this life and eternal joy in the world to come. This is possible because of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I love him!

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

Y'all stay blessed!

Sincerely, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Master The Tempest Is Raging - Amidst these Long Road Trips


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

I'm sorry about the lack of weekly emails. Time is a rare luxury in the office. I will try to do better in the future. 

My, oh my I have a lot to tell y'all about. This week has definelty been one for the books. I traveled over 1300 miles and visited so many cities. So let's hop right in. 

Tuesday: We had district meeting and packed up and drove a mattress down to Monticello for a missionary down there. That as a 200 miles round trip. 

Wednesday: I went to a doctors appointment and had a wonderful conversation with the front desk lady named Kaylin. We shared the Book of Mormon with her and she wanted to take the lessons. What was interesting was the light all around her when we talked with her. I could tell that she was elect and will be baptized soon. We referred her to the missionaires in Cabot.  

After that doctors visit we drove over to Memphis to prepare to drive missionaries back to NLR the next day. 

Thursday: I drove missionaries from Memphis to North Little Rock then back to Memphis later that day. While the missionaries were having their Missionary Leadership Council Elder Carter and I were running around doing many, many errands and little tasks. I was blest with the small chance to take a nap before we drove back. #TenderMercies in total for Wednesday though Friday we drove over 600 miles. 

Friday: We woke up early and drove to Staff meeting in North Little Rock. We were blest with no crazy traffic and made it on time. After staff meeting and lunch I had the chance to drive the Assistants Mommy van. That car drives like a race car and is such a joy to drive. We were able to also go and teach some lessons to some people. We taught Donna who is a mother of 2. She recently lost a Son, and has been having a hard time with the grieving process. We were able to share the Book of Mormon with her and how it can be her "Balm of Gilead". It was a wonderful experience. We also saw another referral named Bobby. He has gone through some really hard trials recently and was looking for peace in his life. We also shared how the Book of Mormon could help him receive grace in his life to have the strength to keep moving forward. It was a good experience, even though there was an intense thunderstorm outside that knocked the power out twice. 

Saturday: Here is the day where things get interesting. We drove down to Poyen Arkansas to pick up a Tiwi tracking device that was in a mission car, then drove over to hot springs to drop off a study chair. After grabbing lunch and loading up again we drove to Mountain View, Pocahontas, Paragould, Jonesboro, Newport, Searcy and all the connecting towns imbetween. We were trying to make it home to sleep, but after travel delays and the storm of the century we stopped in Searcy close to midnight. 

I want to describe to you in greater detail the storm that hit us just outside Jonesboro. We knew it was coming and after talking with the Assistants and praying for guidance we felt the Holy Spirit constrain us to keep moving forward in our plans in haste,  and not stay in Jonesboro. It was about 9.30 Pm when the storm hit us. Now imagine for a moment the most horrific thunderstorm you have been in and times it by 10. We had torrential rain, severe lighting, and 60 MPH winds. It was a very harrowing experience to have to drive through that for close to an hour and a half. After praying our hearts out and going slow we were blessed to make it through. That was probably one of the scariest experiences of my life up to this point, but it increased my faith in a Loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers. What a tender mercy it was to pull into the Searcy apartments that night!

My Brothers and Sisters, I want to testify of a Loving Heavenly Father who cares deeply about each and every one of his children. He will listen and answer each prayer. I know this is true. I have felt his love in so many instances in my life. He may not cause the storm to cease, but he will give us the strength and will see us through to safety. 

I love my Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary. 

I want to invite y'all to make your prayers more meaningful this week. Take a little more time to listen when you pray and you will be rewarded. 

Y'all have a blessed week!

Sincerely, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen


 
Arkansas Weather

Feeling a little stuck on the job :)

Having Fun

Service Project

The Office Elders

Monday, May 21, 2018

Transfer Week In the Office


Hello my Brothers and Sisters! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank you for what you do, but mostly for who you are. 

I know it has been a few weeks since I have written to y'all, and I'm sorry about that. Most of my P-days have been spent running to and fro. 

Anyway, Let's hop right in. 

Most of this week has been spent doing office work. We drove places, visited many people, dropped off media, and "went around doing good." A lot of the work of an Office Elder goes unnoticed by the missionaries, but it sure does make a difference. How can the work of the Lord move forward unless the temporal needs of the mission are met? How can the missionaries help people become converted to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ except they have the media that they need? The solution is having the amazing Office Elders!

There were a couple tender Mercies this week other then staying safe on the road that I would like to share with y'all. We are going to be moving to a new apartment complex, so we went and took a tour of one of the complexes in town. While taking that tour our tour guide mentions that she had taken lessons from missionaries in Kansas in the past. Long story short she is a less active member with 3 kids that could be baptized, and she wants us to come and share the Restored Gospel with them! 

The other tender mercy was when we were able to find the missing transfer van keys. So.... Long story short we lost the transfer van keys on Sunday. After looking during our free time ever day, and much Prayer and wrestling with God we found the keys. I know it might seem kinda petty and lame, but it was a faith promoting experience for me. It goes to show that nothing is so small that we can't take it to God. He does indeed hear, and answer our prayers. Sometimes it will take time to get an answer, and it may not be in the way we expect, but God does listen to his children. Nothing is more important to him then His children. 

The last few weeks I have had to "wrestle with God". It has been mighty hard to maintain my positive attitude, because of feelings of failure. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, because he understands how I feel. Because he understands how I feel, he is able to give me the strength to keep moving forward. Some counsel I have received from dear friends rings true. I can do hard things! The same is true for you. You can do hard things! Paul the apostle of old put it this way, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me". I know that with Jesus Christ, we can accomplish anything. 

My Dear Brothers and Sisters, I know that our Redeemer Lives! He lives to bless us with his Love. He lives to Plead for us above. He lives to calm our troubled hearts. He lives all blessings to impart. He lives our mansions to prepare. He lives to bring us safely there. It is my prayer that we will all strive to come a little closer to the Savior this week so that when all is said and done, we may all return to live with him up there. 

I love you all, God bless you, and have a wonderful week!

Sincerely your friend, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hard Goodbye's in Hope - Hello Again Little Rock!

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

I'm so sorry that I haven't sent out a weekly in a few weeks. I don't have a whole lot of time this week, so let's hop right in. 

It appears that I am getting transfered to North Little Rock to become and Office Elder. What this means in a nutshell is that I am going to be driving long hours in the truck pulling a trailer. I will also be helping transfer people in the transfer van. It will be a bit of an interesting time. Please be sure to pray that I will be safe on the road. Odds are I will be an office Elder for anywhere between 4 1/2 to 7 1/2 months. We will just have to see what happens. 

Anyway things have been interesting this last week. I was totally not expecting to be called as an office elder. Elder Rockwood was also not expecting to be transfered to Blytheville. Elder Anderson will be staying here in Hope and will be getting Elder Dahl as his companion. I'm really excited for the Hope Branch because Elder Dahl is awesome. 

Anyway my last Sunday in the Hope branch was incredible. I was able to bear my testimony to those wonderful saints one last time as a missionary. I also was able to see the New Elders Quorum President lead the Quorum for the first time. I have helped him a lot throuout the last 9 months and it made me so happy to see how he has grown I also had potluck with the saints, and that was wondeful. The last thing we did was take pictures as a branch. I have pictures with the adults and a few with the little kids. It was awesome. Many, many tears were shed all around. It felt like I was leaving my family all over again. I truly feel that I have been adopted by these wonderful Saints. 

As a parting gift they had all signed cards, and gave me a signed hat and a Arkansas Razorback shirt. I consider that last Sunday a sacred experience. I will cherish those memories forever. 

We also had a musical tribute in Jacksonville and it was amazing! The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon all the people who were there. I felt so privileged to share the first vision with everyone. 

I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and that this is the true church upon the earth today. I will never doubt it. I will never question it. I know that God lives and loves us. 

Please keep reading the Book of Mormon. It is the foundation of my conversion. I know that anyone can read that book and come closer to Jesus Christ. 

sincerely, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen


The Sweet Saints of HOPE


Jodi and Dewan with Elder's Larsen and Anderson


The Beautiful Primary of Hope

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music

Hello World!!! 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 is going to be short, because I am out of time. I'm sorry for not writing to y'all last week. These last few weeks I've been running, running, running nonstop. 

So to recap the highlights of the week for y'all let's hop right in. 

This week I went on exchanges with the Pine Bluff Zone Leaders. That was really awesome! We taught 3 lessons and the people they are teaching are Golden. It was a great exchange 

We have been building a good relationship with the local Presbyterian Reverend in town. We made mention that we were in need of an organ to practice music on and long story short we were given a key to the front door of the church! How cool is that!?!

This week we also went to Jonesboro for the first Easter missionary musical tribute. It was awesome! I'm so grateful for the chance that I had to sing my testimony to all the people who were there. I am also elated that I was able to tell everyone the first vision account. 

Joseph Smith's own words are...

"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"

I know that God the Father, and Jesus Christ Appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and that they answered his question on what church to join. I know that this is the true church. The Book of Mormon is the proof. If we read it and really desire to know it is true then God will tell us by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

I love you all and God does too. Both of us would like to hear from you. Write me an email and say a prayer and both God and I will answer you. I know that this is true. 

Have a blessed week Y'all!

Sincerely, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen