Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Miracles, Tender Mercies and More Miracles

Hello Family, Friends, and other amazing children of God! I want to thank you for what you do, but mostly for who you are. Y'all are amazing!

I never cease to be amazing at how many miracles can happen in a single week! So many have happened this week it is hard to keep track of them all. I will try to give y'all the best ones in the short time that I have. 

Jodi and Dewon came to church yesterday!!! The Hope Branch is the best! They welcomed them in and have adopted them into the family. It was so amazing to see. They all started fellowshipping one with another and they are all friends now. Jodi and Dewon loved every single bit of Church! 

Jodi and Dewon need our prayers my friends! They want to be married this Saturday, and then Jodi wants to be baptized next saturday. I have faith that this will all work out, but I need your faith and prayers too. PLEASE pray this week that the Good Lord will provide all the necessary tender Mercies to have all this work out.

We also learned yesterday that there is a part member family that has a son that asked the branch presidency to be baptized. The family has been coming to church for a few months so we just need to review all the lessons with this young lad and then he can be Baptized next Saturdayalso. Please pray for Xerick!

I love you all so much, I'm out of time. I want to share my testimony that I know that I am in the service of my personal Savior Jesus Christ. I feel His AMAZING Grace in my life so often, and you can too. I know that Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ know my name and are aware of the work that I am trying to do. They love you! Don't ever forget that they love you so much, more then you can comprehend. They want you to come back home to live with them. Keep the Commandments and you can return to live with them someday. The Book of Mormon is amazing! If you are not reading it, I invite you to find the happiness contained therein. 

I love you all and have a terrific, blessed week!

Sincerly your friend,



Elder Larsen

PS - The Civil War pics are from Skylers p-day. "We had the most terrific p-day. We went and spent the day with the Ridgells in Prescott and it was awesome. We helped Brother Ridgell with some service earlier today and then we drove all around the different Civil war battle sights. Then we went and got dressed up in civil war outfits. It was great! I dressed up as a Yankee. "





Skyler and Elder Anderson - who is an amazing piano and organ player from what Skyler has shared. 

The Camden District




Thursday, February 8, 2018

Busy and Sweet is the Work

Hello Family and Friends!

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

I realize that there are some people that have not been able to get my weekly reports on my blog. Sorry fellow missionaries. I will try to keep y'all updated from now on. 

This week went by really fast. I have been living out of a duffel bag for the last few days, because of exchanges and meetings. That's OK though because sweet is the work. 

Highlights: this week we had Zone conference. It is always fun to get to see my fellow missionaries in my Zone and see how everyone is doing. We learned about Joseph and Mary and how they had all the Christ like qualities in them so that they could be the best parents for the Savior. A person has about 80% of their character traits developed by age 5 so that is why it is critical to love and support little children as they grow up. It was really interesting. 

We had interviews on Saturday and over the course of the conversation President Hansen said that I would be leaving Hope at the end of February. Now I need to make sure that I make the remaining time count here. 

Area: I love the Hope area! The members here are really great. Right now we are teaching a part member family named Dewon and Jodi. They are planning on getting married here in the next couple of weeks. Then Jodi will be baptized. We are shooting for the 25th before transfers so that I can see her get baptized. 

Companion: Right now I am serving with Elder Anderson. He is a really nice companion who tries really hard to do what is right. I have been with him now for about 4 months. He has some real good sowing skills and made a scripture case for me out of some extra material that he had. Super neat stuff. 

Exchange: this week I went on exchange with Elder Armstrong. He is a powerhouse missionary and he has helped me TONS. We spent the day in Pine Bluff which has the nickname Crime Bluff. It was great. Haha

Tell-a-story: This week on exchange we had a really neat experience. We were knocking on a door with a Vivint doorbell and the owner comes on over the intercom and is like "What y'all want?". Long story short we introduced him to the Book of Mormon and he wanted a copy. He was like "Just put it over in my mail box and I'll take a look at it." It was so awesome! 

Studies: This week I have been working on President Nelson's challenge to study everything I can about the Savior. I am using the Topical guide as my core curriculum and let me tell ya it has been amazing! Today I read from the Sermon on the mount and pondered on the Beattitudes. The very first beattitude is "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of Heaven." Poor in spirit means poor in pride, or humble in spirit. Isn't that interesting, the very first thing the Savior taught on the mount was humility. I think that is of critical importance. If we are humble then everything the Savior wants to teach us will come easier. 

Testimony: My dear friends, I know that this church is the Lord's church once again established here on earth for the benefit and blessing of God's children. I know without a shadow of doubt that Joseph Smith did indeed see God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that the work that I am engaged in is the work of Almighty God. I know that there are many people all around us that are searching for the amazing truth that we have. I challenge y'all to look for one person that you could share the Restored Gospel with. I promise you that if you ask the Lord to help you find that person then he will show you the way. If y'all are struggling with any problem, then read from the Book of Mormon. It is the spiritual Cure-all. The Book of Mormon connects us to Christ and He can give us grace to help us in times of need. 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! This is the best thing that I have ever done with my life. I love you all and I would love to hear from you. 

Your friend, 

Elder Skyler G. Larsen

Friday, February 2, 2018

Counting Down

Hello Family and Friends!!! I rejoice with you in the amazing true Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I love you all and I'm so grateful for what y'all do, but mostly for who you are. 

These week has been incredible!!! I was able to sit at the feet of 2 ordained Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ! Elder Holland and Elder Uctdorf came and visited the good people of the south and shared their deep love for us. They taught the missionaries on Saturday and I had a 2 second interview with each of them as I shook their hands. I felt as if I was shaking the hand of the Savior of the World, and I actually felt His deep love for me. It was the most amazing experience. I had many tender experiences with those two powerful men of God. One of those was a simple declaration of truth taught from Elder Holland. The last thing that He said during the missionary training on Saturday was that the words that he will say until the very last breath of his life would be that "This is the truth." When he said that I had an undeniable spiritual witness from the Holy Spirit of God such as I have never before felt in my life. I have always known that this is the truth, but this experience made it even more sure in my heart. 


Elder Holland and Elder Uctdorf spoke about many amazing things. I have attached a small portion of my notes. English doesn't do this justice at all. I feel a captive trying to relate all I experienced and the tender feelings of my heart in this crooked and broken language. I just pray that wherever you are that the Holy Spirit will be able to confirm in your heart, as He did to mine that this Church is the only one that has the power to unite families for time and all eternity, and to help us become truly changed people through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.

 I know, my dear friends, that Heavenly Father lives. He loves us so much that he sent his only Son to pay the debt that we could never pay, so that we can return to live with them again. I know that this is the truth. Truth is unalterable. It doesn't change despite all the attempts of the world to change it. God Lives. Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. The Bible is the word of God.  The Book of Mormon is unequivocally Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom established again here on the earth preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.  I will never doubt it. I will never question it. 

If life seems dark and dreary, don't forget to pray ( Hymn 140). Reading from the Book of Mormon is the cure-all for many problems in life. Keep up the good work. I love you all. 

Sincerely, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

------

Notes from Mission Training and Stake Conference. 

Elder Beheshti: Miracles are possible by repentance.

Elder Uctdorf: Prayer is really powerful. No greater expression of love then to Pray with and mention in your prayers your gratitude and love for your eternal companion. The Holy Ghost is our translator. As long as our intent is perfect then Christ will make up the rest. Don't give up, help each other. The Savior lifted others and so can I. Two keys to success in life.  1. trust the Lord 2. keep the Commandments. Never underestimate your impact or ability to succeed.

Stake Conference -Be in Harmony. The Gospel gives us orientation. It helps us have the map of where to go. Look to the light. God gives us his son so we can have the miracle of forgiveness. The Savior gives us hope. The sun is a symbol of God's great love for us. The Gospel is our plane to climb over the clouds of life. Think locally and look for ways to share the gospel. Share the simple things. The reformation helped bring about the restoration. Reread lift where you stand. Life ain't easy, but with the Lord's help it will be possible. Powerful witness of Christ.

Elder Holland: Learn to Love silence . This is the church that believes in eternal progression. This must be a pivotal moment of your life. The Gospel must be the most important thing to you forever. Fire shut up in my bones forever. You've got to love this gospel forever. Heavens investment in me is eternal. Go home and Testify that your life has been changed forever. I will live for the Gospel. This is forever. His last words will be " this is the truth" 

Stake Conference: it is not where you serve, but how you serve. Everyone is in the same family. This mission must be my great turning point. The succession in the presidency is a miracle. The Lord went back to find a child ( Joseph Smith). Sometimes we are so close to history we don't know we are making it. Easter is coming up. Lessons from scriptures holy week. 3 lessons. 1 week began now is my soul troubled. Father save me from this hour. Nevertheless for this cause came I unto into the world. Jesus didn't want to face the music. Jesus said "I'm in this for you Father.  Father said "Hang on my son, Together we will make it through." We are on trial, not the Gospel. How do we hear it and how we respond to it, that is what is on trial. 2. Night before crucifixion, woman having alabaster box anointed Jesus for Burial. Jesus said "Let her alone, she had done what she could." Mark 14:8. The good we do will stand as our eternal memorial. Do what you can. Do all you can. 3. A new commandment I give unto you. Love one another. Love is the measuring rod. Love, it is that simple. Love is the basic component of the gospel. When you boil it all down it is love.  The Savior didn't want to overwhelm the Apostles. If nothing else, love one another. Elder Holland left an apostolic blessing of peace and love to be with me.




Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hump Week!

Hello Family & Friends!

I rejoice with y'all in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isn't He just AMAZING! Thank you all for what you do, but mostly for who you are. 

This week was pretty rough, but that's ok. The Savior didn't always have easy days. There wasn't too many highlights for this week. We went and provided some service for some members in Prescott. We split some wood and helped stack it. That was real fun. 

One thing that I am looking forward to this week is being able to receive instruction from Elder Holland and Elder Uctdorf! They are going to be instructing the missionaries on Saturday, and I'm so excited!

I know that this church is the Lord's church established again in this day and age. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I LOVE reading from the Book of Mormon. It has become the daily bread for my spirit and has enhanced my study of the Holy Bible. Jesus is the Christ. He is my best friend and I love serving Him and the good people of the South. 

I love you all and keep praying for me, and I'll keep on praying for you. God bless y'all and have a blessed week. 

Sincerely, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Week 48: Ministering angels, SLC broadcasts and Leadership Training

Hello Family, and Friends! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 With Love, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 47:Recap of Past 3 Weeks

Hello Family and Friends!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Have the power to resist tempation.

3&4 Overcome doubt and Fear

5. Receive Heaven's help in our lives. 

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

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

With Love, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Week 44: Living in the Moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely, 

Elder Larsen