Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 23: The 4 Phases of Teamwork

Hello Family and Friends that I love! 

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

This week has been AWESOME!!!

The quick highlights include interviews with President Hansen, baptismal interviews, and personal tender mercies from the Lord. I'll also explain the title in a few minutes. 

So last week we had interviews with President Hansen and it was so good to actually meet with him. We talked about how I was doing and what I can do to be the best missionary that I can be. He shared a really good scripture with me. 

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 Philippians 4:11-13

I have noticed that I have the "productivity gene" inside of me and if I don't feel productive enough then I start becoming sad. So with that some days are great and others are "terrible". He helped me understand that we need to be content when we have given our all. After we have given everything and we have tried then at the end of the day we need to be content. This really helped me. 

I love President Hansen. I know that he has been called of God and that the spirit works through him so much. I've seen how much he cares about all the missionaries and wants to help them all become the best converted, consecrated disciples of Christ. 

So GUESS WHAT!!! Kym is getting baptized on Sunday!!!!! We got all the papers back that we needed and she is good to go! She had her last interview on Sunday and she passed with flying colors. She is such a converted disciple of Christ and it has been so amazing seeing her come closer to her Savior. I will have tons of pictures this next week. 

Please keep my investigators in your prayers. 

Richard and his Daughter Ciara. 
LK and Veronica 
And the Rogers Family. 

All these people are so amazing and I have grown to love them all so much. 

Fun fact so I finished the New Testament this last week and it was so cool. I am really happy that I took the time to read from Acts to Revelation. I now understand a little more of where people form beliefs from in the Bible. I also have so many more resources for sharing the restored gospel. I've recently started the old Testament again. What sticks our to me is we are made in the very image of God. We are really his children. We look so similar to him. God has a body just like us.  How amazing is that wonderful truth! 

So last thing that has been on my mind is the 4 phases of team development. I learned this from my Dad. So when a team is formed is goes through 4 stages in order to start performing well. Forming, storming, norming, and then performing. I came to Blytheville right as the Lord formed the new team (branch leadership)  for the Branch here. I've witnessed the forming and Elder Trendler and I have felt the spirit lead us to guide them through the storming and norming phase. We are really reaching out to the leadership and showing them where the missionaries can be of the most support to them in their callings. It had been really cool seeing the miracles and tender mercies that have been poured out upon the branch. The Lord knows exactly what he is doing. 

I want to challenge everyone to really focus on the sacrament this week. Prepare for it the night before. The sacrament is basically like getting rebaptized. We renew and recommit to live right. I've seen a lot of blessings come to me when I have focused more on the Savior during the sacrament. Also keep reading the scriptures. The book of Mormon is a dear friend of mine now and has spoken right to me about who my Savior is. I love you all and please keep praying for my investigators and me. 

If there is anything that you all want me to pray for PLEASE Let Me Know. I would love to send specific prayers to our Father just for you. 

I love you all and God Bless πŸ˜Š❤️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Week 22: 561 Days To Make A Difference

Hello Family and Friends!
I REJOICE with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

I thank you for all that you do, but mostly I thank you for who you are!

This week has been really amazing! We have seen so many miracles. We have worked harder then ever to be exactly in tune with the Holy Ghost and to work hard this week, and we have been richly rewarded.
The highlights from this week are amazing lessons with prepared people, inspiration learned from church, and recommitment to consecration.
This week we had the feeling to go pack to a potential investigator and it really paid off. We met the husband of the lady that we met and he is super prepared. His name is Richard and we were able to give him a BOM to read. We stopped by again this week and he had read the entire intro which like... never happens. He was really interested so we taught him and his 9 year old daughter hopped in on the lesson too. She said the prayer and it was quite possibly the best prayer I have ever heard from someone so young. She prays like a Pro. SOOO cool. We went over the intro to the Book of Mormon and talked about it some more. We also shared Josephs first vision experience and it was so cool. Ciara (Richard's daughter) asked us if that really happened and I was able to tell her Yes and oh my, I wish you could have seen her face light up. It was so cool. Richard is going to study and read the Book of Mormon and do his research into everything and make sure he wants to keep learning more. I think that it will take a little while but I definitely think that he will see the goodness of the Gospel and join the Church.
During church we read from the Teachings of President Hinckley book. We read chapter 14 for priesthood and oh my, it was like revelation upon revelation for me. President Hinckley shared some really cool experiences that he had when he lost himself in the service of others. I loved his quote from his Dad of " Forget yourself and go to work" This applies to me a lot. We read in Mark 8:35 
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
If we lose ourselves in the service of others then we will find that we have found the thing that really matters most in life. Being to help our wonderful Father in Heaven in his great work of blessing his children. I am so grateful for every single day that I am able to be a missionary. I have a countdown that I keep track of pretty regularly.  I have 561 days to help as many people come to Christ as I can. 561 Days to open my mouth and share the Glorious News of the Gospel with others. 561 days left to make a difference in the Lord's vineyard. 561 Days to Show my Savior how much I love him.
I love being a missionary. It is such a privilege to be able to serve my Savior and to help him bless the lives of the good people of the South. May we all reach a little further and stand a little taller and work a little harder to help others and be of good service to our Heavenly Father.
I love you all and I am so grateful for you and all you do to help me. Your prayers are felt, and they help me and my investigators so much. Emails and letters are really appreciated. If you have questions write to me and I will try real hard to write to you. I love you all and God bless!

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 21 - Mission President Greenie Fire!

Hello Family and Friends that I love! 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 and the Saints that you are becoming. 

This week has been amazing. So many things have happened. The highlights are meeting the new mission president, getting a new truck, exchanges, and church talks. 

This week we had the amazing opportunity to meet the new mission president and he is on fire! He served in the south 36 years ago and he said that he was coming home. I'm so excited to get to work with him in this marvelous work and a wonder in the good Ole Land of the South. The spirit witnessed to me that he has been called of God to lead this mission and I'm so excited. There is such a thing as greenie fire and President Hansen has a level I have never seen before. MISSION PRESIDENT GREENIE FIRE ⚡⚡πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ’₯ I LOVE IT

President Hansen shared some amazing advice on what we need to do as a mission. The mission is 100 % temple worthy and active so there should not be a lot that is needed to achieve Zion status. We just need to be aware of the spirit and the role that it plays. We should improve our studies, pray more sincerely, and listen to sacred music. He also shared how there are literally hundreds (if not more) of angels helping us in the work here and we need to not miss a single person that has been prepared. 

After the meet the Mission President and Wife meeting we sang the mission song to them. It was great and I've attached a video. 

We also got a new Toyota Tacoma at the meeting. The roads of Blytheville are kinda sketch so that's why we got a truck. It's pretty nice to have. 

After the meeting I also went on exchange with Elder Bleazard from Dyersburg. That went really well and we meet some awesome people. 

Speaking of people we were able to go see the Rogers again this week. That was so nice. We had dinner and a lesson with them and we taught the restoration. Brother Rogers seemed to understand it and overall it was awesome. Their oldest son is 10 and hasn't been baptized so we will be able to help him progress too. Great things are happening here in Blytheville. 

 On Sunday  I gave a talk about the Plan of salvation. The over lying reason why God created the plan of salvation is His purpose that we find in Moses chapter 1:39. 

 39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Work is something you do, glory is something you rejoice proudly in. The things that God does, and what he rejoices proudly in is his children. He wants us to live forever in resurrected bodies, and to live with him in forever families. What an amazing purpose right!!! 

I also shared the main points that we share as missionaries.

Pre-earth life

The creation 

Agency and the fall if Adam and Eve

Our life on earth 

The Atonement

The spirit world, 

Resurrection, Judgement and Immortality 

And the Kingdoms of Glory. 

Overall I think it went great. I love being a missionary and sharing the restored truths of the gospel. This is the greatest work that we can perform in our lives, helping others come unto Christ. 

Down here a lot of people think Mormons are crazy, but I know that the full truth of the Gospel is here. I know that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the restoration and that this is the Lord's true church once again established on the earth today. I will never doubt it, I will never question it. God loves you yesterday, today, and forever. Have faith, repent everyday, go to church and partake of the Sacrament (or be baptized and confirmed if you haven't already) and just keep repeating that process. The gospel at its simplest form is faith, repentance, baptism, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. The process just repeats. How amazing is that? 

Anyway I love you all, thanks so much for your prayers. They really do make a difference. Let me know what yall are up to and what I can pray for. Missionary prayers have been known to move metaphorical mountains. πŸ˜Š

With much Love, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 20 - Life in Blytheville - is Good

Hello Family and Friends that I love so much! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank you each for what you do, but mostly I thank you for who you are. 

It has been a great week here in Blytheville, Arkansas.  This week we got a new mission president, and I am going to be meeting president Hansen on Thursday at a meeting. We are also getting a brand new Toyota Tacoma because the Chevy Malibu that we have here is not great at the country roads that we are on. Blytheville reminds me a lot of Burley. Its got right about 13000 people and a bunch of outlying communities. There is a lot of country roads and it's the typical small town country feel.

Elder Trendler is my companion.  He has a personality a lot like Uncle Robbies, and it is really cool. He is a really funny guy. He has one more transfer left so I may be the last companion that he has. I have attached some videos of us at the post office the other day that made me chuckle.

I want to take just a minute and tell you a little bit about the investigators that we have. We have Kim and Fallon. Fallon recently got baptized and Kim is her mom. She will be baptized soon we are just waiting on the last a little bit of paperwork. Some of the other investigators that we have are the Rogers family, Gary, Bess, Ann, Denise, Trina, Jeanette, Kayla and Lakisha.  All of these people are amazing and I'm really excited to be able to help them come closer to our Savior. 

 Arkansas has a strange sense of beauty to it. I have attached some videos and pictures of the scenery around here. There's cotton fields for as far as the eye can see. I don't think I would come back to live here, but I think I would come back to visit.

I don't know if I mentioned this in my last email but the Blytheville Ward got reorganized into the Blytheville branch. First time I've ever heard of this happening. The stake president had to get permission from the first presidency to do this. So it just goes to show and that the first presidency is really involved in the Affairs of the church even on the local level.

The members here are really cool. We have a part member family called the Rogers that are really cool people. We were able to see them this last week and we were hoping to start meeting with them regularly on Sundays. Brother Rogers is not a member yet but we are pretty sure that he will be baptized soon. He loves how the church is really focused on the family. The Rogers family consists of the parents and I think four young kids. They are so cool and I love them so much.

This week we did a lot of walking because our car was out of miles. Throughout all of this walking we saw a couple of miracles that were pretty cool. One of them is how the Lord sent angels to give us strength to keep walking. I walked 12 miles in one day and I know that there were angels there helping me to keep walking. It was really hard but the Lord blesses those in need.

 In my studies this week I have learned a lot about faith. Faith is a principal of power that allows us to focus on our Savior. Faith leads to repentance because we learn that we want to change and become  more like our Savior every day. It was by faith that the brother of Jared was able to see our Savior and literally move mountains. Faith hope and charity go hand in hand. We have faith in our Savior and since we have faith we hope for a better world. If we have faith and hope we will want to have charity and compassion for others and share the message of the restored gospel with them.

I've learned a lot this last week about relying on the Savior and his Grace even more. Our trials are really just developmental opportunities and chances for us to grow and become more like our Savior. I know that my Saviors grace is sufficient for me. I know that he wants to help everyone in every way that he can. The more we involve him in our prayers the more involved he will be in our lives. He knows how hard this life is and he wants to strengthen us everyday, Everyday, EVERYDAY. We just need to repent everyday and try our best and the Savior will make us the rest. I have learned that my strength is nothing. I stand before you one of the weakest of the weak. One scripture that jumped out at me this week was in Ether 12

 23 And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them;
24 And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands...
25 Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.
26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
37... wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

Being weak is actually a sign of strength if we include the Lord. If we acknowledge our weakness and go to him and humble ourselves and have faith in him, then he will help us change our weaknesses into strengths. I LOVE this true doctrine. It fills me with so much hope because man I am weak and I need my Savior literally every single moment of every single day.

I love you all. Keep doing the little things that draw our Saviors grace into your lives. Read your scriptures, pray and go to church. These things make up spiritual CPR that works every time. If you have doubts or questions about the church, take a fresh BOM and write your question in it. Then read it from front to back and mark everything that answers your questions. This has helped me a lot. By the end of it you will have had a very special, personal scripture study experience.  Questions that you can have can be anything like how do i increase my faith? How can I become more converted? Or anything like that.

I love you all so much. Keep praying for me and my awesome investigators. Keep on keeping on!

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

President and Sister Hansen

Week 19 - Setting up Shop in Blytheville

Hello Family and Friends that I love so much! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank you each for what you do, but mostly I thank you for who you are. 

This week has been really good. I set up shop here in Blytheville Arkansas. I'm technically on the Memphis side of the mission and I am in the only area of the mission that has a slice of Missouri. That's really cool. Blytheville is a little town that used to have an Air Base. The base was shut down in the 90s and since then the place has turned into a ghetto. I actually live in the old base housing that they have. It's kinda interesting going from an active Air base in Jacksonville to an abandoned Air base here in Blytheville. Very interesting indeed.... 

Anyway people here are great. We have a really great teaching pool. We have 2 people on date currently. One is Kym. she is a stellar woman who is really close to getting baptized. We are only waiting on some paper work to be done and then we will have one more member to the Branch. We also found 2 new investigators this week that are so cool. Denise and Ann are sisters that we found in Osceola Arkansas. They were just sitting out on their porch and we started talking to them. We went to Osceola to drop off a Bible to a potential investigator that we had and after we dropped that off we found them. It was so cool talking about the Book of Mormon and the First Vision experience. I could tell that they were prepared from God and that the spirit was totally working with them. It was so cool to see. 

The members here are so cool too. The Blytheville ward got turned into a branch on Sunday. That was an interesting experience. First time I have ever heard of a ward going back to a branch. They have been struggling ever since the air base got shut down. I think that it was the right thing to do though because to get authorization to do this the stake had to send the request all the way to the First Presidency. Isn't that really interesting and cool. The First Presidency is really involved in the growth of the church. 

There is a returning less active family that I was really able to connect with on Sunday. The Wife is a member and the husband isn't yet. They have 4 little kids and they are just amazing. I really think that they had a spiritually uplifting experience on Sunday. We taught the gospel principles class on Sunday and we taught about eternal marriage. I wish you all could have felt the spirit that was there. The Holy Ghost came and bear hugged both of them. It was so amazing to be a part of it. I can tell that the spirit was able to work through my words to help that family. 

I want nothing more in this life then to do all I can to serve the Lord. I have felt him near me so much these last 2 weeks. My situation makes enough sense to keep walking and trying. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else but me and the Lord. I know that I am accountable to him for everything that I do. He is the only person that I really want to please and make happy. This has been my feeling all along during my mission and it hasn't changed. I love the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I know that He loves me with all His heart, might, mind and strength. I know that God my Father is pulling for me, His Son is pulling WITH me, and that the Holy Ghost is comforting me, and the same thing applies to each one of you reading this right now. The Godhead will never give up on us. The Savior has invested so much in our eternal progression that he will never give up on us. He is always there. All we have to do is reach out like Peter and take his hand in the midst of our storms. I know that he will be there for us, because he hasn't left my side. 

I love ya'll more then I can express. God be with you always! 


Elder Skyler Glen Larsen