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

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