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

Week 31: Temple Trips and Learning Experiences

Hello Family, friends and other amazing Children of God! I rejoice with you in the Gospel of our Amazing Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I thank y'all for what you do, but mostly for who you are!

This week has been really good. I don't have a lot of time today because I have been on the road. Today was our day to go to the temple for the last time while we are missionaries so that means lots of time driving back and forth. 

I am so happy that I had the chance to go to the House of the Lord again. Oh how I love the Temple of our God. It really is his Holy House. I love going back and feeling my Father in Heaven and my Savior near me. 

 This week was my first week as Dist it leader and it went pretty good. I feel like I'm stepping up to the plate on all my responsibilities as a district leader. If y'all could pray for my district that would be mighty appreciated. I have Sister Black and Esplin, and Elders Robinson, Green, and Patterson under my stewardship. Thanks y'all for your prayers. 

If y'all could also keep my investigators and the members in your prayers that would also be mighty appreciated. The names of our focus people are Kortni, Londa, Aurora, and Francisco. The members we are working with are the Gold family. They picked a day to go to the temple and it is October 18th! Oh how I love this family! I'm so excited for them. I have come to love all the people that I get to work with. All are amazing children of God and me being able to help them know the precious truths I know is such a fulfilling experience!

I want to leave y'all with 2 commitments and my testimony. First off PLEASE keep praying to God. He loves hearing his children pray with and speak to him. It puts such a huge smile on his face when he can listen to you pray, so please keep doing that every chance you can get, multiple times a day. My second commitment is to PLEASE keep reading the Book of Mormon. There is a special power that comes into our lives as we nourish our spirit with the Daily Bread of the Book of Mormon. It fills our spiritual reserves and helps us have the strength to resist temptation and to feel the Holy Ghost more abundantly in our lives. 

I love all of you. Even though I may not know exactly who you are, I still love and care about you. God knows you personally. He is your creator, and Father. He knows exactly what you need and He wants to bless you. Keep the commandments and that will make it easier for God to bless you. Your Father is near you. Your Savior loves you. Joseph Smith really did see God our Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. Thomas S. Monson is our living Prophet today. Temples are the house of the Lord. I Love being a missionary in the service of my Heavenly King. 

I love you all and Hurrah for Israel! 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 30: Transfers and the District.

OK so small interruption before we get going into the letter. 2nd Nephi 33:1 states:

1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

I just wanted to throw that out there because I feel like Nephi. I'm not mighty in writing like unto speaking, but I humbly pray that something that I write to you will make it so the Holy Ghost can touch your heart,  and so that you may feel Your Heavenly Father's love for you, one of his precious Children whom he loves VERY much. 

OK here is the letter for you all. 😊

Hello Family, friends and other children of God! I truly REJOICE with you in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I want to thank you all for the charitable things you do to make this world a better place, but mostly I thank you for the Saints that you are becoming!

Oh my, what a week this has been! God is good and has blessed us immensely this week! I've had the amazing opportunity to see the Hand of Almighty God more this week then ever before.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and all the good Karma that you have sent to us. It has paid off and miracles have taken place in Hope Arkansas. Some of the highlights include Mega exchanges, mission wide challenges, AMAZING contacts with prepared souls, and Revalatory Studies. 

So this past week we have been continuing our Mega exchange with our zone leader Elder Armstrong. Elder Armstrong has been staying with us since last Friday because his companion went home early for school. I have learned so much from him, and he has helped me become so much better. I've seen what I need to work on and how I can improve. It has been such a great experience. This exchange has helped me to become the man that God has needed to lead the Camden District as the new District Leader. I'm pretty scared to be the new district leader but I know that this call came from the Lord God Omnipotent through President Hansen. Even though I feel inadequate I know the Lord qualifies those whom He calls. I'm really excited for the continued growth that will come because of this new opportunity. Please keep praying for me. 😊

This week we have had a giant mission challenge. President Hansen has wanted us to keep track of how many Atempted return appointments we have each week. So he issued a challenge for each companionship to get 70 ARA's this week. This was hard but the blessings were so evident. We went from having 3 potential investigators and really struggling last week to having 17 potentials. I'm so excited for some of the families that we met. One of the Women that we found had a young family and we shared Helamen 5:12 with her and the Holy Ghost came and gave her a hug. She was really touched and I'm so excited to go back and see her and her family again. This same thing happened a couple other times. BLESSINGS!!! 

This week President Hansen also wanted us to learn how to Pray better. He shared a talk from the April 2007 general conference titled "The Supernal Gift of Prayer" by Richard G. Scott. I challenge you all to study this talk this week and write to me with what you were able to get out of this talk. I've gained so much on what I can do to make my prayers more personal and to have Communion with the Holy Ghost. (read and look up definition of communion. Jarom 1:4) 

I want you all to know that I know without a shadow of doubt in my mind that God our Heavenly Father lives and that He listens to our individual prayers. He knows each one of us by name. He created us and knows the desires of our hearts.  He knows our wants and needs and He will give us what we need in the way that will be for our eternal good. He is Near. He love you more then you can comprehend. Please pray and speak with Him. It makes God so happy when His children talk with Him. Remember Jesus Christ and what He has done for you. He knows and understands you. He knows perfectly what you feel. You are never alone. You are never beyond his reach. He wants to help you. All we need to do is reach out and take his hand. 

2nd Nephi 4:35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

I really hope that someone somewhere was touched by the Holy Ghost while reading this. I may not know who you are, but I know that God does. I pray for you all and I love you. Please keep praying for me, and those who are in great need. I hope you all have a blessed week.

Your friend, 

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Week 29: Pine Bluff mega exchange, baptisms and exciting changes

Hello Family, Friends, and other Children of God! I rejoice with y'all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I thank y'all for what you do to make the world better, but mostly I thank y'all for who you are the amazing people that y'all are becoming. 

This week has been one of changes galore. So one of the big announcements is that the ALRM has been hand picked as one of 12 missions to Pilot Smartphones and Facebook until the end of 2018! We are going to use this technology to hasten the work of the Lord. I'm really excited and it goes to show that the Lord is in the timing of everything. Had I come on my mission when I first wanted to I wouldn't be able to use this technology as long as I will now.

One thing that has been pretty cool about this week is that I've been able to spend a majority of it with my Zone leader Elder Armstrong. He is a great guy and has given me a ton of advice on what I can do to become better. He is real personable and connects with people super easy. Reason why I'm on exchange with him still is because his companion left for home so that he could start college and so we are together until next Monday which is transfers so don't send anything to me after today. I think I'm going to stay in Hope, but then again that's what I thought when I was in Blytheville hahaha. 

So as far as investigators go... We are still struggling a bit. If y'all could continue to pray for us that would be much appreciated. Elder Armstrong will be down with us in Hope starting Wednesday, so we are excited for his leadership and for his impact that he will have on the area. 

This week I have been able to spend some time in Pine Bluff which is Elder Armstrong's area. They are in FIRE. They had a baptism today that I was able to witness for. It was a real special experience. They have some other amazing investigators who are on date and progressing. This has been really amazing to learn from and I am looking forward to putting into practice what I have learned on exchange. 

One lesson that I've been really working on learning is how to have more charity and love for people. One major part of this is the Big 2 commandment that our Savior taught. 1. Love God with all we are. 2. Love our fellow men as ourselves. We can't love our fellow men if we don't love God. We can't love our fellow men above the love we have for ourselves. If we hate ourselves because we are not measuring up to our expectations then we won't be able to love others. 

I've seen how if I cut myself some slack and rely on God more then I'm able to better love Him and his children. So summed up real easy "cut yourself some slack, you are doing better then you think you are." Charity is an amazing gift that God bestows to those who ask in faith and work with all their might for it. Pray for it and work hard for it and you will be richly rewarded. 

If you are not reading the BOM every single day I encourage you to read from its pages. The Book of Mormon has become an old friend of mine,and my sincere hope is that one day soon it will feel the same for you. 

I want you all to know that I know that God is intimately aware of our challenges and struggles. He knows just how hard life is. Life is hard on purpose because we can't become perfect without being put through some fire. It just so happens that trials and struggles are actually blessings in disguise. They are developmental opportunities. While it may sound all fine and dandy on paper it is harder to put into perspective in the real world. This is where we rely on the Grace our Savior brings. His Grace is like the healing balm of Gilead.  I know without a doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is REAL. He knows my name and everything about me. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Best Friend. I love Him so much. He is making more of me then I ever could, and the best part is He's not done yet.   Brothers and Sisters, may we ever be moldable like clay in the hands of the Master. Oh how I Love Him, and oh how he loves us! 

Have a blessed week my dear friends and Remember, Rejoice for God is Good! 

Your faithful Friend,

Elder Skyler Glen Larsen