Monday, December 29, 2014

What is in Water here?

NAVIDAD en Peru>>Navidad en Utah

Alright erryone lemme tell you about my week:

I ate enough paneton to feed all the Juans here in Peru.

At 12:00 I watched the whole city light up in fireworks and screams of a Feliz Navidad. I had tears in my eyes cause the sight was so beautiful! 
The family i was with opened their few gifts and then after they talked of how blessed they were to have these things and turned into a testimony thanking their heavenly father. I was so happy and just grateful to pass this time with these humble people. It was such a beautiful night. 

The next day I got to SKYPE and cry and laugh with my family. luh u all.
That night we got to carol at the plaza and ERRYONE was gathered around just clapping and listening. After we contacted all of them and then that was Christmas! 

So yesterday in church is principles of the gospel class which is where all converts and investigators attend, the preacher was telling about the second coming meanwhile one of the specials was asking questions and didnt stop talking and the other one heard that our ward was having a party for the new years and starts singing, A new year has come around...haha the poor mission leader had to take a break from the class it was quite funny, but through it all i really think this experience has helped me see the worth of every soul. Before the mission i seriously had a fear of talking with people with disabilities, i dont know why exactly and honestly i felt bad, but now I know that you just need a little patience and the love of christ and everything will be good. 

Yesterday i just looked at Jorge and was thinking. He has changed SO SO much and i am so happy i can be here to witness it. His countenance has changed. I never understood when people would testify of seeing someone the light in their eyes change, but I truly have seen him change. He is so much happier. AGHH I just love teaching him. Also, a man named salvador wasn't my convert, but we are teaching him, and now he was stopped drinking and says that because he is the head of the family, he needs to be able to habe the spirit to direct the Family Home Evenings. How cool is that. 

I wish so badly you guys could witness some of the experiences here. The laughs of the locitos and schizophrenic and the tears of people who realize the blessing of the atonement. 

loves loves

xoxo hna larsen

It doesn't look like Christmas…but it feels like Christmas

The desert of Arequipa is getting a little hotter erry day.

I dont have much to say except that i did witness a miracle for christmas. A less active that we have been meeting with since i got here came to church for the first time in YEARS! She is so sweet and want to have her whole family come to church again!

PANETON: everyone and their dogs are feeding us paneton and literally dont accept no as an answer. it is a huge part of the culture for the navidad to give out hotchocolate and paneton. 

MY NEW COMP: Hna Olana is awesome. I have learned a lot from her teaching style and i lover her. 

SECRET SANTA: one thing that i am so so excited for is we are giving a huge christmas to a family who has nothing and it is secret! We bought pillows and plates and real forks and other things and games for the kids. i cant wait to hear about their christmas from them! 

So excited to skype the fam! I will talk to you soon and a lot better lolz. 

xoxo Hna. Larsen

The Zone bites the Dust

CRAZY changes in the zone this week. One of the gringos dropped about 10 pounds in a week and after many tests went home Friday cause he had Diabetes. It was a shock for many but he and his family took it really well. It was really hard on the zone, everyone was sad, especially because half of our zone left finishing their missions. Turns out rice, bread, and soda aren´t very good foods for people with Diabetes....starches for dayz. 

My companion is leaving today, so we have been running around the ward saying goodbye to people. She was here for 6 months and had a lot of trust with the ward, i hope that i can continue working well with everyone even though she will be gone. I am mostly nervous for a few people that are less active that she has a really good relationship with. I just want to be able for them to continue progressing even though she is gone.  One thing that did make me happy though is one of my favorite members came up when she found out about the changes and goes, thank heavens you arent leaving, you are my favorite. haha I love teaching and helping others, I pray that i will be able to lead the area well. I will miss hearing her chow down my goodies, teaching her solid english phrases, and just giggling in these crazy streets with her. 

MIRACLE OF THE WEEK: Elisabeth is pregnant and was recently married which is just SO rare. So she told me I did what you explained for me to do, pray specifically about being baptized, and i had a dream and I was reading in the bible in a specific verse that i forgot...and it talked about following Jesus.. How cool is that? she couldnt come to church this week because she was pretty sick BUT hopefully the next week so she can continue progressing. 

CRAZY OF THE WEEK: Some random came up to us on the street asked what he needed to do to be baptized. So i said well we can teach you all about that and you need to go to church and stuff then he just started rambling that his girlfriend was baptized and realized it was a huge mistake and wants her name taken off the records of the church. Meanwhile, i still thought he wanted to be baptized until he said...´´your church is the reason bad things are happening in the world. When I have more economic power, i will do all i can do destroy your church.´´ Crazy right? My comp. had tears in her eyes as the guy stormed off and i just couldnt help but to laugh a little. 

Every day I study the restoration of the gospel, the deeper my testimony goes inside of me of the simple truths that The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints was restored by a prophet. That is is the same church and teachings Jesus taught when we was on the earth. We have the authority of god on the earth. 

FUNOF THE WEEK: We had ANOTHER wedding to plan this week and it was awesome. She asked me to sing and i practiced it a lot and then when we got there the USB didnt work with the program that the DJ had so....whoops. The song is really cool Te Voy Amar. It was fun to prepare for haha spanish love songs so perff. 

I love sharing the christmas message this holiday season. I am excited to help others have a christmas centered on what really matters. Prepare to see a fat alex on skype because they eat a ton of chocolate and every member for christmas wants to give things to us missionaries. Paneton specifically. It is interesting. Gummy fruits in dry bread and they LOVE it. haha 
Dont really know the plans for Christmas yet, but one day when I have time, I will find out! Love you all.

Friday, December 12, 2014

He is the Gift

As for the subject of my email. GO WATCH THE VIDEO. like right now. Tears of the spirit when i watched it. I am so excited to watch this video with all the people that we are teaching, i know that it will help them have a christmas centered on Christ. Fun culture note: They celebrate at midnight here and have a feast and fireworks and also open presents at midnight. Also, they have a chocolate fountain and celebrate. But anyways, we have been sharing the video and have been finding many people this way. 
We have been looking for new investigators who are interested, and i am so thankful for the opportunity i have to just talk with anyone. 

WEDDING BELLS: We helped our zone leaders plan a wedding and it was in the chapel and it was just so fun. While we were setting everything up I was just laughing way hard dancing to all the music they were pumpin cause it was just me and another sister. Probably one of the funnest times i have had so far in the mission. I wished we could have danced with everyone but rules are rules. They played american party music and it was just a good break from spanish. hah Right after they were baptized and it was a very sweet experience. Right after the wedding we helped members make cinnomon rolls and saltenas for their relief society show in the stake and then I was a lion for the talent show :) SO SO SO FUN. erryone wanted pics with the leoncita! The church here is so different it is so cool, everyone is like little kids and just work so hard for the skits and stuff. 

JORGE CHAVEZ: We have a list of people to find in the ward that are less active. Went to this persons house and this old ancient man came out and we ask for the guy that is less active. and he doesnt live there. but then Jorge goes, hey you guys are mormon, i want to talk to you. He is so amazing and wants to introduce us to his neice. 

PERROS: My comp and I were running down a street and this dog came out from nowhere and started running straight for me barking and naturally i screamed really loud and just about peed my skirt because i refuse to use many bathrooms here. anyway, my comp started laughing SO hard and then i did we couldnt stop for a long time. 

JELLY BEANS: Refer to the picture below of the warning label. Saw this label while me and a few others were eating them, we laughed way hard. Then, the next day we shared experiences. Luckily it didnt affect me like it did them. Just want to warn you, if you eat these jelly beans, start with 8 beans. LOL  

Love the mission. I love christmas. I love llamas. I love my family members here. (dont worry they could never replace the Larsens) I love sharing my testimony 50 times a day. I love missionary work.


xoxo alex larsen

also laughed way hard that 10 sisters got together and had a mini conference. what did we do you may ask? sewed christmas socks! hahah inside my head i was just like if my brothers were here. So this is what the sisters do. Bless their hearts. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Letter

Surprises Surprises

How is the snow my friends in the grand ol Salt Lake? I am just busy sweating in this internet cafe! It isn´t too bad, just jealous of all the skiers and everyone getting ready for the season! So this week we spent about 3 days hustling and bustling around the city with Juan and Ursula trying to figure out the laws of the land for them to be married. But.......turns out they probably shouldnt be married cause uhmm well ya both have mental problems and one has a certain disease that prohibits civilly to be married, I am sure you can figure out...I didnt understand much of diseases and stuff in spanish but ya it was a little disappointng, but we did absolutely all that we could for them, and now we are off to find new investigators. This day was THANKSGIVING can you believe it?! I felt so bad though, because

On a happier note, I love the mission. haha I am very grateful for my companion, for all my friends and fans that wrote me notes for thanksgiving and christmas. Muchas Gracias! 

This week I was assigned to play the piano for the chorus and stuff like that and during practice and stuff i just started boogeying around and this one member who is super old just started dancing and everyone was super happy and I was just bein weird and after that experience I gained so much confidence with members and some even came up to us and gave us a time they could work with us. The more spanish I learn, the easier it is to show my personality, the more I can joke around, and the better I can understand the people we teach, but the most powerful moments are truly when I feel the spirit give me ideas of what i need to say. I know they feel it too. It is so cool, cant even explain. 

We had a mini cambio and I was with the other gringo for about 4 hours after we taught piano to some members, and our pench goes, wait, they are going together? haha but, we did great, and our spanish really has come a long way. 

Fun of the week: After recieving a package of straight JUNK FOOD me and my comp ate some before bed and it was a mistake. We were giggling and had so much energy it was insane we were just playing around and couldnt sleep. yes i am 4 yrs old. got a tummy ache from eating candies. 

I feel like I am getting comfortable, which means there will mostl likely be a change in store in the next transfer. Not area, but companions and who knows maybe i will train. crazyy. loco. 

Grateful for my health. Only gringo that isnt sick #blezzed #dragonisincave 
While i am talking about health i will say sometime more about bathroom talk. I prayed while on the toilet to thank for a SOLID time. haha get it?

I most definitely am getting fat, but today this crossgaurd that is always outside our pench told me i have lost weight and need to neat 4 breads and 2 bananas for breakfast from now on. 

I LOVE PERU! I love my ward. love all you family and friends. 

Juan told me that every morning he prays for me and my family, so know that there are others praying for you! 

Hna. Larsen

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

El Dia de Grac

I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY MISSION! Seriously, everyday I am more grateful for the opportunity i have to serve these humble peruvians and serve God. I am happy here and happy with my companion happy with not knowing exactly what is going on in this crazy spanish desert, and happy with the people who sincerely want to learn of the gospel. 

Weekly quote: ´´A donde vas mi gatita´´ That means where are you going my kitty? Then, the next day a taxi driver asked me which of my parents was the cat? Sidenote:They call people with green eyes cats. I know, gross. cats. bleh but it was prretty funny. 

We have had some funny experiences this week. For 1 my comp was studying outside on the roof cause our room is really cold in mornings and the phone ring so i answered and was walking outside so she could hear the message too and the wind blew the door shut. Long story short, we were locked out on our roof for awhile and we were laughing ad just had a good time even though it was a bad situtaion. One thing I have learned a lot of in the mission, is just to laugh at things and enjoy even the not so great moments. Getting mad or frustrated doesnt help anyone or anything. 

We are doing a talent show in our stake and I am a Lion with hna. Klinger other gringo and I dont know why but when we were practicing I was so slap happy that we were lions, tears of laughter!!

Now to the work...
Fany:Latest on her...I asked why she likes having lessons with us and she said, I never knew things like the prophet and commandments like the word of wisdom and I know that these things are from god. I felt something when I went to church that I have never felt before and i just want to continue learning. We are trying all we can to contact her parents so she can be baptized, but they NEVER come to Arequipa. so we might take a day trip to where they live...we will see.

Juan y Ursula: The other day we went to their house and Ursula comes running out bawling and just huggin me and saying Hermanita larsen the rest in spanish sobs that I couldnt quite this moment I just prayed over and over that I could be the comfort that she needed. I think everything is okay now...she is OCD and is scared of marrying Juan cause she doesnt want to be a burden to him. But they came to stake conference and she said I feel peace that I havent had in a long time. I love helping people. We are going to try all we can to help the mwith their health problems. 

President Zobrist and Hermana Zobrist are so funny we got to hear from them in our stake conference and they are seriously amazing. luh my mission. THANKS TO ALL MY FANS BACK HOME! THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS! I AM HAPPY DONT WORRY ABOUT ME! 

Plz eat a plate of delish turkey and potatoes for me! Much appreciated. 

hna. Larsen

waiiit....wut? Three months?

STORIES4DAYZ with Juan y Ursula. Yes ursula like the bad octupus from the little mermaid. They are our new investigatos and i cant remember if i have talked about them but they basically ran up to us and Juan tried speaking english but i didnt know that...anyway, they wanted to be baptized because they didnt feel the way they did it in the catholic church was the proper way. GOLDEN. we can help you! but first....we are pushing for them to be married. anyway, everyone we present them to think they are drunk. hah. they are. well. unique. But they honestly are my favorite lessons and truly have the faith like a little child. Por ejemplo, I was testifying that they could know the truth of the book of mormon if they sincerely prayed and searched the book of mormon and i asked them to pray and Juan goes Herminita Larsen I know this book is true and joseph smith translated it and then Ursula like rubs his arm and goes Juan you have to read it first. Things like this just make me smile. Also, Urusula asked so how do i begin reading the book of mormon, can i just pray and say god show me what i need to learn. and then the member that came with us goes ABSOLUTELY. haha people´s faith here is just so admirable. Dont worry we left them with a specific chapter to read. 

Some guy saw us walking and goes HERMANITAS! and then just starts belting Joseph Smiths First Prayer en espaƱol. and it truly lifted my day. 

We cooked with a less active family that we have been working with since i came and WOW. I felt so so so sick. you know when you eat so much that if you take another bite, the only place it would fit is your mouth cause there is no more room. ya. I really didnt need to eat for the next day, i was full so long. BUT , I thanked them anyway. We made a famous plate here that hopefully when i get back i can remember how to do it and will make it with whoever wants to learn. it is Roco Rellano and it is oooooo so divine. I could have done without the potatoes. 

SAD OF THE WEEK. all during my showers i just pray to make it through cause it is so cold. brrrr. This week there was an earthquake in peru which i guess they have them like every 30 days but i havent felt any of them. It is because we are right next to the volcano Misty. 

Lenin, the member from last week that was not doing so hot called and wanted to come with us to visit people and he is himself again! Prayer works erryone. PUEDO ESCUCHAR UN AMEN!! 
So many of the less actives here left the church cause of other people in the ward, and it is very sad but slowly and surely we will help them recognize why they go to church in the first place. 

dont have much to say. oh ya we had divisions with the sister leaders and i was aasked probably about 100 times if i TRULY was okay or if there was anything i needed to talk about but i will tell her and you all I AM TRULY SO GOOD! I APPRECIATE THE CONCERN!

love you more than the dirt that is permanently stuck in my ankles. 

hna. larsen

Monday, November 10, 2014

Humble Pie Tasting

This week I truly felt like a scripture 2 Nefi 33:3-4 

But I, Nephi, have written what have written, and esteem itas of great worthand especially unto my people. For I praycontinually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow bynight, because of them; and cry unto my God in faithand knowthat he will hear my cry.
 And know that the Lord Gowill consecrate my prayers forthe gain of my people
There are a lot of people here who just have crazy problems and lives and at some times in the day I would just cry thinking of their lives and how there literally is nothing i can do to help them, but tell them to have faith in the Lord and wet my pillow at night in prayer. Now let me tell you the story....
Jorge: Our baptism a few weeks ago. Well we went to pick him up for church and his mom answered and talked to us for 40 minutes crying because he was drunk inside and she is worried for him. bummer. she goes on to say that he saw her husband beating her and so many other things and we just listened and said we would help and that is all we could do.
Lucilla and Fam: we had a day of service saturday, taking posters down from the city and then after helping a family move rooms( notice i didnt say house). They fit all their things into 2 small taxi's, including themselves....When we were unpacking the little boy who we teach is 11 just was sitting in the new room, which was dank and absolutely NO ventilation, so super hot and just looking at everything about to cry. I knelt down and told him if he needed anything we were here to help him and most importantly he can ask god for comfort and continue being the strong example to his family.  He began to cry and i dont know if this is against the rules but i just scratched his back for a little while for him to cry...After, we got their whole room looking good after a long time and it took everything i had not to just cry during it all thinking of how blessed i am. This kid is 10 and is the head of the family, cause the mom is sick, and the dad doesnt have anything to do with them and he is such a strong boy. 
Lenin is my best friend here in Arequipa, he is a member and always comes with us to teach. This week he told me his family situation. NOT GOOD. then sunday after church he was standing outside and it wasnt lenin. he didnt have a smile, he was staring at his shoes and i asked how he was and then pretty soon all four of us sistermissionaries were bearing our testimonies and sharing scriptures with him because he said he was seriously thinking of inactivating...It is hard to explain, but it was worse that i had heard his testimony many times. It is solid. and beautiful. I know he will figure things out but after we left him with a prayer i just cried. I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD! 
Enough of the sad. I know i am here to help these people so it was cool to feel that this week.
Met this girl Patti, has a ton of faith and has a date to be baptized first week of december. It is crazy asking people to be baptized the first time you meet them, but we could see her soaking every word up as we taught and she has so much faith and asked us within the first  minutes, I want to do what god wants of course we talked of baptism. I was so giddy after it was kindof ridiculous. you would have thought that i had just kissed Zac Efron or something way cooler. Same with a couple who everyone thinks is always drunk but they arent. they saw us on the street when we were walking and we showed them the church and the wife asked where can i be baptized, we were both baptized in the catholic church but i dont feel like it is the proper form.....So many people are being prepared it is crazy.
1. An elder was praying in enlgish and said the phrase ´´thank you for blessing for dayz´´ ferdayzz. it is true, he bleses us so much.
2. I laughed the hardest i have yet since getting to arequipa talking about modern family with an elder but then it made me think of how we would watch it with our families.
I have fun here. that is important. have the worlds best week.
Here are pics of the room we helped move, all on one taxi. The desert that i am living in. one of my favorite posters we took down. some randoms.
con amor,
Hna. Larsen

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Happy Halloween

Que tal familia? 

Well I am writing again! Thanks for all the love. Halloween is definitely not the same here, but I made sure to save some candies from my package and made sure that I dressed up somehow! Overall, I would describe this week as exactly the desciprion of missionary work is. WORK. Through it all, I had fun!

Oh my yesterday, We were walking (naturally) and we passed a building where men wait outside for work and no joke the whole street was a long line. We pass on the opposite side and every. single. middle aged. man. began with the whistles and ohh mamma and hailo halo holas and i gave a wave and then a huge burst of OOHHHs and AHHHs i seriously was laughing so hard. it is ridiculous. I probably should stop egging some things on but it was just so funny. Yesterday, some guy came up to me and flashed the rock on sign and so I said YAA ROCK ON and then he proceeded to tell me the english words he knew which were basically all the four letter words...haha 

Sundays are probably the least restful days ever and every time we eat after lunch I just want to take a nice nap, but at these moments i need to work hard and forget what is in my mind. 

I read a scripture D and C 88:74 and said to ''sanctify yourselves'' and i was really thinking of what that means and how i can do that and then i was reading in 3 Ne. 19 28 and 29 and they were PURIFIED through their faith in Christ and that is what i need to do here in the mission. I know that I can be one in purpose as I remember that everything is the timing and the will of God. That is something that I was struggling with because a lot of our investigators aren't progressing and we need to move on and find others who are ready and that this is their time.  

It is weird a lot of missionaries just arent happy here in the mission and that makes me sad. Everyone struggles with happiness, but like Nefi he tried to live after the MANNER OF HAPPINESS and think of his life in the wilderness. crazy stuff. we got this you guys. life is happy. we are promised a state of rest if we are faithful. how good does that sound? rest? like cloud 9 for me. 

Love you all so much and wish you the words best week evaaa!