We have been having technical difficulties.
Sorry, not sure what happened exactly but just found this message from last week still in my Draft box.
Hello Family and Friends! I hope and pray that everyone is enjoying the beginning of spring as the winter snow begins to melt away. Down here in Argentina it is beginning to cool down again in the nights, so I have once again pulled out my sleeping bag cacoon.
This past week has truly been incredible, ever grateful for the the opportunity to work here in General Villegas. Maria, a young women Elder Man and I were able to meet in the street last week, has always been a christian, but never really practiced a religon or studied the bible. We taught a brief lesson on the scriptures and invited her to read the chapter 7 from the book of Alma to learn more of her Savior. After setting plans we returned back to her house to find her waiting outside at a small table with the Book of Mormon. She had done as we had asked and with the help of the Spirit gained her first testimony of the Book of Mormon.. verse 25 änd may the lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob¨touched her heart and, following her desires, we were able to teach her the doctrine of baptism and see the manner in which our garments may be cleaned so we may be brought forth before God, cleaned from sin. He lives, and He loves, and He´s given us the oportunity to read his words found in the scriptures. When one reads the Book of Mormon they are allowing our Heavenly Father´s love to touch their hearts, the hearts of all, hearts like Maria.
Yesterday in the church we had the attendance of 32! Our little building was llenito! )really full= Twelve of the the people in the Sacrament mtg werenonmembers investigating more about the church.. It was truly amazing to see the hand of the Lord helping members, less actives, and investigators make it to the Sunday reunions, General Villegas has been prepared by the Lord of the vineyard and it is truly a great blessing to work here. However, something we still fault is the power of the priesthood. President Castilla came down from Cordoba this past Thursday to some visits, upon his arrival he excitedly shared who we were going to.. Christian Avaka and Gerrardo Chichiri.. two future leaders of Villegas who need a little push right now. Unfortunatley, neither of them were home but nonetheless the lesson of Pte. Castilla has stayed with me. ¨Priesthood Power¨is real and is necessary in establishing Zion in all parts of the world. Hoping that ´little by little´the hearts of men here in Villegas will soften and that they may follow they example of their faithful in coming unto Christ each Sunday.. I don´t why we´re so stubborn sometimes.. boys will be boys.
While cleaning the church with Hermana Ojeda this past Tuesday I was flooded with great memories. Over the course of my life I have had the priviledge of cleaning many church buildings from the Seventh ward in South Jordan with my dad, to the Heber Lakecreek building with the Matthews family, to the MTC bathrooms with my Chick'Fil'A Georgian friend Elder Forsyth, to the holy Celestial room of the Provo Temple, to scrubbing the dirty tile of Capitan Bermudez barefoot.... I love these wonderful memories of time spent freshening up the sacred buildings of the Lord. Just like these dedicated grounds, we too need to keep our inner spirit clean and pure, our Savior Jesus Christ provides the supplies, time, work effort, and example.. Our job is to pick up the mop and work alongside him now.
I love what I´m doing and where I´m at.. Thankyou for your prayers and thoughts, I know they are a blessing to my life and the lives of those here in Argentina. Have a good week and keep on cleaning on!
Good Afternoon family and friends, I apologize for not being able to send a message last week I hope to summarize the progression of the work here in Villegas from the past couple of weeks.
Last week was transfer day and the news was reported that Eldee Krizsan would be sent to a neighboring zone. It came as quite a surprise to all of us as he was entering his final transfer as a missionary and had so little time here in Villegas. Fortunately, for one of his last days in Villegas we were able to enjoy a special lunch with thte Ojeda family... upon finishing the meal little Mateo came into the room with a raquetball in hand, with a sly grin across his face he said ¨Vamos a jugar beisbol¨ I could hardly contain myself! After springing from the seat we set off into the street in search of a worthy stick that could be used as a bat. After findind a small palo the four us spent the next half hour trying to explain, teaching, and enjoying America´s pastime in the fields of Argentina. Even though he´s from Canada it was a fun last memory to share with a dear friend and great young man whom I admire, Elder Krizsan.
With our growing little group of members here in Villegas we were recetnly given the option to start a 30 minute Gospel Principals class. Hermana Avaka, a wonderful women always excited to help in the church happily accepted the calling with only one condition.. The Elders would provide a Primary class for the children.. The past two weeks Elder man and I have really improved our crayon skills and remembered the wonder joys of ¨Snack Time¨ It is amazing to be apart of the progress here in Villegas and I´m forever grateful for the blessing it is to be here, ¨little by little¨ restoring the Church of Jesus Christ to my family of this little Argentina town.
With the help and creativeness of Elder Man we have recently been able to find succes in helping familes and investigators set and reach attainable goals. In the street we try to always have a blank calendar on us, one that with the guide of the spirit can mark up with scriptures, lessons, prayers, all things in helping others see that living the Gospel is truly lograble and that reaching the waters of baptism is not far from reach. Here in the mission field I have gained a true testimony of setting a goal, and the creating map of improvements in order to reach the treasure at the end. For this cause, the cause of Improvement are we on this Earth.. We have been given the perfect example and by learning of him we can live more like him, walking even as he did, our Savior, even Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your love and prayers they are always felt, take care and have an excellent week!
Hello Family and Friends!! I hope this message finds all of you happy and well in the comforts of home or amongst the crazy daily schedule that we all live.
For the past couple of weeks we have been planning a family night at the church provided by the missionaries of Villegas, and this past Friday, as we had planned the activity turned into an amazing experience! We had set a start time of roughly 7:30 and had everything set up in the building to watch the Restoration film on the prophet Joseph Smith. (thanks to the ingenuity and brains of my wonderful comp Elder Man) So in the afternoon we were thinking of something to bring and enjoy at the party. Since our oven wasn't working a cake was out of options, but we did have a healthy supply of eggs, flour, and milk. Thanks to my short time with Elder Brock I have been able to add Crepes to my short (very short) list of things to cook. Elder Man and I took charge in a small kitchen and quickly whipped up about 50 crepes! Then creatively, utilizing dulce de leche we made ourselves some healthy crepe tacos desert thingys that looked pretty good and tasted delicious.
Unfortunately, during our cooking process some dark rain clouds began to settle in, and as in most parts of Argentina the rain easily frightens away the Villegan crowd so my doubts began to grow as to the success rate of this activity.Fortunately as we began to set up some tables and chairs the skies cleared and a bright shining rainbow arched throught the heavens, Villegas was going to have us an activity!!
The Ojeda family was the first to arrive and with their young circus of 5 kids under the age of 10 is was quite the circus to keep their hands offf the enticing cheese pizza. I resulted to trying the many games we would use with my young counsins and found some success in teaching them how to play 'Down by the Banks'. It was a fun time just sitting there on the tile floor, I love kids and miss rolling around with my younger siblings and cousings.
As more and more continued to show up the smile on our visitying Branch Presidents face kept growing and growing. President Castilla is an amazing man who makes countless sacrifices for the church and the welfare of the large vineyard he has been assigned to watch over. he kindly offered his small car to go and search for more members who found themselves far away, the little activity was turning into a FIESTA!
After beginning with a work of prayer Elder Hanson and I took the rolls of bar tenders and served up the drinks. By the end of the night people kept coming up and asking Elder Man for directions on how to make crepes.. It's actually a secret recipe in which the main ingredient is faith and a large side of winging it. It was very rewarding to see everything come together and have 30 people within the walls of the church enjoying one anothers company and the food.
After dinner we settled into the other room and enjoyed the Restoration movie on the prophet Joseph Smith. Through media I often find my testimony of my Savior growing upward, I know that he called Joseph Smith, a mere farm boy to one of the greatest works this world has ever known. The work of restoring the gospel to the families of the earth in helping those who have desires recieve the blessings of heaven in this the final dispensation of times. It is this same work that we all find ourselves in, the work of bringing to pass immortality and the eternal life of man. Little by little, precept by precept our Father in Heaven calls the weak things of the world and through the love of His Son, Jesus Christ, helps make us strong. All of us are his children, and all of us have the divine potential of becoming like him. I'm ever grateful for this blessing of serving a mission and taking part in this work. I Love you and hope you can enjoy this coming week, thanks for the support and prayers they are always felt.. Love ya'll Elder Larsen
Family and Friends.. How´s everyone holding up in the cold temperatures of a Utah winter?? Not going to lie.. pretty jealous of the snow stories I´ve been hearing about.
This past Thursday, Elder Man and I found ourselves on a lonesome dirt road pretty far out in the boonies. The sun was shining with a few dark clouds in the distance and we were having a good chat about life, Practicing a couple new Spanish words when suddenly a deep rumbling noise began to sound from behind us.. I looked back expecting a truck to be coming up the road but to my suprise found nothing. Elder Man and I stood there a little puzzled when suddenly the pieces clicked in our head the rumbling noise was the rain pounding on the trees and bushes as it quickly gained momentum. We were being chased by a tropical rain storm, and it sounded like a doozy..
Elder Man and I began to run down the road like a couple of crazy Americans do in the back roads of Argentina when suddenly a loud whistly sounded from the distance.. We looked to our left where a young family was calling us over.. Grateful for the support we took off in there direction until we found cover under their metal roof. The next 20 minutes we just kind of stood there amazed at the power of the rain and how this storm literally came out of no where...
The amazing family then invited us in to their kitchen where we able to sit down and introduce ourselves. The Lopez family, as they´re called, are some of the most down to earth amazing people I´ve met here in Argentina. They recently moved here to Villegas and have actually never met with the missionaries.. We were able to teach them about the importance of families in this life and the amazing plan our Father in Heaven has for us. Using some little drawings we laid out the Plan of Salvation and taught a really cool lesson to this amazing family.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I´m grateful for the blessing he gave Elder Man and I that day in the rain, the Lopez family. Thanks for the support and love, hope everyone is enjoying the snow!!
Love you guys, Elder Larsen :)
Last week was quite the experience that I´m ever grateful for even the cleaning of the font. Actually just the whole experience of being here in Villegas has been an incredible blessing and being able to take part in this transformation of having the church here again.
Recently in our mission our President has taken a large iniciativa in helping us have more courage in talking with people, it has been fun to not only see the results here in Villegas but also across the Rosario Mission. I have learned that the goal of my mission is to find out who I really am, and I now know that I want to be a disciple of Christ.
We call ourselves ¨the Villegans¨
yes we are still a bunch of teenagers living in an apartment and we like to have fun :)
It has been quite the past couple of weeks, full of spiritual highs. I´ll do my best to share the good news of living the gospel of Jesus Christ down here in General Villegas :)
Elder Manwaring, my new companion from Georgetown, Kentucky is probably the funniest, most faithful youngman I know. An example of his true dedication to the work came last Monday when he shared the most heartfelt testimony on the Book of Mormon beyond what someone with only 2 weeks in Argentina can share. He is a missionary above and beyond his young age in the field and his example of Christ-like charity is pushing me to show a greater love to my brothers and sisters. I am extremely grateful for Elder Manwaring, and time we have to serve together.
This past week we were able to have 2 missionary devotionals, one for the entire world and the other specifically for our Zone of Venado Tuerto. Throughout these two special conferences, what continually penetrated my heart was the desire to truly become a disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A visiting General Authority, Elder Ferriera from Chile, focused his message on the Saviors invitation to ¨Come, and Follow Me¨ In this life we first must seek Him, by putting our confidence in Him who has put his confidence in us we will find ourselves developing attributes and habits that bring us closer to Him. We find ourselves COMING. After, or even during this process of discipleship, we need to start LIVING or rather applying the way Christ walked into our daily life. Here on the Earth our Father in Heaven is looking for, and needs more disciples of Christ. True Disciples who are willing to come, to come and stay. To truly live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, doing our best to walk, teach, love, and serve how He served. I am forever grateful for this oppurtunity in my life to serve as one of his representatives here in Argentina. I love what I am doing, and I pray to continue walking and learning about this path of discipleship throughout my life.
This past Sunday we were able to participate in the sacred ordinance of Baptism. As shared earlier, Santiago Ojeda, a young 10 year old boy wanted to follow the example of his mom and be baptized. Yesterday Santiago Ojeda was able to be baptized, not only following the example of his loving mom but also that of our Savior. The Ojeda family is an incredible example to me of God's love for his children. One month ago the church and it´s blessings was not here in Villegas, but through the eteranal love our Father has he was able to prompt our mission president, President Zanni, in re-opening the Church of Jesus Christ here in General Villegas. Our Heavenly Father´s love is endless, he loves you and he wants you to be happy. For that reason he has given us the teachings of his Son Jesus Christ, to help us find peace and true happiness in this life.
I love what I´m doing and I love all of you.. Keep on Keepin on :)
We didn't get a full email from Makord this week, but here are some pictures and pieces of emails we got! He and his companion picked up two new missionaries, so now there are 4 missionaries in General Villegas.
The goverment pool here in Villegas, that you and Mavrik saw through google earth, is a really cool place. General Villegas is the most family oriented place I´ve ever been in here in Argentina and those are 2 huge pools near the lake. Elder Brock and I took a walk around it one of his last nights.. Kind of special memory for me.
I LOVE the spanish influence in Stake Conference. Our President of the Area, President Gonzalez is from Uruguay and wouldn´t be suprised if he was the one who spoke this past week. Soy un Hijo de Dios.. I am a Child of God.. one of the best Hymns out there has been fun to learn and memorize in another language. Pretty cool to see how we can connect with people all around the world when we can communicate in another language, a large blessing in my life.
Argentina Rosario Mission
Elder makord Larsen