Saturday, October 29, 2011

Casi alli (almost there)


I'm gonna get straight to the good important stuff.  So lets see... mom, I got my travel papers and I leave the MTC @ 6:00 in the morning and my flight leaves at 9:50 @ SL airport.  Im flyin Delta.  So that means that I will most likely be calling you anytime around 8-9:30 or somethin around there...ha.  So just try and be ready that morning I guess.  I have a four hour layover in Atlanta, GA so I can call you when I get there also.  I am set to arrive in Atlanta @ 3:35 PM Atlanta Time so I will call you anytime around then... so just be ready anytime then i guess.  I have no clue what time I will actually be calling so...Then I leave Atlanta @ 7:50 PM Atlanta Time.  Then I go straight on a 10 hour flight to Buenos Aires and the church takes care of me from there I guess.  The are not sure if I will be flying or driving to Mendoza.  So, we'll see. 

So I am also able to bring one carry-on bag which the weight limit for it is 40 lbs and not more than 45 dimensional inches and must be small enought to fit under a seat or in an overhead bin.  It says that a backpack is a carry-on though so...I am not sure.  It says that I can bring a carry-on and a personal item.  I will ask again but it can't hurt to come and drop off a carry on bag because they are fine with parents coming and dropping things off at the front desk if it is situations like this.  I will see what I can do.  I just became a little lost in thought...Ha.  I just hope this all works out.  Maybe I should pray...

Well other things I got to do this week that I don't have time to explain because I have been looking through these other travel papers and stuff but I will give you a brief overview of this week.  It was the last week of being a Zone Leader so I was able to enjoy the blessings of that.  I was able to be a host missionary.  That was a pretty cool experience to go stand on the curb and welcome in a few new missionaries and take them around.  I had In-Field Orientation yesterday which basically consists of everything that we don't learn from the teachers in our class such as finding people and working with members.  Oh, and Elder Squires and I just got a notice in the mail that says that we have been chosen to be in a role-playing activity thing in front of all of the new missionaries next week so this should be pretty interesting to host then be missionaries in front of them.  I wish I had more time to expound on my week but time is killing me right now so I will have to tell more next time! 

Somewhat Spiritual Thought:

Well, there is this old man that just walks around on my floor where my classroom is, and I am pretty sure he doesn't even work here.  He must be a volunteer or something.  But whenever he goes into the bathroom(I happened to have been in the bathroom with him about 5 or 6 times in the past week) he without fail every time he says to the Elders "Remember Elders, the Gospel brings peace, but this room brings relief."  Ha ha.  And I'll leave you with that!  Gracias para todo su amor y sus oraciones! 

Con Amor,

Elder Deven Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Una nueva llamamiento(a new call)

Que tal?!

This week has been an interesting one.  I know it but it is going to be hard to remember and explain.  The past three weeks or so just seem like a blur to me.  It is crazy how fast time flies here.  I have already been here seis semanas and tengo menos de dos hasta salgo el CCM.  Pues, there are about two main things I remember from this week...

Well, first thing is first... Last Sunday my companero y yo were called as Lideres de Zona(Zone Leaders).  Just when I start to feel comfortable and start to smooth right in to the MTC, they call me as a Zone Leader... It has actually been a pretty big blessing this week so far because I get the opportunity to help out each member of the Zone individually and we solve problems and make this Zone the best it can be.  There wasn't any new Districts coming into our Zone this week but next week when we get a new District, we get to go through orientation with them and teach them and give them tours.  I'm lookin forward to next Miercoles y Jueves for sure!  It has been a lot more of a toll on me being a Zone Leader though.  Taking care of things in other districts often takes time out of personal or language study time and sometimes even out of class time.  I have found myself on my knees more than ever this week for help with the Zone and for help with me.  I know that God listens to my prayers.  I have already seen miracles happen here and I believe that this is just a preview of what the next two years is going to be for me. 

The second thing is that we had the amazing opportunity to hear from another apostle for Tuesday Night Devotional!  That makes it three in the seis weeks that I have been here.  One of my favorite apostle speakers, Richard G. Scott, came and addressed us on many important things that apply to us as missionaries--as should anyone that comes and speaks to us in the MTC...ha ha--.  He spoke about some of the following:

~Don't go anywhere without having some sort of pen or pencil to write and paper to jot down spiritual things anywhere whether you are walking down the street in midday or waking up in the middle of the night and have a cool spiritual impression.  He said that we can't control when the Holy Ghost works, but we can capture it.  We need to pray to the Lord to receive these feelings and help us stay worthy to do so also.  If we are casual about the spirit and don't acknowledge what it was, it will diminish. (D&C 8:2)

~Show the Lord how much you appreciate his guidance and direction in your life and he will continue to bless you more--vice versa--

~I thought this was really interesting.  A large amount of his talk was focused on what we are supposed to be doing after the mission and about finding an eternal spouse...that's weird to think about right now.  But it is very true, it is the next step in life and it should not be pushed forward.  One profound comment that he made was "Hanging Out = Idleness in Flocks."  Elder Scott said to seriously consider starting an eternal family soon after the mission, start it early, and the Lord will guide you if you follow thru prayerfully.

~I also noticed that Elder Scott always asks really good and sometimes profound questions that really get you thinking.  If you get the chance to listen to him look out for these questions and apply them to yourselft.  I need to study how to ask questions like this to help me with my teaching.

~Usually when Elder Scott comes and speaks to the MTC he takes time after and shakes every individual hand or every missionary.  This time he for some reason told us that he could not do that.  But I could still feel the genuine love that comes from him to us so it is okay. 

~The last thing that I thought was awesome about his devotional was his testimony.  The testimonies of special witnesses of Jesus Christ(apostles) are very powerful and bring the spirit like nothing else.  You can really tell that these men have testimonies where they really know and not just simply testify of these sacred truths. 

Now, as I said the last few weeks have been a blur to me so it is hard to remember anything else, especially because I have been so busy with new responsiblities.  But at least I have the important stuff down.  I also want to take this space in this weekly report to apologize to all those who I lied to in the last report.  There really is no ping pong or mtc dances here... ha ha.  Just wanted to see the reactions and let you in on some jokes we have here.

The Spanish Frase of the Week made up by the District is: Estoy in lo mismo barco-------->I'm in the same boat

I hope that comes of good use to you in your daily activities and conversations.  Thank you for your time to read this.  Thank you for all the prayers!  Love you all!

Con Amor,

Elder Larisch

La iglesia es verdadera!

Friday, October 14, 2011

If I were serving time...menos de tres semanas mas!


Looking back on this week I guess I have to say that it has been pretty good! 

On Saturday, we found out something very interesting about our progressive investigator Ernesto.  We were teaching him the last commandment before he could be given the green light for baptism the following Monday, which was Obeying the Law of the Land.  At that point Ernesto confessed to us that he was an illegal immigrant...not really knowing what to do, I just tried to make it sound like he could still be baptized, even though I didn't think he could, and told him that he would have a meeting with the mission president an hour or two before his baptismt the following Monday.  We weren't able to talk to anyone who knew the answer to if an illegal immigrant from Mexico could be baptized so we just waited to see if he got baptized.  It turns out that the church's stand on that is that they can get baptized.  I never knew that.  But I am going to count that as my first baptism--even though it wasn't 100% real. 

For this weeks Tuesday Night Devotional we had the awesome opportunity to hear from the General Relief Society President Julie B. Beck.  She is a really cool person who brought a spirit with her when she spoke.  Her topic was the importance of families and temples.  She also talked a bit about her childhood and how she lived in Brazil for a time because her Dad was a mission president.  She talked a bit about the church and missionary work in Brazil and it was cool (<--- I need to get some better descriptive words in my vocab don't I?) to hear that.  She also talked about how we relate some of the things we teach to what most people care about the most, Families.  The Creation makes it possible for God's family to be on Earth.  The Fall makes it possible for the multiplication of families.  The Atonement makes it possible so that families can be sealed and have the opportunity to be like God.  She also taught that the 3 most important lessons I can learn on my mission work around one word: Love.
1) Love your Companion
2) Love the People
3) Love your President
It may be hard for us to love some people that just do not seem loveable.  Our Heavenly Father doesn't have that same feeling about his children.

Another big thing that happened this week was a random mandatory move from residence halls.  So for about 4 hours yesterday morning, we spent moving furniture and our own stuff into a new building.  I went from being nice and comfortable in a room with just my companion and I to a room filled with 6 beds and 5 other elders.  Que malo!  But at least the showers are pretty nice in the new building.  The showers in the old building were mucho cold! 

I also found out this week that my departure date has been moved up a few days so now it is on 11/3...which believe it or not is now less than tres semanas!  Santa Vaca!  Times sure flies here in the CCM when you look back.

I am starting to see myself progress in Espanol tambien.  This week I have been able to read almost fluently from the Libro de Mormon.  Only rarely do I have to go and look up a word that I don't quite understand.  It is really cool to read the book in a language other that English also because sometimes it is worded differently and can produce new insights and look at things from a different perspective.

I think that is just about all that I have time for today.  My time is almost up.  The Weekly Spiritual Message is a bit out of order today.  You can just look at the Tuesday Night Devo parrafo for this week.

The Frase of the Week is: "Que'es arriba?"  Simple, but straight to the point and English contraction style.  What's up?

Adios por Ahora!

Con Amor,

Elder Larisch

Friday, October 7, 2011

Post GC/Hump Week


Yes, that is right it is my hump week this week.  Officially halfway!  Well, we actually had a Devotional on Tuesday from Elder Lionel Kendrick of the setenta who said "it is important that you elders realize that you are not "serving time" here in the MTC like a prison or something, but you are here to serve the Lord on his time."  So...but if I was serving time I would be exactly halfway today!  The Devotionals were awesome this week.  On Sunday, Chad Lewis--played for BYU and helped take the Eagles to the superbowl later--came and talked to us.  He was a really good speaker and talked a lot about making the best of your mission because you "only" get two years to serve the Lord full-time at this point in your life.  Elder Kendrick also gave a really good talk about how thin the veil is when you are on your mission and the complete truth that the Savior is helping us every moment on our mission as long as we stay worthy. 

I don't know if this General Conference was the best Conference in history, but it sure felt like it here.  One thing I did that helped me get the most out of conference was to ponder certain questions of my soul and write them down.  I didn't quite know if they were going to get answered or not or what to expect.  But I know that Heavenly Father is watching over every single one of his children.  I got my questions pretty much answered in the first two or three talks of General Conference.  I'll share just a bit about some of my favorite talks.

I very much liked Elder Tad R. Callister's talk on the Book of Mormon.  The Bible itself can be interpreted in many different ways.  That is exactly why there is so many churches in the world right now, because after the death of Christ and his apostles, wicked people changed the Gospel and many other things about Christ's church.  But(here's the good stuff), put the Bible and the Book of Mormon together and you get a plain and simple truth with one interpretation(Eph. 4:5).  With these two books you get the fulness of the Gospel.  What is that?  The fulness of the Gospel is simply what a child of God needs in order to return back to the presence of our Heavenly Father with our loved ones.  I liked so much more about that talk because I have such a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I don't have enough time to talk more about it though so go watch it yourself on

I also liked Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita's (I know, I can't pronounce it either) talk on what is important in missionary work.  He told a story about an investigator who accepted the message and took the lessons just because of the appearance of the missionaries.  Loving the families is so important in missionary work.  Our main message is to tell families that they can live together for an eternity.  It is a message of love, hope, and faith.  He said to bring 3 things with you on your mission: 1) A desire to preach the gospel  2) A developed testimony  3) Love for others.

All the talks were great, and they can be insighted in many different ways.  No two people think the same exact way. 

Well an update on the week...

I am starting to eat more, solamente because the food is very good here and they have too much variety so I wanna just grab every plate and shove it down my throat.  So...if you have any dieting or self-control advice, don't be afraid to share.

The MTC dance last night was wild.  It was 80's night so I bet you could imagine how fun that was.  The dances are always the best part of the week!

Ping pong in the basement of the residence hall during free time gets pretty competitive!  We play for hours on end with all of our free time.

But really...I met a chinese austraillian elder and it was probably the coolest experience I've had in the MTC so far(well not really).  He looks asian but sounds just like any other Aussy.

Well, I'm just about out of time.

The Spiritual message of the week is found on under the General Conference tab...(I don't have enough time to write a spiritual thought this go-around).  Enjoy!

Con Amor,

Elder Larisch