Monday, December 24, 2012

Una Blanca Navidad

I hope that everyone is very much enjoying their Christmas season. I am enjoying it here in Argentina! I don´t imagine myself giving you too long of a message today, because after all, I will be talking to you a bit over Skype. Well, I am enjoying Christmas here for what it is…ha. It is not exactly the same. At least we had a white Christmas though! We had our Mission Christmas Party on Wednesday. I am going to spend the night with a couple other missionaries and my ward mission leader(Hermano Quiroga) and maybe his mom…weird.

Romina Mesa was able to get baptized on Saturday! We had a really good service. Her mom and sister showed up and got emotional as they listened to a few talks and saw Romina get baptized. We are going to try and start teaching them more and focus on them so that they can follow in the steps of Romina. I am content because I have been praying for a white Christmas. Romina will be an awesome convert! We are hoping to have the opportunity of baptizing a couple other investigators. I am not sure if they will be able to make it for this week, but definitely a few more in the coming weeks.

The mission party in Mendoza included playing football(Americano), ping pong, better food than last year, and a new tie from Hermana Ávila. It was a very hot day to be outside, but it was worth it. I don´t know how I am living right now with this kind of heat. I am pretty sure that we are going to sleep on the roof tonight(should be a bit cooler) and see some of the fireworks. Talking about fireworks, there are firework stands on the corner of every block here. It should be even better than last year. We gonna have dinner and party a little with our ward mission leader and his mom and his wife. Should be an interesting party. It is going to be an asado. I´ll send pics next week. I wasn´t able to send all of the pics I wanted this week because my incapable computer. My cell number is 2644701260 just in case. You will probably have to call it the same way as last time.

Spiritual Thought
I thought that it was really cool what Brother Smith said. I feel very privileged to be carrying upon myself the name of Christ during this Christmas season. No matter where I am, I am a set apart missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ. I love this opportunity and try and cherish every moment I have to be so close to Him and His spirit. Christ is my savior.

Take care and I´ll talkt to ya tomorrow.
Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
white christmas (Romina's baptism)
 Romina with Mom and Sister
happy post-baptism face
E. Egbert sleeping by church
white plaque
sunday meetings

Monday, December 17, 2012

Una semana joya(joya means very good or awesome in this sense)

An awesome week! It just feels like we did a ton and are also seeing the fruits of our labors. I love it when that happens. December is known for being one of the least succesful months of the year for the mission because of so much preparing for the fiestas that are going to happen at the end of the month(many would imagine the opposite because everyone is thinking of Christ at this time of year but...), but we are having lots of success finding people. This year we are going to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS! Ha. Romina Mesa is going to get baptized this Saturday. We had 7 investigators in church yesterday(very good number). Christmas is coming up! (8 more days!)

Gosh, it feels like this year has just flown right by me. I told you that the time would just be a blink of an eye mom. That`s awesome that Buster came home this week? How is he doing? We, in our ward, have also had a few homecomings this past week. Two arrived on Friday afternoon here to San Juan. He served a good mission. You can tell because when he saw us in church at 9:00 he ran over to us and told us he wants to go look for investigators with us to bring to church. Ha. I guess here, all the return missionaries do is give their testimony the week they get home. It is not a homecoming talk or anything big. I gave my first talk in this ward yesterday and it went pretty well. We also had 7 investigators show up for church. We have a lot of people that we are working with right now. True happiness comes when you work hard and are obedient. The blessings just flow as you keep noticing(counting) them.

The best news is that Romina is going to get baptized this week! All she had to do was come to church one more time(and not sleep in) and feel the spirit and the love to help her out with the decision of baptism. The service got announced in Sacrament Meeting so it is looking pretty sure. There are a couple others that may reach baptism in the next few weeks like Mabel Garcìa, Javier Flores, and the Kim Family(Koreans). Each person has their own needs and doubts which come with time so we are going to do the best we can with our teaching and prayers so that they can reach baptism in the next few weeks.

The 25th sounds great to me. We are planning that my comp will get on Skype at like 2:00 here(10:00 there) and I can get on right after at like 3:30(11:30 there). I think that is going to work out best for us. We don`t have sure plans for Christmas(Eve), but it sounds like we are going to go over to my ward mission leader`s house and party it up with a few other elders. I don`t know where we are going to go to use a computer. We will probably just use his the next day(25th). We have the big mission Christmas party this Wednesday in Mendoza. I am pretty stoked to go and see everyone and play some fùtbol americano and pong(I didn`t lose last year, we will see what happens this year ;) ). The ward is having a big cena(dinner) on the 21st and are going to do a live pesebre(nativity scene) using adults as well as the young ones. It reminds me of all the good times with Omi dressing us up and Opi reading in Luke 2 every 24th. Ha ha. Bad news, I got into my Christmas presents again this past week. I have my stocking sitting on the table in our room so it is always staring at me. I opened up a couple including the pez reindeer, socks, and balloon helicopter. Ha. I am going to make Christmas fun by not opening the things yet and playing with them on the 25th. Yes, I did receive the tree ornaments. Unfortunately, we do not have a tree up, but I hung all the ornaments on the wall above my bed. The happy birthday photo banner is also up above my bed. Ha ha. I liked that. I really really like the Christmas card a lot! Ha ha. Dad looks a lot different with this new haircut. Everyone looks great though! Maggie looks a bit more plump. Is Brooke still spoiling her with meatloaf?

It is just getting hotter and hotter here. We did service the other day and just got burnt to a crisp. We went over to a members house at like 8:00 to cut grass(yeah, it was kind of a richer neighborhood, but there was a lot of old people not being able to clean up their yard) and ended up staying till like 11:00. That is the time when you cannot just be walking around casually here, and that was when we were working the hardest to finish fast. Unfortunately, we didn`t put sunscreen on(sorry mom). But I learned my lesson, so now I will always put on sunscreen. The nats and mosquitos here are worse than anything at night. I bathe myself in OFF insect repellent often. Ha ha. I hope you are enjoying your winter.

That is awesome that Kelleen is going to Bahia Blanca!! I didn`t know she was planning on going on a mission. Is she 19 right now? I have heard very good things about that mission. It think the mission is a part of the Buenos Aires province. She is going to love being in Argentina. My advice is to not worry about Spanish at all because it will just come as she is obedient and working hard. Get involved helping the missionaries in the area first(something I didn`t do). Read the sister missionary thing that pops up when you enter into Try and find the drink mate(not pronounced the austrailian way) and drink it before you are a missionary so that you can tell everyone that you have tried it. I`m sure you can find it somewhere close.

I heard about the bad news in Connecticut just right after it happened. We were doing an ancient investigator contact and she told us to come in and and see what happened in our country. We said a prayer right there for the families of all of the victims.

Spiritual Thought
To receive a bit of revelation for the talk that I was to give yesterday, last week I listened to a lot of general authority talks. The theme that stood out to me the most came from a couple talks from last conference from E` Ballard and E` Bednar having to do with conversion. My talk obviously took that them and related it to the capacity and effectiveness of sharing the gospel daily. I really like one thing that E` Ballard challenged us to do daily in order to stay converted and have these type of missionary experiences. "There is one simple daily practice that can make a difference for every member of the Church, including you boys and girls, you young men and you young women, you single adults, and you fathers and mothers. That simple practice is: In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help. Stay focused, just like the honeybees focus on the flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. If you do this, your spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible." I have been doing this lately and have been seeing the results. I find myself being even more of an instrument in the hands of the Lord and seeing my heart change more and more closer to Him every day. Be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Well, that`s about it for today. Have a good week everyone! I will be emailing again on the 24th and then I will Skype it up on the 25th! Woo hoo!
Elder Deven
La Iglesia es verdadera
ps. Mom, I am pretty sure it gets hotter than 107 here. It said that it reached 44 celcius the other day! Holy moley!
Sweating... always
Bowling at the hiper libertad last monday

Monday, December 10, 2012

Se ve como la Navidad (It looks like Christmas)

Good Day,
Another super hot week here in San Juan, Argentina. We are in the middle of a zonda(huge and hot wind storm). It doesn`t do my eyes so good. Good thing I don`t wear contacts anymore...ha. The bigger zondas are known to come in Enero(January). We had some fun this week doing more interviews for Los Pinos(an area that is having tons of success and will probably baptize every week this transfer), learning in the conference with Elder Resec(I don`t think that is how he spells his name), an area seventy, walking aful(a ton) trying to find some investigators(families) to teach and not having way too much luck until the end of the week, etc.

Yep, we are having some big success here in the district. One of the areas(Los Pinos) just found a huge family(13 kids) that is making lots of progress. I love having lots of work to do so that it keeps us busy. The first part of our week was really hard, but towards the end we had some more miracles happen to us and now we are going to have a lot of work to do this coming week. For example, bishop Manrique called us last night after he got back from the stake priesthood meeting and told us that a guy came up to him and told him that he wanted to receive the missionary lessons and be baptized. His name is Javier Flores. He is 19 years old and married. He comes from a member family it sounds like he is really stoked to become a member... ha. Wow. I called him last night and set up an appointment for tonight with bishop. He said he was very impressed by the projection for the next year for the priesthood organization(ha. I don`t know, I wasn`t in the meeting). It should be an awesome lesson. We have had limited contact with some of our other progressing investigators. Right now Mabel Garcìa is progressing the most. She came to church again(the second time in the time that the elders have been teaching her and her family(5 or 6 months)) and liked it so we just have to work toward a baptismal date. Romina Mesa is still keeping herself very busy. She went to Mendoza for the weekend to care for her grandma so she couldn"t make it to church, but at least she brought her book of Mormon so she can finally have some normal time to herself to read more of the book and pray about it to gain the answer to whether or not it is true. We have a couple other families that are somewhat progressing. We will have to see what happens this week. Our ward mission leader, Hermano Quiroga, is getting frustrated because we haven`t seen much success lately. But I can see us finishing off this transfer with a bang!

We had another day-long conference this past week. Elder Resec came with his wife(I think he just lives in Mendoza, but he is an area seventy or something and taught us lots of new insights from Preach My Gospel with the help of Presidente and Hermana Àvila. It was really good. We are starting to see an improvement in the mission in a lot of aspects. It was together with the two zones in San Juan so I got to see E` Johnson and a couple other old friends. That was pretty fun.

Wow, we are just walking a ton in this area. Everything is just so spread so far apart so we are not getting as many lessons taught as we were in Lìbano. We are still searching for a more effective way of working in this area. My feet kill. I have gotten some of the biggest blisters. Ha ha. I was hoping we would be able to rest and go beg someone for a foot massage for P-day, but I guess we are going bowling as a zone. Should be fun anyways.

I knew something was missing from this new area. I don`t really have any dog friends. Just a couple strays that I have given names to and the ones that are possessed and want to kill us in the streets.

The 8th of December here is called Day of the Virgen. It is the day when everyone puts up lights and decorates the tree for Christmas. I tell everyone that we usually do it in November and they look at me weird. They think that South American/Argentine holidays rule the world. "It`s beginning to look(a little bit) like Christmas" here in Argentina. Let`s hope that people here will feel the true meaning of Christmas and recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ and let us seek refuge in their houses and quench our thirst with their fresh water in order to be able to share a very important Christmas message.

I can`t believe it is snowing over there. I am very jealous because it is starting to reach very high degrees here. The offices of the mission sent us an email that says that we can do Skype on the 24th or the 25th. What would be better for you guys? I have opened one more Christmas present(just because I knew what it was and I was in definite need(socks) because we dropped off our clothes on Tuesday to an hermana and we got it back on Sunday after church). Hopefully the others can wait a couple more weeks...

I will keep Mallory in the prayers. She needs to get better so that she can enjoy the Christmas season. That is AWESOME that Cade finally got his mission call! Missouri will be awesome for him. It is exactly where the Lord needs him for these next two years. There are people there now that are just awaiting his arrival. It is gonna be cool to be able to write him while he is on his mission but a bummer because we won`t see each other in a while. Is Dillon starting at all with his mish papes?

Well, thanks again like usual for all the prayers in my part. I know that they reach all the way over here to Argentina. I always pray for all my loved ones especially for my family. I hope that you can count all of the blessings. I wish everyone a general FELIZ NAVIDAD(that is Spanish for MERRY CHRISTMAS for those who don`t know).
Un abrazo,
Elder Dev Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
 New comp E. Egbert
Happy the Dog
Flia Solar
 The district
Comp Ties(E Larisch and E Johnson)
Visit from Elder Resec... San Juan and Chimbas zones together
Me and the Familia Vega

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

¡Transpirando Aful! (Sweating alot)

Dear Fam and other loved ones,

Another week has passed by. It has been filled with fun that includes: meetings, many companion exchanges, high moments with investigators as well as the low, and hey...ITS DECEMBER! AND IT IS STILL STINKIN HOT!

I may or may not be at this point of the season sweating 24/7. San Juan is just a treat in the summer. This area has been awesome in the aspect of the ward, but they don`t have a set "do the laundry for the Elders and receive many bounteous blessings" plan here. I don`t like that. With my sweating all the time I am most likely going to need laundry done more often. I miss that from Lìbano. Ha. But hey, good news is that I am still alive and breathing.

We have had awesome appointments with investigators and met awesome new families despite all of the families that are falling. That is just how missionary You take and work with the good families and plant seeds and leave be the families that aren`t quite ready yet to hear the restored gospel. We got into Romina Mesa`s house and by the end we put a fecha bautismal(baptismal date) for Sunday after church because our ward mission leader just wants her baptized because she is so ready. Like always, the opposition of the enemy comes in. We found out she has epilepsy and had some pretty bad convulsions Friday night and has been in bed for a while now. We think she will be all good to go for this week though, even though she has work on Saturday(we will have to work something out). Mabel Garcìa(wife of Alfredo, a recent convert in this ward), has been known as an awesome investigator for months and months but never came to church but yesterday she finally came and loved it all! She will be a near future baptism. The cool new family of the week is the Family Camargo(I think they are related to the Family Camargo that we rented from in Lìbano). They are a family of 7. They have 3 boys(15,14,13) that are pretty interested and are going to start getting involved in mutual with the ward and we gained the confidence of the parents on Saturday when they let us in their house. Hoping for the best with them. Oh, and how could I forget about one of the coolest families that I have met in the mission. They are a Korean family that some other elders are handing over to us. They have their part a bit later.

I have been doing a ton of companion exchanges with my district in my first week here because I wanted to get to know their investigators and also to get some more baptismal interviews done. The other Elders in my district are E` Meyers(Texas), E` Fraughton(Pleasant Grove, UT), E` Villegas(Viña del Mar, Chile), and E` Gòmez(Colombia). They are all hard working elders(both companionships baptized this past weekend). I don`t ever remember introducing my new comp E` Egbert very well either. He is from Sandy, UT and went to Hillcrest. He said that he knew Aubrey Duncan so we have a mutual friend already. He ran track and stuff in high school. He is 19 so he left on the mish just right outta high school. He has almost 7 months in the mission.
We had a couple meetings this week including a zone meeting yesterday right after the weekly zone leadership meeting(we didn`t even get to proselyte or anything yesterday because we were in a different far chapel for the whole afternoon). In Argentina, you spend a good amount of your life just waiting for buses. The transportation system could be greatly improved here. I love Argentina, but some governmental things could definitely be helped. We have a special conference tomorrow from E` Resec(I think he is an area seventy or something), the replacement for President Arnold(he got busy or something and cancelled). Should be good!

I got the letter from Gpa and Gma this week with the Christmas letters in it. Thanks fam! I also wish a Felices Fiestas(Argentine Style) to all my loved ones. Remember the true meaning of Christmas though!

Mom: No I have never been robbed. I liked your dream a lot. It made me laugh out loud a lot. I will spend some time pondering and praying about it to find out the significance. I bet you and grandpa are just looking forward to my homecoming even more! ha ha.

Somewhat Spiritual Thought:
This week with the big situation with the Kim(Korean) family I learned something new(or better) about a principle of the church. The situation is that the Kim Family lives right on the limit of the two stakes(Chimbas and San Juan Nuevo Cuyo), not only on the limits of two different wards. The street that divides them is also the division from Capital(Downtown San Juan) and Rivadavia. The Elders from Libertador Ward(the zone leaders from the other stake that I came from) have been teaching this family for 3 months and baptized half the family. They did not realize that this family was not within their limits until a day before their baptisms and they didn`t want to bitter them or ruin anything before. We are now just starting to care for the problem. The Hermano invited us over for a Korean asado(BBQ), the which was one of the most desirable things that my mouth has ever known. That night we focused our efforts on teaching them that we belong to a church of order. We are not counseling your family to attend the Rivadavia Ward just because you belong geographically to the city of Rivadavia and also pertain to the boundaries of our ward, but it is because this church is a church of order and God expects that we are obedient to that heavenly law. A bishop is not authorized to receive revelation for members out of his limits. The members will not be able to serve fully in a calling if it is not the ward that they pertain to. I actually did not think of it as that big of a topic, but when we look at it with the eyes of God we understand that even the littlest things go towards if we are obedient to the laws of God or disobedient to the laws of God. We are praying for the Kim family to understand this principle because the parents are not even baptized yet and it will be a lot easier for them if they just make the switch right now. I also pray that we can all notice even the smallest signs of disobedience so that we can show the greatest amount of gratitude and love towards our Heavenly Father. "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

I love you all and wish upon you good health and happy holidays. Keep Christ in your Christmas tree this year. Ponder that last sentence, I just came up with that.
Un abrazo,
Elder Deven Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
ps. Enjoy the tons of pics. We found a great place that has faster computers.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Wow, I am just super stoked to be in this new area in a totally new environment even though I moved just right next to my old area. I have the coolest ward ever! We are going to have just a bunch of success with how everyone wants to help us out. I am really looking forward to this transfer. My comp is awesome and speaks spanish like a champ. We don´t have any dogs(what a shame, I will have to find some and make them my own), but we have a pair of lovely women just below our apartment(don´t worry ma, it is just a little chiste(joke). I will hopefully show ya some pics next week. I miss Líbano Ward, but it was a pretty smooth transfer.

We had some great success in just the first week of this transfer. I had to run around doing some interviews for Los Pinos, another area in my district, because they are just baptizing a ton! I know that Heavenly Father has sure prepared a lot of His children here in this zone to hear this message and change their lives. We almost had a baptism this weekend, but this lady was working a lot so it will have to be this weekend. Her name is Romina Mesa. I still haven´t met her yet because we have been on exchanges already every time that they have gone over there. Ha ha. But I hear that she is just awesome and has a huge testimony of the gospel. We have visited other families and it looks like we just have a ton to work with. We had 5 investigators come to church. Our ward mission leader is a stud and helps us out a ton. We also have 4 ward missionaries that help us out a lot! Rivadavia, my new area, is a bit more on the high end than Líbano. There are a lot of richer neighborhoods because it is closer to downtown San Juan. The members here feed us suuuper well because they are a bit more well off. I am okay with that. We have Walmart in our area. The institute that all of the youth in San Juan attend is attached to our chapel. So we have instant access to pool and pong. We live right under a panadería(bakery), so most of the time(mornings and nights mainly), there is a sweet aroma of freshly baked bread flowing throughout the apartment. It is lovely to sleep to. Our bishop is a pretty good guy. From what people have told me(gossip), he is an "okay" bishop. Our stud mission leader knows that very well so he basically makes the decisions for the ward, when it comes to missionary work,and just says that the bishop trusts in him. Ha ha. My area is a lot bigger than my last area so we have to take a lot more colectivos(buses) around everywhere. The attendance in sacrament meeting is an average of about 120(much better than any ward I have been in). What is the normal average of the attendance in our ward every week? Curiosity. The bugs are really starting to come out now so I am starting to apply the spray even though I am already covered with bites. Elder Egbert is a super awesome missionary. He speaks the language like a pro. He took like a million years of spanish before the mission so I think that may have helped him out a bit. Elder Johnson emailed me and told me that he got robbed by Elisabet´s house(well, it was known to be one of the most dangerous parts of our area) the other day. Ha ha. He said he wanted to punch them but he got a spiritual prompting to not do it(probably because he would get sent home or something), so they got away with his watch. I can´t believe I missed that part of my son´s life! What a shame!

Thanksgiving...Well, sadly it was not that great of a holiday here. It was still a bit loco because we were getting all accustomed due to the transfers the day before. We tried to buy a pavo(turkey) from the carnecería near our apt, but the smallest they had was a pavo for 3 kilograms for 140 pesos. Now what poor missionary is going to be able to afford that? I celebrated by calling my elders in my district to express my gratitude towards them even though I had not even met them yet. I think the Navidad will be a bit better of a holiday. I am sure that there will be members fighting over who wants to have us in there house to pass the holidays with them because they are all so great...and rich. Ha. I can´t believe that it is just around the corner already. We are gonna be talking over Skype again for the second to last time! I hope we can find a good spot unlike last mother´s day, that doesn´t pause and drag. I am super stoked. I may or may not write a poema de la Navidad for you guys to enjoy. I wish I could send some presents home or somethin! I saved the rest of my Christmas for the 25th, so at least I will have something.

I am glad you guys had an awesome thanksgiving. I don´t have a ton of time to reply(sorry), but I will get to it next week!

To add somewhat of a spiritual thought at the end of this letter, I will throw down a scripture that I really like and I use often in lessons. It comes from D&C 130:20-21
20 There is a alaw, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any ablessing from God, it is bybobedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

We learn the importance of the heavenly principle of obedience. I add my testimony to the truthfulness of this scripture. We can receive specific blessings if and only if we are obedient to the commandments of God. God made the plan this way so that idealy, as long as your are keeping each and every commandment by faith, you will never get lost and wander away from the iron rod into the dark mist.(1 Nephi 11) Grasp to that rod with all that you have, no matter what the circumstances whether they be if a friend makes fun of you, if the situation appears to be too hard, or even if obedience seems impossible. God will never make any commandment impossible to obey(1 Nephi 3:7). So go about knowing and obeying the commandments that you have in front of you so that God can open the heavens and pour out bounteous blessings upon your head and the head of all your family.(Malachi 3:10). I love you all a ton! Always rememberin ya in those nightly prayers. Thanks!
Un abracito,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
Sorry I could not send any photos. I will try again next week. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

¡Me Voy!

WOW! (Que lástima pero adios)

What an awesome week! Full of miracles after miracles, then a little more, and to end off with a couple cherries on top. I have got lots of thanking my Heavenly Father to do from this past week. I have got lots of news to tell ya just like every transfer week! But this one is even better. Let´s see, we had some of amazing(spiritual) lessons with our investigators when I was there and when I was absent. I have been running around like crazy trying to do interview and exchanges and stuff to get all of these baptisms in the district complete. It is way awesome working with so many more people, because that just means that you are going to have another reason to rejoice when they take the step of getting baptized. In my area we baptized two this week and in Rawson(another area in my district) they are preparing services for this Tuesday night and Saturday night. We are just finding lots of success here right now. That is why it is kinda sad to say that....I´m leaving my area! I´ll keep it a bit of a surprise until a little later in the letter. Every companionship in my district baptized this transfer. We had success! We will be having a huge ASADO today at our place, and tomorrow we will probably have pancakes and stuff before district meeting. We deserve to celebrate a little bit.

Yeah, we have been way too blessed this week! Yuliana Acosta and Elisabet Rodriguez finally both got baptized! Yuliana was kind of a last second happening. We had more or less planned on it this week, but bishop wanted to come with us and meet the family better because the family is inactive and hasn´t been showing much support for their daughter, but(the appointment that I wasn´t there) bishop went with E´Johnson and E´ Garcia to go and visit them to see if she was ready. Apparently they had a super awesome, spiritual visit(one of those where everyone is crying at the end, especially E´Johnson(ha, just kidding, but seriously)), and bishop was okay with her getting baptized this week(he was actually the one that baptized Yuliana). E´ Johnson even gave his first priesthood blessing in Spanish to Yuliana´s little sister, Aldana! It is pretty cool, because that is one of the things we talked about in studies that morning, so I believe the spirit had his hand in the choice of our studies that morning because E´ Johnson was prepared! Elisabet Rodriguez(Alaniz is actually her last name that she uses) has been ready for baptism for a while but she has just been super sick for like the past month! She decided to go through with baptism this week because she was starting to feel a bit better. Even with all of the problems she is facing with her husband, Omar(who was actually the first investigator in that house and the one we contacted in the street first to get into the house but who is now hiding from us and/or is always busy working so he has no time for us). I think they are trying to get separated, but no worries, the Relief Society of Barrio(Ward) El Líbano to the rescue. Elisabet wasn´t able to get confirmed yesterday because she couldn´t even get out of bed. Hopefully she gets better soon so that she can get confirmed and all can move smoothly.

The other big news of the week is TRANSFERS! I am going to leave my area only to go to the zone right next to San Juan called Chimbas! The area that I am going to, Rivadavia, we drive through to get here to use internet every week. It just borders the area that I am in now so it really isn´t that far of a move. Ha ha. My new companion is going to be Elder Egbert. He came in the same group as Elder Johnson, so he just finished training. Chimbas is a zone known for its success, so I am ready to go and put in my penny´s worth. I am looking forward to a great next few transfers!

Dang, I told you that I was going to prepare some type of Eulogy for Elder Johnson. Well, I could talk on and on about this fellow. He has taught me so many things in these past two transfers such as patience and charity and brotherly kindness because he has been such a burden for me.....ha ha! Just kidding. But really, I have learned a plethora of things from this elder. He has been one of those missionaries so easy to get along with and work together with. I congratulate the mother on the success that she has had with this boy. He is a great missionary and will even do bigger and better things further in the mission. He has progressed a ton in these 3 months in his teaching skills and spanish. He has always had the confidence so it is easy for him. I will miss this kid, even though I will probably see him often here at the cyber every week and maybe on the borders of our areas. Ha.

I will also miss this area. I can´t believe that I already am moving on to my 4th area in the mission. It just flies by. El Líbano has been an awesome area where we have had a lot of success. I thought I was going to escape San Juan and go somewhere a bit cooler in the summer for at least december and january but it looks like I get to enjoy the heat. Ha.

That is so awesome that Cade got his papers in! I will surely be expecting to hear where the Lord sends him. I´m praying for at least Spanish speaking if not Argentina.

I put lots of pictures on your Walmart account mom. I hope you are able to receive pictures okay this way. For some reason it is not letting me attach anything to this email. What a shame. I´ve just been taking so many lately for some reason. I accidentally carried around the camera a few times when I was proselyting so you get a back-stage view at what we exciting!

Well, we have got to go get started on our asado because I am starvin marvin right now. I´ll talk next week to let you know about my new area and comp.

Thanks for all you do in my part. Family and friends always have a part in my nightly personal prayers. Love y´all.
Un abrazo,
Elder Dev Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Dang, this computer is freezing up on me a ton! I don´t know how much I am going to be able to get over to you today. We have some pretty sweet pictures this week...and still many from last week that I wanted to get off. Well, it will just have to wait till when I get home and we can check them all out on the computer. Ha.

It wasn´t too bad of a week. Even though we got some the best numbers that we have this transfer, I still don´t feel like we did that much. Sadly, this is one of those weeks where there is not a ton of highlights. But hey, I´ll try and conjure up what I can think of. I received the Christmas package already! The zone leaders must have passed by the offices in perfect timing to pick it up. Well, it is here a little early... and due to a lot of peer pressure(I do not recommend opening packages around wild missionaries) a couple gifts may have accidentally been ripped open...Thank you for the pajama pants(I promise I won´t wear them until Christmas Eve to keep the tradition going), for the Andes, for the Sour Patch, and also for the CD´s from Gma and Gpa. That was all that I was tempted to open. I will try(the hardest that I can) and save the rest for Christmas(except the present for my comp, because I will probably only be with E´ Johnson for like one more week, and I think he deserves a little gift or something for all this time putting up with me. Ha). We got a baptism in Rawson(my other boys in my district) this past weekend! E´ Johnson and I attended and helped them out a bit. It was an awesome service! The rest of the family of this lady is going to be following close behind. Same with a couple of our investigators...Elizabet has been super sick these past few weeks so we have not been able to have as much contact with her as we are needing for her to get baptized and Yuliana´s family did not come to church with her yesterday so that is going to be complicated. We are going to be working our butts off again this week, especially because it is the last week of the transfer, to get these people baptized.

Well, this may or may not be my last week working in San Juan. I´ve already got 4.5 months working here so Pres is most likely going to send me off to some other far off land. Next week I´ll probably give you my thoughts and feelings of San Juan and the news of transfers. Along with a Eulogy type thing for E´ Johnson because he has been such an awesome, grade A compañero.

I am pretty bummed that I can´t send any of these pictures to you this week. Oh well, just wait for the next week.

I guess we had some cool experiences this week. We met some very prepared people to receive us just by doing our "open the mouth´s" in the streets. I "opened the mouth" with this guy yesterday in front of his house. We were in a trio because we had one of the youth of the ward with us. He was a very intellectual man that wanted to teach us something about the philosophy that he knew and some of the cool scientific studies that have been done to prove that God exists. It was very interesting stuff, but I knew something that this man was not familiar with yet. The restored knowledge of Gods great plan of happiness that we gain from the Book of Mormon. This man was also fascinated by the map of God´s plan that we have in our brochure things we hand out. We gifted him a book and he willingly invited himself to church and we put a baptismal date with him and a return date for today, Monday. Not very often to you meet someone in the street that prepared to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It really touched me the story of Cade´s conversion story that Grandma sent me today. Reading that story, I automatically placed myself in the situation of being one of those missionaries that arrived at his door that day, there ready to teach him. I here so many conversion stories(almost every day), but when it is the conversion of my own family it has a higher meaning and feeling to it. Cade is going to be an awesome missionary.

I love hearing all of this missionary news coming from the home ward. I can´t believe that we have 17 missionaries out right now! Incredible! I heard a cool fact that after Pres. Monson made the missionary age reduction announcement, the missionary applications sent in weekly went from 700 to 4000! The dream of Nebuchadnezzar(Daniel 2) is being fulfilled. The stone cut without hands is filling the whole earth!

That is AWESOME news that Kim is cancer free! I have been praying faithfully for that. Now we just have to keep the continual prayer to make sure that the baby girl is healthy.

I don´t yet have plans for Thanksgiving. Surprisingly it is not even a holiday here in Argentina. We will make sure that we celebrate well. I will probably be in a new area, so we may have to invite ourselves over to a members´ house or something and have some chicken(because turkey is very hard to find here), unless grandpa doesn´t mind sending me some of that dark turkey that he makes every year in a little package or something along with some mashed spuds.

That´s all for this week. Thank you for all the heartfelt prayers in my behalf and in the behalf of all other full-time missionaries. Here is another cyber-hug from...
Un Abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chistes o Dulces (trick or treat)

Hello! ¿Chistes o Dulces? (Trick or Treat)
Wow, what a week! It is a love/hate relationship with that exhausted feeling I get towards the end of every week. I feel good because I am giving it all to serve the Lord, it just gets tough sometimes. This week included preparing the baptism for Elizabet Rodriguez this week, workin our butts off to get people to church, halloween, exchanges with Élder Henrie, splits with the youth, service with Hermano Núñez/asado, fast, end fast with another asado, crazy P-day at Zonda, etc. Probably the week that I have taken the most pictures on the mission. You would be proud mom!

Yeah, we worked really, really hard to get people to church this week. By Saturday night, Elder Johnson and I were basically 75% sure we were going to have at least 10 investigators at church. We fasted/prayed, hoped, wanted, and needed these people to come to church. We are working with great families that are developing their testimonies very fast but just lack the priority list. Elizabet Rodriguez is progressing a lot even though she has been super sick for the last two weeks and really haven´t been able to have way good visits, she still keeps her testimony of the Book of Mormon close to her heart. She was able to come to church only for the first hour(she even arrived a bit early) because after that, her fever started picking up a bit so she just walked all the way back home with her little kid. It shows a lot of desire and faith to walk about 45 minutes there and 45 back to only go to one meeting at church. Would my family ever do that? All she needs is a baptismal interview and she should be ready for this Saturday! Woo hoo! Then we can pick it back up with her husband, Omar. Yuliana Acosta(9) needs to come to church with her family this next week and she will be hopping in that water. Another very top prospect for the future for the ward of Líbano will be the familia Sorias(Cristián, Daisy, and a couple kids). Cristián wants the best for his family. They don´t have a church that they attend normally, so...they are looking for one. What better of a choice to increase family unity and happiness than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Cristián has a strong testimony already of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. Because they are such a great family, they are going to have even more opposition on their path towards attending the church and baptism. Élder Marsh(Riverton) told me something today. He said "The mission probably isn´t the best two years of your life, but they are definitely the best two years for your life." The two years are definitely not easy in the physical sense, emotional sense, spiritual sense, and all of those other senses, but they shape and form a missionary for the rest of their life. Very similar to what you sent me mom.

We planned Halloween to go around and play a gospel game that we made with lots of candy. Halloween is a little lot a bit different in Argentina. It is very rare to see it celebrated here because it is such a dark holiday. What happens, is that here in Argentina there are many real witches and all of that very dark stuff so it is hard to even joke about that stuff. Some don´t even understand how it is so celebrated in the United Stated. Everyone thought it was wrong that we, a couple of missionaries, should be supporting such a dark holiday. We just gave them candy and played our game, then they underdstood why we celebrate it. Ha. We fortunately were able to see one group of Argentine trick-or-treaters right before retiring for the night. We snapped a quick pic with them.

I am normally doing exchanges with my Elders at least once a week. It is such a cool experience to extend beyond my own area and help other investigators to the church and especially other missionaries(so that they can bless the lives better of the investigators). If I had time I would just write a long paragraph about all of the other amazing people that I meet on exchanges. It has also kind of become a district tradition to end a good night of work with Grido(Ice cream). Elder Henrie went all out and made an amazing batido(shake) for us. It is probably not good to have just ice cream for dinner consecutively. Ha. Oh well, at least it´s not as bad as Elder Henrie and Elder Garcia with (1 kilo of ice cream) 5 nights in a row now. The heat here doesn´t really help us with this little addiction.

This transfer we have been having a lot more service opportunities than any other time in the mission. It is good sometimes to change into other clothes and get dirty even though it feels super weird. This week Hermano Núñez wanted us to move lots of dirt in his yard and he promised us a delicious asado, and yes, it was delicious. It may or may not have been one of the most enjoyable fasts that I have done. Starting off with asado with Hno. Núñez on Saturday and ending with the flia Camargo asado on Sunday. Yum!

Definitely one of the most enjoyable P-days to this point. We went to the mountains to a place called Zonda. I took at least 150 pics so I don´t think I need to explain it very much. We are running a bit late anyways so I will let the pictures tell the story. I may or may not have to send them next week though...bummer. These computers are super slow at sending pics and stuff...

Sending lots of love out to my family. You are great! Also another shoutout to the Johnson fam. Thanks for raising such a great son. He keeps me in line. And to Riley...Elder Johnson sends a wink.
Un Abrazo,
Élder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

I am way glad to see and hear that you just had an awesome Halloween. Keep up the good work Brooke and Luberta with the 4.0´s! Hard work pays off in the future! I will keep Kim in my prayers this week. Hope everything goes well! It is awesome to receive the newsletter for the other missionaries in the ward. It is incredible to hear that we are going to have 17 in just our ward out in the world serving the Lord in full-time. I haven´t worn my contacts since my first area and my glasses are holding very well and still in tact. I clean them well every day. Glad to hear you are starting to get ready for Christmas with the lights on the house already. I would say that we are also preparing for Christmas, but we have actually been listening to Christmas music since last Christmas.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Día Mundial de Servicio (World day of Service)

Hey there! How is everyone doing?

We had another super busy week here like always. Some of the main events were zone conference, world service day, and a baptism in Líbano B.

Dang! Are you serious, the Giants took it this year? What did Detroit have that let them get so far? River Platte and Boca(the two big teams from Buenos Aries) played yesterday and had a draw. We accidentally got a glimpse in a few houses as we were proselyting. Ha.

It has kinda been a tough week. We got disappointed many times for people not keeping their commitments or not even being home to teach them. It has taken some patience for the both of us, but we know that it is just another one of those "trials of faith" that Heavenly Father is putting in our path so that we can become stronger. I just know that if the mission was easy and if we were baptizing every week, we wouldn´t even be able to learn anything or pass any real hard times. So...I, in a way am grateful for the opposition that we are battling against because it makes us turn to the Lord more and seek His help.

We are still working with Elizabet and Omar even though we have been visiting sparingly this past week. Elizabet has a testimony of the Book of Mormon because she has read the entire thing and prayed about it. The enemy now is just doing what he normally does and attacks in the precise moment so she has a hard time following through with her baptism. Omar still needs a testimony. They should get baptized on the 10th for sure! Just need lots of faith-filled prayers and real conversations with my Heavenly Father to get a little more help with this situation.

Juliana Acosta(9) came to church. That is great, but we need the family to come. Right now in the mission, we are just focusing a ton on finding families to teach and baptize. Families are really the most important unit in society. Eternal life is a principle built around the family. We have a few great families that we are working with, but it is super difficult getting them to come to church for their own separate reasons. "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." We will be truly asking in every prayer that we do for families that are ready to hear the gospel. Miracles happen!

Yep, we had zone conference again. It feels like we have it all the time. I still don´t know how president and the assistants do it. So we were all together at the stake center for all of Friday for that. President focused a lot on ch. 10 in Preach My Gospel and the assistants taught us about how we should be working with our area books and our agendas. Zone conferences are always great opportunities to learn.

Supposedly it was World Service Day on Saturday. I am not sure if it was a church thing or some sort of holiday, but we spent all morning doing service. It was pretty sweet! We split up as a stake and cleaned up like 3 plazas really well! I had part in planting trees, cleaning up leaves, painting light poles, having fun on the teeter-totter, and digging some holes. It was a really fun and charitiful activity. I will try to get some pics to ya.

I did my first baptismal interview this past week for Cecilia Dominguez(Líbano B, the other elders in the other half of our ward), who now is one of the newest members of La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días. She was super prepared and just ready to get baptized. Her mom wants also wants to get baptized, but is not yet prepared so it may be a week or two. We weren´t able to go to the baptism because we were still doing service, but I heard it was a great baptismal service.

Well, Halloween is this week...We don´t have too many plans. We are just going to try to go to as many houses as we can on Wednesday and share a cool message(I still am not quite sure how we can share a Gospel Message when we are trying to focus it on Halloween...) and give out tons of caramelos(candies) to the kids. Halloween isn´t really a holiday here, but you can find a couple people here and there that will probably want to celebrate a bit. Should be fun. I don´t know what I am going to be yet, I will probably just take Mallory´s advice and be a missionary. I am only going to have to ask mom to send me that one tie that I wore to my first homecoming dance(white and orange) on super-express shipping for Halloween. Ha.

Un abrazo cariñoso,
Elder Deven Larisch
La Iglesia es verdadera and I´ll be looking forward to seeing mom and dad´s halloween costumes...
 Day of service...

Monday, October 22, 2012

¿Día de la Madre? (Mother's day)

¡Buen Día!
What up chicos? How is everyone doing eh?
Another good week in Argentina. We had some fun activities go on this week including our trip to Mendoza, exchanges with my district, and argentine mother´s day.

We took another one of those nice, long bus rides all the way to Mendoza. I was able to get through the whole book of Romanos in the Santa Biblia and still have enough time for a little siesta to rest my eyes. I was accompanied by my loyal companion Élder Johnson and a bunch of the newer missionaries on the bus. Élder Johnson and I got to do some proselyting in plain centro Godoy Cruz. A little bit tougher than here in San Juan because the people are all way busy there. We slept over at the big office pench(pension) and I got to go and hang out with the senior missionary couple in our mission, Élder and Sister Ence(they are from some small city up by the bountiful temple), and go buy facturas(yummy, sweet bread things) for all of the others that were doing trámites (paperwork) with us so we didn´t go hungry. It was kinda a long day, but I got through it.

Starting to get accustomed to the district leader stuff. Had a pretty good district meeting on tuesday with getting my Élders all excited to go get work done and be super successful in their missions. I went to Rawson(another area) to do exchanges with Élder García(Uruguay) while Élder Henrie(Delta, UT) went to my area with good ol´ É Johnson to do miracles! And that is just exactly what happened. I swear that every time we do exchanges, we get boosted with extra spirit juice or something that just leads us to amazing people and helps our investigators to progress even more. É García and I visited their top three families. In the first family(La familia Sanchez), the woman can´t get baptized because her boyfriend(for 20+ years, multiple children) doesn´t want to get married yet until he knows he really wants to be with her...ha! She is going to pray to God specifically about if she needs to separate herself from him or if there is a chance of getting married, so she can finally get baptized. In the second family(La familia Guevara), there were some investigators that weren´t really progressing that well or fast, but we found the niece of one of them who was going through a lot of problems. We don´t know exactly what we did or what we taught in that lesson, but she had a change of heart. She wouldn´t even look at us when we first entered the house, but by the end she was participating actively and wanting to go to church and get baptized so that she can leave the live she is living now behind her. I love that part about the mission. Just seeing what the Lord can do in anytime from a few seconds of changing the heart of one of his children. Cool stuff! We see it every day! The third family(La familia Martinez) is the one that they had been working with most. When we got there, the dad was smoking and drinking a ton. We focused on the family and how we could help him with the addiction program that we use as missionaries. We made a calendar and everything so that he could leave these things behind. All the family but him came to church so they should be getting baptized this week! Woo hoo! I thought that maybe you could enjoy just a taste of what we are doing out here. I feel like these families are my investigators also because I am working so much with them. It is cool to see the mission from a different angle now and work with more people.

Our top investigators in Líbano, Omar and Elizabet Rodriguez were not able to come to church because they were too busy with Mother´s Day stuff, but they are progressing a ton. In the last couple visits, we have seen a love for the Gospel of Christ grow within them. Elizabet has read the whole Libro de Mormón in just a week or two, and we caught her while she was in the middle of the guide part at the end(english book of mormon doesn´t have a guide like this one, it is pretty cool). She has a couple small kids so she has been up late some nights, so when she is bored or something in the middle of the night, she reads! We are hoping to help them get baptized after church this week if it is possible.

Yep, it was mother´s day yesterday. I can´t believe that you would all forget about mother´s day like that. ha. Kidding. All of the argentine elders got to call/skype their mothers last night. Sounds like fun. Don´t worry ma, there is only two months till Navidad.

Love you all! I send an abrazo to all those that are willing to receive it!
Elder Dev Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
Super Hot!! We ate a hamburger there when we went to Mendoza this week
Hermana Camargo, our Argentine mother. We had to make her something...
21/10/2012 Argentine Mother´s Day
Shaving Mordisco and Negra
Hermana Prado always makes us use very professional looking plates when we come over for lunch

Monday, October 15, 2012

Donacion de sangre (Donation of blood)

Another good looking week here! We had some cool miracles happen to us(like every week, but maybe I will give an account of one or two of the experiences in the weekly letter), we went and donated blood again, started getting(and putting my district...) to work in my district, and we are preparing many more people for baptism(we just have to work hard so more people can reach that point).

I can already tell this is going to just be a good transfer from the first week. We worked hard(or hardly worked, one of the two) to find miracles and have success in these coming weeks. We got Elizabet Rodriguez(wife of Omar Rodriguez, other golden investigator) to church yesterday. We will have to see if that goes anywhere. They both have baptismal dates for the 27th of this month. We went and ate breakfast with them yesterday morning to make sure that they would come to church like they had committed. Omar, sadly had to stay home because he had to wait for his sister or something. ¡Que lástima! Other awesome old and new investigators that we have are Cristián Sorias, Santiago Sosa, and Juliana Acosta. We are also trying to work more with complete families(isn´t the church all about families?) so we are trying to include everyone in the teaching as much as possible.

One miracle that happened to us started with an "open the mouth" in the street with this old guy(Julio Carrizo) sitting on the side of the road. He had the strong stench of wine(thank goodness I was never a heavy wine drinker), but he was still in tact for the most part. He was a good guy and told us to go visit his family that kicked him out because of his drinking. So went to go contact the referral but they weren't home, but as we were walking away this woman came up to us and asked us if we could come and do a prayer or something to help out her old mother(easily in her 80´s) because she is in deep depression because her husband passed away recently. So we went and gave her a blessing and directed everything towards teaching about the plan of salvation to all who were present there. It was a spirit-filled, emotional visit for them and I think they are going to let us back in to continue with more teaching. They just work a lot(biggest impediment in the progress of an investigator of the church), so we hope we can get in again soon. We went back to the house of Julio´s family and taught them also. They are really good. These people have also given us some really good referrals of families that have had someone pass away that all live on the same street. The street "Recabarren" is gonna be a good working street for us in the future. Hopefully we find éxito(success) there.

Yeah, we ended up donating blood again. On Tuesday, I was on exchanges with É Tinoco(Zone Leader) in my area visiting Elizabet Rodriguez. She told us that she is looking for blood donors because her sister-in-law needs a transfusion stat. We told her that we could do it and see if we could get more people involved also to obtain even more help. So that night, working with the Zone Leaders and the stake pres., we were able to organize a quick blood drive for the next morning with all the missionaries(except for élder Johnson because he just donated blood for one of our other members a couple weeks ago. ha ha). Even a few other members from the stake came. We were able to acquire 14 donations(pints I believe) of blood for Elizabet´s cuñada(sister-in-law). She was pretty content after hearing about how much we got done for her. It was a really cool experience to see a service project like that carry itself through.

Being a district leader is a little bit different than earlier, but it is pretty fun. I didn't know I had to direct district meeting on Tuesday already so I just made up something on the spot and did something real fast. Verifying every night takes up a lot more time which means less time for other stuff...oh well. At least I am learning a lot right+Freak, my keyboard is messed up so I don't know how to do question marks anymore. I just know that we are going to have tons of success in the district this transfer!

I'm glad that the family back home is doing well! Thanks for the conference talk! I am going to print off a couple of my favorites so I can read and study them as well as listen to them. That is awesome that Payton got baptized. Baptisms are definitely one of my favorite events to attend for sure! It sounds like Cade is just about ready to put on one of those black plaques and get out in the field right now. The sooner he gets out, the sooner I can see him when he gets back to talk about how awesome he is. Lexi already looks like a registered nurse. Wearing those scrubs, I would probably trust her taking my blood or takin out stitches or something. How come dad didn't ever dress up like Santa when I was asking girls to dances+ Thats one pretty cool dad!

Well, till next week. Keep on praying for all those missionaries in the Lords vineyard!
Un Abrazo,
Elder Dev Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
Sweet reunions with...E. Hudgens,
and E. Wixom,
and E. Toledo,
and E. Daybell!!
Isreal Street
Service project...
giving blood for Elizabet's family
break time
baptism of Nicolas Vega
and his family who came to support him
bus ride to Mendoza with E.Schirner for meetings
saying my good-byes to E. Galati  :-(
more good-byes... :-(

Monday, October 8, 2012

!Me Quedo! (I remain)

Hello there!

Well, I don´t know if I will ever be able to complete this email fully because there are so many things that I need to tell you all. Crazy week! Consisting of the Leadership Meeting in Mendoza on Wednesday morning(had to wake up at 4:00 to catch the bus), the following day was part II of the training meeting(Mendoza), baptism of Nicolás Vega, the sessions of General Conference (including the amazing news of how young men can get out at age 18), transfers, becoming a district leader, and saying goodbye to Élder Galati.

I don´t even know where to start. Well we found out transfers this morning! The Lord is going to bless me with another transfer here in San Juan. I´m staying! It is going to be really cool finishing off some of these baptisms that we have started here. We are working with some really good families. Élder Johnson has ended his training so we will now be able to go out and work in the mornings! Should be a whole new experience and we will get a lot more done.

Along with staying, Presidente is moving me up to District Leader so I will have a little more responsability as we go about this transfer. I´m going to have have latings and half gringos in my district also. Let´s hope they are all ready to work and be successful as a big team. It will be me, Élder Johnson, É López, É Rojas, É Garcia, and Élder Henry(gringo).

We also got the opportunity to go and send off É Galati yesterday at the Terminal. Oh boy was that an emotional roller coaster ride into my future. Leaving the mission is not going to be an easy feat. It makes me want to work even harder so I don´t have any regrets whatsoever by the time it touches me to leave the mish.

I feel like we just had one of the busiest week this past one! We didn´t have time to do anything because we were either running from place to place or sitting in a meeting. I´m not going to lie though, I always enjoy listening to Presidente Ávila speak to us because he never bores me and I always take pages of notes because he is one of the most inspired men I have met. I left Wednesday morning(4:00 bright and early to get to Mendoza on time) with É Shirner and É Alberro and a couple other elders from the other zone in San Juan(Chimbas). All of the leaders(District and Zone) were there in Mendoza so I got to see all of my old comps but É Wahl(É Squires, É Hudgens, É Wixom, and É Toledo). It was way cool catching up with everyone and taking sweet pics. Also learned many key things in the meeting. Slept over at the offices and waited for my comp(É Johnson) to make it to Mendoza with É Marsh(from Riverton) so we could make it to another day of training meetings. It was all good stuff!

Returning home Thursday night from Mendoza we had to bust our butts getting ready for the baptism because there were still things to prepare. We invited everything we could and made sure every little thing was prepared. The service on Friday turned out really well. They had a lot of family show up and the service was very spiritual, until the end when I sang a solo while directing the music to "Families Can Be Together Forever"! Can you believe that no one including the Bishop and Mission Leader and my comp would sing more than the voice of a little mouse? Incredible! We are going to follow through with the confirmation the next week due to the Conference this weekend.

Other prospects for the near future to enter into those waters of baptism are Omar(33) and his wife Elizabet(23) Rodriguez(both awesome!), Juliana Acosta(9), and a couple other good lookins attached to less active families and recent converts that we are workin with.

I swear that they do this on purpose! The prophet makes it so that each General Conference every 6 months just gets better and better! My favorite sessions were Saturday Morning and Sunday Morning. Top three talks(most inspiring or most useful to me) would have to be... Russel M. Nelson(ASK THE MISSIONARIES!!!!!), President Monson on Sunday Morning(received lots of grade A revelation for questions that I had), and Elder Holland(just because I wasn´t able to even take any notes on his talk because my eyes were glued to the screen, AMAZING TALK!). Actually, I loved all of the talks, but I just wanted to point a few out. I took lots of notes as usual because General Conference is one of the best times to receive revelation. If you didn´t go into Conference with any questions that you have about life or anything, write down and study your questions by using the conference talks! Some of the repeated frases or topics from this conferecence were "conversion/mighty change of heart", "Atonement", and "Built upon the Rock". There were more though. If things are being repeated a lot by general authorities, you know that if you work on those things, you will find much happiness in the future. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect, just like Him.

Wow, can you believe the cool announcements by President Monson?? Young men can now get out on missions at age 18 and young women at age 19(Lexi, Brooke, and Mallory? Ha. Study your Patriarchal Blessings and pray to ask Heavenly Father if you need to go. He answers prayers). Crazy! That changes missionary work a ton in the world. It is exactly what we need right now in the church. More missonaries! It is very evident even in my mission with about 25 missionaries leaving this transfer and only like 4 coming in. It is essential right now to enlarge the amount of missionaries in the world. I hope that all the young men that are still thinking about it, can realize that their time is running out. 18 years old is not that much. Listen to the conference talks and follow their counsel so that you will be ready and prepared to enter into the Lord´s service when he calls you. "If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work."

1 Now behold, a amarvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the aservice of God, see that yebserve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand cblameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are acalled to the work;
4 For behold the afield is white already to bharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in cstorethat he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And afaith, bhope, ccharity and dlove, with an eeye single to thefglory of God, gqualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, avirtue, knowledge, btemperance, cpatience,dbrotherly ekindness, fgodliness, charity, ghumility, hdiligence.
7 aAsk, and ye shall receive; bknock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

Don´t just memorize this inspired scripture about missonary work before leaving on your mission or doing any type of missionary service, but apply it to your life. Understand what it means to serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, as well as apply the ten attributes included in verse 6.

I love missionary work. I love being a missionary, I love bearing my testimony every day. I love living a purer life. I love blessing the lives of others through proclaiming the truth. I love feeling the healing power of the Atonement. I love my Savior. Nothin better than serving the Lord.

Thanks for supporting a needy missionary with your prayers. Love you all!
Un abrazo grande,
Élder Deven Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera!
 saying our goodbyes :-(