Monday, January 30, 2012

¡Me Voy! (I'm going)

Amados míos,(my dear friends),

Well when the six week period ends in the mission, it feels like just a little touch of Christmas each time. Transfers is like a gift that you have to wait to open until a certain time. I just barely got the news from the line of leadership. We are actually with our District Leader right now so he was able to tell us right when the Zone Leaders called him. It turns out that I will be the only one leaving in our district! The new area that I will be going to is in the zone of Godoy Cruz(definitely more of a city area), where the mission offices are, and the area is called something along the lines of San Ignacio, but Elder Hansen(district leader) said the phone was cutting out a bit so it was hard to understand. I am pretty stoked to go and experience a new area, meet new people, and have a new companion(not that I´m getting sick of Elder Hudgens...ha ha. Nah, we get along great) whose name seems to be Elder Wilson. No one in the District knows who he is so I guess I will have to give you the profile next week. I am also pretty bummed though because we were getting to know our area so well and have some really good new investigators, but "I´ll go where you(the Lord) wants me to go." I will be moving Wednesday of this week. Transfers are fun.

Oh yeah, and a big bummer is that my comp forgot his camera cord so I will not be sending you any super good pictures this week. But no worries, we are going to work something out so that he will be able to send me a flash drive or something through the mission. This week we have taken many good pictures at church with all the members and stuff. They are some of my favorites so be ready for something real good coming your way sometime soon!

Some not so good news will be that we did not get the chance to baptize Sol this past weekend because it is too soon for the family. Some of our more progressed investigators, or otherwise known as older investigators that we have had, are not quite progressing as fast as we need them to. We are starting to just kind of start off new with our good new investigators that we have adquired. Hopefully my comp and his new companion will be able to work miracles when I leave. The last couple days we have had to go despedir(say good-by) to a lot of the members that we are closer to. We weren´t able to tell them who was going to be leaving, but we basically both had to say goodbye just in case. Ha. Those were pretty hard(emotionally), especially for Lucía. She said that she will always know us as her niños and ángeles. It is really cool how close you can get to the ward here because they are a bit smaller than back at home. I don´t remember seeing the Elders very much working in our ward. It is a blessing to me that I can have so much love coming from this ward. I hope the new ward in Godoy Cruz will be just as good as Colonia Bombal.

To mom: Well, the sweat stain picture was not mine. It was from E´ Hudgens, but I just threw it on because I thought you would like it. But...this week the same thing if not worse happened to me. Ha ha. It is pretty disgusting. There is definitely a need to wash our clothes a lot, but to be honest there isn´t really too much of a way that I can wash as much as my clothes need it. Tell Grandpa he doesn´t have to send more money. Ha. Oh yeah, and about money. I took 200 Argentine pesos out of the ATM last Saturday from my Cyprus card just in case you would want to know. I don´t have much money at this end of the month because I have had to pay a bunch for bike fixes and still haven´t gotten reimbursed from the mission offices, so I had to pull a bit out of my own account. I went to try and look at how much was left in the account on the card today and for some reason it says that the checking and savings accounts are both empty. So, you may wanna check that out somehow. That´s not fun that everyone has been sick at the house, I hope everyone can get back to feeling good as new as fast as possible. I will be sure pray for good health for the fam. I can´t believe Luberta is already in drivers ed. Make sure you teach her that you are supposed to speed up when you see a yellow light!

Tell Mallory that Ailín really likes to read. She always pulls out her favorite books when I come over for Tuesday lunch and I help her read Ruana La Rana(Ruana the frog). Ha ha. I won´t be in this area when I get your package, but I´m sure there will be a plethora of little children who would love to receive candy bracelets that Mallory picked out.

Here, they have a fair every tuesday, thursday and saturday. We go every saturday to eat with one of the members in their stall that they have. Mmm, empanadas...

I really like that your lesson was focused on the small things in life. Alma 37:6-7 was one of the first scriptures that I chose to memorize in Spanish. That really is true that the small things in life are what turn out to be the big things. There are so many ways that that scripture can relate to us. Thanks for that little thought. Yesterday in church, the Principios de Evangelio teacher didn´t show up so we got to teach the class. The section was labeled Sacrifice. We had some really good discussions about how much it is worth sacrificing things to receive blessings. At the heart of sacrifice comes trust in the Lord. There are many examples of ways that we are asked to sacrifice in this life; our time, talents, and worldly possesions, to name a few. For example the law of the tithe asks us for a tenth of our income, and with that often comes challenges. A tenth of our income is no small bit of pocketchange, and it can sometimes appear that how the world runs economically today, it just cannot be done. I know for myself though, that as long as we pay a full tithe we will be blessed, whether it be spiritually or temporally. Sacrifice takes trust and faith to look into the future in the Lords hands.

Here, we have not had that many chances to do service for people. That is one thing that we surely could improve on, because it is always a great way to find new investigators. But I definitely can agree with the part about inviting non-members to activities of the church. The biggest thing in our ward now is fútbol every Miércoles en la noche. Non-members always feel much more comfortable coming to church when they already know some of the members. That is where the job of the members comes in. If the members are good and befriend the new one, it is surely going to have a very good outcome. It is like we are slowly handing them over to the ward, the only thing they need to pass through is the waters of baptism.

Don´t feel bad about the long letters. I like hearing as much as you can tell me about whats going on at home. Ha. Sorry that this one isn´t very organized. I should start outlining it or something on the collectivo so that you will be able to follow better.

Thanks for all of your prayers. I know that there are so many prayers worldwide for all us missionaries. I´m pretty sure that all of your prayers work just like fuel for a car, so just make sure you always keep filling up our tanks! :) *I don´t do smiley faces that often, so enjoy this one. Love you all!!!!
Con mucho amor,
Yours truly,
Sincerely from the deepest of my heart,
Elder Dev Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera!
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
This means that the church is true!
The biggest dog ever!

Dad is this helmut safe??

Sweat marks...Deven said his were worse!!

Couple missionaries are awesome!!

Elder Hudgens birthday cake...I love the expression of the sisters in the back..
Deven said she always makes a cake for the Elders birthdays!!

Cheers to the New Year

New Years celebration at a members home...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Una otra semana ha venido y pasado (another week has come and gone)

Querido Mío,

Well, if I were to describe the highlight of this past week with one word, it would be "numbers." A demand from the Presidente and highly reinforced by the Zone Leaders was numbers this week. More specifically, by the end of this week they wanted every companionship in the mission to have 14 New Investigators and 7 with a future Baptismal Date. Yeah, I know it sounds pretty crazy, but those are the expectations of the mission and we have to do our best to reach it. In the end, we did not end up reaching that goal, but we had the best week(dealing with numbers) yet. That just shows how imortant goals are in any aspect of life. If we set goals that make us stretch and are reachable, our performance is going to improve. I am still trying to find my way around goal setting and how to plan effectively, but it has improved drastically to this point. Goals help little things in your life progress more rapidly. Goals are a good thing.

We had a bundle of success this week and found many new good people to work with, but there was also the opposing force surely making itself widely known. To this point in my mission I have truly seen the power that Satan has over missionary work. He does all that he can to try and stop you from achieving your goals and progressing the work. He works through the sun beating down on us every day, the annoying dogs that bite you and bark uncontrollably when you are trying to teach...I could make a much longer list of this but it would take too long. I think you can get the picture. The devil sure has a pretty sure power over the goodness that we bring to all of these people. He finds ways to blind their eyes, so they cannot even take a chance and try to find to truth. The thing that we need to remember as missionaries out here is that we have a greater power. God chooses the weak and simple to proclaim his Gospel to the world so that he can strengthen them.

Marcos and Eduardo Arce are kinda being a little tough right now. They did not wake up for church this Sunday and they will not be courageous and trustworthy enough to accept another baptismal date. We really only have to teach them a few more things and they will be well on their way towards baptism. I don´t remember if I told you about Sol Zuna(11) last week, but she is basically our last chance on a baptism for this transfer. She is well set for this Saturday the 28th, but we definitely still need to keep her in our prayers to secure that. Her family is going through a hard time economically and is trying to start up some new business added on to their Kiosco in their house to make more money to support the family. We still need to talk to her dad about the baptism also, so let´s hope everything can go well with her. The more time goes by in this transfer, the more I want to stay in Colonia Bombal for next transfer also because we are getting some really good potential baptisms for the next few weeks. My favorite one is this one lady from Croatia called Marcela Pojmaevich. I can´t pronounce her name, but she is a way cool lady.

I learned a bit of Ketchwa(don´t know how to spell it...) at Saturday lunch by some people we sat next to at the fair.
Esperacho- Thank You
Nimaps- You are Welcome

Spiritual Thought:Mosíah 23:21-22

21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to achasten his people; yea, he trieth their bpatience and their faith.

22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his atrust in him the same shall be blifted up at the last day.

Trials. I read this analogy type thing that relates how God gives us trials to pottery. Mostly because I have just been missing me some pottery lately. It is quite the fun hobby, and I may or may not take it up when I come home. It goes as follows: God represents the potter and we represent his clay. It is his job to keep to world spinning. Then he has to put pressure on us for us to grow. I forgot how the rest of it goes...Just imagine the rest of it yourself. Let yourself be molded in the hands of God, and you will find growth in your life.

Thanks for everything. I´ve always got my family and friends in the back of my mind all the time. Keep them prayers coming for me and the others that I teach. Love you all

Querido amigos y familia,

Elder Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera!

Monday, January 16, 2012


This week wasn´t too bad of a week for missionary work. As I said last week, we have many new investigators and we think they have some potential. We are hoping that the baptisms for the 21st are going to work out, but some of the baptismees are getting cold feet. The ones that we committed are kids named Marcos(9) and Eduardo(13). One of our goals for this week was to find their papá, Cristian, and talk to him about baptizing his kids and see what he thinks, but he is just impossible to talk to. Half the time when we go over there he is drunk and the other half he is working in their crate business. It seems like his belief is that the kids have to reach a certain age(like 18) when they will be educated enough about the Bible to know what church to baptize in. It may be hard to explain to him that the age where children just about reach accountability and can choose in between el bien y el mal. Ojalá the future looks bright for these two chicos.

It is not the biggest goal of the mission to just go around baptizing little children everywhere you go. Obviously you are going to want to baptize the head of the household and the whole family if you can, but sometimes it is just not possible. The other day, we were just visiting and teaching the familia Zuna, a member family. Supuestamente, everyone in the household was baptized but just a bit inactive, but last visit one of the more active members pointed out that her sister, Sol(11), had not been baptized yet. Even though it is not a head of the household, it is still super exciting to have a baptism. I just recently made a goal for myself to reach at least one baptism every transfer(6 weeks). I am off to a good start with Lucía Villegas last transfer. Let´s just see if we can keep it up and get some before the 29th of this month...

Some of our newer investigators such as Mariela Godoy, Juana Silva(a.k.a. Luna), and Alejandra Espinosa still have some work to be done and may take a little longer than desired to get them baptized. But, it´s okay because the Lord has his time for everyone. There are also a few other people that are still up in the air and anything can happen. At this point that we are at in this area, we just feel almost like there are too many people to visit in such little time. That is good for us, because the harder you work, the more you will enjoy it.

This week on Thursday I went to my first Zone conference. It was basically an all day thing(they are usually just until lunch), but this one went from like 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. After it ended, I felt like I was going to go conquer the world. They gave us so much good stuff that I just felt like I could go out and do anything and just get baptisms like nothing. Ha ha. I think it may have just been a big adrenaline rush, but let´s hope I can remember all that stuff and apply it to myself to become a better missionary. Presidente Ávila and the asistentes had so much good stuff prepared.

Well...if I am not mistaken. I believe that it is someones birthday tomorrow... I wish I could do more than just wish you a Happy Birthday over e-mail. I´m going to put a little something in the next actual letter that I will send home. That is awesome that you can go to St. George with some of your friends. I hope you get spoiled a bit and get everything that you ever wanted because you deserve it because your such an amazing mother! There is no one else in the world that loves and cares about me more than you. So I think I owe a lot to ya. I hope that tomorrow will just be a really good day. Love you Mom!

I put up a few more pictures on for your enjoyment. The majority of the good ones are on E´ Hudgens´ cámara, so you will have to wait for some of my favorites until next week. It is okay that you didn´t send the study guide because as a missionary you are actually only supposed to use certain missionary books. The mission has changed since dad went because there is no such thing as a library in the oficinas that has a selección of books. We do get the Liahonas though. That´s pretty nice. I think I would also like to switch with you in climate right now. There is never a time when I stop sweating, and that is not a good story for my white shirts. They get pretty dirty fast... That is awesome that you sent a package. Just don´t do it very often because it is so expensive. Letters are good enough to make me happy.

Spiritual Thought of the Week comes from my Book of Mormon reading.

One of my many favorite stories falls somewhere in the middle of Mosíah(preferably around chapter 17). Abinadí is just one of the best representatives of the church because he is so valiant and willing to stand for what he believes in no matter what the circumstances. I would like to just tell the whole story, but I will leave that up to you. I will just tell you one of my favorite parts. In front of the wicked King Noé, Abinadí was told that he was going to be killed if he did not deny his faith. Put yourself in that situation. What would you do if someone told you that you were going to die if you did not say that your church is not true and that all of the feelings that you have felt from the Spirit are false. How much are you willing to give for your faith. There is a good cross reference in Romans 1:15 in the Biblia. I believe it is a Scripture Mastery for those who are in Seminary.

That is all for this week. Elder Larisch sends his love to all! Keep them prayers coming for me and the people that I teach. Thanks for all the support!

Con amor,

Elder Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Divisiones + Año Nuevo = Fechas Bautismales (Divisions + new year = baptismal dates)

Hello Everyone!

This week summounted to a lot more success than that of the recent previous weeks. Lets see, some of the highlights of this week were divisions on friday, putting fechas(dates) with investigators, being hotter and sweatier than anything that has ever walked this earth.

This email may be one of my shorter ones because we are going to leave the ciber(the place where we get to use the computers each week) a bit earlier this week. We had planned to go to a place called Cerro de la Gloría this Pday but I am not sure if that is going to be. I know that we are going to make tacos today for lunch though. It´s kind of odd because Argentina is not anything like Mexico and tacos don´t exist here, but we are going to try and do our best to make something riquisimo.

We now finally have some good investigators that are going to get baptized on the 21st of this month...ojalá(hopefully). We are going to do all that we can in our will to dunk these people because it will be the last chance with my comp because traslados will be at the end of this month. I don´t know if I am going to be staying here in Colonia Bombal or leaving. Since both of us came at the same time to the area(washing) it is up in the air. About our investigators though...we have la familia Luna/Silva who have investigated a while ago but have now gained a desire to be better people, Alejandra and her two chicos have a bunch of problems that we need to fix up, but we have a baptismal date for them, Mariela Godoy´s grandma just passed away, she was a former investigator who could never really keep commitments because she had to care for her grandma all the time, her personality kind of reminds me of some of my friends back home, she is pretty funny, another family, the Familia Arce is inactive and has two kids that are not baptized yet, we talked them into going to church with us yesterday. We have a few other investigators that are also doing well. We have a good, successful future lying ahead of us here.

Divisions on friday were pretty fun. I was a bit nervous because they were placing me with an elder that only has one more transfer than me(6 weeks). He is very timid and doesn´t talk very much. So Friday was basically me just going out and chatting it up with everyone. It is weird because I seemed to be a lot more open and talk a lot more when there isn´t really someone that speaks better Spanish than I do. So that was a pretty fun day for me. I was able to look at my progress a bit again of the language and see where I am at. The key is to just keep practicing talking to natives and study the language, because even when you think you are fluent, there is always still things you can learn. That is why you need to be very humble. To receive help from natives, they usually just tell you that what you are doing is wrong and their way is the right way. Sometimes it is tough, but it is really good because I want to improve. Ha.

That is awesome that Kaylee is going to have twins! Wow, there are going to be so many little great-grandchildren runnin around when I get back. Tell her and Kylie congrats. That would be fun if she had two boys, then they could get together with all of Casey´s boys and have a good time...because they are all boy twins. Ha.

It sounds like everything is going pretty good and normal back at home. And it finally snowed! Oh boy, could I sure use some of that here...ha.

I´m not sure if you can really call Mendoza third world, but there are definitely some parts of my area that could be. I am not going to put up pics this week, but next week I probably will.

Thanks for all of the prayers and all. Keep em coming. I hope everyone is enjoying 2012 as it is. Why not enjoy the last 12 months or so of living right? Ha ha.

Con todo mi corazón,(With all my heart)

Elder Larisch

La Iglesia es Verdadera!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Felices Año Nuevo!!!!!! (Happy New Year!)

This week was aight. The thing is that during the happy holidays or felices fiestas it is super hard to do missionary work. Our numbers were not very good at all and we finished the week kinda feeling like we were just lazy missionaries. Don´t get me wrong, this past week was awesome; getting to talk to the fam, going to the big mission christmas party, celebrating my comps birthday on Thursday, and so forth. So we are actually looking forward to the coming weeks to just work our butts off. Having success with your investigators and members of the ward is really the ways that missionaries receive true happiness. P-days, fiestas, and other fun parts of the mission don´t compare to the happiness of when you can bring the spirit into someones life that has been waiting for those feelings for a long time. I will be working for more of those experiences while I still have my time here in this area. The 29th is the last day of this transfer and I may or may not be leaving Colonia Bombal. Vamos a ver.

The mission Christmas party was pretty fun. I played a lot of ping pong(pride = I still have yet to lose here in Argentina) and we had a big lunch, but it was some weird food and wasn´t really the best thing that I have ever tasted. The ice cream bar after was quite ravishing though. That is one of the things that I enjoy the most here...Helado! They have some really good flavors and they sell it everywhere, although the prefered place to go is called Grido. Anyways, after the meal we had a little white elephant party where I got a cool argentine wallet(because that is what É Hudgens it was his birthday present). Then we received our packages and letters. This is where everyone received their Christmas. I had already received mine because I brought it with me. The letters were really good though. I got a few from grandma and grandpa(one from thanksgiving), one from omi and opi, a few from the fam, courtney dumont, jen henderson, elder wright(he is home right now but is expected to be back on the mission el más pronto es posible), and a couple more but I cannot remember who from. Forgive me if it was from you...

The next day we celebrated Elder Hugden´s birthday by wearing our way through many hours of weekly planning and finishing the night off with the Fajardo fam(a family that invites us over all the time and just loves the Elders...recent converts). They always make the Elders big tortas(cakes) though when it is their cumpleaños. That was a good fun night.

I´ll just throw this in here. We were able to do divisions this week. I went with Elder Gonzales, the zone leader and latino. So I guess if you do the math that makes it 24 hours speaking nada but spanish. It actually turned out a lot better than I had imagined. We talked a lot and did lot´s of good work in his area. He called president ávila that night for some zone leader stuff and at the end he told the president how much he thinks I would be a good asistant. That is kind of a big thing to be talking about when I have only been here for like a month and a half. Ha ha.

The new years party. It consisted of a good asado(grill/steak) and lots and lots of food. It was very replenishing, so much to make a man tired. But still brindamos(we toasted) to the new year and went out and enjoyed some fireworks. It wasn´t the most exciting new year´s I have ever experienced because the family is a little more on the just sit back and talk instead of play games and be fun...ha. But my comp and I still had to try and have some fun. So we did.

This week we were thinking about how much Castellano has stolen from English. We made a little list of words that they use here that was a bit funny to us. Most of these are just funny to try and hear them say with their accent. Ha.Blue Jeans(self explanatory)

Blue Ray(yep)
Facebook(sometimes they just say face)
Baby shower
Hackear(just a verb that means "to hack")

Mini Spiritual Thought: I was studying Lehi´s dream a bit this week because I think it would be a good tool in teaching members about Enduring to the End(perseverar hasta el fin). The symbolism in his dream is a perfect way of seeing what we are supposed to be doing now as members of the church to achieve complete happiness in the end. Our goal is to get to the tree of life(the love of God otherwise known as Jesus Christ). How do we find our way to the tree though? The iron rod(the word of God other wise known as the scripures, other church materials, teaching of the profetas, etc. Those mists of darkness(temptations of Satanás) are always going to be there, no way to avoid those. But if you hold fast to the rod and not just be one that clings, you will get to the tree and meet your goal. I could keep on talking about this for another few pages or so because I love it so much, but I will leave that to you.

Thanks once again for all of the prayers and support that is being sent to me as well as all of the other missionaries. Prayer plays a big part in the work moving forward.

Mandando mi amor hacia ustedes,(sending my love toward you all)

La iglesia es verdadera!!