Tuesday, March 27, 2012

¿Pueden creer que ya está tiempo de la Conferencia General?( Can you believe it is already time for the General Conference?)

Hello loved ones!

Sorry for such an inconvencience of sending the email one day late. It turns out that our P-day got switched to Tuesday this week because our interviews with Presidente Ávila got moved to yesterday. Funny story, we were supposed to have our interviews at 2:00 sharp at the mission offices, but we basically ended up having them 11 hours later due to prolonged interviews before us. I did my interview at the crack of midnight and it went a little long because I had a few good questions that I needed help with. After, Elder Wixom(my comp) still had to have his interview, so president decided it would work out best for all of us if he took us to our pension and interviewed E´ Wixom in the car. Ha ha. Presidente Ávila is one of the hardest working, helpful, spiritual, and all kinds of other godly attributes type of men. There really is only a handful of people in the world that can do some of the things that mission presidents can do.

We have had such a good week out here in the mission field. I feel like I grow in knowledge so much just for being out here. God definitely has more of a purpose for missionaries in His service than most missionaries may think. I have been amazed by some of the things that have come to pass right in front of our eyes. The more I have been looking out and trying to be more sensative of noticing daily miracles, the more God offers them. My testimony on prayer, hard work, the scriptures, and the words of modern prophets and men of God have really had ALL the effect in my increased faith and perserverance out here. The mission life is super hard and all the time it feels like everything is just going wrong, but those moments are only the best parts of your mission because you know that those moments only give you more of a chance to grow and turn your weaknesses into strengths.

After the drought of not having investigators at church for a few weeks, Irma shows up for sacrament meeting. With her, we did all that we could that was in our hands, then a little more. A quote that has helped me attain success is that when you have come to the point where you have done all that you can do; you are exhausted, you are frustrated, but God expects that we put in a bit more. 110% can change everything. Sports coaches are right. Irma is commited to come to Conferencia General this weekend and she is super excited to see modern day prophets of God speaking it that God need to tell us in these days. There are a couple other investigators that should be getting baptized in the next couple weeks like Agostina(15), Rosío(10), Lautaro(16), and Franco(16). These are some kids that we have been teaching that are friends of Agostín, that we bapized a few weeks ago. The next step for us right now is to get in contact with their families...and baptize them too!!! We even have a couple more investigators that may be coming to Conferencia General with us this weekend. How great would that be!

That is very sad news of a few passing aways in the family. I will keep these people and their families in my prayers.

That is fun that spring is finally starting over there in the other hemisphere. Here, it is finally starting to cool off. I am actually wearing my red sweater today and it is super good lookin!

We finally burned one of my ties this week for my cumple-seis-meses.

Hey, did you hear that General Conference was this weekend? Because it is. I don´t know if you all remember what goes on in General Conference, but if I remeber right it is when a prophet of God called to lead and guide us in the troubles in this day so that we in our families can be more unified and achieve that true and everlasting happiness that God desires for us. So don´t miss it. Prepare for it. Have questions ready so that they can get answered. I promise you that if you have a question, it will get answered. Maybe not in the next weekend, but as you ponder and pray and fast upon the words of living prophets, you will have the mysteries of God revealed unto you. That is a verse taken out of the Book of Elder Larisch(not true scripture), but I am sure that it says something of a sort in the true scriptures.

Keep me in your prayers. I send my love to all that read this and will receive it.

Con mucho amor,

Elder Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Preparando muchos bautismos que vienen rápidamente...

How is everyone doing???
This week was a really good week for us. We are still coming up with better ways to reach our goals every week and this week was a success! We had a baptism in the ward, but it counts for the other Elders that were working with her before we got here. It is a complicated situation, but it counts as their baptism because they were too stubborn to give her up when we came and they moved to the area next to us. Ha ha. Oh well. We were able to go and have a really good spiritual experience. Our goal for our ward is to have a baptismal service every Saturday this month(we are well on track), all we have to do is baptize these next two saturdays that remain.

We have many good investigators at the time(I say this about every week, but we just don´t have the baptisms to show it...yet. But we are expecting to get a bunch of people in the waters of baptism within this transfer!!! We just need to get them to church. 99.9% of Argentines do not have a set schedule and it is impossible to fully commit someone to come to church or just about anything else. One of the biggest obstacles that we have to work with is to help people keep commitments(with truly means helping them repent and come to Christ). To any and all of you that are the praying type, you should definitely keep the people that the missionaries are teaching in the world in your prayers.

Before I forget, and before you send off my package, I have one more request...ha. Seems like I think of something new every week. If would be heavenly if you could send me a bunch of garlic butters from little caesars. I just remembered how much I liked those and how they would go really good with pizza here and various other dishes. Do you have Elder Mahoney´s address in Ukraine yet? I have a letter ready to send him.

My comanion and I get along pretty well. We have our differences, like every companionship is going to have, but we have become really good friends and respect each other as missionaries, which is the most important thing. We have been working really hard together and we are seeing the blessings of it. He is a really good example to me because I still have a ton to learn out here.

¡Good job pops on your race! That sounds like a pretty scary encounter on the freeway. Be careful out there. My prayers can only go so far for you guys. But it sounds like Heavenly Father is still watching over you pretty well.

Yay! The lexus has finally reached our family! Lexi is very lucky because I bet you bought it pretty cheap compared to the other lexus´s that you find online. What else did she get for her birthday? It is another Elders birthday today, so I bet we are going to be doing something pretty fun.

Last week we were able to go the buffet Las Tinajas! It was SUPER good and we all ate waaaaay too much. At Las Tinajas, if it is your birthday, you get free food. We are not going to go again though...ha. I had a fun little experience after we ate because I did not play the cards right and ended my fast with a buffet. I wasn´t able to go out and proselyte that Monday night...

Elder Hudgens sent me his flash drive with a bunch of pictures that I wasn´t able to get on my camera when I was in Colonia Bombal, so I attached a few for your enjoyment.

For a bit of a mini-spiritual thought, I want to share a tadbit of what our stud bishop has shared with us. First to give you a little background, my bishop is 29 and I am pretty sure one of the best missionaries of this dispensation...maybe. He told us about two transfers of his mission(12 weeks) that he just about changed everything about the way he looked at and performed missionary work. He read a talk(I can´t remember exactly what it was called but to translate it to english, it would be "serving with all your heart, might, mind, and strength") that explains the true, deeper meaning of D&C 4. This talk explains how to be a missionary that puts all into the work for the Lord and how to fully set yourself apart as a missionary to really see the miracles that the Lord has prepared. For missionaries, this concept can change everything about the success that you have if you live what this talk speaks about. My bishop said that he was able to baptize 25 people in those two transfers.

Love Elder Larisch,

La Iglesia es verdadera
All these pictures are from his first area with Elder Hudgens 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Me Quedo (I remain)

¡Bueeeeeen Diiiiiiiia!

Another amazing week in the misión. We finally were able to baptize Agustín. The ward is really tough to get to come to things(or they will just come super late because it is just the Argentine way), so we only had a few at the baptism. Agustín was even able to bring a few friends that are now some of our new investigators. We have been praying a lot for Geronimo(padrastro) to come over his fears and doubts and gain some faith and just get baptized. He wasn`t able to make it to Agustín´s confirmation because he had a "headache"...so...we are going to have to be telling him of the importance of these commitments. Chiquita is doing very well. We haven´t gotten to see her much because her husband has been home a lot this week(he no like), but we were able to chat with her at church and she is super excited to receive her patriarchal blessing soon. Irma is starting to progress a lot because we were finally able to get a sit down lesson in her house and teach her the Restauración. Daniel still needs a bit of work because he never has time for a lesson but he is still keeping commitments, so I´ll give him a thumbs up for now!

The big news and the title today is that we just found out about transfers(Christmas) and...........¡ME QUEDO! For all those who are reading this and do not know or have a clue what that means, it means that I am lucky to stay here in San Ignacio. I am actually really happy because we are going to have some super success this next transfer with all the peoples that we have prepared this past transfer! Elder Wixom is going to be a District Leader too, so that will be fun. The original news was that E´ Leany was leaving to Maipú Zone and that E´ Daybell was going to be able to train, but he just recently received a call saying that there was complications with his new baby coming in from the MTC, so he is going to be put with a mini-missionary(I am still not quite sure of the true meaning of that, could just be a small person...no sé). Should be fun. I really want to train soon so I am hoping that next transfer I will get that opportunity!

Bad news= We still have not received our fundas(cases for scriptures) but for sure tomorrow...

There are certain traditions in the mission. For the 6 month mark, the missionary must burn a tie. We surely did not have any time during the week to do it so we will be using a bit of time later today to take care of that business and next week I will give you an update on how it went

Well, what a week, we have Lexi and her Sweet 16 and the Padres have their anniversary comin up. ¡Happy Birthday Luberta! If/when you get an Iphone, make sure you don´t spend all your time playing angry birds.

I like the pics! All of the other Elders can definitely see that Dad is a big goof. Oh yeah, and I was able to talk to a couple people this week that are really big into biking here and they were telling me that they have some pretty big races here. You should come here and do some races sometime...jaja.

Last week was a big dud and didn´t have time to do too much so we just went and ponged it for the time remaining because we didn´t have enough time to go to a bodega. Today we are going to go to Tinacas, which is supposedly a souper good buffet and I am very sure that it will be very satisfying. Hopefully we will have time after to go to a Bodega or the Alpargata factory or somethin.

You could put maple syrup and Andes mints(they don´t have them here even though I live right next to the Andes Mts!) on the list for the next package if ya want... :1
Mal- That is so awesome that you are reading a lot! Your hair looked really long in the picture and it looks like you are growing up too fast. Are you still the queen of the house? What do you and your friends do at recess? Love you too
Boogs- Make sure you keep an eye on Luberta while she dates all these boys in the next few days. The movie The Lorax seems like a really good movie. I always liked the book. Take putt on a few walks once in a while. Love
Putt- Take care of the girls for me. Don´t have too many treats or else you will get sick. Don´t poop in the living room. Love
Luberta- Have fun datin when you finally turn 16. Listen to all of the counsel that Dad gives you because he knows everything about dating. I would recommend that you even take him with you on the first few just so you can get used to dating. Love
Pops- Nope, the weather here is still pretty unbearable. For some reason it got super humid here(more than ever before), so we were dying out in the streets(especially out in the middle of the siesta at like 5). Love
Ma- Love
Pics= Agustín´s Baptism and cool culturistic wall art that is just everywhere in the city. I have a few more sites that I will see if it will be safe to pull out my cam and snap a few more.

Keep the missionaries in your prayers!

Con Cariño,

Elder Larisch

La Iglesia es verdadera
 Baptism of Agustin
 cool artwork in the city

Monday, March 5, 2012

Las frutas del bautismo

Hey There!
How is everyone? I don´t have the same keyboard as last time that seemed to be a bit troublesome, but this one also has some defects...

We had a super good week this week! I am not sure if I told you this week or if we were super sure that it was going to happen, but we had a baptism this past Saturday! Chiquita(Urbelina Cataldo) a friend of a member, we were able to progress a bit faster than we thought with her and she accepted to move her baptismal date up a bit. She was so ready and she had an experience that she will never be able to forget even if she tried. We had the husband of the member that befriended her and brought her the gospel to baptize her. Another cold water baptism, because the dang callafone things never work or there isn´t gas to heat up the water. At least I didn´t have to get in it this time...jaja. We have finally come to a conclusion with what is going to happen with Agustín and his padrastro(step father) Geronimo. We have been working with him a ton and trying to get the gospel into that man´s life. He has multiple bunches of problems in his life that all develop from his depression and nervousness, and with revelation that we have received from praying and fasting, we were able to ask him what he really wanted. From a bunch of other details, we concluded that we will be baptizing Agustín this next Saturday and work with Geronimo throughout the next few weeks. All of you prayerful people should probably at least say one prayer for Geronimo so that he can get baptized and receive the holy ghost in his life, because I know that there is nothing he needs more. One thing that I think is really cool is that most of our other investigators right now are men and future holders of the priesthood. Argentine men are no easy thing to teach, they are a lot harder to get to their spiritual side(that is why, as you can see, we have been stickin a bit to the older señoras and young kids), but when you can baptize an Argentine man...kudos to those missionaries. In the future, these men that we are working with will get in those waters and make those covenants!

We had a fun noche de talentos(talent night) activity this past Friday(yeah, I know we had a ton of stuff going on this past weekend). I´ll see if I can attach some pics or even better a few vids. We had Irma show up, who is an investigator who always has to spend time and care for her super old mother who is going to kick the bucket any minute now. The whole Villegas family(Agustín and Geronimo) came including the older brothers who have been super inactive for years now and disincluding Geronimo...ugh. The bishop gave us a little time to squeeze in for the last 20 minutes of the activity to share a bit of a spiritual thought related to the missionary work. It all went good.

Got a few goods to tell all yall. Especially you, mom. I believe you requested a pair of toms and basically gave it to me as a goal of my mission to find some for you. I have some good news...I don´t know if you are familiar with shoes brand called Alpargatas, nope you´re not because they are Argentine and Argentine only. I don´t think there is a single person here in Mendoza who doesn´t have at least one pair of Alpargatas. I´m pretty sure they are just like the Toms. They are super cheap and Chiquita, the lady we baptized said that she would make us a few pairs. Like 6 or 12...jaja. Why not¿ There is an Alpargata factory somewhere in Centro and she said they have like every type of material that they can make them out of, even courdoroy and denim and anything else...So family, if this would please you I could probably get a pair for ya. You would have to convert your norteamericano shoe size to an argentino shoe size(see if you can do it through the internet or something) and give me a material request and I´ll see if they have it. No promises with anything though. At this moment of time, I am also getting made cool leather scripture cases with a guy in our stake. There is another man/company in Córdoba who does them super good(with whatever picture on them and stuff), but is going on a mission and will only be accepting orders till the last day of March(this month). I was hoping I could wait till later in my mission, because I wanted one for my English scripture quad also but it doesn´t look like I can wait. It may be possible that I could get a few more for your quads also if you want. It costs like 200 pesos(little less than 50 bucks) for each quad case. It is 150 pesos for this guy that is doing mine right now, but it is a little less quality. I don´t know if any of this interests you at all, but if you are interested send me the pictures that you would want on the front and back and any other writing that you would want on it in the next email. I should have pictures to send you when I get mine this week. It´s gonna be sweet!

We had a couple little terremotos(earthquakes) this week. I still don´t believe it because I didn´t feel anything, but everyone says that they happened. We have developed a new hobby of pretending to skateboard as we are balancing in the middle of the collectivos(buses) while not holding on to anything. It´s pretty fun I guess.

We have plans today to go to a Bodega(Wine Factory). Should be pretty fun. Last week we walked and walked and walked to a museum that was closed in the parque San Martin. Other things we still have to do here are go to a really good restaurante called Tinacas, go to the Aquarium, and to the Alpargata factory.

Oh yeah, and for the first time in Argentina I saw a Schnauzer like Maggie. I was happy to see it so I ran up to it and tried to pet it behind a fence. It almost bit my hand off( it wasn´t a mini schauzer) so I don´t like it anymore.

Thanks for all of the sweet pics from YC. It looks like it went fantastic and Dad was able to make Germany proud with the use of his outfit again. That is awesome that most of the family got to be involved with this YC. I bet the spirit was just as strong as it was a couple years ago with the old group of priests.

Keep studying the Gospel, especially as a family(scripture study and FHE). It is amazing what a difference it can make with family unity. I´ve seen plenty of examples here in the mision and I have been able to testify to them of it because we did well with it at home. Keep it up.

Thanks for the email. I love reading them every week and looking at the pictures.
Spiritual Thought.

For the activity that we did last Friday, we were able to teach the ward a program called Apaciente mis ovejas which explains what the role of the missionaries is in missionary work, and what is the role of members in missionary work. It outlines it simply:
1. Members: FIND
2. Missionaries: TEACH
3. Members: BEFRIEND
4. Missionaries: BAPTIZE
It is basically telling the members that they should not be teaching the lessons to the investigators, but they should just be super good friends with them(Christlike charity) and share the strongest tool that they have, their testimony.

Signing out as,

Elder Deven Larisch
¡Love you all and keep prayin for those missionaries!

La Iglesia es verdadera

Happy 6 Months to me this week! I can´t believe time has come and by so fast. Good thing I still have a bunch of time left!

Deven thought these dirt tennis courts were cool!

A package of PEANUT BUTTER!!

The baptism of Urbelina Cataldo. I think Deven has grown a foot or three...