Monday, February 25, 2013

Desafìos en la zona San Rafael (Challenges in the San Rafael area)

Well, I am just here getting used to all of these changes still. It is a lot different than being over there in San Juan. I love it here in San Rafael, but it is just tough. We have a lot of challenges in the zone and our area, but we are doing all we can to make plans to improve. Ha. We are working with lots of people because we have been finding a ton, but they all just have so many problems.

San Rafael is actually a really nice place(except for all of the strange smells in the streets that pass by your nose once in a while). I love being here and working in a new area. It rains a lot. My comp is a really good and experienced missionary. He is a jokester and makes everyone laugh so there is never quite a dull moment and it is pretty easy to gain confidence of the members because he gets along well with them. His favorite topic in the streets to talk about is girls because he really just wants to get married...ha ha. He doesn`t even have a girlfriend though. I hope that I can keep him more or less focused for the last couple months of his mission so that we can see some success here. We just finished the Book of Mormon challenge this week. I feel like my testimony has grown so much reading a few chapters every day and looking at it from different angles. I think I want to do it again.

We don`t have too many solid investigators that are way close to baptism right now which is a really hard thing for us especially because we are supposed to be setting an example. ha ha. Washing a zone leader area is extremely hard. Our main investigators all have problems with the Law of Chastity...ha. They either are living together with their boyfriend/girlfriend(like most couples here in this country), or they are really old guys who pay an amount of money for a special visit from younger girls...ha ha. There are some really weird people here, but everyone needs the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I don`t have way too much time to write today just because I had to do lots of other stuff. Yes mom, I got the priesthood line. It is going to help a lot once I get it translated to Spanish. Thanks! I have not yet received grandpas money, but I will be sure to go buy my comp and I a nice steak dinner with it! Thanks grandpa. That is awesome that the Smith family is going to have 3 of their kids out on missions! Good for them. Elder Zealley is getting back already?? Wow time flies! I had not heard about all of the new missions and stuff, but I just looked it up on That is way awesome!! That is a ton of missions now! The church is truly growing a ton after that revelation that President Monson received! I am about 75% sure that the Mendoza temple will get announced this next general conference because the church has bought a big property up in Mendoza close to the zoo and Cerro de la Gloria. So, keep your eyes peeled this April!

We are going up to Mendoza today for Consejo for the Zone Leaders tomorrow. We go up to Mendoza each month. My first one. Should be fun. We are going to go enjoy the day at Hollywood Burger, the best fast food restaurant I have been to here in Tina. It has a secret sauce and unlimited refills(not a common thing here). Well, I love all of you very much and hope all is well.
Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
Making some burgers
Taco in a Bag

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pueblo Diamonte (new area)

Good morning family and friends!

I am now in San Raphael on the whole other side of the mission. I was all the way as north as it gets in San Juan a week ago and now I am in southern Mendoza. It is a bit chilly down here. I have woken up a few mornings almost frozen so I think I will be having to pull out the comforter again. The apartment isn`t too bad. The area is really, really small. My comp is really cool. We have a better exercise program. The ward is pretty good. We get lunches every day from the members. The bishop is young(recently turned 30) like in all my areas. I don`t think I have had a bishop over 35 years old. The zone of San Raphael is full of latinos so that is going to be a bit harder. Sometimes(not all the time) latinos seem to want to be a bit more disobedient than the rest. Ha. San Raphael is one of the lowest zones right now seeing that they didn`t baptize even one last month...It seems like Presidente Àvila trusts E` Barton and I enough to try and raise it up. I hope that we can do it.

Yeah, so I had to do lots of farewells to all the dear people in Rivadavia the first few days of the week. I spent a lot of time with the Kim family as they were making us lots of food. Ha ha. I am sure that Rivadavia was and will be the best ward that I have passed by in the mission. It may have been the youth or just the awesome success that we saw with our ward mission leaders there that made it the best ward. I had to leave super early Wednesday morning(6:00) to go to the terminal(after a long night of packing) to take the micro to San Raphael. Hermano Kim took us to the terminal so we didn`t have to take a taxi. The rest of the fam followed us to the terminal to say the last good-byes. They are the best. One of the few times I have shed a tear or two in the mission was giving Sebastiàn a last hug. I just saw the strong future missonary in him. He will touch the hearts of many people. So will Yini(21) and Kevin(12) who also have plans to serve full-time missions in the future.

We had to pass by the Mendoza terminal to get to San Raphael. While I was there I was able to see tons of other missionaries real quick that I have not seen in a long time. Our bus left real quick so we weren`t able to snap any quick pics. E` Barton and I just traveled together because he was already in my same zone. He is a really cool kid. He is from Colorado. His family has been moving around a lot because his dad is a medic in the military or something like that. His parents are now living in Germany. E` Barton only has two transfers(3 months left) so he will most likely be ending the mission here in Pueblo Diamonte(our area). I have never had to be with someone when they are ending the mission, so this will be an interesting event. The normal missionary gets so homesick at the end that they just don`t work as much. Don`t worry, I will be working my butt off till the end!

Our area is super small! We are washing the area because the two elders who were both here before both had to leave. Normally an area is washed when elders don`t behave well or the area just needs a complete change, but this time one elder ended his mission and the other elder got made asistant to president. They left us with a few investigators so I think this will be one of the better washes that I have had in the mission(this is my third time). We are kind of on the edge of centro so it is more of a suburban area. Blocks and blocks of houses...and I am sure that every one of them has been knocked by anterior elders. Finding should be the fun part here. Ha ha. Well, at least I will be able to start wearing my sweaters again!

¡HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPI! I hope that you are able to enjoy this day and rest from your labors to hear the birthday song many many times! Que lo cumpla feliz, que lo cumpla feliz, que lo cumpla feliz papi...que lo cumpla feliz!

Your welcome. That is cool that you are making a book for me. Make room or something for all of these extra pictures that I am going to bring home because I have not sent here. There are many. I am glad that Cade is out there now. I bet he is just enjoying the MTC. Well, he is either hating it or loving it(most missionaries are not lukewarm). Ha. But it is for the best and he will get more prepared to teach in the field. If it were me, I would probably send him a package filled with...a teriyaki burger from Carls Jr. and a raspberry chicken salad from Costa Vida...but, these are just my deep desires right now. I`m sure he would be happy with some krispy kreme doughnuts or fake moustaches, or both. That is awesome that we just have more people with their calls in the ward. It seems like their is news every week about someone with their call from the ward. Awesome! Looks like the leaders, the parents, and the bishop are all doing their job well with the youth.

Saturday night at like 11:30, our bishop called us and asked us to prepare talks for sacrament meeting. We gave awesome talks and I am sure that they will be published in next months Liahona so look our for our names. Ha ha. My talk is called ¿Sus Hijos Saben? and my comps talk is called ¿Quiere llegar sòlo? We made them ponder and evaluate a bit. My talk basically just focused on having the Gospel and the name of Jesus Christ more present in the home related with sharing the gospel. In the Book of Mormon challenge, we just barely passed up 3 Nephi. This time I read it I payed more attention to the blessing that it was to have the Savior in the presence of the Nephites. I shared some of those favorite scriptures from 3 Nephi in the talk. Read chapters 11 through 27 and just let the spirit testify to you the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Good stuff!

Well, we are just going to keep on working hard here. Hopefully get some excitement in this zone and baptize something here even if it be the nearest dog or something. I love you all and pray for you daily.

Un abracito,
Elder Dev Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
Farewell to the Kims
Elder Barton. Huge fan of Alabama Crimson Tide.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Argentina Mendoza Letter...

Dear Brother and Sister Larisch,

Every missionary is important and I am concerned for each missionary’s progress and well being. I receive weekly letters from every missionary and conduct an interview with them every six weeks. In this way I become familiar with them, but I still need help to know more about their progress and well being. Zone leaders are called to train and direct district leaders for this reason.

I am honored to inform you that Elder Larisch has been called to be a zone leader. I will be working closer with him than before. I will depend on the weekly reports from him to inform me of how each missionary in his zone is doing. Many problems missionaries have are taken care of by the zone leaders. I will make decisions about living quarters, transfers, and other missionary affairs based on the information that your son gives me.

Elder Larisch will conduct zone meetings and conferences as well. Each individual missionary receives from his zone leader guidance, spiritual strength and enthusiasm. Through all of this he is also expected to carry a normal work schedule and set the example. I know your son will grow as he serves the Lord and the missionaries in his zone. I am confident that the Lord will continue to bless you as your son faithfully serves Him.

With love,
President Sergio E. Avila

Monday, February 11, 2013

¡Me Voy!

Hello Everyone!
May or may not have just passed one of the best weeks of the mission! I got lots of news for this email. First off, the wedding and baptism of Kim Jeong Soo and Elisa Castro was freaking awesome! We had lots of people there to support them and took a bunch of pics. They got confirmed yesterday along with Santiago, who we baptized last Sunday. A very good Sacrament meeting! We also received transfers earlier this morning...

That is awesome for Mallory that she is already getting ready for her baptism. I will be looking forward to the 28th of September! I also can`t believe that Cade is already leaving for the mission!!! This Wednesday already! He is going to be an awesome Elder who will use that conversion story to change and bless lives over there in St. Louis. It is awesome to know that there are people waiting for you in your mission already, but it is even more awesome when you can actually meet them! Elder Bullough. It sounds good. I want a big book like Josh has(the one that Cade is looking at in that picture) of the mission!

We have been preparing a lot for the family Kim this week. But we have also got a lot of other good news for our other investigators. Felix and Johana have decided to get married finally and will be getting married on the 22nd and baptized on the 24th of this month! This area is going to be known for the marrying and baptizing area of the mission! Ha. We have also been getting a lot of people to church. We have been having like 5 investigator attendances every Sunday this transfer. Rivadavia is going to be having lots of success this transfer.

The marriage of the Kim family was remarkable! We went to the registro civil at 11:00 and got them married by a member from the other stake who works there. They had lots of people show up. We were like 40 stuffed in that small room with all of us trying to film and take pictures. Right after we took them to a surprise party at the chapel honking the marriage song with the horn the whole way there. I`m surprised we didn`t get pulled over for confusing so many other drivers. Ha. Everyone stayed at the chapel until they got tired of dancing at like 4 or 5(we left earlier because we can`t dance...). The Kim family also had their own party at their house that night because they didn`t know about the surprise party. They are super tired! Ha ha. I don`t know how they were able to get baptized the next day, but somehow they had the energy to continue having a super busy weekend. Tons of people showed up for the baptism also. Our ward mission leader is awesome and prepared everything very well(even brought his big flat-screen tv to watch The Restoration while the couple was dressing after the ordinance) so everything turned out awesome especially because of the food after(essential). The Kim family even woke up early the next morning to come to church early and get confirmed. There is a bit of difference in the schedule of the average korean and argentine. An argentine cannot miss too many siestas in a row. Ha ha.

Well, it is the beginning of a new transfer. I am not going to lie, this transfer flew right by us. I think they go by a lot faster when you are having tons of fun and success and working hard. I am also on the other side of the hump(decension) of the mission so that may also be another variable there... So... do I stay or do I go? ¡Èlder Larisch se va! I am going to leave Rivadavia, and am getting sent back to Mendoza! I am going to a zone called San Raphael in the more southern part of Mendoza. I am also going to be moved up as a zone leader. My comp is going to be Elder Barton. It was pretty crazy because as I was getting the news of the transfers from...Elder Barton, he told me that I was going to be his comp. He has been my zone leader here in Chimbas for the past two transfers and I am now going to be with him over there in San Raphael to wash the area. This will now be my 3rd area that I have washed in the mission. It is going to be awesome! I am not going to lie, this will probably be one of the hardest areas to leave just because I love the people here in Rivadavia so much. The people here have been so great to me and I will surely have contact with them for the rest of the life! I was really hoping to stay here for at least another transfer because 2 transfers is just too little time. I know that the Lord has His hand in His work so He is sending me to San Raphael for a reason.

Finishing my work here in Chimbas Zone I am reminded of one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon, Alma 26. In this chapter, Ammon, one of the most successful missonaries in the whole book, glories the Lord and recounts the success that they have had and the joy that fills their soul. "But Ammon said unto him: I do not aboast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my bjoyis full, yea, my heart is brim with cjoy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will bnot boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God, for in hisdstrength I can do all ethings; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."(Alma 26:11-12). I know that we have been able to witness these miracles here because God has been merciful to us and has heard and answered our heartfelt prayers for these people. "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to aturn back, behold, the Lord bcomforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear withcpatience thine dafflictions, and I will give unto you success."(Alma 26:27) As we have been applying the attributes of Christ, we have been blessed. "And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our ajoy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some. Now behold, we can look forth and see theafruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are bmany; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us."(Alma 26:30-31). I know that these people that we have helped here are going to go out and spread the gospel. Especially Sebastian and Yini Kim within this next year and Kevin Kim in 6 years. I can`t wait until that day when I can give these people a hug in the celestial kingdom and be in the presence of our Heavenly Father with them. That will be the day.

I love everything about this gospel because of the joy that it brings me. I know that complete happiness cannot be found in any other place than in Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves us.
Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La Iglesia es verdadera

Monday, February 4, 2013

Semana Exitosa (Successful week)

How is everyone doing? We had a really good week! We, at the beginning of this past week, thought that we were going to be baptizing 7 people this next weekend. We have been having a lot of success and really being able to see the hand of the Lord in His work lately. I don`t know how much longer I will be spending in this área, but I wouldn`t mind staying here for the rest of my mission. There is still a lot to be done here. We ended this past week with 13 progressing investigators, which is very nice to have! The mission is kind of going downhill right now as a whole with baptisms, but we are trying to keep it up here in Chimbas Zone.

We had a baptism yesterday! A guy named Santiago Calìvar(62) that we have been working with just recently because he moved into our area. He is very converted to the gospel and is going to be a very good addition to this Ward. The baptism was super awesome. Like always, in this Ward there is always a ton of people that show up for the services. He also invited lots of friends and family so we received lots of referrals and will be working with them in the near future.

The awesome news that I have is that the Kim family has a date for the marriage and baptism! This Friday they are going to get married at 11:00 and we are going to throw a huge surprise party with the Ward after at 12:00. They baptism is going to be on Saturday at 7:00. It is going to be a great week for us! We have planned to celebrate a lot with Grido(ice cream).

Today we have planned to go to Zonda again. It is going to be a very hot day so I will make sure to wear some sunscreen. Should be pretty good. Don`t have way too much time so I will write ya next week and be letting you know about all of the big news: marriage, baptisms, transfers, new stories, etc. Hopefully I will be able to send some pics because it has been hard to get them uploaded to send lately. I hope that everyone has a good week!

Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglestia es verdadera

Ps. I received a Christmas package from omi and opi this week. On the card it says Stephen so I don`t know if it was for me, but we ate all of the goodies in a few seconds. Ha ha. I am not quite sure what the toilet paper is for though… but thank you very mucho omi and opi! I also received the valentines day card from the fam. Thank you very much. I really like the letters a lot from you and the Ward. I love all of you too!