Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Me quedo para dos semanas (I remain for two weeks)

Holy moley! I surely just passed the fastest week of my mission. I feel like I had NO time! It is crazy when my comp is getting ready to leave home as well as set up for a baptism and be in charge of other baptisms throughout the whole zone! In our zone of godoy cruz we baptized 8 for the month, which is really good compared to the rest of the year! Our baptism of Lautaro also turned out super well! We also had to attend a ward baptism that morning because the family asked my comp to baptize the kid. It is crazy how much preparation goes into each baptism on the part of the missionary. Lautaro and his family are super happy and ready to be fully active and serve in the church.

Well, I really don`t have much time at all this abnormal P-day. President called me earlier last week and told me that I would be using the same day as the missionaries that leave at this end of the transfer to buy souvenirs and have dinner and testimony meeting at the mission house. I just went and bought a few souvenirs. The alpargatas were hard to find with polka dots and stuff...ha ha. So I just got some cheap white ones. The bad news is that they don`t come in Mallory`s size. I will have to find something else maybe in these next two weeks to make up for it. I got a few other things also like a mate set and Argentina socks, etc. You will find out in a couple weeks.

I wish I had more time, but I promise that next week will be a much better...last letter of the mission!!! It is just starting to hit me. Ha. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you transfers! I am staying in my area of Luján de Cuyo and I am receiving Elder Steeves to teach him the area in a quick two weeks. Should be good!

I love you all and thanks for all of the happy birthday`s! Ha. Mom, don`t get stuff for my birthday, just a couple things to go back to college smoothly would be nice. Ha. Thanks!!

Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

Monday, July 22, 2013

Snowing here/3 Weeks anyone?

Everyone seems to have the countdown going strong. I wasn`t sure before, but now I know that I have less than 3 weeks left! It is coming up fast! My comp is going home this week so I have no clue what is going to happen with this area. I think that President will just send me someone new and they will have to learn very fast the area. Or he will just wash this area with two news and throw me some random place for 1.5 weeks. Oh, and guess what! It snowed here in Mendoza this weekend! I will send you some sick pics so you can check it.

I feel ready to come home and continue on with life only because I know that God has other things prepared for me after the mission in the real world, but it is going to be flippin hard to get back to the world. I just love being a missionary more than any other thing right now and the spirit that I always feel. I know that I won`t ever get to have such an experience like this ever again in the rest of my life. It is really incredible how much one has the potential to grow in the mission field if they are submissive to the spirit. I truly can testify to all of you that this is God`s work and that he always in every aspect of the work. Most people can only gain this testimony if they have been able to serve with this calling. I think that now is the time to be counting all of the blessings that I have been given in these last two years. I love the work!

Speaking of the work. It is looking good for this baptism this weekend with Lautaro. There is always opposition like in every baptism. This one right now is bringing all of the church records to this ward so that his recently-activated father can baptize him. We announced it yesterday in church though so it should all be good to go. My comp gets to have a baptism on his last day here. Lucky man. Lautaro is a way smart little kid. His family is way awesome and nice. We are going to have a huge asado after the baptism on Saturday as a farewell for Elder Howard, my comp. They also offered to have a party for me on my birthday. Ha. There is also another investigator family in Mayor Drummond, the other area, that I know pretty well because of the exchanges that we do. I truth is that I only spend like 50-60% of the time in my real area, Luján, because of all the exchanges and interviews that we are doing. I get to know a lot more people in the zone. Transfers are one week away. I am curious to know what will happen with me for the next 1.5 weeks. My last transfer of the mission...

That is awesome that the girls got to go to efy. Brooke was the only one that emailed me, but I am sure that Lex had a good experience also. I hope it made a change in their lives and that they find ways to keep that spirit with them. I will for sure keep keeping grandpa in my prayers. I am amazed to hear once again in the mission that grandpa just keeps fighting. He is an extraordinary man to be able to pass all of these trials. I am stoked to be able to see him. Tell him to get his casting arm better becasue it will not be the same having to cast for him in the boat.

For a bit of a spiritual thought, I would like to just share a little something that has been inspiring me this week. We were able to visit and show the family history work center to a couple less actives and investigators and got a little bit of Elijah`s spirit inside of me. We actually just happened to pass a happenstance of listening to a super cool talk by Truman G. Madsen called Elijah`s mission and learn and feel more about family history work and the true importance and divinity from God`s aspect of the family and it`s significance. I like this quote because it mentions our true objective living upon this earth: literally follow and become like Jesus Christ. Here is a quote:

"You do have problems that you can blame on them, and if you forgive that and choose to stand close to the Lord in the process of purifying your life, that will affect your whole family – in both directions. You are not alone. There is no way that you can regain solitary and neutral ground. You are in it – in involvement. And this I take it is one of the profound meanings of that long laborious allegory in the Book of Mormon; Jacob’s allegory of the tame and wild olive tree. If you take a wild branch and graft it into a tame tree, if it is strong enough, it will eventually corrupt and spoil the tree all the way to the roots. But if you take a tame branch, and graft it into a wild tree – in due time, if it is strong enough, it will heal and regenerate to the very roots. You will then have been an instrument in the sanctification even of your forbearers. To be that kind of branch, and achieve that kind of transformation – backward and forward, is the greatest achievement of this world. But to do it one must be great, one must be linked, bound to the Lord Jesus Christ. He must be mighty. Why he must be something like – a savior, and that is exactly what the prophet Joseph Smith said you are – saviors on Mount Zion. And how are you to be saviors on Mount Zion he once asked in a discourse, and I’m paraphrasing? By going, first building, then going into the Temples of the Lord, and in your own propria persona – in your own first person presence, to go through – for and in behalf of loved ones, all of the ordinances… Sealing all of them, culminating in that final linkage that binds for time and eternity. Saviors, redeemers, of your families.”

It is also our responsability to become saviors. What a great blessing and great duty it is that we have in these last days of doing the work in the holy temples for our ancestors. They are waiting.

Well, I hope that everyone is doing well. I hope you enjoy these last few letters, because I will most likely be seeing you in approximately 18 days! Woo hoo! Have a nice 24th pioneer day. Careful with the firework shows.

Love....Un abrazo also from,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Aguantando los desafìos en la misiòn (Enduring challenges in the mission)

Well, we had another week here. It seems that the more time we are passing here in this area, the harder it is to progress in finding and teaching people. We are for sure going to have a baptism on the 27th. That miracle kid that came to church last week is a way cool kid and so is the family! Probably be one of my last baptisms of the mission seeing that I only have a few weeks left...not that I´m getting trunky or anything!

How was the Lake Powell trip?? Yeah mom, the pictures did make me homesick. Ha ha. One of my favorite places in the world to be is Lake Powell. I will just have to work on my patience till next year. It looks like you had a ton of fun at least.

We are still working super hard as always just trying to find those elect that God has been preparing. I trust that this new church tour program is going to be super awesome for the mission once we start getting the hang of it. I don`t know if I will be here to be able to see all of the fruits that come from it. Fortunately, we were able to plan tons of recorridos(tours), but unfortunately, all of them fell through. Argentina is just not really a place of much commitment(also looking at the low marriage rate and listening to how much people "live with each other"). Many people here don`t want responsibility or don`t want commitment.

At least we are finally going to have a baptism after this ward has had a pretty good baptism drought. The kids name is Lautaro Gonzalez.

We are seeing the Arbol de la Vida plan slowly get put into action in the ward. This next Sunday it should be up and we should present it! I hope that I will be able to see a change in the ward due to the tree before I leave.

One question...okay, a few. You haven`t talked to Bishop about the date for my homecoming talk yet have you?  Jimmy said that he finally was able to get into our apartment at snow gardens! That should be pretty sweet! Do we still have the computer that I used my first year to bring and use again?

I have been seeing as a focus in the mission and from the church leaders here lately the importance of doing things in the Lord`s way because it is the best. A quote from that John Huntsman talk that you guys put on my ipod before I left comes to mind. Huntsman quotes President Hinckley talking about his priorities schedule to be able to have success in life.
1. Our Eternal Spouse
2. Our Eternal Children
3. Loyalty to our Employer/Profession
4. Commitment to our Church Calling
5. Attention to one`s Personal Fitness and Health
Kinda a cool thing to keep in mind in those times of life when you need it.

Thanks for everything. See ya in a few weeks!
Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera
ps. having trouble again with sending pics.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

¡Dios beniga a América!

Another good week in the mission. I was able to do a lot of exchanges this week so I wasn`t way too much time in my area, but we still saw tons of miracles. We went to consejo on Tuesday. It was weird because we didn`t have to go on a long bus ride or anything. We are already just right in Mendoza.

In consejo, my mission president gave us lots of new stuff including the new principal way that we will be teaching the first lesson to potential investigators. The new big thing is doing organized church tours! I have already been doing church tours my whole mission once in a while, but the first presidency following up on the words of Elder Perry in the transmission the other Sunday has sent us a packet that informs and has guidelines for how to carry out an effective church tour. We are going to present it to the zone tomorrow in our zone meeting. I think it will definitely change missionary work here in Argentina. We did practices when president taught it to us and we could feel the spirit super strong and testifying of the things that we do in church and that they are true. Bummer that I won`t get to see much of how it all unfolds seeing that the time is winding down bit by bit here. I talked to Presidente Avila on Tuesday and he told me that you guys sent him the email and that we might as well just change the date back to the 9th of August! Two days less. Oh boy! Hearing that Braiden is already home and that Lexi has her countdown is making me anxious. Ha ha. Only a couple more weeks left! Faa!

It was good to celebrate the 4th of July this week. We found an american flag here in the apartment a couple weeks ago so we were able to do the pledge of allegiance and stuff. God bless America! The 9th of July is Argentine independence day. Should be fun. Too bad they don`t do fireworks because it is too cold.

Doing exchanges this week was pretty awesome! On one of them, I was able to go back to one of my old areas, San Ignacio, where I was for 6 months of my mission! It was way weird to go back there and work again. We did some visits with Bishop Ruiz and his wife and another visit with Bishop`s dad and his wife. Super good visits! Bishop says that I have improved a lot in my teaching from a year ago. Ha Ha. That made me feel good. I could see him being some general authority some day or a mission president just because he is such a stud. His dad invited me over to lunch for the next week. What a boss! We were able to go and pass by Ofelia, one of my converts from that area. She is doing awesome and seemed really happy. She loved the surprise so much that she gifted me a couple jars of jam and a bag of lemons from her huge lemon tree in her backyard to take home. I was able to show the elder I was with tons of old investigators that I taught there so hopefully they can bring them back. In the other exchange, I went with Elder Wahl(my old comp from San Juan) to his area and visited a couple awesome families that just needed a push in the water. Ha ha. The Lucero family has been listening to the missionaries for freaking ever and just keeps saying that he wants to learn more before he wants to get baptized. In the lesson we were able to share a couple important scriptures with him in Mosiah 18 and Alma 34 to get him understanding how he is going to progress in his knowledge and towards salvation. The only way is to get baptized. We got far enough for him and his family(4 in total) to get baptized this next Saturday. Turns out that that night something happened and he told his wife that he didn`t want to get baptized and none of them showed up to church yesterday. Bummer. His wife called the elders crying because she didn`t understand why. Well, I am going with them again tomorrow to see what we can do. The patriarch or the head of the family is usually the hardest one to teach the gospel, but when the spirit touches his heart, he will follow Christ and so will the family.

Well, we had a cool miracle in our area this week. We had a member that just moved here that was living in Maipù for a while pull us over in the road. He said that he was new and they were recently reactivating in the church and they want their son to get baptized. They came to church yesterday and we put a baptismal date with the son for the 20th of this month! I love baptisms! Ha. They look like a way awesome family! Other than them, we are struggling/looking way hard for good, committing investigators to be able to prepare for baptism.

Recently, those words from my mission president have been going through my head of being able to endure to the end of my mission. If I serve a good mission through till the end and then flop and not care about the rules, the dedication will really just be a lie. Strong words, but they help me to obey all of the rules until the last day.

I hope that the fam has a good time in Lake Powell! Send lots of pics next week so I can feel like I went. Ha ha. I can`t believe that you have the flight plans already! 10:21 on the 10th. Flying all night is going to be a killer. I probably won`t even be happy to see all you guys being so tired... Ha ha. Just kiddin. But really, I will probably have to take a nap asap. You making plans to take me to panda express and carls jr and stuff? Ha. I can`t wait to have different food!

Well, anyways, I love you all and hope that everyone has good health and success with the plans this week. Prayin for ya.
Un abrazo,
Elder Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Hey there!
I can`t believe that you guys are passing the 100 degree mark already in June! Here is is getting really cold. Big coat and gloves everywhere. It is not way too fun to shower because there is only a few minutes of warm water and the only heaters are in the bedroom. I feel a bit spoiled though because the big comforter blanket on the mission is probably one of the best ideas. The whole mission I have been comfy warm while others have to use gross apartment blankets with their sheets. Definitely worth taking up a bit of space in the suitcase for it.

Well believe it or not, I only have 6 weeks left being a missionary. I finally have been able to set a date with my mission president for the 11th of August. I will leave that Sunday it looks like and get there on Monday. That is 6 weeks from yesterday! It hit hard yesterday when I noticed that when I probably gave one of my last talks in the mission(they told me 20 minutes before the meeting started). I only have a little more time out here so I am planning on taking advantage of every minute.

This week has been pretty good. We are still working super hard and finding lots of miracles. The people that the elders were preparing to baptize before me are now kinda going downhill so we are looking hard for new people to teach. The top prospects right now have fear of sitting down and having a lesson, need to get divorced then married, need days off work, etc. We had a few people come to church though so that was pretty awesome! Two brothers of a young man recent convert showed up. We will need to get the parents permission to baptize and we can start completing that family.

We have zone leader council tomorrow and we don`t have to travel because the offices are just here in the zone. It is nice being close. We have some awesome plans to improve in the zone this next transfer. Actually I just got way stressed because I am putting together a big plan called The Tree of Life with the zone that we are going to use in the wards here in Godoy Cruz, but my computer just froze and had to change computers so I lost everything. We have to finish it for sure today so I don`t have much time to tell ya much more about the week. I`m glad the girls had a good time at youth conference. Lexi, stay away from the weird kids like that. Sorry this one is so short, but know that I love you and pray for you every day. Keep praying for me.
Un abrazo,
Elder Deven Larisch
La iglesia es verdadera