Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Home at last!!! Happy Day!

Caleb is back home with us!  We were all so excited to see his handsome face and get one of his trademark hugs.  Lot's of family and friends welcomed him.  These are just a few. He also returned with many other faithful missionaries from the Rome Italy mission whom he will always be connected to.  We love our Caleb and are really proud of all that he has accomplished.  His mission has really refined him and we couldn't be happier to see him again!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Leaving this Beautiful Country

This is weird.. I can't believe that I will be seeing you in 2 days!!! I am really sad to be leaving this beautiful country and these incredible people but I am excited to see you all again! I love Cosenza! Yesterday night during English course, toward the end a member came in and sat down. I thought it was a little strange because she had never come in the past. After a few minutes another member walked in and sat down as we started our spiritual thought. After we finished with a prayer the door opened and members and English course students that didn't come to the course that night came in and filled the room. I was pretty confused because the district president, President Favre came in and said we need to talk about the English course. Then turns out that it was just a big surprise party that they planned for me and thanked me and cut my tie ( I have no Idea why they would do that!) and then we ate a ton of food with the members and English course students! It was really cool! I am so grateful for the members and for their strong testimonies and for everything they have done for me. I have loved this two year experience! I have learned a lot and grown a lot closer to my Heavenly Father and to our Savior! I love the church and am infinitely grateful for everything It has given me! The Church is true!! So tomorrow morning I go up to Rome for some interviews and then Friday morning early we will be leaving! I can't wait to see you!!! LOVE YOU TONS AND SEE YOU IN TWO DAYS!!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sneaking up on us Fast!

Wow the 22nd is really sneaking up on us fast! I am sad to see my last days of my time in the mission winding down. I love the mission so much and I will miss it a ton! I am also extremely happy to come back to my great family. This last week has beeng great we found 4 new investigators who are very interested. We are hoping that everything goes well for them. We are planning some great activities with the branch here. We want to teach the members how to better teach in our lessons. Sounds like Tayler and Jared are excited. If they aren't moved in by the time that I get back, I will be more than happy to help them. Well today is really busy for us so I dont have much time but I love you and will see you in 9 days!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Gospel changes Lives

Buon Giorno tutti! Great week. The Baptism was great. Tons of members came and also english course students showed up to see what all the fuss was about. It was a great baptism. The spirit was really strong and she was really happy. She showed me the email you sent her to help her translate it. The gospel changes lives! It is crazy how fast time is flying. It feels like I emailed you yesterday. The members are still trying to kill us by feeding us to death! We are spoiled here. Ha They are great! They love to show their love through cooking for us. On Sunday they called a new branch president. President Di Nolfo. He seems to be really on the ball and has already helped us out with a lot. We are hoping to find some new investigators. We keep finding great contacts and then they tell us they are too busy or that they aren't interested anymore. We will keep on trying hard to find the prepared ones. Yes, I did get the letter from Mimi! Thank you! I will be sure to bring some money back from Italy. Thank you for keeping an eye out for work for me. Any of those jobs sound great. So with Anziano Green, he is going to finish right before school starts and to move out he is going to have to find a job as well so until he finds work he will live with his sister that lives in Lehi or something. But he thinks he will find work fast. I am excited/ nervous. It will be a good experience. Well thanks for writing! Love you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Pics

We received a really sweet message from Roberta this week.  She has taken all of the missionary discussions and has committed herself to getting baptized this week.   Her taking the time to write and send pictures really meant a lot to us!  We are all so very excited for her to receive the gospel in her life!

Roberta and Anziano Larsen

Anziano Larsen

Planning for the Baptism

Hey! This week we has been having fun planning for the baptism, which should be on Saturday. Here they don't have a built in baptismal font so we are going to learn how to use the "blow up font" here. We are really excited and hoping that everything goes through as planned. Thanks for all the prayers. We have also been having fun doing finding and trying to use a survey that we made to find new investigators. It seems to be working pretty good. Who doesn't want to participate in a Mormon survey?! ha The members have been helpful here the past few weeks. They have put forth a good effort at befriending our investigators in church and encouraging them. I'm grateful for the members here and their strong testimonies of the gospel. For english course we have started showing mormon messages for the spiritual thought at the end of the lesson. It seems to be working pretty well. It always sparks a good conversation and lots of questions! Wow that's cool that Colton got a new job! You will have to let me know if he likes it. It's weird being toward the end of the mission because you feel like you don't have much to say.  Hey Dad! How are you? Sounds like you are just having a great time! Haha golfing and kicking it in the sun!  I'm glad to hear that you didn't pass out when you got hit in the head with a golf ball! The blessings of the gospel surround us! I'm sure that if you weren't a strong member in the church you would have passed out for sure! Is Cocoa alright! Poor thing. I miss that dog! I was thinking about your question about what I want to do when I get home. First off I want to show the family all the pictures from my mission and tell stories of the crazy stuff that has happened that I could tell, or forgot to tell through emails. Then I want to watch movies with the family and maybe go to a movie with the family. I think that would be fun. oh yeah and eat a ridiculous amount of cereal! haha. Other than that I'm fine with doing whatever. I can't believe we are only a little over three weeks a way! I can't wait to see you! Love you tons and thanks for writing! Oh yeah, weird question. Do you know when my homecoming talk will be? Because if it is the first Sunday I get back I'm going to have to start preparing it here. Just let me know please. Well thanks for everything! Love you all!! 4

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Spirit Truly Guided Us

So.. Our investigator Roberta is going to get baptized next Saturday! The 2nd of March. She is great she is about 26 and she is an architect, she is super nice and loves the church. Keep her in your prayers. This week we went to Catanzaro for an exchange. I was with Anziano Di Caro, an Italian who is in his first transfer. We went to an appointment to teach a guy the first lesson. He called us and asked us if we could meet him in his studio. We agreed and went on the search for his studio which was pretty hard to find, but after about an hour we found his studio. We went in and he told us to follow him up stairs. To our suprise there were two other men in the room sitting in front of computers smiling at us. One of them was the head preist over the area in Catanzaro and the other was a pastor of an evangilist church and the third was just a devouted member to the evangelist church, all three of them were great friends that thought it would be fun to invite the mormon elders over to try and confound us. They had their computers filled with researched material ready to destory us! They started bombarding us with questions both about the doctrines and history of the church. It was intense. Haha I don't think that they expected us to know the Bible better than they did. We concluded with a prayer and invited them to pray about it all and went on our way. Hopefully they will do so. I gained a testimony of D&C 71:10 "And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded".. The spirit truly guided us. Then yesterday we found a new investigator! So its been a good week! Sounds like everyone is having fun at home. Grandma and Grandpa are too kind! I sure miss the whole family but am also loving the mission too much! Well I love you a ton and can't wait to see you again! Love you tons and thanks for always writing!! Email 5

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Church is True

Hey thanks for writing! This week has been another good one. We found some great contacts and one of our investigators decided she wants to get baptized! She just wants one of the members to come who is sick so she hasn't chosen the date yet. We invited her to pray to ask if she should get baptized and she did and the next day she told us she had a dream that I baptized her. Italians have the craziest dreams! So we are really excited! She is great. I also gave a 20 minute talk in church on Sunday about missionary work. It went pretty good I think. Other than that nothing really new. We had to take a 4 hour 30 minute drive to Bari today for the mission tour tomorrow! That wasn't very fun. I hope you are all doing good at home. The Church is true and it is slowly and steadly growing here in Italy. We are all excited for the Rome temple to be finished.Well better run. Sorry for the short email. Love you! P.S. Thanks for all the help with schooling! You are great!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thanks for all the Birthday Wishes

Anziano Green, Anziano Larsen and Roberta an investigator who made this cake for Caleb's 21st birthday

This week was great! Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I had a great day and a great week. My last transfer call came in and I will be staying here in Cosenza for my last transfer and unfortunatly my companion, Anziano Cremonesi, is getting transfered to Messina. But my next companion is going to be great. His name is Anziano Jones. I already know him. He is a really nice guy. He was in my district in Bari, and was companions with Anziano Green. This will be his 5th transfer in the mission. So I'm excited to finish the mission with him as my companion. Then Sunday was church and it was fast and testimony meeting and I got up to bear my testimony on prayer and how I received an answer to go on a mission through the testimony of someone else. I talked about how God always answers our prayers and how the mission has been the most incredible experience ever, and how God always responds to us in different ways we just need to search for an answer and recognize it. So I talked about Havier and how he talked about missionary work  and that was my answer. Right after I bore my testimony. Sorella Spizzieri, an incredible member of 3 years who lost her husband and son about 6 years ago, stood up and bore here testimony and said that she had been praying on whether she should serve a mission or not and that when I bore my testimony she received her answer to go! Good job Havier!! Ha it was really cool so she is going to start working on her papers. Then my birthday was super great. The members were all super nice and Gianna made me a suprise cake which was delicious and then our investigator, Roberta, made me a suprise cake and bought me a sweater! Too nice! Members kept calling me to wish me Happy Birthday. It was a really good day. Then this morning we woke up and a member called us to give her husband, who is not a member, a blessing because he is old and has a fever that has lasted 3 or 4 days and he wanted one. So we went there and he looked terrible. I was honestly scared that he was going to die on us. He couldn't breathe and was sweaty. They already took him to the doctor but they didn't do much for him so we gave him a blessing and said that he will heal and said some other stuff and we sealed the blessing and left the room. We go into the other room and start talking to his wife, the member, and like 15 seconds later he just walks right past us and sits down on the couch like nothing really happened. We all looked at each other like "What in the world!" Haha He isn't totally better but he looked pretty good by the time we left. That was super cool! Then after that we went to Sorella Spizzieri's house to make gniocchi. It was fun and really good. So the week here went really good. I hope you all are doing good at home even though it's cold. I miss you all a ton! Love you!!!  Hey Dad! Thanks for the Birthday wishes! Haha I will wreck you at running! I have two years of walking around legs. This week was awesome! So many things happened. You can read about it on the other email because I am to lazy to type it again. Our investigator Roberta is counting the days down for me. Every day she calls me and says, Anziano Larsen! You have 44 days left. It's the worst! Plus every night I have a dream about My home coming talk or going home or something, even though I am not thinking of home much. It's weird. All the missionaries call you the old missionary and keep reminding you how close you are to going home. Sounds like you are going to be quite busy with your job! Are you excited? Nervous at all? You'll do great! I miss football and Movies with the family. We will have to watch some sports and movies together when I get home. Oh yeah, Who won the superbowl this year? and Who was in it? Well thanks for writing I sure love you and miss you!! Ciao!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Zone Conference went Great

Hey! Zone conference went great this week! It was really good to see everyone. It was really weird bearing my end of mission testimony. It didn't make me feel very good. Ha, After that we had to stay the night in Bari because the buses here don't work so great. Plus it is a four hour ride from Bari to Cosenza. Then we just jumped back into our work. We are really trying to work with the members and they seem to be responding to our request for some help finding people. They have started giving us some more referalls. Oh yeah. Gianna, a new convert, was over at her freinds house, who has a grandpa in a coma, Gianna went over to the grandpa and started praying and he came out of the coma! Miracle! That was a exciting. Last night the assistants had to come sleep over at our house. It was fun seeing them. They just got back from the zone conference in Catania and they were dead. Ha So the General Authority that is coming is Elder Kent F. Richards. We are really excited to meet him! President Monson came to Europe to do a tour for the church and Elder Texiera asked him what is your advice for the missionaries here in Europe and President Monson paused for a second and said one sentance. "Never Give Up". That was such a simple thing that he said but really touched us and gave us a boost that we needed! The Church is true! Yes, we will have to do an Italian night of cooking. I'm looking forward to it. Thank you so much for looking into all of that stuff for me! It seems pretty reasonable, just need to find work. Keep your eyes peeled please. Hope you all had a great week! Love you soo much!!! Ciao!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Learning to make Lasagna

Ciao! This week has been great! We have been staying busy with English course and a student offered to do a free self defense class for anyone who would like to learn. It has been a lot of fun. I feel like in the smaller cities you have to do more activites like this to find people. Finding here is fun but it is a bit rough. So we want to really work hard on activites such as english course and geneology and other service projects. Our investigators are great. The other day one of our investigators brought us a whole pan of lasagna with pizza and fresh cake! It was great! Then a member taught us to make home made lasagna. Also she taught us to make home made noodles! It was really cool. I will have to make it for you all when I get home! On Friday we have zone conference in Bari. So that should be fun. This transfer I have to bear my closing testimony because next transfer a general authority is coming to tour our mission so we can't do it then. It will be a weird experience. Sounds like you all are having fun in the cold. Thank you so much for the money to get clothes. I found some great sales and bought some nice stuff! :)  That is awesome Dad!!! I knew you would get it! Sounds like a big job! You will be great! TAKE lots of notes! Haha I will be praying for you to be successful in your new job!  You truly deserve it. I will also be sure to get you some skinny ties! ha I love skinny ties. Any color preferences? I'm blessed with a great family and sure miss you all. Hope that you all have an incredible week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Work is Picking Up

Ciao! This week has been a bit more eventful than the others. On Thursday, we did an exchange with the zone leaders. Anziano Visitin, an Italian went with me and Anziano Casillas another Italian went with my companion. In the morning Anziano Visintin and I found 8 people who were interested and got their numbers. Then on Sunday one of them actually ended up coming to church. It was really cool! Then I got your package!! Thank you so much!! It made my week! I was really excited! Thanks a ton! Then the next day I got the letters from Brian, Heather, Aspen and McKell! It was really nice to hear from them. Then yesterday we had our district meeting in Catanzaro and President Kelly came to it to interview a girl their for her mission. After that we did our interviews. He is great! Truly an inspired man and he always has great advice to give. So my week went great!! The work is picking up and we hope that it will continue this way. How is Anziano Miller!? haha What a guy. I can't wait to hang out with him after the mission. He was a really up beat fun missionary. Oh I didn't know Anziano McMullen was going to UVU. That's great! I'll have to get a hold of him. Yeah I wouldn't worry about the housing so much but if you can just check a few prices for the summer that would be great! Also keep an eye out for a job please. I hope that I can get a good job to pay for schooling and housing after the mission. I really don't know what classes to sign up for cause I can't really look, but if you could talk to a councilor and they can look at what I need maybe you could sign me up for the english class I need, I'm not sure which one but the counselor can look it up for you, and maybe a few other classes that I need to get my associates but then leave some time so in the day so I can work and study. You can also write me next week with some suggestions if you get around to it. Well Thanks for everything! I love you tons! Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Our Ward Missionary is Awesome

Hey! This week has been a pretty average week. We did get a ward mission leader! Before I don't know why they didn't have one but now that we have one it will really help us to get this work moving along with the members. Our ward missionary is awesome. His name is Fratello Gardi. He used to be Branch President and he loves working with the missionaries. He owns a restaurant and asks us to pass by eveyday so that he can give us food. It is soo good! He always gives us bags of cornetti and pizza. We are over fed here. He is really good at making sure things happen that we plan. He calls all of our investigators, and less actives that we are working with to encourage them and always is free to come to our lessons. So we feel like we have a third companion in our companionship. The members are truly incredible. I can't wait for you to meet some of them. Sorella Spizzieri is going to come to Utah in April. So you will be able to meet her. The work is going a little slow but we really are working hard to change that around. We are trying to work hard with english course and geneology to introduce people to the gospel. Plus a lot of members have invited us over to teach their friends and family members, before we even finished our spiritual thought, they seem to be excited and so are we. Just hope that we can do our best to help them find this great truth. I feel so used to finding people on the streets that sometimes teaching feels a bit foreign. Teaching has become changed so much for me in the mission and seems to be mainly testifying. The doctrines and principles are so simple and easy and take such little time to explain that most of the time spent in the lesson is spent on testifying. Just telling them what you know to be true. As the mission goes on you slowly see this mess of puzzle pieces come together, into a more profond, deep understanding of every doctrine, and I'm sure that it will continue on like this for the rest of my life. As I strive to study and live the gospel. That is great that you have been going to the temple every week with Tayler! I would love to go with you when I get back. How did they just get my letter!? I did send that a long time ago! They are great! Yeah I'll be sure to put some money away for Mimi. Well I better run Love you tons and thanks for writing!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Really like this City

Hey! My first week here in Cosenza was great! The members are incredible. They have been so kind and won't stop giving us food! The branch here is small but not as small as I expected. There are about 30 members. They are very kind and really made me feel at home. My companions name is Anziano Cremonesi. He is from Cavenago di Brianza close to Milan. He is really cool. He is tall. I think he is taller than me. So we are a pretty tall companionship. He is very layed back but also a hard worker. This is his second transfer so I feel like I'm training him. Cosenza is beautiful as well! The old part of the city is incredible! I really like this city. It's nice to be around mountains again. You always have a referall point when you're walking around. I hope you all had a great New Years! What did you do? Here we had to stay inside after 6 oclock because people here get pretty crazy. So we couldn't sleep very well with all the fireworks going off. They sounded like bombs. Then on the first we had to clean our house. It is perfect now. I will have to send pictures next week because I left my camera at home. I got to run! Love you tons! Hope you have a great week!