Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Dear Families,

We are the Larsen’s.  We  are a senior couple doing education and self-reliance in Port Vila.  For the holiday, Pres. Brewer asked us to go to Tanna to be with the missionaries.  We had a wonderful visit with them.  We had a service project in the morning.  Then we had a buffet lunch catered by a local restaurant.   The missionaries had more than enough to eat.  After lunch we played volleyball and some basketball.  At the end of the afternoon, we gathered to share some council and our testimonies with the missionaries.  And – we gave them any mail or packages that they had from home.  We are sending you some of the pictures that were taken during the day.

Your young men and women are doing well!!!!

Elder and Sister Larsen

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Room For Contention

I can no belief that it is so close up to Christmas!! Thank you too much for sending all of those pictures of the Santa party! It looks like Santa came to a different house this year!  THOSE PRETZELS look sooo tastey!! Speak of tastey...Thank you BIG one for all of the treats, food, and clothes!! When those cartons of food came I am not even going to lie... my companion and me about cried.  We were so happy!!! And those homemade cookies made my whole laef better!!!! :) I shared them with some of our neighbors and they LOVED them.  One of them told me that when he comes to America that is the only thing he wants to eat! haha.  Thank you too much!!!!!! I can not even say it enough!!! But mother! Sending those cartons is expensive too much!!! I can no belief how expensive it is to send things over here! Sorry so much! But thank you!! And thank you for the shirt and those skirts too! Those skirts are perfect.  The fabric is amazing, and it does really well with the board wash! Thank you big one!!! You are the best!!! We decorated our house with the Christmas stockings and all of our neighbors think we are crazy! Christmas is not a very big holiday over here, and so it was good to decorate to try to feel a little bit like Christmas!

Wow it is weird to hear that it is cold at home! It has been hot bitim every hot this week!! And the volcano has been fired up big one! I have not been able to sleep! haha.  It is great!! Christmas is so close up! I call a week from today to set up our appointment to talk on Christmas!

Please please help Sister P have a good Christmas this year. Please go and spend some time with her, she loves to story! I wish I was there to spend Christmas with her! Bake her some treats, but make sure they are soft because she has a hard time eating the hard ones! But she loves treats!! And a salad! Bring her your homemade spinach salad! She loves that! Tell her I love her and miss her big one!!!

This week we have seen miracles in our branch.  Our branch has really been struggling because of tribal/political fights that have been going on.  It has been really hard to make misisioari work the past couple of weeks.  We  have four Melkezedek Priesthood holders in our branch and they  had all been fighting.  We were able to organize a meeting to  help them all address all of their concerns.  They all started arguing and finally we stopped them and asked them why they thought the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints has that name.  They all shrugged their shoulders and we were able to explain that this church is not the church of Ashanti tribe, it is not the church of John From, it is not the church of one man, but it is the Church of Jesus Christ.  All of the political rubbish has no place in the church.  This church is not for a specific group of people, but it is for all people.  We are all invited to come and partake of the fruits of this gospel.  There is no room in the Church of Jesus Christ for contention.  It does not matter if your side of the fight is right, it does not matter if your grudge is justified, if you have contention  you are wrong.  If you have contention in your heart, you have no room for the Holy Ghost to be there.  After that meeting we saw many hearts soften.  They all still bin got all of their differences, but now they have a heart and eye single to the glory of Papa God.
My tripping problem has not been fixed since I got here.  Embarrassing story of the week:  It was night and we had just bin finished a meeting with our branch mission leader.  All of the men in village had bin making a meeting down on the sun beach down from our house.  The path to our house was right in the middle of the meeting so we decided to go around and take another path.  I was holding the torch trying to light the path for us.  I got embarrassed because they all started looking over at us so I started to walk really quickly.  Apparently I was not looking at where I was going because I was embarrassed.  The next thing I knew I was face down in the dirt in a small three foot rubbish hole... I was so embarrassed.  Some one had dug a big big hole to throw all of their rubbish in to burn and I hadn't seen it and fell face first into it.  And the worst part was...everyone saw because all of the sudden the torch light was gone. After I got up and my companion helped me out of the hole covered in dirt and who knows what.. all of the people at the meeting started laughing!! They all started yelling, "Kaka yu bin faldoan!" haha.  So embarrassing.  

Love you all!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Someone Call 911

Oh my word, can I just tell you that sending all of those picture of food was probably the rudest form of torture in the entire world? All of the missionaries gathered around my computer and salivated over all of that food. That all looks so amazing.  I am so jealous that you all got to eat and have Thanksgiving. It looks like you out did yourself back again mom! All of the decorations look great! I know how much hard work goes into that, and I am so glad I wasn't there to help! ;) haha joke no more! :)

This week definitely brought its fair share of trials our way.  Papa God is definitely testing our faith and putting us through the refiners fire here in White Sands.  Tuesday my companion woke up at 4 in the morning.  I was tired too much and I thought that she was just going to the toilet, so I just rolled over. All of the sudden she walked over the mirror and I heard her scream, and I mean scream.  I jumped out of bed and ran over to her and she turned to show me a big..something on her neck.  I was a little shocked and I just sungout "What the heck is that?" haha..(yeah I don't think that helped the situation) I got my torch and looked a little closer at it and it looked like a 2 inch long blister sort of thing..but something was inside it.  It was yellow and had little white eggs inside of it.  After my awesome reaction, my companion began to cry and cry because she was fright.  I fastened some fabric around my waist and ran over to house of our neighbors to ask them if they had ever seen anything like that before. They all gave the same reaction that I did and so we were a little concerned. Every time I tried to touch it she would scream...so I just got a pen and marked the ends of the sore so that I could try to track the growth of it.  Thirty minutes later no more the sore had grown 1/2 an inch.  It was hurting her so bad, so I told her that I would ring the mission nurse in Villa.  After explaining the situation, the mission nurse told me to ring the elders and have them come carry us to the hospital.  We waited about an hour and a half while they drove here and then we went to the hospital. Man am I grateful for the hospitals in America now, you would die if you saw what we saw.
We got to the hospital around 10 in the morning and Sister Lutui was in a lot a lot of pain.  I walked quickly around the hospital trying to find where to check in and then one lady said, "the hospital is closed until afternoon" What kind of hospital just closes? Ale..so the two of us just stopped wait until 1:30.  While we were sitting there waiting Sister Lutui began to whimper back again and say that her arm was stinging and burning so bad. I looked down and she had another sore coming up on her arm. This sore was worse beating the other sore.  This sore was an open, sore and pussing.  At 1:30 one man that worked at the hospital came up to us and said, "Sorry too much, but there are no doctors at the hospital today.  We will try to find someone who schooled small to see you two." Are you kidding me? Is this real life? So we waited and waited and finally a man in a dirty white coat came and told us to come back into some room.  He asked to see her sores and then he said, "hmm I don't really know what this is, so I am just going to leave them a lone and have you two try taking a medicine.." Sister Lutui started to cry and that's when Miss Katelyn bossy pants came out..haha.  I said, "Brata, do you think you could try to drain the sore on her neck and dress it to try to relieve some pressure?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "si si that is probably a good idea.."  After I said, "And this one on her wrist is red, she has a fever, and it is pussing, I think it is infected.  Do you think you could drain this one dress it and give us an antibiotic?"  He said, "Si si..that is good idea too" haha...are you serious? He wrote all of my instructions down on a piece of paper and told us to wait to go receive our treatment.  We went into the door next door labeled "treatment room".  When we walked in there was a wooden chair and a sink with no soap. One man in basketball shorts came in and asked, "Sistas, what operation am I doing?"  hahaha that is the wrong thing to say..Sister Lutui started to cry and said, "Sister Brown please don't let them kill me.." haha.  Needless to say..she survived!  The "nurse" sent me home with a sterile solution, gauze, wrap, and a syringe to try to drain the wound every day and dress it every day.  I have been up all night every night playing nurse.  She ran a high fever for four days and both of her sores got really really infected.  It was so fun to play doctor!  We went back to the hospital 2 other days this week and finally on Sunday the sores stopped draining and things are looking better now! I pray that I will NEVER have to go to that hospital!  I will attach a picture of one of the infected sores and me making surgery.

I have never been so tired in my life.  I have been able to get sleep 1 hour every night this week because my companion has been sick! But it's all good, because when we went to the hospital in Lenakel we got an ice cream cone!!! A REAL ONE!! I WAS SOO HAPPY!! :) My Thanksgiving wasn't that big this year.  I drew my companion a hand turkey and told her Happy Thanksgiving.  We ran out of food, and the only thing left in our house was a tube of popcorn kernals. We were excited too much to eat popcorn because we have been CRAVING American food!!  I put them on the stove and then went to borrow something from the neighbors. When I came back my companion was asleep and the entire house was filled with smoke. I ran to the stove and turned it off.  After I got tongs to try to take the lid off and when I did flames came out of the pot. Needless to say, my Thanksgiving dinner was nothing compared to yours. Happy Thanksgiving to me I guess? haha.  (Good thing our house didn't catch on fire, we have been out of water for two days...)  haha
On Tuesday this week we also received news that our unit will be shut down for the time being.  There are some tribal situations going on that made it so our unit can not meet anymore. For the time being we are no longer allowed to even proselyte in that area whatsoever.  We cannot even walk about on that side of our area.   We had all of the people that used to attend the unit meet together so that we could tell them the news. My heart broke for all of these people as I told them.  They all cried and cried as we carried the sacrament trays and calico out of the unit.  We cried the whole way home and all of the mama's did not want us to leave.  I know that Papa God is testing the faith of these people and of us as missionaries.  He needs us to sacrifice for a small time and then he will show us his plan for us. It is just so hard because we have worked so hard in this area and had 8 people ready to get baptized this Saturday.  Now we will not be able to do that for the time being.  We have been fasting and praying all week to understand Papa's will for our unit.  I know that the unit will stand back up again.  I know that Satan is working really hard, but Papa God will always win. On Sunday many of the people from the unit made the walk to the Branch to worship.  We all cried as they shared their sweet testimonies of sacrifice.  This week has been a very faith testing week, but I am so grateful for all of these trials that I have faced here.  They are making me tough, and helping me learn patience.  Missionary work is amazing!!! The experiences are experiences that I will never forget!  Thank you for all of the support and prayers!! I hope that you all have a fantastic week!