I have been called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines Cauayan Mission. This blog is managed by my parents. If you would like to contact them, you can email at lindalarson1598@gmail.com

Monday, July 28, 2014


Two weeks ago, I said that charity is the Christlike attribute that I wanted to strive to develop. Well right now, I want to focus a little more on that. What exactly is charity? In Moroni 7:45, we are given a pretty good description: "And Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." In 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, we are also told that if we have every quality there is and we have not charity, we are nothing. I feel like I've always been a pretty nice guy, but charity is more than just that. It is sincerely loving people for their unique and individual selves and despite their weaknesses. (As I am typing this, my charity and love is being put to the test because I am sitting in an internet cafe with dozens of teenage boys shouting as loud as they can at their computer screen. But I still love them.....)

Anyways, yesterday at church, I think I counted probably 12 in attendance from the San Pablo area. And I would say that's actually pretty solid. Unfortunately, however, our investigator Anne was not one of those twelve. But we did have two good lessons with her this past week so hopefully next Sunday.

Elder Sison and I are still doing well. Because of the struggles we we have been having in the area, I think that discourages him a little bit and so there are times I feel like the effort we give is only average, instead of our full potential. But as a little incentive to hopefully boost our motivation a bit, I told him that if we reach our goal of lessons this next week that I would treat him to a free lunch to any restaurant that he wanted. As I said last week, the work and our situation here in San Pablo is definitely different than what I was accustomed to in my first two areas. However, I think that the harder we work-instead of just going through motions-the easier it will be to find success. Peace wit it till next week!

Pictures: After zone meeting this last Tuesday, we ate at a burger place that had a deal that I think is kind of similar to the Chubby's Challenge. Finish a HUGE burger (that is like the equivalent of four) in thirteen minutes or less and you've got yourself a free meal. Our Polynesian friend Elder Paea barely failed and had to pay 500 pesos (like 12 dollars) but our ZL Elder Cousin tackled the challenge and earned himself a free lunch.

 Elder Paea

Elder Cousin

Friday, July 25, 2014

Nobody Said It Was Easy

"Nobody said it was easy." Coldplay says it as it is in their song "The Scientist". I believe LeBron James made a similar statement before he signed with the Heat. (btw lol that he is returning to Cleveland...) Anyhow, such is true in missionary work. We are still doing a lot of searching for people to teach and haven't found a ton. To paint a picture on logistics, of the 100+ members who attended church in the Cabagan ward yesterday, a total of only 5 came from the San Pablo area. However, as Jeffrey R. Holland put it: "The salvation of souls was NEVER meant to be easy."  Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he made possible the way for every one of us to return to Him. But of course, we know that His suffering for all of our sins and pains was no easy thing. So we shouldn't expect that our work as missionaries to bring others back to Him to be a walk in the park.

Although we have been struggling a bit in the work, we did come across a light of hope this last week. We recently met Anne, who is a single mother around the age of 22. She has actually met with the missionaries before and even attended church but told us that back then she had a pretty busy schedule or something so the elders kind of stopped visiting. But we taught her this last week and she still seems pretty interested in the gospel so I think there is a lot of potential. Being a missionary can be hard. But I love it so much. And it is soo worth it. And lastly, a Happy Birthday S/O to my dear Jake 'MacDaddy' McFarland. The big 2-0. Well, hope each of you has a fantastic week. Love y'all!

P.S-Picture of the week: Last night we attended a funeral service. It was like 30 minutes away and we all had to pile into the back of a pickup truck. So that's an explanation of the following picture. Nobody else is looking at the camera. Where's Cory Adams Photography when you need it?!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Planting Seeds

Hey guys. Before we begin, I would like to wish a Happy Birthday this upcoming week to a few good pals of mine-Sawyer Norman and Braden King. Please have days full of splendor of joy.

Anyways, in regards to my message for this week, I've got some good news that doesn't exactly have to do with me or my current area. The story begins back in my first area of Cabarroguis. My tatay and Elder Merza and I often taught a 19-year-old man named Reden. We had taught him most of the lessons and although he had a good understanding of the gospel and the principles we taught. But although he had a 17-year-old sister who was active in the church, he didn't really show an interest in being baptized and was usually busy when it came to us asking him if he would attend church on Sunday. However, he continued to listen to our teachings. Fast forward to now, five months after I was transferred from Cabarroguis: I recently got word that Reden, as well as 3 more of his family members, were baptized this last week.

We weren't the ones who ended up with the opportunity of baptizing them, but to me that is not the important thing. What is important is that this young man and his family continued to come closer to Christ and were able to enter into the waters of baptism and that we were able to play a part in his conversion and introducing him to the gospel. I guess that is where the title comes in-Elder Merza and I were not around for the actual baptism, but I am happy that we were able to 'plant the seed'.

We don't have to be full-time missionaries in order to plant seeds in the hearts of others, and we don't necessarily have to inform somebody all about our church to do the planting. As members of our church, we can do it through our every day example to others...This last week, I was studying Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel (Christlike Attributes). Throughout my mission up to this point, I had really been focusing on trying to acquire the attribute of patience. Now I have decided to switch my focus to the attribute of charity and striving to develop a more Christlike love to everyone I come across. I know that if we all try a little harder to show our love towards others, people-whether they be fellow members of our church or not-will notice.

This last week, I also talked with my last companion Elder Mabini and he told me that Glen Delamente (the 17-year-old brother of our recent convert in Angadanan) will also be baptized this coming Saturday the 19th and I am very happy for him as well. As for Elder Sison and I here in San Pablo, we actually haven't been as lucky recently. We have had to do a lot of tracting lately-basically just walking around talking and getting to know as much people as we can-but right now we have only a few investigators in our teaching pool and nobody yet who seems all that interested. But I know that missionary work is not a walk in the park that is meant to easy and we just need to keep trying, and then eventually success will come and we will see the results of our work. Even if all we do is plant some seeds that can be nourished in the future.

Pair of dudes after some hard work in the pouring rain 

Yesterday was Elder Sison's birthday

Monday, July 7, 2014

Greetings from San Pablo

Well, I'm the new guy again. So let me answer the simple questions first that everyone is dying to know--I am in the San Pablo area (Tuguegarao South zone. Still very hot but luckily I got here in time for rainy season) but it is under the Cabagan ward. So there are two elders in Cabagan who we go to church with but we aren't in the same apartment. Their area has a lot more of the members because they are close to the church and we are kind of the outskirts. Our 10-minute tricee ride to sacrament meeting yesterday made me miss the 2-minute walk it took us in Angadanan, but all is well. The members in our area are nice. The ward seems more organized than Angadanan. I think Bishop likes me and other foreign missionaries, but as I sat next to and talked to him during a funeral service we had yesterday, he makes a lot of rather racist comments towards Americans; And I'm not sure he really realizes it. So I just think it's funny hahaha.

My companion is Elder Sison, from Manila. 20 years old. He has been out for like about a year and a half. I think the reason I have the 'special assignment' that I mentioned last week is for something that happened in the past and also because Elder Sison's last companion had to go to the hospital last cycle and they weren't able to work the last few weeks. However, he and I kind of seemed to click right away and I think everything will be fine. Our apartment is nice enough (I'm 3/3! Trust me-not all missionaries are as lucky as I have been with good apartments) and the only thing about the work is that we are kind of in a "finding" process for people to teach. But if we work hard, I know that everything will play out and be alright.

We had a district activity earlier at Callao Caves in commemoration of a sister's birthday (Pictures disclosed below). And speaking of birthdays, if anybody has forgotten, Bryce's (or umm Elder Larson's I mean) is in a month so if you really want to make an Asian guy happy, you can feel free to start preparing letters or something :) But if not..that's okay too. I still love you all. Have a superb week and if it ever gets really hot in Utah, there's a solid chance that it could be hotter here. Until next week.

 Callao Caves

 "Buddha" rock: Look closely and you can see his bald head and the side of his face

I'm on a boat and it's going fast (That's my comp next to me)