Monday, December 26, 2016

A Very Merry Christamas

Well! Merry Christmas everyone! For me its been great, talking to my family is one of the things I have looked forward to for about 7 months now, (since mothers day). Being on the mission has really opened my eyes on how great family actually is. They are a great gift we have that oftentimes we take for granted. They are the "real ones", cause they'll always be there for you even if you dont want them to. I love my family and Im super excited to get back to them, but I have 8 months left on my mission to focus on first.

So this past week we had our Christmas conference as a mission, and it was super cool :) we had a bunch of uplifting messages and songs, as well as good food! As everyone whos ever met me they know that I appreciate that most of all ๐Ÿ˜œ. Anyway they showed us a video from this year in the mission and President Nuckols is allowing us to share it, so heres the link:

At the conference I got to see a bunch of missionaries from my group, and of course we had to take a picture. We had one with all the Sister missionaries as well but the guy who took those pictures didnt really know what he was doing so they are blurry. But theres me, and elders murray, airmet, crosby, francis, and stoeltzing. Also theres a picture of me and elder Castro!  Its so awesome being here because I am making so many friends in the process of sharing the greatest message the world has ever heard. What a blessing!

Also on Christmas Eve we were invited to a members house to have dinner with them and their family! It was heavenly I must say. REAL MEAT AND POTATOES! Needless to say I was losing my mind. We are going to eat there on New Years Eve as well sooooo Im one happy Elder.

I hope everyone has had a good holiday! The next one Ill be there to share it with y'all.
Until next week!
Elder Larkin


ALSO funny story:

Here theres a green apple soda that my companion likes alot, and he orders them from the colmado sometimes. SO earlier today he calls them and asks, "pueden mandarme un refresco de manzana verde?" or "can you send me a green apple soda?" And when the kid gets here with JUST 1 SINGLE GREEN APPLE, my comp just looks at him and is like, "are you serious?" But he paid for it anyway, and he never got his soda.

So obviously I had to take a picture of him with his apple.


Monday, December 19, 2016

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Merry early Christmas to everyone! Espero que todos se encuentran bien esta semana!
Here in azua, in the spirit of Christmas, naturally, we went hiking through a river to a waterfall. Yes, it's December 19th, and we were basically playing in a river. That's living on a tropical island for ya! Nevertheless it was very fun and we took some fun pictures.
This week work wise has been a little tough because lots of people here are leaving to go visit family in the capital and what not, so we've been focusing on the members here and less actives to just strengthen the branch. That's always good right? ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
Anyways, for those of you who haven't seen the "Light the World" video, here it is.
LIGHTtheWORLD — Follow the example of Jesus Chris…:
So many people focus on the temporal side of Christmas,  the gifts and being with family, vacations, etc. And a lot of the times we forget why we actually celebrate Christmas in the first place. CHRIST. This is the time of the year we celebrate his birth, and we remember what he actually did, and does, for US.
He was sent to this world for one purpose. To atone for our sins; or rather, suffer, bleed, ache, and die for each and every one of the sins we make daily. If it weren't for him none of us could even have a chance at living with our heavenly family again. So this holiday weekend, amongst having all the fun stuff that comes with Christmas, remember the important stuff :).

I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and weekend!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Elder Larkin

Monday, December 12, 2016

My Life

So now Im here in Azua, and its not half bad! My companion Elder Torres is from Columbia and hes super cool, although hes a little quiet. We live in a really nice house and every day we get to cross a river going to our area or basically anywhere we go. I didnt bring my camera anywhere this week but next week Ill definitely have pictures. 

One thing about Azua? ITS HOT. very very hot. haha at night I dont sleep even with sheets, just the fan and the other fan I inherited. 

Oh and also my district? ALL HERMANAS. Its me and my comp, then 4 sister missionaries, its kinda fun cause we do alot more activities and whatnot. 

But yeah! This'll be a short email today because Im still getting into the way of life here, getting to know the area, the members, and whatnot, but next weeks email will be longer! 

Heres a picture of my whole life on the side of the street. Yep! Thats what I live with!!

Anyways! I love you all! GET HYPED FOR CHRISTMAS
Elder Larkin

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pueblo Abajo

It's come to an end. My time here in tamayo is over! It's very sad actually. I've grown very attached to the people here and I don't want to leave. I wanted to go to the temple with everyone and see them make covenants and do everything they've been waiting for for a long time. Oh well! It's like this alot of the time for all missionaries at one point or another. I've been called to serve in Azua, a different zone in an area called Pueblo Abajo. All I've heard about Azua is that its the hottest part of the country sooooo that will be fun! Work on my farmers tan a little while walking in the street๐Ÿ˜‚

So now that it's OFFICIALLY December, we can now bring out the Christmas music, those of you who brought it out after Halloween need to repent๐Ÿ˜‚
Since this is the season of family and love and of Christ, I'd just like to share a conversation I had with my wonderful mother. So she's been called as a primary teacher and they had a lesson on the atonement. And she tells me she just asked one question. "Why did Christ die for us?" And the answer they gave was simple, but very sweet. "It's because he loves us"

But yes the message is clear. Christ died because he loves us. I've found myself testifying of him more and more every lesson I teach. That because he loves us and wants the best for us like any older brother would, he put his own life down to lift us up. I love my older brother. And I want to be more like him.

I hope everyone has a great week and a great start to your Christmas holiday! Enjoy the pictures of all the people in my branch/group :)
Elder Larkin

Monday, November 28, 2016

Killin It / 15 Months

With 9 months to go my mission seems to be coming to an end. TOO FAST. I cant even handle it. The only way I can explain it is like a mountain. Its good and hard going up, and you feel good. Then you look back down where you came from, and say, that wasnt that bad, and then you go down the other side of the mountain, but this time its hard to slow down because its steep so youre just basically sprinting the whole way down. And I think by the bottom of my "mountain" it'll feel like half the time it took to get to the middle point. I dont know thats how I've been imagining it. And we talk alot about "the mountain"alot in the mission. Goals and whatnot.

Oh yeah, HAPPY THANKSGIVING/BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY! haha I must say my thanksgiving was less than satisfying. We were working all day and I didnt even realize it was thanksgiving until it was 9:30 at night when we got home. I was super tired and had to debate on whether or not I was even going to eat dinner, but then I decided to make myself an empanada and drink a weird rootbeer thing they have here called "mabรญ de bejuco indio" So thanksgiving was "eh" for me but still good cause I taught people the true restored gospel that day. :)

In Tamayo, Macho, (my shirtless friend) was called as the president of the group. I am very happy for him, he is super faithful and He'll do a great job. I attached a picture of him in his white shirt and tie below. Haha the changes people make when they hear truth right?

But me and my companion are doing really really well with the new people we are finding and it'll continue like that! Also Saturday ill find out if im leaving my area or not. Ive been here for 4 1/2 months and thats about the max for people in Tamayo. we'll see though!!

Love you all! Have a nice start to your holiday season!
Elder Larkin

Monday, November 21, 2016


Change is necessary for someone to be truly converted to anything in this life. Ive found this out through personal experience and  by watching others experience this change themselves. This change that is necessary is just that, necessary. That means whether we want to or not, and most of the time it will be nice and difficult. But in the end itll be all worth it. This is what I have been thinking about this week.
Mosiah 5:7 
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

As for events, we have been doing a bunch of stuff! We've been getting out more often and finding more and more people to teach and its quite the effort but totally worth it :) We've been focusing on finding families to teach and we HAVE found a lot! Super excited for these people :) We had a zone conference on Saturday and Elder Martinez of the seventy was there. A quote that he said stuck with me as we were talking about obedience. "Obedience brings blessings. EXACT obedience brings miracles." Nice to think about :)

We also had a fireside as a branch about families and the plan of salvation. It was really nice and we had alot of people attend. There was a message that today there are lots of bad things in this world, but what we do as families can help keep ourselves out of all that mess. It was a great time.

But yeah, this week Ive been super tired everyday, and have been going to bed like EARLY so thats a good thing right? Work hard, sleep hard. ๐Ÿ˜

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week! And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Elder Larkin

Oh and heres some pictures of me and Macho. Hes a convert who'll be going to the temple this December, and Im teaching him how to tie his ties :) And NO he never wears a shirt. Super funny :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pretty Normal Week actually

So this week nothing really special happened! We just worked and worked some more. Didnt take any pictures this week either so this will be a short email sorry to say. 

So teaching this week was actually pretty good. The youth we baptised were all able to receive the priesthood and now they are passing and doing a bunch of stuff the young men do. Julian, the man we baptized, blessed the sacrament with me on sunday so that was pretty cool for him. He was nervous about messing up but I told him everyone messes up so its fine. He did if perfectly and the meeting went great. So we had a record high of church attendance! 70 people with 10 investigators and 10 Less-actives. The last missionaries that were here put that as a goal a long time ago and yesterday we finally achieved it. Go us haha.

Other than that we really didnt do a whole lot. We did play a lot of Dominoes and Cards in our free time. The missionary from St. Lucia, Elder Joseph, is crazy good at dominoes and he basically destroys the other team every time but Im getting better. Other than that though hes not that great at cards. They tell me Im only good at cards because im from Las Vegas. haha who knows :)

Anyways, earlier this week President Nuckols was talking to the missionaries and what he said stuck with me a little bit. He said that there are only 3 reasons for disobedience, whether it be commandments, or other rules. People are lacking conversion, lacking knowledge, or lacking motivation, basically people are either Faithless, Clueless, or just Lazy. Or a mix of them. I took an inward look at myself and asked, "what am I letting slide?" It is hard to judge ourselves and hard to see the things we are lacking in, but if we do it, and then take initiative to fix it, the better off we all are. I challenge everyone to look at themselves and this week, try to change for the better.

I hope everyone has had an amazing week! I hope everyone stays safe and doesnt get caught in a riot or something cause Trump won the election๐Ÿ˜‚
Love y'all!
Elder Larkin

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baptisms, Dominoes, and Service

Yet another full week! So first off on Wednesday instead of watching a movie like we normally do the branch decided to play dominoes with everyone! Now I dont wanna brag, but I am pretty good at how dominicans play dominoes. Its a little different than normal. But there were a bunch of people there and It was really fun! The tournament started, and because we were SO lucky we played some of the old people who have been playing dominoes for 40+ years. So needless to say we lost. Elder Holder somehow got into the semi-finals. After he told me, "haha half the time I was just putting pieces down." PSHHH.

On Saturday, we had a service project near the hospital. Since the hurricane, every time it rains here the streets fill up with mud. Its really bothersome to the people who live near it and we decided that for the national day of service we should all go out and clear some mud and weeds and stuff like that. It was very hot and sweaty, but it was fun and worth it. Some people even came out and thanked us for clearing it out because they were either "too old or too lazy" (thats what they said, not my words) to do it themselves. After that we headed back to the church to fill up the baptismal font and prepare for that.

We had our baptism service at 6:00pm and it was really special. The 2 youth both asked me to baptize them, and It was very spiritual and uplifting. The church really can change the lives of people and their families. Its a pleasure to be apart of everything thats happening here in Vicente Noble. I know I've said it alot, but its true. We've had a lot of success in these last few weeks. 8 Baptisms and there are still 2 more planned for this month. 

I hope everyone enjoys the many pictures I took (especially you Mom๐Ÿ˜) and I hope everyone had a good week!
Love y'all! 
Elder Larkin

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Drinking Day!

Thought it was Halloween? Well! Nope! It's just another day here in the Dominican Republic. Today if just another excuse to go out and get heavily intoxicated. Fun right? Haha.

This week, wow. Very very good. Me and my companion elder Holder are doing very well put here. This week we happily baptized 4 youth, and the other missionaries 2 more. It's so awesome to see an area thrive the way it is right now. I have a bunch of pictures that I have and I hope I can get them uploaded today. If not I'll upload them tomorrow!

Today we had a fun p-day. First we went to get out money but of course my cards were cancelled. Oh yeah forgot to say this! So my wallet got lost on a bus when I had to go to the capital. So naturally I got all my cards cancelled. Just after that the next day some other bus driver tells me that it's at the offices of the bus drivers. So I go there and they gave me everything back! Everything but the cash that was inside that is. When I asked, they were like, OH THERE WAS MONEY INSIDE?!? Whatever you say guys! Haha freaking theives. But I'm not that worried about it cause all the important stuff was there. So I'm happy! 

Haha anyways so after i got rejected at the ATM we went to eat hamburgers and then to the beach to find a conch shell. We met this guy who had just fished one out while snorkeling and he sold it to us for 100 pesos. About 2 dollars and 25 cents. And it's really big so that's a really good deal. After that we just messed around and then went home.

This week was really good! Also this week will be too. I have 2more baptisms on Saturday.
Anyways! I hope all of you start safe tonight trick or treating! I'm gonna work on those photos now.

Love y'all!
Elder Larkin