"Be strong and of a good courage; Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee." Joshua 1:9

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Phone Call

Here are a few of the "details" Tay shared with us on the phone yesterday. So fun!

* Tayler and his companion (and a few other elders) were at a members home and noticed a small monkey tied to a tree. They went over to take pictures and see it. It grabbed Taylers tie and climbed up him-nearly choking itself to death in the process because it had the rope around its neck! He said it just kept crawling up him, even though its head was craning backwards because of the rope! He got pictures...can't wait to see these.

* For Christmas, the Branch had a dinner in the church building where Tay and his companion live. They spread pine needles all over the floor (guess this is the custom) and then they served a soup called Caldo. Usually this has broth and beef or a chicken in it, but since it was Christmas, they threw in one of the tame turkeys that wander the yards. Tay loved it and said it is very tasty. They eat it alot.

* There are two zones in the Polochic area-Kekchi speaking with about 40+- missionaries.

* Santo Domigo (Tay's current area) is like a little pueblo, and sits on a saddle. He cannot buy groceries here, only chips and snacks.

* We asked Tayler about tracting and how it differs from the US. He said they walk on little dirt paths through the moutainside until they get about 20' from someones hut. When they are 20' from their hut, they call out announcing they are approaching by calling out an owl sound or something that sounds like (and I wrote this down based on how he said it) "banoowl". Most people welcome them, and when they hear the call, will come out of their huts to greet them. When passing people on the trails, they usually just say "Hey" or "Bueno".

* Taylers companion is from Nicaragua and his name is Elder Flores. Tayler has been helping him with English. He and Elder Flores are now teaching an English class in the branch once per week and have about 10 people that come.

* Favorite part of mission so far? Tay said it is having a different perspective on life and knowing what it is truly all about and knowing the BIG picture. He likes being able to help people, answer their questions, find their answers in the scriptures, and answer doctrinal questions. He loves it.

* The Polochic area is fertile. There are crops everywhere-pineapple, corn, beans. Tayler loves the refried black beans with eggs and has become the cook for him and his companion. Sounds like he is cooking alot of french toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, etc.

* Says he feels like Indiana Jones and is loving it! :) Wants everyone to know he loves them and misses them and to keep writing!


An email AND a phone call this week! What a perfect Christmas present to hear Tay's voice and listen to a sample of the Kekchi language in his voice! We huddled in the living room around two conference phones so everyone could hear and talk-and the time went way too fast!

1) What the heck happened last week? Elder Schones mom said you were sitting next to him and emailing, so what's up?
no clue i wrote and everything. it must not have sent. well that ticks me off.
2) How is Elder Legua? Tell him hello for me. I have been thinking of him and keeping him in my prayers.
i will.
3) How is your companionship going?
good. were improving. :)
4) Any new investigators? Did you baptize Abraham yet or the other man you were teaching?
nope, nothin yet. abraham says ppl from other churches are visiting him too so hes thinking really hard. says hes prayed and asked but hasnt gotten a reply. were still working with him though. hes a smart guy. we have a baptismal date with a girl named Irlanda. well see. its for the ninth of january.
5) Did you get pictures of the little girls you baptized?
no,but ill ask hna. martin for them. shes got some i think.
6) Do you know that all we want for Christmas is to talk to our missionary and that we love him so much?
same here. btw have you found those hiking boots?
7) Any new sicknesses or wierd things happen this week? (I know, random question...)nope nothin haha
8) What happened at Zone Conference? Did you enjoy it? Did you see anyone else you knew at the CCM? Get pictures?
we went to Coban. it was really stressful. we had to get up early at like 2 in the morning and leave for coban to get there at 7. then our interviews didnt start until like three. that stunk a little. so i couldnt go buy my butter until really late. it was a good zone conference though. i saw elder carranza (my dad in the mission) and elder goodwin and a few others. the rest i didnt really know very well.
9) Did you get your Christmas package? (Two stockings inside and food items)
yes i did! thank you! i havent opened the christmas stockings yet though. im saving it for christmas. but the food is great thank you!!
10) How do you do your laundry in your area now?
the branch presidents wife does it for us. we pay her ninety quets a month to do it.
11) Are you sleeping at night?
yep. except last night. it was really cold. and this morning it was solid fog. it was way cool.
12) How is the language learning coming this week? Any better?
yep its better. im testifying and i can contact now. so it will get alot better this week.
13) Did Grady give you his address?
no but he'll write me sometime
i will call you on wednesday with details. thats something i spent money on in coban. saldo for the phone cuz i was confused about the whole process. haha. well see, very soon we shall here our voices!

well im sorry you didnt get my email. dang third world connection. thats two now that its cost me. but i promise i wrote it all and sent it! anyway this last week we didnt really do anything. it was really busy. we went to coban which is an awesome place. when you come here ill take you guys there. the capital sucks so coban is the place. haha last week on p day we went to a cool bridge place. one of the rope bridges with steel cables. got some cool pictures that youll get...sometime. then later that day i saw a guy try and get up on the curb on his bike but his back tire stuck. it was hilarious, especially because in that exact same spot i saw someone else do the exact same thing hahahaha. a dog tried biting me last night but didnt touch me. just ripped a whole in my pants. it was funny too. the branch presidents wife gave us escargo to eat. yep the snail stuff. YUCK!. the snails dont taste bad its just the whole idea. i have pretty funny pictures though.
last week in my email i talked about looking into an archeaology major. apparently some guy found a skeleton in a cave two days journey into the forest. well he took four teeth out of the skull and has them. hes in elder schones area so hes gonna go ask for them. what a great adventure that would be when you come down here huh? but only five people know about this thing. pretty cool huh? hows bishop warren doing? tell everyone hi for me. and thank them. the lady that was revived by a priesthood blessing was really sick so they started taking her to the hospital. enroute her heart stopped so they gave her a blessing and she came back. then the doctor, when they arrived, asked why she was alive and said that she should have been dead. my companion fell in the river last week. he broke the two log bridges hand hold and went right in. it was hilarious-he was laughing so hard. i was laughing soooo hard. it was shallow so he didnt go anywhere. but it was absolutely hilarious.
last week we went to an area thats like 3 hours away. it totally reminded me of the lost sheep out of the 99. we went all the way to his house to teach a 45 minute lesson then walk all the way back. but its amazing. i have amazing pictures too.
i love you! Merry Christmas!!
love, elder larsen

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 25: Earthquakes and FHE

Letter from Our Missionary this week! He sounds good-but we are frantically making a Christmas Music CD to send to him. Guess we should have planned ahead and sent that with him! :)

HEY! I got my camera today in the morning! thank you so much! please take the money out of my account though. i don't want christmas presents this year. i'm giving everything i have and that's all i want.
yesterday i taught the young men and women in spanish about the book of mormon. what it is, who wrote it, where it came from and why we have it.
the next zone conference is in a week and a half in coban where i will get my other packages. i only got my camera today cause the ZL's had meetings with the president in the capitol and brought it back for me. but when we went to the last zone conference we were in elder leguas area and we stayed in a motel made of reeds. pretty interesting. haha.
the language is coming, but its still way hard. its coming-it just feels like its pouring in slowly. its a very simple language. thinking the Lord is just teaching me a little dedication and work ethic right now.
couple new investigators. one is named Abraham Caal (same last name as everyone-caal or coc). hes interested and wants to learn more. hes a school teacher, so i can teach him in spanish instead of kekchi. finally i getta use my voice! another one is named oscar. he came to church yesterday and he lives like two hours away walking. said he bathed in the river half way to church so he wouldn't smell bad. hes very smart and understands english too! lucky me!
well, another week and another change down. christmas season has started and i miss christmas music insanely! watched the first presidency christmas devotional last night and it was awesome. especially when the choir sang oh holy night. gave me chills. i love that song.
we went to the branch presidents house this week for FHE. he has a very big family-like seven kids. he told us how he's giving everything-even removing the one lightbulb in the house-to pay for his childrens educations and to give them futures. i almost cried. that really hit me.
uncle clinton looks like the guy in gods army.
the other night i was lying awake thinking at like 11:30 at night and we had an earthquake. it was pretty cool. smaller than the one we had in glenwood but the exact same thing happened. weird noise and everything moved, nothing more.
if you send any seeds in a package again, send sweet corn! the people here harvest lots of corn and its nasty stuff. if you send some, one packet or two packets would do.
well, no baptisms yet but working on that and have some prospects. working hard. i can feel your testimonies without you even writing them every time. and mom, i'm thinking you need to sing in the tabernacle choir, i miss hearing you sing alot.
i love each and every one of you!
take care,
love tay

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Santo Domingo (& Questions from Home; Week 20)

1) Where is your area and what is it called?
it's in the pure mountains of polochic valley. the area is called santo domingo and it's extremely hot!
2) What are your living conditions like? Electricity, plumbing, etc.
well, we live in the church. we have two classrooms, one for sleeping and the other for cooking and studying. to shower we go outside to the bathroom, put a hose through the window and freeze to death showering and straddling the toilet! but we have electricity, sewer, water, little bit of furniture. it's actually pretty comfy.
3) Bugs, Spiders, Large mammals? Have you seen any?
lots and lots of bugs and spiders. other night there was a tarantula the size of my palm on the bathroom wall. no large mammals, parrots once in awhile flyin' over. nothing too crazy. in the valley in the river there are alligators-and they aren't small either. as far as i know, where i am, there are no jaguars, tapirs or things of that nature.
4) What are the people like? Are they friendly?
they are very friendly. they live in hut type things and all have cell phones. a little confused about that. haha
5) How many people are in your branch/ward?
51 people came to the branch yesterday. it's way small and our area covers miles and miles.it's very rugged too-sending pictures home today. :)

well, i don't need a flashlight. i got the one bapa gave me and it's a wind-up. i knew that was a good idea! haha. my comp is pretty cool. just a little guy and a convert.
the other day we did service and planted corn like in the joseph smith movie-with sticks and a bag of seeds. the only difference is that it was on the side of a mountain.
i'll write more next week! love you!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Goodbye City...Hello Jungle!

(Elder Larsen was transferred to the Polochic (pronounced PO-LO-CHEEK) this past Monday.)

So, right now I'm in a place called Coban. Here I will stay the night and then tomorrow I will travel five more hours by micro-bus to my area in Polochic. It's one of the most remote places where there are missionaries in the whole world. As well as Spanish, I will be learning Kekche (Q'eqchi), the ancient Mayan dialect. Not many have the chance to do so, and I am excited and nervous at the same time. These next few months will demand alot, alot of work. I can't wait for you guys to hear what Kekche sounds like though...it's insane!
I didn't have any baptisms this last week unfortunately. We did set one baptism with a lady, but that's about it. We weren't able to find Gabriel so the only thing I could do was leave a picture for my comp to give him.
Just wait until you guys see the pictures of this place-it's gorgeous and incredibly rugged. More rugged than alot of places in Colorado. It's beautiful, wish you guys were here to see it.
Elder Jensen is sad that we are leaving for the Polochic. I will miss him. We are awesome friends. This is an awesome opportunity.
I love you guys, hope you are doing well! Fill me in on the baby, etc.
Love, Elder Larsen

Monday, August 31, 2009

Q & A: August 24th, 2009

1) How many people are you teaching? What are they like?
Answer: it varies weekly. we teach alot of less active members and such. sometimes we have maybe five investigators max. the work is slow here. the area we are in is very rich so people don't wanna listen alot. across the street though is extremely poor and very dangerous. we don't go there much. only to visit recent converts who, by the way, are very very faithful.
2) Was the picture of the carrot taken in your apartment? Do you live in someones garage or in an apartment? What is the street you live on so we can find it on Google Earth?
Answer: the picture of the carrot was at the house of our cooking lady. she only makes us lunch but the other day, seeing as my comp is from el salvador where pupusas are famous, she made us pupusas. we live above somebody's garage. it's pretty nice. we have a sweet view of the mountains, the city and i think two volcanoes. one is very prominent and pretty scary haha. we don't know what street we live on. it's a place called santa elena III. try that and if it doesn't work tell me.
3) What are the grocery stores like?
Answer: our grocery store is in this little shopping mall place with a bunch of fake brand stuff. i'm eating alot of cereal. nothing special really. there is one place we go called Metro Norte where there is a Sam's Club and a Wal Mart. they're not named that of course but they are owned by them. it's pretty funny.
4) Do you eat at any restaurants?
Answer: nope. they're dang expensive. wendy's is Q40 a meal. that's about average for the US but expensive here. tell Zack to look up the Quetzel Bird.
5) Are you walking or do you have bikes/car?
Answer: we definately walk everywhere. sometimes we ride in the back of someones truck or we get free rides from taxis. one time the police gave us a ride. our area is really big so my legs are growing alot haha.
6) Do you know we love you and miss you? :)
Answer: yes...i do.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Hi all,

New mailing address is:

Elder Tayler Larsen
Mision Guatemala Ciudad Norte
Apartado Postal # 951 A
Guatemala City, Guatemala C.A.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Area: Zona 18

Elder Larsen was sent to his first area on August 4th! He is now in an area of Guatemala City known as Santa Elena III. This area also takes in Limon. He is companions with one of the District Leaders, Elder Carranza who is from El Salvador.

The pouch mail system has been discontinued. To write letters, please use the following address:

Elder Tayler J. Larsen
Guatemala Guatemala City North Mission
5a Avenida 5-55, Edificio Euro Plaza
15 avo. Nivel, Oficina 1504, Zona 14
Guatemala City, C.A.

(Posted by Amy Larsen)

Monday, August 10, 2009