tami's mission...

I hoped they'd call me on a mission... I didn't even have to grow a foot or two! :)

Hi! My name is Tami. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have recently accepted a call from the Lord to serve as a missionary in the Brazil Campinas Mission. Beginning August 28, 2013, I will be serving as 'Irma Larrabee' (that's "Sister Larrabee" in Portuguese). Follow my adventure as I get to know the good people of Brazil and share with them the thing I love the most, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is true!

Monday, May 5, 2014

In the Right Spot

I'm doing fine! I survived! I'm recovering!  I did not baptize the surgeon, but I did ITL (invite to learn) the nurse as I woke up from anesthesia. It was really hard, because I couldn't remember how to talk at first, but after several attempts I was able to say clear enough for her to understand "I'd love to invite you to learn more about our church." She didn't go for it, so I moved on to family history. :) We were supposed to do it together but she never called. Go figure. Haha! The news of my "ITL under anesthetic" has spread like wildfire through the mission. I'm famous now. So funny! I also am pretty sure that as they were putting me under I kept praying too. Don't really remember too well... But I am SO GRATEFUL that I got that little monster out and that now I can recover and get back to being a MISSIONARY!

I got to take the brand new sisters out on my first day back proselyting. That is one of the most fun privileges of being a Sister Training Leader in Charleston. I got to teach Traci with a new sister who shared a beautiful testimony. Her family doesn't really have enough money for her to be a missionary. She lives with her mom, and her income helps support the family. Now that she is on a mission, she has been a little concerned about her family back home. She received a letter from her mom a couple days before explaining that they were receiving money in unexpected ways. Like an unexpected tax return, and other ways. How cool is that?!?! The Lord provides a way.

He does provide a way. He has a plan! In my situation with the surgery and everything, it worked out so perfectly. The Lord will put you exactly where He wants you. What a privilege to be so loved that you can KNOW that you are in the right spot.


Sister Larrabee

Monday, April 28, 2014

Providing a way for more happiness

Surgery is tomorrow! Through a series of miracles insurance has cleared so that I can stay in WV! I have been living in the mission president's home for the last week. I am too sick to work. President and Sister Pitt are the most awesome people ever. It was been quite eye-opening to see how much they do! And how much they love EVERY missionary. It is a miracle that they are home for these couple weeks- they usually are traveling. And it is also a miracle that we suddenly had a sister who needed a companion who could come take my spot in South Charleston so the work can keep on keeping on. Everything has worked out perfectly and everything is going to be okay.

But can I express how difficult it is to not be a missionary right now. Oh my heck. I want to make a comparison between a Book of Mormon story, a pre-mission experience, and my current situation. So:

Very beginning of the Book of Mormon. Lehi was told to leave everything. His home, the land of his inheritance, his gold, ALL his precious things, etc. And for what? THE WILDERNESS. Gee, what fun. And what is more puzzling is that the reason why Lehi had to leave was because he was in danger, and the reason why he was in danger resulted from his obedience to the Lord. The Lord says; "because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life." What? Shouldn't Lehi receive blessings for his obedience? And he did... they just weren't immediate. The Lord does all things because he loves his children. And Lehi's blessings became more obvious as he (out of necessity) has to rely deeper and deeper on the Lord. Sometimes the Lord takes away what we love most in order to prepare the way for us to receive blessings that will fill us with more love and MORE HAPPINESS.

So. I can relate to this. Not to be awkward or anything but there was a time when the Lord took away what I loved most. In this case, who I loved most. Breaking up is hard. But through that, out of necessity, I relied on the Lord and came to know Him in a way I never had before. And I treasure that. Absolutely treasure it. And it provided the way for me to come on a mission and feel more HAPPINESS! (Wait, I could be more happy? Yes. Yes, I could!). The Lord doesn't have a happiness limit, actually. He wants us to feel a fullness of joy that never stops growing.

Here's the thing, though. I never imagined that when the thing I loved the most was being a missionary, it would be in jeopardy of being taken away. It's kind of a righteous thing. But Lehi was doing a righteous thing when he was asked to sacrifice. The point is. Even though this whole ordeal has kind of caught me really off guard, I trust in my Father. Everything He does is out of love, and part of His perfect plan for our happiness. I know that of a surety. I cannot deny it. That kind of confidence that comes from trust in Heavenly Father is worth any sacrifice.

Out of time, but I love you, everybody! Next time you hear from me I will be without a gallbladder :)

Sister Larrabee

Monday, April 21, 2014

I KNOW that He loveth His children

I am ill. This week I got a HIDI-scan. What is that? Well basically you get injected with Radioactive dye and you get to lie in one of those intimidating machines that takes pictures of your gallbladder. It takes a really long time. Near the end of it, they inject what the nurse called a "liquid big mac" and see what my gallbladder does. It was not the most pleasant experience in the world... I have been eating fat free to avoid the more intense waves of nausea... so a big mac... anyways. The point of this procedure is to determine the functionality of my gallbladder. If it is working at under 35% they have to take it out. My gallbladder is working at.... drum roll please... 0%. Not kidding. No wonder I feel like garbage. HA! So it's going to have to come out. We don't know how the insurance is going to go down or anything, but I sure hope we can make this happen here in WV. I could get back to work a lot faster!

I'm doing all I can and the Lord is truly making a difference. I should be satisfied with that, but it is kind of really disheartening to not be able to do what I have been doing. We went on another exchange this week and my energy was so much lower than normal. I love being a missionary with everything I have, and now that I have less to give it  is really frustrating.

But here is the great news. I can say with Nephi "I know that [our Heavenly Father] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things" (1 Nephi 11:17). I don't understand why all things happen but I truly have a firm trust that he does nothing save it be for our benefit. He loves us with a perfect love. He has testified it to me through His Holy Ghost. I know it is true. And goodness, isn't that nice to know?

Have a good week because God is your FATHER and He loves you :)


Sister Larrabee

P.S. These are pictures of our wreath and the wreath belonging to the sisters we exchanged with this week. Ours is disgusting. We tried to make it Eastery... but their's has a LIVE BIRD FAMILY. HA HA HA! I hope you find this as hilarious as I do.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Front Row Seat

"I got an ultrasound this week. It's a girl! Just kidding. :) I did get an ultrasound this week to check out my gallbladder. I'm NOT pregnant"

I said this to my ward mission leader this week. Unfortunately the two elders who serve as assistants to the president of the mission walked in at the wrong time and didn't realize that much of this statement was a joke. Elder Hansen's face... I will never forget it. This was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life! HAHA!

But anyways, how did my ultrasound go? Fine. I don't have gallstones, so they are going to do some more tests soon because I am DEFINITELY ill. How am I positive this is not just stress (everyone's first assumption). Well because #1 I was having the best time of my life and #2 I went on exchanges a couple areas over and threw up all night. Not the spiritually uplifting exchange I was going for... but... you know...

Wish I had time to update you on all the miracles going on. What a privilege it is to be serving in the middle of the mission. There are 4 sets of missionaries in this ward and they are all strictly obedient and fearlessly diligent which provides miracles in the lives of so many and I HAVE A FRONT ROW SEAT. I love being a missionary. Hopefully I can be well enough to do it more effectively soon.

Love ya'll. Thanks for the prayers :)

Sister Larrabee

Monday, April 7, 2014

With Charity, You Have Everything

So. A stellar week. It was Sister Searle's last week in the WVCM and she really wanted to hit the standard of excellence. So we set off to hit it. The standard is hard to hit. It is REALLY hard to hit when you have MLC, Zone Meeting Planning, Zone Meeting, District Meeting, a Doctor's visit, 4 sessions of General Conference, and one final interview. (That was about 24 hours of meetings). Dear Friends. If your goal is embraced by the Lord, He will help you accomplish it. Actually, He will just do it for you. You have to work as hard as you possibly can, but He will accomplish it. This week, despite the DAY-worth of meetings this week, the Lord provided a way for us to have 2 people on date, 3 people come to church, 4 lessons with active members present, 7 lessons without members present, and 4 new investigators. What. A. Week. It is hard to say which one of these numbers represents the best miracle to report on. The Lord is not only in the work with us. He does the work for us -- when we give all we have.

I will tell the story of Traci. She was on date for Easter. At our lesson at the end of the week, we took her off date. She didn't want to get married for a year, and either marriage or moving out will be necessary for her to be baptized. Us missionaries were a little heart broken. She has been making such incredible progress. But Sister Searle was not going to give up. In our next lesson later in the week, Sister Herring was prompted to change our lesson plan to the Restoration of the Gospel -- something she definitely has learned before. Afterwards, Sister Searle proclaimed boldly that Traci needed to keep the law of chastity. It was the boldest and most loving commitment I have ever seen extended. We asked her to take her concerns to conference the next day and promised that through the living prophet and apostles, the Lord would answer her concern. She loved conference more than anyone else alive. She's back on date for Easter. Never give up, if there is even a spark of interest left. Be bold. True Christ-like love is more than being nice. It is caring enough to say the hard things. The Lord accomplishes all things through love, and this is what we need to do, too.

I love YOU!

Sister Larrabee

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mourn with those that Mourn

So my Birthday was pretty great! The night before our sweet new convert made an excellent dinner complete with cake and candles! Michael is progressing pretty well and came to church for the first time! There was so much joy on my birthday. I was mainly just happy to be a missionary even through other unpleasant things that were also happening.

What things? Well, I spent the ENTIRE night before my birthday throwing up the glorious birthday meal every hour and then at church, I felt so sick I had to leave for the last hour. I am pretty sure my gall-bladder is not doing well. I have been sick A LOT and it is getting a little old. I am not sure what is going to happen. Will I be sick forever? Will I have to get my gall-bladder out? Is that going to keep me from Brazil? Is that going to send me home altogether? Just a lot of unknowns. I am not even positive if the problem IS my gall-bladder. But if it is, this is going to affect me now until the rest of mortality. No pizza. No burgers. I'll have something WRONG for the rest of my life. And that is kind of sad. To feel broken and unwell... forever... So I had a small pity party for myself as I was falling asleep and I was pondering the baptismal covenant (side note: You know you are a missionary when you start a sentence "I was pondering the baptismal covenant as I was falling asleep"). But, in the Book of Mormon we read that when you are baptized you promise to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort (Mosiah 18). Christ was baptized. And I am certain He keeps His baptismal covenant. When we mourn, He mourns with us. That night, when I was mourning the loss of pizza (haha... but really... pizza... forever) Jesus was mourning with me, because Jesus was baptized, and He keeps His covenants. He mourns with you. No matter how big or small your loss is. He loves you. AND I love being a missionary.

Til next week!

Sister Larrabee

Monday, March 17, 2014


This week was phenomenal. Like. Really. It was truly amazing. I didn't know how fully the Spirit could teach in lessons. It has been amazing. Sister Herring and I have really been striving to meet the new goals of the mission. In order to be "Master Teachers of Doctrine" for the week, there are 6 things you have to do EVERY DAY. We totally did them. And because of the exact obedience we saw miracles like you wouldn't believe! Can you feel more happiness, righteousness and excitement? I submit you CANNOT! YAY! Guess what else we did? WE REACHED THE NEW STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE (2 on date weekly, 2 at sacrament with one of those being on date weekly, 3 member presents weekly, 3 new investigators weekly, 5 unplanned invitations to learn- ITLs - EVERY Single Day). The new goals are focused on creating a Zion mission so we are celebrating successes to these goals as a mission and not as individuals. So each week we get a percentage of Master Teachers of Doctrine and a percentage of those who hit the Standard of Excellence. Last week was pretty discouraging- well - motivating actually because only 24% where completely obedient to the new requirements of being a "Master Teacher" and 0% reached the Standard. We were a little chastened and really really really encouraged to strive to hit these standards as we are the leaders and need to provide hope for the mission. Sister Herring and I have agreed that neither of us have ever worked so hard in our lives, but we are SO HAPPY! YAY!

I only have time to write one of the many miracles this week: We have been focusing on finding 5 people to invite to learn every day. We invited this one guy to learn and he looked at Sister Herring with the saddest, most urgent eyes and said "Can you save me right now?" Sister Herring explained that WE can't save him because it doesn't work like that, but we can show him the way to secure his eternal salvation. He gave us his address and we set off to find him after church. The address wasn't quite right. We knocked on the door and said "Does Michael live here?" Then he said, "Michael who?" and we didn't know. haha. He gave us directions to the "Michaels" in the area. We went to one of the houses, down this crazy hollah (that means 'hollow' --- generations line little dirt roads in the middle of nowhere). He wasn't home so we traveled all the way down to the end of the hollah where it ended up his parents live. Guess who was visiting his parents? Michael. He was so surprised but we knew that we were supposed to find him that day and that we would. We taught a lesson and put him on date to be baptized on the 27th! WOW!!

Missions are full of ups and downs. But the ups are extreme and they are what you remember. There is no work as happy as this.


Sister Larrabee

Monday, March 10, 2014

Holy Busy

It was such a busy week! First we had the snowstorm Pday, the next day was MLC (Mission Leader Council). It is the big meeting with all of the zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders (STLs) in the whole mission. It was super intimidating. But guess what?? I COMMENTED! I was so happy that I was brave. It is intense being the Charleston STLs. It was really fun to be part of the council, discussing issues, fixing problems, chilling with the mission president. It's good stuff. The next day we prepared for the zone meeting. Thursday was the Zone Meeting. At zone meetings, the zone leaders teach and so do the STLs. It was so intimidating to be on the planning and teaching end of the meeting because I know how much everyone counts on those meetings to uplift them and motivate them and receive the answers they have been praying for! It went well, I think, though. I am just glad that it is over... until the 20th. Then we are teaching 2 zones combined at a specialized training. Whoa. It is safe to say that I am growing out of my comfort zone. Shoot. I might even go so far as to say I left my comfort zone in the dust of Salem and I am living in discomfort. Haha! It is so good though. What is crazy is: I am so happy! When you lose yourself in the Lord you truly are blessed with joy.

So immediately after the Zone meeting I went on an exchange with a sister in her area and immediately after that I went on another exchange with the sisters in another area in our zone. Exchanges are when one of the Sister Training Leaders (or Zone Leaders if it's with Elders) switches places with one of the missionaries in their zone to observe how they are obedient and teach and stuff while at the same time setting a perfect example while at the same time digging for concerns, while at the same time doing everything you can to correct and encourage. They are so stressful. 2 in a row was crazy! But good. At the same time it really is so wonderful to be using every effort you have to serve others. We have really good sisters who are easy to love! Amongst all that we somehow fit in some teaching. We have a new investigator named Ruby who is in her 70's. She is the funniest old lady. She came to church yesterday and was an absolute joy. We expect her to get baptized this transfer. No joke.

So in summary. We are busy! But, right now, I would rather be here than anywhere else. What a blessing to serve the Lord with ALL of your heart, might, mind, and strength!

Love ya'll!

Sister Larrabee

Monday, March 3, 2014

Little Tender Mercies

So I was sick on Tuesday. And Thursday. And part of Friday. We had to push our exchange to next week, so that's going to be a crazy week. But good things happened too! We were able to teach some great lessons this weekend and the Zone Leaders' Investigator got BAPTIZED. I got to lead the music at the baptism. I looked like death still, but oh well. :)

But the miracle that I want to write about this week is a small tender mercy that the Lord gave us on Tuesday, because it meant a lot to Sister Herring and I. I felt like garbage on Tuesday and the Zone leaders were at the mission office, so Sister Herring and I drove there so I could get a blessing. That is a beautiful blessing in itself... Dear everyone: the Priesthood, or power of God, is on the earth today and there are many wonderful men who live worthy so they can bless others with it. But on the way back, we stopped at a gas station to pick up gingerale and crackers, and we were able to invite someone to learn about the gospel, who really needed us at that moment. She was having a particularly rough day during her rough life, which she told us about after we talked to her about Christ. It really is mind-blowing how Heavenly Father puts us in the right place at the right time for the benefit of His beloved children. Even on a day where we couldn't accomplish hardly anything at all, the Lord put someone in our path that we could help. That little thing meant the world to us. I love the Lord.

I'm feeling better now, so I am ready to attack next week! So excited!


Sister Larrabee

P.S. Here is a picture our District. They rock :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Of mice, and bedbugs, and frozen pipes, and... yeah.

So. As you can tell by the title... this week was great.

We caught five mice in our apartment. We named them Korihor, Sherem, Gadianton, Amalickiah, and Nehor (affectionately known as Kori, Sherm, Tony, Al, and Nick). They now reside in the trash can in our back yard. Our pipes froze and we were without water in the house for days. Thank goodness for the Cook family! Our house is on their property and they are the sweetest, kindest people in the whole world. They gave us mousetraps and let us use their bathrooms and showers without complaint - EVEN in the midst of their own car troubles and their heater going out! We haven't told them about the bedbugs yet. The work was slow this week as well, and sister Larrabee was WORN OUT!

But. Here is what was wonderful about this week: Sister Ostler. My companion has been so wonderful as she has stayed humorous about our situations. She works hard and she loves me. We were talking the other day about the "love languages" that people have, the different ways people show that they love someone or feel loved. I mentioned that mine was 'touch' and 'service' and even though she isn't really a hugger, she has hugged me so much this week. She is always looking to serve me and helped me through my struggles this week without realizing it.

Our mice are gone, and our water is back, and Sister Ostler and I are closer friends.

God love you, no matter what. Never doubt it. No matter what goes on. If you look at 1 Nephi 1:1, Nephi says that he is highly favored, but also that he saw many afflictions. A blessed life is not affiction free, but as we seek the help and love of the Lord, we can trust that He is there. He will never forsake us.


Sister Larrabee

Monday, January 20, 2014

Where Can I Turn for Peace?

"Valerie" got baptized.  It was the most beautiful thing in the world. Her grandkids flew in and gave the talks and the Spirit of LOVE was so strong. Valerie is SO HAPPY. I can't even explain how happy she was. She's 78 years old, and finally looked into the church because of her grandson. She's reading the Book of Mormon and knows, KNOWS that she has found the truth. The happiness on her face and on the faces of her family was priceless. Sweetest thing I have ever seen. What an incredible blessing to be a part of that. So that was amazing...

...and there must be opposition in all things. :) We were dropped by 4 investigators this week and our progressing investigators officially stopped progressing. We have also been tracting a little more than normal to try and pick up some more investigators without much success. But the great thing is, that even though things have been a little slow, and a little discouraging, at the end of the day, I can look back and feel peace and joy from the gospel.  Not fake peace. Not a band-aid fix of joy. True contentment and assurady that the gospel is true and I am where I should be. "When other sources cease to make me whole" I can always rely on my Heavenly Father for peace. It doesn't matter what goes on around you - Christ is the Prince of Peace, and He is true to that title. I am so excited for Valerie, and I know that she has found that peace. And that peace is available to everyone. Seek for it  and you will find it. I can promise you that as you learn about the gospel, you will come to know the Prince of Peace more than you ever had before.


Sister Larrabee