I was fondly remembering my time spent as a full-time missionary for the church, when I decided to do a google search for my first real companion in the mission field.  So I searched for David Larisch and was greatly saddened to find out that he died last fall.  His obituary can be found here.  He was much too young, and much too good of a guy to be gone.

Elder Larisch was a nice, kind person, and a lot of fun to be around.  I was a timid, scared greenie who needed a guy like Larisch for a first companion.

Our first full day was Thanksgiving day, 1985.  We had been dumped in Cordele, Georgia in an El Camino II driven by a sister from Tifton.  We did not know the town or the people at all.  We were opening up the area after many months of having no missionaries at all.  We had no food, and needed to get some, so we just started walking … this way.  Eventually we found a Piggly Wiggly and stocked up.  The point is, we were brand new, with nothing going on, in a puny branch, and I knew nothing about missionary work or life.  Fortunately for me there was Larisch.  He took care of everything.

In all honesty, there were harder working missionaries.  More obedient ones too.  But Larisch was my friend, he kept me calm, kept me balanced, he eased me in to this great and terrifying new world.  He was one of my favorite companions, and I will always be grateful for his friendly, nurturing leadership that I so desperately needed.  My late sympathies go out to his close friends and family.  Thank you Elder Larisch.

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