Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 66 November 13, 2017

Before I get into telling you about my week I want to start off by saying how much I love this Ward that I’m serving in. There’s always something exciting happening and the members really are great, truly. There’s a lot of diversity in Southern California  with the members. This week we had dinner with a couple and they met while they were going to Harvard, both are straight genius and grew up in good homes.  Then we had dinner with this other family, I’ve always seen this lady and she has always been super nice, you wouldn’t think anything crazy about her. Then at dinner she told us  a crazy or how she got shot a couple times awhile back, because she used to be part of a gang?! I love this Ward.  Plus even though everyone comes from different backgrounds, they really go out of their way to help other people and it’s so cool to see how everyone just gets along. Everyone goes out of their way to introduce themselves to new people coming to the ward or coming back to the ward. 
       Also I talked about unexpected things that happen in this area I’m serving in. Something unexpected that happened a couple weeks ago was when a guy name Jay came in Investigating the church from Arkansas. This week they asked him to say the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting. That was really cool and he killed it. Also it happen again. A lady and her daughter walked into church this Sunday wanting to join the church. She’s been looking at the different religions in Christianity and really liked the LDS church. There’s a lot that she likes about the church and she hasn’t really heard of the Restoration yet, which is weird because that’s the whole point of this church, but we will be teaching her and her daughter about that. They live about a block away from our church building and they are really excited to take the lessons. Well that happened AND a man came into church this Sunday from New Mexico and he was baptized in October. He moved over here and now Eastmont is his new Ward. He’s pretty cool. He talked to us on Sunday and told us that his wife is also investigation the church and he has some friends who are interested also. These are the things that happen in Eastmont! 
    Transfers came this week and I’m staying and I will be having the same companion. 6 weeks from now will be Christmas so the Mission President shortened this upcoming transfer to 5 weeks so this will be a shorter transfer. I forgot to take pictures this week so I’ll try and take some today to send home.

Elder Madsen 🐡

Week 65 November 6, 2017

I had a pretty eventful week last week. I had lots of fun as well as progress in our area. Last P-day I went to the driving range and had lots of fun there. I had the chance to go on two exchanges and on the first one I went with the Glendale YSA Elders and their Ward actually goes outside the Mission boundaries so I had the chance to go into downtown LA and Hollywood to teach some of their investigators. That was a pretty cool experience, and a chance to escape in a way out of the tiny mission boundaries. For the other exchange I went on I went back to my old area and I got to see Corey who was just baptized. He’s doing awesome.
     As for the work in our area things are looking better. There is this Mom and her two girls that want to come back to church. Jackie the Mom is pretty cool too. She’ll admit it and in her own words she “was a punk” and messed around too much when she was younger and she’s trying to straighten her life out now. She’s going back to school, coming back to church, and preparing for the army as well.
     Something else that happened this week was that we had interviews with our Mission President. During interviews the President’s wife, Sister Wells, had a big meeting with everyone else waiting to be interviewed. In the meeting she told us that in February every missionary will be getting a smart phone. That’s not the only crazy thing though. She said that if we were teaching anyone a lesson or a certain topic like tithing for example, and let’s say Grandma has an awesome story or testimony about tithing we could Skype or FaceTime Grandma into the lesson to teach with us. You all can be a missionary and help teach my Investigators!

Week 64 October 30, 2017

 I've always heard  stories of missionaries having people walk into church and ask to be baptized, and I never thought that would happen to me until this week. We came to church this week and some members met us at the door and told us that a man had came to church and wanted to take the missionary lessons and was looking for the missionaries. Crazy huh? The guy’s name is Jace and he super cool. He’s from Arkansas but unexpectedly got moved over here because of work. He’s planning on getting baptized in February by his family down in Arizona. He’s going to be down here in California until April. He hasn’t met with the missionaries too much back in Arkansas so mine and Elder Xu job is to teach him the lessons then he’ll go down to Arizona in February. I’ll tell you what, this guy has got things figured out.
     It’s a good thing that that had happened because it really balanced the week out. This week was not full of progress. I gave myself a bad haircut and there was this big hole on the side of my head and it was really embarrassing to walk around with a hole on the side of my head. Also  Elder Xu and I were tracting and contacting on the end of one of our areas that we don’t get to go to too often, when I got a bloody nose. I didn’t want to leave because we don’t get a chance to be down in that area too often so we kept on going. It wasn’t too successful, I guess because it’s very offsetting to have missionaries knocking on your door when the sun has gone down while one of them has a bloody nose... Our area has been struggling with teaching some one consistently. Well this week we established that with a girl named Anna. She is super cool and is very interested about the Restoration. We found out this week that her husband wants to learn too but he only speaks Spanish. We had to pass them off to the Spanish missionaries. We also found out right before we passed them off that this set of missionaries have been teaching English people and for some reason won’t pass them off to us. I was a little upset about that and  didn't want to pass off this perfect family to them, but my angelic companion helped me to do the right thing and we passed the family off to those missionaries. Butttt that’s what happened to me this week. Oh! A grandma also helped sneak us into an apartment building we were trying to get into and she acted like she was helping us escape nazi Germany. It was funny.  Other than that, I love what I’m doing and it is defiantly rough at times but I love what I’m doing and love teaching people the Gospel.

Elder Madsen 🐡

Week 63 October 23, 2017

A General Authority came to our mission this week, his name was Elder Dyches. There was a lot  of things that he taught us while he was here that we never knew before that could help us become better missionaries and to see more success through our efforts. He also corrected us on a lot of things that we thought we were doing right. Now I actually have it written down but I just summarized his job when he goes on mission tours. He’s supposed to teach and correct and he did a pretty job on both things. 
We got a new bishopric this week and it’s with cool guys in the ward that love to help out with missionary work so hopefully we can get some stuff moving with that. Our bishopric is pretty young too. The bishop is in his early 30’s and his 2nd counselor is 27. They’re pretty young. 
There’s not a whole lot to report on for what’s been going on in my area. Lorenzo is really busy and basically only has time to do things Sunday mornings, so he is available to go to church and he did come this week which was really exciting but we can't teach him at all. That’s the next step we have to work on and figure out. 
Also I’m sorry this email is so short please forgive me.

Week 62 October 16, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 61 October 9, 2017

Transfers came and I stayed in the same area, my new companion is Elder Xu. He’s really cool. We get along really well and we push each other to work our hardest. I love it! We’ve been seeing a lot of success from working our hardest too.
This is kinda what’s been happening this last week. We started this Transfer with nobody but now we have a couple people in our teaching pool. We have Lorenzo who stopped meeting with us last transfer. I don’t remember if I told you guys his story but basically his cousin referred us to him and said that he was really looking for a change in his life and that he was interested in the church. We got through all the lessons with him and there was one final thing stopping him from getting baptized and he decided that it was too hard for him to do it and it was easier to stop meeting with us instead. It was really sad to see because I could see that he wanted change in his life and it was right there, right in front of him but he was kinda passing it by... I do understand that what he had to do was tough for him but I knew it was a lot better for him to face his problem. We haven't had good contact with him for about a month because he wouldn’t meet with us. This week Elder Xu and I called him and invited him to church and through the phone call you could tell he wasn’t really up for it. We told him we would call on Saturday to check again and when we did call on Saturday he wanted to come back and he asked for a ride. He came to church this Sunday. He wants to come again next week. We’ll see what happens next week but I was so happy to see him at church on Sunday.
Another person we found this week was Shannon. She’s pretty cool too. We found her in our Area Book and saw that she was living with some members so we gave her a call and she invited us over. When we were there she really opened up to us and told us about her past. She split with her husband and is now by herself with two kids while her husband has the other two kids. She not a member but they went to church pretty frequently when they were together but after they split it was hard for her to come alone. Aside from that she is so ready for change too! There are a couple challenges she has to overcome but she wants to over come them .She wants God in her life and she’s done living her past life. She asked us to come again, she asked us to leave a chapter for her to read in the Book of Mormon. 
Veronica is kinda sad story though, but I think I learned an important lesson from it. She is someone we stopped and talked to on her front porch. We introduced the Restoration to her and set up another time to come and see her. The next time we saw her we taught her the whole Restoration and she understood it, it made sense to her. We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her that it was evidence that the Restoration had happened and she could know by reading and praying about it. She told us she would read it and then we asked her if she could say the closing prayer. She did and in her prayer she opened up and said how she had been going through some trials and she had asked God for some help and thanked him for sending me and Elder Xu. I know everything sounds awesome so far but the next time we saw her she barley opened the door and handed the Book of Mormon back to us and said she wasn’t interested anymore. We asked why and she gave us fake excuse and we left. My companion felt like we needed to go back and try again, to get the real reason why she suddenly wanted nothing to do with the Book of Mormon anymore. I didn’t really want to go back. I guess I felt like we had tried everything and she was just another person who wasn’t interested or ready. Well we did end up going back, and we talked with Veronica. We talked things out with her and she didn’t change her mind about it. She never told us her real reason to why she wasn’t interested anymore. After we left though I felt a lot better about the whole situation. Even though it didn’t end up the way I would have wanted it to go I still felt good about it. I think that has to do with that I tried my hardest. And the take away from this is that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect in all that we do but he wants us to do our best.

Elder Madsen 🐡

Week 60 Oct. 2, 2017

I’m sorry this email is gonna be a little short. Today was pretty busy. The highlight of the week was that the Beltran’s got baptized! These two kids probably had the potential in having the most obstacles put in their way leading up to baptisms. But it was a miracle to see that after each thing came up, something out of nowhere came in swept the problem away. Elias got interviewed for the priesthood on Sunday. He’s the only youth too so he has some big shoes to fill but it’ll be good for him. He’ll learn a lot and grow from it. Also this past transfer we could not find anyone to teach. Well that’s not totally true, we found a couple people and we’re able to invite them to be baptized and set them with a date. Then they didn’t follow through so we had to drop them.  It’s gonna be a lot of finding this week. Also next week is transfers!

Elder Madsen 🐡