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 🐡

Week 59 Sept. 25, 2017

Some pictures of leadership training at the temple.

Week 58 Sept. 18, 2017

This was another good week. Gary got baptized. Everything went so
smoothly for him. The Lord definitely had  been preparing him for some
time. It the few baptisms I've been apart of, there has always been
something that comes up that we would have to work around but not with
Gary. He was someone who was willing to put the forth the effort to
come close to God and did whatever he needed to do to be baptized. Our
next steps in working with him is to help him get the priesthood and
then to get a temple recommend to do baptisms for the dead. He also
shaved his shaved his beard which is kinda sad, but now he looks
pretty classy. A member showed us a picture of an the old Batman and
Gary looks like him. He also kinda looks like a Mission President at
the same time.
This week President Wells decided to have a meeting at the L.A.
Visitor Center. It's was so fun and I really learned a lot, I loved
it! It's out of our mission so it was a trip to get everyone there.
Actually we spent a lot of time at the temple this week because we
took Gary there a few days afterwards. He had a good time and the
Sister showed him around and then had someone help him start his
family history. Gary is so pumped about that.
The Beltrans are on date for next week so hopefully all goes well. The
only thing in their way is their baptismal interview.

Elder Madsen 🐡

Week 57, Sept. 11, 2017

 The longer I'm here the more I love this Ward. I really don't
know how to explain it but I think this is the best way... Picture a ton
of primary aged boys that drive their primary teacher insane during
class. It's like that but with a bunch of 40 year old single guys to
the Bishop. Now they don't really do anything wrong, they just don't
do anything the Bishop tells them to do. They're all pretty close
together and very active in church activities. They have family home
evenings and splits just to help out the missionaries. Its a lot of
help and they're a lot of fun too. We took this one guy out named
Bobby with us to visit some families and I don't know how but Bobby
worked his magic and got a part Member family interested in going back
to church. They even came this Sunday.
We have a couple progressing investigators too. The first guy we're
teaching is named Gary. I love Gary! He sought out the missionaries.
His friend introduced him to the church and Gary watched all the
church history videos and he wanted to learn more. He really likes the
church and wants to become a member. Another Family we're teaching is
the Beltran family. I'm pretty sure I told you guys about them last
week but this Elias actually had some youth to go to class with on
Sunday. We taught the class and Elias was such a stud. He participated
and got all the question right.

Elder Madsen 🐡

Pic with Gary

Week 56, Sept. 4, 2017

I know this is a little last minute and I am so sorry. Here are some
pictures of the week. I went on exchanges with the Chinese Elders and
it was a blast.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 55, August 28, 2017

My first week in my new area has been pretty fun. The ward
members are pretty nice and really take care of us. The Bishop is a
funny guy too. The first time I met him he emphasized to me that the
missionaries only responsibility is to preach the gospel. The members
can do everything else. Then I got a call from his counselor and he
asked me to give a talk in sacrament meeting.
      Even though I spend hours each day talking to people about the
gospel I have a really hard time speaking in front of people.
Especially when you're talking nonstop for 15 minutes. Yea I can't do
that quite yet. My homecoming talk will be pretty interesting when I
come home and still can't talk in front of a group of people.
      We have some pretty fun people that we're teaching too. There's
this older guy named Lorenzo Carlos. His nephew referred him to us and
he's been taught for about two months now. We were able to take him on
a Temple trip this last week and he loved it. Like all people he has
some things holding him back from being baptized but, we've made plans
with him this week to be able to fix them. There's another family that
we're working with that have been inactive for a couple years and we
were able to get them to church for the first time yesterday. It's
just the Mom and her 3 sons. We have big primary program in the ward
but zero 12-18 year olds. One of her sons is 13 and it's really hard
to get fellowship for him. Hopefully we can figure things out for him
this week.
Ok so something crazy happened this week at church. There's
this family that the Elders before me had been working with, and they
have been able to get them coming back to church pretty regularly. The
two boys were baptized the Sunday before I came in. They've been doing
pretty good too until church ended on Sunday. As their family was
walking down the stairs one of the sons was playing around and ended
up tripping their dad (Christian) down the stairs. He was crying and
wailing, he was screaming at the top of his lungs. It was really
painful for him to move around so they called an ambulance to come and
pick him up. It kinda took a long time for the paramedics to come. It
might have been 20-30 minutes but he kept on crying as hard as he
could. It was pretty sad. We called them afterwards to see how they
were doing and his wife told us that the doctors said he sprained his
shoulder.  Agh Christian! I really hope he comes back next Sunday.
      Also we got a parking ticket. The first day we moved into our
new apartment too. That was great. There was a lot happier things that
happened this week I swear, I'm just having a hard time remembering
them. I've literally had a blast this last week, it's been so fun.
Also Lorenzo is having a good time in the picture. Don't let his
thugness fool you.