Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 28, 2010

Hey everybody!

This week just flew by! Elder Sanders and I are starting to see some progress going on in Lethbridge. We received a referral on Wednesday for a mom who felt "disconnected" from her former chruch and had heard about our church and attended it and loved it. Haha this lady is so prepared, it's not even funny. We went to her house and she had her Book of Mormon out and the first thing she says is "So I was reading this the other day and was kind of confused... like where did it come from and stuff?" My jaw dropped. I thought "You've already started reading it?" Haha it was awesome. We taught her about the history of the Book of Mormon and then taught the first lesson. She totally felt the Spirit as we were teaching. In this mission, President Archibald made us promise that we would give a firm invitation to be baptized in every lesson. To me, that was a little uncomfortable but not during this lesson. We told her about the feelings she was having during our lesson and we told her it was the Spirit testifying to her about the truthfulness of our message. Then Elder Sanders invited her to be baptized and she said yes! I thought to myself "If only all of our investigators were like her". She drinks coffee but we're going to teach her tonight about the word of wisdom so we'll see how that goes. She is moving this summer though and she'll be on vacation for the next two weeks which is a real downer for me. Elder Sanders and I pray for her everyday.

We have some more investigators that we're trying to reach but most of them are going on vacation. Geez Canada! What's your deal? Is July like your "Hey let's not do anything!" month. Just kidding but it is kind of frustrating. Oh well!

So there's this program in the mission called the "7 day Challenge". During our weekly planning session, we pray for specific families that can participate in missionary work. This part of wp is awesome because this is where your testimony of revelation kicks in to high gear. My companion and I have been praying about this one family and received our answer that Heavenly Father has been preparing someone for the missionaries to teach that this family could find in 7 days. The whole time before we met with them, I was praying that they would know in their hearts and in their minds that this is what their Heavenly Father wanted them to do. So last night we stopped by this member family (who we've already taught a lesson to) and told them about the revelation we received. They said "Well, our son is on a mission, so I guess it's our turn to do some missionary work as well." They accepted our challenge and we will be keeping in contact with them. This morning, they decided they wanted to start a fast tomorrow night and so Elder Sanders and I said we would join them.

It's amazing how powerful the gift of revelation is IF you act on it. I've only been out here for 5 weeks and have noticed that the power of prayer is real and that Heavenly Father is there. He uses the Spirit to guide us in our everyday dealings so that we can be instruments in His hands so that we can help Him fulfill His work and His glory. Another thing I noticed is the importance of gratitude. Everything you have comes from something and everything on this earth has been given to us from our God. So when you do something good in your life or something awesome comes across your way, who do you thank? Yourself? No way! All the glory should go to your Heavenly Father. After every lesson Elder Sanders and I teach, we give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the gift of the Spirit. Yes, we put a lot of effort into the lesson plans and making the trips to homes on our bikes which is good and makes us feel like we're important, but it's important for us to remember that this is Heavenly Father's work. This is His glory and we must never lose sight of that. Humility is the key to everything in our lives.

I love you all. Thank you for the e-mails. Sorry if I dont respond to them all but I'll try my best. This gospel is real and I'd like to invite you to remember to thank your Heavenly Father and your Savior for all that they have done for you. If it wasn't for them, there'd be no hope and no reason for all of the happiness we have in this world.


Elder Madsen

P.S. it is hotter than a very hot place where Satan lives right now

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Hey everybody,

So my Pdays are now Mondays! Oh boy where do I begin woth so little time to write?

So the flight was good and all. I was talking to a sweet old lady on a motorized cart (I didn't even see her coming!) JK, thats froma movie... she was on a plane... anywhom!

We landed in Calgary and got our visas and everything which went smoothly. Then President and Sister Archibald met us and drove us to their home. They did all of our paperwork and everything and everything went smoothly which was awesome. We got the mission rules and I also had my interview with President which went well. He talked about the importance of being obedient and where your loyalty lies (with the Lord).

I'm in Lethbridge right now which is an awesome area. I would say it's like the Penasquitos of Canada. There are some very wealthy members and the wards are huge!!! All of them have overflow sections for each ward (3 of them btw). Oh, by the way, if you think 3 hours of church is bad, try 7 hours with meetings and 3 different sacrament meetings... AND FASTING (on the 3rd Sunday of the month!) It's really not that bad though, I actually enjoy it because it gives me some good time to reflect on everything that is going on throughout the week.

I bet you want to hear about my first day tracting! Check this out, the first door I knocked on was a member's home. WADDUP!!! Haha it was an elderly couple and Brother Bowden and I talked about hunting most of the time and he gave Elder Sanders and I a bag of jerky. Double whammy!!! Aww the members are so awesome. Every single one of them is friendly. Oh and mom, I eat properly and nobody has called me out on anything so I think I'm good. Elder Sanders is my companion. He is so awesome! We work hard and have fun at the same time. He's really good at showing me the ropes and everything. We're in a 3 companionship right now with Elder Foutz but he goes home on Tuesday so it's only temporary.

We haven't taught any investigators yet but we're hoping to be able to teach some on Tuesday. This one man, his name is Tony. We were looking through his teaching record and we saw that he had taking the discussions and that he was reading the Book of Mormon but then just stopped talking to the missionaries all of a sudden. We were able to get in contact with him though and we set up an appointment for Tuesday so I hope everything goes well.

K, cool impression came across me in church yesterday. So we were learning about the life of Christ and my mind drifted off to the pre-existance. Christ and Lucifer both came up with plans that would take a lot of effort on both of their parts. Christ would have to perform the Atonment in His ministry and Lucifer would have to put a lot of effort into making sure that everybody followed every single one of God's commandments. Although both plans required a lof of effort and work on their parts, the effectiveness of both plans were very different. Obviously, Christ's plan was the only way where we could show our Heavenly Father the love we have for him. The other point is the motivation behind each of the plans. Lucifer would put all of that work into his plan for himself. He wanted all of the glory and only cared about his wants. Christ completed the Atonement and His Ministry and all of the glory went to the Father.

I thought about this with my mission. I thought, what is my motivation for being out here. The answer came instantly and the first word that popped in my head was "happy". This gospel makes me happy. This gospel causes me to make choices that I know are for my benefit although they may be hard and against what the "natural man" would do.

I love you all and you are always in my prayers everyday. I dont have the time right now, but I will definitely have some challenges for you next week


Elder Madsen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010


Hey everybody!

I am now in Calgary... scratch that, I'm in my first area which is Lethbridge! 9 degrees.... Celsius haha.

The mission president and his wife met us after we got off the plane yesterday. That was a long day. We had to get up at 3 AM (Ouch!) but it was good because I learned what being tired is. My trainer is Elder Sanders. HE's been out for 20 months so he knows quite a bit about missionary work. Last night, all the greenies went to the chapel which is right across the street from the mission. We all bore our testimonies which was awesome. Then the a.p's got a board with the mission map on it and had us guess where we were going. I guessed Lethbridge and I got it right!

It is raining pretty hard out there right now and I'm supposed to have dinner at a member's home tonight so we'll see how everything goes. Well, it's official now. I'm out in the mission field. The MTC was awesome and I hope I can take all that preparation and apply it into the mission field. I love you all! I hope everything is going well. It was really hard saying goodbye to you mom... now i know why missionaries don't call their parents all the time. I really hope that I can literally lose myself in the work because I know that people will be blessed if I'm more concerned about them than myself. In my interview with President Archibald last night, he said that when I sent my letter off to the First Presidency that I signed my agency away. He had me commit to him to obey all the mission rules and complete this mission with exact obedience. I'm still having fun even though I'm busy all the time. He said that missionaries from college go thru a tough transition. Before, all I thought about was myself; getting good grades for me, making money for the things I want, following the schedule I wanted to follow, etc. Now I have to go the opposite way and think about others... because that's the way Christ lived. I want to give my all for these next two years so that when Heavenly Father asks me about my mission, I can tell Him with an honest heart that I have no regrets from the time I was in Canada. I pray for all of you. I love the letters. They brighten my day. Letters are going to be tough for me to send down there because they cost a dollar but I'll try my hardest. Family is priority number 1 haha. The Church is true

Love, Elder Madsen

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010

Hey errybody!

This week definitely had its ups and downs but it was totally worth it. Thanks for all of the letters. They really make my day brighter. Tomorrow, Elder Harper and I are going to the surgeon to find out whether or not he'll be able to go to Canada. I hope and pray that he does because frustration is building and it's not helping out.

Elder Hales spoke to us last night at the devotional. Apostles are incredible! There's definitley a power and a light to them that you can't find with any other individual. The Chruch is true. He spoke to us about lightness verses darkness and how the world is increasing with darkness at a faster rate than ever and how our light will be very rare and valuable. He said obedience is the key to having that light which is the Spirit and I just kept thinking to myself, "How disappointed am I going to be in myself if I could've been a light to someone and wasn't because I just wasn't obedient enough?" I hope that day never comes. He also said what you learn on your mission is what you're going to carry out for the rest of your life. It's funny because that's exactly what missionaries teach investigators with baptism. This is only the beignning of a long path they have ahead of them when they are baptized. I guess it's the same with me with my mission. This is only the beginning of a long path that I'm about to be on.

Sister Harrell, I got the cookies you sent me! Those were SO GOOD!!!! It really brightened my day. You would have loved the fireside we had on Sunday. The composers of the songs "Press Forward Saints", "Our Savior's love", and "Thy Holy Word" came in and spoke to us and we all sang their songs for them as they conducted. I thought about you the whole time! It's unfortunate that Seminary is ending soon because yesterday in class we had an awesome lesson on how the Book of Mormon answers the "great questions of the soul". We each wrote down a question anonymously about anything in our lives that we were wondering about. Any gospel principles we may have been confused about or even more personal questions like "Why does God let something like this happen?" or "How can I balance my spritual needs and my temporal needs when I have such a busy life with family and work?" I wrote down a question that was really personal that I thought nobody could answer. Sure enough, my question was read aloud and in 5 minutes, the elders brought up about 10 different references that applied directly to my question. I thought it might've been a fun activity for your class to do. It really strengthend my testimony of the Book of Mormon because I was able to find out through a first hand experience that the Book of Mormon was written for us in our day and that there are so many principles we can pull out of the gospel to help us in our lives.

Ok, so the elders I've seen so far that I've recognized are Elder Kitchen, Elder Larsen (Michael and Aaron from school), Elder Bean, Elder Pulsipher, Elder Williams (Nikki, I see Brittany's brother like everyday which is so funny, we always talk and have fun), Elder Richmond and others. David, I don't know if you remember a Derrick Smith but I met him and he said he was Deacons Advisor while you were in the Young Men's Presidency. He's going to St Louis. It was so wierd when he said he was from Lakewood... I was like, " He HAS to know David!" It's fun seeing all of those missionaries knowing we have a great task ahead of us.

Like I said, I enjoy the letters. Grandma Madsen, I got your handkerchiefs and your card (with my friends that want to go on a trip with me)! Thank you so much! I guess David and Lisa can tell you how comforting it is to have letters from home reminding you of the strength and support you have back home and how many people are remembering to keep you in your prayers.

Elder Hales also told us to have sincere prayer of gratitude. Mom, I decided to do that thing you told me to do when I pray by sticking a hard candy in my mouth and keep thanking Heavenly Father for the things Im grateful for until the candy melts. Well unfortunately, the breath mint melted before I got to the part where I was about to thank my family so.... KIDDING! Yeah right you are always in my prayers. I love you all! I know the Church is true and I know the power of prayer is real and that our Heavenly Father loves us and is listening. Pray to him about any concern you might have and you will receive your answer. Don't have confidence in yourself, have confidence in the Lord that He will help lead and guide you.

Love Elder Madsen

P.s. I've been writing in my journals so much you'll be surprised. I even have a table of contents for my study journal. I think I'll sell it to the MTC!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010

Hey there!

This week was awesome! I felt like i was at Disneyland. Going through all the lines with Elder Ramirez, I almost felt like a little kid. My companion is awesome! Elder Harper is 25 and from Arroyo Grande which is a couple hours north of Santa Barbara. He served a mini mission in the California Ventura Mission for about 6 weeks so he knows the in's and outs of missionary work which is very helpful to me. He gives me tons of advice on missionary work and helps give me a little taste of what it's actually going to be like when we're out there. He has so many stories that are so powerful that sometimes I just cant wait to leave the MTC. Unfortunately, he hurt his left knee playiong volleyball. What's even more unfortunate is that he's had knee surgery on his right knee so now he has had two bad knees. He feels bad because he feels like I have to drag him around everywhere but it's not a big deal to me because I'll do anything to keep a companion this good. We've had to leave the MTC three different times to go to the hospital which has not been fun for me because everytime we go out, we always see BYU which makes me think of last year and how much fun it was. But luckily I keep my focus by studying my scriptures and Preach My Gospel. He had his MRI today so I'll let you know how that goes and whether or not he'll be able to go to Calgary.

This is a good group of missionaries in our district. Everyone has a powerful testimony and we all have our unique talents which help us build off of each other to become better missionaries. I take so many notes in my study journal. I already have 30 pages filled up but I read what I write every night so that the lessons I learn can stay fresh in my mind. The teachers are awesome. You can tell these men put their whole hearts and souls into the work and that's something that I've promised the Lord I would do. One of the ways I can put my whole heart into the work is by keeping all of the rules. There are ALOT of them. But I know they're for our benefit. I hear a lot of "Man, why do we have to do this?" or "Well, that might apply to some missionaries but not me!" I tell myself, "Wow I am really impressed that there are 19 year old men who know better than the prophet!" I do my best to keep all of the rules because I know that the rules are for my benefit and that I can have an added measure of the Spirit as I teach. Oh man do I need every ounce of th Spirit I can get. The MTC president said that as you find yourself becoming less resilient to the rules, you will find that you are experiencing a change of heart. That was a very powerful statement.

I've seen Elder's Ramirez, Garner, Bean and Brother Springer which has always brightened my day. I also saw President Hacking and his wife. When I first said hello to them they were like "Who is this kid?" but then I told them I was Sister Madsen's brother and I had met them at the wedding. They then recognized me. I guess there's a lot of Elder Madsen's up here. I saw one on our floor and was wierded out but it was funny. We had our MTC devotional last night. Elder Foster of the Seventy spoke. The power of 2000 missionaries singing is overwhelming. We first sang "Called to Serve" which made me feel important but then we sang "A Child's Prayer" which made me feel loved and humbled. Elder Foster spoke about the power of prayer and how the Lord has all of these blessings he wants for us but all we have to do is exercise our agency and ask and then act upon those blessings we receive. Very powerful spirit. After the fireside, Sister Jensen (wife of the first counselor in our branch presidency) gave an icredible insight on the first vision about when Joseph called upon God and then was seized upon by Satan. God was there the whole time and noticed the trial and suffering Joseph went through but because Joseph had asked... Heavenly Father was able to deliver him from his trial. It's the same way with us. Heavenly Father knows what we're going through but if we do not ask for His help, we are withheld from those blessings that He wants to give to us.

I love you all and want to let you know that although I'm having some struggles, I'm also experiencing great joys through the gifts of the Spirit. The mantle is real. It's amazing how 19 year olds can perform miracles in people's lives and I can't wait to be a part of it but it will only happen if I'm obedient, faithful and put my companion first.

Love Elder Madsen

P.s. Tell my friends to use Dear Elder. Its faster and qucker and I'll be able to spend more time writing e-mails than reading them. oh and mom, my companion and I passed on our room check so that should give you some comfort. If you want, send some hard candy like lifesavers or werthers because they last longer and taste good during lessons.