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!