Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010

Hey everybody,

So I'm pretty sure yesterday was one of my favorite days on my mission so far! Thank you for the packages and I got the mail yesterday (First time in 5 weeks!)!!! Thank you so much! But that was more of the icing on the cake.

So we had an appointment with Ericah (the black canadian from kenya) but she cancelled on us. So Elder Stevens and I stopped by her place and just talked a little bit on the doorstep and chatted. She said she wants a church that is more than a "Sunday" religion and that she wants to the "know the truth". Did Heavenly Father lead her into our church or what? We talked about how our church is not just a "Sunday" church as we talked about home and visiting teachers and relief society and activities that go on. Of course those aren't the only reasons but we'll get into that when we actually teach her. Her friend Thandi is from Zimbabwe and has a girl who loved primary. Thandi wants to be taught as well so we'll see how this lesson goes this week.

Now it gets even better. So at church, Elder Stevens and I are sitting on a pew and a returned missionary comes up to us and says she brought 2 investigators for us. Sure enough, these 2 filipino teenagers sit with us. Their mom is a less active member but the dad is not. But anyways, the rm served in the Phillipines so they were speaking Tagolog with each other. We were talking and stuff and all of a sudden, the power goes out in the church. The girls laughed and said "This happens all the time in the Phillipines,". Haha i was laughing. Anyways, the power went back on and we got their info and we'll be meeting with them on Thursday (Keep me in your prayers... and them as well).

So many good things are happening in this area but I'm really nervous. Transfers are next week and I do not want to leave. But I know I'll go where the Lord wants me to go which is something I'm totally fine with. It's just hard to leave this area where I've put so much work into and I want to see the fruits but it's the Lord's work, not mine.

All right, now I want to let you know why your testimonies are so important. The ward had a BBQ and Carrie, our investigator, was there. She was talking with members and having a great time. We saw empty seats next to her and she saw us and wanted us to sit next to her. We were eating and for whatever reason, I started up a converstation with one of the members sitting across from me. We were talking and for some reason, I asked her how long she had been a member. It turns out she said she was a convert when she was in her twenties (Keep in mind, Carrie is right next to us and listening). So Elder Stevens and I asked her about her past and she bore testimony about how she was trying all sorts of different churches because she was looking for the truth. She said she found it in our church and said, "and now, I'm home." Twenty minutes after the bbq was over, we got a call from Bob, her fellowshipper who is working his way back into the church, and he said that it was great seeing us at the picnic and that Carrie is really interested now. She's reading everyday and praying about the Book of Mormon. It's so awesome!!! The first thing Elder Stevens and I said after we got the phone call was, "Who was that person who bore her testimony again? We got to get her in the lesson!" And we will.

You never know what a smiple testimony can do for someone. You don't have to preach or give a sermon, you just have to be yourselves. I noticed that as Elder Stevens and I gave talks in the Forestry ward yesterday. We were both ourselves. We weren't trying to be general authorities, we were being 19 and 20 year old boys, simply sharing with the ward experiences we have had on the mission, being led by the Spirit, and bearing His sacred name. Be yourself. There's a reason why everyone is not like President Monson. It's because we are all different people and we've all had different experiences which have brought us to where we are. Don't be something you're not. You don't have to wear the nametag to share the gospel. The Lord has shaped you to become what you need to be to so that you can be of great service to Him. This is His work, not ours. We are the tools and we are all different instruments. Find out your strengths and make them of use. Find your weaknesses and come unto Him so that they may be strengthened. Don't use excuses. "A strong missionary finds a way... a weak one- an excuse."

I love you all and hope that you are able to find the strengths the Lord has blessed you with. I hope that you use those strengths so that you can be of great service in His kingdom.

Elder Madsen

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