Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3, 2011

Hey everybody!

Conference was awesome... as always! I hope all of the men heard Elder Holland's talk in priesthood session. Pretty powerful because he was bold and loving! Lots of miracles are popping up this week.
Clara is really progressing. She had an interesting way of finding out if the Book of Mormon was true. She said she asked God to allow her sister to be comfortable with her joining the church when she got home, then she would know that the Book of Mormon was true. Sure enough, her sister came home and was really excited to hear that she joined the church. She said now she knows that it's true. We're going o continue inviting her to pray for a spiritual witness through the Holy Ghost but it was pretty neat that that worked out for her. She is very determined to be baptized on the 22nd which is good to see. It's because of the awesome fellowshippers she's meeting thru daily contact and the feelings of the Spirit she has when she meets with us. Her grandson Larmar wants to baptized as well. We're going to get his parents to sit in on the next lesson and we'll baptize 3 generations of a family!

Tyler's mom gave him permission to be baptized! He'll be baptized on October 15th which I am so stoked about. They are such an family and it is going to be quite the experience to see them all there that Saturday.

Kyle is still preparing for the 15th. He lives so far away which makes it difficult to teach him regularly. We usually get once a week but he is a great kid and we're going to do our best to get his cousin Zack the priesthood so that he can baptize Kyle!

I learned a lot from conference and I'm grateful for the lessons I learned. One talk that really stood out to me was Elder Christofferson's talk on repentance. President Archibald was with Elder Jensen on the 70 and he asked President what his least favorite thing about the mission. President said he didn't like correcting missionaries. Elder Jensen responded, "So you love yourself more than God then..." That might sound harsh, yet I know those of you who are parents know that statement rings true. God corrects those whom he loves and it's something tough for me to acquire as a missionary is correcting investigators. Last night, our investigator told us he had been reading the scriptures on and off. We know that there is no way for him to get an answer unless he reads the Book of Mormon for a significant amount each and everyday. We spent quite a bit of time going into the importance of the commitment. Now he's fully committed to reading the Book of Mormon everyday for at least 10 minutes. When we correct others out of love and when it's our place to, then we truly show our faith of how keeping God's commandments will bless us. it's not easy, but necessary.

Elder Madsen

September 26, 2011

Hey everybody!

Well, everything is skyrocketing down here. Brandi got baptized on Saturday. It was an awesome experience. It was neat when she got confirmed as well. Brother Hill gave such a pwerful blessing and there were tears in her eyes. Her husband Ryan was at the baptism and at church for all 3 hours on Sunday! It will be a sight to see when they're sealed in a year from now. That's what Brandi's goal was when we first met her.
If you ever meet Brother Hill (which won't be too hard because he's the only black man in Cardston), you will feel one of the most strongest missionary spirits you will ever feel because when we showed up for Brandi's lesson on Tuesday, he had another nonmember and he grandchild there for us to teach. We finished Brandi's lesson and then invited Clara and her grandson to come onto a church tour with us. The spirit was so strong in that building especially with members who were supportive and invited her to sit with them at church. We invited her to be baptized after we taught the Restoration and she said she wants to wait. We emphasized the power he Book of Mormon has. She has been reading it and has been keeping in contact with Brother and Sister Hill. We taught her the plan of savation again on Saturday and there was another powerful spirit there as she learned the true nature of who God is and that we don't pray to Jesus but that we pray to the Father in Christ's name as taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon. She still hasn't committed to a date but it won't be long until she and her grandson do.

We taught Ron again on Monday about the Restoration. He understood the importance of authority but seems to be too much of a logical thinker. He feels that his faith is not strong enough. We told him this is the opportunity that God is giving him to increase his faith. He committed to reading the Book of Mormon but feels that it's too soon for him to commit to anything. It's difficult because he works on Sunday (we just need another evening sacrament meeting like in Banff, just kidding). I know that God will hlep us because there are some solid fellowshippers to help out.

Kendall is going to treatment tomorrow so we won't be able to teach him for a while. Tyler Moxley's mom came up to us and told us that his mom finally gave him permission to be baptized! They're looking at October 8th but everything is up in the air rith now so we'll keep in touch there and see what we can do. We talked to Bishop Beazer and he said it looks possible that Dayson could be baptized on that same day as well. I'm okay with filling up the font twice...

Miracles are all over the place right now and I'm so grateful that the Lord is giving us these experiences. Elder Harris is an incredible missionary and has such a strong desire to work hard. The work is a lot o fun when you've got a companion that wants to work just as hard, if not, more harder than you. I was reading a talk by Elder Worthlin and there was a really powerful message in there. He was talking about the love of God and the perspective He has on our lives. He said, "we always see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today while Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever... although we may settle for less, Heavenly Father won't, for He sees us as glorious beings we are capable of becoming." In gosepl principles, someone asked if it's possible of being too honest with people. For example, if someone doesn't cook the best meal and asks us what we think about it, what kind of response should we give... Well, what kind of response do you think Heavenly Father would give if He were asked that question. He would express his love for the effort that was put forth by that glorious being. He would probably say, "You are perfect," and could say it honestly. How often do we look at people's weaknesses instead of their potential. It's something I'm always working on.

I love all of you and I know that God loves us, Jesus is the Christ. A man from England called us yesterday and tried to throw anti information at us but nothing he could say could destroy the feelings of love that come from the Holy Ghost everytime I read the Book of Mormon and everytime I attend church and testify that Joseph saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The feelings of the Spirit are undeniable and we don't need logic or reason to explain why everything is the way it is. Like Nephi, if we know that God loves us, then we are doing quite well.

Elder Madsen

September 20, 2011

Hey everybody!

This week was chalk full of miracles! Brandie called us Sunday night and said she went to the United church. She said she felt the spirit of contention there the whole time. She missed the feeling she had at our church that morning. She also realized that she can no longer let her husband be the reason to stop her from joining the church so she asked if she could be baptized on Tuesday! Unfortunately, that won't be possible but we are scheduling it for this Saturday. It was a sweet miracle!

We heard from a member a while ago that he had a Filipino friend, Ron, who he gave a Book of Mormon to. The member showed us where he lived and we've been knocking on his door forever. We've been trying to have more specific prayers and we asked Heavenly Father if we could find someone who has been friendshipped by members that we could teach and baptize. So, at 8:45 we knocked on one of the doors we had in our plans and found Ron! He welcomed us in and thanked us for sharing God's words. What's cool is that he has 2 sisters in the Phillipines who are members!

We were teaching Brandie at Brother Hill's and as we walked in, we saw a Native woman with her son. Brother Hill invited her over to listen in on Brandie's lesson. After talking to her, we found out that she doesn't smoke or drink and that she has a strong belief in Christ. We took her on a church tour this morning and the Spirit was so strong! I had goosebumps running uip and down my body especially as the Restoration movie talked about how God will give us good gifts if we ask for them. She's coming to church this Sunday and wants to experience that before she is baptized... Don't worry, we did firm her...

Kendall's date dropped because we found out he's on probation so he'll have to wait and get that taken care of.

Miracles are flying in from left and right. We have 14 investigators and they're starting to progress! The biggest change that we've made is that now our prayers are so specific. We ask God for specific blessings and he gives them to us. It's incredible how simple and powerful the promise in James 1:5 is. We've also been saying a prayer of gratitude after every appointment or lesson so that we can show God that we're not only thankful but that we want more guidance from Him as well. I know that there are prayers that re being offered by so many of you and I want you to know that I can feel them. There's so many times where I want to pass out and fall asleep in the middle of the day but I still have the mantle and angels helping me out to carry the calling that God has given.

Elder Madsen

September 12, 2011

Hey evrybody!

Miracles are starting to land down here in Cardston. We found 6 new investigators this week and found 2 through our own efforts! We knew it was possible! Elder Harris gave a very specific prayer where he asked Heavenly Father for a person who knew about the doctrine of Christ that we could baptize. 2 hours later, we got a phone call from a member whose son had passed away a couple of years ago and was having a hard time dealing with it. She wanted to meet with us. So we taught Sheryl Byrd and her common law Ryan Healy and Sheryl's daughter Jasmine on Wednesday. It was cool that we had that training on lesson 2 just a couple of hours before because it really helped them to feel the Spirit during the lesson. We firmed them and Sheryl wants to be baptized but wants the rest of the family to join her as well. Ryan and Jasmine were unsure but they prayed at the end speicfically if Heavenly Father wanted them to be baptized. The Spirit was strong and you could she was literally talking to God, not just giving a rote recitation, it was from the heart.

We taught Kendall again and he is progressing! He came to church and he is in the Book of Alma. We asked him if he knew the Book of Mormon was true. He has been praying about it but has also been having dreams about the church as well. He's had dreams that have let him know the book is true. He's given up alcohol and is working on giving up smoking. I know he's going to do it espeically as the branch is getting more and more involved with daily contact, it is going to be a huge boost.

In Glenwood, a family told us about their neighbors that they've been friendly with. So Elder Harris and I stopped by and met the Anderson's. Laura is Native and beleives in a lot of their traditions but also has a strong belief in Christ. Trevor is Christian but his parents are very against the church. We taught them the restoration and Laura was able to feel the Spirit very strongly but I don't think either of them fully understood what it meant. Trevor is very skeptical and wants physical evidence of the Book of Mormon which obviously destroys our faith. We explained to them very clearly about prophets and the authority that is needed for us to return and live with God. Trevor said, "so what you're saying is we need to read this book, pray about it, then we'll know that it's true?" Why can't every investigator say and understand that?

Our last investigator is Jen Van Braida. Her husband is getting back into activity. She basically told us she isn't ready to find out if the church is true. Elder Harris and I struggled to get her to have the desire to learn if this is true but simply the desire is not there. I'm not sure how we can help someone gain a desire other than giving them the vision of what they can become. She is really stubborn but I know that if she reads the Book of Mormon with a desire to know that it is true, she'll know right away.

The work is going great, we just need to get people baptized, which will happen.

Elder Madsen

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 6, 2011

Hey everybody!

Things are looking really good now. We're having a baptism this Thursday with Dayson Stephan. Things were finally able to work out on both sides and now he's entering the water! Tings with Rochelle have been to a halt lately. We call and try to set up times to meet with her but it hasn't been working out. Rebuke me if I'm wrong but I feel like daily contact is a good indicator of how much desire the investigator has to come into the fold. It seems like investigaotrs who don't have a problem with it are progressing stronger as opposed to people who avoid it. That's been Rochelle's problem so her date naturally dropped.

Better things have been going on. We picked up another new investigaotr. Shirley Chiefmoon is inactive and has 2 granddaughters (Gurlee and Carla) who are 12 and 13. Gurlee was only present for the lesson on Tuesday and understood everything very well. She is shy but we taught to her level and firmed her for the 17th but Shirley said that it was too soon. We'll keep working with the girls. We may be teaching them but we're really focusing on Shirley as well. Bishop Smith is a big help for us on that one and members in Glenwood are awesome at fellowshipping.

We taught Kendall again. We finally got back into contact with him and he's been showing a lot of commitment. He's already read through Mosiah! We asked him what his favorite part in the Book of Mormon was so far and he said the olive tree allegory! Sounds golden to me! He has a short attention span and some word of wisdom issues but we established daily contact with him so things will progress with him.

Brandie cancelled on us but we're meeting with her tonight and are going to set a date. Her husband has a testimony but feels awkward attending church because of the choices he makes. The principles of daily contact will help out in her situation too. Ryan doesn't seem antagonistic but not supportive at the same time.

We met with Raymond's district and trained them on the pricniples of consecration. It's amazing when you apply these principles. No longer do I want to talk about sports or music. I just want to talk about the work and how we can improve things in the area. It seems like being obedient is no longer a question. That's primary stuff now. Now it's about giving everything to the Lord and I've felt so much more peaceful this past weekend. It's been a while since I've felt the Spirit as strong as it was at ZLC.

Im officially exhausted everynoght and everyday zooms by faster than a mazda zed 3 (canadian car). Elder Harris is an awesome companion and I feel like there's so much urgency to bring people back to God. Neat experience we had with prayer, Elder Harris asked that we would find someone who knew about the doctrine of Christ that we could baptize by the end of September. Sure enough, 2 hours later we get a phonecall from a member who has a friend whose son just died and she wants to learn more about the church. If we ask, we will receive.

Elder Madsen

August 23, 2011

Hey everybody,

Elder David S. Baxter of the 70 visited us yesterday! Thats why there was no e-mail. He told us of his conversion story and also emphasized daily study out of the Book of Mormon and PMG will help us to succeed as a mission. Elder and Sister Baxter had similar experiences where missionaries had been rejected by their parents previously but down the road, both of their parents had trials and tragedies in their lives which humbled them to ask God for help in their lives. Sure enough, the missionaires came again and brought their families into the church. Do you think those missionaires who were first rejected had any idea that one of those families who rejected them would eventually have a son who would become a general authority? I'm not sure of the answer but I'm positive that if they did not invite, it would no thave happened.

Things are really picking up now and we're starting to see a lot of miracles! We've been trying to get in touch with Rochelle Across the Mountain these past couple of weeks and we set up a time for Sunday to meet. She drove 30 minutes to the church to meet with us. Talk about commitment! She wants her family to be happy because she's going through a lot of trials right now and she knows this is the path she needs to be on. We taught her L1 and she understood it pretty well. The spirit was strong and with her especially as we talked about how it would bless her family. She accepted a date for September 17th to be baptized!!! She lives out near Glenwood so we prayed and we know she should be fellowshipped in that ward as soon as possible. She understands that she needs to be in touch with other ward members as well.

Brandie has been going through a lot lately. Her schedule is pretty erratic and it's diffcult for us to schedule things with her. She lives out in Jefferson which is about 15 minutes away from Cardston. We've been stopping by her at work and she hasn't been consistent about reading the Book of Mormon but has been praying about the 3rd. She's still worried about her husband not helping her out but we gave her the letter so hopefully she takes the things in there to heart. We're working on getting more fellowshippers from the Aetna ward to help out as well. She wasn't at church this Sunday which bummed us out but I know that she'll get it back together again.

Michelle's daughter is here now and we're teaching her this Saturday. We've already got a fellowshipper picked out for her and I already know that she's going to accept a date. There are so many more things on the prowl. A member told us about their neighbors out in Glenwood. So we stopped by and they want us to visit them on Wednesday! Miracles are starting to happen now and I'm so stoked for it all.

President has committed us to study the Atonement everyday for the next month. I've picked up so many unique insights that I wanted to share with you because I know that they can help. Consecration to the gospel is not perfection. It is something we are always working at and improving. We understand that the Lord's will is more important than ours. Have you wanted something so badly and when you got it, you realized that you didn't want it? That's exactly what happens when our wills aren't aligned with God's will. We think we want to achieve something (that isn't in line with what God wants us to achieve) and when we reach that destination, we realize that it's empty and hollow. I know that if we seek God's will in our lives, we can find something that is wholesome and desirable above all other things.

Elder Madsen

August 2, 2011

Hey everybody,

Well, things are still going difficult in Cardston. Tyler didn't talk to his mom while he was on vacation which caused his baptismal date to drop. We talked to him andn his dad on Sunday and he wants to sit down with his mom face to face and talk to her about why he wants to be baptized. Unfortunately, he won't be back for a couple of weeks which pushes things back again. I have faith in the Lord that it will happen. I'm positive that if Tyler is bold and sincere, his mom's heart will be softened and he'll be baptized.
We talked to Bishop Beazer and he said that he talked with Dayson's parents and that they want him to get baptized within the next two weeks. Bishop hasn't told us what the reason has been so I'm not sure what we can do to make it happen.

We've had some stellar 7days this week. We've met a lot of faithful members who have friends that they've made plans to invite. One of the members said that he had been given this challenge in the past but the missionaries never followed up with him so he didn't invite his friend. It's awesome how much power is in following up with people. It's frustrating because we've had 7day challenges where we teach the 10 minute first and members are ready to fall out of their chairs because the Spirit is so strong. We've had quite a few members look at their spouses and say, "Wow, I would love to have my friends listen to you!" We then ask them and they don't know anybody. We did have a member who said, "At first, I was hesitant when I heard you invite people to be baptized on the first lesson... but after listening to this, I felt the invitation to baptism was an actual invitation. It was non threatening and I would love to have my friends in this kind of environment." It's getting frustrating because the people who are ready to have friends in their home have the most difficult time finding people.

There's lots of potential out here and I know the Lord's hand is in this area, just like it has been in every other area I've been in.

Elder Madsen

Ha, I definitely forgot to wish Grandma Madsen a happy birthday! What is she, 35 now? The next birthday she has, I'll be there!

Elder Madsen

July 25, 2011

Hey everybody

Well, things are still going rough but we're continuing to look for opportunities. We taught Tyler this week. He is still committed to July 31st. In the lesson, Elder Mott accidentally firmed him for August 31st and Brother Moxley was really excited. He told us they were going on vacation the week before the baptism. We explained to them that we sought Heaven;y Father's will on what day Tyler should be baptized and that we know he needs to be baptized on the 31st of July. They agreed and have faith that it will all work out. His mom is still an issue. She wants to talk to him on July 30th when she comes down from Calgary. It's a tough thing for Tyler to talk to his mom about. Brother Moxley gave him a blessing to have the strength to talk to his mom. We haven't heard of how anything has gone yet but we have faith that everything will work out.
One of our investigators is moving to Red Deer but we heard from a nonmember who asked us for help on his property out in Hillspring. Doug (nonmember) called us from Southern B.C. and asked us for some help out there. We talked to the ward and some of the members want to help out there as well. I don't think Doug knows what he's in for because he is definitely about to get baptized!

Bishop Beazer is still trying to work with Dayson. We stopped by and talked to Brother Stephan. Dayson was listening to us the whole time so we weren't able to talk about the situation very much. I have faith that good things will happen there.

It's been pretty difficult. I've never extended 7days as good in the entire mission as I have now and I've never been this obedient or dedicated but it seems like there is no success going on right now. I'm positive this is a trial of my faith and I know that good things will come. I guess I'm "of shortsightedness" right now but good things are about to happen out here.

Elder Madsen

July 18, 2011

Hey everybody,

Well, it hailed on Tuesday... luckily Elder Mott and I were in the truck and have a garage to park it in. Crazy weather up here. We spoke in sacrament meeting for the second week in a row except this week, it was only Elder Mott and I who were speaking. So there was an hour left, and Elder Mott went first... he only spoke for 15 minutes. So I looked at the clock and did my best to stretch out my 10 minute talk to 30 minutes. I was exhausted. The bishopric has some good things to say afterwards. Bishop said, "The Lord prepares, we invite, the missionaries teach, the Spirit converts!" Such a true statement. Missionaries can only go so far in their own efforts. We have been really struggling on finding through our own efforts and are really relying on the members for help.

Well, this week was still rough with no new investigators but there is still a lot of potenital happening. We have 3 investigators lessons set up for this week and we'll see what will happen. The quality of our 7 days have considerably risen. Members are inviting more and are starting to be more aware of missionary work as we meet with them.

Tyler was at church on Sunday. We talked to his dad and the mom still has a hardened heart towards it all. Brother Moxley said, "Well, he has a baptismal date for the 31st, so it's up to you if you want to be there..." I'm not sure how this will all go down but I have faith that Tyler is going to be baptized. No question about it. We're teaching him tonight.

We haven't gotten a hold of Dayson or his parents. Bishop Beazer said his baptism should be any week. There's a lot of things going on with the parents right now so we'll figure things out in the upcoming weeks. We got a call from the Temple Visitor's Center and a Native wants to meet with us out in Standoff. We have a lesson with him scheduled for Tuesday night. We're hoping he's an investigator as well.

Not a whole lot to report on this week but I know that as we're patient with the Lord, we will see miracles. In every 7day, we're really emphasizing with members how to invite. It's really the main focus of our visits. I know that as we continue to be diligent in our role plays, the Lord will bless us.

I love you all and am really grateful for this opportunity I have to serve in Canada. I am officially at the point where I've decided that I'm not going home. I just want to be on a mission forever because there is no more important nor satsifying work than sharing the gospel with all of Heavenly Father's children. Please conitnue to keep those that we are working with in your prayers. They need God's help and they can receive it.

Elder Madsen

July 4, 2011

Hey everybody!

Well, I am excited for this new area! There is mounds of potential ready to happen. I can already name about 7 people who we need to work with who have a lot of potential to be baptized. It's a rough transition for me because in the past 9 motnhs, I have been focused on finding through our own efforts and haven't used as much of the members as we could've. Now, I'm learning a lot because there is a much more limited resource for me to find through our own efforts. I am learning how to work effectively with ward mission leaders now and am focused on spending much more time working closely with them.

A little bit about Cardston... it's exactly like Manti: middle of nowhere, tons of members, a temple. We cover a whole stake (7 wards). There's 2 stakes, 9 buildings, 4 missionaries in a ton of about 3500! There's lots of work to be done and it's only going to be done through the members and our diligence with working closely with them. Brother and Sister Leavitt should know all about it
The members down here have a lot of faith. In the past few 7 days we've extended, hardly anyone has been able to identify anybody but they always say, "We have faith and will do our best." We have a lot of members scheduled for this week who do have people for us to teach. We'll let you know how it goes.
I like the new 7 day program. Before we challenge them to find us people to teach, we given them a 10 minute version of the first lesson. Members have complimented us especially during the first vision. They're really able to feel the Spirit and I know that it builds their confidence in us as we show them what kind of teachers we are. I've never given such powerful 10 minute firsts in the whole time I've been on a mission. Role playing it everyday has helped me understand what principles are the most important for investigators to hear, what parts I need to slow down on and check for understanding and also how to teach around commitments to people so that they can understand the importance of accepting the gospel.
We had a pretty sweet miracle where we went through the first lesson with the bishop in the Glenwood ward. We extended the challenge and they said, "We'll do it... tonight!" My eyes lit up and we found out that they were visiting a part member family who had just moved in. Bishop Smith visited them and invited them to come out to church. We were a little disappointed in our follow up visit because they hadn't invited them to take the lessons. On Sunday, they were both at church, and Bishop visited with Tom (less active) in his office. We found out that his wife, Jen, had taken the discussions twice and that she is a logical person. Bishop asked Tom about his testimony of Joseph Smith. Apparently, there is more than one soul to save in that home. We're excited to work closely there and see some miracles.
I love the work. I am excited to work with Elder Mott. He's from Tooele, UT and is going home this transfer. I get to kill off another missionary! I feel more inadequate than ever but it's like President said in my interview, "The Lord doesn't care." I guess I need to stop whining and get to work.
Elder Madsen

P.S. The mail strike is over so you can expect some letters now! Thank you for the pictures from Ham's wedding! That's pretty awesome! The cardboard cutout is sweet!

June 28, 2011

Hey everybody,

Well, there's bittersweet news. Elder Hansen and I are going to part ways and I'm going to have to leave the Smeaton family. But I am going to Cardston with Elder Mott and am a new zone leader! Elder Mott is from Toole, UT and was my district leader a couple of transfers ago. We had a lot of fun together and I am excited to work there because it's right next to the temple!!!! There will be some pics of Waterton National Park in a few weeks. Be prepared!!!

Miracles have not ceased in Praire Winds. Bradley has a baptismal date for July 9th. He is totally prepared and is definitely one of the elect. He is 20 but has girlfriend and child back in Ontario. He does have plan to get married. He has so much faith. We taught him the law of chastity. We told him that when he goes back to Ontatrio, he cannot live with his girlfirend until he marries her. There was o lng silence in the room. Bradley has been trying to gain back the trust of his girlfriend ever since they had a child together. He couldn't handle the pressure of being a young father and left her but is now trying to make things right with her. From the bottom of his heart, he asked, "How am I supposed to gain her trust back if I don't live with her?" Silence in the room continued and then Elder Hansen said, "Bradley, by living the law of chastity, you will gain her trust back and you will gain your trust with Heavenly Father and those around you." Silence filled the room for a moment, the Spirit was building. Bradley said, "I will keep the law of chastity... no matter what it takes." This is not our work, it's the Lord's. Two 20 year old boys by themselves could not do that, but two 20 year old boys called of God with power and authority can. He was at church after getting home at 1 in the morning and working 17 hours. I asked him how he did that. He said, "God is giving me so much, nothing is a sacrifice to him in comparison to what he's giving me."

There are so many more miracles going on. Dani and her family recevied the first lesson. I know with all my heart that Dani is going to be an incredible member because during the first lesson, Satan tried to get in there by sending the kids' father unexpectedly. He was very rude to her and to us after we were trying to be polite. After the kids' dad walked in, Dani's interest in the lesson was gone. Nothing was getting to her but, the Spirit did build back up because she testified that she knew that Joseph saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She defintely likes to walk by sight rather than faith because she asked where the gold plates were and said that the only parts of the Book of Mormon that she believes are true are the parts that she has read.

We've also taught people on their doorsteps and are seeing lots of miracles. Elder Hansen is an incredible missionary. He is full of faith and if it wasn't for him, I don't think we would've seen half of the miracles we saw this transfer. The Lord placed he and I here for a reason. I am exicted to work with Elder Mott.

So my cool insight I found in the scriptures this week. Read through Doctrine and Covenants and see how many times it says "pray vocally". I enjoy praying vocally because it locks away all of the thoughts I don't want to have in my prayers. I love being a missionary and enjoy the one on one time I have with the scriptures. It's the best!

I love you all and am glad the mail strike is over!

Elder Madsen

June 20, 2011

Hey everybody,

well sad news. Elder Marsden is going home because of his health. He leaves today and we're all down today because of it. We're going to miss him but he is calm about it. He knows he is going where the Lord wants him. This week was not good as for as our physical states were. Everyone of us got sick and it really hindered the work. We were able to continue to press hard though in spite of that.

We took Dani on a church tour. She's a referral we received from the Airdrie sisters. She's from Chile and has been brought up in a Catholic background but as far as religion goes, she does, "whatever works." Throughout the church tour, we had solid fellowshippers for her and she really enjoyed the presentation aspect of it. She also feels good whenever she reads the Book of Mormon, especially when she read through 3 Nephi 11. It was no surprise when we went to the Christ room that she picked the picture where Christ comes to the Nephites as her favorite picture. We watched the Restoration and she got very emotional when she watched it. We firmed her and she wants to do more praying and pondering. She also has concerns with her kids (Ages 10 and 12) and what they think about the church. So we're teaching her family on Tuesday night. She wrote all of her commitments down on the pamphlet. I know that as she keeps her commitments and gains a testimony, her concerns will be minor annoyances but the only thing that will matter to her will be following her Savior.

We were following our 15 minute plan and forgot the address of the lady we wanted to stop by. We were a bit frustrated but knew the Lord had us there for a reason. We knocked on a door and a black woman and her 2 kids answered. We said we had a message about Jesus Christ and she said we could come back on Saturday. Saturday afternoon, we went over and started teaching. We told her that it wasn't an accident we showed up at her door but that God had prepared her for the message He had for her. She started sobbing. She said,"The day you came was a very diffcult day for me. I prayed and asked God,' Where are you?!' and then you gentleman came..." The Spirit had borne witness that we were representatives of God. We taught her the Restoration. We firmed her for July and she said she wanted to talk to her husband and didn't want to rush anything. We had to get to our next appointment but we did get a return appointment. She tried to resist writing down the appointment on the pamphlet but we were persitant about it and didn't let her get away. There is inspiration in the pamphlet principle.

We found some investigators for the YSA ward to teach as well. We also met with Mike. He was pretty fed up about how the members go through the motions at church and how it shouldn't be just our jobs as missionaries to find people to teach (thats what im talking about). We did our best to resolve his concerns and he understands that baptism is a commitment.

Well, we're a bit down about Elder Marsden leaving but we know it's what the Lord wants. We are excited to work hard again and continue to see miracles in this area.

Elder Madsen

P.s. Yes, Elder Newman is our zone leader. He and I talk about Brother Quackenbush and how he was in the Stake Young Men's Presidency. Elder Newman is an incredible missionary. He is such a good example of hard work, obedience, and having fun at the same time. I love him a lot and am bummed that he's going home so soon. Mail strike isn't over yet. I am honestly the worst person to update you on how it's going but Sister Leavitt's daughter can keep you more "posted"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May 30, 2011

The miracles continue to grow in Prairie Winds. Mike and Nick are doing well and attended the ward pizza party and really bonded well with the members. Tiffany is overly excited for the 4th and has everything set up for it already.

We taught Isabel the first lesson on Thursday. It went awesome! We firmed her for June 11th and she was unsure at first. Sister Pozzi did a good job of helping her feel comfortable with us as Isabel expressed that she believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph is a prophet. She doesn't have a problem with being baptized again but is concerned about what her parents might feel about her being baptized. She wondered if she should tell them or not because she understands that she is an adult and can make her own choices but doesn't want to disappoint her dad. This is when the spirit became VERY strong in the lesson because we told her God's truth. We said whenever we are confused about something, we should always pray and find out what God wants us to do. I'm so glad we've received so many trainings on the importance of helping our investigators seeking revelation because that is what the Spirit was telling Isabel... to learn for herself what God wanted her to do in this difficult situation. After that, I shared with her one of the most personal scriputres to me in D&C 84:88 which says, "I will be on your right hand and on your left..." and talks about how angels will bear us up when we testify of truth to others (makes me wonder why sometimes I'm embarassed to share what God wants me to tell people). Isabel couldn't finish the scripture without tears in her eyes. The Spirit had borne truth to her and God was speaking to her heart. We comforted her and let her know where those feelings were coming from and said, "After praying and asking God what you should do, will you prepare to be baptized on June 11th?" There couldn't have been any other answer than "yes" for a person who was as prepared as she was.

We're working closely with Anil. He is still frustrated that his family doesn't respect him. We knew we should teach the Restoration and emphasize that there is only one prophet and one church that is of God. I have never been that bold in my life. Anil was describing his stress about his family and how he feels like he can't take it anymore. We declared the gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness and love. I don't know what other way you can teach it. I felt incredible afterwards knowing that the Spirit was with us giving the words he needed to hear. He didn't accept the firm because he is still unsure about the word of wisdom. He can't find confidence to keep it. We do have a return appointment.

The miracles are growing in Praire Winds. I love this area because of the hard work, diligence and obedience that is being put into it. Elder Hansen and Elder Marsden are great companions. Elder Marsden does need to start feeling better though. He's been pretty sick.

I read this talk called the purification process. What it is is that you go on a 40 day fast from all of your bad habits that limit your sensitivity to the Spirit. I came up with a list this weekend and boy was it big!... even as a missionary. I just started today and I know that the Lord will help me become a more effective insturment in His hands as I consecrate more of myself to Him. Probably my biggest weakness is consecrating my all to the Savior... which includes pride, mind, heart, real charity. It's tough but I know it;s worth it. I love all of you and am excited to make this an even better year for missionary work.


Elder Madsen

P.S. thank you for the packages and I really appreciated the letter you sent me dad. It meant a lot and I gained an incredible insight of why the work we do as missionaries is so important. It's not okay to think that we can just ignore people and assume they'll accept it in the spirit world. There must be a sense of urgency in birnging Heavenly Father's children back to Him

May 24, 2011

Hey her's some picutres. There's one with me and a sister and an elder. Thats Siter Riley and Elder Heap. We're all from San Diego. The missionary with me and the graffiti is Elder Hansen. The other is the baptism. Elder Marsden is the missionary on the far right. Mike is the dad and Nick is his son/

On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 2:50 PM, Keith Madsen wrote:

Hey everybody!

Well, the three leg is awesome! We are having a blast! Elder marsden is from Idaho Falls, ID. He came out in August 2009 but got really sick and went home for over a year. He already served 10 months so he only has 14 months to go. He just came back this week so he's going through some rough adjusting. I don't think I could be able to do what he's doing right now.

This was an awesome week! Mike and Nick got baptized on Friday. It was an awesome evening! The members baptized them and then on Sunday, we had the confirmations in sacrament meeting. I confirmed Mike and Brother Pozzi confirmed Nick. After the baptism, Mike came up to us and said he felt a little empty. He felt like there was something missing. Sure enough, after the confirmation on Sunday, Mike learned that baptism by water is not complete without the baptism by fire. We have a lesson scheduled with Isabel for Thursday and we already have her fellowshipper ready to go. Mike also wants us to teach his son who is moving in from Ontario. He has an incredible missionary mind.

Tiffany is progressing well. She is ready for the 4th!

Our other investigators bailed on us during this week. We're having a rough time getting a hold of them. We do have lessons scheduled this week with them as well. This is a cool miracle: We're working with a less active and told him we wanted to go over the missionary lessons with him in a week. We challenged him to bring a nonmember friend to that lesson. He listed off a bunch of friends he could find for us. We established how were going to follow up with each other and went our separate ways. We hadn't heard back from Tyler for about 3 days so we called him and he said he had someone who was inactive but needed the missionary lessons out in Airdrie. We thought that was pretty sweet and encouraged him to continue to find a nonmember to taught on Thursday. This morning, the sister missionaries in Airdrie called and told us they have a referral for us for someone they had been teaching in Airdrie! We had a "switcheroo" I guess.

We helped Bev out with some service on Saturday. She is really stressed with moving right now that she wants to start the lessons again after she moves. She understands that we have a lot of patience even though we would like to teach her right now.

I was thinking about Mike's comment about his empty feeling and it made me think about how crucial it is that we follow the enitre gospel of Jesus Christ: 1. Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement 2. Repentance 3. Baptism for the remission of sins 4. Gift of the Holy Ghost 5. Endure to the end... After Mike's baptism, he was only experiencing what 3/5 of the gospel can offer us. The gift of the Holy Ghost is an incredible gift from our Heavenly Father. Baptism is pointless without that gift. I am so grateful for this gospel and how simple it is. It is the only way we can return to live with Heavenly Father.


Elder Madsen

May 17, 2011

Hey everybody!

Well Elder Hansen are staying but I'm going on another 3 leg! Elder Marsden is coming in so we'll have to get a new bed in. This will be fun.

This week was incredible! Mike is solid and is ready to baptized this Friday. The ward is really excited about it. He asked Brother Kinneard (Elder's quorum president) to baptize him and he asked me to confirm him. We also reviewed the baptismal interview questions with Nick and he passed! So Mike and Nick will be baptized this Friday together. He had no concerns with any of the commandments and is ready. He loved church and enjoyed how everyone there gives different perspectives on topics. Isabel sits in the background on the lessons. She only wants the lessons if Sister Pozzi is there.

We also found out yesterday that Tiffany's mom said she can get baptized as well. She's been taught for the past 2 years and has been coming to church. Her mom figured if Nick was qualified to be baptized then Tiffany could be baptized as well! Tiffany will be baptized on June 4th.

We taught Mengi on Saturday as well. There's a big language barrier with him. He's from Ethiopia but only speaks English. His accent is hard to understand and we don't think he clearly understands everything we are telling him. We taught the rest of the Plan of Salvation and he believes it's God's plan for us. As we talked about baptism, he still hasn't grasped the concept of the Restoration that our church has the only authority to baptize. He said he feels like we're not impressing him. We resolved his concern by telling him that we aren't capable of giving him the answer but that God will give him that knowledge he needs. He didn't accept the firm but Elder Hansen and I are seeing a huge change as we've focused on teaching towards the commitment. It makes the biggest difference especially in our contacting apporaches as well.

We met with Bruce again. He had questions about the 3 kingdoms of glory. He doesn't believe that God would keep someone who is unrighteous from living with Him. He had the concern that he wouldn't want to live in the celestial kingdom if his dad wasn't there. We talked about the importance of commandments and how there' rewards and blessings for keeping those commandments. There's also punishment for us when we don't keep commandments. We then went into depth about the spirit world and how we will all be taught about Jesus Christ and how if we didn't have the opportunity to accept Christ, then we will have the opportunity to do so. We also emphasized that it is never our place to judge someone for their works. That lies with a perfect judge who is God. He knows us better than we know ourselves and will take into consideration our circumstances and trials that we went through. He doesn't agree with it but then we talked about our testimonies of Joseph. Bruce said he skims through the Book of Mormon so we commited him to read and pray about it everyday. He does have a divorce that has to go through so we'll use the baptism to speed up the process. He does have WOW issues so we got him the Stop Smoking Prgram.

Lots of miracles going on in Prairie Winds. The member trust is skyrocketing and everyone is excited about the upcoming events. Revelation is definitely the key.


Elder Madsen

May 2, 2011

Hey everybody,

I get to call you... well, actually you're going to have to call me. Our phone number is (deleted) If you could call me at 4Pm MDT (3:00 Pm Pacific) then that would be awesome! The weather has been beautiful (for Canada at least) and we're ready to talk to more people out there.

Are you ready for this? We set 2 baptismal dates for May 21 and found 3 new investigators this week as well. We taught Mike on Thursday. He had a lot of concerns about Joseph Smith and polygamy. Bro Pozzi did a good job of explaining the sociological reasons but then it came down to his testimony of the Book of Mormon. I said, "We can talk logic till the cows come home and it won't make a difference until you ask God these things for yourself. The Book of Mormon is the evidence, every other book you read can give opinions, but the Book of Mormon provides truth." As we planned for this lesson, we prayed and knew we should invite him to be baptized on May 21. Bro Pozzi did quite a bit of talking and I was wondering how in the world we could invite him to be baptized. As we listened and kept a prayer in our heart, the thought came to us that we needed to turn to the Book of Mormon and read the doctrine of Christ. It was clear and simple to Mike what we need to do to be saved. We firmed him for May 21 and he said, "Well, I don't see any reason why not to be." His wife is totally okay with everything but isn't willing to learn yet. We'll continue to work with Nick and see how everything progresses.

We taught Anil on Monday. He is from India and is Hindu but believes that there is only one God and knows Jesus Christ is his Savior (one of the few eh!). He wants to take what he learns from us back to India and be a missionary there. He is married and has 2 kids (ages 17 and 15). He's having a struggle being an immigrant because his kids don't respect him because of the culture change. We taught him Lesson 1 and emphasized the gospel of Jesus Christ over and over again. He knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I set my scriptures on the ground for a second and he grabbed them and put them on the table. He said, "Those are holy books!" Yes, missionaries do get humbled. We firmed him for May 21 and he said he feels like the desire for baptism should come from inside and he also wants to learn more.

We taught him on Sunday at the Diaz's the plan of salvation. We really emphasized the doctrine of Christ with him and drilled it into his mind and heart what he needs to do to come unto Christ. It was probably one the best lessons I've ever been in. We firmed him for May 21 and he gave us the same answer from last week so Elder Hansen asked him, "Look inside of yourself. Do you believe that this is what God wants you to do?" He said, "Well, if I'm lucky." So Elder Hansen asked, "Well, will you be that lucky child of God on the 21st?" He said, "Ok, where is this going to happen?" We invited him to pray and ask God if this is something He wants him to do and to not take our word for it but to ask God for that knowledge. I asked him, "Do you believe that Joseph is a prophet of God?" He said "Yes" and I asked him how he knew that. He said, "Well you told me he was. You are holy men. You wear those nametags and I trust you." We thanked him for his respect and told him he can trust us but that he also needs to seek that knowledge from God.

We taught a referral from the west, Mengi. We taught him the 1st lesson as well. He feels he is not ready to be baptized and wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon first. We also taught a man on his porch. We emphasized the doctrine of Christ and he wants to come unto Christ but won;t commit to anything. There is so much work going on in this area and it's all because of the Lord. He truly leads and guides us and places us in people's paths when they need the gospel. As long as Elder Hansen and I remain bold and obedient (which we are doing), we will continue to see miracles flourish here. We had 4 investigators at sacrament (Mike and Anil were there) and a potential investigator as well. We've really focused on seeking revelation in everything we do which has helped us know where to go.


Elder Madsen

April 25, 2011

Hey everybody,

The weather is getting very warm up here! Thank you so much for the packages. They're the best and exactly what I needed!!! Miracles have been happening every day here in Prairie Winds.

We kept up with our 80% 7 days again this week. On Thursday, we went on splits and Elder Hansen and Elder Lewis tore it up! They found and taught 3 new investigators. It was awesome! Elder Booth and I found 2 referrals for the Spanish. We were walking around these houses looking for a specific address and we saw a lady through the window and so we went up and knocked on her door. She said she only spoke Spanish, so I thought to myself, "Well, I took 3 years of Spanish... should I try it?" Sure enough I just started talking about who we were in Spanish and she was talking back as well. I spoke just enough to find out she was Pentecostal and that the Spanish missionaries could come back on Saturday at 3 Pm... Gift of tongues or what?!?!?! CRAZY!!!

We have return appointments with all 3 of those investigaotrs. One of them is Nick's dad. He said he wants to come back to church everyday. He had concerns about polygamy and Elder Lewis and Elder Hansen resolved them very well. We hvae a lesson with him again on Friday. Eric, a Filipino (I would be teaching another Filipino, haha), let Elder Hansen and Elder Lewis in and they only had 10 minutes with him for the 1st lesson. They firmed him and he said he wanted to learn more. Elder Hansen and I got out of ward council and felt like we should go get all of our investigators to church. We ran out and caught Eric at the door while he was asleep. I guess we guilt tripped him into coming because it was Easter. He said, "Oh, you're right! I gotta go! What time?" Eric was really able to feel the Spirit especially during Gospel Principles class. The lesson was on faith and beleive me... Filipinos are very faithful. We have a lesson with him on Tuesday with a Filipino member helping us out.

Elder Hansen continued to follow our 15 minute rule and found a Native lady and her family to teach as well. At first, she said she was up for anything but Chrisitianity and Catholicism... let's just the Spirit is a wonderful tool. As we taught the plan of salvation, she said it made sense to her. She doesn't want to give up her native beliefs. As we taught more about Jesus Christ, the Spirit was very powerful and we firmed her for May 21. She said she wanted to talk to her family about it more first. We gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read from it. She seemed to be ignoring us this weekend as we knocked on her door. She said the Jw's were stopping by as well.

We met Bev on Sunday. She has been in the hospital. The Sunridge elder's gave her a blessing and she said she felt like it helped out a lot. There was a lot of stress going on with her because of the black mold and electrical problems in her place. Apparently, she's been having a mild heart attack for the past 3 months... while Elder Reese and I were teaching her. She's very limited on what she can do and will keep us posted.

Right now, we have over 10 investigators and set up at least 5 new investigator lessons for this week. Miracles are everywhere here in Prairie Winds.


Elder Madsen

April 19, 2011

We got 2 brand new investgators in the past 2 days. Nicole (French lady we saw riding bikes with her kids at the church parking lot) wanted to hear a message about the Book of Mormon. She is completely against the Catholic church and knows a French speaking member in our ward... can you say "The Lord placed her in our path"? We went over on Sunday after church with 2 French Book of Mormons and Bro Joly talked to her quite a bit and they had a good relationship with each other. We taught the 2nd half of L1 and emphasized the Apsotasy. We taught about the Book of Mormon and how we can know if it's true. Then as we taught about how the Book of Mormon brings us closer to Christ, we also taught about baptism. The member then said, "The best converts wait 20 years to be baptized." We thought to ourselves, "well wait till you hear the date the Lord wants." We firmed her for May 14. Bro Joly's head turned so quickly I thought it would fall off. She said she wants to learn more first and accepted the soft firm. Later that day, we were walking and saw her. We asked what she thought about the lesson and she loved it and read 50 pages of the Book of Mormon that day! She said it is a lot clearer to understand than the Bible. We'll keep you posted on her.

Sherry was a lady we ran into last week from following the 15 minute rule. She's had a rough past (divorces, addictions) and wants a clean start. Well what better lesson than the doctrine of Christ. Elder Hansen and I went in there and listened to her and the concerns she had. She's making a lot of mistakes but the Spirit told us to listen to her and let the Holy Ghost tell her to shape up, not us. As we taught she understood that what she was doing was wrong. We taught about Christ and repentance. We taught her you need to forsake your sin in order to repent. She understands now the steps she must make in order to fully come unto Christ. The Spirit was really working with her especially as we read through the doctrine of Christ. We firmed her for May 14th and she accepted. We have a lesson with her on Wednesday.

We had a cool experience with planning. We planned everyday for the upcoming week for Nick's parents to come to church. Then, Nick's dad showed up unexpectedly. He stayed for all 3 hours and loved it. He said he is going to come back every week and wants a lesson on Thursday. He has a lot of questions but trusts us as missionaries that we will answer his questions.
We also have a lesson with Seerad for this upcoming Saturday. We are busy, busy, busy! Elder Hansen has incredible faith and motivation. He is a wonderful missionary and knows where his priorities are. He is definitley internally motivated and I learn a lot from his humility. I'm really doing my best to become spiritually converted unto Christ.

Elder Scott visitng us was a real treat. Elder Brimhall was his companion (the one who gave us a training in February). Elder Birmhall said power comes from 3 sources, faith in Christ, obedience, and sacrifice. Elder Scott was very powerful as he taught. I beleive there is a problem with the church and people getting married because Elder Scott told us that right after our missions, we need to get married. You know it's a problem when they're telling missionaries to start looking for wives. He, President and Elder Brimhall taught about the importance of being spiritually converted unto Christ. We all have external motivations in our lives but are we following Christ because of those reasons. Are we only doing the things we're supposed to for the praise of men. Now, I'm not saying that all external motivations are evil. If it wasn't for the positive motivation that David, Lisa and Dad gave me from their missionary expereinces, I'm not sure I would be out here. But eventually, there is going to come a time in our lives where those external factors will be removed. Then where do we turn to? We must be internally and spirtually converted unto Christ because He will always be there for us. He loves us and wants what is best for us. What He wants in turn is our hearts. We're not asked to walk across a 2000 mile prairie floor. We aren't asked to break our china to make temples. We are asked to give a broken heart and contrite spirit. I promise you that by being spiritually converted unto Christ, we can receive more of His love and understand His will more and more.

There is nothing better than hearing an Apostle bear witness of Christ. Elder Scott said that in order to become an Apostl, you can no longer have a belief or hope that Christ lives, but a knowledge. The Spirit was so powerful and I'll never forget that day where I heard an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ bore witness of Him. He said, "I say this accepting full responsiblity from Father in Heaven for what I am declaring for I fear no rebuke."

Elder Madsen

April 11, 2011

Hey everyone!

Well, as we're faithful and obedient, we can see a miracle a day and sure enough we did this week. We had very effective 7 days with members and they've been taking the challenges seriously. It's just a matter of time before we'll be teaching a member referral. We found at least 6 potential investigators through our own efforts as a result of beind diligent with our planning and being where the Lord has wanted us. We ran into 2 teenagers, Chrsi and Joel, and talked to them about the importance of families and Jesus Christ. They gave us their addresses and phone numbers and as they drove off, they honked and waved to us. We'll be teaching their family this week. Yesterday, as we were following our plans, we walked by a group of people hanging out on their porch. We passed by and stopped by our place on our plans and came back to those people again. We waved and they waved back (wave back= go get em!) so we talked. They thought we were people from the elections but we explained how we were messengers from Jesus Christ. They let us talk to them. There were 2 black guys that were drinking and smoking that I talked to and Elder Hansen, in a seperate conversation, was talking to the lady next to them. I remember teaching them about Joseph Smith and the First Vision and I could hear Elder Hansen talking about the Word of Wisdom to the lady. 2 lessons at one time! The people I was talking too were definitely tipsy but the lady Elder Hansen was talking to sounded sincere. We'll be teaching them this week as well! Miracles!!!

We got a media referral for a muslim named Seerad. He has a family and requested for an Urdu Book of Mormon (I guess God will get the gospel to ANY language). We gave it to his son and came back on Saturday and Seerad thanked us so much for the book. He has been reading it and actually comprehended that it was written on gold plates. There is a language barrier and he also works out in Rocky Mountain Village (somewhere up north) and is only available on weekends. He is coming to church on Sunday and we'll be teaching him soon as well. At church, we saw a casually dressed Middle Eastern man (from Sri Lanka) named Bertram. He sat in the back and almost left before sacrament meeting... but we caught him. He's Protestant and has a duaghter and gave us his address. He said he'll bring his daughter next Sunday but he also has a language barrier. We need the gift of tongues or something.

We met with Bruce again (also because of being diligent with planning) and set up a lesson with him for Saturday. Bev is in the hosptial and has requested a blessing! We met with Nick's parents and told them about baptism. They want to come to church and see what it's like... Elder Hansen just got someone to go to church just now while I was e-mailing... wow!

There are lots of miracles happening and I know the Lord's hand is in all of them. Elder Hansen is very humble and willing to learn. I just hope that I can be a good example and help him to start his mission off in the right footstep. The district is doing well. There are lots of miracles waiting to happen as well with the other companionships.

Thank you for the birthday presents!!! The electric razor is awesome!!! I got a birthday cake and card from the Bunka's which was awesome! Elder Scott is coming to the mission on Monday in Ft. McLeod because his flight got delayed. I love all of you, please continue to pray for me.


Elder Madsen

April 5, 2011

Thats awesome about David and Cheryl and HAM!!! YEAAAAHHHHH!!! I just need one more married and maybe a couple more nephews and the mission will be fulfilled!!! Congratualtions!!! Just do everything you can to make sure that everyone in our family is attending the temple as much as possible. I miss it... I really do. I am grateful to be able to do the work for people that are living but there is a special spirit of protection in the House of the Lord.


Elder Madsen

P.S. I got 2 packages from you and one from Grandma. Thank you so much!!! I'm excited to open them!

On Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 10:59 AM, Keith Madsen wrote:

Hey everybody,

Well Elder Reese is going home but there's good news... I'm training and going District Leader!

This week was really rough. Elder Reese was very excited to go home. General Conference was amazing! I hope you all remember the Spirit you felt as you listened to prophets of God counsel us in these confusing times. I hope you all listened to the talk by Elder Johnson of the 70 where he talked about afflictions. He said great and troubling times precede the greatest and most spiritual experiences of our lives. The Nephites went through 3 days of darkness before the Savior came, the Saints traveled across the great plains before they had a temple that would stand through the Millenium, Elder Mercado and I went through several rejections and very challenging experiences before we met the San Juan family. Of course, the most climatctic event was the Savoir's atoning sacrifice in Gethsemane and Calvary before He broke the bonds of death. Whenever we go through these tough times, we need to remember that revelation comes after obedience, not the other way around. Laman and Lemuel received angels when they were not obedient and look how they turned out. Be grateful that God is perfect and all knowing because He knows exactly what we need in our lives. He is there for us.

We met witha less active who is going through a rough time. We asked if she was reading or praying her scriptures and she said she was too overwhelmed to do so. Something profound came to both of us and we said that the times when you feel like you don't want to pray are the times when you need to pray the most. Try it, what have you got to lose? It's something that has helped me in the hardest times of my life. He is listening and will answer.


Elder Madsen

March 28, 2011

just a short one today... sorry

This week was pretty good. We were able to work with the members with the 7 day challenge quite a bit. A less active found us someone to teach. She has absolutely no fear with sharing the gospel, I guess she just needed someone to prod her a bit. We also had a recent convert (James) who was very excited to talk to his friend about the gospel. 7 daying less actives and recent converts is where it's at.

Elder Reese and Elder Mott met with Bev on Tuesday and finished the Plan of Salvation. She is really depressed right now especially with the passing of her friend this week and she is having some illnesses with her heart again. She didn't make it to church. We got a new person to sit in with us on the lessons and that's going a lot better right now.

We found out from Kristie's (Bruce's common law girlfriend) dad that Bruce still has to divorce his previous wife so his baptism might be pushed back. He was too busy to meet with us during this week and didn't make it church either. We have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday and so the law of chastity is on the agenda for that appointment.

Tiffany and Nick are "back together" again. We talked about baptism and Nick's parents don't want him to be baptized until next year. He said they don't really know what it means so we'll talk to them about it. They are really retaining information well and are progressing very smoothly.

We are working hard still to get those new investigators especially from the less actives. Elder Reese is excited to go home. I better make this the best week of his mission.

Elder Madsen

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 21, 2011

Hey everybody!

We had a warm week. 7C (40 F). I was ready to put on a short sleeve shirt and ask President if we could wear shorts... just kidding! The snow is back so now we have to be more careful when we drive. Time is flying especially when there's a lot of work going on like this week!

We got a new investigator this week. We were dropping off stake directories to the inactive members in the ward and Bruce McDonald answered the door a couple of weeks ago. He isn't a member and agreed to take the lessons. He's a bouncer at a bar so he works late nights and is available during the afternoon. He's living common law with a less active member, Kristie Turner. He likes to talk a lot especially about his outdoor skills. He's also an MMA fighter and was in the Canadian navy. He's pretty intense. He is Christian and so the first lesson went very well. He understood everything we taught and wants the gospel in his life because of the importance of his family. He has 3 kids and Kristie has 2 of her own so it's a pretty split home. He wants the gospel to bring them together. That's why we were there. He is preparing for baptism on the 16th. He does have word of wisdom issues and doesn't understand all of the rules our church has (especially when he asked us to play xbox) but that's where regular meetings with us come in. He does have a strong desire to come to church. HE was In Edmonton this weekend but he wants to go regularly with his kids.

Bev is having a rough time right now. She didn't come to church so she is now preparing for the 16th as well. She's really sick and is having a tough time understanding why there are so many trials. Our fellowshipper wouldn't really let us talk during the lesson so it was a struggle. She's not keeping her commitments such as praying or reading. We've got to keep loving and being patient with her as she understands what it takes to come unto Christ and finding out if this church is true.

Nick's mom doesn't want Nick to be baptized. He and Tiffany (both have ADHD) are retaining information really well. After we confirmed our appointment in church, Nick and Tiffany "broke up". We still taught Tiffany and she knows about the Godhead, prophets, Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon. It's a matter of repeating ourselves over and over which helps them remember. We also asked her why she would want to pray about Joseph Smith. She said to know if the church is true or not. Then, Elder Reese asked why is that important to which she responded, "So that I can know if this is God's word or not." It seems like there's application of her learning as well.

A common concer I've noticed while teaching is the necessity for commandments? We get questions like, "Why do I have to give up coffee to show God that I love him?" or "It doesn't seem like you guys have a lot of freedom." That second question may be true for missionaries... but it's important to understand why God gives us commandments. Not only are they for our protection and safety but they are also opportunites for us to receive blessings. 2 Nephi 2: 27 says we can choose to follow Jesus (a.k.a. keeping commandments) and recevie liberty and eternal life or we can choose to follow Satan (a.k.a. the natural man, our carnal desires) and have captivity and be miserable. We may be given the freedom to make the choice but we are not given the freedom to choose our consequences. I am so grateful that we have a Heavenly Father who gives us liberty and blessing as we choose to follow Him. Hopefully, if someone approaches you about the "rules" Mormons have, you can use this insight to answer their questions.

I love you and really do appreciate the e-mails and letters I receive. Thank you Brother and Sister McCollumn for the regular letters I receive from you. They mean a lot to me and help encourage to keep working and helping others come to Christ.


Elder Madsen

On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM, Kathy and Randy M

March 14, 2011

Hey everybody!

Another chinook came! No winter coats, ice on the roads or snow shoveling this weekend. We got a new bishop yesterday, Bishop Wright. I don't know if I already told you this but he served in our stake. He was on his mission from 2002-2004 so he's a pretty young bishop.

This week was very interesting. We haven't been able to contact Mikhael since last Saturday. We've been calling and stopping by but it's only been a week so we'll see how things go from here. We taught Bev again on Thursday. This lesson went a lot smoother than the first one. She had less tangents to go on and we taught very simply. We got through half of the Plan of Salvation and then went over the Word of Wisdom. She said she can't go cold turkey on smoking and coffee because the doctors said it would be too stressful on her heart. She has a plan where she's going to stop smoking by March 19th. We were pretty concerned about this because her baptism is on the 26th. We encouraged her to do all she can to keep the Word of Wisdom. She wasn't at church on Sunday because of the Dailylight Savings time so her clock was an hour behind. We're meeting with her today and will have to reschedule her baptismal date.

We had an awesome 7 day challenge where the majority of the lesson was where worked with the member to find out how she was going to invite her friend! This is was awesome because this is how 7 day challenges should go. We talked about her concerns and about her friends and how she was going to invite them. It was awesome to see the spirit of revelation work with the member. We're excited to see when we get to teach her friends. It's fun to be able to work with the members. I really enjoy it... but teaching investigators is probably what I prefer.

Now for the part you all really want to hear. Elder Christofferson came on Saturday. The Spirit filled the room as soon as he walked in. We all got to shake his hand which was pretty special. I was waiting and Elder Real (member of the 70) whispers to me, "He's quite a powerhouse huh?" When he shook my hand, I was awestruck. He asked where I was from and then smiled. It was pretty awesome seeing an apostle when they're not in General Conference. Their personality comes out a lot more. He asked a question and a missinary answered his question with a quote from Elder Christofferson. He then said, "Wow, do we have a cookie for this elder?" Some things that really caught my attention was when he talked about salvation. He asked why don't we just dunk a paper with a bunch of people's names on it and then pull it out? Then he said because salvation is individual. We can't rely or blame anyone else that is here on earth. He also said judgement isn't about how many good works we have done but more of what have we become? As he said that, I turned to my Preach My Gospel and worte that down in the Plan of Salvation section. Now I know how I'm going to teach that section. One missionary had a good question which was, "What do we say when people are happy with their religion?" He said ," Find some way to get the Book of Mormon into their hands. Tell them we appreciate your faith and qualities that you have. We're not here to take away your goodness but simply to add to it."

It was a real treat to be able to shake hands and be taught by Elder Christofferson. What an incredible humble man he is. I want you to know that this church is not directly led by men like Elder Christofferson but it is led by the Lord. They are the pure and consecrated servants in which he uses to do His work among the earth. The Spirit confirmed that to me very strongly as I sat there. I love you all. Take care and keep looking for those opportunites to invite.


Elder Madsen

March 7, 2011

Hey everybody!

Well, this week was pretty interesting! It was definitely a cold one especially with the wind chill going up to -36C. There wasn't a lot of people to talk to on the streets... I wonder why.

This week was pretty good. We taught Mikhael the first lesson in 2 different days. He wants to learn more before he is baptized. Teaching is very slow.He said it takes him 5 minutes to translate one word in the Book of Mormon. He has a lot of desire to learn and is taking it one step at a time as he says. He didn't come to church this week but was at the zone leader's baptism. He says he feels "troubled" about making the step to be baptized.

We met with Bev on Thursday. She's an interesting child of God. She brings up quite a few tangents during the lesson which are easily avoided by the response, "We'll research that during this week and get back to you on that, but what is important to understand now is.." We were prepared to teach the Plan of Salvation but after she started talking about finding her way and where to go, we felt prompted to teach Lesson 1. It went pretty well. She had lots of questions and concerns which drug out the lesson pretty far but we were able to resolve and answer a lot fo her questions. She believes that Joseph saw God and Jesus Christ. We firmed her for March 26th and she said yes! She does have some word wisdom issues and is moving at the end of the month so we'll see how things progress regarding that. She is planning on giving up smoking. We've invited her to church and to the Addicition Recovery Program.

2 of the potentials we found last weekend dropped us (within 10 minutes of each other) which is always frustrating. We worked a lot with the members this week in inviting their friends. It's amazing how when we begin, people feel like there's nobody they can invite. But as we talk about people they could potentially invite, it's amzing how simple an invitation to meet with the missionaries sounds.

I love each of you. It is quite cold up here but I'm doing well. I hope that you're able to find ways to invite your nonmeber friends unto Christ this week.


Elder Madsen

February 28, 2011

Hey everybody,

Well, the Northeast is a very interesting place. We're right next to the airport and this is Elder Reese's last transfer... joy! His dad is in the Air Force so he's lived all over. He lived in las Vegas during high school and his family is in Virginia and pretty soon, he'll be moving to Alabama. He and I were in the same zone in Lethbridge for my first transfer and we would guard each other in basketball. He's pretty good (Let's just say I didn't do a very good job of guarding him)

I love this area! The members are so awesome and the people are very humble. I've never had people this receptive to us during tracting and contacting. It's a pretty poor area. There's lost of East Indians and there's a Siek (Muslim or Hindi) temple next to our church! We see at least 10 police cars everyday but the Lord is watching over us. These past 4 days, we found 7 potential investigators. Bev Seeward is a referral from a member and is meeting with us tomorrow. She had an out of body experience after a heart attack and said she had a decision to either stay down here or go to heaven. She knows there is a life after this and so the Plan of Salvation will be an awesome lesson to share. We've been applying the 15 minute training and because of that, we were able to find 2 people through tracting who we will be teaching this week as well. Another result of the 15 minute training caused us to visit this part member family where the mom is a recent convert and the dad has been holding her back from attending church. We visited with them and the dad wants to take the lessons now. We'll be teaching them on Wednesday.

This one is something I will never forget. We were sitting in church and the Spanish missionaries call us over. A man from Egypt walked in and asked for a Bible. He said he felt so good to be at church. Elder Reese told him that was God's love for him. I told him if he stayed longer, he would be able to feel more of God's love. You could definitely see Satan working against him because you knew deep down inside, he wanted to stay but he kept saying, "No, I gotta go." Eventually, he saw picture of Christ on the wall and aksed, "Who is this man?" Elder Reese told him about Jesus Christ and He came down to die for our sins. He started crying. "I have too many sins, I can't be in this holy place," and Elder Reese told him that is why we come here, because of our sins so that we can come closer to God. He stayed for Gospel Principles class and sure enough, the lesson was on the Atonement. It was a bit overwhleming for him and he told us he has some questions for us when we meet him tomorrow night!

Miracles are happening here and as we stay obedient and work hard, the Lord will continue to bless us. We've found a potential investigator everyday so far.

I love you and hope there are lots of good things going on down in San Diego. Leaving Banff was pretty rough and Elder Nielsen got his visa. Divine called us after we said goodbye and was crying. She is really going to miss me and wasn't sure why I had to leave. That's a pretty tough thing to answer but all I could say was the Lord wants me in East Calgary so that's where I am. Continue to pray and be diligent in all the commandments.


Elder Madsen

A Letter from A Member

Hi Everyone,

You have a Wonderful Son up here on a Mission and he is doing a Great Job
and we ALL Love Him!

If I were the two-of-you I would be pretty proud of Keith and his dedication
to his mission.

Last weekend when he was at my place and we were watching Stake Conference
on the Internet, he mentioned your Anniversary to me and I offered to call
you but he said no he wasn't supposed to do that, so I respected his wishes.
But he was thinking of you!

On Tuesday he got transferred to the Calgary East Stake and I really hated
to see him go.

You know, Missionaries come and go, but then there are those special ones
that you feel attached to that you really miss when they get transferred,
and Elder Madsen was one of those keepers.

Your Brother in the Gospel,

Floyd Black

Phone: 1-403-609-5000

22 February 2011

Well, the trio is over! I'm being transferred to East Calgary in the Prairie Winds area with Elder Reese! It's going to be tough leaving this area especially with all of the miracles that we saw this week!

On Friday, we met with Florentino and his best friend Ramil. Ramil is 42 and has a family back in the Phillipines. Last week, we 7 dayed the family and this is the man he invited. We talked to him about the church and got to know him very well. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to take the discussions. As soon as we gave him the Book of Mormon, we asked if he would read and pray about it and before I could even finish the question, the Spirit touched his heart and he said, "Yes!" I asked why and he said he felt a comforting feeling in his heart that was overwhelming him. Just goes to show it's not our words but the Lord's. They'll be teaching him on Wednesday (the day I get transferred).

Antoine is progressing. Brother Black brought him to Calgary for stake conference. He loved it. The Spirit was so strong and his favorite part was the "testimonies by the young people". The youth are so powerful, they should never underestimate the power they have. We taught him about Joseph Smith and he believes that he is a prophet of God because he knows the Book of Mormon is true after praying about it! His main concern is the word of wisdom and we talked about the times when he feels the strongest urges to drink coffee and alcohol. He identified them and set goals to see how he can accomplish this commandment. He is still preparing for March 12.

We got a call from Sister Mooney and she invited her friend at work to stake conference. They watched it and she loved it and wants her family to take the discussions. They'll have a first lesson on Saturday (again, after transfers).

The work is prgressing and it is blatently obvious that it's the Lord leading and guiding all of us who are working together to those people who are prepared to learn more. Elder Brimhall of the 70 from Colorado came to stake conference and then gave us a training afterwards. He gave us each a copy of our mission call letters and we read it. He said when we got our calls, the only things we cared about were where we were going, the language we were speaking and when we would leave. Now we read the paragraphs that mattered. I was overwhelmingly reminded of why I am out here and who I am representing.

I love each of you and hope that all is going well for you. I pray for you and know that prayers have been offered in my behalf as well. Elder Brimhall gave a great analogy of how we need to be patient with God. He said imagine you are standing on the sidewalk of a busy intersection. Across the street, you notice an exact point of where you want to go and immeditaely, you want to cross the street and go straight to it. But there are cars flying by and so God directs us to go to the corner where we can cross safely. But in our minds, we're thinking, "Why am I going over here, that's not what I where I want to go," when in reality, it is the only way we can reach that point safely. Often times, we have challenges that we wonder ,"Why do I need this? This is not the path I want to go!" and he said we pray that our challenges go away. Elder Maxwell said you need to be careful when you pray for challenges go away because you may also be praying for blessings to go away as well.


Elder Madsen

February 14, 2011

Hey everybody!

I'm almost approaching 4 months in Banff (and with Elder Mercado). Next Tuesday, I find out what's happening so we'll see where the Lord needs me. Challenging week for Banff. Satan is doing everything he can to stop the work from progressing not only with our investigators but with ourselves as well.

Dan has been blowing us off these past 2 weeks ever since we met. He says we can come over and say hi but we stop by and he won't answer the door. His roommate Kyle (member) went to Ukraine for 2 months on Tuesday so the support system is no longer there. We're not giving up on him but we are moving on and finding new investigators. Word of Wisdom (specifically, cigarettes, alcohol and coffee) must be bothering him right now and there may be some guilt that he's feeling right now.

Antoine's date dropped as well because he didn't attend church this morning. Bro Mcouatt (BML) stopped by and Antoine was too tired to go. Perhaps the Lord is telling us as missionaries that we need to stress the importance of Sabbath day even more. He is still open and receptive to the lessons. Elder Nielsen and a member (teaches French at the high school) were on splits and taught Antoine about the Atonement. They emphasized the importance of putting off the natural man. They were also able to committ him to live the word of wisdom for a week. He's trying to substitute hot chocolate for coffee and is showing desire to keep that commandment. He is reading the Book of Mormon and is asking us lots of questions about it! He has been praying and feels like he hasn't received an answer yet. We talked about how we need to pray with "real intent" and "faith in Christ". It's obvious he is praying with a sincere heart but he needs to exercise his faith in Christ that if he does recevie an answer, he is willing to act on it. We'll be setting a date for him this week.

We met with Lorne on Friday. We were concerned that he felt too pressured from the invitations to be baptized. Last Sunday, Tiffany called us, she said she told Lorne that the missionaries were giving him a break. He asked, " Why? I miss the spirit with those guys." So naturally, she scheduled a dinner with us and him on Friday. We talked afterwards and Lorne has been having some trials with work, exhaustion, stress and everything else. We had a lesson planned on forgiveness but as Lorne talked about scriptures and prayer, we threw the lesson plan out the window and went to the basics of the gospel. We found out he hasn't been praying about anything we've been talking about and committed him to pray about the Book of Mormon. We watched the "Choose this day" message by President Eyring and afterwards Lorne laughed, "I get it." There will be no progression with him until he decides to do those small and simple things. Tiffany has been dating and living with him for the past year. He probably knows more about the church than I do. It just goes to show that action is what really shows our faith in the Lord.

Well, this isn't probably news you want to hear but tension has been building in our companionship especially on Wednesday night with Elder Mercado and Elder Nielsen. After the lesson, they got into an argument and I told them that neither of them were to talk until we got home. When we got home, I took both of them into seperate rooms and got them to vent and get their anger out. I told them that they needed to make compromises with each other: Elder Mercado needed to control his anger more and Elder Nielsen needs to calm down his critiscms. We had a solid comp inventory and hopefully everything continues to work out. We have really made improvements in our proselyting. Elder Mercado thought it would be a good idea to walk the side streets more than the main ones and sure enough we gave out more copies of BOM and bore our testimonies more often. The Lord is here and can cast Satan out of this area only if we are willing to humble ourselves.

This past Zone Conference was amazing. We heard a talk from Elder Holland given to mission presidents about the Atonement. I`ll never forget what he said. He said a lot of missionaries struggle with the trials of a mission. If we are doing the work of the Lord, have an added measure of the spirit with us, have angels watching over us, then why is the work so hard... He said because the road to salvation is not a cheap experience! If we are truly disciples of the Lord, we have to experience a small measure of what he went through in Gethsemane. Welcome to the journey of discipleship.

I want to leave you with my testimony that anything we go through has been met and encountered in Gethsemane. It has already been challenged and conquered by the Holy One of Israel. God will not give us what we can`t handle. With faith and pereserverance, we can develop that relationship with the one who triumphed over death. He loves us and has given us tools in this life to bring us to him. As a representativie of Jesus Christ, do not take the Book of Mormon lightly. I would not be out here getting rejected, laughed at and mocked by the world if I didn`t know of the power it can bring to us in our lives. It is true and if you want to have this knowledge, you must do as Moroni says in chapter 10, ``Receive these things`` and then ask God. I know that by doing that, you can know that Jesus is the Savior and has prophets leading and guiding his church today.


Elder Madsen

P.s. The San Juan family was at sacrament meeting on Sunday and are doing missionary work. Talk about the elect!