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