Monday, September 4, 2017

Called to Serve September 4, 2017

A lot is going on inside my brain and I don't know what to say about any of it!! 
Today is a good day and this week was a good week and this 18 months has been a good 18 months.
Ahh! I don't know how to type this email without crying!! 
I am sad for the door that I have to close and a little bit nervous and excited for the one I'm about to open. But God is good! I'm trying not to be weird or corny 🌽 (#illinois) but I love my mission. It has changed everything about everything . I will thank Heavenly Father everyday for calling me to go on a mission. I don't know what I would have been doing for these last 18 months if I had stayed home, but I know for me it wouldn't have been as meaningful, purposeful, life changing, and rewarding as being in the middle of these corn fields talking to the craziest people, inhaling a bunch of cat hair, and getting to think and talk about the Savior every day. You literally lose nothing by serving a mission. There are a lot of hard things about serving a mission and staying on a mission but I can't even remember what they are right now. This is the best thing in the world!! I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for putting the right people in my life. That you have been able to strengthen me and support me so that I was able to take this leap of faith and come. I didn't know what was going to happen but it turned out better than I expected. And weirder, and a lot harder, and a lot more work, and a lot more fun, and a lot less complicated. But I have learned that. That when you put your life in the Lords hands He makes it work out. OK. As I typed that I realized I'm being dumb about being sad to leave and scared to go home because Heavenly Father has got this! I feel better. Anyways I don't really know what to say except that if you can, YOU SHOULD GO ON A MISSION. 
I have been able to see how following the commandments brings peace in to people's lives that they have been looking for all their lives but haven't been able to find. Only Heavenly Father knows us, and only he knows what will bring us peace. It's not in the world! 
I have seen how when you spend your time trying to help and fix other people, Heavenly Father fixes you. 
I have come to know for myself that WE NEED THE BOOK OF MORMON

I love my mission so much I could cry about it. I am, I have been, I will! 
I don't know really what else to say, life is cool. Life as a missionary is cooler but I'll try to manage 
Life is good and I wanna be a missionary forever so I think I will. IN MY HEART
OK bye see you someday 


Finally! A picture of Sister Prisbrey!!!! Now you all can see just how next-level-cool she is 
And here is a picture of my soul senior sister missionaries 
We had a dinner party 
Sister Greene being sister Greene 

My last ever exchange got to be with sister Corbett. You already know what happened. I cried.

Mission Home

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I have been using my brain for 18 months straight and I can't do it anymore Aug, 28, 2017

I gave a talk on Sunday and I'm pretty sick of talking about myself to be honest. Missions do many things. And change you in many ways.
I still don't like giving talks
Anyways this week guess what???? It was crazy. Always
We have dropped everyone besides Carol. Who is FOR. REAL. being baptized on September 9th at 11 a.m. She told us that she wasn't going to be at church the Sunday after the baptism so she would need to wait an entire week to get the Holy Ghost and be confirmed a member of the church because if you are baptized over 8 they wait until Sunday for confirmation. So we decided it would be best to have them back to back as close together as possible so we moved it. I won't be there but it's ok! It's happening and that's all that matters. And I've planned for it 3 different times so I feel like I've already seen it and I know what's going to happen. Our ward hasn't had a baptism in a year so that is exciting! We went on exchanges with the Belvidere Sisters. Who I LOVE. I went with sister Prisbrey and we didn't take any pictures but you will just have to take my word for it when I say she is the coolest person alive. ALIVE. Intimidatingly cool. But she's so nice and then you aren't as nervous to be around her. But you still are a little bit because she's just that cool. Then we went to Elgin and went on exchanges with them too and it was so fun! We went out and talked to people all day and it was good because I haven't gotten to do that for awhile. It was really fun!! It made me feel like a real missionary if that makes sense. I'm always a missionary but we do a lot of different things every day and some feel more missionary-y than others. So it was good to be able to feel like a missionary for the entire day. And we saw some miracles!! The second person Sister Ward and I talked to became a new investigator! His name is Edgar and he was trying to help us find a house and he was walking all up and down the block looking for it and we ended up talking to him for a long time. It was so fun! And it was cool to be with them and see their relationship because they have a lot of charity for each other and are so unified!! I loved it.  Sister Jardine used to serve in Elgin so she knew about this awesome donut place and we had them for breakfast the next morning because we had to drive to Naperville for a meeting and apparently didn't have time for real breakfast. They were super good though. Needless to say I am not as fit as I was last summer.
I thought I was done with this email but there is one more thing and it is that JIM came to Rockford. Crazy!! His work sent him back here for at least a week. We got to meet up with him and talk, we were really tempted to ask him if he wanted to be baptized next weekend but didn't end up doing it because he would just disappear again. He said he likes the missionaries in Indiana though so that's good! 
Ok, we saw some miracles this week but this email is already really long and I'm sure your mondays are all busier than mine so I'll just go write about them in my journal
I love you! 
SISTER madsen 

All the other pictures that Sister Jardine and I take together are in the car with food and it's fine


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I'm illegal now Aug. 21, 2017

ok quick things that happened this week ready go

- Carol confessed two things to us this week. #1 she is in a bowling league #2 she drank some coffee. so we are pushing her baptism back a week (no happy bday mom, sorry) just so she can feel super ready and prepared

- I hit 18 months

- sundays here are really just killing me because for some reason we always plan on seeing of bunch of people who have cats and by the end of the day I keep being a puffy eyed runny nose Benadryl mess. But I slept really good

- we walked out of the Walmart parking lot and a lady asked us if we wanted to use her glasses to see the eclipse so we did and it was pretty cool. She was probably the happiest lady in the world. 

- and the greatest of all, my friend RANDY GOT BAPTIZED THIS WEEK. We got a call from the Peoria sisters letting us know about it and we were able to go! every sister that has ever taught him was able to be there and it was the funnest reunion IN THE WORLD. I was so happy for randy. He has been waiting so long and he looked so excited to finally be baptized 

Heavenly Father is good and I am glad to be here

sister madsen 

Randy's baptism!! And all the sisters!
Randy again ft investigator Kathy, who we all have also taught. She
came to the baptism

we have only had time to eat lunch twice this week Aug. 14, 2017

We went on exchanges this week with the Elgin Sisters as well as the Belvidere sisters and just like every other exchange with me, THINGS HAPPENED. 
With the Elgin sisters I got to go with Sister Willes who(m?) if we had gone to the same high school we definitely would have been friends. A lot of people weren't home that we had plans to see but we were able to talk to their neighbors so I would say it was a success. I wish they were closer so that we could see them more. I wish everyone could be in Rockford
our exchange with the Belvidere sisters was pretty crazy! But so fun. I love Belvidere. It reminds me of Freeport a little bit and those sisters crack me UP.
I went with sister Reynolds and we walked EVERYWHERE. I am still sore from it. we started off our morning kind of loco. OK very loco. so we needed the apartment keys because we were going to come back after doing some work and do some additional studying. So the plan was Sister Jardine and Sister Prisbrey would take the car keys because they could drive and give us the apartment key so we could get back in the apartment and not be stranded in the middle of Belvidere. Well they left before us and we were sitting there and we realized that they had taken the apartment keys so I run to go grab the phone to text them and GUESS WHAT they left their phone so we had both phones and couldn't get ahold of them SO we ran out to the parking lot to give it to them but we missed them. we walk back to the apartment and WE ARE LOCKED OUT. And we had nothing besides our phone. No bag no map no cards no copies of the book of mormon no pamphlets no nada nothing. just our shoes and our phone. Sister Reynolds and I brainstormed and figured we could maybe possibly walk and try and find our way to the sisters teaching appointment and crash it. But that would be a really long time and we couldn't even give anything to anyone or write down peoples info if we met someone who was interested on the way. Well the Sisters live above this Pizza Place and they are the landlords so we went down and asked if they had a copy of the key and they did BUT IT DIDN'T WORK. we go back down to tell them and explain our situation and that we will give him the key to make a new copy when we finally get the key. He asks how we will get the key and we explain and he says NO! in his awesome Italian accent and then says/yells (its hard to tell the difference sometimes) to this lady Rose and she walks up to us and asks if we need a ride and CHORUSES OF ANGELS WERE SINGING at that moment. So she drives us to the sisters lesson and we are trying to figure out what to say to make it not weird when we go in and interrupt their lesson but there was really no way to not make it weird.. so we knock and the investigator opens the door and says HEY! come join the party!  and we show up and the Sisters faces were probably the funniest thing I have ever seen. Utter confusion. It was hilarious. We just tell them we are locked out and need the apartment key. Then we handed them the phone and got outta there. 
After that insanity we walked all around Belvidere talking to people. Literally everyone. everywhere. FOUR HOURS. I wasn't prepared but it was really fun as well as painful. We found one of their investigators that they thought had gone to jail but actually he didn't so that was awesome. But sister Reynolds just cracks me up and I am glad we got to go on exchanges together and she taught me how to  make fried chicken
In other news Carol is doing awesome. she PRANKED us a little by going off on the word of wisdom and how she drinks coffee to support the hard working Colombians and Sister Jardine and I are freaking out. and then She looks at us and says "girls.. I have read your pamphlet.. and I have no problem with any of this" and our faces must have been priceless. We had brought the senior sisters with us and they were just cracking up at us because we had been so worried about it. It was a good week
in other news I lost my watch and sister jardine's ankles disappeared because she had so many mosquito bites they swelled up and she could only fit into one pair of her shoes
that's pretty much it I think
have a good week!  
-sister madsen

Elgin Exchange!

Zone Conference

still alive but barely breathing Aug 7, 2017

In explanation to my title I was playing volleyball a couple of weeks ago I went for it and DIVED on the gym floor and skinned my knee. I smashed my finger in a bike rack hitch thing on exchanges with Sister Corbett (more to come BC that isn't even the craziest thing that happened) and then this morning I'm not sure how but I walked into the wall with my elbow and it started bleeding so currently I am essentially a walking human bandaid.

Emotional update: I cried a lot while singing called to serve at a meeting this week

We had zone conference which was a lot of fun but not as much fun as usually because we had to train. But it was still fun. For whatever reason BROTHER MULNIX - FREEPORT WARD MISSION LEADER came so that was awesome. He gave Sister Jardine and I candy that he had in his pockets. Also Sister Halliday came for fun! She was one of my first sister training leaders and she has been home for about a year now so it was a weird full circle thing because it was my last zone conference and she was at my first and my last one.

Ok I have two more things to say then I will be done

first. EXCHANGES WITH SISTER CORBETT. It was so fun to be with her. It was a lot like old times for many reasons. In the first hour of her and her companion Sister Epps arriving we accidentally locked ourselves out of our apartment at 9:30 p.m. And then when we got back I fell off and slightly broke my desk chair. When I was training her I thought I was just insane and goofing up all the time but I think Sister Corbett has some sort of effect on me I'm telling you. Every thing happens when we are together. It was also a lot like old times because it was cloudy and cold outside when she came and we talked to a LOT of old people. It was great
We had a cool little miracle. The elders gave us a referral, Terry,  and we went to go see him for a lesson they had set up for us. But we went and no one answered the door. Well. When we pulled up there was this guy out on his porch smoking. So we turned around and decided to go talk to him. He went back inside by this point but we knew he was home. So he came out and talked to us and it turns out he was Terry!! I had just gotten the address wrong. We would have gone back to that home looking for him so many times am never would have found him! But Heavenly Father made it work out.
Another thing I liked that I learned this week is the importance of keeping things simple. The gospel is simple and we have the answers but the Devil puts complications and questions into our mind that we feel like need to be solved but once they are solved we just come up with more questions. So have faith and keep your faith and discipleship simple
We are teaching Carol the word of wisdom this week so prayers would be much appreciated 

Love you all
sister madsen 

Me: don't get too close I'm still a missionary
Brother MULNIX: what are they going to do, send you home? 
Bird eggs in a tree by the church

My companion
We made bird feeders last Monday 

Exchange with Sister Corbett. We used to drive a red car exactly like this together 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

World class July 31, 2017

This week I don't even know what happened but there was a lot of it. I got attacked by cats multiple times. I picked up someone's dog while they were in the middle of walking it and I forgot that it wasn't a normal thing that you do. But we got to share the Book of Mormon with him so it ended up being ok. 
A LOT of people came to church this week, it was crazy!! Carol told us she was going to be out of town but she surprised us. As well as a another investigator and some less active members. Church was awesome
We have met multiple witches this week.
 I don't really know what else to talk about but I just want you all to know that I love my mission. It has CHANGED me and changed me for the better. I am so glad we have the opportunity to change because of the grace of Jesus Christ. He empowers me so much and motivates me to do better and to work harder. He has and continues to change my heart. I know that there is a person that Heavenly Father needs me to be and I know that I personally could not have come close to being that person without going on a mission.
Love you! sister madsen 

S/O to sister Corbett's legs
A really hard sounding church
The corn and wind things 
And more mission bear pics for old times sake 

All sister Jardine and I have is different pictures of us with ice cream
One of them was ONE DOLLAR. We were in the elders area and this man was pushing around a cart with ice cream and we ran to him and bought some Mexican Ice cream and gave him a picture of Jesus Christ and he kissed it. We were walking away and turned around and he kissed it again.