Tuesday, March 22, 2016

It Happened! March 7th

The news I am referring to in my subject line is that I have finally taught a lesson!!! It was cool. We got a referral from the Elders and we had been trying to get a hold of her all week but she were never home and wouldn't answer our calls. But on Friday night Sis Smith was like "let's go visit her" and they were on the whole opposite side of our area but we went anyway and she was home!! And had a bunch of friends over! And they let us in!! And the next thing I knew we were teaching the restoration to all of them. I pretty much had no idea what was going on the whole time but it was still cool. Good thing sister smith has taught people before. Anyways a couple of them left the room to get food from the kitchen and sis smith immediately turns to me and is like INVITE THEM TO BE BAPTIZED and I was like noooooooo I don't even know how. And I think she thought I was saying that because I was scared. But in reality I had suddenly forgotten everything I learned in the MTC and I seriously didn't know what I was supposed to do. Sis smith was like "just do it anyways!!" And I was shaking my head and then they all came back in the room and sat down waiting to be taught and there was silence. I realized that sister smith was basically forcing me to talk so I turned to all of them and popped the question saying "I love the Holy Ghost so like, will you guys be baptized?? Sometimes I wonder why the Lord didn't call me to a foreign speaking mission, and sometimes I remember. Needless to say they said no. But sister smith was persistent and committed them to prepare for a date and she pretty much salvaged the whole lesson. It was great. And sis smith and I were laughing for like 10 min in the car afterwards bc I did so bad. And that happened every time I ever invited anyone to do anything at the MTC too, they ALWAYS said no. It was hilarious, even typing this now sister smith and I are laughing about it. At least I know what I need to improve on. Presentation is EVERYTHING. I'm glad we at least have a second lesson with them next week, but we might have to give them over to the YSA missionaries which bums me out but sis smith keeps reminding me that we are all on the same team so it's fine I guess. We have found a lot of people this week through family history. Most people don't really want to talk/aren't interested in religion bc they already have their own (also last week everyone was Lutheran, this week everyone is Catholic. I don't understand..) but they will totally talk about family history. And we slowly sneak the gospel in there. Anyways we have found a lot of people this week, who we end up having to send to other missionaries bc they are either in their 20s or aren't from our area or don't speak English.(Also in case any of you were concerned the Hermanas brought me a pillow so it's fine. I love the Hermanas ) It's crazy. It's good that we are finding people though. The next step is to figure out how to find ~our~ people. The ward here is great. We had 4 lessons fall through this week, all of which we were going to have members at, and two of them were with the same member!! I always feel bad when that happens bc we get the members hyped and ready to help us teach and then there ends up not even being a lesson and we look like idiots. But the members are always nice about it. The lady who came with us when two different lessons fell through was like "oh snap!! And then she puts an arm around each of our shoulders and says we will get them next time. I love her. And she always brings us food for no reason. It's great. This other member saw that we didn't have any meals this week and took us out to lunch at panera and I almost cried it was so sweet. But my favorite member story so far is of this Elderly Man named Brother Rann in our ward who sent us a referral for this guy he met at work. Now first of all Brother Rann is like in his 70s and plays the organ during sacrament and he used to be in some sort of band and he rocks out, he is my hero. He works for Uber for fun and that's how he met the referral because he was driving him home from his karate class. Which it self is amazing, but the story gets even better. The referral didn't want to meet at his house so a member said we could have it at theirs. Brother Rann wanted to come as well bc it was his referral and he said he would pick him up and meet us at the members home. Inevitably this lesson fell through as well but brother Rann decided to show up anyways and have dinner with the Johnsons too. It was crazy. He brought over some brownies and started to tell us all about how much he loves to bake and watch tv and how he's worried he is becoming a couch potato.. I'm not sure how this happened but we got on the subject of dogs (which, I guess if you are talking to me dogs are bound to come up in the conversation) and brother Rann is like don't even get me started on dogs, I've got 5 at my house right now and a new batch of puppies!! And I FREAKED. OUT. Why we didn't plan on having the lesson at brother Rann's house I will never know. Anyways he started talking more about the dogs and then he reveals to us that only two of the dogs are his, and rest are foster dogs WHAT. he does foster care. FOR DOGS. I didn't even know that this was an actual thing but now it has become one of my life goals. Anyways one of the foster dogs had puppies and no one even knew she was pregnant so now his house is crazy. He told us that all missionaries should be required to carry puppies bc they are people magnets, he is a genius I wish he worked at church HQ so we could all walk around with puppies. I love that man. And then on Sunday he was rocking out on the organ at sacrament and was doing his own solo pieces in the middle of hymns it was great. I felt like I was apart of motab. I love him he's the coolest old man I've ever met he's cooler than me. He is everything I want to be in life I don't even care if that sounds weird that's how great he is. The members here are awesome and I feel so blessed to be able to be around them they are great member missionaries who are always asking to help us out. Now we just need to find some people so that they can!!The new Easter video for the church came out yesterday and I hope you all get the chance to watch it. Yesterday we shared it with a less active member and she started crying and then I started talking to her about it and I started crying and then I look at Sister Smith and she's crying too and we were all just sitting in the corner of this McDonald's crying. America is great, and you can feel the spirit anywhere. Stay gold Sister Madsen Also I really liked this scripture this week Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it And if anyone is looking for a good talk to read: Stay in the Boat and Hold On by Elder M. Russel Ballard is a good one

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's been a long time people!! But I'll try to bring you up to speed.
For our last mtc devotional we sang how great thou art, a poor
wayfaring man of grief and Come thou fount and it was BOMB perfect way
to end the mtc
Then our district said goodbye to half our district and the next
morning we got on the plane and flew to Chicago.
President Griffin and Sister Griffin are so cute!!! And he is really
tall and from the south and she is short and from Vegas. They were
very nice and excited to see us. We got to get deep dish pizza which
was really good and we did some training, and then sleep over at the
mission home and meet our trainers the next day.

Sista smith who is my trainer and is so lil and great. She has never
been a trainer before and I have never been a missionary before so we
are both learning a lot. At least once every hour she is like "why did
they makes me a trainer I don't know anything!!!" Which is comforting.
But I've learned a lot about the rules this week bc I keep
accidentally breaking them. and then sister smith always says "oh yeah
I forgot to tell you but we actually aren't supposed to do that.." But
man cannot be held accountable for what he does not know so it's fine.
But also it is making me hate rules. Apparently we aren't allowed to
eat in the car unless we are parked or at a stop sign. Even the
passenger. I just want some fruit snacks!!!! Whatever I will eat them
one stop sign at a time.
The first and only two lessons that I've taught have both been drop
lessons where we basically tell them we aren't going to be teaching
them anymore so that was..fine.
Because we have no investigators we basically spend all our time
trying to find people to teach.  we do a lot of tracting and street
contacting. Which I am becoming GREAT at bc everyone here has a dog
and they walk them everywhere. So I ask if I can pet their dog and
then ask if they have heard about Jesus. My favorite thing is
the people who talk to us just because we are girls and they want to
help ~rescue~ us from this church and polygamy. So now we have 2 kind of investigators.
They both have baptismal dates but they aren't until like the summer.
One is this lady who is so cute and her daughter is a member and is
serving a mission in Korea so she wants to take the lessons and become
a member and get baptized in Korea when she goes to pick her daughter
up this July, which is so awesome and cute. We looked at the map and sis smith
let me/the spirit choose the street and there was one called Collen
(s/o to mom) so I chose that one and someone answered at the very
first door we knocked on!!!! And she was NOT interested.   So we
proceeded down the street and no one else even answered their door
(thanks a lot mom) I guess the oncoming snow has frozen everyone's
hearts here in Glen Ellyn. I am excited for spring. Also walking
around wasn't that bad. All the houses here are really cute and
classy. And look like houses. Does that make sense? I feel like all
the ones in Utah are stucco and boxy they all look the
same. But here they are all different and colorful. I'm sure no one
cares but I'll try and take a picture and send it to you so you know
what I'm talking about.About this place:
We live in this cool old town called Glenn Ellyn but we serve a pretty
big area. Our ward has 3 sets of missionaries and we are the only ones
who are English speaking so you would think we would have more
investigators. But no. Because it's a mixed ward sometimes who ever is
conducting will say whatever they are saying in English and then they
will say it in Spanish. So maybe I will get to learn Spanish after
all.. Jk probably not. I can only hope and pray. for some of the
lessons the Spanish members get headsets and the hermanas translate
what the teacher is saying into a mic and the people wearing the
headsets can hear them. I just want to be an Hermana so bad...! I've
heard stories of people who learn Spanish and they change them to
hermanas during there mission. We will see
our apartment has heated floors. All of them. Heated. So when we come
to get lunch after a cold day I eat on the floor bc it's so nice. I
love it.
This area reminds me of home a little bit because it's full of
religious people and churches which is cool. But they are all
different and not Mormon.
Everyone here walks their dog it's amazing.
It has snowed everyday I have been here. So we had to go and buy some
fleece lined tights bc I guess I didn't pack any? Anyways they have
Sis Smith and I were trying to get PUMPED one day so we were listening
to Josh Groban's Christmas cd and it was awesome. Until we were
driving back home and turned on mainstreet and it was snowing and all
the trees had Christmas lights on and "I'll be home for
Christmas"'started playing and it got a little TOO REAL 🙃 And became
real emotional real fast.I love you all and am excited for what Glen ellyn has in store for me
💛sister madsen💛
Ps I figured out how to use emojis
Pps I forgot a pillow and I have been using a couch cushion instead
all week. I can't tell if this is why I am sore all the time or if
it's bc of our Jillian Michael's workout dvd or the general toll of
doing the Lords work. Either way pray for me
Ppps even though I had been living on my own for a while before this I
still struggle with day to day things. For example I may have almost
killed us. I was making some pasta and I turned the stove on for it to
boil some water and after like a half hour of waiting and the water
still not being warm I started to realize it smelled like gas and then
sister smith immediately woke up from her nap and freaked out and we
had to open all the windows so we wouldn't die. I almost gave us gas
poisoning. IM FINE MOM

February 29 Me and Sister Smith

Monday, March 7, 2016

Arrived in Chicago! February 29th

Letter From February 26th

lets get ready to huummmmmbbblllllllllee I'm just going to get right into it this week, bc its been crazy. I can't believe I've only been here a week, it's felt like a month. I can't even remember what I did last week. But at the same time when I was seeing all the new missionaries I couldn't believe it was already Wednesday. Time is a weird illusion here. Also there is a surprising amount of people here that I know! Which is cool. A lot are girls from soccer which makes me happy and miss soccer, but I always call them by their first names. The whole concept of not knowing each others first names is still weird to me. This week I tried to break into a vending machine with a clothes hanger to redeem some string cheese that was rightfully mine. Ok for whatever reason the vending machines never give you change back so I end up spending a dollar on 50¢ string cheese.. Idk why I keep buying it, every time I put a dollar in the machine I always think to myself "maybe this time" and it never is.. Anyways so I bought my string cheese, and not only did I get no change back but MY CHEESE DIDN'T EVEN FALL DOWN. Classic vending machine story. And like all vending machine stories I tried to shake it and run into it to get it to fall down. But of course nothing worked. So I got one of my dear sisters wire clothes hangers and bent it in shape to try and stick it up the machine to try and knock it down. And then I realized that i should also probably take all the string cheeses that the machine owed me. Because like, I paid for them.. I just didn't get them. In the end I didn't get them. #1 because the hanger wasn't long enough to reach them and #2 bc i was starting to draw a crowd and my dear comp Sister Anderson was begging me to stop bc I wasn't acting very ladylike or Christlike.. Which, was true. So I gave up. I feel like if I hadn't had the thought to snag the extra string cheeses God would have blessed me with my one rightful and lawful string cheese. But I got to greedy so he didn't help me out at all and I ended up having to pay two dollars for a 50cent string cheese. It's ironic but in the long run if ur greedy u will pay the price. Or maybe this was a lesson about getting too cocky? Idk. At the MTC anything can be a spiritual lesson. I have heard this quote about a million times this week but maybe some of you haven't; obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles. The day that obedience became a quest instead of an irritant was the day I gained my power Another example of how righteous my sisters are is about dear sis Heiner who is from Ogden and is going to NY, NY. Sister Heiner has to take sleeping pills to fall asleep at night and they make her crazy. She has fallen out of her top bunk, yelled at us in the middle of the night, and can even hold out conversations with us. But perhaps the most incredible of these phenomenons is the one night when she not only bore her testimony on the atonement to some dream investigator but also taught them the majority of the first lesson all while asleep. It's amazing. She can LITERALLY do this in her sleep. Anyways the sisters here are so great that I never know what to teach them for relief society. They already know pretty much everything, where as I feel like I am just starting to understand most things. Something I have been trying to do is memorize a new scripture everyday. Which has been good considering I didn't know any when I got here. If only I had started doing this before I got here....(do you hear me Trevor..do ur scripture mastery) with that being said I still can't believe how much I have learned. The chastisements I have revived this week from Heavenly Father have been frequent and numerous. I already knew I was going to need his help but I don't think I realized how much. I have to rely completely on him if I hope to be successful as his servant. A lot of times we will be teaching an investigator and I'll have a thought to take the lesson in a certain direction but I won't do it bc I know a question will come up that I don't know how to answer. There is a quote in PMG in the section about listening to the spirit that says "trust in the spirit to put in your heart and your mind what to teach". This is probably my biggest struggle. I know I need to trust and rely more on the Lord and my companion that they aren't going to leave me out to dry it is just hard sometimes. I am working on having better faith. Which is funny bc a lot of times that is what investigators are struggling with and u can't really force someone to have faith. Hopefully I figure it out in a couple days before I go!! I am nervous bc I still have so far to go but excited to finally get out there in the real field!! Also I leave on Monday so I'll probably call sometime between 4-8 am. As a district one of our goals is to complain less, and if we do want to complain we have to say 3 good things about what we are complaining about. So with that being said, #1 I will finally get to know what the world looks like at 4 in the morning bc I have never been awake that early before. #2 I get to shower before everyone else and #3 I get to have some alone time bc no one else will be awake that early I love you!! Sister Madsen