Monday, August 29, 2016

Glad tidings of great joy Aug 22,2016

This is so long and I don't care 

I already know that the words that I am about to type will in no way do justice to the fantastic week that I have had. But I will tell you about it anyways, as adequately as I am able. Also buckle down and get ready for some pictures because a LOT has happened this week. Because #1 we are in a trio, so let's be real something cool is always happening. And another thing is because the kids got baptized this week and really what is better than that. NOTHING

The entire week has been a party and a half but I just want to skip forward to these last couple of days because they have been particularly A+ 
On Friday we had dinner with Judy and the kids, where I ate probably the best meatloaf I have ever had in my entire life. we had already been over at their house every day this past week bc it is basically missionary LAW that you have contact with the person everyday the week before their baptism. So we got to see them everyday which was great because I am in love with all of them. They all have my heart. The kids were crazy but we sort of managed to have a little testimony meeting together and they talked about why they wanted to be baptized and how they know that God loves them. Roschea wrote hers down and said she wanted to share it tomorrow after they all got baptized. 
The next day was Saturday. 🌊Baptism day🌊 but first we were able to go that morning to the Freeport bowling alley and volunteer for the special olympics which was crazy and awesome and I had so much fun, and then we went to prep for the baptism. It was at 3 but we went an hour early to get everything ready and all that jazz. We were supposed to meet our district leaders there. They were the ones who interviewed the kids and the ones that the kids asked to baptize them. And then Judy and the kids were to come at 2:30 so that we could get them all ready and dressed and take some pictures and yadda yadda. 
Remember last week how I said that no one here has any concept of time
2:50 rolls around and the elders and the kids show up at the same time and it is madness and everyone is running around trying to get dressed and everything while the Ward members are waiting for things to get started. But I guess you can't be late to your own baptism so it's fine. 
The service was great. I cried. Hard core. When they were getting baptized. When Roschea bore her testimony and started crying. When I got up and taught them about the Holy Ghost. When Malachi received the Holy Ghost. When La'shay gave all of us thank you cards and stickers that she had made for us from thank you cards and stickers she stole out of my purse. It was a good day. 
Afterward the Elders were talking to the kids and Malachi was talking about how confused he was about why everyone wasn't baptized and at church. He asked the Elders "how come the people don't believe in God when God is the one who made them. Why don't they believe in God when they know? How else did they get here??" He asks us this every time we see him and we honestly can't give him a good answer. Because we don't know either haha. It's like WHY. WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE. And we don't know. And the Elders didn't know, we are all baffled. And it has been so funny to teach all of them because Malachi is like the biggest punk but he is also the nicest. And he is really smart. He was talking about how now he has the Holy Ghost. And it keeps him on track. And back to God. And we all have the Holy Ghost. But there are people who aren't on the right track. But we have the Holy Ghost so now we need to go get the people who aren't on track and bring them on track. And we were all like WHAT. Don't get me wrong, teaching them has been great, but sometimes you wonder if anything even sticks and if the kids even know or understand what is going on. But then things like that happen and you know it is going to be all good. AND Malachi is going to be a bomb missionary someday. He invited everyone on his street to the baptism. I love that kid.
Anyways, this week is transfer week, and everything seems to always happen on transfer week. We went to the baptism, and then we went to a birthday party for a 7 year old in our Ward because he invited us. Then we went to dinner at Ambers home (I know I haven't talked about her yet but I will later this email is too long) and we got permission for her to teach us self defense. AND THEN TRANSFER CALLS
I am staying, hallelujah. And so is sister Peterson, and I will be her greenie breaker. What Heavenly Father was thinking when I got put as senior companion I have no idea.. But this transfer is going to be an eventful one I can already tell. And sister Turner is getting transferred to Elgin to be a sister training leader. And she will do great. And I love her and she has changed my mission. And Freeport. She gave a farewell testimony during sacrament. And she hadn't been able to tell the kids yet because we found out at like 10:30 the night before and the kids also showed up LATE to sacrament. So they got confirmed after we had already passed the sacrament. Which was tender and we were crying. And then immediately afterward Sister Turner had to go up and give her testimony. Rude. Anyways so many Ward members were crying. And the kids came up to us afterward and were bawling. Even Malachi. Sacrament was special that day. And the spirit was different. Sister Turner has been such a great example to me of the kind of missionary that I want to be in so many ways. Her testimony has power and she is an influence to all that she meets. Gahhhh I love her. I can't talk more about it or I'll cry.
Before I go I want to let you know something I learned this week. Love doesn't have to come over time. It can be as instantaneous as Sister Peterson hugging me and telling me she is so excited and has been praying about me the very first time I met her. I thought for a second that I might be getting transferred on Saturday and I almost started crying. I have only been here about two weeks and I already love everyone here so much and I didn't want to leave them. I am excited for what this next transfer brings. 
I love you all 
We went to this place called Union Dairy. Where they have over 51 flavors of ice cream and free Gideon bibles. 
I got apple Pie flavor and a free bible 
I can't believe Freeport is real.

This is a place called debate square. Where one of the actual Lincoln Douglas debates was. No big deal

Awkward picture of us after volunteering at the special Olympics 

We tried taking some corn pictures BC ILLINOIS 🌽🌽🌽🌽

Here is a picture of my pride and joy:
We have Keynora, Malachi, La'Shay, and Roschea

Thursday, August 25, 2016

This is what dreams are made of Aug 15, 2016

Hey now

how is everyone??? I AM DOING GREAT. No joke. I am so happy. this last
week has been so fun! My new companions are the greatest and Freeport
itself is just amazing and I am in love. There used to be a big
pretzel factory here so the high school and news papers and everything
have some sort of pretzel mascot or theme even though the factory got
shut down years ago. its the greatest. And everyone here is so nice!
and just always sitting outside on their porch so we talk to soooo
many people whenever we go out tracting. I love it
My companions!!!!! So now I am in a trio which has been a dream since
the beginning of the mission because trios are just cool. and I am
serving with Sister Turner who is from Ogden and is probably the most
missionary missionary there ever was. In a good way. You know how some
people are just born natural athletes? I think this sista was born a
natural missionary. its been so nice to be able to serve with her and
learn from her. And she is so normal. this might not make sense but it
just calms me down because there are some really great missionaries
that I've been able to serve around but a lot of them have been really
intense and it just stresses me out and makes me feel like the only
way I can be a good missionary is if I am crazy but Sister Turner is
chill and she is an awesome missionary. I love her. My other new
companion is Sister Peterson who is from -get this- Alpine. and get
this, she went to Lone Peak. and get this, she went to Utah state. and
get this, we have never met before. This makes a total of 4 people who
I went to school with before the mission. Weird. granted she graduated
a year after than me but its still crazy that we have never talked to
each other or anything because we knew a lot of the same people. which
is a real shame because I LOVE HER. As a trio we are all really
similar and get a long really well. we were definitely friends in the
preexistence. and we will definitely be friends after the mission. I
really hope none of us get transferred but the likelihood of that is
slim. Sister Turner has been here in Freeport for three transfers
already and she has been training Sister Peterson for two of them. so
they will probably get separated so that Sister Peterson can try out
missionary life without her trainer. So I might be the one who greenie
breaks her. who knows.. Heavenly Father probably.... but not me.
anyways if I hadn't been told that Sister Peterson was in training I
wouldn't have known it because she is already a A+ missionary and
knows everything. She is great. We are all guessing that Sister Turner
leaves since she has been here the longest and then Sister Peterson
and I stay. We find out on Saturday so we will see. I really hope I
stay though, because #1 Freeport has become my missionary heaven and I
love it here and #2 I really do not want to to pack everything up
I'll pray!
anyways a little bit more about the area, Freeport is out in the
boonies and our stake is right next to the Davenport stake (hello
Cheryl). the Freeport ward itself is about three times as big as the
stake that I was just over in Schaumburg. It is a lot of cornfields,
soy beans, and farm land. as well as a down town area in the middle
which is kind of projects-y. its an interesting combination of people
at church but I love it! AND amazing news, I am poaching on these
Sisters Baptism that they are having this Saturday. a recent covert
named Judy moved here in July sometime and wants FOUR of her kids are
getting baptized. and THEY ARE THE CUTEST. I will send a picture.
Their names are Roschea, Keynora, LaShay, and Malichi. they are the
light of my world. I've already taught them 3 times in this past week
and they are just so fun. I definitely missed seeing kids running
around while I was in the YSA. but anyways yeah I am excited for these
kids, they are so awesome and all of them were yelling and some were
crying when they all passed their baptism interviews. so tender. This
area is really good and these sisters have been doing a great job
taking care of it and working with the ward and reactivating people as
well. we have a couple teaching appointments everyday so we are really
busy! but its still pretty easy to find people to talk to in our
this update is really long so I'll end it soon, but I just wanted to
leave you with a lil testimony that God answers prayers. I have
learned this time and time again. BUT ITS TRUE. and it is almost
always in a way and a time that you don't see coming. I never expected
a prayer that I said at the beginning of my mission to be answered 6
months later in the middle of nowhere in Freeport, or that some of the
more difficult things that have happened on my mission were weirdly
answers to my prayers as well (be careful what you pray for am I
right). Anyways God is good, the church is true, you can become who
you want to become if you will let God refine you, pray always

🌽Sister Madsen🌽
Us and the kids!
And our district leaders who interviewed them on the back porch
We are so white

We had an appointment with our investigator Tarrone who ended up being
way late because he forgot about the lesson and was on a walk when we
called him which is normal because no one here has any concept of
time. So we just waited around on his front porch that had weird
amount of chairs and books and other nonsense  that nobody seems to
steal. And then He came .and the lesson was good and he said he would
be baptized so it all works out

Illinois has the best clouds and the best sunsets for real.
Also some things I forgot:
I don't think I mentioned it but I have literally wanted to go to
Freeport since I heard about it my first transfer because it is just
so cool and crazy and now I'm here and I'm so happy and I JUST BELONG
Our apartment is a three story townhouse castle,
Kay, the investigator from my last area is still doing good, other
missionaries are teaching him now and he really wants to find the
truth! Gahhhh he's great I'm so jealous that other people get to teach
him because he is GOLDEN
There is a couple streets that we "aren't allowed" to go on bc GANGS

Because of emergency transfers I got to crash on sister turners
exchange and got to go on exchanges with sister Davis AGAIN. It was
great, she is awesome, I'm glad I got to see her again before she goes
And everyone at the food pantry we went to was giving us all sorts of
nonsense because "oh there's three of you now!" And they nicknamed us
hear no evil speak no evil see no evil so it had to be documented. And
we all just decided to wear buns bc sister missionary. And I look like
an idiot in every picture but I've accepted it and embrace it

Wait what Aug 8, 2016

My foot tan line is coming in nicely Aug 1, 2016

Blehhhhhhhh what has happened
We taught Kay, it was great. But since he has had no religious background he asks tons of questions. Which is good, but our lessons end up being waaaaaayyy to long. We were planning on inviting him to be baptized but we like HAD to go because we were going to be late for another appointment. But because we had been planning on inviting him to be baptized we brought it up all through out the lesson and kept touching on it to help him understand and then that was the very last thing we were going to teach him about and then we were going to invite him to be baptized but we didn't even get halfway through the lesson we had planned so we were going to wait until the next lesson when he better understood the concept and importance. AND THEN as we were walking to our cars he asked if we could teach him more about baptism for our next lesson and we were like UHHH YES. So we got him to change his lesson to this Wednesday instead of next week. So we will put him on date this week wooo yeah. 
We haven't been able to get ahold of Jason and his friends for the most part. They still try to invite us to things to hang out with them. But whenever we ask them about how their scripture reading is going we get no response.. So we decided to add them on Facebook. As of now I don't have Facebook but that will probably change soon, but we did it on Sister Ensign's. We added Jason and Heather but not the two other friends because they were kind of out of it the whole lesson.. Anyways the next day we get on Facebook and one of the other friends Dylan added us because he felt left out!! It was pretty funny. We probably realistically won't teach them again any time soon, but we will keep trying!
Yesterday while walking around at a park this familia started yelling things at us and sister ensign and I had no idea what was going on but then they waved us over so we went up to them and found out that they are Mormon!! They are from downtown but came out to have a family picnic! They were so nice and had us try all their food (I think one of the things was called seviche? I dunno. But it was very good!!) so that was a little miracle from Heavenly Father. That was much needed too, because some days the work is long and hard and you need a pick me up and I know that God will provide. That's all he ever does. There is that scripture that talks about how His work and his Glory is to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal Life of man. And it's real, everything is for our benefit and I can't really imagine Him doing anything that was for Himself. What would that even be? He is happiest when we are happy, so in reality the best thing that He can do to make Himself happy is to make His children happy. What a life, what a way to live. Serving others is the key to happiness mi amigos. Tell the news reporters and the scientists and psychologists. I've figured it out. 
Jokes. I understand the concept. But I am human and flawed and selfish and haven't figured out how to put that principle into practice yet. But I'll let you know when I do
We have another mini missionary coming with us this week! Very exciting I don't know why they don't do this in Utah. Or maybe they do and I don't know about it. Either way someone needs to get there stuff together. Probably me.
I love you all and hope you have a kewl week

Monday, August 22, 2016

gimme a hand, July 25, 2016

There are no words to describe the insanity of this week. or the miracles. or the heat. actually there are..and I will use them right now.
To start off this week Steve relapsed after 70 days of sobriety which was very sad and a roller coaster in itself.. Satan is working real hard on him and it sucks. he told us about his relapse and that he didn't want to talk to us anymore or come to church and he basically just gave up. and then he texted us later that day and asked if we could have a lesson the next day. we had NO idea what to expect in that lesson and that morning was probably the most stressful hour of personal study I have ever had. Then at the lesson he was a completely different person. he told us that he knew that he couldn't over come his addictions without God's help and that he realized it now that he had relapsed. And he was going to start going to addiction recovery again even though he hates it. SUCH A MIRACLE. even though it was not good that he relapsed this is probably the best outcome that could have come from it. sometimes people need to hit a rock bottom to realize that they can't do everything on their own and NEED Heavenly Father. I was reading in Hebrews 12 about trials and whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth and its so true. he gives us trials to help us learn and to rely on him more. I love in Hebrews 12:11 when it talks about how obviously no chastening/trials are joyous while we are presently in them. but afterwards it brings forth peace and righteousness. I have witnessed God's hand in life so many times this week and seem so many little miracles. but something that I have come to learn this week is that lack of His divine intervention brings for miracles as well. Steve was on this path where he felt like he needed to "man up" and just stop smoking. But he didn't think He needed God's help or support. and maybe he could have stopped his word of wisdom issues on his own. but it wouldn't have been on that sure rock foundation of Christ. and when times and temptations got hard. and he would have relapsed in the future and it may have been in during worse circumstances that it is right now. But it happened now, and Heavenly Father allowed him to feel that terrible Godly sorrow in order for him to be able to humble himself and turn his problems over to God. what I am trying to say is that sometimes God helps us by not helping us.
BUT other times He helps us by getting involved and gives us wonderful and undeserving miracles haha. which happened a lot this week.
while we were teaching Steve at the library there was this man who walked passed us and did a double take, and then was circling us and eavesdropping on us during the remainder of the lesson. then after the lesson was over he came up to us and asked if we were Mormons. and we said yes and he told us that he had always wanted to learn more about our church and he would love to take lessons from us if we ever had time. He was originally interested in the church because of our "health code" aka the word of wisdom. and that he felt like society needs more rules and structure. so we are PUMPED to teach him about the commandments. it was a MIRACLE that sister ensign and I kept our cool haha so we got his information and we had a lesson with him over the phone on Sunday. He doesn't have much of a religious background but says that he has always wanted a relationship with God. So we have been teaching him really simply and only got through the first half of the lesson because he has AMAZING questions. he is SO prepared. he told us that he has always wanted to be baptized. he is awesome.
another thing that happened was exchanges and I went with the lovely Sister Davis again and it was awesome and I learned a lot, as always. we went to one of the college campuses which I've always wanted to do and we just talked to everyone we had to sneak around though because we weren't sure if we were allowed to be there or not and we didn't want to ask in case they told us no. it ended up being really successful and we got some people's contact information so that is exciting. I don't know anyone remembers but two exchanges ago but when I brought Sister Halliday into the area our heater had broken and we kind of froze at night. WELL GUESS WHAT HAPPENED. I brought Sister Davis into our area in the middle of a stinkin heat wave (95 degrees + 90% humidity is a no go.) and our entire building's AC had broke down. there was no relief from the heat besides our car. it was crazy and sweaty and hilarious. AND because of that and because our apartment was 102 degrees during the night we got permission to sleep over at the Sister Training Leaders house as well as the Schaumburg 2nd sister's apartment. so we have been having some parties this week with our fellow sister missionaries.
well this email is already too long so I apologize. I will leave you all now, I hope you have a good one and stay cool! and PLEASE look for God's hand in your life, there may be miracles happening that you have been missing 

Sister Madsen

We put our engineering minds to work and assembled this to try and get what little cool air we could from the AC that was on top of the wall to be magnified by the fan.
It didn't work but we felt accomplished 

We slept at the Sister Training Leaders house for one of the days that we were exiled from our sweaty apartment and things happened and faces were turned green. 
And the Schaumburg Second sisters!! Whom I love. Sister Nogueria (the one taking the picture) and I have wanted to be companions since we met and have been in the same district but not companions.. YET. but we got to have a lil tester this week when we stayed with them for a couple days and honestly WE HAVE TO BECOME COMPANIONS. We are the same person. I love her. I love all my sisters, but Sister Nogueria has become my "companion crush" haha