Tuesday, July 18, 2017

deja vu July 17, 2017

Today is my golden month mark because I hit 17 months today (which.. is the 17th) and it is weird! Time just cruises on by and I'm not really sure when it will hit me but that will not be a fun day.. and this transfer in general has gone by really fast. I can't believe the next time I write you July will pretty much be gone. I don't know where it went! I think it has to do a little with the fact that Sister Muhlestein and I are so busy and we get along so well. I have never felt so unified in my life! I say this every week but I really can't figure out how to explain it other than we are just the same. But different enough that it works. But pretty much the same. Ok. You still don't get it but I DO and some day I will be a better explainer. 
I am just going to cut to the chase and let you all know that Jim is actually not getting baptized. Yes.. this is for real happening to me.. again! I don't even want to count how many times someone has almost gotten baptized and then like a week or two before it doesn't happen. There is a quote about how no one is going to know if they have endured to the end until they are safely dead with their testimony burning inside of them. And I think you can say the same about baptism. Missionaries can not know for sure if their investigators are going to be baptized until they are safely dunked 
A little background is that Jim was only here in Rockford temporarily for work and they kept extending his employment because they needed him and THEN on Wednesday, HOURS Before his baptism interview he texted us and told us he was going to move back to Indiana this Friday. And that his employer had told him that he was done in Rockford and they didn't need him anymore And Sister Muhlestein and I were like "Lol Jim so funny stop pranking us" and it turns out he wasn't.. πŸ˜‘ we had a final meeting with him that night instead of his baptism interview. Tears were shed. But I know it is for the best. It will be good for him to get baptized where he actually lives and can already have that support from that Ward to help him and welcome him when he gets baptized. But it is sad we won't be able to be there
I will never laugh again when I hear a story about one of the Hermanas investigators moving to Mexico a week before their baptism
But we made two Elders in Indiana very happy this week so that was cool.
Besides that this week has been pretty crazy but pretty fun! We went on exchanges to Elgin and Belvidere! It was weird being in Elgin because I served in that area last summer when I was in the YSA and the whole time I was a little freaking out in my brain but sister Willes helped me keep my cool haha! And the Belvidere Sisters just crack me up so that was fun. Belvidere is a little tiny crazy town so it was fun to go back there too.
Carol came to church again this week and stayed for all three hours! She loved it. She also told us she was thinking about becoming Mormon and asked us if she was good enough or worthy enough in the middle of a lesson and Sister Muhlestein and I lost our minds. So we are working with her on that. She also talked a lot about the Beatles again and how much she hates Yoko Ono and it killed me 
Something I thought about a lot this week was that we knew what our life was going to be like before we even got here. And we were PUMPED. Even though we knew how hard it was going to be. And my spirit knew I needed to go on a mission. I'm still not sure why, but I'm glad I'm here. But now I hope I can remember that when I am going through something hard, that in the life before this one I knew this was going to happen, and I still came down here! So there has to be a reason for it and something better is just around the river bend 
Before I end this email I just really want to make sure everyone knows that I love sister Muhlestein A LOT and we have had such a fun transfer together and I hope we get another one together. But we will see
sister madsen 

Elgin exchange! We were teaching this lady Sally on her porch and I said a prayer at the end and I opened my eyes and her cat was just sitting inside my bag
And this is Sister Willes! She is awesome! Her and I both like roller and ice skating and it was fun to spend the day missionarying with her! 

Look at this persons YARD. 
The Belvidere Sisters live above an Italian food place and we got cannolis 
And Belvidere is just insane 

πŸ’₯πŸŒͺ☀️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸŒ½July 10, 2017

Hola!! This week we went on exchanges with the Rockford Hermanas and I learned how to introduce myself in Spanish. Also I love Hermana Ward because she is so HARD CORE. We shared Galesburg together when I was there and I was sad I wasn't able to be around her when I got transferred but now HERE WE ARE and we got to be companions for the day. She cracks me up. 
The two most important things that happened this week was we had a lesson with Carol and she misunderstood an announcement that was made at church and thought it was going to be closed but in reality it was the temple that was going to be closed. When she realized that and that she could come to church this Sunday she quietly said yesssss to herself in the middle of the lesson and I was dying. She's the greatest. Hopefully we can talk to her more about baptism soon. AND THEN when she came to church there was a member talking about the Book of Mormon and he was talking about the different styles of writing and he was going off on the things it talks about in 1&2 Nephi and Carol turns to us and tells us it says "and it came to pass" sooo many times and then the speaker says the exact same thing after her. I was DYING!! We all were. She liked his talk so much she clapped afterwards. She is awesome. She is in Mosiah right now. I love her. She is a widow and we are so excited to teach her about the plan of salvation and temples this week!! 
Jim is still steadily working towards being baptized on the 22nd I don't know if I have talked a lot about him but some background is that he requested a Book of Mormon because of a Facebook ad. He had a lot of common misconceptions that Sister Muhlestein and SISTER WALLACE (mvps) were able to clear up and then he asked if the could come back and teach him more. And then every lesson that he has been taught has been about something that he had been struggling with or was something he had questions about that very same week and then the sisters would teach him about it. And it freaks him out how on point the lessons always are. But in a good way.. anyways he is being baptized and it is very exciting and cool and the Ward loves him! The bishop came back in town this week so I got to meet him and he is awesome. We had a great lesson with him and Jim on Sunday and the spirit smacked all of us. He will be interviewed this week and baptized the next. Jim is cool because he helps me to realize how small our role is as missionaries. Most of missionary work is character building I have decided haha. And we work and work and try to get people to a certain point where they will do something but it is literally all just Heavenly Father. He has such a hand in everyone's lives and is doing so many things to prepare these people. We just picked the lessons to teach Jim and Heavenly Father helped him during the week to have things happen that would make him have the desire to know things about the word of wisdom or tithing or whatever. And the spirit is all testifying and he is like "you sisters are something else!!" But we literally did nothing.
Heavenly Father is awesome and we just work here. I have been out for this long and I still don't know what we do to be honest haha
In other news on the fourth we had to be in by 7 pm BC Americans are crazy and sister Muhlestein and I partied HARD CORE we went crazy it was wild!!
Actually. we both just wrote in our journals the entire time and then went to bed as early as possible. Wild!!!!!!
Stay cool 😎
-sister madsen

Selfless selfies. A gift for you 

Exchanges! With Sister Jagielski and again with the Hermanas


It's good to be a missionary July 3, 2017

I am trying to thing of what happened this week but I am very unfocused BECAUSE THE GREATEST THING JUST HAPPENED. Since we are in Rockford aka mini Chicago aka less than an hour from FREEPORT some of my bffs came to visit me!! I love them and miss them so much! But I am glad I got to see them before they move out west! It was so nice. Heavenly Father has been so good to me my entire mission. And it has just been great getting to see what He has in store for me. His plan is perfect
SO remember how we had nine investigators last week? Guess how many of them kept their return appointments?? A grand total of ONE. Wow. 
But President Griffin once said if every 1/20 people we find gets baptized then we will find 20 new people, drop 19 and baptize one. So there you have it
But this week has been good. As has every other week in Rockford. I love it here. Our investigator Carol came to church unexpectedly and it made my Sunday. She is the one who is a hippy and we have a senior sister who was also a hippy so we introduced them and it was a match made in heaven. They were peace signing all over the place
Jim is still doing good and is still on date. 
We went on exchanges with the Sisters from Elgin and it was so fun! Sister Jagielski and I were companions and she is such a hard worker and we found TWO new investigators. Within minutes of each other and it was on the same street. Ones name was Dave and he ended up being the person this week that kept his return appointment!! Miracles
We also met this guy named Skyler who we taught the entire first lesson to on his porch and invited him to be baptized and he said yes. It was insane!! But there is no time to waste here so Sister Muhlestein and I will just be here every week going crazy. I love it and I am having a lot of fun and so thankful to be on a mission! 
No regrets
Sister Madsen 

MY FRIENDS!!!! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I can't even talk about it
Me and Dea. finally! 
Me and JUDY and Dea and Lashay and Roschea and Malachi and Keynora 
La'shay. Still takin selfies 

Also I forgot so here is a mini story: we have started doing a Book of Mormon class once a week and this week was WILD. It was going good until an alarm started going off about a storm warning in the middle of class. And then another one did and it said tornado warning. And then we opened the windows to look outside. And then the tornado sirens started going off. And then we were stuck in the church will all the young men and young women and scouts and whoever else for TWO HOURS. It was a real bonding moment 
Especially when senior sister Greene started running outside into the lightning for fun. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fam June 26, 2017

Low point of the week: we saw a squirrel get hit by a car 
High point of the week: everything else

SO Sister Muhlestein is the best and I love her. She just makes me want to be a better missionary and she is so cool. I am grateful to be her companion. 
We didn't find 11 investigators this week but we did find NINE which is awesome and probably more than I found my first six months on the mission hahaha it was a MIRACLE, in fact, one of them was even named miracle 
We were super focused this week and just were trying really hard and we came so close! I am understanding more and more what it means to set goals that motivate and push you. We definitely wouldn't have found nine if we hadn't of had a high goal. We have decided to do something cool like that every week. So this next week we are going to invite 30 people to be baptized 
Speaking of Baptism.. we were able to get our investigator Jim on date!! We had prayed and felt like July 22 would be a good day for him. Well when we brought up baptism in the lesson he agreed that he needed to be baptized but seemed a little hesitant still so we decided to let him pick the day. And He said the end of JULY!!!! So we put him on date for July 22 it was awesome!
A couple of other crazy things happened this week. We went on exchanges with the Belvidere sisters and it was fun! Sister Reynolds and I walked EVERYWHERE. It was a lot and we were late to our appointment because everyone couldn't decide if we should pass people by and not talk to them so we could make it to our appointment on time or if we should talk to them. We had been walking ALL DAY and saw no one. But when we were in a rush was when the people came out πŸ˜‘ but it was OK and the senior sisters came and picked us up and came to our appointment with us. 
We also were able to see our investigator Carol at church as well. She is 1000% a hippy. I love her. Every time we show her a picture of Christ or share a scripture she says she gets chills it's awesome. She is a very spiritual lady. SO I was stressing out of my mind when she came to church because sacrament meeting was so noisy I was worried it was distracting her and that she wasn't able to feel the spirit. We asked her what she thought after sacrament and she said she really liked how the speakers talked about their kids and that everyone sat with their families and that the husbands had their arms around their wife. It was an unexpected but really cool answer. This church is a church of family. Whether you have a family of your own or the church is your family
We, are FAMily hahahaha
Have a good week! 
sister madsen

 I am emailing so late because we wanted to make mission bears at build a bear 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rockinford June 19, 2017

This week was crazy!!! Sister Fugal and I drove up to Peoria and I met
my new companion Sister Muhlestein and we headed out to work for the
day. Sister Muhlestein is really cool and we get along really well.
She is like an improved version of me hahaha. It's inspirational. But
we have a lot of fun! She is from Taylorsville Utah and plays soccer
too, she has been out for about a year and is just a young wise lady.
And I had seen her before a couple times while we were both serving in
the same Stake and we both felt like some day we would be companions
AND THEN IT HAPPENED. Cool story. Anyways we have had a lot of fun
together so far. Our first day we were heading back to Rockford and we
got a call from our zone leaders saying that an area called Belvidere
was getting whitewashed and that now there would be Sisters serving in
that Ward instead of Elders. But GUESS WHO LEFT THE APARTMENT NASTY
WHEN THEY LEFT πŸ˜‘ SO they kindly cleaned up a lot of it while we took
the sisters out to lunch and then we went over with them to check it
out and help them clean anything that they needed. And it still looked
pretty crazy so we ended up helping them for awhile but it was a lot
of fun! Then we went to get their luggage out of the car and it
started POURING RAIN. We were soaked after a minute. Good times
Rockford is a little different than Peoria and we aren't teaching as
much but that is OK because we have a lot of time to talk to a lot of
people on the streets and things like that which I haven't gotten to
do in forever so that's been fun. And we found two new investigators!!
One of them is this Buddhist lady who isn't actually very Buddhist..
in that she believes in Christ. She just lives more of the Buddhist
lifestyle it seems like. But we talked with her about Jesus Christ and
showed her a couple of pictures of him as well as a video and she kept
saying "look, I've got chills!!" It was so cool.
The spirit has definitely been with me a lot this week and teaching me
and just hanging out kind of. I think I am just paying attention to it
more but it's been really cool!
Nothing else really stands out. But I'm excited for this upcoming
transfer!! Sister Muhlestein and I are going to kill it hahaha. We
have a goal to find 11 new investigators this week so that we can meet
the monthly goal that was set of 15. And right now we only have 4. So
we gotta find 11 more!! It's gonna be crazy but I'm excited to tell
you about it next week. Sister Muhlestein is the best. THE BEST. she
is just a really hard worker and I'm confident that we can find all
those homies with Heavenly Fathers help and guidance.
Sister Madsen
ALSO it was Stake conference so I got to see some people from Freeport
and I about died it was the best
Sorry these emails don't really have my personality in them anymore.
I'm tired always haha

Peoria Pictures June 12, 2017

This update will be mostly pictures for a change because I know you have all been so DEPRIVED. We had sister's conference this week so I got to see a lot of my sistas who I love so that was awesome because I have been in the middle of no where away from them for a long time. And if you thought I was done talking about sister Corbett you were wrong!!!!!!!! I love her. A tender reunion was had and tears were shed and shame was nowhere to be found. She is the best, I love her. Ok. I can't think of anything else to say about her besides I love her. I am going to change the subject before I start crying in this laundromat. SHES JUST THE BEST PEOPLE. I love her and can't wait to see her again 
I also got to see Amber! From Freeport! She taught all of us self defense at sisters conference and it was great. I love her a lot. I JUST SAW SO MANY OF MY FRIENDS IT WAS THE BEST. We took a Freeport sister's reunion picture.
It was good to catch up with other sisters who I haven't seen in a long time, including sister Anderson and hermana Sorensen who came out with me from the mtc. We are ancient now. But wise. Maybe.. haha
Randy's baptism issue is pending but it is looking up so maybe he will be baptized soon! Which is good news because I am being transferred! I will be going up to Rockford!! I have loved Peoria so mucho and I loved the Rockford Stake while I was there so I am excited to go back. But sad to leave of course. But it is in good hands with Sister Fugal. And I will probably see her soon when we come back for Randy's baptism!!  
The mission is good people. Life is good. And it's what you make it. Or better yet it's what you let Christ make it.
Have a blessed day!
sister madsen 

The district 
Our Awesome Australian Ward mission leader and his family
Illinois! We went to the Caterpillar museum. 

OK this is the last one but also the most important.
Look at how SHOE-NITED sister Corbett and I still are 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

sow what June 5, 2017

What a beautiful week!! It is so hot. And so many people are outside!!
Back home I liked fall and winter better but as a missionary summer is
definitely the best. So many people to talk to and everyone is just
generally in a better mood. Sometimes it is kind of crazy because
there are a lot of people and it can be overwhelming but then you just
take it one person at a time and it is ok. An interesting thought I
had during district meeting this week was what if my mission was only
one day long? I think I had this discussion with some missionaries
when I was in my first area and we were trying to decide if it would
be easier to have like a two week or a month mission etc.. talking
about amounts of time. And there are pros and cons to each. The longer
you are out the more experienced you get. But if the mission was only
two weeks it wouldn't be hard to give your all every single day and
just work your brains out. We didn't come up with a conclusion. But I
randomly remembered that during district meeting. And then I started
thinking about what if I only served my mission for one day and that
day was today? And what would I do differently? And then WOW. I
realized that unfortunately I would do a lot of things differently.
Which is sad but also good because now I can see where I need to
improve. I remember somethings that I was lucky enough to understand
earlier in my mission. That Heavenly Father wants us to be at a
certain place in our lives but that he doesn't expect us to get there
TODAY. And we just need to take things one day at a time and make sure
we are doing something to improve every day. But we don't have to
suddenly change everything and solve all of our problems. Mostly
because we can't.. anyways I just need to be better at taking my
mission one day at a time and focusing more on the day than the week
or the transfer. Just focus on doing all that I can today. It was a
good experience and I'm glad that I was able to apply it to missionary
efforts. and needless to say I have made some changes and will
continue to do so. Keep repenting people.
The best day this week was for sure Saturday. We did service at a food
kitchen in downtown Peoria and then our mission nurse needed us to go
to the doctors and she told us to go to the Methodist place which is a
HUGE hospital hospital. And so we go to the front desk to try and
figure out where we are supposed to go. And we are talking to the man
at the front and he looks a little familiar. After he helps us he asks
if we are Mormon and we told him yes! He said we had talked to him
awhile ago while he was fixing up his yard but there were three of us.
We both immediately remembered who he was! He was nice and gave us
water and we had ended up talking to him for about a half hour that
day. He has had a couple of experiences with Mormons. And he likes
cooking and watches a man who is Mormon and has a cooking show on the
internet.. or something like that? Anyways I asked him if he had
cooked anything good since we last talked to him and he said he was
making pizza tonight and invited us over???!!? Okay?! We definitely
said yes hahaha. He gave us his address and told us to come by around
5. We then searched forEVER for the place we were supposed to go. He
told us to go to the emergency room. We went but couldn't really find
a desk or anything so we were wandering around the halls of the
emergency room. Then we found someone and they sent us to the surgery
floor. So then we wandered around there for awhile looking for a desk
or someplace that wasn't just always and hospital rooms then we found
someone else and they sent us somewhere else and they we got to that
place and they told us to go to the emergency room πŸ˜‘ we were dying we
had NO idea what to do. Earlier in this process sister Fugal jokingly
said we should go to the pediatric floor because they would be nice to
us and take pity. Well now things were getting desperate. We decided
we would go check that floor before we gave up. We got there and met
these two ANGELS. They first tried to send us to the emergency room
but we must have had some sort of look of despair on our faces. We
talked with them for a couple more minutes and they were like "we are
pretty sure you are at the wrong place.. this is a hospital.. you
probably just need to go to the doctors office" and we said YES!! Then
they told us the address of like.. a normal family doctors office that
was affiliated with Methodist. While they were writing the address we
got to talking about the church and they had both been to Nauvoo and
said they loved it. Before we left one of the women told us she needed
to tell us something. She told us how she had grown up in a non
religious home and how she had a neighbor who was Mormon and every
Sunday when she was little her neighbor took her to church with her
for like 6 years and that now she is a Christian and everything she
had and loved and the peace she felt she owed to that woman and how
she wished she could find her and tell her and she thanked us on her
behalf and I could have cried!! I almost did. It was a big testimony
builder to me of the influence we have on other people and the seeds
that are being sown as we live the life that Christ would want us to
live. And I say this all the time but either I forget or I don't apply
it to myself or something because every time something like that
happens I feel like one of those dolls where you press the button and
it just like.. collapses haha. Anyways, to build on that concept more,
we had dinner with that man at the front desk, jimmy, and his family.
It was a good experience and we were able to have a good experience
and answer some questions. We also shared a message with them and it
led to a conversation where they DEFINITELY felt the spirit. But they
still weren't interested at this time. But that is ok. Sister Pace
sent an email awhile ago to some of the sisters serving missions and
she talked about faith and I really liked this part of what she said

As missionaries, you are helping people develop and increase faith.
Sometimes you're helping people reclaim their faith.  Sometimes people
who accept a first discussion will not let you back in, BUT they may
start praying again daily because of something you said.

After that dinner appointment I was kind of confused. Trying to figure
out what God had wanted to happen in that situation because it didn't
really seem like anything happened.. the spirit brought that back to
my mind and gave me some comfort. I hope they prayed. I have
definitely been seeing the blessings of previous missionaries efforts
in this area and I hope that I have been able to sow the seeds for
some missionaries too! Like the story of the pioneers who planted
crops along the trail out west and they would never be there to see
them harvested or reap their rewards but they knew that someone would
Love you!
Sister Madsen