Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Hi again. :)
There were so many great things that happened this week! I'm starting to recognize more and more miracles--AND having more spiritual experiences--as my prayers have become more earnest and focused on the people we teach. :)
The first miracle of the week is Halden. He is a less active in our ward that we have been working with and has had a big smoking problem. A couple weeks ago we had an amazing meeting with him and challenged him to stop smoking. We came up with a plan and an exact date that he would drop smoking completely, as well as things he could fill his time with/things to help him stop. Last Monday, Halden was on his 3rd day without smoking... we hadn't seen him that day but I couldn't stop worrying about him. My companions and I were studying when I expressed my concern, and all three of us had the thought that we needed to pray for him right then. When we saw him a couple days later, he had stayed strong--he hadn't given in to smoking even once! Then, on Sunday, Halden came to church and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. He was practically glowing. And, during his testimony, he talked about how "the Sisters" have changed his life. He said he's always believed in missionary work but didn't truly realize how powerful it could be until we came along. :) This story sounds so cheesy when I type it, but it really meant so much to me! I, Sister Madsen, have made an impact for the better on someone's life. ME. Heavenly Father has let me be a part of this change in Halden. He has shown me that even with all my imperfections and the long list of things I need to improve about myself before I'm a great missionary, He can use me to bring happiness to others. It is such a good feeling.
The second miracle of the week is Lily. Lily is currently our only progressing investigator with a baptism date. However, she's been taught for a few months now and has been procrastinating baptism... mostly because she wants to be sure she's in the habit of living all the commandments before she's baptized. But she's SO ready. She's practically a member. She's always at church, she goes to all the ward activities, and she reads her book of mormon and prays for the spirit to comfort her more than most members do. But she didn't want to be baptized til October 20th! We were really worried that by that time Satan would have gotten to her and convinced her otherwise. So, we fasted for Lily this Sunday to accept a sooner date. After church we met with her and explained why she was so ready! She's still really scared... but she committed to August 25th! A whole two months earlier! Heavenly Father truly heard our prayers and blessed our fast. :)
The third miracle is the miracle of the DVD player. :) We have another less active named Blase. During planning we figured out what we wanted to teach him during our lesson, and we decided on a video we wanted to show him. Sister Burden, bless her heart, is so scatter brained lately... I think because she's headed home next week. It's actually pretty amusing. :) She forgets everything! Our area is about 25 minutes away from where we live, too, so when we get out there, we don't go back again until night unless we have a really good reason. (We spend so much time driving... and gas money is precious. :( ) Anyway, Sister Burden said she'd get the things we needed for our lesson... she remembered the DVD but didn't bring our little portable DVD player. Since we often can't meet the people we teach at their homes (there's lots of rules with singles), we meet at the church... hence, we had no way to show Blase the video that we felt he really needed to see. So. We prayed. :) We asked Heavenly Father for a way to show him this video... and then we started checking doors. Even though they're almost ALWAYS locked, it just so happened that one of the Bishop's offices was open! So we started checking around the office. (Don't get upset dad--I know people aren't supposed to rummage around bishop's offices, but this was an emergency. ;) ) I randomly opened one of the closets and there on the shelf were about 15 or 20 keys... We decided that at least one of them just HAD to be a key to the library. So we ran down the hall, and wouldn't you know it, the third key we tried let us right into the TV room! Again, I know this sounds cheesy, but it was a miracle! :) When we watched the video with Blase that day the spirit was incredibly powerful. He clearly needed to see it, or else Heavenly Father wouldn't have provided a way.
I have the hardest time expecting Heavenly Father to bless me with what I ask for. I think it's because I never feel like I deserve it... like I don't do enough or put my heart in it enough to really have my prayers answered. I tend to just ask Him for things and hope for the best... I don't expect them. How can I?? Me, a lowly human being who is ALWAYS making mistakes, expecting GOD, the all powerful, perfect ruler of the universe, to give me what I say? The funny thing, though, is that I AM supposed to expect them. I'm supposed to have so much faith that I truly believe that He will answer those prayers with the specific things I ask for (that is, if the prayer is led by the spirit and is a righteous desire). All three of those miracles are examples of that! What a lesson to have learned this week.
I also did my first shift at the san diego temple this week. :) :) :) :) :) :) We were there for the whole afternoon/night standing outside of it talking to people about the gospel. There is NO BETTER PLACE to share the gospel with people who are unaware of it than at the temple! They are drawn to it. And the spirit there will touch them no matter what! And, as a bonus, I cannot help but feel happy, peaceful, and content when I'm at the temple... even just being on the grounds. It is so strengthening. I CANNOT wait to do a session there. I wish you all could see how gorgeous it is!!!
Well. That's all for this week. It was definitely the best week I've had so far... SO full of the spirit. I wish I could write about every time I feel it. :) Oh!! And Riley from your softball team came in to the Battalion, Hannah! I didn't get to see her but she left me a cute little note. :) So tell her thank you if you get the chance. Lyndsay Wygant came in, too! (For those of you who don't know, she went to high school with me.) I got to give her the tour and everything! She was officially the first person I know that I got to give a tour to. :)
I love you all so much! :) The gospel is the best thing EVER!