Sister Mckenzie Madsen
California San Diego Mission
7404 Armstrong Place
San Diego, CA 92111

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The temple, The Spirit (Week #10)

Dear loved ones,

Guess where I just got back from?? The San Diego temple. I FINALLY got to do a session. I know you're all super jealous right now, as you should be, because it was amazing!! Don't complain if I have to drag you all down here for my wedding, kay? :) Every time I go to the temple I am so grateful for the perspective it gives me, and especially for the spirit I feel so strongly. It was such a blessing to be there today... I feel bad for missionaries that don't get to go to the temple on their missions! (Heavenly Father must have sent me here because He knew I'd need it now and then. ;) )
I had an extra amazing day last week. Here's my journal entry from that day:

Today was probably one of the best days I've had on my mission so far, if not the best! We had an amazing companionship study about prayer that was full of the spirit and made me excited about sharing the gospel! Sister Ortez and I grew a lot closer just in those two short hours. I love her so much! I'm so glad she's my companion and that Heavenly Father gave me the opportunity to strengthen my relationship with her today.
Then we went to the battalion it was just a nice, relaxing shift. And the spirit is always there; it just feels like home. Plus, the spirit from my studying carried right over and kept me in a good mood, which affected my interactions with people in turn... I just had a good time talking with people!! (...including the other sisters I serve with).
Lastly, we had a great day in our area! All of our plans actually went through today, which doesn't happen very often. The miracle of the day, though, was Mario. He was a referral from the zone leaders... we decided we should just show up at his house. We met this cute little branch member at our church building--he's about to head on his mission so he signed up to come out and teach with us--and he said he'd follow us to Mario's house. Little did we realize, it was forever far away! As we drove farther and farther we just prayed that he would be home so we wouldn't be wasting this poor kid's gas and time... And he was! We got to have a quick little doorstep lesson with him, and he said we could come back! We got to add him as an investigator!! :) He's super smart and seems like he'll actually give us the time of day, too. So we were very grateful and excited.
Then we had a great lesson with Jonmikel and Kasey, and Lily came too. We ended up talking about many of the things we had studied this morning about prayer--even though the whole time we thought we had been receiving revelation for another investigator! And Lily gave a great testimony. She is so solid! I love her to death.
After that we got to stay at the church for a bit and chat with a few more people and be with the branch. It always feels so good to be around them, they're just full of so much love! Heavenly Father put me in the greatest place ever. I seriously feel so blessed.
I just felt good all day. The spirit stayed with me, I felt tons of love, and I was finally able to see why missionary work is so fun and exciting. I am SO LUCKY to be here! And so thankful! I want every day to be like this. I know that probably won't happen right away, but THIS is what I'm working toward--this kind of spirit to be in my life every day of my mission. I LOVE THIS!!!

:) It was a wonderful day. And Lily got BAPTIZED on Saturday! It turned out so well. Our ward mission leader is incredible and pretty much organized the whole thing, so it took a huge load off us poor missionaries. :P I was so grateful for him. There were a good 40 or 50 people there, too, including her non-member family who came to support! And Lily was glowing. So was her friend, Josh, who performed the baptism--he was the one who introduced her to the church in the first place, and it was the first live baptism he'd ever performed! I'm so happy for both of them. President Fisler described it perfectly when he stood at the end and talked about the parable of the sower. He described the hard soil, the thorny soil, the seeds that fall by the wayside... "and then there's Lily," he said. She was definitely the rich, fertile soil that soaked up the seed and watched it bloom right away! She was so ready! Lily gave her testimony, too, and she described it as finding her "focal point," the thing that every ballerina needs to keep from getting dizzy as they spin. Life is just dizziness until we focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ. :) She's incredible! I'm so excited to see how the Lord is going to use her to bring others unto Him.
Heavenly Father also blessed me with two opportunities to follow a prompting this week, and I was rewarded each time I did. We went on exchanges this week, so for one day I was in my area WITHOUT my companion, and Sister Stirling didn't know anything about it--so I was leading out all by myself! It was scary. And right before we were about to take off, I had no idea where we were going to go. I had a few options laid out, but I just kept going back and forth and back and forth. Finally, I just went with my gut instinct (aka the spirit) and who would have known... we showed up at a referral's house and he let us in. Oh, and he listened to us. Oh, and he said we could come back. ?? :) So we added another investigator (Vinod) and I didn't even have my companion. Was that all Heavenly Father? YES!
The second time I had a prompting was to visit someone who had skipped out on our appointment the day before and didn't call us back all night... I was really reluctant to bug him again the next day (since someone who skips an appointment seems like they don't want to listen anyway) but for some reason I felt like we should. And, of course, it turned out great. :) He actually answered the phone and said we could come over, and apologized for missing the appointment. We had a great lesson with him, too! Heavenly Father is so good. Always follow promptings, everyone!
Guess who came into the battalion?? 3 of my deaf friends from back home!! I'm sending a pic with them. :) It was SO GOOD TO SEE THEM! It made my entire night. And I got to interpret the tour for them (even though I did horrible--I can't believe how rusty my signing is already). But I love it. It felt so good to sign again.
And just for fun--a man from Denmark also came in yesterday. As soon as he saw my name tag he says "That's a very Danish name!" :) I told him that my ancestors were from Denmark and my grandpa served his mission there. It was cool to make a connection with him... and we had a pretty intense gospel discussion afterward and he accepted a Book of Mormon! He also gave me his email so we could keep in touch and I could see what he thought about it. I think he'll like it.

Sorry for the long email, but I just HAD to tell you all the great things. I love you all. Life is good. :) :)
Sister Madsen

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