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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

5 Month Mark!

Hi everybody!!
Holy SMOKES. Today is a monumental day for two reasons: one, it's the end of another transfer (WHAT??) and two, it's my five month mark!!! Where has my mission gone? It really gets me thinking about what I've done with my time thus far and how I need to be using it better. Every minute is precious.
The other GREAT news is: Sister Miller and I still get to stay together in Black Mountain Branch for another transfer!! We cannot even express how excited we were. We thought for SURE with four new sisters coming in and all the senior missionaries leaving, there was no way we were going to stay together... I was super sad, too, because I LOVE Sister Miller and she is a powerhouse missionary... I just haven't had enough time with her! She still feels like my "new" companion. And that was officially the fastest transfer of my life. Suffice it to say, we are overjoyed that we get to be in this amazing companionship in this incredible ward over the holidays... and ESPECIALLY that neither of us were transferred to be full-time proselyting missionaries, because we really want to be at the Battalion for Christmas. It's like our home, we can't imagine not being there during this time of year! :) We jumped and screamed and hugged for like 5 minutes when we found out. So it's been a great day full of good news.
We also went hiking today with our zone!! SO much fun... First time since I've been out. It felt SO good. I miss hiking! And yes, it was sunny and 75 degrees. :) Hiking in November... almost December!! YES. :)
We had some pretty incredible experiences this week. Here's some entries from my journal:
I just had a really awesome experience watching Sister Miller speak to our investigator as if the words were coming straight from God's mouth. Joshua is a boy we've been teaching who thinks he's good where he's at... the first time we met him, he told us he didn't care if he was going to hell. He's very unorthodox and slightly disrespectful when he talks about God. Well... we taught him the plan of salvation tonight, and after we finished explaining the whole thing... goodness, I can't even describe how it all happened. But in a very sincere, loving way, and with the spirit flowing right through her words, Sister Miller told him that even though he masks a lot of it, he really does care where he ends up, that he's just afraid of failure and that's why he thinks he's comfortable where he's at... and he's afraid of commitment. Then she pointed to the celestial kingdom and said "don't sell yourself short, Joshua." And it really hit him. He really sat and thought about it for a minute. And his prayer at the end was much more sincere and much less sarcastic than they usually are. In it, he expressed how Sister Miller saw right through him. ??? It was incredible! She was so in tune and said just the right things at just the right time. It was ridiculous.
Afterwards we were discussing about how it should be that way for every investigator. If we're doing our job right, we should be able to discern their needs and break them down. How do I make that happen??
And another:
I was not in a good mood today. Two of our appointments cancelled tonight, so we were driving around contacting, which is always difficult, and I was really struggling to get my heart in the right place. Yet Heavenly Father still manages to make use of me even when I"m being ridiculous. We ended up at a former investigator's house whose teaching record wasn't very promising... and after a 45 minute doorstep conversation, we re-added him as an investigator! I'm almost positive it was because of the mood Sister Miller and I were in, too... the way the conversation started was "tell us about you." We weren't in the mood to be chipper and convincing and fake... we were just REAL with him. It surprised him actually: he said, "I thought you guys were here to talk to me about Joseph Smith." We basically told him straight out that we were there for him... that he wasn't a lifeless object we were just there to preach to. Anyway. He miraculously said we could come back. Did I deserve that miracle tonight? Absolutely not. But I am so grateful for it... and grateful that Jesus Christ makes up for my weaknesses.
Vinod did not get baptized on Saturday. :( We're still working with him though... he still wants it, there's just a couple things he feels uncomfortable about still. So we're hoping within the next couple weeks he'll be ready.
Paige is amazing. She was so prepared, and the gospel is going to make such a difference for her! She is suffering a lot... and it's so obvious why we happened upon her at this time in her life. Pray that she continues to progress, and that nothing will get in the way of her being baptized.
I'm especially grateful this week (happy thanksgiving!) for:
1. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the change it makes in people's lives. 
2. People that love me and take care of me. I am SURROUNDED by them.
3. How much God loves me :)
I could make the list a billion times longer, but I'm out of time. I love you all! Keep giving to those around you! Giving is always more fulfilling than receiving. :)
Sister Madsen

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