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

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

boy my life is just too great :)

hi!!! so many great things to tell everybody in so little time! (so i decided to give up on proper capitalization. it takes too much time.) :)
two greatest pieces of news:
joshua got baptized on my birthday!!!! :D :D :D aaahhh! it was so great. he is the biggest miracle i have ever seen. the service went wonderful... he had like FIFTEEN nonmember friends of his show up!! it was awesome! hopefully we'll add one or two of them as investigators soon... especially his girlfriend denise, who has been to church with him the past three weeks and has slowly warmed up to us. :) convert one, convert hundreds! the service went really well. i felt the spirit so strong... it was actually kind of funny, though, because we moved rooms in between the opening part of the program and the actual baptism--during the move it got a little noisy, and also we were trying to stall because another investigator of ours was on her way to watch, so we announced to everyone once we got to the font room that we would be singing another song to "invite the spirit back" (it really was 50 percent of the reason)... :) so we sang "i know that my redeemer lives" (which the pianist chose--thankfully its on the longer end of songs) and right before the last verse she showed up!! haha. but really... joshua is amazing, i'm so glad i got to be a part of his conversion. he is a totally different person than the he was the day we met him!! (actually, i don't remember if i mentioned this, but he pulled out a switchblade on us as a joke the first time we stopped him on the street.... ha.) best birthday ever, you ask? YES! :) AND we added an investigator that day. AND all my sisters sang happy birthday to me at exercise that morning, and my companion made me breakfast with ":) (happy) birthday" written in mustard, and so many of my sweet branch members gave me cake and presents and birthday wishes... i am way too loved! it was a wonderful day.
second piece of good news is that SISTER MILLER AND I DIDN'T GET TRANSFERRED!! transfers are tomorrow, but they always tell us the day before whether or not we'll be leaving the area. :) we are so happy!! we get another transfer together! she is too fantastic, i am the luckiest human ever (as she would say.) i can't believe it though--i've been in my area longer than almost all of the other battalion sisters currently serving (meaning that 4 transfers in one place is quite a while... and i'm going on my fifth)! i love my black mountain branch. it's going to break my heart when i have to leave this area.
sister ortez finished her mission last week. she left the day after my birthday. :( i was pretty sad. actually, we had FOUR sisters leave--four of our strongest, most diligent missionaries at the battalion. two of them were our trainer sisters (kind of like zone leaders for the sisters at the battalion). guess what that means?? we're getting two new ones... and anyone could be next! also, the oldest sisters in the battalion now are only 9 months old!! we're all babies, and we're running the place by ourselves! crazy. it may be mayhem for a little while around here. ha.
guess what else we got to do?? last preparation day, we were going to go bowling, but the bowling alley failed us... so we were thinking of something to do, and i remembered that one of our branch members, who's like a pro ice skater, said we should go to his rink sometime. i highly doubted we would be allowed--there's a long list of activities in the white handbook that we're not allowed to do, and ice skating is similar to a few of them--but we called president, and miracle of all miracles, he said we could go! i went ice skating in sunny san diego!! :) haha it was SO MUCH FUN. i loved it.
last night we had to be in by 6:30 for new years eve, and we told to use our time to set goals and make visions for ourselves, our companionship, and our area. it was actually pretty eye-opening. i have a hard time recognizing ways that i've really changed as a person out here... i can recognize a lot of areas that i've improved in as a missionary, but that's a little different (although they are connected). anyway, i prayed for help to recognize some ways that i've changed as a person since i've come out here--after all, a third of my mission is over!! what??--and i was surprised when i made my list. all of them were things that i hadn't really thought about changing in myself (i mean, when i thought about the ways i wanted to change on my mission before i left). so that was kind of cool. but also it was a huge wake up call to the distance between who i am and who i still hope to be before i come home... a lot of the things i've been wanting to change about myself haven't changed yet. so i wrote a lot of good goals. they're so much easier written than accomplished, but hey, we gotta start somewhere. :) some of the things i want to work on is more sincere prayer and scripture study, submissiveness to the lord's will, and a stronger relationship with my savior/better understanding of the atonement. (luckily, all those things tie together/affect each other. :) ) i hope you all have made good goals, especially in regards to the gospel.
anway, it has been a great week! even though we're pretty short on solid investigators right now... i have seen so many tender mercies. so i am happy. :)
i love you all!! happy new year!
sister madsen

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