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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

yay!! my family came!! :D

dear family,
i had some great experiences this week, the BEST experience, of course being a certain family that visited me on sunday.... :D uncle steve, aunt jamie, austin and ryan!! oh my word i can't even describe how happy and excited i was to see them. my heart was just overjoyed!!!! :) :) :) they took the tour with me (steve and jamie even took it twice so that her parents could see it too) and we had a blast, they all loved it! i'm tellin ya, it's the best place ever. ;) and they told me you all are doing great!! so that makes me very happy. thanks soooo much, again, for coming, you guys!! that will forever be a highlight of my mission! i love you!!
oh, and guess who else showed up on the same day? citlalli munguia! she was my first visiting teaching companion in the east bay 3rd ward! heavenly father spoiled me that day. it was great to see her. :)
another experience was with an investigator who decided not to get baptized. his name is brian, and even though he's legally an adult, his parents have banned him from ever associating with the church--since he lives under their roof and they pay for his tuition, he doesn't have the heart to go against their will. :( he knows it's true though, so he says he'll do it once he's independent of them. they think we're a cult and that we've brainwashed him. they refused to have anyone come over and explain anything about it. so as of now, we're just going to meet with him every couple weeks and try to keep his faith strong... he has to do it behind his parent's back, though. it's tearing his family apart, and he's really struggling with it. anyway, on friday, we met with him. here's my journal entry about it:

I just had a really neat experience. We were on shift at the battalion tonight, and I had forgotten that Brian Wu was going to come visit while we were there. So I was sitting in the back trying to think of what to teach or share with him, when all of the sudden I looked at the security monitor and Jason was on the screen! (He's my ward mission leader. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what he was doing there... I thought maybe I had forgotten about a meeting or something.) He and Josh (my other favorite ward member) showed up because they were just looking for something to do on a Friday night and decided they'd come watch the Joseph Smith movie. Ha. So it was perfect timing, cause we had Brian and them watch it together instead of teaching him a lesson... and the spirit was so strong. After the movie ended, we all just sat there in the quiet... and then we spent a few minutes just talking reverently. We hadn't started with a prayer or anything cause it wasn't really a lesson... but I felt like we should close with one, so we did. Even after the closing prayer, no one wanted to move... they still just sat there, even though all three of them had places to be. Eventually Josh said, "Well, should we go?" and Jason replied with, "Aaww... do we have to?" 
"I know!" I said, "there's such a peace in this room, it makes you not want to leave." Even when they did get up, they just lingered... they looked around at the paintings of Christ, quietly talked about them and asked me which was my favorite... until they EVER so slowly made their way out of the room and down the hall... they just loved feeling the spirit and didn't want to leave it! It was fascinating to feel/watch. It was super good for Brian, especially, since his parents have banned him from being baptized. :( I've never had such a powerful meeting with him... I could tell that it touched him, and he really needs experiences like that. Heavenly Father is SO good. He knew where Jason and Josh needed to be at that time, even though they had no idea they were part of His plans. I'm so grateful for that meeting tonight! 

we also had the annual commemoration of the mormon battalion this week! every year on the last saturday of january, the san diego stakes put together a huge celebration in old town state park. all of the missionaries dress up as battalion members and do a parade, and each stake is in charge of a booth: doll making, dutch oven cook off, brick making, clothes washing, quilting, and much more. there was a lot of performances, too, and one 12 year old girl played the fiddle like you wouldn't BELIEVE. and we got to be a part of it! we went around and chatted with people around the square... we had the best costumes, of course. little did the visitors know that we wear them everyday. haha. so it was way fun! it was rainy that day, though, so they didn't have as many people show up as usually come... we only had six hundred something at the battalion, and usually on that day they have like a thousand! crazy. but it was a blast.

also, denise has made so much progress! she's joshua's girlfriend, the one who got baptized on my birthday. i cant believe how the gospel has changed her, and just in like two weeks! she used to be such a shy, kind of depressed, insecure girl... there is such a light in her now! she is the sweetest thing i have ever met. her prayers have changed drastically--they're just so sincere, and she's so grateful for how this gospel has made such a difference in her life. i love her with all my heart. she is such a testimony to me that this is NOT MY WORK. i have nothing to do with the change in her. it is ALL heavenly father... i just get to be a part of it. and it is amazing. AND... she's getting baptized on saturday! pray for her, please! :)

love you all. keep up the work of the lord--it's the best work ever! ta ta for now.
sister madsen

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