Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meet Elder Kolby Madsen

Elder Kolby Madsen was born in Idaho and mostly grew up in Utah where he graduated from Herriman High School in June 2012.  He is the oldest child and only son of Soren and Marianne Madsen, and big brother to Maren and Sabrina. To save money for his mission, Kolby has been working as a life guard at a local recreation center near his home in South Jordan, Utah.

Like all Latter-day Saint (LDS) young men, Kolby was not expecting to begin his missionary service until the summer of 2013, after he turned 19 years old. Following the announcement by President Thomas S. Monson in October 2012, I drove to Kolby's work to see if he'd heard the news. He had his back to me as I walked across the pool deck and put my arm around his waist. "I know", he said, before I could say anything. "How do you feel?" I asked him. Without hesitation he responded, "I'm ready!" There was never a truer statement spoken by a more willing young man.

That day, Kolby called his Bishop (the leader of his local congregation) to find out what he needed to do to submit his application for missionary service. Within the week, he filled out forms, uploaded documents and photos, visited the doctor for a physical and had his wisdom teeth removed. The following Sunday, his completed application was electronically submitted to church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Two weeks later, Elder Kolby Madsen received his call to serve as a missionary in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will report to the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center (MTC) on April 10, 2013, where he will prepare to teach the Gospel in the Danish language.

Guesses for where Kolby will serve

Both of Kolby's Grandpas guessed he would serve in Denmark

One of the obvious challenges with the lower missionary age is that there is not enough room at the Missionary Training Centers around the world to accommodate the large number of young people who would like to serve missions. This means that after receiving their assignment, young people may need to wait anywhere from 3 to 6 months before they actually leave on their missions. Waiting is hard and sometimes discouraging, as Kolby can easily attest. But, on the positive side, it gives them more time to save money (right, Kolby?).  :)

Mormon missionaries who choose to serve missions do so at their own expense. In addition to set monthly expenses, they also need to purchase extra items specific for the area in which they will be serving. Kolby received a letter from his Mission President a few weeks ago letting him know that he needs to be prepared to spend $600-$800 US dollars (USD) for a used bicycle when he arrives in Denmark, as well as $200 USD for bedding.

At the beginning of January, Kolby and five other future Danish missionaries traveled to New York City to meet with the Danish Consulate to be cleared for missionary service in Denmark. It was a whirlwind, 24-hour trip, catching a plane at midnight, arriving in the morning in New York, spending the day, catching a plane back that evening, experiencing delays during their layover in Minneapolis, and arriving home again a little after midnight.

Future Danish missionaries in New York at the Consulate. Elder Madsen is second from the left.

Kolby still has a couple of months before he leaves, but he's keeping busy with work, studying, attending Missionary Preparation Classes, and spending time in the Temple. And, pretty girls are not off limits....yet :)

Elder Madsen Needs Sugery before Entering the MTC (March 4, 2013)

Elder Madsen Enters the Provo MTC (April 10, 2013)

Learn more about what Mormons believe.

Learn more about why Mormons serve missions.

Request a free copy of The Book of Mormon.