Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Elder Madsen Reports to the Provo MTC

The miracle that we all witnessed surrounding Kolby's knee surgery is certainly worth sharing! So before we get to the photos and celebration, let me tell you how this whole thing rolled out.

As you know from my previous post, a month before Kolby was scheduled to report to the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) to begin training for his mission to Denmark, he injured his knee. A day after the injury, when it became apparent that it was more serious than he initially thought, Kolby asked for a Priesthood blessing. It was a relief to hear Brother King pronounce a healing blessing. He said Kolby would experience a complete recovery from his injury, and that if he had enough faith " it will not affect the timing of your mission."  I assumed that meant that Kolby would not need surgery...

A few days later, Kolby met with a specialist and underwent a MRI. That is when he learned he would need surgery to repair an ACL, two menisci, and remove a bone fragment from his knee. The surgeon explained that Kolby's recovery could be anywhere from three to nine months. To say that was a very depressing day would be an understatement. This eager young man faced the reality of having to wait even longer to leave on his mission, or be assigned another mission altogether.

Surgery went well, and Kolby was up and about within a couple of days. He surprised everyone by refusing pain medication and not using crutches within the first week after his surgery. As he began physical therapy, Kolby continued to surprise everyone by having significant increases in his range of motion and mobility from day to day.

Exactly four weeks after his (major!) knee surgery, Kolby walked into his doctor's office without a brace or even a limp in his step. The surgeon said in all his years, he has never seen anything like it. That very day, Kolby's doctor released him from physical therapy and cleared him for missionary service!

You can imagine the wave of excitement and complete chaos that unleashed (haha!)! Immediately, phone calls were made to the Bishop and Stake President. They asked to meet with Kolby on Monday (it was the weekend of General Conference) to discuss the possibility of him leaving for his mission on time. On Tuesday afternoon, after calls to everywhere, including the Missionary Department of the Church, Kolby was cleared to leave for the MTC the NEXT DAY...his original report date of Wednesday, April 10, 2013. We had all witnessed a miracle, right before our eyes! Prayers were answered and testimonies were strengthened. It was just a further witness that Heavenly Father knows each of His children by heart.

On Tuesday evening, after boxing up his room and packing his suitcases for two years of service, Kolby welcomed family and friends at his home for a couple of hours to say goodbye. Usually, missionaries have a "farewell" where they speak in church the Sunday before they leave, and some have an "open house" so people can come and visit before they report for their mission. With less than 24 hours notice, Kolby didn't have the "normal" farewell experience, but I dare say it was even sweeter than most. This incredible, faithful, virtuous young man was prepared and ready to serve at a moment's notice.

Another tender mercy is that Lindsey was still home, her report date to the Provo MTC having been pushed back to April 17. So the two cousins were able to share that very special and exciting day together!

Elder Kolby Madsen and Sister Lindsey Jeppson, cousins reporting to the MTC one week apart.

After Kolby's friends said their goodbyes, President Mike Cottle, Stake President of the Founders Park Utah Stake, set him apart as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Cottle gave everyone present the opportunity to share their testimony of the Gospel and their feelings about Kolby. Then he gave Elder Kolby Madsen the opportunity to share his testimony and feelings about his upcoming mission.

The next morning, Kolby's family and close friends shared their last meal together before they drove him to the MTC. At 1:36 p.m., I received a simple text message from his mom and my dear friend. Knowing how much I love him too, she knew what her words would mean to me..."He's gone."  In mom language that translates to, I just watched my only son leave to serve his Savior for two years. The laughter and tears and worry and prayers, all our happy and sad times, culminate in this moment as I watch him walk away from me a strong, worthy, dedicated young man. And although I don't feel like I can breathe right now, I wouldn't change it....and I will miss him....so...very...much.

Elder Kolby Madsen ~ Denmark Copenhagen Mission

Kolby with him mom, Marianne and sisters Maren and Sabrina, before reporting to the MTC

Big sugar before he leaves! He won't be getting that action for a while haha!

Surrounded by people who love you...no better way to embark on two years of service!

Elder Madsen Needs Surgery (March 4, 2013)

Elder Madsen's First Letter Home (April 11, 2013)

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