Monday, June 10, 2013

Elder Madsen Leaves for Denmark!

Earlier today we learned that Elder Madsen's visa came through and he was leaving for Denmark...IN THREE HOURS! His mom invited family and friends to be at her home when he called later in the day. About 5 p.m., he called from the Los Angeles International Airport where he was laying over on the way to London.

Here is a copy of the email Kolby's mom received, alerting her to the news:

"Mom, I love you and am happy to report that in about 3 hours I will be in the airport to go to Denmark! My visa came in, and now, after all this success and hard work, with about four baptisms scheduled this month, I will be going half way around the world to start teaching in Danish. I am not going to send a long email because I will call you in a little bit from the airport. Just know I love you and I am leaving today !!!"

The phone call:

At first, he seemed a little out of sorts, so we asked him why he was grumpy. He said, "I'm hungry!" That's the Kolby we all know and love :) He said there wasn't a food court in the international terminal and the only place to get food was at a bar. He and the two other missionaries traveling with him decided they probably shouldn't walk into the bar in their suits and name tags, even if it was only to get some hot food haha!

After getting some jerky out of a vending machine, he started to come around. He told us about the people he's been teaching in California and the several baptisms coming up this month and next. His companions promised to update him on the progress, but it was easy to tell he would miss being there to see it himself. He said he found out he was going to Denmark on Sunday, so he had a "mini farewell" at church. He said it was hard to say goodbye to the people he was teaching, and the members in the ward he had started to care about.

We asked him what were some things he wished he'd known before he left for his mission, and he said:

1. The first week in the MTC is the very hardest. It's totally overwhelming. Just know that it does get better!

2. Know Preach My Gospel inside and out, especially if you are learning a new language. He said he can't imagine trying to learn Danish AND church doctrine at the same time.

3. Talk to everyone about the Gospel. Don't be embarrassed because they will never remember who you are...unless you say something that changes their life. Everyone deserves to hear the good news.

Kolby warned Hannah that when she is on her mission, people will want to feed her all the time. He said this would be fine for Jake because he needs to gain some weight haha! Then he reminded Jake that he'll be eating goats and guinea pigs in Peru. The kids asked him if he'd gained or lost weight so far. He said, "I'm exactly the same. I've lost muscle and gained fat." Love that kid!

He also said that we can send packages to Denmark, but absolutely no jerky or Cheetos (there's probably a list online of other prohibited items, so if you're planning to send a package, check on those items first). If these prohibited items are sent, Kolby will have to pay a fine and will still not get to eat the food. If we send packages, we need to write "Missionary Gift" on the outside of the box. The more specific you are about what's in the package, the more likely to cause problems. He will try to give his mom the address in the next day or two.

He told his mom that he will need to buy bedding when he arrives in Denmark tomorrow, and he may need to buy a bike. He also said he's running everyday and that his knee is feeling good. He's still taking it easy from sports for a while.

Uncle Brad, Lindsey's dad, requested that Kolby speak some Danish for us before he got off the phone. Without hesitation (remember, he's been speaking English for three weeks in California), he recounted The First Vision for us, completely in Danish. It was incredible to hear the words flow out of his mouth, like he'd been speaking them all of his life. Then, in typical Kolby fashion, he said, "I love you. Bye." CLICK....

(People who were there when Kolby called, please email me with any parts of the conversation I didn't add here. I was a little emotional... :)

Elder Madsen Arrives in Denmark (June 16, 2013)

Elder Madsen's Second Week in Fresno  (June 3, 2013)