Monday, June 3, 2013

Elder Madsen's Second Week in Fresno

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen

This week was pretty crazy. It was a full week, and we did a ton of work.

To start off, we met Jose last Sunday. He was very interested and we had a couple more lessons with him. We are hoping he'll choose to be baptised soon. We also have Olivia and Monica that are very close. We just need to get them to church and solidify their date of June 22.

So, after Tuesday of last week, our week started off pretty good. We had a couple of lessons, but mostly we were finding and contacting our referrals. As the week progressed, my companions had a Zone Leader Conference, so I was going to lead the area with one of the members here. His name is Mack. He actually goes to the MTC on June 19, learning Spanish. He's going to a Salt Lake City mission. Really cool. I am excited for him. But we found out the white hand book states that you can only drive a member in the mission vehicle if there is an appointment. Since our area is so big, and only for YSA (Young Single Adults), we have to drive just to contact our referrals. So I had to go on splits with the Fresno 5th Elders. Then all of my appointments fell through, so we just went and contacted some of the Fresno 5th's members and did some follow-ups.

Our baptism also fell through this week because Sean felt like he needed to wait a little bit more. In our last meeting with him, we all knelt together and prayed to know when his baptism date should be. He felt as if he had to have a sign shown unto him to bare witness that he needed to be baptised. He said the Lord told him to have patience. So we are working with him.

We are looking forward to some promising weeks ahead. My companions are awesome. They teach me so much. Elder Elkington is supper funny! He is always teaching me about the Gospel and how to teach it more effectively. Elder Larson, from Pima Arizona, is very good at contacting people. So I have been learning how to be stubborn with people on the street so that they can learn of this amazing Gospel. I have learned that if you are respectfully stubborn, people will realize that this Gospel is worth hearing about. I have learned from him also that everyone needs to hear it, so don't be shy.

I have a sad story to report. We went to visit some of the less active members in our ward. We pulled up to a nice house and knocked. David came to the door and answered. We asked him how he was doing and he told us good, but he didn't want to waste our time. He said he'd stopped all ties with the church because he  researched online about Mormons when he was 14 years old. Keep in mind, his family have been members of the church for many years before he was born. He told us some of the things he read online, and we just looked at each other. The "research" he'd done about the church was on an anti-Mormon site. I was prompted to tell him my testimony, and I very plainly told him that there is a God and that God loves all of us, even those who have stopped believing in Him. We invited Him to pray to know if those things he read were true, and he flat out told us he wouldn't pray.

I've noticed a pattern here in California. The people who used to be members of the church try to be very macho around us the second we start to bare testimony or just start talking to the them. Like David, they all seem very nervous to talk to us. I could see it in David's eyes, that he knew it was true, and he was very uncomfortable the whole time. That, in itself, strengthens my testimony. It proves to me that this Gospel is real, and that the power of God and the presence of the Holy Ghost are so real that I can physically see it sometimes. Once we bare testimony, Satan can no longer be there, and those who have had a testimony of the Gospel and choose to not follow it, can feel it.

I know this Gospel is true, and I know that we are all missionaries. Missionary work is not just for us missionaries that are out here currently serving. Missionary work is a church wide thing. People do not become converted to Jesus Christ because 18-22 year old missionaries are teaching them. It's the Spirit of God and the people of Zion that help others to come unto Christ. So, I would like to invite you and the family to come up with some names of people that you think need help and need the Gospel, and start working with them.

When sharing the Gospel, it's as simple as inviting a friend over for dinner or something. You don't really need to talk about the church. Just be a friend. If they brings up the Gospel, talk to them about it. Other than that, just love them.

I will write back next week, looking forward to a report. Love you, and I know that all things can be made known unto us if we have faith and pray to our Father in heaven. He wants us to communicate with Him.

Med Kaerlighed AEldste Madsen

Elder Madsen's First Week in Fresno (May 28, 2013)

Elder Madsen Leaves for Denmark! (June 10, 2013)