Monday, August 26, 2013

Growing Where I'm Planted - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, currently serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

This week has been way good. I am way happy I can almost understand everything that I read for the most part, so that’s good. Me and Elder Hansen had a heart to heart this week, and we are better than ever. We both had some things that we needed to talk about, but now we are great. I love him so much. He has taught me so much, and I am so grateful for him. I still miss those missionaries who left two weeks ago, but I will forever remember them and their legacy. They were great missionaries, and I will follow their example.

We had a great eating appointment with the Camilla. She fed us flæskesteg, an amazing Danish meal. Don’t worry, I will make it for you in two years when I can perfect it.

We had a our first real appointment with the "miracle family." Juliet and her family are probably my favorite family in Denmark right now. I love just playing games with them, and their little daughter (age six) reminds me of the Campbell’s kids. I miss hanging out with little kids, so it's nice to be around them again.

For our appointment, we went over there and had some way good African food. Right as we were building some nice trust and relationship with the father, their little son started coughing. The whole time we were there he sounded like he had a way sore throat. It was super sad to hear him cough and breath. I felt so bad. At one point he stopped breathing, and the first thing that popped into my head is what to do in case an infant is chocking, but is still conscious. The next thing that popped in is we need to offer a blessing. While I was thinking of this, Juliet was calling  the doctor over the phone to get his advice on what to do. While she was on the phone, her son coughed again and the doctor said it sounded really bad over the phone. So the doctor called an ambulance and they showed up within two minutes. So we didn't really have time to give him a blessing, and we had to leave right after. But we definitely left the house with some more trust and love for the family, and they want us to return and give another lesson.

This week I have had a lot to think about when it comes to what I am doing here and how I can make the most of my service to my Heavenly Father. I think about how I wish I could be better at the language, and how I wish that I could find people who care. But then I came to the realization that I wasn't sent to Denmark to already have a knowledge of the language, or to just be a perfect teacher right off the bat. Or to just find all the prepared people I hear other missionaries talking about in other places around the world, including the States. They talk about how they had a rough month because they personally did not have a baptism, or how they have all these people with a baptismal date. It can be way easy to just think, "Well, am I a bad missionary, or am I in a really hard place in the world, or am I just not good enough in the Lord's eyes, or am I better to be here in an area where it can be considered a little harder work?"

I have come to the conclusion that it's not about baptisms, how many people you reactivate, or how many investigators you have. It's about bringing people closer to our Heavenly Father. Maybe that means we see them on the street and tell them about God, and just hearing about Him brings them closer to Him. Maybe they do want to learn more and invite us back. It's all about our willingness to show the Lord that it doesn't matter where He sends us or what people He puts in front of us to teach. All that matters is that I do my best, and serve my Father in Heaven, and that is through the Danish people. I just have to show my willingness to Him, and share His message that Christ's Gospel is fully restored to the earth. All I can do is thank Him for what He gives me, and bring people closer to Him.

 Med Kære Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

Click here to watch the video, "Heavenly Father Knows Me."

Saying Goodbye to Friends in Denmark (August 19, 2013)

Bomb Dinner and Danish Roots (September 2, 2013)