Monday, October 7, 2013

Recognizing Miracles and Blessings - 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.

I can’t believe it’s been that long (talking about how long he's been in Denmark). It feels like I just got here. I have so much to do! I have so much to improve on! Man, I got to get to work.

Well, we finally got to ride the bike this week. Elder Francis just went out and bought a 4000 krone bike. It's way nice. That is about $800 US, and it’s not even one of the "expensive ones" here in Denmark. It's way too expensive here. I am just glad I got a deal on my bike.

I also got way lucky. There is this girl here named Jennifer. She is way cool. She is giving me a winter coat, which is way nice. It’s a "Canadian goose jacket." You will have to look it up to see what kind it is. I really don’t know anything about it except that they are supposed to be way good coats. She doesn't wear it anymore, so I gladly excepted.

This week we gave Eva (name changed for privacy) "The Prophet of the Restoration" on DVD.  She said she loved it, and it helped her gain a testimony of Joseph Smith. She wasn't able to attend General Conference this weekend because she was in Sweden with her family. But Cecilia (name changed for privacy) came to the Saturday Evening Session, which we saw on Sunday morning. She loved it. I don’t know if you had the chance to see it, but ÆLdste Holland’s talk was absolutely perfect for her because it talked about depression and the Atonement. Cecilia’s daughter has servere depression.

So Conference this weekend was amazing. It kinda stinks though because we are 8 hours ahead. When Saturday Morning Session was going on it, was 6 at night here. And Priesthood Session was on Sunday morning, so I haven’t even gotten to see the Sunday Evening Session yet. I will have to do that next week.

I had a ton of time to think about this Conference. As I sat there and thought about the things we heard, the thought popped in my head, "What was I doing last time Conference was on?", and the whole experience immediately took over my mind. That was the most challenging time in my life, those last couple weeks before I entered into the MTC (Missionary Training Center). Physically, having a bum leg, knowing things would be different for a long time. And mentally, thinking that I was going to get re-assigned to a different departure date. Then Friday, the day before General Conference, we heard that dad had a heart attack. We waited for the girls to come home from school, and Brother Campbell came over and helped with a blessing from our Father in Heaven. Next thing I knew, we were on the six hour drive to the hospital in Boise. The first three hours, wondering what is going on, was a  very hard place to be in. The only knowledge being that Dad was in the hospital and about to receive emergency surgery. Three hours passed, and still no word of what was going on as I sped (don’t worry I have repented!) down the freeway to get to Boise. We finally got a call from Pili saying Dad was alright, that he was resting, and that he was stable at the moment. All of this after getting pulled over, of course :)

As we pulled up to the hospital, all I could do was thank my Heavenly Father for allowing Dad to be alive so that we could see him. We walked into Dad's room where he was in his bed just sleeping, almost with a smile on his face. The horrible feeling of driving for hours, leaving late to the MTC, and thinking that Dad could be leaving us soon was replaced by a great weekend together with Dad, Pili, and the girls, really having a great time reminiscing and laughing.

That Sunday night, I received a phone call from Bishop saying that Church Headquarters had not changed my departure date from the 10th of April. I was able to get a note from the doctor releasing me from physical therapy, and left three days later, having only a day’s notice that I was really going to the MTC as scheduled.

Remembering these things caused me to really see all the miracles in my life, and to see all the blessings that I have received. In one of the hardest times of my life, not knowing what was going to happen, I could only cling to the Lord and tell Him that I know and have faith that everything will be alright with my knee. I had faith that I could be healed, knowing full well that if I was supposed to stay home for a little longer, that was what was supposed to happen. When I heard that my dad had just had a heart attack, I didn't know how everything was going to work out. And when I gave Dad and Pili the last hug I would give them for 2 years, I still didn't know for sure if that was going to be the last time.

Now, I'm here in Denmark, watching Conference with a wonderful daughter of God who is a little lost right now, needing all the love from our Heavenly Father that she can get, watching her really think about what the Lord needs her to hear. It became very apparent, when the Lord spoke to us through Ældste Holland about depression and members and missionaries working together, that I am in the right place and everything did work out for the best.

I know this church is true. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and no matter what, it will happen. I know that I am supposed to be here in Frederiksberg, Denmark, serving the Danish people for a reason. I know that the Lord loves us all individually and infinitely. How great is our calling as members of the church to spread this message of love and adoration to the world?! How great is it that we can, and will be able to, live with our Heavenly Father again?! How great is it that we know that there are prophets and apostles today, and we are able to hear the Lord through them?! This is the message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is who we are. Sons and daughters of God need to share His message with everyone. Take away the title and the badge. We are all the same. Missionary work is the work of this church, and of our God.

jeg elsker dig go jer hav det godt og vi ses til næste uge. (I love you and all the best until next week.)

Med Kærlig Hilsen (With love)

Ældste Madsen

Thrust in Your Sickle and Reap (September 30, 2013)

Moving the Work in Denmark (October 14, 2013)