Monday, January 13, 2014

It Hailed on Us All the way Home - Elder Kolby Madsen

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

(Note to reader: Click on photos to enlarge them. Some names have been omitted for privacy.)


Well this week has been just amazing. We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and had the opportunity to talk to President Sederholm. He is just an amazing man. We talked about a lot of things, and the worry and stress was melted away by the spirit of our chat. Now I feel better than ever, and it was time to work.

This week we went to visit the less active member who lives about 7 miles away. We road our bikes to his house and had a great time with him. His only problem is that he lives with his girlfriend, and they can’t decide whether to get married in a Muslim church or a Latter-day Saint church.  I told him to get married in the Catholic church because it doesn’t matter where he gets married at this point. They can be worthy for baptism faster if they will just get married, then they can work toward the temple. So, it was a good little chat. She is a member of our church, but her family is Muslim and he is a Dane.

During our conversation, we asked him about his daughter who moved to the states at 18 and married in the temple to a returned missionary. Now she is back in Denmark, alone, with two kids. We asked if she needed anything and he said to pay her a visit, so we plan on doing that on Tuesday of this week.

Saturday brought some fun bike riding. We felt impressed to ride out to see S**. Usually we just get a ride form the Johansens, but it was late notice and we had to go then. He lives in a little town that is about 25 km away from our house, so we hoped on our bikes because we don’t have the luxury of a car or trains that go out there (that's the hardest part about this area). So 10 km into the trip, my tire goes flat. I filled it up with air and started to ride again, but 1 km later, out in the middle of nowhere, it's flat again. Luckily I had grabbed the tire repair kit the day before and put it in my bag. While on this highway where unfortunately they did not have bike path, I began to repair my tire, knowing that it was at least 6 km either direction to the city.

I tried to find the hole but couldn't, so it was getting frustrating. I began thinking to myself that maybe this was just a thought we had that we made out to be more than that. Then the thought came to my head, "Anything that is good is of God." I remembered how strong the feeling was to go see S** right then. In that instant, I looked down at the tire again and I saw the hole right in front of me. So we fixed it up, got the tube back in the tire, and got going.

Three hours later we got to S**'s house. Before knocking, we prayed to invite the Spirit to be with us and help us know what to say. When we knocked, he came out and the first thing he told us was that his wife (not a member of our church) was having heart problems and she was in bed. I asked him if she would like a blessing. He said that he had the same thought right as he saw us, but she would not want one. Then he asked us where the Johansen's car was, and we told him we rode our bikes. He just looked at us, and we said, "We don't mess around."

So, he invited us in for a soda. While we drank, he talked to us about his mission and his family. I asked how often he gets to see his daughters and he said, "You know, before it used to be every other week, but now they are older, so it's whenever it works for them." I just sighed and said I know how that feels. I was only 13 years old when I started to not see my dad that much. I told him that I was sorry and that I'd seen how it made my dad feel when I did that.

We talked more about random church things, then gave him a card from one of the members of our congregation. He'd wanted to speak with S** and the last number we'd had for him didn't work. When we gave him the card and he gave us his cell phone number. He told us to have a great evening and ride safe. He thanked us for coming by and told us it was cool because he didn't go to work because his wife wasn't feeling well, so he'd taken the day off.

On our way home, it hailed on us...the whole time! All we could do was laugh. For some strange reason, we enjoyed our 25 km ride home. Despite being soaking wet, we felt prompted to visit an old investigator about 5 km from home. As soon as we buzzed her door, she let us up. She opened the door and said, "Oh, hey, I thought you were someone else, and I'm leaving for a party, but come back next week sometime." We made an appointment for Tuesday, then we rode home.

By this time, it was 8 p.m., which means eating time since we hadn't eaten all day! Needless to say, it was the longest biking day ever, but more importantly, we got to talk to two people who needed us and the Lord knew that.

In church yesterday, right at the beginning, we had the typical nine people. Then a family showed up with three kids and a father, so we had 13 people who were not missionaries. I was feeling so inadequate, like we are working so hard and no one is coming. I decided right there we were going to work harder and just knock all day long, unless we have more of this taking off to visit less active members out of the blue...

So, we went to prepare for the Sacrament, and while sitting there getting ready to give our talks (sermons), President Amdi stood up and said, "Let them in." I looked back and there were people in the foyer. It was the daughter of the guy we'd gone to visit the day before with her two kids, and another family that we'd visited the previous week! Then more people we'd visited showed up. We had 26 people in church!! It was amazing.

I have learned a lot this week about patience and, more importantly, that this is the Lord's work, not mine. Things will happen in his time and in his way. We have been told through the prophets and through our local leaders that we need to help those that are lost find the truth, help those who haven't heard to hear the gospel, and to strengthen those who are already members of the church. I can't believe it took me so long to figure out, but I have and I am grateful. I've gained a testimony of that.

This is, indeed, God's work. It happens in his way and in his time. We are His humble servants. Christ never complained about the cross he literally had to carry. Why should I complain about not seeing the work progress like I want it to. Even in his darkest hour, when Christ asked if there was any other way, he still finished his mission, giving his life in complete submission to the Father's will. I know the Lord's way is the best and only way!

Love you all. Have a great week.

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Fireworks and Lessons Learned (January 6, 2014)

Mud (January 20, 2013)