Monday, March 31, 2014

The Rolling Fields of Randers - 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.

Well, this week was really great. We had a good day on Tuesday, going around working with a ton of the less active members of the church. Not too many were home, but we gave them the letters and we actually have a part member family that we visited on that day show up in church. It was great. Just going to say it now, Randers is still a branch but the ward status is coming.

Anyway, Thursday we had a great district meeting. We learned about and discussed the importance of meaningful, random service. Out district is really awesome. We have some really good missionaries in the area. But we actually had a really good discussion from the chapters of Alma 17 through 20, talking about Ammon and his service and what happened because of his work ethic and his courage. We have all seen how the more and more we serve people, the more and more people trust us and our message. That makes it much better to teach and understand.

I don’t know if I told you yet, but J** took his whole family to Herning branch to surprise the missionaries. They stayed for the full two hours over there. I heard it went really well. J** also wrote me to tell me it was a really nice thing to receive there. For a while it was getting really hard to work for him, when it seemed like we were getting taken advantage of. But in the end, after digging all those holes and putting in at least 5 hours of service a week, he went to church to have big open arms to greet him. After we heard about that, we decided to go and try to follow the example of the scripture to fast and find those people looking for the truth, or God, or had need of service. So we fasted for a full day in the middle of our week as a district.  It was great to really think about everything on that day.

We had a great opportunity to meet with C**. He was so much fun. When we walked in with the member that we brought with us, it was like a family reunion. They just talked and talked, and had some many good things to talk about. And at the end, we all just had a testimony meeting. It went very well. Even though he is less active, he has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. He just feels guilty. He says he loves the church, he loves the people, but when he goes to church it makes him think of the covenants he has made, and it’s hard for him. I told him that guilt is a tool Satan uses. Yes, the guilt will come sometimes, but Satan enhances that and makes it feel so bad, to the point where you feel hopeless, and then you don't even go to church because you’re not feeling worthy. In reality, to take steps back to our Heavenly Father, we need to go through and taste a little bit of the bitter cup. Christ drank it all for us. But it’s not easy, it never was easy, and I don’t think it will ever be, but I know that when you start to take those steps to coming back, you will see that the Lord is there right beside you. C** has some things that are going to be changing here. He says that he will be getting married pretty quick, and that it will be easier for him to attend church. I think that's what it will take. He is a great guy and really knows that what he has done in his life to follow Christ is very significant. And that is true. The things we covenant with our Father are true.

Well after that we were able to go with Elder Hicks and talk to a man who lives almost on the edge of our area. His name is T** Madsen. He is great. Not related to us, but it was way fun to talk family history with him. Anyway, he has a huge coin collection, which was way cool. He is doing great. Kind of just stuck in his ways, but one day. He likes to meet, so I think we will make another appointment with him.

The rolling fields of Randers, Denmark
Better light, less gut. It's because my shirts are so
big.... maybe...They feed me really good food here!
We had a good opportunity to spend the greater part of Saturday with our branch president who has a son playing football (American). He is way fun to talk to. Anyway, the branch president hurt his back a couple of months ago and has not been able to do the burning of the dead trees and stuff around his property, so we went and helped him. Its was way fun. I really enjoyed it. We were able to cut down 15 trees and then drag them down this steep, steep hill. Pretty much we had to just jump because the hill was so steep, and just drag the 30 foot trees down, haha! I felt like such a boss. Then we got to the point where we would just throw the trees down the rest of the hill. It was great. I also didn’t realize until after, but my knee didn’t even hurt at all, and it held up the whole time. I would say that is a very good thing. I feel so blessed right now. It's very humbling to think that it’s almost back to normal. I am still going easy on it.

Really good week. E** came to church and loved it. He loves the fact that we can discuss what we feel, and learn not just from one person coming up and telling everyone his one sided view. That’s one thing I have come to really appreciate; the power that comes from hearing others and learning from them. The power of the testimony of another person.

Mom, I love you and want you to know that I am very happy to be here in Denmark. I am grateful for the package. I probably won't get it until Thursday, but thank you. I can’t wait. I hope you will all have a safe week and have fun. Love you.

 Med Kaerlig Hislen,

 AEldste Madsen

Food, food, food.... (March 24, 2014)

General Conference (April 7, 2014)