Monday, June 9, 2014

Journey of Life - 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.

This week we had some great things happened. We received a great referral from the sister missionaries in Alborg. They said that he was very nice, wants a Book of Mormon, but and that he's a little argumentative. Then they said good’s always fun to get one like this.

So, we went to contact him after something fell through (I can’t remember exactly what it was, but felt like we should go to talk to him then). When we knocked on the door, he let us in and said he wanted the book and had some questions. Every question he asked was just heading toward a heated discussion. For example, "What is that big church building in Salt Lake City?" We told him it was a temple.  He asked why only members of our church can go in. So we told him everyone welcome to come to our churches, and those who have gone through the steps of faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost are all welcome to come into the temple to make covenants with our Heavenly Father.

Elder Howland didn't want to get up from the floor, but here he is!
Then he asked, "Why does your church get to be a part of the covenants and my church doesn't?" We told him that he could one day go to the temple, if he chose to take the steps God asks.

He then asked why our leaders are the only ones aloud in the middle of the temple. We explained that our apostles and prophet go to the temple to do the same thing that we do when we go to the temple; to worship God and remember the covenants they have made with Him.

Then he asked, "Why are your leaders the ones who get to choose who does and does not enter the temple?" At that precise moment, the thought came to show him the baptismal questions in the planner....the ones we use to conduct a baptismal interview. So I took out my planner and said, "Here you go. These are the questions we ask for baptism. They are the exact same questions we ask for the temple, except you are asked if you've been baptized in the temple interview."

After he read the questions he asked, "Oh, so I have to confess all my sins to your leaders and they will hold them against me?" We told him, "No, when you confess your sins, it's for the purpose of showing your repentance and willingness to change. The only person who ever hears about it is the person you talked to." Then I shared with him the experience I had with C** (the guy who was baptized 2 weeks ago). I told him that the things C** shared with me in his baptismal interview would never be shared with anyone. The Lord already knows about the things we've done in our lives. But when we want to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, in faith and with a willingness to confess, repent, and be clean of those wrong doings, the Lord forgives us. I told him, in all honesty, I can’t remember the things that C** told me before he was baptized because they are not important anymore. It was important for C** to recognize his sins, confess them to a servant of the Lord (happened to be me that day), and move forward. Those things are forgotten by the Lord and also by me.

In that instant, this guy (K**) stopped asking questions in such a negative way. It seemed he changed from wanting to fight to wanting to understand. It was a very neat experience because he wants to meet tomorrow, and we are hoping to answer more questions and teach him the first lesson.

We also had the opportunity to meet with T** and V** this week, at his work. He works at a dairy farm. I was having flashbacks to the summer I spent with Zach and Todd and much fun. The way cool thing about this dairy farm is that everything was 100% automatic. The cows were milked four times a day, and they had these automatic floor scrubbers so it was not full of crap all the time. The milkers were robots. I should have taken pictures. No manual labor besides feeding, and the place cleaned itself.

While we were there, we heard this very weird "moo" from a cow. Granted, I've never been around that many cows before, but I've never heard a cow make that sound. After the weird moo sound, we heard this thud. I walked over to see what it was, and there was this baby calf laying on the ground with afterbirth all over! It was way gross, but the little guy was so cute. It started walking around after 5 minutes. That was probably the grossest thing I have ever seen. The cow had some weird bag thing hanging from it. Elder Hicks just laughed when he saw my face (he was a farmer back home).

Really great week. Way cool to observe the gift of life and the beginning of a man’s journey back to his Heavenly Father. I love it here. Elder Howland and I get along great. I have been so blessed with all of my companions on the mission. 

I hope you have a great week! I love you all. Have a fun and safe time out of school, and if you go to Hawaii or the Bahamas like last year, have fun. Haha! Anyway, love you all.

Med Kærlig Hislen,

Ældste Madsen

I Gotta Save Souls and Stuff (June 2, 2014)

Holy Days (June 16, 2014)