Monday, February 23, 2015

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover - 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.

Hey Mor,

This week was great.  It started off with a bang.  We had some great things happen.  We were on splits in Holbæk with the elders up there, and we had the opportunity to give a baptismal interview to a family that got baptized on Saturday.  It was great!  They come from Albania, so we had to have the mom translate for the father, and the kids were younger, so we did them all at the same time. The best part was that every individual in the family answered differently to the same question.  They truly had their own testimony of the gospel.  It was one of the best and most powerful experiences I have been a part of. They are so great! They will be going to the temple in the next couple of weeks to start family work by doing baptisms for the dead. It's so great and inspiring.

This week, because we were not in our own area, we missed two days of work here. But it's okay because the Lord has blessed us so much. We had a great time finding this week. We were out banking (knocking doors) and we saw this house that looks like it is straight out of West Valley- eight cars on the lawn with three of them missing windows, and with trash and glass bottles everywhere. The first thing out of Elder Wrights mouth was, "You are knocking that. You are bigger than me. I am pretty sure that is a drug lord's home!" So, I did.

But, before I get into what happened, we had an extra two hours to fill our schedule and we needed to get some finding in. We had already knocked the majority of the Opgangs (apartment complex) in the area. So we looked in the bank bog (book) and found a house with a kom tilbage (come back) on it. We looked at where it was, and it was about 5 minutes away. I remember the area it was in, and it is an okay area for knocking. The only problem is that the majority of the area is very highly populated with people of the Islamic faith. Whenever I get into those areas, I feel as if I am a Jehovah's Witness in Utah, going around talking to people about God. But Muslims are very faithful in their religion and not really willing to talk or pray with us. So, I quickly said, "Let’s find another area."

We found this page that had a city written at the top and saw this one house that said "kom tilbage", so we looked it up on the map. It was a 30 minute drive from where we were, but we felt impressed to go. So we drove out there and knocked on the door of the only people who had been interested. The guy who lived there answered. He was smiling, but his eyes were whizzing back and forth 100 miles per hour, I had never seen that before. He said he was not interested, and I figured he was most likely high on something.

We knew we felt impressed to go out there, so we just continued to knock on all the doors. Then we saw the house with the cars, and it made me feel like I was in West Valley again. Elder Wright gives his famous speech, which I have titled, "Not me." Now we are back to that moment when we knocked on the door. The second the door opened, we both got a feeling a peace, and even though we had received the "Not me" speech, we were very excited to see what happened next. A woman opened the door, and a huge feeling of peace overcame us. We started the contact by telling her what church we represented and asked her if she had heard of it before. She said no, so we asked, "Do you believe in God?" She said yes. We then went on to talk about how our Heavenly Father (as we call Him) loves us so much that He has blessed us with many great blessings, one being our families. She stuck her hand out, waited for us to be quiet and said, "Come in!"

We walked into a very clean, organized house. She had us sit down and said, "One second," then she called for her kids to come down.  Her daughter came, then some of her grandchildren, then another daughter about our age, and then a brother our age. Then she asked us (in English) where we were from. We told her that we are from the USA. Then we asked her where she is from, and she said Bulgaria, but she has lived in Denmark her whole life. Then she tested our Danish and said that she is impressed with how well we can speak.

Well, we talked further about God and His love, and about prayer. Afterward, we prayed and she invited us back to eat dinner with them today. She wants us to teach her son and family. She said that their house outside is a mess because her husband just got a brain tumor while they were in the process of remodeling, so they have had a rough time finishing. But, she was happy to see that there are young people that care about religion. It was so great. I have yet again learned the valuable lesson of not judging a book by its cover. It was a great week! We are looking forward to eating with them tonight. You will see how it goes next week. Well, love you! Have a great week! Read D&C 18: "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God." Never forget that!

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Valentine's Day in Denmark (February 16, 2015)

Praying Specifically  (March 2, 2015)