Monday, June 8, 2015

Exchanges, iPads, Bashers, Bikes, and that's just 2 MONTHS! - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish. 

Bike Week!
So how does if feel... you will never be a mom with kids in high school again?? Surreal, I bet.

So we are currently standing outside the library (it doesn't open for 20 more minutes) bumming off their wifi and huddled around a trash can while emailing home for just a bit... gotta love the mission life. We are emailing and then we have service for a couple hours, and then I will be back to finish up emailing later on today.

So this week was just packed full of stuff. We got iPads on Thursday... it's weird. So we have/get to use Facebook so if you see me on it, don't think I am apostate :) It's really convenient and also very scary at the same time. Now I actually have to worry about being robbed. I think I liked it better when I had nothing valuable. :) At first I was terrified when I heard we were getting iPads because I know what a distraction they can be. But then I realized that having an iPad on the mission where I am in a more structured environment will help me to learn how to better use my technology when I get home. So really it's just a scary blessing in disguise. We still have lots of training to do with them, but it's great because we have already shown some "Mormon Messages" to investigators.

On Monday we found out that we were doing exchanges on Wednesday, and I WAS NOT HAPPY!! Because, not only would I have a new companion who have no idea about any place in the area, but she didn't know any Spanish, other than the usual, "hola, bien, adios" that everyone knows. So I was in charge of the area for the day. Plus, it was bike week, which was probably good because I don't have a license or know the area as well as a I need to. So that meant that all the Hispanics we teach would be listening to my broken, conjugated can imagine the stress!

We turned out only having time for a couple lessons and one was in English. The Spanish one was with a guy we had previously contacted the week before but had never taught. Once we got there and started to talked to him, we found out very quickly that he was just trying to Bible Bash... but in Spanish... So I am only picking up about a quarter of what he is saying, and he is talking about the marks of the devil and how he is a prophet for his family and he doesn't need a religion... So, what do we do in a situation like that?! Testify of truth and leave. So I started to testify to him how I know that there is a prophet and that Christ's church is restored on the earth, and that I know that Joseph Smith was the chosen prophet for the restoration. The guy made this face like he was appalled at what I just said and went off for ten more minutes.... yeah, so I just told him that we would come back in the next few days when Herman Ponce is with me and we can answer his questions. Yeah... exchanges...

So we ended up going back on Saturday and talking with him. Well he was more talking AT US, but whatever. It was pretty much the same thing, him just telling us that sometimes when we think we have answers from God the devil can heal. I actually really felt bad for this guy because he was so set in his ways and wasn't willing to just listen with an open heart. Well, I felt bad for him up until the point when he cut me off in my testimony... not once, but for the second time telling me I was wrong for saying that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and is also the word of God. There were many times I just wanted to shake him and testify of truth, but I could tell the Spirit had left and it was just an argument. We cannot teach without the Spirit. So we had him say the final prayer and invited him to go to church the next day, then just left it at that. I was honestly thinking I would never see that guy again.

Then Sunday... Fast and Testimony meeting, and guess who is sitting on the back row?! Mr. Strong Beliefs, himself. We were freaking out. He ended up staying for all three hours of church, and I couldn't think of anything except how horrible it would be if he stood up and started to contradict the teachers in Gospel Principles Class with all the investigators there ... but he didn't.

I learned a lot from that experience. I think my testimony was strengthened in the simple truths of the gospel, and I think I also learned to never argue. That is probably why I am called to a mission where I speak a different language and don't have the words to argue. But I was definitely humbled from that experience.

I know that this is the ONLY church on earth that is lead and directed by Jesus Christ himself, and it will never be corrupted. That is the beauty of the Priesthood. I know that He directs the church through President Thomas S. Monson, and I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father AND his Son, Jesus Christ, in the grove of trees that Day in 1820. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for me in the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as for the rest of humanity. This is the church that is going help us return to our Father in heaven. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, Amen.

Hermana Maren Madsen

P.S. Since it's bike week, I thought I would give you the tally of road kill we saw on our bikes:

Snakes/Boa Constrictors: 3
Armadillos: 2
Raccoon Carcass: 1

I love the south.. :)

And I Love you Mom!

Eventful Week (June 1, 2015)