Monday, August 3, 2015

Doctrinal Slaps to the Face - 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.

This week we went by so slow but extremely fast because it was jam packed! I forgot what time was like before my mission, and I realized how much time I wasted at home and also I am less sympathetic for people when they say that they don't have time. I understand that there are things to do and priorities, but even in missionary work, it's about making time count, and finding time for the most important things. Being a missionary is hard work, just because I am constantly nagged by my conscious if what I am doing is what the Lord wants me to do and if I am using my time wisely. And yet, I love every minute of it.

One of the many things I learned this week was how important prayer is (I know that it is important to pray, but I never understood why until I started recognizing my prayers as repetitive). I realized that I was viewing it more as a chore. But then I started to think that, "well ya know, if God is going to bless his children how he likes any way, why do I need to pray for every single one individually?" (thank goodness for True to the Faith). I got a doctrinal slap in the face! I was reading one morning during personal study and I decided to read about prayer, and it says in the first few paragraphs, "As you make a habit of approaching God in prayer, you will come to know Him and draw ever nearer to Him. Your desires will become more like His. You will be able to secure for yourself and for others blessings that He is ready to give you if you will but ask in faith" (and of course it goes on to offer more doctrinal slaps to the face).

So as I read that I thought about one of our investigators S** (the one that reminds me of Sabrina), and how she has been struggling to even know if God exists. So I shared that with her and now when I pray, I find it easier to be more focused and charitable as I think of the way if felt to sit ten feet away from Elder Bednar in Mexico in the CCM. Because that was one of the most real, intense feelings I have ever had. If I can channel that while I pray, I am able to have more sincere prayers.

Speaking of S**, the most amazing experience happened with her yesterday (Probably top five on my mission so far). We were in church and (S** has told us that she has never felt the Spirit in her life, or at least never recognized feeling the Spirit), and we were watching a video with the voice of Jefferey R. Holland narration. and it was a powerful video! I remember feeling the Spirit so strongly. But I could hear S** sniffling a little bit right next to me, and I was so happy!!! After the video was over, she turned to me and said, "that video made me cry" and to which I responded "because that is the Spirit........Can you still feel that?" And she started to cry even more as she choked out a "yes." So I told her that she should write down exactly how she was feeling so she would never forget it. It was just an amazing, tender mercy for me because I was able to experience that with her. I love the Holy Ghost so much!! What a merciful gift it is!? Just after we had that experience, I could see a difference in her. I am never going to forget that. How AMAZING this gospel is and how much it is going to change her life. I wish I could have written down how I felt the first time I recognized the spirit.

I know who my shepherd is, and I know what he did. Now all I have to do is follow those steps that he made. I love how much joy missionary work brings to the lives of others, S**, who need comfort in their lives.

Love you,  Mom!! Thanks for everything.

P.S. Transfers are coming up next week and we are all super nervous about it because we don't want to be split up. They can't split up the Bean Family!! Also, that was Hermana Ponce's trainer in that picture. Have Fun! (Also I was praying that whoever bought the house would know that it was theirs... cool answer to my prayer... God is so real, and I can't say it enough. All we need to do is follow Him). Te quiero, Mama.

Ain't Nobody Got Time to Build Sidewalks (July 27, 2015)

Miracles and Transfer Calls  (August 10, 2015)