Monday, August 10, 2015

Miracles and Transfer Calls - 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.

So we have had the strangest week. It's so cool to see how the Lord works in his own time. To start off the week, we went to a Noche De Hogar (Family Home Evening) at one of the families' houses in our ward. They fed us twice! I felt bad because both my companions were so full of food to the point that they were in pain! Something must be wrong with me because I was just fine, I think I even had thirds... Man, this Mexican food just goes right through me! What a blessing, the more rice the better :) Then Tuesday morning during studies we got a call from the AP's (Assistants to the President)..... (Getting a call from them is always scary!) and sure enough the news was horrible. Hermana Hudson was extended the call to follow up train. So that meant that for sure our trio was going to be split up... Yeah que triste. But all we could do was wait to hear from transfer calls on Monday (this morning) what was going to happen.

So Wednesday we had Zone Meeting and it was just as inspiring as usual. The Spanish Sister Training Leaders drove over from Russelville, Arkansas to "blitz" our area for a couple days... And yes, once again there were 7 sisters in our apartment. But is was super fun. Also very inspired! The first "exchange" was Hermana Lewis, Hermana Hudson, and I. We went to Sa** and Ma** house. The lesson started out the way they usually do as Sa** tells us stories and we listen. But we started getting into deeper stuff and the mood started to change. Then all of a sudden Hermana Lewis started whipping out these scriptures and using the "ignorance is bliss exchange freebie" and started asking Sa** deeper questions to get a feel for her testimony. It was cool to see how much I could learn from just one lesson with other missionaries. But we all started to address Sa**'s concerns and Hermana Hudson felt like she should invite her to baptism. (With Sa** it has always felt like we are forcing her to do it, and I just thought she was going to be an eternigator) but she started to tell us that she does want to get baptized and she knows she wanted to do it before we got transferred... Which was Wednesday the 12th.

It was very cool because Hermana Lewis asked her if she wanted to pray about this Saturday as the date for her to be baptized. She wanted to also know if she would be ready by this Saturday to be ready for this commitment. So we all knelt in prayer and asked specifically for those things. And after we said the prayer we kinda sat in silence. I continued to ask in prayer if Sa** could please feel something to help her know. The next thing we heard came from Sa**'s mouth... WOW.... And we both started to cry! She gave us three hugs and told us that she felt it all over body and she said she heard, "mark your calendar," so she was baptized on Saturday. It all happened so fast that I'm not even sure it has hit me yet. It was super cool because ten minutes after we said the prayer we started to plan and the first thing she did was turn to me ask me to say the talk, that was the only thing she knew she wanted! Man, I just like Sa** so much! I am so happy for her! And the best thing is that she is a member now and she has entered into that gate and now all she has to do is endure to the end. I told her that maybe she could go on a mission one day and find someone like her! Then she could understand our joy. Now we told her that we have to approve of the boy she marries. We keep trying to get her to talk to returned missionaries from the mission!

I see more and more how missions are like life prep! We are here to learn how to be member missionaries when we get home, how to develop charity for others (even those who don't want it), learn how to handle rejection, understand agency, to learn how to have effective study and grow to love and cherish that sacred time we do get to search the doctrine. We get to learn how to budget our money, and live by the Spirit. We have our companions to help us understand what marriage might be like, and we have our investigators (our children) to develop teaching tactics, and understand the different personalities and different learning styles. And last but not least, to strengthen our testimonies stronger than we ever thought possible. The only way I could do that is to be here on a mission. It makes me sad to see when it isn't taken advantage of. Some missionaries who come out here tend to leave learning many new things and yeah, even changing a little bit, but unfortunately slip back into the same person they were before...maybe just with a memory of being a missionary. It's easy to see the different types out here, and it makes me so sad to see those who maybe didn't put their whole heart into it. Thinking about all that makes me reflect on who I am as a missionary. Am I one of those who looks and acts like a devoted disciple of Christ, who proudly wears that mantel and takes the acceptance of my call seriously? Well, I know what to strive for, because I know that exact obedience brings forth miracles. I finally feel like I am getting to that point of losing myself in the work! And it feels great!

So this morning we found out that both my companion will be going to the other side, so that means I will be taking over the area.... I am super nervous but I know the Lord will stretch me as far as it takes for sculpting... Sad to see my companions go... My Spanish is ever so slowly developing, but it seems like it will never stop being a struggle though. I feel like I can understand most people if I concentrate really hard. So if something distracts me I have no idea what is going on. But I still can see the progress. Also, we really don't speak too much Spanish in the house because we live with two ASL (American Sign Language) sisters, so it's hard to talk when they don't know what's going on. It's sad, but poco a poco. Love you, Mom!

Love, Hermana Madsen

Holy cow, Kolby and Hannah are going to be married the next time I email.... Santa vaca! And Sabrina will almost be in college! What in the world! Well, send me pictures and enjoy the family!

Doctrinal Slaps to the Face  (August 3, 2015)

Reflection  (August 17, 2015)