Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 11

I think the build up to P-days are better than the day itself.

This is my friend Elaura and I on one of our last days in the MTC.
I was hosting one wednesday and she came off the bus so I got to host her.
So glad we were in the MTC at the same time :)
Sister Kearl and I cleaned this morning and then we both just slept in our beds for like 2 1/2 hours. So exciting.....I know. We were getting ready today and she had her ipod playing and then a song started playing and I was like "I think that's my mom singing." Yep sure enough!! It was my mom. I think it was a Kenneth Cope song. Sister Kearl was like "who would've thought that my future companion's mom was on my ipod all this time." haha! Look at that!

Last P-day we went to my very first German Castle. It was the Burg Altena about 45 min from Dortmund. It reminded me of Harry Potter. It was huge! Everything was closed in it though. Apparently everything is closed on Mondays in Germany. What the?! We went with a few other elders from our zone. It was fun even though I had to hike up there in a skirt....
....special times!

Made it to the castle!
The Group!
This week we also had zone training. It was good to see some of the missionaries that were in my MTC group. I was glad to see they were still alive haha! We talked a lot about how we have been sent to Germany for a reason and it wasn't just random. I've been thinking about that lately. Sister Kearl and I weren't going to go to the castle last Monday because the trip was put together last minute and we had other plans but we decided to go. I am so grateful I went! I was reminded how BEAUTIFUL Germany is. Looking around me, I felt so grateful to be serving here! 
I know I am here for a reason. 

View from the castle.
So German people are very interesting. I love them to death! But they are hilarious. There's this lady in the ward.....let's just say she reminds me of the principal in Maltida.......such a stereotypical German woman! haha She offered to take Sister Kearl and I home from an appt she was at also. We were a little nervous because let's be honest, we were afraid.

The drive home was the scariest thing of my life. she kept swearing and swerving everywhere. She would talk to us and if we didn't answer immediately she would get mad at us and start talking to us in German. (I've noticed a lot of Germans are like that. If you don't immediately respond to a question they automatically assume you don't understand or you are stupid. It's just the best feeling in the world......) anyways......I was super grateful she drove us home but I was even more grateful to be out of her car.

Setting up.
Sister Kearl, Sister Vermillion, and I at the street display.
This week I also had my first street display. We did it on Family History. We passed out balloons that said "Ich liebe Familie" so precious....... It was so cold! but I had a good experience :) It was neat to see a sea of people with our red balloons walking around. 

Just singing on the street.
Street display
I've decided that I am sick of German food. So the bread and chocolate are good but that's about it!! Everything tastes the same and it is always like cabbage, potatoes, and some kind of meat. They have no spices here either. Cooking has been kind of difficult. New goal: don't count chocolate as a meal! haha! Oh boy......I want cafe rio and corn dogs.....'Merica.......

Apparently, it's a big deal when a missionary eats his or her first Döner...
(some turkish thing....kind of like a pita). So this is me eating my first one!

The gang watching me eat my first Döner.
Can I just brag about my companion for a second.......I LOVE Sister Kearl. I have seriously been blessed with the best companion!! We will just start talking about random things at night and then look at the clock and it's10:30 pm and we're like "I guess I'll just write in my journal tomorrow haha." She is so sweet and will just make me crepes for breakfast. That's fine! It can be really stressful out here but it is such a relief to have a companion you can get along with! It's interesting that you can tell with other elders and companionships when they don't get along. I am so lucky!!!

I love my companion :)
She shared a quote with me yesterday: When you pray for other God listens to you and blessed them and sometimes when you are safe and happy remember someone has prayed for you. I love that! I fell very blessed! I am so grateful for all the prayers said in my behalf. I can really feel the power in my service as a missionary. I've been thinking a lot about prayer lately (if you haven't noticed- there's a lot of time to think on your mission haha). Sister Kearl and I were on a train and we were late for an appt and we were lost. We prayed that the next stop would be the right stop for us. 
It ended up that it was! I was thinking.....
...if we didn't pray that would have happened anyways. 

So why pray? 

I have been reading "Jesus the Christ" (oh my goodness....changing my life....if you haven't read it...start right now - shamless plug) and Talmage says "though the sun shines and the rain falls alike upon the just and the unjust, the righteous man is grateful for these blessings; the ungodly man receives the benefits as a matter of course with a soul incapable of gratitude." Deep stuff......but I've noticed that as I have been praying more than I've ever in my life that I am more aware of the blessings in my life. I am more aware of how God makes things happen for me. I am more grateful. It has truly been an eye opening experience. Prayer is an amazing gift. 
We can pray to God no matter how rich, educated, or worthy we are!

Sometimes it's freezing and you wear tights and leggings and socks and
your grandma shoes and you don't even care what you look like.....
Love you all!! Thank you for your prayers and emails! It means a lot to me :)
Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sister Madsen

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