Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 65

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I definitely missed the turkey dinner and the post dinner food coma. But that's ok. Our thanksgiving day was special.....All of our appointments fell out. It took everything I had within me to just get outside and do something even though we literally had nothing to do. We went to visit an investigator but she wasn't home.
We had a Christmas themed zone training.
The zone leaders and I had matching sweaters...precious...
So I told Sister Bray that we were going to do some street contacting down this one street. I told her we ould talk to everyone who passed us and we would take turns. We talked to EVERYONE for like 4 blocks. People were pretty rude. I was having such negative thoughts. I just wanted to be home having thanksgiving dinner with my family, not walking in the cold talking to mean people. But then we saw a bank. We found someones credit card on the street earlier so we walked that way to return it. The very last person we contacted before we went in the bank took a Book of Mormon and we got her number. She also really wants to meet with us again. Sweet!
Our lovely district!
Then we were hungry so we went to this pizza place and ordered some fries. While we were waiting...we got talking to the worker there and we ended up giving him and his friend a Book of Mormon and we got his contact info. Plus they gave us our fries for free! Awesome!
This little experience was just a reminder to me that God is aware of our work. He knows when we are working diligently and He will bless us for it. I really felt like God was watching out for us and we were definitely not alone on the streets that day.
After Transfer calls! Woohoo!
We had transfer calls on saturday. Are you ready for the crazy news of the transfer. Well actually this transfer call was so boring. Like, literally nothing changed! They didn't call a new sister training leader for the Dortmund zone. We were all confused and then president called me right after transfer calls. He told me that I would be the STL for both Düsseldorf and the Dortmund zone. ha....ha.....Oh boy I thought things couldnt get any crazier after last transfer calls. I am actually really excited to be able to get to know even more sisters! It will definitely be an adventure!
I got to go on a split this week with Sister Hall! She is training in her third transfer! so legit!!!
Well I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Sister Madsen

Week 64

This week has been really good.
We have been keeping busy here in the Dirty D.
Christmas market in Duisburg!!!
We found 4 new investigators this week.....of course they were all for other missionaries. But that's ok!
Guess who's back in the Dirty D??? Simon Hallman!!!! We served together in Dortmund!
 I had MLC again this week in Frankfurt.
On the way to Frankfurt for MLC with the Zone Leaders
I traveled with the Sister Training Leader from the Dortmund zone, Sister Jefferies. She is seriously one of the nicest people I have ever met. We left early friday morning and made the journey to Frankfurt. Then we got home late that night. It was a long day and we were pretty pooped by the end.
Travel buddies! Elder Bruneel, Elder Nelson, and Sister Jefferies
While I was at MLC, Sister Bray led her first split in Duisburg. She was with another golden and they did such a good job. I didnt even worry about them the whole day because Sister Bray is such a boss!
Sister Bray and I at the Duisburg Weihnachts market
We have such great members here. One of the YSA is preparing for her mission and she came with us one afternoon to teach an investigator. Another day we went with our Relief Society president to visit a member in our ward. Our Relief Society president is an amazing woman. I learned a lot from her in just those short few hours that we were together.
After our Haribo purchases on Pday!
We also went to the Haribo factory for pday. So much fun!!! We walked in and the smell of sugar just like hit us. SO MUCH HARIBO!!! I loved it! I bough like a kilo of candy. SAWEET!
In the Haribo factory! aka Heaven
I am doing pretty good! I love it here in duisburg. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve at this time. There are people in Germany prepared to hear this gospel!
Some cute girls we are teaching. They put our name tags on
I love you all! I hope you have a fantastic week!!!!

Sister Madsen

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 63

This week has been pretty good. The work is really starting to pick up here in Duisburg. Sister Bray and I have seen a lot progress just in a short 7 days. We were able to meet with some investigators and to continue to get to know the ward better.

My favorite store!! Primark!! woohoo!
There have just been many moments this week where I really felt that God was looking out for us. We have had a lot of teaching opportunities and I am so grateful that the Lord is helping us move the work forward here.

Split pic with Sister Bunderson!
We had another split this week. I was with Sister Bunderson. She is brand new on her mission. But she is so legit. Her German is so good! Holy cow! She is totally rockin' it here in Germany. We had a really good split and it was good to get to know her a little better!

At the street display in Kleve!
We also went to a steet display in Kleve on Saturday. Some elders from our district had one and we went to help out. Kleve is really close to the Netherlands so there were a lot of people speaking Dutch. I would contact someone and then they would start talking and it kind of sounded German but definitely wasn't. It is kind of funny sounding too. Like durpdedoodledurpdeeda.....haha

The Duisburg missionaries!
I am so grateful to be serving here in Duisburg. I have never felt more that this is WHERE I am supposed to be WHEN I am supposed to be here. It is a really good feeling and makes me want to work even harder!

I love you all! I hope you have a great week!

Sister Madsen

Week 62

Another week in Duisburg! aka....the Dirty D. Ok I am not going to lie this city is not the prettiest thing I have ever seen. But I really do love it here!

We love Duisburg!!!
We spent most of the week visiting members. A few families invited us over for dinner. It was really nice to get to know them better. Transportation here is so special at night so if we don't plan our trips home than we get home kind of late. Example: We met with a member from the ward with the elders. Elder Meinhardt said that they normally drive us to the bahnhof afterwards. Well it was about 20 min to 9 and the members were need to hurry and catch the bus. We were like...what the?? So we hurried to the bus stop and saw that no buses come this late. So we wondered through the city trying to find a bus stop. We found one and waited for 30 min. Then we went to bahnof and waited another 30 min for a train. Then we got back to Duisburg and had to wait another 20 min for our 20 min bus ride home. We got home kind of late......oops.....we all learned our lesson. 

Waiting for our train at like 10:30pm.......ugh.....
I also went on a split with Sister Funk this week. She is so awesome!! She has only been on her mission for like 8 weeks but I kept thinking that she had been out for like 8 months! Holy cow! We had fun getting lost in Duisburg. Oh the joys of opening an area......
On my split with Sister Funk with the Dirty Bird in the background....
We also had our very first appointment with an inveastigator here in Duisburg. We literally just went through our area book and called every former investigator. And we met with someone!! woohoo!

Sister Bray and I feel like we finally have our heads on straight. This first week was kind of crazy but we set some really good goals and we have a lot to work to do.
I made a Dirty D dance at Duisburg Hauptbahnhof...
...Sister Bray thinks I'm weird.
I still cannot believe I am here in Duisburg. I am definitely being stretched and learning a lot about what I can do on my own. It has slash is continuing to be a learning experience! FOR SURE!! Well.....Sister Bray and I are going to hit up the exciting city of Düsseldorf for pday today! Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love you!
Sister Madsen

Week 61

What a week it has been!! AHHHHHHHHHHH! Absolutely nuts!
On the bus ride to Frankfurt!
I had a couple days to say goodbyes in Nürnberg. Then on wednesday Sister Wahlquist, Elder Smith, and I made our way to Frankfurt. We had a dinner with all the new missionaries and the trainers and then the trainers had a meeting. Then we got to stay in the hotel that night. 
At the pairing meeting....soooo scary!!!
 The next morning we had our pairing meeting. I was paired with Sister Bray. She has been living in Singapore for the last 4 years. She is an opera singer and has the most beautiful soprano voice. We have a lot in common....such as a love for cheetah print. It's great! After we got paired we went to Frankfurt hauptbahnhof and just kind of waited around until everyone left. 
Sister Bray and I at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof.

Then a group of us sisters, who had to stay in Frankfurt because we had MLC the next day, took all of our luggage to the stake center. Of course after the 30 min journey.....I realized that I left one of my suitcases at bahnhof....oops. So two sisters came with me and the zone leaders drove us back to get my suitcase. But we ended up just running errands with the frankfurt zone leaders all day. 
Driving around with the Frankfurt zone leaders all day
 Haha.....then we came back and went to the testimony meeting of the leaving missionaries. It was super weird! It is sad when all your mission friends start going home. That night we had 9 sisters sleeping at the Frankfurt sisters apartment. The next day...the Sister Training Leaders went to MLC. That left 5 goldens left alone in Frankfurt. Oh boy....bless their hearts. 
All the sisters that stayed in the Frankfurt sisters apartment
MLC was really good. It was great to be taught from President. I feel a little inadequate to be a STL but I am excited for the adventure. 
MLC pic...sorry kind of blurry
 We then took a bus from Frankfurt to Düsseldorf. The zone leaders took all of our luggaage to Duisburg in their car and Sister Bray and I went by train to meet the Duisburg elders. They showed us how to get to our apartment. We didn't get home until about midnight. We were just a little tired......ok...exhausted. But we finally made it Duisburg.
Finally in Duisburg!!
 I really do love it here!!! Maybe it's true that it is butt ugly but the ward is awesome!!! I am so excited to get to know all the members! Sister Bray and I are still just trying to learn our way around the city. Elder Meinhardt has been awesome and been showing us around. We have a lot of appointments with members this week! Should be good. This ward loves sisters! Thank goodness!!!

Elder Meinhardt and Elder Ward...the Duisburg Elders!!!
Surprisingly.....I have been really at peace since I got here in Duisburg. I know this is where I am supposed to be. I feel really in control emotionally which is surprising me (considering that maybe I had an emotional breakdown in Frankfurt). It reminds me of when I was in the MTC and I just felt really good which didn't make sense to me. I know that the Lord is sustaining me. Even though I have recently a lot of new responsibilities I know that the Lord will help me. I am excited to get work done here! We are going to see miracles in Duisburg!

Outside the church in Duisburg!!
I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Madsen

Week 60

Well we had transfer calls on Saturday and I bet you are all dying to know what's happening!!!

Some goodbye pics from my last Sunday in Nürnberg!
 So, Sister Wahlquist is training here in Nürnberg.
I will be training in Duisburg and opening the area again for sisters. Oh and I was called as sister training leader. Talk about stress!!! I have never been so physically ill because of stress before haha

Elder Ward was also transferred to Duisburg and he will be my district leader haha! We have been serving together in Nürnberg for the last 4 months.  Elder Nelson from feucht is the ZL in Düsseldorf so I will be working with him!  Sister Fowlke and Sister Hamner are training as well!!

We have 13 new sister coming into the mission.

I am really excited to finally know where I will be serving and it will probably be my last area on my mission! Weird! But I am so nervous to open an area. I have know idea what I am doing and on top of it I have to train a golden. I'm excited for the adventure! I'm kind of stressed but I am really looking forward to serving in Dusiburg. Maybe Duisburg has the nickname of the Dirty D because it is the ugliest city in the mission. haha
but I don't care!

I saw this really weird bike seat cover on the walk to church
 This last week I went on a split in coburg with sister goodrich. It's weird because my very first split in Coburg was in January! And that was my last split there. It was fun to be with Sister Goodrich and she made me try a famous "Coburger" for the first time! Delicious!

Coburgers with Sister Goodrich.
 Sister Wahlquist and I found out that we would be training on Friday. We had to wait until Saturday to see who was staying in Nürnberg and who was going. Man....Friday was a really long day!!! But we made it to transfer calls. Then we made our way to Schwabach to help the Feucht missionaries with a street display.

Freezing at our street display in Fürth!
 Then we had a street display in Fürth. It was freezing and raining that day so we didn't see too much success. But we got to chill with Elder Lidgren for the afternoon. He always gives us some good marriage advice haha!

I got to see Nani at the street display in Schwabach!!!!
 I am really looking forward to the changes this week. Even though they may be really big changes. I feel a little inadequate for what is ahead of me but I know that I have felt this way in the past and the Lord has always carried me and I always have made it out ok. I may not feel too confident in my abilities right now but I am confident in the Lord and that He will help me.

We went to Rothenburg for pday again! Good times
 Well I hope you all have a woderful week! I love you!

Sister Madsen

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 59

This week has been all about having patience for crazy people. 
Found this sign in Erlangen!
I know I know.....I feel like I write every week about how we deal with so many crazy people, but this week put me over the edge. Sister Wahlquist and I were in an appt with an investigator. She was going OFF about Ebola.....and who knows what. I turned to Sister Wahlquist and just gave her this look of "I can't really do this right now." Luckily she knows me pretty well and started leading the discussion. I am thankful for Sister Wahlquist. She has been really patient with me as I have been learning to be patient with others. Oh life lessons......
Sister Wahlquist and I had matching scarves for the day!
I have some funny stories for the week though:
Saturday we went and helped with a street display in Erlangen. 
This was the display right across from our street display. As they were building their tent we asked them what their display was about and they were like "you won't like it." and that's all they said haha
On the way home we got some lunch and I got some Chinese noodles in like one of those Chinese take out boxes. On the Bahn ride home Sister Wahlquist and I fell asleep HARD. The girl sitting across the way from us was out too. Then all of a sudden we here a loud sound. I was so asleep that I dropped my takeout box of noodles. A few noodles spilled. All three of us woke up, looked at the noodles, and went back to sleep. HAHA so funny! On Sunday a member came up to Sister Wahlquist and I and told us that we looked like we needed about 3 more hours of sleep. about 20? haha!
Caroline, a member, came teaching with us on her day off from work! She is so awesome!!!
Love these ladies!!! Vvivian is from Portugal and Caroline from Kenya. We have too much fun together!
Overall, I am doing pretty good. Being a missionary is awesome! Sometimes just the weirdest things happen to you. Sometimes you are dead tired but still the happiest you've ever been in your life. I love it! 
Some members from Feucht visited the Nürnberg ward on Sunday!
We had ward conference on Sunday and it was wonderful. They talked a lot about serving others. And how when we serve others we are showing our love as well. I am so grateful for this time I have to serve and to show God how much I love Him and this gospel. 
The missionaries in Nürnberg got a "comp" item last pday. The elders have matching sweaters and the sisters matching sweaters. Here's the Nürnberg missionaries.....Lindgrens included!
Elder Allen, Elder Ward, Elder and Sister Lindgren, Me, and Sister Wahlquist
I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!
Sister Madsen

Week 58

This week has been really special. I was pretty sick for the first half of the week and then Natürlich Sister Wahlquist got sick. So we have just been the sicky companionship. Really special....But everyone is getting sick right now. Hard to avoid.

Livin' the life
Last pday we had a sisters pday. We went with Sister Gardner and Sister Ferris to lunch at Vapianos. Delicious! Then we went shopping a little bit and then came back to hang out with the elders at the church. I love sister pdays! That night we taught FHE but I was so congested that I could barely breath. Oh German sounded so......not German. haha
Sisters pday!!!
My brother went into the MTC this week! Oh my goodness! I have been thinking about hime all week. I literally told everyone I saw on wednesday that my brother went into the MTC. We had district meeting and Elder Boam was like does anyone have any announcements. I was like yes I brother went into the MTC today!!! WOOOOOHOOOOO!!! I even wore the same shirt that I wore when I went into the MTC in honor of him! 
The day Elder Madsen went into the MTC. notice the shirt.....
We met again this week with our investigator who can only speak greek and turkish. He has ok English but it's not good enough to teach him. So we teach him using google translate. Technology is amazing! He is making so much progress and he plans on being baptized when he returns to Istanbul in December! He came to our ward activity on Friday and a member who served her mission in Greece talked to him in Greek. I was so grateful and he was so happy to be able to speak greek with someone.

We had dinner with Jens and Sabrina on Sunday. They were sealed in the temple last week! Love them!
So yes....we had a ward activity this week. The theme was fall the church was decorated all fall..ish. I loved it! We had three investigators there. Awesome! Bishop taught everyone how to country line dance.....which is funny because he's german. I so wish I could have joined in haha! Let the Americans show them how to country dance haha! Overall it was a really good activity!

Country dancing at the ward activity
Having Chandler enter the MTC has made me think a lot about my time in the MTC. It seems so long ago but also time has gone by so quickly. I feel like I have changed so much since then. I am so excited to see the progress and growth of Elder Madsen! I am so proud of you Chan!!!

Well I hope you all have a great week! Love you!
Sister Madsen