Thursday, February 26, 2015

Week 76

I cannot believe that I am writing my last email as a missionary! 

Last pday we went and watched a parade in Düsseldorf! So many drunk people! Sketchy!!!
I never thought that when I made the decision to serve a mission that I was making a decision that would affect the rest of my life. But it was the best decision I have ever made. My mission will forever be a part of me. I will never forget the people I met and served with or the experiences I had. 

Saying goodbye to my favorite Relief Societ President I have ever worked with!
Sister Hassely!
Last transfer call breakfast!
I am excited to see you all again!
Thank you for supporting me the past 18 months!

Maybe Sister Heywood and I had a week of dealing with rude germans....
I abmelded from the country which means I am good to go back to America! Huzzah!
I want to end with sharing my testimony. 

I know that God lives! He is our Heavnely Father and He has a plan for us. I have never felt that so strongly than on my mission. He knows us personally and wants what is best for us. He loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Because of Him we cant return to live with our Father in Heaven. He atoned for our sins. We can become perfect in Christ. God speaks to us today. 

We have the Book of Mormon which is the word of God. It contains the fullness of His gospel. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and through him the Christ's church was restored on this earth. He was and is a prophet called of God. We have a living prophet today and his name is Thomas S. Monson. I know that he is called to lead and guide God's church. 

My mission has changed my life. I can truly say that my weaknesses have become my strengths through the atonement of Christ. I have seen a lot of people change on my mission. But I have seen such an incredible change in myself. I am so grateful to be a member of this church. I have such a strong desire to serve God for the rest of my life. And I know that if we want to experience true, long-lasting happiness we must keep the commandments of God. This gospel is a gospel of happiness and it will continue to bless my life forever! 

My last sunday on the mish!!!
I love you!
Sister Madsen

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 75

The countdown has begun! Just 10 more days! Ahhh! Maybe I am freaking out. And maybe I have a mental breakdown every day haha but its all good.

Sister Heywood and I!!! Love her!
We had a really good week. We had two splits again. The first one I was with Sister Davis in dusiburg. She is brand new on her mission. We had an appointment with a less active and we asked her son if he wanted to start taking the lessons and he said yes!! So excited to teach him!! 

Split pic with Sister Davis
Then the next split I went to Münster with Sister Landeen.
She is also brand new on her mission.

Split pic with Sister Landeen
Münster is so beautiful!!!

Münster is beautiful!
Unfortunately, I got pretty sick on our split. I called the nurse and she freaked out when I coughed. She is worried I will get pneumonia. Perfect! Just what I need right before I go home haha! It is kind of like when you finish your finals at the end of a semester and you are sick for winter break (that always happened to me!). Except I am at the end of my mission and my body is breaking down. Come on body! Just a few more days haha!

Fu Fu! Yummy!
Oh and Happy Valentines Day!!! We went to a members home and she made us Fu Fu which is a delicious african food you eat with your hands. I have heard about it my whole mission but I finally got the chance to eat it! Woohoo!

We went to the Haribo store last pday! SUGAR!!!
This week has also been Carnival in Germany. Which means a lot of drunk people wearing silly costumes. It is pretty crazy! I dont really understand holidays here in Germany...

Cool building in Duisburg
I can't believe that I will be home so soon. I am trying to soak up my last few days of being a missionary. Time is moving way too quickly.

Random photo shoots in front of the Rathaus

I feel so blessed to be able to dedicate this time to the Lord. My mission has changed me forever for the better! I am so grateful for my time in Germany!

Valentines day pic!

I love you all!

Sister Madsen

Week 74

What a week it has been! 

Sister Heywood and I had 2 splits this week and we did them back to back....probably not the best idea. I first went to Köln with Sister Funk. Köln is so beautiful and I loved spending the day with Sister Funk. 

Split pic with Sister Funk!
Then Sister Heywood and I were back together for 20 min before we split with the Düsseldorf sisters. I was with Sister Wood in Duisburg. She is a little older on her mission so it was fun to talk to her about her past areas. 

Split pic with Sister Wood!
The next day we had zone training in Düsseldorf. Sister Heywood and I did a fun activity. We made everyone a headband that said 'Düsseldorf Defenders' and we talked about how we are on the winning team and we need to DEFEND truth. 

Our district with our headbands :)
District pic
It was fun! The next day we had zone training in Dortmund! Which was also really good. The stake president came and he said something that really stood out to me. He said that god is not a referree. He is not objective. He is subjective because He loves us. I loved that! By the end of the two days we were kind of meetinged out.

My Dortmund Zone homies
On Saturday, Jang was baptized. He was one of the elder's investigators but I remember when one sunday he just walked into the church and said he was looking for a church. His baptism was awesome! I felt the spirit so strongly! I was just so happy for him! 

Yang's baptism
On Sunday, one of the YSA was set apart as a missionary. After church whoever wants to stay after to be there can. It was so amazing. I feel really blessed to have witnessed two setting aparts right at the end of my mission. It has really reminded me of when I was about to leave for my mission and when I was set apart! Oh boy.....tears......

Delicious crepes from Dortmund!
I am so grateful that I made the decision to serve a mission. My mission will always be a part of my life! I will never forget the people I have met and the experiences I have had. I know this gospel is true with all my heart. I have had the spirit witness it to me too many times to deny it. I am so grateful for my membership in this church. It is something I will treasure forever! 

Street display in Wesel!
I love you all! I hope you have a fantastic week! 

Sister Madsen

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 73

Another week flew by!! Sister Heywood and I felt like we were running around with our heads cut off all week but then we looked back and we were like what did we actually do. Do you ever feel like that? You are so busy but dont feel like you actually get anything done.....yep.....

One of our members we visit weekly!
This week we had MLC in Frankfurt. We woke up Friday morning at 3:55 am! oh my goodness and then on the way home our bus was stuck in traffic FOREVER so we didnt get home until midnight! We were so pooped! 

All the Sister Training Leaders at MLC....and Elder Mayne
The next day we spent like all day planning for our upcoming zone trainings. Sister Heywood and I were pumped because it felt like girls camp all over again. We planned some fun activites for our zones. We even made some glittery hearts for the Dortmund zone. Glitter everywhere! 

I heart glitter....
At the end of that day we felt like we needed to go out and be missionaries since we had been in meetings and planning all day. So it was like 8:30 pm and we decided that we would talk to 10 people before we went home. We went and did some doors. People werent too friendly but we met two girls that we invited to church and they were super nice to us. Small victories.....

In Bonn....yep that's Beethoven. I think he was born in Bonn or something like that.....
We also had another split this week. I went to Bonn with Sister Bunderson. Bonn is so beautiful! It was nice to see a pretty part of Germany again! haha We had a fun split!

Split pic with Sister Bunderson!
This last Monday we went and had family home evening with a family from the ward. Sister Heywood and I decided to do a little object lesson about talents and we had the family share what each others talents were. The next sunday the daughter came up to us and thanked us for the lesson we gave. 

Last pday we went to Köln! It was raining and cold.....
She said that earlier that day the family had been fighting a lot and there was some contention but when we gave our lesson and made them say nice things about each other that it really helped. She said our lesson was inspired. It was seriously the nicest thing. Sometimes it is really easy to feel as a missionary that you dont really make a difference. I am so grateful that we followed the spirit to teach this specific object lesson. 

Köln Dom!
Well...we have another crazy week ahead of us. I'm not really sure how I will make it through but I have

Waiting for bahns in the freezing cold.....the usual
Love you all! Have a great week!!


Week 72

What a week it had been! We had so many good things planned and then it just felt like everything fell out :( super bummer! But Sister Heywood and I still had a good time so that's good. 

The new Dusiburg crew!
We had some pretty interesting adventures in the ghetto of Duisburg this week. We were walking around a sketcha part of town and it was freezing outside! We were trying to figure out where this member lived. Good thing I was wearing my massive winter coat. No one would attack us with that thing! haha!

The crew lamenting over the new side bag rule in the mission. back is killing me!
I also had my exit interview with my mission president. It was weird to have this interview so early in the transfer but that was the only time he could do it. It was pretty good. He talked a lot about marriage...of course! hah He said that when I go home it will be time to move on to my next mission...marriage! haha! Oh I love president!

I actually baked something this week! Woohoo! Sister Heywood had to take a pic for proof!
On Sunday, Angelika was set apart as a missionary and Sister Heywood and I had the cool opportunity to sit in. It was so cool to hear her setting apart and it reminded me when I was set apart. 

On the town with Angelika!
Sometimes I forget all the things we are promised as we are set apart as missionaries. I also got a little teary eyed as her mom bore her testimony. I just think of how blessed Angelika's family will be because of her service because my family has been so blessed!!!! 

Split pic with Sister Bates
Well...I love you all so much! have a great week!

On the walk to church!
Sister Madsen

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week 71

This week has been a lot of change! I said goodbye to my little golden Sister Bray! She spread her wings and left me here in Duisburg.
Last night on the town with Angleika and Sister Bray. Angleika usually comes with us to appointments every week. She leaves on her mission next week!
I picked up my new companion Sister Heywood wednesday night. We spent our first day together on a split with another sister who was spending the day with us until her comp came. On top of that all I was real sick this last week. Poor Sister Heywood had a pretty interesting first few days in Duisburg. We didn't do too much because I was way too sick to leave the apartment.
Saying goodbye to Sister Bray :(
Sunday was a pretty crazy day. We spent 12 hours in the church. Yes, 12 HOURS!!! Between church, choir, ward council, eating, more meetings, and then another choir was just a long day. But the ward loves Sister Heywood and she will do great taking over the area when I leave.
Our last pday as a district!
We made a theme for my last transfer and it is Endure to the End. haha! Yep....trying not to let the trunkiness get to me haha!
It was so great working with these missionaries! Dont mind me.....I look a little special....
I was so sick.....
I am really looking forward to this upcoming week. We have some good appointments ahead of us and another split. Should be good!
New comp....Sister Heywood!
I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Sister Madsen

Week 70

Are you ready for my last transfer results?!!!
We listened to transfer calls together!
Sister Bray is being transferred to Nürnberg! And I will be getting a new companion. Her name is Sister Heywood. We actually went on a split together about 2 weeks ago haha! She will serve as a Sister Training Leader with me. I am excited to serve with her!! All of the companionships in our district changed. This transfer was crazy! 75 of the 112 companionships in our mission changed. I cannot believe that I will be starting my last transfer! It will be a good one!
Angelika had her farewell on sunday and so we had lunch together after church!
This last week was pretty exciting. We had two splits...practically back to back. The first one I was with Sister Parker in Duisburg. She is so awesome. We had a really good split and got to visit some of my favorite members here.
Split pic with Sister Parker
And then the next split, I was in Düsseldorf with Sister Jackson. We were together the day before transfer calls. I was just so anxious for the transfer call! We split back and had breakfast altogether as we listened to the call.
Spokane Friends! Look who I met when I was on my split in Herne.
She was baptized in the Greenbluff Ward when she was on exchange there!
Small World!
I cannot believe I only have 7 more weeks on my mission. I really want this last transfer to count. I am excited to come home and see my family but I love Germany so much. I love my mission so much! I wonder what will happen these last 42 days.
Our last sunday together :(
I hope you all are doing well! Have a great week!!!