What a Wonderful Week.

こんにちわ!Hello, everybody! How is it going in your various locations? I am doing quite well here in Miyakonojo, Japan!

This week has been quite good. We visited Kawauchi san (one of our investigators and Eikaiwa [English class] students, an 81-year-old lady) on Tuesday. She feeds us every time we visit, even though we tell her each time that she doesn’t need to do so. She’s great! We taught more about the Book of Mormon and reviewed the Plan of Salvation a little bit. Since she is older she seems to have a little difficulty remembering everything we teach, so we are going a bit slower than usual with her. However, she was able to come to sacrament meeting on Sunday! The other Elders are also teaching her friend, Tabaru san, who also comes to Eikaiwa; she is 70-something (I think), but also often comes to volleyball, and is very good! I have seen quite a few physically active old people here. Anyway, Kawauchi san gets a ride to places from Tabaru san, and Tabaru san is often busy (climbing mountains), so it was great that they were able to come on Sunday! They are both great.

On Wednesday after Eikaiwa Daisuke-kun (our investigator Miki-chan’s less-active boyfriend) randomly showed up at the church (he was looking for something; I’m not sure what), so we were able to speak with him about having another lesson with Miki-chan. Tentatively we have a general availability set for this Friday/Saturday, so we are hoping to be able to meet with them then, and are planning on setting another baptismal date for Miki-chan.

On Friday we were able to teach another of our investigators, Kuzuguchi-san, and it was fantastic! She had not been taught for a few months (this was my first time teaching her, but I think Elder Jensen taught her once with his previous companion), so we were not exactly sure how it would go. We were able to teach her with a member ("Shinko" shimai, whom I think I ahve mentioned before) what we were planning on teaching. However, as we were reviewing what had been taught a few months ago, Shinko shimai just jumped right in and started teaching about baptism, which is exactly what we had been planning on doing! It was great, because the member ended up essentially teaching our entire lesson for us. All we did was say a few things here and there and then do the baptismal invite at the end. Kuzuguchi san was not yet ready to commit to the date (July 27), but we invited her to pray about it. We also invited her to read Mosiah 18:8-11. That night we followed-up in a C-Mail (text) and reminded her to read and pray, and she soon replied that she had read the scripture and loved it, and that she would remember to pray about the baptismal date. She also said that she wants to meet with us much more often; we currently have another lesson this Friday, but we may also be able to do one Wednesday as well, which would be wonderful. I am very excited for her!

We also had a lesson with another of our investigators, Maeda san. We learned that he is "byoki" (ill) with some disease that we don’t know the translation of (and even if we did we probably still would not know what the English means). We reviewed a bit about prayer, and testified that through prayer we can receive help from God. We also talked more about the importance of church attendance and reading the Book of Mormon. He was unable to come to church this week, but hopefully we will be able to get him there next Sunday.

This past week we were instructed to do a very particular study from Preach My Gospel. Apparently this particular request came from one of the apostles. The study focused on teaching investigators that do not have a Christian background, and had us read various things throughout Preach My Gospel and answer four questions as a companionship: What do we do well? What can we improve? What do we need to change to apply these principles? and How do we know that the investigator is receiving the intended applied principles? I am grateful for the opportunity that this study provided for focusing on a very specific topic in Preach My Gospel. It was a little totsu-zen (impromptu) and we did not have much time to do it, but we were able to complete the study within the allotted time. It was great! It is a good activity for discovering our strengths and then focusing on those areas where we can improve. From that activity Elder Jensen and I have concluded that the primary way that we can improve is by being more bold in testifying of the truth. I know that as we have begun doing this the Spirit has had more opportunity to more powerfully touch the hearts of those to whom we testify.

I’m sorry to hear that Grandpa Koetitz is not doing very well. I am glad that Grandma and Grandpa get to be together, though. I imagine that it is a very trying time for them. I will pray for them!

Ryan! It is great to hear about missionary work in other parts of Asia. It’s awesome that you have been able be a part of the work during your studies in this part of the world. You are a great example of member missionary work! Continue to be awesome!

Lacey, that is quite unfortunate about your car. It is great to have more time to spend together, though, especially since Michael will be out-of-town for a little while. 🙂 God blesses us in ways that we do not often understand. Thank you for being a great example of recognizing those blessings, even when things may not go as planned. It sounds like Adelaide is going to have an adventure in school!

Isaac, I forgot to ask during the Google Hangout on Mother’s Day: when do you finish in the Army? I know it is sometime this year, but I do not remember what month. I hope that you are doing well! I love you!

Mom, I have not yet received the package, but I’ll keep a lookout for it! Also, like Kyle said, if you are able to send Grandma and Grandpa’s mailing addresses in the care center that would be great. I love you!

Dad, keep up the good work! I know that as we just try to do the best we can in doing what God has asked us to do, even though we will not nearly measure up to his expectation by ourselves, through the Savior’s atonement we will measure up. Thank you for being such a wonderful example for me and for our family. I love you!

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and that he leads this work. My testimony of that is strengthened every day when, despite my extremely poor Nihongo and very weak teaching, the Spirit is able to powerfully testify to the people we talk to. I love this work!

Thank you all for your wonderful examples! I love you! Have a super awesome day, a wonderful week, and an astounding year!

Love,

マドセン ちょうろう
Elder Madsen

p.s. Here are some random pictures. They are the only pictures I have taken for a while, but hopefully I’ll take some more soon.

Yet another example of great English translation. This picture actually just reminded me: I got my first flat tire(s) of the mission! Yay! What fun! Oh, joy. We were riding back to the apartment around 8:50, and the batteries in my headlight apparently needed replaced. I did not see a very large, very 90-degree-angle bump (it was more like a cement step, actually; probably about five or six inches high). Needless to say, my tires did not appreciate their totsu-zen meeting with the "bump". There were two holes in each inner-tube (one on each side the tube where they made contact with the step). Lots of fun!

This is what we made for "dinner" last night. It is chocolate rice. It was quite interesting. Actually, it was surprisingly pretty good. Yum, yum!

That’s all, folks!

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One thought on “What a Wonderful Week.

  1. Dear Elder Madsen, t is always nice to hear from you. Sister Daniels and I are in California after spending the last month in Asia. We went to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Korea and Palau. We were with BYU MBA students for the first part of the trip and then we met two of our children at our favorite scuba diving location in Palau. We had a wonderful time in Asia but we missed being with our missionaries in the MTC. We will be back in Utah next sunday but then I am joining one of my daughters and her husband as they ride their bicycles across America. Their trip is taking them six weeks and I am going to ride with them for one week. I think we will meet them in Tennessee. When we were in Japan, we had a missionary reunion with our Sapporo missionaries. Music was an important part of our mission and we did a lot of musical firesides and sacrament meetings and many of our missionaries harmonize beautifully. As part of our reunion, the missionaries prepared many of the songs they had sang at our mission performances. At the same time as our mission reunion, I had 30 MBA students meeting with some of the executives in the English wards for a business presentation on the floor above us in the temple annex. I thought the MBA students would enjoy the music so we interrupted the business presentations so they could hear a number of the songs. The music brought tears to many of the MBA students’ eyes. The next Sunday, we had a fast and testimony meeting in Phuket, Thailand and I was surprised with how many of the students mentioned that one of the highlights of the trip so far was the musical numbers from our missionaries. I have found that music has a powerful effect in helping people feel the Spirit and was a wonderful tool in softening hearts in Japan. When we originally planned to leave Japan, we were sad that we wouldn’t be able to stay one more day for one of our sister missionary’s temple sealing. When BYU Travel made our flight reservations, they waited too long and couldn’t get us out on Monday. That meant that we needed to leave on Tuesday, the  day of her wedding. Almost all of the students flew out of Narita airport and had to leave early in the morning. However, 8 of us were scheduled to fly out of Haneda (the closer airport) in the early afternoon. That allowed us to attend the temple marriage where we were able to see more of our returned missionaries. There was also a wedding of a couple from Sapporo and we were able to see many of the members we served with. In addition, it was the Tokyo South P-day and we were able to see many of our MTC missionaries. It was a wonderful day in our lives to reconnect at the temple with so many people that we love and we consider the changed flights a tender mercy from the Lord. In Hong Kong, we were able to attend an early morning temple session. My daughter Lauren, served in HK and I was able to attend a session with her so that will always be a special temple. We had beautiful weather on our trip and had a number of adventures in Thailand – sea kayaking through tunnels in islands out in the ocean, snorkeling, riding elephants, walking with tigers, visiting beautiful temples. Fortunately we left right before a military coup that instituted curfews and marshall law. In Cambodia, we visited the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. It is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Only 18 percent of the people in Cambodia have electricity. When we went to church at the branch ( that was in a new chapel), we were joined by the Young Ambassadors from BYU. There were over 80 of us from Provo at a small branch in Siem Reap. The Young Ambassadors did a fireside that evening which we were able to attend. From Cambodia, we traveled to Beijing where we were able to see the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, etc. It was a great trip. When we were in Palau, we went to church and met 10 missionaries who were serving on the island. We took them all to dinner one night and enjoyed learning about missionary work there. We always love going back to Japan and appreciate the wonderful culture there. The people are so respectful, considerate and polite and you don’t find that in other parts of Asia. I keep hoping that their culture will be more receptive of embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ but unfortunately, it is still a challenge for the majority of Japanese who want to fit in to the education system and the extracurricular activities on Sundays. However, there are people who are searching for happiness in their lives and we know that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the ultimate source of eternal happiness. I am so glad that you are part of this wonderful missionary effort and I continue to pray for you every day. I hope I can be as diligent in my missionaries efforts. Thank you for your example and my love and prayers are with you.

    Love,

    Brother Daniels

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