Harvesting is Difficult, but Rewarding!

Hello, everybody! How are you doing in your various locations? I am
doing quite well here in Japan!

This week has been rather nice! Unfortunately we did not have any
lessons this week – we had various lessons planned and tried multiple
times to set up appointments with our investigators, but everything
fell through this week. We found four new investigators, but only one
of them remained through to the end of the week; we have a lesson with
him today. So, it’s been an interesting week filled with lot of
finding. But that’s alright, because interestingly enough I definitely
am learning how to improve my teaching as I focus on finding. That’s
probably because I am learning better how to use short, powerful
statements and to testify simply and often, which skills apply to both
teaching 3-minute lessons in finding and 30-minute lessons in
teaching. Elder Klein is also a great help in reminding me to be
simple. At this point most of the things he can say are very simple,
but they are also very powerful, especially as he continues to improve
in the short statements that he is able to share. Every time he shares
something it reminds me of how I can be shorter, simpler, and more
powerful in the messages that I share. It is definitely an
interesting, humbling, and very rewarding experience training a
missionary. I don’t know who is learning more, the trainer or the
trainee. πŸ™‚

We were able to meet with one person this week, one of our less-active
members, and we had a really good lesson with him. He apparently has
back problems, which he said is the reason he has not been able to
come to church, but he said that if his back is feeling alright then
he will come. However, he also still has some Word of Wisdom issues to
overcome, and possibly Law of Chastity as well, so that is possibly
also influencing his church attendance. However, he said he is reading
the Book of Mormon and praying every day, and he always talks about
interesting things (last time he talked about why he likes the story
of Moses but doesn’t really like the story of Noah). We had prepared
with a general conference talk about showing faith, and were prompted
to show the recent Easter video with him. From there we talked about
showing our faith and noticing Christ in our daily lives. It was
superb!

Our lesson today is with a college student named Tom (he is Japanese,
but has an English first name). We met him on the street a couple days
ago, set up an appointment with him, and when we followed up with him
the following day he said that he is really excited about meeting with
us and wants to learn about various things (he also wants to learn
English; he was really excited about our free English conversation
class). Elder Klein and I are very excited about our lesson with him
today!

Dad mentioned about these being the last days, which is interesting
because Elder Klein read Jacob 5 and shared something about it that I
hadn’t really thought of before. Oftentimes we think of the last 20 or
so verses of that chapter as being our days – the last days. Which is
true, but Elder Klein mentioned that when the chapter talks about
calling other servants who go about pruning and preparing the vineyard
for final harvest, he interpreted those servants as the modern church
in its youth – Joseph Smith, the pioneers, etc. – who laid the
foundation for the Latter-Day work. We are now really in the final
days, and we are no longer pruning so much as we are harvesting. As
Elder Klein put it, "We are in the final verses."

I know that this is the Lord’s work. It is exciting! Sometimes it can
be frustrating (especially when parents, boyfriends, etc. tell you to
go away). But it is always rewarding. I am grateful to be serving the
Lord and His children at this time in this place.

I love you all, and hope that you have a wonderful day, a superb week,
and a fantastic year (I can hardly believe that it’s already June)!

Love,

γƒžγƒ‰γ‚»γƒ³γ€€ι•·θ€
Elder Madsen

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