Happy Birthday, Dad!

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

Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope it is wonderful, and I hope you like the card I sent.

This week we saw some great miracles! Yesterday for the first time this transfer (and to hear it, the first time in about two months) we had an investigator come to church! Her name is Miyamura, and she is an 84-year-old woman that lives all by herself (except for her cats). We met her about a week-and-a-half ago, and she was excited to meet some Christian missionaries. Apparently when she was young she attended a Catholic pre-school, and when we gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet she said seeing the picture of Jesus was very “natsukashii” since she often read the picture Bible as a child. This past week we visited her again, invited her to come to church (which she said that she would like to), and she came! She was only able to stay for Sacrament meeting because her legs start hurting if she sits for very long, but afterward she chatted with some of the members for at least half an hour before returning home – speaking of which, she walked about 1 1/2 miles one way to get from her house to the church; a short distance by car or bicycle but a bit of a walk for an 84-year-old with bad legs, so we will definitely see if a member can’t pick her up for church.

We also met a lot of really nice people throughout the week. Some in particular were the Nishimura family (with whom we set up an appointment, but unfortunately they were not there when we visited again). We talked with the mom and her five children – ages 6 months through 11 years – and she seemed very interested. While we were talking with them her husband returned home from work (carrying ice cream, so he’s probably a good dad); he was a bit surprised to see two Americans at his doorstep, but when his wife explained that we were sharing a message he did not seem perturbed about it – at least he did not tell us to go away, so that was good. We are going to try visiting them again this evening and see whether we can’t share little message and set up another appointment. They seem like a very good family.

I am grateful for this opportunity to be the Lord’s missionary. It is very difficult, oftentimes frustrating, sometimes depressing, definitely trying. Sometimes I feel like the prophet Joseph Smith did when he was in Liberty Jail, wondering where the Lord is and why His promises are not being fulfilled, but I always remember the words of the Lord in response to Joseph’s cry: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small
moment…know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?”

I know that the Lord is always there, and that he has descened below all things that I have felt, am experiencing, and every will go through. He knows the way, and as I follow His way I can help others find the right way as well. I know that as I trust in the Lord I can perform miracles for Him. I have seen that every time my faith is falling, as I keep working and pressing forward the Lord will always show me a miracle and boost my faith and spirtis. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be humbled and shaped by the master carpenter. It is often painful, but it is definitely eternally worth it.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, a superb week, and a fantastic year!


Elder Madsen


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