Monday, November 5, 2012

October 22, 2012

This is Elder Madsen's email home. I'm too lazy to type too much of a big email!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Austin Madsen <austin.madsen@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 3:05 AM
Subject: Masarap ang buhay!
To: ...

Wow this has been a great week! Sorry I wasn't online earlier though, we had something that is called a zone activity! So our zone had the cleanest apartments so we all got to go to this place called Kawa-Kawa and play games and hear from President Bliesner. It was like a "Catholic Shrine" place, they have a bunch of statues of Jesus and a big grass field in the middle to play in. I got to wear my chacos, it was a great time haha. It has been a long day because after that we had to help our Zone Leaders move into their new apartment, but now here we are!

So this week has been sooo busy, but one of the best weeks of my mission! I know its only been like 5 months, but it was an awesome week! So Tuesday I had "exchanges" out in a different area. I got to work with Elder Taylor, he is way cool and from Utah. So we worked together and after we got done teaching we realized we didn't have enough money to rent a boat to get across the lake back to the city he lives in. Soo we decided to walk! We wanted to explore a little. About 10 minutes in Elder Taylor lost his shoes in mud and thought it wouldn't be that far, he would just walk barefoot the rest of the way. An hour and a half later and some sore feet we walked past this house and a really nice guy gave him his flip flops. Ha it was so funny, he said in his great english, "I am a police officer, I am a good person, take my shoes." Elder gratefully accepted them and we walked another hour and half more. So yeah, 3 hours total, we were so tired! It was so fun though, probably the funnest day of my mission, we had a great time. Before we started walking one of the members came up to us and was like, "Hey you guys want some Buko?" YEAH! So Buko is the young coconut, sooo good! So he climbed up this like 30 foot coconut tree and chopped down some buko, then chopped off a part with his machete and we drank the juice, then he cut it in half and we ate the meat inside. Yeah my life is pretty cool here!

So this weekend was way good! Saturday we went out to my favorite area, called Santa Elena. So it is our furthest area but it is by far the strongest part of the Baao area. All the strongest members live out there and come to church every sunday, even though they are so far away. I love them all so much! So we taught this new family that is investigating the church, the Norte's! So we taught them with one of the strong members and we just talked about the Book of Mormon and bore testimony of it, having that member with us was so helpful, especially since Sister Norte came to CHURCH!!! WOO! It was great, I really think they are going to get baptized, they are so ready and accepting. Brother said that when he was a kid he wanted to be baptized but his parents wouldn't let him. Happiness!

Sunday was amazing too. So we were out of our apartment for like 12 hours just teaching, reminding people to come to church, and eating. Seriously like everyone we went to fed us, we were so sick! We decided we can no longer say "I am so full!" because every time we say that someone feeds us and we get even fuller. So church was good, I got to speak again and I talked about the Sacrament. It is pretty cool to be able to give a talk in Tagalog, I just can't believe how far I have come with the language. (Side story.) Today at our zone activity we met an American who was a teacher here, she taught in the schools like what Jordan did, she has been here two years and she barely knows how to speak Tagalog, if at all. This was just convincing evidence to me of the blessings God has given me as I serve Him He has blessed me so much with learning this language.

So after church we had a family home evening activity in Santa Elena. All the members that live there came out and we played games and sang and ate snacks. Sister and Brother Norte even came! So fun! I really really love that place haha. We had the Family Home evening because Elder Kornegay is leaving. It kind of made me look back on my short/long time here. Sometimes I used to get frustrated because it seemed like no one came to church or whatever, but as I looked back I saw so much progress, both for me and Baao. I love it here and I love this work. I love the feeling of just giving my all to the Lord and the sense of satisfaction that comes from that. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else! Even as enticing as longboarding around Logan and going to school is, this is just soo great. I love and miss you all and once again I am so grateful for all your support and love for me. I hope you can feel the Lord's many blessings in your life and just I hope you all have a great week!

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