the week of firsts


So…Sorry for skipping last week. We had to leave emails early to drive about two hours south to visit a family. But it was totally worth it, because: We had a great time seeing the Hatts. They live in a tiny little not even town. It’s maybe two blocks square. They have a little farm/garden, and we harvested potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and tomatoes! First time harvesting vegetables. Then we had Cafe Rio for supper, homemade of course. She made the tomatillo ranch! It was good. Hopefully we make it out there again in October when we have more kilometres in our allotment. We were driving back and stumbled through this town and found a GIANT turtle (28 feet tall!) So we took pictures. And YES we did see northern lights on the drive back! It was…magic. I don’t really know how to describe it. It was sort of like transparent glowing clouds/fog that moved and danced in the sky. No pictures though 😦
We went into Winnipeg at about 7am one morning to see one of the Seventy (a general authority for the Church) Elder Renlund was good…but I liked his wife better! She was teaching about teaching effectively using the doctrine. She emphasized teaching, testifying, inviting, promising, and following up. She was an attorney so had a really commanding and warm presence. Sister Craig, the mission President’s wife, also delivered a good message about the parables in Luke 15. How the one lost sheep that is found, or the one lost coin is more prized than the rest of the flock that wasn’t lost. President introduced the “Rescue Initiative.” It comes from the First Presidency about how we need to focus on members, and how we can serve them and “resuce” them. Without members, the work does not go on. Statistics show we are 3x more effective in conversions when working with members. First mission visit from a General Authority!
We were about to head out when Sister Stevenett, who previously served in Winnipeg, stopped us all and said two words that changed the rest of our evening. “Guys. Costco.” And so we went to Costco for supper. Elder Peterson and I shared this massive (what else would you expect from Costco?) thing of Poutine (best I’ve ever had too) and got some pizza. Definitely the highlight of the night.
I miss being able to cook whatever whenever I want. And not having to worry about if I have basic stuff like baking soda or vanilla. We had apple crisp twice in the last week! Once at Bishop’s for fast Sunday after supper, and once at supper on Tuesday! I think it’s because everyone’s apple trees are ready to be picked. It is definitely fall here. The last hot days came and went, and it’s generally colder than the forecast. Pumpkins showed up at the store in the past week, and coffee shops are selling pumpkin and apple spice everything. Trees are losing their leaves and I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the barren wasteland this place is about to become.
We stopped by this member’s house and he was super busy and about to leave, but he sent us on our way with pupusas! Good thing too because we hadn’t had time for lunch. Pupusas are from El Salvador and is a tortilla with meat and cheese fried into them. Sooo good, and also a first.
We got our first baptismal date! I’m so excited. I asked him to be baptised and I wasn’t sure what he was going to say…and he said yes! So he will, according to plan, be baptised on October 10th! We are crossing our fingers because it’s five days before my comp will most likely transfer out.
We also planted 300+ trees in a park on Saturday, it was a project backed by TD Canada Trust and the City. It was good fun, and we got free t-shirts! First time planting trees!

Elder Madsen



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