Favorable Finding Factors

Holy cow! When is the last time someone at home wasn’t sick? It seems like everyone is sick! Hyrum, Mom, Dad… Get better! At least the weather sounds like it is cooperating now.

Mom: My socks are actually getting pretty worn out. And yes, the stake here actually is doing a similar thing with the youth really soon. And we have dinner with a member almost every single day. And then sometimes people we teach want to feed us as well, so we are very well fed in this area, which I am very grateful for. It also helps us to be able to keep ward members updated on our work and for them to update us on what they are doing as member missionaries.

This week, Judy heartily agreed to be baptized! She is going to be baptized on March 28. We first set a date for the 22, but she will be out of town because her niece is getting baptized and she is attending her baptism in another stake. Judy told us, “I wish I had this my entire life. I wish I had this while I was raising my family and during my 40 years of teaching. But now that I feel this peace, I can’t ever give it up. I have to be baptized.” It is really cool to see how the lessons we had with her built a foundation upon which our last lesson, The Plan of Salvation, could stand. We invited her to be baptized before, but she didn’t agree to it because she knew she wasn’t ready, yet she had the faith that through God she would be made ready. Our mission president repeatedly teaches about “favorable finding factors”:
1. A Prepared Inviter
2. A Prepared Invitee
3. Everyone Feels Something
Judy was clearly a prepared invitee. Even though she didn’t believe in God when we met her, she truly was ready for the gospel. And she was seeking it without knowing it. She had decided that she needed more purpose in her life and she saw that purpose as her daughter was taught the gospel.
We prepared ourselves for Judy. She is the only investigator where every single lesson we have had with her has had a prepared member, a detailed lesson plan, and has been practiced in companionship study. And it worked.
And finally, because she was prepared and we were prepared and we identified and defined the spirit, everyone felt and recognized the spirit when it was present.

We also had a great lesson with an evangelical minister whose parents were Mormon when he a very young boy but left because they were offended by something. He was intensely curious about the Book of Mormon and full of questions. He started off by saying “I bet you talk to a lot of people like me that just want to bash with you. I have a lot of questions, but I didn’t invite you here to bash with you. I honestly want to know what the church is all about.” It is cool how as the people we teach ask questions and we study for them…. our faith, our testimony, and our knowledge in the gospel expands far more than it could if I was trying to study for myself.

We had a lesson with Art as well, the father of a recently married, semi-recently returned missionary, and recent-ish convert in our ward. It was good. He has a lot of random misconceptions about the church that were really set in his mind. It took us probably a full half hour to explain that in fact Mormon and Joseph Smith did not live at the same time. And he can’t seem to understand that even though we believe Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are separate beings we still are centered in Jesus Christ. But he realized during the lesson that the only way he was going to know whether or not his son is damned or on the Lord’s path is to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true. When he realized that, his questions subsided and he began to really understand what we were teaching.

I wish I had time to tell you about all of the great experiences Elder Bernard and I have had, but some of them will have to wait.

I love being a missionary. I love my family. And I love the Lord.

One thought on “Favorable Finding Factors

  1. Hi Elder Madsen. I love getting your letters. You are amazing. Where is elder Bernard from? I know it’s a big world out there but we had a Tyson Bernard serving in our ward here on port Angeles and I was wondering if they could be related? I love your e mails and look forward to getting them each week. We really miss your family in the PA ward. Love Mina DuMont. Sent from my iPhone


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