May 19, 2014

Hey Mom!

I'm doing really good! Things have been great this week! We've managed to get in contact with a number of people out in Hillspring this week and we've started to do service for them. One guy is Don. He's really cool. He's old and lonely, and loves to talk. He has a super interesting background, and he's traveled quite a bite around Canada. He told us all sorts of stories. We've been helping him with his yard though, and he's had a few questions about the Book of Mormon, so we're going to be going back and teaching him this week. We also got a bunch of names from the bishopric in 3 of our wards, and that has given us some great direction to head us off into this next week. I'm super excited. Last night we did splits with the YSA branch, and that was a lot of fun. One of the guys I went with was Brad, and he just got home from the Netherlands (The Best Two Years, that was his mission, crazy eh?) and it was a lot of fun. He was a great missionary. Still is. But it was a blast to be out with the YSA and visiting more YSA. I love working the YSA,  they are probably my favorite ward I work with and maybe a favorite of all of them.

We also went branding twice this week! The first time was awesome. They would rope the calves and then drag them out and we'd jump them, get them flipped onto the right side and then hold them down while they castrated them, tagged their ears and branded them. It was a ton of fun. I think we actually got pretty good at getting them onto the ground and holding them there too. We had 3 teams going at once, so it eventually got going pretty good. A couple of times we lost a cow or two, but everyone was really quick to grab them, so none got away. Well, one did, but that wasn't our fault, and they ran it down and roped it and dragged it back. One time though, I was on the legs of one, holding it, and they were dragging another one out, and this one was just kicking like crazy and it got away from the two guys who were trying to throw it down to the ground, and it came jumping right over the top of the one we were holding down. And I was looking at thinking "This might not end well.." And then it came right at me, with the rope tied to one leg still, so I had to dodge the rope, while holding a kicking calf, with another jumping at me. Then it really went for me, so I let go of the legs of the one and rolled onto my back just in time to get landed on. So I have one cow on me stamping the ground and the other just started kicking me ( you should see the nice bruise I have on my shin) But then it was over, and I helped wrestle the one that stepped on me to the ground. It was a vengeance thing, you know. Eye for an eye. I've been reading the Old Testament lately. But after we let that one go, everyone kept asking me if I was okay, and the guy on the horse apologized, and told me that the hooves of the one cow missed my head on either side by about 2 inches several times!


It was good though. A good story, some nice bruises on my back and legs. And I've been super sore ever since. I love it. The other time branding went well. Though, I got stepped on again. They had this really big one, and we were using a chute this time, because they were too big, but we couldn't get this one into the chute, so I decided to have some fun, and I just tackled it up against the fence and tried to pin it there, but it got away, and dragged me about 7 seven feet and then someone else hit and it rolled me over and started stepping on me again. But I didn't let go! I held on, and then we finally dragged it and kicked it into the chute. So we won.

Branding is a lot of fun. Good service too. Though, I've been crazy sore all week.

When we're not doing service we're out contacting people to teach, and we're really focused on finding this week. It's going to be interesting, just because we're in such a member rich area, and every ward knows exactly how many non-members live in the boundaries, and they've all been contacted dozens of times. So, we're trying to be creative about how to contact these people and do it in a new light. Any ideas? If you think of any, let us know. We're crazy enough to try anything.

Things are going great though! My companion is awesome. He just always has this huge smile on his face and it's awesome. We're having a great time together :)

Hope all is well there. Love you!

Love, Elder Madsen

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