Monday, March 29, 2010

Interviews: done and done

Yay! My papers have been submitted! With General Conference going on this weekend it may be a little longer than usual, so I expect a call within two or three weeks!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I know that this blog has technically drawn to a close since my Middle Eastern adventures are over...if you don't count the occasional dreams about the Holy Land from which I awake, teary-eyed and down-hearted. BUT the other adventures that life has to bring in this little tiny town in South-Eastern Idaho may still be worth blogging about, specifically the ones relating to my MISSION! That's right folks, I'm going.

My papers are 86.3% complete (give or take an immunization or two) and I will tell you as soon as they are officially submitted. In the mean time, Mom gave the kitchen bulletin board a make-over and it is now serving as a "Guess Where Molly Will Be Serving" prediction map. The only continents left empty are Africa and Antarctica. If you have a prediction feel free to chime in and I'll put a pin up with your name on it. I have my own inklings and of course I must emphasize that this sort of game is all in good spirits of excitement and anticipation but I know too well that the Lord has a specific place in mind and he has been preparing me for that place my whole life. I cannot wait!

Besides the mission developments, school is both fanatical and fantastical. I am very busy as both full time student and a part-time employee. I love music more than ever and have found it deeply fulfilling this semester after having discovered my song in the Holy Land. How sweet it is to sing once it is found! I continue to love the Lord and am astounded at His blessings which seem to perpetuate in my life at almost an alarming rate. As I feel His love for me more deeply I begin to see also how much He loves others. It is through this small, daily epiphanies that I am blanketed with confidence that a mission is the right direction for my life right now.

Hurrah for Israel!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Home again...sort of

Well I'm safely on the American continent! I arrived in Salt Lake City after 32 hours of travelling to get one night's sleep and drive off to Mexico!! It's gorgeous here.

My family and I are staying in Guaymas for a week to do humanitarian work over Christmas! So far it has been lovely. We went to church today and felt an abundance of the Spirit despite the language barrier. Sweet people.

I miss Jerusalem terribly and mostly my peeps. Good to be distracted but sad to have no phone service!! I tell you what. You live with the same 80 people for four months and suddenly don't see them EVER. I'm having withdrawals. The only way to solve that will be to really get to work tomorrow!

Onwards and upwards!

Over and out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

starting line

I am so full of emotion. Today is my last in Jerusalem and I feel like a rose that is being picked as a bud. I've grown so much here and I know that I have used every minute the best I could but goodness: four months is just not long enough! My mind is flooded with memories of the friends I've made and the lessons I have learned. They are innumerous. One of my dear friends, Taufik, runs a shewarma shop. As we visited him to bid him goodbye he spoke to us of the power of the human mind. He promised us that we will be able to recall every detail of our experiences here if we meditate upon them carefully. I hope to do exactly that and maybe my mind will blossom into maturity and real understanding of the things I experienced.

Everyone around the center has referred to this week as the last leg of the race but on the contrary I feel like I am standing on the starting line of a 5K for high school cross country. I have a pit in my stomach and every particle of my will is directed against the urge to run and hide in the bus. But there is also an excitement. I've been training here for almost four months and though I am nervous I will throw my entire being into the longest race of all: real life.

As I feel so weak I am reminded of the parable of the mustard seed given by Jesus Christ:

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." Matt 13:31-32

We are so small and insignificant by ourselves but Christ is the light and the life. He has a nice plot of dirt, lots of water and plenty of sunshine. It a beautiful sybiotic relationship because we are nothing without him but he cannot grow a tree without us! He is waiting to plant us and nourish us and if we trust in him we will become something better than our wildest dreams.

There is a short video of my Grandpa Madsen's life and it starts out with his voice,"What you are is so much greater than anything you have yet done; it is incredible. And most of your problems arise not from overemphasizing that but from underestimating it. If you have not yet absorbed a sense of mission you had better open up your pores." Everytime I hear these words, which is many times while I have been here, I feel in my heart that it is true. Heavenly Father has BIG plans for his children. Each one has the potential to be great and if we look to Christ he will enable us to reach that potential.

I know God loves his children with an overwhelming, cosmic-blasting love. I get little tastes of it each day through my experiences. I know that though I am leaving is beautiful, sacred land behind, this love will remain in my heart. I know that my Redeemer lives and even know he speaks peace to my soul and I have the conviction to carry on in joy and faith!

Runners on your mark. Get set. Bang!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two days as Princess Basma's

I've spent time the last two days at Princess Basma's Hospital for Disabled Children. Brooklyn, Teren, LeAnna and Tara are painting a mural on one of the walls and I went along to play violin for the children. They loved it! Arab children simply are not exposed to Western music or instruments in general and every one that I have played for is hungry for it! They all want to touch my violin after and hear different sounds that I can make. It fascinates them. The class I played for on Wednesday is full of kids with impaired hearing. None of them are completely deaf and they teach them how to function in the world without sign language. I tried to play really loud. I think I got through to them : )

Brooklyn and Teren painting the mural.

This is Fatima. She loved looking at the music notes. I don't think any of them have seen music notated before.

This is doing Hot Canary. The laughed so hard at my bird chirps! Who knew that Jr. Miss would come in so handy here?

Adorable children.

When I went on Friday I was able to meet up with Betty Majaj, the director. She and Nanny have been friends for over twenty years and she is one of the women in "Making Their Own Peace." A very strong woman. She uses all of her resources and strength for betterment of the community and these disabled children. I admire her passion and selflessness!

If you look closely on the bulletin board you might be able to see a portrait of my grandparents and the Madsen family Christmas card from 2007. So surreal to see a picture of myself up on a board half a world away from home!

Betty wrote me a note by her chapter in the book.

Day two: I brought Kathleen with me and we did Christmas duets!

Victoria was sweet enough to take these shots while we were interacting.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Playing for Olweia Husseini.
Nanny captured this shot. You can see my shadow on the wall behind her.

Last week Mom and Nanny came to visit! They arrived while I was in Galilee and spent a couple of days in Jerusalem catching up with friends. They met me on Saturday at church in Tiberius and I almost cried when I saw them I was so happy! It was such a joy to share all my new friends with them. It was just like a big reunion of people that I really, really love!

They spent several days in Galilee with us soaking in the soothing atmosphere there. One night Nanny spoke for us at a fireside and the students followed her with a testimony meeting. Everyone was so inspired. Definitely one of the culminating events of Galilee. My fellow students still mention her words often as they comment in class! She is truly and elect lady and I feel so fortunate to be part of my incredible family. One evening we went out to eat with the Goldblatt family. I remember celebrating Hanukah with them when I was eight years old and here with all of my cousins. It was a pleasure to reacquaint! Their son, Elad, is twenty-two and an officer in the army and I had a lot of questions for him about that, so it was a great evening.

I had three more days with Mom and Nanny back in Jerusalem which we spent visiting their friends and reminiscing about the years and years that Nanny and Bapa spent here. One of my favorites was Olwiea Husseini, an incredibly strong Arab woman that Nanny wrote about in her book, "Making Their Own Peace." She made us delicious anise tea and biscuit cookies and I played "Sabrina" for her. She is very articulate and very loving. The visit was short but fulfilling and I left feeling strengthened by being with her. I am planning on returning to visit her again very soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Jonny and the Sea.

Playing at the Sea of Galilee (courtesy of Sister Dicus who I didn't see there! She just sent this to me)

I have so much to tell from the last post!

When I last wrote I was packing up to spend two weeks North of Jerusalem in Galilee and Tiberius. There was no internet available at the kibbutz there, which is my excuse for the tardiness of this post.

My heart is so full of love for that place! We took the days to bus around to sites such as the Mount of Beatitudes as a class. I spent mornings on the beach, walking and contemplating my Savior. Watching the sunrise and reading the teachings of Jesus Christ. The peace and love I felt from Him on that shore was tangible. It was like a blanket that stayed with me for the rest of the day. My heart was soft and sticky, like honey. At sunset I would pull my violin out and sit on the rocks, playing simple hymns of praise to Heavenly Father. Music was the only way I knew how to express the gratitude I felt: gratitude for the beautiful earth and gratitude for the healing gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt distinctly as I was walking on that beach that I was walking into a future in which I am a new woman: a better disciple of Christ. Late at night we had bonfires on the beach. We read accounts of Jesus calling to the apostles to drop their nets and follow Him. I am surrounded by astoundingly deep individuals here. At those firesides I gleaned greater understanding of the teachings of Christ and the conviction to live by them burned inside of me. We also brought guitars and sang the nights away. I will always remember the laughter, the crackling fire, the big beautiful moon and the lap of the water on that smooth shore.

The time in Galilee was simply glorious.