Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 42: Refiner's Fire

Hey Family and Friends!

So long story short this has probably been one of the hardest weeks of my mission. Floyd got baptized on Saturday which was a miracle!:D President & Sister Jacobsen along with the AP's came from Lansing, our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came from Wyoming, a ton of the ward came, and it was just an overall good day! Me & Sister Gardner got asked by Floyd to say the prayers at his baptism and he has gotten close to the Elders, especially Elder Thompson, and so he asked them to give the talks! They did such a great job and I know he felt the Spirit because there were tears in his eyes as they were speaking.

But here comes the sad part....

He called us Sunday morning saying he was going to be 15 mins late to church because he had to take care of something. We told him that was fine, but that he gets confirmed in sacrament meeting so he has to hurry as much as he can. Well 15 mins turned into 3 hours......and he never showed. In relief society one of the sisters gave a talk about missionary work and a sister said, "Floyd just got baptized yesterday and he wasn't here today. I think we need to go to the rescue!" And I just burst into tears! The burden I felt yesterday felt like I could barely keep myself going. And then when this sister said something I was just so beyond grateful for this amazing ward that I couldn't hold in all of my emotions anymore. We had members coming up to us, texting us, and doing anything they could to help. The Elders' Quorum President and his brother even went to his apartment to check on him after church. I was crying tears of sorrow, relief, and comfort yesterday. Heavenly Father truly does relieve us through other people. We still haven't gotten in contact with him, but we think we saw his car outside Outback which is one of the 2 places he works. Something must have came up.

He had 3 jobs and he quit 1 of them before his baptism because of us! Such a cool he missed his first baptismal interview Wednesday night because of work and his phone happened to get shut off that day as well (darn Satan), so we went and stalked him at Burger King the next morning. We were trying to reschedule a baptismal interview with him and his boss yells, "Floyd!" And points to her wrist like she has a watch on pretty much telling him to get to work. Well, we were literally talking to him for less than a minute and he was working while he was talking to us! We were so mad that she did that! But we hurried out because we didn't want to get him in trouble and fired. Well at his baptismal interview on Friday, he goes on to tell us, "Oh! I quit that job! She already was bugging me, but that was the last straw. Nobody treats my sisters like that!' It was seriously the sweetest thing ever. We know he loves us and we love him so much! We are just worried he is struggling with his 2 jobs right now and maybe they are threatening to fire him if he doesn't work Sunday's, which is sad because he has made sure he has had them off since we taught him about the Sabbath Day. Anyways, we will keep using our professional stalking skills and keep you updated. Please, please, please keep our sweet Floyd in your prayers.<3

But I LOVED Women's Conference! Sister Stephens and Elder Uchtdorf's talks were my favorite! I sat and bawled when Elder Uchtdorf was talking about missionaries. I have a feeling I will probably be that way for the rest of my life. Haha. But here are a couple of my favorite quotes from him:

"Until then, we walk with whatever faith we have."

"Faith comes to the humble, diligent, and enduring."

"Paul realized his trial was a blessing, and he thanked God for not doing his will."

"There are more ways to see than with our eyes, more ways to touch than with our hands, and more ways to hear than with our ears."

"Don't listen harder, listen differently."

And one of the hugest things I learned from him is that OUR faith CANNOT violate another person's agency or force our will upon God. No matter how strong our faith is. I know that going through the refiner's fire turns us to gold. It is worth the heat. It is worth the blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes feeling along. But we know we never are truly alone. And as it says in 2 Nephi 2:24, "But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." I may not know why things happen, but God does. And he has a plan for each of us. So we can trust and KNOW with a surety that everything will be ok. And not just ok, but someday, even perfect! 

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

Floyd's baptism! I promise he is a teddy bear even though it may look like he is taking a mug shot! Haha!;)

Brother Bright and Floyd...and yes, Brother Bright managing to baptize Floyd worked out perfectly!;)

I don't know what I would do without my amazing companion! I just love her! That is why I am trying to kiss her and then she is a meanie and just makes a weird face! Yes....we are super weird, I know! Bahahahaha!:)

Best buds!<3

These flowers literally make me never want to leave Michigan! They look fake! They are so beautiful and diverse!

Some wicked, awesome trees in Ada.:)

While we are out door make-up for days with this humidity! ;)

She's such a dork!;)


Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 41: Book of Mormon Stories:) (Are the BEST!)

Hey Family and Friends!:)

Another week has come and gone! We were able to have interviews with President this week! Him and Sister Jacobsen came up from Lansing! It was so fun to see them! I miss seeing them literally almost on a daily basis. Haha. But life in G-Rap is going good! We have done a ton of door knocking this last week and found a ton of new people to teach which is awesome!:) We have sadly had to drop some investigators lately that haven't been progressing or getting back to us. Arul left to India for a month and he is hoping we are still here when he gets back because he is totally wanting to be baptized! Fingers crossed we will be here! So it is a tender mercy we are finding so many people that are interested because we are running low on solid investigators.:)

Floyd is still going strong. Crazy he wasn't at church yesterday and we were freaking out. They even announced his baptism in sacrament. Well, we call him. Turns out he accidentally woke up late and then he figured out someone stole $800 from him! He is still good to get baptized though! We got permission since he has come to church 5/6 times since we have met him! But it just goes to show how real Satan is and how true the church is! Grrrrr! Satan is a dog! But we taught him tithing this last week and it was so cool because he said, "10% is nothing. I could even pay more than that." He is so cool! Such great faith! We adore him!:D

Other than that, nothing else too exciting! Just the cool little miracles and tender mercies we see ALL. THE. TIME. I got Sister Gardner sick this last week so we were in on Tuesday for a bit. Luckily members take such good care of us and bring us medicine, food, movies, etc. Haha! But we are healthy and ready to get back on our game! I also forgot to say we taught Jenni on Tuesday and brought a member with us and it was SUCH a good lesson. She is still really involved in her church, but we are hoping that changes. I bore my testimony after we taught the Plan of Salvation and started bawling and I told her I think I knew her from the spirit world. I couldn't believe I said that and I was in shock, but she started crying too. I knew Jenni before this life. That I know without a doubt. Now we just have to get her baptized. Haha. She is like a cute grandma to me! She even feeds us this yummy, gourmet lunch every time we go teach her. :)

I was reading 1 Nephi 16 this last week because I have started the Book of Mormon over and it is SO COOL. I love the Book of Mormon. I got a brand new Book of Mormon and I am highlighting everything that describes the "Character of Christ" and I feel like I am getting so much out of it! I was reading in 1 Nephi 16: 20-23 and it is SO GOOD. It is the part where Nephi's bow breaks and his brothers and even his father, Lehi, (the prophet), are murmuring against the Lord because they can't get food.

Verse 20: "And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord."

Verse 23: "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?"

Nephi is such an amazing example. His whole family, even the prophet, murmurs against the Lord and he stands steadfast in his testimony that the Lord will help and bless him. "The Lord helps those who help themselves." One of my favorite quotes and that's exactly what Nephi does. He helps himself by making a bow and arrow and turning in the Lord. He is even humble enough to ask his father, the prophet, who was complaining at the time, to know where to go to find food.

What great faith. In return.....

Verse 29: "....We see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things."

They found food and were blessed because they humbled themselves and repented (verse 24). I love the Book of Mormon. I love the prophet, Nephi for his example to us. I love my mission and that I can be out here in Michigan teaching people about Nephi and this wonderful account of Jesus Christ. Now last time I checked you aren't starving for food. And even in that time Nephi had faith. But whatever you are going through I know the Lord loves us and will help us. He always does and always will. Keep the faith! I love you all and hope you have a STELLAR week!<3

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

So I am lame and this is the only picture I have from this week. But I thought it was amazing. This is in our neighborhood. Michigan fall is GORGEOUS! My child keeps making fun of me saying I look like a tourist taking pictures of trees....but if you lived in AZ most of your life watching would be pretty amazed as well! Bahahaha!;)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 40: Happy Birthday to Me....:P

Hey Family and Friends!:)

So this email is going to be short because this last week was kind of blah....literally. I got sick. Like always. At least it feels like it. This is at least the 4th time on my mission. I got an upper respiratory infection again (a.k.a. SUPER bad cold). I thought I was going to die. Jk....haha. But it was pretty awful! It was the same thing I got when I first came out to the field in December except like 10 times worse. Luckily I have a wonderful companion who nursed me back to health! Literally, I don't know what I would have done without her! :) She is my saving grace. I told Sister Gardner she needs to become a nurse! Instead of me being her momma this last week, she was more like my momma. Haha!

Funny story, so I woke up in the middle of the night like 50 times for a couple nights in a row and one of the nights I kind of overdosed on Night-Quil and when Sister Gardner went to wake me up, I wouldn't get up. Which is super weird to anybody who knows me because I am pretty obedient. And then I told her mumbling, "I kind of woke up last night and took more Night-Quil...." And she freaked out on me and told me I better wake her up next time because I could have over-dosed and killed myself. Lesson learned, Mama Gardner. Won't happen again. Bahahaha!

Well, I also have been going to the chiropractor! My neck and back are jacked. Between childhood accidents, dance, and my mission he said I was messed up. But he fixed me up a lot and I only have to go back a couple more times now. He is super nice! Dr. Vickers and he lives/works in Holland so it takes us an hour to get there! Road trip! But he does missionaries for free so that is nice!:) Totally recommend him! Amazing!

But Floyd is doing STELLAR! Still getting baptized next Saturday! The ward is excited! He is excited! It will be good!:) And Arul came to church yesterday so that was awesome! Everybody else is at about the same! We couldn't see a ton of people this week since I was on my deathbed! But we are still going strong and I hope you all are too! I love you all! I love this gospel! And I hope you have a STELLAR week!<3

Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

This is pretty much the only pictures I have this week! This was last P-day! We look like goobers and were really tired, but we like our shirts. And I thought my dad would appreciate this shirt! #thebest

Super bad quality but we really love each other!:)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 39: Miracles, Miracles, and more Miracles!:)

Family and Friends!:D

HOLY MOLY. THE FIRST WEEK OF OUR TRANSFER WAS STELLAR, BUT ALSO EXHAUSTING! It is rough not having a P-day the first week of the transfer, but we were able to get lots of work done! Here's a little recap on how all of our investigators and less actives are doing:

-Floyd: Is doing as good as ever! He hasn't moved yet so we are hoping he will still be in our area on September 24th when he gets baptized!:D He got his own car and is crusin' it to church now! He had a member show him the way to church and he just loves the gospel! He is doing good but keep praying for him. We still want to make sure he has a strong testimony in the gospel and Book of Mormon so he has a real, true conversion.

-Sara: We see tonight. She is on the struggle bus. We are still trying to help her stop smoking and come to church but Satan is throwing a lot at her with school and family drama. Keep praying for her  and pray our lesson with her tonight will soften and change her heart as well.

-Arul: He is a Hindu guy we are teaching and he is so cool! We had a lesson with him last night and he looks so much happier! He has been reading the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets we give him. He even asked us, "What do I need to do to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ here on earth? I don't want to wait until the spirit world!" He should be coming to church this next Sunday, but it is kind of a bummer because he is going to India for a month and a half! If we stay for one more transfer, he can probably get baptized while we are still here, but we will have to see. It was so cool though because he asked us if we wanted something from India and of course we said yes! Haha! Hopefully we will still be here or he will just mail it to us! Haha! But it was really cool because in his closing prayer he said, "Please help me know and accept the gospel so I can make it to the celestial world." It touched my heart!<3

-Samantha: I don't think she really knows what she wants and she is super busy! Every time we have a lesson there are screaming kids running around the house! So.....we will see.....and she doesn't want to come to church without her husband because he works on Sunday........we are hoping she will just have the faith and do it!

-Ian: We saw Ian this week and that was a throw down lesson! Like man! He is pretty much scared that our church is like "every other Christian church" and we all tell him "have faith" and "pray to know". But I kind of threw down on him when he said that and said, "Well you won't know because you have never even come to church or given The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a chance. You are judging it on your other experiences." And as scary as it was to say that, I wasn't scared and it must have been by the Spirit because he is going to try and come to church this next Sunday. And then we didn't even mention scheduling another appointment with him because we thought he just didn't have a desire, but he asked before we left if we could come back next week and teach him more! The Spirit definitely can cut like a knife!

-Aster: A new investigator who is so sweet and super cool story on how we found her! We were super mad because a guy had just kicked us out of an apartment complex (even though we have legal right to be there), so we started walking home and we found this little 5 year old boy who was lost. We were talking to this man who knew him and his family and said he would take care of him finding his brother again. Well....we start telling him who we are and a lady yells through the apartment window, "YOU ARE MORMON?! HOLD ON. I AM PUTTING PANTS ON AND COMING DOWN." Well....little do we know she took lessons from the missionaries 5 years ago and lost contact with them. She knows Sister Wilkes from the ward and when they reunited they started BAWLING! We were all bawling! It was so cool! Pray that she has the ability to listen to the lessons though because she has major PTSD and anxiety problems from all she has been through. She is from Africa and has had a hard life, but is such a sweetheart.  She even bore her testimony and it was a little wild....but she was saying how grateful she was for us! It made my heart happy!<3

-Vicktor: He is doing well and is such a sweetheart! He has slight autism and a speech impediment but is going to try to be coming back to church this next Sunday, if he can figure out his work schedule since he has been less active for a while. You can so feel the Spirit around him though. It is the best!:) Our faces always hurt from smiling and laughing so much when we leave his house.

-Johnson's: Jodi came to church yesterday! The kids were out of town but she came for sacrament meeting and we are so proud of her! She got here late and we didn't even know so she sat out in the foyer the whole sacrament meeting!:)

-Sister Zacha: She is doing alright...just super sick because all of her health problems! But COOL MIRACLE! Her son, Alex, came to church by himself yesterday! He was like against the church when we first started meeting with Sister Zacha. But I guess his heart was softened. He wouldn't even sit in on our lessons, but he started acting more happy and then one day (yesterday) he just showed up to church. It was cool because I bore my testimony yesterday and I saw someone smiling at me from the back of the chapel that looked familiar and then afterwards Sister Zacha texted us to tell us Alex came and I made the connection! He wanted to talk with Bishop and he came to Gospel Principles and sat reading and was engulfed in that book the whole time! It was so cool! We hope he comes again this next week!:)

-Kim, Emily, and Rebecca: Some new investigators that we taught for the first time this week that we will keep you updated on.:)

But that is a long and good update on all my cute, lovely siblings that Heavenly Father has blessed me with!:) 

ties at a member's hours Friday night. We had a bonfire and dinner and it was their kid's 5th birthday! It was so fun and nice of them to let us come over!:) It was a blast!

We also got invited to Grand Valley's mutual to teach their girls! It was so cool! They were so excited to come have sisters teach them since they don't have sisters in their ward. It reminded me of being in Young Women's. It literally feels like just yesterday.

Oh! And dad, I met Brother Rameriz (a friend/elder from your mission) last Sunday! We took a pic together and I think he sent it to you! It was so cool! Tender Mercy!

But I love this gospel and I know this church is true. It's Christ's church. Not man's. And if you don't know/want to know pray and ask Heavenly Father and I can promise you in the name of Jesus Christ as his servant that it is his church and that it will make you happier than anything else in this world. I love you all and hope you have a STELLAR week!<3:)
Remember the church is true and I love you!
<3Sister Rogers<3
Michigan Lansing Mission

Elder Laaksonen's tie before it's death and Sister Gardner wrote this on it: "Sister Rogers' mid-life crisis! Got a kid and burned this're old! Haha! I am your favorite and trial run!" She is such a dork!;) Gotta love her!

"Burn baby burn....." I guess my veil isn't that thick...haha! Jk! Or Sister Gardner's new mind could be corrupting me! Haha! I am remembering a ton of songs lately!

Love my mini fam!<3

Isn't Michigan gorgeous?!