Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Things Are Happening!



Be it known to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, that I can only write physical letters on Mondays (P-days), but please write me at your convenience! I can read letters any time!

Mom! It's funny that you had a bad dream about school, because I had an awful dream last night! I woke up in the Tuscan room, redecorated (because obviously the girls are in my room). I was so confused! Mom was sitting there, so I asked her what was going on. She told me I was back from my mission! I said, "Did I serve the full two years?" and she said, "Yes." I told her that it was really weird, because I could only remember the first six weeks of my mission, and I had NO recollection of the rest...

Eventually, I figured out that she was trying to hide the fact that I had come home after six weeks. How do you hide something like that?? I freaked out, and I had to explain thoroughly that I had no memory or intention of leaving! I had no clue how I had gotten home! I told her I wanted to go back to Colorado and finish my mission, and she tried to convince me to stay for a little while. I zealously objected! I wanted to be back on my mission as soon as possible, because if there's one thing I don't want to do, it's go home early! I frantically made my way to the airport, set on getting back to the mission. I was really sad, scared, and freaked out! You have no idea how relieved and comforted I was when I woke up in my own bed in Littleton. I don't know if the Spirit would give me such a scary dream... But I'll tell you one thing for sure-- I do NOT want to experience that in reality. I'm here for the full 24!

Forrest has been dodging us the past week or two. It's sad. His wife is a member, and we visited with her once when we were trying to make contact with Forrest. She's super nice, and she and their two little sons came to church yesterday.

Dave is doing great! He's reading in the Book of Mormon, and he came to church yesterday, wearing the tie Elder Curth gave him as a "going away" gift (because Elder Curth likes him and he's going home soon). Dave has been investigating for about three years, and he hadn't come to church once until March 28th this year. He's been five times now! And twice this month!! He's such a good guy.

We had quite a few days without appointments this week, which is super tough. I don't like that.

I've been driving this week! Elder Curth got permission from the Assistants for me to drive so I can get to know the area before he leaves. We have a Toyota Corolla. We found out that there's about a 99% chance that they'll split the area, because the Stake Housing Coordinator told us that he had to go to Brother and Sister L's house to have them fill out forms.
The L's are a non-member couple with a son on a mission in Las Vegas. They are super duper friendly, and they seem like members because of the Spirit they invite into their home. They have another son who is in the circus. He travels the world doing jump rope competitions and shows; I think he's in Germany right now.

Anyway! They live in the Coal Mine Ward, and Sister D, who we live with now, is in the Ken Caryl Ward. We've been doing our best to balance the work between the two wards so there would be enough work in each to split the area. We're going to have an increase of 20 missionaries next transfer, so the mission needs to come up with 10 new areas! I'll either be staying with Sister D or moving in with the L's. Then there's always the sliver of a chance that I'll be transferred somewhere else.

Elder Curth and I have had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Principles class in church about three times, I think. It's always really good, and I can tell that the Spirit is guiding us for sure!

Elder Curth said yesterday was one of his best days in the mission! We got up and went to a meeting at 7:30, then to six hours of church (both wards, as always). Church was awesome, because we had Dave come to KC, and a less-active, Chris, come to CM! We taught in KC about service. I love the Gospel Principles book!

After church, we got to go home "early," because we didn't have any meetings afterward like we usually do. Then, we had a member come with us to an appointment with a less-active member named Brandon who is about 40. Brandon was in a motorcycle accident a few weeks ago. He hit a deer on the highway. Luckily, he was decked out in full moto-garb, so he survived with six broken ribs and road rash, to which he lost part of his finger. We hadn't seen him since I'd been here, because he was so incapacitated. But we had a good conversation with him, and there was some definite good fellowship between him and the member we brought. He explained how he had had several warnings before the accident, and he attributed those to the Spirit. He said that he had had the feeling he needed to get back to church for a while, and that our persistence in banging on his door twice a week helped to motivate him. Also, his wife isn't a member, so she could be a potential investigator when he starts coming back to church! Basically, it was the perfect less-active member lesson, because he said he actually wanted to go back to church, and he didn't hesitate to accept another appointment with us, he even said to stop by almost whenever, because he's home a lot.

After that, we had a steak dinner! (During which I got a bloody nose; I guess the altitude finally caught up with me. Luckily I was dabbing my forehead with a napkin when it happened, so I caught the blood before it got on my shirt!)

After dinner, we made contact with a reference that we had gotten earlier in the day from a member in another Stake. We helped her move down the block in a neighborhood of townhouses, then offered a blessing on her and on her new house. We introduced her to a member family in her neighborhood, and she agreed to let the Bishop stop by her house on Tuesday. Elder Curth had actually taught this lady for a couple of months in another area, and she recognized him right away! So, it was essentially a near-perfect non-member move.

Then, we got home before 9:00, whereas we're normally home closer to 9:30. We didn't have a lot to plan for the next day, it being p-day and all. I got to bed at about 9:30! Whaaah?? It was great.

Things are great here in Littleton, and I'm in the groove. It's great to hear the show is going so well, dad! It's good to hear that Rebecca and Justin are all moved in! Mom, you're gonna do great as a math specialist! Marissa and Brandon, it's good to hear you and your kids are doing well! Keep me updated! Kevin and Kandis, what's up?

Love you all and wish you the best,

Elder Rogers!


 

A Thought from Mom:

“As you shed tears in your Gethsemane while others laugh with the sinners, don’t curse the purifying fire in which you have been placed. Your challenges are divinely appointed and they will ultimately perfect you.”  Glen L. Pace

Flat Elder Rogers in Yellowstone July 2013

  Flat Elder Rogers at Old Faithful!

             We had a great time in Yellowstone, Flat Elder Rogers and I. Even his cousins got in on the fun!

                                Lexi, Mariah, and Flat Elder Rogers in front of boiling hot water!

         Steven, Sam, and Flat Elder Rogers in front of an AWESOME, hot, colorful pond in Yellowstone.


              Jake (oops...Flat Elder Rogers) and Mom in front of a really cool geyser (NOT Old Faithful)!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hello Family!
Let me answer some questions!
Myrna doesn't remind me of Harvey... She's super small, and Harvey was big. And Harvey was a boy, and she's a girl. But the age, sure! We actually have an investigator named Harvey! Or maybe he's less active. We haven't met with him since I've been here, so I'm not sure...
We had dinner last night with a couple, and they said something about Mark Shinsato.(I don't know how to spell that...) So I asked them what they do for a living, and they said Lifevantage! They were at the Elite Academy in Denver last weekend! So, that was cool.
You'll have to send me a picture so I can see what you do to my room for the girls once you're finished! I'm assuming you guys will do something to it.
I hope Mom is having fun at Island Park! Why is it called that? Isn't it land-locked?... Hmmm....
How sweet that Isac and Carrie are swimming, and that Isac is talking a little more! Keep it up bubba! Stay cool and stay safe, Care! Swimming is fun, but it's dangerous without an adult!
I can't remember if I asked you to thank Sister Macpherson for her cookies. Please do.
I'll be writing to the Greers to thank them personally (hopefully today)!
This week was a bit different. We didn't have as many set appointments with investigators. Really, we only met with a couple. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the first three days I've had without a set appointment since I got into the field! Technically we met with a member family to talk about missionary work on Saturday, but that was our only appointment all day. We did meet with our investigator Forrest once! We had another appointment with a member family at the same time, so I went with a member named Dave to meet with Forrest. He asked us to explain the purpose of baptisms for the dead, because that was the main part of the Plan of Salvation that he didn't understand. After I did my best to explain, he said he understood. I'm not sure if he really did, or if he was just trying to please me, but I think it was at least a little clearer for him. Then he asked about blacks and the priesthood. Fun, right?! I did my best to explain a little bit. Luckily Dave was there, because he pulled out his phone and went to the Gospel Library. You know how the Church updated the standard works a few months ago? Well, there's a new heading to Official Declaration 1 in the Doctrine and Covenants, which explains the whole situation much more clearly than I've ever understood it before. Basically, when Joseph Smith was the President of the Church, there were black men who held the priesthood! Then, Church records show that the ordination of black males to the priesthood simply stopped. It became such a common practice, that it was felt that a revelation was needed in order to change it. President Kimball received that revelation! After that, we talked a little bit about how Forrest can recognize answers to his prayers.
We also met with an investigator named Dave. He is about 50, and lives alone with his two dogs. He has grown children who live somewhere else. He has been investigating the Church for about 3 years, but lately seems to be making a lot of progress! He basically accepts all the doctrines. I think he just doesn't want to change just yet. But he owns a dry cleaning place, and he does our dry cleaning for free! Woohoo!! He even has special stuff he can spray on our ties to make them water resistant, which will come in handy big time when I'm on a bike in the rain. We had a really good lesson with him this week about God's love, and His unwavering plan for each of His children. We shared the story of Martin Harris and the 116 lost pages of the Book of Lehi. The Lord had been planning for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon for over 2,400 years! Martin felt so bad for losing the pages that he essentially paid for the printing of the Book of Mormon. The Lord has a plan!
If I get a friend request from Mike Bean, you can accept it. Mike is a member here in the Coalmine Ward. He's married to sister Bean, and they have a dog. They're so cool! They're our best member friends. Mike is learning guitar, and he makes up songs. They are awesome. One was about a guy on a horse who basically lost everything, so he decided to get five tattoos. It made more sense in the song. Kind of... But anyway, he died and then he had to repent, so he did, and he had dinner in the Celestial Kingdom with Joseph Smith and Nephi. Then he met Elder Curth and his eternal Bride. The song was kind of a rollercoaster, though, because he's practicing using major and minor chords. The song will be all happy, and the next moment it takes a dramatically tragic turn.
We play soccer two or three times a week in the morning. I have to get up at like 5:45! I'm not super great at soccer, but today I played goalie (or keeper, whatever) and that wasn't so bad.
I've been reading a lot in Jesus the Christ. It's such a good book! You guys aught to get it and read some every now and then.
So anywhoo, we've done a lot of driving from house to house of less-active members this week, since we didn't have appointments. Rarely do they answer the door... But it's all good! I'm serving the Lord, and trying my best to try my best!
Thank you, Mom, for the package with the zucchini bread! I feel so bad for Elder Curth, because he doesn't ever get any letters, and he's been a trainer practically his whole mission. Since greenies always get letters, he just always sifts through the mail and then hands it all to me. But it's okay! He's going home in three weeks! Then nobody will have to write him!
Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you- I played the piano a ton in the MTC for church and meetings and stuff, and yesterday I played the organ in church! The coalmine ward asked me if I would play, but the only one I knew was #27, Praise to the Man. So I played the intermittent hymn! Elder Curth also plays the piano, but I think he hides it form the members so he doesn't have to play. Or maybe he just doesn't talk about it, I don't know.
So you may have noticed I sent 12 pictures today. I finally brought my camera cord to email, and it loads the pictures way faster!
I wish you all luck with all that you are doing! Good luck, mom, with school! You'll be an awesome math specialist! Good luck Dad with work and the show! I'm sure you bring a lot to the production. Feel free to encourage Nellie and Rachel to write me! My address is on facebook. Good luck Justin with the new job! Good luck Greers, mom,and dad with the move! Good luck Isac with talking! Good luck Charlie (haha) with learning to crawl! Good luck Kevin, Kandis and Rose with everything! Good luck Smiths with... I'm not sure what to wish you luck with. Keep it up! It seems like there was something significant on the 29th... And I was going to say something about it. If there is something and I forgot, then sorry! If there's nothing, then disregard!
Moses 1:64-66 explains the answer to an age-old question: "Who on earth baptized Adam?"
Still trying to figure out if he had a belly button.
Funny, right? But the member who came with me to visit Forrest used it as an example to show that there are some things that it aren't important to know for our salvation. We shouldn't let our testimony be shaken by things like that. Center your testimony on Jesus Christ and His Atonement. That's the gospel we preach. The rest is there to help people receive Christ and His Atonement.
Things are well with me! Thanks for everything. My prayers are with you all.
Stay bright- Choose the right!
Elder Rogers



A Thought from Mom:

“If the whole mission is the sum total of each and every missionary, then the action of a single missionary affects the entire mission ~Anonymous

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Family!

Things are going much better in Colorado. I'm getting into the lifestyle, and the days just ruuuuuntooogether. There's a lot going on!

We had exchanges on Thursday, and I was with the District Leader, Elder Beuhecker. Not my favorite thing. I had to go to their apartment, so I had to sleep in someone else's bed and use their towel and bring over all of my toiletries and clothes. I didn't end up bringing the right kind of clothes and... blah. Also, the work in the area I exchanged in is not going nearly as well as where Elder Curth and I are serving. But it was just for one day and now I'm back where I belong!

I think I may have grown since I left on my mission, because on Wednesday night I asked Jimmer how tall he was and he said 6'2" or maybe 6'1" without his shoes on. We compared heights, and I was about as tall with my shoes on as he was without his. He said I was probably about 6'0". I don't know if that's true or not, but we can just keep hoping! But anyway, Jimmer Fredette's parents-in-law live in our ward, so he and his wife came over to dinner when we ate at their house on Wednesday. Jimmer and Whitney live in Highlands Ranch (during the off-season). Jimmer also came to church in our ward yesterday because his and Brother Wonnacott's (his father-in-law's) wives were out of town. He's a cool guy. I told him when he goes back to Sacramento (to play for the Kings) he has to ask the elders in his ward if they know me, because there was a whole district in my zone at the MTC that was going to Sacramento.

On Saturday night we went over to the Holmes' for dinner. They just had a son return from his mission in Mexico and are sending one out on Wednesday to serve in Brazil. They invited all of their close non-member friends over for dinner and a lesson with the missionaries! So the two aforementioned sons, Elder Curth and I taught the first lesson, the lesson of the Restoration. There were twelve people there!! It was a good lesson, and the Spirit was there.

We have a few notable investigators progressing towards baptism soon. One is Danielle. Her husband is a member who has been inactive for a long time. He has two sons (5ish and 7) from another marriage (shared custody). The younger one is named Peyton. The older one, Xander (that's a guess on the spelling; it's pronounced "Zander") is super, super smart! We asked someone to read a scripture and he was so excited! We were a little apprehensive, it being the scriptures and all, and he being seven... But he jumped in and whipped right past words like 'repentant' and 'whosoever' without missing a beat! He's so cool. He loves the lessons, and any time we visit them he asks, "What lesson are we learning today? I want another lesson!" Anywhoo, the father, Bernie, knows a ton about the church, and his wife Danielle is really receptive and kind. They have two sons together: Wayne, who is about Isac's age, and Sterling, who is just a couple of months old. Wayne is so funny!! He loves it when the missionaries shake his hand or give him a fist bump! And Sterling always looks up at you and then gets this surprised look. Haha! Danielle is getting baptized a couple of weeks after they get married in October. She's totally committed to it, they just have to be married first. Bernie is going to baptize her, and then about a month or so later, Xander. They already feel like an active LDS family!
Another progressing investigator is Myrna. She's about 72, I think, and probably 4'6". She's really nice, and active in the bell choir in her Lutheran church. One of her big reservations about getting baptized is having to leave the bell choir! Her late daughter was married to an active member of the church who's in our ward. (Her daughter was also an active member).

We went to a farewell party for Travis Oldham (oldum) a while ago. He's going to Tai Chung, Taiwan! The exact same mission his brother went to!! He has a friend named Nicola who is an investigator. Nicola is 18 and just graduated. For the sake of picturing her, she has boy-short hair. We taught her a lesson last week, and she is so receptive and excited about all of the new things she is learning! She came to church for Travis' farewell two weeks ago, and then came to all three hours yesterday with his mom! She said, "It just keeps getting cooler!" I can see her getting married in the temple someday. It was so cool at church, because the speakers in sacrament meeting seemed to be hand-picked for her. They were all members of the singles' ward, and one was an 18-year-old recent convert who is a girl!! The Lord is in the smallest details of the Church. They talked about how the singles' ward has helped them remain active.

Those are our three that we anticipate getting baptized soon!

So! I will try to remember and answer some of your questions.

Elder Curth is from Ohio. And no, he is not trunky! He's been a trainer almost his entire mission, so he knows what he's doing, and on some level, I think he knows the significance of his influence on me. That could be one reason he's not trunky, but he's also just a really good missionary.

It's just me and Elder Curth in the apartment!

We do our emailing at the Family History Center at one of the ward buildings.

We have a car! We cover two wards right now, but rumor has it they will be splitting our two wards into two areas with this next transfer in August, which means I will need a bike. But guess what!! My companion is going home next transfer, and won't need his bike! He said he would sell it and all of the accessories to me for $250. I don't know if you put money back on my card, but you should. I didn't really lose my wallet that first day, I just misplaced it for about an hour.

We have dinner appointments EVERY night. A few nights ago, I was tortured when the bishop MADE me eat two ice cream sandwiches. I don't know how Elder Curth isn't fat. He eats at least three times as much as me. Last night we had Hawaiian haystacks! The brother served in the Japan East Mission from '70-'72. He says "Onu" to Dad... But HEY!! I met someone who served in the Osaka Japan Mission!!! A brother in the ward from Canada served there a few years after Dad left. I thought you would like to hear that, Dad.

 We eat lunch at our apartment. I bought a 12-pack of off-brand mac and cheese, but it was disgusting!!! So I got Kraft. Once in a while, like after weekly district meetings, we will go out for lunch. And yes, I have cereal for breakfast. Special K fruits and yogurt, or Malt-o-meal Mini Wheats, Cheerios, or Cinnamon Toast Cruch. They give us each a credit card with $139 per month. And they reimbursed me for the baggage fee I had to pay to fly to Denver.

It's been raining here a lot recently, which is ironic because they told us when we got here that the state was in a drought. But everyone assures me they've had more rain in the past two weeks than in the last four months. I don't like it when other people drive, so I can't wait until I'm the assigned driver. Or we're on bikes. D&C 61:3! That's one thing that makes me not feel too bad about the idea of being on bikes.

Way cool that you're loving the play, Dad! Hale is my second home! You look great in costume in that picture. Keep it up and enjoy it! Also, both of you keep it up with the gym! We worked out last Monday, and I was sore for a super long time. My left arm was hurting, so I kept stretching it, and it hurt worse and worse, so I stopped stretching it and used my shoulder bag (scriptures) as a sling for a couple of days. Now it's better! By the way, I carry that shoulder bag everywhere.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something!! But thank you thank you for the letters and packages! They mean the world and a half! Kai sent be a big package with a bunch of stuff, including a tie she made! It's a cool, teal, paisley one.

I will certainly try my very best to write to everyone who writes me and sends me things. It means SO much to me!

But in case it takes me some time,

Please thank Libby a bushel for the toffee! The night before we left the MTC, there were a bunch of Elders from another district over at our apartment, and we shared snacks and stuff. They loved the toffee, and someone asked me then next day if I had more! I did, so I gave him some.

Same with the zucchini bread! MAN that stuff is good!

Thank Allison Macpherson for the sweet letter, and tell her I will write her back as soon as I can. Tell her it means a lot!

Thanks Brandon and Marissa for the letters, I will certainly write you, too!

Thanks Isac, for the awesome picture!!

Thank you so much for the song and the picture, Carrie!!

I love you all and wish you the best with all that's going on in life! You are in my prayers!

Sincerely,

Elder Rogers 


P.S. I will try to send some pictures, but I make no promises this week. I forgot my cord. QUACK!



A Thought from Mom:

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do; not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased."
--A favorite saying of President Heber J. Grant