Monday, August 26, 2013

And the work goes on!

     It's a breezy afternoon. Two missionaries coast their bikes to a traffic light, cross the street, and begin to walk up a hill along a major road. It's warm outside and cloudy overhead, though the sun can be seen setting low along the rocky mountain ridgeline. It begins to rain, a sprinkle at first. Near the top of the hill, the missionaries mount their bikes and begin to pedal.
     As they reach the summit, the rain drops become bigger, more frequent. In a matter of moments, the rain is pouring down. As the missionaries pedal rapidly towards their destination, one turns to the other and shouts, "Can we go home now?!"
     The addressed Elder contemplates his soaked clothing, his fight against the unfriendly headwind, and the promise of a warm shower awaiting him at home.
     "No!" comes the reply, "The work must go forth, rain or shine!"
     And so they pedal on.

Elders Rogers and Brunson
Yes, we rode bikes this week. And yes, we got a little bit soaked... We are only allotted 225 miles in our car per week, and we were running very low towards the end of this week. So, we decided it would be a good idea to save some miles by riding our bikes!
Our area lies on the foothills of the rocky mountains. Just like Elder Beeson on the isla, we're always either going uphill or downhill. I never really took note of it until we decided to bike! I have been a little bit exhausted because of that. It's been tough getting up in the mornings. But such is the life of a missionary!
On Thursday we had a wicked cool storm! We went to a Mexican restaurant called Olivero's to eat with a member family. As we pulled into the parking lot, it started to hail. I was a little confused, because it was probably about 80 degrees outside! All of the sudden, we heard loud 'BANG's on the roof of our car.
It was a little scary, I won't lie. We rushed from the car to the restaurant under an umbrella. Inside, we had a great view of the storm from our table through the large glass windows that stretched across the wall.
 The wind was blowing so hard that Elder Brunson couldn't help but ask if it was a tornado! The wind was blowing towards the windows, so they were continually being pelted with hail about half the size of a golf ball. Rain mingled in with the hail. There was so much rain, and the wind blew so strongly that it blew around as mist in all directions! After about 20 minutes of this, the ground was covered in hailstones, and it looked like it had snowed. A muddy river, about 6 feet wide, ran through the restaurant parking lot. The hail stopped, but the rain continued for another half hour or so, melting away most of the ice build-up on the ground. After all was said and done, the city was covered in leaves! Branches and leaves of trees were skewed about on all the streets, lawns, and sidewalks of Littleton.
The next day, we decided to do some contacting. Up until this point, we had done almost no street contacting, which I thought was just a little sad. So we spent about an hour walking around an apartment complex in our area before an appointment with a less-active member who lives there. We talked to four or five people, offered to say a prayer with them, and gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon. They were all polite and fairly receptive to us. Unfortunately, they were almost all people who worked at the complex, but lived outside our area! Oh well. Now the Englewood missionaries have a family to teach! I really enjoyed our contacting there, as well as the little bit of tracting we did in other neighborhoods.
We taught a lot of less-active members this week. We've been utilizing two of the Church videos: The Testaments and Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. They are really powerful; I love them! I think I saw both of them twice this week.
The ten-year-old girl named Tayte from a member family we have been teaching is getting baptized this Saturday. Hooray!!
We were told by the Stake housing coordinator that we will definitely be splitting the area on September 24th. That means I'll have had three companions in the first three transfers! Crazy.
I love what you've done with my room! I hope the girls enjoy it. What a big bed for a four-year-old!!
Elder Brunson is better now, but there's a bug going around and I can only hope that neither of us have caught it... We both keep coughing... Updates to come. I keep taking vitamin C!
The work goes on, and my planner and white handbook are dry now! (They were soaked after I insisted we pedal on). The Church is true! Don't ever forget it! I think about all of you, and you are in my prayers! Stay true! I love you all SO much!
Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

“I have often said that one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
President Ezra Taft Benson

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Companion...and a whole lot of nothing!

My new companion is Elder Brunson. He is from Shreveport, Louisiana, and has a rockin' accent-- with all the y'alls, yes ma'ams, and what have you. He has been in Colorado for six months, and he also came out when he was eighteen! He was so excited to hear how old I was, because it meant that for the first time he wasn't the younger companion. His accent is actually from East Texas, where he grew up. His dad was in the Air Force, so he has also lived in Okinawa, England, and Italy.
He seems to be a little bit more of a 'training-minded' trainer than Elder Curth was (Elder Brunson is my follow-up trainer, or my "step-dad"). He is a little more focused on making sure I know what I need to do. He's a great trainer!
My new Companion, Elder Brunson
He just came from serving in Delta, Colorado, which is on the Western Slope. That means I had to wait all day Tuesday for him to arrive here in Littleton. I waited with the Elders serving in the Columbine Ward, and we both had dinner appointments. Hmmm.... I guess that's a good problem to have...

Wednesday was good, and we had a few good lessons. Thursday was the slowest proselyting day I have had to date! We had written down about 20 people to see, including two set appointments that are regular Thursday visits. We stopped by about 15 of those 20 people, and didn't have a lesson with anyone! Talk about frustrating!! Even our two "ol' faithfuls" cancelled on us! To top things off, Elder Brunson had some kind of skin infection on his upper leg that made it painful for him to sit or walk, and he was just running out of energy by the end of the day. We went in an hour early, at 8 o'clock, so he could get to bed early.
Friday, he had a doctor's appointment at 3:20, and he slept until we had to leave for it. That left me bored. All day. In our apartment. I did utilize the time to make a Plan of Salvation map out of index cards! I colored all of the pieces with colored pencils and crayons, cut them out, and laminated them with packing tape! It took me way too long. But, it was something productive to fill the time. Now I'll be able to use the map when I teach the Plan of Salvation for the rest of my mission! Hooray! After the doctor, we went to a pharmacy to pick up an antibiotic the doctor prescribed for him, then to dinner, and then back home so Elder Brunson could sleep some more. He was in pain almost all day. That stinks. While he slept, I watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. Good movie!
Saturday, he slept all day again, and then we went to dinner and a meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. I don't even remember what I did for the rest of the day. I think I watched The John Tanner Story, drew the Salt Lake temple, and read some scripture. I gave him a blessing that night, and he started to get better!
Sunday, he was recovered enough to go to all six hours of church, and our other meetings! We had a few good visits with some less-active members afterward, and it was a pretty productive Sunday.
Nicola came back into town! She's our 18-year-old investigator who left on a trip to New York a couple of weeks ago. We made an appointment for tonight! She was so glad when I called her, and she said she really wanted to meet with us. Then she got sick and cancelled. :\ Oh well! No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing! Not even the hand of some nasty sickness! We will meet with her when she gets better.
We will be meeting with Bernie and Danielle tonight, though! Danielle is scheduled to be baptized on October 26th.
This week is looking like it will be a whole lot better, and a whole lot more productive. This is going to be a great transfer! At the end of the transfer, Mom, you're right: "So, you will be servicing two wards until the end of September, and then you’ll either stay in the Ken Caryl, or Coal Mine; either stay at the Dekle home, or move to the LeVecchia home, right?" That sums it up!
It sounds like things are going great back home, and school is in session! Have joy in the journey! Jadyn is engaged?! I'm not too surprised. Good for her! (And for him!)
Stay true to the faith! Read, pray, sing, go to church, keep the commandments, go to the temple, and just choose the right! The work goes on here in Colorado and around the world! I love you all and I'll talk to you later!
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


Friday, August 16, 2013

Look at "My Room!"

Since Justin and Rebecca have moved in with us, Jake wanted Carrie and Brigette to have their own room. (Used to be his!) Well, here it is! I'm sure Jake will be thrilled--to move to Provo when he gets home!!!
This no longer looks like a teenage boy's room!

I LOVE that Jake is serving in Colorado!

Another email from a nice sister in Colorado.

"I fed your sweet elder Son tonight. He is awesome and showing great leadership. He is safe and happy and you should be so proud if him. Please let me know if there I anything he needs.
What's with the cat?

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

 Dear family,
Sorry I didn't wear sunscreen! I meant to; after we left I remembered that I forgot...
"Is it disappointing when people cancel or don’t show up for appointments? What do you do then? Do you ever tract? If so, how is that?"
Yes, it can be disappointing when people don't answer the door for scheduled appointments. It depends on who we are going to see. Unfortunately, my mortal mind has me prefer some people we teach to others, so I won't particularly be looking forward to seeing someone (because they're rude, boring, disinterested, etc.), so I'm not super bummed when they don't answer. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person. I will work on that. I can't pick out many times when someone hasn't answered that I was looking forward to; I look forward to seeing people who are happily progressing, so they usually don't bail on appointments. But it does happen from time to time, and it is a bit of a bummer.
We haven't tracted once since I've been here. The only time I've tracted was back in Mesa with Elder Loomis. It just doesn't typically bring about many results. So, when we have "spare time" (which is a LOT of the time), we will have written down the night before certain people who we are working with, or are hoping to work with, who should be home at a certain time of day, and we stop by them.
"I hope you find your camera! I won’t like not having any pictures of you!"
I found it! It was in the lost and found at the family history center where we do our emailing! Yay!! I took some pictures this week, but unfortunately I don't have my camera cord with me today, so I'll have to send them next week.
"Are you guys using facebook or anything yet?"
Nope, not yet! Haven't heard anything about it since the broadcast.
"Randall Lebaron got his call last week. He is going to a new mission in Argentina. He reports December 4th."
Way to go Randall! It will be a blast for sure.
So! What's been going on this week?... Umm, I can't really remember. Sorry! I can tell you what has been going on Today, though! Elder Curth and I went to Breckenridge today! It's a town in his last area (the name of the area is Frisco), where he spoke Spanish! We stopped by a couple of people he wanted to say goodbye to, and a member took us out for a really nice burger for lunch. I hate when other youngsters drive. Especially Elder Curth. Hate it, hate it, hate it!!! I feel like my life is legitimately in danger many times every day. It rains a lot here, and he refuses to use the windshield wipers until it is physically impossible to see out the windshield. Even then, he only does them manually. (He won't let them go on intermittent, or whatever.)
We got the transfer call on Saturday night, and the APs told us Elder Curth is going home (as expected), and they told us that I'm . . . . . . budududududududdududum . . . . . staying!
I knew there was about a 99% chance of that, so no big surprise there. They don't want to whitewash the area (bring in two missionaries at the same time who are new to the area). They'll be splitting the area at the end of this transfer (end of September), since we cover two wards and there are so many missionaries coming in. This transfer we're getting about 30 and only 9 are going home! When they split the area, to avoid whitewashing, they'll split me and my new companion (who I'll meet tomorrow) up and give us each a ward with a new companion. So, I'm here until the beginning of November for sure. Fine by me! It's a good area, and it will be even better when I don't have to keep two wards straight, and attend two full block of church. On Sundays, Elder Curth and I usually have to show up at 7:30 for the Priesthood Executive Committee, when go through a church block from 9:00-12:00, another from 12:30-3:30, then we usually have Ward Mission Correlations with the other ward until 4:30 before we jet off to dinner.
Sundays are full.
We have 5 companionships in our district, and every companionship has one companion leaving this transfer! Sister Baker, who was also in my MTC district, is leaving us to co-train a greenie sister in another area (she'll be in a tripanionship). They have so many new sisters that they're recruiting 6-week-old sisters to train!! She'll do great, though.
The work has slowed down just a tad over the last couple of weeks in our area, but I'm not discouraged. I'll bring in my new companion and tell him only great things about the area and the people we teach! Ha!
I'm glad to hear that Isac is talking, Charlie is crawling, Rose is doing the Macarena, Carrie is starting pre-school, and Brigette is walking-- wait. Brigette is walking?!?
Kai wrote me and told me that she saw Hairspray. She said it was the best show she had ever seen at Hale! Way to go, Dad!
I hope things are going well in school with the new job, Mom!
Best wishes to all in their work and maternal pursuits! Stay happy! Read rom the scriptures!
The Church is true!
Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

"The work of our missionaries is a magnificent expression of the Lord’s redeeming love." ~Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Powerful Speaker

August 11, 2013

Another email from Lorren:

Hi Lori:

 Elder Rogers did tell us about helping his dad with your wood floor.  I had commented on how comfortable and natural he looked working with the tools.

 Attached is today’s bulletin showing your son as one of the speakers.  We went to listen to him talk. He did a phenomenal job!  He was engaging, confident, eloquent, and passionate about his subject:  “Being true to Jesus.”  A well-spoken young man.

 He is looking forward to staying in the same area and getting to know and work with his new companion.  We look forward to his visits!

 Please let me know if we can do anything for you for him.
 Have a great week!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

I can do service!

I received this email from a woman in Littleton, Colorado.

Hi Lori and Mark,
We have loved getting to know your son, Elder Rogers.  He has been terrific at helping us with our home renovation project.  Attached are pictures; I hope you enjoy.
I can work a saw!
Yup! I know what I'm doing!

Looks good, Elder Curth! Looks Good!
 We look forward to having him around more often!
Our sons are out of the house; our oldest is serving a mission in Las Vegas, NV and our youngest is going to school at the University of Washington (Seattle).  Since we have plenty of room, now that our boys are gone for a while, we have offered our home to house missionaries and were planning to get two with the transfer next week.  We just learned this evening that we won’t get Elders until the next transfer in September.  We are hopeful it may be Elder Rogers and his next companion.
If there is anything we can do for your son please don’t hesitate to ask!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Solamente una semana hasta que los cambios!

That's right! One week left in this transfer! I'll find out on Saturday if I'm getting transferred, so I'll tell you next Monday what I find out. Elder Curth is going home in one week, and he already has his death papers (flight plans). It might be tough for me to explain what's going on, because the days just bluuurtoogetthher.
On a Hike
Monday, after I emailed, some of the other missionaries and I went on a hike. The came with a recent convert, and left after a couple of miles, while the rest of us went off-trail to make it to the top of the mountain. It was some intense hiking after that. We saw a rattlesnake!DUN Dun duuuunnn.... It was just curled up, not bothering anyone, when Elder Beuhecker decided to provoke it. I told him it was a bad idea, but he wouldn't listen to me. So he got bit and had to go to the hospital. Just kidding! He didn't get bit. But he did poke it with a stick and made it mad. When we got to the top of the mountain, there was a sweeeet view of Kansas. Okay, probably not all the way to Kansas, but you could see for miles out East.

Top of the World!
Elder Cochran bought a blue crab and put it under the passenger's seat of Elder Beuhecker's and Elder Blocker's car. They still have no idea why it stinks so bad in their car. Hahaha! The crab was dead when he bought it, don't worry.
As far as the work goes, this week was pretty slow. A bunch of people cancelled on us or didn't show up for appointments. But we'll keep trying our best! Things should pick up this week. We're teaching a ten-year-old girl in a member family who hasn't been baptized yet. They're becoming active, and we've set her on date to be baptized on August 24th!
On Saturday we went to Colorado Cares Day at the Lilly Gulch Recreation Center. It was fun! It's an inter-faith community service project that's held annually.
Sunburned Elders from helping at a Service Project!
There were over 100 people there consistently for nine hours building a playground. That's right-- building it from the ground up! It's such a sweet playground! I can't wait to play there when the concrete settles! I spent a lot of time with landscaping and mixing/pouring concrete. They had music playing the whole time, which was kind of weird, but not really, since I was listening to Gentile music only a few weeks ago.
We get to go to the temple on Wednesday! I'm sooo excited! While we're there, we're going to stop by the distribution center, where I'm hoping to buy the newest Joseph Smith movie to share with investigators and members, etc.
It sounds like Island Park was a blast! And Mom, I have been to Yellowstone! I don't remember when it was, but we were there, and we saw some bison, sat and watched Old Faithful, and had a merry time! I hope you're doing well at school! It's crazy that it's that time of year again! (In Arizona, anyway. Kids here still have a couple of weeks.) I hope that all is well with all of you!
I misplaced my camera, so I'll send some pictures that Elder Beuhecker took on Monday. Then I'll relocate my camera soon. Hopefully. It can't have gotten far. Probably. I really, really hope not.
 But all's well!
Finally made it to the top!
King of the Hill!

Until next Monday!
Elder Jake Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

Galatians 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.