Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Hello! How's it going?
This has been a good week! We went bowling as a district on p-day last week. That was tons of fun! I've always liked bowling. I don't know if the owner of the lanes is a member or what, but he gives us three games on four lanes for free on Mondays (plus shoes)! My highest score was 123. I think that's a personal record! It's not earth-shattering by any means, but I was happy with it.

That night and on into Tuesday I went on exchanges with the Spring Creek Elders. Their ward is in Montrose, and I joined Elder Hudson there.
Near Montrose, Colorado
They had been having some struggles finding new investigators and getting the work moving, so I was excited to see what miracles the Lord would bless us with (exchange days always seem to be full of blessings)! On Monday night, we found a very solid new investigator while tracting, taught her the restoration, and set up a return appointment! We also found some potential investigators for the sisters in the area and for the Montrose Spanish missionaries. On Tuesday, we dropped by one of their investigators unannounced, and she told us that she wanted to be baptized on June 7th! Elder Hudson said he had no idea she wanted to get baptized, let alone that soon! We taught her about repentance and the Word of Wisdom, so she can be living it for at least two weeks before she gets baptized.

The next day in Gunnison, we taught Hermana Rosales again. We discussed the importance of baptism by proper priesthood authority, and invited her to be baptized. No matter what we said, she responded with, "I have already been baptized." It was disappointing that she wouldn't let herself see the blessings of baptism by proper authority, but towards the end of the lesson she said she wouldn't get baptized and I said, "We'll see." She responded with, "It's in the Lord's time." So, I guess we'll see where that goes!  She likes the Book of Mormon, but still doesn't want to read it on her own. Hopefully something will click and she will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity, leading to a testimony of the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel! It's in the Lord's time.

On Friday we taught Neely and Laurali the Plan of Salvation. Neely had a lot of questions, and of all things, she said she couldn't wrap her mind around the spirit world. She said she understood the pre-earth life and the kingdoms of glory, though! I'll look into some scriptures or talks she can read to help her understand the spirit world. The next day we went and helped them do some landscaping! I love doing landscaping. Physical labor is kind of gratifying, and I get to wear normal clothes! They're getting the yard all fixed up because they're planning on moving to Austin, Texas this summer. I hope they progress quickly! They came to sacrament meeting, so that's a good sign.

Before we did their landscaping on Saturday, we taught a lesson to Luis (with an accent on the i, I'm still working on that...)! He was a potential Spanish investigator that we found last week and set up an appointment with. We brought our ward mission leader, who served his mission in Argentina (30 years ago). We taught the Restoration, and it went great!! Luis accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and the things we had taught. I was able to express all that needed to be expressed, and understand (I hope) the important things that were said to me. I know the Lord is blessing me with the gift of tongues so I can carry the gospel to these people. And hey, guess what!! My Spanish name tags got here today! I ordered them a week or two ago. So now the Latino community will know who we represent!

Sunday was good, and I always enjoy getting to go to church. It's a little different in a Branch, but the teachings are all the same! Then came p-day. Of course all the libraries were closed for Memorial Day, so I'm emailing on Tuesday! We played Zone vs. Zone kickball. We were up 19-9 on the 5th inning (okay, I have no clue what inning it was), but the other zone pulled up and took the game, 21-22. But I'm glad it wasn't a blow-out like it was getting set up to be. The other zone was really down on themselves when the score difference was so drastic, and I prefer a close game. In any case, it was lots of fun!

That's about it for this week. I hope you all are having an awesome SUMMER now that school is out!! Keep choosing the right and doing good things and remember to be excellent. I love you!

Elder Rogers

A thought from Mom:
“The scriptures are like a written “recording” of the “voice” of the Lord—a voice we feel in our hearts more than we hear with our ears. As we study the written word of God, we learn to hear His voice in the words we read. As we return repeatedly to the holy scriptures, we gain experience and confidence in hearing and feeling His voice.”  ~David A. Bednar

Monday, May 19, 2014


This week was a little bit slower than last, but it was good! First, we got a call from Elder Peterson, the Car Czar (fleet coordinator, senior missionary). He told us to get our windshield replaced and our headlight fixed, because it's almost time to sell Suzie! (Suzie Subaru is our car.) She's about to pass 52,000 miles, and the mission likes to sell them between 50 and 55 thousand. So we'll probably be getting a new car soon!

We have one investigator, Gloria, who we met a few weeks ago. We've taught her four or five times. I think I might have told you about her before, but she's from Mexico, but speaks English, and she's in her fifties. This week she fed us enchiladas and then on a different day we made tortillas with her! The unfortunate thing is that she isn't really progressing. She doesn't want to read the Book of Mormon on her own. If she's not willing to do that, she'll likely never gain a testimony of the Restoration. We want her to progress so we can keep teaching her, so I hope something changes with her soon.

Mary Ellen! I can't remember who I've told you about in past letters, so I'll tell you about her. She is 80 years old and widowed. She is so nice! When I was in Naturita, Elder Buhecker and Elder Sofele offered to rake her leaves for her. She told them all about how she wanted to go to BYU when she was younger, but her parents wouldn't let her. She knows a few members of the branch. Since then, we have taught her the message of the Restoration, and she loved it! I really hope she'll come to church so she can feel the Spirit there and get to know more members. Also, she made us cookies!

We found two new investigators this week. One of them is named Mark. He is a musician, and he plays guitar to lead the worship service at a Christian church. He likes to get really deep into topics like the universe, dimensions, and planes of existence, etc. We had one lesson with him this week, and if anything I think we were able to establish that he's shooting beyond the mark. We told him that if he wants to learn and progress in the Gospel, he needs to take it one step at a time, line upon line. He seemed to understand. It's kind of like he's trying to jump into a book at chapter 27. We'll see how that progresses.

Our other new investigator is Neely! The Elders also gave her some service when I was in Naturita. We taught her the first lesson about the Restoration, and she was inquisitive and sincere. She is in her 30s and has an 11-year-old daughter. We gave her some suggested readings in the Book of Mormon, including the introduction, testimonies, 3 Nephi 11, and Alma 32. We didn't have a copy of the book with us, so we told her how she could access it online. When we went back two days later to drop off a paperback copy, she had already read everything we left her, and she said, "I love Alma 32! It's my favorite." Then she asked us to write down more suggested readings! Things are looking really good with her. I think she can feel the spirit of the message.

Elder Sofele and I gave talks in sacrament meeting yesterday! He spoke on discipleship, and I spoke on hastening the work of salvation through family history work. I think both talks turned out well. Elder Sofele bore his testimony in Tongan at the end of his talk. The week before, Sister Smith bore hers in Spanish (she's learning it here). So, I didn't want to be the odd man of the missionary group. I bore my testimony in Fijian. Just kidding, I did it in Spanish. I've gotten to speak a bit of Spanish with the Alarcon family in the branch. They are from Peru! We've found a couple of potential Spanish investigators, so I'm excited about that! Elder Sofele has no clue what's going on when I talk with them, though. He's picking up a tiny bit here and there.

The work moves forward here in Gunnison! I am enjoying it and taking the hardships with the high points. Remember to do good, be good, and learn and share the Gospel! I love you and hope you have una buenisma semana!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:
Daily, constantly, we choose by our desires, our thoughts, and our actions whether we want to be blessed or cursed, happy or miserable.

~Ezra Taft Benson

Hey Dad!

Hey Dad!

Elder Sofele is a good missionary. He is kind of shy, but honestly he's doing much, much better with it now than when he first came out. He has righteous desires and is a diligent worker. It's good that he's here in Gunnison (or as President Murdock calls it, "that distant land") away from other missionaries, because sometimes the Polynesian missionaries tend to choose disobedience, and they would probably attach themselves to Elder Sofele. I explained that to him, and he understands and is determined to be a good missionary. And yes! I will be follow-up training Elder Sofele as well. I've been a district leader for about 6 or 7 months now. It's a bit of responsibility, but it's not overwhelming or anything. There are 5 companionships in the district, or 11 missionaries (one trio). I get to conduct companion exchanges, organize and conduct weekly district meetings, interview investigators for baptism, and do my best to lift, encourage, inspire, and set the example for the other missionaries. Our district, I'm guessing, it the biggest in the mission, geographically. We cover from Tuluride and Naturita to Montrose, to Gunnison and beyond about 30 miles east and north. HUGE! The first time I was district leader in Littleton, we only had three wards, or about 5-6 square miles. And in GJ, we had the Spanish missionaries, so their area technically covered the whole Grand Valley.

We are having a lot of luck finding people in Gunnison! And as far as Spanish, I never seem to have the time to study!! Elder Sofele talked about it, and we decided we need to make the time. We're always either doing service, or having a meeting, or going to church or something, and I only get to study it like 2 days in the week. So we're going to make time from now on, and I'll be studying diligently. Mr. Borba told me to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish a lot. And PMG actually encourages missionaries to learn far beyond a gospel vocabulary. We are encouraged to not be satisfied with only being able to teach the lessons and talk about gospel topics, etc. We should strive for complete fluency so the Lord can use our language abilities throughout our life!

I should probably write a big email too. Maybe I'll include some of this stuff so it can go on the blog. Anyway, I love you!!

Elder Rogers

Monday, May 12, 2014


May 12, 2014

This has been a super week. I started it off on exchanges with Elder Hawkes! He was my companion in the MTC, and this is the first time we've served as companions (for a day).
Elders Rogers and Hawkes on exchanges--deja vu!
He was conducting the exchange as a zone leader, and I joined him in Montrose. The most notable thing that happened to us was on Monday night. We were walking along the sidewalk, and a man shouted from behind us, about 20 yards away, "Hey! Brothers! Come share some God with me!" So, we went and shared some with him. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel, and he accepted the invitation to be baptized! I won't know a whole lot about what goes on with him, because he's not in my area, but it was a fun experience. The Lord prepares people.

The area has been picking up speed, and Elder Sofele and I are loving it! We're finding lots of new investigators, and making great steps forward with them. On Friday, we had interviews with President Murdock. At the end of our interview, I told him I wanted to talk to him about something. He and I had talked a few times before about the prospect of me becoming a Spanish missionary. I told him I would really like the opportunity to solidify my Spanish here on my mission. He seemed a little confused, and told me that I already was a Spanish missionary.Ummm, I think I would know if I was a Spanish missionary... So I asked what he meant and he told me that at transfers three weeks ago, they "moved me into the green," meaning I was numbered among the Spanish missionaries. He explained that Gunnison is  a Spanglish area, and that Elder Sofele was the English missionary, and I was the Spanish one. Whaaaaaaaat?? He told me that I'll be staying in Gunnison a little longer to follow-up train Elder Sofele, and then I'll get moved to a 100% Spanish area. Woohoo!! He told me to take an extra 30-60 minutes each morning for language study. This is going to be awesome!

On exchanges with Naturitra the next day, Elder Reber and I laid some concrete, and did a pretty spiffy job, if I do say so myself! I put my hand print and name in it, so I will forever be remembered in Naturita, Colorado! While I was in Naturita, Elder Sofele and Elder Buehecker were on fire in Gunnison! They found a lot of new potential investigators and taught lots of good lessons. We ended the week on a good note, and we're steadily improving. After being in Naturita, I love Gunnison. I didn't know if there were smaller towns, but there are. Naturita is tiny. So now I'm back in the big city! Gunnison! I heard a chicken clucking outside our apartment this morning while I was studying... And it snowed last night, about an inch or so, I'd say. Enjoy the sun there in Mesa!
Actually, this is 3 inches! Brother Nelson texted this during the day! (Elder Sofele and Elder Rogers)

I am learning a lot and developing a lot of good skills as a missionary here in Gunnison. Whitewashing and training at the same time is giving me tons of opportunities to grow and progress. I am loving the work! The Church is true! El Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios. I'm working on how to do accent marks... I don't know how. Choose the right! Be excellent! I love you all!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

“When we have the Spirit to direct us, we are capable of teaching with great power.”
~L. Tom Perry

Monday, May 5, 2014

Home to the World's Smallest Walmart!

This week has been good! A little slow in the beginning, but it turned out alright. I think it will be best explained on a day-by-day basis:

On Monday we went to a Home Evening for the mid-single adults in the Branch. Not a whole lot of people showed up to that. But it was good! We studied out of chapter seven of Jesus the Christ, by Elder James E. Talmage. I love that book! I've been reading it since my first transfer, and I always love the things I learn from it. There's a lot of foreign (to me) words in it, but my Spanish background usually gives me the Latin base to figure them out. It's fun when I can figure out words that way!

On Tuesday we gave service to a lady in the Branch, Sister Gomez. She is redoing, or doing, the landscaping in her front yard. We were digging up weeds most of the time, but that's fine by me, because I love digging! Elder Sofele started getting light-headed, and his heart was beating pretty fast, so Sister Gomez made him sit down. His body is still adjusting to the altitude. He is from LA, elevation ~0 ft, and his first area is Gunnison, elevation ~7,700 ft! So after service Sister Gomez told him to drink water and take a nap. We figured it would be better for him to take a nap than to have to go to the hospital, so he took a nap.

On Wednesday, Elder Sofele wasn't feeling great after we had personal study, so he went and laid down. He slept all day. He got up to go to institute at 7:00 (where we also had dinner), and then the day was basically over. I read quite a bit from Jesus the Christ that day!

On Thursday, Elder Sofele was feeling much better. So we went and gave service with the sisters at the food pantry! We helped them weigh and sort and stack food. The food is donated by grocery stores, and is given for free to those in need. I like serving there!

Friday was our rock-star day! First, we went to Matt's apartment. Matt is a guy we had met the day before outside his apartment, but we didn't teach him anything. So we went back, because he seemed nice, and talked to him about the gospel. We talked outside his front door. He had a few questions regarding faith and religion in general. We bore our testimonies. We told him we would love to come back sometime and share more of our message with him. He said, "I've got time right now." Cool! So he let us in and we shared the first half of the first lesson with him. He was very receptive, and accepted a return appointment for Monday!

Later that day we taught Gloria. We had also met her the day before, standing outside by her car. We taught her about the Restoration, and she agreed to pray about the Book of Mormon, and accepted a return appointment!

On Saturday we had the chance to go to Montrose and witness the baptism of a family in the Mt. Sneffels ward. It was really spiritual, and I'm glad we got to attend.

Yesterday at church we met one of the ward missionaries for the first time, Brother Hayden. He served his mission in Phoenix! Brother Guadian, the Elder's Quorum President, also served his mission there! Both were Spanish-speaking. We talked about how there were only two missions in Arizona when Brother Guadian served, and now there's what? six? eight? And when we moved to Mesa there was only one temple in the state, and now there's six functioning or under construction! It's great to notice how the Church is spreading and growing.

Today we're going to play some kickball with the zone! I like kickball, always have. I'm also hoping we can go get Chinese for lunch... Anyhow, Feliz Cinco de Mayo!! Tengan un buenismo dia! That also reminds me, we tracted into a Spanish family and gave the referral to the Sisters. Elder Sofele was mesmerized by my Spanish, which was pretty basic, but it's always funny for me!

Choose the right, share the gospel, and be excellent to each other. I love you!


Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, “Men are, that they might have joy.” The Lord’s intent is that each of us finds joy. It will not be conditional for you as you obey the commandments, have faith in the Master, and do the things that are necessary to have joy here on earth.”

~Richard G. Scott