Monday, June 30, 2014


This week was full of tracting! Tracting a lot.

The highlight of this week is Ashleigh! We went to the ward barbeque on Wednesday, and there were two people there we didn't recognize. One of them turned out to be Isaac, who recently returned from his mission to Peru. The other was his friend Ashleigh. She is not a member of the Church, but she wants to learn more. She has been studying the Book of Mormon, For the Strength of Youth, True to the Faith, and other Church materials for several months, but she's never met with missionaries.
We got to know her at the barbeque, and set up an appointment for Friday to teach her at Isaac's house. The lesson went great! She already knew quite a bit about the Church and the message of the Restoration. She said she had been told that everything about the Church was made up. Then, one of her friends watched the video "The Restoration" with her. She saw the depiction of the first vision and thought to herself, There's no way this is made up!

She's reading through the Book of Mormon now, and she's in 1 Nephi 22. At the end of the first lesson, we typically ask the investigator to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. She hesitated and said, "Well, I kind of already know it's true..." Yeah! It is! We just didn't want to spoil it for you. But she said that she feels she can be ready for baptism in August. So that will be a great day!

Of course, there are always challenges. She is living at home, and her family is very much against her learning about the Church. She has a triple-combination of her own, but she hides it and all of the rest of the Church materials in the back of her closet. Also, she has a job right now and is scheduled to always work Sundays. She wants a different job, though, so hopefully HOPEFULLY she can get a new one that won't have her work on Sundays. That's the story so far! We're teaching her again tonight before FHE!
Other than that, like I said, we've been traaaacting! It's so great to see the difference between tracting for hours on end, and a member making a simple invitation to a friend to meet with the missionaries. There is no comparison. A member referral gives us the opportunity to teach and invite people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end! (That's our purpose as missionaries, by the way.) And when we're not able to do that, we have to tract. So hopefully we'll get a lot more great member referrals!

Yesterday we went to lunch at a member's house after church. Shaylan was there, and she totally seems to have a good group of friends in the ward! They were talking about stuff they had all done together the night before and the thought that came to Elder Rosequist and me was: You did something without us? I thought we were friends... But really, we're super glad she has friends in the ward and is doing so well! Especially because her best friend in the ward left last week for BYU. But she's doing great, and Taylor too! There's the update on our recent converts!

Good stuff all around. Thank you all for the love, prayers, and support. I hope you're having an awesome summer! Choose the right, and be excellent!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom: To parents of missionaries:

“On the other side of that veil there are angels riding with their chariots of fire to be a protection for your child.”    ~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, June 23, 2014

Two Clean Slates

This week we had our first return appointment with Cody and Mason. They weren't there. But that's not the point of this story! We brought a member, Jeffrey, with us. I asked him where he had served his mission. He told me Tulsa, Oklahoma. I asked him when he got back. He told me six months ago. I figured that put him in the perfect time table to know Lincoln Worthington, who served there; so I asked him if he knew an Elder Worthington. He said, "are you kidding me? He was my MTC companion! I love that guy!" Small world! So Lincoln's MTC comp is in my ward.

That morning we also got a surprise announcement on our weekly mission leadership call. President Murdock told us that we would be having Mission Leadership Council on Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm. He also told us several of the missionaries around the mission to invite. So to jump to Thursday, We went to the meeting. There were two brethren from the Missionary Department of the Church there. One was Brother Hemingway, the head of proselyting in the Church! The other was his "junior companion," Brother Gonzales. They taught us a lot about planning effectively for people, focusing on investigators, and how to use our time effectively to meet our goals. It was a good meeting, and I got to see a lot of the missionaries I left on the Western Slope who had been invited! Fun stuff.

On Friday, we went through the baptismal program with Taylor and Shaylan to make sure they were up to speed on how the service was going to happen. Then we taught them about service in the Church, and they both agreed to accept callings in the Church when the time came.

We invited just about everyone we knew to the baptism, and then Saturday came. We went to go fill up the font in the morning. We had some trouble getting the water hot enough (it needs to be about 100 degrees), probably because the building is really old. So we got two giant pots and boiled water to dump in. It probably ended up being about 90 degrees, so not too bad. But there was another problem. As the font filled up, we realized that the water was green. Really green. Again, probably because the building is really old. But I mean, it was like, green. Like it came from a lake. So we were freaking out, because the baptism was like 20 minutes away, and there didn't seem to be anything we could do! The only thing I could think of was to get some chlorine. We would have about 30 minutes after the program started before we would actually perform the ordinances. So we ran to the store and bought some chlorine, getting back just a couple of minutes before the program started. The tablets were slow-dissolving, so I crushed one with my heel and brushed it into the water, then stirred it around. And the water was miraculously clear! Just kidding. I wish. What actually happened is that everyone present (just some other missionaries) choked on the fumes from the chlorine and the water did nothing. I hoped the 30 minutes would give the chlorine a chance to do something to the water. Then we got changed and the program started. It was really good. The time came for the ordinances, and the water was still green as ever. So I told the girls that it was imported straight from the river Jordan, a comment I think I heard another missionary say. Shaylan looked skeptical and a bit confused, so I told her I was kidding.

First I baptized Shaylan, who made a successful effort not to cry, and then Elder Rosequist baptized Taylor. It was great! The next day in Sacrament meeting, Bishop confirmed them both at their request. That day they were both pulled out of Sunday school and given callings! Shaylan is the new Gospel Principles Class President, and Taylor is the Assistant to the President. Basically, they conduct the class and greet people, welcome investigators, and so forth. So cool! Then later in the day Shaylan gave us some cookies!
We were asked to attend the Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting that night, since we, as Zone Leaders, represent the missionaries of the Stake. We counseled with all of the ward mission leaders and the high councilman over missionary work on the things we're doing well as a Stake, and the areas where we need to improve. That was a good meeting, and I hope we got some ideas that will really help hasten the work here in Highlands Ranch!

I know that this Church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! It is so clear! This is the dispensation of the fulness of times. How blessed are we to live in this time! Go share it. I love you all!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:
“Day after day, on your path toward your eternal destiny, increase your faith. Proclain your faith! Let your faith show!”  ~Russell M. Nelson

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hump Day!

               So, I don't know if this is a happy day or a sad day, but it is, nonetheless, HUMP DAY!
June 19, 2013 to June 19, 2014 One Year Serving the Lord!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another Week in Highlands Ranch!

Hello everyone!
This week was great! On Tuesday we had a lesson with Shaylan, one of our investigators, to review with her the baptismal interview questions and talk about the covenant of baptism. She was interviewed the next day, and she'll be baptized this Saturday, the 21st of June! And she chose me to baptize her!! So that's really exciting. I don't think I've said anything about her in my other email. She's 18 years old, and the Elders here before me found her while tracting. She had no religious background, and has, as I'm told, grown a lot in her knowledge and testimony. She is received by the ward very well. She goes to all of the activities, which really helps. Because this is a singles' ward, there are always people moving in and out. It's a pretty frequent occurrence that we mention Shaylan's baptism, and someone says, "She's not a member??" Hahaha. So things are going great there!

Our District
Also on Tuesday, we taught a girl named Andy. She was a referral from a member of the ward. How AWESOME! A simple invitation, that's all it takes. We gave her a tour of the church building and read from 1 Nephi chapter 1 with her. She said she has trouble with commitments (such as the covenant of baptism...), but she wants to learn more, so we'll keep teaching her!
On Wednesday we took a recent convert, Cali, to the Family History Center to get started on her work for her family. We used and to get her family tree started, and we got a good little chunk done, so soon she'll be able to take some family names to the temple! That will be exciting for her. Elder Rosequist and I still have to go back some time so I can show him how to use the software; he's not all that familiar with it. But we'll have some more converts soon that will need to get started!
That day, we were tracting in an apartment complex. We were just leaving, and were almost to our car, when two guys pulled up and got out of their car. Long story short, their names are Cody and Mason, two brothers, ages 18 and 20. We talked to them, went with them to their apartment, and taught them the message of the Restoration. They got so excited about the Book of Mormon that one of them asked, "Where can I buy one?" We had unfortunately taken our box of books out of the trunk that day to fit something else in there, so we were caught unprepared. We'll get the books to them soon enough!

Moving a mattress for the Housing Coordinator! Yup! Even with a mattress I wear my seatbelt!
The next day, we found a great new investigator names Jesse. We knocked on her door and she came out and took the survey about her religious beliefs. Then she agreed to walk with us while we taught her the message of the Restoration. She seemed to really understand, and took it all in very well! My favorite part of that lesson was when she said the closing prayer (after some words of encouragement), and near the end, said, "I hope to hear from you soon. Have a good day." That was the best.

On Saturday, our investigator Taylor was interviewed for baptism. Elder Rosequist will be baptizing her on the 21st! We are holding one baptismal service for the both of them. That's going to be a great day!
Sunday was good, as always. It was also Father's Day! Happy Father's Day, Dad!! I hope you knew I was thinking of you!
There was a big storm that day, too. We were driving in the rain when, WHAM! Our windshield was pegged by a giant hail stone! The stone exploded and went every which way. 
Look at the size of these hailstones! I wonder if I can fit one in my mouth?!?!

 We took cover under a tree, waited out the storm for a few minutes, and in the end, our car received no damage! The hail stones were huge, though. I'd say golf-ball-sized. That was pretty fun!

Yup! Guess so!
I guess that's about it for this week! Good things are happening, and I'm starting to learn what a singles' ward is like! It's pretty sweet. Thank you all for your love and prayers and righteousness. I love you all!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

“The battle for our immortal souls is no less important than the battle fought by David. The enemy is no less formidable, the help of Almighty God no farther away. What will our action be? Like David of old, “our cause is just.” We have been placed upon earth not to fail or fall victim to temptation’s snare, but rather to succeed. Our giant, our Goliath, must be conquered. “ Thomas S. Monson

Monday, June 9, 2014

Highlands Ranch!

Well, what a change!

Transfers have happened! I drove on Monday from Gunnison to Montrose; then on Tuesday from Montrose to Grand Junction; then from Grand Junction to Denver! Close to 7 hours in a car!! I am serving in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, just south of downtown Denver. My ward is called the Sand Creek YSA Ward. My first time in a singles' ward! Ever! It's definitely different than a typical ward, and far different from the branch in Gunnison. My companion is Elder Rosequist.

He's from Las Vegas, Nevada, and he's been on his mission one transfer less than me. Also, his 19th birthday was on Friday, so I'm the older companion for the first time in my mission!! (If anyone is keeping track, I also haven't ever had two companions from the same state yet: Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, California, and Nevada!)

This area is the Zone Leader area for Highlands Ranch. Highlands Ranch is "The Pride of Colorado," a very well-to-do community. There were already two baptisms scheduled in the ward for June 21st when I got here, so we're really looking forward to those! We have some great member missionaries. Apparently Elder Rosequist, who's been here for 3 months, is having to re-learn the ward with me, because there's such a drastic change in membership over the summer! So it will be an adventure. There's an activity almost every night! Tonight if FHE, then Tuesday is ultimate frisbee, Wednesday is pie night, Thursday is institute, Friday is date night (I'm not sure if that's an official ward activity or just a suggested practice...), and I'm not sure if there's anything this Saturday. But whoa!! Lots of things to invite investigators to! We don't go to all of the activities; usually we just make an appearance towards the end and get to know the non-members there, talk to our investigators who attended (and maybe get refreshments).

It's fun to be able to interact with the young single adults, because we have an idea of their culture and where they're coming from. We have a huge area, so we're driving a lot. We made two sticky notes: one that says "Are you Mormon?" and another that says "Do you want to be?" So now we can proselyte from the car! We were parked at a complex one day, and a young single adult girl got into the car next to us, so I pulled out the notes. She shook her head, indicating that she was not Mormon, and when she read the second note, she rolled down her window and said, "I have a lot of friends who are Mormon!" We talked to her for a minute. She had met with missionaries before, but we came to the mutual conclusion that she needed a refresher. So hey! it works!!
A view of the area--Isn't it beautiful?!

Oh! And I get to go to the temple here! It is so awesome! I had missed it terrible on the Western Slope for six months. Temple Wednesday is the first Wednesday of every month, so I got to go the day after I arrived in Denver! The temple is in our area, about 3 minutes from our apartment, and we see the steeple all the time driving around. Awesome! President Murdock also lives in our area! Of course we're not in his ward, but his house is still in our area!

There's a lot of different responsibilities, being a Zone Leader. District Leaders work closely with the missionaries to lift, bless, encourage, and inspire them. Zone Leaders do a lot of reporting to the Mission President regarding the progress of the work, a lot of communication with the Stake President, and a lot of working with the District Leaders to help them understand and fulfill their responsibilities. In Gunnison, Elder Sofele and I were able to get into the apartment an 9:00 and be in bed by 9:30. Here, we usually hit the hay around 10:30... But it's alright!

I love being here on the Metro side of the mission. There's pluses and minuses about either side. It's not that people are more rude in general here, but there's a few sour apples that you don't really get on the Western Slope. But so many more people to talk to! We do a whole lot of tracting, and a whole lot of asking, "Do you know of any college-aged kids in this complex?" We give out a lot of referrals, too. Yesterday we found two really good potential investigators for the Northridge Sisters! It's funny when we tract in a complex and find a bunch of good potentials for the family ward, because we get to call them that night and be like, "Hey, here's some people who are really interested that we found while we were tracting in your area..." I'm sure they appreciate it. I know I would!
A Sunset

Well, I am going to keep adjusting to this singles' ward life! Keep choosing the right, read and pray, and be excellent to each other! I love you all and hope you're loving the summer!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

“Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.”
~ Elder Boyd K. Packer

Monday, June 2, 2014


This has been a caRAAAZY week! But transfer weeks always are. We have been having the huge problem that our investigators are never home, so we haven't had a ton of progress with most of them. One investigator we did get to see this week is Luis! A member just moved into the Branch who served his mission in the Dominican Republic about 5 years ago. We had him set  up to come to see Luis with us, but his family came into town unannounced and he had to cancel. So we went to see Luis without a member. It was awesome! We (I) taught the Plan of Salvation with the map I made back in Littleton. Luis seemed to understand everything well, but he had a slightly concerning lack of questions. I invited him to be baptized and he said he wants to study more.

There's a girl in the Branch who's leaving on her mission to Texas this month, and she's learning Spanish. Her call isn't Spanish, but she knows it will help to know Spanish on her mission. I think that's pretty much true of anywhere in the U.S.! I told her about how much easier it is to speak another language as a missionary; that I've found I'm able to speak way better than a should be able to, and it's because the Lord blesses us with what we need to share the gospel!

So at the end of the week all of the calls from President and the APs come. We already knew we were staying, so there was no stress about it. Then, on Friday, President Murdock called the Gunnison Sisters and asked Sister Smith (the new one) how her Spanish was coming along... He said they had some "ideas" they were working on! So the Sisters, who were also sure they were both staying, started flipping out. It was kind of funny to see, but of course we had to wonder if things were going to change with me and Elder Sofele. Elder Nielsen, our Zone Leader, got a call on Friday (leadership call day) that he was being released as Zone Leader, and being called as a District Leader and follow-up trainer. That's what I'm supposed to be doing next transfer... So things started smelling fishy.

Saturday night the APs call if someone's being transferred, and the Zone Leaders call if both companions are staying. We got a text from the Naturita Elders that they were all (3) staying. That means the Zone Leaders had called them. So we waited for them to call us. And they didn't. The Sisters told us that Sister Stoeltzing will be leaving. Then we got a call from an unknown number, and I knew it had to be the APs. I answered, and they told us that Elder Sofele will be staying in Gunnison, and I will be leaving. Whaaaaaaaaaat?? So I had most of my stuff packed that night. I couldn't sleep, wondering, Where am I going? Will it be a Spanish area? Who will my companion be? Do they want me to be a District Leader there? They didn't tell me the first time I was transferred, but they kept me in as District Leader... Will I be on the Western Slope? Elder Sofele is snoring really loud... What if I go to Denver? I wasn't expecting to be transferred. I've never been in an area for such a short time.

So I got out of bed and drew some pictures. Then I went back to bed and fell asleep. In the morning, when I got out of the shower, Elder Sofele said, "President called. He said to call him back." Ooooookaaaaayy?... So I did. He said, "The Assistants called and told you you're being transferred, right?" Yes. "We're sorry to take you away from Elder Sofele, because he's such a great Elder. But we'd like to call you to be a Zone Leader. Will you accept that calling?" Yes, of course. "Alright. I'll see you then on... June 11th; that's when we'll have our mission leadership council-- Oh wait, I'll see you before that, you're coming to this side!"

And so the conversation continued. So, Whaaaaaaaaaat?? again. It just goes to show that you really never know what is going to happen with transfers. Even after calls should have been made, and everything! So, to sum up the situation, I am going to Denver to be a Zone Leader. Well! That's probably (definitely) the most interesting thing that happened this week! I'm here emailing in Montrose now, and all of my bags are in the car. Gunnison is behind me, and there's a lot still ahead of me!

Now you know the situation! I hope you had an awesome week and a stellar time in Mexico! I love you all and wish you the best. Enjoy the heat! I will too. Not quite like Mesa, but we get in the 90s in Denver. Choose the right!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

“In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day looking for someone to help.” 
 ~M. Russell Ballard