Monday, September 29, 2014

Oh Boy!

We've met a lot of people this week!

We decided to try tracting in some section-eight housing (government assistance) in our area this week. It has been fruitful! On Monday, we met Daryl. He's a 75-year-old man who rocked the cowboy hat and the fanny-pack he had on. We taught him a few basic principles, but he wouldn't accept a return appointment. Hopefully there's a seed planted!

Next we tracted into Walt (not Disney). He was about 60, and explained that the Sisters had been teaching him a few months ago. The conversation turned mostly to living prophets, and we were granted the privilege of testifying of our current prophet and the sacred nature of his calling. He accepted the invitation to watch General Conference this weekend!

The last person we taught at those apartments was Kathy. She was in her 60s, and gladly let us in her house. We talked to her about her experience meeting with the missionaries a few years previous. She said she liked the Church, and had felt something special as she learned from the Elders. We talked a lot about faith in Christ, and about ancient and modern prophets. She expressed a desire to have another go, as it were, at the Church. She gladly accepted the challenge to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.
On a recent convert note, Ashleigh and Shay both obtained recommends to receive their Patriarchal Blessings! They will both be getting them in October. That will be swell!

One of our investigators, Annie, we recently discovered lives with a less-active member of the Church named Raven. We were able to talk to Raven about coming back to church, and teach her about the blessings it would bring. She has had some rough experiences in the past, and at present, but she is always inviting to us, and seems to have a part of her heart tied back to the gospel. On her birthday, which was Saturday, we dropped by with some candy, a "Happy Birthday" balloon for her, and a "Get Well" balloon for Annie, who's been sick with a bug she caught in Mexico. They appreciated it, and it was fun for us to do!
Probably the most notable experience of the week was teaching Heather and Jordan. The Sunday prior, we had tracted into Heather and set up an appointment to come back and teach her. We went on Tuesday at 6:00, but no one answered. We weren't too disappointed, because people hardly ever keep the first appointment, and we went on our way to do some finding in the section-eight housing nearby. As we were about to cross the street, I saw a young couple walk up the stairs towards Heather's apartment, and told the other Elders we should just go check and see if it was them. We climbed back up the stairs, knocked, and they answered! We sat down with Heather and her boyfriend, Jordan, and were instantly comfortable and having a pleasant conversation about ourselves, where we were from, and so on. We turned in into a gospel discussion, and then opened the lesson with a prayer. It was the best first lesson I've ever taught!

Aren't we cool? Elders Mecham and Rogers

We were richly blessed with unity in explaining the principles of the Restoration. They both loved it! Heather was raised a Lutheran, and Jordan a Catholic. They were planning on having a family some day, and had been recently discussing what faith they were going to raise their children in. Jordan especially appreciated our explanation of the great apostasy. He explained, "I had a friend in college who studied religious history. He showed me how a lot of churches stemmed from a single argument between two men! It didn't make sense to me. But now it's clear." When we offered them both a copy of the Book of Mormon. Heather was hesitant to accept, and suggested they take and share just one copy. At first I thought it was a little strange, but upon our insistence she humbly accepted a copy of her own and held it in her hands with the feeling that it was something of great value. She had declined initially because she hadn't wanted to take something from us that was worth so much! They happily scheduled a return appointment for us to teach them the Plan of Salvation. Oh, what a blessing! God is good to us.

I am so excited for General Conference this weekend! My companions and I took some time last night to watch "On the Lord's Errand," a documentary on the life of President Thomas S. Monson. It was fantastic! He was truly prepared and called of the Lord to be His prophet! I can't wait to hear his words, and the words of other inspired men and women, this weekend. What a joy! I encourage everyone in the WORLD to watch the General Conference of the Lord's Church, and to heed the teachings given. I wish I could tell the whole world, "But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." So, I'll just have to tell everyone I see! I love you all, and wish you a happy Conference Week!

Elder Rogers

Monday, September 22, 2014

Your Pants Go All the way to your Shoes!

Well it's that time of week again! time to report on the adventure of a lifetime! (My mission in general, not this week specifically, though it was a pretty good week):

After I emailed on Tuesday, our ward mission leader took us to Costco, where we loaded up on some grocery essentials, like 20 chicken patties and buns. Who buys 20 chicken patties at a time? I do. That night, we had two appointments with investigators fall through. It doesn't surprise me anymore. That's just the way this transfer has turned out to be!

The nest day, though, we did have a fun experience teaching a couple of guys. We were in downtown Littleton, hyped up and ready to talk to some people about the gospel. I suggested we go to a certain park where we had met some people before. After talking to a couple of people, two middle-aged guys hollered at us from a picnic table, and Elder Muir went over to talk to them. We joined him, and taught a nice, simple lesson to the men. They were brothers, Rick and Mike. They were drunk at the time we taught them, and Rick told us he had been drunk for over a year. He really appreciated us taking the time out of our day to talk to them, and he was excited about going to church and having the family ward missionaries come teach him and his brother.

It was a pretty sparse week for teaching until Sunday, which was our best day of the week! After church we went tracting in an apartment complex in Littleton. We only knocked on doors in one building, and we were able to talk to five people, get three return appointments, teach a lesson and get a new investigator! The lesson we taught was to a man named James. He had recently had half of his left foot removed, and was eager to show us all of the gnarly pictures. For like 10 minutes. He was also wearing an eye patch! Aaaarrg! Anyway, we taught him about the Restoration on the gospel, and he seemed to understand and appreciate the message. He told us his father is actually a member of the church (his father who is probably really old, since James is in his fifties), and that he is really interested in learning more. At the end of the lesson he offered a sincere and simple prayer of gratitude for Heavenly Father bringing us to
share the message with him.

We taught three less-active members after that, and during the one hour we didn't have an appointment, we went to see Daniel.--

--A back story on Daniel--
While Elder Muir was serving in the Littleton ward, he tried tirelessly to get a teaching appointment with a family of Ugandan refugees, but had no success. He told us that most of their children were young single adults, so we decided to try by their house earlier in the week. We met Daniel, a Ugandan man in his twenties, who expressed a lot of faith in Christ and a great appreciation for what we were doing as missionaries. He also said a lot of random things in his thick African accent, about how the devil wears short pants, because he never finishes what he starts and he'll cut you off half way. God, he said, wears long pants, because he finishes what he starts. He looked at me and said, "Your pants go all the way to your shoes! You are protected." After that he told us we were welcome to come back anytime. So we went back on Sunday!--

We knocked on the door a bunch and rang the doorbell, and a little girl poked her head out of the front window, then disappeared back inside, and still no one answered. When a little boy came to the window and we asked him to get Daniel, who promptly answered the door. I don't get why people don't just answer the door when we knock... But anyway, he invited us right inside and we had a great lesson about some of the basic principles of the gospel. He has a lot of faith in Christ! We will go back to see him on Wednesday with our Elders' Quorum President, Brian. That will be lots of fun!

The work goes on and great things are happening. There are discouragements, but "NO unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing!" Be a part of it, do good, and always remember to be excellent to each other. Remember the prophet's most recent counsel as quoted in the poem:

I have wept in the night

For the shortness of sight

That to somebody’s need made me blind;

But I never have yet

Felt a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.

I love that! The church is true, and the work is hastening! Much love to you all!

Elder Rogers

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Well, it snew again.

Yes folks, that's right. It snowed in Denver! The first snow of the season. It was actually just a cold spell that hit for a couple of days and then passed for the most part, but it's still recognizably colder than it was before the cold spell. The snow was only for a couple of minutes, but it definitely happened!
And boy, what a week! I had exchanges with the Assistants on Tuesday, and had a great day. We tracted into a woman who turned out to be a less-active member. She stopped attending church in another ward because of other members. But she's moved into a new ward now (which she hasn't attended), and we encouraged her to go! She didn't say she would, but she did commit to read from the Book of Mormon daily and pray. Great!

When we finished transfers, Elder Mecham filled me in on some crazy news! President Murdock had called the Assistants to his office (Elder Mecham and the AP I wasn't with) to talk about some emergency transfers. There were a couple of Elders who were going home in the middle of the transfer, and they would have to shut down an area. After praying, and moving around a few missionaries on the transfer board, President decided to give us a third companion! He sent Elder Muir to be with us in the singles' ward. He is a missionary who has been in our zone as long as I have. Another missionary was brought in to take his place. So as far as we know, he will be with us for the remainder of the transfer, and then get sent somewhere else. It's been fun! I like having a trio. Elder Muir's trainer was Elder Brunson, my follow-up trainer, which makes us "step-brothers!"
Elders Rogers, Muir, and Mecham
This week we met a less-active member of the Church named Tim. He called us  up last week and asked about the meeting time and place for the singles' ward, then we had a lesson with him on Thursday. It was good! He has spent most of his life in and out of activity in the Church, and decided he wants to change his life and come back. It's great to be able to help someone who wants to be helped!
On Saturday, we finally taught a referral we recieved from some of the Sisters a couple of weeks ago. She's 18 and lives in an apartment with a roommate. It turns out that her roommate is an inactive member! Whoa! We taught both of them about our Heavenly Father's love, and they agreed to come to church next Sunday. I really hope we can help both of them, because there's a lot the gospel can do for them!

On Sunday, we left right after church to go to a special Zone Conference held by Elder Larry R. Lawrence of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. It was MIND BLOWING! His wife actually took the bulk of the time in the conference, and taught us all about the house of Israel, it's fore-ordination, scattering, and gathering. There was a lot that she shared that I had never known. A lot of her material was taken from past General Conference talks and modern revelation. I, Elder Rogers, can only write but a small part of the words that she spake. She taught us that in the preexistence, there were a few who fought in favor of Heavenly Father's plan, and bore testimony to their brothers and sisters of the promised Savior. They convinced the rest of the two-thirds of the hosts of heaven to accept the Father's plan. Those who bore testimony are those who are of the house of Israel! Those who decided to follow based on their testimony are Gentiles. Heavenly Father sends those spirits who fought valiantly into the bloodline of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (with the exception of a few who came before, e.g. Adam, Enoch and his city, Noah). When we receive a patriarchal blessing, our literal lineage in the house of Israel is declared. There are a few Gentiles who do accept the gospel, and per instruction from the prophet, patriarchs declare to them no specific tribe of Israel, but state, "You receive your blessings through Abraham." Out of 1,010 patriarchal blessings Elder Lawrence reviewed as a member of the Eastern Europe Area Presidency, only 5 stated that the recipient received their blessings "through Abraham." We know by this that those who are of the house of Israel, literally descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by fore-ordination because of their premortal obedience, are those who rallied in favor of the Savior, His friends, and are more likely to recognize and accept the message of the gospel.

Sister Lawrence also taught us about scattered Israel and the ten lost tribes. As Mission Presidents in Russia, Elder and Sister Lawrence learned that every single one of the lost tribes is represented in Eastern Europe, as declared through the patriarchal blessings of the people. This work is the literal gathering of Israel, and the restoration of the ten tribes! There is also a record of scripture, that of the lost ten tribes, which we learned will be brought forth soon. Very soon. So everyone look forward to that!

We had a great Mission Leader Council in Vail yesterday, and talked a lot about how we can change the culture of our mission and sacrifice much more in the service of the Lord. Now we're carrying out the plans we made! I'll let you know how that goes in the future.
I love you all and hope that life is fantastic for you! Make your days awesome, and choose the right!

Elder Rogers

Monday, September 8, 2014


Buen dia!

Man, it has been a hard week, but such a good one! We'll start with Tuesday. I was on exchanges with Elder Britton, our District Leader's companion. Our car was having some problems with the transmission, so we took it in to the dealership at 8:00am. The dealership is a ways away from our apartment, so we did our studies under an overpass, next to a stream . I didn't get to study too much because of a Zone Leader conference call, but it was still good. Elder Britton and I walked along the street northward from there and ran into a couple of cool people. We stopped and talked to a girl at the bus stop with headphones in. You'd think it would be hard to talk to someone while they're listening to music, but they pretty much usually just take the headphones out to talk. We set up an appointment with her to teach her about the gospel! (The appointment fell through, but hopefully we'll get another one set up-- we have her number.) We also ran into a man named Robert who told us he had recently gotten out of jail, and his uncle in Utah told him to stop the missionaries and talk to them! So he did! We set up an appointment for him to meet with the family ward missionaries. He seemed to have a lot of sincere desire, and told us he wanted to get into the faith.

Later that day, on our way to dinner (By the way, apples grow on trees like lemons here! We ate a few while we were walking), Bruce, an investigator of ours, called us and asked us to meet him at the library. We met him after dinner and had a good lesson. We taught him on Thursday as well, but he didn't show up to our Saturday appointment. It can be pretty discouraging, because he can be so flaky. But we're working with him!

We went to the Family History Center with one of our recent converts, Cali. We found some of her grandparents on her father's side, and printed off the names of three generations (six names) on her mother's side for her to take to the temple!! That will be so great for her! We're excited to do some more work with Shay and Ashleigh also, so they can get some names of their own to do work for.

Man, oh man we've had a lot of appointments fall through! It's been frustrating, but we actually saw a miracle from one appointment falling through. We went to go see an investigator named Alex, and showed up about 15 minutes early (because our prior appointment with Amy had fallen through...). He wasn't there, but we decided to give him a little time to show up, since we were so early. Elder Mecham suggested that we walk around and talk to people on the street. I told him we could walk and I'd show him where we met Alex (just a little ways down the street). We walked there, and as I was explaining our first visit with Alex, a girl in her early twenties walked across the street quickly, obviously on her way to something. We stopped her, and introduced ourselves. She told us her name was Michelle. Elder Mecham gave her a card with our number on it, and we told her to call us. She said she would, then she was on her way. We went back to Alex's house, on time now, and he still wasn't there. So we took off towards our place to finish up some weekly planning. On the way, we saw Michelle walking on the side of the main road, and I pointed her out. Then we watched her wallet fall right out of her pocket and onto the ground without her noticing! We pulled to car over, got out, and were greeted by Michelle's "You guys are fast!" Then we told her about her wallet, and she thanked us. We reminded her to call or text us, and then got back into the car. Later that day, she texted us!! I don't know if you're aware, but that almost NEVER happens! I think it was because we were able to meet her twice in one day and to give her some service by returning her to her lost wallet. We're working now to set something up to teach her the gospel, because she seemed pretty willing to learn. What a miracle! We never would have met Michelle if our appointment hadn't fallen through!

Elder Mecham and I have been talking a lot about the zone, and what we can do to lift it. A lot of the missionaries here are in a rut, and they just think their area isn't good. We looked through the history of the zone and determined that they are wrong! The missionary defines the area, not the other way around! When missionaries have great attitudes, their areas thrive! We talked about a lot of things that missionaries can do with their own agency, regardless of how others react to the message of the gospel. We made a bunch of silly plans, and have been implementing them ourselves. We wake up by stretching, work out six days a week, eat right, smile at ourselves in the mirror in the morning, and sing happy hymns throughout the day. We also have a thing called "smile check," where we simply say, "smile check" with a smile if we see our companion looking down. It's been good so far, and our spirits are definitely lifted! We're going to teach these and other things to the zone in hopes that it will lift them and their areas as well!

The greatest joy is knowing the gospel is true! I know it, I live it, I love it!! Keep on keepin' on, and make it a GREAT week! Love you!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

" I am determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
~Martha Washington

Monday, September 1, 2014

New Companion!