Monday, March 9, 2015

The Missionaries Who Served on Foot in the Rocky Mountains During the Winter Club

It was a good week! Yesterday the clock jumped from 11:59 pm to 1:00 am, so I lost an hour of sleep (it's that same weird thing they did last year around this time...), but it's okay!

On Tuesday we had another lesson with Genesis, and he is doing awesome! Towards the very end of the lesson, his friend Daniel came in and asked to sit in on the lesson. We were pretty much done, and it was time to leave, but we told him we would be there again the next day, and he said he'd be there! Genesis said, "Yeah man, you should come to church. I really liked it there. Hey, maybe you guys can teach him all the stuff you already taught me!" And so we did. The next night Daniel ended up being late, so we had a great lesson with Genesis about eternal families. Then, when Daniel arrived, we taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel. The most powerful moment in that lesson, by far, was when Genesis himself bore humble testimony of the truthfulness of our message. He said (speaking about the Book of Mormon), "I love this book, man. I haven't read it all, but it's so awesome. And it's so great to know that we have a living prophet on the earth today." I felt the Spirit so strongly when he said that.

That day (Wednesday) we got our truck back from the body shop (finally!!)! It was snowing hard when we picked it up from the shop, but don't worry. I didn't get into any accidents. I can't say as much for the Vail elders, though. They drove their car into a ditch and (presumably) totaled it. 

So now, they have joined the club of Missionaries Who Served on Foot in the Rocky Mountains During the Winter! That club includes Elder Serrano, Elder Garcia, me, and now Elders Graham and Adling. On Thursday we drove all the way to Vail to pick them up for District Meeting, which was all the way in Leadville. Then we went out to lunch and Elder Garcia lost a game for which the punishment was to eat a half a cup of horse radish. Then we took them all the way back to Vail and drove all the 

way back to Summit County, where Elder Garcia rested from his horse radish headache and then we went to dinner. That was a long day of driving!

We found out during the week that Genesis' work schedule has changed, and the Marriott now has him working on Sundays! Gah! Hopefully they'll be able to get some more help soon (someone quit) and he can keep coming to church. He really wants to. He worked all day every day this week, so we didn't get to see him; which is tough because that gives a lot of room for Satan to get in there and lead him away... But we had gotten a Tagalog copy of the Book of Mormon that we ordered in the mail, so we decided to try by on Sunday night to see if Genesis would be there (even though he told us he doesn't get home until after 9:00-- our curfew). We stopped by at 8:30, and he was there! He was so happy to see us! He told us that it was the only day all week that he had finished early enough to catch the earlier bus. He had just gotten home a few minutes before we showed up. And he was cooking. He's always cooking. And he always makes us eat it. But I'm not complaining! Let me tell you, Filipino food is amazing. (Quick side story-- On Wednesday when we were there his cousin made a bunch of Filipino food for us to have. They laid out rice, and soups and sauces and something weird that was fried. I said, "Ooh! What's that??" Genesis said, "Fried chicken..." Oh.) Daniel was there (we're back to Sunday now), so we taught a good lesson on the first half of the Plan of Salvation. Unfortunately we had to cut it short, because of missionary curfew. But it was great. Genesis hasn't smoked a cigarette since the day we taught him about the Word of Wisdom!! It's been like 10 days! Wooo! Thank you for your prayers in his behalf.

On Sunday night, just before we went over to see Genesis, we decided to contact and teach a couple of potential investigators from Mexico. We knocked on the door and asked if we could come in and share a message. The man who answered, Armando, said "I dunno, it's not my house." So I stuck my head in the room and asked everyone if they wanted to hear a message about Jesus Christ. They said sure. So we went in, sat down, and started to share the message of the Restoration. The gift of tongues is real, because after a month of not being in San Juan (we don't use too much Spanish here) I should have been pretty rusty, but the Lord blessed me to be able to share His message with these people. After we had taught for about 20 minutes, I asked if they wanted us to continue (we're taught that if a first visit is under 20 minutes it increases the likelihood of the investigator inviting you back a second time). Octavio, the man of the house, said, "God is never an inconvenience for me. Continue." I'm really glad he said that, because it was an amazing lesson. As we talked about the great apostasy, I could tell that they could relate to the confusion that we explained as having taken hold over the entire world. As we taught them about the First Vision, the Restoration of the priesthood, the reorganization of Christ's Church on the earth, and the fullness of the gospel being restored through the Book of Mormon, I noticed in their eyes and expressions that the dark veil of apostasy was being lifted from off their minds. They all felt the Spirit, and graciously accepted our offer of a return appointment.

On the way out to the truck, where we were going to grab a couple of copies of the Book of Mormon for them, we were accompanied by Armando, one of the investigators in the lesson. Knowing that Ana, his friend who was with us in the lesson, was a Seventh-day Adventist, he asked, "Why do you guys go to church on Sunday? Ana says the Bible teaches that we should worship on the seventh day of the week." I said, "That's a good question... I'll give you two answers. A really long, not solidly-founded one, and then a firm, simple, short one." I proceeded to explain a little about how the Savior was resurrected on a Sunday, and that if my memory served me well, one of the Apostles said we should celebrate the event and worship on that day. I also mentioned the Lord's revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith in which He stated that the food and drink of the sacrament don't matter as long as we do it for the right reasons, with the correct symbolism in mind. Perhaps it's the same with the Sabbath; that it isn't so important which day of the week we observe it, but that we keep the commandment to take one day in seven to rest from our labors and pay our devotions to God. "There's the long explanation." Then came the short one: "Priesthood authority has been restored to the earth, and we have a living prophet who receives revelation from God. He says we should observe the Sabbath on Sunday." He really like that answer.

The Gospel is simple, the Gospel is clear. The Church is true, and I know it! I'm so thankful for the testimony I've been blessed with, and this irreplaceable opportunity I have to share it with others as a missionary. If you don't know yet, find out!

Elder Rogers

P.S.  Oh! I can't believe I forgot. So, guess what. Alright, you don't have to guess; this is kind of a one-sided conversation. But our brand new shiny truck (it's a 2015 Nissan Frontier, by the way) got backed into twice this week. The week we got it back from the body shop. Once in the church parking lot on Sunday, and the other just this morning before we came to email. It was parked both times, so I (as the driver) am not at fault, and I'll retain my driving privileges. But can you believe that?? The first one wasn't too bad, and I wasn't going to tell the fleet coordinator until, well, until my very last transfer meeting (that way I don't have to jump back into the "club"). Then the one this morning was pretty bad. Very noticeable, a big dent in the side of the truck. The mission fleet coordinator called and said, "I had a man call me and tell me he backed into your truck. He said his name was _____." I was confused, because I didn't even know the name he gave me, and it definitely wasn't the name of the man (a member of the ward) who had backed into us this morning. I voiced my confusion and he said, "Yeah, he told me it happened yesterday in the church parking lot." Oh. Then I had to explain to him that we had gotten hit agAIN this morning. So... We might not have a truck for another little while.  -___-  It's still driveable, but the Church wants its cars to look presentable. Oooooh wellll.... But it's okay, it's a cool club.

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