Monday, April 27, 2015

Ice Road Truckers

So, This week we taught a lesson to a couple named Jose and Maria. Joseph and Mary. They have a few kids and I'm really disappointed that I forgot to ask if one of them is named Jesus. But I'll try to find out and let you know.
Nothing stands out as super exciting this week... But it was definitely a good week! We taught several good first lessons (about the Restoration), including one to a lady named Mercedes who the missionaries have been teaching for a while. We re-taught her the message of the Restoration and invited her to be baptized. She said "Of course!" and then asked, "We'll have to have some more lessons first, right?" Right. Then we explained the importance of coming to Church every Sunday, and she said, "I'll talk to my boss tomorrow about changing my schedule." Like, seriously! Was that hard?? 99/100 people so far have said, "I can't; I work on Sundays." Excuses... So anyway, we're pretty excited for Mercedes!
Oh, I decided this week that I officially speak Spanish now. Here's why. First of all, we had our breakfast coordination meeting with our ward mission leader on Tuesday. Later that day, Elder Ramirez said, "Ese burrito fue muy rico!" (That [breakfast] burrito was really delicious!) And I paused and said, "¿Qué?..." Becuase I thought he had said, "That little donkey was really delicious." Burro = donkey, -ito = little, burrito = little donkey. That's true Spanish right there. That's situation number one.
Number two: We were standing outside someone's door after knocking on it and I said, gesturing to the skis leaning against the wall "They're probably white, because I've never seen a Hispanic ski here." Elder Ramirez replied, "True." Then I noticed a soccer ball on the ground and said, "Oh, but they do have a football." Fútbol = soccer ball.
Number three: I said porcuz instead of because.
Number four: One of the members asked us at our dinner appointment who we were going to visit that evening. I told them we were going to see a lady named Malena. "Who's she?" the member asked. "Oh, she's just an ancient investigator we're going to try by." Antiguo (ancient) investigador = former investigator.

So anyway... I guess the most notable day of the week was Saturday. We always go to Leadville on Saturdays and visit Sister Bradford. She's a less-active widow in the ward. And Saturday was her 84th birthday!! Elder Ramirez and I got her a birthday card that had a picture of an old couple on the front, then pasted our faces and torsos over them. 

Inside it says, "Happy birthday from the DYNAMIC DUO!" When she opened it she laughed and said, "Ooooohhhh..." like Mrs. Doubtfire (she does that a lot), then continued to laugh and say ooooohhhh... for about two minutes. She said it was the cutest thing she'd ever seen. I don't know if I'd go THAT far, but it was pretty good!
Then, since Sister Bradford is a hoarder, we helped her throw some stuff away as a birthday present. We spent quite a bit of time in the living room going through papers and throwing away documents and notes from the 80s and stuff like that. Unfortunately she wanted to keep aaaalll of the filing folders. It's unfortunate because that means she plans on filling them with more stuff. But we got rid of about four big garbage sacks of papers and nick-naks! We loaded them into the back of her truck to take to the dump, and she said, "That'll do for today; let's take it over to the landfill." But I told her they were going to charge her the same to dump her truck whether it was full, half full, or empty, so we might as well fill it! So we went out back and through away practically an entire bathroom she had sitting out there. I guess some time a few years or decades ago she must have remodeled the bathroom, and all of the old cabinets and counters and the sink were sitting on her back porch. We had spent a couple of hours the weeks prior to her birthday picking at and breaking up the ice that was holding the ancient bathroom captive. then we took it to the dump and got suuuper muddy. They don't call it mud season for nothing. She tried to give us each $20, but we told her she could just take us out to dinner instead. I'm glad we did too, or she would have had birthday dinner all alone. Also, we wouldn't have had dinner. So we taught a lesson and went to a Chinese place. All in all we spent four hours with her before dinner. I think it was good for her to have people with her on her birthday, because she doesn't get many visitors! Also it was pretty fun.
There are a lot of families moving out of the ward. It's pretty sparse in sacrament meeting. Long-time active members in the ward are retiring and moving out of town, while some young families are relocating for better jobs or better weather or what have you. So we're reeeaaally hoping some of our people will start coming to church! We keep inviting them! The Church is a little different out here, or at least the wards are. I don't ever remember being back home and thinking, "Oh man, our ward is shrinking," or, "I really hope some more people move in soon." It was just never a problem. Our ward was like a half square mile of populated area and filled the chapel to overflowing every week. When they realigned the boundaries to keep our newly-relocated bishop in the ward, we took in six new houses and like four active families! I guess that's Mesa! But anyway, it's just interesting to see the different challenges that face the organizations of the Church in different parts of the country.
Speaking of different parts of the country, this is definitely a different part of the country. It's been snowing a TON lately! Elder Ramirez always shivers and chatters his teeth when we go outside in the snow, and every time I say, "Dude! It's like the same temperature it's always been, it's just snowing!" And then he says, "I'm from Perú!" Oh well.
I learned a lot this week in our Gospel Principles class. I was teaching the class with Elder Ramirez, but I guess when you learn something from what you say, that's how you know you're teaching by the Spirit! We were talking about the principle of agency. I brought up the concept of God's omniscience, or His ability to know all things from the beginning. If He knows exactly what each of us will do, why do we need to go through this period of testing? Why do we need to actually exercise our agency? Because when we make our own choices, we are responsible for our actions. God is perfectly just, and justice is the eternal law the binds consequences to actions. If we were to receive consequences without performing the actions (consequences can be good or bad), that would not me just. Just as  performing an action and not receiving the consequence would be unjust. We bear responsibility for our actions! So that's one reason we're here on earth; so we can be judged according to our works and reap the consequences, the punishment or the rewards!
Pretty cool huh? I thought so. I'm just so grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel that makes the concepts of the Gospel so clear. I know this Church is led by true Prophets and Apostles! The message of the Restoration is true! I know it with all my heart! Stay bright and choose the right! Be excellent to each other!
Elder Rogers
p.s. Ice Road Truckers. It's been snowing a lot and the roads have been icy, we have a truck, and I drive it. On the highway. So that makes me an ice road trucker.
p.p.s. Oh! I almost forgot to share this amazing quote from the chopsticks wrapper at the Chinese place in Leadville:
"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant
please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsicks
the traditional typical of Chinese glorious history
and cultural."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Zone Conference!

This week we had a great Zone Conference in Golden! I always love those! For lunch we had a picnic outside on the grass. It was nice and warm, beautiful weather. Then we came back to Frisco and it's been snowing all week!

An excerpt from a letter to Dad...At Zone Meeting on Tuesday we ended with testimonies. They were pre-determined. Elder Handley got up and said, "We'll now end our Zone Conference with some testimonies. If we could have the following Elders and Sisters come up and share their testimonies in this order: Sister Aulner, Sister Donald, Sister Hancock, Sister Keavali, Elder Belding, Elder Jacobson, Elder Rhodes, and Elder Rogers. Yup. They wanted dying testimonies from all of the missionaries at their last Zone Conference. No more Zone Conferences for me. I cried when I bore my testimony. I guess you could consider it a dress-rehearsal for next transfer when I give my real dying testimony. Eight short weeks left. But I'm finishing strong! "Work, work, work! There is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work!"

That was on Tuesday. After that we had a fantastic week! We kicked it off with District Meeting in Leadville. We had set some goals as a district, with a punishment affixed to eat a habañero pepper for not hitting the goals. One companionship came ONE number away from ONE of the three goals. But alas, they didn't hit all three. No one did. So we all ate a habañero pepper. It was so awful. Soooo hot. I tried to swallow my pepper, and my body literally rejected it and wouldn't swallow. Then I cried for 10 minutes and put dirty snow on my tongue to cool it off. Okay, it wasn't that dirty, but how clean can snow really be?... And I didn't cry from the pain, c'mon. It's just, you know... like the reaction to the heat. I can feel you judging me for crying... You would have cried too! So anyway, we ate those peppers and my resolve to hit our goals was really strong after that. We added another goal, raised them, then made the agreement to hit 2 out of 4. That seemed a lot more plausible. And we did!!! No habañero for me this Wednesday!

That day I was on exchanges with Elder Handley, one of our Zone Leaders (who did not have to eat a pepper, so E. Ramirez will have to eat his this Wednesday). We had a great day up there in Leadville! We taught a nice older less-active lady who we see every time we go up there. Then we went and knocked doors in the trailer park. We had only knocked on a few, when a kid answered and I realized I had already talked with someone who lived in that house (I recognized the interior). So when the kid went and got an adult, I recognized him. I said, "Hey! How's it going? What's your name again?" It was Kevin. Then I said, "Oh yeah. Hey, so we were just in the area, so we came to share our message with you!" He said okay, and let us in. It's so funny-- the slightest variation of words can change a whole situation. A lot of the time we say, "We're just passing by to see if it's a good time to share our message." And they tell us they're busy, and it's not a good time. So instead of telling Kevin we were there to see if it was a good time, I told him we were there to share our message. And we did. And he understood it! That honestly has to be one of the most frustrating things-- people not understanding the Restoration. But he got it. After we had taught it, he was excited to hear about a prophet on the earth "who actually has authority from God!" He said, "I've always wondered about these pastors and priests and things, and where they get their authority from. So this makes sense." Yes, it does, doesn't it?

I forgot to tell you about something that happened on Tuesday. I was with Elder Handley, who doesn't speak any Spanish. We were knocking doors in an apartment complex that has about 99% Hispanics. We talked to this one lady on her doorstep who said she didn't have time right now, because she was about to go to a meeting with the pastor from her church in another apartment. she invited us to come! So we went. We thought it might be a good opportunity to get some contacts and maybe get to know a little more about where these people are coming from. It was a Pentecostal church meeting. I talked to the pastor for a little bit before the meeting started, and he said he used to live in Mesa. He said, "You have to be careful when you talk around white people down there, because there's so many Mormons and they all speak Spanish." Then he looked at Elder Handley and said, "You don't speak Spanish?" He said no. "Then you're not a Mormon." Haha!

Well, anyway, it was quite the meeting. They started by reading a chapter from Isaiah. The man reading the chapter used his outside voice; I'm not sure why. Then they all prayed vocally in their outside voices different things. Some were crying, and they were all speaking Spanish. I think Elder Handley was a little freaked out, because to him they were just shouting mumbo-jumbo. But luckily I could tune into one of them and tell that they were just praying really loudly. They sang some songs, and then let me share something. I didn't know exactly what to share.... Because I wanted to make sure they respected missionaries and would talk to them in the future, but I still wanted to teach them something. They knew we were Mormons, as they specifically mentioned our presence in a room of about 20-30 people. So I decided that if nothing else, I would leave them with no doubt regarding our belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. So I read a scripture and bore my testimony about that. I'm not sure if sharing something else would have been better, but that's what came to my mind on the spot. Then we heard a sermon from the pastor and left with some plates of food. It was definitely different, but it's good to get an idea of where they're coming from.

On Friday the only lesson we had was with a man named Luis and his wife. They were former investigators from missionaries past. Elder Ramirez had taught them once on exchanges a few transfers ago. They are Seventh-day Adventists, so they know their stuff when it comes to the Bible. Because they actually read it. We started to teach them (mostly Luis) about the Restoration, and then got on a HUGE tangent about the Bible. He was adamant that the Bible was 100% accurate and that anything and everything should be based off of it. We shared that "we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." And he just wouldn't have it. He was basically polite, just very adamant about his belief in the Bible. So, seizing an opportunity to teach about the role of the Spirit in confirming the truth of the Book of Mormon, I asked him how he came to know the Bible was the word of God. He said that growing up his parents and just told him over and over again that it was, and he had always believed it. I asked, "So you've just always believed it?" Yup. We explained about God answering prayers through the Holy Ghost and he responded that God answers our prayers through the Bible. He explained that the 72 men who compiled the Bible checked every book against the five books of Moses. In those five books were the Law, and if writings didn't conform to the Law, they weren't canonized. I had pretty much heard enough to know he was completely closed off to anything we had to say, so we didn't even go into who checked the five books of Moses. It was basically just a circle that kept coming back to the Bible. And the validity of the Bible should be determined by the Bible. He just got onto the idea that we consider the Bible dung, which we clearly explained we do not. It's the word of God. It should be revered as such, studied from, and lived by. It's just not translated 100% correctly, nor does it contain all of the doctrines necessary for salvation. So finally I said, "Vamos a tener que estar de acuerdo de no estar de acuerdo." (We'll have to agree to disagree.) I think it was a lot funnier to say that in Spanish, because I don't think it's a saying. So they thought that was funny. They had a copy of the Book of Mormon in the house, so we urged them to read it and to ask God if it is true. We ended on a good note. I think his wife silently saw the invalidity of her husbands argument and agreed with the doctrine of answers to prayers through personal revelation. Hopefully hearts will soften and testimonies will be gained.

The next day we went back to Leadville, where there was a foot of snow on the ground, after the foot that had already come and melted the day before! We taught some good people, including Kevin and his girlfriend/wife Luz, and sister-in-law Cynthia. We taught about the importance of baptism, and they all agreed to be baptized on May 30th. The biggest challenge, I think, will be getting them to church. Kevin and Luz have a newborn son, and it might be a challenge for them. But I'm praying for them! In the process of that lesson we draw a little picture with two pathways: one that leads to destruction, and one that leads to life (as in Matthew 7:13-14). In Spanish, the word for flames and the word for llamas is the same. "Llamas." So before the lesson (not during) I drew for Elder Ramirez "las llamas del infierno," or "the flames of hell." But I just drew some llamas with fire behind them. Like, the llamas of hell. I guess you had to be there. It was funny. Actually, he didn't think it was funny, but I really did.

So that's the week in a nutshell! It was a really good one! I got to share my testimony at zone Conference, and let me just say that I'm glad to have a testimony. I know this is the Lord's Kingdom on earth. It is the only true Church on the face of the earth. We have a living prophet! How cool is that! Read the Book of Mormon, it's so true.

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:
"The Church continues to grow steadily and to change the lives of more and more people every year. It is spreading across the earth as our missionary force seeks out those who are searching for the truth."
~President Thomas S. Monson

P.S. Here's a shortened and edited version of an email I received from Ashleigh in the Singles' Ward:

Elder Rogers!!

Thank you so much for your email! It made my week. I love getting them. They are the highlights of each month. I know I forgot to respond last month and I do apologize. Things got really crazy and after I had to put my dog down, I kind of slipped away for a little while. BUT I’M BACK, and stronger than ever!

Things in Sand Creek are good. Everyone is starting to come back from school. Most everybody should be back by the end of next week!! A TON of missionaries came home last week and it’s amazing to see them. They just have this presence of pure good and love and it brings such a strong sense of peace and amazing light into the ward. I just feel bad for them because they all say the same thing “I feel great, but this doesn’t feel real. I still feel like I should be on my mission.” But I know things will calm down for them. It just takes time and some getting used to. It takes 6 months to break a habit. They will get there.

Things in my life are not so great. But it’s okay because I know that I have Heavenly Father on my side always. I also have a great support system with the Church so that helps. And here’s the plus side! The past few weeks really helped me to strengthen my testimony and remember that no matter what, the Church is true.

I am still the ward greeter, but I am also a ward missionary. Last week, I didn’t just make the cards, I put together (with a little help from Peter, Kimberly, Angela, and the Elders) FAITH kits. They are kits with:
     A pencil to start your story
     An Eraser to erase the mistakes
     A pen and notebook to remember the little things
     Faith band so you can ALWAYS wear your Faith
     A picture (of Jesus) to always remember you’re never alone
     Glow stick to light the way
     Paper clip to hold everything together
     Chocolate for the bad days
It was such a Blessing to be able to make them. It not only helped me remember my Faith, but to help me remember to hold on to it. I told someone not too long ago, to “build your Testimony and hold on to your Faith, because as you grow, they will grow and you have to hold on to that forever” and I just can’t stop thinking about that. I was writing to them, and I don’t know why I wrote that, but it made a difference in my life and I hope to always hold on to that.

Elder Pikula is crazy. But I love him. I’m going to yell at him for NOT TELLING ME that he saw you! I miss you and Elder Rosequist (who I actually saw not too long ago). You guys really did make a difference in my life and I am forever grateful. You guys are amazing and your strength in the Gospel is so inspiring. I love it. You might not think you guys did much, but you did. You guys believed in me and helped me to believe in myself. You guys showed me the truth in the Gospel and you guys helped me strengthen my Testimony. I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for me, and continue to do. You may be forever away, but getting your emails every month helps me even more than you can imagine. Especially the ones that you send out with the weekly updates. I love hearing your stories. Honestly if it wasn’t for the both of you, I don’t think I would have chosen to go on a mission. Seeing how you guys have changed so many lives, has made me realize that I want to do the same.

I am definitely going to look up that talk! It sounds AMAZING! Elder Holland always knows what to say. I loved his talk at General Conference. You were able to watch it right? Whose talk was your favorite? I’m stuck between three, but I unfortunately only got to see Sunday’s sessions. I really need to step up and start reading the Book of Mormon again, and reading talks again. UGH I’ve been slacking. I’m in competition with Elder Jenks (new to the area) to finish the Book of Mormon before him.. I’m losing.. Badly.. BUT I WILL WIN!

As for my Mission. I don’t know. I’ve been talking with Bishop and he really wants me to put my papers in on September 1st and I was totally on board with it, but then I got braces, and we don’t think that I  will be able to go with them on. So he is looking into it. If not, then I will probably move to California until I can go (which would be sometime at the end of next year). I really want to go on a mission. I can’t really think about anything else. I think a mission will be good for me, and I want to be able to help people find the true Gospel. It’s hard, especially here because everyone has such a wrong view of the Church and they don’t want to listen. I can’t imagine how frustrating it can get for you guys. I have such major respect for missionaries and all that you guys do.

I can’t wait to see you in June! I’ll take you guys out for dinner and we can have a lesson! Then you’ll be home and we can talk more than just once a month! haha. But seriously you and Elder Pikula can decide on a place you guys want to go for dinner and I will make it happen (:

Thank you again for writing!
Stay true to yourself and what you know!


Some Pictures

The Golden Zone Flag
Packed bus on closing day at Copper Mountain
Look Mom! I'm riding a bear!

Deer trying to scatter the flocks of Lamoni!

Wheelbarrow stuck in ice!
Fish heads! Crazy El Salvadorians!

Letter to a friend...

Part of a letter I sent to a friend recently...

The mission is super fun, super hard, and definitely worth it. There is absolutely nothing else I could do in my life that would teach me the lessons I've been learning; and they've been really important lessons!

For one thing, you learn a lot about yourself. Everyone I've seen in the past two years, I've MET within the past two years. So the only person I really know is me. And comparing my own personality traits with those of my maaaany companions has also helped me to recognize things that I like about myself, and things I would like to develop in my character. And of course I've learned a lot about the Gospel. My testimony has been strengthened a lot, and that's priceless. I've also learned Spanish.

So it's been over 22 months, and I've learned a lot. This is the last week of my sixteenth transfer. The next email I write will be the first week of my last transfer. Almost 100 weeks serving the Lord full-time. And boy has it been worth it. Has it been all roses and butterflies? Definitely not. I won't even say I've loved every minute of it. It's discouraging sometimes. It's hard almost all the time! But there are all of the joys that easily counterbalance that. And encompassing it all is the sacredness of the calling, the privilege of serving, and the peace of knowing that Heavenly Father is molding me into the person He wants me to be. He's helping me make a difference, for others and for myself.

Monday, April 13, 2015


This week was Elder Ramirez's birthday! The big 2-1. That doesn't mean anything in Peru, but we all know why that's important here in the U.S.-- you can get a sideways driver's license!!

Elder Ramirez made the mistake of telling me that there's a Peruvian tradition of smashing an egg on the birthday-boy's head. So I did it. I don't think he was expecting it, because he told me like a week before. So that was tons of fun!

On Tuesday I got to go down to Denver for a District Leader's training meeting. It was good; I always like being in Denver. That night we had dinner with a less-active member named Jesse and taught him about the Spirit World and the importance of using our time here on earth wisely. It was really good! If you look in Alma 30-40, there's a ton of good stuff about that. Don't procrastinate the day of your repentance!

The next day we taught a short lesson on a doorstep to a Hispanic man named Victor. He was really active in his Christian Church, which is good, but he was also a little frustrating. We did our survey questionnaire with him, and asked, "If you knew there was another book of scripture, written by prophets, that testified of Jesus Christ, would you read it?" He said no. Some people say no because they don't like to read, others say no because they don't have any interest in religion or a belief in Christ. Victor said no because... because I guess he thinks God can't speak anymore... I think he just didn't understand the question. "If you knew that other prophets had testified of Christ, would you read their writings?" So, in my frustration (this kind of frustration doesn't happen a lot with Hispanics) I tried to think of what I should do. Because I could have stood there and argued with him, or quoted the Lord in 2nd Nephi 29:
Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible,and we need no more Bible... Know ye not that I, the Lord your God,... bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?... And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished;neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

So anyway, I digress. I could have said something like that to him, but I didn't. Instead, I tried to think of what the Savior would have me do. So I imagined Him standing there with us. He was our third Companion, invisible to Victor, but not to me. If I knew He were standing there watching this conversation progress, what would I do? So I testified that God is not dead, that He still speaks. I told him the He has restored His Church through a modern prophet, and that the fullness of the Gospel is on the earth today. If he was willing, we would be more than happy to share with him how that knowledge could bless his life. He didn't accept my invitation, but there was nothing he could say to refute the things of which I testified. I think that helped a lot. I'm sure if I could have actually seen the Savior standing there with us I would have been way more nervous than I was. But it was a good exercise for me, because He is always watching, and He's aware of our efforts on His behalf.

Other than that we had a few good lessons and met a few good people. we've started reading the Book of Mormon with an inactive member in the ward who's wife and children are active. They're one of the two families that speak Spanish in the ward. It's been pretty good, and just a reminder to me of how important it is to "search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets every day, every day, every day!" (Elder Pearson from the most recent General Conference). I hope you're all doing that! May the Lord bless you to know that this Church is true and that the Gospel is restored! I know it is!

Elder Rogers
A Thought from Mom:

Jesus taught us in simple language: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” and “Come follow me.” 

Monday, April 6, 2015

General Conference!

I always love General Conference! This was a really great one.

It was a really slow week as far as teaching people. That's always rough. But those lessons we did have with people went really well!

We had one very interesting experience... On Monday our ward mission leader called us and told us he had set us up a dinner for the following night with one of his coworkers. He would also be there. Then he called later, on the day of the dinner, and told us he wasn't going to be able to make it, but that we should still go and she would be expecting us. We showed up at this lady's house at 6:00 for dinner, and talked with her and her two sons. It was a good pleasant time. She had prepared appetizers for us! So we sat down and talked as we ate them. Then she told us to make ourselves comfortable because dinner would be an hour and twenty minutes... I was wondering if she meant we would be DONE in eighty minutes, or if we would start eating in eighty minutes. But our ward mission leader had been trying to get us together with this lady for months, so we wanted to be cordial.

While we waited, she told us that one of her neighbors who is a member of the Church would also be joining us as soon as she got off work. I had met this member once, and although she's less-active she's cool, and I was glad she'd be there for the dinner. So we threw the frisbee with her sons and waited. Finally the member got home from work and dinner was ready. She had made chicken and dumpling soup, which was really good. But something super weird happened. When we sat down to eat, this lady was completely drunk. I have no clue when it happened. She had been perfectly fine for the hour and a half that we had been there up until that point, but now she was out of it, clearly drunk. She kept talking about random things, and tried really hard to communicate with Elder Ramirez in Spanish, sometimes French. My favorite quote was: "Mi casa, yousa casa." She remembered dessert after we had all finished, and we all got root-beer floats. Then she asked us to share something spiritual with her sons. We both bore simple testimony of some gospel principles, and then she said, "We forgot the floats!" We kindly reminded her that we were all currently eating our root-beer floats. She had us hold hands in prayer twice at kind of random times, which is fine. Then, she said, "I'm going to pack you a lunch." And as she walked into the kitchen she exclaimed, "The dessert! We forgot!" No. We didn't. So she gave us some leftovers and a bunch of fruit and tried to give us a whole bunch of other stuff, but we insisted she had given us enough. Luckily, the less-active member was there and was sober, so it wasn't as weird as it might have been. We just told our ward mission leader that it went well.

My Picture Wall

Aaanyway, as far as teaching the gospel goes... We had a great zone meeting on Thursday in Denver. We talked about a lot of skills and different things, including the mission's new initiative to have all of the missionaries sing before each lesson (as appropriate).So Elder Ramirez and I have been doing that, and it's been awesome! One Song was to an old lady who is less-active, and she just loved it. Another was to a member after dinner. We sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" in Spanish, and when we finished, he said, "I'm also glad to know he lives." Lastly, we sang "Come Unto Jesus" before a lesson on Repentance to one of our investigators named Monica. It really brought the Spirit into the room, and He stayed for the whole lesson. It was awesome. I don't think the lesson could have gone any better, all thanks to the Spirit.

That was about it as far as teaching this week. We've had the struggle of actually meeting with the people we've set on date for baptism (there are five of them). It's been really tough. Most of our people are in Leadville, and we can't see them or even try to see them as often as we would like because it's so far away. The Lord will provide!
Elder Ramirez' cool Silver Duct Tape Book of Mormon!

Wasn't General Conference amazing?!? I loved it so much. I really can't wait to start studying the talks more in-depth. As they were being delivered, I didn't take any notes. I normally like to, but I decided this time to just hear every word, feel the Spirit, and then study the talks again diligently and take notes then. I hope you got to watch all of the sessions! Unless I'm crazy, I noticed a huge emphasis on marriage and family, especially on Saturday (which, in my opinion, are the sessions that are more for the Church than for everyone else in the world). Study those talks again! There is nothing more important in this life than having a strong eternal family, and honoring eternal covenants. That's actually what it's all about!

I love you all and hope you had a fantastic Easter weekend! The Church is true, and I love and sustain our living Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected, and I know He lives!

Unleavened bread for passover--Not good.

Elder Rogers

Unleavened bread as pizza crust--pretty good!
A Thought from Mom:

“In this work there must be commitment. There must be devotion. We are engaged in a great eternal struggle that concerns the very souls of the sons and daughters of God. We are not losing. We are winning. We will continue to win if we will be faithful and true. We can do it. We must do it. We will do it. There is nothing the Lord has asked of us that in faith we cannot accomplish.”
~Gordon B. Hinckley