Monday, May 25, 2015


I've been making a lot of crepes this week for breakfast. This morning I made a huge one! Here's a picture!

On Monday last week we were waiting outside the library before it opened (so we could email), and a guy came up and started talking to us. His name is Ben, and he said he's been on his own "spiritual journey" recently, so he'd be willing to meet with us. We met him the next day with a member named DJ at the church building and taught him lesson one. He's 25 and single, so he'll be a referral for the singles' ward if he chooses to continue learning. But we had a good first lesson with him (Elder Tavares' first first lesson with an investigator). After the lesson, we asked him if he had any questions for us. He said, "Well, you guys are kind of young. Is there someone older I can talk to?"   -____-   Yeah. Talk to DJ. So he's kind of a unique guy.

We had a great visit with Brandon again. We brought a ward missionary to his house and he gave us lunch! He's facing a lot of trials in his life. But luckily we told him that trials would come because of his decision to come back to church. We told him to just trust in the Lord and keep pushing through them! And he's been doing awesome!!! He's had a LOT of trials come up recently, but he's been going strong. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and he's been reading it regularly. He says he really enjoys it! He even came to church on Sunday! That was AWESOME! A miracle for sure. He loved it. My favorite part of that sacrament meeting was the musical number sung by a 12-year-old girl about growing up with the gospel and it being a blessing (I can't remember what the name of the song was). But the girl looked just like Brandon's daughter Amara, who is eight. I think it really touched him as well, and he definitely wants those blessings for his daughter. He's been doing great.

We gave some service this week at ARC, the thrift store I used to volunteer at when I was here before. It was pretty great! We also helped Chris pack up some more stuff for his move into the ward. The house still isn't finished though, so the move was postponed again! It should happen this week though.

On Saturday during our companionship study, we got a call from the zone leaders. They asked, "Did anyone talk to you about getting a car?" No.... "Oh, well you're getting a car!" One of the Elders I came out with, Elder Zerilli, went home a couple of weeks early to get sealed to his family. His companion was placed with a couple of other Elders for the remainder of the transfer, and we got his car! So we'll have it for the rest of the transfer. That's a huge blessing! It makes the work move along a lot faster. We have to make more detailed plans, though, because yesterday we planned what would have been a full day on bikes, but blew through it in an hour or two. Then we were just sitting there like, "What now?..." So we definitely need to get used to planning with a car!

This morning we drove past Columbine High School and decided to visit the Memorial in a nearby park. It was awesome. There's definitely a spirit of reverence there.

The Wall of Consolation

So, the work is moving forward! We have a car now, and that should help things move along! Thanks again for all of the letters and the love that you send! I appreciate it all! I know this is the Lord's work, and this is His Church! Be excellent to each other!

Elder Rogers

Monday, May 18, 2015


I think I got more letters this week than I did the first 23 months of my mission!

"Post-it" Blinds in our Apartment
Thanks everyone for writing! It means a lot. It's been a pretty good week overall. We'll start off with Chris! If you have a great memory, you'll remember that there was a less-active member named Chris that I taught in the Coal Mine Ward, my first area. Well, since then he's been taught, quick smoking, started coming to church, and got the Aaronic Priesthood! He and his mother recently bought a new house and will be moving into the Dakota Ridge Ward!! On Tuesday we got to bring a member and go to a lesson that the Coal Mine Sisters had set up with him to help him with the transition into the new ward. We taught about the temple and challenged him to meet with the Bishop for a recommend. It went well! On Friday Elder Tavares and I helped him pack a bunch of things in his garage to prepare for the move this Saturday. It's been fun seeing him again!

I also got to use my Spanish this week while tracting. We tracted into this nice guy named Zach, who referred us to his next-door neighbor who he said spoke Spanish. Thus, I met Jose and had a nice conversation with him. He started by asking what church we were from. I pointed to my tag (I can't find my English one) and told him the name. "Who are the Saints?" he asked. I told him every member of the church is referred to as a "latter-day saint." He said, "So you don't worship any Saints?" No. I then explained that he probably knows us as the Mormons. He said, "Oh! Yes, I know the Mormons. Who or what is 'Mormon'?" So I went on to explain to him the history of the Book of Mormon and it's translation through the power of God by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I then explained the history of the Great Apostasy and of the Restoration of the Gospel. He thought it was pretty cool, but didn't seem too interested. Elder Tavares thought it was pretty cool, though. You know, since we were speaking another language.

On Saturday we helped the same family that had a flood in the basement pile dirt around their house before a storm came. (The dirt stops water from pooling around the foundation-- which causes the flooding). That was super fun!

I believe I mentioned a less-active named Brandon that we tracted into our first week here. In fact, I'm sure I mentioned him. Well, we had another lesson with him this week, and it went great! He asked if we could meet at the church instead of his house. He wanted us to give his 8-year-old daughter a blessing of comfort before her trip to Austria with her grandparents. We met him at the church building and went into the chapel, where we talked about some of the things that were going on in his life. Then I had the idea to play the organ. I told him about the cargo ships in Seattle that travel miles and miles up the river to get to fresh water so all of the barnacles die and fall off the ship. I told him that church is like fresh water for our lives, and I invited him to sit in the fresh water for a few minutes while I played some hymns on the organ. So he (and his daughter, Amara, and Elder Tavares) did, and the Spirit filled the chapel. Then we explained the restoration of the priesthood and have Amara her first blessing. Brandon told us that he knew the next step was to come back to church. He mentioned the "coincidence" that children are baptized at eight, and we tracted into him when his daughter was eight years old! He wasn't able to come to church yesterday, but I have lots of confidence that he will get there.

I'm not used to having a time limit, but I'm just about out of time here at the library! I know the Church is true! I love you all! Keep the faith!

Elder Rogers

Monday, May 11, 2015

And the First Shall be Last!

My new area is the Dakota Ridge ward! It's in the same district where I started my mission in the Ken Caryl and Coal Mine wards, so it's a pretty familiar area.

It's been one crazy week! We started out by driving down from Frisco to stay with the xone Leaders in Denver on Monday night. One of them, Elder Handley, tore his ACL while playing soccer that day, and he had to go home for surgery. He'll be home for several months. So that's sad.

But anyway, we got to transfer meeting and I met my new new companion, Elder Tavares (tuh-VAIR-ez)! He's from Maple Valley Washington. He just arrived in Denver on Monday, so he's got a grand total of one week in the field! He's very green. Kind of awkward, but he doesn't lack confidence, so that's good.

We spent all day Tuesday running errands. While Elder Ramirez was waiting for his new companion to come over from out west, I took the truck around to a million places to get a bike for Elder Tavares, and a helmet
A REAL selfie in my helmet!
and bike lock for both of us (I brought a bike over from Frisco). And... A ton of other things. Like, we printed out a map of our area at the library because we're whitewashing and we have no clue where anything is. We spent basically all day doing that before dinner.

We also taught a nice old lady named Christine. She's been taught by the Elders for years now. She's an 88-year-old widow who lives alone in our apartment complex. She calls herself a "Catholic-Mormon." No matter how hard missionaries of members try to explain it, she doesn't understand the concept of priesthood authority, and believes her baptism to be valid. But she love the Church and comes every Sunday! One great thing about her is that she is a fantastic missionary! She talks to everyone about the Church! She has lots of religious symbols and sayings on the walls and stuff, so when people ask her about them, she says, "I'm a Catholic, but I LOVE the Mormons!" And according to her, they say, "You don't mean that!..." "Yes I do, yes I do, yes I do!!" Then she gives the pamphlets she gets from the missionaries or listens to the book of Mormon on audio-book with them or invites them to hear from the missionaries! So that's great!

I've gotten a lot of good exercise on my bike! The day after transfers, I took Elder T. out for his first tracting experience. It was door after door closed in our face. It made me remember what it's like being an English missionary. Uuuhhg. When we hit the end of the road, I turned around and started to walk back to where we had locked our bikes. Elder T. said, "You want to work our way back to the bikes on the other side?"
I didn't, but I said, "Yeah, good idea." So we started to knock doors on the other side of the street. We got into the second door, and had a great conversation with a man named Brandon. As it turns out, he's a completely inactive member of the Church! He talked about how for the past two years, God has been "chasing him." He gratefully accepted our invitation to come back and teach him (he also has a wife and kids who are not members of the Church!). We went back on Friday and had a great lesson with him. He said he's more than willing to come back to Church, he just didn't know how. So that's AWESOME! It reminds me of my first day on the mission when Elder Curth and I drove past some people unloading furniture from a truck, and I said, "Maybe they need some help." And they did!

Other than that we've met and taught a couple of less-actives in the ward who were being taught by the previous Elders. I feel kind of bad because it's been kind of a slow week for Elder Tavares. But I think he's adjusting well. On Friday morning we went to a "Trainer's Training." Afterwards I wandered into President Murdock's office to look at the transfer board. I don't know if I'm supposed to or even allowed to jsut walk into his office, but... I kind of really don't care... So anyway, while I was looking at the transfer board he walked in and asked about Elder Tavares (I guess he didn't mind me being in there). He said he had planned on me training a different missionary,  but two hours before transfers he felt prompted to switch things up and put me with Elder Tavares. So at least I can have confidence that not only the assignment, but also the assignee is inspired!

As I mentioned in our Skype call on Sunday, the switch from Spanish back to English is super hard for me. I also really enjoyed having a companion with a little more experience for... practically the first time (with Elder Ramirez). But it's okay. Maybe the Lord is trying to help me not get complacent. There's definitely a lot of opportunity to grow here! The ward is fantastic. I've only met a few of the members, but they're already some of the greatest I've known on my mission! The outgoing missionaries were good, but they didn't leave a ton of progressing investigators in their wake. So we're basically starting fresh. But it's alright, because the ward, like I said, is really supportive.

We also got to spend mothers day getting the ox out of the mire in a member family's basement. It flooded, and we got to carry ALL of their stuff upstairs and rip out ALL of the carpet! It was tons of fun! In church, when they announced the need for help (because it was Mother's Day) I said, "We don't have wives. We'll be there!" Someone responded, "Did you say you don't have lives?" That too.
It SNEW on Mother's Day!
That's the situation for now! Things are moving along! And things are pretty hard! But hard things make you grow! I also forgot to mention that as a trainer I'm reading the Book of Mormon in 42 days (one transfer). I'm doing pretty good with keeping up so far. I love it! I've read through it a few times on my mission, but I've never been able to beat the 42-day challenge! I started a day or two after transfers, and I hope to be finished by June 16th. Make sure you're reading every day!

Thank you for the letters and packages and encouragement! I love you all SO much!

Elder Rogers

Oh yeah! Super funny story (you probably had to be there)! We had just tried visiting a former investigator one night, and they weren't home. As we were mounting our bikes, I noticed a guy nearby and said to Elder Tavares, "Why don't you go talk to him?" He hadn't ever OYMed (open your mouth) someone. He looked around, then said, "He's walking his dog and it's raining."  .  .  . 

"Aaaand?..."  .  .  . 
"Good point." So he went and talked to the guy. It's just so funny how you can find an excuse not to talk to someone, even when your excuses don't make any sense. At all.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cuuuuurve Baaaall!!!

Hey, so I don't know if you knew this, but transfers are tomorrow.
And --curve ball!-- I'm getting transferred! And --another curve ball!-- I'm whitewashing an area! And --another bigger curve ball!!-- I'm training a brand new missionary! And --biggest curve ball of all!!!-- it's in an English biking area! So, I've basically been pelted with a billion balls that all curved and hit me at the last second! Well, maybe not the last second. I've actually known something like this was coming all week. On Monday evening last week, President called and asked me how my energy level was. I told him the truth, "I have to focus a lot more on keeping it up than I've had to in the past, but it's pretty good if I put my mind to it." He asked if I thought I had enough energy to be in a biking area. I said yes. He said, "Okay, I've been getting some promptings and figured I'd get your input. I know you're tired!" So it wasn't completely out of the blue, but it was definitely way out in left field. A curve ball into left field. Too many baseball analogies... But I'll tell you what, it's so far out in left field that it has to be inspired!
That's the big news. I figured I'd start with that. The rest of the week has been pretty darn good as well! I was hardly even in my own area! On Monday night I went to Vail on exchanges because they had an investigator named Pilar who needed a baptismal interview. Elder Graham and I had an awesome day and finished it off with the interview that evening. It's the first baptismal interview I've ever done in Spanish! It went really well. And she passed! Now she's joined her two teenage daughters who were previously baptized! We got to attend the baptismal service in Vail on Saturday night because I had to go sign the baptismal record. We also preformed "Paz, Calmense" ("Master the Tempest is Raging") with the other Elders as a special musical number!
I spent the night in my own apartment in Silverthorne after the exchange on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we got up and went to district meeting in Leadville. It was a good last meeting of the transfer, and we, again, did not have to eat a habañero pepper. But the Buena Vista Elders did... And it was bad... For them... But anyway, after district meeting we started another exchange with the Elders in Buena Vista, because I had put off exchanging with them for six weeks (not for any reason, I just never got around to it I guess...). Elder Giles and I went and had a stellar day on Wednesday in their little river-rat town! (River-rats are like ski-bums, but with kayaking and rafting and stuff.) Because of some appointments they had already set up on Thursday, I ended up staying until Thursday night. It was a 32-hour exchange.
I finally got back to my own area and had a couple of good days with Elder Ramirez. While I was gone they set a baptismal date with Matt, one of our 13-year-old investigators. I might have mentioned his mom, Monica, before. But he's super excited to get in the water on June 6th! Then we got a referral from the Singles' Ward where I used to serve. A girl from Perú named Fancy (yeah, Fancy) is really interested in the Church and is moving to Frisco in a week or two! Overall, it was a great last week of the transfer. All three of the areas in the district hit our district goals, two of us hit the zone goals, and Buena Vista hit the mission standards of excellence! Week six is usually when missionaries get distracted by transfers and slack off a bit, so it was really good to get those number reports in on Sunday night!
It's been a good couple of transfers here in Frisco. I've learned a lot about teaching people simply and about teaching on the spot. I've also learned a lot of Spanish from Elder Ramirez! But I'm really excited for what's coming tomorrow! And a little nervous, only because you can't really plan out a day of proselyting when you're whitewashing, and I want to have a really good first day with my new companion. But the Lord will provide! Pray for me!
Don't forget to study the Book of Mormon! If you forgot, repent! The Church is true and I know it! Keep the faith and endure! Love you all!
My beautiful zucchini!
Elder Rogers
p.s. One thing I'm sad about leaving here in Frisco is my little zucchini plant! I started growing it a couple of weeks ago, and will sadly never get to taste of its fruits...
p.p.s. We helped Sister Bradford clear some stuff out of her house again this Saturday. We made a path all the way from the front door to the back door! We also showed her how to scan documents so she can start to throw them away.
Sister Bradford