Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Week 89--The work is busy in Joplin

So we've hardly had a day that was normal this week. Monday was great, we went to a bomb Mexican place for dinner and then saw a family and read the Book of Mormon with them. They're a family of 6 and they want to be baptized, they''re just super busy.

    We went to a place where they play christian music live and then have a bible discussion. We have an investigator who is one of the leaders there. Him and his wife met with us this week and they have been reading several chapters a week, and want to know if the Book of Mormon is true. They said if they weren't teaching basically primary and Sunday School at their church they would come to ours. They will be making it to our activities though.

    Tuesday we went on exchanges with the assistants, and three of the four missionaries of that exchange (all except Elder McClellan) have served in Fayetteville 2nd. I loved it because we had a lot to talk about. He told me about one of the people baptized there who I taught that is getting back active and hasn't smoked for a while (This was one of her concerns) so I was pretty excited to hear it. You worry about the converts you helped towards baptism.

    We made some cool contacts, one was a very open 18 year old who doesn't know if he believes in God but wants to. We also got into an argument about Joseph Smith with a lady. We didn't argue. We testified and she argued.

    We then went on an exchange in Fort Scott, not sure if it's a city or a town. It was pretty hick still. Had a good time. 
Hi, Family and Friends!

    Friday we had Elders from the Webb City ward come to our area. It was a great exchange, I went with Elder Morris and we made the focus of the exchange talking to everyone. One of the people we talked to wanted us to come back, but aside from her, we made three other contacts that wanted us to come back. One story was particularly cool: 

    We were walking and a guy comes out of his car (I thought he was going to bash us) and said, what are you guys doing? You're dressed pretty nice. We told him about what we're doing and our message, but he told us he isn't interested. We asked him who would be interested in or who would benefit from our message. He directed us to a building in his complex with lots of young people, or so he said. We went there and at the first door we knocked on, a lady barely opened her door and said she isn't interested. We asked her as well, "who do you know that would be interested in or benefit from our message. " She told us to go to the door on the end and talk to Betty. We talked to Betty and she was very open. We taught her the restoration on her doorstep and she wants to learn more!

Also our member trust went up because one of the members saw us talking to someone on the street.

We saw some good things happen the next day as we raked the lawn of a new investigator and asked her about the Book of Mormon she said she's been reading and praying to know if it's true. She has a huge yard.

    A pretty sweet week overall!

Thanks to awesome ward members for feeding our missionaries and sending pictures to moms!

Until next week!
Love from 
Elder Rodgers

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Week 88--Great week in Joplin!

This week was awesome. We had a meeting on Tuesday in which we reviewd the ward roster as an extended ward council. We included other people who would know information about the people in the area. We established we we knew nothing about and need to find, we updated the information and status of members, and Elder McClellan and I started seeing a bunch of people that nobody knew and some people they said we should visit. It's been a good time! 

We had a really good lesson with a part-member family, we read the Book of Mormon with them and they loved it. We discussed with them how prayer has blessed their lives. After they had each borne their own testimony of it, we encouraged them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

We met a lady named Sarah. She was super open to reading the Book of Mormon and discussing the restoration with us, but she didn't have much time. We had her read Alma 7:11-13 and she loved it. As she was reading A bunch of people came over to her house and the dogs and the kids went nuts. Talk about opposition. It's alright though. As they were causing a ruckus she kept reading which was impressive. She just kept reading in her head.

We mowed a member's lawn, and then we went across the street and raked the leaves for her neighbor. She and the neighbor were quite grateful. It was Elder McClellan's idea.

We had zone conference on Thursday. It was a great conference, I was asked to conduct and that was weird because I've never conducted a meeting before like that.

That night we did a split with elders' quorum. A member went with my companion and I went with another. We stopped by a member who is inactive, who has trouble with church history and doesn't have a testimony, and set a return appointment.We also had a lesson with a couple who is pretty prepared. They are totally open to the restoration and the father said the prayer at the end of the lesson and asked to know if the Book of Mormon is true. It was powerful. They had a lot of good questions.

There's someone in our apartment complex who is less-active. His name is on the roster but not his apartment number. We saw someone one day in the complex and I asked him if he's ever had the chance to talk with Mormon missionaries. He said he goes to the Neosho ward sometimes. I asked what his name was, and he was the guy we were looking for. We also set up a time, and that was Friday. We invited him to the Trunk or treat, and he said he wants to start doing the discussions and get back to church.

A lot of other smaller miracles happened, but these are some of the highlights. Wish I had pictures to share so I'll share one from lds.org instead. I love temples, and I love feeling God's light as I'm there. If you have the opportunity to see the temple, DO IT! Even if it is just walking the grounds. You will feel so much peace.

Week 87--Diversity in Joplin

Hi, everyone!

There were a few interesting experiences this week to write about. Joplin is a very neat place. There are several different religions, races, and cultures here, at least compared to Ava.😁 

📖We came to visit a Christian lady, but her husband was the only one home. We asked if we could come in and share a quick message about Jesus Christ. He let us in, and we talked with him for a long time about his views. He's Muslim, and we had a long discussion about the divinity of Jesus Christ. We testified boldly and invited him to read the Book of Mormon. He said he would. ðŸ†’

👫We met a couple, Matt and Ashley. They've met with missionaries for a while, but things stopped because they started getting really busy, so we asked if we could continue coming by. They accepted. They have guitars, so we played 'How Great Thou Art' for them.🎸

Today at Wal-Mart, 3 different people asked us what church we're from. ⛪

We set a day this week when a the leaders of the ward and many more will gather, and we'll figure out where everyone on the ward list is and what their status is, then they're going to book us with teaching appointments. ðŸ™Š

Love to you all
Elder Rodgers

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 86--Rarin' to spread the good word in Joplin

Hi, everybody!

This week so far in Joplin 1st ward has been sweet. My companion and I feel strongly about the work here. Our Bishop is suuuper on board, and he is excited. Our Stake President is the same way. They have told us we have their support. The second counselor to the Bishop took us out Sunday night to people he has found, and got us four investigators in a couple hours. 

We've been introduced to some people with a lot of potential. There's a member who has a lot of non-member kids/grandkids who seem to be ready soon, and there's a recent convert whose parents also seem pretty receptive to the gospel. 

We went to see a man by the name of Robert, who asked for a bible to be brought to him. We taught the restoration to him and we have a return appointment.

We went through our former teaching records, people missionaries stopped teaching for one reason or another, and there are lots of people who are willing to have us come and continue teaching!

Before we shotgunned in (my companion and I are both new to the area) the previous elders were ready to go home and the Bishop could tell, things just weren't getting done, but he knows we're ready to work hard. I've felt prompted to record the things we do and the ward's efforts, and the experiences we have, and have the feeling things will explode here.

Watch out for some exciting news.

We helped out with a ward activity, a hoe-down, and talked to some non-members there, inviting them to church. 

It's been a blessed time here in Joplin so far, and I know much more is to come!

Elder Rodgers