Sunday, December 10, 2017

Week 92--Work and miracles and Lighting the World

Hi, everybody!

We met up with a family we're working with, they still would like to be baptized but they are very busy. We taught them about fasting and today we are going to their home and will find out when they will start fasting and we're going to fast with them.

Becky is still doing well working towards her baptism on Dec 23rd. She is learning and soaking in a lot and she really enjoys it.

Another investigator of ours is having many struggles the month leading to her baptism on Dec 30th and her environment just isn't conducive to the spirit, so it's hard for her to stay strong and not smoke when she is at home. 

We invited our upstairs neighbor to take the lessons and she accepted, so we've taught her a few things and yesterday we gave her a church tour. It helped her a lot because she was very reserved and anxious in a new environment.

Mary is great. She wanted to come to church, and she was going to but she got ill. The opposition is real.

One of our investigators referred us to a friend of hers. We visited her yesterday, and her son was there. Her son, two days back, had made the decision to be baptized, but didn't know which church to be a part of. We started teaching him and his mom, and gave the mom a priesthood blessing for her bones because they aren't doing so hot, and after she said she could already feel better.

We had gone to the home of a less-active member and her non-member husband. They unexpectedly ordered pizza for us, and then we got talking and the member, Andrea, said one thing she loved about the church was proxy baptisms, and family. So, we invited her to do family history, and she acceptedWe have an appointment tomorrow.

We went to another Less-active household and the non-member husband was home, the member was not. We talked to him and he invited us back the next week. We came back and told him about the LightTheWorld initiative the church is putting on. He loved it. I heard second hand that he actually posted it on facebook and mentioned us. Then he pulled out his wife's quad (combination book of Book of Mormon/doctrine and Covenants/Bible/Pearl of Great Price) and said he had been reading a little in the Book of Mormon. I asked where, he said 1 Nephi 25:23. Now, for those of you who don't know, in the bible belt this is a dangerous scripture, because many people will automatically think that we believe in being saved by our own works. What they don't realize is we are saying, Christ's grace saves us, and how we connect to that grace is by the things we do. So, to clarify, I read James chapter 2 with him (new testament) where it says faith without works is dead, the demons believe, and tremble, faith is made perfect through works, etc. He said "Well it doesn't get much clearer than that." Now he wants us to come back and answer some more of his questions.

There is a member of our ward who is not active and she has been pretty reserved, but I was just about knocked off my feet when I called her Sunday morning to see if we could come at 5:30 and she said "yes," AND "I'm going to be at church today." She didn't end up coming to church unfortunately but she wants to and that's huge progress. We talked to her about her wanting to go to the temple and left her with a pamphlet and a return appointment for the next week. 

We had a neat experience on Friday, participating in Light the World. It was the first day and the theme was Matthew 10:8 - "Freely ye have received, freely give."

We had an appointment later to skateboard with a potential investigator. So, when we had prayed to find someone to give our bag of food to, and I saw a man with a skateboard in his hand, we had to turn around and talk to him. Well, he disappeared so we looked for him. We found him at the McDonalds we had passed earlier. Well this time, there was also a homeless man there who was not previous to that. I gave the homeless man the bag while the other elders talked to  the guy with the skateboard. Then, a homeless lady we met before was there too, so we got her some food too! Three people were affected by one act.

I have been praying that the hearts of the people here would be softened and to be able to see them the way the LORD sees them so that I know when they are ready. I've seen these things come to pass.

Elder Rodgers

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Week 91--Upcoming baptisms

Hi, everybody!

This week was great, but the most noteworthy things to mention are that we've been meeting a lot of people who are receptive to the gospel, the hearts of the people here truly are being softened.

We have set a date for baptism with two of our dear friends, Becky and Lila. Please pray that things will go their way!

There's a member here who served his mission under President and Sister Keeler from Magrath! Pretty cool.

Love from Elder Rodgers

Week 90--Temple and Liberty Jail


I got to go to the temple this week and visit the liberty jail! It was neat to have something fun to do while also having an opportunity to strengthen my testimony even more.

This week we had our newer investigator at church with her son's girlfriend. They had a good time and we have a member who is awesome, friendshipping her along the way and it is so cool to see!

Taught some good lessons this week! Pray for our investigators, specifically Becky, the Kohley family and the Waugh Family!

We should see some good things happening soon!

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