Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Week 102--Final mission days

P____ Family, we've been seeing them every week, and Ed has been coming to church weekly again which is great to see. 

Jeremy and Misty They are starting to have more time, and starting to get more out of our lessons, I'm excited for when they set in stone their baptismal date.

Mario He's a Micronesian man. Pretty interesting story. So his girlfriend is a member. She was baptized a few years ago in Utah but she moved here. So naturally her records came in a few months later (like two weeks ago) because her ward realized she moved. So when we saw then come in, we went over to meet her. Well two weeks ago when we knocked on their door, Mario answered and he said to come back Tuesday since his wife would be there with him. And the way he kept rendering to her, it made us think that he wasn't a member, which turned out true. So last week we went over and had a really cool conversation with them. Apparently when she first moved in, she tried to come to church but didn't really feel welcomed so she hasn't been since. But he really wants to come to church and be baptized. His only problem is that he works on Sundays. So we left him the commitment to pray to try to be able to trade his Tuesdays for Sundays (totally his idea). When we left he said the prayer, and since English is still hard for him, even though you couldn't really tell, he asked if he could say the prayer in Pohnpeian, his native language. That was cool! So we showed up again this week and his eagerness to see us was through the roof. He still hasn't been able to get Sunday off yet, but he's praying and trying. He even mentioned if it came to finding another job, he would do it. But it was really neat because he really can only read Pohnpeian, we had to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon to him. The Spirit was so strong. So we left with the promise that we would track down Pohnpeian Book of Mormon copies for them. When I called l the mission office, they had never heard of that language and weren't sure if they had it. But miracle of the day was when my companions went down to Bentonville the following day they went by the office to pick up the zone's supplies and they had three copies of the Book of Mormon in Pohnpeian, with all of the pamphlets. Three for Maro, Ersihda his girlfriend, and his high school aged daughter. The Lord works in mysterious ways, I love it!

Facebook has been approved literally a week before going home and honestly I'm glad it took that long because it is so easy for me to want to just kill time, but I'm trying to be better about that.

Trinity & Donovan & Kristi. Trin & Don's baptism interview was Wednesday and they passed of course. Their baptism will be Wednesday (Valentine's Day) and that will also be my last day in my area. Kristi is their aunt and she has recently after about 20 years started coming back to church the last few weeks.

Our car finally was finished getting fixed in the shop since Elder McClellan drove it into the car wash!! No seriously he drove it in there to get a wash, he didn't crash, but due to the bike rack, and settings made for it not being activated, damage was caused to the back of the vehicle, but they payed for the damage. The rough part was just having to wait a week before we could drive our own selves again.

Betsie, she is a sweet older lady. She's actually married to John, a less active member. She is serious about reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, she's very humble and I'm glad that she is taking this route, even though I will not be able to take it with her.

Robby is a 16 year old with some learning difficulties. We shared with him the Gospel Library app. He has a hard time reading, but he was so excited to have it read to him. 

But you would never guess what I had for dinner! Would you believe it if I told you squirrel tastes like chicken? It's true! It was actually very tasty and they did a great job of dressing it and making gravy with it to put on the rice. I'm just glad it wasn't road kill and it was fresh.

On my last transfer church was cancelled, of course. I was going to say goodbye to everyone but that's alright. I will see them all on Facebook if they want to keep in touch.

The mission has been a great experience, and if you're reading this and planning on going, I urge you to, young or older couple. It is a great life-changing experience.

P.S. We call returning home dying, so here's my funeral picture:

And some other pictures of us blowing bubbles:

This last week went very fast, and I'm excited to return home after a mission accomplished.
May God be with you all!

Love Elder Rodgers

Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 101--Working, serving and bringing answers to prayers

Hello, Family and friends!

This preparation day was a little different. We had a lot going on, more than usual. We set-up a couple of activities and we ended up doing a lot of service that same day. We were asked to give blessings by like 4 people and other opportunities for service arose. In the evening we had lessons pretty solid until the end of the evening so I thought it was good, pretty busy though.

Picture of the playhouse we helped set-up:

Trinity and Donovan's baptism date changed to the 14th of February which is my last day (no I did not suggest it) and we're pretty excited to see that happen.

Matt and Ashley's Family got sick so we didn't get to do the church tour yet but it looks like we will be doing that next week along with a lesson and in a week or two they should be coming to church and we'll be praying that they keep that commitment. 

Jeremy and Misty's Family are deciding and thinking about what day they want to set for their baptismal date and then we will keep following up with them even though it'll be a little while before they can do it we will make sure it happens. They want that in their lives.

Our car has been the shop for a few days and so we've been walking around and bumming for rides from members. On Tuesday we found Mario. He is a non member who lives with a less-active member and he says he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that he does want to be baptized, however he works every Sunday, but he said he would pray so that the opportunity to take Sundays off may come.

On Wednesday we got smartphones finally, however they are not set up for calling and texting. We are experimenting with them and are finding a lot of ways to help plan and study and prepare for lessons as well as becoming more organized.

Cool Story:
When Elder Terry was on exchanges with me and Elder Rogers, we were looking to see if there was anyone nearby who were investigators or potential investigators, using my phone, and I saw someone who had referred herself a few years back to have missionary visits. We went to her place by foot because our car is in the shop. We knocked on her door and when she answered she recognized us as missionaries. We introduced ourselves and she introduced herself as the one we saw on the phone. She said she met with missionaries about one of two years ago. She had moved out and moved back into this house, so the timing was great, but not only because of that. She said she had literally JUST got off the phone with a friend who is moving in with her because her friend is looking for God in her life. She said she didn't think it was a coincidence that we knocked on her door. We have a return appointment with her.

We helped move a couple on Saturday, they somehow got our number and someone told them missionaries could help them with the move. We went to help them, and we ended up seeing a Book of Mormon in the middle of their coffee table in their living room. I think there's more to this story.

Next week is my last Moday to send an e-mail on my mission, so I hope there is plenty to talk about then!

Love from Elder Rodgers

Week 100--Still a lot of work to do!

Trinity and Donovan decided they would like to be baptized, and we set a date for February 24. :)

Waugh: They want to come to church next week and join when they know it's true. We are having a church tour with them Tuesday at 6. 

Jeremy and Misty & kids: Taught the importance of coming to church weekly, praying daily, and reading the Book of Mormon daily. 

Robby: 16 year old. Said he is so excited that we started teaching him! Brought a priest his age with us to talk about the Book of Mormon and he loved it.

Taylor and Desi are being taught by the sisters. We sent the sisters because they are in the other ward boundaries.

Cozbys - Made a plan to go to the Temple. Made of list of things she needs to do to prepare.

Sonesons - While teaching Trinity and Donovan, we are also teaching with them there, and they are opening up, and we are extending invitations to them. Mainly to attend church. Kristie wants to keep coming. 

Perez - Ed came to church for three weeks now, becoming active. It's super exciting

Soria: watched the 12 step videos. Justin works on Sundays.

John : Met, still knows the Book of Mormon is true. His wife, Betsie, is a non-member who agreed to read the Book of Mormon and let us come back. 

Sister M: Knows President Loveland. Moved from Pocatello Idaho in May. Her son and daughter removed their records and she wants to too. Her husband died a year ago. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon before she removes her records.

Jay - missionary work/fellowship (taught the Cozby's with us)

Becky /Julia/Jay went to the temple with the youth on Saturday and we went with them, to do baptisms and confirmations. I was able to do the baptizing which I had not yet done in the temple. I also did the confirmations which are great. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 99--There are no coincidences!

Hi, everyone!

Here are some things happening and some progress with people we are seeing lately. 

Taylor and Desiree - Read the Book of Mormon a little bit with them, explained its purpose, and talked with those who also were there.

Trinity and Donovan - Restoration. Invites to church and mutual, are becoming more well received. Sister Derenthal is ensuring Trinity can make it to mutual.

Mary - She had trouble in the past accepting some of the doctrines of the Plan of Salvation we taught her, but on Saturday we were eating with her, and she brought up a question about a loved one who died young, who didn't accept God, and in tears she asked us if we though he had a chance. We again taught her the principles of the Plan of Salvation, and with this context she understood and applied its teachings. The spirit was there, and a door was opened.

Cozbys - Trying to help them make church a priority, and to teach them. 

Sonesons - While teaching Trinity and Donovan, we are also teaching with them there, and they are opening up, and we are extending invitations to them. Mainly to attend church. Sister Soneson and Trinity and Donovan came to church on Sunday, I was so happy to see them there.

Tasha - She is sitting in on some lessons with Taylor and Desiree, and she is wanting to have us to family home evenings with them.

Ed - came to church the last two weeks, and we've been for the last few weeks reading the scriptures with his family.

Jay - We've been talking a lot with him as a recent convert, about missionary work/fellowship (had Taylor/Desiree over for dinner and scripture study)

Becky - As a recent convert she is helping fellowship Investigator Sarah, and preparing for the temple.

The four most recent converts who were baptized are going to the temple on Saturday to do baptisms, I'm so glad to see them go there, it's a great experience.

Also found a combination cereal of Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes and thought I would show that to you. Not sure if it's being sold in the great white north, but it is here.

Pretty crazy story:

So First part of the story, we were with Jeremy and Misty and their kids (They're all investigators) and Misty brought up the fact that she found her biological siblings finally. She mentioned that her sister-in-law is a member of our church. Then about a week later we are meeting with them again, and Jeremy says that this sister-in-law brought in her daughter who was previously staying with her adoptive parents and that some missionaries like us helped them out. He said their names are Taylor and Desiree. We were thinking that sounded so familiar.

Second part of the story, we were driving and we got a phone call from a random number. Daniel, the investigator who bore testimony last Fast Sunday at church referred a couple to us who needed some help. We told them we could give them help spiritually as missionaries, but not monetary help, but that perhaps someone at church could give them advice or help them set goals. We met with them, gave them a Book of Mormon and invited them to read and pray. We set a return appointment for Tuesday, right after our appointment with Jeremy and Misty.

So to resume, we're with Jeremy and Misty, and we realized that the girl of the couple we met, is the daughter of Misty's Sister-in-law, so not only is there a weird connection to our investigator family, but this girl's mom is a member of the church as well! So we called up our relief society president to tell her all about it, and that same day Bishop had gone to bring things to them, and had found out the same thing, so she already knew, which was neat, but then she filled us in on even more information. It was great. 

The best part is we're going to have to pass these investigators to the sisters that are over that area of Joplin.  haha, but anyways, it was a really neat experience, as Elder Bednar says, "There are no coincidences." I agree, and that is my testimony to you. When things seem to just work together and fall into place, it likely is God's will and his plan for you.

Love to you all!
Elder Rodgers