Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week 73--Bringing light

Hey there eh buds!

This week was pretty dang good! Independence Day was sweet, shooting off fireworks in the rain and eating ourselves to death. Elder Ostler said it's a day of freedom from limitations on what we eat, so we pigged out that day.

We also reviewed with Joey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for someone who has been saying he doesn't know if God is there, he has sure made a lot of changes since we've begun teaching him that shows he is growing in faith a little bit at a time, but surely.

   We found a new investigator, she had been taught in the past, her name is Carol. Her late husband was a member of the church but he didn't know much about the church. She naturally has many questions about what we teach and she's really enjoyed the feeling of having us around and she has looked at things from a much greater perspective. I see a lot of potential with her.

We had some good lessons this week. We talked to Nora about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an emphasis on baptism. She isn't quite ready to set a date for baptism as a goal, but she has the desire to follow God, and we will continue to teach her as long as she is willing to make progress at whatever pace she takes.


We took part in a funeral of a woman who passed about a week ago here in Ava, a new experience on my mission, and we were asked to be pallbearers.

We took a priest out with us teaching on Sunday and we met this girl, Kari. She was trying to question God with science, and Elder Ostler had a lot to say because he likes to get into science and so ultimately it came to the point where she wanted us to look up something about the age of the prophet Noah if she would study the restoration pamphlet we gave her. She agreed and we got her phone number so we could follow up!

   It was an interesting day all in all, and one thing I would add this week, a thought I would leave with everyone is that we need to focus on the simple things of the gospel before we go deep. A testimony of Jesus Christ and his gospel - faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end - must come first before we go into a study of deeper and more trivial things. Christ is the rock on which we must stand, "a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall."

Elder Rodgers

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Week 72--The Lord is Preparing People

Elder Ostler decided he would prepare me for the Canadian Winter that awaits me when I return home, by covering me with cotton and turning the AC on full blast. 

   This week we had lots of meeting, and lots of driving. It was a great week, and I'm ready for some miracles. After all the meeting this week, we had a day full of teaching to make up for the days we were sitting down all the time. We have a lot of people who are taking the lessons with us, and there are a couple who should have a date for baptism sometime soon, I'll keep ya'll posted. 

From the mission blog

   There have been some neat experiences this week. I'll share one with you. We were going to see if we could find some people who had been taught by missionaries before, so we went to an apartment complex and parked, and there was someone parked next to us. We said hello, and talked to him for a little, and he said he's baptist, so there are a lot of differences between us. We asked him what he believes, and he said "Jesus Christ" and we said "Us too!" then he asked us to come in and visit with him. We set up a time to come back and teach him about the restoration, and that lesson went super well with him when we came back. When he closed the lesson with a prayer, he made sure to ask that he would know if what we taught him is true, the key part to anyone's conversion is asking in faith.

   Another cool story, we were once again looking for former investigators, when Elder Ostler felt like we should knock on the neighbor's door, we rarely had been doing this. He answered and looked shocked to see us, and said, "Come on in!" 2 for 2! We went in and like before, we invited him to learn about the restoration, we'll be teaching him this week. He had been watching TV and saw something about our church, so when he saw us, he really wanted to talk. We told him that God intended for us to visit with him so that we could share the message we had prepared to teach. He agreed to have us return and he explained that he has family that are members of the church, including his Grandfather who has passed.

From the mission blog

   We also taught the restoration to another guy this past week, he's someone who has known members of the church his whole life and has spent time around them, but somehow was never invited to learn. Now we're here and we taught that lesson. He loved it, his grandmother not so much, but he was willing to accept a Book of Mormon and read it even though his Grandmother wasn't. I'm excited to see how much light comes into their lives as they study and pray about these things.

   I know that the Lord is hastening his work, and whether we are a missionary, a member of the ward, leadership, or anyone in between, the Lord is preparing people in our lives to hear the restored gospel NOW.

Love, Elder Rodgers
Route 6 Box 6470 Apt 15
Ava, MO 65608

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week 71--Finding people prepared

Hey everyone!

   So this week like I had said earlier, we were able to have the traveling teaching elders here in Ava. They don't have a specific area, they simply travel area to area every couple days and train missionaries in different ways, and it was a good time. We had found someone during our exchange who was definitely prepared. She was down to meet with us again.

   We followed up with her and asked if she had read, she had read the restoration pamphlet we'd given her and thought it was really cool, she had questions too which we love! We asked who she knows that would be interested in talking with us, and she referred us to her neighbor downstairs from her apartment. We went and knocked, and the person behind the door said, "Who is it?" to which we replied, "It's the missionaries." She said she would be a minute, but eventually she came to the door. We told her about our purpose and what we're doing and she had some misconceptions about us, but we answered them, and she was really excited to read the Book of Mormon. She said "Oh wow, so it's a book of prophets?? That's actually really cool." She has a little baby boy too, so it's really good that she's learning about this now. 

   We met with her since then and had an amazing lesson of the restoration of the gospel. She explained that she hadn't felt the way she did in that lesson in a very long time and after we had said the prayer at the end of the lesson, she was on fire and so excited and she exclaimed, "This is the real deal!" I think it's amazing that the spirit will teach us all things and bring all things to our remembrance and will comfort us, that we will know how to find the Lord when we desire Him. Making new friends is always great.

   We also found a couple who was really prepared earlier this week. The husband basically taught us the first half of the restoration without realizing that was our message for him, and then we offered him more, and taught him that the priesthood was restored, and he can know for himself if he reads the Book of Mormon. It was great!

   Many more were found and taught, but I felt that these stories would suffice. Thanks for inspiring me, all of you. I absolutely know that when we involve the Lord, he will show us the way to find and teach his children. It's his plan, we're simply tools in his hands, and I pray that all of us can find how this is possible for us.

Love, Elder Rodgers
Route 6 Box 6470 Apt 15
Ava, MO 65608

Week 70--Service and fishing

Hi, family and friends!

We had plenty of service to do this week. Moving furniture, mowing lawns, cleaning out gutters, and on Saturday we helped work someones heifers and some steers. It was my first time doing something like that, so it was pretty fun! And today, we were able to go fishing up at a members pond, and I caught three, they weren't too big though. That's okay, at least I can say I caught some.

There were some people who we've recently started teaching who're starting to progress, and it's amazing to see the hand of the Lord in this work. Miracle after miracles leaves me sure that he is helping us every day. This week we saw a home with a Canadian flag outside so we decided to talk to them after church, and then a guy walks into church and said they were driving and they saw a Canadian flag and they thought of me. I thought it no coincidence that he said that the day we were going there. Two witnesses are powerful. We went, and it turns out she's a member that doesn't go anymore.I'll say it again, the Lord directs his work.

We had a wonderful zone conference this week. We heard a lot about how we can use the tools we've been given in missionary work. The biggest tool God has given us for our work is the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

It's hard to put all that happened into words, especially because I'm limited for time, but I want you all to know that I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that it changes people if they are willing, and if they are willing, there is nothing that the Savior cannot help them through.

Elder Rodgers