Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 28--Minor Setbacks, Major Blessings

Dear friends and family,

This has been the craziest week on my mission so far. Can't wait to get into it. So, last week I mentioned Elder Butler got sick. We found out that he had/has Salmonella. Pretty crazy. We don't know where or when he got it exactly, so we don't know who to sue. That was pretty crazy. On Tuesday we found out our area is permanently becoming a bike area so we'd have to give up the car that Thursday at Zone Conference. Giving up the car was a very humbling experience as we would now need to rely on the Lord so much more to help us in our work. 

Zone Conference was really good and very inspiring. One of the biggest things I got out of it was that Satan is going to keep attacking harder and harder when we are obedient. Which we then started to see later on this week. Sister Loveland, the Mission President's wife said something about feeling impressed that all the people in the room have been so much more obedient than they had been, and that the Lord is going to confirm to us that we are doing what he wants us to do.

On Friday we started our first full day on just bikes. The moment we left our apartment to go to an appointment, we took a picture of ourselves about to embark on our journey, when a lady in the apartment complex curious of what we were doing yelled from her balcony, "What are you taking a picture of, is it a bird?" Then we went over and explained what we're doing and that we're missionaries. She came down from her balcony and we had a great discussion of the Book of Mormon and she was dumbfounded that other people don't know and believe this book. She was also out of our area since we live outside our area, so it was equally humbling to send her to another set of Elders. Later that day we had a really good lesson with a lady those same Elders referred to us. We taught the restoration to her and she was happy to have a Book of Mormon and to have such good Mormon friends that she works with. Later that day we tried to contact someone who has some potential to teach but we haven't been in good contact. She wasn't home, but across the street there was a group of teenagers. One of them yelled "I'm an atheist!" We decided to talk to them since we're counseled to talk to everyone and to not judge how prepared they are. Anyways, so we went over and talked to them and it became evident that they had no religious upbringing. We asked questions about God and the purpose of life and they thought it was funny. Eventually though, one kid mentioned that he can't read. We told him we have a book, and if he reads it and prays for it to help him, and to know it it's truly scripture, then he will be able to read a lot better by the time he's done reading it. He asked if he could have it. We handed him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read and pray and that we'd come back and ask what he thought. He accepted and the cool part in that experience was that his whole countenance had changed from being punk-like to sincerely wanting to read it. Whether it's random curiosity or he was touched by the message that he could know from that book that God loves him, God works in mysterious ways and I'm glad he accepted it.

 Later that week, my hands started getting really itchy and these mysterious bumps had appeared all over them. I started to get really concerned so the next morning I called the Missionary over Medical stuff and explained the situation. She told me to go to Urgent Care so I went and because I don't have insurance done here I had to pay an up front fee because they don't have that free health care. I made the decision to go in no matter the cost because it was really bad and I didn't want to suffer through it anymore especially when it could be serious. I got diagnosed and I had what is called Scabies (A mite that lays babies inside the skin). It's really annoying, but look it up at your own discretion because it's kind of gross. Anyways, a member was kind enough to drive us to the urgent care place and getting the prescription and such so we were very appreciative. The drugs worked very well.

The Craziest thing about Saturday though, was that we had an earthquake. There was a 5.8 Earthquake in Oklahoma City and it was felt as far as Nebraska. It was quite a shock.

So, like Sister Loveland said, when we're obedient Satan attacks our health next. Between Elder Butler's Salmonella, and my scabie babies, we've been doing something right, which as a missionary is great news.

Sunday was great too, pretty eventful. We had 3 investigators at church and had a great Gospel Principles discussion on honesty. After church, since we talked to so many people, we found we had nobody to drive us home from church. We decided to walk, and we both had prayed that if it was god's will at that time for us to be home so we can finally plan for the week as we had procrastinated, that he would provide a way. After we started walking, a member of the other ward during their sacrament meeting, was driving down the road and asked us if we needed a ride. She usually isn't able to offer rides, but her husband was with her this time. Also, she usually doesn't go that route so she said that was also pretty cool that she wanted to try going a different way and crossed our paths perfectly. Also, the reason they left is because she had a migraine coming on. When they picked us up, she explained that her migraine and all the pain was completely gone, so she knows it was in answer to our prayers. Then, the mother of this woman who was also in the car said, we must be doing something right. 

As Sister Loveland had said, we would receive witnesses that we are approved of the Lord. I'm so thankful for how inspired she is and how eventful this week has been.

Later on Sunday we went to church with one of our investigators at Life Church. That was an interesting experience, much like a christian-rock concert. I did really appreciate how in depth they went on how easy it us to share our faith, our story, or invite someone to church with us. Afterwards we broke our fast at his house with some potatoes, beef and gravy then banana splits. It was a really good day and it ended with a really good discussion with our investigator about his progress, and why a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith is so important.

Overall it was a very eventful week, and I have seen the Lord's hand so many times in my week, and I know that he and our Father in Heaven are accepting our offerings to them. I'm glad to be a missionary.

Elder Rodgers

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