Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas (AKA everyone in a baptismal suit)

 Hi family!! Its been a looong week but its good! So much happened!! 
I'll talk about some highlights :) 

Wednesday was Christmas conference for ALL THE MISSIONARIES IN MY MISSION. We went to Baytown (who even knows where that is, not me!) and there were sooo many missionaries there. Super overwhelming, but also way fun. Me and another Hermana sang O Holy Night in front of the ENTIRE mission and it was terrifying. Literally one of the scariest things ever. Lots of people performed though, not just me, so it wasn't as much pressure. 
One really cool thing that they did was have a couple recent converts speak about the blessings they have received since they were baptized. It was such a testimony builder to me of my purpose. As they were sharing their conversion stories and talked about how they can't imagine their lives without the gospel, it strengthened my faith that there are prepared people out there for me to find. One of the guys that spoke had a lot of tattoos, said that when the Elders walked up to him, he was smoking and had a beer in his hand, and spent the first part of their conversation trying to convince the Elders they were wrong. But the missionaries were persistent. That is the kind of missionary I want to be. I want to be able to maintain a vision in my mind of everyone I meet dressed in white, with the gospel in their lives, a changed person, blessing the lives of other people. As those converts bore their testimonies, the Spirit was sooo strong. These are now solid members of the church who have brought their families with them to experience the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want the people that I see get baptized to be like these people. 

Speaking of baptisms..... PACO!!!!!!! I am so so so so happy. Paco is AMAZING. When I first got here and we started teaching him, he had very little desire. He didn't want to read, he thought what we were teaching was hard to believe, he didn't know why he was praying or who he was praying to, and now he is a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Paco has been sad, felt lonely, etc but after his baptism he was SO HAPPY. I have never seen him as happy as he was on Sunday. :) It was INCREDIBLE. I love Paco!!! He is absolutely the nicest person, and he is always helping us out. He has changed his desires, and working with him has been a miracle.  He was telling us the other day that he wants his kids in the future to be missionaries too because he is so happy and grateful for what we do. His baptism was awesome-- his whole family was there. None of them are members besides his sister Jessica, and they were all really happy for Paco too. It was SUCH A GOOD DAY! He will be confirmed next week :):)

Another good day was Saturday- we went to the temple with one of Hermana Stiles' recent converts from Pasadena and there were some pretty cool people there... haha well yall already saw the pictures but it was Marie and Josh and Ashlyn!! Ashlyn did baptisms for the first time on Saturday, which was so awesome :) And I got to be there too. It was honestly so refreshing to talk about everything that had been going on, talking to her brought me so much comfort about Grandpa. She told me a way cool story about Mignon?? Dad probably knows it too, but how incredible is that. He could leave this world rejoicing because he lived the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have honestly felt so much more comfort this week... 
and with Marie it was also really cool to see her before she had Kohen!! (crazy timing). 

I had a couple hard moments this week too, but I know that I am here for a reason. I know that my companions are also with me for a reason at this time, and they helped me through my weak times. I KNOW that this gospel is a gospel of peace and happiness, and if we arent feeling that, then there are things we can do to change it. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to communicate with our Father in Heaven who knows us and our challenges perfectly. He knows who we are now, but more importantly, He knows who we can become. He sees our weaknesses, but He also knows our strengths, and He has given us His Son who can help us transform ourselves, make ourselves clean, strengthen us, bring us hope, comfort, and ultimately eternal life. He is the way! 
Have you seen He is the gift??? I know Cassie did in seminary, but if you havent, go watch it! We watch it all the time and share it with everyone and it hits me every time I see it. 
Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. He is our Heavenly Father's gift to us, because of His infinite love for us. He is the LIGHT and LIFE of the world and of each one of us. I am so grateful for Him and His example to me of selfless service and love, and I can try every day to become more like Him. 

This week was crazy! A lot happened, but so many blessings. The Christmas season is such a great time to be serving my Savior! :) I love you all!!!! Have a great week!! 
Love, Hermana Rogers

PS I lost my camera cord, but I'll send pictures soon! You the best! 

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