I'm Hermana Rogers, a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This blog has the letters that I'll be sending home, as well as the address you can use to write me! Edited by my sister, Cassie, this is just a way to keep track of how my mission is going. I appreciate all the support and encouragement I've received! See you in 18!
Man. Heavenly Father loves His missionaries. Last week was pretty hard, but this week EVERYTHING WAS MIRACULOUS!
For starters, we taught 32 LESSONS THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!! That blew my mind. We set a lot of goals at the beginning of the week and WORKED REALLY HARD to achieve them. We did this tally system where we tallied up how many lessons we wanted to teach, then as we taught them, we would erase a tally so we knew exactly how many we needed to teach to reach our goals. It helped us so much to ACTUALLY work towards our numbers instead of us just setting goals and turning in whatever we got at the end, never looking back at our goals.
ALSO. We found 17 New Investigators this week!!! This coming week we will be working a lot more with them trying to figure out who is really prepared and willing to listen, but it has been incredible. We have seen tons of blessings by really trying not to have fears and just contact everyone we see and ask if we can teach them about the Restoration of Christ's church... :)
We taught Tito a lot this last week and he is progressing a lot! He came to church this week, and then Sunday night his family threw a party... he helps them prepare their drinks but didn't drink with them!! This is HUGE for him, and we were really proud. I asked how he avoided the temptation, and he said that it was because he thought about where he was earlier that day, and the way he felt, and he didn't want to drink because it would make him feel bad. It was a pretty cool moment to hear how he is more aware now of the things he is doing and found strength from being at church to resist temptations.
SO we found a family this week-- We had gotten the referral from the english elders. Turns out they are a part member family. The mom is a member as well as the oldest daughter, but the husband and the other 4 kids aren't! When we were there, we taught the mom and 3 youngest kids, and then they invited us to stay for dinner. While we were there, the husband came and ate with us, and we talked a lot about our missions and what they meant to us. They asked their kids, "Do you guys want to go on missions??" The two younger daughters (9 and 10) were SO excited and said they really wanted to go- it was the cutest. The other 11 year old son didnt seem too thrilled about the idea, but maybe within the next 7 years he will change his mind ;) Teaching them was so awesome... We went over there a couple times this last week, and they were so excited to come to church (Not sure what happened between then and Sunday because they didn't end up coming, but maybe better luck next week) I love that family so much already. One of the daughters reminds me a lot of Cassie, haha it almost made me cry but I held it in. ;) I'm getting so strong...... not really.
Apparently a while back there was a shooting in Darly's trailer park that we didn't know about until a couple days ago. Some of the people we are teaching are related to the people that were killed, and it was really sad to hear about the situations and what has been happening. I guess it really opened my eyes that bad things are happening in the world, but we are here to bring a message of hope and comfort to people. Without even knowing what had happened, we have been teaching these people about God's plan for them to be with their families forever. He knows where we need to be and who we need to teach. I hope that we have been able to show them the Spirit and help them feel comfort.
During Hour of Power this week, we found these two teenagers that recently started going to a Christian church... we asked them what made them want to start going to church, and they told us about dreams they had recently. Hector told us about his dream... he was just sitting around when all of a sudden a man in white appeared to him and said, "I'm coming soon", so he felt a desire to grow closer to God. Sandra, the other teenager, had a dream that her friends were trying to get her to do bad things at a party, but she didnt want to, so she walked outside and then the clouds opened up and a man in white came down on a chariot of fire.... whaaaat? So we taught them the restoration and showed them the picture and it made them really interested I think. That was a cool experience- I believe that God is preparing people all around, whether it be through dreams or sad experiences... He is there helping His children feel a desire to draw closer to Him.
Saturday we were doing this thing our mission started called "Spoken Pedal".. basically it means we are on bikes all day so we can contact more... haha it was really hard. Our closest appointment was like 5 miles from our apartment but hey the exercise was good for me. It didnt feel nearly as efficient as having a car, but we were still able to teach and contact plenty of people. And my legs felt great the next day haha. Also Spoken pedal will be every 2 and 4th Saturday-- it'll be cool!
Also!!!! I HAVE OFFICIALLY BEEN OUT ON MY MISSION FOR 6 MONTHS!!! But no, that definitely does not mean I know what I am doing yet... :/ But it does mean that I am no longer considered a baby on the mission. (that milestone probably was a while ago, but my companions keeo reminding me that I am not a baby anymore). I know I still have plenty of learning and growing left, but there is a lot of things that I am grateful for this past 6 months.
--The Restoration is REAL!!! Because Heavenly Father loves us, He has restored the fulness of His gospel to the earth!!! Joseph Smith was called as a prophet to bring back the authority of God to the earth and help us come to know our Father's plan for us! I have felt the Spirit so strongly while teaching this lesson to people and I know that He loves His children.
--Miracles happen! I have seen so many, big and small. He is there preparing people to receive us, helping us teach in a foreign language, opening hearts and doors, giving us strength, etc. I know He loves me, and I am learning more and more about His love for other people as I serve them.
--People can change. Including me! I just want to always be improving and changing for the better because I know that we are here on earth to prove that we love Him and use His atonement to turn our weaknesses into strengths and become who He wants us to be.
--I'm grateful for the ward I am in, the companions I have, the people we are teaching, the food we eat, the apartment we have, biking, cars, love, the scriptures and PMG, lessons, contacting, smiles, hugs and handshakes-- everything. I feel so much love for every aspect of this area and even when I get discouraged or down, I know that there are so many things to help me look up and be grateful to my Heavenly Father for these opportunities. This is my time to serve Him.
Sorry that was about as sentimental as I can handle right now i refuse to cry in the middle of the library haha thats no fun... but I honestly appreciate all the support. I know I am growing and I know there are so many reasons to be positive. I am sorry I was negative last week. I am working on it still. hah my whole life will be a work in progress, especially this next year of my mission. There are SO many things I want to change and become better at, its a little overwhelming-- but I'm not in this alone.
This is the eterni-email. Sorry. But I have 2 funny stories.
First. A member had what are called Chiles de japon on her table during dinner, and Hermana Williams thought it was a good idea to eat them and take a video....so we did. IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE I was crying and in SO MUCH PAIN the entire rest of the night haha... but we got a hilarious video. The member laughed at us the whole time. She said it takes her 3 days to eat them, and she puts them in other food, and we ate them in one bite. Great idea Williams haha.
The second story: Jaime told me this, "We are going to start a business. When you go home, go to a TV station and ask for a job. Say, "My name is Shaelyn. I am very beautiful. I am very funny. I play the piano. I cry easy and I like to eat a lot of cookies" and they will give you the job. It will be called the Shaelyn Show." hahah in his broken english. It was a great moment. Anyways I think thats it for the week! It was INSANE. :)
I love you all so much! Hope all the finals went well, and GED and all that fun stuff. I love you! Have a great next week! :) You're the best!! :) Love, Hermana Rogers