Monday, April 27, 2015

Faith, Hope, Charity and Love!

This week has been awesome yet again!! But before I talk about what happened, i want to talk about a realization I had. I have been praying a lot to be POSITIVE. I don't know what started all this, but Friday morning I just really talked to Heavenly Father and told him I needed His help! I had felt a lot more stress lately to sum everything up. Then I went to District Meeting and the topic we discussed was how to help people progress in the gospel.... somehow the discussion shifted and we ended up talking all about ourselves and our thought processes. One of the Elders in our district said that "when we think about ourselves, we get in the way of having PURE CHARITY". So the first step to having charity is FORGETTING YOURSELF :) Elder Wilder and Ressler had came up with a pattern for developing Christlike attributes, but they applied it to having POSITIVE THOUGHTS (Aka exactly what I needed) 
"When we get rid of the negative thoughts, the Spirit can come into our hearts and minds. Negative thoughts distract us from who we really are and cause us to look at others through a 'dirty glass'" Heavenly Father knows and loves His children perfectly-- and this includes me!! 
I need to RECOGNIZE the distracting thoughts that I let in my head, 
REPLACE those thoughts (for example think of Heavenly Fathers love for the people I meet- myself included) and then RECORD it! For example by writing down something I am grateful for every time a negative thought comes to my mind... Basically it was exactly what I needed to hear and a specific answer to my prayers about being more positive. I love being able to learn and grow from other missionaries around me and see the examples of other people. I know I have plenty of room to improve, and now I have a plan to be able to make these changes (slowly but surely I can become more like my Savior!) Once I can show other people the love purely that Christ has for them, they will want to experience that love and make those changes because WE SEE SOMETHING IN THEM that they might not see in themselves. 
Every single person we meet is a Child of an all-knowing and all-powerful Heavenly Father and there is something of divinity in their very makeup! He knows and loves them perfectly and I am just here to show them a GLIMPSE of their potential! :) 

We taught a LOT of people this week, and that was great-- we had awesome numbers and hit almost all of our goals, but the part for me that was most incredible was our focus. During a companionship study one day we talked about the potential of our investigators. We made plans to really try and turn things around so that they would feel the relevance of this message for themselves. I am not here to just teach the lessons, I am here to invite Heavenly Father's children to come unto Christ and really understand their potential as they accept the gospel and be baptized. I am here to help them see the blessings that will come as THEY live faithfully. I am here so that they will know that THEY HAVE A SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST WHO LOVES THEM PERFECTLY, enough to give His life for them-- for each and every one of US. And as I did that for other people I really felt it myself. 

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that living the gospel of Jesus Christ brings blessings because I have seen it in my life. I may not have experienced every single person's trials exactly, but I know someone who has, and He is the one that will turn their sorrows into joys and their weaknesses into strengths. That can help them feel peace and COMFORT even when things are hard. I know that when I struggle, I have a Savior who understands ME. I know that as I try to follow Him, He will give me strength to not only endure, but excel. I know that as I have been out on my mission (for a whole 9 months now) my heart has been expanded more than I thought possible. I have experienced real pain by watching other people suffer, and I can only imagine what our Father in Heaven feels as He watches us. I have felt my testimony explode inside of me and I have felt the Spirit SO strongly. I have seen people CHANGE THEIR ENTIRE LIVES because they have felt the Spirit testify to them of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This work is SO much bigger than me. Hermana Rogers won't change anyone here in Texas. Heavenly Father will and I just hope that I can be the best instrument possible to help the people here in Houston understand that Jesus Christ lives and makes peace possible. I can only hope that through something I do, people will know that Heavenly Father loves them. I can only pray that someone's heart will be open to feel the Spirit testify of truth. If I can be the means of helping people feel that, I know I will have experienced success. 
It is crazy to be halfway done and I know I have a long ways to go, but I am grateful for the journey. I love the mission. I love the learning and growing experiences along the way. I love the people! I love my companions and my mission president and most importantly, I love the Lord! 

I love you all so much and hope you have an amazing week :) You're the greatest! 
Hermana Rogers

PS Sidenote! Ricky: (the one we found in Taco Cabana when we got flooded in and stuck for a couple hours) HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! He is a huge miracle and even though I didn't get to teach him all the lessons, I am grateful I got to be a part of that miracle and be where the Lord wanted me to be in order to find someone He had prepared! 
Sorry I don't have any updates for anyone else! They are all doing awesome! I love you so much!! :) 

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