Monday, May 11, 2015


Hi family!!!! It was so good to talk to you yesterday! :) It felt wayyy too short and I felt like I was just talking the whole time-- sorry! But it was awesome to see your smiling faces and Janaeas smiling face without teeth :) I love yall SOOOO MUCH!

I apologize in advance for all the repeat information that you have to read-- but I am going to try and better explain Gerardo's story! :) 

OKAY. First of all. Heavenly Father is AWARE OF EVERY SINGLE PERSON AND THEIR NEEDS AND HIS TIMING IS PERFECT. I am so grateful that I am not in charge of directing my own life-- He knows what is best, His ways are higher than my ways and His plans are greater than anything I could even imagine.

Last week, I wanted nothing more than to be at Hugo's baptism. Nothing in the world could make me feel better because Hugo changed my life, Hugo helped me get through the beginning of my mission, Hugo is about to go back to Mexico and then who knows when/if I will see him again!? Basically I thought that it was the right thing for me to be there and no one (not even the mission president) could tell me otherwise. I was very prideful and not at all willing to submit to the will of the Lord. So I was pretty sad-- we went out contacting that night because our plans had fallen through- we walked through this apartment complex and saw this guy standing out on the corner, so we went to go talk to him. It was a pretty simple contact, but when we told him that we were here to invite him to come unto Christ and feel peace and happiness in his life, he opened up to us a lot. He told us he had been wanting to go to church, felt rejected at the last one he had gone to, and that he was wanting to change his life. We left him with a pamphlet, set a return appointment, and left. 

Monday we went back for our appointment and he apologized so many times and told us that we wouldn't be able to teach him in his house because his cousins want nothing to do with the church and don't want us to come teach Gerardo. He said that after we had talked to him Sunday night, he went to go back inside and his neighbors started criticizing him for talking to 3 white girls, then his cousins started criticizing him for talking about church things, and he was already being judged by everyone. So we taught him in a parking lot. After the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he said that he wants to do anything possible to change his life around. We told him about the services at church, and he asked if we could go there beforehand so he could know exactly where it was. (NO ONE does that-- most people are like- okay yeah see you there- then never show up). Basically lesson went amazing, he told us a lot about himself and his personal life and things that he wants to change, and we let him know that we are there for him to help him change. He is SO grateful. 

Tuesday when we taught him, we met at a park so that no one would be mad at him for talking to us. We taught him about God as his Heavenly Father and about prayer. He opened up even more and told us that last night as he was trying to read the pamphlet, his cousins were getting mad at him and telling him to "turn off the light and put that garbage away" Gerardo told them no-- he was going to read this book because he finally had God in his life and was happy. He had marked things in the pamphlet that he didnt understand, asked us lots of questions, and told us that he wanted this eternal joy and peace forever. He said the closing prayer and CRIED THROUGH THE WHOLE THING. He told us afterwards, "Siento feliz y agradecido- mi vida esta cambiando". His life is changing and he is SO happy! He told us that Sunday, the day we met him was such a special day and he was so grateful that we came to show him the path and help him change his life. 

Wednesday we went to the church with Gerardo to give him a church tour. He LOVED IT. At first, he was telling us that today at work his companions were asking him why he was so different, why he was so happy. He said that he pulled out the Restoration pamphlet FROM HIS POCKET and showed them why he was so happy!!!!!!! He carries it around with him everywhere and tells everyone why he has this happiness now! AH it was SO awesome. He also told us this story. 
Sunday night he was sitting at home with all his cousins, and he heard something outside calling his name. He looked out the window and didn't see anything there, so he went back with his cousins. Then he heard his name outside again, and this time he went out and stood on the corner, and thats when we walked up to him and started talking to him. He knew this was exactly what he was looking for. The Spirit was so strong when he was telling that story-- Gerardo was SO prepared and knows exactly why he is doing this, why he is talking to us. He knows that he can change his life with the gospel of Jesus Christ and he knows that this is the change he has been searching for. 

Thursday we met with him and he had written us a note. In spanish this is what it says. "Esta tarde te doy gracias mi Senor, te doy gracias mi creador, porque has tocado una parte de mi corazon. Al escuchar tu nombre me siento con gozo y felicidad. Quiero seguir este camino porque se que es lo bueno para mi salvacion. No quiero volver a caer a la perdicion." He had told his boss today that he needed Sundays off and that if they weren't going to give him that day off, he would quit. He said, "Si el trabajo me corre, pues tengo mi iglesia. Tengo mi Dios". we had yet another amazing lesson with him, but all of a sudden towards the end, he jumped up and said he had to go because his ex-wife was waiting for him and was going to get mad. Basically he ran away from the park. We were still sitting there pretty confused, when we got a phone call from him asking if we were still there because he had forgotten something. He came running back and said that as he was running home, something stopped him- a voice told him he needed to stop and go back because we hadn't prayed. He had stopped practically mid-step and came back because we hadn't closed with a prayer. This guy is INCREDIBLE. He came back and asked if I would say the closing prayer--I was a wreck haha I cried so much during that prayer- I had just barely realized that if we had gone to Hugo's baptism, we never would have met Gerardo. I was SO overwhelmingly grateful that Heavenly Father had kept me here and didn't let me go back even though I had persistently BEGGED to be allowed to go. I had just comprehended that Heavenly Father has a plan for everyone, and His plan for me was to stay in this area and find Gerardo. Heavenly Father's plan for Gerardo is to GAIN SALVATION AND LIVE FOREVER IN HIS KINGDOM and if I would have listened to my selfish desires, I wouldnt have been able to be a part of his plan... I don't know how to explain all the things I realized in that moment, but I was so grateful to Heavenly Father for preparing Gerardo and for placing us exactly where we needed to be in order to find him. 

We had another lesson with Gerardo on Saturday. HE CALLED US in the morning to remind us about our appointment-- hahaha i died that was the greatest moment ever.In the lesson, He told Heavenly Father in his prayer that he wanted to be the best he could for Him. It was such a great feeling to listen to his humility... Ah HE IS UNBELIEVABLE. 

Sunday was the greatest day :) He was on top of the world at church-- everyone was saying hi to him and he kept telling everybody how happy he was to meet them and to be at church. He told a little bit of his story in gospel principles and cried talking about how much happiness was in his heart. AH having him there at church was SO AMAZING.
He is honestly such a miracle and SO prepared to change his life. I am so grateful that we were able to meet him on Sunday and be here to help him make these changes that he has been wanting. This guy is INCREDIBLE. 

ON TOP OF IT ALL: around week 3 of this transfer, Davies, Johnson and I had done a specific prayer to find someone younger, that needs our help in his personal life, from Mexico, that lives with his cousins and is willing to do anything for lessons. We had prayed and Johnson said she felt like his name would be Sam. We even had picked a specific part of our area that we felt like he would be in. We've been praying for Sam for weeks. 
GERARDO IS SAM. Hermana Davies says SAM is just something Heavenly Father gave to us to get us looking for people specifically. She says SAM means Someone Accepting the Message. Gerardo is like 23, lives with his cousins, from Mexico, lives in that part of our area, needs help to make changes in his personal life, and willing to do ANYTHING like walk 10 minutes to get to a park for lessons. He is who we have been looking for.  

I am so grateful for this experience. I feel like I have learned SO much this last transfer about so many different things. There were a few really hard moments where I felt really weak, but I KNOW THAT I AM HERE FOR A REASON. I know that these past 6 weeks I have been with Hermanas Davies and Johnson for a reason and I am so grateful for them and what they have taught me. I know now more than ever that HEAVENLY FATHER'S WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN MY WAYS AND I CAN'T FIGHT HIS WILL. I know that I needed a major humility check and more than anything I needed to forget myself and get out there and FIND PEOPLE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE GOSPEL. I can't even express in words all that I have learned and felt this past few days, but my heart is SO FULL of gratitude. What I want is not important. What is important right now more than ever is learning how to make what Heavenly Father wants more important. What is important right now is learning to align my will WITH God's will so that I can be an instrument in His hands. He is the one that is going to do His work. I am just here to be His servant. 

I love the mission. I love you all SO much! Thank you for everything :) You are the greatest family and support system I could ever ask for. 
Have a great week! I love you!
Hermana Rogers

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