Monday, June 1, 2015

Disciples in the Digital Age

I officially have an ipad in my hand! Well...sitting on the table next to me at least. I am using a real computer for this email haha. BUT ANYWAYS. It has been crazy to start working with an ipad-- I felt so out of the loop with technology! It is so cool.

First of all, GOSPEL LIBRARY! Did anyone know HOW MANY THINGS ARE ON THAT?! I was downloading for days, there are videos, talks, pictures, books, hymns, magazines, preach my gospel and other manuals, conferences, suggestions for teaching, lessons, categories for family, sharing the gospel, children and youth, leadership, temple work, etc. IT IS SO AMAZING. 

Also- the church's websites!

to name a few. We had an investigator "do some research" before we came over because he had a lot of questions about mormonism. He found some random websites about facts of the mormon church and suffice to say Google isn't the best resource to learn about the church. So I started showing him the websites of the church and I GOT SO EXCITED! The Church has SO MANY RESOURCES for people to learn more, ask questions, read about our beliefs and values, watch videos, etc. I love it. I accidentally said, "Wow. I forget sometimes how cool the church is and then I see stuff like this"... my companion heard me but I dont think he did thankfully. I didnt mean it like that but I didn't really process we were with an investigator and that I really do think the church is cool haha. My bad. But that was just a funny moment of this week. 

Okay I am going to go back to Monday and update you on everything that has happened since I didn't take the time to on Wednesday. SO a couple weeks ago on Saturday we were on our bikes, riding to an appointment when my companion stopped and looked at the apartment complex across the street. There was someone sitting outside on their porch and she asked me if it was one of our investigators- we came to the conclusion it wasnt, but that we had already made it awkward by standing across the street staring at him forever, so we decided to go over and talk to him. We went out of our way walking across 4 lanes of traffic with our bikes to go contact this guy. By the time we went over there, there was a younger guy standing next to him. Their names were Jorge and Jose. 
Jose was the younger one, and he told us that he was about to go inside, but his uncle saw us biking past and then told him, "Wait right here, those 2 girls are going to come talk to us" (way before we even knew we were going to go over there) anyways, we taught them a little bit, then set a return appointment on Tuesday with Jose. 
Jose in the first lesson with him opened up and told us a whole bunch of things that had happened to him in the past which all led to this point of him looking for religion. He was catholic, but for some reason felt the need to look in different places still. He loves to learn and has a desire to know everything he can about God. he has an amazing relationship and trust in Heavenly Father already, he just wants us to talk to him and teach him so he can learn more. 
Thursday we went over to see him again. He told us that when he had woken up, he was thinking about us and he couldn't figure out why because he thought the appointment wasn't until next week. But then we texted him and asked if we could still come by and we did. HE HAD READ THE PAMPHLET AND FELT CHILLS WHILE READING IT. He told us that he had the same questions as Joseph Smith so he could relate to everything that happened, but had a lot of questions about the "mormon book". We showed him the Book of Mormon, then he asked us, "Do you need the Mormon book? So...can I have this one?" it was so awesome. :) He told us a lot of his doubts about religions he had been in before, and one of the things that he brought up was that he wanted to be a Catholic Priest, but he also wanted to get married. He said to us, "It's hard to balance both those things with the Catholic church...sounds like it would be a lot easier with your church". Man Jose is so awesome. 
We saw him one more time Saturday and then invited him to church and he said, Yeah sure! I'll go- thats how I will learn about yalls church right? I have to go! 
But.......he told us he wanted to go to church in English. Basically my heart fell out. So we will be handing Jose off to the English Elders this coming week, but he was such a miracle opportunity to teach him this past week- we will see what happens with him I guess. We went to church in English on Sunday to be with him and that was awesome- he stayed all 3 hours and said that Principles of the Gospel answered a lot of questions of his. It was cool- the class was on the Holy Ghost and that was something he had questions about Sunday and we did our best to answer everything, then he came to church and got to learn more about it! :) He is AMAZING! 

Also another new family!! Carolina and Joe and their sons Hector, Adam and Royal!!!!!!!
SO they were sitting in the back of their car one day as we were walking around this apartment complex, so we went over to talk to them and showed them Because He Lives video. We set a return appointment with them this past week and OH MY WORD. It was AMAZING. So we went over and the kids were kind of rowdy- we got to know Carolina a little bit, then asked the kids if they wanted to learn more about Jesus, and they came running over and sat down. (They are 10, 8, and 3). We started with a prayer, taught the kids about prayer and it was the cutest thing ever. We asked TONS of questions throughout the lesson and Hector had the sweetest answers. For example, we show the picture on the front of the Restoration pamphlet (Christ holding the lamb) then ask people what they see in that picture, how they think the lamb feels, how they feel, etc. Hectors answers were so sweet and my heart melted. The whole lesson, he was paying such close attention and answered every question so sweetly :) We got to the part of the Restoration and wow. The spirit was REAL. We told them about Joseph Smith and that he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and as we showed them the picture, Hector's eyes were glued to the pamphlet. He reached out to hold it, and then just held it in his lap so carefully and just stared. We bore our testimonies to Carolina and I felt so much LOVE. I had tears in my eyes and I really felt everything once again, the Spirit testified to my heart that everything we were teaching was true. Carolina said she felt peace in her heart. We explained that those feelings were the Spirit, testifying that these things are true. It was so strong in that room. Royal was running around and being kind of crazy, but at that moment I didn't even notice at all. We told Carolina about the Book of Mormon and showed her a copy that we had been carrying around for days (it was kind of run-down) but when she held it in her hands, she said like, "wow. I can't believe I've never heard of this book before" and just stared at it and looked through it at the pictures. We told her we could bring her a newer copy and she said, "This one is perfect". Meanwhile Hector had started to read the entire pamphlet and his little brothers were poking him and trying to play with him, but he just went over into the corner under the lamp and started to read. It was the sweetest thing ever. That was an incredible lesson- Hector said the closing prayer and my soul was a puddle haha my heart just melted. Carolina thanked us SO many times for coming over and I had so much gratitude and love in my heart for them! Wow. Being a missionary is the coolest. 

Those were a couple major highlights of this past week. :) It's crazy how my emotions just get played with out here -- what with having to hand off Gerardo and now Jose- I realize how fast I have come to love people and WOW it is amazing the capacity to love! I am so grateful for all the people I am coming to know and love out here in Houston Texas. 

Pues-- that's pretty much all I have for this week! But sidenote- Now that I have an ipad, I have kind of been going all over reading conference talks so if you have any suggestions of ones I should read, I would love to know :) I will likewise pick ones out to share with you all!

One of the ones I read this week was 
The Greatest Generation of Young Adults by M. Russell Ballard
"what we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint".
I thought about this and how the theme for the youth this year is about serving with your heart, might, mind and strength. If the youth learn how to do this now, then the transition into a mission won't be hard, and then the transition out of a mission won't be as hard because we will already know what it means to serve the Lord- on and off the mission field. I am learning bit by bit that I am forever going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, whether I have a nametag or not. I am grateful that I am learning here what it means to love and serve so that I can forever build up God's kingdom. :) 

I love you all so much! Hope you have a great week! Thank you for all your support, love and prayers! 
Hope you have a great week and good luck with finishing up school and everything!
Love, Hermana Rogers

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