Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Opposition In All Things

> This week I learned how real Satan is and how badly he wants to stop this work from progressing!
> It was a crazy week- in a lot of ways. But all is well and will work out the way God intends for it to!
> Okay so remember how Maggie's baptism was scheduled for YESTERDAY? Well-- it didn't exactly happen. Everything was going well, then she went to Mexico, but had told us she would get back on Wednesday or Thursday, so our plan was literally to just go and teach her and prepare her in 4 days and have her get baptized. BUT then turns out she didn't come home until Sunday morning, wouldn't answer any of our texts or calls, so we finally asked her boyfriend (who we have never even met- we were that desperate) and he said she had gotten home that morning. So Sunday right before church we went to see her just ask how she was. We start talking to her, she looks super uncomfortable, we tried to schedule a return appointment and she told us she was busy, then we ask what was up and she tells us that while she was in Mexico, she went to Catholic church, talked to all her extended family, and basically decided that too much of her family would be too upset if she changed religions. So pretty much she tried to drop us-- but we obviously aren't letting that happen. We talked to her about the Book of Mormon, about the dream she had about the temple, about how she felt at church and how much she learns and feels when she prays, etc. She is amazing and just has been attacked by the adversary, but we will be meeting with her again sometime this week-- it is just SO hard because she has no family support. Keep praying for her though!
> Then Noe! Ok so curve ball. he is in love with something he knows he can't have. :( a certain chilean missionary… and he tried to drop us as well. He texted us one day and just told us that he was in love with something that was impossible, (both of us knew what it was) and he said that he needed time and space to clear his head. But conveniently enough, he told us that on a day that Hermana Bravo was leaving the area on exchanges! So I asked him if I could come over with a different companion and he said it was okay. SO I went over, taught him, told him to pray specifically and then read the Book of Mormon looking for an answer to his concerns, etc. He told me all about what he was experiencing. He needs the gospel now more than ever for multiple trials he is going through in his life- Satan is also working really hard on Noe, trying to discourage him and lead him in a different direction. He called the next day, told us he had been praying and reading, found scriptures he needed, applied them to himself, was doing AWESOME, was going to come to church and bring a friend, and then last minute told us he wasn't going because he was too sad. So he didn't come :( But there are a lot of members that have been really good fellow shippers for him, and they are willing to help him out. He just needs to see the bigger picture! Everything will work out. :)
> We met this lady named Magali this week! She is SO GREAT- a former from other missionaries, wants to change and feel peace, is experiencing a lot of hard things, and knows where it is she needs to find it! :) So we set up an appointment with her and President Garcia and it was awesome- she committed to baptism on July 26! Then later in the week we went by with a member family and they were great fellowship and offered to help her with a lot, and were so sweet! We set a plan for her to come to church, found a ride for her and her 3 kids, everything was awesome! then sunday morning we called to double check everything and she had started work THAT DAY. It was super disappointing as well. Now she hasn't answered any of our calls, we don't know her schedule, trials… but its okay because Magali is prepared and we will figure something out!
> We also met this guy named Juan this week! We had a day where we were on bikes all day, and we got so hot and thirsty, so we stopped at this house and talked to the lady. We taught her a lesson, she gave us some water, and as we were walking away to leave, her brother walked up. We said hi, basically told him that we had to go but left him with a pamphlet and our number and invited him to read it that night-- we told him we would call him and see how it went, then left. Not thinking too much of it, but then!!! The next day we were at our dinner appointment when we got a phone call from JUAN! He told us that he had read the pamphlet and asked why we didn't call him!!! He told us everything that he remembered and then we taught him lesson 1 over the phone- We committed him to a baptismal date over the phone and it was awesome!! :) Then we taught him one more time and as we were teaching him, he told us he already knows The Book of Mormon is true! and he came to church on Sunday! It was awesome. That guy is a miracle.
Also! The wedding was this weekend!! Our branch mission leader got
married :) it was so much fun- more people were there than at church,
but I guess that's to be expected... Haha. It was so sweet to see them
both so happy- especially after being a part of all the stress that
went into planning it all! It was also so great to meet all the
extended family- a lot of which aren't members!  I decided when I get
married, I am coming and having a reception out here in Texas- the
traditions of Hispanic wedding celebrations are so much fun!

> In Sacrament meeting, Bravo and I both gave talks! I completely forgot about mine until...very last minute, but hopefully it went over well. Haha:)
> Anyways! That was our week in a nutshell! It was pretty crazy. But still good! Heavenly Father will keep His work moving forward, even though sometimes we have to fight back Satan- there is an opposition in all things, and when our investigators overcome the things they are struggling with right now, they will be so much stronger and have the faith to overcome so much more.

I love you all! Hope you have a great week :)
Hopefully there are more exciting stories to tell next week
Have a good one!
Love, Hermana Rogers

Monday, July 6, 2015

Whitewashing Beaumont Week 2

I. Love. This. Place. 

I think there were a lot of reasons I got sent here-- I needed to serve with Hermana Bravo first of all. She is about to go home and has seriously just DONE WORK on her mission and her example is UNBELIEVABLE and she makes me be so much better. I needed to learn a lot from her and I am so grateful that I have this opportunity! Plus I am learning so much from the members in this branch! 

We had kind of a crazy situation this past week. On Monday, we got a call from our Branch President that the building we were meeting at (which is in Beaumont-- 5 minutes from where we live) was unsafe. There was cracks in the trusses (? I don't speak roof) but basically it meant the roof could have caved in at any given moment-- so we were informed that we will now be meeting in Port Arthur (25-30 minutes from where we live) and our church is from 3:20-6:20 PM. ITS INSANE. And there are a bunch of members that live even further from that building-- but we still had them come to church. Our branch is so awesome. I LOVE IT! 

SO this past week was so full of miracles. We have 5 people with baptismal dates!! I'll tell you about them :) 

--Maggie! She is the 16 year old that we have been teaching! Honestly, she is SO INCREDIBLE. She understands the scriptures SO well, applies everything we teach and read to herself, loves church, and just has such big desires to do good! I love her so much! Maggie's mom isn't really interested, but she has given Maggie permission to be baptized! :) Initially the date was July 26, but we are trying to prepare her for either this Sunday or the Sunday after! We are so excited. 

--Noe!!!!!! OH MAN this guy is SO prepared. He was the one that I think I wrote about last week- the Elders right before him said he had disappeared but then we found him at home! The first time we taught him we asked "What do you remember about what the Elders taught you?" and he said "Well they taught me about a prophet of God named Joseph Smith, and they gave me the book he translated. They told me about faith and how I need to repent and be baptized by the right authority, and they told me that I should read and pray to know all these things are true, then endure to the end by keeping commandments" ……HE REMEMBERED ALL THAT…."uhhh…so...Why aren't you baptized?" Basically he didn't feel like he knew enough and it just wasn't his time. BUT NOW IT IS! I am grateful for the Elders that taught him before and for the Spirit which has been working in him. He accepted a date for the 26th as well! :) Teaching him is amazing. He also understands everything so perfectly and is so willing to accept commitments! His answers to every question just blow my mind. He is so perfect! Ah i love Noe! He came to church all the way in Port Arthur and afterwards we asked what he thought and he said, "It is different- you just learn so much and it leaves you wanting to come back and learn more". Yeah. So cool. He has been researching everything we teach him on the gospel library app and amazing us with the things he has learned on his own. For example-- we gave him a calendar that says when we will be teaching him everything, and it also has his baptismal interview scheduled. He looked up the baptismal interview, read all the questions and came ready with questions to our next appointment. He's so fantastic and knows that this is the change he needs in his life! 

--Yanet and Ramiro! They are a young couple that we found this past week- we had contacted Ramiro's sister on the street and she set a return appointment with us. Then when we went back, she wasn't there, but Yanet and Ramiro were! So we taught them and asked them to be baptized-- Ramiro was just saying yes to everything, and when we asked him why, he said, "Oh I just woke up this morning knowing someone was going to come for me". When he was little his parents had the missionaries coming over, and he remembered little things that they taught him, so he already knew how to pray and everything. It was SO awesome. They will also be baptized on the 26th we are hoping. Ramiro's birthday is on the 27 (your birthday buddy mom!) and they want to get married on his birthday, but we will see if they want to move that up :) They are SWEET.

-Tino! We found him trying to contact a former-- we started teaching him, committed him to baptism, left him with a Book of Mormon, and when we came back HE HAD READ TO 1 NEPHI 17!! :) He is awesome- doesn't feel as sure about baptism, but he is willing to keep listening, reading and praying (AKA learning by the Spirit that this is true). He is great and teaching him is fun too- he is just such a happy guy and loves to learn! 

Okay other miracles because we have had plenty!! 
On Thursday during our hour of power, we were in Winnie (the really far away part of our area that we sometimes go to). We had dinner with a member then took their 2 daughters out with us to knock doors. They showed us where to go where there would be hispanics, and we got out of the car to go knock. There was a huge party going on at one of the houses, and then one of the girls we were with (Dulce) said that she knew the girl that lived there! So we went over and said hi. There were 15-20 people at that family party and since Hermana Bravo is a "Fear no man" boss, we talked to all of them and started teaching the first lesson. We handed out pamphlets to literally everyone there, then taught the lesson with them all sitting around, following along in the pamphlet. At the end, we got everyone's numbers and set 2 return appointments, and the family invited us back to celebrate the 4th of July with them!! We also found out that there was more extended family that was missing from that party, and they were a member family in our branch! SO basically we met the entire non-member extended family of some of our branch and taught them all lesson 1. :) It was SO COOL.

Our 4th of July celebrations were fantastic!! We went and had breakfast with a member, and her 2 daughters (less-actives) showed up, and one of them has a husband that is not a member but lives in Houston and is being taught by missionaries over there. (actually Stiles!!) So we were there and were able to teach them! :) 
THEN we went and saw Yanet with a member, and that member was going to feed us lunch right after, so she invited Yanet, who came with us! It was SO fun!! :) We helped her cook for a while and then ate with their entire family, and it was a blast. Yanet had a good time too! 
THEN we went to Winnie to celebrate with the family we had met-- also met the member extended family! We had dessert at one house and then went to another family party and taught a couple of the family members (We went inside their house--they left their party to come hear from us so that was nice!) I don't know if that makes any sense but basically we were eating and visiting families all day and teaching lessons whenever we got the chance. It was a great 4th of July! :) 

Also we have been busy serving as well! I don't know if I already told you but our Branch Mission Leader is about to get married and his fiancee is not a member. They are getting married this Saturday and we have been doing a lot of service for her helping to get things ready for that wedding! It's been quite the adventure- who knew I would help be a wedding planner on my mission? We are excited for the wedding though-- the predictions from the branch is that she won't last more than a couple months after her wedding before she gets baptized :) She's the daughter of a member, and her sister is a member, and now her husband is a member too! ;) 

There has been so many amazing miracles. I LOVE THIS AREA SO MUCH. :) 

The talk of the week is "You Matter to Him" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2011
and wow this talk was such an answer to my prayers! Hermana Perez sent me a text message just telling me to look it up and study it, so I did and IT IS AMAZING. 
I had been feeling occasionally a little down- like there were so many expectations on me and I didn't know if it were possible to measure up to all of them. But there is a quote from that talk that says, "The Lord uses a scale very different from the world's to measure the worth of a soul". That just made me ponder how the Lord sees me. Its easy to hear the voices telling me that I don't measure up to anything and that I am not nearly good enough, but when I read this, it helped me to hear a different voice that told me that God loves me. I know that God will use me for His purposes if I "incline my heart to Him" and stay humble and work hard. I know that God loves me. He loves the people I am teaching and serving around. He wants me to be happy and serve Him! 
I want to be able to help other people feel God's love! 

Wow I am just soooo full of gratitude and love and happiness and AH this gospel is incredible and CHANGES LIVES and the mission is the greatest opportunity to see that every day! I love you all SO SO much! I hope you are having a great week and that you're enjoying your summer :) 
Until next week! 
hermana shaelyn rogers

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Let me tell you a little bit about my new area. 

We just got WHITEWASHED INTO THE BIGGEST AREA IN THE MISSION. I am kind of freaking out a little bit but it has been such a week full of miracles-- I know the Lord has been helping us out SO much! Let me tell you a bit about the area:

Beaumont is a massive area. I still don't fully have my head wrapped around all that we cover, but basically what they tell me is that we cover half the mission's area...just for the people who speak spanish. 
-We are the furthest east that Spanish missionaries can go
-This area has been Elders for...well for pretty much forever...The elders got flushed (both taken out) and we got put in! 
-We are 2 hours away from the mission home, and the area goes about 2 hours more east I think?
-The branch I am in covers the entire STAKE (which is massive because we are in the country)
-We cover the biggest 2 zones in the mission which are both english- and we are the only spanish and cover all the Louisiana part of the mission! There is one other set of spanish elders but their area is really small and way at the bottom of ours.
-The branch is 10 years old, pretty small but solid! 
This branch hasn't ever seen Hermanas, so we want to make a really good first impression!
-Our branch president is white! From New Orleans, has the cutest family of all time, served his mission in Uruguay, super cool and way into missionary work! We eat with him every Tuesday and he comes with us to lessons after that!
-There are like 22 Elders and 4 Sisters in our zone

I don't even know what else to say!! Its huge! I am extremely overwhelmed haha BUT THE LORD IS DOING HIS WORK OUT HERE I CAN SAY THAT MUCH! :) 

My companion is Hermana Mariana Paz Bravo :) She is from Chile!!! She lived in the states for 12 years before she came out but still- SUPER COOL. She is already helping me so much with my spanish. She is about to go home in 5 weeks, so I am sending home another companion. SHE IS SO READY TO WORK HARD THOUGH. I am so stoked to be her companion, I will learn SO much from her. 

Our first day, we met the Branch President and our Branch Mission Leader and they both gave us a list of priorities right off the bat so we didn't have any time to wonder what to do. They are both SO incredible and ready to help us out with anything we need. I am so grateful for them and their help and desires to do missionary work! 

We spent a lot of time organizing the area-- making lists of people to try, getting to know members and investigators, planning, arranging, calling people, etc. The branch is a perfect size-- President Garcia challenged us to get to know every member on the list so we have been working on that! 
THE MEMBERS HERE ARE AMAZING! We are working with a lot of member referrals which is INCREDIBLE. There are also so many youth in the ward that have been coming out with us this week-- they know the area better than we do, and it is SO MUCH FUN to have them with us! It brings back a lot of memories to being in high school with the missionaries and how grateful I am to them and everything they taught me and motivated me to become. :) 

We have been working a lot with this family... I'll see how well I do at explaining them! 
Okay at the top, we have Hermana Acosta! She is awesome. Such a sweetheart of a lady and does so much for the missionaries. Then you have her 3 daughters, Patricia (member), Gloria (not member) and Carmela (also not member who is about to marry our ward mission leader). Then Patricia has I think 3 kids as well but the only one we know is Karen (she is a member, hasn't been to church in a while because she is bedridden and pregnant- she is married to someone named Alex who just got baptized a couple months ago). THIS FAMILY IS AMAZING! We have been working TONS with them-- serving Karen, helping Carmela get ready for the wedding, going with Gloria to visit a friend of hers that is sick, going with members to give Gloria's friend a blessing, etc. It has been so great! Heavenly Father has provided us with so many opportunities to help out just within this one family- I love it! 

There is a recent convert family, the Caudillos, and they have 6 kids, and 3 of them have been telling us they wanted to come out with us. So on Sunday we took out the 2 oldest daughters with us and went on splits for a few hours after church. It was amazing. Dulce is 18 and came with me, and we went around and contacted people and started teaching them. We were teaching the Restoration to these 2 guys, and I would ask Dulce if she would share her testimony, and she kept telling me she was too shy. When we got to the Book of Mormon, I asked if she would share her testimony and eventually she did, and it was the sweetest testimony I have ever heard. I got chills while she shared it-- it was so sweet to have a recent convert with me who had learned for herself that the Book of Mormon was true and wanted to share that with other people. She also gave the closing prayer and ah she is just so amazing. :) When we were walking away she gave me a huge hug and was just SO excited to have been able to teach someone!! She told me she wants to be a missionary and it made me so happy. Sharing the gospel is something that just brings a kind of joy that can't be experienced in any other way. It is so great! 

I will list a couple other miracles:
-Two nights in a row we didn't have a dinner set up. The first night we were teaching Maggie (a 16 year old investigator) and we hadn't really talked to the mom at all- she is very uninterested in the church and didn't want anything to do with us. (When we walked into the house, she walked into the room and closed the door). But towards the end of our appointment with maggie, she came out and asked if we would like to eat with their family! So we were able to eat with them, get to know them, and talk the mom into letting Maggie come to church! :) 
The second night we didn't have dinner, we had just finished being on our bikes all day (we were starving...also broke so we were just going to not eat and go to our other appointments). We put the bikes on the back of the car, which was parked at the church, and someone walked out and saw us. He called out to us and asked if we were hungry. There was a wedding reception that they were wrapping up and had tons of extra food- so they gave us tons of bbq meat! Such a blessing! 

-Maggie told us the morning she was getting ready to go to church, her mom said, "well Maggie maybe I should go with you, to see how things are... maybe mormons aren't as bad as I had thought? etc... Out of no where! Apparently her boyfriend talked her OUT of going but hey it was a step in the right direction!! :) 

-We found a long lost investigator!! The Elders from 2 transfers ago had told us all about this guy named Noe that was about to get baptized, super legit, loved learning and reading and was so solid! But the Elders that were here right before us told us that he had fallen off the face of the planet and we probably should forget about him basically. But the day that we were on splits, we had to drop Dulce and Norma off at a fireside but we had like 15 minutes. So we prayed to know what to do and felt like we should just try Noe even though we didn't know if he was anywhere close to where we were. We found his address and stopped by and he was home! he told us where he was in the book of mormon, told us he had read the pamphlets and set a return appointment with us! We were so stoked. 

I wish I could list out all the miracles that have been happening to us this past week. The Lord's hand really is in everything! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here in Beaumont! Yeah, it is absolutely insane and SO MUCH WORK, but I am so happy to be able to meet and work with these people and learn the lessons the Lord wants me to learn out here! I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ which helps me have a perspective to everything I experience. Heavenly Father loves His children! I feel so much joy when I share this message that will bring peace to their hearts and help them feel a sense of direction and purpose! :) 

I love you all so much! Thank you for all his support and encouragement :) 
I love the work of the Lord! I love being His servant and working to being happiness to His children! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and thinking about what He did for me. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have and the testimony I have that is continuing to grow every day. 

Have a great week! Love you so much! 
Hermana Shaelyn Rogers

"The Final Judgement is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts- what we have done. It is an acknowledgement of the final effect of our acts and thoughts- what we have become. It is not enough for anyone to just go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become." -D. Todd Christofferson