Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sister Training Leader

This week went SO fast! I don't even know what all to update you on- it flew by! First off HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOUTOUT TO MY SISTER CASSIE :) I am freaking out that she is 17 and that Brayton will be 19 next month. That is insane. Why aren't my baby siblings babies anymore?? Also someone pointed out to me the other day that they will all have grown a ton too, and that TJ and Janaea won't exactly by little kids when I go home, so that was pretty sad. But on a happier note, hopefully you guys had some fun family festivities and birthday parties. Happy birthday to Grandma Senft as well! :) I Love you all! 

This week we spent a good amount of time planning for ZONE MEETING, where all 30 missionaries that serve in the Beaumont Zone (which includes...Beaumont, Port Arthur, Fred, Jasper, Woodville, Lumberton, Sillsbee, Buna, Kountze, etc...lots of area) everyone meets together and the Zone Leaders and STLs give instruction and training and all that good stuff. Which meant that I actually had to was scary! I am totally fine bearing my testimony in front of huge groups of people, no problem. But TEACHING missionaries that know everything and probably more than I do is very intimidating. Our big activity was that we did a plane simulation, where we acted like everyone was on the plane going home, contemplating their missions, etc, then the plane crashed and we all died. We then split up into different Spirit worlds, and I taught in Spirit Paradise about FAITH, then we moved on again and I taught in the Celestial Kingdom about REPENTANCE. interesting though to act out and ponder what would happen and how we would feel if we were in those different Kingdoms, it helped ME to really reflect on if I have done enough with my time on earth (or more specifically applied, with my time on the mission). Have I sufficiently exercised my faith, believing that I would receive EVERY thing I asked for? Have I repented of disobedient and proud actions and attitudes? Do I do everything I can to help other people exercise THEIR faith unto repentance? Hermana Andrus and I came up with a list of questions that we handed out to everyone at the end of our session, and I will include them, it is a self-evaluation of sorts to help each of us meditate on how far we have come and where we are going from here. 

-Am I in the process of becoming the person I want to be or am I
standing by and letting other factors determine who I am?
-Do I pray for my circumstances to change or pray for the strength to
impact my circumstances?
-Do I tolerate excuses?
-Do I rationalize and justify?
-Is my attitude "I want" or "I will"?
-Do I run from my weaknesses and hide from my mistakes or do I face them?
-Where is my faith at?
-Is my faith made evident through my works?
-Am I afraid of repentance?
-Do I treat my prayers like a personal interview with my Heavenly Father?
-Do I repent out of a sincere desire to change, or to avoid negative
-Do I feel Godly sorrow at knowing I've acted contrary to God's will?
-Do I believe I can be made clean of my sins through the Atonement of
Jesus Christ?

Those are just a few things to consider. And one of the biggest reasons that we continually exercise our faith and repeatedly repent is so that we can enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost in our lives. In the Meeting we also explained HOW we as missionaries can help other people receive that gift in their lives, and also be baptized and enter the gate! Grandma Senft sent me some very fitting quotes this week in a letter she wrote me, and it applied exactly to what we were teaching in Zone Meeting! 

"The mission of the Savior is to bridge the way between mortality and everlasting life. The mission of the Holy Ghost is to direct us, step by step, across that bridge to exaltation. Both the Savior and the Holy Ghost share one purpose with the Father, and that is to save us". -Sister Nancy Murphy

We are so lucky to have the knowledge of the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ, for that to be our guide! We know who our Heavenly Father is and that it is His whole work and glory to bring to pass OUR ETERNAL LIFE. We know the role of Jesus Christ as our Savior, to make it possible for us to inherit eternal life-- to rise again after we die and to be cleansed after we fall in sin. We know that the role of the holy ghost is to guide us through every step of the way and comfort us. 
Christ established His gospel to show us the path! 

My purpose right now is to help others come to know that path as well. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by receiving His gospel, taking those steps of faith and repentance, entering the waters of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost! I am so grateful that I know and understand the way, and can choose every day to follow that path. I am ESPECIALLY grateful for the opportunity to share with others the peace of conscience that comes from accepting the gospel and following the Savior. 

I love you all! Sorry I didnt talk much about what happened this week, it was crazy! 
Everyone is doing really well, we have to push Josue and Daniel and Armando's baptism back a week, they didn't come to church :( But they are still doing good! 

I love you all SO much!! Hope the birthdays went well!
Have a great week!
Hermana Rogers

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lice, Flooded Apartment, and Independence Day!

Hello family!
To start off, I have some of the greatest news ever!
I am actually soooo happy. This place is the best!! I also did receive
a call this week to be a Sister Training Leader! Which...I am still
not entirely sure exactly what that entails yet, but I have had STL
companions, and... they go to lots of meetings and exchanges with
other sisters. But it will be awesome! So turns out that me and my
companion are both STL's so we will be going to the meeting together
and exchanging with all the sisters in the Beaumont and orange zones!
Sounds like a lot of work but it will be great :)
In Other news this week was another crazy one! Me and my companion
both had lice, so this week was a lot of different treatments (aka
putting mayo all over our heads and washing it out with dish soap and
vinegar) and lots of time picking through each others hair. It
definitely was annoying but I think they're gone now!! Finally...haha.
In the process of all this, the washer in our apartment flooded, so
one day was spent cleaning our entire apartment, which was kind of
unfortunate. But it's nice and clean now, which is super nice because
we found out this morning that 2 sisters will be living with us for
the next 2 weeks while their apartment gets set up. We won't know who
they are until tonight, but it should be fun!
Our investigators are all doing awesome.
Josue this week we asked him all the baptismal interview questions,
and he did great!! He was able to answer them like a champ, even
though he is the one during lessons that usually struggles a little
more with comprehension. He tells us he is a slow learner and always
forgets things, but when we had a lesson with him one on one he did SO
good! We are thinking it is kind of a competition mindset between him
and his brother...we don't know though. But when we ask questions to
Daniel, he will answer using scriptures he has studied in the Book of
Mormon, and come up with comparisons to real life, etc. so Josue just
needs a little more encouraging. They are both so awesome though! :)
And their friend Armando as well is just progressing right alongside
them, they are preparing to be baptized the 26th of September! Josue
was the only one that came to church this week, Armando was working
and we don't actually know what happened to Daniel, but Josue was
awesome! He sat next to a member his age and I guess they made plans
to hang out this weekend! That's some sweet fellowshipping :) He asked
questions while he was there and then told us he had a dream about the
church, and had some questions as well about the scriptures! So we are
super happy about him :)
Blanca and Salvador are still doing amazing and noticing lots of
changes that have come into their lives- President Garcia is working
with Salvador to help him receive the Aaronic Priesthood, which is
awesome <3 They are doing so good!
Noe is still experiencing a lot of trials, but we had a super powerful
lesson with him where he told us, "If someone doesn't start to do the
things God tells them to from right now, how can we think that God is
going to bless us right now? He is going to tell us just like we tell
Him, tomorrow I will help you"... He understands the things he needs
to do, says all the right things, but then doesn't show up to church
or do anything for himself! It's a test of our patience, but I love
him SO much and just want him to know where true happiness comes from!
And then EXPERIENCE it...because he already knows where to find it :/
But he has still been reading!
We also have a few new people to work with! We have gotten some
referrals, one named Adan, that has run into missionaries in 2
seperate occasions since I have been here. We got him as a referral at
the beginning when I got to Beaumont, but his number wasn't right so
we couldn't get ahold of him. But he met missionaries again in Vidor
and gave them his information AGAIN and asked where the church was! So
we met him this week, unfortunately the only time he could meet with
us was at 6:30 in the morning....the day after we slept with Mayo in
our hair!!! So we woke up at 5 to rinse and wash it all out, then met
with him in the Walmart parking lot. It was a strange and unique
experience haha, suffice to say I didn't really sleep that night.
Also this week we were able to meet a lot of less actives that we have
never met before. We had a party to celebrate Mexican Independence Day
and a lot of people came that hadn't been to church in a while! Also a
lot of the members had invited their nonmember friends!!! I think that
was probably one of the biggest highlights of my week, being able to
see all the members so happy and having a good time with their friends
and family, members and nonmembers:)
I have honestly grown so much since being here in Beaumont, this place
is INCREDIBLE. I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve a
mission, meet these people and love them with my whole heart, and then
teach them the things that are going to help them most in their lives!
I know this church is true :) I have seen so many blessings while
serving Him, I can't deny His hand is in this work! I am so excited
for this next transfer:)
Hope all is going well! Good luck with soccer and school and work and
all that fun stuff ;)
Love yall! Have a great week!
Hermana Rogers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So Many Amazing People

Hey family! Hope you are all doing well and all ready for school to
start up! School started here a few weeks ago and that was all people
would talk about for a while, I bet you are all pretty busy getting
ready for that! But hopefully the transition into the new school year
goes smoothly- crazy to think I will be home before the end of it!

This week was pretty crazy! We had tons of meetings and random things
scheduled into our week, which made scheduling weird, but we also saw
tons of amazing blessings and learned a lot of good stuff! :)

We started teaching a new family this week, their names are Jessica
(the mom), Damion (13), Michelle (11), and Gizelle (5 or 6). They live
with a member family in our branch, and the kids have been coming to
the activities and church for a couple weeks now, and we had met the
mom in passing but just started teaching them as a family this week!
:) they are awesome. The kids love the activities, and the mom grew up
with a Christian background but hasn't been to church in a while, so
her kids haven't really grown up religious. But we were able to teach
them a couple times this week, and then they came to church, which was
awesome! :)

On Tuesday, we had a full day visiting a bunch of people we hadn't
seen in a while. Andrus was in a meeting in Kingwood, so I was on
exchanges with 2 other sisters...that didn't know Spanish. But it was
okay! :) We went and saw Blanca, and she told us that some of her
friends in Mexico were talking to her about church, and when she told
them she was going to the Mormon church, they freaked out at her and
said, "No not that church! They do this, they believe that, etc" but
Blanca stood up for herself and told them what she knew and that we
weren't like that!! :) I am so proud of her for sticking up for her
beliefs and not letting opposition shake her, she is awesome.
We also saw Maggie and Noe, who we hadn't seen in a long time! They
are both doing well, Noe talked all about how he has let himself go
away from the church, hasn't been coming because he has been going
through a lot, etc. but then he started talking to us about how he had
been reading in the Book of Mormon! He read 2 Nephi like 7-18 or
something like that. He brought up how in 2 Nephi 9 there is a verse
(23) that says, "23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent,
and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of
Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.". So he starts
telling us that he has resolved the situation he was in, he knows he
has strayed from the path, but he also knows that the next steps are
to go to church and be baptized- HE told US the importance of
following the path once you know what it is. So we will see now I
guess if he is truly ready to follow the path!

Wednesday we had a Zone Conference, which means all the missionaries
in the Beaumont and Orange zones (about 40 missionaries) got together
for training and to hear from our mission president and his wife. We
learned a lot about finding, teaching, and baptizing. :) It was
awesome, but I don't have time to write everything I learned haha.
Wednesday night, we met Tyler Guy. HE IS THE MOST AMAZING PERSON EVER.
Cassie, I found you a husband. But anyways- so he has been a member
for a couple years, and everyone talks about him as being the most
amazing guy, super solid, involved, helpful, strong testimony, etc.
but he hasn't come to church in a year... We found out that his mom
had seen some anti material and doesn't want him to come to church
anymore. But! So we went and saw him a couple times this week and both
times he blew our minds with how amazing he is. He grew up in a really
difficult environment. There are about 9 kids living at his house, his
mom works a night shift to provide for his family, etc. the list goes
on. Tyler is a senior in high school, has a 5.2 GPA, plays all the
sports, is in a ton of clubs (robotics is one of them Brayton!) and
basically has every school ever trying to get him to go there, but he
feels that he has to stay close to home to be able to help out his
family. He can get scholarships basically anywhere and just has such a
bright future and huge potential- this kid will go far! He is like a
shining light in the midst of all his family. One of the times we went
over, we brought a couple members with us, Michael Keffer and his mom.
His mom talked to the rest of the family while we talked with Michael
and Tyler. Turns out they both went to Nauvoo with all the youth and
were roommates a couple summers ago! So we reminisced with them and
Tyler just lit up talking about memories there, and said that the
whole trip he just felt SO good, like he was home. Tyler really is
just incredible- we are so grateful that we met him and have been able
to have a few conversations with his mom. We are hoping that with
time, she will let him come back to church and get back into things.
(Yesterday he came with us to the Keffers house and we ate and played
soccer with them and it was awesome!) he really does want to come
back, and told us that right now he respects his moms opinion too much
to go do something she doesn't want him to, but we are working with

We have had some amazing lessons with Josue and Daniel! :)
So Wednesday when we saw them, Daniel said that Josue and Armando told
him they wanted to be baptized, so Thursday we asked them about it.
Josue told us that he had been praying like we told him to, and he
asked God if he should be baptized. I don't know exactly how it
translates in English, but he said, "Nació dentro de mi una alegría
que me quise bautizar" basically he said this joy just came into him
and he knew he wanted to be baptized! So that was AMAZING! :) We
talked to both of them more about the Plan of Salvation and how this
is what God wants them to do while they are here on earth, and the
whole time we were teaching, Daniel was pulling out scriptures he had
studied that had to do with what we were talking about. It was
sooooooo awesome. :):) they make me so happy watching them progress
and learn more! Friday we taught them tithing and fasting, and Daniel
pretty much already knew everything we were going to teach, Josue had
more questions and looked more confused, but Armando was very willing
to agree to everything. Saturday (and Sunday :( unfortunately) they
were in Houston, so we didn't get to see them, but last night we went
over there because Daniel wanted us to meet his friends!!!! So we went
and it was Daniel and Josue's OTHER brother Carlos that lives in
Houston, there with his wife, and another one of Daniel's friends that
had talked to missionaries 7 or 8 years ago before he went to Mexico
and lost contact with the church. So basically it was AMAZING and such
a powerful lesson! :) Daniel, Josue and Armando all shared their
testimonies, and talked about what they liked about the church and
things they were learning and changing in their lives because of what
they have heard and seen at church. Then we showed a video and Carlos'
wife Aurora started crying! So she talked about how grateful she was
that we had been there to talk to them, ahhh it was SO cool! :) :)

Hector is also doing awesome, we had a lesson with him at the
Maldonado's house and he was able to confide a ton in them and told
them all of his concerns. They were amazing and answered his questions
with scriptures and their testimonies. That family, the mom is RS
President, the dad is in the branch presidency, their son is about to
go on a mission and their other 2 sons are just awesome as well- they
are the ones who the Banuelos live with, and have helped us tons with
missionary work. So they were super helpful for Hector, and it was
good for him to know that there are people here for him! He is going
through a lot of hard times, and hopefully he will see that we at the
church care for him and want to help out however we can! He came to
church on Sunday as well:)

Saturday we did some service helping this lady move, then went out to
this little town called Hancomer (where Jessica, Damion, Michelle,
Gizelle are living with the Licons). We were able to teach them! We
watched the Restoration video and talked about what they remembered.
Michelle (11) remembered SO much!! :) it was awesome! also we were
able to talk to Dusty, who is our Branch Mission Leaders son! He
hasn't been coming to church either, and he trusts and confides in us
a ton, so we have been able to invite him back and read from the
scriptures with him and show him how much we care. He is a really
genuine person, and super sweet guy- we just want him to be happy!

Sunday was AMAZING!! There were so many people at church, which made
my heart SO happy! :) not only investigators, but less actives, and
lots of people I hadn't seen in a while. Moments like that make me
realize how much God's hand is in this work. He is making things
happen here in Beaumont Texas and I am so grateful to be a part of it.
My companion as we were sitting in church just made a list in her
planner of people that had come, and it made me start crying right
away and just be so grateful to Heavenly Father for helping us do His
work! :) I love the mission! I love being here in Beaumont, helping
people come into Christ every day. This place is amazing, and the
people here even more so! I can't express in words how much joy is in
my heart! I feel SO blessed :)

This transfer flew by, next week Monday are changes, and I don't know
yet what will happen, but I do know that God is the one who holds the
plans for my missions, so whatever comes I know is what needs to
happen. If I had my choice though, I would never leave. ;)

Hope yall have a GREAT week! I love you guys so much, thanks for
everything you do for me and all your support and love. Good luck with
school and everything!
Love, Hermana Rogers