Monday, October 26, 2015

Staying in Beaumont!

Week 6 of Transfer 3 in Beaumont TX!

GUESS WHAT?! IM NOT LEAVING BEAUMONT!!!!!! I can't even explain how happy this makes me! Especially since I was pretty confident that I was going to be leaving this transfer, I have already been here for 3 transfers, this is Hermana Andrus' last transfer, and then I only have one more after that. So not that I am looking ahead too far, but at the end of this transfer when she goes home, either they move me too and have to put 2 new missionaries in this area and send me somewhere else just for 1 transfer, OR I will be here until the end of my mission- I don't know what will happen, but I did not expect to be staying here. Haha to the extent that I even packed all my clothes and cleared out my desk, I was almost done packing the night before we got the phone call that I was staying. :) I love Beaumont though, so I am super excited! 

This week was so awesome! 

So I told you about our trip to Louisiana on Monday, where we went fishing! We did catch fish, they weren't very big, and we didn't keep them BUT it was so much fun and brought back lots of fishing memories. :) I think now since I am staying, we will try going fishing again in Port Arthur- this member named Julian Venegas loves fishing and is going to take us to his favorite fishing spot! 

Monday night and Tuesday I went on exchanges to a city called Kountze! It was a "trio exchange" where I was with another companionship together to see how they work together. It was awesome! :) I loved working with them and serving in their area! They are whitewash training, so they had a lot of questions about how to be the first missionaries in an area, so I got to help them a bit with that! 

Thursday morning we went with the Senior missionaries in our area to breakfast, then went biking around for a few hours contacting formers and people that we had seen before. After biking for 3 hours and trying people unsuccessfully, we were walking from someone's house back to our bikes, and across the street, we heard someone call out to us and ask if we were the Mormons. We answered that we were, and he said like, "Sweet, we got it right! Well me and my friend are over and we want to talk to you guys, so when you finish up over there you can just come on over!" So we went over, knowing we were about to get picked up by then Longhursts, and as we were talking, the guy who's name was Lupe, said, "So what is it about you Mormons? I talk to everyone who comes to talk about religion, but I admire you guys. There is something different about the  can see it in your eyes, it's like a glow". He invited us back and told us about his friend right there that we can teach as well! It was amazing, and strengthened my testimony so much that people notice us and the light that we have around us! Be a good example because people notice the difference! :)

Friday we taught Manuel twice! Once earlier in the day with Angela, talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, and he understood so well! We talked about baptism and he committed to a date for November 21!!! :) then later, Julian took him to the church! We gave a church tour, showed him the baptismal font and Christ's baptism video, he said he was feeling a lot more comfortable after having talked to us! He had even read since we'd seen him earlier that day! :)

Sunday was the greatest day of my entire life!!!!! TYLER CAME TO CHURCH AND BROUGHT HIS SIBLINGS! Him, his little sister and the twins came, as well as Hunter- an 11 year old cousin of his! They all live together and we have been visiting them for 12 weeks and we love their family sooooo much!! Ahhh it was the happiest thing ever seeing them at church :)
Then their whole family came to lunch with the Maldonados and Banuelos, which was way fun :) 
Also Antonio came and brought Julio! They were both able to stay for sacrament meeting and the gospel principles class we teach :) And Manuel came and loved church! He is a lot more nervous about being around a lot of people, but the members here are so friendly and loving and made him feel so comfortable :) Sitting with all of them in our row during sacrament was the happiest thing ever. 

In summary, it was the greatest week! We are so happy we are staying together :) I love this place so much! 
Sorry that this is so short and doesn't have a lot of detail, it has been a crazy day of reorganizing and rearranging. But I will keep you updated as time goes on! I love y'all so much! 

Also we still don't have a car .., :( but we are making it work! 

I love being a missionary :) I love y'all! 

Hermana Rogers

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Mission Is Incredible

I don't have much time, because as you heard, we went to Louisiana to
go FISHING :) Since our area is so big, we have a lot of liberty to go
wherever we want on Pdays! :) we went with a group of members and it
was way fun! But I will try and summarize this past week!

We still don't have a car unfortunately. It has been a full week and
then some, and it's IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AROUND, which makes the work a
lot more difficult. But thankfully we have amazing members here that
are willing to help us out a ton, so thing have still been happening
and we get a lot of quality time on our bikes. :)

Some of the miracles of this week! We met this boy named Brando! He is
the grandson of a less active recent convert that we have been working
with. He is 17, and has talked to missionaries before and been to
church twice with his grandma and his dad. He came to eat dinner with
us, invited us back the next day and came to church with us! :) it was
awesome. He is really humble and has a lot of potential- he doesn't
have a very big religious background, but we were able to focus a lot
on developing a relationship with God and understanding who Jesus
Christ is- the lesson with him was really spiritual and made me
realize how blessed I was to have the knowledge I do about my Savior
and loving Father in Heaven. Brando said he felt the spirit, and when
we invited him to be baptized, he said yes! His date that he is
preparing for is the 14th of November. Best birthday present ever!!

Another amazing lesson we had was with Armando! We finally got to see
him again! It has been soooo long! We went over the baptismal
interview questions and he knows EVERYTHING still, even though it has
been so long since we have been able to see him! We invited him to be
baptized- he has already passed a couple of the dates he has set, but
right now he has been working until 10 or 11 at night and also on
Sundays in the morning. So he has been so so hard to see. But we
watched the Restoration video with him right then and the Spirit
filled the room so strong. We shared our testimonies about the
importance of the Restoration and then had him say the closing prayer.
In his prayer, he thanked Heavenly Father for sending us back to him,
and also for showing him this beautiful video and helping him know
it's true again. It was an incredible feeling!

Antonio is still doing so well :) He also came to church on Sunday!
President Garcia had his baby blessed in sacrament meeting which was
beautiful, and then afterwards we went to his house to have lunch with
all his extended family. That was so fun!

Hector had a little bit of a fall out this last week, but it was an
opportunity for us to testify to him of the Atonement and everything
it means for HIM. Yet another moment where I was able to reflect on
the importance of Christ's gospel. He knows everything we need and how
to help us. There is nothing we can do that will keep us from His love
and mercy. He is able to forgive our sins and heal the pain we have
felt from them, He can turn our weaknesses into strengths and help
change our hearts. I love my Savior.

We were also able to meet with our President of the mission this week
and receive training from the Assistants, which was incredible. One of
the things that they did that I highly recommend to everyone: say a
prayer, pour out everything in your soul, spend time talking to
Heavenly Father. Then sit in a quiet place and write yourself a letter
from Heaven. It was BEAUTIFUL. I have done things like this my whole
mission when I read scriptures that are for me, I write them down- I
have felt so much love from my Heavenly Father through the scriptures
and promptings of the Spirit. It was an incredible experience. :)

I have been spending quite a bit of time reflecting recently. I
realize that teaching the gospel is the most rewarding thing I have
ever done with my entire life, I love being a missionary. There is
nothing I want more than to help these people find what will bring
them happiness, a knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He has done for
them. The feeling of teaching someone how to pray, and then listening
to their heartfelt sincere prayers thanking God for leading you to
them and changing their life is the most incredible feeling I have
ever experienced. Watching people change their lives when they hear
about the hope and peace and happiness that comes from Christ's gospel
is AMAZING. This is the greatest year and a half ever. :) I have felt
soooo much love in this past year, more than I could ever express. THE
here. :)

Thank you all for your support- happy birthday Brayton-o :) I love
y'all so much! Have a great week!
Hermana Rogers


I am having a serious struggle coming up with titles for emails because every week I just want to say across the top in huge letters BEST WEEK EVER-- Every week is seriously the greatest out here. This week had a lot of trials, but also soooo many amazing moments! I will write about as many of them as I can with the short amount of time that I have.

On Monday, we saw Blanca and Salvador for a little bit. I talked to Salvador a lot and he brought up to me that one day, he wanted to stand up in church and share his testimony and thank Heavenly Father for the things that he has learned. He told me about how much his life has changed and how before he felt like he was in a pit, feeling really low. But he said that then they came here and stayed with the Maldonados and then we came along and brought them from where they were to where they are now and he is so grateful. It made me cry, THIS IS MY PURPOSE and I got to be here for Salvador's whole conversion process, watching him come here with so many burdens and struggles and be able to see the hand of the Lord lifting him up and helping him make major changes in his life. He has come so far. :) 
Then Monday night we drove from Beaumont to Kingwood for my first Missionary Leadership Counsel!! It is a big meeting with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders in the mission. Since we are so far away, we get to drive in Monday night and stay at the mission home with President and Sister Drake, which was awesome! We were able to talk to President about our areas and advice he has, and it was nice to have a little one on one-ish time with him :) 

Tuesday was the conference! It involves a lot of training, counseling with one another, and information given to us as leaders, that needs to in turn be delivered to the zone. We learned an interesting concept called the formula for results! (In our case as missionaries, it is the formulas for baptism! Here is what it looks like in a nutshell:
(CLARITY+COMPETENCE+COMMITMENT)/ CONSISTENCY !!! Clarity means that we have a plan and a vision. Competence is the teaching and training that we give to others. Commitment is how well the people we are teaching and leading "buy-in" to what it is we present them- if they catch hold of the vision- if we present the vision and are committed to it/willing to sacrifice to make it happen, people are more likely to follow us! And the most important one is the CONSISTENCY. Consistency is the follow-up! It is how we turn everything else into action. Following up is how we show other people that what we have invited them to do really is important! 
They described it as a formula. The first 3 C's are graded on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. The Consistency is graded on a scale of 1-5, 1 being the best. 
If you have a 10 for Clarity, Competence, and Commitment, but have the worst follow-up-- (10+10+10)/5 would give you an overall score of 6! But if you are only at level 2 for Clarity, Competence and Commitment, but have the best follow-up-- (2+2+2)/1 is also a score of 6! We were shown examples of Christ in His life, how he exemplified all these traits, and we emphasized following through with everything you do to really show the people we serve and teach that we are committed. That we have the ability to teach them by our example, but also through our trainings what is our vision and our purpose. We talked a lot about how to help others, and I realized that following up with them is the best way to show them that we really care!! It made me want to be better at this both as a missionary and also as a sister training leader. 

Tuesday night we talked to Julio-- he told us that he really wants to change his life. He said that his feelings and desires change all the time but that this is something that he really wants to hold on to! He said, "I feel like God loves me because He sent you to me". He accepted to baptism, but hasn't accepted a date yet, but we will for sure be working with him this week! 
Antonio is progressing a ton! We saw him with President Garcia on Tuesday night and HE HASNT DRANK SINCE THE FIRST TIME WE MET HIM!!! He said that before he used to drink every single day coming off of work, but he hasn't touched alcohol since we taught him. It was amazing to see his desires to follow God turn into action! 

Wednesday we were weekly planning, then at night we saw Antonio again and Hector, who has been distancing himself from us for a while because he felt very pressured to be baptized, which was really sad. But we talked to him a lot more and he said that he loves church, he loves everyone he has met and he feels good talking to them and being at the church! So he will keep coming!
Hermana Andrus and I had a serious planning session where we went through all the formers in the area book, looking for people that could be baptized in these next two weeks. We have been promised by our Heavenly Father through our mission standards that we can baptize every transfer. We have so many people that we have taught everything to, but they just don't want to make that next step. So we have been focusing on people that other missionaries have taught to see if the seed they planted in the past had been growing in their hearts. 

Thursday we went to visit Blanca and talked to her a lot about faith-- how she can develop it, how she can recognize it in herself, etc. She is still working on buying the trailer next to the Maldonados, so we are hoping that everything works out with that!! 
THEN WE WENT KNOCKING- We knocked out an entire trailer park in Lumberton, taught everyone we talked to the Restoration, (even if they only spoke english), and we saw some great miracles. One funny story though- within 5 minutes of us arriving at the trailer park, this dog came up to us. She was very friendly, so we petted her, then started walking away. She followed us. We went and knocked a trailer and she came right up on the porch with us… the people opened the door and the dog shoved her nose in-- we assumed it was their dog. It wasn't. So I think those people got mad, and we tried to ditch the dog and move on to the next trailer. THE DOG FOLLOWED US FOR 3 HOURS STRAIGHT!! It was really funny, but there were some people who were less than happy to have a giant dog at their door. Other people's dogs were also a little angry… suffice to say at least WE made a new friend! Haha we named it, and took some pictures with her at the end of the day but I think she was very sad when we left her. Haha 
That night we tried a few of the formers on our list and had several…interesting experiences. Some of the people we visited were not quite as enthusiastic as we thought they would be to see us show up on their porch. One of the people we went to try was Jesus, we knocked on the door and a lady answered. We asked if Jesus was there and she said that he didn't live there anymore. We asked for his number and she gave it to us. We asked where he lived and she said, "I don't know. He moved out yesterday. I am his ex wife"…..awkward. But then we proceeded to tell her about the church and asked her if she would like to come with us-- I don't think she wanted to go to church with 2 white girls that just knocked on her door late at night asking for her ex husband…oops?

FRIDAY IS WHEN THE AMAZING MIRACLES STARTED POURING IN. So we had an amazing district meeting about PLANNING. Hermana Andrus and I decided to go home and spend some time evaluating the plans we had made on Wednesday and pass over the lists of formers we had selected. We spent an hour or two going through every name, where they were at in their progression with the church, etc. We made a long list of names, and then each of us prayed over that list. I wrote a list of 6 or 7 names, and Hermana Andrus wrote a list of 6 or 7 names. Then we put them together and made a list of the people that had showed up on both of our lists. We made a 1st priority, 2nd priority and 3rd priority list in order of people we wanted to see. Then we went out to work! We prayed to be able to find those whom the Lord had been preparing so that we could help them accept the Restored gospel and be baptized on the 24th. 
We went first to this family that said they were available before 4. We talked to the mother of that family, she said she didn't really remember missionaries in the past, so we went over what it is that we do, what we teach, and our purpose. She said we could come back and we were off to the next house. We decided to knock a couple doors next to her house, and as we were knocking we met someone else that let us teach her about the Restoration! She also said we could come back anytime, and so we were off to the next house. As we were walking back to our car, a police officer pulled up next to us and asked who we were and what we were doing. I assumed we were going to get in trouble, but he asked if we were Jehovah's Witnesses. We started to explain that we were the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but a car pulled up. Instead of saying, "Great, nice to meet you have a good day" He pulled forward and motioned for us to follow him. So we were able to teach a police officer on the side of the road!!! It was an amazing and miraculous hour of contacting, and we were able to teach 3 people within a block of walking. 
THEN we were about to go to the next person on our priority list, but I noticed a street sign up ahead that said Blanchette. I remembered that there was someone on one of the lists that lived on that street- turns out it was someone on the 3rd priority list, but we decided while we were close we might as well try and see if they are home! So we went over to that street looking for the house number. We didn't see it, but we saw a group of people sitting out on their porch. We pulled over and went to go talk to them, see if maybe they knew their neighbors Patricia and Guadalupe that had talked to the missionaries before! As we got out, we heard someone yell, "Elders!!" IT WAS PATRICIA! She was one of the people sitting on the porch! She remembered the missionaries, and was so confused why they had stopped visiting her. She assumed it was because they had left for their houses, but she missed their visits. She even told us that the other day she was moving a box of stuff and found a restoration pamphlet sitting out from when they used to visit her. We met her, and her husband Juan Pablo, and her sister Guadalupe all right then, and they set a return appointment for the next day! IT was AMAZING! 
There were a bunch more amazing experiences from Friday's contacting, and another much less amazing experience-- but I will explain that later. Short story….we had a bit of car trouble, but were able to teach 3 fireman and a policeman in the process! :) (Look on the bright side?) I think one of the firemen will now be talking to the english elders! So even THAT turned into a miracle! 

SATURDAY!!!!!!! We had a recent convert from the Young Single Adult branch, Angela Johnson, come out with us during the early afternoon. She came with us to contact more of our list of formers. We tried this one lady named Mariela Flores, who lives on 909 Amarillo street. She had talked with us on the phone the day before and set the appointment with us, but then when we knocked, she wasn't there. So we left her a note, and then decided to go to this street called Angelina because there were 2 people that lived on that street. We went to the first house, and no one answered. We went around to a side house and saw a number taped to the door that said Adan! So we called it, and he answered and told us that he wanted to come to church with us the next day! He asked us to leave him something that he could read, so we did. Then Angela suggested we WALK to the next house-- so we did! As we were walking, we heard someone speaking in Spanish, so we went around the side of the house to talk to him! We started a conversation, found out he isn't even really in Beaumont that much but he will be this week. We asked if we could stop by and teach him and he said yes!! So we asked him for his address, and he said he didn't remember it… but he said he thought it was 090 Amarillo street. He then proceeded to explain in detail where it was, and as he explained, we realized it was the house we had went to earlier!! We asked if he knew Mariela Flores and he told us that he is currently renting a room from her! What a small world!!! It was amazing to see how God put us in the place where we could contact him, in a short period of time that he was working in the street we were knocking down. And if we didn't hear his voice, we wouldn't have stopped. But now we have 2 more people to teach, and they both conveniently live in the same house! :) It was awesome. 
We continued down the street until we got to the next former investigator's house. We saw a woman outside, and asked if she knew a Zarafin. She pointed around the side of the house and we met him! (In case you were wondering--- I know it sounds creepy to walk around asking for people by name as we knock on their door…and….it probably is, but we start the conversation telling them we are the new missionaries and are trying to get in contact with the people that have talked to the missionaries before. It has worked really well for us so far!!) Sarafin also remembered the missionaries and said he would bring his wife and daughter to church tomorrow! HE has been before and really liked it!!

Saturday night we watched the full Joseph Smith movie with Antonio at the Keffer's home, and talked about why the Restoration was so important. We discussed all the things Joseph Smith went through because he knew this was true. Afterwards, we asked Antonio what we could do for him and he said, "well just keep visiting me! I will keep coming" :) it was great. He is awesome, had to work on Sunday so he wasn't able to come to church, but we were able to see him after church.

Sunday Salvador bore his testimony and it was the sweetest thing ever! It made my heart so happy to see him stand up and share his feelings about how the gospel has changed his life. He is AMAZING. :) His daughter Irene also shared her testimony! And our investigator little Michelle <3 it was the greatest testimony meeting ever :)

Afterwards we went on splits and continued to meet more people! Hermana Andrus went down to Winnie and taught with Dulce, a recent convert in our branch :) I stayed here in Beaumont with Hermana Keffer and talked to another few former investigators! One of them named Manuel, remembered exactly everything that the missionaries had taught him- his sobrino (nephew) Francisco also sat in on the lesson and loved it- he had a lot of questions, and said as well that we could come back anytime because he loves to talk about religions and learn more.

Overall this week was absolutely incredible. I am CERTAIN that God's hand is in this work. He loves His children and wants them to be happy! I am so grateful for the opportunity to share that happiness with others and remind people of the happiness they felt with missionaries in the past. I have the greatest calling in the world :) I love being a missionary! And I love all of you :)
Have a great week! :)
Hermana Rogers

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Short Update

Hey family!
This week was amazing-- I was so grateful for conference weekend- I really needed a lot of the spiritual counsel I received from the Prophet of this church and his apostles, and I am so grateful that I got to listen to them :)

This update will have to be really short because I have approximately 10 minutes of computer time, but there are some exciting updates! 

Quick back story, Our incredible investigators that we have been focusing on a ton have been pretty flaky recently, which has been hard and disappointing, but we knew that there is someone here that could be prepared to be baptized on the 17th of October. So we said a specific prayer, that we would find someone who is at home and available during the day, has interest in learning the gospel, and something I remember specifically saying in my prayer is that this person that we find would recognize us as servants of the Lord. So we were looking for that person...
We started teaching Julio and Antonio. I am not sure if I told you about them before, but they are AMAZING. So we found them on Sunday, I'm not sure if I wrote about them las Monday, but we have seen them a few times since then, so I wil give you the update! 
Tuesday night we went with President Garcia to go visit them and it was amazing!! We had just barely found them, and were starting to teach lesson 1, and invited them to say the first prayer. Normally, people won't say the prayer the first time you meet them, but rather tell you to say the first one and MAYBE they will say the last. But Julio was willing to say the opening prayer, even VOLUNTEERED! And IN HIS PRAYER, he said, "Thank you for sending these representatives of yours to me..." and kept going with his prayer but I remember that stood out to me a ton. He is AMAZING and told us during that lesson that he is not working (available during the day), and then later in the lesson asked what is required for someone to be baptized!! And then even later on asked "well how soon could you teach me everything so that I can be baptized? What I really want is to be born again, to just start over, etc" So we were able to testify of the blessings of baptism, which was so powerful. The lesson was able to be guided into talking about the blessings of having the Holy Ghost in your life, and the covenants of baptis, we will continue to work with him!

The computer is going to log me off, I love you so much!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Progressing Investigators

Hey family!
This week was awesome! :)
Monday for Pday we went to Good Will with a couple of the Keffer kids
which was pretty fun, then I had my first STL exchange!! I was
terrified, not going to lie. I have been on exchanges with STLs my
whole mission and always looked up to them so much, and now I am one,
which was very intimidating. But the coolest part of that exchange was
that ahead of time, we always ask the missionaries we are going to
exchange with what it is that they want to work on. Then we tell them
something we want to work on as well! So this time I had decided I
really wanted to work on listening and patience. I prayed a ton about
the exchange and was grateful that I was able to be there for her to listen
and help however I could. This whole STL thing is really overwhelming but I 
am grateful that Heavenly Father is able to help ME learn from other people.
Tuesday's highlight, we were able to see all of our most progressing
investigators! Hector came to President Garcias house and we taught
him about temples and why it is so important to come to church! He
expressed his concerns about baptism and it was so good to have
President there to listen and address his specific concerns. Then we
went to Josue, Daniel and Armando's house to see how they were and why
they hadn't come to church. We talked to them about their baptism and
how we had to push their date back because they hadn't come to church,
and they chose October 10th as their new date and said they would come
to church the next 2 weeks in a row. Daniel has practically fallen off
the face of the planet. We call him and text him every day, stop by
their house almost every day, and talk to his brother, but no one will
let us talk to him! I don't know what is going on but it's awful!! So
they said that they would talk to him about their baptism and coming
to church every Sunday, and we set a return appointment.
Later this past week we were knocking around, trying to find this
former whose address was unclear. We were in an area we had been to
multiple times before, but knocking houses we had never knocked. We
finally found the house we thought we were looking for, and knocked on
the door. No one was coming so we were about to walk away, but we
heard a faint voice coming from the other room asking who it was. We
called out that we were the missionaries and saw a little old lady
coming to the door. As she approached the door, we saw her through the
window and noticed a little mesh, lacey lining underneath her shirt
and realized she was a member, so we planned to let her know who we
were looking for and leave. But she opened the door and told us to
come on in! So we talked to her, found out she was 92 years old, had
been a member about 30 years but hadn't been able to go for the last 5
years or so because she has struggled with health and her body was so
weak. As she was talking, it became very clear that she has troubles
with her memory, and we ended up asking if we could sing a hymn for
her. She closed her eyes and listened to us as we sang to her, and it
was such a touching moment. She was so amazed to learn that we didn't
know she lived there, we had just been knocking to find an
investigator and knocked into her. She was convinced someone had sent
us because she had been talking about how long it had been since
people from the church came to visit her. We were able to be there at
that time to show her that God loves her and is mindful of her needs.
It was amazing. :) she is a sweetheart, and is in the English Ward, so
we will tell them to go back and visit her but I was so grateful that
I was able to meet her and feel the spirit in her home. Although it
had been so long since she had been to church, she had temple pictures
in her home and talked about how when her eyes are good she always
studies the scriptures.
Friday we were able to go to a festival in Winnie where they celebrate
the rice harvest.. I don't know all the history behind it, but we were
able to drop in this weekend with Tyler Guy's family! HAVE I TOLD YOU
ALL ABOUT TYLER?! If not I am severely sorry! Tyler is one of the most
incredible people I have ever met in my entire life and we have been
working with him for about a transfer now. He was baptized 2 years ago
but stopped coming to church because his mom saw some anti material
that freaked her out. But Tyler is a shining star in his family, and
we have been spending time with them, being friends with all his
siblings and reading with Tyler and encouraging him and just trying to
help him understand how amazing he is. His family is awesome. They
have been through so many struggles and still experience a lot of
hardships but I LOVE THEM A TON! :) so spending time with them this
weekend was amazing! :) they have all opened up with us a ton more
recently and Tyler's little cousin Hunter really wants to come to
church! So when we can get Tyler there, Hunter is coming too! Ahhh I
love them.
Saturday was a really hard day...
In the morning, there was a funeral for an 8 year old boy named Ezra
Jasso in our branch. He was born with a disability and had struggled
his whole life. Since I have been here in Beaumont, he has been in and
out of Houston for many different heart surgeries, and has just had a
lot of struggles. He passed away this last week and his funeral was
heart-wrenching. We were asked to hand out the programs, which meant
that everyone that came in we were able to say hi to, and there were
so many people there, members and non members. The program itself was
so powerful- the testimonies that were shared by his parents and our
branch president were incredible. I am so grateful to be a member of
this church and have the knowledge that families will be together
forever. It was soooo sad, but also filled me with hope and wonder at
the knowledge and understanding we have of the resurrection of Jesus
Christ that makes it possible for us to be resurrected as well. I know
that Ezra will have a perfected body and will be able to do so many
things that he was never able to do in this life. I am grateful I was
able to know him and be touched by his sweet spirit.
Cool story though! While we were there, we ran into this lady named
Vasa...we didn't recognize her at first but she recognized us! She met
us the first week we were together when we went to the alligator farm
in Anahuac. She was with her brother, who is a member that lives in
Alaska. So they stopped us and introduced us to Vasa who isn't a
member! Turns out she was Ezra's aide in school and got to know the
Jasso family pretty well, so it was really cool that we were able to
run into her again and she actually approached us because she
remembered us- it was sweet!
Then that night we were at a recent converts house and her kids
weren't there, and she completely opened up to us about all her
concerns about the church. Her testimony has been pretty badly shaken
recently, and we had no idea. Out of nowhere she let everything out
and was just hurting so much. Yet another opportunity for me to
listen, not only to her but also to the promptings of the Spirit. She
was very heartbroken, her mother had passed away in these last couple
weeks, and that has been a large trial for her. But as we talked with
her and asked her about her relationship with Heavenly Father we were
able to extend a commitment to her to really focus on her prayers.
Then she told us she didn't even know how. We went with her into
another room and knelt with her and just prayed. I felt such an
outpouring of love for her, and wanted to do everything I could to
help her feel her testimony. It was such an amazing experience.
I love the Spirit, which can heal broken hearts. I love the knowledge
we have of the Atonement which allows us to trust completely in Him,
who knows everything we have experienced and can understand our pains.
I am so grateful for the Restoration, which is the reason we have the
truths that we know and can learn about more fully. I am glad that I
am able to be here to help resolve concerns and teach true points of
doctrine to help not only people come to the church that don't know
about it, but also help strengthen the members that have already
discovered the truths and are just trying to root the doctrine in
their souls. I love being a missionary.
There are a lot of hard times, but there are so many other moments
that strengthen my testimony of the truth and my love for those I am
serving. The mission is amazing! I'm sorry for the abrupt end, I have
to run, but I love you so much!! Have a great week :)
Hermana Rogers