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

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