Monday, December 21, 2015

Christ is the Reason

Hey family!!
This last week was pretty crazy! 
It was Hermana Andrus' last week in the mission! I can't even believe how fast time went, we were together for 4 1/2 months! I have learned so much from her about feeling the Spirit, loving people with your whole heart, and teaching to peoples needs. We have been through a lot of experiences together and met so many people that have completely changed my life. I am so grateful for the time we were together, I know we will be lifelong friends, I am going to miss her a lot, and I know the branch will as well! 

As far as summarizing this last week, I can pretty much do it in 1 word! SERVICE :) 

We spent a lot of time with Alex and Karen this week, helping them prepare for a baby shower! Karen is about to have a baby in January, but had to go into the hospital last week because she was already having contractions, which was way early! She didn't end up having the baby, but she feels like it will come soon, and right now it only weighs 5 pounds! She needed a lot of help making the decorations and treats, and we were there for quite a few hours this week, but it was SO GOOD! Karen served a mission, came home and married Alex, who wasn't a member, but he got baptized this last year! Since then, they have had a lot of challenges, but it is a really good opportunity anytime we are with Karen to talk to her about her mission and remind her of the experiences she had. We love them! :) 

We also spent a few hours weeding President Garcia's front yard-- I had been promising President I would do that for a really long time, so we had to make it happen! It was pretty funny though, anytime we would ask President what we could do for him or the branch he would look at us and say, "Yeah you could weed my yard like you promised to forever ago!" haha. We promise we are trustworthy people and hold to our word...even if it takes a while. 

We spent time with Tyler's family, helping MawMaw with the house and kids, and are SO happy with that family!! They always tell us they want to adopt us into the family, and we would be more than happy to be! Hermana Andrus had a really hard time saying bye to them, it kind of broke my heart just watching it, and I am not looking forward to that moment in a few weeks. But anyways, they are all doing awesome, especially Tyler!! He had his interview on Sunday to get his patriarchal blessing!!! He is doing so so well :) Finished his BYU application, we will see how all that goes! 

A huggggge highlight of this week was MLC- the Missionary Leadership Conference! 

One thing that we talked about a TON was this phrase:

They gave each of us this talk called Christ is the Reason by Merrill and Marilyn S. Bateman. I will be studying it in depth throughout these next few weeks, I am really excited to see what insights I can gain through studying and focusing on these 5 things. ESPECIALLY MY SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. I know He is the reason behind everything that we do as missionaries, everything that I do as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and everything that we invite our investigators to do. I know that He is the reason we can be made clean, we can be given strength, and we can one day return to live with Heavenly Father. HE IS THE GIFT that Heavenly Father sent to the earth to suffer for our sins, to die on the cross, and to be resurrected. HE IS THE WAY for each of us to be redeemed and saved. HE IS THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE of who we need to become and how we need to treat others. I am so grateful that I get to testify of Him and help people DISCOVER WHY God sent His Son. I know it was for each of us. I will write more as I continue to gain more insights, but I encourage each of you to spend some time pondering our Savior, to personally discover why He was born. I definitely will be! 
There is one quote from this talk that I would like to share. 
"Christ is the basis for all that we do. He is the reason we do missionary work. Without the Savior and His Atonement, there would be no good news to spread. Without Him, temple work would be in vain. Our progress would stop. But He did partake of the bitter cup and "finished His preparations unto the children of men". As we come to know Him and to "learn...that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ", we become better students, we have a stronger influence on others, we serve more faithfully as missionaries, and we raise better families" 
I am so grateful for Him and the motivation that my testimony of Him gives me to serve others and share the good news that He has brought! 

We also focused a lot again on the goal-setting process, how to have a focused vision, and how to set specific plans to reach that vision. It made me really excited to set goals for myself and for this area. Today I will be putting all that learning to action as me and my new companion plan for our area-- today we are going to set the vision for what we want to accomplish this transfer, which is really meaningful for me since it is my last one. This past week I have just felt SUCH a burning desire to work absolutely as hard as I can and to prepare and plan for how I can help everyone we have been working with. I LOVE THE MISSION!!

My new companion is Hermana Conrad!! SHE IS AMAZING!!! We have also served around each other before and been on many exchanges, in fact, one exchange that we were on was the time we found Ricky!! (I don't know if you remember the story, but when it flash flooded and by a long chain of events we ended up in Taco Cabana, and ended up teaching him lesson 1 while we were stuck there, he let me throw away his beer and he went and got a water, and committed to baptism right there-- huge miracle!! And then another exchange we were on was when Salt Lake had given him permission to be baptized so Hermana Conrad and I were together when we got to tell him :) Then I was still in Broadway when he got baptized so I was able to be there! 
So we have already had some amazing experiences together and I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS TRANSFER. 
The whole car ride home from Kingwood to Beaumont (about 2 hours) we were talking about what we want to accomplish, who we want to become, what people we have the opportunity to serve, how much we want to be diligent and obedient and not waste time-- it was so great. This is going to be an incredible transfer. And Beaumont is the greatest place ever <3 I love this branch and all of our investigators! 

Speaking of our investigators!!! PEDRO drove himself to church on Sunday (1 1/2 hour drive from Lake Charles) AND BORE HIS TESTIMONY IN SACRAMENT MEETING!!! We had explained how testimony meeting worked, and he asked if everyone would get to go up, and we told him that anyone who wanted to could! It was an incredibly spiritual meeting, and Pedro asked if HE was able to go up and share his testimony, and when we told him yes, he got right up and shared it! :) He is amazing! I love him soo much!! 
Tyler also bore his testimony and it was SO sweet-- he talked about how he has seen the change in himself since he started coming back to church and the difference he notices in how happy he is and the light he feels. He compared it to how he felt before and it has been a huge change! Tyler has come so far! We are so grateful that we have been able to be here to see the change in his life. 

I am so grateful for the gospel. I KNOW it changes lives, I have seen it SO much, both in my own life, and in the lives of people I have met and worked with here. I know God lives and loves His children, I feel so much of that love both for me and for others! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that He lives! Even though I am imperfect, He loves me perfectly and is there for me every step of the way. I love the opportunity I have to show other people the strength that they can feel when they accept and follow Him and ask for His help. 
I love you all! I hope you have had and will have a great week! Thank you for everything! 

Love, Hermana Rogers

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