Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 1 with Hermana Conrad

Hey there familia!
This week was awesome! I love Hermana Conrad! She is so awesome, we are going to have a great transfer :) 

We focused a ton on baptism with everyone we taught this week- this should always be my number one focus out here, given the fact that my entire purpose is to help others to come unto Christ by accepting His restored gospel through faith, repentance, and baptism! But we saw a lot of cool miracles through that emphasized focus :) 

Julio is someone we have been teaching for a while, but I feel like in the past his interest has wavered in and out, but this Sunday before last he came to church! So we talked with him on Tuesday and asked him a lot about what he felt and how he liked it! He loved it and said he wants to keep coming back. When we asked him about how he felt while he was at church, he described the feeling as being "too beautiful to put into words", "Like butterflies in his heart, but not because he was in love, but because of God" so we talked a lot about the Holy Ghost with him. President Garcia was with us, and he did this example with Julio. 
Julio stood across the room, and President set up chairs throughout the room and blindfolded Julio. He told Julio to follow his voice through the chairs, but would only speak every few seconds. Julio wasn't able to navigate himself through the obstacles, and struggled to know where to go. But then President Garcia went and held Julios arm and guided him physically and with his voice constantly guiding and instructing Julio, and Julio easily made it through the course. 
Afterwards we talked with Julio about the feelings he experienced in church- that is the Holy Ghost telling him that these things are true, but right now, the Holy Ghost isn't with him constantly- only in moments, like when President was only talking every few seconds. He said, "Yeah, I know. Like when I am talking with you guys, I feel good but then I go home and I don't feel good anymore. I get sad" Then we were able to explain to him the gift of the Holy Ghost and help him to know that he can have that constant companionship of the Spirit after he is baptized. It was really powerful, and Julio felt it. He kept saying, "Yeah, this is what I want, this is what I want". So when we talked about Baptism and how it is the first step, then he can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, both of those were things he wanted in his life right now. It was a really cool lesson-- it made me think a lot about the demonstration that President Garcia did. Everyone around us that hasn't heard the gospel are like the people who are blindfolded and only receive direction every once and a while- they can only feel the Spirit every so often, but don't always understand what it is. But my purpose right now is to help people receive the GIFT OF THE CONSTANT COMPANIONSHIP OF THE HOLY GHOST. A comforter and a guide to help them navigate the trials they are facing in life. We work with so many people that are experiencing a lot of really hard challenges, and we know that the gospel is what will help them, but its hard to help them see that themselves! But I think Julio was able to catch a glimpse of that this week as we were teaching him. He is now working towards baptism! 

In Lake Charles, Pedro is doing absolutely incredible! We were working with him over the phone a lot this week, and we saw him on Thursday! He is progressing so well and has such a profound understanding of Christ and His doctrine. When we teach Pedro, he asks questions about anything he hasn't heard of before, and he always wants to be sure he understands everything. He always says, "Its not because I am against this, its just because I want to be able to explain it when people ask me about it" I've probably mentioned this before, but Pedro always tells us that he is going to study everything so that someday he can be a missionary like us. He really really wants to be able to teach and help people understand, and in every prayer he blesses the missionaries everywhere that they will help people to know the restored gospel. Its the greatest :) We love Pedro SO much!! We studied a lot of scriptures in the Bible to help him understand our lesson, and he had a question about baptisms for the dead, so we showed him places he could read about it in the bible. He got so excited as we explained it to him, "WOW. I have read this scripture over and over and have never been able to understand what it meant until now". It was so cool to watch how happy he was when he understood better the scriptures. He also is working towards baptism :) He said he will get baptized in January- hasn't decided which date yet, but we have good news about Lake Charles! 
They are in the process of starting up a spanish gospel principles class!! There are members in that ward that only speak spanish and have been going for years even though they don't understand-- but now I don't know what exactly it was that inspired the change, but they are going to be having sunday school in spanish and HOPEFULLY someone that will be willing to translate sacrament meeting! Which is such good news because the work is really moving over there! We have been having phone lessons with 2 other guys that live in Lake Charles, and one of them has invited 2 of his friends to church! It will be much easier for them to attend in Lake Charles rather than coming all the way here, but it is also a little bit sad because we won't be able to see them in church. But whatever is better for them and their learning! 

Friday we had our big zone meeting with all the missionaries in the Beaumont zone! Hermana Conrad and I taught a segment about obedience, and it was really awesome to study for and prepare to teach missionaries about the promises God has already made them if they will be willing to live their part. One quote I have heard my whole mission is "Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles" I know that to be true!! IN my studies recently I have been spending a  lot of focus on God's commandments and His promised blessings-- it amazes me how many there are. I really do know that God loves us and is just waiting to bless us! The only people that keep us from receiving everything He has to offer is ourselves. He has laid out very clearly the terms of every blessing He wants to give us, and then said, "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say", which guarantees that we will receive everything He has promised if we keep our end! That is just something that I have been thinking about recently! 

This weekend we also had our branch Christmas party! We were combined with the english ward, and it was so fun! It was a talent show and food thing-- we met new people that want to hear about the gospel so we are excited to teach them this upcoming week! :) 

Sunday was great! 
After church we went to teach Armando-- who we have also been teaching for months but whose work schedule has been crazy recently. He just told us that he will no longer have to work on Sundays, so he will start coming to church! He has been wanting to come for a long time, but has had work all of the time! But as we talked with him, he committed to us that he was going to turn things around now that he has more time. We had a couple members with us, Christian and Armando, and we promised him that he will notice the difference in his life as he makes the effort to draw closer to God. 

Elder Berry, my district leader, extended a commitment to us for this upcoming week. to find 10 NEW INVESTIGATORS!!! I know that with God's help it is absolutely possible, and I am SO SO SO excited to get out and find those people that are waiting to hear this gospel! Especially during this season where so many hearts are yearning to feel of God's love! I am so grateful for the opportunity to share that with others. We will be praying for the help and guidance to make this happen! :) With God everything is possible, we know there are people here to find, we know that there is a message to be shared, and that the Spirit can carry this message into people's hearts. I can't wait to see what miracles will come. 

Hope everyone is having a good week. I love you all so much :) 
Love you tons, pray for you always, 
Hermana Rogers

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