Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hello family and friends!! Happy new year! :) 
This week was awesome! 
I cannot believe it is already 2016. This year went by way too fast! One year ago I was still in my first area with Hermana Perez my trainer, and Hermana Stiles! Time has literally flown. 
This past week, we saw Alejandro, Pedro, Armando, Josue and Antonio a ton! 
Tuesday we had an amazing lesson with Alejandro! He is the 16 year old that came a couple months ago from Cuba. So this kid is amazing! We found out that when he was in Cuba he had these friends that were members and they told him all about the church, gave him a Book of Mormon, and brought him with them a bunch of times! He asked his mom how long he had been "talking with Mormons" and going to church, and she said like a year or a year and a half!! As we were with him, we talked to him about the Restoration, and the whole time he was impressing us so much with his knowledge! Every time we asked him a question he gave the perfect answers! For example when we asked what he would do if there was a prophet on earth today, he said, "well first, I would find out if he was a true prophet because the Bible says that there will be false prophets. But if I found out that he was a true prophet, I would follow him!" So we kept talking and when we got to the First Vision, we recited Joseph Smiths own words and had him think about how he could apply it to himself, and he was in awe afterwards just trying to explain how he felt. We asked if he believed it, and he said he did, he knew it could happen! So then we talked about the Book of Mormon. We showed it to him and he said, "Oh I've read that!" We thought maybe a couple chapters or a few verses...."I only had about 30 pages left until I got to the end. But then my friend that was Mormon moved away". Whaaaa?! So awesome! So we gave him a Book of Mormon and he seemed so excited about it! That was an awesome lesson, and huge miracle! :) After the lesson, we stayed talking to his family, and his mom started telling us about how they got here and their entire journey was SUCH a miracle!! They know that God was protecting them and guiding them here, and Hermana Conrad and I kept telling them that it was definitely for a purpose. Alejandro was telling us time after time in his life where he almost died, but by some miracle he survived all those experiences. IT WAS TO RECEIVE THE RESTORED GOSPEL! 
He texted us after that lesson and said, "I am so grateful to God that I have met you. He always brings me more brothers and sisters that help me have more knowledge and be more strong. This is your house, it's a pleasure talking to you! God bless you and I hope you can come back soon!" 
This week we also met with Armando and Josue multiple times! They are also doing awesome :) So with them we had assigned a chapter in the Book of Mormon that would answer one of their questions that they had. They studied it, and we studied it at home then talked about it with them. It always amazes me what the Book of Mormon can do to answer questions!! We had a lesson with them where we talked about their concerns and how the Book of Mormon can answer them! 
Another lesson with them, Hermana Conrad stopped by when we were on splits, and Josue told her he wants to be baptized on the 16th! 
So the next lesson we had with them, we talked about faith and they shared so many experiences they have had that have strengthened their faith! Their testimonies of God were so strong, and it was a lesson that they really applied to themselves. We talked about how faith leads them to action, and to take those steps of faith like baptism! I went and taught them on exchanges with Hermana Robles and she is a convert!!! So she shared her testimony and her conversion story and it was SO powerful!!! It seemed to really impact Josue and Armando. 
The next lesson we had with them we talked about repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost! We tried to spend a lot of time in the Book of Mormon teaching them. Josue asked us what a covenant was, so we spent some time explaining it. As we were talking, Armando said that he wanted to make a covenant to Jesus...we didn't really know where he was going with that, but then he told us that he was covenanting to come to church for the next 3 or 4 weeks and then tell us what day he wants to be baptized! So there's that! But the lessons with them were really powerful. We would share our testimonies and as we asked what they thought, they would always express some profound insight and came up with a lot of personal applications! They both know that Heavenly Father is telling them to be baptized, and they talked about that a lot. 
Antonio is doing good still! He notices the difference when he reads and prays and when he doesn't, so we are just trying to help him understand why he wouldn't put off baptism! He has seen so many blessings from keeping the word of wisdom and studying and praying, and also says he will get baptized, he just doesn't know when!
And last but certainly not least, Pedro :) I went out to Lake Charles with Angela- the recent convert YSA member that just turned in her mission papers!! Her and Heather help us out so much -- Heather is leaving January 18th for her mission to Brazil, and Angela is waiting for her call! :) Anyways, we went out to Lake Charles and Pedro chose his baptismal date! He said that he wants to be baptized the 16th of January!!! He said the only thing he doesn't know is whether he wants to be baptized in Lake Charles or in Beaumont. So we will see what he decides, but we are SO happy! :) Pedro came to church on Sunday and was talking to all the members, he fits right in in the branch! :) He is so awesome when he comes to church he pulls out his bible, Book of Mormon, gospel principles book, scratch paper for notes, etc. he is amazing. 
And it's now a new year! Time to reflect on the year that just passed and set goals for the upcoming year. I for one am so so grateful for everything I have experienced in this last year. I could not even begin to put into words! 
I wrote these thoughts down in testimony meeting, they are in Spanish and I don't have time to translate them to English hah but mostly I am so grateful! 
En mi misión, yo he visto que la influencia de El, y al aprender acerca de Su vida, nos cambia la vida. 
He visto ejemplos de vidas en oscuridad, que se iluminan completamente cuando aprendan que Jesucristo les ama. 
Al pasar un año y medio en el servicio de El, he visto ejemplos innumerables de personas quienes han desarrollado Sus atributos en sus vidas. 
La meta más grande que quiero yo alcanzar es para llegar a ser como Jesucristo. Quiero que las personas que me conozcan tengan el deseo de conocer a su Salvador. Quiero que la gente me miren a mí y que puedan ver una luz-la luz de Cristo. 
Quiero que la gente que me escuchen sientan el espíritu y que escuchen las palabras de Cristo. Quiero que las hechos que hago en mi vida sean según la voluntad de mi Padre Celestial. 
Puedo testificar del poder del Espíritu Santo, especialmente cuando ya seamos bautizados para recibirlo como nuestro compañero constantemente. Sé que esta es una gran gran bendición. El espíritu nos guíe, nos protege, nos advierte. Nos santifica, nos testifica de la verdad.
Ya pronto no seré misionera de tiempo completo, y me duele mi corazón pensar en esto, en quitar mi placa. Pero siento tan agradecida por el conocimiento que he recibido, las experiencias que he tenido, las personas que he conocido, el amor que he sentido, y el testimonio mío que ha crecido. 
I love you all so much. Thanks so much for your continuous support and examples. I hope y'all have a good week! Enjoy the snow :) 
Happy New Year :)
Hermana Rogers

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