Monday, June 27, 2016

Nature, Doug, and Sasha

This week was a fast one but a good one!! We were way busy and some
awesome things came out of our hard work! We are trying our best to be
obedient and always making sure we talk to everyone we can.

The first crazy thing this week was on Tuesday when we were out
contacting at a strip mall kind of place, but we were outside the
whole time. We were walking and this bee started flying right in front
of my face! So I just swatted at it, right when I did I saw a black
thing in the corner of my eye taking off of the ground. I turned and
this pigeon flew right into my head!! Haha I don't know what it was
that day but nature was just out to get me for some reason.

Later that afternoon, we visited a guy named Doug. He is a non-member
that lives with his wife close to our apartment. He grew up a baptist
but around his teens he became LDS. He said one day he was in the
bathroom and he could hear a voice telling him to go on a mission. He
said he heard it three times and then he just finally said ok I'll go
geez! Haha he said he knew nothing about the church except for the
basics from the missionaries. So he began to be active and started
learning at church and preparing for a mission. He served in Eugene
Oregon, then came home and joined the army reserves. The army moved
him to Germany and he isn't in the army anymore but he has been here
for 16 years so it's just became home to him. Plus he met his wife
here, she's a non member so after they got married he just fell away
slowly. He has a huge testimony and is still doing missionary work! He
has been talking with a co-worker that is a baptist and he has gotten
him very interested.

On Thursday we met with a member and his name is Sasha. He is probably
one of the coolest guys I've ever met! He has been a member for about
10 years now and was reactivated just before I got here. Oh and just
so you know, Germans don't believe in air conditioning for some
reason, and Thursday and Friday were some hot freaking days! We were
dying in Sasha's apartment it was terrible. The humidity just hits you
like a wall, but at least it's not like that everyday... Yet. Anyways
we were talking about the relationship between fathers and sons with
Sasha. He has a son that hasn't liked him ever since he joined the
church, and he really wants to be a bigger part of his life. Before we
began our lesson he asked us if we were perfect, of course we said no.
Then he asked us why, I said well there is a huge list but the reason
why we won't be perfect is because we sin. Then he said if you know
your not perfect because you keep sinning, then why do you keep
sinning. It was a huge teaching moment, it really made me think about
how I need to step it up. I also learned that we are humans and that
we will only be perfect at one thing in this life and that is trying
to be perfect. I've learned personally that as long as we are
sincerely giving it our personal best we will be great in the sight of
God.

Also on Friday we met with Ali and got through the big topics and we
were planned on setting a baptismal date officially then, but he told
us he will let us know on Sunday. Well Sunday came and he was sick. So
we will find out this week for sure. Pray for him if you can, even if
you have never met him I promise it will help.

Well that just about sums up the week! Hope everyone had a good one!
Till next week.

-Elder Rogers

P.S. In the video I found out my pockets could fit a liter each of
milk in them! Hahaha!!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Repeat after me...

This week was pretty crazy and went by fast! I've realized that time
here can either be sooo slow or waay fast!! But it's going great and
the language is coming!!!

So the first of the week we had a lesson with one of our
investigators, Ali, and this guy is a stud! He is from Iran. He speaks
Persian, English, and German. I don't wanna jinx it somehow but our
last lesson with him we asked him to be baptized on the 23rd and he
said he will pray about it and find a day that will work best for him.
So I hope that it still goes through! The last time we had a baptismal
date set up the guy moved. But Ali is strong and we know he can do it.

So on Tuesday night to Wednesday morning I had the coolest opportunity
to go on splits with our district leader. Elder Awerkamp is one of the
most inspiring/uplifting guys I've ever met. He has two months left on
his mission so his German is amazing and mine is just good enough to
say "hi", "sorry", and "I'm from America". Haha just kidding luckily
it's not that bad. But this Elder knows what he is doing. The coolest
thing about him is that he and his twin brother opened their calls on
the same day, got called to the same mission and went to the mtc the
same time!! How freakin sick is that!! Just to add on, Elder Awerkamp
plays just about every instrument in the book and he taught himself.
He taught himself to play the organ while on his mission and it sounds
like he has been playing it his whole life!! Anyways, the split was
way good and I learned a ton being able to spend a day with him in his
area. Oh and his area is called Worms. And it's not the insect, it's
pronounced "vorms" for you Americans.

Oh so funny story I hope I didn't tell already, but we were on a
street tram with a bunch of people and there were some American
teenaged girls on there with us. We overheard them talking to a German
about soccer and they asked him if soccer in Germany was the same in
the US... we started laughing sooo hard they sounded like typical
American girls. I think they were also blonde so that could explain
some stuff.

So just to wrap up. Elder Stiles and I were teaching a Muslim named
Tsopfion. He is a really good guy but the whole time we were talking
with him it just sounded like he was trying to do the converting
instead of us. We asked him if he had any interest and he said a
little. He then pulled out the Muslim bible called the Croan and gave
it to me. He said if I read this then I'll know how similar our
churches are. I told him I can study anything but the Book of Mormon
and the bible. Then he told me and my companion to repeat a phrase
after him. My companion immediately said no we have to go to another
meeting. We began to walk away quickly. Later I asked him what that
was all about and he said that to join the Muslim church you just have
to say a phrase. That phrase was the one that Tsopfion tried to get us
to say. So I guess you could say I was about to be a Muslim!! Haha I
had no idea!

Anyways to the spiritual thing this week. When we went to church
yesterday I was really looking forward to just sitting in the chapel
for a little and just relaxing. It had been a pretty tough day as far
as thinking about home goes, and I wanted to just think about the
spirit and everything it has done for me in my 19 years of life.
Before I walked into the chapel the bishop stopped me and asked if I
could say the opening prayer. I said yes for sure but started thinking
about how "hard" my life is. Then the second counselor stopped me
before I couldn't even sit down and asked if I could help pass. I
willingly said yes and sat down. Elder Stiles and I were then asked to
teach the young women's class about the priesthood. These three simple
tasks made me so bugged for some reason and i just started thinking of
all the stuff that has happened lately that I just can't stand. Well I
eventually got up and stayed the prayer, then passed the sacrament. I
didn't have a mean face on while I was doing them, but inside I was so
bugged. Right after I got to sit down and listen to the speakers,
although I didn't really understand much of anything, I felt so
comforted and I knew that the spirit was telling me to just stop
thinking and relax. I know at times we can be really stressed out on
the mission and off the mission. But I also know that whatever is out
into our lives and seams hard at the time, just remember to look back
once you have gone through that and when another trial happens just
think about how much it will strengthen you for the better. I know
that the Lord didn't have me say the prayer and pass the sacrament for
no reason, I know it was to both help me feel the spirit and hopefully
help the ward feel the spirit.

Till next week!

Elder Rogers

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Birthdays, crazy old guys, and a grandma that's a bro‏

 Well this week has been packed full of stuff and a lot better then the
last!! The language is slowly but recognizably getting better!! My
trainer is teaching me new things every day and it helps a ton that he
is so obedient! If I didn't say last week his name is Elder Stiles and
he is from Idaho, and that's about it... Haha just kidding he is a
stud! He has been out for a year this week and it makes me really
jealous but I know that he would rather be in my spot and I'll be
saying that at my year mark.

So this week we had dinner at a members house which was way fun! At
first I thought that it was just going to be me, Elder Stiles, the
member Oma Broo (and yes that is grandma bro and she is a total bro!),
and her two sons. But it was Oma Broo's birthday so her whole family
and then some were over!! I was way nervous but it was all good
because they fed us some really good noodle salad with pickles and ham
in it with 50 bratwurst!! I learned a huge lesson that day: eat slow
or they will think you want more. Hahaha. I probably ate about 5
bratwursts that night. But they didn't come back up. The funny thing
about that little visit was that one of her sons was giving me so much
crap hahaha! He would say something in German and I would have no idea
what it was, then he would just say "Gel Elder Rogers?" Which pretty
much means, "Right Elder Rogers?" I would just say "Ya" and everyone
would laugh! Haha! So when we were finished with dinner we had a tiny
lesson about being an example and after my trainer gave the whole
lesson, that guy just turned to me and said, "Gel Elder Rogers?"

Another pretty cool thing that has no miracle or anything to go with
was that I have a picture of my first door!! Haha here you don't knock
on doors you ring a doorbell in a way but so many people live in
apartments it's just called a cringle or cringling! Haha but when you
see a door in my email you'll know what it's for.

So the last thing was that me and my companion got to go on splits
with the zone leaders on Thursday/Friday! I got to go to the area that
the ZL's live in which is Heidelburg and it is way beautiful!! I'll
put some sweet picks in. But we went on a hike through these hills and
the view was amazing. Also I had my first birthday half in Heidelburg
and half I'm Mannheim so that was great! Sadly you don't get a break
from being a missionary even for your birthday. But it's actually all
good because we met some crazy old guys that night. And when I was
crazy I mean like they are totally lost. One was talking about his
trip to Kolob so that's cool.

Anyways that's about all this week! I just want you guys, especially
my fellow missionaries, that no matter how much stress you go through
everyday just remember that it will strengthen you a ton and that you
look back on it one day and go wow I can't believe I was stressed out.
Plus if your not stressing even a tiny bit your dead!! Hope you have a
good week!

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Mine gutte!!!

Hello my lovely mother!!!!!!

Mine gutte!!! life as a missionary ain't like any other life!! Especially when your 8 hours ahead the life you used to live!!

I'll be completely honest, this definitely isn't like the mtc and actually there just really isn't a thing that the mtc could do to get someone ready for a mission. I think that the purpose of the mtc for me was just to separate me from my family and the mission field, and maybe just a warm up for the field. But there are things that happen in the field that are just not possible in the mtc. I don't think I've ever been so stressed out in my entire life and just when you think that life is good then you start to think about everything and life "sucks" again.

Anyways life has been really good here. We are in a city called Mannheim and its way awesome! It's just below Frankfurt so it's easy to find on a map. The first couple days sucked so bad but my trainer is a way awesome guy and is way smart so I got lucky. It's only been a week and I feel like I have known him forever! But the food here is amazing!! I could eat anything and surprisingly there is a sushi joint right outside our apartment!! But we are poor missionaries so I'll probably never partake of that stuff. Hahaha! The weather here is like a girl trying to make up her mind. One second it's so hot and humid then the next it's raining like crazy! Oh and the thunder is sooo sick here because it goes off and you can hear it forever!! I'll send you a little video of the Lightning we had last night. Oh and last night was soooo sick!!! Me and Elder Stiles (my trainer from meridian Idaho) decided to have pizza on every Friday and Sunday night. But on Sunday we have pizza, make brownies, watch a "movie", and make kool-aid!! Haha so last night was pretty sweet!! Also church in German is so weird! Especially if you don't understand! Haha! But the German is going good, I'm not worrying about it because I won't ever be fluent I'll just speak better German as the days go on.

But yeah besides that everything is good and I can't wait to open that present on Friday!! Oh and the packages go to the mission home but you'll want to send the letters to our address which is:

Elder Rogers
U6,1
68161 Mannheim, Germany

Thank you so much for emailing me and being the best mom in the whole world!!! You are seriously the best and I am so lucky to be one of your sons! Although at times I think that I'll never be good enough at speaking German or spreadin the Lord's word, i know that if I try my best then the Lord will ALWAYS help me out. And I hope that I can always make you guys proud. I love you so much mom!!!

-Elder Rogers