Annika gave an amazing homecoming report, followed by dinner with past companions, friends and family.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In Doctrine and Covenants 59:58, the Lord instructs the brethren of the church as they are leaving Zion, "And let no man return from the land except he bear record by the way, of that which he knows and most assuredly believes."
I know that this is Jesus Christ's church. I received a call from a prophet of God, who received inspiration to send me here, and I know that because I have never felt so happy in all my life. No matter the rejection or the physical pain or discomfort, I have loved missionary work. The Restoration continues to roll forth, started by a 14 year old boy who had a question. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. All our trials have a purpose, and even though we may not know that that is, God does. I know that from studying the refining of the saints and the prophet in Zion. This is the promised land - the 2nd coming is near. The work is hastening.
Jesus Christ lives. That is a fact - not just a testimony. A fact. He guides and directs us today through the influence of the Holy Ghost, which is real. I testify that no matter what anyone else says, this is the real world.
I testify that this is true, in the name of my savior and elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, for who I am a disciple.
Sister Annika Rogers
All is well.
|the hairball we combed off our floor...you should be so proud of me :)|
|Check out this legit quilt another sister had! I want to make one when I get home...it's the Missouri state flag!|
|The McPhie's came and scared the CRAP out of me.|
|dog hairs. Yuck.|
|The Brenchleys, the VC directors, bought me donuts for my last shift. They're so sweet...I'm going to miss them so much.|
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Hello, brothers and sisters! For my second to last email, I would like to do my best to help all potential missionaries who will read this by telling you what I've learned since I've put on the badge :)
1. You don't have to have that one companion you hate. It's possible to love all of them. At the beginning of my mission I set a goal to love all of them, and I'm grateful I did because it has influenced my entire mission. Not all of my companionships have been easy, but I wouldn't sacrifice the friendships I've forged for any personal comfort.
2. It's better to err on the side of "too" obedient than "not enough". The Spirit of the Law is never justification for obedience. If anything, it is motivation to step it up.
3. This isn't EFY. Leave your flirt in the car when you step onto the MTC campus, and don't look to others to feed you. Once you put on that tag, you are spiritually self-sufficient.
4. Don't bring your whole closet. If you're serving in the states, bring stuff for the season you're in and then have your mom send you the rest. You'll thank me later. Also, only bring things you can wash and wear out and reuse and throw away, because someday you're going to hate half of the wardrobe you brought with you. #sistermissionaryprobs As a sidenote, beware of Mary Janes...only buy $80 shoes if you plan on being buried in them because they will last longer than you. I brought like ten pairs of cheap shoes and I've loved it. It's kind of satisfying to wear out a pear of ugly old shoes, to be completely honest :) Satisfaction.
5. Turn off that "picky eater" switch - eat fruit now, learn to love it later. When you are in charge of your own diet, it's important to know that there's a reason your mom wanted you to eat bananas and apples instead of rice krispie treats...you either gotta find a favorite fruit or a favorite laxative. And you can't be picky when kindhearted members give you food...even if there's cockroaches in your coolaide and alligator in your sausage (and just for the record, I loved alligator...so you never know what you'll like).
6. Keep a journal however you please. You don't need to fill three hardback notebooks to be satisfied. My planners and my pictures are my journal. There is a good friend of mine who has a giant calendar that she writes something in each day. Whatever you want to do, make sure you like it and you'll keep up on it. Catchup is impossible and it can't be a chore.
7. No one likes a grumpy Mormon - the choice is yours. Optimism on a doorstep is all up to you. BE HAPPY.
8. It only takes 20 seconds of insane courage to turn an awkward moment into a missionary opportunity. Missionaries thrive in uncomfortable situations because you don't learn anything in your comfort zone, and talking to strangers is a lot easier when you apply #7.
9. Have a nightly inventory with the Lord. This will put your spiritual progression into high gear! In your nightly prayers, reflect on who you were this morning and think, "Am I closer to being who God wants me to be than I was this morning?" My answers have varied from "no" to "oh my gosh, yes" to (my personal favorite) "I'm not sure, but I tried my hardest."
10. Preach My Gospel - learn it, live it, love it, teach it. I didn't understand how often you use that manual. "How often do you use it, Sister Rogers?" EVERY FREAKING DAY. I wish I had cracked it open before I left and read at least the first chapter.
11. 10:30 is a sacred time. As soon as you recognize that late nights will be waiting for you at the end of 18/24 months, you'll learn to appreciate early bedtime.
12. 6:30 is a sacred time. Sleeping in is also something you sacrifice for the Mantle. Figure out a workout plan you're excited about, get up, pray, and get to work. People die in bed and so does ambition. This is something I've struggled with my whole mission, but I feel a difference when I apply this.
13. Grownups do their dishes. You can't bring your mom with you (although we all wish we could). Do your dishes, fold your laundry, make your bed, brush your teeth. Remember that you represent the Lord, the Church, your family, and yourself. Deodorant is a must-have for disciples of Christ.
14. Write your family every week. They are your spiritual anchor - rely on them and testify as often as you can.
15. Don't count down. Your time is short out here, and if you count down you'll wear yourself out. You know how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That's how you get through those long days/weeks/months when you feel like the work is dead in your area and your companion is driving you insane. Take it an hour at a time, and focus all your energy into whatever the task is at hand.
I have loved my mission - all of it. I remember that I had hard days, but I don't remember why. I know this is where I needed to be and I'm doing what God wants me to. I have been so blessed. Honestly I panic when I think about taking off my tag, but I know that God is just transferring me to a knew area and my mission won't end next week.
I testify that this is the Truth.
I love you all :)
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Yep, that's right, folks. Cheek-shorts and no-shirts is back in good ol' MO.
This week was pretty uneventful, sadly! Our investigator pool is more like a puddle right now because we keep baptizing the investigators we do have! BUT we just had a potential investigator call us 30 minutes ago and set an appointment, so worse things have happened :)
Some highlights of my week:
-watching fireworks from the roof of our house!
-seeing my stake president sing Italian opera with George Dyer (google him - he's great)
-Jackie (investigator) explaining the spirit world and kingdoms of glory before we even taught it to her
-Sister Hunter realizing she only has 4 Fast Sundays left
-me having my last Fast Sunday
-having a guest at the VC ask me if the Garden of Gethsemane was in Jackson county (she was crazy to say the least)
-our dinner last night coming at 8...
And many more! I'm sorry this is short, especially because I only have two more emails home...but I love you all
The Church is true - the Book is blue.
An' I LOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU.--
Sister Annika Rogers
All is well.
|Us with our mission mom!|
|We call her Tubby Tabby :) Doris's dog|
|4th of July! Got to see the Butlers - a senior couple from Shoal Creek :) They're so sweet!|
Sister Hunter put me in time out cuz I was in a bad mood and while I was gone she made my bed and put like ten scriptures on my wall about enduring to the end.
Gotta love that brat.
|Gotta love this weather :)|
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Our mission welcomed a brand new mission president and mom on Saturday! They came to the VC right after they got here, so we got to be some of the first to meet him! He and his wife are so wonderful :) very different from the Keyes', but awesome. It's going to be kind of weird because he'll give me my exit interview, but I'll only have known him for about a month. This is how you know the Lord is in charge of this work :) We're going over to help his wife move in so they can be ready for a leadership meeting tomorrow morning. Good use of a pday, if I do say so myself :)
This weekend Amy and Cameron were baptized! It was SO great. (I also went to the temple with Abby Morgan and did a session that morning! So, last weekend, I played a part in three of the Saving Ordinances. It was a pretty cool feeling!) Their whole family came - even Frank, Doris's husband! Frank told her that he wouldn't go into a church because he was worried it would fall down around him. Aside from the fact that he walked into the women's restroom right after he came into the church, it went without a hitch! He's seriously the coolest guy - as soon as he gives up smoking and drinking, he's going to be baptized. I can feel it.
I once heard a sister complain about the way her companion handled bad door approaches. She told me that every time they had a door slammed in their faces, her companion would say, "They'll join the church, I know it." This sister was discouraged and frankly a little bitter, and at the time I agreed with her assertion that her companion was crazy.
Now, I look back on little baby missionary Sister Rogers and shake my head, because I didn't understand what that sister's seasoned companion meant.
I have not seen every person I taught join the church, and I do not believe in taking peoples' agency in order to force them to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but I do know that what we have to offer is what everyone needs. I've talked to a lot of people in the past year and a half, and I have never met anyone who a.) did not need the gospel, and b.) was beyond saving.
I've taught schizophrenics, criminals, convicts, drug addicts, pastors, anti-mormons, jews, methodists, catholics, Restorationists - God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), and neither is this Gospel.
This is when we celebrate our country's freedom - I LOVE the 4th of July. Swimming, fireworks, popsicles - what's not to love? But I hope that we can celebrate a little every day when we ponder the beauty of the Atonement and the Eternal Liberation we may achieve by accepting it.
I know that through Jesus Christ, our souls are free from sin, and through the blood of many a brave brother and sister, our country is free of oppression. Let us remember the battles that have been fought to acheive this Independence, and the battle we still must fight to achieve salvation is my prayer.
I love you all :)