Monday, August 26, 2013

Six weeks later . . .

Transfer calls came! Sister Ewell and I are staying in Olathe for another transfer!

So, we've had a lot of miracles this past week, mostly involving less-active members (as per the norm).
The Phillips are doing great! We set a new date for them to attend the temple and they're going to go on December 7th!!! We taught them the last of the commandments, so the elders will have one more lesson to teach and then it's on to temple prep! We're so stoked! A few days ago, Sister Phillips texted us and said that she had been bored, so she piced up the Book of Mormon and started reading. The testimony of the three witnesses put her in tears and gave her goosebumps :) She's read about five chapters a day since that. It's been so great to see the change that's come over them. When we first set a day for the temple, they were kind of like, "Oh, yeah...that would be nice if you could come." And then when we were discussing a date for them this time around, Sister Phillips was adamant that we come. It was so cool. I love them so much!

We also went to the Visitor's Center with Cassie (I may have called her Sister Bernal previously, but she's definitely my age so she's going to stay Cassie) yesterday, and it was SO great. We took her through God's Plan for His Family and in the last room she mentioned a couple things about when her daughter had been born, and then I felt prompted to say something concerning the situation with her and her daughter and her husband and she broke down in tears. We spent the next hour in a teaching room, talking to her and helping her see the need for a priesthood blessing. I was determined. I kept thinking, "We are NOT leaving this building until she's had a blessing." And I got what I wanted haha I am one spoiled child of God :) When we got her back home she told us that she felt much better, and I second that.

On Saturday we had a surprise appointment with another less active, Shelby. We had talked with her before at a dinner that we wanted to help her get reactivated and help her quit smoking, and she was kind of standoffish. BUT her boyfriend's been taking the lessons from the elders, and he agreed to be baptized! So when we saw her Saturday I was all pumped because of what the elders did. She was telling us about her tattoos and why they're not so bad - just generally justifying her sins to us. I was so irritated, I just said a little prayer in my heart and then I said, "Well, Shelby, I don't want to offend you, but you told us you want to get more involved in the Church again...but you're justifying all your favorite sins. I understand that the tattoos are important and the cigarettes and the alcohol are going to be difficult to give up, but you know what's right, and you know what you need to do. So I guess what I'm saying is, I know that you can do this, and Sister Ewell knows you can do what can we do to help you?" I was afraid she was just going to tell us to leave, but instead we set up to teach her the lessons again. We're meeting with her tonight and she's going to give us her cigarettes :) The Lord is in this work, mah friends!

Well, I've got to go...but just know that I love you all :) Thanks a billion times for all the written support and the love from home! Love you guys :)

Sister Annika Rogers
Isaiah 49:16

           Me holding a great dane puppy! His name is Gator and one of our members bought him.

This is a cicada (sick-aid-uh) shell. the shed them all over the place. NASTY but so cool.
This is our Zone Leader, Elder Lunt. We're SO lucky to have the ZL's in our of our investigators gave him that turtle as a gift.
Our other ZL, Elder Boyer. He went home to the land of eternal P-days on thursday. Sorry it's a bad picture, we were having a party.

This is my stuffed animal from Addison, our investigator :) He sleeps on my bed...doesn't he look creepily real??


MAH FACE :D it's almost normal!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jolly Good

Hello, family! This email shall be rather short, but hopefully you still get the general message that I'm alive and I'm living with a British lady now.
Yep, we moved! I'm not going to give you the new address quite yet simply because I don't have the time to look it up. BUT their names are the Merrills, and she is from England :) they are a lovely couple and he definitely plays the oboe. He was practicing yesterday before church and Sister Ewell and I were in heaven.

This week has been good! On Thursday, Sister Ewell had such bad allergies that she pretty much had to just lie there and do her best to breathe, so I took our area book upstairs and decided to make some phone calls. I said a prayer and asked heavenly father for one appointment. That's all I wanted. One. And then I opened our book to the Former Investigators' records and started calling people. I called about twenty, and guess what - WE GOT AN APPOINTMENT. Miracles! And then we went yesterday and she wasn't home haha but hey, I got what I asked for :) Next time I'm going to pray for two.

We're still working really closely with Cassie, and she's doing okay. She had to go back on some of her medication because her fibromyalgia was catching up to her, and she's been pretty discouraged, but she finally opened up to us last night and we were able to help her get feeling better. She always seems so down when we first get there and then by the time we leave she's much happier.

On another note, one of the best missionaries I've had the chance of working with is going home this week :( Elder Boyer has served a great mission and now he's going home to the land of eternal p-days. I'll send a picture of the four of us - he's the second from the right. Olathe 2nd missionaries correlating haha in their natural habitat.

Well, like I said, this is short...but I love you all and pray for you always!



Sister Annika Rogers
Isaiah 49:16

Look at how far I've come!

our ward missionary bleaching my hair (don't worry, I'm dying it back today). Her name is Jeralee Adams and she moves back to Bountiful this week :( we're gonna miss her

This is Sister Moseley - the member we used to live with :) And her dog, Rivie! They're both mostly deaf. Fun times
The sunsets here are seriously the best.

The sky in Kansas :)
This is what I do to keep my companion awake during our studies.

Our district :) And yep, that's Sister Stobbe! She was in my district this transfer, so I saw her at least once a week. It was the best :)
our zone :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Allow me to paint you a picture with words...‏

...Because I didn't take a single picture this week.
I'm going to do better in the future, I promise.
Well, this week has been a rather uneventful one, but I do have some funny stories for you so BRACE YOURSELVES.

Adventure numba 1...
Last week I went on exchanges (day-longcompanion swap) to Iola, Kansas! Just in case you were wondering, it is the freaking boonies. You know that movie Tremors with the giant worm things? It's got like...Reba McIntire in it...? Well, that's kind of what Iola reminded me of, just with less mountains. Lots of cute little farmhouses but they're all about half an hour apart haha it was a long day. The best part was perusing the fridge for breakfast, because we don't take our own food when we go to another area. There was a jar of BARBECUED RACCOON in their fridge. I wanted to try it out SO badly, but I couldn't get the dang thing open! I could've broken the jar, but it seemed kind of rude of me to go to another missionary's area and break open their own personal jar of "BBQ COON" without even asking permission.

Adventure numba 2...
We spoke in sacrament meeting! And we taught relief society! And I accompanied one of our ward missionaries in sacrament meeting! Craziest weekend of my LIFE. My funny story is about the accompaniment, and it's really not that funny except for the fact that it happened to me. So our ward missionary, Sister Adams, had contacted just about everyone in the ward looking for someone to play. She told me about how no one could do it and I offered to. Bam. Two days later I get the music. This is on Thursday night. We don't have access to a piano or even keys to the church yet, so I had no way of practicing for the first day or so. On Friday, we went and got us some keys, went to the church, I practiced for a few hours, and that was it. Saturday, Sister Adams meets us at the church and we practice for an hour or so, then she has to leave and I practice for another hour before we have to go to an appointment. Sunday morning rolls around and I can count the number of times I've played this song on my fingers. We practice once before sacrament meeting.
We have officially practiced the whole song together from beginning to end about four times. I've had the music for two and a half days, and about four or five hours total practicing time. Sister Adams and I were prepared for if she skipped the lyrics, if I lost my spot, if either of us rushed, if I missed an entire measure, pretty much anything under the sun.
So she stands up to sing, and all is going well, I'm not butchering it, the Spirit is strong...and she stops singing. The Spirit was so strong that she started to cry and couldn't sing. So I just kind of plink along slowly, thinking, "Crap. Crap. Crap. We didn't plan for this. Crap."
Anyways, she turned around and we started again from a measure we were both comfortable with, and it was great.
And that's been my week so far :) 

The Bell's Palsy is clearing up really nicely haha I can do like 70% of a smile! Thank you so much for all your prayers - I've really felt them helping me along.

Okay, this next part of this email I've been kind of stressing about for a while, because I'm just not sure how to present it in a way that will show how much I love you all and how much I love your support.
A lot of people asked me before my mission what would be good and bad things to send me, and I honestly didn't know. BUT now I do, so here we go :)
I don't really need packages. I would rather get a one paragraph letter than a one pound package. BUT when sending a package, I will tell you one thing that makes me happy beyond compare...HOMEMADE COOKIES. I've got a couple of those on my mission now and I don't even know if I'll be as excited about Christmas morning. Just kidding I love Christmas. but you get the point.
Letters :) I. LOVE. LETTERS. I love letters more than a Kansas chigger loves a sister missionary's thighs. But I want to give some pointers about good and bad things for letters. Please, please, please don't count down to when I come home. Please. Count down to my birthday. Or Christmas.
Please don't encourage me to be negative in any letters or email. I appreciate that you're all willing to be sympathetic and listen to my problems, but we're actually told in the Missionary Handbook not to include anything negative in our letters or emails home :) So don't tempt me haha help me be obedient.
And that goes the other way, too - don't be sending me vaccuums. Those are letters that suck...the Spirit away. Not that every letter has to include a new revelation or something, but if you dump your life's negativity on a piece of paper, please don't waste a stamp. You should be venting to Heavenly Father, not to me. Only tell me about things that I can help with or laugh at, because I'm pretty limited on resources here in're only going to get prayers and laughter.
I LOVE IT WHEN YOU BEAR YOUR TESTIMONIES TO ME IN WRITING. Spiritual letters are the BOMB. I want to hear how things are going at home - don't stop filling me in on that. If you start leaving me out of the loop I'll go insane. But letters that have included spiritual thoughts or scriptures or have stories of how you've felt the Spirit? Home run, folks. Right outta the freaking park.
I hope that I don't offend anyone with these pointers...but I was just thinking about the awkward conversations we would be having in a year if I didn't say it now... ("What! Why didn't you tell me that? It was such a pain to do all that math and figure out when you came home! Christmas would have been WAY easier!")

Hopefully this email has made you smile :) I love you all lots and pray for you always.


Sister Annika Rogers

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chig-chig-chigger alert...‏

Yup, that's right. The nasty bugs think my upper thighs are delish. Also, the bites scar. Nasty purple splotches. Totes attractive. Good thing I don't have to worry about wearing a swimming suit.

Well, folks, it's been raining a lot here...and I mean real rain haha not just miracles :) In Utah when it rains, it cools the world off - here, it rains and all the sudden I'm like "WHY DO I HAVE AN AFRO." Seriously, though, I'm making an appointment for my hair next week. Not sure what I'm going to do to it, but let us just say that there is a high possibility of it gettin' the chop (don't worry, Dad - no boy cut). I had my mind practically made up and then I remembered all the cute braids I have on my Pinterest boards at home and now I'm up in arms about it tall. Who knows what'll happen.
Somebody make up my mind for me.

Well, we're not working with any new investigators...but we are working with a BUNCH of less-active members of the ward, whom I LOVE, so I'll tell you all about them :)
First of all, we have Brother and Sister Phillips, who moved in back in April and went to church for the first time two weeks ago. They've been married a couple of years, and they want to go through the temple ASAP - I know I've mentioned them before, but I don't remember what I've told you haha bear with me. They are just...awesome. Sister Phillips had her leg broken about two months ago and has had a heavy duty wrap on it ever since, so this week we went over and helped her take it off. It wasn't as nasty as I thought it would be, but she did need to shave. Her leg was itty bitty (reminded me of Jessica haha miss you girl!). Then we helped her and her husband sort and fold their laundry because they couldn't even get into their bedroom. It was all clean haha just needed to be organized. They really are so wonderful, it's just really frustrating to work with them because they know what they need to do haha they just aren't doing it. BUT they're looking into a new apartment and should be in a better situation soon.

We are also working with Cassie Bernal, who is living with her mother. Cassie is my age and has a two and a half year old named Ryleigh, who is the cutest thing ever. Every time I see her she grabs my pointer fingers and we dance in circles for a few minutes (we did it yesterday at was fantastic). We're reading the scriptures with Cassie and it seems to be really helping. She's been through a rough time these past couple years but she has a lot of faith. Love her a TON.

We're working with a couple others, but mostly those three haha we spend a lot of time meeting members and strengthening them, and it's starting to pay off - we received our first referrals this week! One from our Relief Society president (her name is Sister Bluhm, and she's taken great care of me - you would love her, Mom), and the other from the cutie patootiest little family, the Hayes.

Yesterday I did a gratitude fast, because I've just realized how much I have to be thankful for. I just want to tell you all thank you so much for the letters. I know I can't even respond to half of them, but they mean so much. This past week I feel like I've gotten so much spiritual upliftment from home, and I can't express to you how great it is to have that kind of support. I wish you could all watch me open letters haha it's like Christmas...erryday.
I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for us and is so aware of everything we do. The bishop here has worked out something he calls the "Sanctification Process" - it's very simple, but so profound. First, we have faith, repent, are baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. After that, we are instructed to be "born again," as it states in Moses. We are born again by following three very simple steps: first, receiving a prompting; second, obeying (which will almost always require some sort of sacrifice); and third, allowing ourselves to be immersed by the Spirit (baptism by fire).
The more we do this, the more sanctified we become, until we are born again, even as Enoch's people were in Zion.
Also, Bishop Boyack pointed out to us that Enoch worked and ministered and labored among his people for 365 years, which was very humbling for me...because I've only been here a grand total of three and a half weeks.

So all is well here :) Just working hard and learning patience haha guess I've almost got the humility thing down, because Heavenly Father just keeps pointing out a new Christlike attribute for me to work on.
Love you all so much :) Thanks for all your support. Until next week ;) Over and out.
- the Kansas.


Sister Annika Rogers
Isaiah 49:16

                         What my face looks like right now :)

This is our investigator, Addison :) She'll be baptized on September 21st haha she gave us a little concert last week.

Me and Sister Ewell with Addison...hahaha my face.