Thursday, March 27, 2014

Call to serve as a Trainer


What is this witchcraft haha I'm back living in the Willis house, serving at the VC from March to July AGAIN?? What the what! The Lord has a sense of humor my friends :) That's one of the best things I've learned on my mission! I'm even in the same part of 12 week that I was a year ago...just on the other side of it haha.

It was SO hard to leave the Jail. My last shift was Wednesday and I just sat on the bottom floor and cried. You can't go into that place every day and teach people about it without being sanctified and humbled. I miss that a lot. Leaving Shoal Creek was super hard, too...but it helped knowing that I would be back for some of the baptisms we're going to have there. Miracles are still happening...even without me haha. And of course, leaving Sister Heylen was the WORST. It's so hard because you spend 24/7 with these girls and finally they become your sisters. I LOVED serving around here - never a dull moment, never a day I didn't learn something. My abs are turning into flabs again because I don't laugh anymore haha

BUT my new companion is Sister Walton :) She is 19 (woot!) and from San Diego...which only confirms that all my companions at the beginning were from the SLC area and now I have outgrown that and moved to California...spiritually. We are having a lot of fun and teaching a lot of people! We are serving in the Raytown ward, which is proving to be a LOT of fun haha we have some sweet investigators. My favorite is probably Ben - he's this tall black guy who was born in Louisiana. Every time I talk to him I feel like I'm living in Princess and the Frog! He has a super thick accent, so he's kind of hard to understand, but he comes to church every week and is just all around a champ :)

Being back at the VC is HARD. I feel like I don't know anyone for starters, and I've changed so much since I was there the first time. "But Sister Rogers," you say, "You've only been gone 8 months!" Well let me tell you something. The Lord takes you and puts you in the refiner's fire every day and you're gonna be a different person at the end of 8 months.

Anyways, that's my week. Sorry this is scattered - I always save the best for last. Love you all so much and thanks for the letters, Ellis fam! You guys are the best!


PS I've only gained 10 lbs total on my misison - it is possible, sisters :) miracles happen. Blessings of service.
Sister Annika Rogers
Back at the VC haha candid pics are the best
Raytown missionaries! Elder Wininger, Elder Crowton, me, Sister Walton
I ran into some people from Olathe! They just put sisters in the Heritage Park ward (which used to be the southern 3/4 of Olathe 2nd) and they came to pick them up :)
My mom went home this week :(
Leaving :(

Friday, March 21, 2014

Follow-up letter for email

Hey Family!  Thank you so much for all of the pictures.  I know it's a chore to stop in the middle of whatever you're doing and get out the camera, but I honestly LOVE it.  I can't believe how grown up you guys are! (except you, Dad :))
This week has been an adventure.  On Friday, one of the Assistants to the President called me to train.  Not gonna lie, I was pretty upset.  As soon as I got off the phone with him, I put my head in my hands and started to cry.  First of all, I knew training was going to be hard.  Second, I felt like I was being punished.  The work here has picked up so much!  I 'm starting to fall in love with the ward, we have so many promising investigators, and we're figuring out how many Less-Actives still live here.  Not to mention I've loved being at the jail.  The Spirit here is unlike anything else I've felt.  And, of course, my companion.  Sister Heylen is probably THE most intelligent person I know, and I've loved serving with her.  I was pretty bummed.
So the next morning there's a "train the trainers" meeting at the mission home, where I've never been because I came a week late (when I first came to the mission).  Man, by the time that meeting was over, I knew this was what I was supposed to do.  I find out where I go tonight, so I'll write it on the envelope. :)  I'm still gonna miss all this, but I'll take the best of it with me when I go.  (I'm going back to the VC-to Raytown, finishing training a new missionary!!)
We currently have a grand total of 5 people with a baptismal date!  2 of them are Charlotte and Myriah, two girls who are being fostered by a family in the ward.  Myriah had expressed a desire to be baptized but Charlotte was a total surprise.  The spirit was so strong and when I invited them to be baptized, they both jumped at it.  
I don't think I could say this enough-this is Christ's gospel!  We are a part of the Work of Salvation!  How cool is that?!  Literally we are here right now to help others come to the Savior.  How great is our calling!
Love you all so much :)  Keep the prayers coming!
Love always,,
S. Rogers

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ran out of time. . . again.

Annika was able to send a few pictures, but didn't have time to type up an email.  So, I decided to add one of her recent letters.  We got a kick out of her art work.

My companion took me to get my ears pierced.  It didn't hurt too bad, but it sounded NASTY.
 ( ignore the breakout and the awkward expression haha)

Sister Stobbe gave me this on my year mark! (from the day that we first met)

Karla, our recent convert, and her daughter Marie!

I was called to train this week, so I finally went to the mission home for the first time, something I missed during my extra week at the MTC :D

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Let the thirteenth month begin.

Man, I can't believe I was in the MTC a year ago. When you're all-in to anything, the time absolutely flies. I feel like I just got here yesterday...but I also feel like I don't recognize the girl that was in the MTC. She had way healthier hair than me, for one thing...

Speaking of hair, the humidity is only good for it when it's warm outside. The second it gets cold, it's brutal. Just FYI.

So I'm low on time (surprise), and I want to tell you REALLY quickly about this awesome miracle we had. So last week we got to an appointment early and decided to knock on a door. Sister Heylen picked a cute little brick house just across the street from the member we were eating with. This cute little great grandma opens the door and lets us right in. Her name is Ann and we LOVE her. At first she was like, "Oh no it's okay I'll just read my Bible." But she reads the Book of Mormon and loves it. Last time we saw her, she told us it was scripture (HAAAAAALLELUJAAAAH!). The really cool miracle that I wanted to tell you about, though, was that she told us about her husband, Will, who had passed away some years ago. She had an awesome experience after he passed that has left her believing that there's something more for her to do here on earth, but she doesn't know what it is. We testified that this (the Gospel) is what she's been waiting for, but she never really acknowledged that until yesterday! She was sitting in her big armchair with the Book of Mormon in her lap and she just kind of rapped it with her knuckles and said, "Maybe this is why I'm still here."


It seriously took all of my self control not to just stand up and say "YES, ANN. THIS IS IT." Instead, Sister Heylen and I just smiled and nodded.

Man, I luff this stuff.

The longer I'm out here in Missouri the more I just come to love the Gospel and my savior. I've also discovered that once we understand why we're here and what the crap we're doing, our love for others increases. This Gospel is one of healing and happiness and hope and all the other (good) H-words.

Another good experience with Ann was that I've discovered that old people just talk about ANYTHING. So she goes off about how ministers on TV think that we just hang out in the grave until Jesus comes, but she doesn't think that actually happens and besides what about those people that get cremated? Will was cremated and that worked out fine and she decided that's what she's going to do. She's going to get cremated.

Sister Heylen smiled as big as she could and just said, "Oh FUUUUUUUUUUN."

I couldn't even teach, I was laughing too hard. I say again - Heavenly Father absolutely SPOILS me with companions.

Anyways, keep being awesome :) Go stare at the mountains for me.


PS it's 60 degrees today!! WOOOOOOO!!!

Sister Annika Rogers
Isaiah 49:16

This is Cobe. He's our mascot.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Daily Grind‏

Well, I don't really know what to tell y'all haha it's been a pretty uneventful week...ASIDE FROM ALL THE MIRACLES THAT RAIN DOWN UP ON US EVERY STINKING DAY. The only thing is there aren't any that are out of the ordinary so I have nothing to tell you about.

I guess I'll just hop up on my soapbox again and tell you about the power of members.

Come close and listen very carefully - MEMBERS ARE THE MOST POWERFUL RESOURCE IN MISSIONARY WORK ASIDE FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD. In case you didn't know, you guys are kind of a big deal. We need you in teaching people. I know that I've already told you a lot about how important it is to help the missionaries find, and I feel no need to press that any further. I want to talk to you about member conduct.

People frequently recognize you as a member of the Church before you even tell them. They can tell in the way you talk, the way you act, the way you treat your friends and family, and the way that you treat strangers. Feeling a little pressured - don't worry. This gospel is designed to make bad men good and good men better - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not a church for perfect people! We all make mistakes! We all screw up! But, brothers and sisters, let us be careful. In paying the price for our sins, Christ did not remove our personal responsibility.

It is too common for an investigator to be told by a faithful member that they should not come to church unless they are dressed appropriately. Many a Sunday school lesson has been centered on the terrible wickedness that we see rampant in the world around us, offending those who are affected by that same wickedness. We gossip and gripe about people whom we do not understand and who seem different or odd.

Brothers and sisters, you are no more obvious as a disciple of Jesus Christ than when you are within the walls of His chapels. Those buildings are dedicated as sanctuaries, houses of learning, a home for the Spirit, where we can go to come close to God and be instructed and edified.

My challenge to you is to take your Sundays seriously by doing one of three things.

First, look for people who you do not know. Meet them. Greet them as a friend would. Sit with them in Relief Society or Priesthood. Get to know them. If you talk to them and they seem uninterested, look at them as Christ would and you will see them as the Child of God they are.

Second, pay attention. I have never attended a church service on my mission where I did not feel the Spirit. The speakers were asked by the bishopric through inspiration, despite what they might think. The teachers, too, were called to lead a class - no matter how it may seem, they have prepared in some way or another, either by studying the manual themselves or through experiences that God has given them.

Finally, allow the sacrament to cleanse you. Read the sacrament prayers and look for the promised blessings. Remember your baptism day. Think of Christ's sacrifice.

I know that as you do these things, your testimony will grow, as will your love for God and for those around you. What an incredible opportunity we have to attend church every Sunday :) Let us help each other to feel of the Spirit there.

I love you all so much :) Keep the faith.

Sister Annika Rogers
Isaiah 49:16

Saw this. Thought of Braxton.
I'm still in love with the sky :)
Sister Heylen with a member (Gramma Dabler)'s cats!

When did my hair get so long.