Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Hello everyone! This has been an awesome week, and I hate to break it up so simply, but I have to keep it short so some other people can get to the computer. Stuff gets kind of intense in an overcrowded public library.
This weekend, Amy and Cameron will be baptized. I haven't talked about them too much because I wanted to do my 3 things, but they are awesome. Amy is 8 and Cameron is 11 - I will definitely send pictures :) We went over the baptismal interview questions yesterday and they were awesome.
We have had awesome conversations with Doris lately about what it means to be a Mormon, and she loves it. She has the most powerful testimony - every time she bears it to us, my heart just about jumps out of my chest. She is one of the strongest converts I have.
My last transfer wouldn't be complete without a good shock...yesterday we welcomed in another sister to our companionship. Her name is Sister Harman and she is a white Poly and a Samoan Princes haha go figure. We love her so much already, and she has been a great addition to our area. She's jumped right in and started teaching like a champ :) The miracles are only beginning.
We also got in contact with Jackie this week, and have another appointment tonight. Can't wait to hear all about China and teach her some more!
Well, I have to get going, but I love you all and I'm trying to work hard. Any letters of encouragement would be great. And please don't count down...please. I'm trying to avoid that and just work straight to the end.
I love you all so much :) Keep me in your prayers, cuz you're in mine!
Sister Annika Rogers
All is well.
|Me touching an original wall of the Gilbert and Whitney store!|
|we got ice cream last pday!|
|There's a store in Independence called Scandinavia place :) Any of this look familiar, dad?|
|her year mark! My comp is a babe :)|
|Selfies with the seniors!!|
|All the sisters of the Independence VC with President and Sister Keyes :) love them so much!|
|our little animal friend we saw in our area...what is it? Anyone know?|
|just thought you should know...they're both related to royalty.|
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Yep, the great secret to missionary work is work.
As I have been working in the Lord's vineyard, I have discovered that hard work is something that is difficult to do. It's almost a habit you have to make, and some people never really catch onto it.
I'm not saying that to point fingers - there have been plenty of nights where I have laid down and thought to myself, "Man, there's a lot I didn't do today."
The best way that I have found to motivate myself is by doing a nightly inventory with God. My workdays improve as I kneel down at night and ask myself this question - "Am I better now than I was this morning?" There have been plenty of nights when the answer has been no, and there have been a couple of great nights when I can definitely say yes, but more often than not, I find myself saying, "Lord, I don't know if I'm a whole lot better, but I've tried my hardest and I felt the Spirit working through me today."
As we work hard, it is easier to be obedient and to love every aspect of the work. If you keep on that path, before you know it you'll be an effective missionary - a consecrated missionary. That's the missionary I want to be, and I'm starting today :)
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Obedience is the first law of heaven, and it is by obedience that we guarantee for ourselves any and all of the blessings promised to us.
When I was growing up in the church, I didn't understand why commandments and rules were so important. I felt that God was restricting me - not that I thought drugs or R-rated movies would make me happy, but I felt like I was living in a fenced in, grassy lot that kept me from learning for myself or possibly getting hurt or taking any kind of risks.
In essence, I thought we had commandments because God didn't trust us.
Brothers and sisters, that is not the case. God does trust us - that's why we have agency. He gives us commandments to show us the way He would like for us to live, and then allows us to choose for ourselves.
This next statement is not justification for sinning - let me be clear - but it is necessary for us to break commandments. If we never broke a commandment or transgressed in any way, we would not be exercising our agency, which would eliminate the need for our Savior, which would make the Atonement futile, which would void the Plan of Happiness and God's purpose for us.
That is the way Satan works - he has not varied from his original plan. Before the foundations of this world were laid, Lucifer told Heavenly Father that we did not need to choose to follow Him - who not just tell us where to go, and then all of God's children would make it home! God knew we would each need our agency in order to become like Him, and when Lucifer still opposed that eternal truth is when he was thrust from God's presence.
Satan wants us to believe that if we follow the commandments God gives us, we don't have any choices. Sound familiar? On the other hand, if we choose to fall into the pit of sin, Satan will convince us that we have no other choice than a perpetual downward spiral. Familiar?
When we break commandments and strive to overcome the results of sin, we are probably closer to God than we ever have been before. Now, why would we talk about repentance in an email about being obedient? Because obedience is the most important part of the repentance process:
1. realize we have sinned
2. stop sinning
3. confess our sins to the Lord (and serious sins to our preisthood leaders)
4. make restitution
5. FORSAKE our sins, or obey the commandment we previously broke.
If you have not broken a commandment yet, this process is not necessary to be exactly obedient, but everyone will eventually commit sins, and everyone has hope to overcome it.
Contrary to popular belief, though, asking forgiveness is not easier than asking permission.
As I have been obedient to the laws of God and the rules of my mission, I have come to see that the fence of commandments only restricts me from the danger of sinning - I have a whole countryside to explore under the loving eye of my Shepherd. It is the same for all of God's children.
My friends, let us be obedient so God can continue to bless us.
Love you all!
Thursday, June 5, 2014
When I was a brand new baby missionary, everyone tried to give me advice.
It was all great.
I really wanted to remember all of it.
My brain doesn't work that way.
I was pretty stressed because I wasn't really sure how to take it all with me, but I was able to fit it all under a couple of simple headings. The first one is very simple and extremely difficult: LOVE EVERYONE.
Love is the greatest motivator in the world. Because of love, two people were married in the summer of 1991. Because of love, a baby girl was born in November of the next year. Because of love, her parents didn't kill her even though she was a pain. Because of love, a family went camping every summer for 22 years and priceless memories were made. Because of love, mission papers were sent in. A missionary left home, then another. Because of love, I have received countless letters and emails and support from countless incredible people.
Because of love, a man died on a cross. Because of love, the atonement was made.
A world was created. A plan was presented. A Father chose a Son. We shouted for joy.
Love plays an integral part in missionary work - when we love our investigators, we teach them and help them change. When we love our fellowman, we talk to everyone we see. When we love our companion, we serve. When we love our leaders, we follow their counsel. When we love our Father, we are happily consecrated and obedient to the rules He has set for His disciples.
And, with that, I testify of our Father's love, and our Savior's love. It is real. It is oh, so real.
I love each of you :)--