December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!!!

I am so blessed! Christmas away from home could not have been better! The people down here let us into their homes and treated us just like family, to say the least we were spoiled 🙂

Christmas Eve- We spent the afternoon at the Pritchett’s. We got to watch the children open their gifts and they had quite the meal prepared for us, it was awesome! Elder Kremer was playing the piano and Brother Pritchett asked if he could have the next dance. (Brother Pritchett is completely paralyzed on his right side and stuck in his wheelchair.) I told him of course and I took his good hand and just swayed while I talked to him 🙂 I love him so much! The house was filled with music, laughter and family 🙂 After the Pritchetts’ we went to the Kirby’s. Sister Kirby had prepared a special music/scripture (like the one we do at home) that we all got to participate it. Just before the program began they realized their cat Mr. Jefferson was missing. There granddaughter started to cry because she was so worried about him. We went cat hunting and were able to find the silly fuzz ball. We were afraid all the craziness might have scared away the spirit, but as soon as the program started the spirit was there. It’s so wonderful how hymns can bring the spirit so quickly to 🙂 We also sang happy birthday to Jesus. That was something I’d never done before. And then we all enjoyed birthday cake to celebrate the savior’s birth 🙂

Christmas Day- For my studies I focused on how the Savior’s birth and death affect the people in the Americas. It is incredible to me how much love the Lord always had for his people. The Lord says, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.” I know I can put my trust in the Lord because he knows far better than I do. If I strive to follow his teachings then he will take care of me, because he has promised over and over again in the scriptures that he will. “And behold all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if you would keep his commandments he should prosper you in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.” I’m not saying that that God will make my life perfect or that I will never face trials in my life. What I am saying is that God always keeps his promises. I know that as I put my faith in him he will bring joy and blessings into my life that I may not even comprehend. I am so grateful for the gift of the atonement. I know that Christ has taken upon himself the pains of the world and he is willing and wanting to help us. “Behold, I am Jesus Christ whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of the bitter cup which the Father hath given me and have glorified the father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.” We are so blessed to live in this day when the gospel is once again fully on the earth! I love being a missionary and getting to share this wonderful message with all those that, “have ears to hear, let them hear.”

I opened my packages from my loving family and I’m so grateful they thought of me and sent me things to help bring in the Christmas spirit 🙂 All the missionaries had breakfast over at the Parkers (a senior missionary couple that work at the employment center), and then the elders got on and called or skyped their parents. I sat in the front room singing Christmas songs to pass the time. I also found myself a tie and learned how to tie a tie 4 different ways. I only remember two of the four knots, but hey at least it’s a start. Then we went over to the Ross’s for dinner. I got to call my fabulous family from their place and it was just sooooo awesome to get to talk to my family 🙂 It was a wonderful Christmas day!

Thursday- The Sister Training Leaders (female version of Zone Leaders) came to go on exchanges with Sister Rigby and I. I got to go with Sister Cottrell. She is a fabulous sister and I’m very grateful for all the awesome things I was able to learn from her. We tracted into a man from Moscow Russian. He had a  super thick accents and was pretty friendly. He wasn’t interested in the gospel, but it was still nice to get to meet him. His accent made me miss all of my awesome Russian friends. We also had a random man walk up to us and tell us to go visit this house that was just down the road. We did not go to the house because I’m positive that man was high as a kite and he smelled like marijuana. Oh the interesting things that happen when you’re knocking on random people’s doors.

Friday and Saturday- Sister Rigby was sick sick sick so we didn’t get to do much 😦

Sunday – We visited a sweet elderly lady in an assisted living center. She is so adorable and every time we leave she tells us to not forget about her. She is classy and sassy and 89 years old. I love that lady 🙂 We also got to talk with a potential investigator and he said that he is trying to get his Sundays off so he can come to church! Yay!

Good news- Do you remember Tia? We were teaching her when I first got out here and then she moved to Florida. Well… She got baptized!!! She called us up on Saturday morning letting us know that she was headed to the church for her baptism 🙂 After wards she called us to tell is, “I fell different. I feel better.” I’m so happy for her 🙂 She is such a wonderful lady and I’m so glad that she has chosen to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the proper authority, taking upon herself the name of Christ. What a wonderful thing 🙂

I love you and the gospels true!

Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂

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December 17, 2013

So transfers have come again and I’m staying here in Slidell Louisiana with Sister Rigby  We are excited for another transfer together! Our district will be changing a little so we will get to meet a few new missionaries 
We were able to go out one night caroling with all four elders 
We caroled for 4 different families and it was a truly great experience. The second home we went to had a bunch of noisy kids inside the house when we got to the door. We knocked and then started to sing. By the time we’d started our second song all the kids were gathered around the door listening quietly  The spirit was there as we finished and the elders were able to set up a return appointment with the family for later in the week.
The last home we caroled for, was that of a man who is completely paralyzed except for his eyes. He is able to speak very slowly by using his eyes as a mouse on a computer screen and selecting words and letters from the screen. Then the computer speaks for him. His wife is a total sweetheart and she is completely dedicated to him. We were able to sing 3 hymns for them and at the end the spirit was so strong. They both thanked us quite a few times  I’m so grateful for the people we get to meet out here and the service we are privileged enough to give. God is good  I feel like I am learning far more than I am teaching anyone. Being a missionary doesn’t mean giving away a year and half of your life to serve the Lord. What it really is, if taken the right way, is the Lord giving you a year and a half to learn and grown so much! It is truly a gift to us and not a service we render.
I love you and the gospels true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers unnamed (36)

December 17, 2013

My mission family 
Sister Rigby, Elder Henrikson Zone Leader, Elder Denter in the chair (He is being transfered to Texas) Elder Benge Zone Leader, Elder Kremer is on the ground (our new district leader)
Our Zone leaders are going to be training this transfer so now there will be 7 missionaries in the ward!slidell missionaries christmas 2013

December 11, 2013

This week has been awfully full and exciting!!! It started with our Christmas Zone Conference on Monday. Sister Rigby and I had the opportunity to sing one of the special musical numbers. The other musical number was done by Elder White. The conference was absolutely wonderful and gave us quite a bit to think about. We also had the opportunity to go help a new family to the ward move in. Our meeting didn’t end until 6 and the people needed help moving in at about 6:30. So we grabbed food at a drive through and ended up helping unload the truck in our dresses lol
We ended up having a second Zone conference this week! On Saturday Elder Zwick of the quorum of the 70, came to speak to us. It was kind of a last minute thing, since he had found that he had a little open time in his schedule. Thursday evening we got a text asking if I’d be willing to sing a duet with Elder White on Saturday at the conference. We only had an hour before the meeting began to run through everything we wanted to do with the piece before it began. I know that the Lord helped us put that song together. We were able to present it without any hiccups and it totally invited the spirit into the meeting 
Elder Zwick was a totally power house of energy. He spoke with us from 1-6 and then to the leadership members of two different stakes for another 2 hours!!! The entire time he kept the same, “we can do it!” attitude. He spoke with us about the hastening of the work of salvation. He also spoke quite a bit about building a sure foundation while we are out here on a mission so that we can maintain high standards and strong faith, once we find ourselves once again in the world. He said, “A sure foundation will last you through this life and beyond.” I had never thought of it that way. We are making a strong base to carry us through eternity  He also talked about the worthiness issue with so many young men. He made it a point to plead with the sisters to be careful as we look for our husband after our mission. Pornography is destroying so many, it’s scary 
Yesterday we had a very cool experience. There was a woman who had invited to her home to help her decorate her Christmas tree on Friday. When we arrived she wasn’t there and she wasn’t answering our phone calls. On Sunday she didn’t show up to church. Sister Rigby and I started feeling a little concerned about her so we decided to drop by after church just to make sure everything was alright. We drove past her home and saw that her car was there so we assumed everything was alright. We didn’t want to bother her since we hadn’t let her know we were coming by so we started to leave. Then we changed our minds and came back to her house. She lives alone and was so grateful that we had thought to stop by and check on her. She loves the missionaries so much, but she hasn’t had the opportunity to really grow close to any of us that are serving around her. I’m so grateful we listened to the spirit and went back. Before we left she asked us to sing her a song. Sister Rigby and I sang Silent Night and at the end the spirit was so strong in the room  She was crying and I wanted to give her a hug and let her know that she is loved.
I’m so grateful that God gives us the opportunity to be his helping hand. He could come down here and do everything himself, but he loves us enough to give us the opportunity to help one another. Through our service to our fellow man we are given the ability to grow closer to our God and better understand the love that he has for us. We are so very blessed to know this  As it is the season of giving don’t forget that a kind word and a warm heart can heal and lift better than anything wrapped in paper and ribbon. Christ our Savior was willing to give us His life. What are we willing to give?
I love you and the gospels true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers unnamed (33)unnamed (34)

December 4, 2013

“This past week was lovely! We got to have Thanksgiving dinner at a member’s home, which was absolutely fabulous! She made us all kinds of delicious food and afterwards talked to us for about 1 to 2 hours all about her incredible semi-precious and precious stones collection. It was very interesting, and I totally love that sweet little lady 
It rained quite a bit again this past week which again made tracting (knocking on doors) a little more difficult, but we did the best we could with what we had. It can be kind of funny sometimes though, because you ask people how they are doing and they answer with “I’m not interested.” I guess they forget how to be friendly when they see us coming. We are encouraged to tract about 7 hours a week. We will keep going along and trust that the Lord will bless us for our efforts 
Yesterday was our Zone Christmas Devotional and it was simply awesome  Since I’ve been out here for two transfers that means that there is the group I came out with and one other one that is younger than us. I decided to try and focus on the new people, because I had really wished that someone would have done that for me when I got out here. I ended up having such a great time talking with the new people and even a few of the older missionaries as well. I made myself get outside my shy box and I had a blast. I’m grateful for the missionaries that I get to serve next to  For later reference, I am also afraid of new situations and new people, but I know that reaching out instead of closing in is the only way to be happy. Focusing on the people around you instead of how awkward you feel can really make an uncomfortable situation very enjoyable  Keep that in mind the next time you feel awkward or out of place 
Speaking of looking to help others, Sister McDonough (the mission president’s wife) talked about that yesterday at the meeting. She expressed that once we have gotten ready in the morning we need to turn ourselves off and start thinking about others. She went on to explain that “stress is associated with self focus, so self focus can really be destructive.” Looking back at anything that I have gone through that really stressed me out I was definitely thinking more of myself than of those around me. Just focus on those you love and the Lord will help you to love yourself 
One of our Elders is leaving this next transfer and he bore a beautiful testimony. He talked about how his mission has effect him and the harder we work the more we will have our eyes opened to the love Heavenly Father has for his children. I know that finding that love will help us to know how we can better serve those we are around 
I love getting to serve those around me and seeing the light of Christ come to those we work with. Getting to serve out here is so wonderful and I am really loving all of it. I even love tracting. Even when after 3 hours of knocking doors we still haven’t found one single person who is willing to listen to us. I know we are planting seeds. We are working to share this wonderful message that we have been blessed to have in our own lives  While talking with some missionaries about our missions we realized some awesome things. When people think about serving a mission they seem to think that they are giving some incredible service. In all reality we are just giving back what is already the Lords. He has given us our bodies, the time we have on this earth, and all of our material positions. We are just giving back a fraction of what he has given us. How incredibly blessed we are! WE are blessed to know about this message, we are blessed to have eternal families, we are blessed with the amazing opportunities that we are always being given! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and remembered all that they have been blessed with God IS good! Never forget that 
I Love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers

P.S. We are planning on caroling our little lungs out this month! The elders have agreed to join us a couple of times a week to go visit members, less active and investigators and share our testimony through song at their doors  We are also going to try to carol around town a little! I am so excited and I hope it all works out like we want it too!

This past Sunday a young boy of about 10 or 11 got up and shared his testimony in sacrament. His family is pretty less active and he seemed scared to death to be up there. He wasn’t quite sure how he was supposed to give a testimony, but his words were beautiful and powerful. He gave an analogy that I wanted to share with you guys  I don’t know where he got it from but I totally love it!
The child compared God to a river, ever flowing in the right direction. He then said that we are like pebbles in the stream. If we allow, then the Lord can push us towards our final destination and help us in our eternal progression. He wants us to do good and follow Him. Sometimes we get caught on other rocks as we make our way down the river. Sometimes we might even find ourselves holding others from continuing forward. There may be times that we find ourselves buried in the mud or stuck against tall grass that has grown in our way thinking it can stop us. We need to remember that nothing is impossible through Christ. Another rock may come and knock us loose, placed in our path by the hand of God. The river can work us out of the mud and clean us as we continue down our path so it is like it never happened. Also as we journey along we might find ourselves being bumped or knocked as we go along. It may seem painful and unnecessary at the time, but the stream knows what it is doing. Once we reach the end of our journey we will find that we are now a smooth stone. Our trials were for our own benefit.
Children are so wonderful. They see things in a different way than we do and they are continually teaching me as I’m out here serving unnamed slidell christmas