What a fabulous week!
So at the beginning of the week I was pretty sure that I was going to get transferred.(drawing by Sister Stewart) When Sister Helms and I had talked with president at zone conference he made it sound like I would be leaving and everyone keeps talking to Sister Helms like she will be training this transfer. I’ve been here in Bossier City for 6 months now so it wouldn’t be surprising for me to leave at all. So Sister Helms and I have been super bummed out about that because we totally love being companions. I started saying my goodbyes to people this week and then on Friday morning we got a call from our mission president. He wanted to talk with me so I thought for sure I would be leaving, but really he just wanted to ask if I wanted to stay there another transfer. Of course I did so he said that he was thinking that was a good idea as well! So the next day for transfer calls we were told we were both staying here in Bossier!!! So happy and excited for another fabulous transfer in Bossier City with Sister Helms! I feel so very blessed 🙂
Monday we went out and flew kites with our Elders. Mine was Spiderman lol I’m so grateful that I get to serve with such fantastic missionaries!!!
Tuesday while we were out knocking on doors we went to one and this lady answered. She was quick to tell us that she wasn’t interested, and then she slammed the door. We could hear her in the house shouting to someone, “They’re trying to preach to me!” She didn’t sound all that happy.
Wednesday we had a pretty cool experience 🙂 A few Sundays ago the elders had an investigator come to church and when the signup sheet to go out with the missionaries was passed to her she went ahead a signed up. Now where do you take another missionaries investigator that wants to go out visiting with you? Well we decided the relief society president wouldn’t be a bad idea, so we went and visited with her. It was an awesome lesson! We asked the elders what the next thing was that they were going to teach and they told us it was faith so we decided to do kind of a group study with the investigator and member on Alma 32. It worked like a charm. We had a wonderful and open discussion about what faith is, how we exercise it and the fruits that come from it. The spirit totally led the lesson and it all went simply perfectly 🙂 testimonies were shared, tears were shed and the Holy Ghost was felt 🙂
Thursday we ended up getting to visit with a lot of less active members and sharing with them the things we had learned from stake conference. Elder Clayton from the presidency of the seventy was here and his talk on Sunday morning was about overcoming trials. He really emphasized the importance of fasting. He said, “If there is problem you are struggling with, have you fasted about it?” he then went on to share that we shouldn’t be fasting and praying for others to change, but instead we should be asking the Lord to change us. “There is no part of you He can’t perfect.” I had totally not thought about this before but really we should be fasting for the change to come in us and not in others. We are the only one we can control. He spoke of problems in marriages, raising children and other life situations that we might have issues with and that don’t seem entirely in our control. Pray and fast for the Lord to change you. It was so cool to get to see a theme as we talked with these less active members. This message that had seemed as if it was meant for me when I had heard it, was exactly what these people were needing right then as well. I’m so grateful for the direction and guidance we receive from our leaders and for the opportunities that I have to share what has been given to us 🙂
Here is a kind of weird experience from this past week- We were out door knocking and we came to this house that was run down looking and seemed as if it hadn’t had anybody really care about it in years. We knocked on the door once and no one came. We knocked a second time and still no one. Just as I was knocking the third time I noticed a pretty intense looking security camera in the corner that was trained on us. I pointed it out to Sister Helms and both of us thought that was strange since this house didn’t seem like the kind you’d want to break into. Still no one came to the door so we started heading across the street. Just as we made it to the side walk on the other side the door to the house opened and a large angry lady was standing there shouting, “Excuse me, can I help you?” Happily we turned around and headed back across the street saying that we were missionaries and we’d come to share a message with her. As we were explaining she interrupted me to say, “You touched my door knob. You tried to break into my house.” Confused I replied, “No ma’am we did knock on your door-“ She cut me off, “I have you on camera, you touched my door knob. That’s a pretty good way to get shot. ” I said, “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding ma’am but we didn’t touch your doorknob.” She slammed her hand down on the door frame and shouted, “I’m not going to argue with you! You touched my doorknob and I have it on camera. I know you are trying to spread the word and all, but there has been 3 break ins, two rapes and a murder in this neighborhood and everyone is on edge. You’re liable to get shot if you’re not careful.” It wasn’t a warning it was more of a threat so with that I said, “Alrighty ma’am you have a nice day.” Sister Helms said, “God bless” and we turned and walked away as she slammed her door shut behind us. I’m so grateful to have that girl as my companion.
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
These are some of the wonderful missionaries who either went home on this transfer or moved to new area’s. I made this silly puppy for this lady we visit each week:)
August 18, 2014
I love my mission!!!
This past week was absolutely wonderful! Friday we got to have Zone Conference and it was the spiritual boost that I was needing 🙂 We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it is key to others understanding the message that the gospel brings. Don’t judge a book by its cover! There are so many people in this word who have not taken the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and to those people my question is, “Why not?” What is stopping you? Before you start throwing stones at my religion, read the book! It was so fun to get to listen to the other missionaries’ favorite parts of the Book of Mormon and how they each use it in their teaching. One fabulous part of Zone Conference is getting to see all the other missionaries and feel of the spirit that they all carry 🙂 it was truly an awesome experience.
Sister Helms and I won the award for having one of the cleanest cars! That was super fun because neither of us had ever won it before 🙂 To explain a little bit, at each Zone Conference they inspect our cars to make super we are treating them right. We are supposed to come with our cars looking as clean and shiny as possible and if it’s the best you get a little certificate letting you know you did good 🙂
My companion and I also had the opportunity to sing at Zone Conference. It went super well and I was so grateful for the chance the Lord gave us to share our talents. A side bit of information for you about the song that we sang. It is titled Grace and I arranged it. It is an original and was arranged in about a week. Truly the Lord arranged it though not me, with the help and patience of Sister Helms. We were asked if we would sing for zone conference and our zone leaders specifically asked if we would include Sister Giddons. She is a sister that has an amazing voice. So we went to the library and searched for a good trio piece, but nothing was sticking out to us. Finally I told Sister Helms that I was pretty sure I could just arrange a piece for us, so that evening I sat on the floor and started flipping through hymns. I’ve wanted to do something with Amazing Grace since I came to the south. The next thing I needed to do was find a good hymn to match it. The majority of the arrangement was composed without a piano and then the rest was done bit by bit as we could find access to a piano. The four of us (Sister Giddons, Sister Cottrell, Sister Helms and I) were only able to practice together once a few nights before and then the morning of. I know that the Lord was in the construction and presentation of that song 🙂 The arrangement consists of Amazing Grace, I Stand All Amazed and I Need Thee Every Hour. One section of the lyrics was rewritten and they come from Moroni 10:32-33 🙂
Because of Zone conference and also stake conference this weekend, we got to have two sisters stay with us from Texarkana Texas so they wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Shreveport Louisiana three different times. On Saturday Sister Helms and I went on splits with them. Sister Hartley and I went up to the far part of our area for an appointment that ended up falling through so instead we got to go knock some doors. Simple miracle from that day- It was 104 that day and I had forgotten my water bottle at the house. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done 😛 I was sooooo thirsty and so I asked Heavenly Father if the next house would please offer us something to drink. Practically the first words out of the lady’s mouth that opened the very next door was, “would you all like a bottle of water?” What a blessing! Not only did she give us water but she also excepted a Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment for another day to come and visit with her 🙂 I drained that bottle of water before we had even made it to the next house and the lady that opened that door was also extremely kind. Her first words were, “I see your water bottle is empty. Here let me throw that away for you and get you another one.” I just love nice people! She not only gave us water but also let us share our massage with her and said we could come back 🙂 The Lord is just too good to us 🙂
The Saturday session of Stake Conference was incredible. We had Elder Clayton who is in the presidency of the seventy come to speak to us and it was one of the best Adult sessions of stake conference I’ve ever been to. President Clayton had different recent converts come to the stand and share their experiences about joining the church then he opened it up for a question and answer from the members in the congregation. It was wonderful to get to hear their insight as people who had come from so many different back grounds and had all found such peace happiness and understanding in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 🙂 There was definitely a universal theme of joy that these people had found in their understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ 🙂
Sunday evening we had a neat experience. We were out knocking doors and we came to one where a woman answered. She seemed to hesitate for a moment but then invited us in with a smile on her face. We were able to teach her and her husband who is from the Caribbean. He is actual familiar with our church and they were both so incredibly friendly and sweet. She told us a little later into the conversation that she’s had many Mormons come to her door before, but she’d never let them in. She told us that she decided to let us in because we were smiling so big 🙂 They invited us back over for dinner next Sunday and to continue sharing with them our message 🙂 Miracles for sure are happening down here!
I love my mission! I love the people down here! I love my companion! I just feel so blessed 🙂 Every time I feel like the Lord couldn’t possibly bless me more, He finds some new way to let me know that He loves me and is aware of me so very personally 🙂 I am so blessed!
I love you and this church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers
August 12, 2014
This past week was full of adventures 🙂
Tuesday I got to celebrate my birthday yet again with the Kings family! They are just so wonderful 🙂 Sister King made me a delicious chocolate cake and Anya, their little girl, helped me blow out the candles 🙂
While knocking doors Wednesday evening we met a hilarious group of people. The first door we knocked on they let us right in and then proceeded to ask us all sorts of questions. They weren’t rude in any way, but it was a large group of friends hanging out and they had a lot of questions. It was so wonderful getting to share with them why we do what we do. It isn’t the most common thing for two 21 year old girls to spend their time knocking on strangers doors and offering to share with them a message that will change their lives for the better if they are only willing to listen. No we are not weirdos. Peculiar yes, but not weird. One of the people asked what we did for fun and we asked, “Do you mean as missionaries?” They responded, “No, as 21 year old girls.” I almost laughed because the question seemed silly to me. What do I do for fun as a 21 year old girl? Well I do what makes me happy. What makes me happy? When I feel pleased with myself. How can I be pleased with myself? When I keep the Lord involved in all that I do. The message of the restored gospel makes me happy 🙂 The thought that my family can be together forever makes me happy 🙂 Knowing that I am literally a daughter of my Father in Heaven makes me happy 🙂 The list goes on and on and it makes me happy to share these important truths with the people I get to meet every day. As a 21 year old girl I can honestly say that partying doesn’t make me happy. Can it be exciting? Of course! Does that energy last? No. I’m not in it for the buzz, but I want the joy that lasts! Spencer W. Kimball wrote in The Miracle of Forgiveness, “What is the Price of happiness? One might be surprised at the simplicity of the answer. The treasure house of happiness is unlocked to those who live the gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and simplicity. Like a mariner without stars, like a traveler without a compass, is the person who moves along through life without a plan. The assurance of supreme happiness, the certainty of a successful life here and of exaltation and eternal life hereafter, come to those who plan to live their lives in complete harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ- and then consistently follow the course they have set.” I love what one of my mission friends said while talking about his mission this past week, “I have the best job in the world and that is to help people become truly happy.” I couldn’t agree with him more 🙂
On Thursday we got to go visit one of our members that lives in a nursing home. She had a new roommate that was just the sweetest little things. Her Name is Reverend Mae and she is 95 years old! She probably only weighs about 85 pounds, she was just so tiny. When we walked into the room to visit with the sister from our church Rev. Mae told me to come sit on the bed with her and talk. So while Sister Helms and the lady from our ward that had come with us, went over to talk to the lady we had come to visit, I stayed back and got to chat with sweet Rev. Mae 🙂 She told me about the 6 different churches that she and her husband had started while he was still alive. One of them in particular is still around and doing well. She also kept telling me that she tries to do all that she can for everyone that is around her. When we had fist walked into the room, this little 95 year old women was helping to wheel her roommate into the hall! Nothing keeps that lady from helping where ever she can 🙂 What a great example she was to me of never stopping 🙂
Saturday we had a pretty neat experience. So as a missionary it is very easy to feel inadequate in the work that we are doing. For the past few days or so I had been feeling very insufficient in many different areas in the work that I have been given to do. I felt like either the spirit wasn’t talking to me or else I wasn’t listening. I was truly getting frustrated about it seemed as if all communication to my spirit had stopped. That is never a good feeling especially when you are trying to do everything right. Saturday morning I was just tired and I wanted to feel some sort of peace in my soul before we headed out to do the work. I knelt down and prayed very specifically to feel peace and for Lord to help me feel in tune enough to follow his guidance that day. As Sister Helms and I were preparing to leave the house for the day we knelt down and said our prayer together. As we finished I had some names pop into my head of people we needed to text to at least let them know we were going to be in their area that day so if they had time we could drop by. As we were driving to the area we had planned to work in we passed a street that I had never noticed before. It was called Flagg St. You must understand that this particular part of our area is mostly just the main highway going straight through the middle of it with little 1 road side streets that branch off. I kept driving not thinking much of it except that it was strange that this particular street name had jumped out at me. I tried to turn my thoughts to the area we were headed towards, but the image of the street sign kept jumping back to the front of my thoughts. I reasoned, that it would take too much time to go back to the street and that we could just go tract the little thing the next time we passed it. I even started figuring out when would be the next time we’d be going back there. Heavenly Father is so patient with His children. The image just kept coming back and finally I thought, well fine if this is one of your little test to see if I will follow then I guess I’ll do it. Obviously I didn’t have the right attitude, but Heavenly Father was determined to give me an answer to my prayer despite my hard headedness. I turned around and went back to Flagg St. I want you to know that Flagg St. isn’t a street. It is an entire neighborhood that is so perfectly tucked away that you would never know it was there unless you turned down that road. As we drove down into the neighborhood Sister Helms kept saying, “I’ve seen all this before. I know I haven’t really, but it feels like I’ve seen all of this before.” We parked and began knocking doors. We were able to share a Book of Mormon with one woman who wants us to come back and teach her more, and we also we able to bring some degree to a sweet woman who had lost her husband just a few months before. I’m not sure all the reasons we were on that street, but I know we were exactly where we needed to be at that time. I also know that when we feel like Heavenly Father isn’t speaking to us anymore, we just aren’t listening anymore. I’m so grateful that God didn’t give up on me and that He helped to lead us to exactly where we needed to be.
This past Sunday Sister Helms and I had the opportunity to sing in church with one of the members of our congregation. During the week we got to go practice the song. It is always so much fun to get to go into member’s homes and see the power of Christ’s gospel at work in their lives 🙂 they are such a fabulous family and I’m grateful I get to know them. The musical number on Sunday went very well by the way 🙂 The member we sang with has such a lovely voice and her husband is super good at the piano.
Sunday evening when we were out knocking doors we had another miracle happen 🙂 The first door we knocked on a middle aged woman came outside and was willing to speak with us. We told her who we are and asked her if she has ever read the Book of Mormon. To which she replied that she has been interested in reading the Book of Mormon since she was 17 years old, but has never known where to find it! She had been planning on buying herself a copy, but had never gotten around to it. We offered her a copy and then were able to have a fabulous discussion with her about what the Book of Mormon is and how it can benefit her life 🙂 She seemed so ready to get into it! She told us that just before we had knocked on her door she had been praying to the Lord to find out what direction she should be going in. Specifically she had asked what church she should be going to, and just like that we knocked on her door! She then told us that she knew that the Lord had sent us to her door! It was so wonderful 🙂 We are going to go back and visit with her on Sunday!
The first part of Monday (yesterday) was spent helping these people we didn’t know move. This is terrible of me, but I still don’t even know their names lol I even talked with them for quite a while but you must understand there were 14 missionaries there to help these people move so it was quite a party! After the moving party we then got to go on base and see some of the coolest airplanes! Brother Kingsley is just awesome, http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108574/lawrence-s-kingsley.aspx , and he and his wife have become like second parents to all the missionaries 🙂 Brother Kingsley offered to show us the airplane display that they have on base and to explain the history to us and Sister Helms and I were not going to pass up that opportunity! Some of my favorite things that we looked at were-
The MIG (because it takes me back to my high school days)
The huge bombers
The same kind of airplane that dropped the bombs on Japan
We saw so many cool things and learned a whole bunch! I felt like he was giving us the dumbed down version and even some of that totally blew my mind. It was awesome!
One more quick story. I know I didn’t send a super long email last week because I was running out of time so this is from last week- We were out knocking doors and we turned the corner. AS we began on this new street we heard a hawk squawking up in the trees. You looked up to try and see it and as we did so all these little kids start yelling at us to be careful because the hawk will attack us. What? We weren’t so much freaked out as just plain confused. The kids came up to us and told us that the hawk was mean and if we weren’t careful it would come and scratch out our eyes. They then started telling us all sorts of stories that discredited anything they had to say. First they told us about a 5 foot snake that they had fought with. When we asked them to show us how long it was, one of the little boys held up his hands about a foot apart from each other. I think the real story behind that one is that a little garden snake (they swear it was a cotton mouth) went across the road and they decided to poke it with sticks until one of them finally kicked it into the bushes. The really story behind the man eating hawk is that they had watched it fly around and then when it landed one of the kids chucked a rock at it and it flew and they thought it was going to get revenge. One of the little girls told us that she had seen God on tv. When we asked her what she meant, she told us she’s seen it on Family Guy. As soon as she’s said that all the other little kids started telling her she was wrong! It was pretty hilarious. The just as we were leaving the little boy asked us if we’d take a picture with them 🙂 So cute! So we took a picture with all those sweet, crazy kids 🙂
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
Today I turn 21 and there is no place I’d rather be than here on my mission 🙂 I know that must sound silly but I’ll explain why. I always thought of a mission as an awesome way to go out and serve the Lord. What was 18 months in comparison to all of the blessings He had given me. I had no idea how incredibly the Lord would take and use, teach, change, humble, witness to, and love me. Silly me to think that this would be a gift I could give to the Lord. This has really been a gift He was waiting to give me. I think one of the most valuable lessons I have learned on my mission is how aware the Lord is of me as an individual. I know that I am not just some random creature that has been placed on this earth, and I also know that I am not an interesting creation that God made for His entertainment, but I am in fact, one of His daughters that he cares about and watches over, just as any loving father would. So often He blesses me simply because He loves me and I am His child. I don’t work to earn a reward, I work to show my appreciation. There is never enough that I can do to repay Him, but I can thank Him not only through my voice, but also though my actions. I can strive to give Him my whole heart so I can have joy in this life as I come to a greater understanding of the plan that He has set for me in particular. I am so grateful for where I am now, what God has taught me, and also for all the many wonderful truths that I have yet to learn but will keep striving to obtain. I am so blessed!
Here is a little simple, but wonderful example of the love of my Heavenly Father. This might sound silly, but the reality of it is incredible. My companion asked me last week, if I could do anything for my birthday, what would it be? I thought for a moment and then told her that since I got to the South I have wanted to see an alligator so badly. Silly I know, but true. She shot a text to a member that lives on base and asked if we could possibly come out to the lake with her today for my birthday. The member was so sweet and said that was totally fine, so this morning we met her at the lake and walked around looking at all the beautiful birds and fish that were nearby. The member explained to us that she really didn’t often see any alligators, because it isn’t the season for them to be up and moving around a lot. It was just the three of us at that section of the lake and we went out on a dock and just sat there talking and enjoying the beauty of God’s creations. Truly the swamp land is so beautiful! We had been out there for a little over an hour and we were kind of wrapping things up when I saw a huge 10ft alligator surface probably 40ft from us! I’m not going to lie, I cried! I was so excited and overwhelmed with how aware the Lord was of me and my silly simple desires. The gator didn’t just surface, but it swam around with us freaking out on the dock! The member was so shocked, because like she said it wasn’t the season and she has been to that dock hundreds of times and never seen this gator. The only gator she ever sees there is a 4fter and she doesn’t see him all that often. It is simple. God, is good and willing to bless His children even with helping them see their childish dreams come true 🙂 This may sounds silly, but like I said, it was my own personal blessing from God. My Heavenly Father gave me a birthday gift 🙂
I’m sorry this letter isn’t longer. Lots of wonderful miracles happened this week, but I am short on time! We planned too much birthday fun for today lol
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂