What an absolutely insane week filled with fun, tears, and craziness!
So remember last week I said that both me and my companion where being moved to a new area? Well that happened, but there is a catch. I’ll explain-
So on Saturday afternoon we received a random phone call from our mission president letting us know that our area was going to close and we were both going to go up to a very small town called Richton to replace two sisters that where finishing their missions in a week and were going to be heading home. Our job was to learn as much as we possibly could in one week about the area before they left. So we packed like mad women and said our goodbyes before hopping in the car with the Sisters that were coming to get us and driving 2 hours to our new area. Well here is where things get even crazier! I then found out that I wasn’t even going to be staying in Richton. I would be there for the week and then I’d be heading to a new area. My head is still trying desperately to comprehend everything that is happening, but sometimes we are not meant to understand but simply follow the Lord’s direction for us, and that is what I’m trying to do 🙂 Today I move to my new area and I have the cutest new companion – Sister Winkle.
This week I was able to be companions with 3 sister missionaries 🙂 Of course I still had the fabulous Sister Griffeth, but then I also had Sister Ray (from Utah) and Sister McElderry (from Arkansas). Tomorrow they head home to see their families for the first time in over 18 months! I’m so excited for them 🙂 During this week they have taught me so much about enduring well to the end and staying focused. They have shown how to truly love each of the people they come in contact with and it was truly a joy to get to serve with them for this very short week.
I’m running super short on time today so I’ll wrap this up, but known that my mission is incredible 🙂 I know the Lord has a plan for me even though sometimes things get hard and often times I don’t understand the meaning behind things that happen. I am so grateful I was able to serve in Florence for a month. I’m grateful I was able to serve in Richton for a very quick week. I’m grateful for the wonderful sisters I was able to serve with for a super brief moment. Yes, sometimes things are hard. Sometimes I’m not ready to say goodbye, but if I had my choice between making the friend and then having to say goodbye or forgoing the friendship so I could avoid the pain of change, I would always ALWAYS pick the friendship. I know this church is true and I know that the Lord is in charge 🙂 I’m so very grateful for that knowledge and the peace that brings to my soul 🙂
I love you and this church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
What a crazy week!!! Are you ready for this…
On Saturday Sister Griffeth and I got a call from our mission president letting us know that our area is going to be closed. This means there will no longer be missionaries in our area as it is currently set up. I’ll explain why- This upcoming transfer we have 18 sister missionaries going home and only 8 coming into the field. At the end of next transfer we will have 11 going home and currently none are scheduled to come into our mission at that time. This being said, some areas that have multiple sets of missionaries in the ward are going to down size. Currently our ward has two sets of sisters and one set of elders. They are removing one set of the sisters and then just splitting our area between the two sets of missionaries that will be remaining. Here is where things start to get a little crazy. There is another area that has two sisters serving in it and bother sisters are going home in a week, so president is sending Sister Griffeth and I into that area a week before transfers so they can show us the ropes in the one week that they have before they go home! So yesterday I said goodbye to all the people that I have only known for about a month 😦 It is crazy how attached you can get to a group of people in a month. Today we are packing up EVERYTHING in our apartment so it can be ready to be moved out of, and tomorrow Sister Griffeth and I will travel to a very small town in the middle of nowhere. It should be an adventure! I can’t begin to say how grateful I am that Sister Griffeth and I get to undergo this epic trip journey together 🙂 Truly a tender mercy from the Lord 🙂
Well now that the big crazy news is out of the way, I’ll share the wonderful stories from this week 🙂
On Sunday one of the people that recently was baptized wasn’t at church. Monday we went by to visit with him and it was so great what he shared with us. He told us that multiple members of the ward had called or texted him just to make sure he was doing alright since they didn’t see him at church. He got a little quiet after telling us who had talked with him and then said, “I didn’t know that anyone cared.” He was so grateful and touched that people had bothered to notice that he was missing and that they loved him enough to check on him. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ doesn’t have to be some extravagant thing that you do. It is as simple as letting people known that they are loved and remembered. If each person just took time to focus on the one, then the word would truly be a better place, full of a lot more love.
Tuesday we were out riding our little bikes around town. You know you look stupid when an entire field of little middle school kids make fun of you when you ride past 😦 All sense of dignity was lost at that point. Good news though, after that horrible experience we were able to go have a fabulous lesson with a lady that we had met the other day. When we first got there she wasn’t home, but just as we were pinning up our skirts and buckling on our helmets, she pulled into the drive way. She was very friendly but told us that she really was too busy for our message right then and said that maybe we could come back later. Well I didn’t think that was the right answer so I expressed that our message would only take 10 to 15 minutes and it would really be worth her time. It worked! She invited us to pull up a lawn chair and the discussion began 🙂 By the time we talked for about 10 minutes she told us, “You know what? It’s crazy, but within the first six minutes of us talking, ya’ll answered a lot of the questions that I’ve had all my life, that I’ve never been able to find the answers to.” The gospel is true, the restoration is real, and the Book of Mormon is scripture from God! I love getting to be a missionary and helping to answer peoples’ questions of the soul that they have long since thought that they would never know.
Oh my goodness, so every Wednesday after our meeting with the other missionaries we all go out to lunch together. Well this past week, when we were going into the place we had chosen to eat at we were confronted by this man who asked us for a few dollars. Well we really aren’t supposed to give people money, but one of the sisters offered to buy the man a sandwich inside. He told her that he wasn’t hungry he just wanted money and then he started quoting scriptures at us pretty much telling us that we were all going to go to hell because we wouldn’t give him cash. He then pulled a tumor out of his shirt and was asking us if that grossed us out or if the fact that he didn’t have any teeth made him repulsive to us. He didn’t wait for an answer, but just continued quoting scriptures as he walked away. It was crazy and a little scary, because he did not only have zero respect for himself, but he had no sense of respect for the people around him or for God and his word. He was only using the scriptures to tell us that if we believed in God then we were going to hell for not giving him money.
All of us missionaries had a chance to attend a youth fireside, which was literally at a fireside 🙂 It was all about missionary work, and preparing to go on missions. One young man spoke who had just gotten home from his mission a week prior. He told the kids all about his crazy experiences in New Zealand. Then a young man who just got his call to serve in the Philippines spoke about his preparation to serve his mission. He spoke quite a bit on the power of the atonement and how it can be used in everyday life and need to use it. Then Sister Griffeth spoke about her preparation so the young women could have an idea of preparing from a girls point of view. I’ll share my thoughts on that. If you are a young woman that isn’t sure if you want to serve or has never even thought about serving my advice is this. If you live worthy to enter the temple, then you will be ready to serve a mission if that is the path that the Lord calls you on. There is no better preparation for a mission than the preparation you must make to go inside the House of God and make sacred covenants with Him 🙂 Keep your sights set on the temple and on your Heavenly Father and He will lead you to the path He wants you to follow 🙂 He has done exactly that for me. He gives me the light that I need to take one more step forward in faith and He has never failed me. I am so very grateful for His love, guidance and direction even when things are hard and the way seems unclear. He has always given me the next step. Moving forward in faith is scary sometimes, but it is so liberating to put your trust in the one who can actually see the entire picture instead of trying to trust in my own personal senses that can become dulled by the world.
Thursday we had a wonderful time in Mendenhall and were able to visit with a whole bunch of people up that way. Miracles are happening in and around that small town. My prayer is that the Sisters that are taking over will be able to have that same progression happening for them as well 🙂 That small town is just about ready to over flow with blessings 🙂
Well I know my last letter was a little bit too long so I’ll try and keep this one at a little more reasonable of a size 🙂
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers
So last week when I said that I was almost all better I guess I lied. Turns out that I’m still sick today, but no worries it is only a minor cold now, when previously it was a lot worse. Bad news is that I gave my sickness to Sister Griffeth, so now both of us have been epically fighting off a stinking illness that is simply quite bothersome!
So last Monday Sister Griffeth and I decided we would carve pumpkins so we got the other people in our district involved and just had a grand old time of it 🙂 Our pumpkins name is Susan 😉 While we were carving these three seventh grade girls came over to talk with us about what we were doing. They were sooooo funny! One girl said, “Wait, so if ya’ll are priests, why are you celebrating the devils birthday?” Obviously she was a little confused. Those silly girls also couldn’t fathom how we got along without our own phones. How would we talk to our boyfriends? Did we just take turns? Oh lol the simple minds of the junior high school girl. It was pretty hilarious!
Tuesday I got to go on exchanges with Sister Dagupan which was super fun 🙂 We did a lot of door knocking, and no one really wanted to listen to us, but we had a good time while doing it anyways 🙂
Wednesday was the church Halloween party 🙂 We weren’t technically supposed to dress up so Sister Griffeth and I wore our normal clothes but with a purpose lol We have a man who recently converted to the church and he calls all of the missionaries that visit him, “my angels.” It isn’t in a creepy way at all, but he was in a really rough place when the missionaries first started visiting with him and they have helped him change for the better 🙂 So we are his angels sent straight from God to him 🙂 So for the party we were “Allen’s Angels.” Also a fun thing- the missionaries got to be the judges for the chili cook off. Some of the chili was soooo hot (temperature) that we burnt off our taste buds and couldn’t really taste the rest of them. Sister Griffeth was going before me so she got the worst of it. It’s always so much fun when we get to visit with the ward members 🙂
Thursday we had a really wonderful time in the town at the edge of our area 🙂 We visited with a woman and her husband who isn’t a member and she committed to start studying her scriptures better. We will be meeting with her next week and hopefully we can start slowly working him into studying as well 🙂 We also had a super great visit with our investigators that we had help stack wood last week and they are totally reading the Book of Mormon and praying to find out if it is true, which is so fantastic! When we were going to leave the husband said the closing prayer and he thanked God for bringing the Mormons into his family’s life 🙂 It was wonderful! The church is true!
Halloween wasn’t too crazy for us. We really didn’t have anything too spooky happen except that weird random things kept occurring and the weather was rather ominous. Besides that nothing much happened.
Saturday there was a wonderful baptism in the morning 🙂 Sister Bobbie was baptized. The other sisters that are in our ward have been working with her and she was ready to make those lasting commitments with God 🙂 The service was beautiful and she was so happy and just simply glowing 🙂
So I think I might have mentioned this before, but Sister Griffeth is trained in ballroom dance. This past Saturday was a youth dance and the ward had gotten permission from our mission president for her to teach the youth how to dance. Lucky me, I got to be her dance partner lol It was so much fun! We taught them to waltz, cha cha, dip and spin. All the kids were such great sports about it as well. When we had finished the instructional part the DJ hadn’t arrived yet and since I had been DJing during the dance instruction I just kept DJing the dance until he finally showed up lol It was a crazy night. Who’d have thought that I would get to attend a youth dance while on my mission! It was so nice to get to talk with the youth in our ward and get to know them each a little better 🙂 On Sunday we had people telling us that even after we had left the kids were still waltzing and cha chaing, so that was nice to hear that they were actually applying what they had learned 🙂
Sunday was wonderful. We had some amazing testimonies shared 🙂 This past week we had one young man return home from his mission and another one that is super good friends with the kid that just got home, get his mission call after a good year of preparing and working to become worthy. First the young man who had just finished his mission got up and spoke about the amazing effect the mission has had on his life 🙂 It was wonderful to hear him speak of the miracles and the changes he has seen in himself. Then the young man who just got his call got up and spoke on the power of repentance and how the atonement has worked in his life. What wonderful examples they both are. Over and over they said, “If you are considering serving a mission, stop considering and just do it! If you aren’t even considering it, then change your mind. You won’t regret it!” I add my testimony to theirs. There is nothing quite as sweet as getting to share the message of the restoration with God’s children. This message is one that truly changes people. To be able to see that change come, see the light enter eyes that were once searching and lost… there is nothing quite like it. Don’t consider it. Don’t have it be a possibility. Just do it! You will never regret your choice. God makes it possible for even the simplest of people to become beautiful instruments in His hands. As a missionary, we aren’t just serving a mission, I truly believe He is serving us on our missions. He is teaching us what we need for the rest of our lives and helping us to build strong sure foundations. I am so grateful for my mission and all that is has taught me thus far, and all that the Lord has yet to teach me in the upcoming months. I feel so very blessed to have this incredible opportunity.
Now for the miracles and tender mercies from this week. After church on Sunday Sister Griffeth was feeling super sick, but we really wanted to get the work done. This week has been hard. This area is a little hard. We will knock doors for hours and never even get to talk to anyone because the response is, “I’m (insert religion, typically it’s Baptist), I’m not interested,” cue door slam. Sunday Sister Griffeth was sick, I had a headache. It was cold outside, we had been knocking doors for a few hours and it was going to be dark soon. At one door the man was short with us and as we walked back to the road my eyes filled with tears. None of them fell, because I pulled myself together quickly, but all I could do was wonder, “What could I have done more to help you to listen? You don’t even know what you are rejecting. The message we bring has so much peace and understanding. Heavenly Father, what could I have done more?” It made me think of 3 Nephi chapter 10. This message is being shared, but so many people reject it without any understanding of what it is they are saying no to. After all this and feelings of doubt as to the effectiveness of knocking doors in that area, we then met 3 different people almost in a row that were ready to receive the message we were bringing! If we endure our trials with patience then we will receive a great reward 🙂 Sometimes the miracles don’t come quite so quickly, but I know that the Lord truly blessed us then.
The last story I wanted to share with you happened on Sunday evening as well. We were passing by a house where we had met the lady a few weeks ago and she had been very kind. She is home bound and so we had decided that every now and again we would try to stop in and visit her to help lift her spirits. So we went and visited with her and then we began to share with her a little about the Restoration of the gospel, but as we are sharing the message with her she started to talk about her deceased husband. She held back tears as she explained that she is worried that she will never get to see him again or at least if she does see him again that their relationship would no longer be the same. It broke my heart to hear that she didn’t know that she could be with her family forever. It truly does make me so sad the some religions put family priority on such a back burner that people don’t have the knowledge that they will be able to be in their loving family unit for all eternity. Why would God give us such a gift to merely take it away in the future? My God is far more loving than that. The spirit was there so strong as I was able to share my solid testimony with her that she will be with her husband again someday as loving husband and wife. At first she responded that she knows that she should try to have faith that that might be how it is. I told her that she can have knowledge in that fact, and that God will give her that knowledge if she wants to know. I know that families are eternal. I have received my answer from the Lord. I have felt the spirit testify that fact to me. I am not longer riding on faith in this regard. I know that I will be with the ones that I love. I am grateful to be able to have this knowledge and sure witness from God. We have a truly loving and merciful Heavenly Father and I am grateful for how He willing demonstrates this and His awareness of me so frequently.
I love you and this church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂