December 30, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
Today is transfer day and I am running very short on time and there is so much that I want to say :/
A quick rundown of the past two weeks in a nutshell- buckle down for some crazy adventures!
My companion, Sister Winkel, has had pink eye now for 4 weeks! We stayed in for 5 days! Luckily by last Monday her eye was looking good enough that we thought we were safe to go out so we went to zone conference. zone conference ColumbiaWhile at the conference we found out that we weren’t the only people in the zone that had been battling sickness. There were two sisters that have been stuck inside for the past 3 weeks with the flu and one of my previous companions developed thrush and laryngitis :/ I guess it has been a time for sickness for everyone! Then in the conference someone said, “When you think it can’t get any worse… it does.” And it seems that has been our theme for this week. I don’t want you to miss understand. We have had a wonderful past two weeks with lots of love and laughter, but it has also been a very challenging past two weeks with lots of opportunity for growth. One Tuesday Sister Winkel had pink eye super bad again, and a tornado came through our town. destructionIt killed 2 different people, one of which we had been teaching, and destroyed multiple homes and businesses. We were very blessed to not be harmed at all. The Lord truly does watch out for His missionaries! The neighborhood that our church building is in was messed up pretty badly, with broken window, trees through roofs, and all sorts of damage, but our church building was completely untouched, without even a shingle missing from the roof. Wednesday (Christmas Eve) we watched miracles happen as we went out with a large group of missionaries to deal with the damage.parking lotwalmart So many people were incredible humble and grateful. Of the people who had lost so much I did not hear one unkind or troubled thought, but instead all the people wanted to pray together and thank Jesus for their lives and the safety of their families. It was incredible and humbling to be able to serve those wonderful people. Christmas we had the chance to visit our little friends in the nursing home and check to see how they had weathered through the tornado. We also were pretty much adopted by the wonderful Pollard family who welcomed us into their home for Christmas to be able to see our awesome families through Skype! I LOVE and am so grateful for technology! Friday Sister Winkel’s pink eye acted up again so we were stuck inside again. Saturday we found out that both Sister Winkel and I were getting taken out of Columbia and the area was going to no longer have sisters in it. Now that elders in our ward will cover the enter ward boundary by themselves whereas before we had shared it.columbia district Remember about 6 weeks ago when I spent one week in a cute little town and then I came to Columbia? Well I’m going back to that cute little town and I am super excited!!! So Saturday we said goodbyes, Sunday we taught the gospel principal lesson and the young women’s class friends in columbia 1and rushed around trying to say goodbyes. We also got to have another Christmas dinner that night with our sweet southern mother, Mama Jeanie 🙂southern momma Monday I had to go to the dentist to deal with a tooth ache and then we packed everything, cleaned the apartment, said goodbyes, and drove to our new home that night. Today we drove to the transfer point to send the two sisters home that were just there and now Sister Winkel and I have a new phone, new area, new jeep, but old companion! It’s fabulous! And crazy! Have you seen the movie Robots? In it there is a scene where this robot has nut and bolts flying out if it’s head and it says, “I’m losing my mind!” that is kind of how both of us have felt lol but we are super grateful for one another! We’ve also decided that whoever our husbands are they must be praying that we will have patience! Thanks a lot guys 😛 We’ve decided to start praying that they will have humility 😉
Two different miracles from the tornado –

First:
The Tornado went right down the middles of our major strip of businesses and blew out tons of car windows, tour off roofs, and reduced trailer homes to soda pop cans. trailer park 2trailer parkThe morning of the storm Sister Winkel woke up with her eye looking worse than normal. We got a prescription called in at Walmart and had planned to go pick it up later in the afternoon. In the morning we got a call from an investigator that wanted to meet with us for a lesson. The pink eye was a problem but we were both so tired of being inside we decided she would just sanitize a lot so she didn’t infect anyone. The next issue was figuring out where we could have our lesson at. We tried a few different people but none of them were available. We were racking our brains for someone, but just couldn’t think of anyone else. Honestly I was about ready to say, forget it, since Winkel had pink eye and we really shouldn’t be out anyways. Just before we decided to cancel we knelt down and asked the Lord where we should meet with our investigator at. Instantly we had a name come to mind and we gave them a call. They turned out to be home so we headed over to teach our lesson. While we were there the Tornado hit Walmart and all the businesses in that area. All the car windows were blown out of vehicles and we heard tell that about 170 people were injured during that storm. If we hadn’t have been in our lesson than we would have been at Walmart picking up the prescription. The home we were at was relatively untouched by the storm besides heavy rainfall. The Lord truly does watch over his missionaries, of this I have a sure testimony. I am so grateful I get to see His had in my life so frequently 🙂 I am truly truly blessed!

Second:
We had had an investigator that we had been teaching about the Book of Mormon about two or three weeks ago, but due to pink eye and her being busy we hadn’t been able to meet with her for a good minute. The last time we saw her we read through 3 Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon. As we finished she asked us skeptically, “Do you guys actually think this is real?” Umm… yup 🙂 We both had the opportunity to share strong testimony with her of the Book of Mormon. We explained how she could receive her own answer and then challenged her to ask the Lord about it. In the tornado her home was one of the trailers that was completely reduced to a crumpled ball of metal and wood. Thankfully her and her 2 children had been at her mother when the storm came through so everyone was fine. Three days after the tornado we got these texts from her –
Her- “Hey I’m finally somewhat settled! Are you all ok? I hear there was damage in lake view. (That is where our church is located)
Us- “We’re fine! And so is the church. We’ve just been worried about ya’ll! Are you staying with family now?”
Her- “Yes we are with my mom”
Us- “Were you with her when it hit?”
Her- “Yes”
Us- “That’s a miracle.”
Her- “Yes it really is!! One table was ok the one that was between my couch and chair? You know what I found in there?”
Us- “Was it your book of Mormon? ”
Her- “YESSS”
Her- “THAT GAVE me the answer I was looking for when I asked u was it real!!!!!”
Friends and family, I KNOW that the church is true! I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. The same power that is felt in the Bible is in the Book of Mormon. The same God that is spoken of in the Bible is the one preached about in the Book of Mormon. To answer the question, “Do you actually think this is real?” Yes! I believe it with every fiber of my being. The trials I have gone through on my mission have not dulled that understanding. If anything they have polished my beliefs so they shine even more brightly then they ever have before. I know my God is a God of miracles. I know that he works in mysterious ways, and I am so very grateful for His hand in my life. I don’t understand everything, in fact I really feel like I hardly understand most things. I am a simple person, with a simple testimony. I have the opportunity to share simple truth that holds incredible power in it. I could not be more grateful at this time for all the amazing blessings I have been given 🙂 This week has been difficult. This week has been full of challenges. This week has been a marvelous blessing! I am so grateful!
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
after the storm

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December 16, 2014

One week closer to Christmas!!! Is anyone else as excited as I am? Sister Winkel and I have been excitedly planning out the people we can go carol to or visit that might be alone for Christmas Eve and Christmas and today we got stuff to make cookies so we can bring them all a little Christmas cheer when we come 🙂 If you have not seen the video about Christmas that the church has put out I would strongly suggest going and watching it! The video isn’t super long and it is incredibly good 🙂 You can find it at christmas.mormon.org and there are also other cool links there 🙂 If you love Jesus, and you feel like there needs to be a return to the true meaning of Christmas then go check it out and share it with others 🙂
I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Cooper and Sister Benjamin this week down in the Oak Grove area and that was a lot of fun. We had the chance to go and do some service with a very sweet lady from India that is Hindu. It was interesting to get to learn about her beliefs and then share with her more about ours. We also went and visited a man that the sisters had met last week when they were out knocking doors. When we got there he walked onto the porch with his printed off information that he had found at an anti-Mormon sight and I was instantly concerned, but honestly it ended up being a super powerful spirit filled lesson. When he asked us questions about what he read he wasn’t doing it to be rude or prove us wrong, but it was truly because he had a desire to learn and grown. Every time he asked a questions there was always a clear and powerful answer and even though the three of us girls had only been together for a couple of hours we were totally able to teach in a spirit of unity as the Lord directed our words and guided the conversation. It really was incredible. God directs this work, I have no doubt of that 🙂 and I’m so very grateful that I get to be a part of it 🙂3 beauties
One day as we were going to visit one of the girls we were teaching we ended up talking to this woman named Lisa. She was outside smoking and as we came by she stated asking us questions, “Are you nuns?” you know, the usual, and then we began to have a super great moment with her where she began sharing with us her struggles and desires. Apparently she had moved here not too long ago and she was trying to change her life around but she wasn’t sure where to start. The move had been to get away from old influences which had helped but now she wanted something more to help her feel the progression and change. Sister Winkel told her that she felt very strongly that the message we have to share is exactly what she is looking for, and the woman seemed so relieved to hear that. Before we left she told us, “God sent you here. You were what I needed. God knew I needed you.” I agree with her 🙂 This is His work and He sends us where He needs us to be 🙂
Also this is totally unmissionary related, but Sister Winkel and I have spent many hours this week scrubbing our floors. They were coated in grim and filth and so we decided that had to change because we couldn’t stand living in that grossness. So during our lunch and dinner breaks and in the hour of evening before we head to bed we Cinderella styled it on the floor scrubbing with brushes and masses of cleaner. It’s fantastic! Good news though, it is helping us deal with our stress in a positive way 🙂 We’ve decided out new motto is “One square at a time.” All things are possible if we just do it a little at a time! Yay for almost clean floors!cinderella
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
P.S. In case anyone didn’t hear THEO IS GOING ON A MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Going to the Salt Lake City South Mission) Congrats little brother! I’m so proud of you and I’m excited to see the Lord use you in this incredible work!!!!!! You are going to be one rockin missionary!!!!!Theos call
sunset

December 9, 2014

districtWhat a wonderful week it had been here in good old Mississippi 🙂 It has been busy and jam packed full of crazy!
While door knocking this week we came to one home where the lady answered and she was relatively friendly but a little stressed out and definitely not interested to chat with us. Before she could close the door I asked if we could sing a Christmas song to help bring in the season. Of course you can’t say no to Christmas, so she allowed us to sing. By the time we finished she was grinning from ear to ear and came out on the porch to give us hugs, thanking us profusely and asking us to please come again 🙂 We also met a man who said he wanted to share a message with us so he told us what he believed and then said, “Now that isn’t what you believe now is it?” Sister Winkel, with a smile on her face, explained that what he had shared with us was exactly our beliefs as well and then she bore a powerful and simple testimony. The man honestly seemed shocked and a little confused. Before we left we asked if we could pray with him and he offered to say the prayer. He prayed that we would be able to find the truth that we were searching for, but then he paused. After a moment he asked the lord that if there was a chance that he was possible wrong, that the Lord would redirect him and help him to understand the truth. It was a very neat blessing and we were able to leave with the spirit. He looked a little confused as we walked away and I’m not sure if that was just because he was an older gentleman or perhaps because the spirit touched his heart and gave him cause to wonder.
Also while out and about this week we came across a 30 year old man that outside racing his alcohol powered toy car up and down the street. We stopped and chatted with him for a few moments. I want you to know that being a missionary this long numbs you to awkward situations and after a while nothing is really awkward anymore. Well our conversation with this man was… awkward. Between us talking there would be 15 second long pauses where nothing was happening! My first instinct was to go since obviously nothing was happening, but we stayed and continued pushing through the uncomfortableness. Eventually he started opening up and asking us all sorts of questions about our church. He lives right across from our church building and he said, “I’d always wondered why there were so many cars there. There must be something good going on.” Lucky us, we got to tell him all about the good things 🙂 It turned out being a wonderful visit and he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and we are going back to visit with him this week 🙂
On Wednesday one of the young single women in our ward wanted to try out the biking life of a sister missionary. So she got all dressed up and joined us for a full day on the bikes.biking sisters Lots of hills and adventures with her. I’m grateful she was so willing to go with us and had such a great attitude about the entire thing! It’s always so great when she comes out with us because God really really loves her and miracles always happen when she’s helping with the work. For example – We biked all the way out to an investigators house that turned out not to be there and just as we were getting ready to leave a vehicle starts coming down the road. I turned to my comp and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if this was him?” and low and behold, it was the investigator! Stuff like that always happens when she comes with us 🙂
While chatting with a sweet older lady that simply adores the missionaries she was saying that we should all go out caroling together up and down the streets of Columbia. She then told us that if cops try and stop us we will just tell them, “We ain’t high on nothing but the spirit!” Oh little older ladies are so fabulous!
One of the days this week we were quarantined to the house because Sister Winkel got pink eye, so that was a weird day. Sister Winkel got bad cabin fever because there was a Christmas parade that night and we could hear it from our house but we couldn’t join in the fun 😦 We survived through it though and her eye is doing lots better 🙂
Friday was super fun! We had the opportunity to go help set up a Christmas event down in Hattiesburg. nativity angelsThe event was a Nativity walk through and they had over 300 nativity scenes that they set up (I’m happy to say that my little nesting doll nativity that my grandparents sent me last year was able to be displayed as well).nesting nativity IN the gym they had the Nativities set up with big beautiful live Christmas trees set up with lights all around the room. They even had a live Nativity featured in the middle, and surprisingly all the baby Jesus’s that they used where super happy sweet babies 🙂 No fusing from them at all. In the Sacrament room they musical performances going almost all night long. Back in the primary room it was set up like a market place in old Jerusalem and as kids came in they were given some gold coins in a little leather bag and they could go around and by things like candy (each candy represented gold frankincense or mere) and other things like salami, crackers, and cheese. It was super fun! They even had bunnies, goats, a duck and a chicken in there to help with the authentic feel. The missionaries worked the stands and they were all dressed up and speaking in Arabic/Indian accents. It was fantastic! One of the elders kept saying, “All of your needs, all of my cheese.” It was pretty great! Another room was full of pictures of Christ’s life and the spirit could be felt so strongly in there, just by walking into the room. Sister Winkel and I had the job of being the town criers.town criers 2 We dressed up and had our lamps and then walked through all the different activities letting people know when the next musical number would be. It was super fun! Everyone kept asking if we had extra oil, and Sister Winkel would always reply, “Nope, but we have extra batteries!” Our candles looked real and were made from real wax, but they were battery powered 🙂 Thank goodness for living in the 21st century 🙂 The entire event was super fun and really well put together and I’m so grateful we got to be a part of it. It went on Friday and Saturday night and the turnout was fabulous!
A favorite quote this week from a member in our bishopric was, “You can either give it to God or you can punish yourself during the time it takes you to finally realize that you’re going to have to do that anyways.”
Something I was reminded of this week is that it isn’t the amount of knowledge that you have that makes the difference in teaching, but it’s the simplicity and faith that you are able to convey. That is when the spirit really begins to testify. I’m currently in a district where all the other missionaries have all been out on their mission for under 9 months, but they truly have the spirit with them. When they humbly teach they teach with power because they know that they have to rely on the Lord for help. I’m so grateful for the example of faith that they are for me, the people in the ward, and everyone that they teach or even just come in contact with. You don’t have to know everything to be a great missionary or teacher, you just have to know what you know and stick to it with a firmness of mind and a humble heart.district angels
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
P.S. If anyone has ever wondered what they could get a missionary for Christmas I’m about to give some really really great advice. We love getting mail! Simple little notes in the mailbox with an update of your life are fantastic! We are kind of at a disadvantage because we send out updates on our lives weekly, so everyone else knows what’s going on with us, but we have no idea what’s happening in everyone else’s life! And if you’re a missionary in a mission where we are not yet allowed to have social media then we really are at a disadvantage because we don’t get any updates that way. Moral of this story is, if you want to makes a missionary’s Christmas merry and bright, just send them a simple card or letter 😉

December 1, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!! I hope everyone ate lots of food and had a splendid time, as for myself, that is exactly what I did 🙂
So adventures from this past week-
Thanksgiving Day was super fun! We started out having lunch with a lady and her family in our congregation and then we got to go have a blast at another family’s farm 🙂 Kind of fun- one of their kids served his mission with Chauncey! What a small world 🙂 Sister Winkel and I did not fully think through the fact that we were going to be up at a farm so we came dressed in our skirts and flats. No worries though, we didn’t let that stop us from having lots of adventures! We joined the guys for a game of Ultimate Frisbee and then we went on an epic hay ride where we were attacked by massive tree limbs and thorn bushes.hayride Next we went hunting for arrow heads in an old field and one of the elders found an old rusty machete. Instead of going back the same way we came to the field one of the guys decided we should take the old path. Well getting to the old path consisted of us having to hurtle a stream and climb through weeds and over massive logs. After doing all that we found out that the old path no longer existed and that we were trapped on an overgrown island. In order to get back the way we had come we had to chop back through the foliage with a rusty machete and then one of the elders had to build a bridge to get Sister Winkel and I back across the stream without dying in the process! It was super crazy and fun! To finish it all off Sister Winkel and I got to swing on a ginormous rope swing like Jane of the jungle! Yes, we were still in our skirts, but no worries we remained completely modest 🙂 My logic through all of this was, “Well if I can ride a bike in a skirt than I can do pretty much anything else in a skirt!” Thanksgiving was a blast!thanksgiving3
Saturday was filled with door knocking which turned out to be super great! We met this sweet little lady that lived in a mansion and she insisted we come in and see all of her Christmas decorations. Apparently she used to do interior design so her house was pretty incredible! Then later as we were walking along the road we talked about how sad it is that some people don’t love their children and how hard it must be for Heavenly Father when he sends His children down to a home where He knows they won’t be valued like they should. Just as we finished up this conversation we came across a very beat up house. When we knocked on the door a little five year old boy came and answered the door. His name was Chris and he had huge blue eyes, pretty gold hair and dimples. When we asked him to go get his mom he went in the house and came back quickly saying his mom wasn’t there. When we asked about his dad he looked through the house and said that he didn’t know where he was either. While he was talking to us a tiny kitten with paint smeared on it came tottering up behind him. He grabbed up the cat and cradled it as he spoke with us. Chris then remembered that he had a dog and he really wanted us to come see it so he sprinted around the back saying, “Come one! Come see him.” So we wandered around behind the house, but I made sure to stay well in sight of the road. Littering the ground where old beer cans and bottles. As we spoke with Chris three men came walking out of the woods that were behind the house. Chris was delighted to see that one of the men was his dad and he started telling his dad that we were there to visit them. Let me explain these men in just a few words- skinny, rough, and a little creepy. Sister Winkel didn’t want to talk to them so she talked to Chris and left me to speak with Rusty, Cameron, and Leroy. I explained that we were missionaries and that we had come by to share a message about Jesus. Rusty told me that if we ever felt like sinning and then repenting then we were welcome to come by anytime. I let him know that we were actually there to help people stop sinning and to teach them how to repent. He was being less then splendid with some other things he said so we hurried up and got ourselves out of there, but not before Rusty let us know that he would love to give us a foot rub if ever we needed one. No thank you, Rusty :/ They promised to come to church, but they weren’t there yesterday… maybe next week they’ll come? Sister Winkel told me after we left that when she was talking with Chris she gave him a picture of Christ and he excitedly said, “I know who him is! Him up there,” he said pointing to heaven, “Him is gooder than Santa!” what a sweet sweet kid 🙂beautiful reflectionfall confetii
While out door knocking on Sunday we met a man who told us that he has a different way of believing. When we asked him to explain he started with, “Aliens!” Apparently the dead sea scrolls talk about aliens… at least that is what our friend believed. So that was a little interesting. We also met a super sweet husband and wife. Every evening this sweet older gentlemen goes down and leaves food for the raccoons and foxes because he can’t stand the thought of them ever having to go hungry 🙂 They told us that if we ever need anything, then all we have to do is come by and they’d love to help 🙂 Sister Winkel and I just love them and we’ve decided that we’ll go caroling at their house here in a few weeks 🙂
It truly has been a wonderful week filled with blessings and all sorts of fabulous missionary stuff! We had two of the people that we are teaching come to church on Sunday 🙂 It is incredible to see how the light of Christ can completely change someone and where there was once darkness, now light shines through 🙂 The church is true and I am so very grateful for the understanding and direction that the doctrine of Christ’s Church provides 🙂
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂
airplane