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 😉

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