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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