January 26, 2015

tracting friendIt never ceases to amaze me how marvelous the workings of our God are πŸ™‚ This past week Sister Winkel and I had so many wonderful appointments with people. Those kept us pretty busy running from one place to the next. We’ve gotten to meet quite a few more people and I think we are both finally getting into the full swing of things here πŸ™‚ The Lord is definitely helping us along every step of the way πŸ™‚
sister birthday

About two weeks ago we started teaching this wonderful family about the gospel, and they are so awesome! They were taught about 20 years ago so they don’t remember everything they had learned since it’s been such a long time. As we teach them, they slowly start to remember things about the church and then before we are even done sharing about the principal the wife is sharing her testimony with us about the truthfulness of whatever it is we are talking about. It’s fabulous!

In a few weeks our little branch is putting on a Musical devotional about the Light and Life of Christ so we are all busy getting things ready for that πŸ™‚ We are trying to get people who aren’t of our faith to come and participate as well and so far we have a few who might, which is exciting! The entire purpose of the devotional is to help people here to understand that we have a strong belief in Jesus Christ. It’s on our name tags for Pete’s sake! But still people like to think that we are not Christian. More than once at someone’s door I’ve had them tell me, “You don’t believe in the same Jesus that I do.” Last I checked there is only one Jesus who is the son of God and Savior of the world. That is the one that I believe in. It is in Him that I place my faith and I am so grateful for all that He did for me and for every single person on this earth.

I had a thought hit me this week when I was studying. In the scriptures it says that we must be filled with charity because without charity we are nothing. I had always taken this to mean charity for the people around you, which is exactly what it means, but I’m beginning to think there is another meaning there as well. I realized that I also need to be filled with the charity that Christ has for me. Without that I am literally nothing. More and more I have seen how that charity and love that He provided through His atoning sacrifice is exactly what is able to carry me through all the hard times. Charity is not just for other people, but it is meant for us as well πŸ™‚ The Jesus Christ who supplies that charity is the one that we are sharing a message about. This is His church and His message πŸ™‚ How grateful I am to get to be sharing that with everyone I meet πŸ™‚ I am also so very grateful that we are getting to have this devotional and spend this time thinking of Him and the endless blessings that come from His sacrifice πŸ™‚

Here is a little insert from my companions email home –
“OH MY GOSH I HAVE THE BEST NEWS IN THE WORLD!!!!! The Elders in our last area went over to see R______ for the first time last week. The last time we had taught her, we talked all about baptism and invited them to pray about being baptized. Before the Elders even started their lesson, she asked if she could be baptized, along with her kids!!! What a miracle!! She had told a member of our ward that she loved the missionaries, but she would never be a convert. I just love the way the spirit can completely change our hearts. They’re getting baptized on Valentine’s Day and we get to go! :)”

I think I might have mentioned R______ before. She didn’t even want her sister meeting with the mormon missionaries, but her sisters faith was incredibly strong even though she didn’t have a ton of knowledge. Her faith is what inspired R______ to start meeting with the missionaries! She truly is an incredible miracle that we have gotten to watch unfold right before our eyes πŸ™‚

One last little story-
Knocking doors in our area is a little rough. The houses are spread really far apart, and there isn’t much road to park the car on.lonely road Despite all this we make it work even when it is rough. This past week we went out to knock doors and we couldn’t find a place where there were more than 3 houses in a row without a mile gap in between them. Once we had finally found a place we next had to find parking. This being done we began the long walk. At first we encountered a not so friendly mama dog, but no worries, nothing too crazy happened there. We were able to pass by her with little to no problems except for a little fear in our souls. Not many people listened to our message, but the cool part came at the end. It had been stressful and tiring, but as we were coming up the hill back to our car God gave us a blessing- Right as we topped the hill an incredibly breath taking sunset came into full view just as it was reaching its climax πŸ™‚ It was incredible and a tender mercy from our loving Heavenly Father πŸ™‚tender mercy sky
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers πŸ™‚

January 19th, 2015

Sorry it took me so long to get this email out :/ The doctors took a good minute and it is an hour drive into town so that ate up most of our day. It seems like Sister Winkel just has bad allergies to Mississippi, poor thing :/

Our week was wonderful with lots of good missionary moments. One night we had two of the people who were baptized just a few months take us to meet two of their friends, and they were simply fabulous! As soon as we sat down they told us, “Just go ahead, we really don’t know anything. Just tell us what you know,” with big smiles on their faces. They know lots of wonderful members of our church that have been great examples to them, and they really admire the programs that the church puts out. We already love them and look forward to getting to go back and visit with them again soon πŸ™‚

So kind of an awkward experience, we were out knocking doors this past week and we came to one door where a very large white woman answered the door. We explained to her that we were missionaries and then she yelled into the house, “Hey granny, do you wanna talk to these people?!” Then from around the door came this tiny little black lady. She smiled at us sweetly and then in the kindest little voice said, “Never come back,” and shut the door. Not the typical response we get at a door approach.

This week we have done lots of driving and made tons of phone calls. We’ve learned that people like to have appointments scheduled not just a few days before, but preferably they like them to be at least a week in advance. Good news is, we have lots of appointments scheduled for this week! We are excited to get to meet so many wonderful people πŸ™‚

There was another day this week that a sweet little elderly lady took us out to visit all of her friends. She is so cute! This little lady is in her late 70’s and she’ll come and pick us up to, “go out visiting the elderly.” That woman is a true vision of dedicated service to the Lord. She loves the gospel and wants to tell everyone about it all the time! It’s inspiring πŸ™‚

I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers πŸ™‚
sweet sisters 1-17-2015

P.S. For anyone that is interested in a little analogy –

The Snake

There is a lot to be learned from God’s creations and recently I realized that the little snake can teach us a lot about growth and overcoming our doubts. Every so often a snake grows a little larger and has to lose the skin it is currently wearing. In order to free itself it has to rub against rough places so he can once again move about freely. If he doesn’t loss his skin then he will be confined to never growing and reaching his full potential. Though at times it might seem difficult to rub away the old skin, he finds it is well worth it once the task is complete. There comes a point in our gospel learning that faith become knowledge and we grow to another level of understanding. In order to reach this point we have to be willing to stretch ourselves and get through the rough patches so we can reach our full potential. It isn’t always easy. In fact sometimes it is downright uncomfortable, but if we never let go of our doubts and move forward in faith so we can grown in knowledge, then we will never become all we can. I know sometimes it is difficult to get out of our comfort zone, but my testimony of the importance of the rough places has grown tremendously over my mission. Heavenly Father definitely has a clearer understanding of what is to come and I am so grateful that He only lets my understanding come in bite sized pieces πŸ™‚ I’m grateful for the knowledge and growth I gain as I learn to exercise the faith that God has blessed me with. We are all blessed with that faith to move forward. We just have to move so we can rub the doubt away and grow πŸ™‚

January 12, 2015

district luncheonSo this week we went out looking for people to teach and it is country roads and trees for miles here! Also it is hunting season so everyone that we saw was in their hunters orange vests. I’m starting to think that it might not be a half bad idea for us to get some so we don’t stick out so bad! Here we are in our shiny jeep, in skirts and our copies of the Book of Mormon, and all around us are mud covered trucks, hunters orange, and shot guns! It’s fantastic! Truly Ed’s paradise lol Just driving down the rode there are trucks parked off to the side and men chillin there with their guns. Welcome to the deep south. This is a normal thing, and it’s also normal for decorations in the main sitting area of a house to be turkey beards and deer heads. So we can better fit in with the culture here, Sister Winkel and I have begun to learn Southern. We have adopted a southern mom with a real thick accent and she is teaching us how to speak a little country so hopefully when I get home I can give my homecoming talk in my mission language πŸ™‚fried buffet (frog legs, quail, catfish, alligator, crab cake and shrimp!)
For stories this week, we were very blessed to have lots of members of our church come out visiting with us πŸ™‚ One member introduced us to another member that hasn’t come in a very long time. She invited us to come back later in the week. When we got there for our appointment she welcomed us right in and told us that she had invited her daughter who is about our age to join in the lesson, which we were super happy about πŸ™‚ When we first sat down, the mom started firing off questions at us and it almost seemed like it was about to get intense, but then we asked is we could say a prayer and she said that would be totally fine. After the prayer the entire spirit in the room changed and we were able to have a fantastic lesson with them and answer all their questions. The daughter told us that she has always had lots of questions about out church she just wasn’t sure who she could ask and get the right answer. We have another meeting with them this upcoming Thursday πŸ™‚ The lesson went so perfectly that when we walked out of there Sister Winkel and I both kept saying, “Is this even real?” it was was awesome! Prayer is such an important thing! I really do have a testimony of that πŸ™‚ The ability to be able to pray and speak to our Heavenly Father and feel of His spirit and receive blessings and answers from Him, is a miracle in and of its self πŸ™‚ I’m so grateful He listens to us and leads us. I’m grateful that our God is not a god of the past, but He listens to us know and helps us today πŸ™‚

I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers πŸ™‚sunset

January 5, 2015

Believe it or not, this week was not quite as eventful as last week!
No tornado, I didn’t move again, and Sister Winkel’s eye is doing a bit better. For the first time in a long time, I don’t have a crazy ton to talk about.
I love the area I’m in so much! Honestly when I left here 6 weeks ago after only spending a week here I was so sad. In that one week I had felt like this was exactly where I needed to be. Now that I’m back that’s exactly how I still feel πŸ™‚ I’m so grateful to be here again πŸ™‚ It is a wonderful place and I feel like I’m home πŸ™‚
There have been a lot of emotions going through me as I’ve considered the many changes that I’ve had the opportunity to go through this past year. This inspection of my life has helped me to find new meaning and understanding in the atonement of Jesus Christ. We’ve all heard the age old saying that Jesus is the only one that understands what we’re going through and I completely believe that. As trials came recently and my companion would ask me how I was doing or feeling I would often respond, “You know what, I’m not quite sure.” Sometimes we don’t even know what we are going through! Sometimes the ONLY person who understand what we are feeling or dealing with is our Savior. He knows how we feel. He sees where we’re at. And he knows where we are going. Because he understands our situation so thoroughly he very well might be the sole person who will ever comprehend the importance of the difficulties we face. I am so grateful for all my Savior has done for me. I know I don’t fully understand it all, and I probably never will, but I am so very grateful πŸ™‚ I have been blessed so very much, and I know I will never be able to repay anyone the kindnesses I have been given. It is such an honor to have been able to spend the past year bearing my Savior’s name and being able to be his hands. There is nothing quite like a mission. So often I don’t even see all the blessings that I am being given or notice all that I have been learning. I’m so grateful that heavenly father is willing to work with me, teach me, lead me, and allows me the opportunity to serve Him. I am so very very blessed!

I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers πŸ™‚
blues