February 2, 2014

What a week ๐Ÿ™‚
While door knocking this week we had some pretty… interesting experiences. We came to house where a sweet looking elderly couple was sitting outside shelling pecans. As soon as we walked up they offered to let us join them for a little chat. At first the conversation started out pretty mild with us getting to know each other. Then the man said that he wanted to do some scripture study with us, which we thought was awesome! He went and got his Bible and what commenced was a 45 minute conversation where he preached to us about the fact that we are both ignorant idiots who are blindly following after the traditions of our fathers. The thing is, he said it in the sweetest way possibly and if you weren’t listening to the words coming out of his mouth, you would have thought he was praising us for our missionary efforts. The verse he held to and kept going back to is Matthew 7:28, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.” His interpretation was that the people in this story were too stupid to comprehend what Christ was telling them because they were too set in their old traditions of their parents. We simply listened to him and then bore witness of having worked to gain our own testimony of the things we are going out to share. Once we’d finished he replied, “You are a perfect example of this scripture.” What a frustrating man. The scripture doesn’t even mean what he thinks it means, but it is really hard to talk with someone that is unwilling to listen to anything you have to say. At the end of the conversation he told us that, “God will not be mocked,” and also, “I’m sure when judgment day comes this conversation will come into play.” If there is any doubt in any ones mind that reads my emails that I am simply following the traditions of my parents and that I am ignorant of what is in the world, I would like to clear that up really fast. I have spent the past 16 months on a mission for Jesus Christ wearing His name on my name tag because I know that this gospel that I go out and share with people holds powerful truth. I’ve lived these truths and I’ve felt of the power that comes from them. I have prayed to God more than once to receive answers and He continues to give them to me. Do you think God would do that for me again and again if I was so mixed up in my beliefs? Missions are not easy. They are wonderful and incredible but they are not easy. Everyday in this work missionaries have their beliefs tested, abused and tormented. But still we go forward. For what? We don’t get payed for what we do. The rewards from the world aren’t over flowing by any means. We continue on because we know for ourselves the importance of the message that we bring. Even on rough days we are still able to find joy in the work, because this is not our work. If it was the work of man we would probably all quit, but this is the Lord’s work ๐Ÿ™‚ What a comfort it is to go out each day knowing that if I do my part, then He will always do His ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so grateful to get to be a missionary and teach people about our Lord and savior Jesus Christ ๐Ÿ™‚ We are a blessed generation! I would strongly suggest going to the Lord for answers when you have questions. Pray for direction and then search the scriptures. He answers in many different ways, but He does answer. If we do our part He will always answer ๐Ÿ™‚
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers ๐Ÿ™‚
sky 7

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January 26, 2015

tracting friendIt never ceases to amaze me how marvelous the workings of our God are ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ The Lord is definitely helping us along every step of the way ๐Ÿ™‚
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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Peteโ€™s sake! But still people like to think that we are not Christian. More than once at someoneโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚ The Jesus Christ who supplies that charity is the one that we are sharing a message about. This is His church and His message ๐Ÿ™‚ How grateful I am to get to be sharing that with everyone I meet ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Valentineโ€™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 didnโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ It was incredible and a tender mercy from our loving Heavenly Father ๐Ÿ™‚tender mercy sky
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers ๐Ÿ™‚
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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers ๐Ÿ™‚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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so grateful to be here again ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a wonderful place and I feel like I’m home ๐Ÿ™‚
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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
blues

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 werenโ€™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, โ€œWhen you think it canโ€™t get any worseโ€ฆ it does.โ€ And it seems that has been our theme for this week. I donโ€™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 Winkelโ€™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 Iโ€™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 womenโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚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! Itโ€™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 itโ€™s head and it says, โ€œIโ€™m losing my mind!โ€ that is kind of how both of us have felt lol but we are super grateful for one another! Weโ€™ve also decided that whoever our husbands are they must be praying that we will have patience! Thanks a lot guys ๐Ÿ˜› Weโ€™ve decided to start praying that they will have humility ๐Ÿ˜‰
Two different miracles from the tornado โ€“

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 didnโ€™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 couldnโ€™t think of anyone else. Honestly I was about ready to say, forget it, since Winkel had pink eye and we really shouldnโ€™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 hadnโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 hadnโ€™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, โ€œDo you guys actually think this is real?โ€ Ummโ€ฆ yup ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 โ€“
Her- โ€œHey Iโ€™m finally somewhat settled! Are you all ok? I hear there was damage in lake view. (That is where our church is located)
Us- โ€œWeโ€™re fine! And so is the church. Weโ€™ve just been worried about yaโ€™ll! Are you staying with family now?โ€
Her- โ€œYes we are with my momโ€
Us- โ€œWere you with her when it hit?โ€
Her- โ€œYesโ€
Us- โ€œThatโ€™s a miracle.โ€
Her- โ€œYes it really is!! One table was ok the one that was between my couch and chair? You know what I found in there?โ€
Us- โ€œWas it your book of Mormon? ๏Šโ€
Her- โ€œYESSSโ€
Her- โ€œTHAT GAVE me the answer I was looking for when I asked u was it real!!!!!โ€
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, โ€œDo you actually think this is real?โ€ 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 donโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
after the storm

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 isnโ€™t super long and it is incredibly good ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find it at christmas.mormon.org and there are also other cool links there ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
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 wasnโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚ and Iโ€™m so very grateful that I get to be a part of it ๐Ÿ™‚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, โ€œAre you nuns?โ€ 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 wasnโ€™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, โ€œGod sent you here. You were what I needed. God knew I needed you.โ€ I agree with her ๐Ÿ™‚ This is His work and He sends us where He needs us to be ๐Ÿ™‚
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 couldnโ€™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. Itโ€™s fantastic! Good news though, it is helping us deal with our stress in a positive way ๐Ÿ™‚ Weโ€™ve decided out new motto is โ€œOne square at a time.โ€ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
P.S. In case anyone didnโ€™t hear THEO IS GOING ON A MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Going to the Salt Lake City South Mission) Congrats little brother! Iโ€™m so proud of you and Iโ€™m excited to see the Lord use you in this incredible work!!!!!! You are going to be one rockin missionary!!!!!Theos call
sunset