Archive | August, 2012

Picture Postcards- August 2012 Blitz

29 Aug

Lemonade Blitz!

Elder Meadows- best district leader EVER!

Sister Aguirre chatting it up with the locals.

Smush face

Me and Sis. Otokolo

Elder Miller and I, with our missionary smiles!

Elder Bartleson and I, happy to be serving in NYC!

Elder Miller and Elder Bartleson

Spreading the news outside of Trump Towers

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Lessons To Be Learned…

29 Aug

English Classes- FREE, FREE- Take a flyer!

Dearest friends and families,
I’m realizing more and more the farther I get into my mission that every week is full of lessons to be learned, but I’ve got to be watching for them! This week was absolutely filled with wonderful experiences.
Here are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned in my short time here in New York:
  • How to shrug things off and let it go– there are so many people that come up to us in the streets (sometimes intoxicated, other times, all too sober) and criticize us for our religion. They’ll yell at us, get all up in our face and scream inaccurate “facts” so the whole world can hear. It happens on a weekly basis, and it’s gotten to the point where I realize that all I can do is laugh it off! It’s not worth it to get upset over little things, especially coming from some of the crazy people we meet here. I’ve really learned how to laugh first, which keeps my spirits higher and keeps me from judging or having mean thoughts.
  • This one I learned from Sister Aguirre this week: Don’t get frustrated. If it doesn’t work out, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to! This is something that I haven’t fully grasped yet and I’m still working on it, but basically this is how it came about: we had an appointment set up with one of our investigators. I had called him the day before, the morning of and one other time to confirm the appointment and every single time, I very clearly said that we would be meeting at the chapel. So it’s thirty minutes before the appointment and I call him to make sure he’s on his way, and he says, “Yeah, I’m waiting for you here in the park!” Because of the time it would take to travel there and back, there was no way we could make it to the appointment and get to our next appointment on time. I was really frustrated for a good ten minutes, because I had made every effort to set it up and make sure we were all on the same page. But then Sister Aguirre taught me, if it didn’t work out, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to. Maybe there was somebody else we needed to talk to, or maybe there was a reason that we shouldn’t have met with him today. She’s mentioned something along these lines before– when I’ve worried about getting out of an appointment on time so we can make it to our next appointment, she’s cool as a cucumber, because she realizes that the Lord will take care of it. It’s all in His hands. I’ve just got to realize it and apply it so I stop stressing about stupid little things. :) Slowly but surely, it’s working out.
We had some super fun things going on this week. We did quite a few blitzes, which is what we call it when two or more pairs of missionaries gather together and set up a table with some pamphlets and Books of Mormon and contact people who walk by. We did a couple just for church, and then we did one that was especially for english class! We set up a table in a heavily-Spanish area and gave out some free lemonade! It was Elder Meadows’ idea, and it was executed quite nicely. We had signs and everything and handed out a lot of fliers. It was so fun! English class continues to be wonderful. The other blitz that we did was midtown, by 59th and Central Park, or Columbus Circle as it’s called round these parts :) We were right by the Trump Tower! It was super cool. While blitzing, I got to meet one of the new greenies that just came into the mission, fresh off his ranch in Nevada. His name is Elder Higbee, and he’s so great! And turns out he’s an exact replica of one of my best friends from home, Neils Hazen! :) I just about freaked out when I started getting to know him because it was so creepy. He likes wrestling, hunting and has the exact same sense of humor. It was seriously a tender mercy, because I was having kind of a hard day, and then we were blitzing and I realized that he was Neils in another body, and it was just what I needed to cheer me up :)
Also, we had another noche de hogar last week and it went spectacularly!! We had some serious success. There were tons of investigators there (like 11!) and lots of members too. Everybody felt really comfortable and it was awesome. Some of our English class students even came! That probably made me the most excited.
Other little things that have brought me joy this week:
  • Mario, a recent convert from Honduras– he sells socks on the street for a living, and occasionally does bussing at a restaurant (who’s pretty much the sweetest man I’ve ever met in my life)– gave me a package of socks! They were about 3 sizes too big for me and I ended up giving them to an elder in my district, but I was seriously so touched. It kind of felt like the widow’s mite.
  • I’ve started a mini journal (another something I’ve copied from Sister Aguirre!) to write down tender mercies, funny moments, quotes I hear– pretty much whatever. I’m LOVING it! It’s great to be able to look back and see the cool experiences and thoughts I’ve had throughout the week. It’s a more accurate collection than my journal cause I write them down as they happen :)
  • We were on the subway and these guys came on, cranked up a boom box and started break dancing! Usually people will come in and play instruments or something, but I’ve NEVER seen hard core, legit dancing! It was soo cool. I took a video :)
  • Tender mercy: I didn’t exactly budget super well this month, and kind of ran out of money for food… :) haha it wasn’t like I didn’t have any food, but I just had to be a little bit more careful in planning and packing food and my supply was running a little low… and then lo and behold, we got a TON of dinner appointments scheduled for this week! We usually have maybe one or two, but this week we have 3-5 scheduled. Talk about a blessing!
 Well, I love you all so very much. Thank you for your prayers and love. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. :)
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Rogers

Picture Postcards August 2012

25 Aug

Me and my new companion, Sis. Aguirre, from Mexico.

Did someone forget their backpack?

Six month mark- Holla!

6 down, 12 to go!

Being baptized makes us happy!

Our old zone.

Super sweet view.

I Cannot Do This On My Own!

24 Aug

Yasiris’ Baptism. So great shall be your joy!

Dear family and friends,
Well, it’s a new cycle, and summer is finally winding to a close. Thank goodness! The air is getting cooler, the leaves are just slightly starting to change color, and we sweat just a teensy bit less :) On good days, that is. Although sad it was saying goodbye to Sister Taylor, I couldn’t have asked for a better companion to replace her. Sister Aguirre is amazing! She’s super sweet, and always has a positive spin to put on things. Every time I hear her Spanish, I just want to drool, it’s that beautiful and clear. I’m definitely hoping to up my Spanish skills just by being around her for six weeks.
This week, Yassiris was confirmed in church, which was a super happy occasion. We gave her a photo album that had some pictures and some testimonies and stuff written down in it. On the not-so-happy note, well, more just frustrating… taking over the area is a lot harder than I thought it would be! I figured since I’ve been here for well over 4 months that I wouldn’t have any problems with it… but it’s a whole lot of responsibility to decide where we’re going and when and who we need to visit and this and that! Usually I’m super good at remembering things, but the first couple of days, I kept forgetting things all over the place. Now I’m being extra cautious, writing everything down, and praying with everything I’ve got that I don’t forget anything that’s really super important. And it’s starting to work, slowly but surely. Things are starting to come together more smoothly. But I’m definitely learning a big lesson in humility, because I am 110% sure now, more than I ever was, that I cannot do this on my own! So yeah, definitely an interesting week.
I’m still loving my English class! My students are just so great. Even though I’m not the best teacher, they’re super patient with me and they’re so willing to learn. I love teaching at an advanced level, because the students are there to perfect their English– they’re striving for excellence, which means they’re willing to work hard to get there. I love it!
Oh yeah! And another cool thing– this week, we had a non-member come out to tract with us! She’s investigating the church and will probably get baptized soon, but she told us she wanted to come and see what life as a missionary was like for a day. It was pretty sweet, we knocked some doors and even had an impromptu lesson when someone invited us in, and the lesson went really well. It was super cool. This is the same girl who is like a teacher’s assistant in my English classes- she’s fluent in both languages, and she just comes to help out. She’s pretty amazing.
Well, that’s about it! I’ve attached some of the pictures from the baptism last week. Love you all!
Con amor,
Hermana Rogers

I Couldn’t Stop Smiling!

18 Aug
Dear Family and Friends,
What a week! It’s been absolutely crazy and awesome and bittersweet all at the same time. Some really great things happening. So first of all, I got to go on a little split with Sister Maldarizzi, the Italian sister I live with, to practice taking over the area. It was super fun! She’s so sweet. Sad news though… with this transfer, the two sisters we live with are moving across town :( It’s super sad. But it will interesting because me and my NEW COMPANION will be living alone in our apartment. Yes, Sister Taylor has been transferred. She’ll be going to Inwood. It’s bittersweet- mostly sweet, though, because we really enjoyed the time we spent together and we’ll be able to see each other at zone conferences and stuff. So she’ll actually be companions with my MTC comp, Sister Kindlespire. Small world!
My new companion is Sister Aguirre. She’s a native Spanish speaker from Mexico, but she moved to Georgia in high school, so she’s fluent in English as well. I’m super excited to serve with her! She’s really sweet and she is going to help me take my Spanish to the next level. :) This also means that I will be taking over the area! So crazy. I will be in charge of where we go and who we meet with, because I’ve been here longer and I know where all of our investigators are at. It’s kind of a lot of pressure, but I think I can handle it. :)
So in AWESOME news…. Yassiris and Lisbeth got baptized this Sunday! Oh… it was just amazing. I couldn’t stop smiling. I’ve decided that my favorite place to watch a baptism from is from inside the font… holding out the towel for when they come out of the water :) It was just amazing. Absolutely great. I sang with Radhaissa, the member whose house we’ve had all our lessons in with Yassiris, “I am a Child of God.” After the whole service was over, Lisbeth turns to me and goes, “Am I a Mormon now?” Haha it was totally precious. I can’t believe that just two months ago, they were just another couple of people we were talking to while we were waiting for the elevator to come and now they’re baptized and regular members of our congregation. It just blows my mind. I absolutely love them with all my heart.
Also… English class is going so well! We’ve got a good amount of new people coming every week, about 30, in total. We’ve been handing out English class flyers out the WAZOO. Yesterday we were out in the Elders’ area holding a sign that said “Clases de Ingles, Gratis!” (Which means free). People pulled over in their cars to get flyers. People knocked on the window of the store we were passing by and we would go inside and hand them flyers. People would pass us, hands outreached, begging for flyers. People ran out of stores after us to get flyers. I felt like the candy man! It was like I was the best person in the world, everybody was smiling at me and looking at me like I had just won the lottery. It was crazy! Too bad every day isn’t like that! Haha. But it was definitely good to know that we’re doing something that’s really helping people. AND the cool thing is that people from English class are actually coming to church! We’ve got a couple that are interested in learning more. We had kind of a missionary dinner the other night with our ward missionaries (/ward moms!) and they had, on their own, without telling us, invited one of the ladies from English class who came to church this Sunday! We ended up having a mini lesson with 3 pairs of missionaries and 4 members of the ward. That’s like unheard of. It was craaazy cool. :)
So yep! Everything’s going great. We’re going to be doing a good amount of finding this week, and I’m sure it’ll be interesting to adjust to having a new companion. :) But I’m really excited about this cycle! I can feel it… this is the cycle where I’m finally going to be fluent in Spanish. I can feel it! :)
Well I love you and miss you all and pray for you daily. Thank you for all of your care and support!
Love,
Sister Rogers

Today is My Official SIX MONTH MARK!

8 Aug

Hermana Rogers Outside of Columbia Law School

 

Dear family and friends,

Well, what an interesting week this has been/ is turning out to be! I’ll start with the good news. First and most exciting, Yasiris’ baptism is this Sunday! We could not be more excited. We ordered her a hymnbook in the mail (and it came in time!) and got her and her daughter both journals. We’re going to make them a photo album too. Maybe it’s a little overboard, but I don’t care. I’m so excited! And they are so pumped too. They’re ready :) Also, our English class continues to grow in size. My small grammar class is getting a little bigger every week. It’s so cool to see the faces that come every week and to recognize them. To see how they progress with their pronunciation and understanding is super rewarding.

Also, today is my official SIX MONTH MARK! Six short (and long) months ago, my grandparents dropped me off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah… and now, here I am, smack dab in Harlem with another year to go. Wow, that feels weird to say. With that, I’m starting to realize how hard it’s going to be to say bye to some of these people. We’ve got transfers coming up this next P-Day… chances are most likely that Sister Taylor is leaving and I’ll be staying here and taking over the area. It’s possible she’ll stay, but not probable. Which means that after that, I probably won’t be staying in Harlem for very long. :( Luckily I don’t have to think about that for a while. A side note– one of the changes that President Morgan has instituted is that we’re going to be doing transfers a little bit differently. Before, it has been really loud and social with lots of yelling and just excitement, which has been super great and fun. Now we’re going to take it in a little bit of a different direction and make it more of a spiritual thing, where we have a message that’s shared and we welcome the new missionaries in the chapel. (PS, we have 19 new missionaries coming in! All elders, not a single sister. How crazy is that?!)

This week was probably the most trying week in terms of food… I’ve done pretty well up until now about eating almost, if not all of my food, and eating whatever they feed me. But we had two particular days this weekend that were just plain rough. Thursday night, we had an appointment that was around dinner time, so Sister Taylor and I packed a dinner and just ate it before. THEN we get a text from our old ward mission leader telling us that he wants us to come over and eat. We had told the elders that we weren’t going to be able to make it to his house because of an appointment, but I guess he just wouldn’t take no for an answer! So we booked it over there and ate a big dinner of rice, ceviche (which is a citrus-y shrimp dish)… plus dessert. While I was there, I spilled. (of course!) After that appointment, we were STUFFED and could barely move. THEN this last weekend, we had a lunch appointment with a member– he made enchiladas… with green picante sauce. For those of you who don’t know, picante means spicy. Apparently, this was mild spicy, but let me tell you… it was NOT mild. I had to scrape it off the top of my enchiladas and I was STILL dying. I just ate it as fast as I could and tried not to let it show that I was dying on the inside. Unfortunately, the guy whose house we were at definitely saw my pain and I had to apologize… I told him that it was really good, but that my mouth was on fire. He laughed and was good-natured about it. But still, STRU-GGLE. To the max. THEN…. we had a dinner appointment that night with a less active lady. She made us papusas, which are usually pretty good. These ones just had a lot of cheese in them. I managed to get one down, but I was still really full from lunch. When she plopped another one on my plate, I thought I was going to lose it. I mouthed to Sister Taylor across the table, “I think I’m going to throw up.” So Sister Taylor gets up, pretends to look for something in her backpack, and slyly brings my backpack over to by where I’m sitting. She hands me a paper towel, and whispers, “There’s an open plastic bag in the backpack. Don’t get caught.” I didn’t get what she wanted me to do at first, but then, it hit me like a miracle. I put the paper towel in my lap, cut the papusa up into little pieces and then when the lady wasn’t looking, I slipped it into my lap, piece by piece, then slipped the full paper towel into the plastic bag that was waiting by my backpack. What can I say? Desperate times call for DESPERATE measures!

Also, we’ve realized that we have some bad luck when it comes to plumbing… yep, that’s right. Plumbing. At district meeting on Monday, we smelled something HORRID… turns out it was the baptism font! We ended up cleaning it all out, only to realize that it was coming from a pipe that we couldn’t even reach. So hopefully that gets figured out before Yasiris’ baptism on Sunday! Haha. But then came the REAL trouble… yesterday, our bathtub started making this bubbly sound. It’s done it before, so we didn’t mind it much. When we looked at it later, it was full of dirt and gunk and was filling up with water. When we came back from working that day, the water had gone down so we thought it was fine. But then… it just kept filling and filling up with water. The sisters were up until like 1:30 trying to get it to go down and using a bucket to empty it from the tub into the toilet. (I had gone to bed earlier so I had no idea any of this had happened until this morning). Then someone was ringing on our bell a ton this morning because apparently the water was leaking into the apartment underneath us! To make a long story short, we had a plumber come this morning and he couldn’t get it fixed, so now we have to go back so that another plumber can come and try to fix it. Some P-Day, huh? Haha now we’ll finally get caught up on all the letters we need to write!

Well, I love you all lots and lots. Sorry this email was so long! Be prepared for some awesome pictures of Yasiris’ baptism this week and updated news about if I have a new companion or not! :)

Con amor,
Hermana Rogers

6 Month Mark Sign from fellow Sister Missionaries

Picture Postcards from NYC

1 Aug

The great and happy people I get to teach about the Lord

Hermana Rogers on top of the world with Yasiris, Lizbeth, and Yahaira

Hermana Rogers had dinner at Jan McKinnon’s place.

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

Standing tall above it all !

Kelly and Regis!

1 Aug

 

Hermana Rogers on top of the world with Yasiris, Lisbeth, and Yahaira

 

Dear family and friends,

Well, another great week here in NYC. As the weeks of summer start ticking to a close, I thank my Heavenly Father every single day for how nice the weather has been to us. I don’t know how the missionaries in Texas do it… I hear it’s suuper hot down there these days. Yikes! But here, we’ve been having lots of rainy clouds/ thunderstorms. We had to take shelter one night this week because we were teaching a lesson in the park and it started POURING. So that was fun! :) Haha.

So this week, we had missionary Sunday! The theme of sacrament meeting was missionary work, and we had a couple of really great talks, and I ended up singing with a member. It was so cool– he’s an opera singer and has an AMAZING voice, and we just sang acapella, “Grande Eres Tu” (How Great Thou Art). It was really fun. And then right after church, there was a baptism of this amazing guy named Mario who the elders have only been teaching for a few weeks now. He might well be the most humble man I have ever met! He’s from Honduras, super sweet, and I just love him to pieces. I also sang at his baptism, so by the end of the day, my voice was tired! :) But it was a really great experience. He just couldn’t stop smiling. :)

And in other AWESOME news… Yasiris set a baptism date! She and her daughter, Lisbeth will be baptized in a couple of weeks. She’s so excited! We were a little worried for a while because her family wasn’t super supportive, but after praying a lot about it, she decided she wanted to be baptized. I could not be more excited! She’s so amazing. I really hope that we’ll stay friends long after the mission. So stay tuned for the story on how the baptism goes! (I’ve attached a picture of us with this email).

Also, Sister Taylor and I had the wonderful opportunity of having dinner at my old young women leader’s house, Sister McKinnon! She and her husband live here in New York, in our area actually, so we went over and had dinner with her one night. It was so great. We also had interviews with President, which went well. He’s such a great man! We are super blessed to have him as president of our mission.

This week I’ve been studying a lot about Christlike attributes, and I’ve learned quite a few things. Mostly the biggest one that hit me that I want to share is about humility– I’m learning that humility isn’t just recognizing your dependence on the Lord… it’s gratefully recognizing your dependence. Hence, I am focusing on gratitude and hoping that will help me with humility :) And of course, patience is all up in that… I’ve come quite a long way patience-wise, but I have so very far to go! Good thing I’ve got a bit of time left out here to get that sorted out. Although I’m starting to realize that it’s a lifelong journey, developing Christlike attributes and improving ourselves. So that helps me have more patience with myself :)

And oh yeah… the coolest news of them all… WE TOTALLY SAW REGIS TODAY!!!!!! We were right outside the temple (66th and Broadway/Columbus) and there he was, walking. Yes, that’s right, Regis– of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire Regis– IN REAL LIFE! Yeah. We freaked out. He walked away too fast for us to get out our cameras though :( But it was so sweet. We also played volleyball for like 4 hours today, and I’m exhausted! Thanks again for all of the love and support. :) Have a good week!

Love,
Sister Rogers

Hermana Rogers with Jan McKinnon, her former YW’s Leader. Friends Forever!