The Boy Who Lived! (And the Two Sister Missionaries Who Lived Too!)

12 Sep

The Girl Child Who Lived!

Here is a portion of a letter my Mama sent me this past week:

“Hola mi nina,

Life is good here in TX. I am just moving forward with a steadfastness
in Christ. I know he knows me and is aware of my needs. I know he is
perfectly aware of yours too. I had this feeling this week (you know me
and my “feelings”) that you were close to a dangerous situation. I prayed
to find comfort and I had the spirit bare witness to me that you are safe
because angels are near you protecting you. What a revelation. I hope
you know I pray for you often. A mother’s prayers are always heard.”

Here is my letter describing this past week-

Dear family and friends,
Boy, do I have some stories to tell this week! It’s been packed full of some crazy stuff. First of all, Sister Aguirre and I had a slightly almost near-death experience. Here’s what happened:
So we were visiting one of our less active members, Norma. She’s such a doll. We were helping her clean her apartment (she lives in a project building) and she fed us a little dinner and it was all fine and dandy. We were about to start the spiritual thought when we heard a lot of sirens getting closer! We looked out the window and saw a few fire trucks on the street below. We were looking and kind of in awe, and we were like, “Cool, I wonder where the fire is at!” So then we start the lesson. During the lesson, we here these rambunctious voices outside in the hall yelling, “Come on, we’ve got to go now!” Really annoying-like. (You’ve got to understand, especially in the projects, there’s LOTS of yelling like that… so you just ignore it and move on). Then as I was saying the closing prayer, MORE sirens kept coming. Well, we finally say good-bye to Norma, besitos on the cheek and everything, and we open the door and it’s almost pitch black and SMOKY. All the dots start connecting and we realize that OURS is the building that’s on fire! Sister Aguirre gets really pale and starts searching for a fire escape (we’re on the 11th floor of the projects… there isn’t one!) Then she goes to the sink, grabs a couple of paper towels and wets them and heads towards the door. Norma, meanwhile, is saying in Spanish, “No puede! No Puede!” (You can’t! You can’t leave!) But Sister Aguirre is determined. (This whole time, I’m being completely calm– I know, it surprised me too!) So Sister Aguirre goes to me, “Sister, we’re getting out of here.” I was like, okay, yeah, we’ll wait it out, wait for the firemen to come and get us. Everything will be fine. All of a sudden, she flings open the door and runs out. All I hear is, “Sister, come on!” So I fly out after her into the stairway, yelling bye to Norma. We run down the flights of stairs, with Sister Aguirre shouting over her shoulder as she goes, “Hurry, Sister, Hurry!” We finally get out and there’s a gaggle of nice fireman at the bottom, who we end up taking pictures with later.
So… yeah. We survived a burning building! We find out a few days later that the fire was actually on our floor, in the firecase we went down. (The apartments themselves are fireproof as long as you don’t open the door and let any of the fire in… so we would have been fine if we had stayed too. Most buildings in New York are built like that). So it was super crazy. But it was just a huge testimony to me that the Lord is watching out for us! We are definitely protected.
Not even fifteen minutes after the fire incident, we are walking down the stairs to the 86th Street subway station, when who walks up but DANIEL RADCLIFFE. Yep, that’s right, THE Daniel Radcliffe. Harry Potter. I did a double-take when I saw him and pinched my companion, who yelped. Oh my goodness. I freaked out. I saw the boy who lived. It happened. Goodness gracious, do I love New York City.
In other not so crazy news, we’ve had a couple of changes happen in the mission. President has changed the way that we’re going to be tracking our numbers. (Usually we keep track of how many lessons we teach with a member, how many without, etc. so we can track our progress and see where we can improve.) So now the new change is that we’re only going to be counting lessons that we teach with members! This way we’re focusing on getting the members involved in the teaching process and helping us find people to teach. I’m so super excited! Our ward is going to excel with flying colors, I have no doubt.
In other news, Alfredo (one of the Cuban men we met so many months ago) is preparing to be baptized! It should be this week or the next week, depending on how a couple of things go. But super exciting there. And we met this family this week, a mother and her son. Her son, Jose, is blind and 43 years old. When we go over there, Sister Aguirre helps the mom out because she just had surgery, and I read to Jose out of the Book of Mormon or the Liahona or a pamphlet. He is so sweet, and I’m really touched by the time I’ve spent around him. He has so much faith, and he calls God, “Papa Dios.” Such an intimate thing. He’s so great! He even arranged to have someone come and pick him up and take him to a place where they read to blind people, so that he could read the Restoration pamphlet we left for him! He’s just amazing.
I learned a pretty amazing lesson this week– It’s one that I’ve been working on for a while now, but it’s finally starting together. It’s this concept of how the Lord accepts every offering… whatever we can give, He accepts it, and gratefully. It’s one of the best feelings to see people walk into church, especially when it’s someone who’s less active who we’ve been working with, or an investigator, or even a member. The amazing thing is, I’m in this incredibly unique position as a missionary here. I’ve been here about 5 months now, give or take, and I’ve really gotten to know a lot of the members. I love them and trust them, and they feel the same way about me. Because of this, I know a lot about their lives and their stories. So for example, when I saw one of our members come into church late on Sunday, with her (previously) rebellious teenage son, after hearing about the wonderful conversion experience he had in his summer vacation to the Dominican Republic, I was incredibly excited to see them, and it was like a joy that just filled me, knowing the story behind it. Being at church feels almost like a big family reunion. It doesn’t matter how or when the people come, just that they do.
This just makes me think about how grateful our Heavenly Father is with us when we make any effort of any kind! Just think– I only know little tiny bits and pieces of these people’s stories, snapshots that they’ve shared with me, and I am so grateful that they’re there and I appreciate every single offering they give. Heavenly Father– He knows it all! He knows all of our experiences, and He knows exactly what has made us what we are and why we do what we do. He knows our needs, and He knows our struggles, better than anyone else, and in a way that no one else could. So yes, the Lord accepts every offering– so even when we’re discouraged or disappointed in ourselves, it’s comfortig to know that our Heavenly Father knows we aren’t perfect and loves us anyways– and is so happy that we’ve made it as far as we have, and that He’s here to help us keep going and achieve our full potential.
Another week chalked full of learning! I’m so blessed to be here. I’m just trying to soak up every single day and enjoy it, because who knows how much longer I’ll be here in the city for? The weather’s starting to shift, some leaves are starting to fall, and it’s my favorite time of year… what better time to be in the big apple? :) I love you all and am SO grateful for your prayers and support.
Con amor,
Hermana Rogers
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One Response to “The Boy Who Lived! (And the Two Sister Missionaries Who Lived Too!)”

  1. Helena Marko September 13, 2012 at 12:41 AM #

    OMG Kelly. You are soooooooo blessed. I had goose bumps reading your letter. The Lord is great and I thank Him every day for watching over you. I love you. Gramma Helena

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