Monday, May 25, 2015

Tallanasty!!!!‏

This week went by so fast! I was on an exchange with Elder McLaws on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were in Bay Minette ( the southern city in our area) and we were way out in the boonies! Trailer parks, dogs, and fishin boats! I still can't figure it out...... why do people live in a destroyed trailer that is filthy but they buy nice trucks and boats...... priorities are outta wack! Friday i was with Elder Swenson in Atmore on an exchange and it was fun.... no guns pulled on us which is always a plus. Elder Browning and i had a meeting in Tallahassee on Saturday so we got up at 6 and hit the road Saturday morning. 4 hours there and 4 back..... we had a lot of bonding time... actually it was the highlight of my week... we had a ton of fun road trippin! In Tallahassee we got to hear from President Smith and he talked about gaining members trust through being obedient. It was so awesome and uplifting. I wish that everyone in the world had a chance to sit in a conference and be taught by President Smith. He teaches by the spirit and everyone feels extremely uplifted afterwards. Its extremely spiritually refreshing! After President Smith taught us we had the opportunity to be taught by Elder Munns of the Area Seventy. He taught us about earning the spirit and working by the spirit. He also taught us about how we should study and strive to understand the Atonement and how we can draw from that and draw from the powers of heaven. He also taught us about how angels are all around us to help us in the work. Most times they are unseen but they are always there. 
I was struck by the doctrine of how we get the spirit with us. Its a doctrine i feel i should know by now and maybe i do know it and i was just being refreshed. I feel like most times when we cannot feel the spirit we as natural people start to focus on the negatives of "What am i doing wrong?" or "Have i done something to cause the spirit to leave?" I've been frustrated lately with this exact situation and maybe that's why Elder Munns' words struck me but here is what i understood from the spirit as i listened. During these times of frustration i usually decide to wait the dull period out. Just wait it out and eventually the spirit will come back. When really the answer that lies in the doctrine is that we need to EARN the spirit. The spirit rarely will just appear in your life and hang out. He's a good friend..... a good friend must be invited into your life. You must invite the spirit in your life by drawing nearer to God by DOING SOMETHING. Most of the time an action is required. Why is this? Because when there is a righteous action made 1- the spirit wants to be around you. 2- your righteous actions show the Lord that you desire to have and keep the spirit around you. So next time that you are frustrated with why you can't feel the spirit examine yourself and if you find something out of line with the gospel change it... if you are in line with the gospel... do something above and beyond to show the Lord you want the spirit. Study the scriptures, give service, pray fervently, fast....etc. Don't worry. The spirit will come. He wants to be around those that want him around bad enough to do something about it:) 
-Elder Rogers




We received this email later the same day:

I'm back!
Power went out... just like Africa!!!! But we made good use of time.... we went fishing with Ed Spencer our investigator.... we didn't catch anything near as big as that dagum shark Annika is holding but we did catch 62 fish;)



Monday, May 18, 2015

Super Patrick‏

What up what up!? This was a crazy week. We went to Pensacola, Florida on Tuesday for a bi-zone conference which Elder Browning and i got to teach at. Scary but fun. We learned how to teach the Restoration lesson in 3-5 minutes so that we can teach it on door steps and try to snag peoples attention to the gospel. It works well and we're using it a lot so hopefully we can get some more people to teach. Wednesday we were out at Bryan Sizemore's (a member of Atmore) cuttin down some trees. It would be so much fun if we could use the chainsaw but rules are rules and Sister Smith taught us about obedience and the life consequences that come from being disobedient so we weren't gonna break any rules..... well while we were there Bryan got a text notifying him that Patrick Morris passed away early that morning. I don't know if i told you guys about Patrick previously but he's the son of our Branch President and he had Muscular Distrophy. He wasn't supposed to live longer than 12 years old but he was 34 when he passed. He was the most positive guy you would ever meet and he never once complained about his position even though he'd been sitting in a chair for close to 20 years. He always had a joke to tell or he was always tryin to get his dad to get him some girls number. I only got to know him for 5 months but you could be around him for 1 day and be inspired by him. He's one of those special spirits who was down here to inspire others and to get a body and move on. We got to attend his viewing on Thursday and his funeral on Friday. His funeral was awesome. The speaker was Brother Pete Coon (a former Branch Pres of Atmore Branch) and he did an amazing job of teaching the plan of salvation as he talked. I have been thinking a lot about how i look at death now. I remember going to funerals and they were very sad but i think it was so sad for me becasue i didn't have a solid testimony in the Plan of Salvation. This funeral wasn't that sad for me. I didn't know Patrick that long and i'm sure that was a huge contribuation but the sad part was seeing his heart broken father. His father is a whole other story.... President Morris has got the most faith in the Lord that i have ever seen in a person. He burried his son on Friday and he was at Church on Sunday. And while at church on Sunday he is finding ways to help others, making plans to visit people who have family members who are in the hospital and close to death, and  at the same time he is giving Patrick's things to another member in our branch that has muscular distrophy. President Morris inspires me to serve even in the face of sadness and despair. He is the one that needs service but he demonstrates the principle of how to push through and get over your sorrows... by giving service. I could go on and on about Patrick and President Morris and how awesome they are and how i felt at the funeral but i don't have all day. I would invite anyone who is struggling to do as President Morris does and look for those that you can extend your arm to and lift them by giving service to them. You won't regret it.
-Elder Rogers

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ebola aint got nothin‏

Skyping yesterday was awesome and its crazy to think that that's my last one! But one crazy story this week..... we were walking around knockin doors all day and we had had our fair share of rejection by about noon and we decide to knock on this door.... well long story short as we're walking away the woman comes out guns a blazin! Well not blazin but she had a revolver.... a BIG revolver pointed at us and she kindly told us to get off her property.... then she went inside to call the cops and they showed up as we were walkin down the street later and she had told them that we had tried to knock her door in and swat at her dogs..... it was a good journal entry. Other than that there wasn't any amazing experiences of us being led right to a house that had a person who had just stood up from saying a prayer for direction in their life but i did have my own kind of experience this week. I have been praying for something the last little while and it may not be a huge deal but it is something that i really wanted an answer to and here is how i was answered. As i was pondering and pondering and trying to feel the spirit prompt me towards my answer, there was a scripture that was brought to my mind when the savior tells his disciples that "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters,yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." 
Of course in this scripture the meaning of the word HATE does not mean how it is used and meant in today's world... in this scripture HATE means "to love less" so if any man come to me, and [love me less than] his father, and mother, .......

I wouldn't say that this little revelation i had hit me like a ton of bricks but it was something that just made sense to me and was more of an "alright then that's what i'll do" moment.

I testify that God does hear our prayers and if you're like me then you might get a little frustrated because you don't exactly know how to receive or recognize the promptings of the spirit that you get but they will come and as you follow what you think is the prompting you'll find out soon enough that if its wrong you won't have peace but if its right and that is the Lord's answer to your prayer then you will only feel a continuation of peace as i have with my own situation. God loves us and wants us to receive his help... he's looking for ways to answer us, not to hide from us. Search for your answers and you will get them and i promise that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Rogers





Monday, May 4, 2015

No one ever asks for a Book of Mormon in the South....

Whaaaaaaaaaaat up!? Life in A-Town is pretty much the same old same old. Elder Browning and i dropped almost all of our investigating pool this week because no one seemed to be very interested in keeping their commitments... which is a problem. With dropping half of our investigators though we were blessed with a couple who is very interested in the church. How we met Jake and Devon is pretty awesome. Elder Browning met Devon's mother while i was gone on an exchange. Last week we went back to their home to follow up with the mother because she said she was very interested in doing some Family History. When we knocked on the door she wasn't there but Jake was the one who answered the door and he was very interested in it as well. We set up an appointment at the church with Jake for the following week (this week). Our appointment with him was yesterday. It was for 3:00 and at about 3:15 he still hadn't showed up so we called him and he said he could still come if we wanted to wait and of course we wanted to. So he comes about 10 minutes later and he brings his wife. We work on their Family History for about an hour and then Jake's wife Devon starts asking us questions... PERFECT QUESTIONS! Questions about our beliefs on things like "Once saved always saved" and "Speaking in tongues." We answered her questions for about 30 minutes and we had led the conversation towards the restoration and the Book of Mormon. We taught them about the Restoration and we were very bold about claiming that we are the ONLY true church and that the Book of Mormon would prove it. She must have felt the spirit cuz she asked if we had a Book of Mormon with us and we did. No one ever asks for a Book of Mormon in the South.... it was so awesome! We talked a little more and then Jake says "I hope you know that she's gonna take that book with her." Elder Browning and I both were thinking "I hope you know that's exactly what we want!" We have an appointment with them this coming Saturday in their home to discuss the Book and if she has any questions... Everyone pray that she feels the spirit as she reads! Other than that Elder Browning and I have been going around talking to all the people we see to try and find those that are interested in hearing what we got.
-Elder Rogers

Friday, May 1, 2015

Nuttin‏

What up what up!? This has turned out to be a great week! Elder Browning and I have had so much fun this last transfer and transfer news came and we're staying together so..... THE PARTY GOES ON!!! So excited that i get to stay in Atmore for the next 6 weeks! Atmore has been takin some crazy rain storms for the past week. There was a Tornado on Saturday that hit a city about 20 miles from us and someone was tellin us yesterday that we have a 60% chance of a tornado in the area on Tuesday but i'm not so sure how accurate that information is. We'll be ready regardless! Elder Browning and I have recently started exercising morning and night when we have the time and the other night we decided to go as hard as we can......... our goal.... to go so hard we throw up! So that's what we did..... we went as hard as we can!! And boy did we throw up! Shrimp..... taco bell.... chocolate cookies............... it was so fun and so journal worthy! Oh ya!!!! That's all for this week!
-Elder Rogers