back ground

September 29, 2014

Denmarks mark on me

In a quiet grove of trees in upstate New York a young farm boy knelt in earnest prayer. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph that lovely spring morning. The experience brought Joseph- and many others- endless ridicule, torment, persecution, and even death. but It also brought truth and light back into a world of confusion and darkness. 
Maybe the beautiful story of the Restoration sounds like something that could have been invented by the likes of J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolken...
Angels, heavenly messengers and higher power.... Ancient records translated by marvelous means..... Countless miracles as the heavens opened and truth was restored.
Such an incredible story can be difficult to wrap a 21st century mind around! 
I'd be lying if I said I'd never had any doubts or questions or concerns.
But I'd also be lying if I said that it isn't true. 
Because I can say with complete confidence and conviction that I KNOW that it is true. 
I've never seen God and I've never been visited by angelic messengers. But I have seen God's hand, and I have felt those heavenly angels guiding protecting and strengthening me.
God has answered my prayers just as surely as He answered Joseph's.
As my faith has grown and as I've acted upon that faith, my daily life has become more beautiful and meaningful. 
Because of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith, I know who I am. I know my potential. I know how I can reach it. I know that I'm loved and that I'm needed. I know my purpose in life. I know that there is so much more than this life. I know where to turn for answers, for help, for guidance, for comfort, for strength, for peace. I know where true happiness is found. I know that I can be forgiven and that I can overcome my weaknesses. 
I know that God- the Almighty Ruler of the eternities- is my Father
I know that Jesus Christ- the Savior of the world and Redeemer of all mankind- is my Brother and my Friend. 
These truths have blessed my life immensely. And as I've spent 18 months sharing the truth which means so much to me and the blessings which have changed my life with the people I've met here in Denmark, I've seen it bless and change the lives of so many others as well.

Its been the most incredible 18 months. I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. The people I've met and the friendships I've made are so precious. The experiences I've had and the lessons I've learned are priceless. I know it was a sacrifice to put my life on hold and serve a mission for a year and a half. But it doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all. I've been blessed immeasurable more than I've sacrificed. 
When I said goodbye to my family and friends and left my home that teary April morning, I set out on this journey with the expectation that I was going to change so many people's lives and leave a mark on Denmark and essentially change the world! 
Well now those 18 months have turned into memories. Memories and lessons and opportunities and experiences that I will cherish forever. 
And what I didn't expect is that far greater than the change I might have helped bring to pass in the lives of others is the change that has been brought to pass in ME. 
Far deeper than the conversion I may have helped others to experience is the conversion of my own heart. 
Far greater than the mark I left on Denmark is the mark that Denmark has left on me.
My mission did indeed change the world- it changed MY world. 
I'm a different person today than I was 18 months ago. And never before have I been so happy with who I am.

When I first arrived here all those months ago, Denmark was nothing but a foreign country. Full of strangers and unpronounceable words.
But this country isn't foreign anymore. Its home. Full of friends and family and memories and love.
Now soon I'll be leaving this place I call home.... But a part of my heart will be here forever. 
I love Denmark more than words can express and more than my heart can confess.
I'm going to miss the snow globe skies and the cobblestone streets. I'm going to miss the diet-destroying pastries and the danish traditions. 
I'm especially going to miss the wonderful people who God has placed in my life over these past 18 months. While I was trying to make a little difference in their day, they made the biggest difference in my life.
My mission hasn't been easy.... the black name tag that I wear everyday has brought with it so many challenges and tests and trials! 
But the biggest challenge is going to be taking that name tag off.
It is so hard for me to accept that this beautiful journey is coming to an end! But every ending is a new beginning, and I have so much faith and hope in the future. 
I know it wont be easy. I know I will face even more challenges and trials and continue to be tested. But with the foundation of faith and courage that my mission has given me, I feel so confident. I know that God and Christ will never leave me. I know that as I continue to put my faith in Them, I will one day accomplish my mission. 
The future is oh so bright! I'm thrilled to discover everything it holds. 

I know that Joseph Smith really was a true prophet and that through him the everlasting gospel was restored to the earth.
Its the reason why I'm here. Its the message I've been sharing up and down these European streets. 
I love the gospel with my whole heart. 
If there is one thing that I've gained from my mission, its the testimony I have that God is REAL. 
I know it with all the certainty of my soul.
It doesn't even matter if you are mormon or muslim or atheist, if you are a believer or a skeptic, if you are from utah or denmark or egypt.....
God is real.
I know that He lives and I know that He loves us. 
It has been the biggest blessing to be one of His missionaries! I've never experienced anything more wonderful than being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I've never experienced anything sweeter than being His means of answering another's prayer. 
I'm thankful that that doesn't have to stop when I take off my name tag... I'll continue to serve the God I love for as long as I live.

Well before I rush off to go buy some european shoes and some black licorice for you all to try, I want to say thank you.
Thank you all so so much for your love and encouragement and especially for your prayers. I'm eternally grateful! 
Jeg elsker jer!
See you soon
Søster Breanna Michele Rogers

September 22, 2014


I wish that this keyboard could interpret all the feelings of my heart into words on this computer. I don't even know if my own mind can interpret the feelings of my heart into comprehensive thoughts..... That's how big my feelings are. 

There is a mass of things that I would love to tell you about today......

Like about our road trip up to Århus with our best friend Lærke where we spent our Pday exploring Aros- an incredibly strange and beautifully fascinating art museum.

Or how we went on splits with Søster Ripa and Søster Hendersen and we all sang "Joseph Smiths first prayer" on the crowded city bus. And the whole crowded bus clapped and cheered. 
Or about our two awesome new Egyptian investigators who were so happy to hear about our message and read the Book of Mormon. 
Or about the muffins that Sister Hale and I tried to make for breakfast for all the sisters sleeping at our apartment. (if you think you can make muffins without baking soda and without measuring cups...... you are wrong!) 

Its been a wonderful week and I could elaborate on all the week's wonderful adventures all day long! 
But what I really want to capture today is the incomprehensible feeling in my heart.... My heart is so so full. 

I just want to tell you about two little experiences that have caused my full heart to flow over like Niagara Falls.

Sister Hadley just forwarded me this email she received from her aunt-
"Dear Megan, It has been fun to read about your missionary experiences. I thought you would find my experience at the Church Museum of History and Art, this past Saturday, interesting.  I am a docent at the museum. I work every other Saturday but have missed a lot this summer because of foot surgery. This past Saturday I was walking past the front desk when a docent at the desk asked me to help a gentleman from Canada that had just walked in.  Oddly, she said she felt impressed that I should be the one to talk to him.  I found and introduced myself to him and asked if I could be of help.  He was very excited to learn about the Mormon story.  We were standing near the diorama of the Smith farm outside Palmyra, NY.  I told him Palmyra was located along the Erie Canal in northwestern NY . He told me he knew of this canal is because he lives in eastern Canada...  That was when he started to tell me his story.  He, in a heavy accent, said he was born and raised in Denmark and moved to Canada when he was 22 yeas old.  We talked about Denmark.  (I am pretty sure I am the only docent on my shift that has been to Denmark.)  I told him how much I enjoyed my visit there, and that I now had niece serving a mission in his beautiful country.  
He then told me the reason he was at the museum.  While on a recent visit  to see his sister in Denmark, he was traveling by train and met two wonderful sister missionaries from the Mormon Church- Sister Peterson and Sister Rogers. He spent about an hour with them. During their conversation they must have said something to him about early church converts coming from Denmark to Utah in wagon trains and handcarts.  
He said he was now on a trip to visit his son in British Columbia and while traveling across the Canadian prairie he could not stop thinking about these early Danish pioneers traveling across the American prairie to Utah to live their religion.  He said he decided to take a big detour and drove south to Omaha Neb. to learn more about them and the Church.  He visited the site of Winter Quarters and then decided to follow the Mormon Trail to Utah. He had just arrived in SLC and was going to spend the day at Temple Square.  Along the way he stopped at the visitor’s center for Devil’s Gate and Martin’s Cove.  In the center is a list of those who were in the Willy and Martin Companies.  Seeing the Danish names on the list, and learning how they had suffered at that location, was a very moving experience for him.  While at the center he was given two copies of the Book of Mormon, one in English and one in Norwegian because it was similar to Danish.   (The center did not have a Danish copy.)  He then asked me some questions about the Book of Mormon.  I showed him the large painting by C.C.A. Christensen, a Danish painter, of Winter Quarters. He was looking forward to seeing the Church’s copy of Thorvaldsen’s “Christus”.  He has never seen the original in Copenhagen.  He thought it funny that he would see it for the first time in Utah.  I told him a little about Temple Square and that there were missionaries, on the square, that would be glad to answer his questions. I had to leave early, but other docents continue of help him.  I thought it was extraordinary that I, on one of the few Saturday’s I’ve worked this summer and just before the museum closes, would meet this man, whose journey with the Church began with Sisters serving in my niece’s mission in Denmark;  and through my connection to you, you could possibly let Sis. Rogers know that she and Sis Petersen made a positive impression on this man.  It started his quest to know more about the Church and the gospel."

Tears tears tears. 
I've talked with a LOT of people throughout my time in this beautiful country.... On buses on trains on street corners on doorsteps. So many that its impossible to remember them! But I remember this man and our conversation as if I spoke with him this morning. He even gave Sister Peterson and I little pins of the Canadian flag.... I still have the pin in my jewelry box. Sister Peterson and I were brand new missionaries at the time..... I never dreamed that that simple friendly conversation would spark such a journey! You never know what kind of an impact you might have on people. Friendship and kindness and train ride conversations are NEVER wasted. 
The real miracle is that this story found its way back to me......
How many times do beautiful things happen that we never even know?

Dale Carnegie said "Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime."

Maybe one day in Heaven we'll be blessed to behold the beautiful gardens that grew from the seeds we didnt even know we planted.

One starry evening Sister Hale and I met with our atheist investigator as we were on our way in for the night. When we discuss life and religion and God and the gospel with our extreme atheist friend, it sometimes becomes a bit nonsensical! But there have been moments when I have seen a light come into his eyes - moments when I have actually seen the Spirit touch his heart. Its happened on multiple occasions, but its never been so clear or powerful or soul-striking as it was on the starlit street that night, when I bore testimony to one of my best friends and told him how much God loves him. 
"Don't you know how badly I want to be like you? Don't you know how badly I wish I could believe?" He confessed. "If I'm right, I've got NOTHING. If you are right and the God you believe in is real..... you've got EVERYTHING. Its the most important thing in the world."
And then, for the first time in the 6 months that I've known him, he said a prayer. 
He folded his arms. He bowed his head. He closed his eyes. And in the shadow of the castle I call home, he prayed to the loving Heavenly Father he longs to believe in. 
I know he felt of Gods love for him. I could see it in his eyes and in his countenance. I could feel it myself. 
Now its been a few days and my friend still hasn't come to the conclusion that God is there..... I don't know if he will ever make the choice to believe. I don't know if he will ever choose to act on what he felt and let it become faith. 
But I KNOW that he felt of Gods love. 

"It is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things... Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."
1 Nephi 11:22-23

The best feeling I've ever felt is the feeling of Gods love. Its a feeling that this keyboard can't interpret. 
The best part about the best feeling isn't even feeling it for myself.... but for others.
For those people I see on buses and trains and street corners and doorsteps. 
And for the people I don't see.... who have been loving and supporting and praying for me back home. 
For the people I teach and the people I serve. For the people who teach and serve me.

I feel like my little black nametag was the key to a chamber of my heart that I never knew existed.... 
My mission has been a key that unlocked an ability and capacity to love that I didn't even know I had.

I know I'm going all hippie on you... but Love makes the world go 'round!
Love is all we need.
Like President Monson said, Love really is the very essence of the gospel.

Love is expressed in many recognizable ways: a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment. Other expressions may be more subtle, such as showing interest in another’s activities, teaching a principle with kindness and patience, visiting one who is ill or homebound. These words and actions and many others can communicate love.
May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers. As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.

I'm going to hug you all to death when I see you in a few short weeks.
I hope you all know how much I love you!
I hope you all know how much God loves you. 

Søster Rogers

Said my atheist best friend Michael:
"If I'm right, well then nothing even matters.
But if you are right... well then the god you believe in must be damn proud." 
#highlightofmymission #quoteoftheyear

​my missionary posterity. so much love.

​early morning exercise sometimes means chasing ducks in your pajamas.

September 15, 2014

Legos Lamanites and Lydighed

Any week that kicks off with a day in an almost-empty amusement park is bound to be a good one.

Sister Hale and I were kids for the day (lets be honest.... we're kids everyday....) and had a BLAST at LegoLand. My favorite was the aquarium tunnel. 
Og ved I hvad? The week only went up from there. 

This week:

  • We went up to Århus for a big Zone Training.
    And we wore our sweat pants. Because we didn't feel like changing.
    Haha.... you see, we gave a training to all the missionaries about how its important to change. We can't just stay in our comfort zones (our or comfy sweat pants) all the time. We have to be willing to change. Because like Elder Bednar taught us- we can't keep doing the same things and expect to get different results.

  • We accompanied our sweet friend Solveig down to an old folks center where we joined her little choir of gamle mennesker singing old Danish love songs/ patriotic songs/ nature-praising songs. It was such a treat! 

  • Sister Hale handed me a pair of scissors at 7:00 one morning and said "værsgo! cut my hair!" So..... I gave the girl BANGS. I cut like 10 inches of my companion's hair off. (I have NEVER done that before and I have noooooo idea why she trusted me..... too much sugar in her morning oatmeal?) It was quite thrilling and she looks like a babe with those bangs.

  • I ate a piece of pizza topped with bacon and hotdogs. It was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up. And I was quite surprised at how tasty it was.....

  • We ventured into the forest dressed up like LAMANITES and battled the primary kids on their little "Book of Mormon Tour." Jo tak. It was a blast. 

  • On our way home one day we ran into an international market where we sampled cheese from all over Europe and bought some fruit from Italy. I've basically tasted the whole world whilst being on my mission...... 

OHHH its been a lovely week. 
I read this quote by L. Tom Perry this morning-
"The discipline contained in daily obedience and clean living and wholesome lives builds an armor around you of protection and safety from the temptations that beset you as you proceed through mortality." 
That quote really jumped out at me. Probably because we had a few encounters throughout the week with quizzical people almost criticizing us for being obedient to so many rules.... 
Its true that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we live a high law. The standards that we live by might seem ridiculous and even unreachable to the rest of the world. 
And its true that as missionaries we live an even higher law. We have this special little white handbook packed full of rules and very specific guidelines that we live by! 
But I've never felt restricted and I've never been forced. 
I obey because I want to. I obey because I trust the Lord. I obey because I love Him.
I think that as human beings a lot of us have this natural inclination to want to do the exact opposite of whatever someone tells us to do. But as we experience the consequences of the choices we make, we discover that rules are only there for our benefit. I've definitely seen that throughout my mission, and throughout my whole LIFE.
I've also really come to learn that I NEED the blessings and the strength that the Lord promises to those who are obedient. I simply can't get by without them.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 
Sister Rogers