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May 28, 2013

"I AM IN MISSOURI!" (my Maroon5 remix)

Hello from the beautiful state of Missouri! I'm a missionary. A real life missionary. A missionary out in the field. And let me tell ya, it is nothing what I had expected! Probably because I hadn't been planning on going to a state-side English-speaking mission... But. I LOVE it.

When we found out that we hadn't gotten our Visas and that we were for sure being reassigned, it was really hard for me. I'd been spending the past 6 months dreaming of Denmark, and the past 6 weeks planning and preparing to go there and to teach the people there. So when I found out that I didn't get to go to Denmark after all, it was rough! I struggled to stay positive and struggled to stay motivated. Of course I knew it would all be ok, I knew that good things would come of it, and I knew that the Lord wouldn't waste a second of my mission. But that didn't make it any easier. My stomach was twisted and my heart was heavy. It was really hard on all of us and it was a rough couple days at the MTC. But then one night it just hit me... A scripture came to my mind, 3 Nephi 11:29 "the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil... and he stirreth up the hearts of men." What I realized was that the disappointment and discouragement and contention I was feeling was all coming from the adversary. He wants me to be disappointed and discouraged and downhearted. Because he wants to prevent me from being the best missionary I can be. When I figured it out I was angry! I was so mad at Satan for making me feel that way, and I just wanted to punch him and kick him and beat him up! Haha. And then I realized that I CAN. By not being discouraged. And by staying strong and working as hard as I can. So that's exactly what I decided to do.

After staying up til midnight playing an insane game of tetris (trying to pack my suitcases under 50 pounds) 8 of the other Danish sisters and I woke up at 3 AM last Tuesday morning to head to the airport. And when we walked out of our apartment building, all of our elders were walking towards us! With pajamas and smiling faces at 3:30 in the morning. They carried our suitcases and walked us to our bus. It was the sweetest thing ever. It was hard saying goodbye to them! After spending every second together for the past month and a half, we really all became family. Vi ses i Danmark! 
Then with a hundred other missionaries packed into a giant bus, and a trailer the size of my house pulling everyone's luggage, we left the MTC. It was so surreal... I'd been living inside that one-mile radius for so long! It was crazy to go back out into the world, and to realize that its still been turning!
When I was sitting on the airplane flying over the country, I have to admit I was super nervous!! The kind of nervous you are when you're sitting on a roller coaster for the first time, waiting for it to take off. The kind of nervous you are when you're walking down the stairs in the dark. The kind of nervous you get from the unknown. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into! No idea what Missouri was like, no idea what the mission I was being sent to was like, no idea what the day would hold. But i figured it all out soon enough! Missouri is wonderful. This mission is wonderful. And that first day, was WONDERFUL.
President and Sister Clark greeted us at the airport with a great big "Velkommen!" (Danish for "Welcome!" They learned a little Danish for us!) And then they took us to Denmark. I'm serious. They said lets go! We're going to Denmark! So we loaded up our stuff and drove into St. Louis. And when we got out of the van, we were standing in front of a bakery called "Pastries of Denmark." I wanted to cry!!! How thoughtful and sweet and wonderful. And just wait..... it gets better. We went inside to eat our first Danish pastry, only to find out that the owner was there. And that he was from Copenhagen! He came out and spoke Danish with us. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER

I've been here in Missouri for a week now. And I absolutely love it. I love it as much as if it had been my original mission call. I'm serving in the most beautiful area! It is GORGEOUS here. There are so many trees that it looks like a giant broccoli kingdom. haha. Its great! The heat and humidity is killllling me though.
I have two companions again, so that as soon as I get my visa I can just take off. Tripanionships rock! Sister Allen and Sister Dutson are two of the most amazing people I have ever met. Their testimonies are incredible and their spirits are SO strong and their teaching abilities are seriously unbelievable. I'm so thankful to work with them and so lucky to learn from them! Sister Allen plays the piano and the guitar and has the voice of a celestial angel. Like hello??? We are having so much fun together! We borrowed a couple guitars from some members and we're writing a song together! We even arranged and wrote some music and did a musical number for zone conference yesterday. It was so fun. You guys should go look her up on iTunes. Heidi Allen. She ROCKS.
So this past week has been great. We white washed into this area, so none of us knew any of the people or our way around at all. Which has been quite the adventure! But the ward members are sooo amazing, we've had dinner appointments every single night! You haven't had BBQ until you've been to Missouri. YUM. Anyway... The members are so kind and supportive, and it means the world to us. (This is me telling you to invite the missionaries over for dinner! Get to know them and love them! It really means so much.)

Now that I'm out in the field, my name tag means so much more. Everyday I teach real people and meet real people who don't have the gospel in their lives. And Heavenly Father trusts ME to bring it to them. I am so humbled and so honored. There are so many people to help! I just want to reach out to every single person and tell them that God loves them and that through Jesus Christ they can find peace and strength and happiness. I want everyone to know of the blessings that the gospel brings!
I'm such a greenie.
The other day we were sitting under a bug-infested tree behind the public library teaching a lesson to a 72 year old muslim man named Bajwa. And he said something that really struck me.
"You meet millions of people in your life. But only a few of them touch your heart."
I hope that I can be one of those few. To all of the people I teach and meet and cross paths with over the next year and a half, I hope I can be one of those few.

I love being a missionary. I'm so happy to be here in Missouri.
Sister Rogers