back ground

July 29, 2013

Dolphins, banana bread, and sparkly shoes

"The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God... and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power." (D&C 88:45,47)
I love the earth.
For our district activity this week a bunch of us missionaries went out to Storebæltsbroen and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows on the beach, played frisbee, hiked around, jammed on the guitar, caught jellyfish and watched dolphins. I thought I was dreaming. Like seriously??! I sat on a cliff in Denmark. And played the guitar while watching DOLPHINS swim in the sparkling ocean. Highlight of my entire life.

Here's some of the highlights from the rest of the week:
A sparkly new pair of shoes with beaded pineapples on them :) (present from sweet Susanne)
Salty black licorice ice cream. (Don't EVERRRR try it.)
A funeral for a dead baby bird with our 6 year old neighbor.
A car show with a bunch of awesome old cars that reminded me of my awesome dad.
A morning jog in warm summer rain.
Baking 80 loaves of banana bread (OK maybe just 8... but still)

I think at least half of my journal entries begin with "Today was the BEST DAY EVER." But I always mean it with my whole heart. And if its a bad day, the great thing is that you can go to bed knowing tomorrow will be better. And if tomorrow isn't better.... well then it will just make you appreciate today! I think one of my favorite things about being a missionary is how productive and important every single day is. Every minute is meaningful. When I ride my bike home at night I reflect back on the day, and I feel like I made a difference. A difference in somebody's day, or a difference in somebody's life. And just like my dad reminded me in his letter today, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." We all have the potential to make a difference in the world every single day. So look for ways to make someone smile. Look for ways to share your talents. Look for ways to help those around you. Look for ways to brighten somebody's day. Because feeling like you've made even the tiniest difference is even better than dolphins or banana bread or sparkly new shoes.

I hope you all have a fantastic week! Here's a rocking banana bread recipe if you wanna make some for your neighbor. 
 Hope you have the best day ever!
MKH, (med kærlig hilsen)
Søster Rogers
P.S. go read D&C 38:28 and tell me it doesn't remind you of Harry Potter
Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze
Recipe from Our Best Bites 
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 medium ripe bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons rum (optional; can be replaced with 1-2 teaspoons rum extract or 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
2 large eggs
9 ounces (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk or half and half
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Slice the bananas. Set aside.
Over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the bananas and brown sugar and saute for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Place the banana mixture in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
Combine the buttermilk, oil, rum or extracts, and eggs in a large liquid measuring cup. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternately add it to the banana mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown on top and a pick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare the glaze, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to get brown and fragrant (careful…things can go south REALLY quickly. Be sure to remove from heat as soon as it starts to get brown.) Whisk in the powdered sugar and milk or half and half and drizzle over the cooled banana bread and allow the glaze to set before slicing. Supposedly makes 16 slices (ha).


July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

SHOUT OUT to my best friend/ the best brother ever!!!
Last time we were together on your birthday we were in Harry Potter world and you turned 19.... isn't that crazy? Well go dress up like a hipster and fall in love with a stranger and eat breakfast at midnight because you're TWENTY-TWO-OO OO OOO!!! I love you.

Wanna know what I miss more than anything??
WATER. All I want in my life is a nice glass of ice water. If I'm lucky enough to get water, its luke warm carbonated water. Sick. And sometimes the soda tastes like carbonated cough syrup. Gkalvnasfnvkk. 
But if that's the worst thing about my life, I guess I'm doing pretty good! 
My life rocks.

Every Thursday we have sports night, and all the kids and youth and YSA's meet up and play soccer for a couple hours. Danes are crazy good at soccer... even the little kids rock at it. So sports night was one of our ideas to help bring the ward members together and help everyone get involved with missionary work. They invite their nonmember and less active friends and we invite our investigators and we all play the night away. And as I'm running across the field I can't help but think about how SWEET my life is... Playing soccer under a gorgeous European sky with a  bunch of amazing people. Back home, I never had time to go out and meet new people and make new friends and visit people and talk with strangers. My life was all about me- my job and my school classes and my friends. And that's why being on a mission is SO great, because now I don't have time for anything BUT going out and meeting new people and making new friends and talking with strangers. Its so much fun. Especially when you look through Heaven's eyes. Because even though we speak different languages or are different colors or know different cultures or were born on different corners of the planet, we are ALL children of the same Heavenly Father.
So talk to the lady at the cash register when you go to the grocery store. Make friends with the old man in front of you in the long line at the post office. Make cookies for your neighbors that live down the street. Reach out to everyone around you. You never know, the Lord might answer somebody's prayers through you.

One day Sister Pete and I went to the store to buy a map so we wouldn't be lost and confused all the time in this foreign city anymore. But the map we needed cost 200 Kroner and we couldn't afford it. So Sister Peterson and I were trying to figure out how we could make it work, and I was like "well, we could just not buy groceries this week..." and Sister Pete was like "or maybe we could wash all our clothes by hand for the rest of the month or..." And then a lady that had apparently overheard our conversation came up and took the map and said she'd like to buy it for us. She didn't care how expensive it was. She didn't know us from Adam, but she saw that we were in need and she wanted to help. So she gave us the map and said "I know you'll help somebody else someday." And then she smiled and disappeared into the crowd. 
The light of Christ shines through kindness and good deeds. 

So I was pretty bummed that I missed the annual Llama Fest in Spanish Fork this year.... But. the VIKING FEST totally made up for it. The part of Denmark where I live was once inhabited by pillaging vikings. How crazy cool is that?! So there is a Viking Festival every summer out at the old ruins of an ancient viking village. Everybody was dressed up re-enacting and camping out there for the whole week! It was like I just climbed out of the Magic Treehouse (remember those books from elementary school? they were the best) and showed up in a real viking village. We made viking bread and tried on all the viking clothes and pet viking ponies and played viking games and shot a bow and arrow and wandered through the village of shops and people.... It was a dream come true! 

That night my comp and I cut up a big watermelon for dinner and talked about our worst date stories and our future husbands just like any two normal twenty year old girls might do. Because that's what we are. Just two normal twenty year old girls. Missionaries are real people too. Who do things like go to Viking festivals and play soccer and laugh and have fun. Except for our name tags that give us the powers of heaven and except for the angels that are always around us and except for the gift of tongues that helps us speak crazy foreign languages and except for the hymns that are always stuck in our heads and except for the skirts we always have to wear....... we're just normal people! Its pretty cool that Heavenly Father trusts us with the salvation of His children. Its pretty cool to have the Lord answer somebody's prayers through you. Its pretty cool to help somebody find and build and strengthen their testimony. And its absolutely amazing. To be the one the Lord sends to help one of His children find their way back home. The best feeling in the world. 

"I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and desised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;
And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them." D&C 35:13-14

Have a good week! Drink lots of water for me.
Søster Rogers

 Susanne was baptized on Saturday! It was the best.
 missionary vikings

Peace and vi ses! 

July 15, 2013

Big long letter today. With lots of ramblings about Jesus and other stuff.

I'd just like to let you all know that I turned 20 1/2 last Tuesday.
Where has my life gone!? I'm getting old.

But besides my mixed feelings about growing up, my half birthday was a great day! Woke up at 6:30 and hopped on our bikes at 6:40 to go catch the train to Copenhagen. I love serving here on Sjaelland because I LOVE going to Copenhagen all the time. Oh my heck I'm in love with that city. So we had a big zone training, and seriously there is nothing better than being together with a huge group of missionaries. We are the product of a Revelation. That is the COOLEST feeling. And its something you can experience too... Did you watch the big worldwide broadcast a few weeks ago? If not, go check it out. Right now. I won't even be offended if you don't read the rest of my letter. Go read up on the newest revelation and then become a product of it. I promise you will see the Lord's hand and witness miracles.
Miracles are happening everyday here in Denmark! I'll tell you about one of them that I've been so lucky to witness and be a part of.

Susanne has been smoking since she was 8 years old. Her husband and her son were taught by the missionaries for a long time and eventually they were baptized. But Susanne never wanted to be a part of the lessons and discussions. Then one day, she listened in as the closing prayer was being said. And the Spirit overwhelmed her with warmth from the tips of her toes clear up to her hair. (That's exactly how she described it) She knew right then and there that the church was true and that she wanted to be baptized.

So now we have been teaching Susanne the lessons and helping her prepare for her baptism. But she's been struggling a LOT with the word of wisdom. She's been smoking for almost 50 years, and trying to quit has been a huuuuge struggle for her. So we brought the Elders Quorum president with us to her lesson last week so that he could give her a priesthood blessing. Susanne was promised that the Savior would give her the strength that she needed to quit smoking. After the blessing, Susanne had tears all down her cheeks and she could barely choke out her words as she said "I've had my last cigarette." 
It was incredible to witness as the Spirit inspired and empowered this woman. It was so incredible to witness as she received spiritual and physical strength from the Savior to conquer her biggest trial.
The Savior does that for all of us. He promises to ease our burdens and make them light. He promises to comfort us through our despair and to strengthen us when we feel weak. He's always there. And if we turn to Him, we can overcome anything. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. That's the key to happiness. The key to success. The key to miracles. The key to missionary work.

Speaking of missionary work...
One morning Sister Pete and I were studying our lives away. Just like every other morning. I was probably reading about Captain Moroni and thinking about how my future husband is gonna be just like him... (strong and mighty and firm in the faith of Christ) ... When suddenly there was a knock on our door. And guess who it was? Jehovah Witnesses. We chatted with them for a minute and let them tell us about their beliefs. And it was SO interesting to be on the other side of the door. To listen to strangers talk about some religion that you don't believe in and invite you to learn more and insist that its true. It really opened my eyes to how others view us, and made me realize just how important it is to teach with the Spirit. The Jehovah Witnesses were completely convinced that their religion is true, and since that day I've really started to step back and analyze my own testimony. What it all comes down to is the Spirit. The Spirit testifies of truth. That's how I know that this gospel is true- because I've received a spiritual witness. Because the Spirit testifies to me every single day. Because the Spirit literally leads and guides me and shows me where to go and what to say. Because I've witnessed as the Spirit has worked so many miracles in my life and in the lives of others. Its through the Spirit that I know without a doubt that its true. 

The sad thing is that even though its truer than the sky is blue, not everybody accepts it.
Even when the Savior was here on earth ministering to the people and teaching and preaching His gospel, He didn't convert and baptize every single person He met. And He was the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, the literal Son of God. He performed miracles every day- healing the sick and the blind and the lame, walking on water, raising the dead, feeding thousands, calming storms... His ministry was incredible and His efforts were flawless. And still, most people wouldn't accept Him. In fact they rejected Him to the point of crucifying Him. But his mission was successful. 
Because He did what He was sent to do. He did the will of the Father.

As a missionary, people reject me every single day. It breaks my heart when people don't want to accept the glorious gospel into their lives, especially without even taking a minute to find out what they are missing. But what I've learned from Christ's perfect example, is that success is measured by your desire and commitment to do the will of the Father.

The same is true for all of us.... Success isn't measured by how much money you have or the car you drive or the house you live in or the clothes you wear or the job you have or the cool things you do or how many likes your pictures get on instagram.....
You are successful when you do what you were sent here to do. The will of the Father.
I'm so thankful for this knowledge I have. And for the opportunity I have to be here in Denmark and witness how this knowledge blesses and changes lives.

Holy cow this turned into a really long letter... Congrats if you made it clear to the end!
I'm going to a Viking Festival now.
Have a great week! 
Søster Rogers

July 8, 2013

Feeling thankful....

I think God probably laughs as He looks down at Søster Peterson and me. But He has definitely been looking down on us. And he is definitely blessing us for trying.

We felt pretty lost at first. After dropping our trainer off at the train station, we just felt really really lost. So we went home and ate peanut butter and jelly on toast for lunch. Because peanut butter and jelly on toast is the best comfort food. 

I'm just really glad that I'm going through this ultimate challenge with Søster Peterson. She seriously rocks. We get along so well and have so much fun together. Even when we break our phone and have to walk around trying to find somebody who will let us borrow theirs, and even when we get stranded in the middle of no where for 7 hours, and even when we run out of food and have nothing but a can of corn and a can of beans to eat for dinner, and even when the guy in the electric wheel chair takes off at full speed when we try to share a message of happiness with him, and even when we show up for appointments to find nobody home..... we always can find things to laugh about and reasons to smile. 

A few days before Søster Hays left we had dinner with the bishop's family, and I remember feeling like we were going to die without our trainer. It was so hard to keep up with the conversations, and it was exhausting to even try. But we went back to Bishop's house for dinner that first night that we were alone. And it was like the whole world had turned around... I understood words I didn't even know that I knew. I followed every conversation easily. I told everybody stories about my childhood and we talked about World War 2 and about movies and normal every day things... 
When Søster Peterson and I walked out the door that night we just looked at each other. Like WOW. We just spoke Danish for 2 hours. Without Søster Hays whispering translations of what everybody was saying the whole time. It was an absolute miracle. Like somebody just flipped on a light. All I can say is thank you to my Heavenly Father. For answering my prayers and the prayers of my family and friends. 

Its been a really great week! One of the hardest weeks ever, but one of the best. Its amazing that Søster Peterson and I are doing this. We talk with everybody we ever meet. And even though we are both so new to this whole being in Denmark thing slash this whole speaking Danish thing, people listen. And when they really listen, they don't hear our mispronounced grammatically incorrect attempts at speaking this crazy hard language. They hear the Spirit. 

So here's my spiritual thought for you guys this week. From the book of Romans. Chapter 8. 
"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us."

Søster Rogers
 Farvel søster Hays!
 We had way too much fun at Tivoli.
 Patriotic pancake party!
 Happy 4th of July!
Peanut butter is like gold in Europe. THANKS MOM!

July 1, 2013

"I will go and Do..."

Transfers are this week, and two of the sisters are finishing their missions and going home, which means that there wont be enough trainers for all the new sisters. (We've already been in tripanionships as it is.) So for the past couple weeks I've had this feeling that Sister Hays would be transferred to be someone else's new trainer. And that Sister Peterson and I would be left to fend for ourselves here in Slagelse. I told my companions about this crazy feeling I had, and they said they both had the exact same feeling. Somehow we all just knew it would happen. So Sister Hays taught us everything she could and we tried our best to soak up every little thing she ever said.

And then one day the phone rang. And as soon as I heard President Sederholm's voice I knew exactly why he was calling... I wasn't surprised at all when he said he was taking away my trainer. He told me that he knew it would be really hard for Sister Peterson and I, but that he knew we could do it. And that more importantly the Lord knew we could do it. Then Sister Peterson told him that we had seen this coming, and that we already knew. And President Sederholm said that he had been praying that we would know. That he had been praying for the Lord to let us know so that we could feel peace and comfort with the whole thing and not be afraid. That's when I realized more than ever that the Lord really is in the details of my life. And I realized that those feelings that I'd had weren't just crazy ideas, but rather they were impressions sent from the Lord. In answer to my mission presidents prayer. 

So on Wednesday morning my trainer is leaving me. I'll be honest, I am terrified!! You are supposed to have a trainer for TWELVE weeks, not three! This is crazy. Sister Peterson has only been here in Denmark one week longer than me, and so basically we're going to be training ourselves. I wont be able to ask Sister Hays how to say a word or a phrase I don't know, or how to pronounce something right. Wont be able to glance over at her to have her jump in and take over a conversation with somebody on the street. Wont be able to have her translate things when I'm totally lost and confused.... But even though this is the scariest thing in the whole world and its going to be really really hard, I feel so much peace. If the Lord trusts me to do this, I trust Him to help me. So "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he hath commandeth them." 

I love my calling. I love my name tag. I love the challenges and the hard times just as much as I love the laughs and the adventures. I love being a missionary more than I've ever loved anything in my life. I love my mission.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

Its P day and we are going to Tivoli!! So I'm peacing out from my email early today to go ride some really old roller coasters and maybe even eat a pastry. Have a wonderful week! 
 creepy statue we found made out of a tree trunk

 one of our bike trails
 beautiful Denmark