back ground

September 30, 2013

Family history and the spirit of Elijah

We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot cocoa for Sunday dinner with my adorable Danish grandparents. And they said to tell you all hi. So, Hils fra Hans og Ulla!

This week has been filled with lots of sweaters and scarves and warm tights because its starting to get suuuuper chilly! Its been a great week here in Slagelse.....

We did the best service project with our ward this week! We all put on those yellow "Helping Hands" vests and ventured into the forest to pick up litter and trash. I can barely even call that service work. It was absolutely GORGEOUS and I love nothing more than being surrounded by towering trees and breathtaking nature.

We were super busy all week and had a lot of great lessons! Including going out for ice cream with our JW investigator Sara, going out for hot chocolate and pastries with our new investigator Iben, and learning how to make æbleskivers with our friend Bettina. I heard a lot about how fun missionary work can be, but no one ever mentioned how good it tastes!! haha.

One day this week we gave out 44 books of mormon! Not even kidding right now!!
Well we gave them to all the members in our ward that accepted the challenge. I'm so excited to see what comes of it! 

Also this week there was a big kulturaften and people from all over the country flooded into Slagelse. The shops stayed open all night and the city center was filled with all sorts of food and activities and live music. It was crazy! It was the perfect opportunity for us to walk around and talk to tons and tons of people. Most people in Denmark have never heard of our church before, but the ones who have say the most interesting things! Like "do you really believe that Joseph Smith turned into God after he died?" or "Did God really marry Mary?" One lady even asked if all of the Mormon pioneers were cannibals... yikes. And of course we get lots of questions about plural marriage. Lots of them ask if Sister Peterson and I share the same husband. Noooo thanks! When I get married I'm not sharing my man with anybody!! Its interesting to hear what some people think about us, and its really good that we can clear up a lot of those misconceptions and suspicions. 

As part of the missionary training program (which we were supposed to have finished weeeeks ago....) Sister Pete and I had to learn about the church's family search program. So this week we got to check out a little bit of our own family history. I never understood when people talked about the "Spirit of Elijah beginning to work on you," but holy cow! Now I understand! As I read about my different ancestors and where they come from, I felt like I'd hit the jack pot or struck a gold mine when I found a whole huge line of ancestors that come from Denmark. I have ancestors that lived in this very land where I live and serve right now! Denmark is where they were baptized and joined the church, and its because of that that I'm here right now- back where it all started. After they were baptized they took a ship to America with their children, and you will never even believe where they went next.... St LOUIS MISSOURI. Right where I began my mission. Isn't that incredible?! I was so excited to read about my ancestors and realize that my mission is taking place in the footprints of where my family first found the gospel. How special.
I read a talk from the last YW conference by Mary N. Cook called "When you save a girl, you save generations." (if you have time, go look up that talk and read it! it rocks.) I know that the person I am and the life I live hugely impacts my children and grandchildren and future generations. But what I really realized is that it also impacts previous generations. We all have the power and capability to impact and bless the eternal lives of our family that came before us. And that's through temple work and family history.
 President Sederholm called a few days ago with the great news that the new missionaries all got their Visas! Yay! So there are 15 missionaries coming to Denmark this week, and two of them are sisters. And get this... He's sending one of them to ME. I'm going to be training a brand new missionary. I still feel like a brand new missionary myself! I'm super excited but suuuper nervous! I want to help her become an amazing missionary, and I want her to love her name tag and love the Danish people just as much as I do. This is the foundation for the rest of her mission.... no pressure! Sometimes I feel like as soon as I work my way past one obstacle I turn the corner and find an even bigger one. But its challenges that help us learn and grow and become better and stronger. And if the Lord trusts me then I trust Him to help me. I know He will because He always does.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic week back in the good old United States of America.
Check out your own family history, its super fun! And then go write in your journal. Because you've got your own history to write too. 
Thanks for all of your love and support and prayers! I love you all and pray for you too.
Have a happy conference weekend! 
Søster Rog


September 23, 2013

Faith the size of a mustard seed

Last night I dreamed in Danish. So that was pretty cool. Maybe that means I'm almost fluent? Hahaa not even close. But I have gotten to the point where I can come home from church on Sunday feeling spiritually enlightened and uplifted instead of just totally exhausted and brain dead! And when I talk to people on the streets and teach lessons I don't have to worry if I'm going to understand them or not and I don't have to think about what I could say next. It just comes.
Speaking of den danske sprog, I had to go to Copenhagen this week to take my immigration test. I was locked inside this little glass cubicle while a Danish computer man tested my Danish speaking skills and my knowledge of Denmark. It was kind of fun. When Sister Peterson and I studied all the trivia questions and Denmark's history the night before I felt just like a normal procrastinating college student! But unlike college where if you fail a test you just end up with an ugly letter on your transcripts, if I failed this test I could get kicked out of the country! 
But don't worry, it was pretty easy.

We got to spend another day in Copenhagen for ZONE CONFERENCE. Which -to a missionary- is the equivalent of Christmas. At Zone Conference I lost count of how many times I heard the words "Nothing is too hard for the Lord." And every time I heard it, even the 37th time, I felt the Spirit testify that its true. Nothing is too hard for the Lord! He created this planet. He's not asking me to create a world (not yet at least...) He's asking me to work a little harder. To walk a little farther. To come home a little more tired. To exercise a little more faith. He overcame the world, and so I know that He can help me overcome anything. I know He will help you overcome the trials and challenges you face too, all you need is faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed. I love that analogy because the contrast between the size of a mustard seed and the size of the tree it can become is the biggest contrast ever. A mustard seed is TINY. And if we exercise faith as a mustard seed, we can perform miracles! And then that seed will grow up into a gigantic tree. 
And if faith the size of a mustard seed can bring miracles, just imagine what that mustard tree of faith can do.

After Zone Conference I felt like a bottle of Coca-Cola that had just been shaken by an earthquake. An earthquake that reached a 10 on the rector scale. Caffeinated and carbonated and ready to explode like fireworks on the 4th of July! (I hope you guys like my cheesy descriptive analogies and metaphors:) Haha) But it was perfect because for part of Zone Conference we got to hit the streets! In one hour Sister Peterson and I let our coca-cola explode like Old Faithful all over Copenhagen. We talked to everybody we passed and gave out sooo many pamphlets and killed everybody with love and happiness and the good news. 

One cool thing that happened was when we started talking to a nice lady on the street and she turned out to be a member! On a whim we gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to give it away... she accepted the challenge- she was actually on her way to dinner with a nonmember friend right then! That awesome experience inspired Sister Peterson and I to carry two huge boxes of Book of Mormons clear across the country back home to Slagelse. (side thought- if 44 book of mormons are that heavy I wonder how much all the book of mormons on the whole planet put together weights..... probably a LOT.) Anyways. We're giving a book to every member of our ward. Our whole ward accepted the challenge to give that Book of Mormon away!
Last conference Elder Neil L. Andersen said "I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them. Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles." 

So I want to give you that challenge too! Pray for missionary opportunities. Pray to know who you can share a Book of Mormon with. You've been promised by an apostle of the Lord that as you pray, names and faces will come into your mind. Even if your faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, you'll see miracles. 

So transfer calls were this week! Well at least they were supposed to be. Every time the phone rang for the whole weekend Søster Pete and I jumped a mile in the air. But our transfer call never came.... guess we're just going to be eternal companions or something! JK. Apparently the sisters in the MTC right now haven't gotten their VISAs yet, so none of us are transferring until the new sisters come.
I'm sooo glad it worked out like that, because our friend told us that she's been praying and praying and praying, and that she told God that if its the right time for Francesco to accept to gospel, then me and Sister Peterson have to stay here in Slagelse. I was scared one of us would be transferred and then she would lose faith and hope... so, good thing we're both staying! Who knows for how long though....

Funnest thing that happened this week: eating soup with my hands.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, my mission is such a cultural experience! We ate dinner one night with our friend that lived in Africa. And in Africa they eat this stuff called "fufu." Which is bread dough. They eat soup with uncooked bread. And they eat it all with their hands! I felt like I was 3 years old again and it was so fun. But I definitely prefer my bread baked....

Another fun thing this week was when we met a group of people who were just chilling on their front patio with their coffee, beer, cigarettes, and some really good Chris Brown music. They were really nice and listened to what we had to say about the Book of Mormon, and one of them was super interested and asked if he could keep a book and every pamphlet that we had. But one of his friends asked us what we're doing here. Two 20 year old girls with so many better things to do. He basically told us that we're wasting our lives right now.... 
Boy was he wrong!! 
Maybe he was right about the fact that most people don't want to listen. Maybe he was right about the fact that most people have it good with their own religions. And you know, maybe he was right about the fact that there are LOTs of other things I could be doing with my life right now. But you know what I told him? 
That I want to be here. There's no where else I'd rather be. This is the farthest thing from a waste of time. This is the best thing I've ever done.

I love being a missionary.

I hope you all have a great week! Remember to pray about who you can share a Book of Mormon with. I promise you, just like Elder Andersen did, that opportunities will open up to you. Just plant your mustard seed.
Held og lykke!

Søster Rogers
 We decided to take a break from adventuring on Pday and treated ourselves to 15 Kroner avocado facials. Complete with cucumbers.
Chilling with Channing! hahaaa


September 16, 2013

Priesthood Power

I made the best banana bread ever and it tastes like home.
But I'm really excited to cook food in Fahrenheit instead of Celsius again someday.....
In Denmark you don't see Fahrenheit. Or miles. Or window screens. Or bed sheets. Or bath tubs. Or chocolate chips. Or dryers. Or ice. Or ceiling lights. Or peanut butter. Or whipped cream that has sugar in it. Its an interesting place, Denmark. I love it. Someday when I have Fahrenheit and chocolate chips and ceiling lights again I'm going to miss a lot of other things. Like cobblestone streets and snow globe skies. Cheese and jam on toast. Gå gades. Colorful houses... especially the yellow ones. Bicycles with baskets and how that's not even nerdy. How there's no pressure to curl or straighten or style your hair, because natural is the style. Trains that make you feel like your on your way to Hogwarts every day. Pastries that make your mouth water....
I'm in love with this place. 
I've officially placed København as my number one favorite city. Even above Boston and San Francisco. This week Sister Peterson and I got to visit Vor Frelsers Kirke, where we climbed a million spiral stairs up to the top of a tower with the most magnificent view of my favorite city.
It was AMAZING. 
On Wednesday I thought a lot about that day 12 years ago.
Back when my world was only as big as the few blocks I could pedal on my bike. Back in my world where the sun always shined and a bad day was one that ended without dessert. I remember waking up for school one morning, expecting to find pancakes or oatmeal as I trudged down the stairs. Instead I found my horrified parents watching the news show clips of the twin towers tumbling down out of the Manhattan skyline. It was that day- September 11, 2001- when I first began to realize how dark and scary the world really was. And over the past 12 years its only become more clear to me. I am so thankful to have the Gospel in my life, and for the comfort and peace it has always given me. One of my favorite scriptures is Ether 12:4 where it says that "whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God,which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men." That's exactly why I'm serving a mission- to share that hope that the Gospel brings. I'm so thankful for the opportunity that I have right now to share the truest source of light and happiness with the world.
One specific source of peace, comfort, and strength that I've found in the Gospel lies in the hands of my father. Throughout my life I've been so blessed to be able to turn to my dad in times of sickness, sadness or struggle. I've always thought that I can feel Heaven in his hands when he places them on my head to give me a priesthood blessing.
I love what President Uchtdorf said about the responsibility of priesthood holders.
"We who have been ordained to the priesthood of God are called to practice "the healer's art." It is our job to build up, repair, strengthen, uplift, and make whole. Our assignment is to follow the Savior's example and reach out to those who suffer. 
As home teachers, we are healers. As priesthood leaders, we are healers. As fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands, we should be committed and dedicated healers. We carry in one hand a vial of consecrated oil for blessing the sick, in the other we carry a loaf of bread to feed the hungry, and in our hearts we carry the peaceable word of God, "which healeth the wounded soul."
When God works through us, no one and nothing can stand against us.
Rise up to your true potential as a son of God, and you can be a force for good in your family, your home, your community, your nation, and indeed in the world." (Priesthood Session "Four Titles" April 6, 2013)
One Sunday, a woman in my ward here in Slagelse stood up to give a talk in sacrament meeting. She has been having heart problems lately, and when she was giving her talk she almost fell over. Her husband- who is in the bishopric- caught her before she fell, and immediately sat her down. Not a moment had passed before the bishopric was circling her, their hands placed on her head. Perfect silence swept over the whole congregation as every head immediately bowed. I could barely hear the words of the priesthood blessing that was whispered, but the Spirit that pierced the room in the intensity of that moment brought me and everyone else to tears. 
Its incredible and wonderful to me that the power of God- the almighty creator of the universe- exists here on earth. It's incredible and wonderful that the same power that was used to create the earth we live on, can be found in the hands of worthy priesthood holders, and can be used to bless and strengthen and comfort and save on less than a moments notice.
I'm so thankful for the priesthood.
I hope you all have a great week! Put ice in your water and peanut butter on your bread and count your blessings!
Søster Rogers

 Vor Frelsers Kirke (spiral stairs)
 View of København from the tower

September 9, 2013

Promised blessings

5 months on my mission and I haven't lost my chap stick yet!
So yeah, I'd say I've been pretty successful. 

This week has been great...
One day we ate McDonald's Mcflurries for lunch and it tasted like America in my mouth.
And my friend Bettina is obsessed with Harry Potter and she even made me a wand.
One day our friend Søren was showing us his artwork- Sister Pete guessed one of his abstract paintings to be Satan.... turns out it was Jesus.
And John Mayer was playing in the cafe where we ate lunch.... TENDER MERCY. I love John.
And the leaves on the trees are starting to paint themselves all different shades of red and orange... I'm stoked on life because Autumn is my FAVORITE.
And this week Sister Peterson and I didn't take any of the wrong trains and we only chased one bus. 
So yeah, its been a really successful week for us!

I'll tell you about this weeks biggest success story...
We taught our friend- our Italian investigator- the first lesson. Its exhausting to teach in a a big mix of Danish and English and Italian! We told him more about Joseph Smith and then showed him the Restoration video. I couldn't understand the words, so I just sat there and prayed my heart out that he would feel the truthfulness of it. The Spirit in the room was almost tangible, and after the film he was at a loss for words. He said he felt an indescribable peace and warmth and joy. He said he felt it was true. And before we even invited him to be baptized, he said he will definitely become a member of this church. It was the best feeling to have somebody accept our message! AH. As I'm sitting here at the library typing away and thinking back on it all I can't help but smile. Because its the most wonderful experience to help one of God's children. And to see someone's face light up when you flip the switch and turn on the light. 

But while its the best experience in the world and missionary work is so awesome, it can be really really hard. There are sooo many people that I want to help... and the trials and challenges that some people face would be enough to send me diving under my covers! So sometimes the responsibility that the Lord has given me weighs on my shoulders like nothing I've ever tried to lift before. Like a pool table. Or a refrigerator. Or the whole world maybe.... Sometimes the task is so daunting I don't even know where to start.
Maybe you've felt that way before too. Maybe you even feel that way right now. 
The Lord does ask a LOT of us. But, he doesn't ask us to do it alone. He will always give us the inspiration and direction that we need to accomplish everything He's asked. He always does! If He can show Nephi how to build a ship and if He can show Joseph Smith how to restore His church to the earth, then He can show two sister missionaries how to help His children. And He can show you how to overcome the challenges you face too. Its my testimony that the Lord always shows us the way.

One of the ways the Lord has given me guidance and shown me the way is through my Patriarchal Blessing. Seriously, how cool is it that we can have personal scripture? You can keep a copy of it in your Book of Mormon and go ahead and call it "The Book of Kaden" or "The Book of Joshua" or "The Book of insert your name here." Elder John E. Witsoe said that "It is certain that our Patriarchal Blessing, if we give it proper respect, may be a source of divine help in life's journey. Let us examine our lives from time to time, to learn whether we are so living as to be worthy of the blessings promised." That's the thing- those blessings promised are conditional. They are contingent upon our obedience and faithfulness. We can't just sit back and expect all these wonderful things to happen and expect all these great blessings to just show up on our front porch. We have to seek them. I've spent a lot of time studying my blessing this week, and its given me so much strength and guidance. Its also amazing to realize that right at this very moment I'm experiencing some of those blessings promised to me.

Speaking of promises and revelations and prophecies... I read one of Nephi's incredible prophecies in the Book of Mormon yesterday. 

"And now I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the gentiles.. there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written, and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.. And the gospel of Jesus Christ will be declared among them.. And it shall come to pass that the Lord god shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.. and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (2 Nephi 30:3-15)

When I read those verses, sitting at my cluttered desk that's been used by missionaries for the past 20 years, reading from my Danish scriptures a billion miles from home in this beautiful land of Denmark, I looked down at my black name tag and realized that I'm living out Nephi's prophecy right now

Have a great week and go seek after all the promised blessings the Lord is ready to give you!
Jeg elsker jer!
Søster Rogers

September 4, 2013


Nothing like a spider the size of your face to welcome you home after a long day of missionary work!

There's lots of things worse than creepy alien spiders though.... Try creepy apartment buildings instead.
When one of our appointments fell through we decided to knock the doors of a big apartment complex. It was kind of ghetto and we were warned never to go there at night... but it was only 3 in the afternoon and we had nothing else planned. So I walked in the building and started up the stairs. With each step I took I felt like I was walking into a trap. And I've never felt a prompting so strong. A voice somewhere inside my heart or my head said "TURN AROUND. GET OUT." and then  there was a literal force pushing me, keeping me from taking another step. I told my companion that I had this horrible feeling and she said she felt it too. So we got the heck out of there. We'll never know what might have happened if we'd continued up those stairs and knocked on a door or two. And I am SO happy that we'll never find out! I'm so thankful for the guardian that's the Holy Ghost. So thankful for the angels watching out for and protecting Sister Peterson and me. and So thankful for that one angel that came and pushed me back down the stairs.

I'll tell you a happier story now! Actually a miracle story. 
Remember how I went to the Jehovah's Witness church a couple weeks ago? After the church service I was talking to a really nice woman from Czech. She was super excited to meet us, and she asked us for our phone number. So we went to visit her this week, and she told us how when she first moved to Denmark 20 years ago two Mormon missionaries knocked on her door. She couldn't speak Danish yet, so she couldn't understand them, but they brought her a Book of Mormon in Czech a week later. Not too long after that the JW missionaries came and she ended up converting to that faith... and 20 years later Sister Peterson and I met her at the JW church. After all these years she still has that Book of Mormon! It was such a miracle that we met her. She's open to learning about our faith and we are so excited to meet with her.

My mission is such a cultural experience.... So far we've taught lessons to people who speak Swahili, Italian, Arabic, and Czech. I even got to speak French with a woman from Morocco this week! Denmark is seriously a bigger melting pot than the USA. I've also learned so much about so many different religions. We went to a Danske Folke Kirke's music night with one of our investigators who is actually a female priest, and then another day we talked with a Muslim woman who showed us how she prays to Allah and even gave us a copy of the Qur'an in exchange for Mormons Bog.

It's really important to be accepting and loving of everybody, no matter where they come from and no matter what they believe. Joseph Smith said it best. "Have the Presbyterians any truth? YES. Have the Baptists, Methodists, etc., any truth? YES. We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up... We don’t ask any people to throw away any good they have; we only ask them to come and get more" (History of the Church, 5:517). 

I'm gonna go take a nap now and hopefully there won't be any spiders.
Have a great week!
Har en god uge!
Avoir une bonne semaine!
Mají dobrý týden!
Avere una buona settimana!
لديك أسبوع جيدة

Sister/ Søster/ Sœur/ Sestra/ Sorella/ شقيقة  Rogers