back ground

October 28, 2013

I've never been so happy about daylight savings in my entire life. I got to sleep in a whole extra hour yesterday!!! It was wonderful. And MUCH needed. This past week has been exhausting.

Its like when you are in high school. or college. or anywhere in life I suppose.... and some weekends there is absolutely NOTHING to do because all of your friends are out of town or on dates or whatever, and so you end up staring at the wall/ watching a chick flick all by yourself. And then there are other weekends when everyyyybody wants to hang out and there are 3 different parties and you get asked on 2 different dates and your friends are going hot tubbing and there's a huge movie premier and you just wish that you could be in 12 places at once! 

Haha. It happens in missionary work too. This week Sister Grant and I were SO busy that we couldn't even make it to half of what we wanted to! I blame it on the ward members..... this week our ward mission leader asked the members of our ward to pray for me and Sister Grant and the elders in our ward by name every day. Holy cow. It made a difference! A huuuge one. So if you want to make a difference in missionary work, pray for the missionaries in your ward. Pray for them by name. Pray for their investigators too!
Thank you for all the prayers you pray for me! I can truly feel so many prayers coming my way and it really makes a world of difference. THANK YOU.

So one day we were on our way to go visit our friend Simin. She is about to leave on her mission to Boise, Idaho! I'd never gone to her dad's house before, and we got a little lost trying to find the address. So I started asking people if they knew where this street was, but nobody knew. And some of them were kind of mean... (they must have thought I wanted to preach to them or something.) Haha but there was one guy who was really nice. So nice that it started getting creepy. He didn't know the address and so we thanked him and went on our way. But 5 minutes later he came out of nowhere and had been following us! He said he wanted to come with us... we told him we had an appointment to get to and that we hoped he had a nice day. He said ok bye! and then kept following us! Like so close that I could feel him breathing on me. We tried to say goodbye like 3 or 4 more times but he just kept right on following us!! Luckily our friend Simin came and rescued us. but before she did... the big creepy man HUGGED me. alfbeiazslkfskjggggzkk I have not hugged a man in over 6 months now and I definitely did not want to break that streak with him! ahhhh. It was weird. 

Anyways. We taught a lot of great lessons this week... One day we went to visit our friend Karin, the lady that Sister Pete and I helped with her wedding reception 2 months ago. She is a suuuper busy lady and so we were SO excited to finally get an appointment with her. It was an amazing visit! She told us how its been really hard for her with church because people aren't very accepting of her getting married in a Danish church. And that she wants to share the gospel with her husband but doesn't feel like its the right time. There were tears in her eyes that about ripped my heart out when she told us that something is missing, and she wishes the gospel could be a part of her home. She was so glad we were there to talk with her about the gospel because she hadn't had anyone to talk with in such a long time. Our visit with Karin was one of those moments where I can feel my name tag burning on my chest. Where I can feel Christ's love and feel with my whole soul that I am His instrument in that precise moment. It was amazing. We shared one of my favorite Mormon message videos with her, about having courage and being strong and living your testimony. 
you should all check it out too. 

One day we walked like 5 miles through wind and rain to try and stop by an inactive woman. When we got there her daughter answered the door and said her mom was unavailable. We talked with the daughter for a minute- she said she grew up in the church and was active her whole life, but she has no interest anymore because the church just isn't for her. THAT MADE ME SO SAD!!  Its the worst thing ever when people who had the truth turn away from it. It seems like that happens soooo much and I hate it. Its scary! Its especially scary that so many returned-missionaries go inactive. My current-missionary self wonders how that even happens. How could someone who has served a mission and has thus seen the hand of the Lord every single day and has seen miracles happen as they watch the gospel change people for the better and bring so much happiness into people's eyes and lives.... turn away from that? 

Well it happened in the Book of Mormon too. there were people who literally saw Heaven's angels and huge incredible miracles, and then turned again to wickedness. But as I've been thinking about that and why/how it happened, I've realized that it never happened to those that were truly converted. Those that were truly converted, converted without needing to witness miracles and see angels, they endeared to the end. It must be the same today too... That's why it is so so important to be truly converted, to have your own testimony and continually nourish and strengthen it, to exercise and show your faith every day. 

One day we were talking with a less active member who served a mission. She said it was so much easier to read/study the scriptures and pray back then on her mission than it is now, because now she has so many other things to worry about like work and school and marriage and family etc etc etc. True- as a missionary your scripture study is a scheduled activity of every single day. But back in the normal world, all those things- work and school and marriage and family etc etc etc- give us all the more reason to need it. We need the guidance and strength and protection and spirit that we receive through scripture study and prayer if we are going to endure to the end and not fall away. 

I have the most rockin dad ever and this is what he told me in his letter this week about this very subject.
"It happens even to the best members, with generations of members behind them for support, up to our newest convert members. It all starts with a distancing from the small, simple things. They forget the most essential tools we have to keep us closer to the gospel path.... It's easy to miss a Sunday meeting or two, then before you know it, you are on the ward rescue plan. The adversary doesn't succeed with getting people to make one BIG error, but through a series of choices, complacency, and indifference, he can distance us a bit at a time, from the spirit, which is our guide and companion in helping us stay nearer to God. Once we have lost its companionship, or no longer can feel its closeness and promptings, Satan wins."

Read your scriptures! Say your prayers! Go to church! I don't want to lose any of you guys! Satan is stepping up his game so you've got to step yours up too. 

Yesterday was the primary program in sacrament meeting for our ward. It brought tears to my eyes as I watched the cutest little Danish children bear their sweet testimonies and sing the primary songs. The same exact songs that I grew up singing, and that my beautiful little sister is singing back home right now. 

Jeg er Guds kære barn, og han har sendt mig her, har givet mig et jordisk hjem, med far og mor så kær. Led mig, før mig, gå du med mig, hjælp at finde vej. Lær mig, hvad jeg gøre må, for hjem til Gud at nå.

They don't celebrate Halloween in Denmark but today we are gonna be Americans and carve pumpkins. 
I hope you all have a great week! Send me pics of your costumes and jack-o-lanterns. 

October 21, 2013

Christ's Atonement

One day we got a phone call from Andrea.
Andrea is the amazing woman from Peru who was inactive for a lot of years, but then came back to church about 6 months ago after she had a dream about the elders who taught and baptized her in South America. It was her 12 year old son Enzo who was baptized my second week in Denmark. I love Andrea! Her testimony was so strong and she loved the church so much. We even brought her to visit less actives with us because she had such a powerful testimony.
So the phone call we got from Andrea was unfathomable... She said she's leaving the church. She can't be a member anymore. Her almost-x-husband is moving back in and she is leaving the church for him. My heart is sooo broken. Its hard to accept the fact that everybody has their agency. And its hard to know what to do after you've already done all that you can.
If that wasn't already heart breaking enough....

Sister Grant and I went to visit Susanne this week. Susanne the adorable woman who gave Sister Peterson and I sparkly shoes. Susanne who came to know the church was true when the Spirit filled her from the tips of her toes to the hairs on her head. Susanne who quit smoking after receiving a powerful priesthood blessing. Susanne who was just baptized in July.
When we first started talking with Susanne I tried to convince myself that I'd misunderstood her Danish. But no... I understood her right. Susanne wants out. She wants to leave the church. We tried to talk it through with her- she's been struggling with smoking again and she feels like she can't pay her tithing, and she has a lot of problems with her family. We assured her that she is loved and welcome at church no matter what. That she doesn't need to be perfect, because the gospel is for imperfect people. But nothing we said seemed to make any difference... She says she can't be a member of the church.
I felt destroyed inside. I still do...
It hurts. Really bad. Its like watching somebody turn down the parachute you offer them before they jump out of a plane. 
When we left Susanne's house my heart was so depressed and I was so sad. Sister Grant and I walked along the harbor and talked about all the good things... Like the beautiful trees with colorful patterns of leaves decorating them. Then we walked past a bunch of construction work where a house was being built. And it reminded me of my dad. And how much I love my awesome dad. I'm sure that my dad would be sad if he knew that I was sad... So I tried to be happy despite all the depressing events. 

And I thought about Jesus Christ. It must have been soooo hard for Him when people wouldn't accept Him. It must be so hard for Him to see so many people walk away.

There's a story about a seminary class. The teacher picked one of the students to come up to the front of the room. Then he pulled out a big box of crispy creme donuts for the class. He went around the class one by one and offered each student a donut. But before they could take their donut, the boy up front had to do 20 pushups. 20 pushups for each person that wanted to eat a donut. Then the seminary teacher offered a donut to one of the girls, and she said no, I don't want a donut. The teacher said ok that's fine... but then told the boy he had to do 20 pushups anyway. And so it went... whether the students ate the donut or said no, the boy did 20 pushups for them all. (I hope he was a football player or something!) The object was to teach the class about the Atonement.

Whether we accept Jesus Christ or not, He suffered for us. He suffered and bled and paid the price for our sins and our weaknesses. He suffered beyond comprehension. And because He suffered, we don't have to! Yet there are some people who don't accept that.
It breaks my heart about Andrea and Susanne, and about all the others. I wish there was more that I could do...

The best thing I can think of is to take full advantage of Christ's atonement in my own life. I won't suffer, because He already suffered for me. And now He's here to comfort me through my sorrows and strengthen me through my trials. I wish everybody would accept his love. But if they won't, I still will.

I think Heavenly Father knew I was having a hard time. So He blessed me with a  wonderful day to cheer me up.
The next day Sister Grant and I along with the 3 elders who serve here in Slagelse with us were on our way to Anny and Leo's (cute grandma and grandpa in our ward) for dinner. When the 5 of us missionaries got off the bus there was a man who came up and started talking to us. He was heading the same direction as we were so we all walked and talked with him a little ways. As we stood out on the sidewalk talking with this stranger, Anny came outside. "Hi, my name is Anny," she said and shook the strangers hand. "We are eating fish tonight, would you like to join us for dinner?" After a short awkward pause, he said why not! And followed us into their home. Anny and Leo were so cute with our new friend- so eager to share their testimonies and beliefs. Our new friend told us that when he saw the 5 of us on the bus we looked like very nice people, and that he was curious why the young men all had ties and why we were all dressed so nice. He said he didn't get any "bad vibes" from us, and that when we got off at the same stop as him he took it as a sign that he was supposed to talk to us. Sister Grant and I had to run off early to catch the bus and make it to our next appointment, but the Elders and Anny and Leo had a great discussion with him and gave him a book of Mormon and a hymn book. He wants to join our ward choir! How awesome.

Our next appointment was totally incredible. We finally got to meet with Bettina again! This time she made cupcakes. And they were a lot better than the brownies we had tried to make for her last week..... hahaa. She wanted us to help her practice what to say so she can bear her testimony on fast Sunday. Holde op! She is so great. Then we taught her the Restoration lesson. The Spirit was so strong and Bettina absolutely loved everything we had to say. I will never forget the look in her eyes when my cute little greenie said "Bettina, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?" 
SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhh. I wanted to cry. I was so happy.
I'm so thankful for my little black name tag and the amazing opportunity its given me. Being a missionary is so amazing. 

Did I tell you about how I might have a gluten allergy? Dumbest allergy ever invented. I love eating gluten. But Tina is taking it sooo serious... She always gives me gluten free stuff and makes me eat it haha. I'd rather just eat things that naturally don't have gluten in them instead of some weird excuse for bread. It was SO funny last time we ate with Tina and Francesco. Francesco had baked his delicious homemade Italian bread which is probably the best thing on the planet earth. And of course Tina said I wasn't allowed to eat it. But Francesco was on my side! He snuck me bread under the table :) And distracted Tina so I could eat it :) He's the best. Also Francesco said he will name his kid after me. He said he'll name is little girl "Roger." But Tina insisted that it will have to be a boy....

Are you ready for the highlight of the week? Maybe the highlight of the month or even the year...
 I GOT A GUITARRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My awesome friend Rachel had an extra guitar and asked me if I wanted it. Well its safe to say that my journal has felt a little neglected this week.... All I ever wanna do in my minimal free time is strum on my 6 string. 

One more highlight: I started talking to this guy on a train, and he asked me if I was Norwegian!!! I'm not good enough for people to think I'm Danish yet... but Norwegian is pretty close :) 

I hope you all have an awesome week. 
Remember to think about Christ, and take advantage of the gift He's given you.
Also take advantage of the cans of pumpkin you can buy at the grocery store. They don't have those in Denmark.

xoxo Søster Rogers

With Tina and Sister Peterson at the park
 I love Tina!
 We made a new friend at the park :)
 Grandpa Hans and Grandma Ulla
 Saying goodbye to Sister P
 chillin with Francesco
 Me and Sister Grant

October 14, 2013

I heard a "Fun" song on the radio (tender mercy) and it took me right back to the rooftop poolside concert in Vegas with Amanda and Melissa... it feels like that was just yesterday! Or maybe last week. But definitely not a whole year ago....
Time needs to slow down or something. Its flying wayyyy fast. Can you guys believe its been over 6 months since we saw each other?? 
HURRAH for 12 whole months left in Denmark!!

I had a great 6 month mission-iversary... I hopped on my bicycle to ride home from an appointment and a THUD THUD THUD my tire was completely flat. Because somebody stole some parts off my bike. How rude.
Sooo we've been on foot all week, and my two feet have carried me alllll over this entire city in the past few days! My cute comp Sister Grant and I have been unbelievably busy this week, and its been awesome!

One day we had an appointment with an inactive woman. She's 70 going on 17 and such an awesome lady. When we showed up, her whole family was there waiting to talk to us! (None of them are members!) We had such a great little lesson- We talked with them about Jesus Christ's atonement and how Christ can help us overcome all of our weaknesses and challenges, because He overcame the whole world. Sister Grant, with her minimal Danish, pulled out 3 Nephi 13:32-33 and testified that Heavenly Father really does know what we need, and that He will help us if we turn to Him. It was amazing, and perfectly exactly what they needed to hear. 

That same day we met up with our cute Jehovas Witness friend to go out for ice cream. I got a flødeboller on my ice cream because I learned how to say the Danish tongue twister "Fem flad flødeboller på et fladt flødeboller fad" and I'm really proud of myself for that. While we were all enjoying our ice cream, I had this spur of the moment idea to invite her to come to our next appointment with us. And she agreed! She said she'd love to see what its like when we teach. The appointment was with our Muslim investigator friend, and it turned out to be the most amazing lesson for her to come sit in on....

We've been teaching him on and off for as long as I've been in Denmark. Because of his Muslim background its been really hard to teach him, and hard for him to accept all of the doctrines and teachings. He's been reading from the book of Mormon a lot, and he says whenever he does he feels so much peace. So this week we thought we'd teach him a simple lesson about faith from Alma 32. How when you plant a seed you know if its good if it starts to grow. We compared that to the church- how it started out as a tiny seed- Joseph Smith- and now its grown into a huge incredible tree- 15 million members around the whole world!! He loved that. And then he told us that he knows the church is true!! My heart was pounding.... We hadn't planned on inviting him to baptism that day.... But as I was sitting there searching for words, trusting in everything I couldn't see, the only thing that kept coming to my mind was invite him to baptism, invite him to baptism. 
We asked, "do you want to be a member of the church?"
He replied, "Yes. I do want to become a member."
WE INVITED HIM TO BE BAPTIZED AND THEN HE SAID YES!!!!! My heart was on fire!! The Spirit was so strong. He was wiping tears from his eyes as he said he felt so much peace and happiness. 
It got even better when he came to church on Sunday for the first time ever!! I can't even put into words the overwhelming joy I felt the moment I saw our investigator wander into the chapel on Sunday morning.....

I felt just like Ammon....
"My joy is full, yea my heart is brim with joy.. there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began, yea, and my joy is carried away.. blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land" (Alma 26).

That's how I feel every day.... When a stranger accepts a Book of Mormon. When a new friend wants to learn more. When an investigator comes to church. The joy is indescribable. It really is the greatest blessing, to "have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work" (Alma 26:3).

So yeah. Its been a great week! Sister Grant is the best companion, she's such a good missionary and I'm pretty sure she came pre-trained! She's so genuine and sincere and easy to be around... I just adore her! 
I was so nervous at first, to train a brand new missionary. Because if I can't understand, then nobody can! But it has been the most AMAZING experience. 
It's true what they say- "you don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have left..."
The Lord is helping me soo much. Sometimes I feel like "a wanderer in this strange land," but God is soo mindful.
I'm striving to follow Him every day, because I know that in His footsteps I'll be ok. But sometimes its a little rough, and in those moments He takes me by the hand. And then there are times when I am absolutely incapable and inadequate- and He carries me. He really really does. 

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again next week! Thank you so much for your constant love and support. I have the best family and friends anybody could ever ask for.
Fem flad flødeboller på et fladt flødeboller fad. Try and say that 5 times fast. If you can even say it at all... :)
Have a great week!!
Sister Rog

October 7, 2013

Brownies work miracles.

What a week!
It was sad saying goodbye to Sister P after being attached to each other every second of every day for 4 months straight. She was more than my companion and more than my best friend.... she was like my right leg! My other half! We worked so hard and learned so much. But now I've started a whole new chapter of my mission... Being a trainer is so exciting and sooo challenging and so much fun! On Thursday morning I got to meet my new companion, fresh from the Empty Sea- the beautiful Søster Madison Grant from Alpine, Utah! In my meeting with President Sederholm he shared with me his spiritual experience where the Lord sent Sister Grant specifically to me for a specific reason. I already knew that was true... the Spirit confirmed that to me the moment I met her. I'm so excited to serve with her and discover why we are here together. I know that she's going to teach me so much more than I could ever teach her. What a blessing that I get to serve with a brand new missionary and witness the very beginning of the miracle that's her mission. We're already best friends and I love her already!
On Friday Sister Grant and I had an appointment scheduled with a cute mom and friend. A member in our ward invited her to church a few weeks back, and she's actually come twice now! The second time she even brought two of her little boys. So we've had this appointment scheduled for over two weeks now, and I was soooo excited to finally meet with her. But the night before, she canceled. I was super disappointed, and decided to call her back and see if we could still just stop by with some brownies. She was hesitant, but she wanted the brownies! So she agreed, and said we could bring by the treats and just talk outside for 2 minutes...
So that day Sister Grant and I baked delicious homemade brownies. They came out of the oven looking absolutely perfect, and we even frosted them with chocolate frosting.  2 minutes before we needed to leave for her house, we went to put a plate of brownies together for her. But when I cut into the brownies only the very top layer was cooked. The rest was all gooey gooey gooey brownie batter! (apparently I left the oven on the wrong setting... danish ovens are confusing...) Ahhh we were horrified! And had nooo idea what to do. The only reason she even agreed for us to come over was because we said we'd made her treats! So we grabbed a plate and some tin foil and booked it to the grocery store with hopes of finding something that looked homemade. We bought a package of brownies that said "som hjem lavet" but when we opened them up they were perfect little cubes individually dipped in chocolate....dang it. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY. Lesson learned.
When we were biking up to her house it started pouring rain. More like dumping rain. Like I could feel giant rain drops rolling down my face... and taking my make up with it. (Welcome to missionary life Sister Grant!) But she had pity on us when we showed up on her front porch with dripping hair and drenched clothes. She let us come in!! And what was supposed to be a 2 minute brownie drop off turned into one of the BEST lessons of my whole mission. We enjoyed herbal tea and store bought brownies and talked about the gospel. She told us how her little boys haven't stopped talking about primary, and how they ask if they can say prayers every day! She told us how much she loves coming to church, and then- get this- she asked if she could speak in sacrament meeting sometime! She wants to talk about faith and she asked if we could help her prepare a talk to give someday. We gave her a list of the best faith scriptures in the Book of Mormon and she's super excited to start studying.
Holy cow. She is so prepared.
I hope you all had a good conference weekend!
It was amazing to sit in a chapel in Copenhagen Denmark at 6:00 at night, listening to the tabernacle choir sing and thinking of how the exact same music was filling the walls of my own home that exact same moment on the other side of the world!
It was exactly a year ago that my whole life changed. Exactly a year ago that I found out I could serve a mission.
The first page of my journal begins on October 6th 2012... It was that day that all of my prayers were answered. It was that day that my Heavenly Father spoke to me through the voice of our living prophet. It was that day that my whole journey began, leading me to where I am right now. My testimony has grown so much and I have grown so much over the past 6 months that I've been on my mission, and over the 6 months before that, when it all began.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that He knows and loves me personally. He's with me. He's been with me every step of the way.
I love you all and hope you have another great week!
Share your testimonies. Live them too.
Jeg elsker jer!
Søster Rogers