I hope you all had a great time eating little smokies and a cheeseball with crackers and banging pots and pans and watching that sparkly ball drop and whatever else it is people do to celebrate the new year over there in America.
My new years ROCKED.
Søster Hale and I jumped into 2014 (literally though... that's the tradition here- to climb up on the furniture or whatever you can find to climb on during the countdown and then actually jump into the new year) with all the Elders in our area, our 61 year old Chinese investigator, and the cuuuutest little Danish/Scottish family from our ward. We listened to the Queen's new years speech, feasted on deeeelicious gourmet food, jammed on guitars and sang lots of songs, and watched millions of fireworks explode along every inch of the Copenhagen skyline.
But my favorite part of the evening was when we went around the table and everyone shared their biggest highlight from 2013, and then around again with one thing everyone learned. It was so special hearing about all the wonderful things that happened for so many different people in the year 2013. My thoughts were instantly flooded by all of my own amazing memories the past year left me with...
Like that one time when Amanda and Melissa and I decided we wanted to go to San Francisco. So we bought plane tickets before we could think of a good reason why not!
And the sacred day when I went through the temple for the very first time.
And that one time I got to spend a day in New York City all by myself.
And then the awesome day when my brother Kaden came home from his mission!! Reunited after 2 long years...
There was that special weekend when Kaden and I road tripped to all of the temples in Utah...
and not too long after was my mission farewell and my brother's homecoming.
My experience at the MTC was a huge highlight! I loved everything about the 6 weeks I spent in the missionary training center.
I also got to spend a few weeks serving in the St Louis Missouri mission.
and then on June 10th I set foot in Denmark for the first time.
There are too many wonderful memories and since then than I can even count... Knocking on doors in the pouring rain, teaching people about the gospel, walking down cobble stone streets with my different amazing companions, meeting some of the most incredible people, dolphin watching and bike riding and food trying and song singing etc etc etc etc etc....
But of all the great things I did and saw and experienced, it was so easy for me to pick out my biggest highlight.
April 10th 2013.
When I was set apart as a full time missionary and my black name tag was pinned onto my shirt.
Nothing could top that feeling. It was the crowning moment of my year.
And will probably always remain up in the crowning moments and biggest highlights of my entire life.
Then as I got thinking about what I learned over the past year, I realized that I've probably learned and grown more than I have the rest of my life combined! If I had to describe 2013 in one word, I think I would use a word like "change" or "progress" or "growth" or even "metamorphosis." Because I really have learned SO much and have traveled so far down the path toward becoming who I want to become.
I learned how important my family is to me, and how important the word "family" is to the world and to life in general. I've never been so far from my family as I have been this past year. And I've never gone so long without seeing them. Now I've realized more than ever just how important my family is to me. They mean the whole world!
I also learned a lot about what it means to trust in the Lord. I've never needed Him so much. I've never turned to Him so much. He's never helped me so much or been so near. I've had ups and down and a lot of challenges and struggles as I've been forced out of my comfort zone and faced things I never before imagined. But as I've learned to trust and rely on the Lord, He has been there to help and strengthen and guide me every step of the way.
One of my favorite things that I've learned is how you can be friends with ANYBODY. I've been so blessed to meet and get to know so many different people. People from ALL over the world. People from all different cultures, of all different ages, from all walks of life. Its amazing how even though we are all so different from each other we can still connect and relate and smile.
I really learned SO much in the last year... But the one thing I decided to share around the candle lit table on new years eve was how much I've learned about God's love. Through everything that I've experienced and everything I learned in the year 2013, I learned the most about God's love. Because everything that I've experienced and everything I've learned has helped me to feel of God's love- for others and for me- and to comprehend it a tiny bit more and understand it a little bit more fully.
God is our loving Heavenly Father.
God LOVES us.
He loves YOU and He loves me.
He understands us. He knows us. He's there for us.
That's what 2013 has taught me.
I was looking back through my journal the other day and found this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland that I had written down at the beginning of the year...
"The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead
and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future."
Its a new year now. The future is bright! 2014 has been off to a GREAT start.
Missionary work is amazing. Like its just taken off and exploded like those new years eve fireworks!
Søster Hale and I have been overwhelmed by all the people we've found, and by all the people that have found us.
In D&C 123:12 we're told that "there are many yet on the earth.. who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it."
Its true! There are so many people out there who are ready and waiting for the truth and light and happiness and good news of the gospel. But they don't know where to find it. Well its a good thing that we do!
We just need to find them.
A couple nights ago my companion and I were on our way home, and we stopped to talk to a guy standing outside of the train station. He was really nice and told us that he had moved here from London after he was released from prison...
He got to telling us how he really turned to God and turned his life around. He told us how he used to live a really bad life, but that God has helped him change. He's a new person. And he's never been happier.
Thats what faith in God does for us. Helps us realize our greater potential, and then helps us reach it. God helps us become better than we have the ability to become on our own. All we have to do is have a little faith.
"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (matt 17:20)
Mountains are enormous! Think of how enormous and strong those beautiful mountains you're so blessed to live by are... There is no way anybody could ever move one of those things.
But Christ can.
And I think whats even more enormous and massive and strong and immovable than real physical rocky mountains, are the mountains within each one of us....
We all have personal mountains. Mountains of our faults and our weaknesses and our doubts and our shortcomings. Those enormous mountains tower over us and block our path to accomplishing our goals and reaching our full potential. Sometimes I feel like my mountains are taller and steeper and more daunting than Mount Everest!
You've probably felt that way before too. Don't make the mistake of trying to climb up those steep and rocky slopes... there's no need. Christ has promised that "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove."
I know its true.
He's moved mountains in me.
Hey its a pretty big week for me! Pretty big meaning monumental...
In a couple days I will be 21.
And I'll also be half way done.
Both my life and my mission are going by wayyyy too fast. I just want to be a kid forever. And a missionary forever. :(
But thank you all so much for the love and friendship throughout my life, and the encouragement and prayers throughout the first half of my mission. Its been the best 21 years. and Its been the best 9 months.
I don't know how I got so lucky and so blessed!
I love my life.
And I love my mission.
Hey!! if you wanna give me a birthday present, go give someone a Book of Mormon!!!!! or even just a smile.
I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
sorry for always getting carried away and sending you novels to read......
have a GREAT week!
Søster Breanna Michele Rogers
New Years Eve sweaters!
New Years Day was deeeep cleaning day. Please enjoy this picture of our clean and cozy room.