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April 22, 2014

The Growing Zone

Glædig Påske! I hope you all had a beautiful Easter weekend.
Påske lasts from Thursday through Monday here in Denmark! All the shops and stores and libraries and virtually the whole country just closed down for 5 days. (In case you were wondering why I didn't write to you all yesterday...) Denmark sure knows how to take a vacation!

Holy cow the week flew by SO fast.
But it probably felt much longer and seemed to go by a lot slower from the eyes of our mini missionary! I think we exhausted cute Søster Nielsen with our never-ending busy schedule and very demanding missionary life. I forgot how big of an adjustment this life style is.... waking up at 6:30 and work work working all day every day! I think she had a wonderful experience, even though she said it was much harder than she had expected. Missionary work is really good at yanking you out of your comfort zone! But you know whats true is that "there is no growing in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growing zone." It was amazing to see the growth and change in sweet Søster Nielsen from the beginning to the end of her missionary week. It was a blessing to serve with her!

One sunny spring day we were invited to an Easter picnic with some cute young families in our ward. I had the time of my life holding hands with my 4 year old best friend Nora and playing Mermaids and Pirates before feasting on PB&J's, coloring Easter eggs, flying kites and blowing bubbles. It was the best afternoon ever.
Tell Abby how much I love her and miss her!!

Later that day we met up with Maria (the rad spunky journalist with the fabulous nose ring that we met at the Easter concert last week!) Sister Hadley and I posed awkwardly in front of the beautiful Copenhagen temple as Maria's photographer snapped candid photos of us before having a little tour of our church building and sitting down for our interview. Being interviewed was SO fun. It was like taking a normal missionary experience and turning it totally upside down! Instead of trying to tell someone all about our church and trying to get them to find a slight interest, we were pried for answers to all sorts of exciting questions like "What makes your church so different?" "What kinds of things do you do every day as a missionary?" "What role does your religion play in your every day life?" or my personal favorite "Why did you decide to go on a mission?" We were able to fill her in about our missionary lives and tell her all about the church and how its changed us and made us so happy.
The last question the journalist asked us before wrapping it all up was to describe in one sentence what the church means to us. I wanted to make it a really really long run-on sentence that my AP English teacher would scold me for! Because it means absolutely everything to me. And its quite difficult to squish EVERYTHING into one mere sentence!
My faith in Christ and His restored gospel is the reason I can go through each day with a smile on my face and hope in my heart.
That's what I told her.
It was such a unique way to share our unique message, and we are so super excited for the article to be published! Hopefully a lot of people will read it and decide to further investigate what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is all about.

COOL STORY. We were on our way one afternoon to visit our African friend and help her move into her new little home. As we were walking down this random side street (out of all the MILLIONS of Copenhagen streets) when we ran into our investigator (out of all the MILLIONS of Copenhageners) sitting at a bus stop! We hadn't been able to make contact with him for a few weeks, so it was a HUGE tender mercy that we just happened to run into him. He even came to institute with us the next day!

Ah. It was a great week. Full of sunshine and appointments and traditional Danish Easter food. Such as lamb. And smørrebrød. (Open-faced sandwiches smothered with butter or liver paste or plain straight fat and then topped with salmon or shrimp and boiled eggs and onions and cucumbers.)
On Sunday I was asked to sing a solo in sacrament meeting. Like 20 minutes before church began! bahhhh. That was fun.

The butterflies from my on-the-spot sacrament meeting solo fluttered right back into my stomach the very next morning....
Because the morning of fateful Transfer Calls always invites butterflies and anticipation and anxiety beyond compare!
Sister Hadley and I were in the middle of our companionship study having a dejligt discussion about the 3rd Book of Nephi when the phone rang. I saw that it was good old President Sederholm. And my stomach dropped.

He said "Sister Rogers have you packed your bags??! You are transferring to the lovely town of Horsens as a Sister Training Leader."

And I said Oh my.
Since then the butterflies have made a permanent home out of my stomach.
Everything is about to change.
I've spent my whole mission living on this little island of Denmark called Sjælland. Its my comfort zone. And I love it.
And I've spent the past 4 1/2 months living in Denmark's Capital city where there are more people than the rest of the country combined.... Its my comfort zone. And I love it. 
But next week I'll hop on a train with all of my suitcases and my bicycle and my guitar (that's gonna be an adventure itself....) and move to a part of the country I've never been.
It seems that whenever I start to get comfortable, Heavenly Father decides to shake up my world! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because after all... 
there is no growing in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growing zone.
I'm excited! I'm excited for the new people I'll get to serve and the new experiences I'll be blessed to have. I'm feeling especially blessed and especially humbled to be a Sister Training Leader. It seems that whenever the Lord gives me responsibilities like this its for my own learning and growth wayyyy more than it is for the benefit of others!! I'll try my best to be a good example and a good leader, but I know I'm going to learn SO much from all the sisters I'm so blessed to serve. I'm definitely feeling a little apprehensive, but it gives me faith and confidence knowing that my mission president and my Heavenly Father have faith and confidence in me.
I've faced a lot of mountains on my mission! (metaphorical mountains of course, seeing as this country is flatter than a crepe.) But if there's one thing I've learned its that the Lord is always there to strengthen me and support me and help me climb them. He's always there. He lives.
That's what its all about Easter.... The gospel.... My mission.....
Its all about the living Christ. That He lives and loves us today. 
Because He overcame sorrow and sin, so can we. Because He conquered death, so can we. 
I'm so thankful for that beautiful spring morning just outside the walls of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago when two angels appeared to a small group of women and said "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."
I'm so thankful for that beautiful spring morning in New York, when He- the risen, living Christ appeared to the boy Joseph and restored His fulness of truth.
I'm so thankful for what that truth means for me in my life. It is the reason I can go through each day with a smile on my face and hope in my heart. And I'm thankful for the knowledge it gives me of the beautiful morning that lies ahead, when Christ will return again to the earth. 
And I'm so so SO thankful for the blessing I have of being a missionary, helping prepare the world for that beautiful wonderful day.

Have a good week everybody! I love you all.
Søster Breanna Michele Rogers