back ground

September 29, 2014

Denmarks mark on me

In a quiet grove of trees in upstate New York a young farm boy knelt in earnest prayer. God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph that lovely spring morning. The experience brought Joseph- and many others- endless ridicule, torment, persecution, and even death. but It also brought truth and light back into a world of confusion and darkness. 
Maybe the beautiful story of the Restoration sounds like something that could have been invented by the likes of J.K. Rowling or J.R.R. Tolken...
Angels, heavenly messengers and higher power.... Ancient records translated by marvelous means..... Countless miracles as the heavens opened and truth was restored.
Such an incredible story can be difficult to wrap a 21st century mind around! 
I'd be lying if I said I'd never had any doubts or questions or concerns.
But I'd also be lying if I said that it isn't true. 
Because I can say with complete confidence and conviction that I KNOW that it is true. 
I've never seen God and I've never been visited by angelic messengers. But I have seen God's hand, and I have felt those heavenly angels guiding protecting and strengthening me.
God has answered my prayers just as surely as He answered Joseph's.
As my faith has grown and as I've acted upon that faith, my daily life has become more beautiful and meaningful. 
Because of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith, I know who I am. I know my potential. I know how I can reach it. I know that I'm loved and that I'm needed. I know my purpose in life. I know that there is so much more than this life. I know where to turn for answers, for help, for guidance, for comfort, for strength, for peace. I know where true happiness is found. I know that I can be forgiven and that I can overcome my weaknesses. 
I know that God- the Almighty Ruler of the eternities- is my Father
I know that Jesus Christ- the Savior of the world and Redeemer of all mankind- is my Brother and my Friend. 
These truths have blessed my life immensely. And as I've spent 18 months sharing the truth which means so much to me and the blessings which have changed my life with the people I've met here in Denmark, I've seen it bless and change the lives of so many others as well.

Its been the most incredible 18 months. I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. The people I've met and the friendships I've made are so precious. The experiences I've had and the lessons I've learned are priceless. I know it was a sacrifice to put my life on hold and serve a mission for a year and a half. But it doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all. I've been blessed immeasurable more than I've sacrificed. 
When I said goodbye to my family and friends and left my home that teary April morning, I set out on this journey with the expectation that I was going to change so many people's lives and leave a mark on Denmark and essentially change the world! 
Well now those 18 months have turned into memories. Memories and lessons and opportunities and experiences that I will cherish forever. 
And what I didn't expect is that far greater than the change I might have helped bring to pass in the lives of others is the change that has been brought to pass in ME. 
Far deeper than the conversion I may have helped others to experience is the conversion of my own heart. 
Far greater than the mark I left on Denmark is the mark that Denmark has left on me.
My mission did indeed change the world- it changed MY world. 
I'm a different person today than I was 18 months ago. And never before have I been so happy with who I am.

When I first arrived here all those months ago, Denmark was nothing but a foreign country. Full of strangers and unpronounceable words.
But this country isn't foreign anymore. Its home. Full of friends and family and memories and love.
Now soon I'll be leaving this place I call home.... But a part of my heart will be here forever. 
I love Denmark more than words can express and more than my heart can confess.
I'm going to miss the snow globe skies and the cobblestone streets. I'm going to miss the diet-destroying pastries and the danish traditions. 
I'm especially going to miss the wonderful people who God has placed in my life over these past 18 months. While I was trying to make a little difference in their day, they made the biggest difference in my life.
My mission hasn't been easy.... the black name tag that I wear everyday has brought with it so many challenges and tests and trials! 
But the biggest challenge is going to be taking that name tag off.
It is so hard for me to accept that this beautiful journey is coming to an end! But every ending is a new beginning, and I have so much faith and hope in the future. 
I know it wont be easy. I know I will face even more challenges and trials and continue to be tested. But with the foundation of faith and courage that my mission has given me, I feel so confident. I know that God and Christ will never leave me. I know that as I continue to put my faith in Them, I will one day accomplish my mission. 
The future is oh so bright! I'm thrilled to discover everything it holds. 

I know that Joseph Smith really was a true prophet and that through him the everlasting gospel was restored to the earth.
Its the reason why I'm here. Its the message I've been sharing up and down these European streets. 
I love the gospel with my whole heart. 
If there is one thing that I've gained from my mission, its the testimony I have that God is REAL. 
I know it with all the certainty of my soul.
It doesn't even matter if you are mormon or muslim or atheist, if you are a believer or a skeptic, if you are from utah or denmark or egypt.....
God is real.
I know that He lives and I know that He loves us. 
It has been the biggest blessing to be one of His missionaries! I've never experienced anything more wonderful than being an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I've never experienced anything sweeter than being His means of answering another's prayer. 
I'm thankful that that doesn't have to stop when I take off my name tag... I'll continue to serve the God I love for as long as I live.

Well before I rush off to go buy some european shoes and some black licorice for you all to try, I want to say thank you.
Thank you all so so much for your love and encouragement and especially for your prayers. I'm eternally grateful! 
Jeg elsker jer!
See you soon
Søster Breanna Michele Rogers