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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Diversity of New Jersey; First Zone Conference

October 28, 2013

            Today is a beautiful day in New Jersey.  Since last week I talk a little bit about my area I guess I would like to give you the amazing overview of where I live.  It’s called Englewood but most people tend to refer to it as Englehood—very funny.  It’s actually a cute suburb that is known for its diversity.  There is a variety of people Asians, Jewish, Jamaicans, African Americans, people south of North America (way too many to name), Italians, and anyone else you would like to throw in there you could find in this place.  A lot of people live here because it is so close to New York, but if you want to cross the bridge to get there it is $13 per drive over.  Crazy Right? 

           The diversity over here makes everything so much more interesting.  The people in our ward are the coolest.  This last Sunday the Relief Society lesson was given by Sister Chow, a Korean lady, who made a game of singing parts of hymns in Korean and then we had to guess which ones they were.  There is such a variety of people that the ward is actually a Spanish-English ward.  Almost all of the service is in English with Spanish translation, but it would be nice to know some Spanish right now. 

           We taught Greg and Chris the first lesson! And set up another appointment!  I met another one of our investigators this week, Cherry.  I love her!!!!!! She has so much Black Spunk.  We are hoping to get her to church this Sunday.  I love the people here and can't wait to get to know them better.  There is surprisingly a lot of people in our ward from Utah.

            My companion and I have done a lot of studying to help me get down the first lesson.  I've taught it with her a couple of times and guess what? I'm getting better.  We have even taught a few members for practice and they have had a lot of fun. 

            Friday was Zone Conference which was a lot of fun with a lot of food.  We heard a lot of inspirational mission motivators and did several role plays to help improve our teaching skills.  There were even a few missionaries going home in a couple of weeks that gave talks and they were beautiful.  Their testimonies were amazing.  One Elder said "Be positive. A good friend taught me that.  His name is Heavenly Father."  Another said "It doesn't matter where you serve.  You are called in the place of the Savior."

            Miracle of the week:

Visited a ward member Sister Santa Maria, and while there she told me that even though I might be missing home, she thanked me because the work I am doing is the work that she should be doing, but she can't.

           Random Fact About New Jersey:  It’s the Diner Capital of the World—600 Diners


Sister Rogers

P.S. Will not be getting mini iPads until April.....And can't use Facebook yet.


Monday, October 21, 2013

My First Week in New Jersey

October 21, 2103

Hey Everyone,

Well I've made it to New Jersey.  There are trees everywhere.  It’s so beautiful and Fall is amazing.  I've been here for about a week and the weather has been great.  Well I think it has, but my companion says it freezing.  I have received my new companion and her name is Sister Varble.  We are having a lot of fun.  She is from Harrisville, Utah and has lived there most of her life. 

I'm afraid to say I have some scary news......I AM DRIVING....Yes, I could use the extra prayers.  Driving in New Jersey is basically really awful.  First of all most of the places we go have only one lane and with everyone being aggressive drivers it is just best to follow the crowd.  Unfortunately we have a device called a Teiwei and it basically tracts every time we speed or accelerate too fast.  Let’s just say we might not be driving for too much longer.  Unfortunately my companion cannot drive because she was in an accident that caused her driving privileges to be taken away.  Walking District here we come.  Though we've had a fun time in our district, the gospel in this area is really struggling.  Most people don't want to listen and the ward is not too friendly towards helping missionaries find investigators, but we hope things are changing.  I'm just grateful that I have a companion that works really hard and cares so much about people.  It has been a privilege to serve my Heavenly Father. 

One very interesting thing about New Jersey is that they have lots of interesting people.  In a lesson we were teaching to an investigator named Vito we came to the part about prophets and discovered that he thought he was one, saying something about having a direct line from God.  The people of New Jersey are VVVVERY INTERESTING to say the least.

We had a really cool experience with a man named Greg.  He stopped his car when he saw us and asked if we were the Mormons.  He was a bit confused because he had only seen the boy version of missionaries.  My companion said "We are the girl version." He also asked if we have black people in our church (he is black).  That was very ironic because that week our new bishop who was called is black.  We continued talking to him and he asked if we could come talk to him later.  After Church we went up to his house and talked to him about our church.  He told us he belongs to the Baptist church and wasn't going to change religions.  His wife came out and invited us to dinner next week.  A meal and a lesson; it’s going to be a great week.  Looks like we will be trying some collard greens and sweet potato pie.  I can't wait.

Best of Love,

Sister Rogers

P.S. Pictures will hopefully come.  We are not as updated as D.C. but we are hoping to the mini iPads soon.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Made It a Week

Well this week has been so much better than last week.  So much has happened.  The food is good, but I wish I could go back to eating my health veggies.  I know crazy, right?

Teaching has gone amazing even though it still terrifies me to teach the gospel.  I'm currently teaching one of my teachers and it is the most amazing thing because he almost becomes the investigator that we are teaching.  I don't know how to describe it.  We walk into the room and the light from his eyes is gone.  It’s really cool as because you can see the Holy Ghost slowly enter into his life.  I have been greatly blessed.  

Two of the Elders in our Branch have gone home, which has been extremely sad, but they have felt it was the right thing to do.  I had a really cool experience teaching one of our TRC.  She wasn't interested in any way joining the church, but I could feel the Spirits peace so amazing strong afterwards I knew we had said just what he wanted us to say.  I have never felt the Spirit so strongly in my life; it’s like he is always there just waiting for me to call on him.....

Okay, apparently the Elder's residents halls have what they call Narnia holes, which is basically where everyone hides treats for other Elder's to find.  It so weird and they even found some chocolate milk that had been sitting there for a while.  The Sister's halls don't have any and I'm not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Going to the MTC has really redefined what I believed a missionary to be.  Most of what they teach you is teaching skills.  We don't learn the lesson, but are expected to know and study, so that we can teach in our own words.  Though I'm grateful that I was born in the church being a missionary would have been easier if I wasn't.  Like how do you teach someone of the importance of going to church or why they should read the book of Mormon?  I know that this church is true because without Heavenly Fathers help I could not go out and teach people.  My teacher is the Holy Ghost and I can only teach through him.  I know that my Savior lives.  He wants me to be here and I will give him my all.  This mission is not about me.  It’s about all of God's children.  This is his work and I am privilege to be a part of it. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Your Missionary,

Sister Rogers

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My First Letter

October 4, 2013

Hey everyone,

     I just wanted you to know I'm so excited to be here.  It has been a privilege to be in the MTC and to partake of all the Lord's blessing.  I have an amazing companion named Sister Brown who happens to live by Bear Lake. How cool is that! I've had some really cool experiences here and have been called to be Sister Training Leader.
     I'm am so happy to be here and I know that this where the Lord wants me.  I've also met a few people I know like Laura, my old roommate, and Sister Tracy, a girl named Andi that I used to visit teach.  We will have our first teaching lesson today and I'm super nervous, but it will be great.
     My parents will be excited to know that my companion loves to exercise, so I went on a little bit of a jog yesterday and am still suffering the affects. I also had to get my flu shot yesterday.  That was an experience.  I was extremely nervous, but the lady told me to not be such a baby its only a little one.  You bet it still hurts.  
     I miss you all.  It feels just so great to be here.  I have some fabulous teachers Brother Gray and Brother Mcfloud.  I can't believe I've only been here for only a few days it feels like weeks.  The strangest thing is that I can usually sleep about anywhere but I've not been able to get the best sleep, but I'm not even tired unless I think about it.  There is so much to learn.  I hope I get it down before I head out to my mission.  Thanks again everyone that helped me go.

Sister Rogers