Monday, August 3, 2015

Ein Ende... aber neue Anfänge .....Week 17 in Rosenheim

     You don't know how tempted I was to send this email as a simple "See you Friday" message and leave it at that... I figured though that I would have been digging myself a pretty good hole with that one... So I'll write something instead! I guess this is it eh? Its like... its a topic you talk about every now and then, but its never real. Now its actually here and I'm like... an emotional mess. One minute happy, 5 later sad, 5 later excited, 5 later frustrated, 5 later... and it goes on and on. Its weird! Its like... You always talk about how cool it will be at the pool, jumping off the high dive... its easy to talk about when you aren't at the pool. Then the day comes when you go with your friends... Still ok to talk about. Now I'm climbing the stairs... getting real now... and then all of a sudden I'm at the edge of the board and I have to go forward now... Its to that point in my mission. It has all become real. Kinda have to jump now. Its a lot scarier than I had thought... And I have to leave this all here! I cant take it with me! AHHH! 

     I started in Ellwangen, Germany. Spent a solid 7 months there. Headed to Wiener Neustadt in Austria for 7 more months, then 5 1/2 months in Klaggenfurt, Austria. To close I made it back to Germany and have spent 4 months in Rosenheim. Its been a journey eh? 

     I'm not very good with words, so I can't really give a big exciting speech here about how awesome it all was. I can say that my Mission was awesome. It has showed me who I am and who I can become, my weaknesses and struggles and where I seem to be well off. I've learned about change and how that really can happen on a permanent scale. This all because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

     All in all... The Gospel is worth it! I was able to give a closing testimony for the ward in Church on Sunday, and I'd like to share what I shared there.

     After Christ appeared to the Nephites, we learn the lasting effects of living the Gospel. The Gospel is the only way to bring unity to a fallen people. 4 Nephi 1:15-17 says...

     "And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. 
And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God."

     They were all one, united in purpose and faith and there was no contention in the land. It was happy because they lived the Gospel. They couldn't have been happier. Thats what the Gospel can do. We just have to let it.

     President Packer of the 12 said:  
“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.”

     It just comes down to living the Gospel and learning how to apply it. I've learned the importance of that! And I hope to be able to continue on that path and to do that more! 

     I have Tuesday and Wednesday then its off to Munich Thursday and then Friday I fly home. 14 Hours in the air... please... that's not making it any easier to go home... But I guess flying is cool!

     This last week was also awesome. A week with ups and down... what else could it be. We got out hiking with a man I met my first day here It was awesome. I absolutely love this place. My mission is absolutely the best. Its so awesome looking back on all the people and all the time I spent with them. I have come to love it. The German language is so great! I love it! I'm gonna do all I can to keep it up! So many ups and downs to leaving... and coming home. I dont know how its gonna go! Lets see eh!

     I know its true though, the work we are doing! That's for sure. It's a must do! The best work to be involved in for sure! And I'm looking forward to putting the words of President Harold B. Lee to the test... when he said... “The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.”

     Bring it on. I was talking to a member on Sunday... he said to me.. Well you're done with this Mission, but you know what your next Mission is ;) BRING IT ON! 

I'm looking forward to a new start. Its so weird!!!!! But like... I dont know...
I guess all I can say at this point is...


I love you all so much! Thanks for the wonderful support. It plays a huge role in the life of a missionary. Thank you all!

See yall! 

Elder Rodgers!!! <3 <3

Elder Johnson And Rodgres!

priceless smile!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vorwärts streben!.....Week 16 in Rosenheim

     This week was a week of physical exertion. We powered hard core! We went hiking twice, we biked a ton and did some service and we were just going hard! It was really fun. It rained at random times through the week. It wasn't quite as hot as it has been, overall the weather has been good. It was a good week all in all! We got a lot accomplished, a lot of laughing and a lot of working and it was one of those weeks you just look back on and smile cuz it was simply good. This coming up week is gonna be good too. I absolutely love having the week planned in advance. It helps things go so much smoother! We have Monday - Friday pretty much all planned. Its the best! Sunday too... and now we need plans for Saturday and we are complete! A good start for sure! 

     I'll start with Monday last week. We decided to go hiking. We picked out a peak that looked good and thought we would go and hike that. So we took a train down a little ways and got out, biked up the road as far as we could until it got too steep and then we walked. We weren't sure exactly where we were going... but found a trail and followed it. By the time we realized where we were we had missed the access point tot he ridge and were in the valley and so we just went forward to another peak. It turned out it was the highest peak in the Area.... called Wendelstein. Which translated means "Twisted Stone" and it was way cool! A great hike. Got back in good time and had some great pictures there. 

     A classic district meeting in Munich on Tuesday is always a good follow up too. I had some fun indeed. We have the coolest district ever. Its so awesome. We ate together and then we headed back into Rosenheim. Our city of dreams! 

     Wednesday we travelled a good amount visiting a 96 year old member and then an investigator on the other side of the area. Had a really good lesson with him too. We are seeing again how teaching the Gospel is really what people need in their lives to help them find reason to change. The Gospel causes that change. A change of heart is one amazing transformation! 

     We met with our friend in the Hospital again. It blows my mind seeing his weekly progress. He is doing so well! Its crazy! Powers of heaven... Manifested through the Priesthood. Life is so good! I love being right in the middle of it too! 

     Friday we got to head into Munich again and have a finding day. We come together as a District and we split into new companionships and go out finding for a time. We were in one of the most crowded places in Munich, on a nice day and there were thousands of people. I started talking with someone right off the bat at the same time Elder Evans did too and then we both lost each other within minutes haha. So we were always in sight of other missionaries, but we contacted alone. Which was something I had never done. It was really cool actually. Its a lot different, but super effective too at points cuz we simply reach more people. In one and a half hours, and 5 companionships we found 20 potentials. Not too shabby. But they are all Munich people haha, none for Rosenheim. 

     Saturday was full! We had a ward activity in the mountains! The Kaiser Range! We met up down there and then we took a chair lift up a section of the mountain and did a nice light hike. It was definitely good! Super pretty area! This mission is so beautiful! Such awesome places and people! I love it so much! 

     After this, we taught 2 lessons and that was then the day. Lots going on again, its funny how things go up and down so dramatically and so randomly. Its looking positive again in all directions. Its a good feeling! Sunday too was awesome. More and more people in church each week. We got up to 67 this week! Its nice having a full meeting :) I wore my Trachten Suit too, and that was well accepted by all the Germans! haha I love that! A good day!

     Then today, we are off to the mountains again, with a man who I helped move in on my first day here. He isn't a member of the church but is very religious! He invited us up with him. So we are gonna go! Clearly... haha Super cool! Missionary Experience and hiking experience! Best of both worlds! 

     My life is so good! I absolutely love my mission! I've been so blessed and even when I feel like its tougher... I'm blessed still! It's all part of finishing strong :) I shared Alma 37:16-17 at a point this week... I'm gonna pass that on here too!

     "But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words..... For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers." 

     I love the part saying God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words. Thats stuck out to me. We have the promises... we just have to do whats required to get them and then we will not be left alone. Work hard to do that, and its worth it! I have a testimony of that!

With that, I bid y'all farewell this week! Until next week I wish you all the best and a week full of laughs and happy things! Smile big! Someone is watching! 


Elder Rodgers <3 <3


Climbing Wendelstein

View from the top of Wendelstein

little church on top of Wendelstein

The Kaiser Range

The Kaiser Range

Chair lift we took up the Kaiser Range

This is an epic dessert... called Kaiserschmarrn! SO GOOD!!

Pretty lake (Simsee)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ich schäme mich nicht!....Week 15 in Rosenheim

     Hi everyone! A new week of experiences built up, its hard to put them all together and summarize them into one email. But despite the challenge, I come again, bearing the weekly email. I was looking back on many of my weekly emails, and I came to notice that starting somewhere in Wiener Neustadt that this first paragraph became some kind of like.... a weird intro to my week. Like some of these paragraphs are like super weird... I guess it has become my way of expressing my true thoughts... or like those things that I really don't know how to express any other way. That makes no sense but I'm on a time crunch and I don't wanna think of another way to say it. In essence what this week is saying is that my mind is a massive ball of confusion. I'm a mess upstairs... Its hard bringing so many thoughts into a unified paragraph that makes sense to someone who knows absolutely no history on the subject being talked about. But yes. It wasn't quite as hot this week. But pretty warm nonetheless. Life. I love it! 

     I'll keep this one a little shorter this week, lack of ability to contribute to details. We went dooring on Tuesday evening. I have never, in my whole time in the mission field, had a dooring experience like this. We doored an apartment complex, a smaller one with only like 8 bells. We stand outside and ring and then sometimes we get buzzed in. So we were down to the bottom floor now, and this lady let us in, we walked in the apartment building and up to her door, she told us no interest and so we went back outside. As we got there her husband came out and made sure the outside door was closed so that we wouldn't be able to get into the apartment complex. 

     As he walked back to his door I buzzed the next one, happening to be his neighbour. He heard it ring from the outside and so he came speedily and angrily to the door, yelling us to disappear and get lost (in the not so nicest of words) and that we had no right to be there. He shoved us both on our shoulders and yelled more in angry German! So I said we had the right to be there... he didn't like that, pushed us more and so I said OK, we want no contention and so we left. I have never had someone physically try to get rid of me before. A new experience for sure. Elder Johnson has gotten a lot of good experiences early on! Yelled at, he had beer poured out on his legs and bag and we have been threatened too. All in all its kind of interesting, fun even... :) haha

     Wednesday was great, we got to go into Munich for our zone Training meeting. We even had some special visitors from Salt Lake City doing a new language test in order to further help them find out how they can improve their MTC's around the world and stuff. So we took a test, I actually did super well. It was a reading comprehension in German. It was super cool. The meeting went good, I was able to give my "Dying Testimony" haha given by all missionaries going home. Nothing too special. I'm not a good public speaker. 

     We then had an Exchange. I came back to Rosenheim with Elder Evans. We went and had a baptismal interview! It was a really good evening. 

     But unfortunately that won't be going through as of now, some problems arose and not there are some complications. Its hard working through things, sometimes life throws curve balls Thursday wasn't the best, as well as Friday. Prayer became a larger part of our lives. All in relation to a family in the ward. 

     But moving on, we had some other appointments as well, we biked a good 25 km on the hottest day of the week... haha and it showed. A bit of service too, down in the pretty part of our area! Lots of fun and goodness! I've gotten really good at garden work! Its still not something I'm gonna really engage in personally at home... but I like helping others with it. 

     Sunday was warm and went ok. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Got a good bit of dooring in this week, met some nice people and had some cool conversations. Lets see where that takes us! Its looking good, this week should rain a ton. I hope our plans hold through! 

     I really liked this scripture I found in Romans. Its short and applicable. I think its something to constantly ask myself... A good check up! 

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)

Let us not be ashamed of that which we love! I love you all! Have a great week! Smile and laugh! Go and do! LOVE!!

Elder Rodgers <3

Elder Evans & Rodgers