Monday, December 29, 2014

Die Hoffnung und Der Glaube!.....Week 9 in Klagenfurt

     Another week come and gone... and look whats landed in your inbox! It doesn't rhyme. Sorry. And then I also realize that this gets posted on a blog... so like... many of you don't even get this in your inbox. Life. There is so much to it. But in the same thought... it can be so simple. Why is that? So this week was Christmas. Yes. I do like Christmas. It also caused me to do some really deep pondering and thinking about life and about my calling as a missionary. I have many things to rant about today! I came prepared... #boyscout

     This week rocked. The best part was certainly skyping home to my family! Oh how wonderful that was. I think that'll even be something I miss when I'm not a missionary... Skyping... It's so cool! I got one more chance to skype on mothers day. Daaang time goes by too fast! Life is so good. I wish you could all understand the joy in my life! The constant burning of love and happiness and joy and wonderfulness in my heart! It's so good! 

     I got an email a while back and in it the writer told me how the message she got from conference was to be fearless in Missionary Work. That hit me way hard! Cuz like... I'm a missionary and its kind of expected to be fearless. And its something I've not been the best at. Now, I have done a ton of things that are hard and I've been in countless situations where I needed to step up.. but like I still feel like there are times when I need to be more fearless. 

     The example I came up with and my goal for the coming months is... asking members for referrals. Directly and with purpose. Because that's something I've always been afraid of doing. Asking someone straight up, who they know that we can teach. I've gotten many referrals during my time but I cant think of one where I directly asked. So thats my goal and way of being fearless! And of course there's a lot more to it... but I've got a good idea! 

I want to talk about Hope and Faith. 

     Hope leads to faith as we learn in the scriptures. Faith consists of hope. Hope is a prerequisite of faith. I've hit a wall in goal setting. We are instructed to set goals in FAITH. So whats the difference between setting a goal in FAITH and setting a goal in HOPE. So I took this all apart this week and studied it!

     The biggest difference that I could find between hope and faith was one thing.... ACTION. Faith without works is dead. So could we then say that faith without works is hope? 

     I hope to baptize 1 person this transfer. I hope to do good on my test. 

    But that seems relatively empty to me. I think it would mean a lot more and have much more depth if I could rather say...

     I have faith that we can baptize one person this transfer. I have faith that I will do good on my test.

     It puts more depth to it because with the word Faith comes the associated action. In saying I hope that I will do good on a test... there is a lack of confidence. I likely haven't studied well for it. I haven't done my part. Whereas Faith... I have faith... means that I have done what I can to study and I have faith that based on my preparation that I will do well. Faith has action to back it up... which leads to my 2nd point..

     A difference between faith and hope is that Faith usually has to do with things we can control or things we can affect. To hope for it to snow is a good desire... but there isn't much I can do to manipulate the weather and cause it to snow. Hope therefore can also be applied to things that we cannot control.

     I mean that in setting a goal... I have to put forth effort to get the results I want. I can in essence control the look of my results based on the effort I put in. In hoping to teach people... nothing happens until I find people. In having faith that I can teach someone... the act of faith then leads me to find someone who will be taught. 

     And all this, if it makes any sense to you, has been on my mind because I feel my goals have become goals of hope rather than goals of faith. I set goals, hoping they will be achieved rather than doing all I can to achieve it. 

     My goal now is to change that. I have faith that I can change. And that means that I have to actively do something in my life to change that! Oh I could rant for ages about this and so much more, but my goal is to put my goals into action and change my Hope into Faith. 

Well howdy do? That's all I really have to say this week. So many thoughts. They're overtaking my mind. I hope you have a wonderful close to 2014 and that you can all achieve the new goals of 2015! Change Hope into Faith! And see the miracles :)

I love you all! Thanks for everything :)
Elder Rodgers <3

We did Christmas cooking this week too!

I only burned 1 batch of muffins... but the rest was all good!

Christmas dinner...

And lunch at the church watching the Jesus bible video things! Hahaha

worked so good last time so made schnitzel again!








Sunday, December 28, 2014

Frohe Weihnachten!.....Week 8 in Klagenfurt

     Yes. Its Christmas! Thats right. You may be thinking that I'm getting homesick and stir crazy in this beloved time of year! BUT.. I'm not! I do have to admit though... through all of my time here on a mission.. I have been homesick/trunkie once.. only ONCE! and I bet you'd never guess when. It was the end of my 1st Transfer in Wiener Neustadt when Belly River was happening :) Belly River... the cause of my sorrows. Ok. But not really sorrows.. just distracted thoughts! And now I'm distracted. Wow its Christmas! 

     Christmas! Such a wonderful time of year. Ahh a lot of food too. Holy mac a ton of food! I'm 2 paragraphs into this email and I'm already out of ideas to write about. I'm lost on what to say. Actually though. 

     Hmm....What did we do this week? We really met with very few people this week due to the Christmas rush. We met with a dude who was a former investigator. Well... HE has a few things... and we won't really be meeting with him much more. Not allowed.. lol

     Um. We went Carolling! And you know me... I only sing Taylor Swift when I'm driving.. other than that... not a singer. But I had support from missionaries and members so it wasn't like the worst! It was cold too! OK I'm kidding, it was 2°C.... not cold at all. I've become a wimp out here... In Canada I can tough a -25°C no problem (in shorts)... here... oh man I've lost it! We sang, sang, sang and sang. People even clapped! So we couldn't have been to bad. 

     Umm.... I'm stuck. This is like my worst email ever. It shows how much I didn't prepare for it. Let this be an example. Normally through the week I write down things in my planner on the Monday Notes Page so when I get here I have a list of stuff to write about. Well this week my page is relatively empty. 

     We just tried to spread the love of Christmas this week! Some good old dooring, people on the streets and in stores and everywhere. Ya. But like... nothing really this week. It flew by... but went slow in comparison to others as well. 

     I love the Book of Mormon. You should all read it and like give it to people to read and then watch how awesome it works! I love this place. Austria is so cool! I've gotten a German Christmas and and Austrian one too! I'm a lucky guy! Really... one of the luckiest people ever. So much to be thankful for! 

I'm thankful for all of you! I love you. Christmas is about love. LOVE PEOPLE!

I love you!
Merry Christmas to all of you!
Elder Rodgers <3

My finger puppet Nativity

We made Schnitzel! 


We also went to a members house this week and he is building a house. We have been helping on and off for the last while to build said house. This week we installed heated floors. We laid and secured the red tubing to the floor. Its was fun! and the house is coming together way good too!"

Ahh I love this tree picture, so pretty!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wunderbar!....Week 7 in Klagenfurt

     I've contemplated how to start this email for about a week now. Actually not, but I thought that in saying that it would be a good attention grabber. But now that I think about it... the only people reading this anyway are the ones who click on the site..... so likely you are reading with purpose. Now that you're caught... get ready for a ton of ranting about one of the best and most filled and crazy weeks ever. So much happened. I don't know how I can get it all written down... TIME!!

     I promised an update last week in regards to the neighbours of the Bishops family. Well, what a way awesome family! We had the best time ever! It was so successful! What a day! All we did was talk about what we do and who we are and how its affected us. AH! They were really open to us. We had an amazing chicken and rice dinner with salad and juice (cuz they knew we don't drink alcohol!!!) and ah it was great! Wayyy nice family! At the end we got into a great conversation about Gospel stuff. We brought a Book of Mormon with our testimonies written in the front of it and left it with them as a Christmas present!...


That's a way good idea! Try it! Give someone a personalized Book of Mormon for Christmas! I think that would be fun!...


They were so happy! They really liked that! It was great! They even drove us home! Ah! So good! Well. They even said to call next week to come back! YESS!!

     We had our Christmas Conference this week in Salzburg! So good! Ok... wait for this.... We watched.... MEET THE MORMONS!!! We watched it! President Kohler is a boss! No idea how he got a copy! And so we watched it! If you haven't seen it... go see it! Oh its so good! And try not to cry!!! Oh it was so good! 

     Our conference was so great too! Just wonderful! Our train ride home... a girl came and sat with us... so our compartments are 6 seats and we were in 4 of them all spread out... she must have had guts to come in and ask to sit. Cuz like... she was young and we are too and like... ya. Well we had a solid 2 hour conversation about life and goodness! Talked to her about the Gospel so much! hahaha count on it! It was way cool! People everywhere... even in 3 hour train rides! 

     Best part of the week was Friday morning at 10. We had a lesson at the church with a lady. Well, she is Austrian, she is in her late 20's early 30's and she is awesome! Ok. The lesson we taught was the best lesson I have ever taught in German on my mission. Only one in Neustadt that tops it, in English, but this was absolutely the best! Best lesson ever. Everything went so well. She is so ready! We are gonna meet again after Christmas and I strongly believe she will be baptized! She is awesome! Ah we are so blessed! 

Life is so good! Almost Christmas! Time flies eh? I hope you all have a great week!  Thanks for being there for me! I love you all  <3

Thank! Lots of Love!
Elder Rodgers <3

So pretty!

Ummm... I have a BYU shirt
Been a while since a selfie


I like the mountains and cold and ya... life! 

Mountains with snow! I love this place!

Elder Graver! (first companion in MTC)

Elder Oviatt! (fellow Canadian)

my christmas corner :) 

Life eh? its great!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ein Heiland ist uns geschenkt worden.....Week 6 in Klagenfurt

     Another week gone by, another email coming your way! But my forearms hurt... #enduretotheend I can do this! I believe. I want to share a cool thought. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon in Alma 32:27 and it is one of my favourites to use in teaching. It talks about how having even only a small amount of desire to believe is all that we need. Let this desire then work in you! So in church we had a lesson and the thought that came to me from it was... Missionary Work! 

     Do you have the desire to help bring someone closer to Christ? Even if this desire is way small. Is it there? That's whats important! We can all do missionary work... if we have but a desire to try it! And so with that... I'd like to throw out an invitation!
Go to this website ....

     ... and watch the video and then SHARE THE GIFT! It's probably way easier cuz you all have Facebook and stuff... but find ways to SHARE THE GIFT! It's a way simple way to do Missionary Work! So if you have the desire... let this desire work in you... exercise a little faith and watch what amazing things you can do! So I challenge you all to go share the wonderful message of Jesus Christ! I'm gonna do it! 

     I had a great learning experience this week. In focusing on the talk " Lord, Is It I"? by President Uchtdorf. I was able to put forth into action that what I learned. I made a list of things that other people did that bugged me and that I think they could do better. But instead of sharing it with them I made that list MY list and set a goal to improve myself in all those ways that I thought others could improve themselves. It was a big step for me! But really cool to go through that process! I'm on the start of it this week, I'll let you know how it turns out! 

     I have a miracle story! So....the neighbours to our Bishops Family, they have seen us quite often as we go to the Bishops house. We have also done some "Pixying" or "Doorbell Ditching" with brownies and stuff like that to the Bishops house. Well they see us sometimes I guess... And so they asked the Family what we were doing and who we were. Well that allowed the Bishops family to tell them about the Elders and then we heard of this. So next time we went we brought the neighbours  brownies! They weren't home, so we left them on the table outside. Well... they gave the plate back to the Bishops Family... and asked what they could do for us! And through this... it has led to the inviting us over for supper! So... We have an appointment with them tonight! Wayyy cool eh? It,s gonna be great! So cool! Such a blessing!

So I'll report back on that next week! 

     I'm happy! Life gives us so many reasons to be happy!Yeah, there is sadness and stuff too... but with Jesus Christ we can all experience changing and lasting happiness! Be happy! 

Well... I think im gonna get that sickness that people get when they type too much... Carpel Tunnel? If that's not what its actually called... then delete that mom! hahaha Well. I bid thee all farewell for another week! 

Remember what we are celebrating! And Who we have to thank! 
I love you all!

Elder Rodgers <3

Watch and Share 
This weeks cool find!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Selbstvertrauen, Mut und Entscheidungen.....Week 5 in Klagenfurt

     Ich begrüße euch herzlich! ( I cordially greet you) What a wonderful season to be a missionary eh? Christmas is the best... for so many reasons! So many! Christ.... totally the biggest part! As a missionary I'm keen to point that out! Although its harder in German cuz Christmas is Weihnachten. But still, people here are way into that kind of thing... just not from us. But were improving that daily! Then... Mas... in Spanish I believe it means 'more'... meaning that... we want.... CHRIST-MORE! See what I did there? To be honest I came up with that one off the top of my head too. Not even in my planned thoughts! Man I'm getting wiser as the days go on. Na Servus! 

     This week is titled... Self Confidence, Courage and Choices. We finally got our Conference Edition Liahona this week so I was able to read some talks. The 4 that I read all went along these themes. First the talk by Elder Jörg Klebingat, then by Elder Lynn Robbins, then by Elder Quentin Cook and also President Uchtdorf! All of these talks struck me a ton when they were given, therefore they were the first ones that I returned to. 

     What strikes me so deeply about them is the way it addresses the power of the individual. I make my choices. I choose. I can be happy. I can be self confident. Its not about relying so heavily on the opinion or choices of others, rather its relying on yourself and on Christ.

I choose whether I have a good attitude
I choose whether to repent
I choose if I want to go to church today
I choose who I will marry
I choose how my attitude toward anothers actions affects me
I choose to forgive
I choose if I will talk to this person about the Gospel
I choose to stand up for my beliefs
I choose to have appropriate thoughts
I choose to exercise faith and trust in the Lord
I choose to say no
I choose to say yes
I choose my future

     Its all about the power of the individual... who receives power from on high.... who can be strengthened through Christ.... who has been given the heavenly ability to choose for himself. Its now just up to us to learn how to make proper and wise choices and how to use our agency to bless our lives and to bless the lives of others. When we start doing this and recognize the power that one can build up through righteous choices, we gain self confidence. We learn that we have worth in the sight of God and that we are capable to act for ourselves. 

     With the increase of self confidence comes an increase of courage. We will be able to withstand more, and say no in harder situations. Courage is strengthened because we know that to please God is always the right choice. I know that because I have had experiences with it. I have been the recipient of promised blessings from the Lord because of my obedience to His laws. I've seen how powerful my decisions can be when I know who I represent and when I know which way I'm facing. 

    This can all come through CHRIST and His Atonement. What a beautiful message to share with the world. How lucky am I to be serving in Austria and to get to share this message of self worth with these people. His power, atonement and grace is sufficient to help every person on this earth. But we choose whether we accept that help. We choose to follow Christ. 

Isnt this Gospel the best ever? So great!

     It's December now. I've been inspired by a story of Invitations. I've been inspired again through Conference. Now I guess I'm the one who chooses what I'll do with this inspired feeling. I hope that I can choose to go out and share it with everyone. I'll choose that right now. 

I wish you all the best start to the Christmas season this year! Make it memorable! Have a great week! I love you all so much :) Thanks for being there for me! You are loved <3

Elder Rodgers <3

The Sound of Music Mansion...

Way Gorgeous clouds below us on the ride to Salzburg...

The Sound of Music Mansion...

a cool cathedral in Salzburg

a cool cathedral in Salzburg

The Christmas market in Salzburg 

the house where the famous songwriter guy MOZART was born :)