Monday, March 31, 2014

Alles was gutes, muss ein Ende haben!....Week 30 in Ellwangen

     Farewell my home. My land. My country. I shall miss thee dearly. I have grown to be me here. I will always remember Ellwangen as my home. My Birthplace. My Home!

     I love Ellwangen. I love the people here more! The people make the place! Ahh they made it so good! I learned German from these people! I learned how to be a missionary! But the time comes. 7 Months after I came I must leave. I'm headed to a land far far away....

                          Wiener Neustadt, Austria! Just south of Vienna! 

     That will be my new home! My new breeding grounds! My life presses forward across the German border into the land of the Alps! My homeland behind, I take my adventure into the wild. A new city to tame. A new dialect to master. A new people to love!

     Ahahaha I sound so cheesy! This is way fun! I have a hurting jaw cuz I smile too much! My cheekbones need a break! But I can't help but smile! Life is so good!!!! 

Lets continue..

     I leave my home in the hands of Elder Geilman in hopes that this area will find new life and rise to the top! I will be joining Elder Stephen Smith in our race againt time to help the people of Wiener Neustadt to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Say tuned for our adventures. There will be many!

     I think the coolest part is that I get to see Elder Carlson in München on Thursday on my ride through! YES! MY FATHER!! Ha! And then I continue onward through the mountainous ranges of Austria to my destination on the other side of the mission lol. 

     I am impressed with myself. I didn't cry on Sunday! I totally almost did! Ha! I saved it! I gave my little goodbye/thanks testimony. That was hard! The first one I gave here was hard cuz I couldn't speak German. This one was hard cuz I had too much to say. I love this Branch <3

     Well back to my last week here. We did lots. Lots of finding. We have become decently good at that! But now our focus needs to be getting those people to be investigators haha! 

     Saturday we had a huge 2 Zone finding day in Stuttgart! It was awesome! And huge! We all came together and had a huge awesome day in Stuttgart! Found 71 people in like 3 hours! Not too shabby eh? It was way fun! And I got to see Elder Garrett!  MtTCcompanion) Oh man! My buddy! He is so cool! I miss living with him! 
(on this finding day they all met at Schlossplatz park in downtown Stuttgart and they all spread out and sat with the people and read their Book of Mormon and many came and asked them what they were doing and so they were able to talk to them and tell them about it)

     Ok guess what else!!! I'm only gonna be in a 2 man apartment now.Thats so hard! haha I've only had a 4 person place! I dont know what that's gonna be like! Hope it goes well! I'm sure it will!
      Well overall... I'm excited! Sad to leave! But excited for a new beginning! Its gonna be so cool! Ah! Being a missionary is the coolest ever! I love it!
Well, next week I'll be there... Bis dann Tschüß!!!

Elder Rodgers

Schlossplatz park, downtown Stuttgart

going to the park

Me and Elder Garrett in Stuttgart! YES!

busy missionaries

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ich bin fast 8 Monate auf Mission gewesen! O Mensch wie die Zeit vergeht!....Week 29 in Ellwangen

     Und natürlich kann ich auch ja, ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen! Ha das ist aber kühl oder? Die Gabe der Zungenrede ist was großes und dafür bin ich so dankbar!  ( And of course I can even speak a bit of German! Ha but that is cool right? The gift of tongues is something big and I am so grateful!)

     Oh man tomorrow is my 8 month mark! DUDE! I'm still a baby! I am a baby! I think I need to start learning faster or something lol. I remember when I got to Ellwangen! Haha! That was like 3 weeks ago not 6 and a half months! Man oh man! Time sure flies! That is certain. 

     I had a very humbling experience this week. It was kinda like a really big overall experience! His name is Elder Geilman. 

     Honestly when I first came together with him I was a lot different. But just this last week I really came to appreciate the basics of Missionary work exemplified in Elder Geilman. He simply is obedient and tries so hard to be a Preach My Gospel Missionary. He knows how it goes and he is so humble. And I needed to be humbled. So it took 4 weeks but I finally have had a 'Change of Heart' and I see things differently and I think I've certainly become more humble. I give thanks to him! 

     So this week was really a whole lot of finding. We made the decision together to drop 2 investigators who are making really no progress. It was hard because we really now have no investigators. Only like 3 people who we have, but haven't met with them in the last month cuz they're all so busy. So we spent a good majority of time on the find this week. Lots of streeting and dooring. Some way cool people found for sure! So much potential in this area! 

     We were with some members too! Had some great times there. I've said it so many times but our members here are so awesome!  They really are some great people! They take care of us so well! 

     This next week we have appointments the whole week and we will get transfer calls too! It's gonna go by really fast I think! I'm way excited for this week! We have so much that we can get done! Hopefully it all goes through! 

I've learned a lot this week. I think I've seen myself grow. I have a lot more respect for people and a greater recognition of my need for consistent improvement! I love being on a mission! Its so the best! 

Have a great week everyone! Germany says Hallo! 

Bis nächste Woche! (see you next week)
Elder Rodgers

A church in Ellwangen

A huge nativity scene in the church

They like Mary here... alot... lol

Schönenberg Kirche

A beautiful day out!

Took this one for his dad!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Es sieht wie Sommer aus!....Week 28 in Ellwangen

     OK...Well its freaking summer now. It was 20 degrees above this week. Celsius! and like that's too hot for a Canadian boy like me. I want winter, Snow and stuff, but I get sun and no clouds! ah! Too warm!

     OK...this week we actually had 3 eating appointments! Wow eh! haha just lined up that way! awesomeeeee! We had some good chances for pics too! Ummmmm we travelled to Stuttgart on Tuesday for zone training. So many good things to be learned from that! Always the best! An outpouring of knowledge. 

     Oh and pause!.... This morning I read a talk from the priesthood session of the last conference! The 2nd speaker. I cant remember the title. In German its 'von ihm berufen, sein Evangeluim zu predigen', I think! umm its way good. Anyone planning or preparing for a mission should definitely read it! Its awesome! 

     OK we had some good finding this week, Schwäbisch Hall is my favourite place to go. lots of people and lots of opportunity for growth there. Its beautiful too! We found some way cool people this week. Our goal now is to make them real investigators. haha something I've struggled with! 

     We had a great lesson with our main less active and he is slowly making progress. We basically teach him all over again because he went less active when he was 14 and he is 60 now lol. He is so cool! 

     We have had a struggle with our main investigator. He really doesn't understand a lot of what we teach and we have taught everything 2-3-4 times in different and the simplest of ways. Its hard for sure. Any ideas? About people barely progressing? idk!

     We had lunch with the Salad Lady! She is a boss! I love her a ton! We had Schnitzel!! I went on tausch with Elder Spencer. We had a sick day of finding and teaching. Awesome working with him. He is super awesome!

     Church was church! Super awesome and all! One guy came from us and one from the other elders. Slowly right? 

     Yeah.... Life here is awesome. Just the best I think! I love Germany! I love my mission so so so so much! I learn so much everyday! I hope I can apply it! haha cuz that's what will make the difference! Thanks to all those who support me! I love you all! Especially my family :) 

     Oh and guess what? We found the best waffles here. They are awesome! I love em! haha they got some great food here! Also some great paths for running... lol ;)

     OK that's the report from Germany today. Warm. 15°C and sunny. Life couldn't be better eh? Ha I'm still Canadian with my 'Eh' YESS!!

Liebe Grüße,
Elder Rodgers <3

Do I look good?

Remember the language is German not English!

Me and Elder Geilman!

 just me!

Schwäbisch Hall

Me in the Hall!

Me in the Hall!  Again!

Are we not the cutest? (Tanner with Elder Spencer)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ich wohne in Deutschland oder?...Week 27 in Ellwangen

     I had one of those moments this week. Like I'm in Germany! Dude how cool is that! ha it was awesome. I love living here. The weather is awful though. I thought we were supposed to have snow in the winter? Well we haven't had snow for like 3 months haha. Its been like 15 or so the whole week. I don't like that. Too hot for me. I need cold! 

     Well I guess the news this week was that I turned 19. I don't feel 19.I feel maybe 16... hahaha I don't know how I'm on a mission. I used to look up to all the missionaries and be like ' Dude you know so much and are so awesome and mature and cool and all ' and now I'm like.... 'Man that's me? No way' its a scam I tell you! There is no way I am even on the same scale as my old pals like Elder Howes, Brinkerhof, Hepworth. haha all those beauties! Guess that's me now? Not too sure about that! '

     Well thank you to everyone who remembered me! haha means a lot really! Thanks! I had a great Birthday! Lunch with the salad lady! YES! I love that place. I can eat food! I've grown up! haha. Like a boss! 

     So this week we only managed 1 lesson because everything was falling out. Up and down from less actives to investigators to potentials. Everything. But the lesson we had was so good! Finally made a little progress. And almost got a baptisimal date. Its at the point of what we call a 'Soft Date' where we have discussed one with him and he is thinking and praying about it now. So we hope to solidify that later. 

     We had Mug root beer and ice cream floats this week! The other elders in our district were on the base in Stuttgart and got some for us! Such bosses! It was so good! 

     We had a lot of finding to do this week. Found some awesome people. I love contacting! People are so cool! So many good stories! and people who just need the gospel to bring that extra light into their lives! Its the best! 

     I realized being a missionary is awesome. I realized that a while ago but it really hit me this week. Like I learn so so so so so so so so sooooooooo  much from people and studies and revelations and all! Man its the coolest!!!!!!!!

     This week we are gonna be in Stuttgart. Umm and members I and love and love. I love love. I love things. I love people. I love too much stuff. I've learned to love anything that walks! Ah its awesome!

     I like Elder Packer too! We go running in the mornings together! He motivates me way good! He's cool!

     Elder Spencer is so beautiful! He is patient and so loving. Such a fun guy to wrestle with too! 

     And then we got my little teddy bear Elder Geilman! He is so motivated to work hard and be awesome. It rubs off! 

     I have an awesome apartment. I love em. I love people. I love everything! Isn't life just the best! And guess what???? Conference is soon! SICK! haha I'm so excited! 

     Ahhh man I love life. I will have an awesome week if you all do too! Be missionaries ok! Its a commandment! ha! But its also a blessing! 

Love you all!

Elder Rodgers

There was a parade in Ellwangen for fasching. It is like a huge Catholic holiday. 

Ain't I pretty?

OK huge parade in Ellwangen 

At our ward party! 

root beer floats....what more do you need ?

the salad! 

 My Favorite Salad Lady... Schwester Hörth.... pronounced like Hurt

one of the cutest little gals in our ward at the party!

looking fresh ;)

Schwäbisch hall! nice eh!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Deutsch ist einfach das beste Sprache der Welt!...Week 26 in Ellwangen

     Dude I love German! I just love speaking it! cuz I sound so weird when I do. OK well I really have lost any sort of structure to these emails so I'm just gonna keep writing. I have come to love something and its is reading the conference talks over and over. I read between 1-4 every morning now. Like wow too much learning. Its been so cool! Well I really found a focus through all of them this week and it was mainly about trust. Through all that we go through it will surely turn out better than you could have ever imagined. 

     So that's my theme. Trust. Good theme eh? I read a ton of amazing stories that showed that when we put our trust in the Lord and make our will His will He will so totally lead us through anything! Like even if what you may have to give up is hard and it seems like its not worth it. If you're giving it up because its the right thing to do or allows you to come closer to Jesus its so totally the right thing to do and he will bless us so much when we do that. 

     There are some awesome examples of that in my life. Pure trust and giving up what we may want to be able to have time for that what matters. Thanks to those who sacrifice! It makes a difference for me! 

     Well I'd encourage anyone reading this to read a conference talk a week and see how awesome it blesses your life! Its the coolest!

     Well this week was a week of fall outs. 3 lessons fell out with different people. The one we had is just the same, not a terrible amount of progress being made. It's hard sometimes but guess I just gotta trust eh? or work harder... lol. I can always work harder. 

     We were on trains a fair bit. I tausched (exchanged) with Elder Packer too! We had some great finding in Schwäbisch Hall and had a great time. We were on public transport for 4 hours that day. Too much of that here but we had a great tausch. I learned a ton. I've learned that I learn so much everyday. I need to write it down more. I'm gonna do that. I learn too much I'm too small to remember all of it. 

     Miracles happen! I promise that! All we gotta do is look for them. They are there if we take the time to look. Umm ya ,Sunday was great. I love church. No one came though. Our investigators I mean. Yeah. Hard. But at least we have some right!!!

     OK well yeah! Sorry idk what to say. This week was just a week. Went by super fast but super slow. Not a ton done. Just talking to people. I love people. People are the best. I just smile when I see people. People are so cool! 

     OK so yeah. I'm still in Ellwangen. Clearly I love it. I love my comp. I love my apartment. I love my family. I love Germany. I love German. I love saying things in German. I love life! Love is awesome. There are too many awesome things to talk about in life. Go out and enjoy life. I am! 

     Hopefully I can get my camera out this week too. I'm becoming bad at that but like I have the same pics like 4 times already! Like you can only take so many.... right? Well I'll try. 

     Nevertheless I love being here! Missions are the coolest! I love it! I'm grateful to be here! Love you all!

Love from me and Germany!
Elder Rodgers

Schwäbisch Hall

Schwäbisch Hall