Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Höhen und Tiefen....Week 21 in Wiener Neustadt

     Ups and Downs. But in a good way. I think. Kind of my theme for today. I think. If it stays like that. I have read all my emails for the day. I am feeling on top of the world! I am so happy. Today's emails all helped me in such a way idk how to even explain. I love people! So much! I kinda have been having a rant go on through my head about love this week. Ok honestly for months, but this week especially. 

I'll come back to that.

     I spent another day in the office with Elder Durrant and Bruder Pillmann today...haha...we were up on Schneeberg again! The mountain that I have now climbed once a month for 3 months straight. Haha that's so fun to say! I can't even say that about one in Canada, I believe... well, needless to say we enjoyed the glorious day! For sure! 

     Always life lessons to be learned in the mountains. You wanna learn something about your life? Go hiking for a day and you will find so many new ideas and parables. The mountains are a place where men go to think. Women too if you want ;)

     I was on Tausch for 4 days this week. It was so fabulous. Our first one was really enjoyable. We had a ton of stuff to do. Biked through a huge field, felt like a Missionary! We just had a good time together! I appreciate other missionaries inputs into my life! I get to see so many new ideas of how to do missionary work from others. It is so eye opening. There are so many ways to do something. 

     My 2nd Tausch was a record Tausch. We gave out 6 Books of Mormon within 2 hours of walking outside. And the other Elders of our Tausch in Wien gave 13 in that afternoon. 19 Books in a Tausch. Definitely a record for us. It was an eye opener. Idk what the difference was between that day and the rest of the week. Usually we give about 2/week here. And usually dont get their addresses or numbers. But for these 6, we got all 6 numbers of addresses. It was such an amazing experience. I am so looking forward to following up on all these people. Missionary work is a work that is bound to bring happiness. It the happiest job in the World. 

     Back to my love thing. I have made it a focus/main goal of my mission to love everyone. In every case, no matter what. Just open my heart up to them and let it go. I've seen it help me so much. But where there is a positive, the must needs be a negative too. And the negative is the feeling when you open up your heart to someone and it gets rejected. I'm OK with rejection. Straight up rejection. But rejection for me is hard after I have built a relationship with a person, or after I have taken the next step with that person. Could say.. .MY hopes were up. Someone who took a Book, or we got a number from. My thought is always like, " Oh they're so gonna be baptized! They're gonna see the biggest change in their lives cuz the Gospel will help them so much!!!" I take the next step in loving that person. 

     And it hurts so bad when they then reject it! That build up of hope.. then boom. Shut down. That is what hurts. But there are also so so many examples of where that love has grown greater. And still grows. I think love should always be growing. If it's not growing, it's shrinking. I don't think there is an equal level where it can just chill out. 

     But that's why I was so happy today. Because when I come to emails, and I read the loving words of friends and family and hear all the words of love and care and comfort, I feel so loved! And that makes me indescribably happy! That happiness, and feeling of belonging and love that I feel from the emails I get, is exactly how the Gospel can make these people here feel. I know what it feels like to have someone there who cares and I know what its like to feel loved and cared for. I am so grateful for that! That motivates me so so so much to go love these people and allow them to experience that true love. Knowing there are people who care for them, knowing Heavenly Father is there to love them unconditionally. They just need the opportunity to accept that!

     And then when they're so close and reject it... oh how it makes me just die inside. Love is an amazingly powerful thing. Jesus Christ was and is the perfect example of love. Oh how I want to love like He did. 

1 John 4:19 - We love Him because He first loved us

     Love. Love is a topic I don't think I will ever truly comprehend, but what I do understand about it, is that to me, it's the most powerful force in this world. I love Love. Its the reason for my Ups and my Downs. It's why I'm happy, but why I'm sad. Love. Tell me about it! 

Have a wonderful week! Thanks!

Elder Rodgers :) !!

way cool looking pic eh? (new feature he learned on his camera)

sick little thing...

Goegeous night!

way cool looking pic eh?


left a pass along card in the sign in book

Elder Rodgers & Elder Durrant

(used his new camera feature)

Perfect Selfie

Missionsarbeit ....Week 20 in Wiener Neustadt

     I hope that the you are all doing super duper awesome. I also hope you are prepared for this email. I'm not too sure what'll come out of it. Lots of thoughts running through my mind at this point. But I hope something will strike you and make you smile, laugh or think. Hopefully something good! 

     I got an email today in which a quote was included said by a 6 year old little boy. But its so profound! Said in context of hiking and getting tired...

"Feel the Pain,
Ignore the Pain,
Experience Life"

     What a great little quote eh? Profound! Feel the pain, but press forward enduring to the end! Don't get caught up in something that is inevitable to happen. Life happens. But we are the ones who God granted free agency unto and we can choose to move forward! Now like.. .its not always best to simply ignore the pain... we have ways in which we can deal with it and minimize it... lol but it was from a 6 year old. So it works! In essence just experience life! Go forward in love and with a good attitude! 

     This week.... what happened.... I'll tell you a story from yesterday. I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. I was give the assignment on Wednesday. I was like.. oh sick! A  talk! I love preparing talks. So I prepared it based on Covenants and the WHY of keeping them. I was also told I was gonna be the 2nd speaker. So I went searching and found a talk from the 2011 Liahona and used that as a base for my talk. I had some really good preparations and made an awesome outline. 

     Well in Church, as you may have suspected from the way I was leading into this, the 1st speaker spoke... using the exact same talk as a basis and gave almost the exact same one that I had lined out and prepared. Legit. I was translating for someone to English and when he said the title of the talk he was using I was like ohhhhh no. That's not good. So I went up to give my talk and changed 75% of what I had prepared. It went OK. But not near as good as I would have liked. 

     MY question is what would you have done? Should I have changed it as I did or should I have just stuck to it and gone off from what I had planned? That's been a thought on my mind I'd like to resolve for the next time this happens to me. 

     We are taught as Missionaries to plan for our next day then follow that plan thus allowing God to place people in our paths. I've seen success from that too. So idk. Its kinda a topic I'd like to discuss further hmm.

     We did service this week in a garden! I love working outside :) We had fun! And got a ton done too! 

     There are a lot of things that happened this week. Like small things. I see everyday people who haven't accepted the Gospel, and I see how much the Gospel could help them and it breaks my heart when the don't accept it. Sorrow belongs to love, I think. When you love people to a certain extent and when they do things you know are bad, or are opposite to those things that could bring them happiness it just hurts! Doesn't it? But there are people to rejoice about too.

     After church yesterday we actually did something way awesome. We went with 2 members like 40 minutes away by car to a small town and doored there. We were trying to find a lady that is in our records and lives there but we have no address. Well we went on splitz and the 2nd house we doored into a nice older lady let us in! Not the one we were looking for, but still! We taught her and set up another appointment! She was way cool! That's a solid testimony to me of how when we stick to our plans and tell our Father in Heaven where we will be and what we will be doing  He then places people there and uses us as a tool in His hands to help His children! 

I love Missionary work. Its the best work ever. Its so great being out here! The Lord is watching out for us! Being a Missionary rocks!Thanks for the love! I love you all so much <3

Elder Rodgers <3

I have asked Tanner to send me pictures of where he is has been living, so today he did

Gorgeous night!!

My Kitchen

Study Area!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Genießt die Reise....Week 19 in Wiener Neistadt

     Hello! I am grateful for this opportunity to write again! Isn't life so wonderful! I'm allowed to write you all every week? So sick! I know people who don't get to a computer more than once a month. Rough eh? Blessings! Count em! 

     I'd like to address the aspect of Time. I can't remember if I may have done this recently but I totally thought of a way cool analogy.With the help of mom of course. This time of year... is Waterton time! Always in Waterton in the mountains! Well I have a mountain analogy! That compares to everything! 

     So, when you hike a peak, lets say Mount Blakiston (Tallest in Waterton)  with an average size group you're looking at a good 10 hour day from start right to finish. 10 is also an easy number to go off of. You drive up Cameron road. Park the car. Hike up the Lineham Trail for a while, go off trail and then start the climb. Up to the bowl, up the middle chute at the end of the snow patch, scrambling all the way through the rocky ledges, gain the ridge, go over all the false summits and finally to the top! 

     Take some pics, eat a bar and its back on down. Through the top chutes and hit the shale! Run on down, to the bear grass now. Grass slide for a bit, hit the dried out creek bed, through the Forest and boom....TRAIL! Then a long 4km out back to the car. What a great day eh? Now. How does this relate to time? Let me tell you. 

     How much of these 10 hours were spent on the top? Maybe 1 if we were really lucky. Normally though 30 mins-1 hour. That's a mere 5-10% of our time at the destination. Meaning that there was 90-95% of the time spent on the journey. 

     The end may be wonderful and great. Usually is! But there is also so so so so so much to be had in the journey! So much! So I want to say.... Never forget to take a second and look around, smell the flowers and enjoy the journey! It's not always about the end! There is so much to see and so much to learn along the way! 

     We went this week to a little town in the very bottom of our area called Mönichkirchen. Well we got a train for a while then had to get on a bus that luckily was there at the station. We got on, got off 15 mins later in our place. Well, we realized at that point that we couldn't do what we went there to do because there was no other bus that went back other than the one we took to get there. So we had to quickly get back on the bus! 

     This led the bus driver to talk to us and ask some questions about our intentions of going to Mönichkirchen. Through this we were able to talk to him about our purpose and what we were doing. At the very end of the ride after a good talk we gave him a Book of Mormon and he gladly took it. 

     The people we were gonna visit at the end.. didnt get visited but... along the journey.. we found a man who was receptive to our message. Its not just about the destination. Its about the journey too! There were so many great things that happened this week. So many little miracles. When we take time to slow ourselves down and help those in need around us, I promise we will start to see the beauties that are there along the journey! Its not all about the end, as gorgeous as it may be. Its about the time spent on the Journey too. Those are moments that really count! 

     Miracles are happening everyday all around us. May we really slow down a little and take the time to notice them :) Its made a difference for me :)

Have a wonderful week! I love you all so very much!

Elder Rodgers <3


So tasty!

So pretty!

Pretty eh?

Walking home

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ich bin Elder Rodgers! Ich liebe Liebe!.....Week 18 in Wiener Neustadt

     A week that goes by without saying, I Love You, is like... I actually cant think of a good 2nd half. Lol I tried! The point is to say I Love You! More often! So says President Monson! Love people! All the time! No matter what! The Saviour would do it! Why cant I? 

     So I've been writing in my new journal for about 2 weeks now, the new one Mom sent me, its like huge! I write like a book every night, cuz I'm OCD and told myself I had to write a page everyday. So I get like half of it or even 1/3rd filled with the day and the rest is full of inner thoughts of love and struggles and emotions. Read that in like 10 years and wow... you may begin to understand me. I just write! It's actually a really cool thing. Sit down and write out the desires and thoughts that are in my heart. Really gets the honesty out! But that's how it is eh? Legit tho.. It takes a solid 25 minutes of concentrated writing to finish a page. Your Welcome Posterity! 

     I read a talk that made me feel like I could improve myself so much. Namely... Following Up... by Elder Ballard. What a beautiful talk! I have been able to already apply so much from that! It finally occurred to me that being on a mission has absolutely nothing to do with my level of comfortableness. I am thrown into the most awkward situations so often... I think I'd be so much better off if I would finally replace that fear with REAL Faith as Elder Ballard says and I can already see how it will help me! A Mission is so full of awkwardness... I guess I should be used to that now. Germans are relatively straightforward and get to the point. That's my new tactic. No more Canadian-ness... and like beating around the bush... it's time to become one with the people haha. Following up! I'm gonna do it! 

     I really am starting to love writing these emails home. I get so pumped up writing it! haha I get more out of it that anyone! 

     I was in Wien (Vienna) like almost 3 whole days this week. I got to work with Elders Croft and Jerman in a Dritt (group of 3) on Thursday as we waited for all our new companions to come in! From like 9am - 6pm we were together tearing it up in Wien! People are so cool! We meet some of the absolute sickest people ever. I meet someone and I'm like... man you would be the coolest member! Then like 5 minutes later I see the next coolest member ever. Its about seeing people as our Heavenly father sees them! Changes lives! Blows my mind. 

     When Jesus told Peter that before the Cock crew, he would deny him 3 times... Was that a prophecy... or a Commandment? Oh snap mind blown! How sick is that? Think about it. Make some awesome thought about it! Way cool eh? 

     I have a new focus of Following up in relation to Love. I am really becoming quite taken up in it! Everything I do is based on or related to these 2 ideas in one way or another! The Gospel is so cool! And so true! Missionary work is the best work ever! I love it so much! And I Love you all back home too! 

     Thanks for the love and support! Loving a Missionary is one of the best gifts we receive! Thanks for the consistent love! I love it! Have a wonderful, Gospel filled, Gospel sharing week!

Elder Rodgers <3

Sister Chrisstianson

Seeing off those who are being transferred