Monday, September 29, 2014

Schritt für Schritt ;)......Week 26 in Wiener Neustadt

     Hello fellow friends and acquaintances. I greet you with my whole heart this fine Monday morning. I am pleased to say that the sun is shining, but its not hot! It is rather crisp, just as I like it to be. I commend you all on putting up with my antics and staying with this blog email as long as you all have. I bet if you have followed me through to this point you may say I'm a dreamer... but I'm not the only one! Jokes OK, I quoted song lyrics there. You may indeed say that my life is awesome. I agree. But there is a lot more to it than just being awesome. I experience highs and lows in my week which all add up the the 'Missionary Experience'. Which as my beloved companion once said... Is incomprehensible to those who have never been,  unbelievable to those who are there, and indescribable to those who have returned. Wise words Elder Durrant.

     But in the essence of it all, one truth rings loud, and it is that which one cannot deny. This Gospel is a blessing to all those who know it, and that's why we put in this time as Missionaries; to spread the great news. And I'm happy to be here doing it. I just have been blessed enough to be able to come here to do it! 

     Life is awesome. It's great... but the attitude that one has toward it automatically increases its awesomeness. Choose ye this day. Choose your attitude. It makes a difference. I promise.

     I had a fun week. Fun in all aspects. But I'd like to share one story that I find particularly enjoyable. Wiener Neustadt has a huge army base where like a ton of military stuff happens. Well we found a guy (5 months ago), who is an absolute boss, and he actually was attending school at the Military Academy. Well his graduation ceremony was on Saturday and we got personally invited to go and see. So of course we did. 

     It was epic! Such a crazy awesome military ceremony thing and I don't even know how to describe it. It was so official. And all spoken in German.. obviously. Well the President of Austria was there and gave a talk. It was way cool. And they had some way cool grad ceremony thing. It was super sick! This event was top notch! So cool. even cooler was that I understood what they were saying...

     Well yes. We were doing service on Friday and we got to take apart a shed and move it and then we will end up rebuilding it sometime. I think that I bruised my ribs though. I have done that once before and it feels the same. It just hurts to breathe in certain positions and when I wake up it sucks. Ha but it fades a little through the day. And then it gets worse at night. Doesn't really affect me in any other way than breathing and lifting things. It'll be ok. 

     We ate at Herbs on Tuesday. We ate at members a lot this week too. Members rock! I love members! Here and everywhere. Taught some lessons, and also got some awesome referrals! We will be having some awesome days in the future :) 

     Change is all around. In the seasons, in people, in me. Change is such a difficult concept to wrap my head around because as soon as I think I understand it... it changes on me. HA. Life eh? I love it regardless <3

I wish you all a wonderful week and I hope that your dreams become realities :) For dreams are where realities start. 

Elder Rodgers <3

Now that's a serving!

We went to Herbs to eat... .Cordon Bleu :)

in Wien (Vienna)


the graduates

the one with the red tie is the president of Austria... hahah epic! 

Not complete without a picture of a sunset!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ich liebe das Leben :).....Week 25 in Wiener Neustadt

     I Love Life :)......Another Week of life in Wiener Neustadt. It feels like forever ago that I got here but at the same time and on that note, it feels like I just left Ellwangen a little while ago! Time is so hard to judge. That's why... Journals and Pictures are so important! I was thinking about my journal recently. I'm on my 3rd one. But the one I have now is huge. Like the size of the paper. Its 36 lines of paper per page. It's been a goal to fill up every page for a day. So some days when all we do is email, nap, write a letter, shop, and eat with a member... it's hard to fill a page. So then the feelings come! I've had some way good heart to hearts with my journals. I've learned how to mix spiritual with a summary of the day with the Gospel with life. Its a mix of LOVE! <3

     And now, to this day, I love writing in my Journal and on days when I debate on skipping it and don't have the desire to... I think. Hmm. What if the Prophets in the Book of Mormon had no desire to write down their dealings with the people. What if Mormon had no desire to put all those together and be the way sick narrator that he is. And so, I'm not saying to the slightest that my journals are gonna be even close to the epicness of that... but maybe someday someone will be thankful that I wrote down what I did that day. How I felt when I taught the lesson, what someone said to me that changed my perspective on something, what I even ate that morning. But. I know I'll be thankful! 

     Pictures are important too. That's my new goal. It's to capture more memories with pictures! Of course in appropriate ways lol but still, using that better! Cuz I love pictures so much! 

     I had a really good Exchange this week. I was with Elder Abbott in WNS. We had a great time. We doored some buildings, ate some food, rode on trains and studied. It's a blessing to be able to work with other missionaries so often. You can really learn new tricks if you pay attention closely. There is always gonna be someone who does something better than me. Theres always a bigger fish. Theres always another trick. Goes hand in hand. I think... lol.

     Members are the best. I have learned that members are simply the best. They have so many 'ins' to everything! People to teach, language tips, missionary tips and simply being friends! Members are a huge help in this work! Don't ever underestimate your power as a member! 

     But this week, Sunday pulled out to be the best day of the week. We have been working really closely with a family from the middle east. They come to church, they come to activities and they are willing to learn. It's awesome! And we had a great lesson during church! They speak Arabic and a little German and some English. So we teach in English with Arabic text. Books and Pamphlets. Its way cool! They are such a lovely family! 

     And after church, a few hours later we had a member baptism in the ward. So we had even more people come to that! And lots of friends of the members, who are members, and we just had some awesome conversations with people. It was great! The baptism was stellar and super awesome. A day full of the Spirit. Nothing better than that :) I love German! It grows on me everyday. I love it more and more and I learn it better and better. Its so expressive. Its so awesome to teach the Gospel in it too. Words have such deep meanings sometimes. Its so fantabulous ;) 

Well. My week goes on. I will be in Vienna tomorrow. I like how... how not big of a deal that is.. but its actually huge! haha It's so cool! I'm so blessed!!!


Elder Rodgers <3

Gorgeous! What a heavenly sunset!

I've talked on the phone for over 51 hours since I've been in WNS!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Hör nicht auf, mich zu lieben!.....Week 24 in Wiener Neustadt

     I am a little short on time today. I have been pondering of things to write right now. I can only come down to feelings and all that good journal filler stuff. So I think I'll pass, maybe a skim of the surface to suffice. This week was transfer week. A week of Goodbyes and of Hellos. I am lucky enough to be staying here... but that means I had to say bye to missionaries leaving! And it was sad! I lost a few great pals in Wien and we lost our Wiener Neustadt Sisters! 

     It was so sad watching Sister Smiley pack and leave! She was only here for 1 transfer. Ah I couldn't imagine that. Going somewhere expecting to be there for a long time and then having to leave so abruptly! Ahh it pains my heart that anyone would have to go through that! And then Sister Smiley out of all people. The ward was so sad. Sisters will be missed in WNS.

     But the news now is 4 Elders! Only thing is we aren't all living together... SAD. But that means maybe Sisters will be put back in here sometime. SICK! We were in Wien every other day this week starting with Tuesday. After Zone Training some of us hit up Herbs. The Schnitzel Place. YES! Such great Schnitzel! 

     This whole week, except for Tuesday, we had eating appointments with families. How crazy is that! And on Wednesday we had 2! Hahaha man oh man! Thursday we got to Wien later in the evening to pick up the new Elders and they actually missed the train... so we waited 2 hours on them. But Frau Martina was there! And so we had a good 1.5 hour chat waiting in Bahnhof :) 

     Saturday I had a meeting.. and then came home from Wien and we had a sick service project! It was great! And that's where my inspirational bottle of Coke came from! (see picture below) 
Thinking of the quote alone, I thought about when I would say that. Hard to think of a time. But then I imagined if Jesus said that. What that would in turn mean for us. Hmm. Deep thinking cap came on. 

-If ye love me, keep my commandments-

     Don't stop loving me. Don't stop keeping my commandments. It was like a renewed sense of commitment for me. Now I have that bottle sitting on my desk as a reminder for me to never stop loving Him. Cool eh? Missionary life is the sickest! 

I love Austria and especially Wiener Neustadt. This place is the bomb! Have a stellar week! Love you all a ton! 

Elder Rodgers <3

Sister Smiley

Dont stop loving me! message of the week!
(the bottle of coke he was talking about)

Saying goodbye to Elder Kingery 

Saying goodbye to Sister Smiley!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dankbarkeit, sie spielt eine große Rolle....Week 23 in Wiener Neustadt

     A new era begins. That's actually now true, mainly because I'm not too sure what an era is. What I'm trying to say is that I'm going to be staying put in Wiener Neustadt for another transfer. That puts me up to 5 transfers here! Wow. 5 in Ellwangen, 5 here. I know nothing else but these 2 places! MY HOME! So that's the news of the week. I, along with everyone else, expected me to be going somewhere else, but rather, I'll be staying here till the middle of October at minimum. Wow eh? Take it as revelation... Got some unfinished business here! Gonna work harder to finish whatever that may be. 

     We will actually be losing the Sisters here too and instead will be getting 2 new Elders. That's a change for sure. I think it has its ups and downs. This ward loves Sisters, and having Sisters in an area is so handy! They will be missed! But 4 Elders... is way awesome too! I'm looking forward to an awesome transfer! I'm really excited for it!

     Well this week, most of our focus was thrown into looking forward to Saturday! But we still had a week of work :) I was in Wien with Elder Ringger! Oh what a lovely man he is! He will be our future Prophet! He is full of wisdom and honesty and awesomeness. Wait for it...It'll happen.

     We had lunch provided for us Wednesday through Friday... 3 different families... 3 different meals... I love Wiener Neustadt. Our members rock so much! the more I think, the happier I am to be staying here. I couldn't say goodbye! Time is too precious!

     I've been trying to think of a spiritual something to share. I have just finished Helaman in the Book of Mormon. Samuel the Lamanite... He is a brave man. Helaman, the Book, is full of random sections of huge, deep, powerful scriptures. Like, so many things that just stick out to me. AHH! The Book of Mormon is so cool.

     This next week for us is already almost fully planned! Its cool! We have a full week coming up! I'm excited to start er off good! 

     Hmm. I read something cool from Dieter F. Uchtdorf about gratitude. It was from his talk from the last conference. 

Can you believe conference is almost here again! YESSSSS!!!!

     Ok. He said... Gratitude is the catalyst for all other Christlike Attributes. Wow That's pretty sick eh? It goes on about being grateful in all circumstances of our lives. Realizing that not everything is bad, but is there for a greater and wiser purpose. We may not realize why at the time, but we can be grateful! Ties in with staying here another transfer. I have no idea why... But I'm grateful and maybe later I'll come to see why. 

GRATITUDE... it can make all the difference! Try it :) haha

     Well I hope you all have a great week! I think of you often and I love everyone! And everything! Almost everything... you get the point :) 

Elder Rodgers <3

on a train car in Wien

A little bored?

Elder Durrant....Boyz!

He loves his sky pictures!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ein Zeugnis von Einladungen :)....Week 22 in Wiener Neustadt

     I think that my weeks go back and forth. One week I expend all my energy into my email and make something which I am happy with, then I come back the next and am empty with ideas! Nothing really crazy that was on my mind this whole week. Its just back and forth week to week. Lots to say and then not a ton to say. I was enlightened in the Scriptures again this week. I'll start by sharing that. Maybe it can develop further into something more :)

     Mormon 8:35  "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing".

     These are some of the last words said by Mormon after he had summarized the Book of Mormon. He tells us straight up that he has seen our day. Me. You. Us. He has seen us and our day. We also know, because it has been said so many times, that the Book of Mormon is not even the hundredth part of all the records that have ever been kept. So with that in mind... it struck me. Everything written in the Book of Mormon was picked out by Mormon with the knowledge of what life would be like in our day. He knew what would be important to us and what would help us best because he knew what we would face. The Book of Mormon was simply written for our day. No other way about it. 

     The very words that he spoke, the words which he summarized have all been put in with such an specific purpose. Everything has such relevance to us in this day. That increases my love and appreciation for the Book of Mormon in such a powerful way! It was important for us to learn how to stand up and be courageous because he knew we would be put in situations where that would be necessary. He knew that it would be important for us to always hear and be reassured that keeping the commandments of God will lead us to happiness. Everything that ever has stuck out in the Book of Mormon to me or to you... was put there with purpose. 

          There is a purpose to everything.

     I think the Book of Mormon is so great. What a powerful tool. Not only for missionaries but for members and non-members alike. For every single person on the earth, the Book of Mormon can be used as an aid in our lives. Isn't that cool? Mormon saw our day. He knew it. So why should we doubt?

     Ok well to the work here in Wiener Neustadt. We were able to have a huge ward party this last Saturday. It was a huge success too! In total there were 17 non-members there! It was awesome! The power of an invitation works wonders. Then.. with all those people... we invited them to church the next day! Double invitation! There were 12 non-members at church on Sunday! About 5 are investigators and others are part members families and people who we simply find ont he street who we invite. But the power of an invitation should not be overlooked. 

     I read a little story in the Liahona this week. A lady's 16 year conversion story. She said it took her till her 7th contact with the church to become a member. But she honestly admitted that she likely would have accepted it after her 3rd contact. But the lack of an invitation didnt allow that opportunity. Friends who talked with her about Young Womens, Primary, Relief Society, Activities... but never invited her. Missionaries who helped her fix her car, but with no invitation for more. Finally with the 7th contact she received an invitation.. and within weeks joined the church. 

     There are people waiting for us. People are curious and want to come see. They just need us to do our part and invite them. We will see miracles through invitations.I know that to be true! 

     I invite you to go invite someone this week to an activity or church or something! Invite someone to make a change in their Lives for the better! But it starts with you and your invitation. Best of Luck! I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week :) 

Elder Rodgers <3


the Hungary / Austria border! Haha

Frau Martina bought us nice ties! 

Elder Durrant with hamburgers! yesssss!!!