Monday, November 24, 2014

Eine große Menge der Liebe....Week 4 in Klagenfurt

     I had a love quote in my head but totally lost it. It was gonna be the best starting line ever. I can't remember though. But I still have a thought to share. Maybe this will help a few people. I've come to learn that LOVE isn't just a one minded thing. I love you.... And thats it. FALSE! Love has its romantic roots and its deep meanings and all that.. but LOVE is also the essence of the Gospel! Love is the greatest of all commandments for loves sake <3 So finally, after months of studying love and all that has to do with it I've learned some things. Love isn't just "Romantic Love", love is like.... An action so to say. A motivation. Charity. You cant love the World in a romantic way... but boy can you ever spread the love all around and around and around and around! Love is so open minded. It is so interesting! 

Love - The Essence of the Gospel........... Well said President Monson

     Moving on.... I would like to make known that I can play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the Ukulele... A skill acquired from a housemate... Elder Pope! With whom I had the distinct pleasure of working with this week on an exchange. We taught the funniest person ever. He is 89 years old. Claims to have escaped from a prison in Italy like years and years ago. The same guy that fed us crushed up nuts last time... well we got Apple Juice this time! He is hilarious! He offered to take us into Italy and show us around the mountains... Too bad we cant haha

     We actually talked a lot about prophets with him. He isn't gonna join the church, he claims he will die when he is 92 and says that his member sister in the States will do his work for him. Hahahahaha way funny. We left him with a Conference Edition Ensign from last year. He loved it. He is so funny. Always a laugh when we are with him. 

     It didn't even rain a ton this week. It snowed in the mountains though! Heavenly sight!  Tomorrow we get to ride up to Salzburg! EPIC!

     Saturday was cool. I'll tell you one of the benefits of living with Americans..... American Thanksgiving. Yes. And with a senior couple too... you bet on it. We went to a members house and did service for the afternoon and then came together as 17 people and ate a thanksgiving dinner! A little in advance yes, but the family had guests from Finland who were flying back this week so they wanted to have them there for it. It was way great! As a Canadian... on the mission I get 2 Thanksgivings a year! Mine.. and the American one. It doesn't suck ;)

     The service we did this week, I'll attach a few pictures. We laid brick for a driveway. It was cool, a lot of fun to do. I also filled in the already laid stuff with dirt filling kinda stuff. But most of the time I was carrying stones from the stacks, over to the work area. A lot of lifting, but it made me strong!... ok not really. But it was fun!

     I'm struggling on thoughts... We spent a good amount of time of the streets! Going by on people and so forth. We meet some of the coolest, and weirdest people as missionaries. Its just fun. Everyday is a new adventure. Its the funest and most worthwhile thing ever. 

I wish you all a week full of love! Love you all :)
Elder Rodgers <3

Room with a view!

On the streets in Klagenfurt

The view as he walks down the street

His Apartment

The chapel

Thanksgiving Dinner

The view to look at while doing service

service project

view on the way to a city called Villach

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wo die Liebe wohnt :).....Week 3 in Klagenfurt

     Love is all around! I talk about love way too much. But in all honesty it's the biggest part of my week. And is one of the biggest aspects of my life... now and in the future. So I just cant skip out on a chance to talk about love. As the song says... Where Love is.. There God is also! And then we change songs and talk about Love at Home! Well... my home is 4 adults (if we dare classify me as one ) and in our apartment its kind of important that we love each other... haha cuz living with 4 people wouldn't be the easiest if we didn't. And I am glad to report that we have love at home! I love everything about our apartment. The people in it, the set up, the openness and the feel. It's a place where its easy to be comfortable! Thus, allowing the Spirit to be able to dwell there :) Making our home such a sick place! 

     Love at home! If you dont have it.. Work for it! So say the Prophets... so say I.. (Said with love) <3

     OK. Tuesday was cool. We took a train up to Salzburg again! I'm becoming more and more familiar with that city! And it's so gorgeous! What a great place! And the train ride is full of mountains and me taking pics of them all. As I would say... it doesn't suck!

     Plus... we got to see all the other missionaries in our beloved Zone. I love them! Its like a reunion! But we all saw each other 2 weeks ago.. but it seems like forever! But at the same time it feels like yesterday. Wow. Confusing is my life. 

     OK. Epic story time. We taught the Restoration Lesson this week... and it was epic! We were able to discover that the Spirit really does play the biggest role in conversion. We were able to experience the converting power of the Spirit. God answers prayers. That is an eternal truth. I've realized more and more that people simply need help recognizing that. I was lucky enough to be a part of that process this week. Boy does that feel good. You get a testimony through the Spirit... you recognize it... its simply the right thing. Hard to describe it... but you just know and from then on you can't doubt it. Just thinking back to experiences I've had... I could never doubt it. 

I'm a lucky guy

     I got to see another effect of love this week! I was on an exchange. We had really nothing planned. So we made brownies and delivered them! All over. Finding along the way, serving members and friends, there are so many great things about that! Then seeing the happiness others have when they receive things :) Ah its a happiness that could, and likely will, last me a lifetime! Happy happy happy! 

     I gave the lesson in church on Sunday! All about Serving! My favourite point from that was a quote by President Kimball. He said in essence... In most circumstances, we cant serve ourselves, we rely on the service of others. That made me think. If someone out there cant serve themselves... I could be the one to do it! And maybe on the other hand, I may need something, but maybe don't realize it... I need to be "served" per-say in order to obtain that said thing. 

     A German would say ...dienen lassen... which means ... to let yourself be served. That's an essential part. Allowing yourself to be served. Sometimes thats hard, cuz maybe you don't see the reason. But serving and allowing yourself to be served are both 2 important principles I learned yesterday! 

     Then we had the Primary Presentation! So cute! Kids rule! MY week was great, I love this place! That's it for now, I wish you all the best, have a great- love filled week! <3

Love you all!
Elder Rodgers <3

Few mountains along the way up to Salzburg :)


a member drove us in a bus to church

Walking down the street in Klangenfurt

we live right above the bank! not bad eh?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Es regnet ziemlich oft!....Week 2 in Klagenfurt

     Today is my first day this week with blue sky! A wonderful start to a new week. But as you are reading this... you're more interested in what I did last week eh? But before I come to that I want to point out a little fact. My first area was Ellwangen :) That blessed place. There my town was about 26,000 people. I moved up a bit to Wiener Neustadt which has about 46,000 people and now I'm enjoying life in a bigger city, Klagenfurt, which is home to about 90,000 people. Slowly moving up in the size of place where I live. I thought that was a nifty little fact. 

     But it rains here. I guess to be fair I have been here 2 weeks. And my first week was gorgeous! But when it rains from Tuesday -Sunday.... its feels a lot longer than 6 days. But all in all... life is good. Its gonna rain more this next week too I hear! JOY ;)

     Ohhhhhh! I said joy. Made me think of Christmas. less than 7 weeks! YESSSS! I've decorated already... with all the stuff I have... which isn't a lot... but it suffices! And man oh man has the Christmas Music been going or what! Wow we have been listening to it now for a week and I'm lovin' it! "Oh Holy Night" and "Where are you Christmas" are on the top right now :) Oh I've listened to them sooo much! Christmas rocks! Its so happy. I'm looking forward to that! FOR SURE! 

     I went running this morning. 45 minutes. About 40 of runnning. And man! We made it to the Wörthersee!! Which will mean nothing to you... but to me it means that I ran a lot. Haha and to a beautiful lake! Of which I must still take pictures of! I'm sore though. I havent been this sore since.... like.... 9 months ago when I last went running! haha oh man. 

     Epic story of my week- We got a new investigator. It was a mess. Kinda. So we called her out of the potential lists and set up an appointment :) She is really nice. Well, we looked on the map, and we mistakenly picked the wrong address. Kinda. We took a train and then had to get another one, and as we were about to get on the other one... I took out the map and felt like we should check the address again. Well we found out that we were wrong. And then I blew it. I thought we were at a different train station than we actually were and the new address was just beside it. So we started walking, checked the map again and realized that we were at the wrong train station and that we could have taken that train anyway..... just to a different stop. AH! 

     But by the time we realized this the train had left... So we walked 40 minutes. And this whole time it was pouring rain. We got drenched. Like to the bone, soaking wet. In German we would say 'klatschnass'. Well. We got there, had a great talk and stuff. Well, her husband wasn't there for the main talk... walked in and realized we were Missionaries and sure wasn't happy that we were in his house. But the wife likes us :) and we set up a new appointment and are going back! 

     She really is great! We have a ton of potential with Her! Life is great! Its going wonderfully! The rest of the week went by relatively unharmed! Eating with members, love and fun and goodness! I love our apartment-ship, we get along well and have fun :) And we work great too! 

     Up To Salzburg tomorrow for a Zone Training and then back home and then our meeting with our new friend :) Life rocks! I love it! Serving here is so awesome! I am so blessed!

Thanks for the love, the emails and the prayers. I appreciate it all, even though I can't express that all quite well! You rock! LOVEEE! I wish you all the best week! LOVE YOU!

Elder Rodgers <3

Lots of pictures this week to make up for last week. First is good-byes in Wiener Neustadt then the trip through the Alps then a couple of  his new area.

Elder Croft, Durrant & Worthen

Elder Durrant

Elder Worthen

Train to Klagenfurt!

The ALPS!!!

still the ALPS!!!


new companion Elder Sumsion

soaked after walking in the rain!

cookie a little girl made the Elders

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kärnten eh?.....Week 1 in Klagenfurt

     Wow. So many things to say, but in the end I think I wont even get out half of what I want to say. My journal this week was great! If you get to ever read it... man will you ever have a good laugh. So much that has happened. Its a build up of suspense but also a build up of things that cant be said, only expressed. I think I'm getting back into my love sermon again. Oops. Getting used to new things this time around has been a lot easier than last time. I do not know why. Saying goodbye wasn't any easier though.. Thats for sure.

     I honestly wasn't ready mentally to leave Wiener Neustadt. It takes a lot more preparation that I thought. Habits, everything that I have done for 7 months.... suddenly changed in the blink of an eye. No more habits at all. Everything new. Its not easy. But in the end its necessary. I've lost 7 pounds already since I've arrived here. I cant tell you why though.. not cuz its a weird reason.. but cuz I don't know why! Its clearly not stress.. stress isn't a part of my life haha. It may be different eating habits... but I've eaten a ton here... and more healthy too. I dont know. But thats that. Changes eh? 

     My ride on Tuesday was epic. Left the house at 7 am for a train to Vienna at 7:30. Train from Vienna at 8:55, but from a different train station. Awesome ride to Salzburg :) 5 other Missionaries in the train with me, we all rode in the same car. Ok, spent 2 hours on a layover in Salzburg, ate at the Missionary Couple house there. Then at about 2:50 we took off down to Klagenfurt on a train. Took us 10 mins to get out of the city area and into the gorgeous blue sky mountains of Austria! And it was the best ride of my life! So magnificent! The whole ride... mountains, valleys and snow! It was fantastic! Watched it all the way until it got too dark. 

     Got here, our Missionary Couple (Ehepaar) living here picked us up and brought us to the church where they made us supper and it was lovely! Oh I love this place! We have 4 Elders and our Ehepaar, the Wades. It's great! I met some of the ward too, they were at an activity. 

     Our apartment is huge too, definitely no complaints here. We use a ton of buses in this place, I'll send a picture of the bus routes and stuff home later. There are a ton of lines, but I like that, I'm a memorizing type of guy and I've already got a great start on learning the area! Which is huge by the way... HUGE! 

     We don't have very many real investigators is the word I got when I arrived, well that was right, but we have a ton of records of un-contacted people and also of previously taught people who we wanna meet up with again, so we have started organizing all that and we are on the way to success. On Saturday I called over 200 people, 75% of which answered, and of all that we set up 7 appointments and a few people who said to call back in a week or something of the sorts. A good start indeed!  

     Sunday I got to introduce myself, we had testimony meeting. Long Sunday. For me Sundays are always the longest cuz its a lot of sitting and we also study at home. But I got over it. I always do. The most stress I have in this moment is based on the uncomfortable position in which I am sitting. Thats all. No worries at all. Ok like a bit, but nothing to do with me. 

     Life eh? Love eh? Canadian eh? 

     We have a goal to love more than we have ever loved before... Elder Sumsion and me are gonna love this ward and these people until they are so full of love that we are taken up to heaven like the people of Enoch. I hope thats the actual name of him.. lol You get it though!

     Life. I love it, life is fantabulous! I love you all and wish you the best first week of November of your lives! Go share the Gospel with that friend who has been on your mind for a while! Make this week that week! Yay! 

Love you!
Elder Rodgers <3

                   Sorry no pictures today he forgot his camera at his apartment