Monday, January 26, 2015

Die Kraft der Befreiung....Week 13 in Klagenfurt

     Hey hey hey. I think that this week will be hard to fill in because again... I am unprepared with thoughts. Therefore I will proceed to attempt to recount that which I experienced this week. Have you ever thought about where you are? What you're doing? Like in a very... non deep way so to say. Like me. I was laying in my bed and like it came to me... I'm laying in my bed... IN SOUTHERN AUSTRIA. Flip Elder! Then again the next day. I'm talking to this guy... in Austria... speaking German... as a Missionary. Like it kinda blows my mind. Try it. Take a look at where you are this week, what you're doing and then think about how absolutely blessed you are to be where you are. Life is a blessing beyond compare.

     So now that it has been established that I live in Austria... oh yeah... I live in Austria and I speak German, so blessed! So we had a cool activity this week. Something missionaries may label as 'Calls'. Well I personally have had a lot of success with Calls on my mission. We simply go through records of people with phone numbers and no addresses and we call them. If they're in the phone contacts, the area book, anywhere. We call them. 

     One of the funnest things ever to do. You get to meet... but not meet... some wayyyyyyy different personalities. Every call is new. You really reach almost every type of person there is. And then when they ask how in the world you got their number of why you are calling, I love to be brutally honest with them! We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we would love to meet with you and talk to you about.... and the possibilities there are endless. So we called a dude, and he didn't answer... happens a lot. But then he texted us asking who we were. So I gave the spiel and my line was..... and we want to meet with you and teach you about the Restored Truths from Jesus Christ. 

     He asked if we were joking... like making fun of us... but then asked when we could meet lol. I was a little confuzed. But in the end... we made an appointment! And he wanted to bring his girlfriend too! Well we prepared like crazy for this lesson. And even role played it. Well he didn't come. Work went over and so we rescheduled for later... and he didn't come again. Oh how that ripped out my heart! We haven't been able to get in contact with him yet... ahh. You really have so many hopes for someone. Then they just stand you up and ahhh! Its so sad! We were like legit... heartbroken! But we will get him again! Sometime soon! 

     Got to meet with a few nice people this week actually. It was a good one. And there are so many things that hold people back. So many personal choices that limit someone from progressing or other factors. Ah. And I was really looking into something to share with people, and this week the topic turned to Agency and related type things. 

The one I want to share is found in 2 Nephi 9:45 and it says...  "O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation."

     Shake off those chains! It's a personal decision though. But I just love how it's described here. Shake off the chains that would bind you fast. There can be so many things that may hold you back. Personal, worldly, friends, the past. But like... we can choose to shake them off. No matter how heavy they are, or what they are or how many locks may be holding em together... It's up to you as an individual to take the action and make the decision to shake them off. Then the missionaries can help... then the Bishop can help... then friends can help. But before someone can help, you got to let yourself be helped. 

     It's your life! Don't let the chains hold you back any longer! Choose to follow Christ and choose to be free :) It makes all the difference! 

Oh man. I close with the words of an old friend.... I'm havin the time of my life! I love you all! Thanks for the support and the wonderful things you do! I love you!

Elder Rodgers <3

On the DRAU.. that's the river in Villach


A way pretty Bahnhof! (train station) 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Eine starke Verteidigung!.....Week 12 in Klagenfurt

     Yet another week gone by and I find myself sitting at the same computer as last week. Mo Mornings are repetitive, but its a repetition that I'm a big fan of! Because no matter how much I may complain about the pains of writing I enjoy emails! Just think of the blessings... I don''t have to write letters... I don't have to engrave markings into metal plates... I'm blessed beyond measure! haha in that sense, emailing is so good! 

     This week was like... weird. It's always a feeling of mixed feelings. Full of goodbyes and hellos. A weird change. We sent off 2 Elders and picked up 2 new ones. But leading up to that Thursday we had a lot of eating appointments! 

     We had this Chinese Buffet on day for lunch. I've become a huge fan of Asian food... in Austria. Really? But its so true. Noodle Boxes and rice and goodness everywhere. So we went to this buffet. Wow was it ever good! I was loading on the pounds from that one! A week full of good food. And I found that rice was a reoccurring food this week. Good thing rice is awesome! With a ton of different sauces too. YES!

    Thursday was hilarious. We said our goodbyes at Bahnhof (train station) and then ran them off :) And we do that by running along the train beside their window until we cant keep up, its fun :) And they were gone! 
Well. Elder Bliss and I got to spend the day together. Oh he is a wonderful man! He is so funny. He understands my needs. Hahahaha oh he is way fun. So we like.... had a way funny day and then picked up the new Elders at the end. The Wades prepared a meal for us at the church to welcome them in! Way fabulous! And so it begins. Transfer 13 with Elder Carr. 

     He has been blessed his mission. I will be his 2nd Canadian Companion! And his 3rd overall. Which means 2/3 of his comps are Canadian! EPIC! What a wonderful statistic let me tell ya! But of, I cant say enough good about him. We get along great. I'm really looking forward to the things we do. We will have a ton of sick experiences! 

     So he was telling me  on Friday.... "I hear the Austrians are like way nice... You go by and they say no interest... But then they'll just invite you in for a drink and cake."  And then Sunday... we had a bit of time out on the street and stopped by on a former from 5 years ago... and he told us through the window that he had no interest... but then invited us in for a Coffee. Told him we didn't drink that... and instead went up for a nice Fruit Tea :) Haha people are the best! We then were able to have a way good talk with him. 

     Church yesterday was stellar! The 2 talks in Sacrament meeting were the best! It was along the topic of Reach out and Rescue. The one speaker had us all get up, fill in the back rows and full as we could get them and then mentioned the emptiness of the remaining rows in front of us. He said to fill them again, we need to Reach out and Rescue! It was so good! Like he made us see how much work there is to be done and that its up to the ward members to do it. It was so sick!

     I came up with a way good lil thought this week! I noticed it as I was reading in Nephi and in Moses. In Moses.... So Moses just learned the process by which the world was created. Immediately after he had spoken with God face to face he was wicked exhausted. And then... Satan waltzes on in and starts to tempt him. Moses has just had like the biggest spiritual experience like ever... and Satan came nonetheless. 

     Nephi.... with Laman and Lemuel. They were being way Lamanite about it and beating on Nephi when an angel came and chastened them. They saw an angel! And then like not even a chapter later... they succumbed to Satan and were back to their rebellious ways and were going against what they had clearly known. 

     Even in the story of Jesus. Satan tried to tempt Jesus to worship him after he had fasted 40 days. He was just coming off a highly spiritual experience and was tired. And Satan was there... diligent as ever. 

     So I thought about that. How important it is for us to continuously strengthen our testimonies and to always be on guard because although we may have really spiritual experiences... Satan is gonna be there. Likely even stronger too. He comes and tries to take down that fence we just put up, or to tell us that it wasn't good. Oh he is just sneaky, getting right on in there. Its so important to always fortify our testimonies and families! Gotta protect! The best offence is a good defence! Best defence is our testimonies!

I love you all! I hope you will always hold dear that which you know and reach out to those who once held the Gospel dear! Its worth it!

Elder Rodgers <3

Saying bye to Elder Sumsion

Saying bye to Elder Pope

We doored all those houses on New Years Eve

New comp Elder Carr

Elder Carr

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Es ist ja wunderbar!....Week 11 in klagenfurt

     Hello Friends and Family. I write this email last. I find that when I do so that ideas and witty comments are already running through my mind so it makes it easier for me to just sit and type rather than to sit and waste time thinking. Time is of the essence I say! This week was a great week! So many way cool things happened! Its weeks like this one that make me say... Oh I'm so glad I'm on a mission in Austria! Life is a gift. So glad I chose to accept it! 

     To start, I'll tell you all the transfer news! Elder Sumsion is leaving me here in Klagenfurt and he is going up to Munich! I will be getting Elder Brett Carr down here :) I have no idea who he is. So I can't say much about him! And then Elder Pope is headed to Wiener Neustadt, oh that blessed city! And Elder Miller will be here with Elder Bliss. I have no idea who he is either. Life eh? 

     So, Tuesday. Such an awesome day! We took a train out of Klagenfurt at 6:45am and headed up to Salzburg for Zone Training. We had a way good meeting. We were able to learn a lot about the Book of Mormon and simply about how to be way sicker missionaries. After all that was done, we got to stay up there for an exchange with the Zone Leaders. So I worked with Elder Plumb.

     First off, there are 4 Elders in the Salzburg apartment. We name it the palace. It's a glorious apartment. Well.... needless to say, 6 Elders there overnight... What a fun time! I got addicted to Honey Shreddies! We had a great time. I got to work in Salzburg as a missionary! So cool! 

     So Elder Plumb and I had a visit with a dude in Salzburg. He is less active but like... from 50 or so years back. He is so cool. He is American and is now like 86 years old. He lives here alone. Well. We had a way nice talk about families and stuff with him and he told us a ton of stories. Well. Turns out that his wife was a dress designer. Well... if you know the famous picture with Marilyn Monroe where she is in that one white dress and the wind is blowing it up a bit... a lil sketchy...well his wife was the designer of that dress... which sold for 4.6 Million Dollars. UH.... SICK! 

     He is such a wonderful guy! So kind! He kissed us both on the cheek as we left! So cute! So in putting that all together... I know him... he knows his wife... his wife knows Marilyn Monroe... So I'm like only 2 people away from knowing Marilyn Monroe... cool eh? 

     Well...The rest of the exchange was great too! We had a fun time! Then took a long 3 hour ride back to our city! And now we are here. 

     I wanna talk a little bit about motivations too! I read a lot in the Liahona Magazines we have here and I get so many good ideas from them. I read a wonderful talk on motivations and finding true joy. What true joy really means and how its such a crucial part to life. Even though the concept of Eternal Joy cannot be had or comprehended in this life we still have the ability to experience a part of that Joy and to choose to pursue it! 

     I think of many times in my life when I have had to motivate myself to get up and do something and how much power my mind had in those situations. I think that being motivated is mainly consisted of overcoming yourself and changing. Motivation to get out of bed. Motivation to go running. Motivation to do basically everything.There are a lot of components in a day that require motivation. So where does that motivation come from?

     I have no definite answer to that. But I've seen it come from many sources. Prayer especially. But I think also a huge part is recognizing the blessings of doing something, or in my case of being obedient. A motivated Elder is usually a happy Elder. I think motivations also lead to change. To change habits and to become more effective missionaries. Or people in general. And then... growth is evidence of change. One thing always leads to another. 

     I love how the Gospel and life are so connected. My testimony of the Gospel has become so solid. I love it so much :) It's a big motivator in my life! The blessings that I have seen, motivate me to go out and help others receive them too. Life is so wonderful! 

I hope you all have a safe and meaningful week :) I love you!
Elder Rodgers <3



Main City Square

Marilyn Monroe - The dress 

pic of the city in salzburg!

I found the moon! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tu's doch! ......Week 10 in Klagenfurt

     When life gets tough... hmm. How would you finish that sentence? I think there are innumerable ways to do so.. but I think that there would be one common theme and it would surely have to do with the Gospel. I filled in that sentence this week. We planned for the day.. and we had a block of nothing to do. So I said to myself...when life gets tough, you just gotta door! So we did so :) 

     It has been a long while since I've had to refer back to dooring for a main activity. But oh did we ever. The last day of 2014, New Years Eve... we doored! Oh it brought such a good feeling with it! It was so fun! So we picked a little section of houses just on the outskirts of Klagenfurt where we would start. And when we got there via bus... we realized that the houses were like way spread out... a really rich area and that it was on a hill. By the last house we had gained like a solid 150 feet of elevation. SICK! 

     We were out for 3 hours and almost got to all the doors in the little area. By the end we had doored 91 doors. Out of those 91, 4 told us we could come back...   4/91  That's a 4.4% immediate success rate! Way good! The potentials we got were way good! We came home super happy! A good way to close out the year! 

     So we got home and then made a big Schnitzel dinner together and we just hung out for dinner time. We went to bed and didn't end up falling asleep... and then the fireworks started and just like Germany last year... Austria blows up on New Years! So we enjoyed the show from the window and then we hit the hay. Good day! I enjoyed it! 

     We had a slower week again lesson wise. We were able to meet with this way awesome guy who is 89 two more times this week. HE is so funny. He told us that he will die soon. We actually fear that he will die as we are teaching him.. lol and he told us that when we die... he will come and pick us up at the gates of Heaven. Oh such a boss! So good! HE is so funny! He proceeded.... then we can go teach all those people about Christ and stuff. HA he is so cool! 

     I saw the new theme for Mutual this year.... EMBARK! Ok. Like I wish I was still a youth person so that I could be part of this epicness. But I guess I still am part of it in essence. ITS SO SICK! The website to the main page is... and I think its so stellar! 

     Oh man so cool! "Oh ye that embark in the service of God". "Oh ihr, die ihr euch in den Dienst Gottes begebt"! 

     We had a really motivational  Sunday lesson too. Motivation seems to be tightly associated with New Years. Well the main sentence that was mentioned was.. translated to... "Just do it". Kinda like Nike.. lol

     Well, in German its said as "Tu's doch"! And I like that too. Well, it added on to my thoughts on Faith last week. We just gotta get up and do it! And then I had an email today with an epic line. It said...  “Progress always involves risk, you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first". 

     Isn't that way sick!!!!!! Oh so cool. Just gotta do it and try and learn and go and trust! So many aspects to being motivated. But no matter how much motivation you got... it wont turn into anything until you.... JUST DO IT! 

Life. Full of Miracles and Blessings. I love it too much! 
I love you all so much! I hope that you have a great week full of love and goodness! 

Elder Rodgers!!!!! <3

While out dooring!

Woody! (always been his favourite Disney show)