Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Änderungen....Week 17 in Klagenfurt

     You know, I've come to realize more and more that when I come to emails on Monday and sit down and start reading things... I have realized more and more that I can now consider emails on Monday to be a spiritual experience. As odd as that may sound, cuz like.... I get the best emails from the best people! I learn so much from sitting here... I need to really start bringing a study journal with me and writing down what I learn. You think I'm the missionary and I should be teaching. Ha well that's true I guess, but I just wanna say thanks for all the wonderful emails and I'm grateful for how I feel when I read them! 

     But that also doesn't mean that Bradley and Parker and Logan need to stop telling me about badminton and snowboarding and camping and all that cuz like... I feel pretty good when I read that too you know ;) In essence don't change! Anyone! In the sense of emails I mean, cuz we all want to be changing. Change is a constant! But like... just change yourselves and stuff... Not your emails :)

     I got to be on an Exchange with Elder Bliss this week. Oh. Lol sorry, by the way - no transfer - I'm staying in Klagenfurt again... and so is the whole apartment! That means I will have lived with Elder Bliss for 4 transfers. Meaning as well that he is the 3rd person I will have ever lived with for 4 transfers. Elders Carlson and Oviatt being the first 2. 

     Ok back to Bliss. We got to work together. Well. The Wades... our lovely senior couple here who I don't think I've ever talked about. I'll do that now. They are like the sweetest and most helpful giving people ever. Elder Wade served in Klagenfurt on his mission 50 years ago... lol he is kinda old... but we have got him saying SICK now so its all good :) They rock and do so much for us its unbelievable! They took us out to a Chinese Buffet on Tuesday f on Tuesday for lunch. Ah such a lovely buffet. I like Chinese Food now too by the way. Wow change is good! 

    Wow...Back to Bliss. So after lunch we actually got caught up in a parade... cuz its like that time of year called FASCHING and like the people go insane and love to party and ya... so that caused a few delays. But then we went and taught a lesson. It was fun, he is always a guy with whom we can get a few great laughs in. Ya. And after we went out on the street and then made it home for the evening and had a good lil dinner. Life is great with Elder Bliss!

     Guess what. We run 3.4 km every morning Tuesday - Saturday! That's been going on for the last 5 weeks :) and now we are changing it a bit (cuz change is good) and on Wednesday and Saturday we are going 5.8 km. We be getting fit up in Klaggy! I've taken the pleasure of losing 13 pounds in the last 6 weeks :) YES! Just felt like sharing that... <3

     Elder Miller put on an awesome fireside this week! Oh so good! We were at a members house and a lot of people actually came! We then heard Elder Miller explain all about his life back home and his personal conversion to the Gospel. It was an evening full of good stuff! He rocked it! We have the best Elders in Klaggy! I love living with these 3! 

     Story about Elder Carr now. Saturday evening we taught a great lesson. We have been meeting with a man who met with Elders a long time ago. He really has minimal interest, but he enjoys our company very much. Well, we really got into a position to bear testimony to him about the Hope that comes through the Plan of Salvation. It was great, I love the feeling of telling someone that there is so much Hope available! Ah its the best feeling ever :) He said we can watch the Restoration video next time :) Oh boy the Spirit pours out of that video!!!

Guess what. I write in an online Austrian newspaper! Cool eh? 
Yeah my life kind of rocks! Being in Austria is so cool! I'm basically Austrian! 
Life has so many blessings! Gotta count em everyday! Gotta be active about it all! Change is good in the end of it all! You all rock! I love you more than I can explain! 

Have a splendid week!
Elder Rodgers <3<3<3

How handsome


Pet Bunny

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mission Spaß!....Week 16 in Klagenfurt

     I'm sure you are all so curious about my train rides. Well, I'll get to that I guess. All I can say in advance was we were in trains for like 12 hours in a 50 hour period! Yes... That is a long time. But my life is awesome regardless of how long I have to sit in a train. There are many reason for that. Like so many that I won't even mention them all, I'll just let you guess the rest. And so it was, a week gone by, faster than I think I could even comprehend to myself. You know it really gets to me how fast a week goes and how it never will be there again. I don't get it back. Its like... yes, I look forward to the future and so many things, but like.... I gotta look forward to living today as well. It's kinda important eh? Yes. It is. Even though I have a great desire to go sleep on P-Day and chill out... I'm not gonna get this day back, so I guess I should go do something and make it good! Goes along with making one happy as well. Where does time go?

     So. Leading up to our first train ride on Wednesday.... we really didn't have much time to do a ton. We helped out with setting up some stuff in the church and even had a wonderful eating appointment with like awesome members and it was great. Thinking back to that now I can hardly believe that that was this week. Really. So, Wednesday. Got on a train at 4:30 and got into Salzburg at 7:45. We went with the Elders there for a bit of food and then home to the apartment. And then for the evening we ate and chilled and it was awesome. Coolest part of Salzburg this time.... So we brought with us all our running gear and so we got up at 6 and went for a run down the river that runs through the middle of the city, over the "LOVE BRIDGE" which is that one with all the locks on it. It was way nice, then back home. A good run in the coolest place! 

     So then we got on a train... with all the Vienna Elders. That means Elder Oviatt! Ah how I love him! We had a great time catching up. He is the best! I miss him! So we got into Munich and then over to the church and then boom, more Elders! Like back to Ellwangen here, Elder Garrett and Spencer! All my old friends from Stuttgart Zone. It was such a reunion! 

     Then we had the main meeting. I cant even begin to explain all that was said. Elder Patrick Kearon was there and we heard a ton from him. It was so awesome! One of the things I got was the importance of stepping out of our patterned ways and doing new things to learn who we are and expand our understanding of ourselves. Like... he was so good! After him we had to rush to a train and barely made it! 

     So, Elder Carr and I stayed in Rosenheim Germany that night. Elder Carr's old area! We even had an appointment with someone from the ward! We ate Mexican Food! Ha it was a way good time! It was a ton of fun! And then in Rosenheim... Is the other Canadian! Elder Kastendieck! So I stayed over with Canada! It was way fun! In the morning, we again went running, this time in Germany through a park. I have the coolest Mission! We grabbed a few packs of Maultaschen before heading back (cuz you cant get that in Austria) and then headed to Salzburg where we met up with the other Elders. 

     We got on a train and came back to Klaggy. Way pretty ride that day! Then we had a ward activity that night and then in Saturday we had Primary Party type thing. We helped out there! We as Elders had a clown act that we did, it was cool! Ha, the kids enjoyed it. We had a good time! German speaking kids are so cute! Life is just kind of awesome! 

And then Sunday. And now today! I'm actually short on time so I got to run! But this week flew, I ran in 2 different countries and 3 cities. It was a great week! I am a happy dude, life rocks! Thanks for all the love from y'all! Happy Valentines Day to you all as well! Yay!

Elder Rodgers <3

the only 3 Canadians in the mission! all together on a train <3

How cute is Elder Oviatt! 


and more mountains. I never get sick of it!

his companions reflection in the window

Primary Party

We blew up all those balloons. Yes. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fußball und Freunde!...Week 15 in Klagenfurt

     I'll be honest. This week flew. We could compare this to like... a hockey puck being shot by Brent Seabrook. Like she went a flying! This next week may even go faster too... I will be spending 2 nights away, one in Salzburg and one in Rosenheim. On the road for 3 days. I'll talk about that next week though. But... we also had a lot of things going on through the week, thus making it fly.

     To start - I don't know if you can remember back, but on April 12 I was in Wiener Neustadt with Elder Kingery, who is now home, and we found a guy. Like the sickest guy ever. Well... we met with him a few times, and time went by. I attended his Military Graduation and found out that I was being transferred to Klagenfurt. In calling him to tell him that... he informed me that he was stationed in Klagenfurt... lol ok! So here, I've met up with him a few times and we have had some run ins with each other. Well, 3 or so weeks ago he fell 450 feet off a cliff in a skiing accident and is somehow still alive. He shattered the whole left side of his body though. It's a mess. We got to visit him for a little bit in the hospital this week. It was a quick little hello but nice to see him again. I've know him for like 10 months now and he is just so cool! 

     He was very quick in admitting that it is a miracle he is still alive and that God really does play a part in our lives. It just strengthened my testimony even more that miracles really do happen. Like seriously.... he should have died. Ah its insane. But he has a good attitude about it! 

     Moving on... We had our ward conference yesterday! Woooo!! It was awesome because so many people were there! As missionaries we endeavoured to go out and invite as many less active members to this as we could. We had invitations and we went out and we really got to a lot. In just 2 days all together we had given our about 25 or so to less active families or people. It was a good goal! Members also sent out 30 or so invitations by letter to other less actives as well. A real good push!

     Well Sunday came. We had 1 less active come! Success!! He even took part in the meetings and really had a good time. It was great! Small steps! We did what we could, and the rest was up to them. The member who we were working with didn't make it though. We have been meeting with him for the last 4 weeks and its been going better and better. But he didn't make it. Ah if you could understand the heartbreak when you stand at the door and expect people to come... and they dont. Ah its so not the best feeling ever. But there's a renewed hope every week! Ah! #hope!!!

     Well... We made it up to Salzburg for Interviews with Pres! Way sick! We had like the coolest discussion on 2 Nephi 28:19-22. It was stellar! Call people to repentance! That's how it goes! Gotta raise up that voice eh? The train ride was nice, comfy and good! No mountains though cuz of the weather... darn! Next week! 

     Ok. The last event of the week was awesome. Our Ward Mission Leader Brother Mauch holds a soccer tournament every year. Its like international. Teams from everywhere can come. At this one we had people from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, America, Afgahnistan, some dudes from Paraguay (who live in Slovenia) and me! Canada! 

    So. Indoor soccer with like... a ball that doesn't bounce as good cuz like... we are indoors lol. It was a ton of fun. Got to play against everyone! We realized... wow we are not European. We were not very good at all lol. But all the people said that we were the best Missionary team they had seen in the tournament ever! So thats not too bad eh! We had a couple dudes from Afghanistan on our team, they play on a local team here and are actually pretty good. In the end we got dominated, lost all 6 games. We got 7th place! Our team didn't even score a goal haha! 

     The Paraguay team had a couple injuries and so I was over talking with them and became good friends actually. They are way cool. I got invited to play with em! haha I now like to say I played for the Paraguay National Team! Well I actually scored a goal with em! I scored on an Austrian! Thats like a miracle! It was a ton of fun. Met some way cool people there and had a ton of fun! It was great! 

Great missionary opportunity too! So cool :) Fun fun fun! Another week gone by. I look forward to this week! I wish you all a happy day and a splendid week! Love you!

Elder Rodgers! <3

In Salzburg across from Sound of Music Mansion

Castle by the mansion in Salzburg

Sound of music mansion and castle on the hill

We played Scum on the train

too snowy to get good mountain picts

I'm in a yellow pinnie lol. #mormonhelpinghands

I also got to sub in a few games for the Paraguay team
 cuz they had a few injuries. I played for Paraguay! hahaha

honey Shreddies. The love of my life for the last week!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Die Schönheit dieser Welt ...Week 14 in Klagenfurt

     Ohhh this is an odd feeling. I am really looking forward to writing this email! As I tried to think of what to write about.. I only could come up with awesome things we did this week pertaining to nature! And oh how beautiful nature is. My spirit was just so high this week. I was able to really take a step back, have some awesome studies and take a few seconds to glimpse at the bigger picture. Oh what a beautiful picture it is! Without any more delay, I'm gonna get to expressing my love for people and for nature! 

So. The week started off a lot slower than many of the others. I would say the majority of our work from Tuesday to Thursday and even on Saturday was spent dooring. We hit the streets hard this week and in the end were able to come out with one really solid guy who we are supposed to be meeting with tomorrow. Youth. That's where its at. No offence to older people though.. I love you all! 

     Friday... We have been having a huge snow drought down here. I was told that we were supposed to get rain on Friday and when we woke up to go running it was snowing ever so lightly. So we ran anyway. Well, we got back and then went studying. And then the heavens opened and poured out a huuuuge blessing! SNOW! We got a solid foot of snow in like 5 hours and it kept going! So we abandoned our original plan of weekly planning and we went out and shoveled! Got to the church and grabbed the shovels there then headed out with the bus to an older couple who we have become friends with. 

     Got there just in time! They had barely started to shovel! So we jumped right in there and had a way solid shovelling session! So good! By the end, we had moved a ton of snow and then we got invited in for tea! So we went on up and had a great time with them. Good conversations and just a good time overall. I love people. They are the best! 

     Well, a member had seen us on the way with shovels and they happen to live next door to this family we were at... so we got invited in for lunch! After we shovelled their driveway! Or at least a bit.. most was done lol. So we spent that good time with them! Ah people are the best!! <3

     At the end of the day closer to 6pm we got out and shovelled more too! Ah it was so nice to be able to shovel for people! I love to shovel! 

     So here it is... We got invited to the church for an eating appointment / activity on Saturday evening. We were told to dress warm and that's all. Kind of in the dark on this one. Well turns out that many people knew what was happening, just not the missionaries! And then we found out this was a missionary surprise! After eating a ton of Spaghetti we found out we were going on a NIGHT HIKE! 

     So the way it goes is... there are 4 opportunities a year where the moon is full and high in the sky and there could be snow. So many things need to line up perfectly, and with the help of the prayers of the faithful... It all worked! So we drove out like half hour up into the mountains. We went up and up and up! So sick! Ok we got to this field...people even live there, like 3 cabins... and we walked out a bit. BOOM! Huge mountains right there! It was so cool!

     We just were beside ourselves with joy! The pictures don't do it justice, we tried our best with night settings and stuff. It was gorgeous! This world is so wonderful! When you look around at everything and take a while to see how it all works and goes together... there is no was to doubt that God is there. Its amazing. Ah it was an awesome evening! Got home and went to bed!

     So many awesome things! I love it! I have one more thing to share! I was super impressed with a scripture in the Book of Mormon this week. It really got me thinking and allowed me to raise my senses a little. I think that Nephi describes this so well. The ways in which Satan leads us away. So many tactics and ways to do that! Gotta always be watching out!

2 Nephi 28:20-22 

 20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
 21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
 22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Not to be like... a downer or anything... but I just think it,s important to always be on the watch. You may not even realize it, that's what Satan's goal is. Strengthen your testimonies and serve each other! It works!

And with that, I bid you all farewell and I hope you all have a wonderful week! Take the time to give thanks for the beauty of this world! I love you!

Elder Rodgers <3

Up in Emmersdorf looking down at MY CITY! (Klagenfurt)

selfie in the woods

achurch and a mountain 
selfie in a bus

selfies in the snow

These are pics from the epic story! 

Awesome EH????

where my shadow is.. that,s where we were