Monday, March 30, 2015

Viel Zu Tun!...Week 22 in Klagenfurt

      I came to the realization this week of something  that I now will have to face in consequence of staying 6 more weeks. That is, namely, I will now have to write 6 more emails! I think that those 6 weeks will officially cause me to get that problem I was worried about before... Carpal Tunnel? Is that right? Something like that. Watch, it'll happen. But I hope not. I have come more and more to enjoy writing letters home. Its always a challenge to find new things to say and to write about. But I guess, in the week, we do do lots of things worth writing about... like this week!

     So I had the chance to be the seminary teacher this week! Normally its done by the Wades, but they had a senior couple conference in Salzburg this week and so they weren't here Tuesday - Thursday. So we did it! And also got to teach Institute on Thursday evening. It was so much fun preparing the lessons and then giving them. We got to wake up at 5:20 and then get to the church and do it. It was so fun!

     There are only 2 seminary kids here! Small class. A lot different than what I was used to back home. I was able to actually speak German the whole time and not completely die... it worked good! That was a joy of the week! I really liked that! 

     I think my favourite activity of the week was our trip out to Arnoldstein and then further out to Maglern. We took a train out toward Villach and then a little bit further south. There were 2 less actives who lived out here, or so we thought. So we went out to the further one first. A little further than originally anticipated. We ended up walking a good 50 minutes to get to this guys house. He lived about 6 km or so out from where we were. It was cool though! As we were walking, we were going in the direction of Italy. By the time we had reached this persons house we were closer to Italy then to the place we had come from. We were about 1.5 km from the border. It was a way pretty day too, it all worked good... minus the fact that this man no longer lived there... and we found out yesterday... he actually died. Well then!

     But we made contact with the other one we were looking for. It was good! That was a long day of walking! We even saw more Italian Licence Plates than Austrian! The next day... I was on exchange wit Elder Bliss! MY dear friend Bliss! We went walking again! Out to find some more less actives! I enjoy long walks through the villages of Austria. It's a fabulous activity! Our day all in all was full of walking, talking and then teaching! Had a really neat lesson with one of their investigators. He is really solid. It was a great time! I just love teaching situations. Any time I get to teach its just great, those are the times when I can really feel the spirit :)

     We went to have a lesson with our main investigator this week... and he actually told us that we should never come back. It blew me away after... how much that really hurt! Its not fun getting told off by people who I have really come to like and get to know. Out of the blue. This now puts us back to square one... we have no one we are teaching in this moment now. So we need some people!

     There's a book called Our Search For Happiness by Elder Ballard. On Sunday I had some time in the morning to read and then through studies as well... even into dinner time and I ended up reading the whole thing on Sunday lol. Its a great book! So. Sunday  was also great, we ate at a members house! And during church I got to translate again, it was a great experience for me. I learn so much from being able to translate. It helps me so much. 

     People are really awesome. Its amazing what love can do and the amazing things it can bring to pass. I'm thankful for the love of people and also for the love I am able to develop for people! Love helps in so many ways! Its great! 

I am glad for life! Its so good! Conference this week! YES!!!
I love you all! Have a fabulous week all! LOVE FROM ME!!!! <3 <3

Elder Rodgers! Yay!

A place called Maglern, outside of Arnoldstein about 1.5 km from Italy

Look how handsome

Where the snow is on the mountain it is the cutline for the borders of Italy,
Slovenia and Austria come together

Austrian countryside

the cutline again

beautiful area

cutline of borders

long mountain in the back is Dobratsch, the one climbed a couple weeks ago

A nice day in Klaggy!

going dooring

Beautiful Klaggy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Entscheidungen... YES!.....Week 21 in Klagenfurt

     Well remember last week when I went hiking on Monday? Or I guess like 2 weeks ago now... And how awesome that day was! Well the following Monday, the start of this week, was raining! And we took the liberty of having a nap! What a way to start the week. That is a perfect example to how our weeks go. Sometimes they are just way up in the air and exciting and full of everything, others we just go along and it seems like the world is sleeping. But in the end, I'm a missionary in both circumstances and so I'm learning to make sure I'm happy all the time! 

     But I really am happy, don't think I'm saying otherwise! So this week.... Ha I have some pretty good news. So, the news of the week for me is that I will no longer be coming home as planned on the 26th of June. I have actually been given the chance to stay a lil longer than I expected and I have agreed to come home a transfer later, meaning I arrive home now on the 7th of August!

     Just in time for Waterton! So it looks like I'll get home Friday, talk on Sunday and go to Waterton  on Monday! Yay! But that's still a while away. It's been a weird feeling this last week changing that which has been so set into my mind. Plans change for sure, but in the end I have come to realize that Decisions determine Destiny... so like this is kind of a big decision... but like looking at what it is... how could I be going wrong?

That's really the news of the week. 

     On the missionary side of life, we engaged in a lot of service this week. It actually was sick! So our project number 1 was to move a tree house... it was like not built in a tree... simply high off the ground by a wall and deeply pegged into the ground. We cut off the legs, moved it, did a lot more work too and then actually didn't get it done that day. The pegs for the ground had to be reused but the wood was so stuck in them. We decided to make a fire and burn them out... so we enjoyed a nice campfire! Haven't had that in a long time eh?

So we finally got it all in and it was like awesome. Looks good, ill get pics from the members and send them. I didn't have my camera near. So the other one we did was like so cool. A member had build like a huge entertainment centre for a TV on wheels. And it was fall resistant, meaning he put Iron in the base that made it way heavy and when it tips it just rolls back to its position. Well... it was heavy! And we carried it out of a basement.. lol lots of us there. And a crane happened to be in the area and helped us out... Then we drove it to his house and we carried it in, yes its heavy. But that was like a ton of fun. It was a lil spontaneous too cuz it was right after a funeral. This was my 2nd funeral in a transfer. Funerals are different here than in Canada. 

     The rest of our time this week we doored. We really actually did though. We spent a solid amount of time contacting people and we met some various types of people in doing so lol. I love people. I really felt good at the end of this week though. We put in a great effort and I felt it, I love that feeling of a good week and knowing that we worked. 

     We met with a guy this week, he is really lonely. He talked a lot, and really honestly, I felt bad. Just at how sad certain some circumstances are.

     Sunday, I translated all 3 meetings, and I feel like I'm getting better at it actually! I was able to keep up really well and felt like I was doing better than normal. Growth is inevitable!

I read in Alma 48 today and i was impressed with verse 17:
Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

     Just got to be like Moroni... but still be me! I love the Book of Mormon, the stories in it rock! Ah so good! I'm glad to be a missionary and glad to be able to be here longer now! Life is so awesome! I love it love it love it!

Have a wonderful week full of love!
Elder Rodgers! <3

The little church on the mountain top

This is what frumpy looks like...time for a size smaller pants

Monday, March 16, 2015

Eine wunderbare Woche.....Week 20 in Klagenfurt

     Hello Everyone! This week. What a week it was. We had a lot of time to sit down and realize what life is all about. In the whole week we were in trains about 15 hours. Only a little bit of this was in local trains. The majority was those big 6 seater booths we sit in that take us up to Salzburg. We made 2 trips up there this week. One for Zone Training and the other for Stake Conference. There was a lot more information that entered my mind this week then normal and I'm still in the process of sorting through it all to find out what I can apply first and where I need to improve myself. Lots of thinking!

     It started out Monday. I mentioned last week that we were going hiking. Well.. .we certainly did. We took a gander at DOBRATSCH, a mountain of 2159 Meters. We got picked up by a member and driven out to the mountain. There was a road that goes a good ways up it and so we drove that until we got to the starting point. Well from there we were set free... 4 Elders alone in the wilderness! It wasn't that bad... 

     When we started it was 1°C and it was actually way warm.. cuz we were moving. No wind to start. We got out to a cool place and then found a kinda back route that goes off around the back side of the mountain. A path nonetheless. It was so gorgeous! SOOOOOOO MUCH! I took a solid 250 pics this trip.. 

     The higher we got the more snow we encountered until we got to the main ridge. We had a good bit of snow to trudge through. Then we reached the main trail again and headed up from there. We ate behind a church on the top (yes a church - the Dobratch mountain chapel) and there was no wind, but we prepared ourselves for the summit where wind was bound to blow. And it certainly did! But we were mainly warm enough! Got some epic pictures and all! I brought my Austrian Flag with me and we put that to good use. I even got a call from Jose and his daughters in Wiener Neustadt wishing me a Happy Birthday! It was like one of the best days ever!

     We made it safely to the bottom, had fun sliding down the mountain. Even go passed by a skier! Then we got picked up and taken to their house for dinner! Ah people here are just so kind and loving! It was such a great day! We fell asleep easily that night! And actually had to wake up at 4:30 the next morning to get to out train to take us up to Salzburg! 

     So that we did! Rode our train, beautiful day! Pics for sure. Zone Training was so great. Elder Plumb, the sickest, got us so jacked up to act. It was like being on the football field again. Our new Zone Motto is "I WILL". Cuz if I don't do it, who will? I really enjoyed it. It was easily one of the best meetings I've been to on my mission. 

     We came back down to Klagenfurt and there was our day. We met with a less active the next day and we also got to meet with one of our good friends. Its amazing how some people have such a huge need for the Gospel in their lives but they don't recognize that. I think that's one of the hardest parts, seeing people who have a distinct need... and having a solution... but they just don't want it. We have a new idea for finding that we got from Zone Training. We are gonna use a survey to go around and use that to find. I'll report back on that in a few months. 

     Friday was local meetings and sport evening. Hockey again! Oh how I enjoy that! It was great! And more people made it this week too! One step at a time eh? We planned and then  on Saturday got on a train to Salzburg for stake conference. Elder Fingerle from the 70 was there. It was cool cuz he is German.. and so he spoke in German! haha clearly... but that was neat! I got some great thoughts out of that meeting. Then we stayed with the Elders there and had a blast. 

     Sunday the same story. Awesome talks and experiences. It's so motivational to hear others report success. Just instills a deeper Hope within me. I love that! We got our train home after the meeting, ate and studied and hit the bed. 

     Now its Monday. Life is so fun! I just love the time here. It's the best thing I've done. I've had lots of thoughts this week on my time on a Mission. Lots of praying too. That's been my turn to the last little while and I am glad I know that through prayer and study, answers come our way. The Gospel blesses us! Me especially. 

I wish you all a great week! LOVE from Austria! 
Elder Rodgers <3

No shortage of pictures this week....lots of the hike!

on top of Mt Dobratsch

classic Tanner hiking selfies

Elder Carr & Elder Rodgers

Beautiful view

Elders Carr, Miller, Bliss, Rodgers

Miller, Carr, Bliss Rodgers

Rodgers & Carr

Favourite mountain on the train to Salzburg

Another sound of music mansion pict