Monday, April 26, 2010

8 year old Vanessa Gonzales


Zulma and her uncle

April 26, 2010

Hola Familia! Como Esta!

Wow we had a great week. We worked hard and were blessed with a baptism, a really awesome girl who had turned 8 about a month ago and doesn't have parents. She lives with a family in the ward for about 3 years. Her name is Vanessa Gonzales I will be sure to send a picture. The picture last time was of Zulma, and her uncle who did the baptism and the confirmation. Well we had a great week as I said. Last week I saw my first tarantula and then 2nd a couple days later, and on Friday I saw Sister Sotelo kill a chicken by breaking its neck..... it was interesting haha.

Well, about Mothers Day, you will be calling me so whatever way you want to do it. It will be for an hour is what President said. We are going to be deciding what times we will be calling this week so I will update you next week.

I am having problems with my Ipod. I am stuck with a blank white screen. It has been like that for a while, I could still listen to music but now it is stuck on ¨Repeat one song¨ so that doesn't work. I have been thinking of ways to solve this problem. I could look for a music player here that has speakers or I know that the Ipod touch 8GB has speakers and would work for my dock or I could sent the Ipod home and see if you guys could fix it. Tell me what you think would be best.

Thanks for doing my tax return for me! Now I am just waiting on my PIN to come to me in the mail.

Well we are slowly entering into winter here. We have dropped out of the 30s and the 40s and are into the 20s but still wearing short-sleeved shirts most of the time.

That is really cool about the temple in Calgary! Please keep me updated with that.

Thanks for everything!! I will send updates with what time we will be calling next week!
Con Amor, Élder Rodgers

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pizza Hut in Paraguay

April 19, 2010

Hola Familia!
Well we had a great week. We are starting to enter into winter here but it’s still a ways away. Things are going great here. I got my new Visa card today but I am still missing the new PIN so now I have to wait for that. After the time change, it has been getting darker early and thus we have to be in our house earlier. We had a zone activity today and went to Pizza Hut.
I have been studying a lot about charity lately and learning a lot. In particular I have really been enjoying 1st Corinthians 13 about charity, and been learning it is the key to have. I have started the Book of Mormon over and am looking for something in each verse. I probably won’t be able to finish it all doing that here in a year and a half, but I am going though it slowly, and plan to read it again (probably in Spanish) so I will have two bookmarks. I received a letter from you about last week. That asked about a Spanish “Preach My Gospel”, and I do have one. I got all the materials in Spanish my first day in the MTC. And I can read what it says (usually). Spanish is coming, slowly, but it is coming. I love to be able to have a conversation with someone in another language.
As of right now I have played the piano in church once, (a couple of weeks ago).
We have been trying to get people to church by doing whatever we could to help them. So this week we are going to try another approach and get people excited for church, getting them wanting to come. Sister Sotelo told us that our area is bigger than we thought so we are going to be doing some exploring this week and working with the members to invite their friends to hear the message of the restored gospel.
Well thanks for everything! You guys are always in my prayers.
Love Élder Rodgers

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

Hola Familia!
Como esta!
Wow what a week. It was a great week. Well let me answer some of your questions that you gave me. The photo of the baptism with Trifi: the lady in the pink is sister Sotelo. She is the lady that washes our clothes for us and is a neighbor to Trifi. The lady in the black is her daughter. The lady in the black and white shirt is the aunt of sister Sotelo, not a member, and the mother of Victor, another of our converts. And I believe the lady on the right is the wife of the 1st counselor in the bishopric. She also is a neighbor to Sotelos and Trifi. The other lady I am not sure of her name but she is a member of the church.
I have gotten the ipod cord and the package, and I haven’t heard from Élder Bishop yet, and we went as a zone to T.G.I. Fridays in Asuncion last month.
We eat a lot of beef, chicken, rice, bread, empanadas, something called tortillas, like pancake cooked in oil. Everyone cooks food in oil here.
But I do have a little bit of bad news. The letters that I tried to send to Grandma and Grandpa Spackman and Rodgers came back. So now I have to look for envelopes. I tried sending them in the pouch system but apparently there is no pouch to Canada. So I am working on that right now. It’s hard because I don’t have much extra time at all to write letters. But I have a list of people that I have to respond back too. I got a letter from Sarah D. That was great to hear from her. (Thanks Sarah!!) And from the Young family (In Spanish), and Courtney Orr, and Anne and Megan (Thanks guys!!). I am going to be writing you back. Si o Si!
Something really cool happened yesterday. I gave my testimony yesterday and another elder did too. He has one more change in the mission than I do (6 weeks) and after at an investigator’s house they were surprised at how good my Spanish was because I have less time than him, and they could understand me. It really boosted my confidence. There are some awesome people here.
I talked to the bank last Friday and they are sending me a new Pin for my visa so I am waiting on that.
Oh and also. Shoes. Those Arnold Palmer shoes are dying here. One day I used them and at night the dirt had come in and got my foot all dirty. So I don’t know really what to do. They are great shoes but they are not meant for missionaries in Paraguay. My Ecco is just fine and my Merrell is great. But the other two are dying. Brother Sotelo is a shoe smith so I gave the shoes to him and we were going to look for new soles that we could put on them. But he is in a wheelchair so we have to do the searching and like a said we don’t have much time, and where you would get them is far away.
Well thanks for all your support. I am having a wonderful time here - learning a lot, and enjoying walking with a purpose. The past 6 weeks I read the Book of Mormon. My testimony has been strengthened. There is such a great peace you feel and peace and comfort. IT’S TRUE!
Con Amor,
Élder Rodgers

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010

Hola Familia!!!
Wow what a great General Conference, eh!? The speakers were all so powerful. I got to listen to it in English so I understood what they said. I can’t wait to have the copy in the Liahona to read and mark. I really enjoyed what D. Todd. Christofferson said about the scriptures and about faith and how faith is formed when the Holy Ghost tells your spirit when something is true ¨Spirit to spirit¨ and it was really cool to hear of the new church project to design one, big, grand family tree! That will be a lot of work. Well, as of right now in the Book of Mormon, I am on Moroni chapter 7.
We had a great baptism with the girl Zulma (we thought it was Sulma). She is deaf and can’t read. She has such a strong testimony. Her family helped us teach because she can only read lips in Guarani. But the uncle who did the confirmation only said the church of Jesus Christ, not the full name of the church. I have to say that I did not feel that special feeling when someone receives the Holy Ghost. But yesterday when we re-did it, it was so powerful!!! And I was thinking, she believed that after her baptism that she would be able to hear again. Her physical ears we're not opened but her spiritual ears were. A person who can't hear anything of the world, who can only hear the whisperings of the spirit is truly a person who is not deaf. truly a person who can hear. It truly was a Miracle.
Something weird happened this week. We were walking with our ward mission leader. He was working with us that day and a lady contacted us in broken English asking us if we spoke in English. We said yes and she told us to go talk to her son who didn’t believe in Christ. He has lived in the States for most of his life and 5 years in Paraguay. So we invited him to General Conference, and talked about how he was doing. Apparently he was baptized a year ago and had the Priesthood Melchezidik (sorry for the spelling) but he was going through some hard times. So we invited him to General Conference but he never showed and his phone didn’t work. But after the lesson we left him with a prayer in English. It was kind of weird. I felt more comfortable talking to him in Spanish! Haha. But it kinda sucks because we haven’t heard back from him since. They have a small home in our area but live in San Lorenzo a good hour away.
Well I tried to take out money with the Visa but it didn’t work so that is probably what happened. And good thing too because I almost took out too much by accident. Because the monetary system here is different. Sister Wade called me last week about your letter and we are working on it. But I am not worried. I will be calling to the numbers after Zone Conference either this week or next week. I don’t have my Visa Card on me right now so I can’t send the numbers and I won’t be able to send them till next week. I will call Sister Wade and have her email them to you. But she told me that if I run out of money or need some or something like that, they can help me.
Also I am still with Élder Hanchett. Going in to our third change! So we are ready to take our area by storm!
Wow I am feeling good after listening to a prophet’s voice I love the Book of Mormon and the Bible. They are written by the power of God. I love my Saviour and everything he has done for me. The words of what the Prophet said yesterday still ring in my mind. ¡HE IS RISEN¡ !HE HAS WON! ¡MAN IS FREE!
Thank you for your love and your support. You are the best family in the world. I love you guys so much!!
With love.
Élder Lucas Rodgers

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sights from Paraguay


March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010
Hola Familia!
How was your trip, that's really cool to hear that the spirit is so much stronger in the Church, The Inspiration that the spirit gives it wonderful isn't it!
We had two baptisms yesterday. It was really special, a girl and her mother. They are really cool people. Their names are Dominga (the mom) and Lorena (the girl). I will be sure to send pictures and to send pictures of the baptism of Trifi. We also have one planned for tomorrow. It is a really cool girl. She is 20 and when she was a child she got really sick and lost her hearing. Right now she cannot hear, and cannot read, and only speaks in bad Guarani, so the family helps us teach her. She can read lips (but only in Guarani). The whole family are strong members that we eat with on Sunday. But she has so much faith. She has faith that after her baptism that she will be able to have the opportunity to hear again. She comes to church even though she cannot hear. She is a big example of faith to us.
Well the end of the change is Wednesday which means I could have a different companion. I hope my next companion is a hard worker like Elder Hanchett. He has been a great comp. But it’s weird to think that I have been in Paraguay for about 3 months. Well thanks for all your love and support. The work is going great here. Zion is growing! Thanks for all your love and support.
Love Élder Rodgers
Con Amor

Cleaning for Trifi

Elder Rodgers and Elder Hanchett at Paraguay Temple - March 2010

March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010
Hola ¿Comó Esta?
How are you guys doing? Wow, we had a good week. It was a hot, hot week, (well it seemed like it). We went to the temple. That was really nice. We had a busy week too. Well not much is changing in Paraguay but the time is starting to go fast, what happened to March!!! One more week left in the month and in the change. March 31 we have changes. I noticed something that my comp’s family does, is that they send him memory cards full of pictures in a letter, and he can look at the pictures and the videos. You should send some from your cruise. And put the memory card in a letter. But you guys have a great time.
I am so excited for General Conference; I am so excited to listen to the prophet and the apostles. Spanish is coming along good, but I think I will try to listen to general Conference in English.
Well at the end of this month we have changes, and we believe one of us is going. This is a pretty hard area, just because it is small, and there is not a lot of movement. Like people don’t move in or move out very often. But we have a great ward and every week we have about 130ish people, up to 159.
The pictures are from when we did service for Trifi by cleaning her yard and also temple pictures.
Nothing big has happened. Paraguay is still hot haha. And yes if you can respond to Elder Vance about that. I can only send emails to one address. And if you can ask him for his mail address. Thanks for your love and support. Have fun on your cruise!
Con Amor,
Elder Lucas Rodgers