Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

Hola familia Como esta!

Wow, we have had a cold week, but the past three days it has been hot so the weather is changing like crazy.
We have good news to report about baptisms. We are having 4 Saturday and maybe 5! We will send the pictures.
Like I said last week we went to an Expo here. There were so many things! Everybody was trying to sell things. I will send pictures. I bought a few things that I thought were really cool. I bought a hammock, and Indian bag, a leather cigarette case (that I put my camera in, it fits perfectly, not for cigarettes) and a few other little things. I will attach the pictures. At the Expo I ran into Elder Hanchett and his new greenie. That was a cool reunion. He told me that an old investigator that we had has just gotten baptized, which was really cool to hear. We had dropped him for a while but he has been working and the atonement of Christ has been working with him. I am expecting to get the pictures today. But right now we are in Luque. There is a place here to print off pictures so we came and I printed off the pictures of the Mayan ruins and a few from the memory card you sent. Thanks!! I was showing the pictures to Leo and her family. They really enjoyed them. I am trying to put all my pictures on my iPod but I have a lot! so it takes too long. I have been listening to the General Conference talks, especially Priesthood session. Wow it was really good.
Every 4th Sunday of the month the missionaries and the ward mission leader give the talks. I talked about putting on the armor of God and compared them to the story in Alma.
We borrowed the show "The Testaments" from another elder and showed it to a few people. It's a really cool story and an amazing end. I love the gospel and I know the the gospel is true. I have learned a lot about my Savior. I have a goal to read all of Jesus the Christ, but I am finding that it is hard to keep focused in that book. My favorite scripture of all is Helaman 5:12. I love it. It's only one scripture but it seems like I can always find new meanings and new ways of applying it. We are working with some cool people here, I know how the gospel can help them but there are a lot of people here that lack faith but with faith the will of the Lord comes into play, blessings come and miracles happen.
Thank you for everything!!!
Love Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Hola Familia!
Well we have finally gotten into winter here! Well, colder weather. It has gotten to 4 degrees and everybody is complaining haha, and there are rumors that it will get down to -1, haha. We had a good week, finishing Saturday with 12 people with a baptism date. But with rain and cold weather Sunday morning, only 2 showed up, along with 6 other members of the ward. So we had a short sacrament meeting.
Today we are going to something called the Expo, something that happens here every year and the missionaries get to go. There are places to buy cool things that are here in Paraguay., cool Paraguay things.
Yesterday I got a call from our zone leader. He said that he had a box for me that had a label ¨Ipod¨ so I will be getting that tomorrow. Those church films we need in DVD. There are some people here that I really want to show the film ¨The Testaments¨ because I know it will help them understand the Book of Mormon a lot more.
I was reading in the Book of Mormon lots in the latter chapters in the book of Alma. It is so fascinating, especially like the last letter, Alma 43-44. When you think of all the spiritual meanings of the scriptures, when they say armor you can think, literally, the spiritual armor.
-Alma 43:21 says that they were afraid because of their armor, ¨If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear¨ ¨Put on the Whole armor of God¨
-Alma 43:23 In our lives sometimes we don’t know where the enemy is and we need to listen to the prophet, which do we do every April and October. We hear where the enemy is.
-Alma 43:38 We always have to have the armor of God on to ¨shield (from) the more vital parts¨ of our spirits
There are so many examples of our lives in the scriptures that sometimes we miss what they were trying to say to us. There are many times I will read a story and wonder ¨Why did they put that in there?¨ But there is always a reason.
That’s really cool about the time capsule!
We have been teaching some cool people.
I can really understand more scripture in my life here in my mission than before. I love the gospel and I love my Savior.
Love, Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tired after a hard day's work

Helping to cook

Sky pictures

Presidente y Hermana Madariaga - new mission president

July 12, 2010

Hola Familia,
To start I forgot to write something in the letter I sent to the French’s. There is a blank word which is Leo´s name, (Leonhina).
Well we had a good week. We got to meet the new president!, He is really cool. I will send a photo that I took with him. That’s cool N. Peterson signed the package. There is an Elder Peterson in the office, so I will get it next week hopefully. I sent a letter home with a memory card in it so I hope it gets home safely.
We got a reference last week of two youth that wanted to come to the church and 2 days ago we went to meet them and one of the first things they said was,“ What do we have to do to be part of the church?” It was really cool. They thought that they were not allowed to enter the chapel. There is no sign that says visitors welcome. But yesterday they showed up at the church about 30-20 min early to look around. Tonight we are having a big family home evening activity with the branch. We are going to play soccer, games, and a video for the people that don’t want to play. We have lots of people invited, but we saw a sign today that said it was 6 degrees. We don’t believe it but it is cold so I hope all the people show up.
One package that you sent a while ago had three papers from the missionaries in our ward. One has a story but only the first page. It finishes, ¨Thats why the Prophet Joseph Smith said:...¨ It is titled the Challenging and Testifying Missionary.
There is one scripture that I just love and has become one of my favorites, D&C 130:20-21. It’s so basic and easy to understand, yet powerful. Another scripture is Alma 44:5 (well all of Alma 44 is awesome!) but where do they owe all their happiness?? The sacred word of God, the scriptures, that is where happiness comes, the word of God. At zone conference they had “Liahonas” from May(Spanish), July and August (English). I don’t remember if it is July or August but one of them has an amazing message about Lehi´s dream called, ¨Finding yourself in Lehi's Dream¨. I love that talk by Pres. Packer.
You mentioned something about 1/3 of my mission and seriously it is scary. I still feel new.
But thanks you for all your love and support! I love the gospel and I love the scriptures.
I’ve sent a photo of me helping a lady cook fat in oil and another of me sleeping after we got home, and some sky pictures taken by my comp.
Love Élder Rodgers

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Hola Familia!
We had a more exciting week, this week. I will try not to leave anything out.
One day in the week I was saying to my companion that I want to find a family that I can really help, that really want to listen, that will want to say the prayer and will be excited to go to church because all the people we have been finding have been a little iffy. They will listen but won’t do anything about it. The next day we were walking down a road where we had been looking for a less active member. We got to her house and were greeted by people running in the house and not coming back out. We figured that they didn't want to talk to us so we were walking back up the hill when we passed a house that we had contacted a few days ago. The daughter told us that her dad once talked to the missionaries so we decided to see if anyone was home. The whole family was there. We were greeted by the dad who gave us seats to sit down and talk. At first I was thinking, “Oh boy he is going to start bible-bashing!” Everything that he was doing was reminding me of the things bible-bashers do (little gestures), but he started talking and he never bible-bashed! Haha. We had a great lesson and his wife joined us. (He told us that before his wife would never listen to the missionaries). I don’t have time to write the whole story but it was a great lesson and we asked who they wanted to say the prayer and the wife said that she would and it was a wonderful prayer. At the end she was almost crying. We then got an invitation to supper the next day!!! and the supper was delicious!!! It was chicken and rice, there was a sauce that tasted like Mom’s lamb chop sauce! It was delicious. After the dinner we talked a little while longer. I slept so well that night! haha. Tomorrow we have an appointment with them and we want to go with Leo and teach with her. ((P.S. Leo and Agustin are thinking of getting married!))
But Saturday was a hard day only because Paraguay was playing and my companion is Latin. I had no desire to watch the game and he did. There were some people watching it at the church and he wanted to go. I didn’t want to go but there was nothing I could do to convince him. He always said, “Nobody will be in the streets. Everybody will be watching the game. We won’t be able to do anything.” (which to an extent is true) Everything stops here when they play. But in the middle of the game I asked him if we could leave. He said, “No it’s not over yet.” Then a few minutes later I said I didn’t leave my family to come watch soccer, then left to wait. Then about 2 minuets later he left. It was true that everybody was watching the game but we did get some contacts. One of them I want to talk about. We started talking and he said that he follows ¨el papa¨, the Pope, and my comp said and we follow the prophet. NOWHERE in the Bible or any other scripture does it say the word Pope or Follow the Pope but what the Bible says is the Prophet, which brings me to another small story haha. (and with the Paraguay game I had a prayer in my heart that they would lose so that this didn’t happen again, So I am glad that Heavenly Father answered my prayer but a little sad that Paraguay didn't win. It’s the farthest Paraguay has ever gotten, the top 8 in the world)
Sunday during testimony meeting, the fire alarm went off and the first things the people did were think about who did it, covered their ears, and remained seated. What would have happened if there was a real fire? Would they have remained seated? It’s the same with the prophet. During general conference we don’t remain seated (not literally). We go and do according to the prophet’s word. We act! We don’t cover our ears and wait for them to stop talking about a topic. We don’t wait till it’s too late. We do it!
I won’t be using that email account here on my mission. I’ll only be giving it out to people. President doesn’t want us using any account other than this. I will be sending a letter to Sister Neitz this week and another one with a full memory card (1Gb).
I was waiting till zone conference to talk to the assistants about the shoes, which is on the 7th so I will talk to them there. We will be meeting the new mission president. I have already talked to his wife. The 30th we were told that sister Wade was still going to be here, so I called her because I had a little diarrhea. (Shivivi in Guarani) Instead of Sister Wade I talked to Sister Madariaga! but then she passed me to one of the senior missionaries and she helped me. (PS I have medication for it that I brought with me so you don’t have to worry)
I was talking to some elders in the zone today about the Mayan ruins, and was thinking it would be a great teaching tool to have those photos to show ancient American life, the temple and ruins, and picture of the tree of life rock thing we have in the living room.
I love the scriptures and I love the Book of Mormon, and I love the Gospel! Thank you for all you do for me!
Love Elder Rodgers