Monday, November 29, 2010

Baptism November 27, 2010 (Elder Jolley in suit)

Luke and Parrot

November 29, 2010

Hola Familia,
How’s it going? Everything is great here. We have had a good week. Right now in Concepción it is raining soooooo hard and long story made short, we moved to a house that is behind the church. It is the property of the church so we don't have to pay rent and it has an AIR CONDTIONING!!!!! We are living there with rama 2 (branch 2), Elder Jolley and Elder Gordon so yup I am once again living in the same place as elder Jolley. But changes are the 8th of December and he has been here for a long time so we all think he is leaving. But this house as a little hole in the roof. On Sunday during the day it was raining so Hard! It looked as though it was night. We had about 50 people at church! But it flooded the house so the elders started running to move our mattresses because for right now we don't have a bed frame.
We had a great baptism. It was awesome. Elder Jolley had a baptism the same day so we had our first baptisms together in the same city. It was really cool :) The church is true! :)
I came to the conclusion that there are 7 different types of transportation in Concepción; car, motorcycle, dirt bike, scooter, bicycle, quad, and horse and cart. And if you see a motorcycle or car without a license plate it’s normal. It’s weird to see haha, but to answer your questions, yes that is Bradley Foster sitting next to President and my comp is the elder furthest to the right. You should send this picture to Elder Bishop because there are two elders that he knows in this picture. I'm sorry this letter will be short. I am having problems with this machine,
I am losing hope in receiving the second Ecco shoe! I am thinking that if you are going to send the boots, to send them together, maybe. Keep it in your prayers that the ¨right¨ shoe will get to me!
Dang, the last time that you sent me a letter the Stampeders and the Flames were doing the best - well, I guess things can change,
I will see what I can do about garments this week. I will let you know next week
Thank you for everything!!
I am going to be sending a package home with Elder Wendorff, I have found that asking people to take things home with them is a lot cheaper and a lot faster, and there is a memory card. I love you guys, I know the church is true!
Love Élder Lucas Rodgers

P-S- The pictures with the parrot were when we did service at one of the members house then took some pictures with their parrot.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Picture on the roof of Elder Jolley's house

Luke's zone - "Zona Pedro Juan Caballero"

Rainy day in Concepcion

November 22, 2010

Hey Family!!
We have had a big week. It has been raining a storm here which is alright but not the most exciting. But zone conference was awesome. We left Concepción at 11:30\12:00 at night and slept on the bus. We got there about 6:30\7:00 in the morning then took a taxi to the church. They had breakfast for us there (one bowl of cereal). I got two! because I conveniently spilled my first bowl all over my suit! But we had a great meeting then after that we had a long time to wait. We didn't know what time our bus left until that night. The meeting ended at 2 in the afternoon so we left to go to the distribution center. It closes at 5 and about 1\2 hour to get there. We left finally at 3, got there at 4. got some things and went across the street to eat. Then we waited for the other Concepcion elders to meet up, then we were eating. We went across the street to the chapel that is next door to the temple. We wanted to have a last minute bathroom break before we got on our bus and while we were on our way to the chapel I saw some members that are from Emboscada. Turns out they had a temple trip the same day. So I spent a while talking to them (which was alright because our bus left at 9:30pm). Junior was there. That was his second time doing baptisms. It was really cool to see them there. Bruno was there. I talked to him for a while then they left. About an hour later we left and got home 3:30 in the morning.
We have been doing a lot of jumping from dry spot to another with all the rain. My shoes are holding up. We have an investigator who is a shoe smith. He fixed one of my Arnold Palmer shoes. I still haven't gotten the ¨right¨ shoe (as in I have the left shoe) but I should be waiting for the other one this week. I got the birthday package. I know Elder Hoffman. The boots look pretty good. I would be good with the same size and with a medium width I believe. It would be the best to have the actual garment thermals- would be less clothing to wear. The thermals you sent me are all short sleeves. I could try to find some here but I will see what I can do. Contact solution I can find here. It is a little pricey but it is here.
Thanks for the information on Élder McKee. Good news, he is back in the mission! Hermana Madariaga told me at zone conference. I don't know where he is but he is in Paraguay. I sent that Dear Elder, with a small uplifting message and the letter you sent, partly to see how long it takes.
Here are some pictures of zone conference and the rain. One was taken at night on the roof of Elder Jolley's house. The really bright light is the Virgin at night.
Love you all. Thanks for everything!!
Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, November 15, 2010

Luke and Brother Gomez at the Paraguay River

November 15, 2010

Hola Che Familia-kuera,
Well, good news - our really cool investigator, Thomas, is coming along. He prays every night and reads. He is awesome. He has questions but we always have answers. We have been working with the members to visit our investigators. We found another guy that (a while before) the missionaries were teaching. He knows everything!! But he drinks so we are working with him on that. This Wednesday we have zone conference and we have it with the San Lorenzo zone so I will just give the letters for Gabriela and Victor directly to the elders in Kennedy.
It’s not that the members here do not trust the missionaries. Well there have been some interesting missionaries here in the past, but all my converts are through members and so that is the smartest way to work. I have learned the importance of members in conversion.
That's all that I gave to Élder McKee so I’m glad they got to you. That bag was a little big and the fhiligrana (The material of those really cool necklaces) map of Paraguay cost G150 so I was a little hesitant on sending them through regular mail.
That will be cool to have an English-Guarani Dictionary. I have been using the book that Mark Johnson gave me. Elder Jolley knows a lot of Guaraní from being here so I think I will learn a lot. It is sort of a thing that all the elders that leave Concepción can speak (more or less) Guarani.
You mentioned last week about an Elder DeVoe. I know OF him. I could pick him out of a crowd.
That sucks about the bike accident. That is not the most exciting experience. Did you get scraped up?
I like the idea about the fast. I think that the 25th of this month would be good, then another one on Fast Sunday. I will be thinking a lot about it but one thing that I have been thinking a lot about is that now, talking another language, has made me have some of the most happiest moments of my life and when I am talking in Spanish to people it feels like a great accomplishment. I have been thinking if there would be anything I could study with Spanish.
Yesterday we taught a great lesson on Moroni and how he was smart. They had to build armor first then spiritual armor. There is no way we can win except by God's help. I KNOW that if God is with us we cannot fail. Thank you for everything! I love you guys so much! Thank you for your examples in my life. Brother Gomez (from the picture a couple weeks ago in front of the river) said in his talk two Sundays ago that the best teacher teaches from example, which I thank you for everything you have taught me.
Con Muchisimo Amor,
Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, November 8, 2010

Luke by the Paraguay River, with sombrero

Out to dinner on Nov. 4, with Elder Jolley

November 8, 2010

Hola Familia, Como Esta,

Well we had a great week. We have been working with a man called Thomas Franco. He is really cool. We contacted his house and Habia Sido, his son, was a less active member from Asuncion. Ever since we have been visiting him he is telling us that he has found more tranquility in his life. He told us, ¨I will read and pray to find out if these things are true.¨ We are going to visit him today, see how he is doing. He came to church yesterday only for 2 hours but he really liked it. I was happy that the testimonies were all very nice because in Rama 2 there was one guy talking about things of the temple... interesting things about the temple. So our ward is awesome - sorry, our branch. We have been having some really cool experiences here. We have been working to gain the trust of the leaders in our branch.
Zone conference got moved back another week because Elder Bradley Foster is coming to speak to us. That will be really cool.
You should not have sent letters to Elder Lucas!!!!!!!!!!! The Canadian from Raymond is Elder Wendorf. Elder Lucas is from Ecuador!!!!! Elder Wendorf, the old companion of Elder Jolley, was here in Concepcion but now is in Asuncion. I don’t have a picture of Elder Lucas. Sorry if something I said confused you guys.
Thanks for the letters. I will send those letters to Gabriela and Victor and tell you if I ever get a response from them. Thanks for everything. I will expect a shoe this week, haha.
Well keep this on the low-down but President is going to be splitting my area! So we have to look for a house for the other missionaries, elders or sisters we don't know but probably the first week of December.
Thanks for everything. I love you guys so much. There is a photo from when we went out to dinner on the 4th and when we passed by the river. I have my ¨Sombrero Piri¨
Con Amor,
Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, November 1, 2010

Elder Rodgers in Concepcion

Luke at a religious statue

Luke and Elder Arzate

November 1, 2010

Hola Familia!!
Wow, one week in Concepción. It can get so hot here. This Thursday it was about 40C one of the members said. WOW! Well this place is really cool. The stake...or I should say district, consists of four branches in Concepción- Horqueta, Yby Yau, San Pedro, Santani. There is, compared to all my other areas, almost no Spanish (well there is, of course, but not as much). I have been learning a lot and this week I am planning on studying a lot!
Well, I got your package, with one shoe!! So now I have to wait to get the next one... haha. All the mail that comes to Concepción, Horqueta, and Yby Yau, comes straight to our house so the second shoe will also come straight to my house haha.
Concepción has so much religious culture. You will be able to tell by looking at one of the pictures. It reminds me of one of the commandments. ¨DO NOT worship idols¨!!!! (The stars around her head light up at night.)
Well about the call, I never had thought that I might go to South America. It had never crossed my mind but as soon as I saw the map and the words Paraguay Asuncion North Mission, I just thought to myself, ¨Yup, that’s right.¨ Especially the ¨North¨ part, for some reason ¨North¨ really stood out, and now that I am really far north of Asuncion, I think this is where I need to be.
Well yesterday we had 5 people in church (investigatores). One of them was a lady that just randomly walked in. We have to go and look for her and where she lives. One was a youth that lives almost across the street and one block from the church and the other three are older men. Two of those older men have a baptismal date for 27th of November, Agustin & Thomas, We are going to have to really work with them to make sure they have desires. They are really cool people, and both were found through contacting.
My area of Concepción is sort of the main area but it also includes a little island called Chaco-i. We went there during the past week. You have to pay someone to take you over by boat. It was kinda cool but my comp was thirsty and asked for water so we both had a glass of water which turns out is from the river and my comp got sick after that and we were in the house for a long time till about 6-7 when someone could stay with my comp and I could go and work with Elder Jolley in his area.
I have really been seeing the guidance of the Spirit in my life here. It’s really wonderful. There is one thing I ask you guys if you could do. Remember Gabriela and Victor, my first converts? I got word from an elder that just left that area that they are a little inactive and haven’t been to church in a long time. Write them a letter with your testimonies and to excite them. In January they will complete one year as members and I would love to see them go through the temple. Write it in English and I will translate it and send it to them. Thanks a lot.
But in short, CONCEPCIÓN ROCKS haha. I'm really excited to be here. By the way, good timing on the shoes. I have a hole in both my Ecco shoes. Now I just have to wait to use both shoes. I saw all the pictures you sent. WOW everyone is growing up!! especially Seth! Wow.
Thanks for the update on the Flames and the Stampeders. It’s good to know that they are doing good.
Thanks for the e-card! That was really nice. Next Tuesday we will have Zone conference and will have to travel to Asuncion. Thanks for everything! Love you LOTS!!
Élder Lucas Rodgers