Monday, November 7, 2011

Goodbye, Paraguay!

Luke wearing shirt made in Paraguay

Luke and Elder Radmall and their new companion, Elder Meneses

Baptism of Carmen Roa - Nov. 6, 2011

November 7, 2011

WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL BIG NEWS!!!! We had a baptism!!! of Carmen Roa, which was very special! I got to baptize her. The spirit was so strong and after the ordinance Elder Radmall and I sang ¨A Child’s Prayer¨ in Spanish. Also big news is that my last companion and the missionary who will take my place is Elder MENESES! I was so happy to hear this change. He was one of my favorite companions and now I am with him again. He is such a great missionary and person. These last few days I have been almost in tears so many times just talking to Elder Meneses. I feel like he is a brother to me. I feel that strong bond and think that I will feel torn when I leave here. I just hope I don't cry. I love him so much. We have been through so much together and now we have officially had a baptism (FINALLY) together, haha. I love Paraguay and the people. I feel like my heart is being split in two.

Well to get ahold of Anne you can look at my old phone, if the numbers are still on it.

The picture SDC12382.JPG should be sent to Elder Cahoon.

I am a little worried about work after the mission. What have you been thinking about? I would like to hear your feedback. But I will be hearing it in person, which is really weird to think about. I would LOVE to have a job where I can speak in Spanish.

I love you guys so much. With love and CARIÑO. See you this week!


Elder Lucas Kenneth Rodgers

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 13, 2011

Hola Family


Here in Paraguay Hallowe’en is not really celebrated. Nothing like trick or treat happens. Kind of boring, but the work goes on! Well... Ramón.... bad news! We went to his house and asked to talk to him and his old mother came out and said that he sent us a text message saying that he does not want to talk to us anymore. She asked us if we received it and no we didn't because our phone is set to not receive messages. So we walk away. By the way I was on a division that day with an elder from El Salvador (Elder Renderos). So we walk away from the house and call him. He says that he doesn’t want to talk to us again and that he won’t be able to complete what we asked of him. That night when we were changing back to our normal companions we talked to a member who lives close to him and it turns out that he has a problem with ¨Question 4¨ (baptismal interviews) if that is understandable. So that won’t be happening. But we have another lady who we have been working with, Carmen Roa, the sister of a very active member and she is preparing for her baptism this Sunday after church. She is a great lady who really is in a hard situation and she really understands the things that we share with her. We are super excited.

So today I had my exit interview with Presidente Madariaga. It was really something special. We talked about a lot of things and I really felt the Spirit. I am so grateful for him and all he does for me.

This Wednesday we are going to have a meeting for all the missionaries going home. We are going to Presidente’s house to have a testimony meeting, then buy some souvenirs, go to the TEMPLE!!!!!!!!! YAY!! then go to a restaurant where there is ENDLESS MEAT!!!!!! YUM!!!! called Paulistas. We will be sending a recording to you guys if the computer decides to work, haha.

So today I picked up a GREAT souvenir that was something that you told me to get a long, long time ago.


What should I do with my shoes?????? I have the:

-Ecco slip on shoes that I brought with me - thinking of taking home only because they are so destroyed, and the shoes I came in.

-Merrell Shoes that I brought with me whose leather is wearing off but the sole is still intact.

-Ecco shoes sent while I was in Concepcion - leather wearing out, sole not doing so good.

-Missionary mall boots still great condition.
My suit is good here that I can bring back.

Tell Denise sorry from me and that I hope she gets better fast.

Well, guys, I am really trying to think if there is anything else that I need to tell you.

You need get a hold of Anne Cardosa and invite her ALSO get a hold of the parents of Elder Bryce Hanchett (well no longer is he Elder). He said he would come for my homecoming. I’m not sure if you still have his phone number. See what’s up with that and if he can. But other than that we are working for this last baptism, and this week will be the best!

Love you all, con un gran amor, con muchisimo amor,

Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rollos de Canela!

Luke and his companion, Elder Radmall

Luke and Elder Richins

Luke and his zone at the temple

October 24, 2011


Well, we had a good week and a miracle! SOOOO much to say and so little time.

We have been working with a man named Ramón, interesting how men with that name always seem to be in my investigator pool, haha but, Elder Hill and his last companion had been working with him. With them he read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon!!!!! in like 2 days!!! (so it is possible, and in Spanish is it like 100 pages more than in English only because of the translation). So that is AWESOME! But he never wanted to commit to coming to church. So Tuesday, (I think) we gave him a strong invitation and were very clear that if he believes the book of Mormon to be true the church as well will be true. He then said ¨Well if I go I don’t want to be asked to saying anything.¨ So we said, “That is perfect, you can go sit down and listen.” JUSTO, (exactly, precisely) it was stake conference! So Presidente Madariaga was there with his wife, Pres. Udall from the Temple, and an area 70. When Presidente Madariaga talked about baptism it really touched Ramón so I think there is a great chance that he can get baptized before I leave which makes me SOOOO HAPPY!!!

The pictures are of our zone when we went to the temple. It is a very poor quality photo but there is also one of Elder Richins and I. He was a missionary who came with me in the MTC but the last week he had to go home for some reason and a year later came back and he is in my zone, which is really cool. And there’s a picture of Elder Radmall and I.

My companion knows how to bake rollos de canela! Cinnamon rolls! MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

Felicidades Cassidy!!! That is great news!!

So mom and dad, I actually have already sent a letter to myself, well not sent but written. I have forgotten what it talks about. It will be cool to read it in a couple of weeks.

You were mentioning something last week that had to do with when I will be released as a missionary. For me there is no rush. I don’t really know what the church's stand on it is but I would love to wear that plaque for as long as I can. So if they can't do it that first day it is not a problem with me.

I LOVE you guys SO much and am having a great last while here in the mission, I have a wonderful companion that always lets me know how much time I still have here.....hahahaha. I sent a recording we did yesterday



Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, October 17, 2011

Luke and local families in Kennedy, Paraguay

October 17, 2011

Hola Familia!

So today we had a cool experience. This week we had interviews with Pres. Madariaga and at the end of my interview I asked if it would be possible to visit Kennedy and he said yes so here I am emailing in Kennedy. I saw some old converts and old members and, wow, it felt like I was back at home (the smell included) haha. You were mentioning a little about love and it is SO true. I felt a great love for all of them. There were two people who were working who I wanted to see, Victor, and Hermano Sotelo, but they were both working. The Hermano could have been there but I didn't say I was coming. It was going to be a surprise so he left to go to work, DANG IT! Oh well.

So today I received my flight plans. I’m not a trunky though. (Trunky=thinking about home and wanting to be home). I just got them in the mail with the temple recommend holders you sent so I will be busy on sending those out to people. Thanks a million for them.

It has been an interesting week. We have been working and not seeing much fruit so I have decided that I am going to be sacrificing and consecrating even more to get miracles. I am trying to do my best to grow and trying to make every day count. I will be honest, there are many times during the week when I think about my mission and really think to myself, ¨I do not want to go home¨. But if I don't go home I can't get married, haha.

You need to tell me where Lauren is going to be getting married because while we are there in California I was thinking of visiting the family of Elder Arzate. I could get those addresses while I’m here and see if he lives close and go pay a visit when we get there. Question: Is Lauren coming to Canada in November or will she stay in California until the wedding?

So I will have the suit that I have now to come home with and Dad mentioned that there is one from Grandpa in the closet waiting for me that could work. I am planning on giving my clothes to Sister Madariaga because she cleans them and fixes them, or has some one do it, and gives them to future missionaries here. I am thinking then I will come back with one shirt and my suit and some clothes that I have acquired here in the mission.

I just got a package from the Somerset primary, a C.D. of them singing. It is really nice. THANKS!!!! to whoever sent it. I could not see a sender’s name. All I saw was “Elder Justin Watt” and I was a little confused. Maybe he sent it, not sure.

I am sending a picture of me and Elder Paterson. He is from the South Stake. Send the picture to Josh Hunter. He knows him. How is Alex Cobb doing on his papers? Is he still planning on sending them in?

Did Cassidy have a baby????

So now Davis has 2 kids! WOW I need to meet them

When we were visiting the family today, who were the first family that I met in Paraguay, I was trembling and very in awe because about 1 year and 5-6 months have passed and there are new kids and BIG babies, kids running that couldn't walk before. I am scared that I will not recognize many people and I think I am going to be REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELYYYY awkward so LO SIENTO !!!!! (I’m sorry).

Now, I need a count. How many new relatives will I have???

It is interesting that there is an Elder Bennett from Canada that JUST got into the mission, so in 2 months there will be two Elder Bennetts from Canada, haha.

Was there any response from Alvarez or Canales (the two letters I sent in Spanish.) Palma Loma is where Elder Alvarez started his mission.

Well I think that about covers it,

LOVE YOU ALL! Pray for all of you,

Elder Lucas Kenneth Rodgers

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 10, 2011

Hola familia! Cómo Están!

Bueno todo está bien aquí en Palma Loma. (All is well here in Palma Loma.) Estamos enseñando a una familia. (We are teaching a family.) Me hace feliz! (It makes me happy.) Estamos enseñándoles en la casa de una familia de miembros quienes son demasiado especiales. (We are teaching at the house of a family of members who…too many…special.) También tenemos otros personas. (Also we have got other people.) But we are having a great time, we are working hard!

I have to mention something that happened a while ago. I ran out of contact lenses and so I am using my glasses, my older glasses.

I will be taking a lot of the General conference messages from your email.

That missionary with the blue tie is Elder Hill on his last day

I really don't know anything about the Visa card thing.

SO big news, we went to the temple on Friday!!!!!!!!!! AND OH MY GOSH!!!!! I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!!!!!! I don't know why my attitude has changed so so so so so so so so so so much. My love for the temple has increased. I can’t wait till the temple is ready in Calgary. I would love to be able to go every week. I am kind of jealous when I have companions that have a temple so close to their house.

Elder Radmall is from Utah, from Lindon, which is about an hour south of Salt Lake City.

I was thinking of picking up some last things from Paraguay, some things here in Luque so if you could put some money in my account, I would like to take some out today. Ask my grandparents if there is anything that they would like from Paraguay.

I am sending another recording that I recorded today.

The quote that Dad sent made me think of a quote that D. Todd Christofferson said a while ago, "Life offers us two things-time, and the freedom to chose with our time what we will do."

To send to Elder Bennett: bring a warm sweater, preferably black, and shoes that have great soles. Get a testimony of the Book of Mormon and don't worry about the language, just love the brothers and sisters from Paraguay. See them how God sees them. Love them as God loves them.

So when does Ethan enter the MTC?

When is Canadian Thanksgiving, I forgot. I’m jealous of the PUMPKIN PIE!!!!! Put some in the fridge, haha, just kidding. Well thanks for everything! I haven’t gotten the letter with the temple recommend holders yet but I have faith it will come.


Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, October 3, 2011

Luke and his new companion, Elder Radmall

City of Luque from the top of Luke's house

October 3, 2011

Hola Familia,
As you know Elder Hill left and I got a new companion. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned him before but I knew him when he started his mission here in Paraguay, Elder Radmall! So that is rad.....(put subtle laugh here). I am really excited to be his companion here. He is a great missionary! We are working with some people here. We do not have many people who are golden but we will be focusing more on finding them and teaching them and opening the door to eternal life. Today we had a council of the zone leaders in Asuncion. We all got together and discussed the state of the mission. This last month we baptized more than the past 6-7 months so we are improving but our pool of investigators is a little empty. We are working with all the tools we have to find good people.
Well I loved General Conference. If you can next week I will bring my pen drive and pick up the files.
I am sending pictures of Elder Radmall and me but if you are going to be using them for the scrapbook I will send better pictures. There are also some pictures that I took standing on a water tower at our house.
It really impacted me the many times that the scripture ¨Be an example of the believers¨ was mentioned in General Conference. Mabye God was trying to get across a point..... haha, also the many times the general authorities said ¨Don´t let Facebook ruin your life¨!!!! I am happy to say that for about 2 years I have not used it and I am STILL ALIVE!!!! Haha. Life goes on without these things haha.
Tell Dallin to send anything to ¨Elder Moreira¨. I see him once in a while. I will pass on Dallin´s email to him so he can get in contact with him.
ALSO MARK JOHNSON!!!!!! 2 missionaries know you 1 in Pedro Jean Caballero . Elder Suarez (Paraguayo) is a branch president in Pedro Juan Caballero and Elder Gonzales (Victor, tambien Paraguayo) is Elders Quorum President in Palma Loma. We go and eat with his family every Friday. Soo just sending that out.
I am also sending a voice recording here. Elder Radmall uses a voice recorder as well as his email to communicate with his family. He always records something with his companion then they send it through email and his family sometimes sends one back but I don’t know if it will work. I will give it a try.

I love you all and we are working as the best missionaries we have ever been in our missions, and are excited!! ¡¡¡¡¡ADELANTE!!!!! (forward)
Love you all!!!

Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

Hola Familia!
Well, Elder Hill goes home on Thursday and on Wednesday I get my new companion. I will know who that is tonight. I am really hoping that it will be one of my older companions. I hope so. There are 30 new missionaries coming (1 from Canada - Elder Bennett, I think, and I heard that he could be from Cardston) and 19 going home. 11 of those missionaries leaving are zone leaders and so 11 new zone leaders have to rise. That gives me a chance to be with Elder Anderson, Elder Meneses or Elder Salvatierra. There are many more but it would be awesome.

We had an interesting week. We are having a HARD time finding new investigators. I don't really know what is going on. It has been bugging me, and it is not only us, our whole zone. We have an awesome reference from a member family of a husband and wife that want to go to church and be baptized and get married. I would be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy if that came through. The husband right now is in Boston, haha, so we will be waiting for him to come back, which makes me remember that there is a recent convert family in our area. A lady that is from Wisconsin. I told her that I think I have family there, but I am not sure? I don’t want to be one of those people who is like, "You’re from Canada. Do you know this person?" But it would be interesting. Also is there an Elder Laycock (I believe that is how you spell it) that served in Uruguay about 4-5 years ago? Because if you know him, I have met his missionary trainer here in Palma Loma.
Mark Johnson---I was in Laurelty this week. I didn't find anyone like Antonia & Juan or Jesus & Petrona. If you had their last name that would be great! I will do another division there. Also yes, you can send me a letter to send to Zaballos Cue. I could forward it to the missionaries in that area.
I also found out that Elder Alverez, my old companion, started (I believe) in this area, so that is cool.

Yesterday we were invited over to the Stake President’s house in the morning before church and we ate pancakes with peanut butter and syurp!!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!
Mom, I bought a purse for you, a leather one, a lot smaller than the last one. I don’t have a picture of it. We went to Luque, (the down town part). There was a small expo there and I also bought a beautiful big white hammock and a wallet for dad. I got some nice earrings for Mom, Lauren and Ragan.
Thanks for everything. Keep me updated on all those questions. Thanks for everything. I love you all.
Love, Elder Rodgers

Monday, September 19, 2011

Luke and Elder Hill, from Arizona - Baptism of Nayeli

September 19, 2011

Hola Familia,
We are doing good out here. We are working hard and looking for the success. We had a baptism this last week of a 10 year old girl, Nayeli (Nay-jely). Her parents would have been baptized too but they need a divorce first so that’s a hard spot. We started making the cake Friday night and put it in the oven, then got ready for bed and went to sleep and FORGOT about it!!!!!!!!! We woke up to a slab of charcoal, haha, so early in the morning we left to a supermercado called “España Supermarket” but it was still closed so we walked a little further to one called “Los Jardines” and bought a new cake, went home, got all our stuff, and went to the church to cook it because the baptism was at 10 AM.
Luque is pronounced (Loo-k) or (Luke-eh). It is a más o menos (more or less) rich place. I really like it. There are some great members that are willing to work and help us. We have been working a lot with the members. It will be so much more effective with them than without. I am so grateful for this chance to be a missionary. We had to give talks on Sunday and I was talking about living what you believe. There was one part where I really felt I said what the spirit wanted me to say and it was really special for me to feel that and be the means for transmitting this message.
There was something that happened yesterday that really got to me. We were looking for the family Isfran (E´s-fran) and we found the mom. It was starting to rain a little but we got to the house and pushed the buzzer. The mom opened the upstairs window and told us ¨Elders, we have our church now. I have been received as a pastor there.¨ (the mom said that....) It was so sad to hear that they wanted to leave the church. How could someone taste the fruit that is ¨most sweet¨ then throw it to the side? The thing that got to me is that if they do not come back as a family they will not be able to be with their family in a state of never ending happiness. That really hit me.
Saturday night it was raining all day long and we had been working in the street. We got home, drenched. I will admit I was a little discouraged. NO ONE LET US IN and it was raining out. We had clapped many doors, including less active members to teach and NO ONE. So I decided and thought to myself ¨I will not go through this if we do not find a miracle¨, so I told my companion that I wanted to say a prayer and find a family that would receive us. Then we walked, clapped, walked, and clapped. Then all of a sudden we passed a house where we had received a reference of some youth. We pushed the buzzer and a youth (Fernando) came out to greet us. He let us in and we gave a good lesson. He accepted a book of Mormon and the invitation to be baptized (ALL our new investigators have to accept this invitation to be called a new investigator). He accepted and said that he will start reading to see if it is true, then his Mom/sister came out and told him to come inside. I felt that this was an answer to our prayers. We are excited to go visit him again. I feel that he will progress.
There are some quotes that we have been using as of lately ¨Work harder than Heck!¨ and “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo DaVinci. And the quote that I quoted in my talk ¨Preach the gospel in every moment, and if necessary, use Words¨ - Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
Thank you for everything, Mom and Dad, and everyone. The church is true!!
Con amor y cariño, (love and affection)
Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, September 12, 2011

More families

Families in Pedro Juan Caballero, September 6, 2011

Luke and companion, Elder Vasquez, in Pedro Juan Caballero

Luke's 21st birthday - Sept. 6, 2011 - The cake and icing mixes, and assorted toppings, were sent in the mail.

September 12, 2011

Hola Familia!
Well big news.... I got a change. I am now in a Ward!!!! in a Stake!!!!! I have a Ward Mission Leader!!!!! It is exciting to me! Haha. The Area is called Palma Loma. It is a neighborhood in a city called Luque, very close to Asuncion. I was told about this change Monday night, so my last day in PJC was my birthday, but that's okay. I have been called to be a Zone Leader with Elder Hill from Arizona. He goes home at the end of this month. So I am excited and we are going to work our butts off!!! It was a little hard saying bye to everyone in Pedro Jean Caballero, especially Ramon and his family. I have grown to love that family. They are a family which is so special to me and it was hard to say bye to them and it was hard to say bye to my old companion, Elder Vasquez (he is such a great missionary), and so many other people that I can’t mention all their names here. I know the Lord called me here and I know we will work. I am excited to be here. We have a couple of baptisms planned. There is a man here whose name is Ramon too, haha. He is kinda different haha but he read the Book of Mormon in 2 days!!!!!! all of it, but he hasn't been to church yet. He is scared of commitment but we will help him. My companion is a great missionary. I am learning soo much! We have had little success here finding new investigators but we are going to be implicating lots of work with the members to get their help because we cannot do this on our own.
Let Mark Johnson know about my change and tell him that Laurelty is in my zone. I possibly could do a division in that area because we have to do divisions in the areas of the District leaders. I do not know exactly when but let him know.

I have been continuing reading the book of Mormon and am coming to 3 Nephi where He is teaching the Sermon on the Mount. It is interesting what He says to them. In two-three chapters He gives a teaching on almost every gospel topic. It is interesting.

I really love Paraguay and I love the people. I have come to feel a great love for them even when they are rude, haha. There are some of the humblest people that live here and they have taught me soo much. I am so thankful for them. I have been thinking about asking permission later on to visit some of my old areas in the coming months on some P-days to see how my old converts are doing. There are so many people here that are very dear to me. I send my love to everyone, knowing the Church is true! I pray for you all! Love Elder Lucas Rodgers

P.S. Thanks for everything Mom and Dad. I really love you guys so much! You do so much for me and I can feel your love from far away. I pray for you two daily.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Baptism of Ana Paula - Sept 3, 2011

September 5, 2011

Well, family, it is good to hear from you all.
We had another baptism this Saturday, a young woman named Ana Paula who we were teaching. Her mom all of a sudden came over and talked to us. We were sharing with her when all of a sudden she said, "I have a confession to make...I am a member of the church!" So we had no idea, neither did Ana Paula. But her mom said that she was baptized about 15 years ago! The mom came to the baptism of her daughter and after the ordinance they were in the women's bathroom changing and my companion was changing in the men's bathroom. He told me after that he heard them crying, and exiting the bathroom he saw that they had been. The Lord has touched this family! Almost the same thing happened when Ramon was baptized. He was talking with my companion in the bathroom and I don't know why buy I had an impression to get up and go to the bathroom. They were talking and when I got there he said, "I wanted to thank you guys for bringing me to this point." He gave us both a hug and said that from now on it won't be easy. Yesterday after church he invited us over to eat. There was a girl from Concepción that is staying there, renting a room. He always calls her his daughter (the girl in the picture of his baptism in the middle in pink) and she goes to an evangelical church and was asking us a lot of questions. There came a point when Ramon started testifying to her how the Book of Mormón is not "another gospel". The spirit was strong and told me to BE QUIET and let him talk. After that the girl didn't say a word.
Something interesting that I have noticed here - we always bring up that the families can be together forever and there are usually one of two responses: 1) the people that say, “obviously, of course” and 2) the people that say, “no that is impossible. It does not say that in the Bible.” Sometimes it makes me think, how could you not even want that to be true. Maybe the people that have a harder time believing that are the people that maybe don't have the best relationship with their family. "We thank thee oh God for a prophet".
Well, Dad, get ready. They had to release you so that they can call you into the stake! Watch out haha!
I love you all so much. I know the church is true. The Lord answers our prayers and knows us. The Lord knows every one of us even though sometimes we think our existence is so insignificant. He knows us. I know he does. The Lord prepares our path and we must confide in him. Thanks you for your examples in my life. I always tell the couples here that the example is the best lesson. There was a general authority that said, "Share the gospel every day, and if it is necessary use words." God lives and so does his Son Jesus Christ. Jesus truly is the Christ.
I love you all dearly, and pray that you have all the blessings that our Heavenly Father has for you all.
Con amor,
Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, August 29, 2011

Edgar (ex-missionary, see Aug 8) with Elder Vasquez's nametag

The Same Authority

Ramon Family (Baptism of Ramon)

Our House

Baptism of Javier (with Luke and Elder Vasquez and Javier's uncles )

August 29, 2011

Hola Familia!

Before we talk about that topic that you guys had looked into for me, we had the baptism of Ramon!! It was amazing! After the baptism he showed so much gratitude. Today we have a family home evening with his family. Then Sunday after church we had the baptism of Javier, the nephew of Vicente, which was great. Tonight we have to leave for a city called Santani for a zone conference. Elder Melvin J. Arnold will be there, so that will be interesting. We are excited. We are working great with the branch. We had about 70 people in church. There was a moment when I thought that we would have to open the curtains. But it was a great Sunday. We are working with future leaders in the branch and are seeing success. We have been working with 2 ex-branch presidents and a couple of other men that are coming back to church. Now Ramon can have a calling. We have mentioned many times to President that he should give a calling to Ramon. EXITO!!! (success)

LAUREN!! I was just looking at the pictures of you and Aaron. You and Ragan have married men that are… well,don’t have hair, so DO NOT expect that I will marry a girl that does not have any hair, hahaha. But hey, awesome news!!! You have to send me an invitation! because I will come!

What you mentioned about the "Non-Matriculated Adult admission" sounds like a good idea, I will see what I can do to write an application form this week. I cannot guarantee that I will have sufficient time but I will do my best to finish it. Does it have to be long or short? How many pages?

I want to send these quotes this week;

Two people can do anything if one of them is the Lord.


The power of prayer usually comes after "Amen".

I don’t really know who was the first persona to say those but I really like them.

Let me bear my testimony to finish.

Che aikua ko tupao ha'e Hesukrísto mba'e ha ha'e añetegua, che aikua pe Mormon Kuatiañe'ê ha'e ha ñandejara ñe'ê, che aikua José Smith ha'e hagua peteí profeta. ha che aikua aleerupi ha aporandu haguere ñandejarape, ha ha'e he'icheve añeteguaha ha upearupi. Aikua Hesukrísto ha'e ha che salvarod, ha ñande salvador, ha ñande ha'e Ita'yra Kuera! Ha ko'amba'e ha'e pe ême Hesukrísto rerape, amén.

Love, Elder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, August 22, 2011

Luke and Elder Vasquez

Luke in Pedro Juan Caballero

August 22, 2011

Hola familia!
Well we had a good week but we are back in the cold :(. We were planning for the baptism of Ramon this week then it came down to the interview and he has some doubts still so we are going to continue to work with him. We had a great Sunday. A lot of less active members came to church, 55 people in total. Then we had a branch council!!!! finally! We got things going. We are going to be working with the members this week and working a ful! This week we moved so now we are living behind some members in a new house that they built! So that is great. It is a brand new house. (When I say house I mean 2 rooms - a bathroom and a kitchen and room for tables.)

We have the family of Andres y Christina and yesterday we went to their house and they showed a couple of doubts. They did not like how in Relief Society and Priesthood they had to separate from each other (which is the first time that someone has said that about the church). Also we have been hearing a lot of stuff about the Sabbath day, if it is Saturday or Sunday (not from them but others). Sometimes I am just soooo grateful for modern revelation. It just helps soo much to understand!!!!!

Well I will answer your questions. Really the invitations of who will be there and when they get there would be great. I don’t have anything against that.

You guys have mentioned that you want me to think of things that I would like to study. See what you can find about teaching Spanish and Music. I don’t know - maybe in junior high or something. Something that Elder Thomson told me is start a Spanish immigration program. It would be a big undertaking. The basic thing is that I love the Spanish language and want to continue to study it and apply it. I feel the Lord had me learn it for some reason more than my mission. Also I have thought a lot about trying to learn French because after learning one language I have heard that the 2nd is easier. And I have always thought about teaching music. Those are two things that I really love. I’m not sure if you could find classes about those topics. I love you guys soo much and always pray that God may bless you all.

Love Elder Lucas Rodgers

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 15, 2011

Hey Family!
WOW, sounds like you guys are having a blast! You guys had better have some good hikes planned for next year!!! It was funny, last night I had horrible stomach problems, so after our last visit we booked it home because I knew I would have to use the bathroom. I was walking fast and my companion and Rodrigo at times had to jog/run to catch up to me. I had one goal in mind...... hahahahaha, so it looks like I’m ready for the mountains but that will still be in about one year unless there are some good winter hikes haha.
We had a family come to church! They are not married YET!!!!! WAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! (Evil cry) We are going to be working with them along with 2 other families, one being Ramon. We are going to be working with his wife, BECAUSE....... there was a baptism/wedding in rama 5 and the zone leaders’ phone is gone so the missionary called me to give the interview. We gave Ramon a call to invite him and he said the he would go! He went with his wife. During the wedding he mentioned that marriage was a mistake and so we are planning some things to teach.
This change has gone by SOOO fast. Here in the mission days go by like hours, weeks go by like days, and months go by like weeks..... It is scary. I CANNOT believe that we are in the middle of Augusto. Last Monday the office called me asking me at what airport I wanted to land so that was fast that they forwarded it to you.
That is great to hear how all the family is doing! I am happy that you are all doing well!
Sorry for the short letter. I think I will take out a little money soon because I am almost broke. Thanks for everything!
Love from the south!
Elder Lucas Rodgers

Luke and companion

Playing around at a park

Jerseys that I bought

August 8, 2011

Hola familia!!!1
MILAGROS (miracles)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well now to explain.......Bueno! I think that all of the continuation has a lot to do with the fast that we did and I am sure I can say the fast that everyone around did for the obra misional! (missionary work). Right after we started our fast we got a call from an ex-missionary who we have been working with ever since I have been here. He has never been to church. He called us to give him a hand because he hadn't been feeling too good. Well he came to church. Today we went by his house and we set goals with him that he will always be strong and come to church. We had received a reference from him. One of his neighbors just had a baby 9 days ago and is SUPER interested in the church!!! We have a family to work with!!!!! which is my dream!!!!
The older son of the Gonzalez family came to church for the last 20 min which was great because it was the first time in 15 years!!!!
But the best thing!!!! was that there was a young woman that got up to bear her testimony and the spirit filled the room, everyone was silent.... She bore a STRONG testimony and touched the hearts of everyone there. It was an answer to our prayers!!
I got your package that you sent for my birthday! Thanks!!
I am sending pictures of:

- the shirts/Jerseys that I bought, each shirt does not have a name behind it but you can talk within yourselves about which one will be for who, or **IMPORTANT** if anyone wants another color!
- today at a park playing ultimate Frisbee and playing around (Elder Halliday is in the background)
- pictures after our super - long travel
As of last week I lost 2 Kilos! haha about 4.5 Lbs haha line for line, precept for precept.
Thanks for everything! Love from afar,

Elder Lucas Rodgers

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Nametags!

August 1, 2011

Hey Family!

Sounds like it was a good farewell. I have sent a letter to Spencer. I’m not sure if he has mentioned anything. It was a good 3-4 weeks ago. Well good news - we have been teaching and working a FULL SCHEDULE!!!!!!!!! and it really is noticed when I wake up in the morning and my companion tells me that I sat up in my sleep and started teaching the lessons in Spanish, of course hahahaha. Multiple nights I have been sleep walking, teaching, praying, exercising hahahaha. I understand when they tell you that the work should be part of you, ha ha.
We have Ramon Ortega with an invitation to be baptized this Saturday, and Rafaela Rivas also. We will see. They still are missing some things but I know that by Saturday they will be ready. The topic came up with Ramos that the family is eternal. He has a hard time believing that.... what a chupa (cheap) doubt! The second Sunday when he was at church in priesthood meeting that came out as a doubt. There was a returned missionary there that explained a little bit to him. After church Edgar (ex-missionary) was commenting something to us about the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was a topic that I had heard about but the actual topic and information was unfamiliar. Yesterday we had a FHE with his family to help the inactive brothers; although they did not come.... We talked about missionary work with the family then Edgar got out a paper called "Los Escritos del Mar Muerto"
(The Writings of the Dead Sea) and wow, it was interesting. I’m not sure if you guys have heard of that.
Today I will buy the shirts and we’ll see how they turn out. Hopefully there are no "I don’t like that color" haha. Well all is well here in Paraguay. I am sending a picture of another plaque (nametag) that I got this week. Look carefully there are 3 different languages there, Portuguese, Spanish, Guarani.
You guys will have to send me pictures because I am 100% sure that Dad will be hiking! Enjoy it. We are hiking down here on rock roads. The only thing missing are mountains but while we were going to Yby Yau there was some great scenery. If you google it you may be able to find pictures of the landscape. Try Amambay, Paraguay scenery or "cerros" (hills), something like that,
We had a great meeting with President. I am excited to use what we learned to help and find more and more people!
With love from a cold, rainy, foggy, humid Pedro Juan Caballero!
Love Elder Lucas Rodgers