Monday, February 28, 2011

Luke's district Feb. 2011

Missionaries in Concepcion Feb 2011

Luke's feet

February 28, 2011

Hola Familia!!!!
Wow this week/change went by soo fast! We are going to know changes tonight. I really don't want to leave but I think I will be leaving.
We have had SOOOOOO much rain.
Lots of things happened! I stepped on a nail in the rain. We were hopping from rock to rock and thing of wood and I didn't see the nail sticking out, then 3 days of limping... how fun. Now it is okay. Also when we were doing laundry last week I was hanging up my clothes and, justamente! (exactly) stepped on an anthill with red ants so my feet are a disaster!
We gave a Plan of Salvation booklet to a lady the other day and went back to see if she read it. She said yes and I was excited to see what she remembered. She said ¨pages 13-14 - what did it talk about?¨ ¨Juan and Ada¨..... I looked at it and it was a picture of Christ when he was resurrected appearing to Maria and the 3 grades of gloria...... so she almost got it.......haha.
“Drop some cane” means to chew somebody out.
Yesterday we had a discussion with a (what I would call it a Catholic priest). He told us lots of interesting things - that Jesus was baptized to purify the water, that Adam was not a prophet, that Moses failed his position as a prophet..... a lot of other things too. All we did was bear our testimony and leave, after trying to explain things, but his heart was too hard to understand our message.
Sorry for the short letter but we are going to be going to the bridge today. That is in Concepcion, which will be really awesome so I will send pictures of that next week.
There is a picture with my zone and then in orange shirts are the missionaries in Concepcion. Elder Lombardo and Hermana Ramache are going home this change, and the picture of 4 people is my district. The shirt is a shirt that we made as a souvenir.
Well thanks for everything that you guys do for me! I love you guys soo much.
Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, February 21, 2011

Derlis Ibanez in a suit

Spiders on the telephone lines at night

February 21, 2011

Hola Familia!
How are you all doing? Thanks, Lauren, for your update email. Sounds like you are doing great! Have fun and keep me updated POR FAVOR! Thanks for the pictures too!
Wow, what a hot week we had, a lot of rain too. You guys can't even imagine the heat. Lauren, I had a companion from California who went to Berkley and he said this heat was hotter than California.
We had a good week and Sunday was more or less good. We had a great first 2 hours, then 2 min before sacrament meeting President came to us asking/telling us that we had to give talks today. So that was alright, we could. My companion and elder Packard gave talks about the Sabbath Day. They were good talks that helped show the things that we can do and the things that we should avoid (because the members here have a sense that they can buy food and do anything after church). The members were outside doing some gambling games. It killed our excitement. But it’s passed. We’ll just have to go and DROP SOME CANE!!!!! Just kidding, but we are going to have a talk with the members.
Remember this less active boy (Derlis Ibañez) that we gave mission papers? He came to church with a suit!!!!! It was awesome to see him like that, and also 2 less active families-well 2 ladies and one had 3 kids with her. So it was a good day.
One interesting thing in Concepcion is that at night there are spiders that go up in the telephone lines and wires. They have big webs and there are sometimes billons of little spiders all over the lines (see photo).
And I just bought a memory card for my camera. 2 GB for 40 Mil which is a little under $10 and guess what? We went to this place that sells American things. I found pumpkin pie filling!!!!!!!! Now I need to find someone who can make the pie shell!!! So that is awesome and when I walked into the internet shop our Zone Leader was here and he gave me a package that had my contact lenses and juice packets! Thanks a lot. I got the address from Gen. I am in the midst of writing a letter back. Thanks for giving the letters out! That sounds good about the garments. Tell Brandon (Spencer´s brother) congratulations for me! Tell him I am happy for him. The same with Kelly and Jake. They will be awesome missionaries!! There are 2 Paraguayans that are serving in my mission - two brothers - and they are the only members in their family, serving in the same mission! It’s really cool I think.
I love you guys so much. Pray that we will have some cooler weather here. That would be something awesome!
Mom for your class, all I can say is teach with the spirit, teach by the spirit and you will touch their hearts and their hearts will be turned to wanting to preach the gospel like it says in “Preach My Gospel”.
“What does the Atonement have to do with missionary work? Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. . . . A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others.” (“The Atonement and Missionary Work,” seminar for new mission presidents, June 1994). Pg.13
If the atonement touches their lives there will be a strong desire to serve a mission.
Thanks for all that you have done for me. Have a good week.
Élder Lucas Rodgers

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011

How are you guys doing? This is weird to think that Steph and David will both be married in a week (well obviously we all know that David is already married) but wow!! Lacking Jessica and Dustin, but Dustin still has a while after his mission. So I received a letter from Lauren, well, a postcard, saying that she has a new man in her life, and today being Valentines Day or singles-awareness day, I think that I have permission to ask Who?, What?, and When? Thanks for the talk about writing in a journal. It is something that I need to get better at. Zone conference was awesome! I learned a lot, and a lot of new things.
I would like to fill you guys in a little bit about my new companion, Elder Meneses. He just barely hit 2 years as a member of the church. He lives in "La Pampa" in Argentina and is the only member of his family who is a member of the church. He received a strong testimony of the church. When he told his family he wanted to serve a mission they were furious with him. His mom treated him like he wasn't her child, didn't feed him or talk to him. His dad offered him a job and he turned it down and his dad was mad. When he left his parents were still mad but he saw a miracle when he called home for Christmas. When he talked to his family they were not mad at him which made him extremely happy. He is a great elder and the best part is that he knows the reason why he is in the mission.
We have been teaching a cool family. They are a less-active family. One son works in the Chaco and comes back once in a while but his wife lives at home. Her name is Sara Pinto. We have been having some great lessons with them and the best part is that she has been reading and praying and it looks like she has been getting an answer. They are a great family. Something else is that we had district conference yesterday and President Madariaga came to preside. We had a missionary choir. We sang a few hymns and the song “Sisters in Zion\Army of Helaman”. It was really powerful for me. After the regular church meeting where we didn't have any of our investigators because of the SUPER HEAVY RAIN that came when we were heading over there, I talked to Sister Madariaga and she told us that they could do some visits with us. So we went to go visit a family in the other missionaries of rama 2 because President needed to do temple interviews and he didn't know where they lived. Then we went to go visit a family in our area. They have a son in the mission and 5 other children at home but they’re not all active. We went to visit one of them with President Madariaga and he gave the boy mission papers and my companion gave him a white shirt and a belt. Then we went back a couple hours later to see how he took it. The mom said that he is excited to put his papers in which really made our day. So we had a good Sunday.
This week I received the package from Sister Snowden. Please send her my thankyous. There is a store here that sells American things that should be donations, but they get them and they sell them haha. You can get Reeses Pieces there - a 1/2 lb for Gs3 mil, which is $0.67 or 1 lb for 6 or 10 mil. But to show that it is super illegal it is only open Thursday in the morning from 9 - 12 a.m. when the police are not watching but I'm sure the police know and go there too haha. There has never been this candy when I went but the other elders always come back with a bag full of Reeses Pieces.
I got a letter from Gen. It was the first one I got. It was a Dear Elder. Thanks! I will be sending one back (if someone can send me her address....). It also mentioned about sending pictures. Anyone can send me pictures through this email. just like I have noticed Grandma has been doing, (Well sending emails).
Well thanks for everything, The Church here in Concepcion is growing slowly but along with anything else it has to find its foundation, which is where Helaman 5:12 comes in and saves the day! The base of this stake has to be Jesus Christ or it will fall. I feel so privileged to take part in the formation of one of the stakes in Zion and grateful for the confidence the Lord has in me. I love you guys so much! Stay safe and may God be with you.
P.S. About miracles- some missions it’s hard to get into a house. Some missions if you teach a lesson on a contact it’s rare. In this mission we can clap a house and the people come to us and the first thing they ask us is, "Are you guys going to come in?" or "Do you want to come in?" Miracles come in different shapes and forms.
Con Amor,
Elder Lucas Rodgers

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Countryside of Paraguay

Luke in back yard

Echague house, Sunday lunch - Luke and Pedro Echague

President Medina and rented church building

Concepcion street

February 7, 2011

Hola Che Familia-Kuera!
How are you guys doing?
We have been having some hot days here and a lot of humidity like you guys said. Tomorrow we will be in Asuncion for zone conference. We leave here at 11.50ish and will get there about 6/6.30 so that will be fun.
I will answer your questions about the pictures for last week because I forgot to explain. The one with the shelter is the family Echague, when we went there to eat on Sunday. We have Sunday lunch with them every week so that is great! That is one of their sons, Pedro Echague and the other joven (young man) is Alez. I forget his last name. We started working with him when I first got to Concepcion and we were working with him but he decided to get baptized and I was given the privilege to do his interview. It was something very special for me to do and to hear his testimony. He will be a great help at church.
I said the work was hard here because Rama 2 is a very small rama (Branch) and the leaders don't always complete what they need to do so we do a little extra than what our responsibilities are. But if I was called to serve here that is what I have to do. It is not the easiest. We have been working with the wife of a recent convert but it is a weird situation because her daughter pretty much runs her life and tells her if she can go to the church or not and if her mom has plans to go to church she will call someone to take her somewhere else. It is a challenging situation. But it is awesome here. I don't think I ever want to leave Concepcion.
This thing of leather that I have that has the Flames and the Stampeders I had made for a thing to hang on the wall.
Don't worry about the memory card. I will look and buy one here. They can be found here. I think I will be sending another one so keep it for a while because I need one pretty quick. I am putting all my pictures on that red pen drive you guys sent then erasing them from my camera onto the pen drive that you guys sent me.
I have been seeing improvements here. This time as a missionary has been a time in my life that I can never forget. Send me a scripture or something that will help me write in my journal. I have been forgetting a lot, so something that will show the necessity of writing down these things. Sorry it was not a big letter but I have plans to send a letter by snail mail so that I can include more information. I still am a slow typer once and a while and the other times I am faster. I don't understand how that happens plus the computer I am using doesn’t work the best to type.
There is a picture of the branch president (President Medina) and the church building (we're renting).
Thanks for everything you guys do for me!
Love you guys so much
Elder Lucas Rodgers