Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Week of 12/19/11

I can't believe that it is already almost Christmas time. Really crazy. It is raining out now and doesn't really feel like Christmas. But it seems that it might snow by Christmas here which would be sweet. This past week has been good. We got to see a good number of people. Then we had a ward Christmas dinner and party that was really good and got to see a lot of people, that we invited, come to it. SO that was sweet. Then the other day we had an Elders Quroum white elephant party. It was nice. Since missionaries are cheap, our gift was 2 pieces of chocolate, one of those little games where you flick balls into U-shaped things with scores on them (except ours didnt have any balls in it), and a 1/2 bottle of used nyquil. They got a kick out of that. So, sweet week of hanging out with members and helping out some people this week. We really need to work harder though when it comes to finding investigators and getting them to progress. That has been a problem in this area forever. Plus it is really hard this next couple of weeks with Christmas and ppl out of town and all that jazz. But we are optimistic that things will get better as we work alot harder. Our missionary mutual thing this Wednesday with the youth in our ward was really good. They got excited to pass out Book of Mormon's and pamphlets and stuff. Always nice to get some ward support in missionary work. Elder Miller is nothing like my last companion so it is different getting adjusted to his teaching style, personality, etc. But it should be good. We both want to work hard and just need to plan right to meet our goals and do all we can to keep working. Funny that I almost forgot this week we get to call home. Kinda weird thinking that I can talk to my family. It hasn't felt too long. But I am excited to call and see how things are and talk to y'all. Everything has been really good here and doing well. I am finally getting over a cold that I have had for like a week now but its chill.
Can't wait to talk to everyone on Christmas. Hope everyone else has a good Christmas and take the time to remember what Christmas is about and slow down the commercialism of Christmas and reflect on not just the birth, but the whole life of the Savior and what He has done for us all. May we all keep Christ in Christmas.
Love you all. Thanks for the many prayers.
Elder Roe

P.S.-Good news! Elder Roe got his Christmas tree and trimmings! It was in the office of his apartment complex!
Here's a few pictures....more to come!

This is Elder Roe and his MTC companion.

The BOM is the BOMB!

Elder Roe and Elder Palmer with Cameron at his farewell party. Cameron left for his mission. He will be serving in Raleigh, NC.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week of 12/12/11


This past week was transfers. I stayed in Wichita & Elder Palmer left. My new companion has been out for a while and his name is Elder Miller. He is a pretty chill guy. Miller is from Lehi, UT. I think we will have a really good transfer. His main goal is to baptize and I think we can do it if we really work hard. So I'm pretty excited. But other than transfers, it was a relatively slow week. We didn't get a whole lot of stuff done with transfers and all that stuff going on. We tried to go out the other day for a couple hours but it was way too cold and I was getting sick and just not a good combo with the wind and stuff. This week with the car should be a lot better. I can't believe it is already 2 weeks away from Christmas. Time has flown. We have our work cut out for us with lots of people we need to see and to find new investigators. Yesterday Elder Miller and I had to give talks in Church. I thought it went very well. We really helped the ward realize the grave importance of missionary work and the wards role in helping us out. Plus we have a missionary mutual this coming Wednesday so I am pretty stoked for that too. So not a lot to report on. Chill week and really looking forward to working hard with the people we have now to boost the work in this area. Hopefully Elder Miller and I can really baptize in this area which has had a rough past in missionary work.
Love you all,
Elder Roe

P.S. (from Lorraine) Elder Roe also reported that he is sending us some pictures this week. They should have been mailed yesterday! YAY! I have been begging/bugging him about pictures! I will post those as soon as I get them. Also, I was bummed to find out that he never received the Christmas tree and trimmings that we sent him. The delivery confirmation says that is was delivered on Dec. 5th. I hope it went to a good home.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week of 12/5/11

So this week has been a tough one. We really had all of our appointments cancel on us this week, people not answering, dodging, etc. Not that exciting. My companion and I both realized how we have people to teach and meet goals and such but none of the investigators are progressing really or solid. They are just nice people that let us talk to them. None have a desire to actually change their lifestyles. So we are going to have to work extra hard to keep teaching and finding new investigators that the Lord has prepared. I had my first encounter with a "Do Not Contact" on the ward roster. There was a family we didn't know about and knocked on their door. Kids answered saying the parents weren't there but to try back later. Elder Palmer said he had a "good feeling" about the family. The ward didn't know anything about them so we went a different time to go see them. We knocked and immediately I got a really bad feeling. We go upstairs to this really small attic place where the husband was smoking and playing some computer dragon thing. Tried small chat (obviously he was less active with the smoking) but he didn't buy it. He started ranting about anti stuff, how God doesn't exist, psychology justification and all this other junk. I understood what he was saying with my experience in psychology classes, but he had very extreme points of view that have no evidence or anything. We tried to invite the spirit in the home, but it wasn't happening. I just sat and listened, asked a couple questions to make sure that he didn't have any other concerns just that he had crazy philosophy. So that was a really sweet experience I thought bc I got to deal rather well with someone heavily opposed to the church. I didn't freak out, I wasn't disappointed, I bore my testimony, invited him to read the Book of Mormon and he declined. Missionary work is filled with times where people don't want to change or do the things you invite them to do to come closer to Christ, but I can walk away knowing that I did my part as a missionary to preach the gospel and allow people to use their agency. So that was an interesting experience that went better than it could have and we won't be visiting him anymore. So this week has been slow and no real progress made on investigators. We just need to keep working hard to help out the ward, find people who are prepared, and teach with the spirit. I felt that we have helped a couple struggling recent converts this past week. A few have ran into problems and don't have that fellowship or friends in the church to want to come to church or have worries about coming to church. Many are really attached to the missionaries, but when 1 leaves, they get really sad and don't want to come bc they have no other friends in the church. It is so key to welcome investigators and recent converts into the church so they feel that they have a friend. Get them hometeachers and visiting teachers. They need someone that they can lean on and ask questions about the gospel when the missionaries have moved on or just cant see them as often. We have been working a lot with that this past week. It is getting better for a couple of them.
It is no longer warm here. Just cold, and windy all the time. Tomorrow is a low of 15 so I am excited for that. We have bike week this week too so that should really cool to walk in the freezing cold. Thanks for the winter clothes bc I will need it. I just realized that I am almost 5 months out on my mission. This has been pretty dang quick. But I have really enjoyed my time so far and look forward to more time in this area hopefully. Transfers is this Thursday so I am really curious to see what is going to happen. I am pretty sure that I am staying here and Elder Palmer is leaving. He has been in this area for 9 months. All I know is that one of us is definitely leaving. Don't find out until tomorrow so everyone in this area is biting their nails bc it is so unpredictable.
I love you all. Thanks for the love and support!
Elder Roe

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week of 11/28/11


This past week has been pretty good. It was Thanksgiving week so it is harder to see people and useless to tract because no one wants to let you in to talk bc they are with family or something. We spent Thanksgiving going to the turkey bowl. It was so sweet. There was like 6 missionaries there and like 30 more people from 3 diff wards. I loved it. Did pretty good. Dominated on defense with like 7-8 interceptions but overall it was fun to get out and play football. It was like in the 30s but it wasn't really windy so the weather was perfect. Then when we got back, we were invited to like 4 peoples houses and we were trying to decide who to walk to when we got a call from this recent convert (Ed, 80 yrs old or something) saying he was on his way to pick us up. So we rushed to get ready and went to his house to have lunch. It was nice. We met all his kids and grandkids. They were all very nice. Sweet to be in that family kind of home. I enjoyed it and the food was pretty good. The rest of the day we just chilled and watched church movies and planned. No one else wanted to see us bc they were with family so thought it best to just chill and not bother everyone. Rest of the week was tougher. Not many people to teach, lots of people out of town, and not interested. This coming week should be good tho. We have a couple part-member families that we are working with and hopefully reactivate them and get them to come back to church and get the rest of their family baptized too. That is were you find the most success. Members who have other family members that don't go to church or no real religious background. So we get to invite people to come closer to Christ and at the same time bring families closer together and more unified. I am excited for a mutual activity I have got together with the YM/YW to have a missionary oriented activity and lesson by us and challenge them to not be so afraid to talk to their friends about the gospel. People want to hear about the gospel by people they know and trust so if we can get members to open their mouths and talk about their beliefs, then investigators will be more open and receptive. Spanish for me is pretty stagnant. I don't really have an opportunity to talk much in spanish in this area but I still try and learn or read the scriptures in spanish. I also like to say prayers in spanish. We have a part member family tho that is spanish and I get to talk to him for a bit. I also got to talk to this spanish elder from Mexico who knows like no english for 1 1/2 hr. That was fun. He said that my spanish is perfect, better than he has heard from us gringos. That was sweet and motivated me to study better so one day I can go on exchanges with him in his area and be able to speak spanish all day to people. That would be pretty legit.
All is well here. Windy and cold, but all good. The other day we could hardly walk straight with how strong the wind was blowing. I enjoy it tho. Cant believe it is already almost Christmas. Time is flying and with our schedules we don't ever know what day it is so holidays and such sneak up pretty quick. Thanks for the love and support. Good to hear from y'all.
Elder Roe

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Week of 11/21/11

Hola! This past week has been a busy one. We really worked hard to teach a lot of people and find more people to teach. It has been good. Apparently our mission is going thru a change. We moving our focus from, finding to inviting, for baptism. Some guy from Salt Lake came to congratulate our mission that we are #4 in the nation on finding. The best 3 missions are all in Utah. So our mission is doing really good as a whole. But he wants to switch more emphasis on getting people to church and more baptisms. New programs and leadership is going to come the next transfer so I am pretty excited to see some changes. Should be good.
We taught 24 lessons this past week which was really good. You normally get like 19 or 20. So we worked really hard this past week. This coming week should be interesting with bike week but still hoping we can see a lot of people. All is doing really well here. It is starting to get really cold and snowed again the other day. Apparently we are in for a really rough winter. Excited for it though. Not really a whole lot of things to report. Life is going good here in the mission and this Thanksgiving things should be good. We have a couple people that offered to feed us, so we will probably just go around trying to see everyone and hopefully get some new investigators with family and friends getting together to eat and such.
Love you all. Thanks for the package. Good to hear from everyone.
Elder Roe

Week of 11/14/11

Hola! This week has been pretty good. We had exchanges with the ward next to ours and the elders we share the car with. That was Tuesday. It went okay. The elder I was with is a hard worker and trying to build back some member trust that has been downhill with the past few elders in the area. Then Wednesday we walked like 8-10 miles trying to see people and try to find some new investigators. I love walking, hate biking. Elder Palmer is the complete opposite. He loves biking and can go forever, but struggles walking anything more than 2 miles. I think walking is more effective in street contacting people anyway. But it was an okay week. Taught quite a few people, although we have found out that the only people that are interested in learning more about the gospel or the investigators we teach are crazy, mental, or less-accountable. It is a problem because they just don't get what we say and don't progress so we have to drop them and stop teaching them. The only success we will ever find in new investigators is through member referrals. That has always been the case, so it is just a matter of encouraging the ward to be more proactive in helping and talking to their friends about the gospel. Then we keep having our recent converts having withdraws of old temptations and not coming to church, so that is a problem we have been trying to address and work with as well. I thought a couple of them are starting to feel the spirit more and remember what their baptismal covenants are, But good week. Glad we go back to the car this week. It is hard to exercise on bike week because we cant really go anywhere and don't want to work too hard and not be able to bike later that day so looking forward to this upcoming week. Ward council and the other meetings we have are going a lot better now. The ward is starting to realize we pester them until they do their home teaching and they need to follow-up with us better. Our ward is starting to become more excited about missionary work. We just had a kid in our ward leave for his mission in 2 days. He will be serving in Raleigh NC so that is cool. His name is Cameron and his brother is already out on a mission in Cali and his younger brother will go on his mission 1 month prob after Cameron gets back from his. So really neat family. We went to his farewell to say bye and give him some ties yesterday. A member in our bishopric told us that apparently 2 missionaries died in Texas while getting hit by a car on their bikes. There was a 3rd missionary with them but he survived. It was a hit n run but the guy eventually turned himself in I guess. Pretty crazy. That is one reason I like walking instead of biking but Elder Palmer doesn't share my enthusiasm for walking.
But it has been a good week and looking forward to this week. One of the members took us out to Chili's last week and is going to do it again this Thursday too. Pretty excited for that. I found out that Cherry pie is the worst thing on the planet to swallow down and hope that doesn't happen again. I have been nice about eating food I don't like/tried yet and suffer through it anyway. I also found out that my allergies with dogs isn't as bad as I thought. Since every person on the planet has a dog but us, I am exposed to lots of dogs. At first it wasn't great because I would tear up and get a little bit of allergies going but that has changed to were I can handle them now and it doesn't really bother me unless it sheds like crazy and gets in my face.
Thanks for all the love and support. I really appreciate it. I am doing the Lords work here and great to focus on that and not have to worry about anything else. Good to hear that all is well and love you all.

Elder Roe

Week of 11/7/11


This past week has been a busy one. We were teaching a lot of people. We also had a few people have trouble and run into problems that we had to help them fix. It has been really touching to help someone in need. Whether it is with the repentance process, finding comfort in trials, or understanding the scriptures and strengthening a wavering testimony. I felt we did a really good job in helping others this week. Really kept us busy. But is has been rewarding as we help them and see the affects we have on the less-active, active, or non-members in our area. It's been a great week.
If you have been hearing the news, Oklahoma has been slammed with earthquakes. Late Saturday, around 10:45 pm, like 50 miles north of Oklahoma City there was a 5.4 or something that we actually felt. We were in bed and the bed started to shake. I thought it was Elder Palmer shaking his bed against the wall or something but we both looked up at each other, wondered the same thing and was like "I think that was an earthquake." So sweet. It was really cool to feel. Nothing went bad and nothing even fell. We just felt our bed moving involuntarily. Kinda funny.
It has been getting chilly recently so that is good. A little rainy too but my jacket piece that i tore out from my big huge snow jacket is working perfect. keeps you warm and dry. It's raining today and tomorrow, so that should be fun bike days. It's all good.
So we have had a good time. We have been busy trying to find new investigators and teach 1 or 2 ppl we actually have progressing. One really needs some time and work into but she might pull through if she keeps her commitments to read the book of mormon and stuff. We also have been trying to help progress this part member family that has been worked with for several years. Nothing really has come of it and the husband (nonmember) hasn't shown much enthusiasm in wanting to learn more. I finally just told him to read the book of mormon if he wants happiness in his life and a stronger foundation to teach their young child and be in a gospel centered home to teach his child and one on the way. So I was bold in my testimony so hopefully he follows thru and starts to realize the importance of the gospel in his home. It was a good experience for me to teach him and I felt I did my part in bearing my testimony on how the gospel can change his family and better his life and now it is up to him to do his part and actually do it. Time will tell.
Thanks for all the love and support. I miss you all. All is well here.

Elder Roe

Week of 10/31/11

What's up family?

Things here are doing pretty well. We had transfers this past Thursday so that was fun. I already knew that Elder Palmer and I are staying in our area. But our sister ward next to us, we switch off every week with the car, got a new missionary who came out with Elder Palmer and close to the end of his mission. I am pretty happy because the missionary that stayed, could use a little push and really needed a missionary who works hard and they can actually accomplish goals and teach more people. This past week was a really busy one. We were biking and walking a lot trying to teach as many people as possible. I was really happy because we finally met with this part member family. The husband walks out and starts talking to us. This was the first time we met him. He had a thick accent so I asked where he was from. He said mexico and I got so excited. We talked in spanish for a bit and talked to the other kids and stuff. It was such a sweet experience. We set up another time to meet with them and in the mean time we can find out from the ward who isn't baptized in the family because they are really solid and want to come back to church. We find out both parents are and a kid which we didn't know that the spanish guy was already baptized but we are hoping to reactivate them and baptize the rest of the kids. We also had some success with this referral we got from a less-active crazy guy. The lady is nice and she came to church yesterday and really liked it and wants to learn more. She is starting to really open getting to know members of the church. I think we have a really good fellowship for her which is really awesome. I was praying the whole time that she would feel the spirit as she came to church (she expressed to us that she would know if this is the right church for her once she walks in and sees how she feels). My prayer was answered and she felt the spirit and was respectful throughout the day. Instead of "amen" she likes to say "rock on" or "rock n roll" which is really funny. She is really open minded and hippie kinda. But still she is really nice and think she is progressing and she seems interested in being baptized so hopefully that is someone we can really help out. She has lots of questions and asks legit stuff that we are able to answer and help her out. I felt really good about it. Also goes to show the power of the spirit. I was really scared because the lesson in gospel principles was on eternal marriage which is a rather deep topic for someone who knows nothing about the church. We only met with her once and invited her to come to church and she actually came. But despite the deep stuff (our teacher was saying deep stuff and vocab that blew her mind i.e. endowment, celestial kingdom, temple, priesthood, etc.) she was able to feel the spirit and learn a lot and now wants to learn more. It is the spirit that converts people, not so much the doctrine. I really found that out with Tammy (our new investigator that came to church).
So this week has been really good and busy which is always good to be busy as a missionary. Happy Halloween! We are pretty excited because it is p-day which is always fun. We got some candy so we can have that. And our mission president has asked all missionaries to be in their apartments by 7 pm tonight and not work tonight because it is dangerous, no one will take us seriously as we knock on doors, etc. It is ineffective to teach on a holiday I have found out. I really loved the Halloween package you guys sent. It was really sweet and enjoy a little candy and mac & cheese. Thanks for all you do. Love you all.

Elder Roe