Monday, August 25, 2014

Becoming A Sister Training Leader

Well I can't hold back.. This is what I have to say:  I have been called to be a Sister Training Leader! (STL). I have mixed emotions about it all. I'm so excited because I already feel more confident in myself as a missionary, but I'm going to miss Sister Frampton SO much!!!! Sister Stucki is going to be my new companion. She was my STL up in Paducah and I love her! So I know I'll get along with her. She only has 6 more weeks left so I'll probably stay for here for another 3 months. I don't mind that one bit! Sister Frampton is going to Rock Springs with Sister Meller. The sad news is CV2 got closed. So both sisters are leaving. Now we have this huge apartment and only Sister Stucki and I will be in it! It's so crazy! It's been rough because the other 3 sisters are all so sad and devastated about the transfer... but I'm pretty excited about my new responsibility! So I'm bottling it up right now. I have Stake Correlation on Wednesday with the Stake President, President Andersen, and the Zone Leaders. I'm excited! And we'll have to go on one exchange every week. So yeah! There's transfer info for ya.

Our last District picture before the transfer this week.

I had the best studies this week! I finished the Pearl of Great Price!!! And I love it so flippin much!!! Then I get to start the New Testament! It's amazing! This has just strengthened my testimony so much. I know more now than ever that God lives and He knows us so much more than we even know ourselves. It's helped my prayers a ton and my faith.

I know that Heavenly Father was watching over Cory. He even told me so. I found a scripture this morning in D&C 100.
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friend [Sister Rokovitz], your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power.

2 Therefore, follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give unto you.

3 Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land.

4 Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.

Heavenly Father told me He's taking care of y'all and He has a plan and He brought me out here to help save the souls of Tennessee. Isn't God amazing?!

Every time I study and read my scriptures this week I just feel my heart pounding with the spirit. It's so crazy! I love the scriptures so much!

Brittney and Sharlette are coming to FHE tonight for the first time!!! We've put a TON of effort into this activity. Richard is doing better. We're helping him focus on him and Christ. No Amelia or anyone else. He's getting better! There is still hope! No news from Luke. I think it's so true what you said about young adults this age needing to find a place to fit in. That's why we tell everyone to just TRY coming to the branch! They have no clue what it's like and they don't know the people. But when they end up coming they love it! So we're getting there.

So on to this week:

Monday: We played battleship dodge ball for FHE. It was a lot of fun! And the good thing was a YSA planned it and not us! He did the lesson and also made chocolate pie for refreshments. He's one of the best YSA! He's so kind and outgoing and willing to help in any way he can. Reminds me of my brother,Cory.

Tuesday: We had a miracle! We were looking for Less Active's and we went to the house of a girl named Brook. She is active! She works at Wendy’s right across from our apartment so we went to see her and get frosty waffle cones. She has wanted to come, she just hasn't yet. If she wasn't working tonight she'd come to FHE. But we've been praying for good active girls!!

Wednesday: This day was cool. We fasted. We fasted to find the prepared, the Less Active who need us, and the members who need us. It was hard. We asked the Spanish elders about a YSA in their branch. They told us where her parent's bakery was and we went there. Bad idea! They loved us! They gave us free Tres Leches and truffles and mini cheesecake! And we were fasting!!!! Haha and it was SUPER hot outside. We then went to contact another one... and while we were driving, in the space of 10 minutes, the temperature dropped 25 degrees and it rained like none other! We were soaked when we ran from the car to the building! It was crazy! It's been raining and thundering a lot this week and I love it!!!! I'm obsessed with the rain out here! There was a storm at 4:30 a.m. and I tried to keep my eyes open to watch it... but I couldn't do it. Ok back to the miracles.We also contacted a referral from the CV1 sisters. His name was Ricky. He. Is. A. Miracle. He is interested and had a lot of good sincere questions. He hadn’t read the Book of Mormon but he promised to come to church (he didn't.) He was sincerely searching for truth though! We're going back this week.

Thursday: I accidentally ate my whole tres leches cake for lunch... and I got a migraine. So bad! It would get bad and then slow down, then get bad. It hurt to look around. We went to dinner and had Mexican lasagna which was good... but then they brought out dessert and that kicked the headache back in. We taught Richard out in the sun and he was just struggling that day. He was focusing a LOT on Amelia. We tried to help him focus on Christ but it wasn't very successful. He was real mad. He left and went to tell people about the Book of Mormon on the streets and he ended up getting punched for it. He came to sports night swearing up a storm thinking it was cool. I snapped and said "Richard! Do not swear! Especially on church grounds!" He knew it was wrong and said "oh... ok" and was fine the rest of the night.

That night I sat out of ultimate frisbee because of the migraine. But it was ok because SEAN WAS THERE! Sean is a recent convert.. who got offended after he got a tattoo. But he came! I got to talk to him and he was back to normal. He had popped his hip so he was sitting out. I'm so glad he was there! If that's not a miracle from God, then I don't know what is. We all went to Sonic that night too. When we got home my migraine was just taking me out. We planned in the dark. As soon as we were done, I took out my contacts, prayed and went to bed with a wet rag on my forehead. As I was falling asleep I was just crying thinking "Heavenly Father, this hurts so bad! Please take it away!" Then a thought came to my mind... "This is just a few moments in Gethsemane." It's true. We must all suffer a little bit. I had done wrong by not eating a good lunch... and I knew it wasn't a good lunch... and so I had a consequence. But I knew the Lord knew how I felt and that comforted me a lot. The Lord knows each one of us so personally. He takes care of us and comforts us. That's why its crucial to turn to Him in every moment.

Friday: We got to go out to dinner with Abbie this night. She was so excited about her mission! She just asked loads of questions! She's such a great example to me! She's the only member in her family and she's stayed strong for a year and now she's going on a mission! She went through the temple the next day and she said she absolutely loved it! I'm so glad!!!! Lastly we taught Richard at the church. We read scriptures with him about Alma the younger and how it applied to him. So many things clicked for him! He would pause and say "OOOhhhhhhh!" Haha That lesson went so well. I've been trying to use scriptures more  in my teaching and this lesson just proved how well it worked. DUH! It's the word of God! It's what we're teaching... it's supposed to work like that. I'm finally getting it!

Saturday: We got the transfer call early that morning and I was just so excited.... but Sister Frampton just loves this area so much! She was just sobbing. This is my favorite area so far! This day was long... we made up some fliers for a Book of Mormon reading challenge and had to copy those. We then contacted a Less Active.... He got baptized a year ago and is already inactive. It seemed like he got baptized for the experience and to be "saved." It's so sad that people can't see the deeper meaning behind the covenant of baptism. They don't understand how real the gospel is and how it can be applied in their life.

After dinner we went to teach Richard. Another investigator, Eli, stopped by to say goodbye to Sister Frampton. I think I mentioned him a while ago. He's actually becoming interested! He said he'd read the Book of Mormon when he finished the book he was reading. Well he finished and said he'd start reading it! He is a good guy.

We had a great lesson with Richard about focusing on him and Christ. A lot more things clicked for him. I shared the scripture in Phillipians 2:12 about working out your own salvation. He knew then that he needed to focus on his testimony rather than trying to share the Book of Mormon with everyone he meets on the street. He also made up a Mormon rap and performed it for us! And we just took a lot of fun goofy pictures. I love Richard!

Sister Frampton, Richard and me.

Richard, Sister Frampton and me.

Sunday: What a long day. We went to church and... my mouth dropped... Gwen was there with her roommate. I have no clue why... but she was there! And she acted like nothing had ever happened! I'm stumped. I bet she knows the church is true and she was wrong... Also Calvin came!!! And we discussed with Brother Frogue about calling a YSA couple to be over sports and activities and help run it instead of us doing that. They know exactly who to call!

After church we sped down to the other building, eating lunch on the way, and went to 5th ward. Then we met with the 3rd ward bishop and he's on gear for YSA. Then Annalee, a YSA showed up and her and her brother helped with knowing who people on our list are. YSA is going so well! The Stake President knows how important it is. He even sent out emails to all the bishops saying to not give any YSA callings in their homeward.

We came home and had the hardest time staying awake for studies!!! It was rough! Then we had dinner and just crashed. Before we went out, we decided to do some last minute work and just go for miracles for the last night. We stopped by the home of Annie. She is a Less Active that we made one visit to and she started coming. We asked her to be the chorister and she said she would love to! We got to talk with her and her mom for an hour and they were so fun! Normally Annie is shy but we have something in common... we both want to do Video Production! So we talked about her classes and projects and stuff. Then we made one more last minute attempt and knocked on Caleb’s door. Thank goodness it was pitch black! He couldn't see us through the peep hole so he had to turn on his porch light... which is a dead give away of "You're home!" So he answered and we discussed the Book of Mormon again... Sister Frampton said a lot of inspired things! He often tries to look like he's thinking deeply about what to say but really he's just stumped and has no clue what in the world to say. He said once again he'll read it... We'll see.

I just want all y'all back at home to know how much I LOVE the gospel! It means everything to me! The more I read my scriptures, the more I love it. The more I serve, the more I love it. If you don't feel this way about the gospel, something might be wrong. Do what it takes to gain a testimony so you love the gospel too!!! I read in 2 Nephi 9 today and verse 40 says : "the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken." I love the truth and I will never be shaken from my testimony. This has brought me more happiness than any other moment in my entire life!!! I know.... when I got my car, that was pretty great... when I ate grilled pizza for the first time.. that was pretty great too. But that happiness fades. This one won’t ever fade!!!! Just try it out, you won’t regret it.

I love you so much. I know you know that. But I just say it over and over so you know. I love you!!!! Have the best week ever!

~Sister Rokovitz~

America, Peace and The Book of Mormon


Skateboarding in a skirt.

Too many bug bites.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lessons Learned

(Mom's note: Amber's younger brother, Cory, was in a scary roll over car accident this last week. He is physically fine, not a scratch on him, which is more than I can say for his car, which was a total loss and a great heart ache for Cory. Cory had let a friend drive and he was a passenger. A dog came out into the road and the friend swerved to miss it, but lost control of the car and it rolled. This is what Amber is referring to in her email this week when she talks about her gratitude for the safety of her brother.)

I don't think I'll be able to stop crying soon. I don't know what the tears are for.. Because everyone's fine and I'm not scared or worried... I think they are gratitude tears for how merciful Heavenly Father was in protecting my brother. This is just a huge testimony of how real the gospel is and that Heavenly Father DOES exist and He knows us each so personally. Cory would not have survived without divine intervention. God has greater purposes for him on this earth. And He protected Cory because He knew my soul would be crushed to pieces if he left this earth. Cory will come closer to his Heavenly Father through this experience and he can learn the importance of obedience. I can't even imagine how he feels. I'm so sad that the one thing he's worked his guts out for is now destroyed. I would feel horrible if my car was destroyed and if I didn't even do it... All I can think of though is how amazing God is. I'm so grateful. And for this, I'm going to work my guts out this week till I'm so exhausted that I can't move. I owe God. He saved my brother. I owe God everything I have to offer. Golly.. My face looks like a puff fish. This is one experience I'm so glad I'm not home for. These are the times I'm grateful to be here serving. I know y'all are ok and I know I have to work. I use these as times to strengthen my testimony and work harder.

Well.. Let's see if I can muster out an email now.

Matthew boycotted our appointment. Well actually he showed up 55 minutes late and we talked to him for a few minutes before the next appointment came. Our next appointment was a Less-active who wanted to be taught the lessons. Matthew asked him "how'd you get roped into this?" He said "I volunteered." Haha perfect response. I don't know if I told you but Matthew believes in multiple God's and really doesn't want to meet up with us. He said he read the whole Book of Mormon and when we asked what he thought, or parts he liked, or things he learned... he couldn't give us an answer. He tried flipping through and looked for stuff and he was looking in the index! And then he opens to a random page and points to a scripture and said "yeah that's a good one I liked." Half the scripture was on the other page! He liked a random half of a scripture. .... I don't know if he'll meet with us anymore.

For FHE on Monday we played just some simple games. J. is still angry at the world. I've learned some lessons this week. Lesson #1: Most things aren't worth getting angry over. There is so much drama in the YSA and they all ask us to help and be on their side. All I want to tell them is "why does it matter!" It doesn't! I use to be the cause of a lot of contention in my branch at school and I'm not going to do that anymore. I also know how much it stresses out the leaders. So, lesson learned.

Tuesday was a day full of miracles. We had called a couple YSA who we knew were active in their home ward. We got an appointment that day with two sisters, Britney and Sharlette. We went over and they are from Guam. They love activities and so we invited them to be on the Activity Committee and they said yes! We have our first Activity Committee meeting tonight before FHE. They are a lot of fun! They are going to play a huge part in a luau that we’re planning for October. We also had a meeting with Richard and he brought someone for us to teach! Her name is Amelia and she is 20. They were both at the bus stop and Amelia asked Richard for help. He brought her to the church, we taught her the Restoration and she agreed to read the Book of Mormon. Amelia is great!

Another miracle happened that day. When we were stuck in the car shop a couple weeks ago, we added a lot of Less-actives on Facebook. Sister Frampton found one name, Luke, and added him and sent him a message. No response. Well Tuesday we get a text from him asking if he can take the lessons from us. Of course!!!! He came and we taught the Restoration. He opened up a little at the end and said he had served a mission four years ago and now he's lost and doesn't know what to do. I felt prompted to show him the "Because of Him" video. Then I looked him in the eye and I don't exactly remember what I said... But the spirit spoke right through me. I teared up a little and he did too. It was incredible. At the end he said he was stubborn and would need homework. So immediately I thought what to give him. He's going to read 1 Nephi 8 and 11 and write down what each of the things in Lehi's dream mean personally for him. He hasn't gotten back in touch with us yet.. But we won't quit working on him. So, lesson #2: By small and simple means, great things really are brought to pass. A small simple Facebook message caused him to re-think his spiritual status and get help. A small visit to say hi to another Less-active caused her to come back to church on her own. Talking to a member and her mentioning her Less-active son caused him to show up at church Sunday because we listened to her and responded with love. The Lord can do so much with the small seeds we plant. It makes me have faith in the little things I'm doing like tracting and leaving a pamphlet with those who say they're not interested. It's incredible.

On Wednesday I gave a training in District meeting. The topic I was given was D&C 4:2 and I was told I could take it in any direction. Well... I pulled out the Consecrated Missionary talk from Dad. I talked about how precious this time is and how we can use the guidelines in this talk to be able to put all our energy into the work. I was only given a day to prepare so I mostly just talked and read parts from the talk.. It was lame but I felt good about it. I learned more than anything. And I've really been excited for this last week of the transfer to just put all my energy into the work. It's hard but I really want to do it. I really want to serve God with everything I have!

Thursday I went to Hopkinsville for an exchange! I went with Hermana Reed and I'm so glad I got to because she's been a role model missionary for me since I came out. She has one more transfer left. We taught a couple of Spanish people which is always awkward for me and when we left we got Spanish graham cracker treats. Then we taught a crazy Less-active lady... We walked away so confused. She has been attending another church so she can worship through dance but she knows our church is true. The dance she does is really weird.... And she lives with her fiancé that she's planning on running away from soon... It's really weird. After that appointment we went to dinner. I wasn't even hungry... But we went and we ate with the sweetest couple! They've been married for 2 years and got baptized almost a year ago. They live in the most humble place ever. It's basically the attic of a house and there's scarcely any furniture and they just don't have much. Their car is an orange moped. After that we went tracting and I thought my stomach was going to explode!!

Ok so here's a cool story - Before we left, we had prayed about where to tract. They had divided up their area into quadrants and we prayed about which one to tract in. Oh I was pleading so hard for inspiration in that prayer! Technically it was still my area because we cover the stake. I prayed and felt strongly about area 3. Then I questioned 4..... I went back and forth and decided to just choose area 3. When we came back together we revealed our number and Hermana Reed said area 4! I told her how I couldn't choose and she couldn't either. So we looked at the area in both 3 and 4. We found a little area and wrote down the street names. After dinner we tracted on those streets. The 4th house we knocked answered and Hermana Reed gave the spiel. The guy looked confused and not Mexican. She asked if he had ever met with missionaries before and he said he had. She asked his name and he said Ricky... Then something clicked for her. This was their Investigator! He was a referral from an Investigator but he had only talked with them over the phone! They had no clue where he lived! And they found him! And he does speak Spanish! Lesson #3: The Lord knows very specifically where you need to go and what you need to do. He will tell you if you listen. I've been really trying to listen to the spirit this week to know what to do. God is so specific, so be specific in your prayers! I learned a ton from that exchange!!!

I also got a text from Sister Frampton that night and she said Richard passed his baptismal interview! Well.. They were teaching Amelia while Richard was in his interview and Amelia said he had been texting her a ton of inappropriate things and she showed them the text. So Amelia was trying to avoid Richard the whole night. When Amelia left, Richard wanted to walk her home. Sister Frampton ran to distract him. That's when he confessed. So he didn't get baptized on Saturday.

On Friday we had weekly planning and I have to admit we planned a great week! I'm so pumped! We met with Richard and he said he didn't want to get baptized anymore. He was just so discouraged. He had no light in him again. We just encouraged him and told him he could do it. He said he knows it's true but he doesn't want to be baptized. So we talked a lot about living what we know. He's working towards baptism this Saturday.

Friday night was pretty rough. We were getting ready to tract and the Sisters were home. They came in at 8 pm. We were so worried about them... One of the sisters is really struggling right now and I don't know what to do for her. She breaks a lot of rules. She said if she could be a hermit the rest of her life she would be happy. She doesn't have a desire to be here and to be changed to become better... It’s so sad. So we talked about what to do. When Sister Frampton  asked me what we should do, I just cried and said I don't know, I realized the only things I wanted was for her to experience the overwhelming joy that comes from obedience. I've seen that abundantly this week from obedience and I don't see happiness in either of the sisters. I want so badly for them to have the spirit and for their area to do well. They don't have Investigators and I know that's rough.

Saturday: We were texted by the Zone Leaders on Friday night asking if we were home and safe. We were and wondered why. So last year a movie called The Purge was made. In the movie it shows where one day a year for 12 hours, all illegal crime is made legal by the government during that 12 hours. And it's coming to life. It happened in Louisville and it's happening here. Friday night people went nuts! And members posted things on Facebook that it was supposed to go all weekend. I heard that some people were killed. We live on the safe side of town though. This is all going on far away for where we work normally. But it's crazy! And it's going nation wide. Second coming soon anyone? These times are getting as bad as Lamanite times! So we were really scared to go out on Saturday. But we were safe.

Oh and we taught Richard. We told him yesterday that it was up to him to meet and continue. We don't want to force him and so he can choose and he has to set up appointments with us. He was scared to go through life without us and called us today. We talked about staying in safe situations. He was making up excuses that he couldn't come to activities if Amelia was there because it would be a temptation. We promised him it wouldn't be because he couldn't do anything in a church, especially with all of us around. He promised to read the scriptures. One thing I love about YSA is we can be bold and loving and they can take it. In Illinois I was always scared because I don't want to hurt an adults feelings! YSA is easier to tell them what's up and to show them the blessings that will come from it.

Sunday I wasn't feeling well all day. I just woke up sick and remained that way and I was sick today too. It was hard to sit through church. I felt terrible. Church was good though. Sister Frampton talked and she did such a good job and Brother Frogue mentioned showing love to all those who weren't at church. Sister Frampton later showed me a quote that said we count the people who are always at church. Christ doesn't care about that number. The number he really cares about is all those missing. So next Sunday, look around and see who's missing. Send them a Facebook message, a card, a treat, text, call, something! Show them they are missed and loved. Notice who they are. Remember: small and simple things go a long way. We went to the 2nd wards sacrament after our church was done. They had Ward Conference and the Frogues asked us to go. They got a new bishop and as I looked at that man, I got chills. God specifically chose him to be bishop. God chose him. Not man. God. And I knew that as I looked at him! It was incredible!
Lesson #4: God knows what he's doing!

I read a talk during studies about keeping an eternal perspective. It was so good! I love reading the scriptures from modern day prophets. We finished the evening by contacting some lost Investigators and we contacted Jay again. He had gone to training in Louisiana for a month and now he's back and he said he still wouldn't mind learning.

This week was great and I'm ready for another one. So full of lessons to be learned and applied in life. I love missionary work so much. As me and Sister Frampton  were driving home yesterday I was thinking about how much I love his area. We love it because we feel needed here. The people desperately need us. And it's nice because we stay busy serving them and doing all we can for them! I love it here. I never want to leave. I had a dream this week that I went home and Mom was so glad to have me back but I just kept crying and crying and crying. It was terrible. I never want to leave my mission. Ever. I'm so glad Cory is ok. I'm so glad. God is good and I will serve Him with all my might this week to show my thanks for protecting my brother. Thank goodness he's alive. I love my family and I'm beyond grateful that we have been sealed together for time and all eternity. I love this gospel. I love you.

~Sister Rokovitz~

Playing games at FHE with the Young Single Adults

Me with Hermana Reed during our exchange this week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Vision Of The South

I hit 11 months today. It's not fair. I want to serve longer. I have no clue what to do when I get home. I just want to serve God. I don't want to be a regular person..... Maybe I'll escape and do missionary work in secret until I'm translated just like Alma. That's a good idea! Haha okay problem solved!

Living with the sisters has been going pretty well. We're all getting along much better and our stuff fits. We have the kitchen all worked out and it's just good. I like it here. I've thought a lot about my purpose this week. I'm trying to remember to be a missionary and not a friend of the YSA. I know they'll always be my friends, but now is the time to help them spiritually and set an example. It's hard, but the blessings are so worth it!

Richard changed. I feel he deserves his own paragraph. He's always been back and forth.. But this week, something clicked. He switched! You can see it in his countenance, feel it, hear it... He's been change by the gospel. He loves it and he knows it is true. Richard is getting baptized on Saturday and will most likely be able to go on the temple trip the following Saturday. It's going to be fun to teach him to be quiet in the temple.. He often blurts out during Sacrament meeting haha. Richard has endured some pretty incredible trials this week. I'll tell y'all about it.

Monday: FHE was just a bunch of games we did to try to keep them entertained haha... It was stressful because none of the military guys would listen. After, we all went outside to play a game, and it involved flour. This was Austin N's idea. At the end Austin N. soaked Austin S. with water and then we all threw flour on him - haha it was our goodbye gift.

Austin S. covered in flour.....darn him for moving!

Tuesday: We taught Calvin and he is doing good! He hasn't found an answer yet... So that's frustrating. His baptism date passed and he has worked on Sundays. I feel like he's just kind of idle right now. He feels the spirit but we only see him once or twice a week and so that doesn't really help. Hopefully he can come to more activities and church to get that testimony going! We also met up with Sinclair, one of the YSA's. I love her! She went through the temple Saturday. She said she loved it! She is struggling because she just got called as a Primary teacher in her home ward. Our stake President says that's a no no. YSA shouldn't have callings because they need to be in YSA. So he's going to work on releasing her so she can come to YSA. We also saw Richard this day. He's been living the Word of Wisdom and just doing good! We went over the Law of Chastity and he accepts it no problem! We also talked about the Prophet and he hasn't stopped talking about all the videos about "Thomas M. Swanson" haha he can't get it right. We also went over the baptism interview questions. He is doing so good. We also saw Gwen and Asia for a brief moment. Gwen is avoiding us and being awkward. When we see her she tells us how busy she's been...Even though we know she's home because we know her car. No progress there! Lastly we went tracting. I have been wanting to go tracting for the last FOREVER but due to busy plans, we haven't. So finally, I turned to my companion and said "We're going tracting today." We did that for the last hour of the night at our new complex. As we were getting supplies I said a prayer in my heart "Heavenly Father, I KNOW someone is prepared. And I know they're here. Please help me have the faith to find them and not worry about time." We started and we found 4 people who were interested, AND one of them was a YSA girl!!!! Her name is Laken. We need YSA and we need girls! Miracle! She used to be really involved with activities at her home church. She's so sweet and wants to come to activities. Also, one guy answered the door and he was not interested at all. He slammed the door and a few seconds later opened it, asked what church we were from, and slammed it again. As we were getting out of the car that night he pulls up and asks for a business card. We live a few rows over from him. We gave him a pass along card and I went inside and did my happy miracle dance! My companion thought it was a little creepy... And when I think about it, it is pretty creepy. But maybe he's super interested and Heavenly Father made him track us down!! Either way.. Haha tracting was a success and I now see the promise working. I hope we can tract every day this week and see even more miracles!

Wednesday: We taught Calvin again and tried to help him see that he has found what he's looking for! We read Mosiah 2-5 and talked about the commandments, including baptism. We didn't commit him to a date but he wants to be baptized by the right authority. He said he might be able to come to church but he didn't show up... Goodness. I don't know what to do for him! We also taught Richard again. He is... Ah! Amazing! He loves watching Mormon messages and reading handbooks and pamphlets and Preach My Gospel. He is also reading the Book of Mormon and taking notes (which is just copying down the scriptures he likes.) But he's making so much progress and he just smiles all the time! Lastly we had Institute. We were all taking loads of pictures at the end. Oh and a member named Donovan came with his nonmember friend Matthew. Donovan had no clue about the YSA! He came to sports night and to church. He's going to be a great support! Matthew is semi interested. He asked about something in class and it ended up being us teaching about the Book of Mormon right in class and giving him one. We're meeting with him on Tuesday.                                                                          
Being silly after Institute.

Thursday:  What a day! We taught Richard about tithing with Annalee there. She loves his crazy comments. He understands and is so ready for it! He already has tithing ready to pay once he gets baptized! We then went to dinner at a members home and I learned that cooked squash is actually really good. At sports night, we were all standing outside and Richard had been in his suit when it rained so he was soaked. J. made fun of him and ripped off his bow tie and told him he looked stupid for having a pink shirt underneath his white one and that he shouldn't wear a suit to sports. Richard went in the church and sat down and cried. He felt so bullied and attacked. J. just has a thick head and doesn't get it. Richard was so sad and heartbroken! We tried to talk him into playing volleyball but he just wanted to pray and read the Book of Mormon. J. wanted to talk to him and I think it went okay, but J. couldn't lower his pride to just apologize. Richard said he wasn't going to fight back. He just wanted to follow Christ. That right there is someone who has changed. Someone who knows Christ. J. is angry that we took Richards side. He yelled at me later and texted us and said "You're crippling that kid." Oh well J., get over it. But Richard followed Christ and became stronger. He recognized that as a temptation from Satan because he didn't want to come to church, but he did and He listened to J's lesson.

Richard, soaked to the skin in his nice suit.

Friday: We taught Amanda. She still wants baptism but she's super busy. So we're still working with her. Gwen dropped us. She couldn't even say it to our face. We had an appointment and she left a note on the door saying she couldn't believe only one church was right. Couldn't she have told us this 3 weeks ago? And
to our face? Goodness. I studied a section the next day in Preach My Gospel about no effort being wasted. It says "you have raised a voice of warning." That's what we did. It's so sad. But we did what we could and people have heir agency.

Saturday: Daniel, from my first area in Nashville, took us to lunch at Texas Roadhouse (Woo Hoo) for a belated birthday lunch. Then Daniel took us and the elders to Mt. Juliet for a baptism. There were so many missionaries there. But it was so special! The guy got baptized in a lake! He wanted it done just like Jesus. The spirit was incredible. I think that's the best baptism I've ever been to!

Too many missionaries in the car.

Sunday: The Frogues took us to church. Richard went up to J. before Sunday school and said "Hey man, I forgive you for Thursday." And reached out to shake his hand. The whole class was watching. J. looked discussed and said "Go sit down!" Whoa. Then he gave a lesson on service... J. maybe you should practice what you preach! I don't know why he's so mad, but he'll need a long time to cool off.

This week was full of challenges, rearrangements, and miracles. I saw The Lord just working through us this week and I want to be better this week so He can use me as a better instrument. I love this gospel so much! It's all I live for. I wish others would jump at the opportunity to hear about it. It's that good.

I love my mission. I never want it to end. You know that. I don't want to go home, I don't want to quit. Why couldn't I love my mission at the beginning? Man.. I wasted so much time... I still have 7 1/2 months though. You bet your bottom I'm going to work hard and live it up. Thank you for pushing me to become the person you know I can be. It's been a blessing. I hope you have a good week! I love y'all.

~Sister Rokovitz~

                                              The Vision of the South
Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men's souls. This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together. There are great hosts of marvelous Baptists, members of the Church of Christ, Methodists and Catholics who are honorable people and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love Him. As they see their church veering off to the right or to the left, they will begin to search for truth, and as pivotal teachers come into the church and have influence, we will see the time when we will baptize hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, in your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the South states. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people. The missionaries love the South. We are making great strides and expect to continue. ~President Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone~

Cool huh? I like it. We repeat it every morning.


Monday, August 4, 2014

I'm 20 !!!! And We Moved Again

Where do I even begin? Hmmm... maybe here: I'M 20!!!! Gosh I feel old. Real old. Haha just kidding. My birthday was a blast! My one birthday in the mission field was very special! My companion and CV2 Sisters decorated the apartment with stuff all over. Signs, polka dots, balloons. It was so great! Sister Roberts even snuck in the room early to write Happy Birthday on the bathroom mirror! They are all so sweet. I loved your birthday posts! So precious! I really do have the best Daddy. And the best Mommy. I didn't actually cook my steak.... Because some YSA offered to take me to.... TEXAS ROADHOUSE!!!!!

My decorated desk area

Opening some birthday presents

Me and my polka dot birthday balloons

Our new apartment is so huge and spacious and nice and clean! I really like it!!! Everything fits in it so well I'm really pleased with it. The move went fast. We packed all our personal stuff and our dry food and dropped it off, then we used my suitcases for the dishes and leftover stuff. Two carloads and we had EVERYTHING out except furniture. It was awesome! And we unpacked SUPER fast. Thursday night our YSA loaded up our dressers and beds and took them up for us. They all had a blast helping! Even Richard came. They were all happy and working together. There's a new spirit in the YSA. We felt like proud parents while we were driving up to drop the stuff off. Then Friday the Frogues came with their country trailer to load our desks and table and CV2's stuff.

Totally a Kentucky moving trailer.

Richard is going back and forth. We're probably not going to have him baptized this Saturday. He needs more testimony and more consistency. He still tries to fight a lot of it. It's going well though. His girlfriend is doing great! She loves the gospel!!! So that's good.

Calvin is doing so well! We taught the Word of Wisdom this week and we were nervous about it, but it went SO good! He is working on quitting tobacco so he's been using an e-cigarette. He went and bought a cartridge that's just water vapor after we taught him! Now he just wants to stop the habit. WHOO HOO!!

Ok I only have a few minutes left and I've talked about most everything... but here's a few more things from the week:

For FHE we had a board game night. Oh the unity that happened was shocking. They were all playing together and not one person was left out and there was so much laughing! Afterwards we all went to Sonic and bonded more. That's when Abbie offered to take me to Texas Roadhouse for dinner on my birthday.

We met with Annalee and got to know her more. She helped us come up with a TON of FHE ideas! We have 2 pages of ideas now! So today they needed an activity last minute and we volunteered. We just pulled something off the list. It's awesome! So we have a great bunch of games planned for tonight.
We also got  our oil changed.... 4 1/2 hours in Firestone. Good thing they had wifi. We were able to do a lot of Less Active finding on Facebook.

I went to District meeting just feeling so good! Full of the spirit and God's love! I received revelation for an investigator and I just got really pumped up for this next week!
We also taught Richard and Robert (member) came. We talked about the Holy Ghost and how we come to know the truth through Him. It was such a good lesson. Richard was just floating at the end! He was laughing as he was saying the prayer and telling Heavenly Father how the gospel is like Star Wars - Oh goodness.. It was a good lesson.
At institute Sister Bolos taught. She did such a great job! She was hyper that night and we were having so much fun talking to her and Elder Bolos on the way home! They're like another set of mission parents. They crack me up!!!

MOVING DAY!!! That's all we did... we did have the sports night and we played ultimate frisbee and then moved our beds up. It was just a really good day. One where you go to bed just SMILING! I love those days! We slept in our new apartment that night.

More moving.... and cleaning. Oh it was long! That's it....

MY BIRTHDAY!!!! I pretty much already talked about this. I woke up to many decorations and surprises. I had a great study and while I was kneeling to pray, I had a great thought: "20 years ago, I left the presence of my Father in Heaven." 20 short years ago I was with Him. How incredible? It was just a little wonderful thought from God on my birthday.
I opened my presents at lunch and they couldn't be more perfect! Sister Frampton said that so many times!
We did Facebook and then dinner! Dinner was a dream come true. There were 8 of us and all together we ate 44 rolls. I had a steak, and got to sit on the birthday saddle! I'm so happy! Everyone was dying at the end and rolling and just ... Full! I had no clue they told them it was my birthday and when they got the saddle the whole restaurant gave me a YEEHA!!!! HAHAHAHAHA dreams do come true! And the elders, all 3 sets, got me a cake.We went home and had the cake that Sister Frampton made and the elder’s cake. It was a party!

On the saddle at Texas Roadhouse for my birthday - Side saddle...missionary style.

Blowing out the candles on my two birthday cakes.

We also attended a baptism for a guy named Josh who the elders taught but he'll be coming to YSA now. Richard came and said "If I feel a bad spirit I'm leaving." At the end he turns to me with a big smile and says "I felt a bad spirit! The church is false!" Oh Richard... He's a constant battle. Calvin also came and he loved it!

At church Richard bore his testimony. We were all worried. He did a good job though. I bore mine. Then President Spann bore his. He is in the Stake Presidency and works closely with the YSA. He was talking about a man who only has a few days left to live and has been on an artificial heart for 2 years. My mind immediately flashed back to Nashville and visiting Brother Lopez in the hospital, who has the same condition. During Sunday school, Jordan was teaching and he mentioned Brother Lopez... I knew it was him then. I just couldn't hold it in. I cried. I went to Sister Spann after and talked to her. They had just visited him. He didn't get a heart transplant and his other organs have stopped working. He will die this week. I'm so thankful to have known him! We left church the 3rd hour because I couldn't stop crying. Brother Lopez has the strongest testimony. The strongest! When you walk into his room, you can feel it. He lifted my testimony when mine was weak. And now I know he can't wait to do missionary work in the Spirit World. I am going to call his wife today and have her tell him I love him. He can't speak anymore. I'm so blessed though that I'm here because he is in the 2nd ward. I will most likely get to go to his funeral. He changed my life. I'm doing ok now. I just had to cry it out and read about the Plan of Salvation. God's plan is so perfect and I was able to know this yesterday. I will get to see Brother Lopez again one day. I look forward to that day. He is precious.

Well... I have to go. I just want to tell you how much I felt Heavenly Father's love for me this week. Each night as I was exhausted and knelt down, I just felt the love of God flowing right through me. It's filled me so much this week that I constantly feel it and I feel like smiling all the time and like tears of joy are always about to burst from my face! He loves me so much! His love is so real and I feel it. I talk to Him constantly! I don’t just pray... I talk with Him. We talk all the time! So often it's like... He's just there. God loves each and every one of us just the same as I felt His love. It's indescribable. Oh I just can't even put it all into words! God is great! That sums it up pretty well. This next week will be full of finding new people to teach!! Wish us luck and please pray for this area and Brother Lopez's family. I love y'all so much. Remember, the gospel is SO true. Have a great week!

~Sister Rokovitz~