She's Coming Home!

Sister Rodda will be returning home after 18-1/2 months of service to the people in the Washington, Everett Mission on Monday, June 6.  She will be speaking in church on Sunday, June 12, at 11:00 AM.  The address is 2230 South 350 East in Kaysville.  *please note: this is a different location than her farewell.  This church is closest to our home/backyard.

A Full Heart

May 31, 2016
Well, I have no words. The last year and a half has been full of hardship and trial but even more full of complete satisfaction and joy. I have been stretched and molded. I have been an instrument in the Lord's hands. "Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth."  Our mission scripture says it better than I ever could: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."  
There is no doubt in my mind that I was called to the Washington Everett Mission for a reason (and not just because Nordstrom was founded here). I have met eternal friends here. I love the crazyyyyy Washingtonians especially those in Burlington/ Sedro-Woolley, South Whidbey Island, and Mukilteo/Everett. My heart is full.
I know God is our literal Heavenly Father. He has a tangible body of flesh and bone just like- only perfected. I know he has a personality. One of compassion, devotion, and love. I know he has a plan of happiness for each of his children, and that he has given us agency to choose for ourselves the path we want to walk down. I know we chose His plan in the pre-mortal life when we lived with Him. We did that so we could come to earth, created by Him, to gain a body and be put in situations where we could learn His Gospel. He has given us family units so we can have support, encouragement, and feel a glimpse of His, our Eternal Father's, love. If I could bear my testimony in four words it would be, "The Gospel blesses families." Because we are on Earth and we are imperfect we have trials, weaknesses, and struggles but Heavenly Father pours blessings and blessings upon those who do their best to follow the teaching of His Son, Jesus Christ. We learn His teachings from prophets. I know we have a prophet on the Earth today, Thomas S. Monson and that he is the only person who can receive revelation for the entire church, exercise all Priesthood keys, and be the mouthpiece of God. He teaches us the things we need to do here on Earth to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father, which is: exercising Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, being baptized, partaking of the sacrament, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We can also learn these fundamental principles and ordinances through ancient prophets who recorded their accounts, otherwise known as scripture. I know that the scriptures are truly the words of God and are intended to help us as we apply them to our own lives individually. They testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father knew we were going to make lots and lots of mistakes while we are here and because he loves us he sent His Son, Jesus Christ to Earth to suffer, bleed, and die for us. This was necessary so we could have our sins forgiven, our burdens lifted, our broken hearts healed, and our weaknesses strengthened. I know he truly carries us through trials and that our paths can be guided as we turn to the Atonement for direction. I know Jesus Christ died for us and broke the bands of death that would have bound us for eternity. I know he rose from the tomb on the third day and because of that we can be resurrected too. I know Christ was a perfect example, a perfect leader, and perfect in His obedience to the Father. While He was here on Earth he also taught the people (and us) about the commandments and saving ordinances of salvation. He established His church, instituted the sacrament, and performed miracles. I know he had the Priesthood authority- the authority to act in God's name. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my friend. I know as we follow in his footsteps we will be examples to others. Sometimes we sin or make mistakes that separate us from God. If we don't repent and apply the Atonement of our Savior we could eventually fall into individual apostasy. There have also been times in history when entire nations forsake or abandon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But again, because Heavenly Father loves us, part of his plan was to allow those who did not have a chance to learn or accept the gospel here on Earth to learn after they pass on. I know that there is a spirit world. I know those who have passed on before us, who have lived righteously and accepted the Gospel are missionaries to those who did not have such an opportunity on Earth. We are so blessed today to live in a world where missionary work can happen here on Earth. It is only possible because of the Restoration of the Gospel. I know Joseph Smith had a sincere heart and real intent as he knelt in the grove on that sacred day to ask one question. I know he was able to receive an answer about what church to "join" but more importantly, I know that he saw God- a personage of flesh and bone and His Son, Jesus, the resurrected Christ. I know that they are distinct and separate beings who know us by name and love us. I know Joseph Smith was righteous prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been restored to the Earth today because of this key experience. I also know that the Priesthood authority has been restored to the Earth today. I know that with this authority we can perform sacred and everlasting ordinances in the temple that eventually bind our families for eternity. Along with these ordinances we are able to make promises with our Heavenly Father. I know God always keeps his side of the promise when we live faithfully and do our part. I know these ordinances and covenants are central to inheriting the Celestial Kingdom of God, after we are judged for our works here on Earth. I know that with the Priesthood authority, Joseph Smith, was able to translate the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon because I receive personal revelation as I study the word of God diligently. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know as we read, ponder, and pray about it we can receive answers to our questions. God does hear our prayers and he hears our anguished cries. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know the church has been restored. I know God has a perfect Plan of Happiness for each of His children. I know the Gospel blesses families. I can say I know all of these things because I have prayed about them with a sincere heart and with real intent. The Holy Spirit has touched my heart and I cannot deny the answers I have received and the miracles I have been able to experience.
I love you all and am forever in your debt for the love, support, and prayers you have given me. I know that those acts of kindness do not go unnoticed by our Heavenly Father. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
See you all wayyyy too soon. :) 

Pray...but not for patience!

May 23, 2016
Welp folks of planet Earth - another week bites the dust.
This week is a titch of a blurrrr. We had two interviews with president. Which was quite extremely helpful on so many levels. I sure love that man. I would say that I was called to President and Sister Bonham, not Washington Everett. We were asked to give instruction at a meeting this week and it went surprisingly very well. :) I hit my 18 month mark... I only know that because people like to keep me informed of big landmarks throughout my life. We went on exchanges this week with some of the sisters we are serving. AND GUESS WHO I WAS WITH?! The one and only Sister Bell. I love her so much. It was good to work together, talk together, and get caught up on life together. She really has changed and improved so much since she first came out and was my companion. She is definitely a friend for life. Maria just signed a lease with her boyfriend for another 6 months so it looks like the baptism won't be until after that. :( We are still seeing her but we probably won't see her as much as we usually do. Jodi Berg is 22 days smoke free and is doing AWESOME. Unfortunately her date got pushed back a couple weeks due to church attendance, but that is okay! We went over the baptismal interview questions with her and she is solid! Love her! Oh, so it looks like I am going to need a trip back up here soon so I can go to her baptism (hint hint Momma J and  Poppa Husky). Sister Barletta had an investigator get baptized from a previous area so we attended that on Saturday! We also went down to Seattle for a doctor visit... and Sis. B had a counseling appointment.

I think my biggest advice this week is: don't pray for patience. but also, that Heavenly Father really does hear our prayers. I know that he answers them according to his will and timing. It is up to us to align our will with his. If we do so, we will experience much joy in this life. The Church is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We have prophet on the Earth today who leads and guides us so we can return to live with Heavenly Father and our families for eternity. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. There is nothing that he has not felt or already overcome. I know that as we turn our lives over to the Gospel we will be blessed immensely.
Love, your favorite sister missionary whether you admit it or not,
Sister Rodda 

Enduring WELL

May 16, 2016
Dearest peeps,

Monday was a typical Preparation Day. My companion wanted to sleep so I just had a lazy day and laid on the floor. It was quite eventful. lol but that night we went on exchanges with some sisters that we serve. They are assigned to a Young Single Adult ward and it was Family Home Evening that night. We played chair soccer and I totally got everyone out and won. VICTORY FOLKS. VICTORY.

Tuesday we were still on exchanges. We went to the Everett Community College and went contacting. It was really fun. I like Young Single Adult age people... they aren't as mean. Hahaha we also had to fill out an exchange form so we went to Coldstone. It was like a birthday party in my stomach. We had a couple appointments set up that day and we totally taught directly to the people needs rather than the straight lessons. It was really successful. One of my favorite things being a little over half way on the mission is the scriptural knowledge you have. I can be put in any situation and have a scripture to apply. That night we had Cafe Rio for dinner. WHAT, WHAT!? Sweet pork salad, black beans, mmm mmm mmmm. We also went to institute that night. I surprisingly enjoyed it. I can't wait to be involved with institute in the far future.

On Wednesday, Sister B was sick so we were on level C again. We had zone meeting and for the most part it was good. We had to give instruction on diligence. I don't mind giving instruction... I actually enjoy it. I love being handed situations where I can bear my testimony... I guess that's why tomorrow (Tuesday) we were asked to instruct again. Hahahahhaha. We taught Maria, Adolfo, Reymundo, and Jakob that night.. still progressing... we just need Maria to get married or move out... the progress is a little hindered.

Thursday: THE WEATHER WAS BEAUTIFUL. I FOUND SO MUCH STRENGTH IN THE SUNLIGHT. I EVEN GOT SUN BURNT... YES I DIDN'T THINK THAT COULD HAPPEN IN THE STATE OF WA EITHER. As of TODAY Jodi is 16 days SMOKE FREEEE. I am so proud of her for accomplishing this. She has worked really hard for years and years and years to quit. And she finally beat it! She is getting baptized June 4th!!!!!

Friday night we had dinner with a cute family in our ward. Brother Pexton is in the bishopric and so kindly announced that they were talking in the bishopric meeting about how they wanted me to give a "farewell" talk. After 7.5 months in an area I guess you become ward family. So yeah, I am now on the schedule for this upcoming week. Another opportunity to testify!

We were on exchanges again on Saturday. This time I was with Sister Krummenacher. We attended a day of service (to see lots of pictures of folks in orange look up the hashtag #dayofhope  - you will probably see some missionaries from the Washington Everett Mission!) A local Christian church called the Gold Creek Church put this on and we joined in to help the community. We love service. And we love wearing pants! We got the job of being sign wavers... it's harder than it looks. We cleaned a homeless shelter. And we ate food. A member took us out to Applebees! It was yummy yummy in my tummy!

Sunday: Meeting, meetings, more meetings! But they were all great. Sundays are definitely my favorite day of the week.
I will be sending packages soon, family! So keep your eye out for some heavy boxes of books. :)

Something I learned this week is the importance of enduring WELL. I was playing soccer in the YSA ward and the game just kept going and going and going. Just so you know I was in a skirt still, with boots, and my hair down... I thought man, I can just stand here and eventually the game will be over. But I wasn't happy that way and I was waiting out the time. However, I realized at that moment that Heavenly Father was teaching me something very important. We are given so many situations in life in which we can choose to just stand there and wait for things to pass. This makes us an object... something to be acted upon. Or we can become an agent (someone who acts) and we can finish out the game and actually try. As we do our part- even if we win or lose- we are happier. We are enduring WELL at that point. I really don't even know if this analogy makes sense the way I wrote it but it made sense to me. hahaha

Have a good week, my fellow friends!



No Regrets

May 9, 2016

It was so great to talk to my family yesterday. It is amazing to me that you can be so far away from someone physically but you are still family and still have relationships. I love the Rodda clan. I will keep them. ;)
This week was interesting. There were some things we needed to do that took us away from our missionary efforts but we were still able to experience miracles. We had stopped seeing J-B (the doctor that smokes) for about 2 weeks. She was keeping her commitments and coming to church but she couldn't really progress until she stopped smoking so we were giving her some time. She randomly texted us on Wednesday and said, "Sisters, I just wanted to let you know I have been smoke free for three days!" I have been here for six months and finally she has beat it. She is now a week smoke free and she put herself on date for the 1st of June! I am so happy for her and so proud of her!
We also had lots of opportunities to serve this week! We did a “just-serve” project and did some trail building. We just cut back plants and made the trail wider. It was fun to be outside with lots of members of the ward and lots of fellow missionaries.
We had our first exchange this week and it went well. I love the sisters we are serving. I learn so much from them. Unfortunately we had to exchange back sooner than planned because of some things but we are going to go on another exchange with them!
We had Mission Leader Council this week as well as District Meeting. They were both great and I was able to learn a lot this week.
The thought I want to share this week isn't even my thought... it came from my dad in a recent email. He said, "Stand firm in the knowledge that if you choose to do right, the Lord will make it right. You may not know the results of your actions for months, years, or maybe you will never know. But if you are obedient and follow the rules you will NEVER have regrets." I know that Heavenly Father asks us to do hard things so that we can choose the "harder right" like President Thomas S. Monson said. 
I love you all! XOXO
Sister Rodda