Dec. 29, 2014

Happy Holidays to everyone!  I didn't realize I had skipped a couple of weeks!  Here is this week's letter:

This week has been a grrrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaaatttttt one. It was Christmas Adam, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, bike day, church day, email day. It has been everything and the kitchen sink!

Monday: on Monday we had our missionary Christmas program which I think I talked about last week and I sang 10,000 songs. It was fabulous. And that was about all. Oh and we went Christmas caroling. it was fun and cold and yeah.

Tuesday: We did some family history training which was fun. I got to read all about Ida (tall and skinny) and Ada (da playaaaa). And I got to read Howard W. Hunter's biography. When I told Sister Wawro I was related to him she asked if she could hug me because I have his blood. haha. We also did a lot of tracting which I am still not the best at but I'm getting there. Then we did some service for a lady and did a family home evening lesson with her son, Hayden. It was great. We actually used those gingerbread men that you sent us for the 12 days of Christmas.

Wednesday: Christmas Eve. :) we first opened presents in the morning because we couldn't wait one more day. We also had a district meeting which was awesome! Sister Wawro and I received some INCREDIBLE revelation where we figured out we could actually get a lady on date. but after that we did some more service, had a lesson actually 2, and then we went to the Prices for Christmas Eve. We played Phase 10 and it was so fun. I took third which wasn't soo bad. Oh and we got our ONLY investigator on date for January 31st. so rock on!

Thursday: CHRISTMAS! I gotta talk to my favorite people and spend all of Christmas day with the Richeson family which was awesome.

Friday: Lots of lessons, tracting, and fun stuff like that! hahaha I don't know what else to say. and that is exactly what we did on Saturday.

Sunday: had 10 billion meetings, and church and our only investigator showed up at church which was awesome, we had some lessons and yeah... that's missionary life.

THINGS I LEARNED THIS WEEK: see people in potential form not in actuality form and faith over fear.

We are hoping to get two new investigators today when we teach a lesson so we will see how this goes. Besides that nothing too new.  We have to be in at 5 on New Years Eve so we don't die from drunk drivers. That's about all. Peace and blessings folks. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

First Area in Washington

Sister Rodda is in Washington now!  Here is her letter from the first week (I underlined my favorite parts):

This week has been AMAZING! 
So last Tuesday I woke up at 2 AM and left the MTC. We flew to Washington where President and Sister Bonham picked us up. We went to the mission office and did some orientation stuff, took a nap, had interviews, dinner, testimony meeting, and then got our companions.  My trainer is Sister Wawro and she is awesome.  We laugh and laugh and laugh like crazy and we get along super well. I have learned so much and she is just super nice and helpful. She is from Texas.  I actually haven't had to purchase a bike. Well at least not in this area because they already have bikes for us here, along with helmets and gear. But we have a car. It’s a 2011 ford fusion silver edition and it rocks. It reminds me of dad every time I get in it. Oh and by the way I am serving in the Skagit River 2nd Ward - so the Burlington, Sedro Woolley area. I love it here. It is small but has everything you need! 
Wednesday: we did service for a lady. We put up like 1/7 of her Christmas stuff. By the time we were done with 1/7 there was no place to walk but she still had trucks loads coming. She has a storage unit that she pays for year round just for her Christmas stuff. We also had a district meeting which was pretty cool. I had to bare my testimony which is surprisingly easy. Then we get 2 days each month to get on or other church websites and just listen to talks and Mormon Messages so we did that as well. I also got to meet some of our investigators. I have my first baptism on Saturday for a boy named D. His mom and dad just got baptized last month and his dad just got out of jail after 25 years in September. We also got to meet my favorite family so far -the Prices. They are crazy like our family but they are just awesome. I think we have been there every day so far. She works for a clothing company and gave me so many new clothes.
Thursday: we did service at the Price’s home. They are moving up the street so we just helped pack and move stuff. Then we did a lot of lessons with investigators and less actives. I also got my first door slam AND IT WAS AWESOME! I laughed the whole time. hahahahah it was the best experience I have had so far. I have told everyone about it.
Friday: we did service at the Prices house again, had some lessons with D and some others. I helped teach all the lessons and they all went surprisingly well. I haven't said anything too stupid yet!
Saturday: We had a lesson with recent convert in the morning and then we met a less active (who hasn't been to church since she was 8) named H. She is coming to church this next week supposedly. She started crying when we were telling her our testimonies so it was super spiritual. Sister Wawro is amazing. Then we did some other lessons with part member families/ recent converts/ and less actives. Nothing too extreme. After we went to a tree lighting a parade. We had to pass out these cards and I hated it. It was awkward. But we had a lady tell us that we were some hot Mormons so that was quite the compliment. We had the ward Christmas party where I got to meet everyone in the ward and it was just a great experience. Everyone in the ward is so nice and friendly. I felt like I was at home and I already have my small adoptive families here.
Sunday: Sunday was my like first real and true fast Sunday. Our church isn't until one so it was a long time to fast. We didn't eat until 6:30 so I was starving. The whole day was great. I didn't bare my testimony in sacrament because I am speaking next week.

Monday is usually our P-Day but not this week because Craig A. Cardon of the 70 came and talked to us. It was a whole day conference but it was super good. After, we went to the Richeson home (ward mission leader/ adoptive family) for dinner and they are so nice. We are spending the holiday with them. They are the nicest people ever.
Tuesday: aka today! has been great. We woke up and cleaned instead of exercised. I did the kitchen. My chores have not changed. Then we did our studies. I started the book of Mormon and I love it. I'm studying the doctrine of Christ and it is so interesting.  Later we have a district volleyball tournament so good thing I practiced every day in the MTC.  Those elders are going down!!!!!!!!!
I love it here and it actually didn't rain until Thursday which was awesome.
My apartment address is 405 S Norris St. Apartment 101, Burlington 98233.
You can send letter or packages there but you can also send them to the mission home. Whatever is easiest!!

I love you all. Thanks for all the love and support.
Here is the one thing I have come to conclusions with this week: the people here are Bigfoot huntin', coffee drinkin', marijuana smokin', Washingtonians.  But I love them all! Also everyone here only drinks tap water and it grosses me out. But if that's the worst thing I have then I can deal with it.
Sister Rodda

I Spy...

Yesterday was Missionary Monday!  I'd always heard about it and could only imagine how exciting it was to know you'd hear from your missionary!  The day was here and like many other moms, I waited to for that email to come through.  And waited.  Apparently, there was a zone conference or something, and P-Day was pushed back a day.   I was excited then to receive an email from our friend, James, that included a picture of the Thanksgiving Devotional.  He spied Sis. Rodda in the choir!  Her companion, Sis. Mather, is next to her!  How cool is that!

The First 2 Weeks at the MTC

I can't believe Sister Rodda is already in Washington.  She left yesterday (Dec. 2).  We had a chance to talk to her before she flew away.  She sounded fantastic!!  She is truly loving every minute of it so far.  The MTC was good to her.  Well, I already know that I need to get better at sharing her letters with everyone.  Or at least a little faster.  I thought I would highlight her stay at the MTC:

  • When we first drove up to the curb at the MTC (yes, the dreaded curbside drop-off) - I really felt like I was going to be ok.  No frantic hanging on to her ankles or anything.  As she got out of the car, the very first thing we heard was "RODDA!!"  Seriously?!  She already knew people there.  Shane and I looked at each other and at that moment - I knew she was going to love every minute.  Everywhere she goes she makes friends.  I also knew that she was in capable hands and that all of my mom-failures would work out.  She'd have to figure it out if she didn't want to wear dirty clothes and eat PBandJs for every meal, right?  Sorry, Hayden, no chance for you.  You will start doing your own laundry and making meals, like asap.  Talk about throwing your baby to a pack of wolves.  I really should have prepared her a little better.  Ugh.  She grabbed her bags and I could tell she was ready to go.  How many times can you say good-bye?  That was when my emotions surfaced and I really thought I was going to lose my cookies.  I looked around and noticed no one else was crying.  Anywhere.  Just me.  Big, fat, ugly tears.  My heart was ripped from my chest.  How is it that you can feel so heartbroken yet so excited at the same time.  Talk about emotions all over the place.  She walked off with her escort (a cute sister heading to Tempe, AZ) (eek)  and she was gone.  Well, thank goodness for an amazing husband who knew ice cream would make me feel better.  And it did.

  • So... do I really have to wait 6 days to hear from her???  They would let me know if she bailed and never made it inside, right?  We heard that they encourage the missionaries to write to their families as soon as possible.  So with that knowledge - I stalked the mailbox.  Nothing. And finally!  On Monday we got our first letter.  Actually 2 letters!!  Because, oops, she forgot to mail the first one.  Forgot?  I'm dieing here, dear daughter. 
  • Sister Rodda joined the choir!  She participated in the Thanksgiving Devotional.  I would have loved to seen her - but it wasn't broadcast for us at home.  Trust me I tried to find it!!
  • Her MTC companion was from New Zealand!  She and Sister Mather got along beautifully!  I have no doubt that having a companion like that is instrumental in those first few days/weeks away from home.  I am so grateful!  
  • She told us that she helped an Elder respond to a Dear John letter (poor guy!) and then promptly put his bragging rights as a fast runner to shame and beat him in a foot race.  Haha!  That's my girl!!