April 20, 2015
How is life back home?! Mission life is the best life. I literally cannot believe yesterday was 5 months since I left home. I tried not to think about it all day because it made me a little sad inside. Missions literally fly by. I didn't believe anyone when they said that but now I do... :( This week was great. We had two really long, all day meetings this week. I love receiving instruction from President and Sister Bonham as well as other leaders. I love to be taught not just to teach. But speaking of teaching we were able to have lots of good lessons this week. Some with investigators and some with less actives. We also did a lot of tracting this week and we found lots of really solid potentials. This upcoming week we are GOING TO get lots of new investigators we just aren't sure who they are yet... but they will show up!
On the down side of things... One of our recent converts (who just finished chemotherapy- and was doing extremely well) just found out that her cancer just spread. EVERYWHERE. kidneys, lungs, spine, thyroid... and they gave her a year to live. So now we are on plan "GET TO THE TEMPLE ASAP".  They are amazing people and they have really positive attitudes.
This week I heard a hymn (# 229)
"Today seek the treasure better than gold,
the peace and the joy that are found in the fold.
today week the gems that shine in the heart;
while here we labor, choose the better part."
When I was singing this it made me think of the scripture in Luke 12:34
"For where your treasure is there will be your heart also."
I love that because where we spend our most time, what we think about most, and what we truly treasure is what and who will we become. This week in church we talked a lot about willing hearts. If we have a willing heart our hearts can change. We can either gain/improve in some aspects or in other aspects our desires can go away. For example, I loved soccer. Soccer was my treasure (just in case someone didn't already know) but as I had a change of heart, I was able to focus on things that probably mattered a little bit more like prayer, scripture study, helping others... and that's why I am on a mission. As I had a change of heart and as I found my treasure (AKA the gospel) my desires for worldly things slowly went away. Soccer wasn't as important, neither was shoes, or stuff like that. Okay not all the desires went completely away but they definitely died down. Our progress stops when we have no desire.
Welp that's what I learned this week. lol
Hope all is well! Love and miss you all! xoxoxoxo

Love, sister rodda.

Success vs Failure

April 13, 2015
HELLLOOOO FAMILY! I love you so so so so so so much. This week has been pretty amazing that's for sure. I was going to go day by day but I'm thinking I need to just cut to the chase as fast as I can. C WAS BAPTIZED THIS WEEK! It was so amazing. She was baptized Wednesday night because she wanted all the youth to be there so we figured mutual night was best! At first I didn't think it was a good idea because all the youth were kinda... youth-ie. Like rowdy and not very reverent. But as soon as she was in the baptismal font the spirit was immediately there. I probably would be lying if I said I didn't BAWL through the whole thing. After she was baptized she was changing and Sister De Arman (my new comp- I will talk about her in a second. I can't get ahead of myself here) went into the bathroom and C ran up to us saying, "I know it. I know that feeling that everyone is talking about! I can feel it! I know the church is true!" She just kept saying it over and over and that's when I realized the most profound thing that has ever been put in my head.... WITH ONE SUCCESS A THOUSAND FAILURES ARE FORGOTTEN. Hearts can be changed by acts of love and kindness. That was one of the most amazing experiences I have had on a mission. And it isn't just the stat of getting to put a one next to baptism and confirmation but the ability you have as a missionary to see someone change. Watching one person change is worth a year and a half of door slams! PS: we did get some of those this week. Bless my trainee’s heart in her first week - slam on, shut on, slam. So now about my companion. Her name is Sister De Arman. I don't expect to know how to pronounce it because I am still trying to get it down. Hopefully it will just roll off my tongue by the end of the 12 weeks that we will be together. She is from West Valley, UT. UTAH REPRESENT! And she likes crafty things. So yep, she is making me a hippo stuffed animal. It's gonna be super cuteeeeeeeeee. And she is awesome. I love her. We get along really well and I am just praying and hoping that I can get her mission off to a good start. My goodness, if I didn't have the Lord on my side this whole training thing could have been a trainwreck. But all is well in Zion. I got a new car. 2015 corolla. It had a grand total of 15 miles on it when I got it. lol. It is really nice.

This week we did a lot of tracting and it was really fun.  I don't mind tracting at all. I am starting to become not quite as awkward, but still high on the awkward scale that's for sure. I love being able to share my testimony with everyone and that's why I love being a missionary.

In my personal studies this week I thought of an analogy of how our testimonies are like a candle flame. If we nurture it and use it well we can create a whole forest fire. But if we let a little wind or a little anything get to it, then it will just be put out. So my goal this week is to bear my testimony to every single person I come in contact with about simple truths of the gospel. Thanks for everythingggggg pals! I love and miss you all! xoxoxoxoxo

Love, sister rodda


April 6, 2015
TO MY MOST DEAREST FAMILY (and friends, but you technically are family in the long run.):

This week has been just a little titch of INSANE!! haha. This week was full of hikes, lessons, meetings, tracting, SMORES, new companions, general conference, Easter, and a little bit of overwhelming stressing news.  Let me cut to the chase (is that a phrase? idk) but anyways... I AM TRAINING. 1. what the heck is the mission president thinking? and more importantly 2. WHAT THE HECK IS THE LORD THINKING? Not that I am questioning His authority and knowledge or anything... but what...?! but let me back up to the beginning of the week. I am a little frazzle brained, but that has been my life the past week and a half. All frazzle, no dazzle.

On Monday we got to go for a hike and look at a lake and just hang out. It was a pretty good p-day. I mean, busy but fun. Sister Wilkins and Sister Kennedy are awesome.  We have so much fun together.  We mega-bedded it this week. Which means we pushed their two beds and my couch all together and it was a giant sleepover for a few days.  Missions are fun. I recommend them.

Tuesday: let me just say- s’mores. I got a most awesome package from the one and only amazing trainer Sister Wawro.  She is quite awesome and I love her. So there is her shout out. And then GUESS WHAT?! I totally got my first real life campfire s’more of the season!  God bless the members of Mount Vernon 1st Ward.  They took quite good care of me. But something a little more important is the lessons we had.  We got to teach C and M - two of our investigators.  They are doing awesome.  C is getting baptized on Wednesday - so in two days and it is crazy but amazing and M will get there in the near future.

Wednesday: uh, lessons with some of the other sister peeps and lots of finding.  Every day is a good day in the mission field but nothing overly excited to tell about.

Thursday: on Thursday I got to hang out with Sister Tennant and Sister Liffereth (we went to junior high together so it was like a junior high school reunion) and it was really fun.  We got to tract- a lot - and got to teach a few lessons. But then here comes the exciting news. All leadership positions are assigned the Thursday before transfers. So it is like 10:25 and we are about to get in bed and the phone rings. I see it’s the zone leaders and I am like what the heck. I answer it. then it clicks in my head. OH LEADERSHIP POSITION. Now, not once did it cross my mind that it could be for me.  I run into the bathroom where Sister Kennedy is brushing her teeth and tell her the phone is for her (because I can predict the future and I knew she was getting a leadership position). I put the phone on speaker and the zone leaders are like, "well Sister Wilkins is going home..." she rolls her eyes because we all knew that. Then we are laughing and stuff and all we hear is "... is going to train" we are like wait who?! and they "Sister Kennedy and Sister Rodda." and that's when I fainted and had to get stitches in my head. No, I am just kidding but mentally that's what it felt like. So yeah. I’m having a baby. It's a girl.

Friday: on Friday i had to switch all of our plans and go to new trainers training and that's when I got a package from the one and only DARRINGTONS. Love you all. xoxo. And that's where the panic really started to happen. President Bonham says, "you have a really big responsibility. I don't say this to scare you but the way you train is the way their mission is going to be. Their mission is going to reflect the way their life is going to be. Which is going to reflect their children and their families." so that's when I fainted and got stitches a second time. We had some lessons that day again and weekly planning. bleh.

Saturday: oh general conference. where do i begin. WASN'T IT JUST AMAZINGGGGG?! I don't think I have ever enjoyed it as much as I did this year. Every single talk was just so inspiring and uplifting.

Sunday: ditto to Saturday. We got to watch one of the sessions with C. She passed her baptismal interview and Wednesday is coming way too fast!!! Sister Wilkins left yesterday to go home and now I am with a spanish sister. Hermana Bagley. She is pretty cool. I am only with her until tomorrow at transfers when I pick up my baby. It didn't really feel like Easter. At all. But that's okay. We were able to focus on Christ and that is the whole purpose, right? I do miss all the traditions back home though!

I loved this week and I am happy to focus on Christ. Being a missionary is the most amazing thing in the world. It isn't as hard as everyone says if you can get used to change. lol. That is irony right there. I think some cool church person said that the only thing that is constant in the church is change. Yep. That about sums it up in 12 words. My favorite thing about general conference was the focus on families. It took me until my mission to realize how important families are to Heavenly Father and Satan. Satan has his hands on more families than you can imagine. So many broken families. But it is amazing to me that no matter what, Heavenly Father still loves all of his children. 

I hope you all have an AMAZINGLY AWESOME week. xoxo

sister rodda.