October 5, 2015
Week of 9/28-10/4
So this week I just want to mention three things.
My companion, Sis Bell, of Idaho
First, Flu Shots. Can I just say those are of the devil! Literally, I think I would rather just have the flu. I had so much anxiety waiting for the shot that my arm hurt worse thinking about getting a shot than it did to have a needle stuck through my arm. The next day I felt as though my arm had been engulfed by the gaping jaws of a shark and it was dangling with nothing but shredded tendons hanging on for dear life. I am not being dramatic and I am not exaggerating. This is real life, folks. Pray for me. PS: My companion was bit by the same shark. Luckily we have both had time to heal and nothing is left but a giant transparent scar. Blessing do come to those with faith.
Second, walking. We walked like the pioneers this week. We were running low on miles so we traveled by foot. Luckily, it was good weather and we had some awesome members with extravagant handcarts. It was great to just enjoy the outdoors- while tracting house and street contacting- of course.
Third, General Conference! Like, um, where do I even begin????? I think I might need to write a book on all the special insights, personal revelation, and incredible quotes I found! October is just the best month.  And I am not biased. One of the greatest things I learned this week is that life is hard. It's supposed to be hard. And we need to prepare because it is only going to get harder. The Gospel is simple and we need to apply those small and simple things so that "great things are brought to pass." Trials are going to come but we need to decide NOW what we are going to do in those moments. Are we going to #HoldToTheRodda or are we going to let go and try to swim by ourselves?  
This week I had an experience that made me think about this:

We had just visited the Lewis Family at 7:30 PM. As we left their home and started walking down their long, curvy driveway we realized we could not see a thing. With no street lights, no moon glow, and lots of trees it was pitch black and extremely quiet. I couldn't see my shoes right below me. As we tried to shuffle down the dirt driveway we found ourselves walking into bushes, tree stumps, pot holes, and even each other... This can be related to each of us here on Earth. Because Heavenly Father loves us he gave us the opportunity to come to Earth. Here, we are to "have joy and prepare to return to God's presence." However, it can be very difficult. Because "we are out of God's physical presence, we must walk by faith rather than by sight." Heavenly Father gives us tools like prayer, scripture study, families, and prophets so that we can walk by faith with "an eye single to the glory" Him.
What we do with those tools is our agency. The night before we visited the Lewis Family we were given a flashlight by some members in our ward. This would have worked perfectly as we were walking down their driveway but conveniently enough we left it in the car. We pulled our very extremely nice cell phone only to realize that it was bright enough to leave our eyes with white spots but not bright enough to light our path. It seemed to make it worse. This also happens here in our Earth life. Satan is so good at deceiving us. He uses attractive things that seem like they will get the job done. But really this is his way of keeping us from using the greater tools Heavenly Father has given us- flashlights. My dear companion is oh so smart. She pulled out the car keys and unlocked it. The lights would flash once or twice and we would have a destination to head towards. This is like the talk given by Vern P. Stanfill. "While we are struggling in the darkness, there is nothing wrong with relying temporarily upon the light of those who love us and have our best interest at heart." That person who loves us can be our Savior. The greatest tool that Heavenly Father has given us. The Atonement is the greatest light. That is always there for us. It doesn't take away our personal agency. We have to choose to apply it. But when we do, we can make it to the car- or the Celestial Kingdom.
I know Thomas S. Monson is a man called by God to share with us the things God wants us to know. The counsel given by prophets and apostles is counsel given by our Loving Heavenly Father! I know the church is true! #HoldToTheRodda
Have a great week! I love you all!

Sister Rodda

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