January 25, 2016
WELLL.... HI! This week, once again, was a really great! We started off by going back to the island. Aw, I missed the island so much. AND I bought myself some great souvenirs- thanks to my grandparents. :) We also had great lessons with our investigators, less actives, and our recent convert. We were able to teach our cute French family again with a translator. He actually has a brother who is a bishop in Africa and a best friend who was baptized in Texas. Plus they knew tons of members and they loved them!
It was a pretty typical week as far as lessons go and contacting people so I won't tell you more than is needed... except that 5 investigators said they were coming to church and not a single one actually came! It's okay... this week I will be studying "Revelation through Church Attendance" and that's what we will be going over with them all!
Thursday night we got a call from our zone leaders. They told us that Sister Johnson is going to be a Sister Training Leader and I am going to train again. We spent all day at the mission office on Friday for meetings and training. The new sisters (one of which will be my companion tomorrow) all look great! There are 7 sisters coming in and only 4 elders! Not a lot of missionaries but it is nice to get a lot of sisters! OH AND I AM STAYING IN MUKILTEO. YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!
Right now we are in a 3 pack because a sister went home.
That's about all I have this week! I love you all. :)
Sister Rodda

Ponderizing scripture this week will be Matthew 10:32. There was a worldwide missionary broadcast this week where General Authorities instructed us. They shared this with us and I thought it was perfect! :)

Staff Commandments

January 20, 2016
This has been a very interesting week. Probably the greatest week I have ever had with putting my full trust in the Lord and pleading for miracles. We saw many miracles too!
First of all it was a miracle that 14 months ago I decided to pack a random pair of earplugs in my suitcase. We have these new neighbors... and they like to party starting exactly at 10:30 every night when we go to bed. It's great, but I sleep just fine with these purple decorations in my ears!
We were finally after 11 weeks in Mukilteo able to get in contact with one of the past elders' investigators- Jodi. AND uh, yeah... she is on date to be baptized on March 26th. It is so far out there because she has to quit smoking. We are now teaching the lessons and a stop smoking program! Church is going to be a struggle though... She has one supervised visit with her son a week. It is 4 hours long and it's on Sunday. Church would take up 3 of those hours and her son isn't allowed to go to church because of the dad. Lame. We also met with Adolfo that night and he is now on date for February 27th! In our 3 hours of proselyting on Preparation Day we had 3 lessons. This week we thought it was going to be our biggest struggle to get 2 people on date to achieve standards... but through much pleading with the Lord, he made it possible.
We got two new investigators and they are great!
Lisa: A single mom who has a son with disabilities. She is best friends with a member and that's how we were introduced to her. She has concerns with the Priesthood. Our concern is that she lives in the sketchiest of all sketchy apartment complexes- scary stuff happens there. LOL I hate it. Oh AND she loves playing this online poker game- real people, fake money. Oh and we get to do the stop smoking program with her as well! I love New Year's resolutions. Also, she is giving away two free guinea pigs. So if you know of anyone... no I'm just kidding... i don't think they would ship very well. But on the bright side one of them is so ugly it's cute and it looks just like s'mores. I wanted to eat it.
Anita: Is like 86 or something and has over 1000 rubber stamps. She has this "hobby room" and it is like pinterest in real life. The most amazing and organized thing I have ever seen. These are her favorite things: Books, Cats, Chocolate, Music, and Trees. She puts them in alphabetical order so she doesn't have a favorite of her favorites. She also has cats (she loves them but they are kind of evil... they wanted to draw blood so bad- they were like vampires).
Our other investigators: Adam, Maria, Adolfo, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Benneth, Kathy, Jeremiah, Jorjanna, and Jodi are all doing well! As well as the less actives we are working with! One will be returning when they can be fully  active- which is after the Super Bowl. haha.
Unfortunately none of them came to church this week. We aren't really sure what happened because we thought at least 5 were coming. But even though none of them came to church we saw some miracles! One of the families we are working with in our ward to help increase missionary work brought a friend to church! It was  so exciting to see the influence members have on their friends. Another member brought a friend for the second time. Her name is Dolores and she is 18 (still in high school). She has searched out every possible religion and she is trying out this one. We missed 3rd hour- relief society because we were teaching her about the Book of Mormon. She is only a few chapters in and has really good questions. She wants to start meeting regularly when she gets further in the Book of Mormon.
This week we spent a lot of the evenings in member homes helping them with their missionary work. The very first steps are individual and family prayer and scripture study. We were talking to our ward mission leader about these steps and he called them staff commandments. In Numbers 20:5-6 the Israelites "spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread,  neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people." Then the people realized what they did wrong and started crying unto Moses for help and forgiveness. The Lord told Moses, "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live." It was simple. All the people had to do to be healed from the snake bite was to look upon the staff that Moses made with the Lord's guidance. It was saving their physical lives. In today's world there are "staff commandments." The commandments that are so simple YET save us spiritually. We must do all of these simple staff commandments in order to be spiritually healed - like prayer, scripture study, and church attendance.
I love Alma 19:16-18. It talks about one of the greatest "hidden" heroes in the Book of Mormon- Abish. She is one of the greatest sister missionaries. ;) However, something I realized this week in my personal study is that she has been "converted unto the Lord for many years." She was converted enough to make it known that she was a believer, she was converted unto the Lord enough to RUN house to house to gather the people, and she was converted enough to lead many to "believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them (Alma 19:35." There were so many baptized that they needed to establish a church among them! However she was converted BECAUSE of "a remarkable vision of her father." Her father (an unnamed hero) was so righteous that he influenced generations. This can be applied to my dad and I am sure some other dad's too. All that I have been able to accomplish in life and especially on my mission is because of the influence of my dad and the things he has taught me. Although, he doesn't get the credit he deserves just like Abish's father. Man, this would have been a great Father's Day email... well uh, Happy Father's Day on  January 18th to all the Dad's out there especially Poppa Husky! However, I know that just because we don't receive recognition or see the immediate results of good works they do not go unnoticed in the eyes of God. This father's righteous living influenced the lives of so many people that enough were baptized to establish a church. We underestimate the results of righteous living.
I love you all! xoxo
Sis. Rodda

The Gift of Tongues

January 11, 2016

Dearest Family and Friends,

Sisters Mathews, Wylie, Johnson, Rodda
Monday: On Monday we took a Boeing Tour. Much like the scriptures you learn something new every time you endeavor in it. Just in case you didn't catch the fact I shared in the email I sent last time about Boeing... YOU CAN FIT ALL OF DISNEYLAND INSIDE. Really... you can. It is so big the building creates it's own weather system inside. The said at some points clouds would form and it would start to rain so they have these massive doors that can open so the weather doesn't  get too out of control in the building. Also, something new I learned is that the paint used on the plane can add up to 1000 extra pounds. Anyway, Monday night we visited a few people but unfortunately weren't able to have any lessons.
Tuesday: We had time where we can spend an hour on the church websites to look up talks, mormon messages, really anything that will help investigators or people in our area. My favorite thing I read was about Howard W. Hunter. They had a biography of his life and his teaching as well as video documentations. But with my bad luck I saw the article 10  minutes before we had to go so I have read and seen everything yet. That  night we had dinner with a cute older couple in our ward and Sister Boyack was telling us about the lesson she was giving in Relief Society on Sunday on Uncle Howard. I  didn't tell her about our relationship to him until after she told us that  he was her stake president in Pasadena, California!  It was such a blessing to hear her perspective and the things she remembered about him. I know that Howard W. Hunter was a prophet of God called to guide and direct the people living during that time. I know that God continually calls prophets so we know exactly what we need in order to live with him for eternity.
Wednesday: This is where the Gift of Tongues comes in! This week we had a lesson with a cute African family that speak French. In order to teach them we needed a member of our ward who speaks french to call and set up/confirm the appointment. We also were able to get in contact with a recently returned missionary who had french pamphlets. Then we went to our lesson! We taught a small part of the restoration and the Book of Mormon WITH A TRANSLATOR! They have only been in the United States for 8 months and their English is... nonexistent. BUT THEY LOVE JESUS CHRIST and they loved all the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Africa. We have another appointment with them on Wednesday and we have a French copy of the Book of Mormon to give them! So I guess that was the first day I prayed for the Gift of Tongues... I'm not sure that it helped but I tried to communicate. We also went to a less active's home who had their nonmember neighbor over. Her name is Lisa and she is actually a potential. We are going to do the stop smoking program with her because that was her New Year's resolution! We also taught Maria and the boys! The lesson went well and we have three set appointments with them each week.
Thursday: We did our weekly planning and had another lesson with Maria's family. We watched the Restoration movie and the spirit was so strong... until right when it was showing the first vision our member (who is 18 and a convert) received a text and the sound it made was "EXTERMINATE." Yep, that fled the spirit out of the room... those dang boys... but the rest of the lesson went well. We are trying to get Adolfo (15 years old) on date for baptism and it was amazing when his mom pointed out that Joseph Smith was around his age and he was looking for the truth just like Adolfo is. After we left our member gave Adolfo a blessing for his ears. He gets really bad ear infections and they are constantly giving him trouble- part of the reason he is scared of being baptized by immersion. But after the blessing Adolfo didn't feel any pain and he slept through the night for the fist time in a long while.
Friday: We had Zone Conference. The last two Zone Conferences we have had I said the opening prayer... this time I didn't pray though. I got to say our mission scripture instead and Sister Johnson got to pray! We talked a lot about member missionary work and we have great ideas for how to implement it. We have 19 twenty minute appointments set up next week with members! And we taught two lessons on Sunday already! That night we exchanged with our Sister Training Leaders!
Saturday: I stayed in the area with Hermana Spackman and Sister Johnson went with Hermana Fifita to Lynwood. I learned so much on the exchange and I also learned a bit of Spanish. Hence again, the Gift of Tongues. Spanish is helpful especially on Casino Road. We went to another ward's convert baptism with Maria and her boys! Adolfo really wants to be baptized now and we are really hoping to get him on date tomorrow! We were able to get in contact with a "new move in." Her husband has been excommunicated 3 times... he was really nice and she is a convert of 4 years. We also taught a less active again who is now returning!!!! She came to church yesterday with two other less actives we are teaching and four of our investigators.
Sunday: We had missionary correlation and a few other meetings including ward council. We had church and four of our investigators came! Our recent convert Reymundo passed the sacrament for the first time as well. :) It was a missionary farewell... so glad I don't have to do that ever again.  We also taught a few members of our ward and did studies! Sundays fly for us!
As I was talking to Hermana Spackman this week, I realized the thing I love most about being a missionary. That is: change. I love the walking down casino road and talking to people that look really really... scary. At first they can be standoffish but by the end of the conversation you are filled with love for them and they want you to come to their home to learn more about the Restored Gospel. Or seeing the change in investigators when they learn a new principle or desire to be baptized. I love the change less active members make to draw themselves closer to God. I love the change you see in your companions and how quickly they learn through experiences. I love seeing the change in myself and my friends and family all over the world. Another word for repentance is change and I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the ability we have to learn, grow, progress, and change attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, desires, beliefs... anything.
I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who cares about each of his children. He has a plan for each of us and he has provided ways to learn about his glorious plan. He has given us tools and resources like scripture, prayer, the Holy Ghost, and church to draw closer to him. He has provided us with a Savior who can take away all of our sins, who can make our weaknesses our strengths, and who can take our burdens upon his back. I know that Heavenly Father has called men to be prophets so that we will never be led astray. He has given men the Priesthood authority to perform sacred and everlasting ordinances. I know that God is real and that he lives. He knows the exact thoughts and intentions of our hearts and he is giving us opportunities every day to change and improve so we can live with him and our families for eternity.
I love you and miss you all. XOXO

Sister Rodda

Labor with LOVE!

You Only Mission Once
January 4, 2016

SOOO... like yeah... it's 2016. What? I am always so grateful for a new year and all that is in store. This year will be quite an adventure... months in the mission field, a few months with the family, then starting AND finishing my first semester at school. That's just freaky so let's not talk about it.
This week was great! Unfortunately Sister Johnson was sick for a lot of it and with the Holidays we stayed inside a lot. I'm kind of tired of the blank walls and the same scene from the back window but it's okay! Sister Johnson is feeling a lot better, I'm not sick (yet) and we have great things ahead of us this week! Even though we spent a lot of time inside we still were able to find a new investigator! Her name is Kathy and her daughter is a convert. She has taken the lessons in the past to understand what her daughter was getting into and now we are teaching her again. However, we have prayed and we feel the best way to teach her is through "bible studies" rather than the pamphlets! So that's exciting! :)
The rest of our investigators: Maria, Adolfo, Jodi, Adam, Jeremiah, Jorjanna, Abraham, and Isaac are all doing really well! We are so blessed to be a part of their lives and to spend time in their homes. We love being able to teach, testify, and invite. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing. This week I have been able to have a lot of additional study time and I LOVED IT. I love the scriptures- Specifically the Book of Mormon. I have been studying and pondering the talks of Howard W. Hunter! I love the principles he has taught me through the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.
This morning Sister Johnson and I did a study on labor vs. service. There was a talk by President Monson that mentioned how Christ labored, Christ loved, and Christ served. The biggest difference is the middle part. LOVE. Labor turns to service when we love. :)
I love you all. :)
Sister Rodda