February 22, 2016

Dearest family and friendssssss.
One day this week we came home for lunch and it was really hot so we opened our back door (we also have a screen door and we left that shut). Well I was in the kitchen making myself a gourmet sandwich while Sister Washburn was washing her hands in the bathroom. All the sudden I hear some rustling in the living room so I peak out of the kitchen thinking "What the heck is Sister Washburn doing?” And “why did she leave the bathroom water running?" Well I look around the corner and I see a stinkin squirrel.  A SQUIRREL IN OUR APARTMENT GOING THROUGH A TRASH CAN. I just start screaming and freaking out so Sister Washburn comes out of the bathroom scared to death. The squirrel also gets scared and runs out the SCREEN DOOR. Moral of the story we have requested a new screen door that doesn't have a perfect "squirrel sized" hole in the bottom.

Adolfo is going to be baptized this upcoming Saturday!! Everything is planned and ready to go. Bart (his mom's really standoffish live in boyfriend) joined us for a prayer this week in a lesson. He always leaves the room or the house whenever we are there. But this week we had a lesson and he was cooking in the kitchen. It was the end of the lesson and I just invited him to prayer with us. He surprisingly did. Huge step there. He even knelt and said "Amen".

We also have this potential that works at a really really cute art gallery/souvenir shop. It all beachy and cuteeeeeee. Anyways we first met her because Sis. Washburn had to go to the bathroom so I was able to talk to her for a while. But we needed to go back so we did this last week and we didn't want to be awkward so we obviously had to buy something. I got a cool starfish ring.  She is really nice and her name is Liz.  She met missionaries in Hawaii when she lived there. She gave us lots of flowers too. :)

sorry this was a short one. 
love, sister rodda


February 15, 2016
A few special moments of the week:
We are at our apartment having lunch when we get a knock at the door. We open it and a guy is standing there with a box in his hands. In a high pitch voice he says, "edible arrangement." We were like uhhhh.... no???? Then he looked at my name tag and goes, "Yep, yep, this is for you." Shoves the basket in my hand, makes me sign a paper, hop in a creeper van and leaves. I am still standing at the door with Sister Washburn... like what? Anyway, thanks mom, dad, and dude! Best Valentine’s Day gift ever. People, you don't need chocolate or a significant other. Just order an "edible arrangement" and have it delivered by the Pillsbury Dough Boy twin.
Yesterday we go to a former investigators house for an appointment. They wanted to give us a Valentine’s Day treat so they made us a HUGE cake. We asked if we could take the part we couldn't eat to go because we had dinner in 10 minutes. So we go to dinner... we have lasagna and salad and bread and corn and strawberry shortcake and chocolate. Then, we leave to go to our next dinner... special mexican food, beans, rice, seaweed, chips, carrot cake... yeah actually this wasn't all that funny, I am still full. Now I feel like the Pillsbury Dough Boy who should deliver edible arrangements.
This week we were walking in a nicer neighborhood to contact a referral. As we were walking a guy comes out of his house and we all give an awkward hello. Then he precedes to trip over his feet a little. I look away because it was a little embarrassing and I didn't want him to know I saw. Then we continued walking and hear a slap and few grudges only to turn back around and he is on the ground. He hop up and Sister Washburn yells, "hey, are you okay?" He turns around (I think a little out of it) with a really red face and gives us a thumbs up. I don't think his concussion was too bad because he jumped in the car and drove off.
We were at a member’s house for dinner this week and they have an evil cat- the Rodda family kind of knows about mean kitties. ;) Well, Sister Washburn wants to pet the cat and I say, "be careful, he's a feisty one!" But the cat leans his head forward like, "please scratch my head." So Sister Washburn puts out her pointer finger out and is getting closer to his head to scratch when all the sudden he claws the bageebers out of her hand. I am dying of laughter, she is dying of pain, and the members ask what is going on. She just holds us her hand up as blood is trickling down it. Luckily I had a few bandaids in my handy dandy bag. All is well in Zion.

This week I read a quote that said, "Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing us. It is about seeking His will and asking for His help to do what we need to do." I have a testimony in the power of prayer, especially when we ask questions that apply to God's plan. We would never go up to our college math professor and say, "Hey, what's the answer to number four?" I am pretty sure he isn't going to tell you. But if you said, "Hey, professor, I don't understand problem four, can you help me with the next step? Or teach me how I can solve the problem?" That is your teacher’s job and he is going to help you find the answer. Heavenly Father is the professor of our life. He has a plan and He has tools and resources to help us find answers. So often we ask Him to take away our trials or our pains and afflictions. But we are just going to find that we aren't receiving answers and it is because we are not praying for the right thing. Instead, we need to ask for comfort, peace, and direction. This is God's plan, not ours. He has all the answers, we don't. If we knew all the answers then life would be easy and we would not improve, grow, or be able to help others.
Adolfo, Jodi, Domlina, and Maria are all doing well on their progression towards baptism. Their dates are still set and they are truly changing (repenting) to bring their lives in closer harmony with Christ's teachings- the Gospel. All of our other investigators are doing well. They are gaining a testimony of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon and receiving answers to prayers.
I love you all. :)
Sister Rodda

Faith, Attitude, Excitement, Expectations...

February 8, 2016
Dearest Family and Friends and anyone else,

This week my heart has been filled with indescribable gratitude. Missions are hard. People say that a lot and I have come to find out that it is quite true. However, it has been a completely different "hard" than I expected over the last... however many months. You spend every waking minute thinking so intently that by the end of the day you are so spiritually drained that you are physically incapable. However the happiness you enjoy on your mission overpowers all of the hardships and difficulties. This is just like the Gospel. The Gospel is simple but it isn't easy. The joys that come from living righteously cannot be described because of how truly wonderful they are. In the Washington Everett Mission we have discussed four things that create success among missionaries. They are faith, attitude, excitement, and expectations. The same applies to righteous gospel living. As we have faith in the doctrine of Christ, as we have a positive attitude, as are excited to learn, grow and share our testimonies, and as we expect to see God's promises fulfilled we will be full of joy. I want to share experiences from this past week that has helped us not only be successful but find the indescribable, God given happiness that is promised to each of us.
Out in the field you do a lot of role playing and practicing for investigators, members, random people you don't even know. And majority of the time you practice the perfect, ideal situation (that never actually happens) However, we had a lesson this week with Domlina that was just about as perfect as it could get. Her husband is a less active member and they are from the Marshall Islands (not sure if it's martial or Marshall or something else). We met her for the first time, and asked her why she wasn't baptized.  She said she didn't really know! We had a perfect Restoration of the Gospel lesson with her, and then invited her to be baptized. She committed to be baptized February 27th! Yep, miracle.
We got a referral for this family in a... not so good... apartment complex. We knocked on the door and a guy from the middle east answered the door and told us to come in. We asked if there was a third female, there was, so we went in. They just moved in and they are from Iraq and Ukraine. We asked if we could do any service for them and they started listing off items they need... lol still not sure what we are going to tell them on Tuesday about the lack of furniture we are coming back with.  As we were sitting on the couch the guy (who spoke no English at all) brought two dark drinks over on a fancy tray and he bows. I am a little hesitant but grab it. Then I hear Sister Washburn whisper in my ear, "it's Coke, I saw them pour it." hahaha so then we have to chug this hot coke. They were super nice. They are Muslims.

We had an appointment go a little longer than expected and it started getting dark outside. We had to walk back to our apartment in the dark on Casino. We avoid that situation AT ALL COSTS. However, we just started praying out load as we were walking down the street and all the scary guy that were on our side either walked right by, crossed the street, or turned down a different road. It was such a huge blessing. We know the Lord watches after us and keeps us safe.
Some other awesome things that we have done this week is service projects! Sister Chambless is a lady in our ward (recently reactivated) who is being moved to a care facility, so we have been helping her pack up and clean. Well we start helping her clean her outside storage closet, and it is really creepy in there... TONS OF SPIDERS. Well not only were their spiders in her storage closet, but also in her neighbors who we helped move that day too! I had plastic bags on my hands cleaning out all the boxes and taking everything out of the closet. In the meantime, Sister Washburn was as high as she could be on a chair with gloves on HER hands. Service is the greatest experience.
A member took us out to dinner this week. Applebees. I love that Oriental chicken salad. lol. Afterward they just kept giving us coats on coats on coats. They said if we ever need anything then we are their family and we can ask them. THEY ARE SO CUTE!

We met a former this week. His name is Bob Keithley. We wrote down his name and contact information and then he says, "let me see how you spelt it... some people add an extra o." I have to think for a second... like obob bobo.... and then I realized what he meant. I died. And then right before we left he said, "Can I give you pretty girls a hug and a kiss?" You have to understand this guy is like upper 80s. We are like.... "Uh, you can give us a handshake." Then all the sudden he is embracing me and opens his hand with a Hershey kiss. We love him. He is super cute and his wife is adorable. She has cancer and really bad health so he drives her to the hospital for treatments every day. Hopefully they will find comfort in the Plan of Salvation and decide to investigate!
The rest of our investigators: Maria, Adolfo, Abraham, Isaac, Jodi, Benneth, Francis, Adam, Anita, Jeremiah, Jorjanna, Jakob, Lisa, and Domlina are all doing well. Progressing and have real intent. We are so blessed to labor in this part of the Lord's vineyard. We have four investigators on date. Domlina and Adolfo for the end of this month. Jodi for March. Maria for April. The work is hastening.

I love when Ammon reflects on his mission in Alma 26. This week I can really relate to him in verse 16 when he says, "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." As I have served the Lord I have seen His hand in the work. I have truly seen the Lord work miracles in the lives of my brothers and sisters. Before you come out on a mission you think your testimony is solid and complete, but you quickly get humbled in the field and you realize how much you truly need to learn. I can now say that my testimony is my foundation and it is strong and unwavering. There are no winds or waves or hurricanes or seemingly massive disaster that could break it down or blow it away. It is because my testimony lies in the unchanging doctrines of the gospel and in the deep, unreachable parts of my heart. I know that the Lord's kingdom is on the Earth today and it has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Priesthood authority has been restored to the earth as well and that it allows us to perform saving and essential ordinances. I know that through the power of God, Joseph Smith was inspired and had the ability to translate the Book of Mormon. As we read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon, we not only come to know it's true but we can see God's hand in our life. I know that we are led by a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson and that we will not go astray  as we act upon his words. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and through his atonement we can be made clean to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father again. And as a sweet man in the Mukilteo Ward would say, "That's my story... and I'm sticking to it!"
I love you all. :)
I'm never coming home. :)

Sister Rodda

Sis. Washburn

February 1, 2016

This has been an amazing week! I am a little bummed that it is already February but it's okay. Monday was my last day with Sister Johnson and we celebrated  by going to the mall. I bought a few things and I even got orange juice. They have these new machines that make freshly squeezed orange juice right in front of your face at the mall. It was 3 bucks... but totally worth it. I was sad to say goodbye to Sister Johnson. It is crazy how much you truly grow to love your companions and you do become the best of friends.
On Tuesday we spent most of the day at the mission office for transfers and I was assigned my companion- AKA MY BEST FRIEND. Her name is Sister Melanie Washburn from Orem, UT. She is the youngest of 6 kids and  is superrr cute. She has bunnies and loves horses... don't worry I'm not just using her for the horses or her clothes. She is an amazing teacher and is ready to work, work, work. She is weird like me so we get along great. :)
On Wednesday we had district meeting! We have a whole new district because they split some areas in half. It was nice getting to know some new missionaries. We had dinner that night with the Peterson's... Sister Washburn's first dinner appointment... AND IT WAS CRAZY. Sister Peterson was laughing and took a bite of meat all the sudden she  got up from her chair and started dancing and jumping around. Then finally made the choking sign so we knew what was going on. LUCKILY (a huge miracle) she had family there and they did the heimlich. I am so  grateful it all turned out okay. Scared me half to the death... I had no clue what to do... I was in shock and literally sat there the whole time. I am awful.
Over the next several days we street contacted as normal and taught investigators and less actives. We also had lots of service opportunities this week which was pretty unusual.
Sister Washburn had the opportunity to invite someone to be baptized this week! Maria is now on date for baptism so that is three of our brothers and sisters who are taking the invitation to come unto Christ and follow his example! The spirit was so strong in that lesson and Sister Washburn is great at testifying and sharing what she knows.
I think that's about all. :) Be ready for an explosion of pictures! We took quite a few. :) I love you all. Thank you for all your love and support!

Sister Rodda