April 25, 2016

Well at this moment in time we know Sister Washburn is being transferred. :(
Heavenly Father has truly blessed me so much. Sister Washburn is one of my dearest friends and this transfer is going to be the hardest to say goodbye to my companion. We have butted heads a few times but who wouldn't if you lived together 24/7. We laugh way too much but it just shows how funny we are. We get called twins a lot but it pretty much is true (22 days a part born in the same hospital). We are unified when we teach and testify but there is always room for improvement. We are sad we have to wait 15 months to see each other again but we know it will all be worth it in the end! It truly is amazing the impact a unified, happy, and hard working companionship can have on a ward or individuals. I have never heard so many members say, "My heart is broken that one of you are leaving, nobody could replace your companionship." OR how many people asked for contact information from us or invited us to come back and stay with their families. Heavenly Father truly knows each of his children and exactly what they need. Anyway... enough of my sob story about transfers.

A few highlights from this last week:
BOWLING: This past week we went bowling with two districts. I didn't play very well. By game 2.5 I started getting bored. I decided to make it fun by taking a different missionary's glasses to bowl each turn. I fell a few times because I couldn't see a thing but for the most part I bowled better than I did before... I was also really sore for three days after but that's okay. It was a great work out!

GARDEN: We have still been doing service at a community garden. We do a lot of weeding and it is just fun to be outside, get to know other missionaries, and to serve. Plus you get to wear pants. BONUS.

CHALK: We tried to do a different creative finding idea each day of the week. One of the things we did was sidewalk chalk. We went to a nearby park and drew out the Plan of Salvation. It turned out really really good and we even saw people looking at it throughout the day!

BEACH: We did our weekly planning at the beach again this week... it is tradition and it is just getting so beautiful here. The weather (besides the last 3 days of nonstop downpour) has been SO nice. Sister Washburn is so tan... I'm still pastey as ever... I have been in WA for too long I think. Anyway, we see tons of seals and eagles... we are waiting to see a whale.
TEMPLE: Adolfo and Reymundo went to the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead! We couldn't get in contact with Maria at all last week but when we showed up on Wednesday (assuming the boys were not on the temple trip) she told us where the boys were AND that they had gotten they temple recommends two weeks prior. I love having great members who just take care of the recent converts. It is amazing to see the progress the boys have made. Letting us come over but not participating, feeling the spirit, deciding to get baptized, showing up to church in white shirts and ties, passing the sacrament, going home teaching, and now attending the temple. NEXT STOP: MISSIONS.
SINGING: Oh so Sister Peterson and Sister Washburn didn't want to waste all the practice we put into a song we were going to sing at stake conference as a companionship... so we sang it on Sunday in sacrament meeting. It was an elder’s farewell so it was nice because there were nonmembers there.
Change can be hard but it is SUCH a good thing. I know Heavenly Father truly does love each of his children. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Him.  I know as we listen and heed to the counsel given to us by our prophet- Thomas S. Monson, Jesus Christ, and the holy scriptures we will be filled with guidance and direction from the Holy Spirit. 
I love you all.
Sister Rodda
PS: I had a Cafe Rio Salad (with sweet pork and black beans) for the first time in 17.5+ months this week. MIRACLEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.


April 18, 2016

April 11th, 2016- April 17, 2016
Monday: After emailing last Monday we went to the park to play soccer with a few families in the ward- both active and less active. It was really fun! I really miss soccer and it is always fun to kick a ball around with some good people. We also had lessons that night.

Tuesday: We finally found some good service projects in our area and one of them is serving at a Community Garden. We go there every Tuesday and Thursday. We plant, weed, water, dig, do random stuff, and yeah! It is a lot of fun. The weather has been nice and it is a good stress relief WHILE still working. We went with the elders to meet Tina and have a pass off lesson. She is the one who slammed the door in our face in front of the workers. We think she just likes the elders and thinks they're cute. We got to meet her this time! But... she didn't let us in.

Wednesday: We had Zone Meeting. Sister Washburn and I were asked to give instruction and it went really really well. I'm definitely a lucky companion. I am sad transfers are coming up. We don't know what will happen but I really want to stay in Mukilteo with Sis. W!

Thursday: Had a lesson with Victor and Jessica and their kids. They are doing so well. They keep their commitments and come with questions. Maria (Reymundo and Adolfo's mom) has bailed on all of our appointments lately... we aren't sure what is going on. So that's a bummer.

Friday: WEEKLY PLANNING. I think this is one of my favorite things to do. Missionaries probably think I am crazy for saying that... BUT Sister Washburn and I make it fun. We either go down to the beach or go to a park to do our 5 hours of planning. AND we always go to lunch. :) It's a great day. When we have an effective weekly planning session we have an effective week.

 Saturday: BAPTISMS! Delores (a girl I started teaching) was baptized at 12 on Saturday. All of her nonmember family came. Kaitlynn was baptized at 1! Her mom is a convert of about a year and a half. She fell away for awhile. We were able to help her get back to church and help her daughter choose to be baptized. We love their family and it was a great day! That night was Stake Conference and Sister Washburn sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." It was beautiful as always.

Sunday: WHAT AN AMAZING DAY! There were two men who received the Melchizedek Priesthood that day. AND GUESS WHAT?! One of them was a man baptized while I was on the Island, and the other was a man I helped reactivate on the Island! I am so proud of John Clark and Zaven! Both great men full of faith. The Sunday Session of Stake Conference was... difficult to pay attention to. They had so many technical difficulties (it was being broadcasted to our building) that is was distracting and everyone just talked the whole time.

My testimony is centered on our unique message to the world. God is our loving Heavenly Father. The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. The Lord calls Prophets so we can learn of his plan whether through scriptures of old or from modern day revelation. We can be forgiven through the Atonement of Christ and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been restored to the Earth today. 

I love you all. Sister Rodda

I Love...Sis. Washburn, Pres. Monson, Conference, Scriptures, and My Dad

April 11, 2016
Dearest Fam,
I am so sorry for not writing a typical email last week, BUT I am writing today. :)
I love Sister Washburn. I am so grateful to have a companion who I can trust. She always participates in lessons, she is always willing to bear her testimony, and she is always ready to help and serve. I consider her one of my greatest pals. I really am so proud of her. She is homesick sometimes but she still pushes through. She doesn't complain and she does the Lord's will. She is the greatest example of "Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ..." I learn so much more from her than I could ever teach her. Oh this morning she was eating an apple in personal study and she sliced her finger open instead of the apple. I have some good medical instincts in these types of situations. ;) She was nauseous so I just put a band aid on it. She is a lot better now.
Last week was General Conference. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to receive counsel from the Lord's servants. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I met Thomas S. Monson years ago when he was a member of the 12 apostles. I remember shaking his hand as a little girl and having the spirit flow into my body- probably the first time I actually recognized the spirit. But that is not how I know he is a prophet of God. I know, because I have prayed about it and the Holy Ghost has confirmed to me that he is the Lord's chosen prophet, seer, and revelator on the Earth today. I support and sustain him. I choose to follow him. 
I don't know if I could ever have a favorite talk or a favorite speaker. I loved every minute of conference. This session I really came to understand the reality of receiving personal revelation. I had been preparing for conference for weeks trying to narrow down all my thousands of questions to just two. As I took my two questions to Heavenly Father in prayer he was able to help me find and recognize the answers I needed- not necessarily the answers I wanted. As we submit to the will of the Lord the things he needs us to do actually become what we personally want to do. I have experienced that over and over and over again while serving in the mission field. He has a divine plan for each of his children, I know it!
A little over 6 months ago in the October 2015 conference, Devin G. Durrant invited us to "Ponderize." I set a goal to Ponderize for the next 6 months (which meant to this last conference), and I did it! But I am now taking it a step further. I bought myself a journal and for the next year (my new goal) I will not only be Ponderizing weekly but I am going to keep a study journal of the things I learn and the experiences I have from applying my scripture. This past week I asked my family to send me a letter of how they "have found new life in Jesus Christ." I got a letter from my dad, Poppa Husky. He shared two scriptures with me, one of which was my Ponderizing scripture last week- Omni 1:26. He said, "We get the death benefit. No matter what. To use the Atonement for sin and adversity we need to apply faith, hope, love, and forgiveness each and every day." I love my dad. He always teaches me something new. He put a big emphasis on the word "partake" and as I have thought about it, I realized, that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to everyone at all times. It literally comes down to our personal choice, our agency, to decide if we want to use the greatest tool to change, be healed, and/or be forgiven. It is within our arms reach... and we don't even need to reach... we just have to choose. As we come unto Christ (which we are invited to do twice in this one verse) through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving  the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end we are promised that we will be saved. Salvation is only possible because we have a loving Heavenly Father who created a perfect plan that included sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to suffer, bleed, and die for us. In which we can partake of to become clean. Only those who are made whole through the Atonement of Christ can return to live in the presence of God. Too often we make the Atonement so complicated because of it's simplicity. You can tell when the Atonement is in effect in someone's life. They are happy and they have a special light in their eye.
Few events coming up that we need major prayers for...
1. Kaitlyn is getting baptized on Saturday! Sister Washburn and I are both giving talks and some past missionaries are coming up to perform the baptism. That will be an amazing thing to see!
2. I got dragged into singing at Stake Conference with my companion. Please pray. That's all.
3. I got my exit essays... Pray.

Sister Rodda

Sweet Reunions

April 4, 2016

Sister Rodda attended her last Zone Conference.  Here she is with her current companion, Sis. Washburn (in blue), and 2 former companions, Sis. Johnson (left) and Sis. Bell (right)

Joy ...and a Door Slam

March 28, 2016
This has been an amazing and bussyyyy week. We had loads of lessons, served in many different ways, had plenty of church/missionary meetings, we attended the Messiah Choir broadcast, we went to a memorial, watched the General Women's Conference, went to church (Sister Washburn sang in sacrament meeting), and celebrated Easter. So yeah... I'm exhausted. Oh and we are sick again.

I came across a scripture this week that is probably my new favorite- if there is such a thing as a a favorite scripture- and is my ponderizing scripture for this upcoming week. It describes our life perfectly.

Alma 36:20, "And Oh, what joy and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!" Missions are hard. We are rejected (we had an awesome door slam this week- stay tuned!), we miss home/family/friends, we are out of our comfort zone majority of the time... and you are physically, spiritally, emotionally, mentally, everything(ally) EXHAUSTED all the time. But it is supposed to be that way. That is why it is called missionary WORK. It is the only way Heavenly Father can help us transform from the person we currently are into the eternal potential he sees in us. The same applies to life. Life is hard. We have mean coworkers, unfair bosses, kids that don't listen (sorry mom and dad), friends that stab you in the back, high school, trials, weaknesses, losses... and you are physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, everything(ally) EXHAUSTED all the time. But it is supposed to be that way. That is why it is called Earth Life. It is the only way Heavenly Father can help us transform from the person we currently are into the eternal potential he sees in us. I feel like I share this same thing every single week but it is true. It applies day in and day out to every single person who has ever lived or ever will live here on Earth. The greatest part of Heavenly Father's plan, though, is the ability we have to experience joy. Right now we cannot feel or comprehend complete and eternal joy but we can feel joy in a mortal state.

The door slam: First of all I remember my very first door slam ever. 3 days in the mission Patricia Bartolivic, IT WAS AWESOME. This one was great too. We get the door slammed a lot but this one was just too good. The zone leaders were in our area a couple weeks ago and met this lady named Tina. We tried to have a "pass off" lesson. Which means they basically we aren't the ones who are going to teach you, the sisters are. Unfortunately she wasn't home that day. WELL after that day we have stopped by MANY times. She never answers, yells through the door, tells us to come back a different day... but this day... we go to her apartment complex. This apartment complex is probably the scariest complex on Casino... this is where all the murders and stuff happen. lol. It is set up like a hotel. Long hallways (inside) with door on both sides. Tina's door is right across from another room that is being worked on. They took the door off and there are 3 guys standing there (kinda) working. We knock on TIna's door, she opens it really quickly, yells "IT'S NOT A GOOD TIME, I JUST GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL", then SLAMS the heck out of the door. It was a pretty good slam too. We are used to those but the worst part was when we turned around the 3 guys were standing there, huge eyes, pasty white, jaws dropped.... we just laughed, they laughed, and then we left.

Missions are great.

I love you all.

Sister Rodda