Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Breakfast!

Looks like one of his dad's big breakfasts! 

Email sent December 30, 2013: We had 61 contacts during Christmas Week!

It was quite wonderful indeed to talk to the whole family. I plan on sending Bailey an email and a card for her birthday, but I forgot to get a card when we were at Walmart. This has been a very driving sort of day, drove to Lilburn to drop off baptismal record, then to Walmart, and now we have to go drive some other elders back to their apartment.
This week was a little hard to be honest with the whole Christmas thing--not that I was really homesick, but mostly because no one really wanted to talk to us.   Elder Mayo and I worked hard to talk to people and teach some lessons. We had 61 contacts this week and the zone average was about 45 so I'm very proud of us for getting out there even when the odds are against us, Elder Mayo and I are working hard and keeping our heads up.  We'll do our two hours of tracting everyday, we'll do our best to teach lessons everyday, and we'll do our best to bring others unto Christ everyday.  There's nothing I would rather be doing right now. We were talking about what we would be doing if we weren't on the mission and I realized--nothing. I would be doing nothing if I wasn't here. This is the time I have and I decided long ago that i was going to use all of it working to help others

Yesterday we had the baptism of S and it was wonderful. Everything went as planned and she was so happy to finally be baptized! I'll send some pictures in another email. She's pretty tiny, like smaller than Madison but she's so wonderful.  Her brother was the one who baptized her and he was so grateful for our help. She's the last one to be baptized of all of her siblings so she completed the family!   
This next week I'll probably be transferred out of Peach Tree Corners, and into another area. I've loved being here but I've started getting a little stir crazy. I haven't seen another area or worked in anything other than Peachtree so I want to get out and serve somewhere else. I won't know till next week where I go but I'll work hard wherever it is. I just don't want to work in Johns Creek hahahaha. That's like the black hole of missionary work. President Wolfert "Emergency Transferred" out two companionships in two different areas two weeks ago. That's an entire stake without Spanish speaking missionaries. They went Dirt Biking on a weekday and when President found out he was... not happy. So odds are I'll be serving there. It'll either be Gainsville or Bufford in the Sugar Hill Stake. I'm not sure actually. I'm just sort of guessing.  I'll know by this time next week.
Seriously? The house got a little flooded? That's a bummer. But hey! You get a new kitchen floor that you've wanted for so long .  Now Finn and his claws can scratch it all up too! Send me a picture when things get done so that I can see. I'm also glad Bobby is feeling better. I really do love what I'm doing and where i am. This work is amazing. The people here are so wonderful and there is work. I love you all so much and thanks for everything everyone does for me.  All of the Christmas packages and cards were so wonderful.  
Love you lots!
Elder Rodabough the second

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Baptism!

Elder Rodabough baptized the father in this family on December 22, 2013.  He has helped this small Spanish Branch add 5 members to their midst since September!

Sitting on Santa's Lap

On December 21, 2013 all of the missionaries in the Georgia Atlanta Mission gathered for a Christmas Party.  Santa was a special visitor!  Elder Rodabough appeared to enjoy sitting on Santa's lap.  Oddly when he was little he usually cried whenever he saw Santa. 

The Christmas Tree Adventure

Elder Rodabough and his companion Elder Mayo are teaching a family that has very little.  They decided to give them a Christmas Tree.  In order to give them this tree, they first had to get it from the Christmas tree lot to the family's apartment.  That meant they had to get it into their small car.  After much pushing, shoving and rearranging, they did it! 



Merry Christmas Elder Rodabough

Elder Rodabough's family sent him a paper Christmas Tree to put up in his apartment.  Along with the tree, Elder Rodabough received ornaments from family and friends each with a special note.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Email sent December 16, 2013: Work=Success

So basically, all we listen to here is the Lower Lights (a note--the Lower Lights is a group of Mormon recording artists who perform hymns in a folk music fashion. They are very popular in Utah). All the missionaries know about them and if they don't, they beg other elders to burn them CD's of all their stuff. I've felt a little bit like a hipster in that regard since, well, I knew them first hahaha
But this week I did get the package. I was super suprised actually!!!! I took lots of photos but, I left my camera in the car.... sorry. But know that the tree is up and I'll send pictures the next week. 
This week has been a little bit of a challenge. Elder Mayo has had pretty passive companions for most of his mission and so he's been trying to play keep-up with me the past two weeks. He likes the work we're doing and was suprised at how many people are progressing. Really the lesson I've learned this week is work=success. You do what is asked of us, give it your all and the Lord will bless us with success or will bless us some other way.
Really one experience which was cool was on Saturday. Elder Mayo was sick the whole day so we were going a little bit slower. Things were falling through and no one wanted to really talk to us. Earlier that day, our zone leaders had left a voicemail saying that when we go out pray for and expect miracles to happen. We pulled into a complex that we were going to try for the first time and I asked if we could say a little prayer. We said one and I asked the Lord to help us find someone to talk to. The second we finished I looked down at the pamphlet I had been carrying around all day and hadn't looked at. It had a name, address and phone number of someone in the very same complex we were in. I got out and asked a woman who was passing by if she knew the person on the pamphlet and then she invited us over in two weeks to come and share something with her. Her daughter is a member and she has two granddaughters serving missions.  Then we went to the address and the people had moved. There was another address on the pamphlet and so we tried that one. Also had moved... But as we were walking back downstairs we heard some hispanic people yelling so we knocked on their door,. We asked if we could leave a blessing on their home and they invited us rtght in! We left the blessing and then they talked to us for a little bit. Then we left. The Lord really does want to help us! Sometimes we just need to ask for it before he'll give it.
We've got a baptism planned this Sunday for a part member family. The mother, son and niece that lives with them were baptized a month ago in Orem and then moved out here. The mother is the sister of an investigator we already have and because of her example, our investigator really wants to be baptized. Sadly we've got to work through some mexican divorce stuff first...... But the husband of the other family wants to be baptized so we plan on having his baptism after church on Sunday! Really we were so blessed to find this family and to help them out. They just got an apartment and literally they have a table and a mattress--nothing else. President Markos the branch president has enlisted the help of the English ward to help us out. We're going over later today to give all the stuff to them that the English ward got together!
Hey Mom, I also have a question. They don't have a Christmas tree.  I was wondering if you guys could put some money on my card to get them a little fake tree at Walmart for $30? I fixed my shirts so you don't need to worry about that, but I really want to give this family something to make this Christmas special. I don't think they have any money to get gifts....
Love Elder Rodabough the second.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Elder Rodabough--Missionary Man!

Email sent December 9, 2013: "We're ministers from....A church"

Well mother this week is titled, "We're Ministers from..... A church"  This week was pretty great.
We committed Familia C to be baptised on the 22nd of December and to live the Word of Wisdom. It's going to be hard, because P the son, who's only 14, has a problem with smoking! It's so sad to think that a kid who's going to turn 15 soon has a problem with smoking. Sadly whenever the subject comes up, the team-up we have and all of his family kind of gang-up on him. I don't think he feels loved, but he does have a cousin named J who was baptized in Orem, UT a month ago and now lives with Familia C. She really loves him and is helping him out as much as she can to keep him on the straight and narrow.
I did exchanges with an Elder in my District. He's a really great kid who's only been out 5 months.  During the exchange he explained to me his doubts of being here on the mission. He mentioned that the main reason why he came out was to please his grandparents and his parents. He doesn't have many boys in his extended family and he's the only boy in his immediate family so he feels a lot of pressure to serve. When he told me I had no idea what to say. I did my best and listened to the Spirit. Since then I've talked to Sister Wolfert, who just loves you guys by the way, and she's going to get him some counseling to help.
Yeah don"t really remember much.
We had a meeting with all the District and Zone Leaders in the mission for 6 hours. There's 13 new District Leaders all with under 1 year in the mission and it's kind of crazy. President Wolfert's sort of pushing out the old and preping the new.... but it does worry some of the Zone Leaders. But anyway we had a meeting from 10-4 and I drove down with Elder Jex, who came out in my group from the MTC and I've gotten to know pretty well. After however, things got interesting. We picked up  Elder Higginbotham from Canada and they both came back with me to my area. We went to the appointments I had set up the couple days before. No, they do not speak Spanish and yes, they were very confused the whole time. I really had to remember some Spanish. We went over to Sheny's house for dinner and they just looked scared the entire time hahaha but sweet little Sheny made them feel right a home.
We had round 2 of the meeting, another 6 hours. I talked to Elder Blair a lot though. He's such a nice guy. Seriously he's just the kindest missionary here. He's a District Leader and he's a good one at that. But really the most memorable part of the day was when we were driving back. Me and Elder Jex came across an accident on the I-85 and it was pretty bad. A woman had drifted close to the median and then overcorrected to the right and turned right into a semi truck. It hit her on the front and sent her spinning so hard it hit the back of her car and sent her back the way she came. We didn't see that anyone was hurt when we passed and we kept driving. We'd made it about 200 yards when Elder Jex just said "Pull over. We're going back." We pulled over and then ran back to the accident. When we got there we found out the lady hadn't been injured, but like anyone else would be, was freaking out. We walked right up to her and just said, "Hello, ma'am, we're ministers from... a church." and the first thing she did was grab our hands and asked if we would pray for her. We each took her hands and then prayed for her and at one point we just started giving her a blessing as well. It was a pretty unorthadox blessing, but hey, I'm sure the lord understands. Afterwords we got up, waited for the police, and then left when everything was fine. It was such a cool experience for me and Elder Jex and i'm so glad he was listening to the Spirit.
We took our Christmas pictures, I'll send them to you hahaha (see above)
I'm so happy to hear about things in Utah.  It may be cold there but it rains and rains, and rains, and rains here all day almost every day this past week. But things are still progressing. Hearing about Thanksgiving made me feel pretty happy. I'm so glad that you all were able to spend time together. These moments will probably be pretty rare from here on out, so I'm glad you guys got to be together!
As for Christmas, President told us we can skype our families. We just need to ask a member for their computer and set up a time for when we're going to call. We can figure all that out next week. There's no set time for when we have to call so we can call throughout the day. If you could just pick a time, figure out the time differences, and tell me which number, name, whatever I do to call, I can.
Hey by the way, I dried a piece of candy with my clothes.... and pretty much I have pink sticky stuff all over my shirts. Elder Mayo knows a member who does some drycleaning on the side and we're going over tomorrow, but if you could please put some money on my card so if that doesn't work out I can by some new shirts I would greatly appreciate it!!!! My bad ma.
I'm super excited for the packages!  Could I plase add a vial of oil to my christmas list? I'm worried I'll have to give a blessing and i won't have oil to do it with.I've also got an idea from Elder Coleman my Zone Leader for your Christmas gift, but don't get mad if i can't get it to you by Christmas. It may be a little bit later. I think you're going to like it a lot :)
Much love,
Elder Rodabough the second.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decorating for Christmas with Elder Mayo

Atlanta Temple with Elder Galvez

Email sent December 2, 2013: Thanksgiving and the Temple

I loved hearing from all of you! Seriously it was so happy to me! I'm glad that you were able to hear the tape. I recorded it about three times. I don't know what Elder Galvez wrote, since he wouldn't let me listen to it, but I hope he said great things hahah because I think the world of him.

This week was a little uneventful so my email won't be super long. I'd say the best parts were Friday at the temple, and Sunday with Familia C.  We also had Hispanic/American thanksgiving with Sister S. She made mac and cheese, turkey, rice and beans. I loved it a lot actually. It was nice to eat at her house since she's like our ward mom. She'll always give us food and always comes with us on team ups with her husband.

Friday we got to go to the temple because the mission met the goal of 40 baptisms in one month. So those with a baptism got to go. I loved it! I'll send some pictures but it was super beautiful. The Atlanta temple is super tiny but I love it all the same. I loved the new movie as well!!! I loved the chance to be in the celestial room with about 30 other missionaries. the other session finished before us but it was great.

Sunday we went over to try and get Familia C to come to church and they said they would but they needed a ride. They didn't really expect us to get them one but when we showed up with it we then waited for an hour in their living room for them to get ready. They loved church and said they would love to come back.
I feel like a real missionary, working hard with Elder Mayo. He's been sick so a little less work hahaha.  I love you all and I'll send you some pictures!!

Elder Rodabough the second

Monday, November 25, 2013

Email sent November 26, 2013: HOLY FREAKING HECK THIS WEEKEND WAS LOCO!!!!

This week is titled:  HOLY FREAKING HECK THIS WEEKEND WAS LOCO!!!!!!!! 
Yeah I know, I set it up right? But this weekend was just stinking crazy!!

So on Friday, it was awful. I really hated Friday to be honest. I really was just angry with Elder Galvez, our investigators and the fact that we were dropping a lot of people and we didn't have very many more investigators. That night I felt very alone. I went into our living room right before bed and honestly just cried for about 10 minutes. I asked the Lord if he actually cared about me and that if he could show me that he was there, that he really was watching over his missionaries and that I could feel his love. When I didn't feel the comfort that I was expecting, I cried even harder.

Saturday, started off with me feeling very inadequate and feeling like I'm never going to be the missionary that I had expected myself to be, to learn this language or to even function here as a missionary. Eventually Elder Galvez decided that we just needed to get out of the apartment and go work to calm down and to fill the baptismal font for the baptism of Luis.

That night around 5:30 pm we went over to Familia M's. President Wolfert had texted us a few days before saying that maybe it was time to move on from them since they'd dropped two baptismal dates and that we weren't going to "beg them to be baptized". So we went over with a team up named Hermano Castaneda (Cast an yeh da) for the drop talk. When we got there they were a little sad.  A, who's developed a crush on Elder Galvez which he totally he brought upon himself because he texts her very often, was very upset and walked away. But then something happened--Hermano Castaneda began to teach about acting on our faith and not expecting something huge to happen to make us want to change. After he finished talking Y asked if V, her daughter, and my favorite in the M family, was ready to be baptized. We said yes and asked V, age 11, the baptismal interview questions. She answered perfectly. Then Y asked if she and V could be baptized to which we responded YES!!! She asked how soon she could be baptized to which Elder Galvez responded, "tomorrow" and she agreed. We had the baptism of Luis that night and after we had the interviews for Y and V. They both passed perfectly.

Sunday after church, we had the baptism. V asked me if I could be the one to baptize her and I was so happy to do so! Right before we went into the font she asked if we could practice real fast. I showed her where her hands would go on mine and then I practiced what I was going to say. As I said the baptismal words I looked into V's eyes and what I saw was just the pure love of God. I saw how much the Lord loves her and how wonderful this moment was. She began to cry and so did I. I said her name wrong though hahahaha and after we asked President Marcos the Branch President if we needed to do it again and he said, "The Lord knows who was baptized. We don't need to do it again Elders." 

Mom, Dad, family and everyone else who reads this--the Lord is there. The Lord knows us personally, and loves every one of us here on this earth. The lord showed me personally, that he listens to me, and loves me. I know that with every fiber of my being and I cannot deny. I love this gospel so much and I love that I have the chance to spread it.

Today however, I'm a little nervous. We got a call from president at 9:40 am and he told us that Elder Galvez is going to be the new Zone Leader in the Athens Zone. I was so excited for him. He's an amazing missionary and will be an amazing Zone Leader. Then president asked to speak with me and I got scared. I'm going to be the new District Leader replacing Elder Galvez. They're splitting our zone in half since theres 50 missionaries here and that's just too many. My district will have me and my new companion, Elder Mayo, Elder Amaro, Elder Thomas and the other Spanish speaking Elders in our branch right now. The district will also include two sets of sisters in the Johns Creek area. I am nervous. I've been out here 3 months!!!!! I don't even know this language and now I have to be the District Leader for 8 missionaries!?!?! I told president that I'm not sure if I’m ready for that and he gave me some comforting words. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen or if I can really do this. But if the lord thinks I can, I will do my best.

Mom thank you for everything that you've given me! I think about you and Dad constantly every time we go on a team-up with a member of the ward.  I know that you're working hard but maybe give some other members a chance!!! Hahahaha. I am just kidding. I love you all so much. I'm so happy to hear that the family is going to be together for Thanksgiving! I wasn't expecting Bailey & Bobby, Madison & Cameron to come out! I'm really happy that you've got everyone there! Your Amazing Rodabough Challenge Race sounds really fun actually!  I love that idea! For Christmas I wrote down a list, but then I forgot to bring it with me.... Lo siento madre, discupeme.  (Sorry mom, forgive me) This next week I can send you my Christmas gift. Mostly I just want some reasonable things. I won't ask for Nerf guns, but I really thought about it!! I think this is our address.....105 Tree Corners Parkway, Norcross, GA, but I really think you might want to wait till next week to have me confirm that. You can look it up on google maps. It should be called the Domain apartments at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge and Jimmy Carter. You can type all that in and just see if that's it. We know it is Apartment 105 though hahaha

I'm sad to hear that Grandpa isn't feeling good.... :(  I hope that he can get better and have some miracles happen. I pray about him and I hope that everything ends up alright. Love you so much Mom, Dad, Bailey & Bobby, Madison & Cameron, Nick, Heidi & Oliver, Addison & Claire, Grandma & Grandpa, Lil & Randy, Gorhams, Gunns and McClellans!!!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving or a Dia de Gracias!!!
Elder Rodabough, the second

Monday, November 18, 2013

Email from November 18, 2013: Safe and Sound

Things here in Georgia are pretty safe actually weather wise. A little rain here and it is actually been warming up over the past few days. We hadn't heard much about the missionaries in Philippines so I'm glad to hear they're ok. I have a couple friends over there that I hope and pray are ok. I know the Lord will protect his servants when they choose to do what is right and aren't dangerous. If we stay safe, he will keep us safe. But don't worry mom I will listen to the spirit as much as I can.  I really try and sometimes I feel that I can't do it as well--that I can't hear the Spirit speak to me. But I think about what Elder Thomas told me a couple weeks ago. "You won't know it was the Spirit until you act on it." I'm not going to just blindly start acting on impressions, but if I feel that it's the Holy Ghost, I will act. It's really simple to discern actually according to President Hinckley. If it prompts to do good, it is the Spirit. But for safety, I just need to stop and think for a few moments and I know that things will be ok.

This week was pretty good. Thank you so much for the journal! I think I'll send home the other one, but I'm not totally sure.  We didn’t have any of the baptisms we were hoping to have. All of our investigators didn't keep commitments and didn't feel like they're ready and we were almost dropped by a couple of them as well.... But Elder Galvez is an amazing missionary and he testified with the Spirit to keep them reading. We have had a few more setbacks in the last couple more days as well. We do have one solid investigator though planned for a baptism this Saturday. We hope that he continues to keep his commitments and prepare for the covenant he will make with the Lord.

Oh and about that package, The Zone leaders told us to tell you to send Christmas packages to us directly at our apartments so that we can have a Christmas gift.  I don't really know our address right now. But for one package send it to me and the others send to the mission office.   I would like some Nutella because that's stuff 'is the bomb!

I'm so glad to be here as a missionary. I'm sorry if my letter wasn't as detailed as the others, but I wanted to share more about my spiritual experiences. This past Saturday I was on an exchange with Elder Thomas and I read in Mosiah 3:19. The part that stood out to me was about submitting yourself to all that the Lord chooses to put upon us. If we have hope, faith and submit to the will of the Lord with patience all will be ok. We will be able to bear all if we realize that there is a way to overcome all

Elder Rodabough the second

Monday, November 11, 2013

Email from November 11, 2013: "Elder Amaro always finds the weirdest people!"

The title of this week is "Elder Amaro always finds the weirdest people."  But I'll get to that story in a little bit.  

I can't remember much about this day. Had to consolidate pages in my journal hahaha. 

We went over and taught a lesson to R and A and all we did was read the scriptures with them and talk about the principles and doctrines. We then just invited them to keep reading. We brought along the other ward missionaries, Familia Soto. Hermana Soto is really getting into missionary work so she tries to come with us as much as she can. She reminds me a lot of you actually mom! It was a really good lesson and R told us she felt much more of the Spirit and happy after we left. She told us that usually when we come she feels the Spirit, but overwhelmed and a little angry every time. We realized that we've been focusing too much on getting the numbers of our baptisms and not focusing on our love for our investigators.

We had a lesson with Y, R's sister who's really close to baptism. We again, read out of the Book of Mormon and talked about faith and receiving answers to our prayers. Her sister a member named Hermana Abila, bore such a strong testimony.  My favorite line was, "Look, do you really think Jesus is just going to come down and say 'Yup, it's true'? NO! He's going to tell you by the Holy Ghost, so just listen!"  Y then looked at us and said "Ok, Elders the 23rd." Y and her daughter V are going to be baptized on the 23rd of this month.

We had Zone Conference with the Roswell Zone and the Merrieta Zone. President Wolfert and his wife were there and we did trainings about talking WITH people, not talking TOO people. Since then we've really focused on making our contacts with people more happy and meaningful--really listening to everything they say (and for me trying to understand) and then really listening to the Spirit as well.  Our contacts have been really great since we started doing this.

I did an exchange with Elder Amaro from John's Creek. He's been out 20 months and is from Mexico. HE actually went to the CCM when it was a school and lived in my same apartment haha!  Really this was an interesting experience. 5 minutes into tracting we talked to these two guys. And one was just....well crazy as they come. He started talking about how these gang members he knows have put some sort of shield or force field around him to keep him controlled. Then he explained how they pray to the grim reaper. In mid conversation he would stop and stare squinty eyed at everyone that passed by. We were there about half an hour trying to say anything. Elder Amaro has lots of stories about people like that.  He finds the weirdest people!  Kind of entertaining though.

We kept up with the exchange.  Elder Galvez likes to spend a whole day and some extra time with the missionaries in the district to get to know them better. Elder Amaro and I ate with Y again and taught her about the Law of the Fast. She told us she needs more of an answer, but is ready to be baptized. We read out of Alma 17 and then talked about the power that fasting brings. I told her that I would fast on Sunday for her and asked if she and V would as well. She agreed.

Probably the most blessed day of my mission. We started out talking to a family we'd tried to get in with but always cancels on us. The wife’s sister is joining the church in Utah and she told our investigator to really listen to us and to hear what we have to say. She told us she wants to read the Book of Mormon and when we mentioned temples, she started looking us in the eye and telling about her son who we've been trying to teach as well. She really fears for him and believes that this church can help her family. She just needs to fulfill her commitments. Then when we got to church we had two more investigators there that we hadn't talked to in 3 or 4 days! We couldn't believe it. The Lord really blesses us when we fast for righteous things. The fast is so powerful and I know that the Lord blesses us with the help we need when we show our desires to him. I just hope Y gets an answer.

This has been a great week! We have two more weeks until I or Elder Galvez leaves this area and starts a new companionship. To be honest I'm a little scared, but I'm getting ready and trying to get to know more of Elder Galvez's responsibilities so I can do things when he leaves. He says I going to train a new missionary.... but I don't think I will.

Elder Rodabough the second

Monday, November 4, 2013

Email from November 4, 2013: No one came trick-or-treating

This week was pretty cool and learned a ton.

We had to move a member all day and didn't get to missionary work till 7pm..... And Elder Galvez was super upset but he calmed down when we started working.
I did an exchange with Elder Coleman, the zone leader while the other zone leader came down to our area to work with Elder Galvez. Elder Price didn't speak Spanish, but he contributed all that he could as he worked with Elder Galvez. My time with Elder Coleman was amazing!  We got a referral from some other elders and went to check it out. We met a man named Roy. He investigated the church when we was younger after his mother and grandmother passed away in very close period of time. He went to church and ended but feeling the spirit so much he bore his testimony. But after he married a woman who was very anti-Mormon, he stopped investigating the church. Elder Coleman and I stopped by, introduced ourselves, and after about 20 minutes of the story Elder Coleman asked if Roy wanted to be baptized. Roy agreed! HOLY FLIP!! The zone leaders find the most elect people....

I can't really remember much about this day. We taught some people, knocked on some doors—a missionary day.

Halloween!   We had to be back in our apartment by 6pm since President Wolfert didn't want us out with all the chaos. I bought some candy the Monday before and was super excited to hand it out. BUT NO ONE CAME!!!! I was super sad and Elder Galvez pretty much ate all of the candy--hahaha

I did an exchange with Elder Vance and he is amazing at speaking Spanish. He's been out 8 months and he's amazing. He's been training Elder Chilcote and they've been having some problems, but they're picking up and feeling the work in their hearts. We taught a girl named Maria. She has a baptismal date and is really prepared. We're trying to get her whole family involved, but it's difficult since they all have different schedules. But she's amazing and so intelligent.

We got dropped by a woman who we've been trying to see and teach for the past three weeks. Elder Vance and I spent an hour preparing a lesson on The Plan of Salvation and we even had a Team-up planned with a member. We were going over to talk to Familia de Mexico about the lesson, but right when we got there F, the investigator texted us about not coming over. Elder Vance asked me what we were going to do to which I replied, "Nothing, the plan stays the same." He was a little concerned but I just kept with the plan to go over. We went over with Familia de Mexico, but alas, F was not there. I was a little heartbroken to say the least, but in all things are going great.

Maria came to the English ward since she had to go to work later. Elder Thomas and I did a quick little exchange and sat with her and her member fellowshipper. It was really a powerful testimony meeting and I hope Maria felt it as well.

Elder Rodabough, the second

Elder Rodabough's Mission with Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Elder Rodabough is located on the far left side of the picture on the second row from the top--fourth person in.  He is wearing a gray suit and a HUGE smile!

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013: First Baptism and Elder Oaks

This week has been amazing!  I'm sorry I emailed so late in the day, we've been moving a member all day so I don't have much time to write or post the pictures from the baptism since we left our apartment in such a rush. Next week I’ll have the picture of the baptism up.

Saturday was actually the most eventful day of the week. I had other experiences but I hope I can really share them with you another week.  Saturday was amazing. We had the opportunity to hear from Elder Oaks of the Twelve. He came and we had a combined meeting with the Atlanta Mission and the Atlanta North. I got to see Elder Angilau, Elder Bowcutt, and Sister Fennell--graduates from Bingham.  It was super cool. Elder Oaks is really an amazing guy also. He's not as big as I thought he was or seems to be. He's still tall but I'd say he's about 6'2. He shook hands with everyone in both missions.  We all looked into his eyes (He made direct eye contact with all of us before we could move on hahaha) and he said "hello” and “Thank you Elder/Sister" to everyone. I felt so much love for him. He spoke on lots of things-whatever the spirit prompted him. President Wolfert expected it to be about obedient, but I guess we're doing alright with that because he didn’t talk about obedience.

That night we also had a baptismal service for Bryan. We had his baptismal interview on Thursday and I went with Zone Leader Price and Elder Galvez went with Zone Leader Colman for a lesson with S, who seems a bit nervous about being baptized.  But after the baptismal service, the only thing she said to us was, "I just want my water to be warm!" She's so sweet and the water furnace wasn't on.......

But on Sunday I had the opportunity to stand in the circle as Bryan received the Holy Ghost. It was honestly one of the most spiritually powerful moments of my life. To talk about the spirit, to feel the spirit, to tell how much it will bless people’s lives and then to actually give the Gift of the Holy Ghost to someone--It's amazing. I love it so much.

Mom, thank you so much for the packages and your card! I was able to decipher all of your writing so we're alright there hahahah. I don't know how much I will get to write to Dad, Madison and Bailey, but please tell them I love them so much and thank Madison for the package. I hope Elder Galvez doesn't find my food, since he eats like a horse, but he was on exchanges with another elder when I received the package.

Much love,
Elder Rodabough the second


Monday, October 21, 2013

Email sent October 21, 2013: Elder Oaks is Coming!

Here is what happened during me past week. 


We had our P-day at the huge house again. This time I played basketball and Ultimate Frisbee. I jammed my finger pretty bad and it got really swollen so they had to cut it off. Other than that it was a really good P-Day. Or i just jammed it and now I'm totally fine and not in harm’s way. The Spirit of the Lord is with me every day and I feel so spiritually filled. And I have all my appendages….hahahahahah…I'm a terrible child. We also went to a bamboo forest behind the house and it was so pretty and calm!  Until Elder Jex got there, then it just got wild. He started climbing up the bamboo shoots and made it like 20 feet up and then he fell.  He's fine.


We've started doing all Spanish days every other day and we started on Tuesday. It was pretty difficult since it was district meeting and I couldn't really talk to anyone and joke around, but it was a good day of realizing how much I need to learn. It really made me realize how much more I could be doing to learn the language.

Elder Hansen, from the other companionship in the ward left on Tuesday as well.  He was a super funny guy that is from Salt Lake as well.  He is 20 and was a ski bum for two years, but then decided to serve a mission and start doing something with his life.  He was assigned to speak English, but when he got here he was switched to Spanish, without any Spanish training.  It was a hard 12 weeks for him to say the least. After Tuesday he was switched back to English speaking. He wasn't too happy since he was making really good progress in Spanish and now he's not even speaking it.

We also had a lesson with S again. We taught her about the commandments and she committed to stop drinking coffee and to live all the other laws. She doesn’t really have a problem with any of the other laws but we'll see.... I don't doubt she does. She's so Christ-like and loves the gospel as she's been learning it.


We taught BP again and he's really making a huge progress in the gospel. We taught him about the Restoration and he really seemed receptive to it.  He's also just a really funny guy.


Well, it pretty much rained all day so I'm again so thankful you sent me the rain jacket ma! We then had a lesson in the night with Familia M. We've been a little concerned about them since they've been having trouble with consistently reading.  I love that family so much and they're so nice.  I just want them to progress in the gospel and to find happiness through baptism.  They're so close.  They just need to exercise faith to receive an answer and then to have real intent to act upon the answer they receive. We brought Familia S with us and they bore strong testimonies about seminary and the Book of Mormon. Then Elder Galvez asked me to teach about the Book of Mormon and prayer in the conversion process. I didn't know what to say, but for some reason i just didn't even think about it and I just started talking in Spanish.  I was able to teach, ask questions, understand questions, and bear testimony to Familia M about the Book of Mormon and the power it has to change our lives. I felt blessed by the Lord to be able to open my mouth and try to help them come closer to Christ.


Since Elder Galvez is the new district leader now, he has to do exchanges with all the missionaries in the district. So he started with Elder Vance and Elder Chilcote. Elder Galvez went up to inner Cumorah, and Elder Chilcote came with me. Once again, the two missionaries with the least experience, together, managing an area. Let's just say it was a hard day. We were driving back when we realized we didn't have the cell phone so we had to go back to Cumorah. Then we had to look through Cumorah for Elder Galvez and Elder Vance. We eventually found them and then we drove back and got stuck in traffic. Then our dinner appointment called and told us that the only time they had to get us food was right then. So we had to go to Subway and get lost along the way.  We had an appointment with a team-up waiting for us the whole time and then the appointment with the team-up didn't even work. Then things started getting better. We taught two lessons that went decently well and then went back to the apartment.


It was Stake Conference which was hilarious. We had Elder Aidukaitis of the First Quorum of the Seventies come and he is just hilarious.  At the adult session of conference on Saturday he asked "Is anyone here investigating the church?" to which three people on the front row stood up. Elder Aidukaitis then said, "You know, this meeting is for members only, so after the meeting you have two choices. You are either baptized and join the church (long pause) or we have to kill you!" Then he laughed so hard he shorted out the microphone for a second.  Man he was so cool! He talked about missionary work and how members need to do their part. My favorite part was when he talked to missionaries and said that if the members don't do their part that's no excuse not to work at all.  We still need to be doing the same things and working our hardest.


Saturday night we also talked to BP and Familia D about attending Stake Conference at the Technical College which was like 30 miles away. They didn't have a ride, but we told them we would try to find them one. We finally got them a ride an hour before church and they wouldn't answer their phone.  So we just went over and woke them all up and told them to get ready since their ride was coming to pick them up. We sat and waited until Hermano Lopez came to get them and then we left. They showed up and BP listened to the whole thing. He's committed to be baptized this Saturday!

We also had a huge party/dinner to attend at Famila S de Mexico and their extended family. She wanted to have a Family Home Evening. Elder Galvez and Elder Amaro, the two native speakers, taught a lesson on The Plan of Salvation. After we had 4 more appointments and passed out 3 Books of Mormon. IT was really cool to see.

We also taught S about the commandments again and invited her to be baptized this Saturday as well. She was a little hesitant and said she needed "more faith", but our team-up, Hermana S said, "The thing about faith, is that it requires us to act." and then she told about how faith is about action.  She basically taught the first three parts of The Gospel to S again.  S has agreed to be baptized the 26 of this month.

I got your packages and I'm so happy to have a camera! Thank you for sending me my jacket as well. I just bought a winter coat and a little jacket at Marshalls so when it gets cold like it is more and more each day. I can keep warm. Holy crud! I totally underestimated the cold. It's just so flippin’ wet down here and a little cold makes it feel like you're swimming in a frozen lake, but with these coats now I'll be fine. I actually kind of like it.

I'm so glad to have the opportunity to serve the lord. Sunday I was feeling pretty inadequate and like this is more Elder Galvez's missionary work. But then he was talking to me and he said, "This is hard. This is the hardest thing you are ever going to do, but Elder Rodabough it is worth it. Every day it is worth it." Ii really want to make every day meaningful as though it is the last in my mission and that I can serve as hard as I can.

Oh yeah something else?!?!?!  ELDER OAKS IS COMING THIS SATURDAY!!!!  Yeah he's coming to speak to the Atlanta Georgia North Mission and the Atlanta Mission. We're all super excited and we know that it's going to be awesome. President Wolfert left the whole mission a voicemail and said that Elder Oaks is just going to come and speak on whatever the Spirit prompts him to speak on. FOR TWO HOURS!!  Man, I hope that one day I can do that for 10 minutes let alone two hours. We're super excited!!!


Elder Rodabough the second--Your favorite son

Monday, October 14, 2013

Email sent October 14, 2013: This past week has probably been one of the most blessed weeks in my life and my mission

(As always the names of investigators and ward members have been removed for their privacy)

Dear Family,

I dislike that the only day I can write is on Mondays. SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN and I want to write you and tell you the second they happen.  This past week has probably been one of the most blessed weeks in my life and my mission.

We had a Noche De Lugar, Family Home Evening, with a family in the ward. Hermano S is an awesome guy and is so strong in the spirit and is just down right hilarious.

We had a Zone Meeting.  Elder Galvez and I provided training on "Casting Out Our Nets" from Luke Chapter 5. We discussed about how we need to talk to everyone--no matter what  and that by talking to people we will accomplish our goals.

We also met a guy named L, who lives with V, a 14 year old girl who's the only member in her family.  We found out that he was actually baptized when he was 12 in Mexico, but hasn't been active since he was 13.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to church.

We met a crazy guy when we were out contacting. He tried to explain to us that the American continent didn't exist before Christ and that his purpose was to create it for us to inhabit. Hahahah--it was a pretty funny moment for us and Elder Galvez almost started laughing when he heard it.

We also taught a kid named P. He's a 17 year old kid who's so nice and loving to his family. He just has a super hard time focusing and staying on topic.  Most of the time he just asks us questions and then we answer them.  Sadly though we can't even understand his questions, despite the fact that he speaks English!

We taught the M family again and we followed up on our challenge to A to be obedient to her mom for two weeks. She'd been.....somewhat…. (hahaha) and her mother had more than enough to tell us of her doings.  My favorite part of the lesson was when A was talking about how much her mother smothers her and is super controlling and then argued with her mom for a minute.  R said, "Oh Dios, Paciencia." which means “Oh God, patience”. I honestly just burst out laughing and R joined right in with me. A didn't think it was that funny, but we sure did. What was sad was the fact that R hadn't read and hadn't prayed. She was so closed to us and the Gospel and she has a hard time accepting the message.

We also taught S about the Gospel of Jesus Christ the third lesson and she accepted everything about it and still wants to be baptized on the 26th of this month. We're doing everything we can to keep her on track and she's doing great. What was interesting about S is that she had read. She'd read and prayed about everything we've been teaching her. That's been the most amazing thing about my mission--seeing the difference between people who have and those that haven't read. You can just see it in their eyes and faces. They have a greater light and love for the world.  They are more willing to talk to us and are so much happier.

We taught P again and found out that he's had an on and off again problem with smoking. Since he's been hanging out with a girl named C, who is actually the person we were talking to when we met P, he's been smoking again. His mother is very concerned for him. The mother actually has a sister who's a member out in Utah. If P doesn't go back to school she says she's going to send him out to Utah. This may actually be a blessing and he can be baptized out there if he isn't here. He says he loves reading the Book of Mormon, but he doesn't actually do it.....

Later that day we had a missionary experience you only hear about and you hope you have, but rarely happens. So V, throughout the week when we saw her we kept inviting her to introduce the Book of Mormon to her mom and ask her to read. When we were with P on Wednesday she texted us and said that her mom had been reading and couldn't stop. We were super excited, but were honestly a little skeptical.

We went over and the first words V's mom said to us was "Sit". We sat down with her husband/boyfriend of 13 years who's very Catholic and we started talking. She then pulled out her Book of Mormon and started teaching her husband from it. She'd read 1 Nephi and half of 2nd Nephi in two days and knew that the book was true--all on her own. She'd loved the book and knew that her Catholic faith wasn't the church of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is. It was so cool.  Her husband/boyfriend isn't too happy about it. She says she wants to be baptized, but she can't move out of her apartment because she can't get a job due to her illegal status. She wants to wait two years until V can work and support the family.  We hope that we can convince her and help her realize that if she has enough faith that the Lord will prepare a way for her.

We had the opportunity to attend the baptism of the daughter of the second counselor in the Bishopric. It was so amazing to see her be baptized. Familia M attended and Y was super touched by the video they showed about family and how the gospel can bless it.

We had 10 investigators at church!!!!!  HOLY WOW IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Familia M, S and her son who hasn't listened to us at all but seemed interested after church and a woman named F who's been hard to get ahold of. Her friends that were staying with her for the weekend are members and brought her and helped us teach her the gospel as well.

Know that I’m praying for you guys every day night and in the middle of the day whenever I have time. For all of you, thank you for your letters and love and I hope that you all are safe and filled with the spirit.

Elder Rodabough, the second.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Email sent October 7, 2013: "General Conference Yo!!!"

I am going to write another day by day account of how my week went.  It was both a good and bad week.
We had a Zone wide P-Day. We played soccer and Ultimate Frisbee for about two hours.   It was a grand ol' time!  But then I lost my planner so that's been kind of hard to deal with. It had all of the numbers and addresses we had, but luckily Elder Galvez is really good at remembering all of that.
We had our usual District meeting which went fine. I really like my District, but I just fear they're a little lazy sometimes. hahaha. Then we had a lesson with Familia S. I really love this family and they invited us for dinner and a lesson. We got there a little late and ate dinner and talked the whole time about our lives as missionaries. They were so interested about how we live and what our responsibilities are.  When we started the lesson and were about 5 minutes into it, the wife stopped us and told us that she felt uncomfortable changing her Catholic faith and that she didn't want to take lessons from us anymore. We asked her if she had read the chapters we had left for her and she said no. Neither of them had read. The week before they'd read all of the chapters and their hearts were so open and receptive. But when they didn't.... We tried our best to convince them, but they didn't want to hear it. They asked us to come back another day and talk, but they don't want to talk about the Gospel.
We had the trainer follow-up meeting with all of the elders and sisters who came with me and our trainers. It was really nice to see Elder Young and  Elder Chilcote who came with me out here and to the MTC.  We ate some lunch and we received a new book about how to handle being a new missionary and how to handle some things. I've read out of that book every day this week. It is greatly needed by missionaries. We also had a new investigator who's dating a girl member of the branch. He's Pilipino and he says he wants to join so that the girl, will marry him.  I an glad she's sticking to her faith and putting it first, but I am worried he's joining just for that. We'll do our missionary work like we do. He doesn't speak Spanish so that'll be interesting.
Thursday was hard. I didn't have the spirit with me all day on Wednesday.  I wasn't happy with my mission.  The next day I was reading in Ether 12:27. It talks about how through coming to the Lord in humility, our weaknesses will be made strong. I loved it and have tried to be as humble and as thankful to the lord as I can. That day I prayed for the Lord to help me with tracting since President Wolfert has asked us to tract for 2 hours each day.  The first 12 houses didn't answer or they slammed the door. I was feeling pretty down. I asked "Why aren't we having success?"  Then I realized that the Lord was testing me. If I truly want his help, I need to be humble and endure with patience. After this thought we had much more success and set up two return appointments.

We also taught a lesson to Familia M, our only progressing investigators at the time. We taught them about the Law of Chastity since when they came to church they weren't immodest, just not the most modest. Elder Galvez showed them a really easy and funny way to check if your clothes are modest. Sing the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. If you reach up and your shirt comes up and shows skin, nope.  If you can see your shoulders, nope. If you kneel down and your skirt doesn't touch the floor, nope and if you touch your toes and you can see your back, nope. It was a really good lesson and afterwards we talked about how our bodies are temples. One of the daughters really took it to heart and I could tell she respected herself much more after the lesson. They agreed to be baptized and watched General Conference at their house on Sunday.
We had the chance to show some real service today.  A couple of days ago we talked to a non-progressing investigator and at the end of our conversation he said, "When are you guys coming over to mow my lawn?" He meant it as a joke, but we told him Friday at 4 pm. He just laughed and walked inside. I wish you could've seen his face when he came home and Elder Galvez and I were mowing and weeding his yard. He was so thankful and he was nearly speechless. I hope that he can feel the desire to read and feel God's love for him like we love him.
I loved conference. It was amazing. I loved the talk given by Edward Dube of the 70. it was great. We watched conference in the chapel with all of the missionaries that attend that church with their wards. It was really great, but not many members came. We totally understand since the Spanish translation on TV is super awful and you can hardly see a thing.  Lots of members were watching from their homes and we loved it.  After the first session we went over to a sister's house and ate pancakes with her. Her son just left on a mission and we think she wanted to somehow feel close to him. She's also asked if she could come on lessons with us. (Sounds a bit like you mom).
We continued to watch conference and loved every minute of it. After conference we went and taught an investigator.  She's a tiny little woman with two sons and was recently divorced. After a lesson on the Plan of Salvation she accepted to be baptized!! She said she was going to come to conference, but felt that her dress wouldn't be good in the Lord's eyes.... Wow that was cool. She's feeling the desire to be modest and we haven't even taught her. Man she's Elect!
Elder Rodabough the second.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013: What a week it has been!

What a week it has been! I'm going to do another day by day like I did in the MTC. It just helps me form my thoughts better.  (We have removed the full names of the investigators to ensure their privacy).
Well, Tuesday was kind of hard. We went over to G's and the first thing she did was give us the Book of Mormon back. Her mother found her reading it again and was upset with her. The mother thinks that it's not being fair to the Catholic religion because that's what she's a part of and not fair to ours (Which we don't really understand) because she says that if G's heart isn't fully in it then she's just wasting our time. We tried to explain to her that G can't know everything all at once and that change comes through time and faith and she agreed. But her mother won't hear it and we can't talk to her since she leaves at 6am for work and doesn't get back till 11pm.....
We said a prayer with G and I pleaded with the Lord for help and to guide her in her decision as to what to do. When I looked up she was crying and looked so desperate like she had no idea what to do. Her light has been growing stronger each week and Elder Galvez and I really love her, but she has to make her decision. We're going back over today to see how she's doing
Elder Galvez and all of our district had to help translate at Parent/ Teacher Conferences for 6 hours. Elder Chilcote (who I met in the MTC) and I don't know enough Spanish to help, so they sent us out together to my appointments and to do some contacting. On the way over we were both really nervous because we've only had 4 weeks in the mission. When we got there we said a prayer and asked the Lord for help if we worked with faith. We taught 2 lessons, met a new family of investigators, talked to 9 other people and placed two Books of Mormon. Elder Chilcote says it was his most productive day in the mission so far. Not bad for two rookies!!!   Then we went and ate at a family in the Branch, Familia C. I love them but I don't know how Nick (Holmquist) can do that--understanding Argentinians. They're so hard to understand and I always feel so stupid after the dinners since I didn't understand anything they said....
We had a team-up with Hermano Solis from Mexico and a member of our branch.  He came with us to some of our appointments. However, the two we had scheduled fell through. I was feeling so bad that he came with us for nothing and also because both of the appointments were really promising. We had one more to go to and I was feeling pretty desperate. On the drive over I said a prayer and asked the Lord for a chance to teach and for him to prepare someone for us to bring to the waters of baptism. I promised him that if we would work our hardest to find them, he would help us find them.  We went to the door, knocked, and it opened!! I hadn't met this investigator before but she is a little woman the height of Madison. She invited us in. Her name is S. We taught her Lehi's vision and she was very interested. Hermano Solis is an amazing teacher.
Friday was a great day. We had the oportunity to teach a new family named Familia S de Guatemala. (That means "Of Guatemala"). We went in just expecting that they hadn't read and that we would just have a normal conversation and invite them to read more. When we asked the husband, he said that he'd read the whole chapter we had asked him to read, (3 Nephi 11) and then he told us what the chapter was about. We were shocked. No one has ever done that before!!!!  Elder Galvez and I looked at each other and asked if we could start with a prayer. That was the best lesson ever. Familia S is amazing. It's an unmarried couple with two girls one 10 and the other a 1.  They asked us questions the whole time about what we were teaching and when we finished we asked if anything was unclear. They immediately began to ask about prophets and they listened intently. They said they would keep reading and that they would like to feed us when we come back over on Tuesday.
Then we went to Fiesta de Naciones. This is party of nations. It was a huge party put on by all the branches around.  All the different members from all the different South American nations serve food, dance and play music from their countries. I loved it so much!!!! To see how we're all different, having different cultures, beliefs, food, smells, but that we are all united as God's children is so amazing to me.
We helped a Familia C move out of their apartment. They're a great family. We then taught our other investigators that we're working really hard on. They are the Familia M. It is two sisters each with a daughter and they are so great. Their babysitter is a memeber and she has the best testimony.  They accepted the invitation to be baptized later in October.
We then got invited to attend a Pentecostal church by one of our investigators. That was...... interesting. They sang a song for 40 mintues and "Poderoso Dios" about 76 times. This means "Powerful God". The pastor sat next to me and said "Hello, I bless you" to which I responded, "Hey! That's... so nice of you to do. I really appreciate that."
We had fast and testimony meeting. Familia M and the guy who invited us to the Pentecostal church came. I had the chance to bear my testimony. I was super nervous about my Spanish so I wrote down my testimony. But when I got up there I just pushed it aside and felt the spirit so strongly. Next week is general conference so we really hope Familia M comes and listens to the prophet.
Elder Rodabough, the second