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