Monday, April 21, 2014

Email sent April 21, 2014: Elder Barney got his visa (putting my son up for adoption!)

So Elder Barney got his Visa this week. He won't leave till the end of this transfer, but he still will leave before we get to complete his training. I'm super happy for him that he's getting to go to his mission and serve. But I am sad that he has to leave me... It's sort of interesting actually. He has to go back to Provo today to see the Spanish consulate to confirm his Visa and he won't get back till Wednesday. So I'll going into a "Zebra" (Mixed english and spanish) companionship for the next couple days. I'm so excited to be with Elder Higginbotham and Elder Arnold. Elder Arnold is having a hard time being on the mission. To make it short. He doesn't want to be here. While Elder Higginbotham is working hard and losing his patience. I'm just going to try and let them both have a good time and calm some of the tension between them. Wish me luck family.
As for the week, we had a pretty normal week! Nothing too eventful--just tracting, teaching and bringing others unto Christ. Tuesday I got to do my first District meeting with my new District. Some of the companionships are having a hard time right now so I'm going to spend some time lifting them up and bringing them and getting them excited for the work. The zone leaders randomly just appeared aswell to the meeting. Todo bien. No me importa. 

After I got to do an exchange with Elder Chilcote, who I hadn't seen for a while and whom I've served around for basically my whole mission. He has grown so much as a missionary! We went into a lesson that I wasn't too prepared for and as it went on I realized that I didn't have a strong direction to go, but then Elder Chilcote took over and did an awesome job. We "soft-committed" our investigator to baptism and I'm going back this Tuesday with Elder Higginbotham and Elder Arnold to set a firm date. Let's get it on!

Aside from that it wasn't really a super eventful week. We went to a senior celebration night for two of the seniors on the soccer team that attend the branch. We had to drive clear out to the edge of our area to go there, but we went. It honestly was super weird being back at a high school. I just felt super uncomfortable. Then when we tried to tract there it got even more uncomfortable haha. We were asked to either stop or leave.

Easter was something amazing though! We listened to the wonderful talks from a family in the branch, la familia Sandres. They're so cool! They've got some really spiritual kids that are also really cool and remind me of all of us when we're together! Their dad gave the last talk and just spoke on the power of the Atonement and how members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have a full knowledge of the Atonement. A full knowledge of how it blesses us, and how we can use it to better ourselves. It was an amazing talk.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week and remember that I love you all! Remember! The church is true, and the book is blue!
Elder Rodabough the second

Email sent April 14, 2014: Going to the Temple--Again!

This week was again a pretty good week! We had some real success in our area and our district all had some good times this week. I got to go to the temple on Thursday!!!!! Since Elder Bacon and I were blessed to find Gaby and teach her the gospel and the mission reached it's monthly goal, we were able to go to the Atlanta Temple. We had to get up at 5:30 and be in Monroe 23 miles south at 6am. From there we went to the mission office. The whole time I was just falling asleep but I was driving--not the best.  We got to the mission office and we got into another van and headed to the Temple. It was such a good session!!! AND THERE"S ANOTHER NEW NEW VIDEO!!! I was super suprised since I didn't know there was a new one.  When I got into the Celestial room and looked around at all the other Elders and Sisters that I knew, I immediately began to cry a little, thinking of all the lives that they're touching with the message of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Barney and another Elder who had also just got to the mission were put together for an afternoon while me and Elder Orme the other trainer went to the Temple. We didn't have a huge expectation, but when we got back they'd already gotten 5 contacts, and taught a new investigator and got a return appointment! Atta boys.
On Saturday we had a lesson with a guy named Jose.  Elder Bacon and I found him tracting and taught him one lesson, but we haven't been able to get back in with him for almost a month. We'd been passing by and talking for like 5 minutes at his door, but not a lesson. We had a lesson with him and the spirit was really strong. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus christ, and at the very end I was planning on leading into the baptismal invitation so Elder Barney could extend it. The second I finished teaching the last part of the lesson, he just went for it and jose accepted for May 3rd! It's just so cool to see how much the Lord is working in our area. Winder still is on the verge of being closed, and President is already looking for another place to open an area. Elder Galvez got sent to a place called Elberton to see if they could open a branch out there. But the work here is still going :)

Sunday was just a crazy time as well! Saturday, Branch President Findlay called and asked us if we could give talks the following day. We agreed and Elder Barney got to preparing. He'd already given a talk in the MTC about the Atonement, so he got up on Sunday and read that one. He did so good!! He only has 2 weeks in the mission and he just got right up there and gave a talk! Then I went next and since we'd been doing so much stuff I didn't have a lot of time to prepare my talk. I just went up there with some scriptures and basically gave the resurrection part of the Plan of Salvation.  I spoke for about 8 minutes just winging it. You taught me well family. 
Aside from that we've got a lot of things that are just starting to get things in progress. There's hope on the horison. I know now that I must work to bring all unto Christ. With faith, diligence, and patience (Alma 32:41-45) I know that we all can fulfill the work of our Father in Heaven. 

Madison and Cameron! I'm so glad that cameron finished Nero class! One more to go!!! Keep it up cameron i'm so proud of how hard you're working to finish school and not being a slothful servant hahaha Madison i'm sorry to hear that you were sick this past week. But you did learn never to doubt mom's abilities haha it continues to amaze me just how much mom knows! That's what you get for being a guardian for close to 25 years. Glad you're feeling better though :)

Holy wow it has been a year since I recieved my call! But I still only have 8 months in the mission.  I've got a lot of time to still and I'm so excited for it! I've got so much to do and I can't wait to get to it! Well guys, I'm excited for the coming week! It's going to be a good one! Just keep up the love and be dilligent in your work, have faith, and most important, have patience in your trials. 

Love you all so much! 
Elder Rodabough the second

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Email sent April 7, 2014: Oh shoot...that was my knee cap!

Yes that is how I begin every email to President Wolfert if you were fearing that I might send that to someone else. This has been such a good, eventful, spiritual, and physically confrontational week! 

So, basically the week began pretty normally. Good church day on Sunday and since we can't really go to Athens during the week, Elder Bacon and I went around to a bunch of the members living here in Athens so that he could take a photo and have them write in his memory book. Then on Monday we went over to a cool member's house and played some tennis. It was Elder Rahmen's (Sounds like top-ramen haha) birthday so we had some fun with him as well. 
On Wednesday I went to the mission office and met my son--Elder Barney.  He's from Mesa Arizona and is actually really close friends with Elder Long who's served near me for a good portion from my mission. And actually Elder Bacon got Transfered to Johns creek where Elder Long is right now. Elder Barney is super awesome. He basically came pre-trained and my job is just show him how he can use his own abilities and apply them in the mission field. Also teach him a little spanish ;) He's a pretty good speaker and doesn't have a fear to speak, he just needs to know where we are in the lesson hahaha!  He actually really impressed me and taught me a really important lesson on Friday actually. We've been tracting in a trailer park that's full of hispanics, but has been tracted 3 times in the past 8 months or in other words, it's been hammered by missionaries. Despite that I wanted Elder Barney to get some experience tracting with hispanics, so we're doing it again. We've actually found a ton of people and  have about 4 new investigators from it! But anyway, we were teaching one of those new investigators and they had a ton of questions and a lot of concerns. I was doing my best to answer them with the Bible, the Book of Mormon and with pure logic. It wasn't going well. Then Elder Barney just stopped me in mid sentence and with the Spanish he knew, bore the sweetest, most pure testimony of the Restored Gospel and the blessings of it. After the family didn't say much, the husband agreed to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and to pray. It was such a cool experience,

Later that night we stopped by the Fort Yargo Elders apartment and all of the missionaries serving in the area were over there. Elder Court and Elder Rahmen were wrestling and we joined in the spectating. Then Elder Barney wanted a go at wrestling so Elder Rahmen offered. Elder Barney was doing super good and had Elder Rahmen about pinned when Elder Rahmen threw his leg back, popping Elder Barney's knee-cap out of place..... but he popped it right back into place! Elder Rahmen and Elder Court were lifeguards and pool medics so they helped him out. The next morning it was super swollen but he was up and around walking for conference. WHICH WAS AWESOME BY THE WAY!!!!! I loved conference so much! We watched in Winder will all of the other missionaries. I really like watching it in a church by the way instead of at home.  I really suggest it for those of you who aren't living in Utah. On Sunday we watched with the hispanic branch but there was devices to hear in English too. We had a huge dinner and Elder Barney got to meet everyone from the branch. It was in all a really good week :) 

I really loved what Elder Ballard spoke on about missionary work. Preach my Gospel really is the key to missionary work. To help the new missionaries get acquainted with it as quickly as possible, President Wolfert tells them that it along with the Book of Mormon are the only things they can read during their training. I encouage all of you to purchase a preach my gospel and begin reading it together. We've all been called to be missionaries, "Every member a missionary", and it's how we can learn to do the work we've been called to do.  Also, it's just the bee's knees!!! PMG is so awesome!!!!!!!!
Love you all,
Elder Rodabough the second