Monday, May 19, 2014

Email sent May 19, 2014: What an Adjustment

Ok guys, this has been a weird but awesome week. So I spent Monday, Tuesday and the first 3 hours of Wednesday with Elder Jensen from the Athens Ward. His companion had been a visa waiter as well so he was thrown in with me up in a Spanish area. Tuesday wasn't anything special. Just said goodbye to the members in the area, and then cleaned the apartment and organized the area book until 1am haha.  I was dang tired the next morning.
Since then I've been struggling to figure out this whole English thing. I mean it's my first language, but the way the work is done is so different. I've honestly just felt a little lost and confused this whole past week.  Elder Hammer, my new companion is really experienced as a missionary. This is his last transfer before he goes home. He's got a lot of knowledge and a lot of things to teach me and I'm just doing my best to soak it all in. With his help I'm going to get used to things. The last Zone Leader before me was also a Spanish missionary so he already knows what I'm feeling right now and is being super patient and loving. 
We've seen blessings in our area already! In one week alone we've found and taught tons of people and already have two people on date for June 7th! We're not to sure how secure they are but one of them is so awesome. Her name is M and she's seen some messed up stuff. The father of her son was a "Drug-Lord" as she calls him and she and him kind of did some messed up stuff... But she really wants to change and start again. She's already been to an LDS church before and has seen the missionaries so she already knows that this is a good place for her and her son. 
This zone however, is facing some hard times. My first Friday here we had a big conference call with all the Zone Leaders and President Wolfert and we basically got chewed out! We went first in reporting "Total Baptismal Commitments" and for our entire zone with 19 companionships and the second largest zone, there's only 3 people. President immediately began to sort of make examples out of us to work harder and push our zones to see the potential they have as missionaries. After the call Elder Hammer and I  had a long talk about our expectations for the zone and how we can better set the example. We decided to invite one person a day to be baptized and we haven't missed a day once.  But the weirdest thing i would say was church. It's just so... functional. I'm so used to the chaos of the Spanish branches, working around it and working with the chaos. But in the English wards, it's so different. I felt like I was in a foreign country! hahaha but the Ward is actually super awesome and so supportive. They've been so helpful and they are the most organized ward in the mission I've seen on my mission.  Aside from that I've not got much more to report. 
I'm so happy to hear that Bailey is home and working on resting, but sad that Bobby is sick now. It's good to hear that you'll all be together this coming week at Tahoe! I know we'll all be apart but I hope that you guys can still have fun without me. Make me a promise that you'll do your best guys Ok? hahaha ;) 

Love you all so much!  Have a good week! 
Elder Rodabough the second

Email sent May 12, 2014: Zone Leader

President Wolfert called me this morning.  I'm going to Sugar Hill to be a Zone Leader! I'll be with Elder Hammer who's going to go home soon. I'll be switched to English for at least the next 3 months haha. I'm sad that I won't be speaking Spanish for the next little bit, but the possibliblity of getting to use my southern language skills is very exciting!

I just wanted to let you all know how great it was to speak to all of you yesterday :) I loved to see all of you and see how everyone is doing! IT's awesome that Bailey can get out of the hospital today! She can go home to a brand new apartment haha. But at least she'll be at home :) 

I don't really have to much to write about. It seems just like yesterday that we talked? I'm just a little scared for the missionaries that are coming into the area. They're going to come in with no idea of how the area is. I'm going to leave them a super awesome area book so that they can have some idea. I'm sad to be leaving Winder, but I will make sure to remember the lessons I was taught and how to improve myself with the help of our Savior. 

Thanks to all of you family!! I'm proud of all of you!
Elder Rodabough the second

Email sent May 5, 2014: Trainer Meeting!

Well family there's not much to say for this week. We worked hard and found some cool potentials to contact for the week. Elder Barney leaves after this week so we've decided to send him off right. Completely exhausted!  This week though to explain the title of the email, we had the trainer/trainee follow-up meeting with President Wolfert. There's only 13 trainers so we were all together with President Wolfert. It was just a normal meeting, some trainings by Sister Wolfert, some by the assistants, President talked about the 12 weeks program for new missionaries. We went to lunch where Sister Wolfert pulled me aside and she shared with me the emails that she was sharing with dad back and forth. Then after the meeting it got really interesting.
So we split up, trainers in one room, greenies in the other, and the first thing President says to us is, "Ok Elders this room is like Hades so we're going to get casual, take off your jackets." We all got relaxed and President then looked at both of the doors to the room and said, "Close those doors we don't want your companions to hear what we're going to talk about next." He then told us to just have a venting session where we just voiced what annoyed us about our companions. I actually didn't have a thing to say. I've been pretty dang blessed to have Elder Barney as a Greenie. I'm just sad that he has to leave me :( The rest of the meeting went fine and dandy and it was just fun.
Aside from that it was just a normal week in the mission.  Sorry I'm not very informative lately, I'm just in a place where nothing really happens much aside from the normal. Well I have been having some fun messing with Elder Barney at night. Nothing to bad. Just an occasional pounce onto his bed to scare him. 

I'm so glad to hear about Bailey's updates and that she's doing well.  You've been in the prayers of many missionaries around the world Bailey--Adam, Noah, Nate, Josh and Matt, and all of the elders serving around me. And Sister Wolfert was praying for you too and she's a saint! So I'm glad that you're improving :)

Love  you all so much! Have a good week!

Elder Rodabough, the second 
aka Good ole' rebel. 

Email sent April 28, 2014: Crazy Baptismal Interviews

Well guys. I'm just not really sure what to write this week. I'm just sort of feeling a little helpless. I am grateful that you did let me know about Bailey, I honestly would be really upset if you didn't tell me. But I just don't know what to do. I want to go and help. I just don't know what to do. Thank you though family. Thank you or being together through problems. I'm so grateful that we can all be together for eternity. Because to be honest, seeing families that don't have that is sad, but seeing families that don't even want to be together is just heartbreaking. And I've seen plenty of those out here. So basically, I just want you all to know that i love you all, each and everyone of you. With all my heart! I'm so grateful that we have each other to stand together, and to be there for one another. 
This week was very eye opening. Elder Barney came back from Provo on Wednesday and we went on exchange together the Thursday night after a baptismal interview I did for the Oconee Athens Elders. They had two baptisms this past Sunday and they went crazy. First off in the interview, the lady had to be interviewed by a member of the Mission Presidency and during the interview she apparently started speaking Hebrew for a schpeel. President Joyner, stopped her and asked if she knew what was going on. She explained that it's her past ancestors talking through her and guiding her. But she then explained that she's also schizophrenic haha. President Joyner felt impressed to give her a blessing and the other elders joined him. During the blessing he apparently told whatever spirits were in her to leave and afterwards she started twitching for a little bit! But after she seemed so much more calm. 
Aside from that we've just having a good ol' time here in Winder. Sorry I don't have to much to write about. But I'm still just a little startled about the whole incident with Bailey. I'll keep you in my prayers Bailey and I'll ask some of the other elders to include you in their prayers as well. Love you all so much! Look forward to talking to you guys on the 10th. We'll work it out today with the members and we'll tell you our plan next week! 

Love you so much family!
Elder Rodabough the second