Friday, January 23, 2015

Email sent January 20, 2015: Baptisms and Belts

Howdidily-Doo family!

In case you were wondering, which you probably won't, yes I do begin every letter I send to President Bennion with Howdidily-Doo. He hasn't said a word about it, so I assume he's ok with it. 

So family it has been a wonderful week! Sorry for the lack of an email yesterday. Due to MLK day we had our P-day changed to today. But alas, I will email you all a wonderful letter describing our week. Paz, Calmense... 

So this week it was pretty awesome. We had the baptism of Carmen on Friday. We thought everything was planned but as we woke up on Thursday morning we realized that we hadn't done a program for it! I was going on exchanges so Elder Castro and Elder Portillo were able to go and get it situated. I'm glad I have two companions I can count on to be honest. It's pretty nice. But on Friday, as time got closer and closer to the baptism more things kept happening. We got there at 6 to begin filling the font for 7pm, the time of the baptism. Carmen wanted it warm and so we filled it with as hot as water as we could. During that process, Elder Castro told us he didn't have a change of clothes, since he was the one going to baptize her. So he and I ran back to the apartment while Elder Portillo translated for the interview. Oh, which they thought was going to be held at their house, so they had to fly over to the church so that a member of the mission presidency could conduct the interview. Then while waiting for the baptism, nobody showed up, not even Carmen until around 6:50 hahaha Hispanics. So we postponed the baptism a little bit to wait. Carmen then informed us that they didn't have baptismal clothes, despite the fact that they'd told us they had some.... got that situated. Then the daughter, Maria, asked us what she was supposed to speak on during the program, which we set a week ago haha so I just had to wing my talk based off of what she said haha. IT was a pretty interesting baptismal service if I've ever seen one. Because during all the waiting, the water cooled and was cold hahahah. 

After the baptism we had a really interesting night. Elder Portillo and I have some fun playing little pranks on Elder Castro. So while Elder Castro was using the bathroom, we closed the door to the bathroom and shut off all the lights in the apartment. Then we waited in the laundry room with belts. Elder Castro opens the door and immediately starts freaking out. He was yelling things like, "Where are you guys? Don't be stupid! I'll find you!!!" And at one point he came running out of the bathroom with a can of Febrez spraying it in the air. I guess trying to make a smoke screen for defense. But he ran back into the cloud and yelled, "OH IT"S IN MY EYES!!!" At that point we came out of the laundry room and started lightly, and I emphasis LIGHTLY, whipping him with the belts. He had a Nerf gun and shot me in the face so we thought it was equal. I love this companionship!

But alas, transfers are this week. It's pretty crazy actually what's happening. Elder Castro and I are staying together, but going to whitewash in Lawrenceville. I'm happy to take a challenge like this under my belt. The first time I whitewashed I was being trained and so I'm happy for the chance to do it when I actually know what I'm doing! I don't know my address but I'll email you guys next week to let you know :) I love you all so much and I loved getting emails from you all this week :) Have fun! Keep being strong! Guarden la ley de Castidad!!!

Elder Rodabough the second
Happy Penguin appreciation day!

Email sent January 12, 2015: Keeping it Kosher in Kennesaw

So this was a really awesome week for the majority of the District this week! So for us we had a really good week all full of miracles. I'll just give some highlights of the funniest and craziest moments.

On Monday we ate with the Ayala Family and did a Family Home evening with them. We decided to teach a basic Plan of Salvation lesson and have everybody draw their own Plan on paper with Crayons. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
Ivy (10yr old daughter): Do we draw Adam and eve with clothes or without clothes?
Hno Ayala: Depends if this is before or after the fall! Let's keep it clean and put clothes Ivy.
Me: Who are some people who will live in the Telestial Kingdom?
Seth (12 yr old son): Hitler!
Ivy: Miley Cyrus!!!!
Elder Portillo: Well, we've reached that point in the world. Good to know...

I love the Ayala Family hahaha

Tuesday I got to do an exchange with Elder McArthur which was so fun. We got together and he came with Elder Castro and I. We didn't have a huge day planned to be honest but he didn't really care. He knows that we're working and there's always that one day of the week when you have nothing planned and you just look for potentials. But at night we had a super long talk till about 12pm. We mostly talked about sacrifice and the eternal principles behind it. Yeah we have super deep doctrine conversations because we're cool like that. We also talked about how much we look forward to hanging out with one another after the mission. He's probably my best friend out here in the mission. You'll all like him. He's super sarcastic.

Friday, I had a super mega blessing come my way straight from the clouds above. You all remember Sheny right? The little tiny Guatemalan lady that we baptized back in January of last year? SHE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!! Elder Galvez called me Thursday night telling me that we both received permission to go to the temple with her. So on Friday I exchanged with Elder Galvez and he got a member ride form the Norcross Branch down to the temple in Sandy Springs. It was so wonderful to see her. She makes me feel like a good missionary haha. But to see someone finally get the blessings that come from the temple after one year of activity was so amazing. To see why we baptize. Not to get people in the waters of baptism, but so that they can get to the temple. It was nice to do another session in Spanish though! The veil worker was mumbling a ton so it was a little bit harder this time through. But I made it!

Saturday we taught Carmen who's getting baptized this Friday and Sunday she came to church! We were able to teach her along with another super prepared girl named Estefania. She's like 20 yrs old and wants to make a bunch of changes in her life. She didn't come to church yesterday, but we'll do our best to see her again this week.

It's been a really awesome time here in Cherokee Spanish. It's been everything that I've ever hoped for. We have transfer calls next week and it's looking like a real toss-up. I might stay, I might go, I'm up for a transfer, but I could just as easily stay. President likes keeping people towards the end of 6 months in an area lately, but I'm just going to keep working no matter where I am. That was something nice I learned last transfer when I was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to train. But as I thought about it I realized something very deep. It doesn't matter hahaha. It doesn't matter where I am because I'll be doing the exact same thing everywhere I go. The Lord has prepared people everywhere, so I'll just go find them wherever my boundary limits are.
I love you all so much and hope you are all having a good time! Keep it fresh Rodaboughs!!!
Elder Rodabough

Email sent Jenuary 5, 2015: Teaching, Teaching and Teaching

Well family we didn't have a super crazy filled week. But we did see a steady stream of miracles come our way which was amazing!!

So with Carmen this week we had the chance to teach her 5 times which was really nice. We had the chance to bring members from the branch to the lessons so she could get to know people and at church Hno Estrada (who we brought him and his wife) sat with Carmen and her daughter who was already a member named Maria. She's just really happy with the church and mentions every time we teach her how she feels like she's found a real truth and is happy she found it after all these years. She's around 70 I think... So retention of info is low.... but the Spirit is high during the lessons so we're ok!! She actually just changed her baptismal date to Friday the 16th! We're a little scared about how much time we have to teach her since she's out of town for the whole business week. But she gets back on Saturday so we'll be able to finish the lessons with her.

But the coolest miracle that I saw this week would have to be on Thursday, New Years Day. I was in Roswell on exchange with the Cumorah Branch Spanish Elders. I stayed in Roswell which I'm pretty familiar with and was with Elder Wood. He's a fairly new missionary, only been out about 7 months now. We went out tracting and I was super determined to teach a lesson with Elder Wood. So much so that right before I left I just muttered quietly out loud, "Ok, Lord, I'm walking with the faith that we're going to teach someone during this time. Help me with that please." We walked to a complex and the very first door we knocked on a white guy opened it and said "Hold on let me go put on a shirt." Then he came back and invited us right in without us saying a word. We sat down and started talking to him. When he opened the door I noticed he had a probation anklet on and so we got to talking about that. (He brought it up...) He went on to tell us that he'd had enough with 2014 and was ready to make 2015 a better year. That he'd made enough mistakes, he said as he motioned to his anklet haha, and he wanted to start over again. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and explained that through baptism, he could have a new start and be clean again. We invited him to be baptized and he said he would think about it and "try out the fruits".  It was such a wonderful blessing and testimony grower that the Lord really does hear our prayers and bless us according to our faith. It's happened multiple times since I've been back where I say a little prayer in my heart for a lesson here, a door opening there, and he does answer! Not everytime. Because if it did happen that way, it wouldn't require faith, and that's not how the Lord works! haha

I love you guys so much!  Have a wonderful week!
Elder Rodabough