Pocatello, ID & Idaho Falls Visitor Center Mission

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All is well, all is well.

My dear friends,

It’s official… Brookylouu is back and Sister Rodriguez is gone for a short time! WHAT AN ADJUSTMENT THIS HAS BEEN. Can I really watch TV or am I being punk’d?! Did that person really just call me Brooklyn?! Is that really my name?! You mean I’m allowed to go to the bathroom without my companion standing outside the door?! WHAT IS THIS?! A REALITY CHECK. That’s what it is.

I once heard a quote that says, “Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself”…but I like to change it to fit my circumstances a little more…

“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of Idaho, and sometimes in the middle of Idaho you find yourself”. HA! You didn’t see that one coming, did you!?

Everyone has told me that I am different or that I have changed. But the truth is, I have found myself. I am far from the person I once was, but I am nowhere near to the person that I am yet to become.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going, or why Heavenly Father needed me home at this very moment, but I do know that wherever it is that I am going…I am on my way…and not just on my way, but on my way to greatness.

“In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.” –Psalm 31:1

Saying goodbye to my new friends, especially LeAnna whom I got to be very close with and eventually see baptized, and the rest of my Idaho “family”  was HANDS DOWN one of the hardest things I have ever done… along with all the change that I came home to. But Psalm 30:5 says it all.

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

You can’t read that and deny its truth! I hope that any of you who are reading this will turn to that verse in times of weeping, sorrow, or pain. There is always hope in the future, always a brand new day laying ahead, always a loving Heavenly Father who wants nothing more than for us to be happy.  Always, always, always. “The earth is FULL of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5) but we just need to recognize it.

Many of you are wondering about when my surgery is taking place…here’s the latest update:

I will be meeting with my surgeon on October 9th to schedule the surgery, which will most likely be taking place in November! I will continue to update everyone with that when I receive more information!

Thank you EVERYONE for your support, your love, and concern. It definitely does not go unnoticed, and I am forever grateful for all of you that have stood by me in this journey that is not yet over…I repeat, IT IS NOT YET OVER. The best is yet to come, and I am a firm believer of that.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” 2 Corinthians 4:17


Monday, September 16, 2013

"...be not afraid, only believe."

My dear mama, family & friends,

Hey, it's me again...are you sick of me yet?!

This week has been really wonderful because most of our time was spent in the Visitors' Center. I LOVE THE VISITORS' CENTER and I'm going to shout it from the rooftops WOOOO! But honestly, the people come to YOU and want to learn more about the gospel and nothing brings me greater joy than being able to share that with them.

GOOD NEWS: Your prayers have worked! LeAnna is getting baptized this week and we are so extremely excited for her. This decision is going to change her life for the better and she will be a pioneer to the rest of her family.

Her experience reminded me of the scripture in Alma 32:16...It quotes "Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is [she] that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart..."

It's amazing how LeAnna has chosen this path for herself and no one else and hasn't let the opinions of her family members persuade her to go against what she knows to be true.


Okay, so now for some sad news...

This week I found out that I will be going home to have some surgery done. I will most likely be out from the mission for about 4 months for recovery but EVERYTHING IS OKAY.


Take it from Bob Marley..."Don't worry...'bout a thinggggggg CUZ EVERY LITTLE THING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT!"

(Excuse me if all the words are wrong.... the MISSIONARY VEIL makes it impossible to remember anything! Mom...who was I before the mission?!?! Did I have a name other than Sister Rodriguez or did I just imagine that?)

I don't know if anyone remembers, but in my farewell talk I shared a scripture that I hold very near and dear to my heart.

D&C 6:36 "...doubt not, fear not." That scripture helped get me out here on the mission, and now it will give me the strength to have peace with departing it for a time.

And yesterday as I was studying... I came across so many scriptures that have brought me peace. I hope at least one will be comforting to someone reading this as well.

Joshua 1:3

 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee WITHERSOEVER THOU GOEST"

and Mark 5:36

"...be not afraid, only believe"

I want all of you to know how much I love this wonderful work! And there is NO TRIAL that we can't endure with the help of our Heavenly Father and our gracious Savior! We are so loved, we are so blessed...the hard part is recognizing it.

I have complete confidence and trust in the Lord and his timing. There is a reason that I am being sent home for a small while...I have yet to find out what the reason is, but I have faith! And that's what it's all about right?

2 Corinthians 5:6-7 says it all

"Therefore we are always confident...for we walk by faith, not by sight"


And there you have it folks, WALK BY FAITH ALWAYS.

I love you all. I'll be seeing you soon, and I appreciate all the love and support. Stay strong!


Much love and appreciation,

Sister Rodriguez

Monday, September 9, 2013

Address for Elder Ward's family

Some of you were interested in writing to Elder Ward’s family. This is their address:
The Ward Family
913 Stillspring Court
Vacaville, CA 95687

I'm A Trainer....SAY WHAAA?!?!‏

Hola familia,

How is everyone doing?! Thank you for ALL the letters I got this week... you better settle down on the love...my companion gets sad when I have a pile of 10 letters and she has none. JUST KIDDING.. keep 'em comin'!!! ;) I LOVE IT!

This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. It was scary and sad, but yet beautiful and amazing all at the same time.

I don't want to worry my sweet family back home, but I want to tell you about something that happened recently in our mission...just so you can keep the Ward family in your prayers. It hurts me to say it, but one of our precious elders lost his life this week in a car accident. His companion was driving, but we've heard that his companion is okay. I had the privilege of knowing the elder that passed away. He was such a sweet guy...his name is Elder Ward and he is from California. He actually came out to the mission field with me on the same day...so we were in the MTC together as well as in the mission home. There is no doubt in my mind that he was needed to do missionary work beyond what he could have done here. It has been a tragedy, a devastation really, to our whole mission. But it's amazing, because now when we teach the Plan of Salvation to our investigators we have someone special that we can always keep in our hearts. Elder Ward will be missed, but the work must go on! Please keep his family in your prayers, I can't even imagine how his mom's heart must feel...but it takes me right back to Alma 26:27.

On a happier note...a lady in my ward, Sister John, and I got to talking and guess what I found out?! She used to visit teach Jenny Busby (Malcolm's wife) when she lived in Tucson! WHAT?!??! CRAZY, right?! In the Pantana ward. Anyway...it's a small world and it's getting smaller with every passing day.

It's so unfortunate, but Sany and LeAnna have not yet been baptized. LeAnna is solid, but Sany is losing his confidence. We waited and waited for him to show up to his baptism interview but he never did. That was devastating for us as missionaries because we love him so much and we want what is best for him! The adversary is working hard on him, but Sany is strong and will get through it. Hebrews 10:35 reads "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward". CONFIDENCE IS KEY. Confidence in yourself, but most importantly...confidence in your Heavenly Father.


It has been so stormy lately...and everyone is complaining but I just LOVE IT! Thunder like bombs..the best. The BOMB BOMB DIGGITTTTTYYYYYY! (k how do you spell that)


We are meeting with LeAnna to finish her last lesson and she is scheduled to be baptized on the 21st of this month! Keep both her and Sany in your prayers! Sany is scheduled to be baptized on the 28th! We are meeting with the Harmon family this week (we had to cancel our appointment last week) so we hope to start the missionary discussions with them. Pray that Derek's (the father's) heart will be softened. ALSO we are helping a young man in our ward who has just been called to Peru to teach the discussions! So that's a lot of fun! And then we are helping a man who wants to go to the temple...he is a bitter old thing...but he's getting better and he has REALLY opened up to Sister Gray and I. We love him.

OCCASIONALLYYYYYYY I WANNA TALK ABOUT MEEEE! Country song, anyone? I don't know music, the missionary veil has really gotten to me. Who are my friends again? What kind of music did I listen to? Heck...WHO AM I?!?! Was there life before this? Who knows...I guess I'll find out in like 15 months. It's fine…tell Tor that there is a Chik-fil-A by our house and we go there all the time and Costa Vida too. WOOT WOOT! Did I mention that I'm fat?

I almost forgot! The other day someone rolled on into the VC and asked where I'm from and I said Mesa, AZ and then he asked if I knew Jacob Stradling and I was like...
HOLY CAT, YES I KNOW HIM! It's a smallllllll world after all! (Becky, if you're reading this...keep your comments to yourself) ;)

Baby Alba is just beautiful. I can't wait to meet her and hold her for myself. Our family just keeps growing and growing and GROWING! I love it!

I REMEMBER PIKE PLACE! I miss Washington so much...Mom, if you love me...I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father wants you to send me there to live with Tom & Linda ASAP. What do you think? Yes? No?

I almost didn't recognize Tristan! He looks so old! Is he talking? I sure miss those boys...it makes me sad, yet happy each time I think of them.

I am in the process of writing everyone back, so expect letters this week!

Well family, I love you very much and you are ALWAYS on my mind.  Always, always, always. I am well, and I pray you are too.

I love you, I love you, I love you....


Sister Rodriguez

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

50 Above and Freezing

Dear Familia, 
So...it's official! I am training! My new companion is Sister Gray from Gilbert, AZ...how weird?! Haha. She's actually originally from Russia and was adopted and brought to the states when she was about 10. She is incredible...it's nice to feel like I have a best friend as a companion. We work so well together and she really loves the work. I love her so much. 
Sister Rodriguez and Sister Gray

Sister Rodriguez and Elder Bebee 
Poor, poor Sister Gray... I have been keeping her SO busy that she hasn't even had time to unpack or anything... Oops. :) 
Yes, Ma! Lindy Kelly's grandpa is actually in one of the wards that I cover...isn't that silly?! We like to talk about Skippy...what a stinker. 
So the other day while I'm working in the VC I got a phone call from my zone leaders and they called to tell me that they just saw uncle Jordan at Five Guys! SMALL world! I love Uncle Jordan...he is such a good man and a wonderful example to the rest of the family. 
UNFORTUNATE NEWS: Sister Gray and I no longer have a car and now we are always on foot...I guess you could say that I'm a little scared for the winter...YIKES. It's already starting to cool down a lot and it's freaking me outttttt!
Want to know something funny, Ma? Sister Linford is sitting next to me right now. :) We are dying because we just saw a picture of the Gilbert temple and it looks so beautiful!  
How is Seattle?! I am SO jealous that you are there right now! I LOVE WASHINGTON SO MUCH! Please tell everyone that I say hello! Especially that sweet Tom...I love him dearly. 
The work is really good...all of our investigators are continuing to progress and we actually have a WHOLE entire family that we are teaching now! They are amazing! We are always super busy and I'm thankful for that. There is so much work to be done always. Sometimes our investigators fall through and drop us and it's really hard on us as missionaries because we just want them to have what we have...but then I read Alma 26:27 and it helped me a lot. It's during those times that we are down...that Heavenly Father will reach out to us and comfort us. TRIALS BUILD US UP IF YOU LET THEM.

I love all of you so much and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. 
Much love, 

Sister Rodriguez

Monday, August 26, 2013

Officially a Trainer

Hello my sweet Mama and family,

Thank you so much for updating me with everything that has been going on!
How is everyone doing?! That's great that President Wright was able to pass that news on down to you... I AM OFFICIALLY A TRAINER! I'm really nervous, yet excited at the same time...nervous because I have only been out for 5 weeks and excited because it will be a great experience for me. I know that Heavenly Father will qualify me to be the trainer that I need to be.

Sister Lemons is being transferred down to Pocatello where she will also be training a new missionary. I can't wait to meet my new missionary! That means I will be a "mom" here in the mission. I'll let you know all about her when she gets here on Wednesday. Pray for her, please! The first few days will probably be a tad overwhelming for her!
Sister Rodriguez and Sister Lemons

Unfortunately, Sany didn't get baptized this last week. He said that he prayed a lot about it and thinks that he should wait until September 7th, so we are shooting for that day! Keep him in your prayers that he will continue to remain strong.

LeAnna is scheduled to be baptized on September 6, and we are SO excited for her. She is just the sweetest thing around, I love her.

Kristina and Sister Rodriguez
That's great that Sisters Younce and Rios were able to stop by the house...I really hope everything with what he talked about works out. I really felt prompted to call and just give it a shot. I AM SO HAPPY FOR BOB! I will keep him in my prayers that he will continue to work toward his baptism date! Please keep me updated on that! I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to help teach the first lesson to him!
WHAT A BUMMMER that I didn't get to see the Crites. Do you know what day they stopped in at the VC?! That makes me sad...next time I will be able to see them for sure. :)
WOOOOOOOOOO TORRRRIIIIII!!!! Already got asked to Homecoming?! Is he a babe, or what?!?! He better be because TOR IS. I need pictures of this Luke guy! I wish I could go dress shopping with her! That will be so fun! I'm so excited/happy for her! Make sure you send me pictures of E V E R Y T H I N G!
I CAN'T WAIT to meet baby ALBA! WOOOO! I think about Becky a lot. I hope her pregnancy continues to go well.
I love you...not much to update you on!
Stay strong. I love you, I love you, I love you.
Mama, have a safe trip to Lake Havasu!

Much love,
Sister Rodriguez

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Love Visitors!

My dear sweet Mama and family/friends,

Hello! How's life in good ol' AZ? Can you believe that I have been out for two months now?! I just can't believe it. Sometimes I feel like I just got here and other times I can't even imagine my life before this. It's crazy, really. I'm still trying to make sense of the time.

This week we got a new investigator and she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I love love love her! Her name is Kristina and she is 22 years old. Talk about GOLDEN! This girl is so great. She has been investigating the church for quite some time now, but her family isn't exactly supportive of it. Her father is a preacher for another church, so she doesn't really tell him that she is taking the missionary discussions. She has had a really really hard life, so she is living right now with a lady named Tia and her family. She met Tia through work...they are both Zumba teachers. You better believe me and Sister Lemons are having morning workouts with Kristina! She is getting us in really good shape. She makes us use these things called Kangoo boots....look them up. They're hilarious. We are pretty much just an embarrassment, but it's fine. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?!?!? But anyway, Kristina is really excited to have sister missionaries now...she said that she feels like she finally has friends as well as missionaries that she can trust. I love her so much.

I HAD TWO SETS OF VISITORS THIS WEEK!! Woot! Woot! The first visitors were Wendy Pugmeyer and her sweet husband. We had a really good time chatting about things and about the mission...and then I got to show them our newest art exhibit that we just got in. The artist is named Annie Henrie and she is absolutely amazing! Her technique is so unique and she has a very medieval/renaissance feel to her work. I love it...it reminds me a lot of the artwork you see in Europe :)

On Saturday, I was SO surprised when Summer, Hayden, and sweet baby Avery walked into the VC! I know they don't live too far from where I'm at, but it was such a blessing to be able to see them. Mom, Avery is BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely beautiful. We had 16 wedding parties coming through the VC that day, so it was packed! And there were kids and babies everywhere. I was feeling a little sad because it made me think a lot of Peanut and Gibby and how I just want to hold them! Or any baby for that matter. As missionaries...we can't do that but I got permission to hold sweet baby Avery and it was such a tender mercy to me. I couldn't help but cry. I want the whole family to meet her, I just love her!

Prayers have been answered and Sany is getting baptized on Saturday! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the prayers. I am so happy for Sany, and I think he's ready to take this leap of faith and put all of his trust in the Lord! YAY FOR SANY!

I've had quite a few interesting experiences this week. But I'll share one quick one with you. Two girls around the age of 20 came into the VC on that busy Saturday. I was walking out of one of the offices when one of the girls grabbed me and asked if she could talk to me, and I almost felt like I've known her and I knew what she needed to talk to me about. So we went and sat down and we started to get to know each other a little bit. I found out one of them, Kirsty, was from South Africa and has been debating on whether or not to serve a mission. Her main concern was that she was feeling inadequate and a bunch of other things and I was just sitting there like, HOLY COW. You are a blonde, South African version of ME!!!! We talked for about an hour, and I started to share with her some of the talks that were shared with me in my time of confusion and some things that helped get me here. After a little while, she started to cry. She told me that I was just the person she needed to talk with her to get that same spark and that same feeling back that she had when she decided to serve. She asked if she could keep in touch with me so I gave her my info. I feel like I've known her forever. She is planning on submitting her papers very soon and I look forward to hearing where she is going! Heavenly Father truly does put people in your path that you can help if you are doing what's right. Obedience is key.

I HAVE NEVER EATEN SO MUCH IN MY LIFE. Yesterday Sister Lemons and I had a lunch and two dinner appointments all right after the other! I WAS DYING. I've never been so full or felt so sick...but one of the families is Filipino so you just HAVE to clear your plate...no questions asked. Speaking of food....Guess what Mom? I make my companion breakfast sometimes! (Please, don't look so shocked!) Yep, believe it or not…I can cook. I'm still in shock, too. Don't worry.

Also, Sister Brinkerhoff has asked me to sing at zone conference next month so yay for that! I'm really nervous! YIKESSSSSSSS.

I love you, I love you, I love you. Thank you for everything you do! You're all in my thoughts and prayers! Have a wonderful week. Xoxox.

Sister Rodriguez

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Hi my sweet Ma and family!

How is everyone doing?! I miss all of you so much! Thank you for all the letters and everything this past week, I loved that! And Mama, thank you so much for that package of goodies, it was the best ever! Udon noodles are my absolute favorite! And I also wanted to tell you not to worry about the iPod, it's totally fine! I'm not feeling COMPLETELY musically deprived ;) But really, don't even worry about sending it, I will be fine!

This last week was a little rough because a lot of our appointments fell through but it was really good all at the same time! We are really close to one of the little girls in our ward, named Emery. She invited us to go watch her clog down at the Snake River and she did AWESOME! Hey mom, I know I can't dance...but sign me up for clogging :)

Sany, one of our investigators, came to the VC and we taught him there. He is so great! He should be getting baptized within these next few weeks so keep him in your prayers that he will be confident and continue to desire to be baptized! We had to push LeAnna's baptism date back a little because she has been at girls camp and it didn't give us enough time to finish the discussions. She will be getting baptized in the first week of September. I can't wait. She is one amazing girl.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach a nonmber family from Germany! They were so great and they were very very interested in the church and they had a lot of really good questions. I gave them a Book of Mormon and they were really excited about that. They have been in search of something more in their lives and I think they just found it. :)

Nothing makes me happier than when Sister Lemons and I are walking down the street and all the little kids run outside and shout our names! They are so sweet, I love them all so much. They make me miss all the little kiddos in our sweet family.

We are going on a hike today after I finish emailing everyone! We are pretty excited...maybe we can make up for all the cookies we ate last night...oops.

We are also going to meet with Sany AND LeAnna tonight so I will have to keep you updated with them! Please keep them in your prayers!

PS. Sister Linford and I had the opportunity to teach together at the VC yesterday, so we were really happy. She is such a blessing, I love her so much.

Family, please know that I love you so much and that you are in my prayers!

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Sister Rodriguez

Monday, August 5, 2013

Heavenly Father, I was only kidding!

My sweet Ma, family, and friends,

Hello, hello, hello! Sister Rodriguez here!... Now for a weekly update on yet another amazing week.

First things first.

Jordan and Melanie came to the Visitors' Center to visit me! I was eating dinner when one of our VC sisters said that someone was waiting for me in the lobby. I walked out and instantly began to cry because it was so great to see family and know that life really exists outside of the missionary world. That sounds silly, doesn't it? WELL IT'S NOT SO DON'T MAKE FUN OF ME. But in all seriousness, it was so great to see them! Jordan really uplifted me a lot and he somehow said everything that I needed to hear. I am so grateful for him and his sweet family. I love them a lot, and it was such a tender mercy to get my call and know how close they would be. Heavenly Father knows what He's doing, doesn't He?

Uncle Jordan, Sister Rodriguez and Aunt Melanie

ALRIGHT. GET THIS. The average weight gain for my mission is 40-50 pounds. Yes, you read that right. FOURTY TO FIFTY POUNDS! Let me just tell you...I used to say I wanted to gain weight because everyone used to make fun of me because I couldn't get over 100 pounds...but boy has that story changed... I eat like 8 meals a day and it's amazing how much food I can put down. Mom, you thought I ate like a man before I left...multiply that by a solid five and you get me...THE BEAST. I was only kidding when I said I wanted to gain weight, Heavenly Father... Why must you play such harsh jokes on me? ;)

So Saturdays in the Visitors' Center are always hard for us sister missionaries because we all just huddle up and look out the windows and can see all the beautiful brides and we all just get depressed and cry (not really, but really). But seriously, they all look so happy and we're just sitting there like,

"CAN YOU NOT RUB YOUR HAPPINESS IN OUR FACES, PLEASE!" Seriously, it's like rubbing salt in a wound. Geeeeeeezzzz. But we love it, it's so much fun to watch them take their pictures.

MOM, the new sister that is serving in our ward (Arizona), Sister Rios, was in the MTC with me and we had Visitors' Center training together! You'll have to have them over for dinner or something! I love her! She practically speaks every language known to man... it's crazy. Okay, maybe not EVERY language... PS, can you ask Sister Younce how Bob is doing and see if he is progressing at all? I think about him a lot, especially because I got to teach him the first lesson with Sister Younce before I left! He's a gem. A total gem.

We have two baptisms coming up this month, and two of our investigators have been coming to church and firesides and all that jazz! We are so amazed with how much the work has been progressing here. It's hard sometimes because there are so many members, but we really have to seek out those who we can share the gospel with. There is a young man in one of the wards that we are over who has been wanting to serve a mission but hasn't been able to for some issues. This is his 3rd and final attempt in going and Sister Lemons and I are set on getting him out in the field! He's really so great and he has this amazing nonmember friend who was at Adam's house when we went to visit, and he is starting to take discussions so we are sooooooo excited for that! It's been an amazing week. Tender mercies everywhere.

Oh, and before the senior couple at the VC has a heart attack....go like the Idaho Falls Temple Visitors' Center page on FB. I know you don't have an FB...but...maybe it's time to make one. You will if you love me, anyways.

So is it too soon to start a Christmas list? I'm only kidding...(not really).

I love all of you so much, and I am so grateful for the stacks of letters that I get each week! It's so great to know that I have so much support. Keep strong. I love, I love you, I love you. Godspeed. 



Sister Rodriguez

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 2 in the mission field!

Ma, family and friends!
Hello! Week two out in the field, can you believe it?! I may or may not still be in shock... I'll let you know.
This past week has been really fun but VERY busy! On Friday we had a baptism for a girl named Alexis. She is 10 and just the sweetest thing in the world. I really love her family a lot! Yesterday Sister Lemons and I set a baptismal date for a 15 year old girl named LeAnna! She is just A GEM! I love her! Her mom is going to start coming to discussions with her, so we are very excited for that. I know that she will be a pioneer for her family and be able to set the example.
I forgot to tell you that I was in Rexburg for a baptism last week! That's so funny that Uncle Jordan was in Mesa while I was in his hometown. SWAPPED. Anyway, I meet so many people that know them! Everyone has nothing but nice things to say about that sweet family. Tell them to come visit me when they get the chance. :) By the way, how is Grandma Busby doing?
OKAY, don't freak Mom. But the SCARIEST THING happened to me and Sister Lemons the other day. Here's our story...enjoy.
I don't know if I told you but we are staying in the basement of a member's home, but the family has been out traveling Europe for the past month so I haven't met them and Sister Lemons and I have been living alone in this big house. Anyway, I was sleeping and then Sister Lemons woke me up in the middle of the night and was just like "Sister, wake up!" I woke up and was horrified because I was listening to the footsteps of someone walking around upstairs. I shot up out of bed and went to look out our bedroom door to see if I could see anything. All the lights were on, so I asked Sister Lemons what time it was and she was like it's 3 AM! That freaked us out more than anything because who on earth would be up at 3 AM?!?!? Right?! So we sat there and contemplated what we should do because we are basically boxed in downstairs and there wouldn't be much of a way to get out except the staircase that led straight to the footsteps that we were hearing. So Sister Lemons called the police and told them that someone was in the house. My heart was pounding, but at the same time I knew that we were going to be okay. Anyway, long story short...the police came to the house and guess who the MURDERER was! None other than the homeowners... :) Major oops, right?!?!? Hahaha! They had forgotten to inform us that they were coming home from their trip early so we weren't expecting them at all! Hands downs scariest moment of my life! Now I just need to buy some pepper spray. But anyway, it was super funny because I had never met the family before and it was basically like this,
"Hi, Pace family! Welcome home! We're sorry that we called the cops on you....by the way, I'm Sister Rodriguez. Nice to meet you." A W K W A R D.
Here's a funny story. So the members feed us dinner (we sound like pets) every night. The other night we had this really great dinner and for dessert they had pistachio ice cream and Sister Lemons HATES pistachio ice cream! Hahaha, but the family just kept giving her scoop after scoop and I was seriously dying of laughter because I know how much she hates it. Hahaha, but she's a champ and ate all of it!
So yesterday I got a phone call from a sister in our ward who is actually out here in Idaho! It was Sister Wendy Pugmeyer! She says she is going to come visit me at the VC, so I am super excited for that!
The sweet Ruttinger family sent me a really nice package too and I have been getting lots of letters from friends and family so it has been great! Mom, do you know where my brother Ryan is living right now? And if so, can you send me his address?
I love you all so much and thank you for all the support and love! It helps me more than you know! I love the mission, it's awesome and I'm growing every single day! Until next time... Cheers.
Sister Rodriguez

PS, tell Uncle Jordan and his fam that Seulbee Lee was in my district in the MTC and we roomed together...They know her! Hahaha, small world!
 Sister Rodriguez and Sister Linford with Elder Stones and Elder Cockriel while at the MTC

Monday, July 22, 2013

Greetings from Idaho Falls

Dearest Ma, family, and friends,
HELLO! And greetings from Idaho Falls! This place is BEAUTIFUL and the Temple is just gorgeous. The pictures on the Internet just don't do it justice. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to call home, Ma. I know I told you that I would but they changed their minds last minute and just decided to send out that email with a picture instead!
We spent the first night in Pocatello and I pretty much stayed in a palace and I had my own room and everything! It was INCREDIBLE. Sister Brinkerhoff handpicked 3 sisters to stay with Hoybjergs in their "celestial palace" out of all the missionaries and I was lucky enough to be picked. They live at the top of a mountain in Pocatello and I had a balcony in my room that looked over the ENTIRE city and it was just beautiful. They treated us so well and fed us too well...ahaha. I'm totally going to gain weight while I'm here. The members feed us at pretty much every single appointment and I just get so full. Mom, the Hoybjergs own John Deere dealerships!
Okay, so my companion is AMAZING! And guess where she is from?! DUH! MESA! Us Arizonans tend to stick together! She is originally from Guam and she lived there until she was 15 years old and then she moved here. And she went to Mountain View! Small world, right?! I know! It's so crazy! Anyway, she is just fabulous and she knows how to wax and everything so I am one lucky girl...she waxes my eyebrows for me. What a champ.
So we have been so extremely busy EVERY SINGLE DAY! I come home so exhausted and guess what...I even started to snore. My poor companion puts up with it, even though she is a light sleeper. Let's hope the snoring stops once I get home. But the families here are are so genuine and nice and I am just so blessed!
Sister Lemons and I set our first baptismal date for a guy named Sany. He is a gem and just so awesome! In our first lesson he said, "I want to learn more about the church, and if it takes me joining the church to live a better life, I want to do it". So we asked him to be baptized at the end of our lesson and he was so just so excited and happy and set his date for next month! We are STOKED! I could hardly contain my excitement but once we left and got in the car I let it all out and just started freaking out with my companion. She's such a sweetheart for putting up with me and all my weirdness.
ALRIGHT. I am so sick of everyone asking me if I speak Spanish and then I have to tell them no and they just look at me like WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU. So I am currently learning Spanish and I have been reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish, and it's actually coming along! One of the bishops in one of the wards that we are over asked me to talk to the mission president and see if he will switch me to the Spanish part of our mission, wouldn't that be awesome!
Anyway, just know that I am happy and that I am loving the mission! I have so much love for the people around me, and it just grows every single day. I love you, Ma. I wrote you a handwritten letter that you should be getting in a few days. I keep you all in my prayers every day, and I miss you all the time but I am happy here! Stay strong, be happy, and love everyone.
I love you. Xoxox.
Sister Rodriguez

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sister Rodriguez has arrived in the Idaho Pocatello Mission

A message from the Mission President...

Jul 19, 2013, at 9:35 AM

Sister Rodriguez,

Thank you for your email.  Sister Rodriguez has a true light about her and will be a great missionary.  We love her already.  Please let us know if we can ever do anything for you or her.

Love and best wishes to you and your family.

President and Sister Brinkerhoff
Idaho Pocatello Mission

Jul 18, 2013, at 11:48 AM
Sister Rodriguez has arrived safely in the Idaho Pocatello Mission.  Upon arrival, we had a personal interview to get further acquainted. 

We are hopeful you will write or email letters of encouragement to your missionary weekly so she will continue to feel your love and support as she loses herself in the work.  We encourage your missionary to do the same, focusing on the positive aspects of the mission. 

May God bless you as you sacrifice to support this great work.

Faithfully yours,
Marvin T. Brinkerhoff
Mission President

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 2 at the MTC!

Ma, family, and friends!

HELLO! Another week gone in a blink of an eye! I really cannot believe the way time flies here. I'm loving every single second and there is NEVER a dull moment with Sister Linford. She's always running into something or tripping over something and I'm just behind her laughing my head off. She is HILARIOUS.
So everyone is wondering what we did for the 4th of July! We had a really amazing devotional and then we watched one of my all time favorite movies...17 Miracles. Don’t worry, I cried the whole time. It makes me realize every single time that I watch it that I need to FORGET MYSELF.  After that we had ice cream...Sister Linford and I were like 5 year old girls with how excited we were over the ice cream. Embarrassing, I know. Then we watched fireworks with about 5000 other missionaries and we even got to stay up past our bedtime! COOL RIGHT. It was great.

So I sang in the choir with Sister Linford for the devotional the other day..it was awesome! The topic was "Act Well Thy Part" and it’s so true. Whatever you are, a father, a mother, daughter, sister, friend, be the best you can be in whatever role you play! It will change your life and make you an overall better person!
Oh, and Mom...don’t die but....I may not be coming home until 2015. Sister Linford and I just received the news and laughed for like an hour straight out of pure shock and devastation. But we love it here, haha! Don’t get me wrong! There is no place I would rather be right at this moment because I am growing with each and every day!

Okay, so I have been humbled A LOT. And I'm realizing that I can’t just rely on myself for everything and that I need to seek the Lord's guidance in ultimately all that I do and it is helping me grow so much. I need to work on it, and I'm getting better.

So there is this guy in our district that is the biggest jokester and he absolutely drives me crazy because I can never tell when he is joking or not! But the other day he came up to Sister Linford and I in all seriousness and told us that we are his favorite sister missionaries because we work the hardest but we have the most fun. That touched us a lot because we really have been trying to give it our all and keep our heads up when it gets hard...and we appreciated that someone noticed it.

Mom, I need to ask you huge favor. There is an elder in our district that hasn’t even received one letter since he has been here and his birthday is coming up on the 16th of this month! It makes me so sad because I know that I have so much support and I always have a pile of letters waiting for me. But I was thinking it would be really nice if you wrote him a small letter with words of encouragement and maybe you could send him a small birthday package with some candy or something in it. I will send you his mission address. It would really mean the world to me, and I know it would to him as well.

I love you all so much and I am so thankful for all the love and support that I have been getting! I will try and respond to as many letters as I can in good time! I love you, I love you, I love you.


Love, Sister Rodriguez