Pocatello, ID & Idaho Falls Visitor Center Mission

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