Pocatello, ID & Idaho Falls Visitor Center Mission

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