Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Last email!

Hello everyone!

It is crazy to be writing my last email to you all in the mission field. My last week has definitively been memorable. The Lord has blessd us with a lot of lessons to teach and I had the opportunity to invite many people to baptism and activation. We have a strong teaching pool in my area. I had my departing interview with President Mendenhall on Thursday and he gave me some good counsel. We were able to watch all sessions of conference, except for the Priesthood session, at members' homes. Tuesday morning I will be going to Westminster to the mission home and we will go to the Denver Temple for the last time. Then we will have dinner and a testimony meeting and Wednesday morning I fly home.

I will surely miss my mission a lot. If I could stay out for a little longer I would. Not that I don't want to go home, but I love this work so much and we are working with a lot of people who have a lot of potential. I am so grateful for my mission. I will see you all next in person!

Love, Elder Rodriguez

September 26th


Last full week in the mission field. Last transfer the office called all the returning missionaries and asked which airport they would like to fly into. This week was pretty good. We didn't teach as many people as we would have liked but we still taught many lessons. We are working with a ton of part member families in both of our areas. Those families are gold mines for the Arapahoe Stake. 

The English Classes have been going great. There is a lot of support and service form the members of the stake. The classes will now be moved to another church building in Aurora, where there is a much more concentrated refugee population. I have been to that church building and it is kind of a rough area. The classes will start again next transfer so Saturday was my last time. One of the members took all the missionaries out to lunch as well.

We are working with a part member family in one of the wards we cover and the husband is not a member. He does marketing for Mucle Pharm, a protein brand, and he was so kind as to give us a ton of free stuff. Sometimes I feel like a spoiled missionary, lol. We went on exchanges with another set of Elders on Wednesday. I was able to go with an Elder named Elder Long. He is from Hemet Califonia and he goes home 6 weeks after I do. We did a lot of finding this week like always. Finding which consists of knocking doors, street contacting, and talking to people, will be something I will miss a lot. The more people you find the more people you can teach. 

It's pretty crazy to think I go home so soon. I had a lot of members yesterday tell me good bye and good luck. The wards I serve in now have been great. I will miss a lot of great members and families from these areas.

I think it's pretty cool to have 5 general conference's on a mission. I still remember when I was in a huge auditorium in the MTC watching it with all the full time missionaries preparing to enter the mission field with me. We will be watching a couple of sessions with members this weekend. I hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Rodriguez

September 19th


Happy Monday! P-Days are just too busy for us now. There are 6 companionships in the zone and only 3 of them have cars. So we have to pick a companionship up and haul them around where ever we go. We wish we could have some time to play sports or something but we always run out of time. Our appointments went well. Almost all of them went through. We were so busy last week and we found a couple of new investigators. We have been setting up appointments like crazy too. We will ask our investigators and less actives when we can meet and they tell us when. That is very unusual for this area because it didn't happen the past 3 months but it's happening now.

We have an investigator named Sean Dunlop who is probably one of our top progressing investigators. He is married to a less active who has 5 kids of her own. And Sean has 4 kids of his own. They all live in the same house so it gets pretty crazy. He is a very busy person but he is also lazy when it comes to Church attendance and keeping commitments. If he were to do those two things he probably would be baptized by now. He's hard to pin down to get lessons but we are making slow progress with him.

The English classes are going great. We haven't been teaching yet, we have been doing the interview process but we were told we will be teaching this Saturday. Last week we had people from Iraq, Ethiopia, and Mexico. The emergency transfer went well. The companionships seem to be getting along ok now, and I was happy to see one of my past areas again. We had my last zone meeting on Wednesday and that was great. We were able to go on exchanges with the AP's on Thursday. I went with Elder Sekona. He is a huge football player from Hawaii and he goes home the transfer after I do so I have known him my whole mission. It was a fun day with him.  

This week will be more of a normal week. There won’t be any big meetings or anything like that. It's crazy to think I only have two and a half weeks left. I'm trying to stay as consecrated as I can to sprint to the finish line. 
The weather has cooled down a little bit this week but then it got really hot Sunday and today. I'm kinda ready for winter when I go home as well. I'll be sad not to see any snow. But I am excited to come home!

Love, Elder Rodriguez

August 22

Hello everyone! Aug 22nd 

Things are changing a lot over here. I thought for sure I was getting transferred but Elder Gray got the boot instead. I am staying in Arapahoe as a zone leader for the rest of my mission with Elder Weller. I will be training Elder Weller on this assignment as well. I've never served around him but I know he is a great guy and I will do well with him. This past transfer we had 2 visa waiters. One that went to Jamaica and his companion went to another zone early in the transfer. Another visa waiter is going to Fiji today and his companion is going home Wednesday. So the zone has shrunk a lot. Next transfer, there are a lot of new missionaries to the zone. There will be two wards with a brand new set each.  

Monday we were supposed to go to the Ft. Collins Temple Open House but our investigator, Faith, bailed out on the very last minute. Elder Gray and I had our suits on, Tyrone made arrangements at work to be able to drive us all, and while I was shining my shoes she gave us a call and said she can't come. She said it was for personal reasons that she wouldn't tell us. We were both so mad and frustrated but we got over it. Tyrone took us to Golden Corral instead. The temple is in the Ft. Collins mission still but the Boulder Zone is in our mission now. 

This week will be crazy with transfers on Wednesday, new companions, and other changes. Yesterday we had an investigator come to church. His name is Tyler and he has a brother and a grandmother who are members. He is 20 years old and is suited for YSA but if he doesn't want to investigate the church there we will keep him in our area. He is on baptismal date for Sept. 10th and everything is looking good so far. But we haven't taught him the law of chastity or the word of wisdom yet; those might be some barriers for him. A lot of our investigators are still stubborn and don't want to change. We are also teaching Tyler's mom, who has been seeing missionaries for 8 years now. She believes that this is the true church but doesn't want to give up smoking. But we will keep working with her. Not much else is new, until next time.

Love, Elder Rodriguez

August 15th

Hello! Aug 15th 

The weather has cooled down a little bit here in Colorado. So Adora didn't come to church unfortunately. We even went by her house about an hour before church started and she was asleep. We did have one investigator come to church though. His name is Lee and he has mental disorders. He understands a few things we teach but he forgets a lot of things. Not sure if we will continue to teach him. Eddison, is not doing well. He stopped reading the Book of Mormon for now and doesn't agree with a lot of things we teach. His wife has been feeding him a lot of false information. A lot of our appointments fell through this week unfortunately. But we are still working hard and trying to get our investigators to church. Zone Meeting went well. We have a senior couple in the zone and they provided lunch afterwards. We are still getting fed really well in both wards. That is a plus to covering two. The rest of the month is full.

This is the last full week of the transfers as transfers are next Wednesday. We will have to make this week really count. Later tonight we are going to the Ft. Collins Temple Open House. This is the only day full time missionaries can attend with their investigators. Tyrone, the person we live with, is driving us and our investigators, Faith and Victoria, out of the mission to Ft. Collins. Faith is in her 60's and her daughter, Victoria, is 23. It should be quite an experience and I'm really excited. I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures. 

We were able to go on exchanges with another companionship on Saturday. I was able to go with Elder Wunderly, who is from West Virginia. He has been out a little less than me and I've known him pretty much my entire mission. He's a funny guy and I like him a lot. Nothing much is new for this week but we are going to be working hard our last week. Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love, Elder Rodriguez

August 8th

Hello again! 

This week we were busy as heck! P-Day was fun as always. Tuesday Elder Gray and I went on exchanges with another set of Elders. I was able to go with Elder Ishibashi in his area. He just arrived here in the mission at the beginning of the transfer. He is from Hawaii and is a Visa waiter going to Fiji. He is an awesome guy and I wish he was staying here. Wednesday was the Temple. We had the 6:30am session and I was so tired during it. Not sure about the LA Temple but in the Denver Temple they keep the Endowment rooms super cool to keep everybody awake. Thursday was District meeting and our weekly planning as well, since we had MLC on Friday. We did some more service for a young couple that just moved in on Saturday morning. Tyrone, the Polynesian that we live with, likes to take us to Golden Corral every other week and we went with him Saturday as well. 

Our investigators are not progressing as fast as we would like them to, but we still experienced some small miracles with them this week. We are working with a young adult named Adora. She is in her early 20's, African American, and is looking into the Book of Mormon. We tried to contact her last week but had no luck until yesterday. She texted us and asked if she can come to church this Sunday. She seemed really excited. We picked Eddison back up. We had three lessons with him during the past three weeks and we invited him to baptism on the first one. He said he wants to learn more before he does it. The second lesson went down hill because his wife is giving him anti information. He says he doesn't want to leave his culture and we explained that he doesn't have to but that didn't sink in. We will probably end up dropping him soon. Yesterday was busy as well. We have ward counsel with the Fox Hollow Ward at 8am, then ward correlation at 10:15 and then we went to the Smoky Hill Sacrament Meeting at 11am. We went to 2nd and 3rd hour in Fox Hollow to finish church. Lots of driving around but thankfully the ward buildings are close. This week we have Zone Meeting on Wednesday but other than that, we don't have a whole lot.

Transfers are on August 24th and the clock is ticking way too fast. Not sure if I will stay in this area for the rest of my mission but there is a possibility that I will get transferred, who knows. Monday August 15th, the Ft. Collins Temple Open House will be open just for missionaries and there investigators. We are going to try to get one of them to go and if that happens we will be able to see it. We will have to get a ride though. I hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Rodriguez

July 25th

Hello all! July 25th 

Elder Gray and I did a lot of good work this week. We found a lot of new investigators but not a whole lot of them are solid. We'll need to follow up with a lot of them. We had a couple of district meetings that we went to and I gave a training on asking for referrals. We met with the stake president as well this week to talk about the missionary work in the stake. He's not too pleased that the stake isn't helping out the missionaries by giving them people to teach. He has invited a lot of people to the Fort Collins Temple Open House and he said he has 15 people going. On Friday we had a special meeting for all the zone leaders in the mission. The theme of the meeting was the "School of the Prophets" It was a really great meeting that helped a lot of new zone leaders. On Saturday I went on exchanges with another companionship. I was able to go with Elder Folau, the elder I trained about a year ago. It was an awesome day being back with him. While I was with him we did service for a part member family. We finished painting their bathroom then they fed us a great meal. 
This week we have a lot of appointments scheduled and hope they all follow through. We also have interviews with President and Sister Mendenhall on Tuesday and a couple of exchanges throughout the week. Other than that nothing much is new. We will be going to the Temple again on Aug. 3rd and MLC will be that Friday as well. The ward didn't do anything for Pioneer Day. We just sang 'Come Come Ye Saint' but the Pioneer spirit was there. I miss you all, until next time.

Love Elder Rodriguez