Elder Rodeback

Elder Rodeback

Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

Man, I didn't know how cushy I had it at home until last week.  I never had to worry about food in the pantry or running outta toilet paper.  I didn't even worry about it until last Friday, when we.....ran out of toilet paper.  :(
Hey guys, another glorious week out here in the dirty Jerz!  One of my uncles requested that I write about the things I am doing and what I am learning.  I already unravel all the stuff I learn during the week, but I have not been writing about what I do.  How lame of me!  This week was nuts!  We had exchanges with the District Leader last week and I was able to go with a long time buddy of mine Elder Pires (pee-dees).  We had a killer day.  We found a new investigator and the Lord just unraveled some tender mercies for us.  It rained like three times last week.  Being in a walking area means that I was outside in it ALL DAY and I loved it!  I love being able to go out and show God that I love him.  Actions speak louder than words, even to God.  Quilvania has a date to be baptized on the 3rd and we are so excited for her to get baptized.  It's another one of those times where I am just like, "man, I did nothing."  We seriously just go in and teach the lesson that Heavenly Father prepared us to teach, and BAM, she just accepts it.  We taught her the word of wisdom last week and she had a problem with ice tea.  After the lesson that night, she prayed and then dumped out an entire gallon and a half jug that she had made.  She also dumped out the whole container of mix that she just bought.  This whole thing touches my heart because she literally has nothing right now.  She has no furniture, nothing and yet she had enough faith in Heavenly Father and enough faith that he would bless her if she did.  The whole thing cost her like $15.  It's not alot for us, but it's $15 she could have used to buy food for her son.  I am so grateful that she is gaining a testimony of her loving Savior.  I also know that it is because I am doing my part.  I have thought alot the past few weeks and more and more it is apparent to me that the key to success as a missionary and to life, is OBEDIENCE.  When we are obedient to the commandments, we have the Spirit with us.  When the Spirit is with us God teaches his children directly.  When we are obedient we then are able to be mere vessels for the Spirit to pass through to touch these people.  We should never, ever walk away from a lesson and say. "Man, I taught so well."  It is always important to remember something my MTC teacher taught us.  "If the people don't accept our message, they are not going to hell.  We are not that important."  Which is why it is not only our duty and obligation, but it NEEDS TO BE our focus, to be EXACTLY OBEDIENT.  If you strive to have the Spirit with you 100% of the time, you will never have to question if that person was converted to the Gospel.  Often times missionaries live beneath their potential.  Even members of the church live beneath their potential.  If we go about life expecting miracles, Heavenly Father will provide miracles as long as we are living worthy to receive them.  I know that God lives.  I also know that He loves his children and because he does, He blesses us with miracles every day.  Look for them!  Live for them!  If you do those two things, He has promised to give them to you.  In Malachi 3:10 Heavenly Father says, "Prove me now here with."  He is callin' all of you out!
I love you guys!  Hope everybody has an awesome week!

Elder Patrick Rodeback

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19, 2013

"though the legacy has ended
and all the children are gone
something goooood inside me
helps me to carry on
I ate some bugs
I ate some grass
I used my hand
to wipe my tears
To kiss your lips
I'd break my vows
no no no no no way Josie
...unless you want to
then we will break our vows together"

A little Nacho Libre exerpt for ya!

Hello my dear friends!  How are all yall's doing?  It's been another glorious week out here in the dirty Jerz and needless to say......I AM FREEZING!

Last week was one of the most hectic weeks of my life.  Elder Stimpson was transferred and I got a new companion named Elder Thatcher.  To my surprise, we also got put into a trio with Elder Hernandez because he was suppose to train a new missionary but, he fell while in the MTC and hit his head.  He had to stay an extra week.  Then, another Elder got an early transfer because his companion punched him in the face!  It was just crazy!  Elder Thatcher is pretty cool.  He is a ginger, so I am pondering on the welfare of his soul.....hahahah just kidding!

                                                      Elder Rodeback & Elder Hernandez

The thing I have been thinking about alot is one statement.  Magnify your calling.  Throughout the past week I have been pondering and thinking about this.  After some discussion with Elder Hernandez, I realized that this one simple concept is an essential concept of the Gospel.  President Monson is a wonderful man and even better, he is constantly on the Lord's errand.  Even before he was an apostle and even before he was in the Stake Presidency he was on the Lord's errand.  He was always striving to do what the Lord expected him to do and did it to the best of his ability.  How often do we do that?  I hope everyone is able to look at themselves and ask, "How much do I love God?"  We say that we love God, and yet how often are we called to do something for the Lord and don't take it seriously?  If we took our callings in the church as seriously as they are, and really looked at them as, "God asked me to do this" and then did that calling to the best of our ability, we could stand blameless before Him.  I have a lot of things that I need to improve on regarding that.  By no means am I talkin' myself up.  Merely trying to share what the Lord has been causing me to think about.

I love y'alls so much!
Elder Patrick Rodeback

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013 - Transfers!

"West side if yah deep, let me see yah put em up.
South side if yah deep, let me see yah put em up.
East side if yah deep, let me see yah put em up.
MY HOOD…..WE DEEP!"  lyrics from an Alkapone song

What's going on guys???  Another freezing week out here in brick city.  The big EEZY been gettin' freezing but the work goes on.  The missionaries are tested, the weak stay in and the strong go find!

Sadly, transfers are here and Elder Stimpson is being transferred tomorrow.  He and I had a good run for the 4 weeks we were together and I am really sad to see him go.  We had a good week last week and Quilvania is really coming along.  We are really striving to help her to have an experience with the atonement, to help her gain a testimony of Jesus Christ.  We had one of the funniest things happen this week.  We were at home the other day and Elder Stimpson was chillin' on his top bunk (side note, we have two twin sized bunk beds pushed together to make a queen bunk bed) so he was chill up there on one of the mattresses and I thought it would be funny to kinda scare him a little bit.  So, I pushed up on one of the mattresses he was laying on.  To my surprise, the mattress was not as secure as I had hoped and it came off the bed to the ground with him on it!  In the midst of his six foot drop, Elder Stimpson managed to blurt out "BOB SAGET!"  just before he hit the ground.  He fell like sideways and landed on his side but the mattress kinda landed on top of him and mashed him.  I felt so bad but amidst the crash, the only thing that came from my mouth was, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"  I literally laughed for fifteen minutes.  I swear I didn't do it on purpose and he wasn't mad because he knew I didn't.  The image of my 260lb companion falling from the six foot bunk bed will never leave my mind!

Well I did want to spout out about what I learned this week.  My humility study is coming to an end and yet I still learn and learn and learn.  I learned this week how important it is to be humble DURING our prayers.  That's right, DURING prayer.  I learned why the Spirit needs to guide every single prayer that we utter.  When we pray we are literally coming before the throne of God and bearing our souls to him.  If we plan to do anything less, then why are we praying?  Seriously, what is the point in praying if we will not give everything we have to the Lord?  In Enos, it talks about having mighty prayers, and as I studied that, I saw that it said, "When I was done, I had nothing left."  God gave/gives us everything!  We should do the exact same thing for him every day of our lives.  It all comes down to what we are willing to do to be direct followers of our Heavenly Father.  Now, if you go to 3Nephi, it talks about how the people received the words of their prayers by the Spirit.  I realized why this is so important.  Heavenly Father has blessings in store for us but he will not force anything on us, He loves us too much to do that.  BUT, he has given us the Holy Spirit so that we can know his will.  If we pray according to the Spirit's promptings, Heavenly Father will unlock blessings that we never could have imagined.  I know that the Lord has blessings prepared for us and I know that the second we ask, they will come.  I know that by following the Spirit and allowing him to guide our thoughts when we pray, we will receive blessings. 
Well, that's my spout!  I love you guys!  Be strong and I will see you in a few years! J

Elder Patrick Rodeback

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013

How yo doin?  Can I get one a dem hawt dogs?
What's going on guys?  Been another glorious week out here in the NJMM.  Elder Stimpson and I power housed last week!  Because of the faith that was shown, the Lord blessed us with, what our district calls, "the miracle woman."  She is a boss!  Her name is Quilvania and she is like 25 and is a single mom.  We got her as a media referral and we went and taught her.  We didn't even have to commit her to read the Book of Mormon.  Turns out she has been reading it EVERY DAY for a couple of weeks and she already knows that it is true!  I am so eternally grateful that the Lord found a measly, mediocre missionary such as myself to teach her.  I am so gratefule to be so close to the Spirit as a missionary and feeling of his love.   

Elder Rodeback & Elder Stimpson
Instead of ranting on about faith and humility, I want to unleash some crazy apologies in this email.
Caitlyn Irogyen.  We haven't been able to speak in a long time.  I have been thinking about it a lot lately and I really want to apologize for two things.  One, for not being as good of a cousin as I should have been.  Two, for not ever once, sharing the message of Jesus Christ with you.  I hope that we can hang out once I am home!  I am truly sorry for bein' such a weenie.  Hope all is well.
Kyson Lunt. Man, it has been a long while since we have talked and I really wanted to apologize for not being a better example to you my friend. I often thought how lame it would be to bear my testimony to you, you are already a member, why should I? In reality, I was being selfish and not truly striving to help you and I am so sorry my friend. I am sorry we didn't hang out as much before I left and I am sorry I didn't keep in as much contact. I hope that life is treatin you well.
Since I have been out here, I have learned what it means to sincerely repent.  Not only does it mean that we make amends with God, but we also have to make amends with the people we have done wrong. 
I also need to say sorry to Shannon!  I am so sorry I haven't sent your letter yet!  Last week was crazy!  I promise it will get sent today!
Well that's it for me this week.  Hope yalls have a good week
Love ya all!
Elder Patrick Rodeback