Monday, August 31, 2015

Email 08/31/2015 Awaking Mother Earth

   Well the volcano hasn't exploded yet but it caused 3 other volcanos to become active also..............I think Mother Earth has something against Ecuador hahahaha. Just hope it erupts before or after I go home. 
   Anyway this week has been a bit uninteresting. This week we did get to meet 2 Elders from the quorum of the 70. Elder Soarez (from Brasil and is member of the presidency of the 70) and Elder Uceda (President of the area 70) and that was really cool. Oh If your not a member of the church those guys are a big deal.  So in that meeting our whole mission was there and most of the other mission came as well. That means that my 3 sons were there. We all took a family picture together. 
   So that's really the most exciting thing that has happened this week. I promise there are pictures to come! 


Elder Rodriguez

P.S. Send money🎅

The Volcano.

My 3 sons, Elder Flores, Elder Valentine & Elder Zapana.
(Oldest Valentine, Middle Flores & Baby Zapana)

We bought some Ties.

Goofing off.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Email 08/24/2015 My Last Time in the Water, His First

Well this week was really great. Elder Zapana and I have been working like crazy to help as many people as we can in this sector and we got the fruits of our labors. This Saturday we had the sacred privilege to baptize 2 investigators that we have been working with for about 2 months now. I baptized the mother of the family, Sister Laura Orozco and my companion baptized her 12 year old son, Kevin Palacios. They are an amazing family and have had a crazy amount of challenges preparing for their baptism. Oh and they have really really strong testimonies of the gospel. Sister Laura said that when she prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true she dreamed that she was in a dark place, and while she was walking in the darkness she fell over a small book. That book was the Book of Mormon, and upon opening the book in her dream it open up to the most brilliant light she had ever seen.....She prayed to know if what we were teaching was real 3 times.......She had that same dream 3 times as well.
    Kevin also had an amazing response when he prayed to know if the message we taught was true. In the dreams of the night he found himself in the Catholic church in which he was a helper of the priest before we met him. That same priest in the dream threw him out of the church and said he did not belong there. After, in the dream he went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was welcomed with open arms. 
   It was an amazing experience teaching them all this time.
Oh and that same Saturday of their baptism we as missionaries hosted a talent show. The other missionaries and I did a whole bunch of small skits between acts but it was great. 280 people showed up to watch and participate in the show. Oh and as missionaries we did a rap to the song "I hope they call me on a mission"....I did my breakdancing stuff and now all the members keep asking me to dance again.......Yeah so those are the highlights of this week.
Oh and today we went bowling and I beat everyone.....
Okay love ya all!

Elder Rodriguez

Goofing off before lunch.

Volcano Cotopaxi. It's spewing out smoke and threatening to erupt.


Preparing for the talent show.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Email 08/17/2015 Giving Light

Well like I said the last week.....I'm training again. So I got my new companion (last companion) Elder Zapana. He's from Peru and he's a real cool guy. Its weird because he is like my last companion in the fact that I was in the mission when he was baptized.
    So far we have been getting along great and we are always laughing so I think my last six week in the mission are gonna be great. He is super sharp and ready to learn, I just need to teach him the doctorine still hahaha.
     So besides my new companion everything else has been going really great. We already have 2 baptisms lined up. Yeah so we are going to be baptizing a Sister Laura Palacio and her 12 year old son Kevin. And Kevin already asked Elder Zapana if he would baptize him, so that was super awesome. 
    With Elder Zapana, he and I have been working really hard in our sector and it is alot easier with him than it was with my last companion.  
    But everything is going really well for me here. And all the members are really sad that I will be going soon. I have no idea how they found out that I have such little time left hahahaha. 
    Well thats all folks! 

Love ya all
and can't wait to see everybody. 

Elder Rodriguez

My 3rd son. Elder Zapana

The newbies and almost dead.

Elder Kirby (Arizona) and Elder Gallardo (Argentina) messing with my camera.

My last Agenda in the mission. Made by Elder Mott.

Gifts given to me for my Birthdat. 
The watch was bought by the Cauran Family (members).

The socks were made by the Palacio Family (investigators).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Email 08/10/2015 Dying in Calderon

Well hello everybody!!!!! So this week we had changes.(my last one) but I'll tell you guys what happened in the end. 
   Let's start from the beginning of this week. 
 So Monday a couples elders and i went to Quito to the offices to eat. We ended up eating Subway and it was great. Everyone ate a turkey sandwich but I decided to eat a Meatball sub....Bad idea.
  Tuesday, my birthday, I spent it inside our apartment puking my guts out. FOOD POISINING. Its was terrible because the nurse said I had to go on a 24 hour liquid diet....for those of you that don't know me so well I actually really like eating, especially on my birthday. So that's how I spent my birthday; in bed, puking, and only drinking gatorade. Fun stuff right?
    Fortunately the family that gives us lunch on Tuesday brought our food to the house. She cook some fried chicken for us and I was so excited to eat it for breakfast the next day. So on Wednesday I wake up with my empty stomach and I'm running to the fridge super excited like a kid on Christmas morning. I open the fridge's not there? So I go to my companion and ask what in the world has happened........He ate my birthday lunch........I was crushed. Feeling like someone had died I ask "why would you do that," to which he cold replied,"it was going to go bad." I have to be honest with all of you at this point in my mission....That was the closest I have ever been to crying over food and the closest I have ever been to punching a companion straight in the face. 
   Fortunately Wednesday got a little bit better. So I bought some anti-nausea pills so that I was able to eat and we headed out for lunch. The Benecazar family (maybe the most charitable and richest family in Ecuador) bought me Papa John´s pizza and a cookie cake. It was so kind and I got to share it with another companionship too which was also great. 
   Now in Latin America they have a birthday tradition here in which the birthday boy takes the first bite of cake, and when they go in for the bite, another person slams the birthday boy´s face into the cake. Elder Castro (he's from Ecuador) is very aggresive with this tradition. He slammed my face down so hard my teeth went straight to the bottom and I ate more table than cake. After that we went to do a service activity inwhich I went to hard and got sick again. 
  Then Thursday came and the zone had another cake for me. In Which Elder Castro also slammed my face into....I had cake in my eyes hahahahaha.
   But my birthday was great and one family bought my a really nice watch and another family custom made me some crazy socks.
   Okay, now for changes, the Last changes. I finished the training of Elder Flores and now he's off the Ibarra (the mountains). I'm still here in Calderon, which makes Calderon my barial spot. AAAAAAnd now I'm going to train AGAIN NOOOOOONONONOOONONONONOOOOO. I'm not really happy about that but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do brotha........ 
I'll send pics next week sorry, 

Love ya ALL

Elder Rodriguez

Monday, August 3, 2015

Email 08/03/2015 Night of Affliction

Hey everybody!!!!!!!!!
I'm almost 21...ALMOST 21....I'm old hahahahah
   Anyway this last week started of really bad. REALLY BAD. So, Monday night I started to feel really sick in a lesson so we went to the house rather early. That night I did not sleep for even a second. The whole night I fell into a terrible fever, the chills, severe pain in my stomach and head. That was the first time in my life that I ever prayed to God that I could just survive the night. The next day I only left the house to call my leaders to come and give me a blessing. So that was fun. 
  Ha so the rest of the week got better. I slowly was receiving my strength but I was able to work. So we found a new family. And now we are working with them. My companion is getting a bit better, I mean there is somewhat some progress, but he's still fighten. 
  Oh and then on Sunday the most irreverent thing happened at church. So this sunday was fast sunday and as you all know it is a special time to share your testimony with everyone. So I was up sitting next to the Bishop waiting for my turn to share my testimony when one member goes up and says, ¨Well, everyone, I have a secret,¨ then with a big pause he follows up with, ¨I'm IRONMAN.¨ All the missionaries where like WHATTT?! The worst part about it is......He's our ward mission leader.
  So thats all that happened this week.


Elder Rodriguez