Monday, April 6, 2009


I know it has been a while, i have promised pictures for a while and i appreciate the patience from everyone who wanted to see pictures.

Here they go....(yes they are random and sorry for the sideway ones)

Things to note, chopsticks, how happy Elder Rodriguez is, and how much you can feel the Spirit with his letters and pictures!! =)

And yes Elder Rodriguez sent Thousands of pictures and we are still going through them. Enjoy!!

El Cumpleañero

I picked up my new companion today. He is Elder Renshaw from Iowa. He is tall and excited to be here in Santander. He started off in Vigo and then went to San Sebastian and now here. I had a great week. We divided up the areas to accommodate six missionaries instead of four. My old companion had worked with one person before I got here. He stopped visiting when I arrived to Santander. About three weeks ago I called him to see if he still had interest. We knew he did. We had been visiting with him for three weeks now. Today in the morning the other two elders made him breakfast and we ate and then taught him a lesson afterward. After the visit he had a question, ¨are there any baptisms soon?¨ We knew automatically that he was ready and was about to ask for himself. We told him that the Hermanas had five people getting baptized the 18 of April and that we had thought about the 25 of April for him. He said he´d love to get baptized then. We were so excited! My old companion and Elder Stevens will continue to teach him what he needs to be ready for the waters of baptism. One lady I found has been progressing so much. I know it is because of the fact that she lives with a family that are members. They help out so much in the lessons and helping her get to church . She has come three weeks in a row already! She started working again so she won´t be able to visit all week till Saturday and she´ll still be able to go Sunday to church. The last visit we left her with the promise in the Book of Mormon. She said she´d read, meditate about what she read and then pray to God to ask Him personally if the book is true. I did the same promise last week. I read a chapter in El Libro de Mormón and after meditated about what I read. I then got on my knees and started to pray. I talked with my Father in Heaven. I let Him know that I already knew the book was true and was coming to Him to help my testimony grow. I asked Him, ¨Is the Book of Mormon true?¨ and then I waited, waited some more and then that is when I felt some thing. I felt energy go throughout my body. It was like the feeling of being tired and when you drink a nice glass of cold water and you feel energized. I knew it was the Holy Ghost testifying to me that the book was still indeed true. My mind was clear and I could only think of peace and had no worries. I know she will receive an answer if she sincerely does the promise left in that book for all to test. I have enjoyed learning more about Jesus Christ during my time here in this country. I have read the Bible and the Book of Mormon and other great books to help me know my Savior better. I have learned that we celebrate the birth of the Savior during the Christmas season and we celebrate His resurrection during Easter. The fact is that He was born today. Yes, today, the sixth of April but 2,009 years ago. We can read about it in Doctrine and Covenants chapter 20 verse 1. It explains that that is when He came into the world in the flesh or that means when He too received a physical body. I am not much on celebrating things even my own birthday but I will think of the Savior today. I will have Him in my thoughts and my heart as I go through out the day talking to others about Him. I leave you all with my testimony that Jesus lives. He is resurrected and has a body that is perfect and glorified. I know that He loves me and all mankind. He has already showed us His love with what He has done while on the earth. And even till this day He is continues to show His love for us. He did not only leave us His teachings that we have in the Bible and Book of Mormon and the Spirit which He promised but He continues to teach us today. He is the head of the His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and guides us today. What a blessing it is to know that we can continue to learn from the greatest teacher that the world has ever seen. This I leave with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ Himself, Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Christ Did His Part . . . Now It Is My Turn

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Mike!

Saturday the Hermanas had a baptism. I had just met the little girl a week or so before and she was definitely prepared to be baptized. She had told me something I can´t forget. She told me that she loves God and Jesus. She also understands the that they love her. I got to speak at her baptismal service and participate in it. It was such a blessing to see that her father had just been baptized not too long ago and was able to baptize her. The Hermanas do a work for the Lord that Elders can´t do. Hermana Garcia and Hermana Calderón taught over twenty-two lessons this past week and took members to at least half of them. The members here help out the missionary work so much. Members come with us to visits and all. I am still getting to know the ones we are teaching. We have been looking for a lot more and have been finding. We continue to work hard and know the Lord is at our side whether it be by the help of members, good people on the street, angles, and so many others ways that I don´t see. People seem to be talking about how the world is at a critical time. The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints here are preparing themselves in so many ways. They are making sure they have food stored away for the future. They have brought food together to help so many that are left without jobs and nothing to eat. They even just bought a piece of land to start growing their own crops! The faith members have here just surprises me once again. I am currently learning to put more and more trust in Christ. And just when I think I have put all I can, I find out that I still have more I can give to Him. I need to start helping others focus more on the Savior. My companion and I went by to help a person struggling in life and especially his spiritual life. We decided to talk about faith. I have learned to teach people and teach them how things are and not hide the truth. We simply(but truthfullly) told him the truth. I asked him, ¨¿What have you done in your life to show that you have faith in Christ?¨ He responded with an answer. I then asked my companion who also responded on how he has personally showed faith and what actions he has previously done.¨ I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I read the scriptures. I go to Chruch. I get on my knees and pray. I have shown faith in my life. I am currently showing my faith. The question is, ¿Will I or will we have faith in the future? ¿What will we do to show we have faith? I can´t say, ¨Well, I have gone to church before and prayed and read the scriptures.¨ What I can say is that I will continue to do those things. God has shown me so many times of what He has done for me. We went to a pueblo on the coast. The area was just covered in green grass and green trees and everything was just so full of color and life. I knew then and said to myself, ¨God created this all for me, for me to enjoy.¨ I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and all those that love Him by what they do for Him. I am preparing myself to meet Him one day for I know I will have to stand before Him and answer to Him of what I did with my time. I want to wait for that day with joy and have nothing to fear for Christ did His part and now I am doing my part. Elder Rodriguez

Monday, January 26, 2009

We Have Faith In Christ, We Have Faith That All Can Return Unto Him

Oh, and Kimberly's b day was the 23 of Jan 20yrs old!! I don't believe it!!. I really don't, ha ha. And tell Bebe happy birthday too. 30 of Jan!!

We had a great zone conference this week! I have been in Leon for a long time now. I know all the missionaries in the zone. I even know members in each rama in all the cities, ha ha. I went to Ponferrada to work with another elder. We visited a few people. The visits were great. The elders there are working with a few families where either the husband or wife isn´t a member. You wound´t believe how much love can be seen by the spouse that is a member towards their spouse. I am also grateful being able to attend all the meeting for the branch and entire district. We are the only missionaries there because it isn´t for missionaries but since we are the leaders of the branch we go. I learn so much and how God´s Church works. They talk about missionary work from time to time. I get to help them understand what our vision is as missionaries and they let me know what I can tell the missionaries to help them out on their side of things. I mentioned it before that I assign members sacrament talks. I had never spoken in any of my other cities till Leon. Then being the one assigning the talks I thought I would not ever talk. Then I learned how things work. If a member can´t talk, then I have ready the topic they were assigned. I have spoken a few times so far already in Leon. It is such a wonderful experience. The members do so much here. My companion and I have found many new people. We have a few families we are teaching! A member moved to Leon also and so we have one more strength in the branch. As we walk all day in the streets we see and talk to many. The interesting thing is when we stop a person and then they say, ¨I am a member of the Church.¨ We always are happy to find them because we let them know that the Church exists here in the northen part of Spain! We found Paola and have a visit set up with her. We also ran into Patricia, from Chile, and she was super friendly. She lives in a pueblo about three hours on foot. We plan on taking a bus for that one but the reason I know it is three hours away because she had just come walking from there when we ran into her! There is also a girl named Yessi. There is an intersting story about her. I had visited Leon over a year ago and passed by her home. She would always say the missionaries could come by but was never home when they did. We I got assigned to Leon, I remember her and passed by and the same thing happened. When I got my third companion he asked about her and I told him that she does the same thing. He wanted to try anyways. I suggested when I left the area he could go back and try. When I was in another city for cambios he passed by her and ended up with a visit(like we all had before and then she never was home). I said ok and that we would go visit her. We went and she actually let us share a message with her!!! It was a humbling experience for me. It helped my faith grow. Many members that are stuggling to go to Church should always have people that care and love them enough to pass by them. As I get to call any companionshiop in the zone I hear many stories. Stories of past missionaries that passed by so and so and they never wanted anything. Then six months later(or even a year in my story) more missionaries pass by and the people want to have God back in their life. I have learned not to give up on people so easily. I have friends back home that have learned of the truth of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some that have stayed super strong with their faith in God. While others are going through trials so difficult that the average person would not be able to help. I pray for them that the missionaries and members go by them to say hi. To let them know that they haven´t been forgotten but yet missed. May we ourselves also make sure our testimony is strong enough so when the day comes, we may have something to lean on. This is my testimony that I know what I have written here is true. Elder RodriguezWe Have Faith In Christ, We Have Faith That All Can Return Unto Him

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Believe Because You Want To

The past two weeks have been incredible. I have seen so much. Last Monday we went to a pueblo and walked over two hours to get to some caves. We knew we were almost there but had to go up a steep road. We started it with not very much enthusiasm. We had stuck out our thumb already from the beginning. Then a car stopped and said they could only take two of us. I automatically thought, "well if we all four can't go then none of us." and before I knew it, the other two elders were half way into the car! ha ha. We had hope that another car would see us going up the mountain and feel pity. We didn't walk much till we heard the next car. He stopped and we told him where we were going. He gave us a lift all the way to the caves. Then to my amazement, as he dropped us off he drove off and kept going till I couldn't see him. I then realized that he went out of his way to take us. Even as I write this I feel so grateful for him again. The Caves of Valporquero was magnificent. It was huge inside and water running through most of the cave and even waterfall! Sunday was just ever so wonderful. It snowed and didn't stop. I have seen lots of snow before in my life but never have I seen perfectly empty snow covered streets become snow covered streets in a matter of hours. My companion and I could have easily said we should probably go home and maybe do something productive since it was snowing good. We ended up deciding that people probably wouldn't stop but we needed to give it a try. You wouldn't believe how many people we ended up talking to! We ended up contacting a lot of people and it was random but miraculous. We ended up stopping a few times and then a person would come and stop next to us and we would just start talking to them and then the next thing we knew we had set up a visit with that person. One of the times was a young Spanish guy that would have never listened to us if it had not been just the right moment like that. On our way home we walked a lot of the way only seeing so far ahead of us because of all the snow in our face. We walked through a park and it was the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. The park was quiet and just covered in a white blanket of fresh snow . . . the images of it all are all still very clear in my mind. That might be because that it kept snowing today. We didn't stay in León for it either. We ended up taking a train to a pueblo where it was snowing harder! I fell asleep to only wake up in a small town because the train couldn't go on. The train was full of passengers and we all waited for an hour or more. It has been so much fun seeing how the snow brings out the child in so many. I had a good show while I waited as adults played in the snow wrestling and all. We made it to our destination. Then my friend, the priest, couldn't make it to us. We all had to wait till the snow plows cleared the way. We got a call met him. We went to his residency and it was so deep in snow that I was waist deep in it!! I loved every bit of it. He made us a soup typical of León, chorizo, Spanish bread, French fries, corn on the cob, arroz con leche, turon, and my favorite part was the meat . . . I got to eat BULL for the first time!!! I was the only one that had been there before and the other three got to learn about his thirty-nine years living in the United States. I learned something new as well of his time in Salt Lake. He said he was able to give tours on Temple Square! I love that place! Oh I forgot to mention some thing about Sunday. I get to do a lot in the branch and help out. It has been a great experience because I have learned so much. One part that has really changed my Church experience is Sacrament meeting. I am the one who assigns the members to talk and what they will talk about. As I sat in Sacrament I seemed to hear the speakers and their talks in a very different way. I seemed to appreciate the word of God I was hearing because of the time the members took to prepare their talks. My days in the house of the Lord have since become more spiritual in many ways. I love the teachings of the Savior and I cherish the things my God wants me to know. I keep trying to do my best. I owe everything to my Heavenly Father. Thank you all for reading the things I prompted to write. I want to say I appreciate the time you take and mean it. I have seen the power of God work for the benefit of all and what a sight it has been. I thought you might want to know that your prayers were answered. Last night, at a certain time, I received the strength I was in need of. I knew I couldn't have done it with out you all. I love you all so much . . . Elder Rodriguez

Monday, December 1, 2008

More pictures to come soon...

Ok ALL, i know i need to put more pictures of Elder Rodriguez and i will do it as soon as i can. He looks GREAT and i hope you keep enjoying his weekly emails as much as we do!

Things happen and we continue to trust in God

I don´t know if I have mentioned it but when Monday comes around I either know what I want to write and have known for a few days or I look at the computer screen and wonder what I should write. Many times it changes right at the last minute. I have a few things to tell today. Let´s see if I remember them all. First off Jesús is doing great. He finally stuggled with a commandment of God. We passed by last night and I asked him how he was doing and he said great. He had overcome his trial and trusted in the Lord. We have one more time to teach him and then he will be ready to be baptized. He plans on visiting his parents back home for the holidays. God prepares people in marvelous ways. Jesús is trying his best to follow God and really wants to be baptized and just wants to know he is ready. As for my ThanksGiving . . . well I didn´t have one. This was the first time in my life where I didn´t celebrate it with Turkey and Stuffing (yum), and mashed patatoes, peas, salads, bread, cranberry, pumpkin pie, and all other pies, and so much more goodness! My new companion, Elder Sorensen, arrived the night before. We went out on the streets talking to the people. We stopped a nice woman and a man. They were on there way home. I had recently tried Sancocho, a great soup from the Repubilica Dominica, and told her about it. She was surprised to know that I knew of that dish. We set up a visit to pass by the following day(ThanksGiving). The thing I love about the mission is that even though hundreds of missioanries have been by before me in this city they never talked to her. The reason being that she has only been here for one week! There are always new people around and usually the ones willing to listen. What a miracle, well actually her name happens to be Milagros :) Then to top it all off a pot of boiling chicken was left on the stove cooking. I got a call from Elder Gallegos and he said with a weary voice, ¨The piso is full of smoke.¨Everything got silent for a second as I kept listening, ¨The entire building smells like smoke.¨ Well from there I then realized that if he was refering to a building then it must still be standing. Noting major happend. The water evaporated, the chicken was well done, and the pot black as can be. All our clothes smeel like thick burnt smoke. I am grateful nothing major happened and thanked my God. Something not so great happened but we still trust in Him. If you want to know what I eat for ThanksGiving, take a guess . . . yes, it was rice, and just that. I would have been happy with turkey and all the fixin´s like we say in Texas but I got to teach Milagros about her Heavenly Father. So many more great things keep happening. One elder just came into the district as well. He is coming from Sestao, where I served! :), and talked about the area. We only had a few minutes today to do so but I will see him every week. I asked about all the people I was teaching and what happened to them. I asked about Raul Victor. He is the one in three pictures at the very end if you click on the August entries. He is my friend and the things he said, I´ll never forget. He one time asked, ¨Does God work through others? Does He bless people by sending others?¨ I had an idea of what he meant and didn´t quite know how to respond to him for the fact that he was talking about my companion and I. He ended up saying, ¨ . . . like you guys?¨ I was touched to hear someone say something so humble and yet it was a realy sincere question he had. Well I found out more about him today. Elder Dredge told me, ¨Of course I know him!¨ ¨We invited him to be baptized and he accepted.¨ Another experience that I can never forget. I can´t seem to thank my God enough because as I do He continues to bless me and my family and even my friends. So I keep thanking Him and try to keep up :) People can say what they may. My testimony will keep growing in Jesus Christ. Nothing changes the fact that God loves us. Nothing changes the fact that Jesus is the way. Even if you may not know them, They still love you . . . They wait with arms streached out as my sister once put it.