Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Hi family,

Well another week has flown by and we are starting transfer #5. I always have told myself to get to 6 months in the mission then see how things go. Well I almost have 7 months in the mission....CRAZY!!! The next 6 months are really going to determine how fast the last 17 months will go by. 

So I am going to give you a hint for transfer facts. I am staying in Whittier, Elder Beck is staying in Whittier, but Elder Beck is getting a new companion. Confused? Haha don't worry we were shocked when we got the transfer facts. So Elder Beck is staying in our area and will get a new companion, then I am going to a different area in the same zone. Ya it was a little weird when we heard that, I have never heard of a missionary staying in the same zone, but different area. It will be funny when we do exchanges, I will already know the investigators and area. So ya that is that. Kinda weird, but is what the Lord needs.

SO Christmas was good. Like I said we were at our Ward Mission Leaders house to skype home. Afterwords we met up with the other missionaries in our zone and watched a movie. Then we ate 2 dinners that night with members, and caroled again. Then later that night, we opened up our presents. Thank you for all the gifts and everything. I really could feel of your love for me, and am so grateful for all that you do for me. I hope that you all had a good Christmas and are ready for 2014.

This week my testimony was strengthened about prayer. So the day after Christmas,  I was super worried that I would have a hard time getting back to work. Thankfully we had our District meeting and weekly planning session that day. But afterwords I was super worried that we wouldn't be able to find anyone and have a super rough night. I remember just begging the Lord to help me have the desire to work, and that we would be busy the entire night. And it happened! We were able to teach the entire night, and also were able to pick up a former investigator and her family. All 3 lessons were super powerful, and we really did help these people learn more about the Gospel. 

I know for a fact that the Lord answers our prayers. I know it because He answered my prayer that night. I know that we can go to the Lord with any question, assistance, or desire and He will answer our prayers. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I had to see the Lord bless me in this great work. I know that He is guiding His church on the Earth today, and is guiding the missionary work. He guides us everyday to those ready to accept His gospel, and will provide the means for them to accept it. I am so grateful to be His missionary and look forward to helping the work progress in my new area.

Love you all, 
Elder Roberts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 23, 2013

Queridos papas,
Wow it is Christmas week, definitely a weird feeling. I don't know about you, but it really doesn't feel like Christmas is just 2 days away!! But hey, it is a great season and I am grateful it is here.  This week has been a really good week. We have really caught the vision of the mission. We are teaching almost every single night, and are really helping our investigators come unto Christ. The cool story of the week belongs to Ruby.
So Ruby has been investigating the church for almost 6 months now, and is ready to be baptize when ever. She finished the Book of Mormon last week, she knows it is all true, and just loves to church. The only thing that has been holding her back is she is living with her boyfriend who doesn't want anything with the church. So we have been going by trying to help Ruby ask her boyfriend to marry her, and he doesn't want to do that either. So she told us that she wants to move out after months of asking him. So after that we got the bishop and ward mission leader involved, and hopefully in January we will find her a place to stay and she will be baptized.
It was a crazy experience, and the Spirit was super strong. It was super cool to see how keeping a commitment to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and come to church, have helped Ruby know these things are true. She is so prepared, and it has been really good to help her overcome this trial in her life. Like I said hopefully by the new year we will have found a place for her to live.
Well I think I will cut this short because I will be calling home. Plus I need to write the Sobrinho family (Remember them from my first area?) Look forward to talking with you all on Wednesday.
Elder Roberts

P.S. Attached is a few photos of me and Elder Beck in front of our members house and a group picture at our mission Christmas conference.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16, 2014

Hi guys,
Man, this past week felt like it just flew by. Saturday and Sunday just seem to fly by and we are now in week 5 for this transfer. Then to add to this, the last two weeks of transfer always seem to fly by so before we know it, we will be starting transfer #5. Haha just a little crazy right? I am glad that your week went by really well. You all had alot of fun activities it sounded like. I hope that the rest of your Christmas Holiday goes well.

Alright now to the good stuff for this week. It was highlighted by two main events. First we had our Area Authority, Elder Acosta, visit our ward yesterday and it was awesome. Elder Beck is our DL so we attend ward counsel every morning and we were the first ones to meet Elder Acosta. He also gave a great training to the ward counsel about member missionary work, referring alot to Elder Perry and Elder Ballard, and it was super good. He also gave a great talk, and taught Elders Quorum. So overall it was a super spiritual day learning from him.
Second was with one of our investigators. Just to give a little background before I introduce Jose; last transfer and so far this transfer we didn't have anyone with a baptismal goal so it was a little hard to help our investigators make that decision. So Elder Beck and I made it a goal to get at least one person with a goal. We found Jose trying to find a former in the same house, and he told us he was praying to God to help him go back to church, especially with his family. Then a day later we come knocking on his door....coincidence? So we taught him the first lesson about the Restoration and he loved everything about it. Then we went by yesterday, planning on talking about the Plan of Salvation. We also planned on setting a baptismal goal with him. But as we started he asked us alot of good questions and we just weren't able to teach much about the Plan of Salvation. However, both Elder Beck and I felt that we needed to invite him to be baptized. So we asked and he said YES!! He didn't accept the first goal we set, but choose the day we wanted to work for which actually was the week after  the original invite.
It was super cool to see how intune with the Spirit Elder Beck and I was in this lesson. We hadn't really been able to teach about the importance of baptism, but because we felt the prompting to do so, Jose accepted the goal. Also goes to show how God does prepare his children to accept the gospel. I am so grateful for the guidance we can receive from our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. Both in the missionary work, and in our own personal lives.
Well I think I will end it here. Y tambien, para que sepan, we will not be using skype to call home for christmas. Like I said in my earlier emails, we are one of the few missions that don't use skype, or ipads. So we will be doing the traditional phone call home. I will let you know when our zone decides to call home. Thank you for all that you do, and for your love. I hope you all have a safe, and wonderful Christmas holiday. Say "Hi" to Elder Kunz for me, and tell him sorry I didn't make it to his departure fireside.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9th, 2013

Hello dear family,
I am going to jump right into the subject: Missionary Traditions. So I completed 6 months in the mission this past week. CRAZY RIGHT?!?! As many of you know when you complete 6 months you get to burn a tie right? So that is exactly what I did.....with a few hiccups. So I completed 6 months in the mission on a Thursday which is our Weekly district meeting and weekly planning day.; So right after district meeting I went home and went straight to burning the tie. I tried doing outside like a good boy, but it was pretty windy and I couldn't get it to catch fire. So we moved inside to the bathroom thinking we could do it in the shower. Well long story short, and as you can see by the pictures, I burnt a tie :) However, not thinking about opening a few windows to let the smoke vent out, the smoke alarm went off :) Thankfully the members we live with weren't home, and we were able to get the smoke out of the room, as well as the smell. So it was pretty fun, and a little scary. So ya Happy 6 Months in the Mission!
Well enough about crazy stories about the mission. That is crazy how much snow you guys have at home!! And the temperatures.....BRRR!! Here in Cali things are all right. We had a cold front move through this past week with temperatures getting as cold as 40 in the evenings, and barely getting over 60 during the day. Then to top things off, it rained all morning on Saturday, so things were a little chilly. As you can see from the picture, I have broken out  the sweaters and on Saturday I used my rain jacket. It has been a little chilly I will admit, but just means I am turning into a big wimp now.On Wednesday we did exchanges, and that night I didn't wear a sweater and I was freezing. It was about 40 degrees that night to soooo......You can be the judge of things.
Thank you so much for the letter and package. I got it today from our zone leaders. Is the package suppose to be saved for Christmas or can I open it now? Obviously for the letter I didn't wait and I absolutely enjoyed it. Gracias papa por lo me mando, lo me encanta mucho. For the phone call home, I don't know if we will be using Skype or not. My companion, Elder Beck, said that for mothers day they didn't use Skype at all, just a regular phone call home. So we will see, we are hoping that we will be able to use Skype since we are one of the only missions that don't use Skype to call home. Entonces vamos a ver lo que pasara. Oh and so far my clothes are holding up great.
So this week has been a pretty good week. We definitely taught alot of people which was good, and helped alot of them. We had a cool experience with one of our investigators named Ruby. She has been investigating the Church for about 6 months now, and has been taught everything. She is also really close to finishing the Book of Mormon as well. The only problem why she can't get baptized is she lives with her boyfriend and he doens't want to get married. Plus she doesn't have the means to provide for herself. So we read Alma 8 with her this week, teaching her about how God provides other ways to accomplish our goals. She loved it and bore a super strong testimony about the Gospel and how she knows it is true. Which lead perfectly into an invitation to share that testimony with her boyfriend.
It was such a powerful lesson, and it was cool to see how the Spirit really directed that lesson. Teaching People, not Lessons is something we have been trying to do. Not just teach a lesson and present the Gospel, but apply it to the investigators and help them find the truth for themselves. It is so cool to see how much stronger the Spirit is when you do so, and how much better the lessons is. I am really starting to see the blessings that come from following the Spirit, how to have the Spirit more in our lessons, and how to follow it better.
I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The blessings that come from the Gospel are innumerous and are so significant in our lives. I know that it is with the Gospel that we can find peace, joy, and happiness in a world that is changing daily. Now matter the changes, the Gospel will always be consistent, and the blessings and promises are always there.
Thank you for everything you do. I hope you all have a good week. Something we have been sharing as missionaries is Alma 6. Focusing on how the people of the church prayed for those who weren't part of the church. We have been inviting everyone, members, non-members and less-actives, to pray for missionary opportunites. President Tew taught us how important prayer is to missionary work. "If you pray for missionary opportunities, you will find them. If you don't pray for missionary opportunities you won't have such opportunites though you pass by the same people if you would have prayed." Eyes of faith to see other people as our brothers and sisters who need the Gospel. I invite you all to do so, especially in this great Christmas season.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 1, 2013

Querido Padres,
Another week in the books, another week has started. Can't believe we are in December right now, I swear it always sneaks up on us and before we know it, it is the new year. 2014 kind of has a nice ring to it doesn't it? In all seriousness I can't believe we are starting a new year, 2013 has flown by it is insane. But hey it is always fun to start a new year.
So to answer your questions: Thanksgiving was super good. Like I said we had our district meeting and weekly planning that day, and then we could eat with as many members as we could fit into our schedule. We were able to schedule 3 dinners with members, and it was plenty. Elder Beck and I walked from our 2nd dinner to our 3rd dinner hoping it will help speed up the digestion process, but it didn't. Thankfully the member we ate our 3rd dinner with gave us our food in to-go boxes and we just took it home for lunch the next day and just drank horchata. It was super fun meeting with the members and getting to know them better. I was so grateful for their love for us to invite us to their home. I will admit it was very different having Thanksgiving here and not at home with you all. But it really put into perspective that we are all one big family, all brothers and sisters. It really was a great day and I am so grateful for all the blessing our Heavenly Father has blessed me with.
So other than Thanksgiving this week, things have been going well. I was super exhausted during the weekend for some reason, but everything was super good. Really the focus for Elder Beck and I this transfer is to find people to teach. Our teaching pool is a little small, and the few we are teaching will only meet with us once or twice a week. So we have been passing by formers a lot, and contacting quite a bit in the streets. It has been going pretty well. We were able to pick up a few formers and find some new people to teach through our contacting. It just goes to show how the Lord prepares His elect to hear the Gospel. We have also been passing by the few members we have in our area and sharing short powerful lessons with them. Then asking for referrals which is going all right.
I am so jealous you get to go to the First Presidency Devotional and the Christmas program. Those are always fun activities to help bring in the Christmas Spirit. You will have to update me on the Christmas Programs, the guy doing the narration will do great I bet. It will also be different not being home for the Open House we did, you will have to say hello to everyone for me. This month is going to fly by so fast I bet with all the activities going on. It will be interesting to see what happens here.
Well that pretty much sums things up. This week will be pretty normal, just planning on doing 2 exchanges this week so that will be fun to work with the other Elders in our District. We are really going to have to work hard these few weeks before Christmas to really help our investigators feel of the love our Savior. It will be a good transfer, the transfer ends the week after Christmas, so this transfer will be super busy and we will really have to work hard. But I am excited and hope to help our investigators come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ during this holiday season.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013: The Good, the Great, and Ugly

Hello Family,
Haha so I bet you are wondering what happened due to the subject line. Haha I will get to that part in a moment. But how are things back home? Thank you so much for the package, I really enjoyed everything in it. My companion also enjoyed a magic cookie and the mini Christmas tree. I was super excited when our zone leaders gave it to me, and while I was opening it I could just feel the love of you guys. Thank you so much! (That is the great)
So yeah have a new companion, Elder Beck from Herriman Utah. He has been out for about 10 months now, and he is a super hard worker. It has been super good being productive busy this past week; I could see the difference when you work hard and effectively and just working hard. Just for example, in this week alone we have found almost all of our investigators and have taught them all at least 1 time which is good. Also we have found about 4 potentials to start teaching this week which is also super good. (Hence the good part in the subject). This has really helped me feel comfortable leading the area and introduce it to Elder Beck. It has been super good seeing the success that comes from working effectively and with the Lord's guidance.
Now for the ugly. This happened on Saturday, we were getting out of a lesson and were in a hurry to get to our next appointment at 8 pm. We hopped on the bikes and started biking to the next appointment. As we started riding, which it started down hill, Elder Beck passed  me and was really starting to gap me which I thought was super weird. Then I started feeling some resistance in my back tire, look down and it is completely flat with the tube sticking out of the wheel. So we stopped on the side of the road to check it out, only to find a 2 inch nail stuck in my tube. So we started to fix it only to find two other areas where the nail punctured my tube. Well long story short a member in a truck passed by and gave us a ride back to our place and we ended up calling it a night right then. So yeah that is my first real bike problem here on the mission and it sucked super bad. (See the pictures attached).
Well another week down in the mission. It is crazy to think that Thanksgiving is this week! Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday which is usually our District meeting and weekly planning day. So far President Tew has said to follow the regular schedule for these meetings, then we can eat with as many members as we want that night. So far I think we have 2 dinners planned that night so pretty much the day before I will eat very little and drink a lot of water to have room to eat. I don't think we will be having the typical thanksgiving dinner since it is kinda an American holiday. But still, Hispanic food is super filling and I will probably die that day. Ha ha I am super excited for my first thanksgiving in the mission, but for sure will miss visiting with the family and all that cool jazz. However, it will still be a super good day.
We had a cool experience on Thursday this past week. We had a zone conference with Elder Packer. Not the Apostle Elder Packer, but his son who is a member of the 70. It was a super good zone conference and I learned a lot from him and President Tew. Elder Packer helped us understand our purpose as missionaries to teach with the Spirit, as well as how we can apply Family History into the work here. It is a little difficult applying family history into the mission here, but we came up with some great ideas to apply it. Overall, I could just feel the Spirit so strong during the conference and I know that Elder Packer is a servant of the Lord to help us be better missionaries. Between the trainings from him and President Tew, it as a spiritually packed day.
I know for a fact that I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for this opportunity to serve Him as a missionary. It is crazy to think that 6 months have passed by already. I know this next year is going to pass by so fast, as long as we stay busy, and actively helping the work of the Lord progress. I am learning so much this transfer, and during this time as a servant of the Lord. This truly is His work here on the Earth, and He is hastening it day by day. I am so grateful for the blessings of family. I love you all so much and am so grateful to have a family built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your examples to me are great and I look up to each and everyone of you. Thank you for your support, love, and testimony.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18,2013

Hi everyone,
So yeah here is the start of week 1 for transfer #4. I am staying in the same area, up in Whittier, and my companion is Elder Beck. I didn't receive any leadership calls, however, Elder Beck is the District Leader. So I will be doing a lot of exchanges this transfer (We have 5 companionships in our district, so a lot of exchanges). It will be interesting to see how things go. I will admit I am a little nervous leading the area this next transfer, especially with all the exchanges we will be doing. But it will be good, we have a decent size teaching pool of investigators and potentials so we should stay pretty busy.
I am so excited for you guys to meet Elder Kunz next month. I saw him at a fireside the mission does and it was good to catch back up with him and things in Bolsa Chica. Just don't believe everything he tells you because it probably won't be true ;) (JK). He is a super cool guy and was an even better missionary. The only rule I have with him is dad needs to talk to him only in spanish ;)
So things are going pretty good here in Whittier. This past week was hard, and we didn't get much done. Mostly because of all the activities for the departing missionaries. We did, however, were able to find one of our investigators we lost contact with for almost the entire transfer. She invited us to her son's birthday party on Saturday, and told us that she has missed having us over, as well as coming to church. Overall she has seen the blessings that come from the Gospel and how much it really does bless our lives. So we will start teaching her again and help her towards baptism which will be good.
Overall I am super excited to get back to work again. It felt like we slacked off this transfer, mostly because this was Elder Curtis's last transfer here in the mission. I am super excited to work with Elder Beck, I have heard he is a great Elder, plus he started his mission in the same area I did, in Bolsa Chica. So already we have something in common. Plus I hope to get back on the bike and lose a few pounds as well :)
Well I will end this email, you are probably bored of the info. Thank you for the updates on things back home. It sounds like, in general, everything is going well. I know that the Lord is blessing you all as much as He is blessing me. I know that we are blessed even more when we are obedient. I have seen that a lot this transfer. Just like it says in D&C 121 ( I believe), that the blessings of heaven are bound by obedience.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013 PART 2!!!

Hi Everyone! I figure you are probably tired of reading emails so I figured you would enjoy a nice, handwritten letter. I have to admit, Mom was right I would be writing letters in addition to sending emails.

Can you believe that 5 months ago I left for the MTC? Now I am almost done with my 3rd transfer in in California. I always say this in my journal, but time is flying by very quickly. Because it's passing by so fast we need to take advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel. I know it is a little difficult to share the Gospel outside of church but when we do open our mouths, the Lord truly does give the words to say. I have seen this blessing many times, and hope to have many more experiences. I know this blessing isn't only for missionaries, it's for everyone. Really the best place to start is reading Preach My Gospel; I just barely got done studying it and have started over. The principles in Preach my Gospel are amazing and truly are from modern day prophets and apostles. Again, Preach my Gospel is for EVERYONE who wants to share the Gospel and help the work of the Lord. I strongly encourage you all to study Preach my Gospel. The Stake President in Westminster has been studying it every day for the past year and every time he reads it, he finds something new or something to improve on. It truly is revelation from our Heavenly Father to us through modern-day prophets. I promise that as you study Preach My Gospel, along with the Scriptures, you'll find new ways to share the Gospel and strengthen your testimony.

Well, you are probably tired of reading this so I'll wrap things us. Again, thank you for everything and for all you have done and are doing for me. This is the Lord's work here on the Earth today, and I am so grateful to be apart of it. This transfer has been a little difficult, but has still been amazing. I am so grateful for his guidance every day and all that I learn of Him, I know that He lives, and that He is leading and guiding His Church today. I know it, I live it, I LOVE IT!

Love you all,
Elder Roberts

November 12, 2013

Querido Padres,
Well as the subject lines say, This week was tons better than last week. It started out pretty slow, we had 0 lessons through wednesday, but picked up alot by the end of the week, we finished with 4 other lessons and 2 less active lessons. It was a good solid week of working hard, and putting our trust in the Lord. The highlight of the week was we received 2 referrals from Church Headquarters and both are super bomb, with one of them coming to church this past Sunday. Also this past week we were able to find three of our investigators which was great. Overall this past week, I believe, was a "sign" that the Lord is helping us with the work in our area.
So to answer some of dad's question. My bike is working great, haha I have only riden it once this entire transfer. We have been stuck in car because of Elder Curtis's knee, and because of so the unwanted gaining of weight (I am at 170.....DISGUSTING!!!). The bike "repair" was I  bought some anti-theft axles for my wheels because Elder Curtis suggested I switch out the quick release axles, especially if I get transfered to Long Beach in the future. So nothing too serious.
As far as coordination with the ward for missionary work, we have a Ward Mission Leader in our ward and we meet with him as a district once a week to update him on our investigators. Then he, along with either the Zone Leaders or the District Leader, attend Ward Council every Sunday and update the Bishop on the work in the Ward. Then the Zone Leaders attend a Stake Correlacion every month, since usually a Zone in the mission is the stake boundaries. Hopefully that clears things up a little bit.
As far as other info, we are in the last week of transfer number 3. So Elder Curtis will go home next Tuesday. This transfer really has flown by it is hard to believe, it feels like I just barely got here. So ya next transfer I will be leading the area, which I think I have learned. I will admit, I have been having a subtle thought that I will be receiving a Leadership call this next transfer. No matter how much I try to ignore it, it comes back. So I don't know, we will receive leadership calls tomorrow night, so I will let you know what happens next week.
So ya that pretty much is everything to update you on. Sorry it isn't alot, and you are receiving this email so late. We couldn't email yesterday due to Veterans day, plus we had to go to the office for Elder Curtis. I hope all is going well for you guys, and I hope Mom doesn't get sick like she did last year around this time.
Thank you for your love, support, and desire to help the missionary work progress in your ward. I can promise you guys that if you keep setting goals to pray for missionary opportunities, and act on the promptings you receive, you will have such opportunities and help bring one soul closer to Christ. This truly is His work, He is hastening it, and more and more people are being blessed because of Him.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

October 6, 2013

Hola padres,
Wow, no puedo ceer que estoy escribiendo un correo electronico a ustedes. Este semana ha pasado muy rapido. Estamos en semena cinco, vamos a terminar este translado en dos semanas. ES LOCO!!! Haha pero todo esta bien aqui en Whittier.
So this past week has really been interesting, and very hard. To quickly answer mom's question we did not work very much on Halloween night. We had zone meeting and weekly planning that day, then only 1 hour to work, and had to be in our house at 6 pm cleaning. We didn't do anything with the members because most of them don't believe in Halloween or were out with their kids trick-or-treating. It was a good day to just clean up everything and just relax a little bit. Elder Curtis and I had a bit of a pizza craving that night and did a pizza run real quick, but other than that it was a good relaxation day.
So ya this week was super difficult. The biggest problem we had was we couldn't get ahold of any of our investigators. They were either not answering our phone calls, answering the door, or were going to visit family in Mexico (We had 2 investigators leave for Mexico for two weeks). So most of our time was knocking and finding people. But even that was frustrating because every neighborhood we were planning on knocking were recently bombarded with Jehovah Witnesses and their "propoganda". So finding people was pretty hard as well. But hey I guess we have to have those types of weeks at least once in a transfer right? This week will mostly be trying to get ahold of our investigators again, pass by formers, and alot of knocking. Should be fun!
Well not much to report on this week. Like I said earlier, it was a super difficult week and I hope that we can rebound from it this week. I was reading in Preach My Gospel this morning (typical right?) in Chapter 9  the very last section. It talks about how our efforts as missionaries will not be wasted and the Lord always will provide us opportunities to teach others. I have really been praying for the Lord's help in this area, and how we can find those ready for the Gospel. I am really  going to be praying for His guidance this week to find those who are ready. I do know that this Gospel is true, and the Message of the Restoration is very unique. I absolutely love teaching people about El Primer Vision and telling Joseph Smith's experience. Every time I share that moment, my testimony about it grows and is strengthened. I can't wait to share this message with some one new this week.
Love you guys,
Elder Roberts

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Hey guys,
Man this week has passed by so fast, it feels like two days ago I was emailing you guys. I guess that is what happens when you have zone conference. Oh man, I can't even begin to describe how good zone conference was last week. The topic was "How can I teach with more Power?" and the trainings were super, super good. I really enjoyed listening to the training of President Tew, he is a spiritual giant!! When ever he teaches or gives a training, you know you are going to get slammed with the Spirit. But I learned so much and am so grateful to have such a great mission president. Now comes the hardest part.....Applying it.
So to answer some of mom's questions. We live with members in their home, they have a guest bed room that we use to sleep and study in. There is also a bathroom connected to the room. Then we have very little storage space to store our food which is a little bit annoying, and just use their dishes and other stuff to make our food. We are still eating with members, so we just have to worry about breakfast and lunch. The good thing about living with members is we can also use their washer and dryer for free, so no more paying for laundry for the next couple weeks. Our church building is a ways away, but since Elder Curtis has a small tear in his meniscus we have a car so it makes traveling pretty easy. Shopping is the same, there is a Wal-Mart in our area, and a really good Hispanic store that sells fruit and veggies pretty cheap. About the scripture cases, I talked with the Elder who does it and he is actually leaving next transfer, so he isn't going to do another order. He is, however, going to get me the contact information for the guy who does everything and I can order them myself. I am still waiting for the info, but when I have it, I will let you know and we can try to coordinate everything.
So this past week was really good. We found some one new to teach which was awesome. We were walking back to our car to head home for lunch and we saw her on the other side of the street trying to cross with 6 bags of groceries. We ran over to help her and as we did she recognized us as missionaries. She then told us she was interested in learning about the church and we set up an appointment later that week. When we taught her she was super excited about the Gospel and was really surprised how she could relate her life to characters in the Bible. She really liked, as well, how the Gospel can relate to us, and the blessings that come from the Gospel. We committed her to Baptism and she accepted it!! She also came to church yesterday and enjoyed every moment. She was participating in the classes and taking notes it was super cool. The only thing is she speaks English better than Spanish, so she wants to try the English ward this Sunday and then see what she feels more comfortable with. So we might be passing her off, but she is super cool and super prepared it is awesome.
Overall this was a good week. We also had a companionship in our district baptize someone yesterday so that was cool to see them there. I am starting to get more and more comfortable with the area and can find my way around a lot better. I am also getting to know our investigators better as well. We are still working hard to find new people to teach and increase our teaching pool. Of the investigators we have, they are good we just have a hard time setting up appointments and help them see the blessings that come from the Gospel. We have some good plans this week to find more people though, and to visit our investigators more so this will be a good week.
So I want to share a little bit what I studied this morning from Preach My Gospel. I was reading about extending invitations towards commitments, especially about bearing your testimony with while you teach. It was cool to read about how bearing your testimony can help other people feel the Spirit and have a desire to learn more about the Gospel. Especially when you bear a sincere testimony from the heart. It has been cool to experience that here on the mission and see how people can feel the Spirit from sincere testimony. It is something I have been trying to apply in every lesson and as I do, I notice that my testimony is strengthened as well. So I invite you guys to do the same thing. You say you want to share the Gospel more, start off with you testimony. Doesn't have to be super long, just short powerful statements about what you believe and how it has blessed your life. I can promise you as you share your testimony more often, it church, with friends, with family, or anywhere, you will have the Spirit with you and the words you speak will touch the hearts of those you share it with.
Well time is short, and time to get back to work. Thank you for everything and hope all is well. Hope you are ready for the snow. ;)
Elder Roberts

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 22, 2013

Hey guys,
First off sorry that you guys didn't receive an e-mail yesterday. We were suppose to go to the temple next Tuesday, so I was going to have another week to update you guys. However the Assistants took over everything and changed our temple date to today last week. So I didn't have time to update you guys. But here we are with another quick update for the week.
The temple was amazing!! This time I went to the temple in Los Angeles and it was really cool. I was super excited to go, I really do enjoy going to the temple and the feelings that you feel while you are there is amazing. I am super glad that we get to go the temple every 3 months, I know Elder Steiner doesn't have a temple close to his mission so he doesn't have that opportunity and he has expressed a lot of sadness from it. I am so blessed to have two temples super close to our mission and to have the opportunity to go as often as we get. I actually found out I could have seen Elder Thomas, who is serving in Arcadia, next week possibly. That would have been really cool. I attached a picture of our District on the side of the temple, and a picture of the front of the temple as we were leaving.
The work in our area is going good, but slowly. We have been spending the past few weeks just trying to get things organized and figure out what members live in our area. We had a few really good lessons, but no one is really progressing towards baptism which is hard. Also we have been struggling with investigators keeping appointments, and finding people to teach. Our biggest problem is we aren't passing by consistently the people we have that they can feel the importance of the Gospel. We just aren't using our time effectively, the resources we have effectively, and working with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. It is kinda like when Elder Kunz and I hit that dead spot in week 3 & 4 of my first transfer. We were just going through the motions and not really working effectively and going outside of our comfort zone. It is kinda interesting to see how I have fallen back into that rutt again and have just coasted the past few days. It actually is kinda sad, and disappointing.
However, back to the temple, I had a really cool experience in the Celestial room today. So I was praying to know how I can be a more effective, and powerful missionary. Then I just turned to a random spot in the Book of Mormon and started reading. I opened to Moroni chapter 7.  The first thing I learned was praying with real intent, having faith to receive an answer and guidance. I looked back on my personal prayers, and they have been pretty basic and not with "real intent".  I have not been exercising my faith and putting my trust in Christ that He will help us in this work. The other thing I learned was having charity towards everybody, other missionaries, investigators, and just everyone. I know for a fact that I haven't been showing that charity towards other people and showing that love of Christ for others. And then tying it all together it later says in the chapter that we need to pray to the Father to obtain charity, with real intent.
I bet most of this doesn't make sense, but in general, I know that this was an answer from our Heavenly Father on how I can be a better missionary. The Spirit was so strong during our temple visit, and it was something I desire to have always. I know that I was taught by the Spirit during that time and it was the Spirit testifying of the truthfulness of Moroni's words. Now comes the more difficult part: Applying what I have learned. But I know that if I do apply what I have learned, our area will begin to blossom like it did in Bolsa Chica.
Well I am out of time. Thanks again for everything. If I can leave one piece of advice: Go to the Temple often. I know that the Temple is the House of God, and we can receive guidance, and answers to our questions when we go to the temple often.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

This is the Familia Campos. Ivan is on the left, the mom is next to me, and Leslie is on the right. The kids are members, but the mom isn't because she can't get married. But they are an awesome family and the mom makes super good Horchata (It's a Spanish drink)

This is the Familia Salcedo. These are the kids, the parents weren't home. Everyone are members except Kevin who is next to me. But he is close to getting baptized, and he is dating of the Salcedo's girls

Bet you recognize this family. It is la Familia Sobrinho, the family we baptized. They are by far my favorite family and I love them to death. Just a heads up, they are planning on coming to Utah in April for Conference, and possibly to visit Elder Kunz's family. So you will have to make sure Elder Kunz introduces you  guys to them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hey guys,

Wow alot has happened this past week, both here and back home. Definitely alot of emotion and personal revelation this week. But overall a great testimony building week for sure. I know for me this week has strengthened my testimony about Christ and His work here, along with a greater desire to serve and help others come unto Him.

I am sorry to hear about Adele. It definitely was a good decision to invite them to my farewell and to have the lunch right after church. Looking back on it, I can tell we were all in tune with the Spirit at that time. I am really moved by dad's experience and impressed with his ability to follow the Spirit and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands for His children. I have always been impressed by your ability to follow the Spirit and to act immediately on those impressions. It definitely is something I am trying to improve on and follow your example for me. Please let everyone there know that I am deeply sorry for them and I will be praying for them daily. Also let them know that I really did love Adele and really did think she was a perfect example of Christ. Her ability to love everyone, just like Christ did, and go about doing good is a really good example for me and one I am trying to apply here in California. Thank you for updating me on this.

So to answer a couple of your questions. I am in Whittier and our area is pretty huge, mostly because the stake here is huge. Our area is bigger than the entire stake in Huntington Beach North it is crazy. We don't have too many investigators right now so we are working really hard to find new people to teach. But the investigators we have a pretty solid and have really good potential to progress. The biggest difference here in Whittier is that the Hispanics are all over and not in small pockets in the area. So it makes finding a little more difficult. My companion is Elder Curtis from Boise Idaho and this is his last transfer here on the mission. We live with members, which is definitely different than living in an apartment, so it is just us two. We have a car because Elder Curtis has a torn meniscus and it hurts him too much to bike. We are assigned to work in the La Esperanza ward (The Hope Ward, is how it translates) and there are a total of 5 companionships working in this ward. This ward is really good at feeding us and working with us, our Ward Mission Leader is bomb and works really hard to know us and how to help the work progress. Compared to Bolsa Chica this ward does a little better with member numbers and organization. But I don't know if I can put it above Bolsa Chica quite yet. As far as getting to Whittier last week it went really smooth. I got a ride for Hermano Sobrinho, our recent convert. Packing wise everything fit in my suitcases and they worked perfect. Wow hopefully this answers all of your questions.

So like I said this week we have been doing a lot of knocking to find people. We did take time to organize our area better, since the last missionaries here really didn't do a good job keeping the area book up to date. But now that everything is organized, and we have a good vision of what to do in this area, we are going to buckle down and just start working. I have a feeling that this transfer I will improve my ability to follow the Spirit and find those who are ready to hear the gospel. After hearing about dad's experience, it is definitely something I would like, and can really see the blessings that come from following the Spirit. I hope that I can live worthy to be in tune with the Spirit and help the work progress in this ward.

Thank you for all of your support and love. I will admit, living with members and hearing them visit with their family really makes me think about my family and how blessed I am to have a family built strong on the Gospel. There isn't a day that doesn't go by that I don't think about you guys and hope that the Lord is blessing you all as He is blessing me.

 I know that this is His work and it truly is hastening. I love the invitation that Pres. Monson gave at this last conference, "Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together." One invite I have you guys is to study Preach My Gospel especially Chapter 9 about working with members. There is a list of ideas that members can do to help the work. I studied it this morning and loved the ideas. I also really love how Preach My Gospel is for both missionaries and members. I invite you all to study it and come to love it just as you love the scriptures. I have loved studying it and have learned so much from it and know you guys can learn from it as well. 

Thanks again for everything. I love you guys so much and pray the Lord will bless you guys in this time of struggle. Remember, we are much stronger when we are on our knees. I know that prayer is a good way to strengthen ourselves and God does answer our prayers. I love this work and am grateful for this opportunity to be a servant for Him. I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Roberts

p.s. Thanks for sending the sweaters.....And the bread it is super delicious, but not as good as yours mom ;) 

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Hey guys,
Wow 3 months ago I arrived here in California....and about 4 months ago I entered the MTC.... can you believe how fast time has flown by?!? I don't know for you guys but it really has flown by super fast. I am done with my training!! The heck I can't believe it I am no longer a greenie any more. Haha sorry just had to do a little venting of emotions.
So ya last Wednesday we received leadership call, and I will be honest, I really thought that I would be training. So we finish up daily planning and I go the bathroom, meanwhile I hear the phone ring and I just know it is the Assistants calling for leaderships calls and I got super nervous. So I come out of the bathroom and Elder Kunz is talking on the phone, doesn't pass it to me and then hangs up. Long story short: Elder Kunz received the leadership calling of District Leader for his last transfer and I didn't receive anything. So I was pretty happy, then realized that the district leader we currently have has been in the area for 1 transfer so most likely he wouldn't get released. Which meant, more than likely, Elder Kunz would be leaving the area and I would be leading the area. But we decided to wait till Saturday to receive transfer calls.
So Saturday comes and goes by fast and that evening our District Leader calls us with transfer facts. Like I stated earlier we were pretty sure that Elder Kunz would be leaving and I would be staying. Haha but the Lord works in mysterious ways, and always has something other than we are planning. In the end Elder Kunz is staying in the area...... And I am leaving this area to Whittier tomorrow. Ya it was pretty shell shocking and one that no one saw coming, even our zone leaders weren't expecting it. So ya me and Elder Kunz won't be companions starting tomorrow. It is a pretty bitter sweet moment; I am excited to go see another area and work hard, but at the same time, I have really come to love the people in our area and the investigators we have. It has been hard going by the members and investigators telling them I am leaving, but I know that the Lord has plans for me up in Whittier and I just need  to put my complete trust in Him.
So other than that boring news..... Como estuvo Conferencia General?!?!? Man I really enjoyed this conference and learned so much it is crazy!!! So we watched at our stake center, in English thank goodness, with the other missionaries, members, non-members, and the Stake President. It was so bomb I have 20 pages of notes of conference. I think the main topics were missionary work (with the missionaries and home teaching), obedience, putting our trust in God, and the Law of Chastity. I really enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk about recognizing the blessings the Lord gives us and using them to their fullest potential. The Lord is going to bless us with what we need at that time, and we need to put trust in Him that He will provide for us. Definitely was a very spiritual experience this weekend and one I really enjoyed. I won't lie I did miss going to the priesthood session with Dad, but hey 4 conferences from now we can go together ;)
So with this week I was pretty nervous after Wednesday. Because I was really scared about being able to lead the area, and was praying super hard to know that I could lead this area the way the Lord wants. I know that he has answered my prayers this week through conference, and our zone meeting last Thursday. The biggest confirmation I received is that I need to work harder, and don't overthink situations. I have not been putting my complete trust in Him and been relying on my own strengths for most of this second transfer. That was the confirmation I received from the Lord, to put more trust in the Lord, get lost in the work (For example talk to more people on the street, lead out in lessons, etc.), and don't overthink every situation, especially thinking about my weaknesses. With this confirmation, I promised with the Lord that I would talk to more people, to not think about my weaknesses, and put complete trust in the Lord. To really put to test His promises that He will be with us, and help us in our needs. I know that He will help me, I just have to get more lost in His work.
Well that sums up everything. Thank you so much for your support and love. I don't know what the Lord has in plan for me up in Whittier, but this is really the time to put my complete trust in Him. I know that by doing so I will find those ready to hear the Gospel, help them feel of His love and come unto this Gospel. Ready, Set, GO!!
Elder Roberts

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

Hi guys,
Man this week has been pretty wild and fun. But can you believe that this is my last week in this transfer, and in my training? These last 4 weeks have just flown by it is crazy. I just can't believe that I am in my last week of my training, and almost done with my 2nd transfer. 1/8 of the way done I guess. Elder Kunz is trying to curse me and say I will be training next transfer. I don't believe him, but if their is anyone who can place that curse it is Elder Kunz. Including me, he has trained 6 times. So we will see we get leadership calls on Wednesday and transfer calls on Saturday.
So last P-day Elder Kunz and I, along with another companionship, went to the Aquarium in Long Beach. It is the same one we went to the last time we went to Disneyland. It was so cool to see it again, and how amazing everything is. I attached a few pictures to this email. Two things I learned from this trip: first how beautiful God's creations are, and how blessed we are to be on this earth. It truly is beautiful and it is amazing how organized everything is and how everything works in it's own atmosphere. The second thing I learned is California drivers are super scary, and there is absolutely now parking available in Long Beach. We spent a good 30 minutes driving around trying to find parking for the aquarium. But overall it was a great experience and one I enjoyed.
So the highlight of the week was definitely the confirmation of the Sobrinho family yesterday. We had also taught them during the week about the priesthood and both Carlos and Nathan received the priesthood yesterday. It was such a cool experience to finally have a convert and how much happy their are now. So I had the opportunity to confirm Carlos and Solange, and boy was I super nervous. Everything went super well though, and the Spirit was super strong. Talking with the Bishop after words, he said that it appeared I was more calm with the confirmation of Solange, and talked more fluently in Spanish. He truly believed that I was in tune with the Spirit and was giving specific blessings for her. To be honest I felt just as nervous and was just trying hard to be in tune with the Spirit.
I will say though my testimony about fasting was strengthened yesterday. It was our fast and testimony meeting because of General Conference next week. For yesterday I was fasting to have the Spirit with me with these confirmations and to be able to speak in Spanish good enough so that they could understand me. I really believe that the Lord blessed my fast and I did come a little closer to our Heavenly Father through fasting. Looking back, I was not good at fasting before the mission and was basically starving myself. But now I have really learned the importance of fasting, and prayer, and how we can come closer to our Heavenly Father through fasting.
Well that is pretty much everything. Stay tune next week for the possibility for a leadership call or transfer. To be honest I really think I will stay here, possibly with Elder Kunz, and stay the Junior Companion. But like the hymn says "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go".
Elder Roberts 

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Hi Family,
So I bet from the topic you can guess what was the highlight of the week. Yep the Sobrinho Family was baptized yesterday and it was a great service. So to introduce you guys to them (Based from the attached photo) Nathan is the one next to Elder Kunz, Solange is in the middle, and Carlos is in the middle. The other guy next to Elder Kunz is the nephew of Carlos and Solange, Rafa. So ya both me and Elder Kunz did a baptism; He did Nathan and I did Solange and Carlos. It actually is kinda funny because the joke is that I baptized 2 people, but performed 4 baptisms.
To quickly explain, going into the baptism I was more worried about baptizing Solange because she is a little bigger than Carlos and is a little afraid of complete submersion. But it went really smooth and was valid on the first attempt. However with Carlos it was a different story. First time his knee came up, which I didn't see, then the second time I saw both his foot and knee come up. Finally the third time I got it right. Then when we got into the locker room,  Carlos turns to me and says "Tres Veces!!! Estoy muy limpio!!! (3 times!!! I am really clean). Hahaha it was funny but also really spiritual. Even though I was a little embarrassed I had to do it three times, it was a really good service. The other thing that was cool, the ward was really supportive and did a great job welcoming them into the ward. So next Sunday we will be confirming them. It will be a really cool experience and will be even more exciting to see them go through the temple in a year. The cool thing is, if they do go to the temple, I will be able to go through with them. So ya I am really hoping that they do.
So that was the real big highlight of the week, helping them get ready for baptism. This week has flown by so fast it is insane. We had a training on Friday on helping find people to teach, both contacting and member referrals. It was super good and helped fuel the fire to share the gospel with everyone. Also this week we did exchanges with our district leader. This time I left our area and went with to their area with Elder Campbell. Their area is definitely different then ours; they have more Vietnamese people in their area, and the areas that have Hispanics the people aren't really super interested. It really made me more grateful for the area I am in and how much the Lord is blessing us. It also has helped me want to work really hard in this area and use this time that Lord has given me to do His work.
So ya that is pretty much everything for this week. Can you believe I only have this week and next week are the last two weeks of this transfer?!? Two more weeks and then I will be done with my training. It has definitely flown by and have been really good. I have really learned a lot in this time frame and can't wait to learn more. The Spanish is definitely better, I am feeling more and more comfortable teaching. Now I am starting to work on vocabulary outside of Gospel Vocabulary. It is definitely hard, but it is a good thing that Elder Kunz is basically a native speaker of Spanish and helps me out a lot. I am so grateful that we are companions and I hope that we will stay companions until he goes home.
Anyway love you guys hope all is going well.
Elder Roberts

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Hey guys,
Halfway done with my second transfer here in California. IDK it kinda feels like it is going by slow, but at the same time it isn't. We are super busy right now and it is crazy, the Lord is really blessing us with opportunities to teach and invite others to hear this message. Idk this week has been great with a few of hard days. It actually was kinda funny, so on Saturday there was a boxing match and pretty much all of our investigators, members, and everyone was inside watching the match. So pretty much Saturday was super slow and a lot of biking around to our investigators' house to invite to church and not really teaching. But hey people have their free agency right?
So to answer you question about Ruth, she wasn't able to get baptized this weekend because she drank on Tuesday. So we ended up postponing her baptism to the 28 of this month. It was kinda sad, and a little frustrating, that she did drink, but at the same time I can't really blame it all on her. We really didn't do a good job getting members to come with us to befriend her. It really showed how important members are in lessons and the role that they can play in someone's conversion. So ya that is what is happening with her, we are really going to work hard with her now that her work schedule is a little more free.
However Elder Kunz and I had a bomb last few days this past week. So we are working with this family, Sobrinho Family, to get baptized. They are the family that really wants to be Mormon and part of the church. So we originally scheduled the 15 Sept. for their baptism, but they haven't come to church at all due to work, so that date wasn't valid anymore. So we passed by on Thursday to see how they were and if we could teach them. Their nephew answered and said that we wouldn't be able to teach them because they were leaving for a party. But then the dad, Carlos, came and said that we wanted to come to church on that on Sunday (15 Sept) we would baptize him and his family. Hahaha we were surprised by his comment and told him he had to come to church first, so we set an appointment the following day. We show up, teach them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and answer their questions about our church services. Then we found out that Carlos told his boss that he couldn't work on Sundays anymore, both him and his wife, so that he could go to church. And his boss said yes!!! So it was cool to see how much faith Carlos had to tell his boss that, as well as the Lord preparing this family to be baptized and for the boss to say he could have Sundays off.
So the family came to church and had a very great, and spiritual, experience. They stayed for the whole 3 hours and participated in the classes as well. Even their son, Nathan, really enjoyed it; it was funny because our ward is the last in the building so we have to lock everything up and such. Well after the 3rd hour, we are waiting for Nathan to get out of Young Men's and then he goes running off to help clean up, and lock up, the building with the other Young Men. It was pretty cool to see how well the entire family settled in and really enjoyed the service.
Then that night we had another lesson with them about Word of Wisdom, Chastity, and Tithing and they accepted everything and committed to living it. Even Carlos likes how with tithing it is confidential and is used to build and maintain our buildings and temples, not to pay for church leaders. They do have a slight problem with alcohol and coffee, but they have already made plans to stop drinking both of them and live the Word of Wisdom. With the fight on Saturday, Carlos drank one beer then committed that it was his last one. Then that morning he found a pack in his fridge, so he threw them out with most of their coffee as well.
So they are really progressing well and want to be baptized. We are planning on this Sunday for their baptism, and it is really looking like it is going to happen. The only thing that would prevent them from getting baptized is if they drink, but they already have plans to overcome it. It has been super fun getting to know this family and help them learn about the gospel. I have really come to love this family and help them achieve their goal of being Mormon. They are really going to be a strong family in the church. I will send you pictures next week.
Well this email is forever long. Quick question did USU or Sky View have a cross country race this week? I thought that USU would have raced up in Montana this weekend. IDK. The Church is true and really can help people. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and is how we can be forgiven of our sins and feelings of guilt. I have really seen how the Atonement can help people. Love you guys, and have a good week.
Elder Roberts

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

Hey guys,
So ya another week down in the books. This week has flown by pretty fast I will admit. Elder Kunz and I have been really busy and really working hard. We are really seeing the Lord's hand in the work and how He has blessed us this week for our hard work. It is awesome and I am enjoying every minute of it. Just a few respuestas por su preguntas:
1. There are me and 5 other elders assigned to one Spanish ward in our stake. We only attend the Spanish ward every week all 6 of us. The stake is pretty big so with our zone they have divided it up into 3 areas for us Spanish Elders. We eat with the members of the ward. Every month the Relief Society President fills out a food calendar for us. The only problem is only 4 of the 6 Elders eat so there are times that me and Elder Kunz have to skip eating with members and get our own food. But other than that the ward is great and the members are bomb and super strong in the Gospel.
2. As for my clothes they are doing great. Yes I have gained some weight but not 40 lbs. worth of weight. The only problem I have is with one of my pants, the hem is starting to come undone. There is a Men's Warehouse in our zone so I was thinking of taking them into see if they can fix it. If not I might be sending them home for either you to fix or someone. 
So last week we really focused hard on teaching Ruth and helping her prepare for baptism. She is so prepared to be baptized. We are still planning on baptizing her on the 15 Sept so this week we are really going to be on our toes and help her prepare. We know she is ready because yesterday she got home from her job super late and was super tired. But she still came to church, only for sacrament meeting, so that really showed her faith and desire to be baptized. So ya this week is really going to be hard to make sure she keeps preparing for baptism. It is kinda funny how Satan will try everything to prevent a baptism and how desperate his attempts are. But I know that Ruth is really prepared and will be able to resist any of his temptations.
On a more spiritual note, we had a bomb lesson with Hermano Alverado on Friday. It was actually kinda funny how it worked out. So we were planning on doing member splits that evening with me going to Alverado with the Bishop and Elder Kunz going to visit Ruth with another family. So I was going to be the one in charge of the lesson and leading it out and boy was I nervous. During personal study I studied Mosiah 2: 41; 22 because that is what we decided to teach him earlier and was having a hard time planning out how to teach and apply it. But then I remembered how we also left him Alma 8 earlier. So I studied Alma 8 as well and everything seemed so much easier and applied better. I last minute I changed it up. So we show up for the lesson and the family isn't there so we called them and moved the lesson later and me and Bishop went to help teach Ruth. Then later that night me and Elder Kunz passed by and taught the Alverado family.
Wow all I can say is the Spirit really was strong in that lesson and brought so much comfort to Hermano Alverado. We started teaching the lesson and how Alma was rejected in Ammoniah after attempting to teach them. So we compared that to how Hermano Alverado attempted to get his papers for marriage and they had a problem getting them. So then we taught about how the Lord comforted Alma and encouraged him to return to Ammoniah, but try a different way. And by doing so was able to enter the city and teach. So we taught him that if he tries again, by asking for the Lord's help and trying a different way, the Lord will help and provide a way to accomplish anything. Wow he really enjoyed the scripture and committed to trying again to get his papers and was really grateful for us coming by.
Looking back on that experience I could really tell that the Holy Ghost was helping me find, prepare, and apply the gospel to the lives of others. At first I didn't really recognize it, but now I can see that the Spirit was showing me what to share, how to share it, and apply it. It was a great experience and one that really helped me recognize the influence of the Spirit in the missionary work. I know that with the Spirit we can share the gospel with anyone. Friends, family, non-members, anyone. If we will continually strive to have the Holy Ghost in our lives and open our mouths the Lord has promised us that He will be on our left and our right with His angels round about us to bear us up. I can testify that this promise is real and one that will bless our lives, and more importantly, the lives of others.
Hope all is going well, and you are preparing for the snow to start coming. I will send a picture with me in shorts by the beach ;) I love you guys and hope that you continue to look for opportunities to share the gospel.
Elder Roberts

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 3, 2013

Hi guys,
So ya week one of transfer #2 is over. It has been a pretty good week and a lot better than week one of last transfer. Sorry this is coming today instead of yesterday. With Labor Day, President Tew said to email today. Just to quickly update you one some personal things:
Where me and Elder Kunz are living it is just me and him. We have a Laundromat really close to our apartment and there is a Walmart and produce store about 10 min. away from our apartment that we do our shopping at. There is a park right behind our apartment complex where me and Elder Kunz exercise he walks and I run. There are cooking utensils and other utensils in our apartment, and I am pretty sure they just stay in the apartment. Bike is working great haven't had too many problems with it. 
So for this week, we had a really good week teaching and finding new people to teach. Probably the most cool experience was with Ruth. She has been investigating the church for over 5 years and a two weeks ago we committed her to baptism. So last week we went by to teach her, and before we begin she shares a dream that she had. It was of a man in a white robe with a red robe on top of it and said to her "Te bautice" or "Be baptized" and she said yes and started to cry. It was pretty crazy hearing about this dream and she is so ready to be baptized. We are working with her to be baptized on the 15 Sept. so we will see how it goes, she has to come to church a couple more times.
We also found this family in our area who said in their own words, get this, "We want to be baptized and be Mormon". The brother of the dad is a bishop in another ward and the dad really likes how happy his brother's family is and wants the same for his family. They want to join so bad that when we went to teach them, we were late getting out of an appointment and were booking it to get to their house, they were all sitting at the table waiting for us. So ya it is pretty crazy how the Lord prepares His children to receive the Gospel. We are also working with this family for the 15 Sept. for baptism.
So this last week I was studying in Preach My Gospel about the Plan of Salvation specifically about the Atonement. I am sure that I have said my testimony has grown tremendously about the Atonement in other emails. But I can really see the promise in Preach My Gospel that says "As your understanding, and love, for the Atonement grows, your desire to share the Gospel will increase as well". I know that Christ did come to Earth to suffer for our sins and die so we can return to our Heavenly Father. He did it because He loves us more than we can comprehend. While studying about the Atonement I couldn't help but think of the song "I Stand All Amazed" specifically the verse "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me". I am so grateful for the love of our Savior and that we can go to Him with any of our trials, struggles, or problems and He will help us with them. I know it to be true.
I love you guys so much. Hope all is going well and that the Lord will continue to strengthen you and bless you.
Elder Roberts

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Hi papas,
Wow I cannot believe it is Monday already. It literally felt like two days ago I was emailing you guys. Elder Kunz kept telling me that the last week of transfers always flies by and he was correct. Just to quickly cover a few things:
 1. Elder Kunz and I are staying in the same area for another transfer. None of us received leaderships calls. The only change that occurred was we have one Elder that is going home tomorrow, so another Elder is coming in from a different area. Plus the new Elder will be our District Leader. 
2. To answer Mom's question. With exchanges, we do it within our district. So the District Leader will either go to another companionships' area, or have an Elder come to his area with the other Elder doing the vice versa (Hopefully that make sense). We usually do 2 exchanges per transfer so the District Leader can work with every missionary in the district. So the first time we did exchanges, I stayed in our area with our district leader and Elder Kunz went to his area. The second time I stayed in our area and the companion of our district leader came to our area. So both times I was the senior companion and lead the area, which means I was in charge of planning and getting us to appointments and investigators' homes. Hopefully that answers your question.
3. The language is getting better and I am getting more comfortable speaking it. I am glad you guys like our game. So far we each have won 1 time. This past week was really close it came down to Sunday night during our planning session and I said "Cool" instead of "Chido" so I was pretty angry about it. But it is helping and hopefully will hurt Elder Kunz's wallet more than my wallet :)
Well this week was so much better. We pretty much were able to teach two to four lessons a day which was awesome. We were able to teach some investigators that we hadn't visited for a while which was great as well. But more importantly this week we committed 3 people to baptism which is awesome. There was one hermana that we invited to be baptized and she didn't let me finish the baptism invitation, I said "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized...." and she said yes. It was cool to see how prepared she was after investigating the church for over 4 years. Plus the other exciting thing that happened this week was we had an investigator come to church. For 4 of the 6 weeks in the transfer we didn't have an investigator come to church so we couldn't count them as a progressing investigator. But yesterday the same hermana that we invited to be baptized came to church. Man me and Elder Kunz were so happy and are so excited to help her enter into the covenant of baptism.
So ya this week has been bomb. It was great to it too because the past two weeks were really hard and we didn't have much success. But it was great to see how the Lord does help us in His work when we really focus on doing it His way, and not the normal routine. It was also cool because I could see the Lord helping me with my Spanish as well. On Saturday the Elders Quorum did a bbq (Mexican style bbq are pretty cool by the way and different than American bbq) and I was able to understand the other hermanos as well as talk back to them. So it is really cool to see how the Lord helps His servants when they do the things that are helping the work progress.
Well I think that is pretty much it. Hope all is going well back home. Good luck with the school year this year. Hopefully it won't go by too fast, but I wouldn't count on it. Looking back, the past 3 months have flown by so I wouldn't think it would slow down for school.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19th, 2013

Hey guys,
So ya we are starting week 6 in the mission. I am almost 1/16 of the way done with the mission, and I can't believe how fast this first month has gone by. It literally feels like I got here two days ago. Just goes to show how fast things go by when you are anxiously engaged in a good cause and we need to take advantage of every possible moment in this life.
So to follow up with you question about our baptism. It didn't happen. Like I said the hermano we were going to baptized didn't get the papers he needed to get married and is waiting for them still. But we had dinner with them last night and he said that they are on the way and will be here in the next 2-3 weeks. So hopefully we will be having a baptism next transfer.
So other than that, this week has been super hard. First of we did exchanges again, and I led our area again, so that was fun. We did commit one of our investigators to get baptized in September so that was good. But other than that, this week has been really hard. Our appointments are falling through like crazy and we just can't contact our investigators to teach them and help them keep their commitments. So far it has been teach 1 lesson, then we can't get ahold of them for the next 1-2 weeks because they are working. Then to top it off, we got in a fender bender on Saturday with our car. No one was hurt, but it damaged our car a little bit on the bumper. So ya that was a great way to end the week. It has been super hard, but at the same time a really good learning experience about perseverance and diligence.
Looking back on the week I could definitely tell that I was just going through the motions of a missionary, and not really putting forth a good effort to find, teach, and invite others to come unto Christ. It is crazy how you can get into a rut like that and just go through the motions every day. I have made it a goal recently to treat every day like it was when I was in school at USU and had practice everyday. To go the practice not knowing what to do, and to be prepared as best as I can to work hard. Then when I see the opportunity, to work hard at it and perfect it as best as I can. So hopefully with that mentality we can see a difference in our area and start meeting with our investigators.
So ya nothing really else going on. Hopefully next week I will have some more experiences to talk about. Most likely I will stay in this area for another 6 weeks to finish out my training. I am getting more settled into the area and with the people. The Spanish is slowly improving. Me and Elder Kunz are playing a game every day where we talk in pure Spanish for the entire day, and every time we talk in English we get a point and we keep track of the points for the entire week. Then whoever has the most points has to buy the other person a chocolate milk. It has helped out a tons and I can understand the people a little better. I am in the stage where I can understand a few phrases and can pick out more words, plus it doesn't seem like they are talking as fast, but they are still talking fast. But with time it will improve.
Hope all is going well. Glad to hear you guys are settling into the new ward nicely. Just remember to take advantage of every opportunity to serve.
Elder Roberts