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