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