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