Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 29, 2014

Que tal todos?

So ya ummm....... Another week has flown by because of the Christmas holiday..... ummm...... ya that is all I got to say. Have a good week!

Haha just kiddin'! How was all of your guys Christmas? Yes Bridget I was really jealous of the Red Meat night. Thanks for rubbin' it in! You joke around that we ate tacos and tamales and you were correct on both of them. Christmas eve we ate tamales about 3 times that night. And Christmas day we ate tacos and more tamales. So ya I was jealous of the Red Meat night.

So our Christmas was a blast! We started off by running along the harbor in Downtown. We were right next to the aquarium and the lighthouse and it was gorgeous! A great way to start the Christmas day: Enjoying the beautiful creations of our Lord and God. Then we returned to our apartment and made cinnamon rolls with Eggnog before studies. Then had an awesome study in the Book of Mormon and reading about our Savior's birth in the scriptures and Jesus the Christ. After opening up some of my gifts during Companion Study we took off to our ward mission leader's house to Skype home.

Afterword we went to the Church and chilled with the missionaries in our zone and the other zone. We watched "Other Side of Heaven" and had a Graham Cracker Building contest. Unfortunately we did not win, but me and another Elder had fun using our engineering skills to build the future Long Beach Temple. I attached pictures of our zone with the final results and the other zone. I am kneeling down next to the one we built. That night we went to dinner and caroled to more people. So we had a pretty busy Christmas day, but it was amazing. Yes I did enjoy my last Christmas as a full-time missionary.

So to answer mom's question about our mission goals. Unfortunately we did not achieve our baptismal goal. We finished the last 2 months with 57 baptisms. So ya it kinda sucks we didn't achieve that goal. As a companionship we definitely did our best, but it didn't help that we had a whole week were we didn't get out to work due to sprained ankles and sickness. However, I still feel like we could have worked a little bit better and stayed in contact with our investigators a little bit better. So it sucks, but now with the new year, we are really going to keep building on what we have established in the area, and help it keep improving.

This week, we found 2 new investigators that are pretty solid. Both of them were very receptive on what we shared and expressed more desire to learn more. It was pretty exciting to see them be so receptive and desire to learn. This week was also full of missionaries with the cold, including me. So we did several mini exchanges to keep the work going in our area. So it was a pretty crazy week, but a fun one for sure. Passed by super fast but a fun one.

Well this week is going to be a crazy one as well. Our DL has kinda left all his exchanges with us for this week. So it is going to be exchange, regular, exchange and ya. So basically this transfer is going to end super fast. I am kinda nervous for what is going to happen next transfer because our mission loses about 15 spanish missionaries and about another 15-18 spanish missionaries are coming in. So we will see what happens.

Well I need to go, time is up. Have a good week!

Elder Roberts

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23, 2014

Hey everyone!

First off, congrats to mom for going through a temple session in Spanish! Now we can go when I get back and you can show off your spanish that you have learned :) Haha no that is awesome.

Ok so what happened this week to talk about. To be honest, we had another difficult week. With all the different meetings that happened this week, we didn't have the greatest contact with our investigators. So pretty much we just decided to use the trainings we have received recently to find new people to teach. We didn't find anyone new this week, but we did talk to quite a few people and tried staying in contact with our current investigators. So ya that was is pretty much the update for this week. This week we are really going to pound hard the He is the Gift initiative and try to find new investigators from it. So ya that is it. BYE!!

Haha psyc you thought that was going to be it right? Haha jk. How is everyone doing? Ready for Christmas? BTW I did get the packages from Grandma Roberts and Mom and Dad. It was funny the Zone leaders had the big package for 3 days in their car, but never got it to me. So when they did get it to me, they were like "Elder Roberts, please we will give you anything!! Just get your package out of our car it is taking up all the SPACE!!" Haha good old zone leaders.

So for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Christmas Eve is a regular work day until after dinner. Then we go out in our districts and carol to investigators, members, homeless people, a todas! Then Christmas Day we will call home in the morning, then the afternoon will be activities with our zone until dinner. After dinner we will go out as districts again to carol. Haha we have one Elder from Montana who is kinda refusing to carol because their isn't any snow... Haha ya I might have to agree with him. But it will be fun! We are planning on eating alot of tamales on both days because that is what most hispanic people eat during la navidad. Ya I am really hoping that this week I can get back into running so I don't gain anymore weight on the mission...

Ok now I am done because I don't know what more to say. Plus I am afraid that if I keep talking now, then I won't have anything to tell y'allon Thursday. Hope you all have a good week! Hope y'all are practicing your spanish so we can do the call in Spanish :P Nos vemos!!

Elder Roberts

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 16, 2014

Buenas Tardes!

And week 2 of this transfer has ended. For those that are wondering why I am writing my email on Tuesday, we had a General Authority visit our mission and we met with him yesterday. So today was our Temple trip which means P-Day was moved to today. No we did not get IPads.... :( I will talk more about our visit with Elder Baxter a little bit later.

So everyone was asking about the weather here. We have received quite a bit of rain the past week. In fact, as I am writing this email, it is raining right now. We received quite a bit of rain Thursday night. It rained so hard that I couldn't sleep at all... :( Usually we leave our windows open so the room stays cold, but it was raining so hard that it woke me up. So I shut the windows and went back to bed. Well an hour later I wake up again because the wind was shaking our windows pretty loud. So I stuffed my exercise shirts into the window to try and muffle the sound. Ya Elder Brown was pretty confused waking up to a window full of shirts :P There is the LA "River" that runs through our area. I say "River" because on a regular day it looks like a canal. But on Friday morning, the water was pretty high and running pretty fast. Other missionaries got a flood warning during the night so that goes to show how much water we received. So ya that was a blessing for sure.

As for my ankle it is doing good. I went this whole week just wearing my ankle brace. I was able to get out and work the entire week which felt really good. On Friday I was really tempted to go run, but I had the thought that I needed to just rest this week and wear my brace every day. And if I did so, I would be able to get out and run this week. We didn't run yesterday because we did laundry, and today was our Temple trip. So we will see if tomorrow I can get out and run for a little bit.

A couple more answers before I get into some details. We still don't know if we will be able to Skype home or not. They are kinda holding back on that piece of detail, but for sure next week we should know. When we find out, I will probably have one of our members call home and give you all the details if I don't have all the details by Monday.

My Book of Mormon reading is going super well. Right now I am in Helaman 5, so I am a little bit behind as of right now. But I am loving it. Like mom said in her email, the Christmas story in the Book of Mormon is just as good as the Bible's. I am getting really excited to read about the signs of His coming, and then to read about His personal ministry to the Nephites. So keep reading on! The end of the year is coming, so hopefully everyone isn't too far behind.

Ok, so what happened in the Great California Long Beach Mission last week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had some super solid lessons with our Investigators Rosy and Fransisca. It was good to teach Fransisca because we hadn't seen her in more than 3 weeks. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she was understanding everything perfectly. In fact, she was answering questions before we would even ask them. We weren't able to teach her again this week, but we are hoping that this week, we will finish that lesson, and commit her to baptism. As for Rosy, we read 2 Nephi 31 with her to help her understand the Doctrine of Jesus Christ a little bit better. She made a great connection at the end of the lesson that this is the only true doctrine that will bring us eternal life. However, she said that right now she doesn't believe she can change from being Catholic. So we are going to go over all the lessons with her, and see if we can help her see what God has restored to the Earth and then go from there.

On Thursday we had our Christmas Zone Conference. We watched the First Presidency Devotional, I really liked Elder Maynes talk about Christ and His earthly family. Then President gave a training about teaching simply which was super good. I had kinda fallen away from teaching simply and by so doing, our investigators haven't been progressing as well. So it was good to talk about teaching simply and how it does help our investigators understand the doctrine and have a desire to live it. There were some other Elders who gave trainings, but the training that most effected me was Presidents training about teaching simply.

Cool experience happened on Sunday. So the mission has departure firesides for the missionaries going home at the end of every transfer. Well, because of Christmas, some Elders wanted to go home early, like today early. So the mission held a departure fireside for those who went home. Well, Elder Brown and I weren't planning on going, but at the last minute our investigator decided to go and to take us. So we went! Well I am super glad I got to go because I saw two families that I taught in Whitter, la familia Berriel y la familia Guzman! I was super happy to see la familia Guzman because I literally haven't heard from them for almost 6 months. So to see them really made me happy and grateful that our investigator decided to go. Plus we will be going to the regular departure fireside at the end of the transfer, and I will see these families again :)

Ok so the visit from Elder Baxter. First off, it was a super spiritual, full of learning, and funny conference. First, President Tew talked about the essence to missionary work: Love and Charity. Then Sister Tew talked about using family history to help recent converts and less actives see the big picture and how they play a role in helping their ancestors receive the Gospel and help their future generations maintain in the gospel. Then Sister Baxter talked about how the mission is laying a foundation for the rest of our life. I had never really thought about that until the last few weeks: that the things I am learning on the mission will effect my life forever. To be honest I totally agree with that statement, and am sure that everything that I have learned the past 18 months will have a lasting effect on my life, as well as the upcoming 6 months.

So Elder Baxter training was on finding. He focused more on talking with everyone and teaching when you find, finding when you are teaching. He really did bring in alot of good ideas to help with contacting. He shared some scriptures in D&C about opening our mouths and they shall be filled. One thing I learned was this: The Lord promises us that as we open our mouths, they shall be filled with the words to say to those we come in contact with. So the words we speak aren't our words, but His. Then we read later that the elect hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and hearken unto it. So as we just seek to open our mouths and talk with everyone, we learn to say what the Lord puts into our hearts, and then the elect and prepared will hearken unto His voice and seek to obey it. Kinda cool right?

So that was most of Elder Baxter's training. He most offered us word of encouragement to overcome any doubt, fear, or worries we might have by talking with others. It really did strengthen my faith that the Lord will work through us, but it takes faith, practice, crashing and burning, and letting the Lord lift us up when we do fall down. So that is the goal for these last 6 months: Seek to speak the words that the Lord would say, have patience while overcoming this weakness, and let the Spirit guide me to those who are ready to hearken to the voice of the Good Shepherd.

So ya that is everything. Sorry for the giant epistle, alot happened this week. Thanks for everything you guys do. Hope you all are having a Christ filled Christmas, and are seeking to have His Spirit part of your Christmas Celebration. I know this Gospel is true. I can't tell you how strong the Spirit was as Elder Baxter spoke to us. I know that the Lord has once again restored His Gospel to the Earth, and has chosen His servants to lead us. I know that we will not go astray as we heed their counsel.

I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Roberts

p.s. I forgot to bring my camera today, so next week expect pictures of our temple trip.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 9, 2014

Que Tal!

How is everyone doing? Another week has gone by and December is already flying by! Hahaha first off who is confused about the subject?? Hahaha maybe those who have served missions know what it means, but for everyone else haha no I didn't kill a sister missionary. Dead sister just means that an Elder has 18 months on the mission and the sister missionaries who came out with him have died (finished their mission). So ya the big 18 months on the mission! Unfortunately I didn't have time to burn a pair of pants, nor did I have an idea of where to burn them since we are in Long Beach. But maybe I will try to do it this week :) But ya it is kinda scary to think that I only have 6 months left!

So like I said in my last email we had transfers this week and I got a new companion: Elder Brown. He is from Bend, Oregon and has about 6 months in the mission. He is super patient with me which is super good. With my ankle I was able to start walking on it a little biton Monday, but it was pretty achy on Tuesday, so we stayed in for most of the day. Kinda the same story with Wednesday and Thursday. But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we got out and worked the entire day and the pain was very minimal. Pretty much now I can walk with no pain. I am going to keep wearing my ankle brace this week and the nurse is going to send me some exercises to strengthen it. So my goal is to be back and running next week :)

So this month and transfer is going to fly by like nothing. This week we have a Christmas Zone Conference, next week we have a General Authority visiting our mission and we are going to the Temple next week. Then the following week is Christmas and then the year is basically over. CRAZY!! It kinda isn't fair that time is flying by so freakin fast! I did recognize the scriptures on the Calender you sent me and I write them down in my planner so I can remember then during the day. Yeah thanks for that, it is helping me focus more the on the Savior this Christmas. BTW who has seen the video, HE IS THE GIFT?? Yesterday was when it was it took over Youtube and was right on the front page. Can someone see how may views it has so far? Bomb video I love it! I wish we had IPads so I could watch it everyday and share it with people right on the spot.

So this week was difficult, but it felt good to get out and work. Like I said earlier we took time on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to rest my ankle and only had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to work. We found all of our investigators which was good. We taught Rosy and Julio, our two most solid investigators. Rosy is still working towards her baptism date for the 28 of December. But she hasn't come to church recently so we are probably going to have to move it back. Then Julio is still dragging his feet to be baptized. So we invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon again, and see if this book does talk about Christ. Then to really pray and ask God specifically if this book is true. It was a good lesson and he seemed committed to do so.

Other than that, we found our other investigators and set up return appointments for this week to teach them. We are super excited for lesson with one se llama Fransisca. She has been super busy, but she is also super prepared for the Gospel. In fact, as we were leaving she asked us if there was anything she could study or read so she could be ready for our visit. So that just goes to show how prepared she is, we just need to help her understand the doctrine and live it.

Outside of that, we had a hard time finding anyone else. We have mostly been trying to talk with everyone that the Lord puts in our path. In fact, I feel like this week I have improved dramatically with contacting. There were some times, I would see someone and just start talking to them and it didn't feel like I was doing anything. I know that He has helped me alot to find His children that He has prepared to receive his Gospel.

Well that is this week in a nutshell. Thanks for the picture of Matt's wedding invite. I am going to send him an email and see how he is doing. Thanks for everything you guys do! Hope you all have a good week! If you haven't share the "He Is The Gift" video with someone :)

Elder Roberts

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

Que tal mis queridos hermanos?

Hope everyone had a really good Thanksgiving! From the updates that Mom and Dad gave me, it sounds like everyone was well fed and had a good holiday. Did you guys survive Black Friday? Any good deals? Or are you all busy right now with Cyber Monday? Haha I am positive that everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and are now anxiously waiting for Christmas.

I will get the details about our Thanksgiving out of the way right now. We only ate 1 dinner because we were slow talking with members to go visit. We ate with one family, la familia Garcia, and it wasn't your typical Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of turkey, mash potatoes, and the whole nine yards, we ate ribs with rice and potato salad. It was super good and we ended up staying the rest of the night with them chilling and relaxing.

So that is what happened on our Thanksgiving. Here is what happened throughout the week. I will warn you all now, if you thought last week was a difficult week this week was worse. First off, on Monday I re-sprained my right ankle playing basketball. In fact, I sprained it so bad that I couldn't walk or put any pressure on my foot. I was super angry that I re-sprained it, but for a specific reason that I will explain later in my email. So because I could't walk at all, and we don't have a car, we have been doing exchanges with other missionaries to teach our investigators and I have been stuck inside the apartment all week recovering.

Then, oh yeah it gets better, on Friday both Elder Higley and I woke up feeling a little sick. Then during personal study both of us were throwing up. We are thinking we got food poisoning from our Thanksgiving dinner. So we were stuck in the apartment trying to feel better.

On Saturday I woke up with less feelings of sickness, but with a ginormous headache that was awful. But I didn't dare take any medicine because I hadn't eaten anything all day Friday and didn't want to screw up my stomach. So Saturday was full of sleeping trying to get rid of my headache. Finally that night, I ate a little bit of food so I could take some Tylenol and go to bed.

So that was our week in a nutshell. Oh yeah, we are starting a new transfer this week. Elder Higley is leaving the area to go to the first ward I served in, Bolsa Chica. Then I am getting a missionary named Elder Brown who is fairly new to the mission. So I am kinda worried about leading the area after being stuck inside the apartment for an entire week. So this week was pretty bad and right now I am pretty nervous for the new transfer and what the Lord has in plan for us and His work in our area.

But, even though we had all those bad experiences, we did have a couple good things happen. First off is with my ankle. About 2 weeks ago I started having the impressions to stop playing basketball during p-day so that I am healthy coming back to Utah State to run. Well I kept putting off those impressions saying that nothing will happen. Well later in the week, the impressions came back saying "Stop playing basketball, or you WILL re-sprain your ankle and might cause some problems in the future." But, again, I put off those impressions.

Well come Monday, I am playing on BAM I sprain my ankle. It was that exact moment I realized that the Spirit was talking to me and trying to warn me. So I was angry with myself that I completely ignored the Holy Ghost. But at the same time I learned an important lesson: 1) I learned for a surety that the Holy Ghost does talk to us, and does warn us so we are safe. 2) I learned how the Holy Ghost talks with us and how we can recognize his voice (See 1 Kings 19:11-13; Helaman 5:46; 3 Nephi 11:3).

I know that the Holy Ghost is a gift from God, and he does talk to us. I know that it isn't a loud, powerful voice that talks to us, but it is a soft, pressing voice that if we pay close attention to it, we can hear it talking to us. I know that as we heed the Holy Ghost with diligence and faith, we will be protected and guided in all things.

Ok so Mom knows about it, I am curious who else know. Who has heard of "He Is The Gift" or "El es la Dadiva?" If you have been or recently it is right on the front page. It is an amazing initiative that the Church is doing to help us remember about the true meaning of Christmas. There is a short video that is super, super powerful about the first gift of Christmas: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."- John 3:16.

So this is an awesome thing that Church is doing. In fact they are going all out with this. For example: On December 7th, the Church has bought out the front page of Youtube so everyone can see it. Then the Church has bought out the big boards in Time Square in New York for everyone to see. This is an awesome thing that is happening and we have the opportunity to help it progress. So there are two things you can do to share this video.

1) You can put the video on your Facebook, Twitter, or whatever accounts so other people can see this video.

2) In this months issue of the Ensign they included awesome cards about "He Is The Gift" that you can share with anyone.

So that is what is happening. Like the video says, this time isn't about the gifts, the money or anything worldly. It is about His births and the start of His mission to bring us happiness and eternal life. May we all remember Him and help other remember Him.

Love you all!

Elder Roberts

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

Hey Everyone,

Well, like mom described so well in her email to me, another week has flown by and we are now starting the final week of the month. Also another Thanksgiving has approached us! I am sure all of you are wondering what will happen this Thanksgiving for us here in the Great California Long Beach Mission. So we just found out that we are having a mission wide conference that morning at 9:00 a.m., then we will hold District Meeting and Weekly Planning as usual. Then at 3:30 we can go to as many dinners as we want for the rest of the night. Right now we have 1 solid set dinner with a member from Honduras, then a semi-solid dinner set up with our investigator Rosy. I am sure we will find other dinners or other members to chill with for the night. So we are pretty excited for that day.

I have a favor to ask, and I feel bad that you already sent me a package. But would you mind sending me my other Utah State sweatshirt? It has been pretty chilly in the morning running and I have started wearing a sweatshirt instead of a long sleeve. I apologize that you have to send another package because I am sure it is pretty expensive to send them. I really appreciate it.

Sounds like it was a pretty chill week for you guys in Utah. This week, like it says in the subject, this week we had some success, but it was also was one of the most difficult weeks of my entire mission. I will start off by describing the success that we had this week.

So an update with Rosy. So she has been attending a christian church with her friend to find one that she likes. Well on Monday she had a really bad experience with one of the pastors and she didn't like the way that he talked to her. Well, "By their fruits, ye shall know them" she decided that she is going to stop going to that church. Well that opened the door for us to re-teach the Restoration and about how the true church has been restored. She really liked it, and we committed her to be baptized on the 28th of December. She wants her husband to learn as well and support her in this change. But she knows that baptism by the proper authority will help a lot in her life. So she is bomb! We are praying that her husband will listen to us as well, and that she will receive an answer to her prayers.

We have an investigator named Julio. He has been investigating the church for a long time, like over 9 months. He was super focused on renewing his drivers licence and not a whole lot on what we were teaching. So we dropped him about a month ago. Well he passed his test last Tuesday and wants to really commit himself to what he is learning. So we talked about baptism with him, using Mosiah 18 with him and how when the people learned about the truth, they acted immediately and they were immediately blessed. He understood it super well and we invited him to be baptized on the 21 of December. He wanted the weekend to think, and pray about it, and said he will let us knowon Tuesday. So that was a miracle for sure.

Well to be completely honest, that was all the success we had this week. We literally went 2 straight days of not finding anyone at home. So most of our time was talking with people on the street and inviting them to listen to the message of the Restoration. I can tell you that this week was probably one of the most difficult weeks of my entire mission. In fact we had one experience that just cut deep. We were going to try by a potential and his mom was outside of the house. As we got closer her neighbor started talking to her and we decided just ask her if her son was home. Well right as we got close, her neighbor said (In spanish "Quieres hablar con ellos? Porque yo no."), "Do you want to talk to them? Because I don't..." That really cut deep on me and kinda ruined the rest of my day. I probably shouldn't have let it, but after a tough week like we had little things like that kinda stick with you. Plus I fear that I might be getting a cold and that is draining my energy every day. So hopefully, with the holiday, we will have a little bit more success and re-build that fire again.

How is everyone doing with your Book of Mormon reading? If you want to be on track, today you need to be in Alma around page 209 in English. Right now I am loving it! Yesterday I finished up Mosiah and I loved the example of Alma the Elder in Chapter 26. I also started the other day listening to the Book of Mormon in Spanish. We weren't able to get the CD's to our investigator and he is in Mexico right now and won't be back until maybe February. So I thought I would take advantage of them and improve my listening in Spanish.

Well that is the update for the week. Like I said we are hoping to bounce back from last week and find those who are prepared for the Gospel. We are all excited for Thanksgiving and enjoying it with the members and our investigators. Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving!


Elder Roberts

After one night, I got home freezing. So I broke out the Hot Chocolate and wrapped up in a blanket for daily planning.

This is Elder Ortega from Mexico. He works in the same ward as us, in the area just south of us. This is a pretty "typical" dinner at night. El cae muy bien conmigo.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hey everyone,

Well this week officially was chilly and I wore a sweater every night this week. So yep it is starting to get cold here in Long Beach. But we don't have snow! From the sounds of things the snow is starting to fly in Utah so I am sure that sweaters, snow boots and snow shovels have been coming in handy.

I can't believe that Coach Reeder is going to stop coaching at USU!! Did they say who would be taking his spot? Man ya I really hope that they will let me run again for them because I can't just have 1 season being trained by him. Dang it.... :(

The results from your Bathroom Project looks super good. I am kinda sad that I wasn't around to help out..... But I am sure that there will be some other project for me to do when I get home. Lo siento papi pero estoy en acuerdo con mama, me gusta el color de tu bano. Well done they look super nice, and a successful project.

So this week was pretty successful. Nothing too crazy happened but we definitely had a good week. We had a good zone meeting with our mission president about the changes that he established back on Halloween. It has been cool to see how the Lord has blessed us as we have made these changes part of our mission. I know personally I have felt alot more fire to get out and work hard. This is such a great time to be a missionary in the great California Long Beach Mission!

Well you are all probably going to kill me but I have hit rock bottom on what to share with you. Time just keeps flying by and everything is feeling like a blur. The Lord is definitely helping us out in our area, and little by little it is progressing more. This week we are going to really make the little things work in our area, because we know by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Thanks for everything. I promise next week I will have a little bit more to write. Oh by the way how is everyone doing with their Book of Mormon reading? I am in Enos right now and by the end of the day I will be in Mosiah. I know the Book of Mormon is divine scripture from God and it really can help us come closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. Like I had said in my last email I am marking any scripture that talks about Christ and it is amazing to see how it is another powerful testament of Jesus Christ. I hope everyone is having spiritual experiences reading this great book!

Have a good week everyone! Thanks for everything! Remember as you pray for missionary opportunities, the Lord will bless you with them. But if you don't pray for missionary opportunities you won't have such opportunities even though you will interact with the same people.

Elder Roberts

Had a little fun today at Wal Mart and we found these sick Marvel Heroes shirts pretty cheap. So we had some fun today when we got back to our apartment.

Yeah I couldn't resist buy the first batch of Eggnog for the season. Don't worry they were out this week so I have to wait till next week. But it was super tasty!

So we do some of our shopping at a 99 cent store. Well a couple weeks ago they had these sick pancake makers for $2. So I couldn't resist buying it to help me have perfect pancakes for breakfast. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Man so last week got pretty crazy after halloween. All of us were just pumped up and ready to apply the new mission goals. This was the first real week that we got to apply these goals and boy did we see some changes. I can honestly say that my faith in this work has increased quite a bit, and I am so glad to have such an awesome mission president to help us improve.

First off, thanks for the update about Stake Conference. Sounds like the new leaders are stepping up to the plate and really leading the stake the way the Lords wants it to be. It always is a great experience to hear from our leaders, both General and Local leaders. It was cool to hear that they applied Elder Bednar's address and the BYU Educational week about using the internet to spread the Gospel. I watched his talk a couple weeks ago and man was it powerful. I almost started crying when he invited us to "Sweep the Earth as like a flood." It was super powerful and I highly recommend watching it because it is so awesome.

Looks like Dad is already applying our mission goal to look for miracles and blessings. That was one thing I was really focusing on this week, "Praying for miracles everyday and eyes of faith to see these miracles. Then every night I write them down in a journal." This week was super full of miracles. Let me just share a few with y'all.

Remember Ortencia? Well, after consulting with our leaders, Elder Higley and I decided that we would try at talk to Ortencia's husband and try to share with him what we are teaching. Well we go by and Ortencia invites us into her house and her husband is home. We followed up on her reading and shared with her a couple Mormon Messages. Then as we were going to leave she told us that we could keep coming by and keep teaching her. YEAH!! That was such a miracle for sure. We are hoping that as she keeps applying the gospel her husband will see the changes and his heart will be more open.

Second miracle. We found an investigator way back in October named Fransisca. We taught her the Wednesday before General Conference and never saw her again because of family health problems. Well we got a call from her saying that we could come by because everything had blown by and gotten better. So we did and found out she has been reading the Book of Mormon and really likes it. So we decided we would invite her to be baptized in our next lesson. After teaching her about baptism we invited her to be baptized. She didn't accept a date, but said she would pray about it and let us know the following week. YEAH!! She is super prepared as well.

Third Miracle. Rosy is progressing super well. She is reading the Book of Mormon daily, texts us the chapters she has read, and has always felt better when she reads it. We also invited her to be baptized and she said yes, but she wants her husband to participate as well and know what we are sharing. YEAH!! So hopefully we will be able to teach her husband this week and commit her to baptism.

So that was just a couple miracles we saw this week. I know for sure that our leaders are inspired and receive revelation from God on how to lead His work in this mission. Also, in my Book of Mormon reading I am in 2 Nephi 9 (I didn't read yesterday or today yet....) and it is amazing. Like I said in my last email usually when I hear challenges like the one we received I am not the most excited person to do so. But I have learned so much from reading the Book of Mormon and I love it. I am highlighting scriptures that talk anything about Christ and His Atonement, that talk about His Gospel, and that have the promise of the Book of Mormon. Pretty much almost every page has something highlighted and are things I have never recognized before. It is awesome!!

So that was our week in a nutshell. Hopefully that gives y'all an update on things. We are in an awesome time to focus on Christ and all that He does for us. I know we are really focusing on helping others come to Christ during this time. I know that I have learned alot more about Christ just by reading the Book of Mormon and and trying hard to help others have similar experiences. Hope you all have a good week!!

Elder Roberts

P.S. Sweater Weather didn't exist this past week because it was so freakin' hot. But this week looks like it is going to be a little chilly in all of the country. Hope y'all are ready for snow! :P

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3rd, 2014

Amados Padres Mios, Amados Hermanos Mios,

Man this week could not have been any more spiritually jammed packed. I did not think that this week was going to be good because of Halloween. Plus, I can't lie, I was pretty excited to take time and clean our apartment on Halloween night. But we had some BIG changes in our mission that just changed everything this week and got me super excited for the remaining time I have on the mission.

First off, thanks for finding those CD's. I really appreciate the time you took to find them for our Investigator. I am positive it will help him enjoy the scriptures and just increase his love and knowledge of our Savior and His teachings. Also thanks for the pictures of Bridget's rugby game. Looks like she is enjoying in and just destroying down there.

All right now for the details of what happened this week. So on Tuesday we found a pretty solid investigator named Rosy. She has suffered from depression the past few years and is barely starting to recover and is still suffering from anxiety. We found her contacting and she had some bomb questions about the plan of salvation, and knowing why there are so many churches today. So we taught her on Tuesday, with a member, and she just accepted everything with alot of excitement. She also has expressed numerous times that she just feels more happy as she talks with us about God. In fact, she wants to stay in contact so much that she will text us and so far this week she has fed us twice. So ya she is super bomb and super prepared. This week we are going to really focus on contacting her daily so she can get in the habit of reading from the Book of Mormon regularly and praying to know this is true.

Ok now for what happened on Halloween. So we had a pretty solid morning and afternoon of working. We contacted some cool people and some of our investigators. Then around 4 o'clock we get a call from our ZL's saying that President wants every zone in the mission to hold a zone meeting at 8 o'clock sharp and that some big changes were going to happen. No we did not get IPads.... Our ZL's had their Mission Leadership Council with President that day and he announced some big challenges. So from 6-8 pm we were in our apartment cleaning (By the way, our bathroom is SPOTLESS! I got that bathroom looking super clean) and then we met with our zone at the church building at 8 anxious for these big changes.

So here is a little bit of details. Around this time last year, we, as a mission, set a goal to baptize 70 people before the end of the year. Well we blew that goal out of the water and got 91 baptisms. So then, after that, we would set Monthly Baptismal Goals and strive to achieve those goals. Well we never achieved our monthly goal. We would get close, but we never achieved our goal. In fact we started getting less and less than our goal as the year went by. Well President kinda got tired of us not achieving our goals and decided a change needed to happen. So he changed the goals that we are focusing on and also set some challenges for us to achieve to help us increase our faith. The challenges were:

1. 75 Baptisms before December 31.
2. Every missionary in the mission will read the Book of Mormon, starting at the beginning, and finish it before December 31 (So we have about 60 days to do so).
3. Every day at 6:30 am and 10:00 pm, every missionary will get on their knees and ask God to bless them with a Miracle that day. Also to ask for the Eyes of Faith to see these miracles.
4. Every night, every missionary will write what miracle(s) they saw that day in a journal.

When I heard those goals, I got super super excited and felt that I could achieve those goals. Mostly because I feel like I have "failed" our mission because I haven't felt like I have helped our mission achieve it's goals. In a sense it felt like 17 month year old Elder Roberts died, and a new Elder Roberts was born. That night is always going to be a night that I will never forget. It was such a powerful spiritual night and I could really feel like we became more united as a zone, and as a mission that night. So that night we prayed for a miracle to happen the following night and we went to bed.

The following day during personal studies I started reading the Book of Mormon to start our challenge (I need to read about 9-10 pages a day in order to achieve this goal). I was thinking to experience before the mission when we got challenged to read the Book of Mormon in a set time and I didn't really have a great desire to do it in a set time. But this time I felt super excited to do this challenge. Man just within the first 10 pages I learned so much, and I could feel the Spirit testifying that the Book of Mormon is true. Every time after that has been the same.

So this week my testimony was strengthened like crazy. First off it confirmed to me that our Mission President is an inspired and guided leader of this mission. I know that he receives revelation directly from our Heavenly Father on how this work can progress better and how to help us work with more faith and trust. I know that I got super excited for these changes, especially because I want to contribute to these goals and help our mission achieve it's goals.

I want to invite you all to join with us with these goals. Maybe you can't help too much with our baptism goal. But you can join with us in our goal to finish the Book of Mormon before December 31, Pray for miracles in your own life, and then write those miracles in a journal. I know that by doing so you will recognize the hand of the Lord more in your life and your faith will increase dramatically. Just like Elder Bednar said in the General Conference last november about having eyes of faith to see His hands and His blessings.

So ya that was what happened this week. Like I said, there were alot of things I have changed to help me be a better missionary. I had a good visit with my ZL's to help me set some appropriate goals and plans so I can do my part to help our mission have success. This mission is awesome and I know that our Heavenly Father has called me to be here at this time specifically. I am so grateful for all that I have learned and for the experiences my Heavenly Father has blessed me with so I can learn.

Well hope you all have a good week. Thanks for everything!

Elder Roberts

P.S. (Feel free to laugh as you read this section, but stop immediately when you finish) I broke out the sweaters this week. Yep it got down into the 60's this week and I started wearing sweaters.... HAHAHAHA........stop laughing ;) LES QUIERO!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oct. 27, 2014

Hi everybody!!

Well October is basically over. Hope y'all are ready for Halloween this Friday. To answer Dad's question, the same rule applies last year as does this year: Be inside by 6:00 p.m. deep cleaning your apartment. This time I will have a little bit more to clean since I am not living with members like last year. Freak!! Last year I was starting my first transfer in Whittier!! That doesn't seem like it was that long ago.... Slow down time!!

So this week was kinda of an up and down week. It started a little slow because one Elder might have a possible hernia and had to see a specialist on Tuesday. Then, the same day, we did exchanges with our DL and I went with him to his area. Well his companion also had a doctor appointment on Tuesday that took forever. So basically Tuesday was shot.

On Wednesday we get a call from our Senior missionary in charge of the cars saying we have to give our car to the Elder with a hernia because he can't walk or bike for the next month or so. So it is pure biking in our area for the rest of the transfer. Wednesday was a solid day, we found a couple investigators that we hadn't found for a while and were able to teach them.

Thursday was your typical Thursday with District Meeting and Weekly Planning. Later that night we visited with a couple less-actives in our ward. Mostly we answered their questions about the Gospel and helping them get back into the habit of daily scripture study and prayer. It is kinda hard working with less-actives I have learned on the mission.

Friday we had a bomb lesson with Ortencia and her daughter Merlyn. Ortencia has been reading quite a bit in the Book of Mormon, she is in 1 Nephi 11 when we passed by, and her daughter was starting to show some interest in what her mom was learning. So we taught them about the Restoration and invited them to keep reading and praying to know what we are teaching. Ortencia said she feels super good when she is reading and really likes it as well. She spent 5 minutes at the start of the lesson sharing verses she had marked that she liked. She is super prepared for sure.

Saturday was another awesome day. We found several of the potentials we had contacted last transfer and most of them we picked up as investigators that day or set up return appointments for later in the week. One person we contacted started off the conversation asking why do we get sick? and why is there so much bad things in the world. Yeah talk about setting things up for a Plan of Salvation lesson. Shared about our purpose in life and the atonement and she loved it. We set up a return appointment with her on Tuesday to keep teaching her more.

Sunday started off good, then just plummeted to the ground. We had a less-active come to church which was awesome to see, plus it was our ward primary program which was super bomb the Spirit was super strong in the meeting. When we got home we receive a text from Ortencia. She apologized that she couldn't come to church, and said that her husband doesn't want her going to church and to stop meeting with us (More explanation: Ortencia was a former in our area book, she was first dropped due to the same reason: her husband won't let her do anything). So I was first super sad for Ortencia because she is so prepared, then angry that her husband is not letting her do anything. Well because I was angry, and I didn't want to stop going by, I did not have the Spirit for the rest of the night and it was a bad night.

So that is our week in a nutshell. Like I said I am kinda lost on what to do with Ortencia. I don't want to drop her because she is so prepared and I feel like she should be allowed to make her own decisions. But at the same time I don't want to do anything that might cause problems with their family. We are going to be praying for them, and to receive guidance from our Heavenly Father on this matter. I would greatly appreciate it if y'all could keep Ortencia and her family in your prayers. Thanks!!

So to answer Mom's question, there are 3 things I really want for Christmas: Gift Cards, and two study manuals. Elder Higley has a study guide for the Book of Mormon and he said he has really enjoyed studying from it and it has helped him understand the Book of Mormon better. So the two I was wondering if you could get are the Book of Mormon and New Testament. They are the study manuals that Institue students use. Here is the link to them that I found:

So those two things would be awesome. Thanks!

Well I think I better finish up this email. Thanks for everything! Hope y'all are ready for the snow that is coming in a couple weeks. I know Elder Higley and I are super excited for sweater weather! :) Have a good week!


Elder Roberts

Here are all my planners that I have had my entire mission. Every planner has a picture from the Scriptures on one side, and then a temple outside of Utah on the other side. Pretty cool huh? I will tell you that I am one planner # 13 of 17.

Had a little bit of fun with my Lego's yesterday. This goes to show what happens when you turn to the Dark Side and try to take on Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon. Fore sure you are not going to win :) :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oct. 20, 2014

Hey buenos dias,

Freak can y'all believe that October is basically over? We are slowly creeping to the end of it and the night that all the missionaries get stuck inside cleaning their apartment. Pretty soon Thanksgiving will be here, and let's not even talk about Christmas.... SLOW DOWN!!!!

So more details about the ward I am serving in. It is a mix of old families and young ones. I say it is the biggest ward because there are over 700 members, but only about 250 come to church. So there are alot of less-actives in the ward. The YM/YW programs aren't as strong as the last ward I served in but poco a poco we are helping it get stronger. It is a good ward and the members are awesome, but I think it is fair to say that this is probably the hardest area I have served in my entire mission. There is a lot of wickedness here in Long Beach, but that is why missionaries are here!

I didn't even know there was Spanish missionaries serving in our stake. Do they cover more than one stake? Or are they specifically for your stake? I agree with Dad, it would be funny to hear Spanish with an English accent. I remember our last week in the MTC there was an Elder who came into our zone from England and I really wanted to hear him speak Spanish. Papi tienes que decirme como esta su espanol. Haha I never will get tired of Hispanic food. It is soooo good and I could eat it every day. For example last night we had some bomb taquitos de papa y queso y estuvieron muy ricos. And who can forget the chilies and salsa with every meal. Man now I know why I have gained so much weight on the mission..... Dang it :(

I know how Mom feels about guys who are my age are starting to come home. Usually every week I will check to see who has left on the mission from the stake, and every time I see those my age I think, "Freak they will be coming home soon....." So ya that is kinda weird to think about, but no importa we still have at least 7 months left to work super hard.

So this week was kinda of a interesting week. It started off a little slow due to some doctor appointments for Elder Higley and another Elder in our zone. So that took up most of Tuesday and Wednesday and it just made the start of the week drag on like crazy. But afterThursday, and a bomb district meeting, the week just flew by like it was nothing. We started teaching a former investigator named Ortencia and he is super prepared. We taught one of the best 1st lessons on my mission and she was so willing to act on what we shared. Plus we had two hermanas come with us the second time we taught her and immediately they befriended her. So we are going to really be working hard with her this week to invite her to be baptized and set that goal with her.

This week we did alot better with following the original mission standards and it was awesome to see the blessings for applying them. We invited more people to learn about the gospel and our number of potentials grew quite a bit. And those we taught, we did a better job establishing our expectations with them and teaching them the gospel simply and plainly. This week is already looking like a bomb week and we are super excited to build upon what we accomplished this past week.

Oh ya I almost forgot the most important detail of the week. You probably figured it out already if you saw the pictures, but..... Michael got baptized on Saturday! He was the kid we were teaching up in Cerritos and, not only was I able to go back for the baptism, but he asked me to baptize him. It was such an awesome experience and he is a boss kid. When we were in the changing room changing he said to me, "Me siento limpio" (I feel clean). That is one boss kid if he can feel that change. I was super grateful for the opportunity to go back and see him make that decision in his life. Plus he already is planning on going on a mission. So ya that was definitely the highlight of the week.

So ya that is a summary of what happened this past week. It was a good solid week one of this transfer. Like I said we really want to build upon what we did last week and help more people learn about the Gospel. This week is looking a little bit more free from distractions which will be good. Found out yesterday that we are doing exchanges with our DL tomorrow and I am going with him to his area..... In Compton. Hope I don't get shot ;) Haha jk everything will be fine don't y'all worry. Hope y'all have a good week. Enjoy your first week in Primary Mom!


Elder Roberts

p.s. Interesting fact that we found out. Long Beach is homed to the biggest shipping port in the USA and the 5 largest in the world. So there are tons of these crates being hauled around Long Beach every day. Well close by our apartment is where they store a bunch of them and I couldn't resist this picture. They are so HUGE!!! Haha Enjoy!

Oct. 13, 2014

Hello Jovenes,

Hopefully this greeting will please mom just a little bit :) Sounds like things are settling down with you guys right? Haha I have always been saying that once we reach October the year is over. So far it is holding up as we are almost halfway done with October. This past transfer just flew by like it was nothing. It isn't fair that the transfers are starting to fly by :( Maybe this new transfer will last a little longer since it is 7 weeks. Nothing is happening with Elder Higley and I. We are staying together for another transfer and we are super excited for this new transfer. Especially since there are two holidays this transfer: Halloween and Thanksgiving. But we are also super excited for the opportunities to share the Gospel with those in our area.

So to answer mom's question. The reason that there aren't any Sister is in the Long Beach Zones is due to the safety of the area. To be honest I don't know the specifics of it, I just know that the church in a whole usually advises mission presidents to assign sister missionaries to less-dangerous areas. So I think it is mostly due to history of the areas. I am actually super glad that I swapped out my axles for Anti-Theft because there is one Elder in our zone that in his two transfers here, his wheels and seat got stolen. Crazy California!

Answer #2 for Mom: The only news I have heard from those I taught in Bellflower was that Michael Pinillos is going to be baptized this coming Saturday. So I am hoping that President gives me permission to go back and see the baptism service. I haven't heard anything from Geraldo, but Elder Gonzalez told me that he is still strong and working hard to be baptized. I know that he has great desires to be baptized so I know he is working super hard to achieve that goal.

Well I have no idea what to include more in this email. This last week of the transfer flew by that I honestly have no idea what we did. Tuesday we went to the temple, Wednesday and Thursday were regular working days, Friday the other spanish missionaries in our ward helped us find more people to teach. We have been finding pretty regularly in our area, but we haven't been able to help them progress and usually have had to drop them shortly afterwords. But the other Elders helped us see that there are alot of amazing prepared people in our area. So that really helped us increase our faith that we can find new people to receive the Restored Gospel, we just haven't been doing the little things that are important in this work. So we already have made some great goals and plans to really work hard this transfer.

To be completely honest, it was hard to stay focused this transfer and really work hard. Mostly due to the shortness of the transfer, and all the exciting meetings and activities this transfer such as Zone and General Conference and Temple trip. So I am kinda frustrated with myself that I let this transfer slip away without working completely hard in this great work. So this transfer I will be working extra hard to refocus myself in the work and increase my faith that we can find those prepared people in our area.

Well that pretty much sums up everything. I do have a couple favors to ask (You don't have to include this in the weekly blog): 1) can you send me another one of my towels? I kinda realized that I have been using the same towel for over 16 months and it is probably time to use a new one. 2) We have officially begun the Holiday season! And even though I am a missionary I would still like some Christmas ideas. So any suggestions for anyone will be greatly appreciated.

Hope you all have a great week. I know we are going to be super busy refocusing ourselves in this work. I know that this great work is true and it will continue to fill the earth until it has sounded in every ear, swept every continent and reached every clime.


Elder Roberts

p.s. Here is the pictures I promised

Picture 1
Elder Higley and I at the Los Angeles Temple last week.

Picture 2
Recognize this family?? We saw them at a missionary departure fireside and were super happy to see them. They are doing awesome and are loving the Gospel. You can definitely see a change in them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014

Hey old folks,

Man this week was chuck full of awesome experiences. Por eso the week fly by like it was nothing and we are in the last week of this transfer. To be completely honest I have no idea where to start explaining about what happened this week. But here we go.

So on Tuesday we get a call from our DL seeing how we were doing. We were kinda struggling to start the week, so he left us with a challenge to do for Wednesday: Contact 15 people, find a new investigator, and set a baptismal date with an investigator. To be honest when I first heard that, I thought "You are Crazy!" Our area is kinda struggling with the work so it was kinda hard to see us accomplishing that goal. But we accepted the challenge and started making solid plans to accomplish that goal. Well long story short, we contacted well over 15 people, and we found a new investigator who is super solid. It was super cool to see how inspired our DL was to challenge us to do something that seemed hard. And as we put forth our faith and do everything that we need to do as missionaries, how much the Lord guided us to those He has prepared to receive the Gospel.

Then on Thursday we had our Zone Conference. First to answer some questions you asked: We have about 16 missionaries in our zone. It is called the Celestial Zone because there are no Sister missionaries in this zone, or in any zone in Long Beach because it is too dangerous for them to be here. So at this zone conference there weren't any Sisters present. The topic for this zone conference was "Our Investigators progress because they feel something." So we focused on different ways we, as missionaries, can do to help our Investigators feel the Spirit so they can progress. It was a super good Zone Conference and it definitely changed the mentality of how to work with our Investigators.

So I bet you all are confused why I said in the subject line "And Movies." Well, I don't know if y'all know, but the Church is coming out with a movie to theatres called "Meet the Mormons." It is like a documentary that follows 6 families in the Church and they explain how the Church has blessed their lives, and it helps others know more about the Church. Well, one of the perks of being a missionary, we were able to see the movie at our Zone Conference so we can invite people to see it and answer questions. It is an awesome movie and I highly recommend going to it. It does an awesome job talking about the church and the blessings that come from it.

Then of course this weekend was General Conference. First off I have a question for dad: In the Saturday Afternoon session of Conference, Elder Eduardo Gavarret gave his talk in Spanish. Were you able to understand it? It was awesome that some members of the 70 gave their talk in their native language. For me, I listened to Elder Gavarret's talk in spanish, and then the last 1 of the Sunday Afternoon Session in Spanish. I was actually able to understand everything that they shared! So I am thinking that next time Conference comes around I am going to listen to more talks in Spanish. This definitely was a super good conference as always. I also really liked the Sunday Morning Session just because of the number of talks about the role of prophets and how to receive personal revelation. I can't wait to go back a review the talks given. Speaking of which, when the talks come out in the Ensigns and Liahonas can you send them to me?

So ya that was this week in a nut shell. And of course today we went to the Temple. I would love to send y'all some pictures, but I don't have my card reader to send them. So next week I will send them. I didn't take that many pictures so don't be to excited for the pictures.

Cool sorry for the short email. We got busy touring the Visitor Center at LA and we still need to go buy food for the week. So next week I will write more and include some pictures. This week is the last week of the transfer, but I doubt nothing big or crazy will happen. But I will let y'all know next week. Have a good one!


Elder Roberts

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Hello everyone,

Well I agree with dad, another week is gone and it went way too fast. Can y'all believe that September is basically done? Just to help y'all understand how fast time is flying by, almost a year ago Elder Kunz and I baptized la familia Sobrinho in Huntington Beach and I got transferred to Whittier. Ya that was only 1 year ago, but it does not feel like it was one year ago. But ya just thought I would boggle your mind a little bit.

I will quickly answer more of mom's questions right now. Like I said in my last email this transfer is only 5 weeks and next transfer will be 7 weeks. They do it so we stay on track with the schedule Salt Lake has from what I have heard. Either way time is going to fly by as always. We do have a car in our area, but we try to only use it to go to dinner appointments, meetings, and P-Day. We do live in our area and we live fairly close to where most of our work is. My companion does run, but every once and a while he will bike along side me. So far shoes, clothes, and bike are holding up good.

Man so this week I just confirmed that I am NEVER EVER going to live in California. So on Tuesday we get a call from some other Elders asking us if we could go with them to help a member move some boxes out of her living room. So we show up but only to find that she has a cockroach problem, and it was a BIG ONE. So we literally spent 3 hours trying to clean everything and kill as many as we could. No lie we literally killed thousands of them. It was absolutely DISGUSTING!! So ya I will NEVER live in California.

Well this week turned out to be another good finding week. Once again we found 4 new investigators, 2 of them are super solid and have great intentions to act on what we share. It was actually a bit of a surprise that we had such success finding this week because it seemed like there was alot of distractions trying to pull us away from working. But we were super excited to have found these people. The Lord is definitely helping us out in our area; in the past 2 weeks we have found 8 new investigators that all are pretty solid. The thing we are going to be working on this week will be contacting and teaching them almost daily, and getting members out with us this week. This week we are also going to be working super hard to help people come to Conference.

We are super excited for this week. It is going to be a super good one full of activities. This week we have Zone Conference on Thursday, and then General Conference on Saturdayand Sunday. Then, to top it all off, next Tuesday we are going to the Temple as a Zone. So ya this week is going to fly by super fast, but we are going to definitely put in every bit of effort possible to help those we have found to learn more about the Gospel.

Hope everything is going well for y'all back home. I hope y'all are ready for Conference this weekend. I know we super excited about it and we are already making some plans to make it even more enjoyable. Have fun playing Conference Bingo this year! Have a good week.


Elder Roberts

p.s. The terrible tres representing our favorite teams from the World Cup. Sort of I was rooting more for Mexico, but Brazil looked like a Powerhouse so I will support them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hey guys!

Well, just like dad said in his email, this week just flew by super, super fast. I don't know why this week seemed to fly by but it did. I think it might be the fact that this transfer is only 5 weeks, so the thought of a shortened transfer might be the cause of everything. But it might be the fact that this week we had quite a bit of success as well. You can be the judge of everything.

First off to answer mom's question: so far everything is holding up good. You should be proud of me because I split a pair of pants in the crotch and I was too cheap to pay someone to fix it. So I fixed them myself! It isn't anything fancy, but it is fixed and now I can wear them. I am super positive that they will hold up till the end of my mission (Knock on wood).

This week Elder Higley and I got involved in a decent bash with a minister for a Christian Church, at least we are pretty sure he is a minister he has a graduation certificate from some sort of religious school. To be completely honest all he did was bash on Joseph Smith saying he had read the Book of Mormon, seen several documentaries on Joseph Smith and was certain that he didn't see God. It was interesting to see how much emphasis he was putting in worldly sources, obviously nothing that the church produced, and isn't willing to go to the source of all truth. Needless to say, we shared our testimonies about Joseph Smith with this guy, invited him to find out for himself, and left it at that. Kind of an interesting experience this week.

That bash was not the only interesting thing that happened this week. Like I said in my last email that our teaching pool is pretty small and we are focusing alot on finding. Well, just to cut to the chase, this week we found 3 new investigators that are super solid. One of them was a referral from a member, one we found looking for a former investigator, and the last one we found through contacting. We were super excited to have found these people. Once again just another example of when we are out working hard and doing what the Lord asks us to do, He will provide us with those prepared to receive the Gospel.

So ya that is this week in a nut shell. I am going to send you another email to explain a ward activity we had this past Saturday. Then another with a couple pictures I took today at the Aquarium. We are super excited this week and we are ready to get down and dirty in this work. We have seen the Lord's hand bless us and guide us to those prepared when we are working hard. Now we are going to do everything to help our investigators keep progressing towards baptism.


Elder Roberts


So like I said we had a ward activity on Saturday. In our ward we have members from all over in Mexico, Central America, and a few from South America. So this ward does an activity where people from different countries prepare some food from their country, decorate a table with items in their culture and they did a show with dances, or other cultural activities. It was super awesome to learn about the different countries and try some of their super delicious food.

But I really liked the message that they focused on. That it doesn't matter where we are from, or our cultural background, we are all children of God and we all have the same potential to become like Him. It was an awesome activity for sure!

Here are a couple pictures from the aquarium. We went today right before email so we could let y'all enjoy the pics. ENJOY!

This is my zone leader, Elder Schoof, and I with the flag from Guatemala

Picture 2
This is Elder Higley and I in front of the table for MEXICO!!

Yes Elders can have fun on the little kid's toys. Haha this is me and Elder Christensen representing Lewis and Clark on a more modernized vessel.

I contacted a Pirate in Cerritos, and now I have contacted a Penguin. Unfortunately both are still potentials and haven't invited us back yet :P

I bet this will bring back some memories from when we went as a family.

I didn't get this picture in the MTC, so I decided to do it today. But instead of pointing to my mission, or where I am from originally, I am pointing to my second home: Michuacan, Mexico :P

this is all the pictures I will send now. I took quite a bit and it would take alot of emails to send them. So y'all have to wait till I get home.

Have a good week!!

Elder Roberts

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sept. 15, 2014

Well hello there,

This email is coming to y'all from sunny Long Beach. Right now temperatures are hovering in the mid-90's with humidity through the roof. But this heat won't stop those wearing the famous white shirts, ties, and black plaques as they continue to bring the world the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us know go to our top missionary, Elder Roberts, as he describes how the work is going in his area "Long Beach 16 G." Elder Roberts?

Thank you. Well my area is located more north and west of downtown Long Beach, basically covers everything west of the Long Beach Airport between the streets Carsons and Willow. My companion is Elder Higley (Yes the same Elder Higley that was in my MTC District, and in the same ward as me in Whittier). We live in an apartment that is pretty nice, just always super hot during the day (No AC :( ) We are serving in the Long Beach 16th Spanish ward with 4 other companionships. This is actually the biggest ward in the mission; in the past it used to have 22 missionaries, but has slowly been lowered down to 10 missionaries. We are on a member dinner program and have eaten every
day for the past week, got to love that delicious mexican food. The work is doing all right in our area. We have basically 2 investigators right now, we dropped several this past week.

This past week we were focusing on finding new people. We would choose a couple potentials or formers in our area book, try contacting them, and then work in that area by means of knocking and contacting. We had a little bit of success by finding potentials, but didn't really teach anything. We did receive quite a bit of help from other missionaries who have given us several referrals. Then also at church we had two members come up to us and say they have friends who are willing to listen to the missionaries. So that definitely stregthened my testimony that the Lord is helping the work progress in our area. We already have some solid plans to try different methods other than
knocking to find new people to teach.

As for the ward, like I said, it is the biggest ward in the mission. The members are willing to help us out quite a bit. They are always willing to come to lessons with us, and really want their friends to
receive the Gospel as well. The ward definitely is a little different that past wards I have served in, but I am sure I will adjust to the change soon. As for our correlation meetings we usually focus on our investigators and relay the info about them. Then we also focus on how can we help the wards be more united in missionary work. Usually it leads to planning some sort of activity as a ward, or focusing on families to help us in the work. It has help them in the past, so we will see how it will continue growing.

Well that finishes up my report here in Long Beach. This week have a lot of great activities planned, and have set some really solid goals for this week. The next part is making plans to accomplish those
goals. It is going to stretch us quite a bit for this week, but we know that when we do everything we can, the Lord will really help us accomplish those goals. Stay tuned next week for more updates in the Lord's work. Reporting semi-live from Long Beach, CA this is Elder Roberts. See you next week.


Elder Roberts

La familia Pinillos. The mom is a member, but her oldest son, Michael isn't we were working with him to help him be baptized. Super cool family.

La familia Villegas. This is the brother of Geraldo Villegas. They are members and are working to be sealed in the temple. They were members in my area.

Last pictures with Geraldo and Roxanna. Mis papas de Mexico, los aguacateros de Michoacan.

We were on a bit of a Star Wars Lego rage in my last area, so here are the two ships of my fleet :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sept. 8, 2014

Hi everyone,

Well I bet you already guessed what this email is going to be about from the subject. We are starting a new transfer this week. Time just keeps flying by as usual. We have had quite a bit of success in our
area and it has been awesome to see the number of people that the Lord has placed in our path to help them come closer to him. Next transfer is looking like it is going to be a successful one. Unfortunately I won't be around to experience it all.

Yep I am leaving the Cerritos zone after being here for 4 transfers. I am being transferred to Long Beach, to the Long Beach 16th ward. To be completely and totally honest I thought I would be staying here in Cerritos for another transfer. But I guess the Lord has plans for me in Long Beach. I am super, super sad to be leaving this area. The ward is super awesome, the members are super strong in the Gospel, and like I said the Lord really blessed us with great investigators.

So here are a few pictures of the great members and investigators I have met here in Cerritos. First one is Geraldo and Roxanna. Yep this the mighty Geraldo that I started teaching my first transfer here in Cerritos. It is crazy to think about. When we first found him he really didn't have a great desire to come to church or learn to much about the church. But as we took things one step at a time, and as he
did the invitations we invited him to do, how things started to change. For both of them. Now he is fully committed to coming to church every week, he reads the scriptures every day, and is currently
working on his divorce papers so that he and Roxanna can get married and he can get baptized. I have really come to love working with them and grow with them in the gospel.

The next picture is la familia Segovia y Garcia. The hermano has been a member for 5 years and the hermana has been a member for a little over a year. When I first got to the area they were living together and working to get married and sealed in the temple. Well last week they met with the bishop and were able to set a date to do so on October 11. The hermana will go through a week  before for her endowment and the following week they will get married and sealed. We would meet with this family every Sunday and hold a Family Home Evening with them to help them prepare to enter the temple. Plus the hermano would come out with us to alot of our lessons, so they are a bomb family. I am super happy for them to be able to enter the temple.

I will send more pictures in other emails today and next week. There are a couple more people I have to say good bye today. But like I said everyone that the Lord has placed in my path to meet are awesome and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have served in this Ward. My testimony, and love for the Gospel definitely grew during my time here in the Cerritos zone. I am excited for the adventures that await me in Long Beach. It is cool because my companion is Elder Higley. We were
in the same MTC district, we served in the same ward in Whitter, and ever since then we have been saying we would be companions. Well now it is going to happen!

Thanks for everything. Sounds like things are really starting to roll back home. I can't believe that we will be starting the holiday season next month. Basically I have been saying that when we have General Conference the year is over. But we will still be working super hard to finish out the year. Like mom said, I have 15 months in the mission, down to single digits in months remaining. This really is the time to buckle down and work hard. I am grateful for this time to be a missionary for our Lord Jesus Christ. I know He is guiding this work and is always helping others come closer to our Heavenly Father through us. I hope and pray that He will continue guiding me to those He has prepared.


Elder Roberts

This is la familia Luque. They live in our area and are also a bomb family. The hermano served a mission in Washington DC, and they have a son, Pablo, who just barely graduated. We would go by and help Pablo get ready for his mission by going over the lessons with him and taking him out with us. Such a great family.


Also thought you might be interested in how my planner turned out. The
temple is from Montevideo Uruguay. Thanks for you help with the

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

Hey empty nesters :P

How are you guys doing? Sounds like things are going pretty good for you guys this first week of being empty nesters. I think you guys chose a good time to be empty nesters because you still have a lot of
activities to occupy your time. Haha that's ok at least Erin and Jordin are close so you can start bothering them :P

Well it good to hear that your summer is coming to an end. Here it feels like it is starting. It has been pretty hot the past few weeks. I saw on the calender that Fall starts the 22 of September. I am pretty sure that California is exempt from that date and we will start fall in the end of October.

To answer mom's question: We just try to set up service projects. For us we have someone who isn't really interested in the Gospel (They are Jewish), but they are trying to get their yard cleaned up so they can plant some grass. So we go by 2 times a week to help them get it ready plus help them clean out their garage. This week we had a zone service project at a community garden in our zone that was pretty fun. So we usually try to set up projects like that, but also search for small, on the spot projects.

So on Tuesday we did a super fun activity as a zone to find new investigators. We called it a stampede. So what we did was every missionary in the zone would work in one area and stay there until they found a new investigator. When we did find one, we would move to the next area. We did this until every area found at least 1 new investigator. Well since not every missionary in our zone speaks the celestial language of Spanish, us Spanish Elders worked together. We had alot of success and we had a super fun time together. When someone would find a new investigator we would text the other missionaries "Dragon Slain" and for lunch we took a trip to Cafe Rio. So overall it was a fun activity and we had a lot of success.

Things are going good with our investigators. We had a super good lesson with Royler yesterday about the Plan of Salvation. We started off by asking him if he ever wondered where we came from, or where we are going after this life. Well he didn't really have an answer and had always wondered about these questions. Well we taught a super simple Plan of Salvation with visual aids. Afterwords he was super happy to know the answers to his questions. He is such a cool guy and we are hoping to commit him to baptism this week.

On Saturday we had a training about asking for referrals. But I really liked how they directed it. They  focused on Preparation and how to bear powerful testimony. I really liked the training about bearing testimony. Have you ever thought about what is a testimony? Or how can I bear a testimony to touch the hearts of other people?

In Preach my Gospel it says, "A testimony is a spiritual witness and assurance given by the Holy Ghost. To bear testimony is to give a simple, direct declaration of belief—a feeling, an assurance, a conviction of gospel truth." One thing I have learned about bearing a powerful testimony is 1)Keep it simple, 2)Be sincere, and 3) let the Spirit guide your words. As we share what we know to be true, the Spirit will touch the hearts of others and confirm to them that what we know is true.

One cool thing that President Tew showed us was about Peter. In 2 Peter 1:16-19 it says "16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."

So Peter's received his testimony of Christ, not only by being with Christ, but the Spirit also confirmed to him who Jesus Christ was. In fact the testimony he received of Christ from the Spirit was more powerful than being on the Mount of Transfiguration.

It is by the Spirit that we can gain a testimony of the Gospel. It is by the Spirit that we can know we are children of God, the Jesus is the Christ and Savior of the World. We can know that through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the true church was restored to the Earth again. And as we share those simple truths, others will feel of the Spirit.

So ya just something to think about. And I am out of time. Gosh dang holidays always falling on our P-days. Oh well. Thanks for the emails, support, and love from you guys. Have a good week!


Elder Roberts

P.S. Thought I would show you how my planner turned out for next transfer. Thanks for you help with the pictures. Also just thought I would show you what we do after our nightly planning. Haha! Enjoy!