Friday, February 28, 2014

February 24, 2014

Hi everyone,
Week one of transfer #6 is complete. It seems like I haven't emailed for ever, but the week just seemed to fly by. We have alot of good things happening in our area, this week was a super good week for us. We were able to get a few member present lessons, and alot of less-active lessons as well. But even more awesome was that we got an investigator to come to church. We had hno. Berriel come and he absolutely loved it. He loved it so much that we couldn't describe the feelings he felt. It was awesome that he had such an amazing experience. It will be fun helping him learn more about the church and come closer to our Heavenly Father.
That experience that dad had about the guy who was a member was awesome. That is such a great skill to have to slip your family into any situation. It is something I am really trying hard to improve on: to turn any normal conversation into a gospel centered conversation. It is hard, and can be very frightening. But I am learning, slowly but surely how to do it. This transfer I am really going to try hard to contact more and more people. I have really slacked off this past transfer, and I just feel guilty about it. These are our Heavenly Father's children and they need the gospel in their lives. So when ever I let someone walk past me and I don't reach out to them, I just think "There goes another without receiving an invitation." It is hard, but I know that with a little more faith, and more action on my part, our Heavenly Father will put into my path someone ready for the Gospel.
But things are going really well here in California. I do have a question: how have the Olympics been this month? We visited with a less-active last week and he had the Olympics on when we arrived. I totally forgot that the Winter Olympics were this year. Anything exciting been happening? It is hard to bring up the Olympics with hispanics because all they care about is Soccer. Especially the Winter Olympics. I cannot believe that February is almost over, and March is just around the corner. I was thinking about a couple friends that will complete one year in the next few weeks: Elder Steiner, Elder Ried, Elder Walker, and so many more. I can still remember when they gave their farewells. Kinda crazy how fast things go. But  that is the work of the Lord doings its work.
Well that pretty much is everything. I am attaching a few pictures of me at the temple. We went this past P-Day and it was awesome. Enjoy!
Love you all,
Elder Roberts


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17, 2014

Hi guys,

Well today marked the start of transfer #6 in the mission. I will be staying in Whittier for another 6 weeks, and Elder Awerkamp is still my companion. To be honest, there wasn't that many changes made in our district and in the zone. Only 3 missionaries got transfered, 4 missionaries are coming in, and all the leadership positions stayed the same. So ya nothing too crazy happened. But that is ok, because we have been on a roll here in our area. We have alot of high goals for this transfer and we are pretty excited.

Also thank you for the valentine package. It caught me by surprise, but I really enjoyed it, thank you thank you. Can you believe that a year ago I received my mission call? I can still remember that day, and the excitement I had. Now a year later, that excitement has grown tremendously and my gratitude has also grown.

Well I won't lie, this week was all right but really difficult. We started it off with a bomb member present lesson with la familia Berriel. We were so close to committing the dad to baptism, but he wanted to continue learning more about the Church. But he really feels like the Church has something different and has strong desires to continue learning. So we will continue working with him and his family. But other than that, everything just seemed to fall through. Every set lesson we had after that got cancelled, and it was just hard to watch them fall through. 

So this week were are really going to try to improve on that. I am really starting to see how important it is to make daily contact with our investigators. Not only to follow up on their commitments, but also so they can feel of the Spirit more in their lives and really desire to have those feelings with them forever.It is going to be something different, but I know that it will really help those we teach to make those decisions to come unto Christ.

Well I am going to keep this one short. To be honest I have already hit some of the highlights for this past week. I am excited to be staying in Whittier for another transfer, and really hope to raise the bar of our efforts. There is alot of great work to be done in our area, and I know that the Lord is preparing His children to accept the Gospel. I hope that the Lord will continue to bless me, as well as you all. 

Love you all,

Elder Roberts

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 10th, 2014

Hi everyone,
Yep I have to agree with you all, this week has flown by just as in times before. Of course the last two weeks of transfers always fly by. This week is the last week of transfer #5, so this week we will be receiving leadership calls and transfer calls. I would say Elder Awerkamp and I are staying together, but that is what I said last time with Elder Beck and look what happened. So we will see.
That is crazy how much rain and snow you guys have received this past week. Definitely is a huge testimony builder about faith and fasting. We haven't received the same amount as you guys, but thursday it was a constant mist of rain. Before it was on and off during the week, but thursday is really when it came down. So it really is cool to see how the Lord blesses us.
Yep just like mom said, I completed 8 months in the mission field this past wednesday. While we are on the subject of time, this Friday will be my year mark on when I received my mission call. CRAZY!!! Like I said in my last email I always thought missionaries that have 8 months in the field are sooo old, but guess I am an oldy too. That's ok, because there is still alot of time left in the mission for me. Still have to work hard everyday, strive to improve, and help others come unto Christ.

Well this week turned out to be a very successful week for us. It started off a little slow, but just took off after thursday. Just to break the ice, we were able to find 8 new investigators this week, 4 of them are a family, the parents and two kids. It was pretty amazing to see how much the Lord was leading us to these people and for the opportunity we had to invite them to listen to the message of the restored Gospel. It truly was a blessing, and shows the Lord is preparing those who are ready to accept the Gospel.
To introduce you to the family we found, se llama la familia Berriel. We were trying to contact a potential who lived at this address, and instead found this family. They haven't been in the states very long, and are trying to adjust to the culture here and way of life. The dad is struggling with work and is really praying to receive guidance for this situation. Once again this opened the door to have a prayer with them and invite the Spirit into their home. It was super powerful and everyone really felt something. They invited us back and we taught them the restoration and how to recognize answers from God. The dad later shared with us that on the day we found them, he was praying to know what to do, and if God was even listening. Later that evening we knocked on his door.
This experience really strengthened my testimony about prayer, and how God uses other people to answer our prayers. Sometimes the answer doesn't come right away, and directly to us. But I know that God works and answers our prayers in His own time and in His own way. I am super grateful that the Lord worked through Elder Awerkamp and I to find this family. I know that they are prepared to accept the Gospel, and partake of the blessings that come from the Restored Gospel.
I am loving my time as a full time missionary for our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives, and He cares for us everyday. He knows our struggles, our pains, and weaknessness, and He has promised us strengthen, comfort, and joy as we turn to Him and seek His guidance. This is His Church, and it is built on His gospel, a Gospel of joy, peace, love, and happiness. I love you all. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Roberts

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 03, 2014: Blessings of Prayer

Hey Everyone,
Well another week has passed by. It always feels like this when we get close to ending a transfer. Even though we still have this week and next week till transfers, it is just passing by super fast. I have to agree with you mom, kinda crazy that I will complete 8 months this week. It is funny because I always thought missionaries that had 8 months or more were just super old. Guess I have to include myself in that group.
Just so you know I did get my new debit card. Our zone leaders were pretty slow at getting us our mail this week so I didn't get it till yesterday. But I did get it thanks for getting that renewed for me, also thanks for the sesame sticks. I had totally forgot about those things and how delicious they are.
Well I was hoping that Denver would have put up a bigger fight last night, but I guess not. It was pretty hard getting any work done last night because of the Super Bowl. We didn't have any dinners set up with members so we ate at our apartment, and everyone was having their parties and shouting. Thankfully we had the Guzman family set up for last night and pretty much spent the night with them. I will explain how they are doing a little later.
So this past saturday we had our zone conference, but it was a little different than in the past. This time, we invited the members of the stake to attend our zone conference which was awesome. We had some great trainings from the AP's, President Tew, and President Powel our stake president. All I can say is the Spirit was super strong in that meeting. There was alot of great participation, and the members really got excited to participate in the work of the Lord. Definitely was great experience and one of a lifetime.
So to update you all on la familia Guzman. In the past we really haven't been able to teach them much because they were renovating a guest house to rent. So in the past we have just passed by and visit real quick and see the house. Well last Tuesday they got it rented out and the family moved in. That opened up the door to start teaching them about the restoration. We taught them last night, like I said and it was amazing. They really liked how the Gospel gives us a direction in our lives, and that there is the priesthood in the earth to bless the lives of everyone. They committed to read the Book of Mormon and were super excited to keep learning.
The cool part came after we taught them. Hermano Guzman told us how they have been blessed by having us pass by their house for the past week. They have felt more peace, and happiness when we have passed by. Also he was able to find a more stable job this past week and really thinks it is because of us passing by. While that is true we have done more than just pass by. This entire transfer we have been learning about prayer and the power that comes from specific, sincere prayer. So we have really been praying for the Guzman family for the past week. I truly believe that because of our prayers, and love for this family, the Lord has blessed them and has prepared them for the Gospel. We were really thrilled to hear that and strengthened my testimony about prayer.
Never doubt the power of prayer. Just like Amulek taught to the Zoramites, we should pray for everything, especially for specific blessings for us and for others. I know that the Lord answers our prayers and that we can bless the lives of other people as we pray for them as well. Also I know that the Lord will provide us with opportunities to share the Gospel when we pray to have those experiences and actively search for them. I am so grateful for the opportunity to pray directly to my Heavenly Father, and for His love for me to answer my prayers.
I love you all and I pray for you daily. Thank you for your prayers, support, and love. May the Lord continue to bless you and provide for you as you seek Him in sincere prayer.
Elder Roberts