Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

Hi everyone,

First off thanks for all the Happy Birthday wishes! Kinda weird turning 20 years old, especially on the mission and not at home. But its all good, I am just glad my birthday fell on a p-day so I can do most of the things I want to do. But ya I made another loop around the sun... YAA!!

So this past week just started off a little slow, but picked up tremendously. First off I did exchanges with our DL again, I worked with his companion Elder Brock who actually was in my MTC District. It was alot of fun working with him, he is such a hard worker and a great example to me. I remember how nervous he was starting the mission, but now I think he is the best missionary from our district. He has worked so hard to learn the language (He pretty much is a native), and does such a good job teaching simply, asking questions and loving those he teaches. It was a great exchange.

Then on Saturday we had our Zone Conference which was BOMB!! We received trainings on effective planning especially to find, the role of prayer, the role of the Book of Mormon, and teaching simple doctrine. Unfortunately President Tew was having some health issues and wasn't able to come to our zone conference, but the Assistance did such a great job teaching the last two trainings. It actually is something really hard to do: To take all the lessons we teach, every specific point, and simplify it down to the simple, basic Doctrine. As part of the training we were to pick a specific part of a lesson, for example prophets, and teach it in one sentence followed by an inspired question. Man it was pretty hard I can tell ya. This is what I did for Prophets,

"Prophets are God's servants on the earth to help His children return to live with Him. How do you feel that God has given you prophets?"

It is pretty hard to sum up everything into one or two sentences, this took me about 15 minutes to create. I remember trying to sum up Christ Ministry into two sentences and it took my 40 minutes of my personal study to do. It is hard; but I remember when we practiced this in our zone conference, how strong the Spirit was, and how much better I knew those I was practicing with: their needs and concerns, how well they understand and accept it. There is a quote in Preach My Gospel by President John Taylor that says,

"It is true knowledge to take something as big as the Gospel...and teach it so simply a child could understand it."

I know that teaching simply is an important key in missionary work. To simplify it so simply that others can understand, feel the Holy Ghost testify of the truthfulness, and help they find answers of their own. It takes alot of study, alot of patience, and being in tune with the Spirit to do so. But I know that it works, and I can't wait to put it into practice more and more here in our area.

Sorry that was a little longer than I thought. Things are going super good in our area, last week we found 4 new investigators and were able to set another baptismal date with one, se llama Edgar. Elder Lloyd found him with Elder Lund when we were on exchanges. But he sounds super cool, and I can't wait to meet him. The Lord is really helping us in our area, just like He did when I was in Whittier. I know that this is His work, and He is guiding us every day. I am grateful for this opportunity to be His servant and to help His children understand His Gospel, the basics truths for happiness. This work is amazing, and I am loving every opportunity I have to help His children come closer to Him.

Thank you for everything, and I hope all is well.

Elder Roberts

"Missionaries [and members] who pray for missionary opportunities will see missionary opportunities every where. Missionaries [and members] who don't pray for missionary opportunities will not have such experiences, even though they will encounter the same people in the same scenario." - President Tew

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 2014

Hey everyone,
If you are confused why I didn't write you all on Monday, look at the pictures and it will explain everything. First picture is with my companion, Elder Lloyd, and the second one is with my fellow cache valleyite Elder Lunds. Sorry if it looks like I am crying or grimacing, it was super smoggy when we got done with our session and just hurt to smile.
That is so cool that you ladies had a girls night out and saw Les Mis. I agree with you caption: you all are a good looking bunch. I cannot believe how much Amanda has grown, I think she will be taller than everyone in that picture. Pretty jealous of you all, but glad you had the opportunity to go.
Sounds like you guys did have a pretty busy week. I can agree with you that the week did fly by crazily fast. We did exchanges with Elder Lund this past week, and I think that made the week just fly by. Then this week we went to the temple today, then have zone conference on Saturday. So this week will also just fly by, leaving only 2 weeks left in the transfer which is also very crazy. But hey that is the mission life I guess, lose yourself in the work and let the Lord guide you in His work.
So nothing too much happened this week. We picked up 2 new investigators that are completely opposite in personality and interest level. The first one is named Humberto, and no lie, he literally has a testimony that the Catholic Church is the one and only true church. He has talked with missionaries before, about 8 months ago, and has received almost all of the lessons and come to church twice. He has not, however, read the Book of Mormon and has not directly ask if it is true. However when we passed by him, he explained how he felt uncomfortable and nothing when he attended our church the two times, but felt extremely happy when he attended His church. So therefore he has a "testimony" that the Catholic church is true. I am not sure how much longer we will hold onto him, but we will see.
The other investigator we found was an old referral never contacted named Maria. Her son was baptized into an english ward, and she has really seen the blessings that come from the changes he has made. So she accepted to take the lessons, and learn about the changes he has made. Well we shared the first lesson about the restoration, and when we went back she explained how she had shared the same message with her family and her co-workers only because it was something new. Prepared? I think so :) So we followed up with her reading in the Book of Mormon, and (Wait for it........) she accepted a baptismal date for May 4th!! Also she later expressed that she would like her whole family to be involved in the next lesson tomorrownight. So ya comlete opposite for Humberto, and super prepared.
So ya that was most of the highlights of our week. So far this week is looking pretty good. We have several lessons set up with old formers, and a few potentials we have found. The Lord is truly leading us in His work in our area. I know that this is His work, and it is an eternal work. It was actually really cool because when we got to the temple today, a temple worker mentioned to me how unique experience I have to do missionary work both on this side of the veil, and the other side. Think about it: How often can you say that you are doing missionary work on both sides of the veil? Just goes to show that God loves everyone of His children, and how great of work He is doing to "Bring to past the immortality and eternal life of man."
Thank you so much for you love and support. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. (By the way if you havent' read Elder Calister's CES Devotional talk, I would highly recommend it). It is the only church established on Apostles, Prophets, and priesthood authority. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, and His love to put these things on the Earth for us to partake of. It is true, and I love it.
Elder Roberts

So I forgot to update you guys on something. You remember la familia Berriel in my last area. Well I get a call from our zone leaders tuesday night with some very exciting news: La Familia Berriel will be baptized on April 27th!!! Plus, in our mission we have a rule that if a person/family get baptized the transfer after you get transferred, you get to go to the service. So ya on April 27th my companion and I will be taking a little road trip back to Whittier for their BAPTISM!!!
So ya I am a little excited for them, and am praying for them every day. They are such a great family and have already seen the blessings from the Gospel in their lives.
Sorry for the short email, just thought that you would be interested. Que tenga una buena semana, que Dios le bendigas.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 7, 2014

Hey guys,

Guess I will first off answer your questions about the new area. So I am serving in a city called Bellflower, the zone is called Cerritos. I am serving in a Spanish ward, Cerritos 2nd ward, with 8 other missionaries. My companion's name is Elder Lloyd, and he is from Sandy Utah (I don't know why I always get stuck with companions from Utah) and he has been out about 14 months. Then you will get a kick out of this: My district leader is Elder Lund, the grandson of the Lunds in your ward right now. Yep I found him and we are super excited to be serving in the same ward together. Our area looks very similar to downtown Logan. A lot of stores along the main street with houses and apartments as you move away from the center. We live in an apartment inside of our area, and we do not have a car so we have been using bikes and walking. Our area is pretty small, only about 6 miles by 1 miles big so not too crazy. With the ward, there isn't a set system for giving dinners to the missionaries. Usually the missionaries set them up on their own, so this past week we have not eaten with members. But we are going to try to change that so we can get to know the members better. Whew I think that answers it all, if not you will have to wait another week for more details.

This week has been hard and different. It always is difficult when you get moved to a new area and you just have no idea what is happening in it. For our area, it is very similar to my last area in Whittier: We have little to no investigators, several less-actives, and several pages of potentials that other missionaries have contacted. So it is going to be very similar to the past 3 months: pass by these potentials and try to start teaching them, street contacts, and member referrals. I know that the Lord will help us because He helped us when I was in Whittier with Elder Awerkamp. I know that the Lord has a plan for us here in Cerritos in our area. I know that He wants as many of His children to come closer to Him, and it will be through us that we will help His work progress. I am excited for the challenges that lie ahead, and for the guidance of the Savior to overcome these challenges.

I am glad to hear that you all had a fun time down it San Diego. I got an e-mail from Kyler Olson that he saw you guys in San Diego. I don't know if you saw him, or if he just saw you guys from a distance. Thanks for all the updates, and hope everything goes well for you guys these next few weeks. Sounds like you all are going to be pretty busy.

General Conference was BOMB!!! So many good talks and a lot of great counsel from our leaders. I agree with you both: Elder Uchtdorf's talk was awesome about gratitude, along with Elder Bednar's talk about spiritual load and that through the Atonement of Christ, we can have a positive spiritual load. My question for you all is: Do you think this was President Packer's last conference? His talk was so spiritually packed, and his testimony was soooo strong. I hope it isn't his last conference, and we can have one more chance to hear him speak. I was thinking about listening to the conference is Spanish, but decided that it would be better if I stayed with English. Maybe next time I will be more confident.

Things are going well here. After conference I just feel more spiritually strong and spiritually fed. I can't wait to go back and study the talks again. I really like how most of the talks were about faith, and courage to stand for what we believe. I absolutely love it, and am so grateful to be a missionary at this time. To carry His gospel to all the world, and to stand up for what I believe. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and we are all His Children. I know that Christ came to this earth and atoned for our sins so we do not have to carry the heavy load of sin. I know that He lives, and guides His church here on the Earth. I know that through the prophet Joseph Smith, His church was restored with all His teachings and the priesthood authority. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is His prophet, and that he is truly called of God to lead us. I know this is true, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!" I love you all, and am so grateful for the blessing of families. I know that the family is ordained of God, and the greatest blessing we can have in our life. Thank you all for your love, support, and teachings. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Roberts