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 LDS.org 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