Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 - I am going home!

Hi Everyone,

Now before everyone starts freaking out, no I am not returning back to Utah. I still have 3 transfers left, not a whole lot but enough to keep working here in the great California Long Beach Mission. So everyone can calm down and can read this email with more peace.

I am just going to get right to the details. We are starting a new transfer tomorrow (Jan. 13). However, I will not be working in Long Beach anymore and I will not be a regular missionary. I am going back to the first ward I served in, Bolsa Chica, and I will be a District Leader there. So ya there was quite a bit of changes this transfer and I am not 100% sure how I feel right now. It still hasn't hit me yet, but I am sure that tomorrow things will start to become more real. I feel excited because I am going back to where I started, sad because I am leaving another ward and members that I love, and nervous because of the opportunity to serve as a DL. But things will be all right I guess.

Ok so now that I got that piece of detail out of the way, time to explain what else happened this week. This week was amazing and chuck full of miracles. It started off on Monday with a Family Home Evening with one of our investigators in the house of a member. We had a really good lesson about the family and how to establish the family in the Gospel. On Tuesday and Wednesday we found a family to start teaching. It is a mother, Leilani, and her two daughters, Gaby and Jeanette. We had a really good lesson with them about the Restoration and how to find more peace and guidance for the family. In fact, Leilani express her desire for her family to become more involved with church, but hasn't found one that she likes and feels comfortable with. After we taught her the Restoration, she really liked what we taught and wanted to learn more. Such a cool miracle from God to help us find His children in need. On Thursday we found another girl, Jazmin, who is in High School and feels a lot of pressure and stress from her classes and all the walks of life. So we taught her about prayer and how she can find more peace by talking with her Heavenly Father. She really liked it and was excited to start praying.

On Saturday we had a huge miracle. So we are teaching an investigator named Julio. He is actually really solid and loves learning about the church. He comes every week, he reads the Book of Mormon as well as the manuals for the classes, and has grown a lot. However, whenever we tried committing him to baptism he wouldn't and said he would let us know when. Well we decided to re-teach the Restoration and see if we could find what his doubt was. To be completely honest, I thought it would be a doubt about the doctrine. However, as we got near to the end, we started bearing our testimony about the Restoration and invited Julio to pray specifically if these things are true. His response "I feel this is good, and I love learning about the Gospel, but I can't fully commit myself to one church." Well at that moment I felt impressed to pause and ask a question, but I didn't know what. After a couple seconds of silence I asked "Why can't you commit yourself to this church?" His answer "My wife doesn't want me to, she is fine with me learning but doesn't want me to fully commit to this church or any other church." At that point, everything change and we committed Julio to follow the example of Alma the Elder and pray for his wife to open up to the Gospel and learn why he wants to commit to this church.

Wow all I can say is that lesson was a huge miracle. The past 3 transfers I could not figure out why Julio wouldn't commit to baptism and I was kinda frustrated. But as I was talking with Elder Petersen, he told of an experience where the same thing happened as he re-taught the Restoration. So we decided to do so, but really follow the Spirit and teach it powerfully. And because the Spirit was there, Julio expressed his concern and now we can help him more effectively to progress towards baptism. He is such a cool guy and I really pray that his wife will be open to learning about the Gospel and let him take that step of faith in his life. The first picture is of him and I after church.

So those were some of the miracles we had in our area. I don't know what we did differently, but the work has really progressed in our area and I am super excited for those the Lord has placed in our path to come closer to him. I feel like this week I had a lot more faith in our Heavenly Father to lead us to to His children waiting to receive the Gospel. I am sad to have to leave these people, but I know that they will be guided by Him to receive the Gospel and take the necessary steps to come closer to Him.

So to answer a couple questions before I finish up. Yes, Dad did talk to a member in our ward, Cruz Garcia. She helped me out to get money for a new running watch I got from another missionary. She said she was pretty nervous to call, but it sounds like it was a good chat. She told me that she told Dad that he could call anytime. I think it would be good to call, but talk with her husband, hermano Garcia. He is from Honduras and his spanish is super clear and anyone could understand him. So it would be good practice for dad :) The second picture is of la familia Garcia.
This week was kinda interesting weather wise. So to start the week it warmed up quite a bit. We were in the high 80's to low 90s and it felt great. However, it didn't last. Friday it cooled down a bit, and all day Saturday it was raining, and it rained super hard. Then Sunday was just wet and cold as well. Like mom said in her email, these members just don't understand that I like to be warm and wear less layers, so they always ask why I don't wear a sweater. Haha silly mexicanos, no conocen los hueros de Utah.

Well that pretty much is all the updates. Like I said, I am sad to be leaving this area and all the people I have met here the past 4 months. But I am excited to return to my first ward. Who knows, maybe I can help la familia Sobrinho come back to church again. I don't know what the Lord has planned for me in Bolsa Chica, especially as a District Leader, but I am excited for this time learn and grow to help His work progress in this part of his vineyard.

Love you all! Next email will be coming from sunny Huntington Beach!

Elder Roberts

Here are a few more pictures I took after church with some members.

La Familia Lopez. They didn't live in my area, but we always ate with them at least 4 times a month. They are an awesome family and she makes some really good food.

La familia Cedillo. The hermano is our Ward Mission Leader

Elder Petersen. My fellow Cache Valleyite. We served together in the same ward a total of 3 transfers, 2 in Cerritos and 1 here in Long Beach. I love this kid.

Elder Whetten. Man this kid is an amazing missionary. We served in the same ward here in Long Beach for 3 transfers and he was with our DL so we did exchanges together. I love this kid!

Elder Beck, my former Companion. Well he is going home tomorrow, so I thought I would grab one more picture with him. I love this kid.