Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015 - It's a Baby Elder!!

Hello Everyone,

Who is confused with the subject line? Haha or I guess better question, who understands it?? Well I guess I better get to that piece of detail before moving into the rest of the email. We finished up this transfer yesterday. On Wednesday we get a call from the Assistants as we were walking into our apartment. They extended to me the call to TRAIN! Yep I am going to have a hijo (son). I guess the Lord doesn't want me slacking off my last 3 months in the mission so he is going to send me a brand new missionary. Plus I am still a District Leader so not only do I have the responsibility to train a new missionary but also to continue serving the other missionaries in my district. So ya these last 3 months are going to be full of learning opportunities and alot of fun. Here we have a name for Elders who train a new missionary their last 2 transfers, Trunky Train. Maybe Dad, or Jordin, or Steve can help ya'll out with this term.

So with me training a new missionary that means that Elder Arias' time in Bolsa Chica has come to an end. He got transferred to Long Beach and is going to serve in a Branch, Ximeno. It was a fun transfer working with him and helping our investigators progress more and more. He is pretty sad to leave since he has been here for about 8 months, but he is excited to go to Long Beach and work there. He is definitely going to be missed here.

Well to answer Mom's questions about missionaries returning to their "Greenie area." Here it isn't to common to return to the exact same area, but it is fairly common to return to the same ward were you had served in the past. I can think of several missionaries who did return to the same ward, but served in a different area within the ward. So I guess it is sorta common but probably just here because our mission is so small, especially since there are only 6 spanish wards/branches that we can serve in.

So ya it was a pretty crazy last few days here in Bolsa Chica "A." The rest of the week was pretty successful and we definitely finished off the transfer strong. We just seemed to be hitting the little small details of missionary work right on the dot and it just brought even more success and miracles. Definitely something I want to keep going into this new transfer.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I did my last exchange with my Zone Leaders. I stayed in my area and had Elder Jenkins come with me to work. He was in this area the transfer before I got here so he was familiar with everything and he just settled right into working hard. We had a super fun exchange and had alot of success as well. He also is a big fan of Star Wars so we spent most of our time talking about the movies, books, and video games. We did work hard, don't get the wrong image of two Elders only talking about Star Wars for 24 hours. We actually had a really good lesson with one of our current investigators, Eduarda, and her daughters, Angie and Lizeth. Eduarda wants her daughters to learn about the Gospel so she invited us over to talk about the different organizations of the church such as Young Women and Primary. Both of the daughters got interested in these activities and wanted to participate as well. Then the topic got switched to baptism and we started talking about that. I was a little hesistant about talking about it with them, but Elder Jenkins did an awesome job of teaching simply and helping them see the need to be baptized. It was a really good lesson and both said they would get baptized if they knew it was true. That was a big miracle and we hope to help them receive that answer in order to take that step of baptism.

Yesterday we had our Ward Conference and it was top notch. There actually was a cool experience that happened that hit me the most and got me thinking. So our Stake President serve his mission in the states but learned Spanish. However he hasn't been able to practice alot so his ability to speak it has gone down a bit. For most of his talk he spoke in English and it was translated to Spanish. However, as he was nearning the end of his talk, he paused and then started to bear his testimony is spanish. It was probably some of the most clearest and understandable spanish I have ever heard from a Stake President my entire mission. As he was bearing his testimony the Spirit was so strong and I knew that he had been called of God to serve the members of this stake.

Well that is what happened this week. Another transfer has begun, and like I said earlier it is going to be a learning one. I have been trying to remember the things that my trainer did to help me adjust to the mission and what I can apply as well. I really hope that I can be the missionary that the Lord can guide to help this new missionary adjust to the mission and his purpose to help others come unto Christ.

Les Quiero Mucho! Espero que todos tengan una buena semana!

Elder Roberts

Foto 1
These are the Elders in my District. We all are serving in the Bolsa Chica Ward. From left to right

Jenkins, Higley, Rebolloso, Arias, and Humphreys

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 16, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I apologize right now because this email is going to super short due to two reasons:

1) It is a holiday and we are on a strict email schedule

2) I was kinda stressing about housing and spent most of my time communicating with my parents to get me applied for that.

So I apologize for the short email. Next week will be a lot better because we will have the libraries back open.

I hope everyone had a really good Valentines Day. It was pretty chilled here in California. Every member was out doing something with their spouse so we struggled getting members out with us that night. Thanks mom and dad for the package. I actually did receive it before Valentines day because I had an interview with President Tew and I was able to pick it up. Thanks for the card, I love it and have it hanging up on my wall.

This week we were able to help one of our investigators understand the gospel a little bit better. Her name is Eduarda, she has learned about the Gospel for a long time and knows the church is true. However, she is living with another guy who doesn't want to get married nor talk with us. But we had a really good lesson with her in the church about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. She really felt the spirit and committed right there to attend church every week. She really wants to be baptized, so hopefully she is willing to act on what she felt during that lesson. Plus she said her daughters are starting to show a little bit of desire to learn, so hopefully we will be able to pick them up.

We were really able to apply the Mission Culture. We taught every night, we found this week, and had someone to church. It felt really good to achieve the Mission Culture, and now this week we really hope to build upon it.
We are starting the last week of this transfer this week. I am assuming that I will get a new companion because my current companion has been here for 5 transfers. We will find out on Saturday night. So we are really going to focus hard this week to finish this transfer off strong.
Sorry I have to finish up. Hope everyone has a good week. Also fyi la familia Sobrinho invited my companion and I to come visit them this week! I am pretty excited to see them again.
Love you all,
Elder Roberts

February 9, 2014

Hey Everyone,

Well, here we are to start another week. Like mom said in her email, this week just flew by that looking back it is kinda hard to see what we accomplished. This week was full of good things that it felt like we were running from one thing to the next.So where to begin, I don't know but here goes.

On Tuesday we did exchanges with two Elders in our District, Elder Higley and Elder Rebolloso. This exchange was a little different from regular exchanges where one companion will leave his area and go to the other area. Instead both Elders came to our area and we did our exchange that way. I worked with Elder Rebolloso (pronounced Re-bo-yo-so). He is a brand new Elder with about 2 months in the mission, this is his first transfer in the field. He is from Mexico but moved to the US when he was 6 years old. We had a good time together. We had alot of success in teaching and finding. It is a little different, I realized, being on the DL side of exchanges. In the past, I would just do the regular missionary stuff and not think too much about exchanges. But now, after this past exchange, I realized how the exchange is used to train and learn. Especially as a District Leader it all starts with that first example from the leader. So I am kinda kicking myself for not recognizing that until now. But now I have a good idea what to look for the next time I do exchanges.

We had a bit of a sad experience on Wednesday. I don't know if you all remember Diana and Aurelio? Well we taught them again on Wednesday but the lesson didn't go how we thought it was going to go. We showed up they told us they didn't want to keep learning. I was kinda surprised why because the past lessons we had with them were really spiritual and I know they could feel the Spirit. But they said that they feel by learning about the church it is going to create conflict within their family, not between them but the rest of their family that don't live with them. They don't want that conflict and feel that by staying Catholic they will be able to avoid that conflict. Well it really made me sad that they don't want to keep learning due to other people's opinion. It made me think about Elder Lynn's talk in the most recent General Conference about which way do we face. Well there really wasn't much we could do so we left it at that. It was a difficult experience for me mostly because I know they could feel a difference, I know that the Spirit testified to them this is true. So hopefully in the future they will remember those feelings and have that desire to have them again.

The rest of this week went by pretty smooth. We were busy finding new investigators, helping our current investigators progress towards conversion, and just enjoying life as a missionary. We were able to find 2 new investigators this week, but haven't been able to follow up with them recently. We were able to get members out with us more this week and they all helped out a ton with the lessons they came with us to. We had a member come with us to teach our two investigators with baptismal dates and that was a really good lesson. We taught about reading the scriptures daily and learning from them. The member who came with us bore a super powerful testimony about how the scriptures have helped her throughout her life and the Spirit was super strong at that moment. So strong that both our two investigators got more excited to read them. So far they haven't missed a day of reading since we taught them on Friday.

This really strengthened my testimony on the role of members. Alot of times people see us missionaries as super dedicated people to the gospel and that is everything for us. That is true, but sometimes I feel that as we teach people and commit them to do some thing, it doesn't really stick. But as we take members out with us and they share their experiences, it seems to stick. I don't know if it is because those we teach see the members as regular people that they can relate to, but I know that members have the abilitly to help others come closer to our Savior just as well as missionaries. So I invite all of you guys, if you haven't gone out with the missionaries recently, call them up and go with them. You never know who the Lord will be preparing to hear your personal testimony.

Well that is pretty much the week in a nutshell. This transfer is flying by so fast it isn't fair. We are starting week 5 which basically means that next week the transfer is over. But we are going to work every possible time left of this transfer to death. There are people waiting to come closer to our Savior. Better now than later, Right?

Love you all,

Elder Roberts

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

Hi everyone,

Wow, ok I guess January didn't want to stick around at all and has left the stadium. I agree with everyone else, it feels like Christmas was just a couple days ago but now we are starting February. Here we are starting week 4 of this transfer and we are all kinda wondering what happened with this transfer. But, like I have said in the past, there really isn't anything we can do about time with the exception of taking advantage of every opportunity.

So first to answer some of Mom's questions about leadership in the mission. DL= District Leader, ZL= Zone Leader, and STL= Sister Training Leader. In this mission there are only 6 STL's that help out the sisters better than we Elders can do. The week after transfers happen, President does a Leadership training for all the leadership in the mission. Mostly to help us know how we can better serve those in our district/zone, and what to focus on this transfer such as teaching, finding, or so forth. So when I say Mission Culture I am focusing on 3 things President Tew wants us to focus on:
1)Teach Every Night
2)Find Every Week
3)Bring someone to church every week

As leaders, we have the responsibility to apply these principles into our area. Then during exchanges we can help those other missionaries see the blessings that come from it and help them apply the same principles into their own area. I have really seen this help me focus on my purpose as a missionary. As we find every week, we have more people to invite to come to Christ. As we teach every night, we help those we find learn the doctrine, fulfill with commitments, and recognize the fruits of the Spirit. Then as they come to church every week, they come to know this is the true church restored to the earth and leads to conversion. So these 3 basic principles really help us focus on our purpose and those we are teaching.

Ok so what happened this week for us. It was a good week, but we really had to dig deep to accomplish our goals. This week, it just seemed that every member we invited to go out with us cancelled 1 hour before we met up with them. It was definitely a struggle to not get frustrated, but we still had a really good week. We were able to teach several of our investigators, and help them continue to progress in the Gospel. This week we were able to commit 2 investigators to baptism for March 8. Their names are Elly and Araceli (pronounced Araseli). They both are super solid and have great desires to know more about the Gospel and what the Bible teaches. The challenge with them is getting them to church and Youth activities. But we have some solid plans to help them get more involved in the Gospel.

So that really was the highlight of the week. We were able to find several of our investigators and help them. This week is going to be full of finding. We dropped a couple investigators this past week and we didn't find new investigators this week. But we have been receiving several referrals from other missionaries so we have a good list of people to go by. I know that the Lord will help us find His prepared children and He will give us what we need in order to help them come closer to Him.

I hope everything is going well for everyone back home. Hopefully you all are avoiding the sickness going around. Several of our investigators and members have been sick with the flu and the cold. Needless to say I bought alot of oranges and orange juice this week so I don't get sick as well. But things are starting to warm up here so maybe not as many people will get sick. I feel like this month is going to fly by so this is the time to buckle down and help those who God puts in our path receive the Gospel. This is going to be a fun week and I really hope that we will be able to fulfill with the vision our Mission President has established for us.


Elder Roberts