Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Wow I can't believe it! You guys went to Zion's National Park without ME?? Not only that, but you hiked Angels Landing without ME??? Man I am disappointed.... I believe it was me who was begging to go to Zions and we never did. Thanks for the photos though, it looks like it was a fun trip. Maybe I should just beg more when I get home and maybe we will go ;P

Well the good thing about Temple P-days is that the next p-day just comes that much faster. I actually can't believe how fast this week went by and we are now starting the last week of the transfer. So that just means this week will fly by that much faster. I guess that means we should just buckle down even harder and finish off the transfer strong.

So some updates on Eduarda and her daughters. We were able to teach her once this week mostly just to follow up with her reading and making sure she can come to church. Right now she is in Omni and just loves what she is reading. She expressed how she usually reads when she gets home from work and that can be pretty hard, but she said she always find some sort of strength to read. She wasn't able to come to church this week because she had to work which lead her daughters not wanting to go alone. But we are hoping to get them to mutual on Tuesday so that we can teach them all again. So little by little things are going good with them.

One highlight of the week was with our investigator Maria. She has never attended a sacrament meeting, or even seen our chapels. We mentioned to her that we could do a church tour with her and show her which really got her excited. On the day we set the church tour she got sick and couldn't come, this was last week. However, on Tuesday she called us and asked if she could go see the chapel. So we booked it to the building and she was waiting for us. We had an awesome church tour and she really liked the main chapel where we hold Sacrament meeting. As we were leaving she said she would come no matter what. Well on Sunday we were looking for her and we just couldn't find her. Just as I was about to call her, we saw her sitting with two other sisters talking.The members did such an awesome job fellowshipping her that we almost didn't see her. She really liked the meeting and we will follow up with her on Tuesday. So that was an awesome miracle to have had.

On Thursday we had a really good lesson with our investigator Cecilia. We found her earlier this transfer and just hadn't had a lot of luck finding her again. Well on Thursday we decided that if we didn't find her we were probably going to stop going by. As we pulled into the cult de sac she saw us and was waiting for us to grab our bags. We had a short 15 minute lesson with her about the Restoration and things just seemed to click with her. When we asked her to pray and ask if it was true, she said that she felt it was true and had received an answer. We were pretty shocked to hear that and just left her with the invite to go to church. She didn't come this week because she had another commitment on Sunday. But she said we could come back to teach more and that she will try to go to church this week. So that was awesome to see how the Spirit just testified to her that these things were true.

On Saturday I did my last exchange with Elder Rebolloso. It wasn't the must successful exchange because of some bike repairs, not with my bike just a flat tire in Elder Obray's bike. So that took some time and it kinda got me discouraged because we had to take time to get it fixed instead of working. However, Elder Rebolloso really showed me that no matter the situation you just dig in hard and finish things as strong as you can. By the end of the exchange we had talked to over 15 people and invited them to learn more about the gospel, and we almost set a baptismal date with one of our investigators. So it was a pretty good exchange, I loved working with Elder Rebolloso he is such a hard working Elder and will see many miracles in his mission.

Well that is an update for what is happening here in the Great California Long Beach Mission. Like I said this is the last week of the transfer which is kind of scaring me knowing that my last transfer is just around the corner. But I am excited for the challenges that will come these next 7 weeks. I am so grateful to be working in this area with such great elders around me. We are truly having great success and it is exciting to see. There definitely is no excuse to slack off and coast to the end. We are going into that last 500 meters of the race, time to dig in and finish off with a hard sprint to the end.

Thanks for everything you guys do. Hope you all have a good week! Te Quiero mucho!!

Elder Roberts

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 24, 2015

Well hello everyone,

Ok so if you didn't see why I am emailing on Tuesday is because we went to the temple today so we changed our P-day. If you haven't already, check out the photos from our temple trip they are pretty good. Me and mijo definitely tried to look good looking for y'all along with our "Gringo Thug" picture :)

I sure hope Mom is feeling better from her cold. Elder Obray got a pretty nasty cold when he first got here, then he got feeling better, and then got sick again due to the crazy California weather here. Plus one of our investigators got sick with Bronchitis and has been coughing up a lung, according to her words. So things are definitely getting crazy all over so do the basic to avoid getting sick. Things should start warming up here again so that will be exciting.

Thanks for the update for USU Track. Those are some pretty fast times so I am excited to get back and see what I can do. Looks like they are already looking strong going into the outdoor season. I can't believe how close they were to us. Irvine in about a 10 minute drive outside of our mission. Good thing I didn't know or else I might have taken a little road trip ;P I am kidding that would be a serious apostate decision.

Well things are going well for us here in the great California Long Beach Mission. We just finished up week 4 of this transfer so time is definitely flying by. We had a good rewarding week I won't lie. Looking back I can't see anything that I did personally, everything was a miracle and blessing from our Heavenly Father.

So update on Eduarda. We weren't able to teach her on Tuesday as usual because I got lazy and assumed that Mutual would be at the church, but it wasn't. Plus she wasn't able to come to church on Sunday because her daughter, Angie, had a bad sore throat and had to go to the doctor. However we were able to visit with her Sunday night mostly to follow up with some commitments we had left her. She has been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon, like A LOT. She was halfway through with Enos and we finished that up with her during our visit. Not only is she reading, but she is marking and highlighting verses that stick out to her. Yeah I have never had an investigator that has done that. Plus her daughters were really excited to see us when we came by. So there are several changes to this family's life and they are recognizing it. Such a great example of obedience and gratitude to me.

This week we found 3 new investigators to begin teaching. One of them, se llama Rodger, really showed interest in what we share. So we found him looking for another potential and we just started talking about the family and the blessings God has for the family. Well he said he had to leave right then, but invited us back later that evening to talk more. So we showed up and we had an awesome visit. He expressed to us that the reason he let us come back was because he loves his family so much and really wants to learn how he can be with them forever. He recently lost his dad and he now feels the responsibility to take care of his family. So I was really humbled to see how God can lead us to his prepared children.

Another cool experience. So all day Saturday I was on exchanges with Elder Jenkins in my area. Going into Saturday we only had 1 set lesson at 11 which got cancelled. That night I remember just begging the Lord to help us have a successful exchange and meet our goals. The next day was probably one of the most perfect days on my mission. We were exactly obedient, we had perfect studies, and then we worked super hard that day. By the end of the exchange we had talked to 19 people, we found 2 new investigators, and we set up several return appointments for this week. I was so grateful that the Lord guided us in this exchange, after we did everything that we could. At that moment the scripture D&C 123:17 came to my mind and really changed my mindset for my mission.

One more cool experience. So on Sunday Elder Obray and I were trying by some members we didn't know and wanted to meet. Well we show up to this one house and it looks like it is abandoned, the lights weren't on, the grass hadn't been cut for a while, and just looked wrong. We knocked on the door and literally 5 seconds later we both say, "This doesn't feel right we need to go now." We followed that impression and left immediately. After driving away a bit, we stopped and since we both had the same impression about the house we decided to pray and ask God where He wanted us to go. We both got the impression to try by another Less-Active. We show up and he answers the door and we begin talking about goals that he has in life. He expressed his desire to learn English so that he can communicate better in his work. Well, we offered to teach him since the Church has a really good program to learn English. He got super excited and invited us back to teach him English.

From that experience, I learned a little bit better how the Spirit works with us, and within a companionship. Now that both Elder Obray and I know how it feels, we are definitely going to apply it more in our work so that we do His work His way.

Well sorry this email was so long, hopefully everyone is still awake. I will start wrapping things up. This week I learned just a little bit more about how God wants us to do His work. I learned that it is by us doing everything within our power that God will reveal His arm to us. I learned that the Spirit is the one who leads us to those who are prepared, and gives us the words to share with them. I learned that God's plan is perfect for us and it is a great blessing to know His plan. I am so grateful for all that happened this week.

Hope everyone has a good week! Trust in the Lord in all things and He will guide you in all things. I know that He loves us and that is why He is so involved in our life. He will guide us, He has promised us His Spirit to be with us and to guide us. Seek for that guidance and I promise you that you will find it.

Elder Roberts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16, 2015

Well Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone had a good week! Things started to get a little toasty here in Huntington Beach and Westminister. After Thursday things started to get hot, like we hit the high 90's and in the evenings it is super humid so you still get a good sweat. But that is ok because with the success the Lord is giving is you focus on the things that are more important.

Well, I don't know what to write about. This week we had a lot of great opportunities to teach our investigators, we found a new investigator to start teaching, and we had 4 investigators come to church on Sunday. I guess I can give a little bit more details about these overviews.

So this week we had 4 of our investigators come to church. We had Angelica, who 3 of her children are baptized but only 1 is active and Angelica has know about the church for a while. She isn't baptized because she has a few doubts and she isn't married to the guy she is living with nor does he want to get married. But she has started making little changes to her life, such as read the scriptures and come to church, and she is starting to see a difference in her life. So that is her. Then we had Eduarda and her 2 daughters, Angie and Lizeth, come to church. We have been working hard with Angie and Lizeth to have them come, especially to the classes. At first they didn't because they don't like the first hour because it is boring. But we had some YW call them and invite them to come and stay for the classes. Well, by the end of the block, both were all smiles and really enjoyed it all. So that was a great first step for them and we are excited for them.

This week we had a great week of teaching our investigators. We have a great pool of investigators we are teaching and all have a great desire to come closer to Christ. We dropped several investigators to start this transfer, and our teaching pool isn't as big as it was when we started. However the quality of people we are teaching is alot better. We have Roxanna, who just wants a stronger relationship with God and for her son to know God. We found a new investigator, Javiera, who has fallen away from God due to other things, but now wants to come closer to Him in order to find the peace and happiness she sees in some of her friends at school who are members. So this week we have been able to accomplish many of our goals and have seen a lot of success from the Lord.

Well, things are going good with Elder Obray and I. With the heat and hard work, we have been trying to do everything possible to stay awake and have the energy to work hard. Elder Obray has started settling in to the missionary routine and is starting to get the hang of things. It is pretty different being a DL and trainer at the same time. But like I said 4 weeks ago, the Lord doesn't want me to slack off and I definitely have had no time to do so. If anything I have felt an urgency to just work hard and finish everything off as best as I can. So I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish my last two transfers.

Well that is pretty much everything. I hope everyone is having a good week and are ready for a new one. We are super excited for this week and can't wait to see what the Lord has prepared for us.

Elder Roberts

As promised here is a picture of mijo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March 9, 2015

Hi everyone,

Well we had a very busy, successful week and I am glad today was P-Day. Like it says in the subject line this week was full of meetings which took up a lot of our work time. However, with the time we had to work, it was all full of success and being effective. I really feel like this week was a growing week for both my companion and I.

To start the week, I had leadership training on Tuesday with the other mission leaders. President gave the trainings about how to hold effective exchanges. It was actually really good because, like I said in past emails about exchanges, it helped me realize how important exchanges are and how to have effective exchanges. So this transfer I will have a better idea how to hold an effective exchange and learn with the other Elders in my district.

Thursday was our Zone Conference. As always the trainings were very good and I learned a lot while receiving personal revelation for the work in our area. Two trainings that stuck out to me:
1) Helping investigators progress by getting back to the basics. I realized that I have strayed a little bit away from the basic missionary skills, especially how to simply teach the Doctrine of Christ. So that was something that really stuck out to me.
2) Helping Investigators progress by helping them feel something. President Tew gave this training and reviewed ways that we can bring the Spirit into any lesson using simple methods such as using scriptures and testimony. It helped me realize that " small means the Lord can bring about great things' (1 Ne. 16:29). So this week we are hoping to put into practice the trainings we received and the guidance we received through personal revelation.

On Friday we had Zone Meeting. We talked a lot about specific plans we can do as a zone to help our investigators progress. We decided that we needed to involve the members more and gain more trust from them. We set some really good plans on how we can visit the members more effectively during dinner appointments, at church, or throughout the day. Our zone has been doing a lot of great things the past few months and it is really exciting. So this transfer we are super excited for what we can accomplish.

All day Saturday I was on exchanges with my Zone Leader, Elder Humphreys. We set some pretty solid goals to put into practice the plans we had set earlier in Zone Meeting. Then we just hit it hard and worked effectively and diligently. It was such a great exchange and we talked a lot about the goals we set and how the missionaries in our district can accomplish them. It felt good to just to just get out and hit it hard.

As a mission we are making some big strides and helping the work hasten. During Zone Conference President Tew shared some pretty impressive stats with us. The past 8 weeks, as a mission, we have taught over 1000 totals lessons with only 181 missionaries. We have never been able to accomplish that ever since President Tew begun his service as our mission president. It is impressive because we have the lowest number of missionaries ever in this mission and we are teaching and finding like crazy. Definitely a good indicator that the Lord is hastening His work in the Great California Long Beach Mission.

This week we had a pretty cool miracle with one of our investigators. Her name is Eduarda and she has been learning about the church for almost 5 years now. She knows the church is true and really wants to be baptized. However she is living with another guys to whom she isn't married. On Tuesday we had a lesson with her at the church and helped her understand more why she can't be baptized. She had one of those "Ah Ha" moments and said she is going to do everything possible to talk with the guy she is living with and see what he says. Wellon Wednesday we got a call from her saying she talked with the guy and she was asking us what she has to do get married. So she is starting to make those changes to get baptized which is awesome. We are hoping tomorrow we can have the bishop talk with her and help her as well.

So that was what happened this week. It was a good successful week even with all the meetings. Tomorrow Elder Obray and I have another training with the other new missionaries, then it should be home free of meetings this transfer. Even though I did realize that this Zone Conference might have been my last one which made me super sad. But now it is time to apply all the trainings I have received from the past Zone Conferences and work super hard.

Have a good week!!

Elder Roberts

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 5, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Well I am sure that all of you guys are anxious for the details of my new companion, mi hijo. His name is Elder Obray, he is from North Ogden Utah, he graduated from Weber High School and graduated in 2014, he worked for 6 months saving up money for the mission. We actually are pretty similar in likes and we are getting along pretty well. His spanish is actually pretty good, but he is a little hesitant to speak it, so I have been trying hard to get him to speak the language more. It is only the first week of being in the field so he is still getting used to the routine of everything. But little by little he will adjust and be a great missionary.

There wasn't any other changes in our ward as far as missionary assignments. As for Elder Arias he is working in Long Beach East Stake which I think is right next to our stake. It was interesting going by members and our investigators and Elder Arias not being with me. But everyone was super nice and welcomed Elder Obray with open arms.

Sounds like USU had a great indoor season. I am shocked that Clay won the 800; if I remember correctly he has never ran the 800 until he started at USU, and now he is the Mountain West Champion. He is going to be a boss the next 3 years. Man just seeing the success just makes me want to get back into the action. Hopefully that will be an option.

Well as for what happened this week. It wasn't a picture perfect week, but it was a learning week. We ended up dropping several of our investigators this week because they were just too hard to find and weren't keeping their commitments. So we decided it was better to drop them and look for more people. We were able to find 3 new investigators this week which helped out, including possibly a family to teach. So the Lord definitely is helping us out to find new people and help them come closer to Him. So this week is going to be a week of finding, talking to everyone, and helping our current investigators progress. It is going to be interesting because this week is full of meetings: Tomorrow I have Leadership Training until 4, Thursday we have Zone Conference, and Friday we have Zone Meeting. But it will be a good week of diligence and hard work.

Actually I am really excited for what is going to happen this week. Yesterday during my personal study I finished my Book of Mormon study of Christ-like Attributes. One that stuck out to me, and I really applied to myself, was in Moroni 9. Mormon is encouraging his son, Moroni, to remain diligent in his calling to spread the Gospel. We know up to this point that the Nephites had fallen away from the Gospel and any attempts to teach them the Gospel had no effect. But, as I read verse 6 it clicked to me that this verse applied to where we were in our personal efforts to share the Gospel to those in our area. So it got me thinking that Mormon is talking to me personally to not give up, no matter how many times we get rejected or the number of investigators we dropped last week. He remained faithful until the end, so why should I give in and coast to the end? Just something that got me thinking and got me excited for this week.

Well those are the highlights for the week. Like I said this was a learning week for me and my companion. But I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and see what are the limits I can reach these last few months. For how fast February flew by, I am really scared for how fast March and April will go by. I know that mom is freaking out due to the fact that she received an email for my travel itinerary. But there still is enough time to labor hard here in the California Long Beach Mission.

Love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Roberts

I apologize because I don't have a picture of my son. But I will get one next week. BYE!!