February 16, 2015
Mail came!!! And thanks to everyone for their letters. But, there is one letter I would like to highlight. It’s a letter from a lady named A. from my old area that got baptized FOUR DAYS AFTER I LEFT AHHHHH!!! I missed it! But I would like to share it because reading this letter made me cry for the first time on my mission:
“Hello! Elder Roberts
We wanted to tell you that we miss you a lot and when you left we cried for you. I want to tell you that I am very happy because I got baptized in the THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS and Elder Weaver baptized me and I would have liked for you to have been there in that very important moment of my life. But, thank you so much Elder Roberts for having arrived to my home. I wouldn’t have received the great blessing. I now have so much faith in our Heavenly Father. Take care. We love you so much Elder Roberts. May Heavenly Father bless you and protect you wherever you go and may he send you many blessings.”
That is why I am here! There are just no words to describe that letter.
One thing I didn’t mention last week is that we had the opportunity to listen to President DeHoyos of the first quorum of the 70. It was really cool. I learned a lot about how to receive revelation. He gave us like 6 things to study before showing up, and I studied them a ton! I can truly say I prepared myself well. And I was blessed with revelation from all sides. It was amazing!! He even picked me out of the middle of our zone to come up and do an example with him. I was so grateful because I had been fervently praying for inspiration and ways to get the most out of that meeting. I now know that we cannot just expect revelation. We need to prepare ourselves to receive it. As we do so, what we need to know and hear, will come to us.
Also, Happy Friday the 13th my beloved family. You better believe I got ice cream.
February 23, 2015
Cool teaching moment: We were teaching these two girls about the Word of Wisdom. My companion and I were testifying like crazy because they have a problem with coffee. An idea came to my head. My companion was talking about the 2 corinthian scripture where our bodies are temples. I whipped out a gorgeous picture of the salt lake temple. He then said that when we break the Word of Wisdom its like we are destroying a temple of God. As he was explaining that, I pulled out my pen (slightly dramatically to get their attention) and swung my arm with the pen in hand over to the picture of the temple as if I were going to destroy it. One of the girls we were teaching shouted: “NO DONT DO THAT!!!”
Man you should have seen the smile on my face.
I said “Huh? Why not? Its just a picture of a temple”
She said “No because its super gorgeous and its a creation of God”
I said “And what do you think God says when you go to drink coffee?”
And they said “Wow, we are never drinking coffee again.”
YESSSSSSSSS. I know the spirit helped us out on that one because she literally taught herself that lesson. It was such a golden teaching moment.
Also, this week we had the opportunity to baptize 3 people. It was incredible. We only taught two of them. I know that baptizing every week is a commandment as a missionary. And last week we didn’t baptize anyone. I was really frustrated because I had prayed so hard and so long for a miracle baptism. I got a little impatient with God when it didnt happen. But, this week the miracle happened. We got that baptism this week. That was God telling me “yes I know my servants have established that commandment, but everything in its time. Be patient and hopeful my son. I hear your prayers. Things will come to pass as I see fit.”
One of those three is a man named J who quit drinking. It’s day 25 for him without a drink. His wife is seeing the miracle, and is now willing to listen to us. WE COULD BAPTIZE A COUPLE WHO COULD GO TO THE TEMPLE! We are beyond pumped to work with them. We poured our hearts out in that lesson. The difference is that we see their potential. We see where they can go. Its so important to understand the ultimate goal.
We should be helpful and welcome to all investigators and members in church. We sometimes don’t understand what they go through just to get in those doors. Because a small 20 second conversation (without being invited by the missionaries to do so) can change their entire 3 hour experience in church. And soften their heart. And help them be more willing to receive more light. And achieve exaltation.
March 2, 2015
Wow….what a week. So before I start anything I would like to mention something that I hadn’t put in my previous emails.
BEST EXPERIENCE OF THE WEEK: So we taught J, J, and B about fasting on friday to get them pumped to fast this sunday (yesterday). They were really excited and we got them all to commit to do it. They all started fasting at 1 in the afternoon so they could eat really fast right after church. Anyway, during a lesson at 7 at night I get a call from B. She says:
Hey elder roberts, we have a little problem. Ill pass you over to J so he can tell you about it.
My heart sunk. I thought it was going to be something serious.
J: Hey Elder Roberts
Me: Hey! Hows it going? What happened?
J: Well, I was out playing with my friends (he’s 12) and I was tired from running and one of my friends offered me some doritos. And I promise you I forgot! I really did! And I took a Dorito and I ate one! After I swallowed it I remembered I had been fasting. Im so sorry Elder Roberts. What should I do? Can I keep fasting?
Me: Oh really? Juan! Don’t worry about it! I’m really proud and impressed that you feel bad about it. I have an idea. How about you pray and ask god to forgive you? I know you won’t feel bad about it anymore. And then keep fasting! I know you can do it!
Juan: Alright…thanks. see you tomorrow in church!
That was such a precious moment. It made me so happy. Converts really have an incredibly powerful spirit about them, and its just a pleasure for me to be around them really. Maybe I ask them to bear their testimony too often during lessons…but I don’t regret it! Its just so cool! Then J and I went up and bore our testimonies together. He went up and started crying when he talked about the Book of Mormon and his family. The spirit was so thick you could almost see it in the room. Our investigators who came that day were crying on the back row. Hearing just one convert testimony in sacrament meeting is worth 2 full years of work. We are so blessed.
One of my best friends passed away this past week. Its been tough. It was the first time that I was ever interacting with someone one day and the next day he’s gone. It was really….quite difficult. We all called him Hermano C, and I called him C. He was one of the older men in the ward and an incredible member. He passed away really quickly and unexpectedly from a problem in his heart. I really love that man. He had a little limp and a pot belly and was always so willing to help us. I remember a couple months ago I did divisions with him. We had to find Jorges parents to get their signature. So i sent elder bowers to finish the day with all the lessons, and C and I hopped into his car and we drove all over the city, interrogating people and searching for his dad, and the only information we were told was “to start looking for him at the Nissan dealership”. He hobbled around me and my fast moving pace all around town. It was fun. He was telling me about life and everything he was learned, and laughed at me for 15 minutes when I confessed I had no idea he was the Santa at the little ward christmas party. He would always joke around with us and mess with us. He passed away on a Tuesday, and we had given him a blessing on that previous thursday. The last time I saw him for the last time in Sacrament meeting on Sunday, two days before he passed. I don’t actually remember if I went to talk to him…I was really worried about the confirmations we had to organize with the bishop to make sure they all got done. I regret that…
I guess the biggest thing I learned is that we really don’t know when we are going to pass into the Spirit world. On our last day of life, on the last sunday of our last week, will we find ourselves in church? Will we find ourselves asking for blessings, doing visits with the missionaries, and truly loving our family? Him and his wife were such an example of a good marriage. We went and talked to his wife, (who by the way, wasn’t too sad because “he’s in the spirit world and I’ll see him soon. We have an eternity to be happy. No need to worry about being alone for a couple years”) and she told us that she had talked to her husband about two weeks before his death. She told him this:
When you die, if you go before me, you better not sit up in the spirit world pouting or waiting for me. Put yourself to work. But don’t you dare forget about me because I will catch up with you.
hahahahah they are such a ray of sunshine in my life. Elder Sonntag and I visited the funeral service. Elder Sonntag is a super good singer and got an impression to sing. He asked if he could sing a song, and of course everyone was like “and whats elder roberts gonna do!? just sit there?” So….i sang a duet!! I just listened to exactly how elder sonntag sang and tried to match his note. I hope it went well. I asked him how it went after and he said great, but he has to say that hahhaha. But it was fun!!
Anyway, so Elder Sonntag i think is my best friend so far in the mission. Hes such a good missionary, and a very inspired district leader. He pushes me so hard and I have learned the most about how to be a missionary under his leadership. We did splits and were pondering things we could to end it with a bang because we thought he was being transferred, and we finally decided we were going to eat two chile avaneros (spelling…?), which is the hottest and deadliest chile that Veracruz, and the majority of Mexico, has to offer. And we ate them. And wow did we burn. For 30 minutes. I also lost feeling in my hand and my toes, and apparently Elder Sonntag lost feeling in his whole body. We wore our sombreros for strength. We also filmed it so don’t worry, one day you all will be able to watch history get made with your own eyes. I am now a Mexican, and I really have no fear of chile anymore. What a great experience. Then we downed a whole tank of yogurt to try to stop the heat a little, but even that didn’t work. Finally it just faded. Even our converts were impressed with us and confessed they wouldn’t do it themselves.
Love you all!!