Elder Roberts – April 11 to 25, 2016

April 11, 2016
We are super busy. No time to write. Very happy. They give us lots of food. Here are pictures. You are all the best. Stay strong. Gospel is true.
Love, Elder Roberts

April 18, 2016
Okay so there’s a lot to say.
First of all, I LOVE my area! Cordoba is really cool. It’s definitely the wealthiest area I’ve been in. They treat us extraordinarily well here. Today one of the members took us in his little Beetle (hilarious, imagine me and my 6’ 8” comp in a VW beetle) to go check out a house he’s working on (he’s an architect). The neighborhood was insanely wealthy. Lots of very nice cars and big houses etc. The funny part was that we asked him how much those houses costed, and they were very reasonable prices for the US haha. Lets live in Mexico! This is a very different experience than the other areas I’ve been to in the course of my mission.
But anyway, Cordoba is also really cool because of the people. They look very…different. They have a lot of Spanish and Italian influences in their culture, and they look like them too. Lots of people with blue eyes and such. I’m going to finish my mission happy here.
The only problem is that it’s HARD to find people to teach here!! Man! We are struggling a little. My comp got sick this week too, we had to stay a day inside since I didn’t know the area at all. I read some really cool talks. But yeah.. we have a couple of investigators progressing a bit but they are moving slow.
I had a really cool opportunity to interview this lady named Rosa from another area who was preparing for baptism. Right when I sat down and we said a prayer, she exclaimed “I don’t want to be baptized yet!” I laughed and asked her why. She said she was worried about keeping the commandments after baptism and didn’t want to fail. She said “I LOVE the church and everything about it, and I want to go every sunday and I love the Book of Mormon. Every time I read it my heart feels with warmth and I know its true and from the Lord himself.”
Obviously if she didn’t want to be baptized yet we weren’t going to force her, but I wanted to make sure she understood what she was doing first (I got the feeling this hadn’t been taught to her before).
Luckily, when my comp was sick, I read and studied the talk by David A Bednar which is called “always retaining a remission of your sins” or something of the sort. And I taught her the doctrine of baptism, the sacrament, and the holy ghost, and how they are interconnected. I explained the importance of covenants. It took me about an hour because she only studied through middle school, but she had a really noble heart. I had her repeat the covenants she would make at baptism at least 10 times until she learned it by memory. Then to end the lesson/interview I said “Now that you understand all of this, when do you want to get baptized?” And she said “Not this coming Saturday, but the next. I want to prepare myself just a tad more to fulfill this contract Im going to make with God” (I taught her the word contract so she would understand covenants and ordinances).
It was one of my best teaching experiences of all time. I could see the doctrine of Jesus Christ just… change her as she came to understand it. Like President Monson said “When doctrine is understood, behavior changes.” I know that’s true. My purpose was not to convince her to get baptized. The last thing I want is someone baptized who wont stay active in the church. But I guess the Spirit sure wanted her baptized sooner, and as she allowed it, He changed her desires, took away her worries, and helped her understand her future. She was just giddy after that. She ran out the door (she’s 47 years old, but when I say she ran I’m not exaggerating) and yelled to the Elders who have been teaching her “I’m getting baptized next saturday! I’m ready now!”
I had felt the spirit so strong in that lesson I was almost as giddy as she was. haha. Lets all make sure we understand the doctrine of Christ!!!!!! Please!
Read that talk and read it again until you understand it, because it is a tad hard to understand.
I love you all!! Here are some pics.
The first one is of a family I taught in Veracruz. The day after I left, the wife got a huge spiritual confirmation that the book of mormon was true, and got baptized that very saturday. I was really bummed because Elder Faerber and I had fought through blood sweat and tears to help her get an answer to her prayer (she was very catholic) and I missed that event by mere hours. But, after whining a bit to Elder Bowers (my new comp), I piped down because I know this work isn’t about me. It’s about God and his children. So here’s the pictures, and that’s why I’m not in it haha.
1. that family i just described
2. I’m a little angel

April 25, 2016
I don’t consider myself a very superstitious person, but I feel like every time I write about someone really cool, something ridiculous happens and they stop progressing and we lose them… so I’m really considering writing about this lady named daisy……. I don’t know.
Anyway she’s really cool and showed up to church yesterday. We hadn’t been able to teach her for 2 weeks because she’s been really busy with her work. I’ve only taught her once in my time here, and we taught her about the word of wisdom. She drinks lots of coffee. She showed up to church and exclaimed “I haven’t drank (or is it drunk?) coffee in a week! I’m tired of it!” It was pretty cool. We were happy because that usually doesn’t happen where they leave their addictions/problems without lots of lessons and help, but she sure did it! We just have to stick with her so she keeps up the pace.
I realized something interesting this week. My comp is almost exactly like me! So yeah I’ve realized a lot of things about me that I need to change… funny how things work out like that right? I don’t think I’ve really taken any pictures this week, I’ll check my camera right now and if there are any I’ll send them over.
These last couple months have been a serious test for me. My body is physically deteriorating as my mission has gone on. I don’t think I have physically recovered from each transfer that I’ve served. I must say, that makes me happy though. You gotta leave it all in the field. I’m taking care of myself. I basically just feel like I’m in the last couple minutes of the 4th quarter and we are running a full court press. And I don’t have any weird sickness. I’m totally fine with regards to health, so please do not make any worried or drastic calls to President telling him to take care of me. First of all, its not necessary. And second, he will indirectly make fun of you in the leadership meetings hahaha it’s actually really funny.  I’m happy to say I’ve improved my prayers quite a bit. I had one of my most powerful experiences with prayer the other day. I’ll tell you guys about it another time. Those prayers have helped me keep my spiritual desires stronger than my physical desires, which include resting and not walking anymore. Especially when I get excited and start running around (like when it rained the other day). The rain is so much fun.
I am so grateful for the covenants I have made in my life. Covenants, made official by ordinances, manifest “the power of godliness” in us, and prepare us to meet and live with God one day. (D&C 84:19-21). I love sharing that scripture with investigators and less actives, and then ask “What is the power of godliness?”. We must be careful and notice that it says “power of godliness” and not “power of God”. Granted, God has all power in heaven and earth, but he provides to us this very special opportunity to access the power of GODLINESS, in other words, the power to become more like God. That’s what the purpose of covenants is. They open a channel between us and Deity (as Bednar teaches). As we complete with our side of the covenant, the Lord completes his, and thus pours out his spirit upon us, which purifies us and eradicates all sin “as if by fire” (see John 3:5). Change and progression in life ONLY comes by making and keeping covenants, which of course includes principles of faith and repentance. Is that not accessing the power of the Atonement? 🙂
I have felt this in my life. So, I invite each of you to think about the covenants you have made. Then, go read the scriptures or go to the temple to remember what your part of the covenant is. Then, change your life to more fully complete with your side of the bargain. As you do so, the Spirit with change even your deepest desires and aspirations in life, and thereby change your actions. Plus, pay attention to the specific blessings of each covenant, and you will see them manifest in your life.
One of the specific blessings of the covenant of the Melchizadek priesthood is the “renovation of body” (forgive me if it doesn’t say that in english, I’m translating it from spanish). I know that I would not have physically been able to make it this far in my mission without that blessing. I have done my best to magnify my calling, which is my part of the covenant, and the Lord has blessed me abundantly. We are a COVENANT people. So lets do it!
Like I said:
1. Think of covenants you’ve made
2. Check what you have to do to fulfill your part
3. Check what God promises to do
4. Do those things
5. See a difference

I love you all!
Elder Roberts

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