May 23, 2016
Good week! I’m really really tired today because we’ve been running around doing errands, so I’m not going to write too much. Daisy got baptized! It was a really special baptismal service! The other two companionships in our district had baptisms as well, so we combined the service. It was a really special moment for everyone. Ordinances are so powerful and I felt the spirit so beautifully and specially. It was great.
Also, umm.. what else happened. Ahh! We taught the 3rd hour yesterday because the EQP wasn’t there. He put the bishop in charge, and the bishop was so busy he told us, as he ran out of the room “Teach whatever you want” so we explained the plan of salvation and applied it to family history and why it was so important. Then we did a little math on the board and explained, based on numbers, how necessary it was to go to the temple at least once a month.
But it was a wonderful week! I love my companion.
June 6, 2016
This week was a good week. I got a tad sick because some stuff that I ate didn’t fall very well with my stomach…
I will write about two of our investigators:
This man is awesome. He was very very worldly before he started talking to us, but he has a real desire to change and he shows it. His biggest challenge is the Word of Wisdom. He’s very spontaneous it’s really funny. One night he was driving us home after a lesson and he showed us how he kept an unlighted cigarrette in his car to help him…like he would stick it in his mouth but not smoke it, just to help with his nerves. And he asked “is this bad?” and then immediately threw it out of his car. That little story kinda defines how he is. He owns lots of businesses, so he had a hard time with the sabbath day. the 1st sunday he went, he had to leave after the first hour to cover one of his stores, and he said “but don’t worry, I’m going to change the hours of my employees so they will work sundays instead of me”. Elder Webb and I just kinda laughed and thought “Well teach him about the sabbath in the next lesson” haha.
Now this lady is one of the most unique cases I’ve ever had in my mission. She’s a doctor and is very, very smart. Her husband is a member, and they’ve been married 2 years. SHES NEVER TALKED TO MISSIONARIES BEFORE. For 2 years!! Her husband, Efrain, is actually very active which is also strange. He told us that he has been preparing her for the last 2 years to listen to the missionaries since her family and her are very catholic. The weirdest part is that he has taught her pretty much every restored truth of the gospel except the actual restoration. For example, she believes that God has a body of flesh and bone, and he is not the same being as Christ, but she doesn’t really know how we know that! So it’s a weird dynamic. She went to church on sunday and liked it, we will see how this all plays out.
All is well!! Love you!
June 13, 2016
Well, what can I say? I have 2 weeks left. I’m feeling great. We have a few people who want to get baptized in the next few weeks. I hope I’ll be here to see them. If not, they will get that opportunity later. This week, Erma is pretty much ready! She’s a cool lady. She’s kinda scary sometimes.
I’m enjoying myself, I’m finishing strong, and I’m loving every moment of it! Ill see you guys soon!
Love Elder Roberts
June 20, 2016
I think this will probably be my last email, considering that I probably won’t take the time to write very much my last monday in the offices.
Well folks its coming down to the end….
This week was super good.
ERMA GOT BAPTIZED!! This woman is such a miracle. I believe I mentioned a few things about her in the last couple emails, but I’m going to tell the full story. Okay.
So before Elder Webb got here, this guy named Efrain just showed up to our church, we contacted him thinking he might not be a member. He commented that he was, but that he had been inactive for a while and just barely moved into our ward and wanted to get a new start. We put an appointment with him to fortify him and help him come back to the church. For some reason we weren’t able to go to that appointment, nor were we able to go to the next 3 APPOINTMENTS that we put with him. I was the guy who wrote it down in the agenda and I have a very very clear recollection that I wrote these appointments down. Sidenote: I’ve looked back in my old agenda to find these appointments and they really aren’t anywhere. I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s kind of interesting. The perfect timing of the Lord? Anyway, Elder Webb gets here. We finally write down a good appointment, and our day cleared up perfectly to go visit Efrain. That poor man. We show up and he obviously wasn’t expecting us, but was super happy to see us. His house was/is enormous. We briefly see his wife, who is a pediatrician and was currently attending a patient in her private office in house office. He says to his wife “Hey the missionaries came to finally convince you to get baptized!” Now, in my experience, a comment of that nature means that she would have listened to thousands of missionaries they’ve done so many things to get her to be baptized that she has hard feelings against the church. That’s what we were expecting. Efrain takes us to his dining room and we start talking to him while waiting for Erma, his wife. He explains to us that she was very Catholic, but had just barely stopped going because she saw some things in the church that she didn’t like. He continues to tell us that he hasn’t taught her anything about our church in itself, but has been teaching her restored truths about the Godhead and about the Plan of Salvation for the last 2 years. He said that as she learned, she would study it, meditate, and then ask God if each doctrine that she learned was true. We were seriously amazed. We had a brief FHE where Efrain taught the lesson, and we invited her to go to church and put an appointment to return the following Tuesday. I remember that during this entire first encounter, the Spirit was just really strong. It did a lot of cool things with my mind. First it just allowed me to feel its influence and enjoy the experience, then thoughts like “you better not miss the next appointment” and “invite her to church” came to mind. Then it put me to reflect on how amazing this whole situation was. God had been preparing her for two years, about the same time Elder Webb and I started our missions. From then, until now, she has been carefully, perfectly, prepared to hear the gospel, on that special day. Anyway, she went to church, and we had 2 appointments at 8:00 on Tuesday, so Elder Webb went with Erma and I went with a different investigator. He said that visit was very intense, and he taught her the full restoration. When he went to invite her to a baptismal date, he pulled out his phone, but his phone somehow got reset to its factory settings. he looked at the calendar and counted a couple weeks down, thinking he was looking at the month of June, but was actually looking at January. Without paying attention, he invited her to baptism on the 18th of June. She said “Today is the 8th of June….” He said when he realized it, he just felt really good about it even though he had messed up. She accepted the date.
We went back for the next lesson. It was a mess. She had received her answer from God that the church was true. But that caused some very unusual emotions. She was actually really quite angry. She felt like everything that she had done and all her efforts in her life up until that point had been a big waste of time. We talked to her, but everything we said she just kinda yelled at us and we couldn’t understand anything she said. We were both just begging the Spirit to tell us what to say the entire lesson. It ended fine. She made us a dessert, carlotta, and every time we talked about how good it was she got really happy again. So we kept our conversation to that and got out of there. On sunday morning, the first counselor called us and said 2 people who were giving talks weren’t going to church, and asked us to talk on Pride and the Temple. We flipped a coin, and I was lucked into the pride talk, my companion the temple. We gave our talks. When the meeting ended, Erma came up to us in tears and thanked us for our messages and said she received revelation. She had a really cool experience with her garden, which I’ll share with you all later. Its really special to me. Anyway, with that, she was good to go! We told her to give it another week, but from that moment she received revelation, she was unstoppable. Elder Capps came down to interview her and she knew everything and had an unshakeable testimony. We organized the baptismal service PERFECTLY! We were so proud. It went SO well. Her husband gave an incredible testimony. It rained while we took pictures, and Erma was tearing up because she has made a really personal connection between rain and blessings in her life. Then, Erma and I left to perform the ordinance. When we get to the font, we realize that it had drained out!! All the water was gone. I was so embarrassed. I felt horrible. Somehow, it slipped my mind, my companions, and our mission leaders mind to close the drain when we filled it. We threw some mormon messages on for the people in the service. We started filling it. I think it took a hit on Erma. After talking about it later, Elder Webb and I feel like it was supposed to happen for some reason. We don’t know yet, but we feel/hope it was necessary for her. She fell to her knees and just prayed and cried when she saw it. I hope it was a good cry. Anyway, we got it filled about a foot lower than it should be. This font is small by the way. And Erma is a large woman. And she’s pregnant. She looks at us as its filling and says “It’s filled high enough” In my mind I said “NO I NEED THAT EXTRA FOOT THERES NO WAY IM GOING TO BE ABLE TO BAPTIZE YOU!” But I said “Yeah lets go for it.” so she didn’t feel bad. I ran to the bathroom and prayed really fervently for strength. Everything went smoothly. She was baptized. I know God helped me baptize her in that shallow water. To give you an idea, the water was 2 inches below my knee. I received lots of help. The next day she was confirmed. In Gospel Principles, she gave the most powerful testimony of the Atonement Ive heard in a long time. During her testimony, a swear word slipped out (it was pretty funny, well work on that). Erma has made such a big impact on my life in such a short time.
I know that God is he who runs this work. We did nothing in this whole process. He prepared her, he taught her, he answered all of her prayers, he even lifted her out of the water in her baptism. I stand all amazed to be a part of that process. This is the work of the Lord. And I love him.
See you all on Wednesday (June 29)! Love you all! Elder Roberts