Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 11 - Not discouraged

I got both boxes and sweater! Thank you so much they made my day.

Wow if there was ever something that you would never want to happen to you as a missionary. It happened to Elder Blauer and I this week. It was a week of greatness which then came shattering down instantly with one text... Elder Blauer and I this week worked everything out and now are going to be unstoppable here in Osceloa. We were so pumped we were having a great week. When we then had a lesson with C. We taught her about baptism and the gift of the holy ghost, after the lesson she seemed really excited for baptism! But... The rest of the week the contact with her was very small, she wasn't being like herself. We got a text on Sunday night that said "I'm sorry guys I don't want to be baptized anymore. Elder Blauer and I looked in shock at each other. With tears streaming down our faces we had no clue what to do. She explained why with more texts. With this experience I wondered why does God give everyone agency. I had fasted for her for 24 hours, all of fast Sunday and then broke my fast, and then we received that text. It was hard to swallow. Very hard. Me and Elder Blauer aren't discouraged though!!!!! We know there are many souls here in Osceola that are prepared!!! We are more determined than ever! Other than that, our week was fantastic! We taught many people and were guided by the Spirit. I love you all, keep me in your prayers, and Elder Call too.

Elder Roberts  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 10 - First month in Iowa down and another baptism scheduled!

First I will answer your questions Mom. I met Hermana Eggett at the CCM and sat next to her on the flight from Detroit to Des Moines. She is a really amazing sister missionary. Yes I am wearing my retainers. Yes we have a cell phone. I fall asleep every night as soon as my head hits the pillow. I exercise for 30 minutes every morning, I’m  still 180 lbs (down 20 lbs since I left). We don't have any sisters in our area yet, but we are getting some down in Lamoni this transfer. Hermana Eggett is in my zone though, so we talked at the Zone Training Meeting we had last week. We don't talk to the mission president unless it’s an emergency or unless we are at a meeting with him. At the Zone Training meeting President Jensen and I talked for a while, though. 

Our week was sort of normal this week, except for Saturday. KRISSY GOT BAPTIZED!!! And then confirmed at church yesterday. Then after church Krissy's daughter CeLena told us to come over and said that at her mom's baptism she received an answer. Her baptism date is scheduled for Oct.12. We are so excited and blessed that God has trusted us with this family.

Tons of love from me to you,
Elder Roberts
P.S haven't got the packages yet, but I can't wait for them.  'Ill be sending a package home pretty soon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 9 - Baptism this Saturday

Pday is the day we recharge. We normally start the day off by studying.  After that we have time to be a little normal for a while. We shop for the week, we email, then eat, then we get to relax and clean our apartment if necessary till about 6 pm then p day is over and we go out and teach tell 8:30.

On a typical day here so far we don't wear a suit because it was really hot, but starting Sunday the temp dropped and we might start wearing them. It’s bitter cold here now. I love how different it is here.

Bishop Bair is so amazing!!! He and the bishopric are so focused on the work and help as much as possible. We go to ward council every week with the Chariton Elders who are also in our ward.

For the past two weeks we have made all 3 meals for ourselves, which is fine. The people here are really busy, it just means we have to budget even more.

This week was full of travel. We had exchanges with Lenox.  Since I'm the district leaders comp. we have to go on exchanges with every set of missionaries in our district. We arrived in Lenox, and me and Elder Stock got paired together. Elder Stock and I came out together, so we were pumped to work together; the 2 new guys. We killed it in Lenox together it was so much fun. Then on Wednesday we had Zone training! It was awesome too!! Elder Gay from the 1st quorum of the seventy taught us from 9am till 4pm, it was so amazing. It pumped everyone up. 

On Thursday the zone leaders had to come down for Krissy's baptismal interview, so we went on exchanges with them while they were down here. I went with Elder Cutler, he is the Elder I want to follow while out here, he is JUST like me.  He just has been out 18 months so he has a lot of knowledge I don't have, we had such a great day together here in Osceola.
Krissy is going to be baptized this Saturday!!!!! We are so grateful for her and that she let the Spirit and the Gospel change her life. We have many other investigators we are planning on giving baptismal dates to this week.

How is everyone back home doing?? This mission is crazy hectic but amazingly awesome.

Elder Roberts & Elder Blauer:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 8 - Hard but great

This week was hard but great. We walked every day, in weather a lot worse than you're having it - was at least 100 everyday (except maybe Elder Call)... It sticks to you here. It’s like a heavy heat. It’s WAY worse than Newport. 

We have mostly 3 to 4 dinner appointments a week here. We make our own breakfast and lunch every day and we live on our own. We don't use bikes because we don't have bikes. When we tract we bring as little as possible, but no matter what we are dripping in sweat. I have not got a shoulder bag yet, I don't really want one. 

I feel great here, already I love the people so much. O and I haven't got home sick here. I think it’s because I'm constantly focusing on other people, and how to teach them the gospel. Our investigators are doing fantastic right now! Krissy and CeLena are doing really good. I never thought that I would gain a love for people I barely know so quickly but I did. Elder Blauer and I went out on Thursday and bought supplies for Krissy that would help her stop smoking because she couldn't buy it.  So we showed up on her doorstep and surprised her with the supplies. Her baptism date is the 21st and she is so excited she just has to stop smoking. She went from a pack and a half a day to 5 a day last week, and now this week she will be at 0.  QUICK STORY On Tuesday we were walking to a less active families house when Elder Blauer told me Grandma Opal lives by the road we were walking on and we both thought we should visit her. At the visit we learned that she had found out early in the morning that she has kidney disease and that they are failing her fast. We comforted her and talked and helped her with some chores for about 2 hours. We were so grateful for that experience we had that day. Then while walking home from her house we saw two men on a porch smoking, and we just asked them how their day was going and if they needed anything and one of them said he was less active and that he wanted to re activate and bring his family to the gospel, and that we would see him at church on Sunday. Experiences like these let us acknowledge how much God's hand is in our lives every day and that what we are doing is His work, not our work. There are some difficult times and I don't ever think rejection will be easy to take, but I'm grateful for the many experiences God has given me so far on my mission. I love everyone, and I pray for you a lot. Keep praying for me!!
Love forever,

Elder Roberts 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 7 - Osceola, Iowa

I can’t believe I’m actually here finally. It is absolutely fantastic. The people here in Osceola are so warm and humble. My companion’s name is Elder Blauer, he is 6'7 and 280 lbs. He is a big dude, makes me look small! He is district leader and my trainer. It was weird leaving Elder Markstaller but I bet it will be even more weird to leave my trainer, and eventually my first area. I already love the people here so much I can’t explain.

The first night I got here we ate the best food at the president’s house I have ever had, I almost started to cry. Only 4 out of 32 missionaries at dinner went through what I did in Mexico and we all felt the same way. Then we slept at a member’s house and were supposed to wake up the next day at 5:30 and be at the president’s house at 6:30. We woke up at 6:20.... and ran all the way to his house. Then after breakfast at President Jensen's house we had a 2 hour drive to transfer meeting. President Jensen and Sister Jensen are probably two of the most kind and loving people I know. At transfer meeting I found out that my companion would be Elder Blauer. He is so amazing, he has been out 17 months and is a little trunky, but I kick him in the bum every morning and we go out and work our hardest.

After transfer meeting I found out that we would be driving 3 hours to my new area... Brother Williamson drove us to his house which is a town over from ours where our car was and then we drove from his house to ours.  Danny and Amber Whitlow were also in the car. They are ward missionaries here, and they are like our parents here pretty much. The people here remind me a lot of our crazy family, it’s really funny.

Right now we have 6 investigators but it’s really rough here to plan appointments because everyone works a lot. We have Krissy and Celena who are mother and daughter and have had rough lives but know the gospel is true. The only problem is every time we set up an appointment the adversary throws something in the way. They have had to cancel 5 times already, I get really frustrated some times. Their baptismal date is set for September 21, but that might be delayed. Then we have Randy and Charity, they are single moms with 2 kids each and are really busy balancing kids and work.  Beverly is also an investigator, she works a lot and said she will get baptized in November. We also work a lot with less actives, that is a big issue here so we visit less actives a lot.

This week we are walking which means every day we will probably be covering 10 miles. We switch off with another set of missionaries and have a car every other week. Every night we get home I collapse on the couch and want to pass out. It’s amazing! I have fallen asleep on my journal in the middle of writing so far and also have fallen asleep on my scriptures while memorizing. This work is amazing. Oh yeah this week I also got a prompting to knock some doors in a Hispanic part of town on Sunday and on Sunday we fasted and prayed to find new investigators.  We ended up finding 2 possible investigators in the apartment complex. Florinda and the Flores family those are our only Spanish speaking investigators. This is a bi-lingual mission so we speak English and Spanish.

2 days ago we helped a man build 2 barns on his property and it was 105 degrees here, with the humidity it was calculated to be 120 degrees, Newport weather is nothing compared to Iowa's magnificent weather.  The cookies were great and the ward was different, but fantastic. I learned that not every ward sings and has an organist as good as ours.

I’m good with money, I’m budgeting so I don’t know if I’ll ever have to use my debit card. I’m learning the ways of how to shop like a poor man from my trainer, it’s awesome

My pday is normally on Monday but since it was a holiday yesterday, the library was closed so we had to email today. Keep me in your prayers.

Love you all so much
Elder Roberts