Monday, January 26, 2015

My week in Middle Earth

Calderon is such a weird place. It gets really cold and really hot. I read somewhere online that in Quito you experience all four seasons in one day which is completely accurate. It goes from dry and hot to pouring rain and cold within minutes. Everything is so cheap. I spend like two dollars a day and it is pretty much just bus rides. 
The food is great. We get well fed. I am going to put on so much weight. The mamitas give us a ton of food for lunch. It is always a big soup, then rice with vegetables and chicken, and then some type of fruit juice. I had cui at familia san martin´s this week. They are one of my favorite families. Cui is guinea pig. I felt bad eating it because of all the pet hamsters we have had. But it was really delicious. I also had this fish where it was literally like the whole fish including the head. The head was actually the best part. Every appointment we have they give us a ton of food and if you don't eat all of it it is rude.

Cui - guinea pig

Our ward is awesome. everyone goes out of their way to help the missionaries. It is incredible. It is incredible how receptive everyone is here. Literally everyone we contact turns into a lesson. Pretty much everyone is a diehard catholic, but with two gringos from the u.s. here they are curious to hear our message. We made a lot of progress with our investigating families. Andy got baptized which was awesome. he is so cool. At the baptism the ward missionary leader was conducting and was like Elder Roberts will now give a talk on baptism. Not gonna lie, it was pretty rough and pretty bad Spanish, but reminds me of how as missionaries we always need to be ready to help out.

Andy and his mom Sylvia at his baptism. They are really awesome people. 
It is amazing to see the gospel change lives.

We had this really cool experience yesterday giving priesthood blessings. We were walking down the street when this man stopped us, told us he was a member visiting from another city in Ecuador and that the family he was visiting needed priesthood blessings. We went to his house which was more of a really small cement shack and there were these old indigenous women there. They were from otavalo. I forgot which prophet, but I think Kimball or Benson said that the people from Otavalo are the most direct descendants of the Lamanites and have pure Lamanite blood. The men all have ponytails including the stake presidents and we have a missionary in our mission serving from Otavalo and he has permission from the first presidency to keep his ponytail and wear more traditional indigenous clothing. Anyways, they speak mostly Quechua which is their language. It was so cool one by one giving these priesthood blessings to these pure Lamanite women. It was an experience I will cherish and never forget. Afterwords we left a priesthood blessing on the house. Sometimes I feel like I am truly walking among Book of Mormon people in Book of Mormon lands. It is such a different place down here. It is beautiful in its own way.

Chao, Elder Roberts

Rainbow after tracting in the rain all day.

Monday, January 19, 2015


What a crazy week! I spent all of Monday in an airplane and landed in a different hemisphere in a different world and a different everything else. Ecuador is so diverse, I am about 40 minutes to an hour and a half outside of Quito in a city called Calderon and it is completely different than Quito.

Me with Bro. and Sis. Richardson

My Mission President is great. He and his wife were very welcoming. I stayed with the assistants the first couple nights and they are both cool. I can feel the change in elevation being from Minnesota which is barely above sea level to almost 10,000 feet above sea level. My leg is doing not the best. The streets are hard to walk on sometimes, especially when it is like loose rock, dodging traffic, going up a mountain. If you saw the city I was in you would probably think it was Mexico if it weren't for the high Andes Mountains surrounding it.

This is from the apartment the first time I woke up in Quito.

My companion is Elder Morgan! He is great. He plays the Viola and Chess! He is a gringo and has 7 months on the mission. He speaks very fluent spanish tho. I am struggling with the spanish, it is completely different than the mtc. They speak very poorly down here. they don't pronounce like half of the parts of the word and that makes it really confusing as to what they are saying but I am getting more used to it everyday. We have to drink all of our water through this filtered water bottle. The water is brown coming out of the sink. Nothing here is similar to the U.S. the people are different, the food is different, the traffic is different, what in Minnesota would be considered a small apartment would be considered a mansion here. The poverty is crazy.

Elder Morgan and Me

Everyone is so receptive to the Gospel. Pretty much everyone will talk to us and invite us in when we ask. We don't have to do much contacting because the one person we contact will turn into an hour lesson. I have been in so many great lessons. We have a baptism this Saturday for Andy who is a 16 year old. I challenged Hermano Sarango to be baptized last night and he accepted, so that is exciting. We have mamitas here that are women in the ward that make lunch and do laundry for us, it is awesome. Everyone is so great. It gets super sketchy once it gets dark, once its dark outside its very dangerous, but it is fine. I hope all of you are doing well.

Love, Elder Roberts

​Its Elder Roberts, jk, this is Mateo, he is my friend

All of the new missionaries
At the airport in Quito

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I love the MTC

This past week has been long and crazy, but in a really good way. I got special permission to get on e-mail tonight, because I had a change in travel plans and got my departure date bumped up to Monday, so I fly from SLC to Detroit, from Detroit to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to Quito.

I cut my pinky finger and it wouldn't stop bleeding forever and now it has an indent. yay. on Sunday Sis. Oscarson, the Young Women General President gave the devotional and it was so good! I am saying the prayer at the devotional tomorrow and that should be really cool. I ran into Elder Zimmerman (he was in my ward in Kansas). I have been meaning to take a picture with him, but we aren't allowed to bring cameras to the cafeteria which is the only place I see him.

Spanish is ok. It is getting harder and easier at the same time. In spanish there are two ways to say the word "you" you can say "tu" or "usted". In  high school/college they taught us mostly in the "tu" form and as missionaries we have to use "usted" since it is more formal and we are representing Jesus Christ. There are different conjugations for each and it is weird speaking in the Usted form, but I am sure it will come more naturally with time.

I GOT TO SEE GRANDMA AND GRANDPA. It was awesome, I had my doctors appointment in Salt Lake so they got to take me to it. My leg is getting better, but I can't run on it til mid March which stinks. It was nice getting a break from the MTC and we got inn n out burger! I asked Grandma if we could drive by BYU and my old dorm on the way back and it was sad thinking of all my friends there, but I know this is where I am supposed ot be right now.

Elder Denton was my companion Wed-Thurs. because he didn't have his visa to Nicaragua, and his companion was in quarantine for the flu. So Elder Gallardo is feeling better and him and Denton are back together and I am back with Marquez and Humble. I am getting sick of wearing the suit coat around the MTC, but I can wear short sleeves in Ecuador, so two more days of the suit and then two years of Eternal Spring  baby!

I love the mountains here and I keep on thinking about how much I will miss the Utah mountains, but then I remember Quito is 10,000 feet above sea level, so that won't be a problem. Missionary work feels so fulfilling. I don't think there is anything better I could be doing than helping others come unto Christ. I love the work, I love the language, and I am excited here in 48 hours to love the people. It is sooo hard. It is easy to complain, but think of Jesus Christ. He was the only perfect man ever, and he never complained. He went through trials harder than anything he imagined. He died for us, after he bled from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane and being betrayed by one of his disciples, instead of complaining he healed the ear of his enemy. He did this because he loves us. I have a testimony of this. Jesus is our Savior. He loves you. No matter where you have been or what you have done, you can always come to him. He will bring you peace. I am excited to share this with the people of Ecuador! ECUADOR HERE I COME! WRITE ME PLZ
Elder Roberts

Provo Temple

My Companions and I hard at work


​My district con Hermano Humble

​Elder Mauris Castillo and I, he is in MN. Hopefully you meet him, he was my first zone leader!

Monday, January 5, 2015


I hope everyone is doing well! My experience as a missionary so far has been nothing less than miraculous. It is a dream come true to be serving my mission. I was so nervous getting in the MTC, I pretty much was just going to call it quits, but right when I stepped in the whole spirit changed.  I gave the opening prayer at the New Missionary Orientation missionary meeting which was cool and this Sunday I will be saying the prayer at the Devotional.

 I am in a trio with two companions, Elder Humble and Elder Marquez. Elder Humble is from Portland and will serve in the Ecuador, Guyaquil South Mission. (The Picture you got sent to you mom was from Hermano Humble who is his older brother and is our teacher at the MTC). Elder Marquez is from California serving in the Texas, Houston Mission. They are both incredible companions and will be great in the mission field and we all get along great. It is nice because we work really hard and focus in class, but we are all so chill back at the dorm. The rest of my district is all hermanas. They are from Guatemala, Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Washington, and California and will be serving in Houston, Argentina, Idaho, Idaho, Puerto Rico, and D.C. It is interesting because usually districts go to the same place, but ours is going all over the place. I am the district leader which means I get the mail and call on someone to say the prayer, and my companions are the zone leaders.

My MTC District

I LOVE LATINOS. Our zone is filled with all these hilarious Latino Elders and it is always such a fiesta! I am so excited to live in Latinoland Ecuador for two years. I know everyone is equal, but Latinos are the best. My Spanish is fine. I understand about 99% of what is going on in class and can communicate decently well, but I am sure that will all change on the mission. The Spirit is so strong here. It permeates from every part of the MTC campus. Sometimes it can be really discouraging to be a missionary, but Jesucristo is there to comfort us. 

What I have learned so far is the importance of obedience. It doesn't matter if you have 100 or zero scriptures memorized or are familiar with preach my gospel. If the spirit isn't your companion nothing else matters. El Espiritu es el maestro. 

JAYDEN DIDN'T EMAIL ME. makes me sad. He is going to love the MTC and I am sad I will miss his talk this week.

It is my testimony to all of you as a representative of Jesus Christ that he lives. He is always there for us. Turn to him. Do everything you can to bring the Spirit in your life. Love your Neighbor.

Elder Roberts