Monday, October 26, 2015

el centro de nada

Well this week, was pretty cool. Elder Castro and I are working well together. At first I was pretty intimidated because he is the 2nd oldest missionary on the mission and is 7 years older than me, but now I feel more normal about it. 

The super sad news is that we couldnt find Genesis or Monica this week. We called like 4 times every day and they didn't answer and we coudn't find them and they didn't come to church, so we are trusting the Lord is taking good care of them and in his own time will help us do what we can to help them in the buen camino. 

We had a zone conference in Otavalo this week with another zone in the mission and we were walking towards the chapel, I saw in front of me some missionaries that looked somewhat familiar, as I got closer I realized it was my first companion, my trainer, my father, the famoso Elder Morgan. I ran up to him and hugged him so hard. It was so cool to see how he was doing and to pass the day with him. He was such a good companion.
 My "Father" companion, Elder Morgan

Saturday we had a visit in the city San Gabriel which is part of our sector but it is like an hour to the south so we really haven't gone there because our mission President told us we should focus on the work here in Tulcàn. So we went to San Gabriel for the first time and found this less active that came to church two weeks ago.  We didn't know San Gabriel so she told us to find her at the bus stop. She was like alright we are going in a taxi to my house. Turned out her house was in the absolute centro de nada, middle of nothing (no where) I don't know how to say no where in Spanish. lo siento. anyways, their family is super humble, such a sweet family, but I was kind of upset thinking wow it is going to take us an hour and a half to walk back to the main road and then an hour in a bus to get back and we aren't going to be able to do anything today and I viewed this lesson as a burden, but then I was thinking it was a burden for them to come to church. They have to wake up at 3 in the morning to leave their house at 4 to get to church and they are super ppoooorrrrr. They spend like all their money to get to the chapel and go back. I felt the Spirit slap me in the face and then I got super grateful that I could be able to go to their house. They never have anyone visit them and they were so happy to have us there, it was such a blessing. I am grateful that the Lord Humbles us and lets us see the good in everything we do. 

Thanks so much for the letters, emails, and goody boxes, keep them coming.  Have an amazing week and a Happy Halloween. I love you all.

Elder Roberts
 Me with some cure kids.

My new tie

Monday, October 19, 2015

Best of Times Worst of Times

Elder Damian left this morning in intermediate changes to Calderon. I am now with Elder Castro from Guayaquil. He only has like 2 changes left in the mission.. He seems super cool. I think it is cool to have an Ecuadorian companion. 

Thanks so much for your amazing emails, I love you all a ton and it is always a blessing to see how everyone is doing and to read your encouraging words. On a sidenote, blog title, I really like the book Great expectations, I want to read it again when I get back. I never read the full length of Tale of Two Cities, it was a harder read, but I love Charles Dickens and I am encouraged to reread and read when I get back.

THIS WEEK I have been sicker than Nacho Libre when he ate the Eagle Egg. for realz. I got super sick super super sick. I found out that i have two types of parasites and I have just been dying. Like straight up throwing up and diarrhea. I have lost a ton of weight this week, but I am starting to feel better. On another side note thanks for all of you for including my leg in your prayers my whole mission. I can walk well, sometimes it hurts bad, especially when the terrain is rough. When I get back you may notice I have a little tiny bit of a limp, it is hard to tell unless you are looking, but I just want to prepare you all and hope you wont freak out.

WE HAD A MIRACLE THIS WEEK. AN ABSOLUTE MIRACLE. Last Sunday we saw these three ladies come to church that we didn't recognize. We went and talked with them and they told us that they lived in our sector and that they recently moved form Quito and that they have been meeting with the missionaries there and attending the church there. So we were like that is great. we took down their information scheduled a visit and had an absolute miracle happen. We showed up to the visit and we went with a returned missionary and everything was going good we were getting to know them better. Her name is Monica and her daughters name is Genesis she is 9 years old. Genesis loves the church and wants to get baptized and Monica more than anything wants to support her daughter which is super awesome, but Monica isn't as interested, but she said there is something special about the church. We taught them something basic and invited Genesis to a baptismal date for the 31st and she looked at her mom and her mom gave her permission with a big smile on her face and she accepted. 

The mom doesn't have a testimony yet, we invited her to baptism and she said she doesn't feel ready, so we asked if she got an answer if she would get baptized and she said yes. We were teaching and the member shared some thought and the mom said that she wanted to know more but she felt that she didn't have a strong testimony yet. The lesson was kind of going a little long and I was thinking it is time to wrap it up, but this prompting came to me to share Alma 32 with the mom and talk about how faith is like a seed. I was thinking no, we got to wrap this up, but the feeling was super strong, probably some of the most hardcore revelation that I have received in my life. So I was like hermana I would like to share this scripture with you. She said how faith is like a seed, how it isn't a perfect knowledge but more than anything it is a hope we have. She read about how even if we have a desire to have faith that if we act on this desire that this faith can grow. I asked how she felt reading this and then it got super silent. she started crying....and she wouldn't stop. I wasn't sure if I should say something, but we just let her cry and reflect. She told us this was exactly what she needed to read, described exactly how she felt, and that in this moment she felt something so special in her heart that she has never felt before. We told her, hermana this is the holy spirit. God sends it to us because he loves us and I testify that if you get baptized you can feel this love all of the time. We invited her to get baptized the 31st with her daughter and she accepted. I was so happy. I cant tell you how happy stuff like that makes me. Sunday came and they weren't there in the church and I was super sad, but then right before the sacrament started they walked in and I just prayed to God in gratitude I was so happy. After the sacrament when I got down form the stand from directing the music, I went and sat next to them and the mom had a big smile on her face and she told me she was super happy to be here at church. Man, the mission is so hard, but the small things like this just make every hard part worth it. Please keep Genesis and Monica in your prayers that they can be baptized together the 31st.

This week a sister from our ward went down to Calderon, my first sector and she went to the principios del evangelio class and said she was visiting from Tulcan, I guess word spread that I am here and everyone was like do you know Elder Roberts, I got some amazing letters handed to me from la familia cuaran. I was glad to see that they are active and doing well and from Silivia and Andy my converts, they are active and well. This Gospel CHANGES lives. I have no doubt this is the Lord´s work, I am filled wiht gratitued that I can be  a small part of this work and that I have been blessed to know so many amazing people. 

Sorry this email was so long, but I just wanted to share these tender mercies, these beautiful experiences with you all. Have an amazing week.

Elder Roberts

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ecuatorianos, Somos Los Ganadores

This week Ecuador played Argentina in Argentina for the games to get into the World Cup. We did some contacting during the game and everyone was super mad at us. We realized that it was a horrible hour to contact so we went to a members house and watched the last ten minutes of the game and it was 0 0 and Ecuador scored. A minute afterwords we scored again. The streets were crazy, all the cars were honking their horns everyone went crazy. It was hard to go to sleep that night because it was so loud in the streets. I am so grateful that I was able to join in the excitement. This week we play Bolivia in Quito. Quito is notorious because the stadium is about 2 miles high and all the away teams die from the altitude and usually Ecuador wins. 

The past month we have been going with the Branch President to a rehabilitation center for youth and a couple older people with addictions to drugs and alcohol. It has been an amazing experience. I have a strong testimony that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can completely free us from whatever problem we have.  I know Jesus Christ came here to save us from ourselves. We have been teaching all of the youth together and recently we met Roman. Roman is a total boss. I love him. I think my purpose here in Tulcan is to help him out. He has the strongest desires to change his life out of anyone I have seen in my mission. He came to us and cried and told us he needs Christ and he needs to change. We taught the restoration and he felt so strongly that it was true. Unfortunately we have been out of copies of the Book of Mormon, we didn't have one to give to him and he really wanted one. because we live in the middle of nowhere it is hard to get the pamphlets and libros. Finally we got more Books of Mormon and my companion and I marked a whole bunch of good scriptures for him to read. He read a toooonnnnn. We asked if he prayed to see if it is true. He said no, he said the moment we taught the Book of Mormon he already knew. He said all the words we have taught are true. We were soo happy and excited, but we told him he still needed to pray. He prayed and told us he received a strong witness it was true. He wants to get baptized sooo bad, but the problem is he cant leave the center without permission and the boss has been sick so he couldn't come to church this Sunday. Please pray for Roman that he can come to church that he can follow Jesus Christ and he can be baptized he deserves it sooo bad. I know God works miracles and I feel so strongly that Roman was who God was preparing for us to find. Please pray for him. 

Elder Roberts


Monday, October 5, 2015

El Envia Angeles

SO this week we had a supppeeerrr coool experience. We have these super awesome new investigators that are a reference from a super awesome and super active family here in the branch, so we had a family home evening scheduled and the investigators didn't show up.......we were all pretty sad,but I was like lets say a prayer. We said a prayer and they still didn't come, so I was like ok, could we at least share a scripture with you guys before we go and they were like of course! So my companion and I shared a scripture in Moroni about how miracles have not ceased! Right immediately after we read that verse someone knocked on the door and it was the investigators! YAAAAAAAYYYYY. Miracles do happen

I had this great idea today about making cookie dough and eating it, so I got the recipe from another missionary and I was super pumped, I was thinking about this for a couple of days and the moment finally came, I bought all the ingredients, I followed the recipe, I took a bite, and I almost threw up. Worst cookies I ever made! I hate life! lol

Conference was so amazing. I was so happy about the new apostles, I was in the same elevator with Elder Rasband last year at the BYU homecoming game with uncle Lowell and Aunt Charlotte ( if you are reading this I love you two), and Elder Renlund gave my favorite talk of the earlier general conference. I was especially moved by Elder Hollands talk about women. When he was talking about moms I was crying and I noticed the other elders in the room with me were tearing up a little bit too, afterwords we talked about how much we love our moms. I can think of all the women that have influenced my life, of all my good teachers in school, of Carolyn Axt who was my viola teacher, of Sister Richardson who is my mission presidents wife and has helped me out so much on my mission, my aunts, my cousins, my sister, and my grandmas and aunt Jenifer who is basically my mom away from my mom, I love them all to death. But especially my mom. My mom is the most beautiful and most Christlike woman in my life. I miss her more than words can explain. It has been hard to go a little more than 9 months without seeing her at all or hearing her voice, but I have never felt like she has been so close to me. I know she is praying her heart out for me, I know she suffers when I suffer, cries when I cry, and she loves me in a way that seems impossible and perfect, I love her so much and I am so grateful to know that Families are eternal and that I will always be her child and she will always be my loving mom. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be here still on the mission if it wasn't for her. Mom, I love you sooooo much, I am going to give you the biggest hug when I get back. I hope you all had a great conference. I would be interested to know what was your favorite talk. Have a great week. Send me packages and money for Christmas ! 😁
Elder Roberts

 Perry the Platypus eating mat

 General Conference, and with Esnaider and Gabby