Monday, December 26, 2016

El fin

Well, I don't know where to start. It is weird to think how fast the time flew by. 2 years went by way faster than I ever would have imagined. 

I remember opening my mission call and feeling so happy about being assigned to the Ecuador Quito North mission. Even tho I didn't really know much about Ecuador besides where it is on a map, I just felt it was right. After serving this mission, I know that divine inspiration received from a prophet of the Lord is what inspired me coming here. I know with my whole existence that I was being prepared to teach the people that I have been blessed to teach. I couldn't have felt the same anywhere else in the world. Quito has won over my heart.

I have learned so much in my mission. I have changed so much on the mission. The mission has been the absolute best and most rewarding thing that I have done in my life. 

There is a difference between knowing about Christ and knowing Christ. In the mission I have been able to know him better. I have gained an unbreakable testimony of his divinity. I have such a deep appreciation of him. 

I love the Ecuadorian people. It is going to break my heart saying goodbye to them, but I hope one day down the road I can see some of them again, and if not I hope that my efforts can help me see many of them in the presence of our Heavenly Father in his Celestial Kingdom.

I am excited to hug my mommy and my daddy and my lil bros here on Wednesday. It is going to be great.

I love you all and am so grateful for your prayers and support.

Love, Elder Roberts

Monday, December 19, 2016


Last night was pretty interesting. We woke up at around 2 30 in the morning to the phone ringtone going off and I answered it and the zone leaders called us informing us that there had just been a major earthquake in the coast. It was so powerful that it was felt in Quito as well. They told me I needed to call of the missionaries in my district and check to see if they were ok and tell them to pray for the people and especially the missionaries in the coast. Yaruqui is about 2 hours from Quito. It is possible the earth quaked here too, but we were sleeping through it, but when I called the elders and sisters from Cumbaya they were already awake because they had felt it. My heart goes out to my friends in the Coast......the Earthquake was right where I was serving in the province of Esmeraldas. Last night I couldn't go back to sleep that well because I was thinking of the poor humble coastal people I served that lived in little shacks and thinking of the many of them that probably have suffered from walls falling or ceilings falling or landslides.....I remember being in the coast and passing through a ton of earthquakes and it is hard. It is hard emotionally and it is hard to see the humble people you love lose their houses or see parts of their houses disappear....I was blessed to help a lot of people during that hard time, but I am sad I am not there to help them. I invite you all to pray for my coastal friends that they can keep on persevering through all of these earthquakes.

Well, it is absolutely amazing how fast the time is flying by. the mission has gone by waaayyyy tooo fast. It is really hitting me the time now. Today marks the beginning of my last normal week as a missionary. Well, its not going to be super normal because Saturday and Sunday the mission schedule is going to be a bit different and we are going to be given time to just kind of spend the afternoon and night chillin with members and celebrating Christmas eve and Christmas with them, and today has been a free day, so really Tuesday thru Friday will be normal work days and then Saturday and Sunday will kind of be more free. Then next week I will have a partially normal pday on Monday and then Monday night I will stay in Quito and Tuesday I will have my exit trainings and have our last dinner with President and the last testimony meeting and early Wednesday I am hitting up the Quito International Airport to go to Miami, from Miami to Chicago, and then Chicago to good old Minneapolis.........

Well, this week our zone had our Christmas dinner with President Murphy which was super fun and super delicious. It was great being able to spend some last moments with mission friends. One friend that was especially hard to say goodbye to was Elder Quispe. I served with Elder Quispe a year ago in Otavalo and he has defs been one of the absolute best companions I have had in my mission. He has become a best friend and pretty much a brother to me. The Lord blessed us to see each other in the coast months ago (even tho we served in different zones) and for some miracle I was his companion for 3 days here in Quito as we were both waiting for our new companions that we were training. It has been such a blessing for me to finish my mission in the same zone as him. It was so hard saying goodbye to him. He kind of lives in the middle of nowhere Peru and I am not sure how probable it is that I will see him ever again. But when we were saying goodbye and I gave him a nice tear filled big hug I got this feeling that I would see him the presence of our Heavenly Father and that we will have the eternities to enjoy together. I love the perfect plan of God that allows us to love with our families and friends forever.
Goodbye, Elder Quispe

After the dinner, I had my last interview with President. As I was waiting for my interview President had an interview with another sister in the Zone and my companion and I were sitting in the mission home in the couches and we just talked for an hour with Sister Murphy and their 15 year old son, Cole. I haven't really had too many opportunities to talk with Sister Murphy, but it was super awesome being able to talk to her. Our mission is the best. President and Sister Murphy are the absolute best. 

Finally my interview time came and it was the best! It was so spiritual and I got some really good counsels about how to live my life after the mission. I really felt good about my mission and it was a good feeling to report that I served my mission well.

So we got a call like last week from President telling us Elders, I got a call from Cumbaya telling us they are going to have a Christmas program and they need Elders that can sing. I told them that Elder Roberts and Elder Gehring can sing and they would probably love to go. SO we went to Cumbayas Christmas program on Saturday night and we were the shephards and we stood outside with the other shephards and us two sang the song It came upon a Midnight Clear so many times........But it was great. It was great being able to go to Cumbaya and spend some time with the missionaries in our district there. Also it was rewarding to see some people that I had interviewed for baptism a while ago and see others that I have gotten to know on divisions. 
somos pastores diga

Well, I want to tell you about Carlos. Carlos is a young man that we found a couple of weeks ago. Carlos was hanging out with a less active member that we teach and Carlos mentioned to us as we were introducing ourselves that he saw us teaching his dad like a couple of months ago. My first change with Elder Gehring we contacted a man named Pepe in the street and he invited us into his house and we taught him the first lesson, but never found him since. Anyways, Carlos has been super interested and has been coming to Church. Last night we had a visit with him and his sister and mom, and we started teaching lesson one. About halfway through the lesson Carlos told us about the guilt he has felt from his past sins and the desires he has to change, so following the promptings of the spirit, we quit talking about the restoration and we shared some quality thoughts and scriptures of the healing and cleansing power of the Atonement....The lesson became so spiritual.....( on a side note when Elder Hugo Montoya of the seventy came to the mission a couple of weeks ago, he told us that as missionaries we sometimes forget the powerful authority we have....He told us we shouldn't present ourselves to the people as representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but that we should represent ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ....and also that every time we invite someone to something serious that we should say In the name of Jesus Christ, I Invite you to.......and when we promise blessings we should say in the name of Jesus Christ I promise to you.....anyways, last night as Carlos  was talking about his desires change and we had explained repentance, I said Carlos, as a representative of Jesus Christ I want to invite you to something that will change your life. Carlos, I Invite you in the name of Jesus Christ to repent of your sins......when I said that I just felt a spiritual force so powerful.....He accepted. Then my companion said Carlos, in the name of Jesus Christ I invite you to be baptized the 7th of January....He accepted....there was no doubt that we were on the Lords errand on that visit. I was grateful for that visit. A lot of things clicked in my head in that visit and I am grateful for the authority I have to really promise things in the name of Christ and act as he acted.

Love, Elder Roberts
With Elder Morales from Mexico

The fake baptism

With the Dominguez family, we eat with them Sundays.

Monday, December 12, 2016

When Lightning Strikes

Well, this week was super interesting and event filled, it flew by fast. Holy cow, the time is just flying by. I cant believe how fast this mission has gone by. AAAAAAHHHHHHH…..

Today, to enjoy our p day my companion and I went to a mall in Cumbaya called the Scala. We were there chillaxing and looking for some things my companion wanted and I was looking for a new belt which I still wasn’t able to find, in our course of navigating ourselves through this mall I heard like a woman shout my voice Elder Roberts. I was like what the heck, and I turned around and saw Sister Benalcasar and her two daughters. Hermana Benalcasar was my mamita in Calderon where I started my mission almost 2 years ago. I was surprised she still remembered me, she was one of my favorite mamitas. Her husband was the Stake President and I played the Violin at the Stake Conference session where he was released. President Benalcasar was also companions with Brother Bryce Beech in their mission together in Guyaquil South. It was so awesome catching up with her for a couple of minutes. She was like oh my gosh Elder Roberts you sound so different, your Spanish has gotten sooooo much better. It was a proud moment. 

Anyways, we saw some cool miracles this week and had some cool experiences as well. One of which was on Wednesday I went to Cumbaya to go on a division with Elder Herandnez. Elder Hernandez is super cool, he is from San Pedro Sula Honduras, the same city as my companion from over a year ago Elder Pinto ( who is super cool and I am still in contact with.) Cumbaya has to be the richest part of the mission. It is probably the richest part of Quito, or at least the richest part of Quito within our mission. There are a lot of gringos that live there, it is a pretty stark contrast with the rest of the mission. Anyway, all of Wednesday I was just in shock at how much of a civilized place I was in. I am sure I will feel like that when I land back in the U.S. Our mamita on Wednesday was super cool, he was this guy who finished his mission like 2 years ago and is already married and stuff and he had some great counsel. After lunch, we shared our little thought and asked for references and said Elders, I have a reference for you but it has a price………he left and came back with an American Football and said, I will give you a reference if you play a little bit of ball with me out in the yard. OH MY GOSH. I haven’t thrown a football for the last 2 years of my life. Do you know how good that felt to play some quality catch. That was the best.

After we got back from lunch, Elder Hernandez and I went contacting, because the sector they are in is fairly new and Elder Hernandez and his companion from Guyaquil, Elder Vargas are opening it and they don’t have much of a program there. So we contacted and the sky got black and the floods came down. As we were drenched in the rain lightning was striking all over our sector. I am not even kidding, a lightning bolt striked like within 20 feet of Elder Hernandez and I and I screamed like a little girl. Oh my gosh, crazy stuff. I don’t think I have ever been so close to lightning in my life.

My companion set a personal record on our time together this change of finding new investigators. This last week we found 10 new investigators, all of them were found just through street contacting. We worked hard this week. This week we had to work in the rain and in the hot hot sun. I got pretty sunburnt despite applying large quantities of sunscreen. I guess being so high up in the Andes mountains and being so close to the sun there is nothing you can really do to not get sunburnt when you are a missionary. 

But we worked. We worked, worked, worked, and found and taught. And we had 6 investigators at church yesterday which was really cool. It was great seeing so much progress in the sector, I am thankful that after I leave that Elder Gehring and whoever his companion will be will have a nice batch of people to work with.

Yesterday during church I was just casually sitting there after the intermediate hymn and the branch president is like and now Elder Roberts will give us a talk. I was like….what? But for those of you who know me know that I love talking and talking on the spot has never been a problem for me, so I was pumped I got up and I just poured my heart out to my brothers and sisters who I have grown to love so much in that small little house where we meet here in Yaruqui. I felt like it was probably the most powerful talk I gave in my life and just felt the spirit so strong. I know sharing our testimonies is one of the most powerful ways to get it to grow. If any of you want your testimonies to be stronger, go and share it. It will grow.

Our family of converts is so powerful. I love them more than I thought was even possible. This whole week they said Elders, tenemos una gran sorpresa por ustedes……and we were like whats up? And they were like, wait until Sunday……..On Sunday, Wilver and Veronica in their new white shirt and tie and her in her dress stood up and were sustained to be missionaries of the branch. They turned to us with tears in their eyes afterwords and said with a huge smile. Now we are missionaries just like you…..I cant think of any better missionaries to serve these wonderful people here than the dear Familia Quinchimbla. 

Well life is going swell. I love being a missionary. I love this. I LOVE MY SAVIOR. I am glad that for these past two years  I have been able to be an official representative of my perfect Savior Jesus Christ. That I have been able to carry his name on my chest and act as he would act and say what he would say. I am grateful for the power and the authority that has come with my sacred calling of being his representative. I have learned that in the mission you can know more about God or you can know God. I feel like I am knowing him better and better every day. I love my Heavenly Father and I know he loves me so much and loves every one of us. His mission is a mission of love. We show his love when we obey his commandments and when we do so we have a right to the richest blessings of the Heavens. I am going to take advantage of these last days I have as a full time missionary, but I will never stop being a missionary. When the day comes that I take off my tie and my nametag, I wont be going back to my old life. I can never go back and I never will go back. Even tho I wont be a missionary, I will continue as a consecrated disciple of Christ. I know there will be new opportunities and new ways to serve him. I will always represent my Savior. I love him. He lives. Gloria to God in the Highest! 

Love, Elder Roberts

Monday, December 5, 2016


Well, so much has happened. I have no clue where to begin. I will start with two weeks ago where I saw one of the most beautiful sights of my life. On Saturday afternoon, my companion and I filled up the baptismal font and the good old Familia Quinchimbla Auqui came to complete their family as a baptized family.

We actually had the great blessing of getting President Murphy to come to the baptism. It was awesome having him there, he gave some great thoughts. Brother Quinchimbla did a great job baptizing his kids. It was definitely one of the best days of my mission seeing the gospel work in a family that needed it so much.

Then Monday came along. OH MY GOSH. BEST DAY OF THE MISSION. My companion and I woke up early and met up with Elder Quispe and Elder Christiansen and headed out to Otavalo. I have no clue how Elder Quispe and I convinced President to let us go together to Otavalo, but God Bless that Man, he let us go. We dropped our companions off in downtown Otavalo where they passed the day buying souvenirs and what not and Elder Quispe and I took the bus to San Roque. As we got off the bus, we immediately started running into people we knew. We walked our way up trying to visit some people we knew, but we were only able to advise a couple of people we were coming, so we weren't able to see a lot of people we wanted to see. Anyways, we finally made it up to the familia Montalvo Pinedas house. They have been one of my favorite families in my whole mission. They were our mamita and they always accompanied us on visits. It was so awesome seeing them. We were all filled with tears being reunited and we spent some good time with them. After about an hour or so talking and catching up with each other Elder Quispe and I said goodbye to them and visited some old investigators and found out they got baptized! How rewarding it was to hear that. To think we started with them and even tho we weren't there long enough to see them get baptized, but to think our teaching them made a difference. Two little kids named Eric and Lenin got baptized ( Elder Quisepa and I found them) and also a lady named Isabel got married and got baptized (Elder Quispe and I also started with her) it was great to see them. 

Then we took a taxi up the highest part of the volcano to visit our dear family of converts, the familia Cordovoa Tituaña. It was so rewarding to see them! That family was one of the greatest miracles that happened to me. After a tear filled reunion, they made lunch for us and told us about the trials and joys they have had in the church. Brother Cordovoa Tituaña is now an Elders Quorum Teacher. Sister Ana Tituaña Cordova is now the relief society secretary. They are both active, their kids are attending seminary. They are the first ones to get seats in the chapel on Sundays. The gospel has changed their lives and they shared with us how excited they are to go to the temple to be sealed as they complete one year as members in March.......the gospel has blessed their lives so much and it was so rewarding seeing them. 

We also ran into the familia Matango who ate lunch with us and the familia Cordova Tituaña, they were converts before I got there and I worked a lot with them. As we were finishing up, we visited the familia Cacuango DIaz. oh my gosh, I love that family. they made us another lunch and we shared a good time together.

It was so hard leaving......Otavalo has won over my heart. I promised everyone that one day I would come back. I think of all the sectors I have served in that San Roque was my favorite. I am going to miss this country. I am going to do everything I can to go back there one day. It has such a special place in my heart.

This last week has been cool. Elder Hugo Montoya of the seventy came to the mission, so we got to go see him and he talked to us about the true power we have as representatives of Christ. I took some good notes, it was a great conference. 

This last week we saw some cool miracles, but unfortunately my companion got super sick. I think his stomach is still getting used to Ecuador and we were in the house Saturday and went to church Sunday but came back. but fortunately he is filling better. It is terrible being sick in South America. 

Yesterday was an amazing day as Brother Quinchimbla ordained his son to the priesthood. Life is great.
The time is flying by. I guess I am just going to be sending two more of these emails before I get home, how crazy is that. asldkjfaslñdkfjasldfkjasdñlfkjasdfñlkasjdf
Well I love you all, and I guess I will see you here in a couple of weeks.

Love, Elder Roberts
 Little girls that followed us the whole day cuz they were giggling when they heard us speak English
 My shoes compared to my companions shoes
One of my favorite families 
 Me with my fav family
 President Murphy is awesome
 With Jorge Montalvo Pineda 
 At lunch with Familia Cordova Tituaña and Familia Matango
Dream team in San Roque
 With our awesome family of converts 
 With the Familiia Matango
With la Familia Cacuango