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.

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