Monday, July 7, 2014

Union... and eating

Dear Everyone,
First week in Union is over. It is a small quaint little town with a few people. Most of the members in the area are less active so lots of reactivation to be done and we have some potential investigators and actual investigators. Elder Lagunzad is very nice and humble and really loves to eat. (both of my last two companions love to eat, maybe there is a message trying to be sent... nah!) My stomach has grown 3 sizes larger since the mission began... Painful and not fun for one who does not like eating but I do it anyway, or as much as my stomach will allow.
One of the coolest experiences I have had over the last week was when we were at a lady's house who has been an "investigator/potential investigator" for awhile. She has had a Book of Mormon for awhile. She had heard that our church has a program to help people to quite smoking so we told her a bit about it and said we are trying to start up a class but we only have 2 people who potentially would want to join. She said she would want to join so that she can overcome that addiction. We then shared Ether12:27 about how through humbling ourselves before Jesus Christ we can be made strong in our weaknesses. The spirit truly touched her at that moment, because she expounded on the scripture and brought up how in Revelation it says not to add to it, and she finally understood the correct Interpretation, and that we can have more scripture today. She then said she knew of 5 other people who like to quit smoking and that they would be willing to join the class if we could get it started up. This could bring about much fruit and I hope it does, as this area needs it.
The Book of Mormon is amazing and I can not restate that enough, as we come to know it is true, we learn so much more than just that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that there are prophets on the earth today, but more importantly, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that through Him and following His example we can return to live with our Father in Heaven and have everlasting Joy and happiness.
Elder K.J. Roberts
P.S. Pictures: Me and Elder Lagunzad serving at a Senior meal. The front end of the Chapel with the podium behind the choir seats and the organ, and our church building... the coolest most interesting LDS church I have ever seen.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A letter from another

Hello Sister Roberts,

I just wanted to let you know that we enjoy having your son over for dinner and to hear of his sweet testimony. I felt the spirit the first time he bore his testimony in fast and testimony meeting. He is a very valiant and humble missionary. He is doing great!  We are so glad that we have the opportunity to get to know him and have him serve in our ward. He's a wonderful young man!

Have a fantastic day!

Sister Tammy Mahler :0)

I attached pictures of them in our house and knocking on our door. Awesome Missionaries!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

To everyone

Dear Any and Everybody who reads this,

So far the mission is great! I will start off with probably the general questions everyone would ask. Currently I am serving in Fruitland Idaho. It is a small town on the Idaho side of Ontario (a city on the border of Oregon and Idaho, but is in Oregon). It used to be filled with fruit orchards of all sorts. Makes sense as the name is Fruitland. There are still orchards but not as many as there used to be. It is pretty random now and people farm all sorts of different things. Mostly it is farmland out here though. Me and my companion live in a members home in a little side apartment over their garage. It is very nice and we enjoy it there. The water smells like sulfur (rotten eggs) every now and again though. It is very nice accommodations. Me and my companion cover 2 wards. The Fruitland 3rd and 4th Wards. About 6 months ago they had a ward split to create the 4th Ward. It has affected everybody and lots of different things have occurred because of that. Good and bad. We are trying to help pick up the bad by reactivating members who may have gone inactive since then. Or maybe new converts who were thrown off by it.

My companion's name is Elder Morse. He is 23 years old and from Washington. He is a convert to the church of 3 years and he has been out almost 6 months. He is my trainer and he is pretty green too. But we are both learning a lot from each other and from the people we meet and teach. He was converted because of friends examples from grade school to high school. The Mormons he knew growing up did not drink or smoke or swear. Because of a hard time in his life he remembered his friends and the lives they lived and the joy it brought them. He could see how their family lives were and he wanted that for himself. Even the Mormons who didn't live their religion he could tell they were Mormon because they still had something different about them. Remember that people are watching. I never thought someone could join mostly because of that. But because of those friends and people he knew, he investigated the church and was baptized.

He was serving in this area for 1 transfer before I got here, but the area didn't seem to start picking up till I got here he said. But we work all day trying to find people to teach. We usually go by referrals of members, or part member families. Lots of the success in these area's are based on not only our efforts as missionaries, but also the effort of the members in the area. In the 4th Ward they just had a ward conference on Hastening the Work. These wards are getting really focused on missionary work and it is great.

A book we teach out of a lot to members specifically is called "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M Christensen. I would suggest this book to everyone who reads this. It is the what and the how of sharing the gospel as a member. It has all sorts of advice on how to make missionary work part of your everyday life. And the best part is that it is so simple. One of the things in the book talks about using Mormon words in conversation as it may every now and again have somebody say" Oh so your a Mormon?" And it opens a conversation about the church. But I really would suggest this book.

While I suggest this book do not let it replace scripture study, especially that of the Book of Mormon. I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon in many peoples lives. And never forget to study it day by day. It can bring protection and power to us in our everyday lives and it is because of it this church has come about. Without the Book of Mormon, there would be no reason for any of this. If I did not know the Book of Mormon to be true for myself I would not be out here serving a mission. I have seen the impact and power it has on peoples lives.

Most importantly do not forget to pray. Over the past month and a half I have grown a lot stronger testimony of prayer. I have seen this in my own actions and things I pray for but more importantly those I serve. We had a lesson this last week in which our investigator was asking about prayer as he had never prayed before and he has been coming to church for 9 months. Elder Morse first prayed to show him a little bit of how we did it. Then I prayed and showed a slightly more personal prayer. And then Glenn (our investigator) asked about praying more for ourselves, how we ask questions to find out things for ourselves. How we pray for help in our own individual lives. We then had the person who had invited us over and Glenn over, whose name is Beax (pronounced like Beau or Bo) pray. And he offered an amazing prayer. He is another person we teach and he was excommunicated. He served a full time mission and is anxious to be re-baptized but has to go through a lot of steps to get there. Mostly with the Stake President and Bishop. He offered a prayer asking for help in his situation and for those things that he needed in his life, for his son and for his recent ex-wife. His prayer invited the spirit so strongly that my companion and him were crying at the end. We then had Glenn pray for those things that he needed. He offered a prayer truly from his heart asking to know what he needed to do, and for comfort in his decisions as hard things would come about from him joining the church. He knows his family is against the church and he needed peace. After the prayer everyone in the room was crying except me, I think mostly just cause I am lame and don't a lot. Then Glenn asked where he should start reading in the Book of Mormon and if just starting at the beginning was okay. We told him that great and that starting from the beginning is exactly how to start. Beax's other friend named Lorren then gave the closing prayer (and she had been out of the room for most of the lesson, but came back in right at the end). Everyone in the room had given a prayer but her. So she gave it. She has been inactive for a while. But she gave an immensely beautiful prayer also. Every one of us five were touched by the spirit. Two missionaries, one excommunicated, one inactive, and one investigator. Truthfully the only reason this came about was because of Beax. Glenn had been coming to church for about 9 months and was having a hard time accepting the missionary discussions. But after our gospel essentials class Beax (who had never met Glenn before today) shared with him the promise in Moroni 10:3-5. He talked about how Moroni was a bona fide warrior. That he would not lie, or challenge someone to do something he had not done for himself. It was amazing. He then invited Glenn to his house for dinner and to have the missionaries over. It is because of Beax that we taught Glenn. We need member missionaries, and it will likely not take that shape or form, but we need them, and the "Power of Everyday Missionaries" is an amazing place to start.

With Love and Need,

Elder Roberts

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oh, just the latest

Companions Name: Elder Morse
From Kent Washington (close to Seattle)
He has been out about 5 months so he is pretty green too but our mission is rapidly expanding because of the number of missionaries. He is a convert to the church of about 3 years.
Our days are busy. We mostly teach inactives, but we are also constantly looking for referrals. And in active families often have non-member family members so we can teach them. And we have a few Potential investigators we have met through street contacting. We have tracted before but houses are far apart and it is pretty ineffective so we mostly just try to listen to the spirit and guidance.
We find people through member referrals mostly. Sometimes we just serve people members and non-members alike to help get a footing in to maybe teach someone. We have a few people we are kind of teaching, but none so much that I can mention names specifically. We have some people who are potential and are kind of being taught. Beax Clayton is a returned missionary, recently divorced and excommunicated so we are teaching him in preparation for re baptism. But he is way open and ready, and he loves the church and the gospel and knows it well, but because of different regulations with excommunication he has to wait for a bit and meet with the bishop. But he is very nice and friendly and open. We have met another family, the Loomis's due to lots of cancelled appointments and the like. And a few hours of searching. But this is more of a potential investigator. John Loomis is from Las Vegas and is up here to help fix up his sister's place so she can sell it and move. She is a member and has some health issues. He really thinks our church is the best at taking care of it's people, especially the old people. He seems very open and receptive to being taught, and we are trying to help with the house and serving them so that it can be a good opportunity to teach. But there is a lot of sickness going around especially this last week. So we couldn't do some service there on Saturday because John was sick.
The members make dinner for us every night and we just go around and meet different members who sign up to feed us. Some of them we know better because they sign up more, but it is a good opportunity to receive referrals and to teach a little more about member missionary work.
I actually just made french toast this morning for me and my companion. I tried the cinnamon thing that you do and I might buy some nutmeg. I try to eat at least of serving of everything when I have dinner at members houses. Just things with fruit are especially hard for me, because I really can't handle it. But I am learning to not mind food as much which is good. I haven't really gained any weight. I am still in the same weight area as when I left. Also having specific questions like that really helped me write more. But things are good. My companion still says things are picking up since I got here, partially because I am obedient and partially because I am a hard worker.

Love you guys,
Koogy Waggy, K.J. or Elder Roberts

Sunday, March 2, 2014

His new companion

Yeah! My mission companion is very hardworking and I am glad to have him! He says missionary work has picked up a lot since I got here. I think is because we have an obedient companionship, not so much because of me. But he says that it is easier for him now to be guided by the spirit and he feels like he can trust me to be able to teach by the spirit also. He says so many different kind of things have happened just since I have been here that haven't happened before. Like we have had a few different opportunities that were odd and out of the blue but totally inspired. I am glad that I could come and change things a little bit, even if it just by being obedient. He is also very glad that not only am I obedient but I am also hardworking and he thinks it's great. Hahaha! I don't think very people can actually like pictures of themselves. There are lots of pictures I don't mind of myself, and some I like better than others. But I don't often like any picture of myself in particular. Also do I need to start writing a general one that you can send around to people? Or do you just send around the ones I send usually?
Elder Roberts or KJ

PS The address to send stuff to is actually:
Elder Kenneth Roberts
1008 W Sanetta St
Nampa, ID 83651

Yes put my first name. That is the mission office and they forward things to me. But they can not forward anything but US postal service packages. Otherwise we have to wait until I go down there, someone else goes down there or someone from there comes up here. If you want my direct address you can call this number208-463-4385 It just that if I am transferred than you will need to find out my address and fix where it was sent. Or whatever.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

He's still alive... and eating

I want to thank you for being such a great example to me and for being an amazing Father. I feel like I haven't been very thankful, and I also wanted to thank you for paying for my mission. It is a great experience so far. My first area is Fruitland Idaho, which is on the Idaho side of Ontario (which is in Oregon). My companion is awesome and nice. He is just kind of hard to figure out. He is very quiet sometimes but extremely friendly and personable at other times. He is always nice though. But I don't have any exciting experiences in the field yet as it is the morning of my first day. I'll let you know when stuff happens. But I am learning a lot and I am excited to learn more. We are being taken out to dinner tonight for teriyaki by one of the ward mission leaders. So yeah. I guess this would have been better to tell Mom, but I am eating and staying alive. I try to make sure that I am eating healthy so that I can serve to my full ability. ... I am expecting hard work, but so far we haven't done anything extremely taxing. Tell me how Jake is from your point of view as he probably wouldn't tell me the same things you would. Thank you so much and I love you all. I'll email again on Monday as that is my P-day now. and Mom has my address and some instructions.
KJ or Elder Roberts


New companion: Elder Morse I believe?

Mission President and wife

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Growing experiences

Dear Family,

This has been great experience and yesterday was the happiest day so far. Everything just went right. In the morning we taught a new TRC (teacher resource center) investigator. (description of what that is below) His name is Nick and we mostly just learned about how wrong the bio we had received about him was wrong. And me and my companion, Elder Hulet were quite frustrated. We were then asked to give a blessing to one of the Sisters, which we have given about 6 blessings so far, and I gave 2 of them. They were great. But this blessing helped me and Elder Hulet clear our minds and be open to the spirit. We then taught another "investigator" as this was our teacher role playing a sister she had taught on her mission. Because we were so in tune with the spirit we gave the best lesson we have yet and did more than we had expected to. The Sister we had given a blessing beforehand, had actually prayed and asked who was supposed to give her the blessing and it was me and Elder Hulet. Because of that we were able to give the best lesson we have yet. After the lesson we learned that this investigator that the teacher had taught on her own mission, actually just moved in with her. She was having a hard time in her life and the lesson we taught helped the teacher receive guidance on how to help the real Lita (who is the person we were teaching). We realized that our lessons had more meaning that I thought and that we were actually helping the real Lita. This experience has brought me closer to know the love of the Savior for not only us, but for the people we teach. I know somewhat of the Saviors love for the people that we teach and how he wants their joy and happiness.

But I just had a very interesting experience with a TRC (teacher resource center) investigator, which means that it is a person who either comes in and plays an investigator they knew, or real investigators, and it was saddening. I felt completely ready and knew the spirit was with me and the power of God was on my side. I set a goal to commit him to baptism which was a high goal and one I knew I could not do without God's help, which is a principle I learned from Dad. I knew that through God's help that we could accomplish this goal. But I realized something big after this lesson. That even if I were a perfect missionary, and I was doing everything right and taught the lesson by the spirit, it does not matter. The investigator has to be ready for the message. And this investigator, who both me and my companion believe to be an actual and real investigator, was most definitely not ready. And I can truly feel the sadness of our Heavenly Father, and his love for Nick (the investigator). I want the best for him and for him to learn. But he is not ready, and something in his life will have to change him. Because we can not.

I know of the Savior's love for his children and how he wants to help them to find happiness in their lives. And I am so happy I have had these experiences so early on so that I can remember them and use them to help me in my mission experience. I am so glad for this opportunity to come out and serve the Lord and to be an instrument in his hand. I know that through the touch of the Master's hand I can help create beautiful music, and accomplish his work.

KJ or Elder Roberts

Saturday, February 8, 2014

First letter from this kid

Dear Mom and Dad,

The first few days at the MTC have been very good. There is only one thing I can even somewhat compare it to, but it is still quite different, and that is efy. The schedule is always quite filled which is good, and we are always learning and building our testimonies.

On the first day we did some interviews with "investigators" as a group of about 40 missionaries. The investigators had real stories of people that had been taught in the past. Even as a group of 40 missionaries, with the many different answers that could be given, it was hard. But I could feel and the investigators could feel that we were not just sympathizing, but that we actually cared about them. I could feel it and many others could too.

My companion's name is Elder Hulet. He is a fun Elder who used to bow hunt in his "previous life." He is a pretty soft spoken person, but as I am getting to know him he is opening up a little more. He is a good first companion from what I can tell, as he is easy to get along with. We received assignments last night and I was assigned Sacrament Coordinator, and he was assigned District Leader. But as we are leaving on the 18th (he is going to Nampa Idaho too, and so far that we know of there are only 2 Elders going to Nampa and 5 Sisters) we will only have the opportunity to use these callings for about a week.

The other companionship that stays with us is Elder Shingleton and Elder Walch. They are both pretty cool, but I think Elder Walch is having a hard time but isn't fully willing to say it. He seems to be having issues. Elder Shingleton is a very interesting and cool Elder. He is a surfer from the east coast, from North Carolina. He misses his family probably more than anyone else and I think it is kind of sweet. Truthfully, I have only had a few times where I have thought about home in a longing way, and the people I miss. I am doing pretty well as far as I am concerned. I am kind of anxious to get out into the field though. But the MTC isn't bad, I enjoy it, and I look forward to the stuff I will be doing here.

I want to let everyone know of my love for Christ and the love that he has for each one of us, as missionaries and those at home as well. I know that this church is true and that Jesus wants us to find the truth and cleave unto it because it will make us happy. Jesus Christ wants the best for us, and we can achieve that through the gospel.