Monday, April 20, 2015

Amazing week!

This last week has been an amazing week for a lot of different reasons. It is hard to know where to start and where to begin. We have been able to meet with a lot of people and make solid invitations to people who genuinely want to know the truth, like that family who met with the missionaries 6 years ago we invited a couple other people and families to read the Book of Mormon to know if it is true and pray and ask our Heavenly Father. Criselda, the lady that was participating in the lesson with Mary about the Plan of Salvation, we had the opportunity to teach and extend this same invitation. But with real power and she knows the importance of it. Lydia is getting baptized this next week and she is getting interviewed tonight by the zone leaders. Her family is really blossoming. Her Dad has quit drinking coffee to be able to baptize her and now her Dad and her uncle are both going to start to prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Her Dad and Mom have set the goal to be sealed in the temple, not this year but next. She will be baptized this Thursday! Lydia was the motivation for the rest of the family to get back into the things they know will bring them the most joy. It is amazing to see the choices this family is making and the goals they have set for themselves.
Shannon is another lady that I mentioned. We had the opportunity to give her a blessing this last week for her back and she told us about how at her church she had had people pray over her many-a-times but it never felt the way that it did when we did. Her back seems to be doing well now. It was also cool to find out, their were some other people there a few times that we came over. They are friends of hers from Kuna. (which is a little Southeast of Nampa) They have been investigating with the Elders down there, one of them a previous zone leader of mine. And they are progressing very strongly in their understanding of the gospel and the Book of Mormon, they will be joining the church pretty soon and they are a great influence on her. They and a recent convert that we brought with us, were there for a lesson with us later this last week and we talked about the Book of Mormon in particular and church. The recent convert is a lady in her 40's or 50's and she wants to go on a mission. After the lesson with us she told us of how excited she was and how wonderful of an experience it was. She wants to come more and she is so excited to go on a mission. Shannon was planning on coming to church yesterday but because of some car problems of a relative she was not able to make it. It was sad but she is doing great and she is meeting a lot of people from the ward who live close by.
While she didn't come to church in 18th ward, me and Elder Matthews gave talks and it was great. Elder Matthews is a very nervous speaker and he was stressed out about it. He asked for 4 weeks to prepare and ended up being extremely stressed anyway. As the meeting progressed, the sacrament and all of the ward business only took like 15 minutes, then one of the youth spoke for 2-3 minutes. When he was speaking Bishop looked over at us and was making a hand gesture that said stretch out your talks best you can. So Elder Matthews got up and spoke and took about 7-8ish minutes, we sang with the choir and then I gave my talk. I stretched the best I could and started off completely different than I had planned, by talking about music. And the role it had in my conversion, (my talk was on conversion and the Holy Ghost). I then ended up speaking for a half hour. And ended right exactly at 5 after the hour. It was great! A lot of cool and fun experiences this week.
In my last email I said  would be seeing a familiar face again soon. Elder Clark, the second missionary that I trained while I was up in Union was just transferred down to our district. So he is in my district! It is cool to have him around again! And it looks like he is really helping the missionary he is with. His companion had been struggling for awhile and since he has come in there has been cool progress in them as missionaries as well as their area!
Thank you all and I love you all!
Elder roberts

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sacrament and Awesome Lessons

This week we had a lot of cool lessons with new people. Someone told us about their friend who was interested in learning more about the church, and as we were riding up to the house one of the members of the ward was throwing rocks in the creek with his wife and child and we told him where we were going and he asked if we needed him, we at first were like, nah we're fine, but I thought about it a second longer and said yes, it would be great if we came. We showed up at the house and nobody was home. As we were about to walk away, they pulled into the driveway and I introduced everybody as last time we saw them I was on exchanges with another missionary. We went in and had a great lesson about the restoration of the gospel, and more specifically talked about the blessings that will come to her family. Elder Matthews shared an experience about his family and blessings he has seen in the unity of his family and the love his siblings show. She cried and told us she wanted those same blessings for her kids. Her name is Shannon.
Another lesson we had, we were teaching two ladies about the plan of salvation. Their names are Criselda and Mary. Mary's son passed recently and as we taught her about the spirit world. As we shared a couple scriptures in 1 Peter 3 and 4 they both were in tears. The spirit was very strong and as we shared different restored truths with them they were coming to realizations for themselves and how much sense it made. It was really cool to watch and be a part of.
Lastly, the Doty family who we were referred to last week by other missionaries close by them. We went over and have seen them twice now. They used to meet with the missionaries about 6 years ago. But more recently we have been able to present it in a way that is helping them to understand what we are trying to say. They recognize the significance in finding out if Joseph Smith is a prophet and they are going to study and pray harder than they had in the past to know.
Alex's confirmation was sunday as well! It has been a good week.

The sacrament is an amazing blessing. A couple of nights ago I was really struggling due to stress largely and I was trying to figure out why. After a while and once I got in the shower I caught hold of the idea of the sacrament and remembered I hadn't taken it for 2 weeks. But as I held onto the thought of the sacrament I regained peace. I knew that I would get to take it again soon and that brought a lot of peace. I was able to get to sleep easy and then of course I got to partake of the sacrament and I am so grateful for that blessing in our lives that the Lord has given us. The thought came to me from the General Conference talk about Peter as he let his eyes drift from the Savior he began to fall, but as he was refocused he could stay up. As well as the talk about the girl who survived the plane crash and focused on the light and made it there. As we focus our lives on The Savior and the things he wants us to do and the blessings he gives to us we are better able to feel peace, it was only when I let my eyes drift from him and on less important things such as the wind and the waves that it becomes hard and scary. Talk to you all later! I love you!
This is my district once again from last transfer. plus the zone leaders. Transfers are today but me and Elder Matthews are still together. And I will be seeing a familiar face again very soon!

Monday, April 6, 2015

New bikes, hairdos, and other stuff

This week Alex was baptized, but due to general conference his confirmation is delayed until next week. Here is Alex and us and his Dad.

At his baptism his Mom shared a cool story about the first couple weeks after he started living in their home. He came to church just a couple times and he told them that he wanted to be baptized. Since then he has not wavered from that decision even though he needed to wait until his parents got full custody of him. Often as we taught him he said he wanted to be a missionary as well. He faces different struggles than most, and ones that would make it hard and unlikely to serve a mission, but it cool to see his desires and the influence that learning has had on him. Genuinely I had a concern as we were teaching him that nothing was sinking in, and that he wasn't feeling the spirit. At the baptismal interview and the baptism itself, I saw and witness he knows and remembers a lot and that he was prepared before we started teaching him, he just needed the lessons to be prepared to that point. I was happy to have a small part in his path toward lasting conversion.

Elder Matthews also got a pretty cool gift as well. We had dinner with a family last week and we made a slight mention of the bike he has been riding and how big a pain that it was. We said we were waiting until the money came from home to get him a new one. After the second session of General Conference we got a call from this family and said that they wanted to take us to the store to buy him a bike. They had talked to the Bishop to see if that was allowed. We got permission as fast as we could and went and got him a bike. Afterward he was in tears due to his family situation and the generosity of these members in helping him in his situation, not even knowing the full details.
Of course  General Conference was great! I always love listening to the prophets and hearing what God wants for us right now in this day and age. It is a sign to me of God's continual love for all of his children. He hasn't left us here by ourselves without guidance, to figure out things for ourselves, he has given us direction, in not only the form of scriptures but the words of His living servants.
As we were listening to one of the sessions at one of our ward mission leaders homes, the rambunctious children decided to do Elder Matthews hair and it was fantastic.

It was a great time.
I love you all! I hope you enjoyed this Easter season in celebrating the Resurrection of our Risen Savior. For those of you who have not yet watched the #BecauseHeLives Easter initiative video, make sure you watch it and share it and bear your testimony. Have a good week!
Elder Roberts