Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 17

 Elder Giraldo and I with Comayagüela Mission legend, Hermano Fortunato. He was the first baptism of the Comayagüela Mission. He is in our Branch.

SO another week down, we have been working a lot with our progressing investigators and all seems to be going well. Familia Lozano is progressing with the children but the parents not so much. The Dad isn´t too interested anymore; and, when he is there it kind of feels like he is pushing us out the door. 

I had interchanges on Tuesday with Elder Zachreson (I need to take more pictures with him because he is one of my good friends here in the mission).  We went to the Lozano Family and we found out Nayeli was reading! Its a huge step because she remembered and asked a question; but, the Dad started pushing us out (not literally). So, we gave a quick invitation to read more and we said we would come back Thursday. We went back Thursday and they weren´t there; but, I swear I heard the voice of Marco Jr. being all excited because he heard us and had questions. Then it was like someone shushed him and all got quiet. So we left and went back Saturday. We found out they weren´t there after all because the grandpa of Nayeli and Marco died and they were in Guaimaca. Nayeli had forgotten her question and hadn´t read again so we left with another quick invitation and she left to Guaimaca again for the official funeral. 

The rest of the week was pretty slow with some contacting and visiting our other investigators. We hope they keep one of the invitations we give so we have something to grow on and they show interest. 

We went back to the Pastor Wilmer and saw him leading his congregation. He kind of wanted to do a power trip by buy us stuff and say we are friends (and we are) it just started the lesson a little weird. So we talked again about authority which is where all our conversations lead with him. Once again he got on edge and asked where we got our authority. Now instead of talking about Joseph Smith we talked about the priesthood, which was interesting to feel that spirit when I have never really born testimony about it before. I know through my experience with a family who has had God´s authority and my priesthood leaders that we have it. I have been blessed through faith and the Lord's will.  I could tell he felt the Spirit because he stopped asking questions and contemplated our words. He meekly said he would like to think and he was done for the night. I felt the spirit and I offered the invitation for baptism when he receives his answer to the prayer he would SHORTLY GIVE, which was crazy! I didn't know if he was going to pray, but I felt prompted to say it. It shocked him and my companion. We left with him giving us a "sure, if it happens" as his reply. We will go back this week either Wednesday or Thursday and see how he is. I hope he got the answer he needed.

So that´s all of my week! I hope all is good with you guys back home and hope when the hard time comes (and you have to think) you will pray to your Father for answers. 

Love all of you and KEEP TRUCKIN´

It was Hermano Fortunato 83rd Birthday. He had tears in his eyes when the vanilla sponge cake was brought out. His family from surrounding areas came to celebrate.  His grandson is standing near his left.
a guy was selling cotton candy in the park across the street.
After District Meeting in the Guiamaca meeting house. We made lunch with the sister missionaries.

Eggs, Beef, and Rice.
Elder Giraldo's a goof ball. Next week are transfers. I´ll miss him if he or I has to leave this place.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 16: Semana Santa

Roberts' Redneck Flamethrower! ...but seriously, the flying ants are all over and need to be exterminated
So this week was a slow one with it being the Semana Santa (Holy Week) and all. The Catholics and pastors come out in full force and I think it is pretty weird. First of all, they have a parade everyday for the last five days of the week. It´s interesting and weird to have a fake Jesus walking the streets.

Semana Santa (Holy Week)
The parade marched right in front of our house.
A Jesus, the grey are supposed to be apostles, and the red are seventy
My comp says that this is nothing compared to what the parades are where he's from in Colombia, the city shuts down.
There are parade marches the last five days of Holy Week.
One day is the crucifixion, three days in the tomb, and the last the resurrection.
Family Lozano is doing good they are now under the invitation to read the Book of Mormon, which is an important step. When we visit we ask them how it's going, and if they didn´t read we read with them. Marco loves it, which gives me a lot of hope, but Nijelly isn´t really into it so there is some worry there. Marco is constantly asking questions about the verses and what we believe at only 9 years old. I swear he´s older. So that´s the update on Familia Lozano. 

We had some pretty interesting contacts this week. Two Pastors. Yes, we contacted Pastors. I was kind of timid at the start, but once they tried to argue the spirit gave me scriptures and words to say to defend our faith. We didn´t go to these pastors looking to "throw down", we went to contact. I honestly feel that on one of them it was the spirit telling us to make the contact and teach this man about the restored gospel. 

I´ll start with Wilmer who was the weirder and maybe the one who will have a change of heart. He is a pastor and apparently constantly talks bad about our church, about Joseph Smith and all of it. He was asking questions, a lot of them, it was hard to keep up. He was interested. It wasn´t until Sunday that the ward members told us he was a pastor. We went back on Tuesday to visit him. He started talking about the church he "attends". (Funny that he used the word “attend”, not lead.)  He wanted information about our church about how we started our rules and the format of our religion. (my companion and I both looked at each other... random questions, I don´t think anyone ever asks that.) In that moment I felt prompted to talk about prophets and their role in our lives. I bore testimony of Joseph Smith being a chosen prophet. Like all the prophets before, they didn´t choose to start the work on their own, God chose them. A pretty strong example we use for the people here in Honduras is, "you don´t just wake up one day, read the scriptures and decide to be a pastor, and the next an apostle, and the day after a prophet," the Lord decides who is ready and gives them the authority to direct His church and the ordinances of His church. This put our investigator (if he is investigating) on edge. We remained silent until his next question, the Spirit was definitely speaking to him in this time and to my companion and I. We got the impression to keep going, keep talking about God choosing his prophets and teachers through revelation.  We did, we told him that if a man does contrary to being chosen, and tries to choose for God he condemns himself and all those who follow him. Yes, there might be a time after to hear the gospel and choose for themselves, but their hearts will be hardened to the truth if they hear it. This really shook him. I felt bad, but the spirit (and I will say it was the spirit) was directing us. On my own I would never try to hurt the faith of these people. If they believe the Catholic church is the Church of God so be it. But I want to share what I believe and KNOW to be the truth. It takes just 10 minutes. ;) 

SO this was really weird... yesterday, the last day of the Holy Week another pastor called us aside and wanted to talk. He wanted to argue. He didn´t like that we believed Christ´s church was restored. He believes Christ had a church and wants us to follow the Sabbath but that He didn´t give us a way to follow His church. We shared a bit about the restoration and of the prophet Joseph Smith. We asked if Christ created and established His church for the betterment of mankind why would he give us no way to follow him and condemn us? Then he went on to say only the bible was the word of God. We then shared Ezekiel 37:15-19 about the prophesy of two forms of scripture. I would say the pastor was bewildered. He was astonished of our knowledge of the scriptures. He asked what institute we had attended and I said "the one I was born in." 

I know the home is sanctified when we follow the principles of the gospel. I know we have a Father in Heaven who blesses us with His spirit when we study to help His children and ourselves. The spirit was so strong during these visits. I strongly believe the words we said are the ones they needed to hear. I know the words, scripture, and testimony I shared were the ones I learned by studying in my home with my parents. So my reply was correct when I said the institute that shaped me and taught me was  "the one I was born in." I learned a lot about the gospel in Seminary, from my Sunday School and Primary teachers, and was taught in Spanish in the CCM (MTC), but overall they confirmed all that I was taught and learned in my home.

I know the Lord helps us in our times of need and truly gives us the words we need to say when we prepare ourselves with study and prayer. I love you guys and hope you can all have the courage to stand tall. I hope and pray that you will start preparing now for the moment the Lord needs YOUR testimony to touch the heart of another.

Stay strong and be prepared...

Service for a random lady that need help moving tree trunks. We got to share a message with her after.
We moved 30+ logs down this sketchy path (see 30 foot drop on the right)
Believe it or not, this path is a way for some of the people of Campamento to get to their homes.
this is a pic of just some of the logs we carried 200 yards or so (4,500 pounds, 6,000 yards)
my white shirt after a hard days work!
Baptism of Solengy Rubi Mejias, daughter of Fransisco Mejias the Branch President.
Our district eating at Pulperia Mungia on P-day
Elder Giraldo and I with the other two Elders in our district. They serve in Guaimaca.
Our District: Sister Barrera, Sister Pagoada, Elder Giraldo, Elder Rodriguez, me, and Elder Zachreson (Elder Zachreson is showing off his new boots.)
Me and Elder Z!
Me and my comp after a long night of fighting off the ants

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 15: Familia Lozano, zone conference, a turtle

Elder Roberts and Giraldo at the RANCHITO
SO this week was a fun one because we had multi zone conference! It is always great to hear the words our mission president has for us, especially after conference weekend. He talked a lot about cleaning our houses and p-day time, which made me feel a little down. He finished off the last 30 minutes and spoke on loving the people, and loving Christ. This spoke to me a lot, because its hard to see the bigger picture when you are struggling and not feeling successful. It was a great day and hearing his words lifted our spirits. 
So, we went to work on Saturday and Sunday visiting some less active members, and some of our progressing investigators. It was a lot of fun and we had some good lessons. 
in a church BUS on our way to a multi zone conference
Karla Murillo, is one of our investigators. She is our one baptismal date that has been in the works. It is falling through though. She hasn´t been in town, and doesn´t go to church even when stop by to pick her up. This is making me sad.  I have had the language miraculously come to me in moments of teaching her and sharing my testimony. It has been some good Spanish, Spanish that I just can´t replicate. 

On the positive--we have a family that is really excited about the gospel. The Familia Lozano, their daughter hasn´t heard much of Christ and the bible. The children love our visits which are Marco and Nijelly. They always sit and listen, they sometimes ask some off the wall questions (lol), but they are there. Then there is the mom, Lesly who has had a hard time going to any church due to work and the fact her husband had a bad experience with their old church group. Then there is the dad, Marco senior who was really negative at first and would leave when we had a lesson. He would just find something to do for a half hour. But this past Sunday we had a good lesson with him, while teaching we found out that he had lost his mother 5 years ago and that his old church group said he was foolish for thinking much on his mother and about where she was. So he gave up on church. So sad. He believes in Christ, but he doesn´t want to follow the commandments and deal with other members. When we talked about the Plan of Salvation, he lit up. He talked about his mom, and likes that we teach about families and that we can be together forever through our works. We told him that we seal families together in the temple and that this can only be done like baptism, with the proper power and authority that god gives his children. He loved this! When the kids got home we watched a video about Joseph Smith. It was amazing... the silence and reverence in the home. They even gasped, and Marco JR cried at the part when the mobs persecuted and later killed Joseph. Overall the family is really positive. The children believe. We just have to work to get the parents married so they can all be baptized. We are going to challenge them with a date to work toward on our next visit. I am really excited for this family, they make me feel that all my hard work has been worth it. I hope they continue searching and praying. 

This has been my week. I was sorry to hear about Grandma Roberts, but I know she has found peace and comfort and is with loved ones on the other side. 

I love you guys and hope you can see that all the work we do leads to remarkable things, changes and conversion. Continue being great examples for your peers and family members.

love you guys!
-until next week! 
DINA cooks for us now.  
ANDREA from the ranchito
She only SMILES for pictures!
(Elder Giraldo sneaking some FRIES)

Dina´s REFRIED BEANS and POLLO give me hope.
2 years away from my favorite foods!

Elder Giraldo tried to feed this TURTLE and got bit!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 14: General Conference Weekend

Watching Conference (The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singing)
SO this week was a milestone that a lot of the teachers in the CCM told me to look forward to. It was General Conference. They said that you just get to relax a little after you have been working so hard hastening in the work. I was kind of bummed that it was in Spanish (not because I don´t like Spanish, it´s just that there aren´t very many describing words). I noticed that in Elder Hollands talk in the Saturday afternoon session, that I unfortunately missed most of, but caught his talk. I rewatched it in English and most of what was interpreted in Spanish is no where near the feeling I got when I watched in English later that day. This really made me sad, but really happy as the Spirit was totally intensified when I watched it again. He talks about us being like a choir. He says that every voice is needed and loved by the director; but some singers feel as though they don´t have a voice one could love and want to have a similar voice and sing like another member. He says with this the choir it will sound like a muggy monotone choir of one voice. This is so true in missionary work. We see the missionaries who teach, are successful and get baptisms. So we want to teach as they do so we can have success. But we’ve got to remember that our (different) voice is just as  important to the choir. During conference I even found myself when the MOTAB choir was singing that I was picking out certain voices I liked to listen to. This is similar to our investigators and less active members ...we all hear the choir but certain voices stick out, a certain testimony sticks out, the way in which the doctrine is taught, and the feeling of love, genuine love of the person. I know there are people who will have more success than me, but I´m going to be a voice that is genuine, and I hope this for all of you as well. There are people in our time here on earth who need to hear our voice. I hope that we are the ones to help them along, to help them hear the melody and join in singing praises to our Lord and God. That was my favorite talk so NOW, I can talk about my week!
Here we are watching conference on Saturday with the Branch President

We didn´t do the best we could have, It was definitely a week we will learn from and try forget real quick. We only had 8 new investigators. This made me pretty sad and I felt really down as a missionary walking into the church to watch conference on Saturday, but the words of Elder Holland definitely helped raise my spirits! So I´m all good. 
Our church building 
Campamento LDS church
This week we did find one young woman and her brother that have almost no spiritual background. This is really rare in Honduras. Everyone here has at least heard of Jesus Christ, some even don´t know who he is as a person but do know of His name. Can you believe it? Just a name?! SO we taught them the restoration of His gospel and who He was as the Son of God and Savior of the world. I teared up in my testimony of Him and what He has done for me. His sacrifice and love, that he has for all of us. That He knew he had to go through the pain of the atonement, and how excruciating it was, but He loves us, He loves his father so He went through it, and now we can all be saved from the second and by far the worst death. We finished the lesson and went back on Sunday and started to teach them again. This time about the gospel of Jesus Christ and low and behold they had forgotten who He was, and all we had talked about. Only the younger brother had read the pamphlet we left.  My heart was sincerely broken. I thought after bearing that testimony and the Spirit I felt that we would have had them wanting to be baptized in the next three weeks. So we gave them a brief overview of the lesson we taught the time before and then taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope they pray and something sticks. I once again bore testimony of the atonement and the Holy Ghost. Their mom even came in during the lesson and participated. She seemed more than interested, she just doesnt have time. I hope they pray. I know without a doubt that we have a Savior and to know Him we must pray. We have to ask. You´ve got to knock before you can expect the door to open. Knock and it will open. If any of you have any questions you can ask a person here on earth and get an answer from man,  OR you can turn to god, who knows all things perfectly, ask Him and you will receive a perfect answer from HIM. 

I love you guys, I hope you all enjoyed conference and have picked a favorite talk from this past weekend.  We are so blessed to have a latter-day prophet and apostles, revelators for our days!

Keep truckin through the hard times and the good times will come!

Love, Elder Roberts

Holding a puppy!
family Amador's puppy

Elder Giraldo enjoying dinner


happy dog