Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 22: let them eat cake

My amazing companion and I eating cake in celebration of my sister Abby´s birthday.
Today was a normal week, we had a lot of walking and a couple pretty crazy moments. One was an amazing contact, like I totally didn´t expect it. We were planning on going to an investigator´s, when instead we got the prompting to go to an area that is a little dangerous.  We acted on the prompting.  It´s a ten minute walk from the court at the church. When we got to the area we went to this house just to ask how to navigate.  I have never really been there. So we ask these two women if there are any members nearby and somehow that led them to the point of asking what we believe. So Elder Valdetano and I each shared our testimony of the restored gospel. The two women even teared up a bit and invited us back. Their names are Nancy and Jocelyn. It was a good experience to have in the week where I would say not a lot happened. 

We are now doing a lot of work with Isis, Deivi, Hector and Yamilet. They are progressing. We are helping them raise money to get married so they can get baptized. They all have the desire to be baptized its just getting them married so they can make covenants with the Lord. 

We had another cool experience yesterday with 20 year old Hector. The guy has been through a lot. He was addicted to drugs and was turning to some pretty hard core stuff. He told us that one night when he was out of it he felt something different. He says his heart kind of felt like it exploded. He says he had a dream that Jesus was talking to him and telling him that he needed to be better.  When he woke up he says his mom practically fainted just from the difference that she saw in him. From that moment he says he has been looking for the Lord’s church.  
We took him to the church and showed him around for 2 hours. He kept asking questions. Questions after questions, we were answering and bearing testimony the entire time.  He said that he would come to church on Sunday and would pray about being baptized by the power and authority of God. It was crazy! I look back on it and can´t remember the words I spoke, because honestly I don´t think they were mine. The Lord definitely made us tools in his hands and was helping one of his children find the way back home. I hope to stay worthy of being this tool throughout the rest of my mission. I hope Hector continues to progress, and Nancy and  Jocelyn also. 

Transfers are coming up in a couple of weeks.  I feel like I have a lot of work to do and not a whole lot of time in the area. I don´t know if I will be staying here in Campamento. I hope I can do all that the Lord would have me do. 

Love all of you guys and it was so good to hear about Andrew opening his mission call to the Washington, Seattle Mission. I know it´s where the Lord needs him. 

Happy Birthday Abby!

Keep Truckin´

Elder Valdetano put this hat on me and took a foto. We are at the house of Isis and I had just finished teaching a lesson.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 21: A Baptism

My companion and I with soon to be baptized, Omar Flores
SO this week has a big highlight - Omar, who had had some problems with his dad giving permission for him to be baptized shared his testimony with his dad. He testified to him that he believes the church to be true. So his dad supports him in his decision but didn't want his baptism to happen on his birthday like Omar had been planning. We didn't want this to be a set back or to have Omar change his mind, so we got basically got everything organized and prepared for his baptism in a day. He had his baptism interview on the day of and we were able to get last minute assignments taken care of. (we were lucky, they all showed up.) Omar was late which had me stressed out and praying that he would come for the baptism. He made it, he said he had to finish his homework to leave. It was was a really cool experience baptizing him in Spanish.  After the baptism my comp and I went out and worked. 

The Lord really showed His hand by guiding us to some pretty positive new investigators. I'm really happy for that.

Isis didn't come to church yesterday. She is still teaching a class to children in another church. I shared the parable of the wine bottles with her. She is trying to put this new life as a member in the old container and we basically said it won't work. She agreed, and said she will try to come next week. She was obviously sad because I know she enjoys what she is doing, and we love that she wants to teach and told her that she will have the opportunity to have a calling in the future as a member. She was happy after that, so we left happy. 

We had a really awesome lesson with a 16 year old. Her name is Andrea, and she wants to know about baptism. SO we shared with her about power and authority and that a baptism is complete after receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. She liked the doctrine and when we gave her a challenge, she said she would like to pray about it. 

All is going good out here. I'm loving speaking now and it's getting easier to speak. Elder Valdetano compliments me. He tells me that my Spanish is getting better and better with every lesson. I don't want to think too much of this, I have to stay humble so I can have the Spirit with me. 

I look at the area and its changing. I for a time had looked at it as only a probationary period, everything will be better when I leave, but in my time here I have come to love the area and the people. I know now this work is directly related to your love for the people and your humility. The Lord wants us to be humble. He is with us and gladly help us when we are humble by allowing His spirit to touch the lives of those you teach through humble and bold testimony. 

Love you guys and Keep Truckin'
Elder Zachreson is the District Leader. He is on the phone making preparations for Omar's baptism
Elder Valdetano is excited.
Me with Omar!
Campamento Branch's newest member!
It's been raining a lot. A street in Campamento
our sink (mom&dad don't know if this is because of the rain or what)
(cute little boy)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 20: Chile peppers and Skypeing the family for Mother´s Day

Happy Mother´s Day! Skypeing with my family
SO a lot happened this week with it being Mother´s Day and all. It was kind of a scramble to find a web cam for the call home and also do our work as servants of the lord. We waited until Saturday to find a webcam for the Sunday call. I was super stressed (you would think all the years in school would have taught me something) but we got one and it worked. It was so good to hear the voices of my family. I was forgetting what they sounded like. It was good to laugh with my mom and dad, and my sisters. We had a problem with the power going out on our end a couple of times because of a hurricane (Tropical Storm Adrian). We got to talk for ten minute intervals at first because the lights kept going out. The power was finally stable and I got to talk to them uninterrupted. 

To recap my week and some of the other things that happened to the Elder Roberts and not just the boy Christian... My companion lost his backpack in a bet with Marco Lozano Jr. We still visit them. Marco was acting like us as missionaries, and then bravely and to our surprise asked to challenge my companion for his backpack. My companion thought he would offer Marco an impossible challenge to eat a super hot chile pepper. I don´t know the name, but its a super bright red one and it made me cry it was so hot. The challenge was to eat the pepper without tearing up and no drinking water for a minute. Well, that pepper made my Mexican comp, and an 18 year old Gringo cry out in pain! But Marco dominated the challenge and scarfed the pepper down, chewed it, and waited the minute. He fought the pain with dignity. The nine year old Honduran didn´t cry, or shed a tear and gloriously won my companions bag. It was a couple of days before we could go buy a new bag.  We did that on Saturday while searching for the webcam.

I had a spiritual experience kneeling to my Heavenly Father in prayer on Tuesday night. On my mission I have found myself continually praying for charity for my savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives, I know he sacrificed his life for me and everyone on this Earth, and I know he loves us all perfectly. But do I love him the same? So I have been praying diligently to find this for myself while reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage, and I found it. He lives! I know it without a doubt, and I can say I love him more than anything. As my Savior he paid the price for my faults and I will forever be in his debt as his servant. After these two years I know the work will not end for Brother Roberts. He's there, he will always be there. He knows you and me perfectly through his sacrifice in Gethsemane and on the Cross. He walked more than a mile in each one of our shoes. When the times get tough and we think we are all alone, we aren´t. Our older brother knows all about us and our trials. And His perfect love is for everyone as well as his sacrifice, we just need to accept it. 

Love all of you and hope all is well... and like always Keep Truckin´ 

Fellowshipping Night with Hermano Fortunate, Hermana Raso, Hermana Mirna, a lot of kids, and the Branch President Mejia
my comp and I with Isis, one of our investigators
we made fried tortillas with guac and salsa´s
Cooking lunch with my comp
Chorizo and plantains
a chorizo, hotdog, plantain, avocado sandwich!
sandwich artists are we
mmmMmmm good!
me with Ruth the girl and Julia, one of our investigators
I´m the meat cooker. I bought some carne from Dioni´s
(just about the only safe place out here)
we made a potato steak sandwich
this here is a scarab beetle (The MUMMY!)
next to my camera case for size reference.
dinner at Dioni´ s (Valodetano is yawning)
Dioni owns a pulperia and we eat dinner there.
(A pulperia is a store with a house out back for cooking dinner and everything) 
My comp and I in our Paris Saint-German Jersey´s
he already had his, and I bought mine for 10$ (Ibrahimovic now plays for Manchester United, one of my favorite players)
the highlight of my week!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Skypeing with Elder Roberts on Mother's Day!

Our son has grown so much since the last time we held him in our arms and looked into his eyes to tell him we loved him.  To say that we are proud would not do our feelings justice.  We are in awe, We are moved to tears, and we are humbled to witness the changes in our boy who is offering two years of his life to his Heavenly Father.  Although our hearts long to have him return home; we cannot deny the hopefulness and expectation of whom he may yet become.  The day of miracles, indeed, has not yet ceased. #4everroberts #4everfamily #comayaguelahondurasmission #calledtoserve #becauseofHim

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 19 - New Companion, New Success

Elder Valdetano and Elder Roberts
So, this week I got a new companion - Roberto Alejandro Valdetano Luna (Elder Valdetano). He´s from La Puebla, Mexico and is a scripture master. He is constantly using the scriptures. The Spirit of the lessons have changed drastically, the people seem so much more attentive and willing to listen and accept our principles. We have had some pretty crazy success now because of it. I´m really happy to be seeing some of the seeds I’ve been planting here come to life.

One success is an 18-year old named Isis. Elder Giraldo and I thought she wouldn’t change because of a calling she had in another church. I will gladly say I didn´t give up on the prompting I had to continue teaching her and challenging with Elder Valdetano. The great news is that she finally accepted our challenge and prayed to her Heavenly Father if our church is true. She said she “felt a peace she had never felt in prayer before.” She repeatedly said (during our next lesson) that she “knows our church is true.” But we have a lot of work to do with her still. She is currently living with her boyfriend. We gave her the “law of chastity” talk and she wants to be married; but the boyfriend doesn’t really want to. So, we are fighting an uphill battle! We are trying to get him in a lesson but he avoids us like we are Jehovah’s Witnesses or something! (Just kidding bad joke) I know the Lord will find a way. Isis went to church with us yesterday which was different too. (success!) I think our success is because Elder Valdetano is really showing me how to welcome people to the church instead of just teaching.

Omar came to church as well. This is a blessing because he´s grounded this week. We somehow persuaded the parents to allow him an hour to go to church on Sunday. We received ORDERS from the President of the mission that if we are to baptize him we need the parent to at least have interest and most of the lessons. Which is basically to baptize him we need to convert the parents. Mom (Doris) is a hard-core Evangelical who is actually open to the message. She is just scared of the open rebuke of her pastor for investigating. The dad, we haven’t had an opportunity to teach; but, Omar tells us he is a Catholic. We have work there because all the Catholics here in Campamento are pretty hard-hearted.

Nayeli and Marco didn´t attend church this week; so (it seems) we are slowing down with them because their date of the 27th has fallen through. Marco needed attendance at church to be baptized.

I don´t know what is happening here in Campamento but the recent good news is overcoming the previous difficulty we had with teaching and maintaining investigators. There has been little to no success baptizing for almost a year in Campamento. Still, I feel the Lord is testing me with these great events and seeing if I remain humble. I know that the success is solely the Lord´s. He gave these people the opportunity to feel testimony through prayer; I only invited. I knocked on the door and He did the talking when the investigators decided to open it. It is His work here. I have had that feeling whenever I look on all the people with a date for baptism. The Spirit of the Lord touched their hearts and they are changing. There are people open to the gospel here! Just look at the difference in the area from when I came and when or if I leave! So many people know us and no longer call or jeer "mormones!" instead it is "Elderes!" They at least know that we have a calling to teach, and it is no longer a jeer to make fun -they want us to chat with them and invite them. Some will keep the invitation. Some will not keep the invitation. None are easy but the blessing is greater when it takes sacrifice.

I know it is an eternal truth that when we show our faith through the hardship, like Nephi of old and the pioneers, we will find the promised land. We will have rewards waiting for us in our mansions above. Keep truckin and know the Lord is putting down the foundation for your mansion in his presence. Live his principles and he will put up the walls to your mansion. Keep his covenants and he will put up the roof. Know he loves you more than you know and the key to the mansion he has prepared will be yours. It’s not easy but the reward is so much greater than the trial, so keep going until next week!
Honduran Countryside on our way back from Juitcalpa
Valodetano and I exercise with weights in the morning. We have some weights that were left from before. Latino´s are good at soccer but don´t know how to lift weights. Elder Valdetano wants to learn.
I got my shirt from a tiny hole in the wall here in Campemento. There´s not much in my size, so I bought it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 18

SO this week was a doozy, we got some for real almost salmonella food poisoning on Tuesday! 
I lost my wallet with some personal cards in it on Thursday. I called the district leader who then directed me to the assistants, where I was able to ask for permission to email my parents so that they could call and cancel the card, which was granted. They made the call and my card was canceled. I felt horrible. It´s no fun losing something so important. It gets better...
On Saturday night my comp and I are out proselyting. We decided to talk to one of our less active member´s who just so happens to sweep the streets in Campamento. While we were talking I brought up that I had lost my wallet and this member pulls out my wallet and asks "Esta esto?" I shot up in surprise, because it was indeed my wallet! The Lord had worked a mighty miracle. The card is canceled but I have recovered my temple recommend! 

The work this week has been pretty slow but we have a date on the baptism for Nayeli for the 27th of this month, which she accepted! We were with the young men having a mutual Saturday night. We talked about sacrifice and one of the young men, Omar Flores, walked up to me and asked simply, "Yo quiero estar bautizado" (I want to be baptized). I was dumbfounded. I asked him why, and he said he had felt while we were talking that what we were saying was true. He is twelve and his birthday is the same day as Abby´s. He wants to be confirmed on his birthday. So we put that as the date. We told him we would like to meet and teach him some more and he was very happy. I hope his parents give the permission for him to be baptized. He can keep attending technically, he has all the attendance needed to be baptized and has a lot of friends in the young men. We will be praying for this to happen for Omar.

Not too much more happened. I found out that I´m getting a new companion tomorrow, Elder Valetano. He was in the CCM at the same time as my trainer and is from Mexico. Elder Giraldo will be training again and opening a new area. Good luck to him, and have him in your prayers because he´s a good guy. I´m excited to get a new comp and to be able to get a new set of eyes on our area. Elder Giraldo and I have worked hard. We´ve talked to almost everyone in the main pueblo, now we have the outskirts, and will at one point knock on some of the same doors in some time and see of we might have a different influence of the spirit with us. We love the people and want to help them see the light and love of Christ and the joy that it brings. 

This last week was a lot of talk of charity in my interview and also in district meeting I shared a thought. I hope and pray I can have this pure love of Christ. I want to help the people here the best I can and the way He would if He were here. I hope to be able to find people to talk to that will listen and to be able to teach them, as well as understand their needs and to help them. 

Wish me luck and keep truckin´ 
a touching moment, I cried. Elder Giraldo and I traded ties. The tie he gave me was his grandpa's. He says it symbolizes Cali, his city in Colombia.

Goodbye Elder Erick Giraldo from Cali, Colombia, a great trainer.
Got ourselves some Chinese food! 450 limpiras for all of it!
Drinking water. It´s so hot! (don´t worry mom, it´s purified!)
found a TARZAN vine and tried to swing from it with my Book of Mormon.
my dad would be so proud!
Elder Zachreson broke the light switch and I fixed it!