Monday, September 26, 2011


26 September 2011

Dear Homefront,

So many questions make things difficult. Let's start with the simplest ones.

No, I did not get your mailed letter before I got transferred, but Elder Beardall said he would forward any letters that arrived there.

The transfer went well. One of the members in the Mechanicsville ward drove us to the meeting in his truck so I could pack luggage and my bike. Then everything got loaded up in the Assistant's truck and the luggage trailer and everybody that was going to the other side of the mission (me included) loaded into the transfer van, and we drove the two hours to the other meeting where I met my new companions, loaded my luggage in the trunk, and put my bike on their car's bike rack and drove to the apartment (well, more like small condo (I'll send pictures when I can)).


Elder John Y. Roberts
4917 Shallowford Circle
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

The baptism went great, and I assume the confirmation went well (for convert baptisms, they confirm them in sacrament meeting the next Sunday).

The new wards are great, though 5+ hours of church is a little much for me. Meetings from 9:30 when they have ward council and then one ward starts at 11 and the other at 1. There are also Sister Missionaries in the Salem ward, which helps us focus a little more on the YSA branch, but we still work together.

The apartment is a little cramped because we share it with another set of Elders so there are five of us in there. We all sleep in the same room so our beds don't even have frames, there's just five mattresses and one couch (for whoever) on the floor.

Today is Elder Farr's birthday, and to celebrate, a member of the YSA branch took us to Texas Roadhouse Saturday night and basically ordered us (he's a marine) to eat to our hearts content. When I said that I was going to go with a burger, he got on my case about how "we were at a STEAK house." He didn't let up until I ordered a steak (which I have to admit was absolutly delicious), and he wouldn't let us leave without ordering dessert. It kind of reminded me of Dad's family and how they will always tell you to get whatever you want and then will fork the bill without even letting you see it. And then the member totally threw Elder Farr under the bus. There, when it's your birthday, they bring out this saddle and make you sit in it. Then, yelling as loud as they can, they announce your birthday to the whole resturant. It was hilarious, and I wish I had taken my camera.

Well, that's the news so far. More to come later.

With love,
Elder Roberts

Monday, September 19, 2011


19 September 2011

Dear Homefront,

That is truly an amazing story, and one that the Lord had prepared to happen. And I have one of my own. We met an investigator who the Lord has truly prepared for the message. We got his information from our Bishop on Wednesday, and we were able to arrange a last minute meeting on Thursday evening. He welcomed us in and sat us down. Then he amazed us by pulling out a printed off copy of the first lesson as it is written in Preach My Gospel. He told us that he wanted to be baptized and that he wanted to go to the temple within a year, and that he wanted to start things off on his birthday. We were elated and asked "when is your birthday?" He replied, "the 20th of September." We were absolutly shocked and flabbergasted, but we pushed forward. We found that he has been attending on and off with a couple member friends for a couple years now and has already read the Book of Mormon through cover to cover. We've been able to meet with him every night since, and are ready to give him the final lesson tonight after dinner at the house of our bishopric's second counselor. Our Zone Leader performed his interview on Saturday, and stated of him that "he is a true disciple of Christ and is acting on the promptings of the spirit." He will enter the waters of baptism tomorrow evening, and be confirmed a member in sacrament meeting next Sunday. Since day one, Elder Beardall has told me that we would baptize this transfer. The transfer ends on Thursday.

And that's the amazing news. And now I have more news, news that I'm still not sure myself whether it's good or bad. Last night I recieved a call that I knew was coming. Elder Beardall has been asked to train another new missionary. So this means that I had a 99.999% chance of being transfered out of Mechanicsville, which saddens me greatly as I have seen great things come to this area in the short time I've served here, and have grown to love the members and the investigators we've been teaching. Last night, Elder Rickson - one of the Assistants to the President - confirmed that fact. I'm being transferred to the Virginia Beach Zone of the Mission where I will labor alongside Elders Narramore and Farr, the two zone leaders in that zone. I will be operating out of both the Salem Ward and the Tidewater YSA Branch (which means I get to have 6 hours of church each Sunday). I don't know yet what my new address will be, but I'll let you know in my next letter home. In regards to the letter you sent (and any other letters anyone may have sent), Elder Beardall has offered to forward any and all mail for me that he recieves after Thursday.

That's the news from the field. Hope all is well at home and that all are staying happy and safe.

With love,
Elder John Y. Roberts

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


13 September 2011

Dear Homefront,

First of all, Happy Birthday to Nik. Pitty he had to work sick.

I'll remember to keep an eye/ear out for Elder Andreason. If I meet him, I'll be sure to introduce myself.

As for Dad's hand - that's my pop. Always toughing things out and never tending to his own wounds like he should. He and Jerry will be in my prayers, and I hope all goes well with them and they make full recoveries.

Now that is quite the number - 54 missionaries from our stake alone. I'm proud of the other young people like me that have made the decision to serve their Lord and proclaim his word. And I have some spiritually uplifting thoughts of my own:

Yesterday was our Mission Conference. We had a special guest speaker, which usually doesn't happen. This speaker was Elder Evans, a member of the seventy who is currently assigned as one of the executive officers over the missionary department.
He spoke a great deal about the fundementals of Preach My Gospel, and about the new curriculum being taught at the MTC. He also spoke about a missionary's duty and roles. Our true purpose is to live, and help others live, by the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also gave some warnings and counsel. Too many missionaries focus so much on Christ (which in and of itself is basically a good thing) that, unfortunately, the principle of a loving Heavenly Father is almost completely overlooked, which is one of the most crucial pieces in our message. If God didn't love us, why would he reach out to us through prophets? Or why would he have even sent Jesus Christ to atone for us as he did? We need to remember that God is our Heavenly Father, and that he LOVES us. The other warning is that too often, missionaries will focus on the numbers associated with convert baptisms. Baptisms are a wonderful thing and are very good. But there is no way to count the other lives we can change. As representatives of Jesus Christ, and as missionaries of his restored gospel, we must also be effectively involved in what President Monson has referred to as "the Rescue". We must help to strengthen the members, especially those who are inactive or less-active. Our duty is to invite all, members and non, to follow Christ and come closer to their loving Heavenly Father.

That is what I was able to learn from hearing an inspired servant of the Lord. I hope to be able to learn much more before my mission is through.

With love,
Elder Roberts

PS: I would really love copies of the two Grand Nationals (semi-finals) performances I was part of. I would also like to make sure I have a picture of both AF my senior year and a picture of LP the year I worked with them (one where they have their hats on). If you can find one, I would also really like a copy of LP's regional performance ... I know those tapes and pictures can get expensive, so I don't expect them. But if we can afford it, those are the ones I would really like.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


06 September 2011

Dear Homefront,

Both today and next week I am and will be writing on Tuesday due to Labor Day (libraries were closed) and Mission Conference.

I got Dad's letter and the other packages safely, thank you, though Dad's spelling is still atrocious so I had to pull out the Urimum and Thumim to translate.

I'm sorry to hear about the rough patches that are hitting home ... I really hope everything works out alright. Though I'm glad to know my room is still the extra storage room ;). Please keep me updated.

I'm going to get my license today - finally got the letter of housing from Elder LeBaron, our fleet coordinator, and the letter from the DMV about what I needed to bring.

Last week I had a fun experience. We were in Richmond for a Zone P-day gathering, and myself, my companion and another companionship from our district got permission to visit the Musuem of the Confederacy. I confess that I did get a souvenir - a painting which I still have yet to decide whether to keep with me or to ship home. I also purchased some bike equipment (a bike tool and repair kit).

A couple days ago, I had a sleepless night and just about had a heart attack after reading a letter I got. Another one of my friends is engaged. This makes two weddings that I'm missing which saddens me even though I'm missing them for good reasons.

Not much is happening by way of work, but Elder Beardall keeps telling me that we're going to baptize this transfer (only 2 weeks left so we better hurry). We do feel really strong about this investigator we've been teaching. Josh, he's a senior in high school, has a member girlfriend, and is all around a great guy. He's been willing to come to church and live the life thus far, so he's basically a dry-mormon. I'll let you know how things are going when the work picks up a little more.

Love and prayers from the field,
Elder Roberts

P.S. I'd wait until after transfer calls to see whether or not to send the protien powder so I know whether or not I'll still be in the same place.