Monday, October 31, 2011


Dear Homefront,


Sounds like the week has been quite eventful. Glad to know my bands did me proud, hope all were safe and had fun. I find it interesting that everything happens after I leave - appliances stop working, the grandchildren want to go to church, the house almost catches fire ... sounds like I should leave more often, then things would be more exciting. ;)

Things have been going well in VA Beach. Transfer calls came last night, and I'm staying here for at least six more weeks. I love working here, although our teaching pool of investigators is rapidly drying up. But in a good way, they're all becoming recent converts! We had another baptism this week (pictures will follow when I remember my camera), and we have another one set for this Saturday! It is amazing to see how the Lord works miracles to further his work on the earth.

I'm glad (and slightly afraid) to see you moving into the 21st century by getting a facebook account. And the Bretheren have actually been making a huge push for more social missionary work on the internet. is a great place to introduce the gospel. Also, there are some great facebook applications that can be used to show what you're doing and build interest in the gospel. We actually recieved a training on this recently (if I can, I'll obtain and send you a copy of the power-point the member of the ward used).

My bike is fairly safe at the moment. At the apartment I'm at now we keep our bikes in a storage shed that can be locked, and which is accessed by the small fenced-in patio in the back of our apartment.

Well, time runs short ... yet again. I love you all and hope you're all safe and well. I love this work, and I'll see you all in 21 months.

With love,
Elder Roberts

PS: Are they really that expensive? I don't remember them being that pricy. I guess just use your discretion over what to order. I'll continue to use the wallet I've got until it actually falls apart then I'll replace it with another cheap one (they had some for $5-8 at TJ Maxx). I don't really need any blankets. There are a couple spare quilts in the apartment that I'll be able to use. The idea of the robe was for the early morning and late evening when I'm not fully dressed but also don't want to wrap up in a blanket because I'm doing something like cooking or the like (also, it dosn't say "sith," it actually has a hood and the imperial emblem). Maybe I'll find a warm and fairly inexpensive robe at a store out here. I wouldn't mind one of my hoodies, though I'm not sure which of the ones I didn't send to DI would be more mission appropriate. And no, I haven't had slippers in a long time, but maybe I'll get some small and easy to pack ones, that's a good idea.

PPS: Be proud of my thriftiness. I found the deal of the century at Goodwill and didn't take it. It was a three-piece grey suit that fit me PERFECTLY, as if it had been tailored just for me in both length and width. Price of $30. But I didn't make the purchase because I figured I already had two suits (though neither are three piece) and that would be good enough for now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


25 October 2011

Dear Homefront,

I'm sorry this is a day late. The library's internet lost connection yesterday so we got permission to do our emailing today.

Yes, I have a GPS now. It's a Garmin Nuvi. It works really well, and came with an included lifetime of map updates. No, I still don't like, nor can I play, basketball even though I have played with my companions on many occasions. Scripture study is going well enough, as I have a full two hours of every day to devote to it. I'm working on getting into the habit of writing in the journal because the only time I get to do so is right before bed (or if I felt so inclined, I could use a portion of my morning study time (which I don't feel inclined to do)). I've gotten to the point where I'll write at minimum every couple days. So no, I don't yet need a new journal. I remember a few of my katas but I don't have any room to do them. We don't live in luxury condos, but rather fairly humble apartments.

Yes, we have two missionaries from Africa, a couple from Australia, a couple from South America, and I think at least one either New Zelander or possibly a Pacific Islander. I also found out that there are two other Elders in the mission from American Fork. Elder Winward, and I can't remember who else.

The next transfer date is on November 3rd. I don't know whether or not I'll move again. We never find out until the Sunday before transfers, and the transfer meeting is always on a Thursday. If I do move, I'll get you my new address as soon as I can.

This past week I got a letter from Riley. He's been reassigned to labor in San Jose, California, spanish speaking. He left on Tuesday. I got a letter from Mike as well, he seems to be working hard and having fun. The Frasers are all well. Mama Fraser got some R&R by taking her mother on a cruise and leaving the guys at home. Jason is busy with school and work. Jake is busy with school and marching band, and Papa Fraser seems to be doing alright. No letters from any members of the ward.

Caitlyn sent me a copy of her wedding invitations. She got sealed on Wednesday. Victoria wrote me quite a few weeks ago to tell me that she was engaged.

Unfortunately, we do not have any time at all today so I'll sign off for now.

Love you all,
Elder John Y. Roberts.

PS: About that ThinkGeek gift certificate ... I've been thinking, and I've thought of a use for it. My wallet seems to be starting to wear out (not bad, just a loose thread here and there (I just have bad luck with wallets)), and I was thinking maybe I should try the stainless steel wallet they have. And I was also thinking that when it starts getting chilly, I might want something that I can wear in the evenings or early morning before I get dressed to keep me a touch warmer than just my pj bottoms, and they also had a very nice (and geeky) Star Wars sith bathrobe. And then if those items don't use up the gift card I would say use your discretion on the use of the remaining balance.

Monday, October 17, 2011


17 October 2011

Dear Homefront,

For Virginia Beach, we participated in a stake-wide disaster clean up. The city has been really slow in cleaning up the left over green waste storm damage from the hurricane. I got one up on the vest though. I now own a Mormon Helping Hands t-shirt. It was fun - if dirty - work as we picked up trailer loads of green waste and hauled them to the dump. Most of it was unfortunately moist and dripping wet (and thereby smelled horrid) from the couple days of rain we'd had before the day of the project.

Unfortunately, I am still technically a "greenie" for about three more weeks. The greenie period is your first two transfers (roughly 12 weeks). However, I have gotten much better about speaking up in lessons and (though I still hate them) can sometimes take the lead in door approaches.

So, I can't remember ever seeing as many military personel in one place as I have around here. Every other person you talk to seems to be either a sailor or a marine. Though I suppose it makes sense. Included in our stake boundaries (and since we cover the YSA branch our proselyting boundries) are Norfolk Naval Station, Little Creek Amphibious Base, Oceana Naval Air Station, and at least three other bases that I can't remember the names for. Unfortunately we are not allowed on base. However, we have a wonderful senior missionary couple, the Flakes, who are stationed near us as "Military Relations" missionaries. So we're starting to work closely with them to help us reach out to those military personel that we wouln't be able to visit otherwise.

And now that I've given a little about how things are going, I can spare some time to answer your questions. Yes, I got the package, glow-glasses, tinsel, and candy (which is slowly being dispersed amongst my companions). Every morning (except Sunday) I've begun a regimen of 30 sit-ups, 30 push-ups, 20 repetitions of a small calf excercise, 30 tricep-dips, 10 squat thrusts, basic stretches, and sometimes adding in a few karate drills or another small excercise all of which takes about 20-25 minutes. For meals, we mostly do our best to cook for ourselves. Breakfast is usually eggs or bagels or something along those lines, then lunch and dinner are whatever we feel like cooking, or whatever we're served if we have a dinner appointment with a member. We do our best to avoid eating out, and are doing remarkably well about keeping all five of us fed for about $60-70 a week on groceries (we also shop under "law of consecration" where we all split the cost as evenly as possible). As for who does the cooking, it kind of swaps off. Sometimes one person will make something for everyone, sometimes two or three of us will work on something, and sometimes its every man for himself. Every companionship gets a copy of each Ensign. However, if there are extras, I usually try to keep one. If I ever need a copy of one, I'll let you know.

I can't currently think of anything for the ward newsletter. Except maybe that I would recommend that every member should own and study from a copy of Preach My Gospel. It helps so much when the members are missionary minded. Also, the same counsel applies to youth preparing for missions. I wish I'd done more studying from PMG before I came out as it outlines everything you need to know. Just be missionary minded. Always look for chances to share the gospel. Pray for missionary miracles, then seek them out. Think of people that you could refer to the missionaries. The role of the members in missionary work is indescribable.

With love,
Elder John Y. Roberts

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


11 October 2011

Dear Homefront,

The chills have set in here, though no snow yet thank heavens. Just a little rain here and there.

A little about my companions:

Elder Farr grew up in Farmington, Utah, but moved to Rockland, Idaho (near Pocatello). He is funny and a really hard worker. He cares a ton about the people and the work. He likes riding dirt bikes and just having a good time.

Elder Narramore is from a town in Arizona just outside of Phoenix. He wants to go into the computer field and likes C++ programming. He also likes riding his motorcyle and playing video games (especially the Elder Scrolls).

Both of them have been out for just over 1 year (they were actually MTC companions).

I have most of my needed cold winter gear, though I may invest in some thermals if it gets too cold. I have yet to buy boots, but I don't have too much to worry about. Apparently if it snows more than a couple inches things pretty much shut down around here, which I find odd, having to go to school through two or more feet of snow. Oh well, we'll play it by ear and see how it goes.

We had another baptism this past week (pictures will follow soon). It was a short but really good service, and we were pleased to be able to welcome Nicole into the fold.

Not much else to write about. Hope all is well.

With love,
Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: The GPS has been recommended by all of my companions (a district and two zone leaders), the zone leaders in my last area, the senior companion of the other elders who live with us, and myself when I went on a companionship exchange and didn't have one. I consider myself decent with a map, but when you only have an address and none of the streets are numbered and you're trying to navigate on the fly while your companion is driving, a GPS just makes sense (also you can set them to "shortest route" which saves on miles which is good when you have a limited number. Also, I appreciate dad's offer, but he also could use it so I'd rather just get one that I can use now on my mission and after I get home as well. President Perry has no official stance on the matter.