Monday, March 26, 2012


26 March 2012

Dear Homefront,

This has been a full week for us the Elders of Hopewell. With the mission’s Leadership Training meeting going on and our District Leader's companion being gone for that, Elder Bradfield decided to do a full set of exchanges. On each day, a different one of us went over to Colonial Heights to work with him. It made for a lot of hard work and interesting times and I finally got to make use of my driving certification. Elder Eagar has been on bike for most of his mission so he hasn't gotten a Virginia driver's license yet which meant that when Elder Johnson went to Colonial Heights, I became the designated driver.

This week has been crazy for another reason. We've just been receiving referrals like mad. Both from HQ sources like and from the people we talk to. Which has really helped to expand our teaching pool and to give us more to work with. I have a feeling that Hopewell will continue to grow until it "shall blossom as the rose" like the prophecy about the Lamanites, given in the Book of Mormon.

Lately I've been studying from "Jesus the Christ" by James E. Talmage, as well as "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" by LeGrand Richards. Both of them have been just a blast of doctrine that have helped me so much gain a deeper understanding of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as an amazing understanding of the Restoration of the Gospel. I would highly recommend these two books.

All's well in Hopewell. I hope you're all safe and sound.
With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: Mom, could you please get me some contact information for Patriarch Nutall? Or speak with him and ask him for some recommendations of books he would use for people who had questions about lineage? Please and thank you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


19 March 2012

Dear Homefront,

Happy St. Paddy's Day! And just in case my box doesn't arrive in time, Happy B-Day Paps. (side note on the box, the little red box (ornament inside) and the "humorous item" were both given to me by members in my last area and are for Mom. The brown paper bag with the pictures on it is Dad's B-Day present. The letters, I would like put with my other stuff just like the other box of letters I sent home a few months ago.)
This week has been long and hard, but really good at the same time. We set Tracy, one of our investigators, for baptism in April. She is really solid. Her Mother and sister, Amber, are both recent converts to the church and just a little while ago, Tracy told them that she wanted to join as well, so that's where we come in. Just a couple days ago, the youth in the Ward had a temple trip and Tracy went along with them and Sister Tukumouatu, whose husband was helping with the youth, took her to the visitors center there. She really enjoyed herself and she definitely felt the spirit.

Other fun highlights of the week include an Irish potato bar for the Ft. Lee branch activity on St. Patrick's, green cream soda to celebrate the great week, a long day of tracting on our "Car Fast" which led us to find a new investigating family, and Elder Johnson’s "Brazilian" birthday and the humor that came with that.

So, a little more information on that one. Elder Johnson's mother is full Brazilian so he applied for dual-citizenship. Something got messed up in the courts, so legally in the US, and also actually the day he was born, is in June. However, in Brazil, his birthday is legally in March. So in explaining this to Elder Stock, our Military Relations missionary, he replied "I wish I had two birthdays." So the next night, we bought a cake at dinnertime, and just before curfew, we went to Elder and Sister Stock's apartment. As soon as Elder Stock answered, we broke into a chorus of "Happy Birthday." Moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. ;)

Hope all's well on the homefront. I love and miss you all.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, March 12, 2012


12 March 2012

Dear Homefront,

The wedding and baptism last week were both a huge success. Then the 'hecticness' of transfers hit. Elder Rowberry scrambled to get everything packed, then Tuesday morning we finally hear back from President Perry. According to the transfer call Sunday evening, we were supposed to get Elder Biscocho (spelling?), but then President remembered that he's not American so he would have a really hard time getting on base. So it was up in the air all of Monday and it was looking like it might just be myself and Elder Johnson, since the mission was running short. But things worked out and we got a third elder, Elder Eagar, who was in my MTC district. It's great to be working with him again.

So this week has been pretty slow, mostly letting Elder Rowberry say goodbye to people and then Thursday was spent mostly waiting for Elder Eagar to arrive on the transfer van. But we got some good work done, visited as many people as we could. And I got my first chance to actually proselyte on base. Since it's a government installation, we can't actively proselyte until someone approaches us with questions. Well, Private Hill, a soldier there brought a non-member "battle-buddy" yesterday, who ... you guessed it, had questions! This led to us finding a golden investigator who wants to attend church as often as her duty schedule will allow and she wishes she had more time to read the Book of Mormon.

All's well in Hopewell! Though, outside of those highlights, not much has happened. The ward is taking good care of us on the dinner side of things, Elder Johnson has gotten me on a more regular work our schedule, and the Lord has blessed us.

Hope all of you are staying safe and well.
with much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: Okay ... I'm sorry, but this computer is not recognizing that my memory card is attached so it's not letting me upload my pictures. I promise to bring my camera cable next time so hopefully you'll get pictures next week. No later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


5 March 2012

Dear Homefront,

This past week has been intense for us here in Hopewell. We had two separate trips to Richmond (only about 45 minutes a piece) on two separate days. One was so that I could get fully certified to drive mission vehicles. It wasn't too bad, I sat through some driving videos and took a quiz at the end. Most of the questions were common sense questions and they were all multiple choice. It was also a good experience for Elder Tolman (our new Car Czar) who was able to receive training from Elder LeBaron on how to administer the safety training to other missionaries. Yes, the LeBarons have now been released and the VRM got a new Car Czar and Housing Secretary--Elder and Sister Tolman. The LeBarons actually have some family in American Fork. I had a couple classes with one of their granddaughters. The other trip was because Elder Rowberry had an appointment to meet with President Perry.

This week was also hectic for the reasons that we were preparing Sarah and Phillip (two of our investigators) for not only baptism (which happened just yesterday) but also their marriage (which happened on Saturday). We're very proud of the two newest members of our Ward. (This computer is giving me grief so I won't be able to send the pictures this week, I'll get them out asap.)

Add to all of that the anticipation of transfer calls, it made for a long but very rewarding week. And the results are in. Elder Johnson and I are staying in Hopewell. Elder Rowberry is being sent to the Newport News 3rd Ward in Downtown Newport News. Elder Johnson and I may or may not be getting a third companion. We were supposed to until President Perry realized that the third person he was going to send us was actually trained in the mission by Elder Johnson. So now that's a little up in the air while we wait for President to get back to us.

I'm looking forward to another transfer here in Hopewell. I love the work, and I love the people.

I hope you are all staying safe and sane.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts