Monday, April 23, 2012


23 April 2012

Dear Homefront,

This past week was long and hard for the missionary work here. With Elder Johnson being sick and then wanting to say his goodbyes due to transfers, not much got done this week. Elder Huntzinger is really good though. He just came in and took maybe five minutes to unpack essentials then we went to work.

The transfer meeting was pretty good. We got a decent amount of new missionaries in this time around. We were cautioned once again to be careful in our cars (which I'm now driving (it feels good to be back behind the wheel)).

The bedbug problem seems to have died down a bit in our mission. At least, I haven't heard much about it. I personally haven't had a problem with them. I've known missionaries who have, but I thankfully haven't.

We have a couple new soldiers on post and we also recently got a couple more marines as well. One of the soldiers is actually a former VRM missionary. We got a good chuckle over that, especially that he had served in Petersburg which is about 10 minutes down the road from Hopewell.

That's really most of the updates from my side of things. Our entire district got shaken up by transfers. Only myself, Elder Eagar, and Elder Bradfield got to stay. Our Zone Leaders got "shotgunned" out so we have two brand new ones. We're still working on as hard as we can. I hope you all are safe and sound.

I love you all,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, April 16, 2012


16 April 2012

Dear Homefront,

Transfer time again in The VRM! I've managed to evade the ax once more and am privileged to be able to spend another six weeks in Hopewell. Elder Johnson wasn't so lucky, he's getting transferred back to Deep Creek, one of his former areas. Elder Eagar and I are getting a new companion, Elder Huntzinger. He was in my district when I first got out here so at least I know him. I'll see what I can do about stepping in front of Sister Perry as she goes mad with her camera at transfer meeting.

We had a baptism just yesterday. Noah decided to follow Sara and Phillip (his mom and step-dad) and join the Church. He's a funny little kid. Ten years old and way too smart for his own good. His hyperactivity kicked in during the baptismal service but everything managed to run smoothly enough. It was fun and really good.

Other than those, there aren't any real big highlights. I still love working with the soldiers at Ft. Lee and being able to go to their weekly FHE style activity. This past Saturday we played a fun dice game called Farkle and I managed to win back some of the honor I lost when I played Dominoes against Elder Stock.

I'm loving the work here in Virginia. I feel so much better and stronger than I ever have. I can barely believe I've been gone for over nine months now. At times it seems like just yesterday I was walking into the MTC in Provo. I'm a better man because of what I've learned here. You can include that into your lesson on repentance if you wish. Also, PMG has some excellent scriptures listed under repentance in lesson three, The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone is safe and well. I love you all, and look forward to seeing you again.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: I guess it could work for a b-day gift but President has given me permission to study and read from the old missionary reference library as well as the new one so I need some books. "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" by LeGrande Richards, "The Great Apostasy" and "Articles of Faith" by James E. Talmage, and "Truth Restored" by Hinckley. Other than that, I'm not really sure what I would want... I guess more music would always be welcome. I can't think of anything specific right now, but I think I'd like something that's not specifically church. I know Walmart sells cd collections that are Christian music called the WOW collections. I actually think I'd really like some Celtic Women or Andre Rieu or possibly if you can find it the sound track to Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera. I'd even be happy with some Disney or Marching Band music.

PPS: Did you ever talk to Patriarch Nuttal about what books he'd recommend for somebody who wants to learn about lineage?

PPPS: Just wanted to say I love you.

Monday, April 9, 2012


9 April 2012

Dear Homefront,

I heard about that Naval Jet. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it seems to be one of the tender mercies of the Lord that nobody was killed. We don't have any planes that go in and out of Ft. Lee. Though we do have an artillery range and a drop zone for the airborne soldiers and helicopter training.

I really don't have too much to report this week. We spent a lot of time inside because Elder Johnson's been feeling sick most of the week. But our ward did have a fun Easter Social. Candy for the kids, BBQ for all, and an egg toss for the daring. I was in a suit so I didn't participate in that.

The Church put out a new push for the Easter weekend. Do you remember the vignettes that were released around Christmas time about the life of the Savior as written in the scriptures? They released another set about the atonement, death, and resurrection. They are really powerful. They can be found through links on and as well as on facebook and youtube. The Church expected over 15 million hits just last weekend alone. I would highly suggest viewing them, and then sharing them. They are amazing.

That's really all I have. I hope everyone is staying safe and happy.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts.

Monday, April 2, 2012


2 April 2012

Dear Homefront,

First question. Is the Elder Smith's name Hyrum? If so, he's not just in my mission, he's in my district.

Conference was amazing. I loved the messages of hope and duty that our wonderful leaders brought us. And with so many of my friends entering the bonds of matrimony, I'm sure the messages of the family were much appreciated as well. I had a blessing of an opportunity to spend all but the priesthood session on base with the soldiers in the Ft. Lee Branch as it was my turn in the rotation. I can't really describe it, but there's just a special spirit that reigns in that place. We don't have a consecrated chapel, we worship in a space where the Chaplains make a theater, and where Muslims meet on Fridays for mosque. Our Branch President conducts interviews in a borrowed office, and our music is provided by a curious little character I like to call Private Boom-box. Yet there I see soldiers find their desire to grow, there in the most difficult of soil and they flourish. We've had so many recent ordinations it's almost unbelievable. Just yesterday, Darby our newest ordained priest blessed the sacrament for the first time. Many soldiers give up their "off post" passes, which are sometimes the only chance they'll get to leave the base while they're there for training, in order to go to church ... it's ... amazing. They do their duty, willingly and without shame. It's truly inspiring. In between the sessions yesterday, President Branderberry asked me to also instruct the brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood on consecrating oil, and Hamilton, our most recently ordained elder, was able to perform that ceremony as well.

Hopewell is amazing. And I thank a loving Heavenly Father for allowing me this opportunity to serve here.

I love you all and hope you are all safe and well. Keep the fire of hope burning brightly.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: Dad, it was either that one or a purple heart one. It just made me think of you. For more reasons than one. One of which is this. It's been a matter of serious reflection in my mind and I've taken the opportunity to take it before the Lord. I feel that I've gotten an affirmative answer. When I return home, I plan to pursue a contract with the Utah State ROTC and take a simultaneous enlistment with the Guard, all of which will help me through college and provide me a more stable financial base and allow me to graduate with less debt than I would have otherwise. I want to follow your path in the sense that I want to become airborne and air-assault certified (which fits into one of the requirements of the ROTC dictating I have a specialization in one of those or another field that they'd accept). Which is why the wings plaque made me think of you. I want you there when I do this. And if what I've heard is correct, then when I graduate jump school, you can be the one to pin my wings on my chest, and if that's true, Dad, I want that. I love you. Take care of Mom while I'm away.

Dear Mom,

I got your email this morning. And just in time, I was about to log off.

Yes, that will work. And it will save you putting un-needed money on for the months I don't spend very much.

Please tell Ava happy b-day for me.

If the person in the picture looks like me, it probably is me. As for the reason I don't mention it? I'm pretty sure I did talk about the Christmas Mission conference. Zone and district meeting are just more meetings, so that's why I don't usually bring those up. I like to tell you about the big things, because it feels like it did at school. You don't always remember every little detail, but those things that are most memorable are the things you most want to share.

I love you Mom. Glad you like the Turd-Bird. Thank you for buying those missionaries lunch. Coming from a missionary's perspective, they were very grateful.

~Elder John Y. Roberts