Tuesday, May 29, 2012


29 May 2012

Dear Homefront,

Happy Memorial Day! (even though it's a day late) Mine was pretty laid back. I read in a soft chair from the church foyer while Elder Eagar and some other Elders from the District played some b-ball. Then we did some cleaning for the apartment inspection we've got today. Speaking of the apartment, my address will be staying the same. It looks like I'll get to see six months in Hopewell! Unfortunately Elder Eagar won't get to celebrate with me. He's getting transferred. Elder Huntzinger is staying though and we're just going to duo the area. Too many Elders are leaving and not enough are coming in to keep us at three. Hopefully that'll change next transfer. The rest of the district is staying the same as well.

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately, as they usually are around holidays. It also doesn't help that most of the High Schools are starting to wind down and get ready for graduation. Work is going on however. This past week we were able to set Danielle, one of our investigators, with a baptismal date. She's tentatively set for June 9th. We've also been working hard at finding new investigators and we're thinking about starting to do more less-active work to help build the foundation here which will help us as we start teaching more people and bringing them to church.

Other than that, not too much is going on here in Hopewell. Oh, Elder Huntzinger has found himself in a mildly amusing predicament. (Well, at least I find it humorous. He doesn't.) Before his mission he was dating someone. He broke up with this girl in order to help him focus on getting ready for his mission, that is the only reason they broke up. They've been writing throughout his mission. This girl decided she wanted to serve a mission as well so she sent her papers in and got her call ... to the Virginia Richmond Mission Spanish Speaking. Elder Huntzinger has been a little on edge because of this and Elder Eagar saw fit to tease him about it every once-in-a-while. Thankfully, Elder Huntzinger is safe. There are few Spanish areas and even fewer Hermana areas, and only one in our zone. Neither of those Hermanas are training so she won't be in the Zone. It made me laugh to think about it and how I would feel if it had happened to me.

Oh well, I really do think that's all I have to report for now. I still love it here in Hopewell, and I'm still working hard. I love you all and hope all is well for you. Stay safe, stay strong.

With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, May 21, 2012


21 May 2012

Dear Homefront,

I heard about the eclipse. Mama Fraser's dad is an avid astronomer and they told me they were going to drive down to southern Utah to get a better look at it. Just goes to show you the Murphy's law of whenever you leave a place, everything cool starts happening. Ah well. I'm about a good work.

As for my birthday, I don't need to hear anymore of that song. Somebody decided it would be a good idea to tell the brother in charge of the ward linger longer yesterday so I ended up with the whole ward singing. And then I got it again at our dinner appointment with the Johnsons. Yesterday was also entertaining for the fact that in an effort to conserve some of our miles, we decided to ride our bikes yesterday. Well, Mother Nature decided to teach us a lesson and halfway between appointments we got stuck in the rain! Thankfully it cleared up while we were in an appointment so we were able to dry out a little but I was exhausted and promptly fell asleep at bed time.

On Wednesday, we had a Zone Conference with us and the Midlothian Zone. It was really interesting that President Perry and the Assistants all trained mostly on finding new investigators. It really helped because that's what we're doing. We're building up our teaching pool right now.

All in all, this week has been a good one for us. I've set some goals to get a little healthier which included cutting back on the soda I drink.  Instead (because I still don't think water has enough flavor), I've invested in a water enhancer called Mio which allows me to add as much or as little flavor as I want so that I can start weaning myself down. With this, I also plan to start carrying a water bottle in order to help me. Those multi-vitamins are helping as well. Thank you. I'm also starting to work out more. With any luck, I'll come home much healthier and stronger.

Well, I hope all is well with everyone. I'm still loving it here in Hopewell, though transfer calls come through next week.  I hope I get to stay again.

I love you all. Stay safe.
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, May 14, 2012


14 May 2012

My dear Homefront,
A very happy Mother's Day to all you matriarchs both in blood and in spirit.  An inspired quote reads as thus:  "Be nice to women.  They represent half the population, and are mothers to the other half."
This past week has been a busy one.  The work is starting to pick up again here in Hopewell and we've been very busy trying to find all of the potential we know the Lord has here in this portion of His vineyard.  I honestly think we only had one day this week where we didn't teach a lesson, and I know that we were planting seeds all day everyday.
I haven't run into any ticks or snakes yet.  Nor, thank heavens, bed bugs.  But they're definitely out there, nasty little critters.  Here's hoping I don't have any run ins with them, eh?
It's been pretty warm here this past week.  Virginia seems to like to skip around their seasons.  We seem to have already started summer, and the humidity's been up.  The mosquitos have been annoying.  There wasn't really enough of a frost last winter to kill them off so later in the summer is probably going to be miserable on that side.  I'll do my best to avoid being eaten.
So, humorous mishap yesterday.  Every Sunday, one of us will be picked up by the Stocks (our military relations senior couple) and taken to Ft. Lee while the other two will attend the Hopewell ward.  After the meeting block, Brother Morgan (Ft. Lee 1st counselor) and his wife will drop off the one at the Hopewell meetinghouse.  Well, this week was a little bit different.  President Brandeberry is out of town on business so Elder Stock needed another priesthood holder to go with him to offer the sacrament to the soldiers who were just arriving that day, so he asked me to accompany him.  He would then drop me off at the apartment where my companions should have been for lunch.  This would've worked out because Elder Bradfield had accidentally left his backpack at our apartment at the end of an exchange and was going to come down to get it.  Unfortunately there was a disconnect in communication so my companions ended up still waiting for me at the church like normal even though I would be nearly an hour later than normal ... oops.  But it worked out so everything's fine.
Well, those are the major updates here on the Eastern Front.  Hope all's well at home and everyone's staying safe.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts
PS:  Out of those names I know:  Elders Orr (MTC), Trotter (MTC but not my district), Coburn (current Zone Leader), Rogers (current AP), and Smith (formerly in my district).  I don't know who else has blogs.

Monday, May 7, 2012


7 May 2012

Dear Homefront,
This past week was one of the best weeks of my mission.  There has been miracle after miracle here for us.  I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, but I'm going to do my best.
But first, some questions to answer.  I'll probably try to call around 4:30 (2:30 your time) because that seems like the optimum time for me to call.  But I still need to hash out some details with my Elder Eagar and Elder Huntzinger, so we'll see.  If I can't call then, I might call later in the evening around 8 o'clock (6 there).  As for the bike, I haven't had any real problems thankfully, though it's not the best quality of bike I ever could have.  I also haven't had to use it very often because so far I've been in areas that have a car, but we'll pull it out every once in a while, usually at least once a month on our car fast.  For the most part I like it and it was a pretty good deal.
Now for the Mission Conference.  This was the first time since President Perry has been the mission president that the entire mission gathered together in one place.  So that's 200+ missionaries, and add on top of that all of the senior couples and senior sisters serving in the mission, all gathered in one chapel.  The reason?  Elder Russell M. Nelson, accompanied by Elder J. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Lansing of the Seventy came to visit our mission.  All of them spoke as did President and Sister Perry, Sister Lansing who was accompanying her husband, and the Stake President of the Richmond Stake.  It was absolutely amazing to be taught from on high through these inspired servants of the Lord who addressed us.  The Spirit was so strong there.  Elder Nelson did two things that will be with me always, first, prior to the start of the meeting, he made provision for everyone in attendence to be personally greeted by him and shake his hand, and second, as he drew his address to a close, he invoked his office in offering an Apostolic Blessing upon us as the missionaries of the Virginia Richmond Mission.  It was absolutely amazing.
Unfortunately I run short of time so I'll have to give word of the other miracles next week.  I love you all.  Please stay safe and happy.
With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Saturday, May 5, 2012


30 April 2012

Dear Homefront,

Another slow week here in Hopewell. We decided to try to go see some of the further reaches of our area, places we don't normally go because they're so far out of the way. That brought very little success, so it really seemed more like scenic drives. Some good came out of it though. We were able to finally get one of our priest-age boys out on exchanges with us. He didn't get to see too much action, but we thankfully were able to do a little bit of teaching and finding.

Thank you for the prompt reply in finding those books. They will be an excellent augmentation to my studies to give me some deeper understanding on key aspects of the Gospel. And thank you for the CD's. I like what I got so far.

I can hardly wait for this upcoming weekend. We have a very special guest coming to visit the mission. Elder Nelson of the Twelve is coming to present a special devotional for our entire mission. 200+ missionaries as well as all the senior couples will be gathered together to hear from an Apostle of the Lord. It's going to be amazing. Other than that, I'm working hard and keeping strong. I love you all and hope you are safe an well.

With much love,
Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: Way ahead of you on figuring out what's on the PT tests.

PPS: Time for some photos... a scenic outlook of the Appomatox River at dusk, my district just before transfers, and Noah and us on the day of his baptism.

PPPS: The questions I had referred mostly to the blessings and responsibilities of Ephraim.