Wednesday, July 25, 2012


23 July 2012

Dear Homefront,
Happy Pioneer Day!  And Happy Year Mark to me!  Can you believe it?  I've been gone a whole year.  How the time flies.  This time next year, I'll be on a plane headed for Salt Lake.  It's odd to think about.
I got the package just fine, though I don't know of any recipes that call for molasses so I'm not sure what I'll use that for ... I'll probably think of something.  Thank you for the candies and everything else.
This Saturday, the ward put on a Pioneer Day activity that went rather well.  A few members talked about their experiences with the youth on the Trek that they did a couple weeks ago, and they had a mini-trek with some fun activities at stations representing different places along the trail.  No non-members that we knew of, but still good.  We got special permission from President Perry to watch 17 Miracles with the Ft. Lee Branch.  I would highly recommend that movie.  It's about the Willie Handcart Company and each miracle contained is from actual journal excerpts of handcart pioneers.  It's very touching and a very good movie.
Just yesterday, we finally found some new investigators.  A small family out by the high school.  They expressed belief when we told of Joseph Smith's experience in the Sacred Grove.  They committed to read from and pray about the Book of Mormon and invited us back next week to share more of our message.  It's good to be teaching again.  Every time I teach, I find my own testimony growing.  Other than that, we didn't have too much else change this week.  But we're still working and trying to stay positive.
I hope that all is well for you.  I love you all.
See you in another year. ;)
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, July 16, 2012


16 July 2012

Dear Homefront,
Another long, tiring week gone here in the good ol' VA.  Not much has really changed except that the Hopewell ward has started becoming more missionary minded of late.  We're still waiting on Bishop to finalize and put the Ward Missionary Plan into effect and then he wants us to have a "Missionary Day" in church in the next few weeks.  I just hope this doesn't overdo it.  The past couple weeks' lessons have been on missionary work from the Teachings of President George Albert Smith.
Well, this past week we lost our two longest running members at the Ft. Lee Branch.  Chad arrived a few weeks before I did and Marcus had been there since last November or so.  We were invited to attend their graduation and that was pretty cool.  It was odd not having them there on Saturday or at church on Sunday because they've just ... always been there, and faithfully to boot.  If nobody else came, they were still there.  And it was hilarious because of how different they both are.  Chad always had something cynical to say and still made it funny whereas Marcus just had one of the loudest laughs you've ever heard.  They'll be missed.
Other than that, there's really not too much going on.  The Youth did a trek a couple weeks back and the ward is putting on a Pioneer Day BBQ this weekend so Saturday seems to be planned out to be one large feast, because that's in the morning and then we've got the Branch activity and then we've got a dinner appointment ... well, we're taken care of for at least one day. ;)
At any rate, I hope everyone's doing alright and staying safe.  I love you all.  Keep hope burning and find joy.
With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, July 9, 2012


9 July 2012

Dear Homefront,
Well, good news.  I'm staying in Hopewell for yet another round.  Elder Huntzinger is staying as well, but unfortunately we didn't get another Elder.  I guess we're still short of manpower.
The past week has been rough.  I just haven't felt tired at bedtime and then I've been waking up tired in the mornings and sometimes just waking up all through the night.  Oh well, I guess.  Probably just a cycle that'll work itself out soon enough.  The 4th was fun.  We had a no proselyting day so we were able to enjoy a quiet day.  Sister Johnson invited us over for a cookout and her boys lit off some fireworks.
Then Saturday we helped a member replace the carpet in one of their rooms.  I'm just turning into a regular little handy-man learning all this stuff about replacing toilets, carpet, making small repairs.  It's fun to get out of the suit every once in a while and get down and dirty working with one's hands.
The rest of the week has been pretty mundane and work as usual.  Yesterday, in an effort to jumpstart our area, we hosted a district blitz so the Elders from Colonial Heights and Chesterfield all came down and we tracted out some different sections of our area.  We got a couple potentials, nothing solid but it's a lot better than what we've had up until now.  President Perry has set out the vision of every companionship baptizing this month so we'll see what we can do.  If the Lord wants it to happen, it'll happen.  Until then, we'll just keep working like we always do.
I hope all's well for you.  I love you all.
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, July 2, 2012


2 July 2012

Dear Homefront,
Happy Independence Day!  We get to have a no proselyting day on the 4th and we've been given permission to go see a fireworks show.  They have one at Ft. Lee so we might go there.  Maybe we'll go visit Petersburg National Battlefield or the museums on post.
This past week has been crazy, and not really even in a good way.  There've been some extremes in the weather here lately going from a heat index of 115 to sudden tornado warnings and freak thunderstorms.  My 72-hour kit is fine, just a little unorganized right now ... I need to fix that.
We've done a little bit of tracting here and there in between the heat advisories and storms, but we haven't really seen much success from that.  President Perry sent out a statement that he feels that every companionship can baptize by the end of the month.  It's going to take a miracle, but it wouldn't be the first time I've seen miracles happen so I guess it's possible.  We'll just have to exercise all the faith we've got, and work.
It does feel odd to think that I've been gone for nearly a year.  In ways, it still feels like I left yesterday.  I guess to most people back home, it feels like a right old year ;)  And it's insane that Elder Yashko is almost home!  Please ask Cindy to tell him that he'd better not be getting trunky.  A lot of people are home or almost home now--it's strange to think about.
Other than all of that, not much has really changed since last week.  We're just holding on and doing our best to work hard.
I hope all is well on the Homefront.  I love you all.
-Elder John Y. Roberts
PS:  Items for the care package
My vial for consecrated oil broke quite a while ago and I kept forgetting to tell you. I could really use a new one.
On that note, my knife also just up and disappeared.  I've searched high and low for it but I still can't find it.  I could use a new one if you can remember the style I liked.
And the last thing I wanted to ask is if you'd ever used that Think Geek certificate?  If not, I wouldn't mind either the watch or some other random useful items.