Friday, October 26, 2012


22 October 2012

Dear Homefront,
Not a terribly large amount happened this week, but it was good.
Last Monday, we had a district get-together down at the church to play some games and just get to know each other a little more.  This week we also had Interviews with President Perry.  I love interviews each and every time.  President just has such a wonderful spirit about him.
Thursday we did more sheetrocking, after which we spent the night at the Zone Leader's apartment rather than drive down to Richmond in the morning for Zone Meeting.  At Zone Meeting, Elders Case and Kholer (our two Zone Leaders) gave trainings about the upcoming changes in the mission.  Apparently the Church is raising the number caps on all of the missions and ours is going to be one of the first to get up to 250 full time missionaries (that's not including senior couples).  That means that we'll have at least 50 missionaries coming out to the mission very soon.  With that influx, we've also been asked to keep our eyes open for language opportunities other than English and Spanish.  Also, if they so wish, Sisters will now be permitted to serve in biking areas, which will be a huge change for the mission.
Before Zone Meeting, I had a meeting with the other district leaders in the Zone to talk about the things that they wanted us to have in mind in the coming months.
After Zone Meeting, we had an exchange with the Insbrook Elders.  I came back from that very sore because I'm not in as good a shape as I used to be so I wasn't quite ready for a hard day's biking ... It seems that I need to take my morning exercises more seriously.
Saturday, we did service for the Maldonados, a family in our area, helping them to rebuild their goat pen and move some fences.  That was a good work-out digging all the post holes and moving the fencing, but it was fun.  At the end of the day, we also butchered a chicken which Brother Maldonado had promised to the Sisters.  That was interesting.
I hope all's well and that everyone's safe.
I love you all!
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


15 October 2012

Dear Homefront,
Goochland is doing pretty good.  We've actually been really busy this week, though we haven't had too many lessons.  This area has a ton of service opportunities, a lot of which actually include livestock like goats and pigs.  We've also started helping a part member family to hang sheet-rock in the house that they're building.  I find it amusing that while I've been on my mission, I've learned so much about how to do many things around a house and for small repairs.  I guess that what they say is true, a mission prepares you for the rest of your life. ;)
As a refresher, my companion is Elder Carlson and he's from Washington State out west near Vancouver and Portland (Oregon).  And in my District, I have the set of Sisters that share the Gayton Ward with us and the Insbrook Elders.
The weather's started to change here.  It's getting more chilly at night and in the mornings and the leaves have started to change colors and fall from their places.
I think I'm starting to get a hang on being a District Leader.  The hardest part is being responsible for figuring out what each district meeting needs to be about.  I've only had one of those so far and it went well.  Elder Carlson and I both gave trainings on the missionary purpose and how the Lord knows us and our talents and where we're needed.  Other than that, it seems like I'm really just a step in the information pyramid, making sure the line of communication stays open between my district and other missionary leaders.  It is a little stressful so I can understand Elder Rigby's feelings, but with the Lord's help, I know I'll be able to do well.
I'm sorry that I really don't know what else to say.  Outside of the service not too much else really happened this week.  We have more service coming up and hopefully something more report-worthy will come up.
I love you all and hope that you are well.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, October 8, 2012


8 October 2012

Dear Homefront,
Well, so far so good in Goochland.  The area's alright, half country and half city.  We share the Gayton Ward with a set of sisters, Sisters Naeta and Mendez and also in the district are Elders Maybre and Brooks who serve in the Insbrook ward.  We're in a car, which is nice with this sudden change to cooler weather, and I'm finally a designated driver.  It feels good to get behind the wheel again, though I must say, understanding that the car I'm driving is the Lord's has improved my driving skills.
My new address is as follows:
Elder John Y. Roberts
2980 Tranbycroft Way
Sandy Hook VA 23153
We live in a nice little basement apartment back in the more boonied part of our area.  It's not the largest, but it's comfortable ... except when you walk into a wall.  When the lights go out, our apartment is rather dark, and there was less room than I thought between the bedroom door and the opposing wall so when I got up in the night to use the restroom, I recieved a nice bruise across the bridge of my nose ... I have begun the practice of keeping my small flashlight next to my bed.
As for how I packed everything, I'd have to say that it was a miracle.  I'm very grateful that I had purchased that larger military backpack.  It's storage capabilities came in very handy as I was packing.  The package I sent home was just stuff to be set aside, old letters and a couple disc cases that I didn't need to carry with me.
Now, hows about General Conference?  Does anyone agree with me that it was absolutly AMAZING this year?  And what with the age drop for missionary service?  This was and is a truly historic moment for the church.  The spirit was overwhelming for me as many of the messages seemed to speak directly to my heart.  I am so very grateful for the privilege we have to have living Prophets and Apostles of the Lord speak to us, giving us guidance for living in today's world.  I love listening to the wise counsel of these beloved representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and I thank God for them.
I hope all is well on the Homefront.  I love you all.
With much love,
Elder John Y. Roberts

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


1 October 2012

Dear Homefront,
Well, the destroying angel was too quick for me this time.  I'm getting transferred this week.  President Perry has asked me to be a District Leader in Goochland which is a little north of Richmond.  I'll be splitting a ward with a set of Sisters and then I'll have another set of Elders in my district as well.  I'll be serving with an Elder Carlson, who to my knowledge I've never met before so this'll be interesting.
Elder Clawson is also getting transferred out.  President asked him to serve in the Mission Office for a little while longer.  Elder Huntzinger is training again and President is also sending in an Elder Hart.
My heart is very full with the prospect of this transfer.  I have absolutly loved my 9 months in Hopewell and at Fort Lee.  It has provided the grounds for the largest leap in my spiritual growth thus far on my mission, and I am very sad to see it go.  But my Lord has given me my orders and so I'll go.  I'll go and do my best to learn to love it there and not focus on the past.  The Lord needs me elsewhere.
Thank you for all of your love and support.  Now ... I just need to figure out how to pack everything this week ;)
Love you all.  I'll get my new address to you as soon as I can.
With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts