Tuesday, January 29, 2013


28 January 2013

Dear Homefront,
I'm not really sure how to say how I'm feeling right now.  Why is it, that words always seem to fail when emotions are present?
This week wasn't too bad.  We got more snow which shut us down again because they want all mission vehicles off the roads when the snow is coming down then they usually let us back out sometime the next day after the sun's had a chance to get most of it off the main roads.  It feels like home to me lately because it's been rare for us to get above the mid-40s most days which is actually making it seem like we're having a winter.  I truly feel sorry for the biking Elders.  It makes me really appreciate being in a car that has a heater.  It has also made me grateful for the thermals I bought a couple months ago as they've really helped me to retain what heat I do have.  On the bright side, unlike last year, all of the warm stuff I brought with me is actually getting used on a regular basis like my sweater and scarf and coat.
Other than the excitement of the snow, not too terribly much happened in Goochland.  We were, however, invited to return to Burkeville last Saturday for the baptism of one (sister) who has been wanting that day to come since before I served there a year ago.  The last obstacle standing in her way was removed when her birth mother finally granted her consent to allow her to enter the waters of baptism and make those covenants with her Lord.
To get to Burkeville, it was a long (a little over an hour each way), but beautiful drive across the Virginia countryside.  I also happened to see some humorous street signs along the way such as Tobaccoville and Pridesville which were just a mile or so past Scotland Ln.  I still miss the simplicity of the grid system of the West, and I have to wonder how some of these road names came to be.  Oh well, that's why the good Lord allowed GPS's to be invented, right?
Church was very nice with the topic in sacrament meeting being faith and prayer.  In Sunday School, we talked about the Atonement.  All of which, I felt, went very well together.  Faith is the glue that holds everything together and the others are some of the most amazing gifts our Heavenly Father has granted us.  I thank the Lord every day for the wonderful blessings He has poured out upon me.
Transfer calls are this week, so we'll know what's happening on that side of things by the next email I send.  I have a strong impression that I'll be moving again (oh the dread of packing...), but whatever happens it will be for the best.
I love you all.  Stay safe, and keep hope burning bright.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, January 21, 2013


21 January 2013

Dear Homefront,
I hope that you are all well and safe.  Things are going alright here in the Gooch.  We received the first snow of the season here, and it actually shut us down for a while.  Apparently, most of Virginia is unprepared for large snow storms.  We probably only got about four inches, yet schools were shut down for at least a day.  Most of the snow is gone again now, but we might be expecting another flurry here sometime before the spring.
President's interviews were the true highlight of this week for me, though that was a little disorganized.  Due to the approaching storm and the mandate that we be off the roads when it began to come down, our interview times were bumped up by nearly two hours in order to allow us to have time to return to our apartment prior to when the storm was expected to arrive.
President Perry is one of the most amazing men that I have ever met, and I cherish every moment I am ever fortunate enough to spend in his presence.  That being said, having only 15 minutes for interviews is not nearly long enough.  Surprisingly, President spent most of this particular interview speaking, but I didn't mind.  Whenever he speaks, I almost always seem to find something in what he says that just hits me like a ton of bricks and gives me something to ponder on or study about.  In this interview, he told me something about myself that I never really realized before.  He said that he's noticed that when I have a mission - a goal - I can keep going on all cylinders.  As I've been pondering on that, I've realized how true it is.  When I have a specific goal, I'll find a way to get it done.  It reminds me of a proverb that President often quotes: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."  Usually, he quotes it speaking of our responsibility as missionaries to provide a vision to our investigators, but I never thought to apply it to this aspect of my life of how I seem to always be able to kick it into high gear when I have a specific objective to accomplish.
I'm grateful to the Lord for President.  The Lord knew that I needed a man like him to be placed in my path.  I love him, and I love the Lord.
I pray you all stay safe and well.  Keep hope alive,
With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts
PS:  6 months left?!?  Where has the time gone?

Friday, January 18, 2013


14 January 2013

Dear Homefront,
This week was a long one out here in the Gooch.  We spent a lot of time trying to get prepared for the zone blitz.  That preparation took a lot of time and effort, going through an entire area book worth of records, pulling out those names that we felt would have potential, plotting them out on a map, and organizing them into routes so that the missionaries who came out to help us wouldn't be running all over the area but would be focused in their efforts.
That blitz unfortunately, seems to have yielded few results, mostly helping us gain information on who wasn't interested or which addresses were wrongly recorded, which is admittedly helpful, just not quite in the way we would have liked.  Thankfully, we did get a couple names that at least acted somewhat interested in our message so hopefully some good will come of it.
The Zone preparation day last week was enjoyable.  We explored some of the sights downtown in Richmond.  Unfortunately, the two main places that the group wanted to go were both closed.  Interestingly enough, they were both also churches.  The one was the beautiful Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and the other was the humble episcopal chapel where Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech.  We ended up walking quite a ways to just see the outside of two buildings, but the company of the other missionaries was enjoyable nonetheless.
We were supposed to have interviews with President Perry last week but some things came up and they had to be rescheduled.  They should happen this upcoming Thursday.  I look forward to that event, though I must say that 15 minutes is not long enough at all to be with that blessed man.
Other than that, not a whole lot has been going on out here.  I haven't been sleeping the best lately, but oh well, I'll just keep trying.
I hope that all is going well for the rest of you.  I'm sorry to hear about Nik's accident, and I'm glad he's alright.
I love you all.
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Monday, January 7, 2013


7 January 2013

Dear Homefront,
Well, at least we're not the only ones on the 9 o'clock block for church.  The only problem I have with it is that we have a 30 minute drive to the chapel!  When you add on any meetings we go to (which happen before church) we're basically waking up, shaving (having showered the night before), throwing on our suits, and tying our ties on the way to the car.  Makes for a very fun Sunday morning, eh?  Oh well, I suppose somebody needs to take the early schedule.
This week, we did a lot of work, preparing for a Zone Blitz that we're going to be having out here in Goochland this Saturday, which means that we're hoping to have the entire zone out to help us find new investigators by sending them to former and potential investigators, as well as other finding methods such as tracting and "by the way"-ing.  We're really hopeful that this will yield some results because there is just too much ground for us to cover alone.
We also recently started back up a program that some other missionaries were doing before, which is a scripture study class which we hold every other week in the multi-purpose room at the library.  Unfortunately, only Brother Malsonado showed up for the first one, but we hope to have more start coming.  We've started printing out some flyers that we can hand out as we go around to see people, which should help.
Well, it would also seem that Dad isn't the only one with a habit of smashing appendages.  We were doing some more service for the Pinkstons, helping them some more with the house.  I was hanging some corner bead which is hung up with drywall nails and I managed to catch both my thumb and index finger on my left hand with the hammer.  Thankfully both were glancing blows because I wasn't hitting the nails too hard for fear of damaging the drywall but it still hurt quite a bit.
Well, I think that's really all the exciting parts of this week.  We have a zone preparation day planned for a little later today and we're going to get together and explore some of the sights in Downtown Richmond so hopefully that'll be fun.  I hope everyone's doing well and staying safe.
I love you all.
-Elder John Y. Roberts


31 December 2012

Dear Homefront,

Not a whole lot happened this week.  Christmas Eve and Day were both non-proselyting days, so we didn't really go anywhere.  The Loveland family invited us over for Christmas Dinner and that's where we spent most of the day, including getting special permission to join them for watching The Muppet's Christmas Carol which was way fun.  They are a great family, and we are so very grateful for them.

Other than that, most of the people we went to see either weren't home or were busy, so it was pretty slow.  Honestly, Christmas was really the only thing that happened worth talking about.

I'm doing alright, I'm still waking up tired but I'm trying to keep doing what I'm supposed to and be effective.

Unfortunately, I can't really think of anything else to write so I think I'll sign off now.  I'm sorry that this was such a short letter.  Hopefully it will pick up more here soon.

I love you all.

With love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts