Wednesday, February 27, 2013


25 February 2013

Dear Homefront,
Hope everyone's doing alright, we're doing fine, though a little chilled, here in Hopewell.
This week was kinda slow.  We actually had two separate trips up to Midlothian that we made this week.  One was on Wednesday.  Elder Starks had a dentist appointment. The other was on Friday, when Elder Starks had a meeting with President Perry.  I took that opportunity while we were in the office to take care of my application to USU.
I'm still readjusting to being back in Hopewell.  There have been many changes, but there are still many people and places I still remember so well.  It's amazing what can change in just a few short months.
As I noted earlier, it's still pretty chilly here so my plans of sending home my winter gear to lighten my pack will have to wait a little while longer.  Oh well.  Unfortunately, things have been pretty slow around here, both in Hopewell and on Ft. Lee.  Hopefully things will be picking up a little more around here soon.
Sorry that I don't have too much to write about today.  I'll try to do something exciting this week. ;)
With all my love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts
PS:  Yes, I know that the ROTC is a minimum 6 years of duty after graduation.  I've known that for a while.  I'll try to talk to Elder Stock about my options as well.  One of his last positions in the army was working with the ROTC at Ricks College so he knows more about it than I do.  I was thinking about things I could do to go the SMP route, if that turns out to be my best option.  I could either go for a semester taking generals and then take the spring and summer off to go through basic and AIT with the National Guard and then contract with the ROTC the next fall, or I could defer until next fall right off and go through that way.  If that's not my best route, then I'll take the Cadet route and I'll just have to find some small part time job to keep some money in my pocket while I'm going to school.  I'm already an old freshman so I don't think another season is going to make a terrible amount of difference to me.  About my options after school though, I've already figured out my two plans, which I'm going to leave in the hands of the Lord.  Plan A:  Graduate, find a teaching position and take my commission in the Army Reserves, serve 25-30 (or maybe more) years and retire but continue to teach history until my future spouse and I feel ready to serve a senior couples mission.  Plan B:  Graduate, can't find a teaching position, take my commission in the Active Duty Army and see where the Lord takes me, serve until I'm ready to retire and return to civilian life.
See, I do try to think things through before I make a blind leap ;)
PPS:  Loves


25 February 2013

This is a forwarded email from President Perry regarding the splitting of the VRM and forming the new mission.
Dear Elders and Sisters:
As you know, on or about July 1, 2013 the mission will be divided.

The following stakes will be a part of the Virginia, Richmond Mission (VRM):
Chesterfield, Midlothian, Richmond, Waynesboro and two additional stakes will be added from the Washington DC South mission, they are: Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, both North of us and border our mission boundaries.

The Following stakes will be a part of the new Virginia, Chesapeake Mission (VCM): Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach and two additional stakes will be added from the North Carolina, Raleigh mission, they are: Goldsboro (just west of Chesapeake) and Kinston (which is the rest of the Outer Banks to the south). The new mission home and office will be located in the Chesapeake stake boundaries.

The incoming mission president and his wife for the VRM are: E. Bradley and Mari-Lynn Wilson (President and Sister Wilson). They will begin their service on or about July 1, 2013. They live in Plymouth, Minnesota and he just retired as the Chief Administrative Officer at Grant Thornton which is a large accounting firm. He also teaches a graduate accounting class at BYU. The Wilson's have six children and both have served in numerous leadership positions for the church. I have spoken with them and love them already, they are upbeat and very sweet. Sister Wilson served as a stake Young Women's camp director and ward chorister, for you elders, that means she is fun and loving. I will send more information as we get it..

The incoming President and his wife for the VCM are Alan J. and Mary Kay Baker (President and Sister Baker) and are from Loveland, Colorado. They too have had numerous leadership responsibilities in the church and he is a Technology guru. I will have the opportunity to speak with them this week and will provide additional information as I receive it.

The transfer in June will determine which mission you will be assigned to. I do not know which mission you will be assigned to at this time and I don't plan to pray about it until May...:-)

58 new missions were created because of the surge of incoming missionaries. We have been working on this almost since President Monson's announcement last general conference. The total count is now at 405 missions worldwide. What a great time to be in the mission field! Thank you for all you do to move this work forward, the Lord is hastening His work and we are privileged to participate.

President Perry

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


19 February 2013

Dear Homefront,
Well, I hope you all enjoyed your President's Day.  All the soldiers on post loved it because it was a four day weekend for them.  It also dropped our numbers at the activity and at church because all those that could were taking full advantage of their off-post passes.
I have come to the conclusion that I can easily handle a three hour block of church meetings.  Right now we're going for almost eight hours (including meetings with the ward council and things like that) on Sudays, and wow that is tiring.  On the plus side, we no longer have all the frustrations of splitting up and then trying to make sure we can meet up without any hiccups.
This week we had a great Zone Conference with us and the Midlothian zone.  As part of her training, Sister Perry had us all take one of the color-code personality tests.  I'm still a Blue-White with just a touch of Red, which didn't surprise me a whole lot.  My levels have changed slightly since the last time I took one of those but the overall profile is still fairly similar.
We also helped out with the Bishop's Storehouse again yesterday.  It's always nice to be able to do service.  It's also very interesting to see what the "behind the scenes" is like at one of the Bishop's Storehouses.  It makes me want to go on one of the tours of Welfare Square when I get home.  I feel that would be very interesting.
Later today, we'll be starting an exchange with the zone leaders.  I'll be on exchange with Elder Andreason.  We'll see how that goes. ;)
I hope all is well for all of you.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts
PS:  I think I might have made a typo with my address when I gave it to you.  Just to be safe, here it is again.
4550 Jefferson Pointe Ln.
Apt 8
Prince George VA 23875
PPS:  President granted me permission to start looking into my college stuff to make sure everything is ready for when I get home.  Could you maybe go through my papers and get my account information for my applications to Utah State.  Also, any info you can get from USU, the USU ROTC, or the UT National Guard about my options would be very much appreciated.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


11 February 2013

Dear Homefront,
So far so good in Hopewell.  It's been an interesting couple days as I've waded through a wave of nostalgia.  I must say, it's nice to be the "new guy" going into an area and still know more about where things are and how to get places than your companion. ;)  It's also been good to run into so many people that I know and not feel the awkwardness of actually being a "new guy" to them.
There has been a lot of change in the past 4.5 months though.  I walked into the apartment and realized that nothing was quite the way I left it.  That'll take some getting used to because it had been the exact same way for most of my sojourn here before.  Also, things have changed at church as well, the perpetual curse of a military area being the transiency and a couple good families that I knew really well are now gone.
They've also experienced quite a bit of change out on post as well.  The Spiritual Fitness Center (where our happy little branch met before) was technically on the block for demolition in December to clear room for new and better barracks and training facilities to be built.  After a lot of work with the Chaplains corps, we finally found a place that would suit our needs (for the most part) and we now meet in the Heritage Chapel, a small, multi use chapel on the corner of a couple main roads.  With the change in venue, came the need to change our meeting times so now we meet in the afternoon on Sunday which means that Elder Starks and I have a full day of church because we go to two separate blocks of meetings.
All in all, it just feels good to be back.  I feel hopeful for this transfer and I feel good about all of this.
A little about my companion:  Elder Starks from Kaysville, UT (where Davis HS is).  He stands just over 5' (probably the shortest Elder in the mission) and has a fun sense of humor.  This'll definately be an interesting transfer to say the least.
I love you all and hope you are well.
As always,
Elder John Y. Roberts
PS:  Before I forget again.  Elder Andersen stayed in Goochland and Elder Burg from downtown Richmond became the new district leader.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


4 February 2013

Dear homefront,
I saw Scott's pictures.  I was reading the Ensign on Saturday evening after we got back from a zone blitz in Tappahanock.  Oh boy, was that a nostalgic car ride!  We carpooled with the Mechanicsville Elders to save on miles and it was so weird to be driving through Mechanicsville again and recognizing places (that's where I was trained by Elder Beardall 18 months ago).
The main highlights of this week were the blitz and Zone Meeting.  Elders Case and Orr, the Zone Leaders, asked me to give a training on the topic of Return and Report.  I used the story of the Greek messenger after the battle of Marathon who ran all the way back to Athens to deliver the report of victory.  Most of the Zone seemed to think I did a good job.  I personally felt a little scatter-brained because I just couldn't get to sleep for whatever reason the night before.  Like we usually do, we stayed the night with the Zone Leaders and the Downtown Elders (Elders Burg and Newman).  It was fun catching up with them.
We also had transfer calls last night.  I'm leaving Goochland.  I'm going back to Hopewell and Ft. Lee!  I'll be serving with Elder Starks.  I've met him a couple times but I've never served near him.  It'll be interesting though, he's roughly half my height.  It reminds me of when Elder Buce (who's taller than I am) was serving with Elder Bradfield.  We'll see how it goes.
In case you can't find the Hopewell address, here it is again.
4550 Jefferson Pointe Way
Apt 8
Prince George VA, 23875
We had Fast Sunday this week. There were some testimonies, including that of our Stake Mission Leader.  He bore a powerful testimony of the Restoration.  It was beautiful.
Other than that, not a whole lot has happened.  Later today we're going to have a Zone Preparation Day activity at the church, just take it easy and play some games.  Then I've got to refigure out how to fit my entire life into three suitcases again.
Thank you for all that you do.  Stay happy and safe.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts