Wednesday, April 24, 2013


22 April 2013

Dear Homefront,

Well, transfer results are in.  Elder Huntzinger is getting transferred to California (he's done and going home), and Elder Starks is getting transferred to Hampton down by Newport News.  I am staying in Hopewell.  It looks like I might just stay here until I finish my mission in July.

I don't know a whole lot about my new companions.  I'm getting Elders Joyner and Stagg.  Elder Joyner was in my MTC district so I know him a little bit, but I don't believe I've even met Elder Stagg.  Guess we'll see how this next transfer goes.

This week was a crazy one here in the VRM.  We've started teaching --- who is the girlfriend of one of our less active members.  A couple weeks ago, she just showed up at church on her own because she wanted to learn more about the Church.  She has been absolutely soaking up everything we have taught her and has been loving it.  We feel confident that she will soon enter the waters of baptism.  She is truly one of those "golden" investigators that you always hear about.

We've also been kinda running ragged because the work is really beginning to pick up and Elder Huntzinger has been saying some of his farewells and wanting to spend some time with some of his favorite families.

I am just so happy right now.  The work is really starting to pick up here and I'm so happy to see an area I love doing so well.  This next week is going to be hectic as well.  Elders Huntzinger and Starks saying their farewells and packing up; Elder Huntzinger leaving Tuesday and Elder Starks Thursday at Transfers.  Then I get the privilege of bringing two new Elders up to speed on the area.

It's hard to believe that I have so little time left.  Only 12 weeks left now.  That means only 12 more emails to the Homefront before I arrive there myself.  It truly is the "final countdown."

I love you all.  Keep hope alive.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


15 April 2013

Dear Homefront,

This week has been an interesting one in the VRM, one of those where you're very busy even when not a whole lot gets done that shows up on your weekly report.

We've sort of skipped spring and jumped right into summer, with the temperatures spiking as high as the 80's.  It's also been interesting because more than once, I have woken up to water running in the rain gutter outside our window which means that it's been cooling off and raining during the night ... not the nicest during the day because the humidity just adds another dimension to it all.  It also hasn't helped that it's pollen season so Elder Huntzinger has really been hurting lately.  I really feel for the man, he's allergic to just about everything in Virginia.

To be honest, it has been a very tiring week.  I feel like I've been running on fumes so today being preparation day is a much needed reprieve.

We've actually done quite a bit of service lately.  We helped a new sister move in this week.  We've also done some yard work and we might be helping one of our members paint here soon.  As a missionary, I've come to love service opportunities.  It gives us a good chance to get out of the suits and get that real workout that 30 minutes in the morning just doesn't provide.  I know that I have grown stronger over the course of my mission due entirely to service opportunities.

It recently hit me once again just how little time I have left in the Lord's service.  Elder Huntzinger goes home in about a week and that means I only have about three months left.  That's only 13 weeks.  Oh how quickly that goes by.  I've been reflecting a lot lately on my mission so far and how I can get the very most out of this last little bit of time.  Conference really helped, and I look forward to obtaining the next Ensign so I can review and study the addresses further.  Some of my goals are as follows:
Grow more "exactly" obedient to the Lord and to Mission standards.
Make a more concerted effort in my journal writing.
Seek for, recognize, and follow the promptings of the Spirit.
Seek out and utilize the components of the Armor of God as listed in Ephesians 6.
Seek a stronger relationship with the Lord through more fervent and meaningful prayer and better study.
Love life, and my fellowman, and never lay my head to my pillow with a regret in my heart.

I love you all.  Keep hope burning bright and defend the faith.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


8 April 2013

Dear Homefront,

Another General Conference has come and gone.  It's saddening to think that this was the last one I would experience in the mission field.  And yet that didn't stop me from filling numerous pages of my journal with revelation and notes.

I find a great love in my heart for General Conference, isn't it wonderful to think about that we have Prophets and Apostles on the earth today to lead us and reveal the words of the Lord.  I once again felt great joy at one of the Lord's promised blessings that the messages shared at conference will guide me and answer for anything that I am worried about or pondering on.

Unfortunately, except for conference, nothing really seemed to work out this week.  We had a whole lot of rushing about and not really getting anywhere.  I am grateful that when conference rolled around though, our schedule broke and we were able to experience a respite as we sat down at the feet of the Lord's servants.  As the hymn reads:  "Come listen to a prophet's voice, and hear the words of God."  I know that is truth.  I felt the spirit sear it into my heart, and I know that the Lord continues to speak, that we are still loved by Him, and never forgotten.

I love you all so very much.  Continually fan the flame of faith.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS:  The PT class was not listed for me to request it.  I plan on getting that on my schedule as soon as I can speak with my advisor.  Also, about the bike, I've come to realize that it is far too small for me.  I think that I will leave it in the mission to be sold to an incoming missionary and the money will be yours (for it was you who provided the funds to buy it) and if I am unable to get a vehicle, then I will figure out the buses or scrape together enough buy a bike that actually fits me.
Love you lots.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


1 April 2013

Dear Homefront,

Happy Easter to all, Christ the Lord is surely risen!

This week has been an eventful one.  The first part of the week we didn't really seem to get a whole lot done and we suffered some long, discouraging days.  But our diligence began to pay off in a multitude of blessings.

On Friday we had a Zone Meeting.  Elder Harrison, one of our Zone Leaders, brought up an interesting point about planning.  He tied it to the verse in John 3: "For God so loved the world ...", saying that it is love that motivates us to act in our missionary labor, in all phases of that labor.  It is that love, the love of our Savior, the love which He has for all of us which becomes our most powerful driving force when we serve one another and share the message of hope which we have.

On Saturday, we had an Easter activity at the church which included an Easter egg hunt for the children, and egg toss activity for the teens and adults and excellent food.
One of the true blessings that I have found over the course of my mission is a much deeper understanding of the true meaning of holidays that almost seem lost on the commercialized general public.  As we approached the Easter celebration, I was able to strengthen my testimony of the reality of the Atoning sacrifice of our Savior.  What an amazing blessing it is to have a testimony of the atonement and the resurrection that can bring us such hope in our trials.

Over the week, we did some tracting with the intent of handing out dvd's about Christ and the Easter season.  We met with very little success. However, we were vastly blessed for our labors when we had multiple people just show up at our church meetings and ask to learn more.  It is interesting.  After the trial of our faith is when we recieve witnesses of the fruits, not before.  Though it is often very difficult to remember, the atonement offers that hope to each of us that we will receive those blessings.  I am reminded of the words of Elder Holland: "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come til heaven.  But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."  Soon or late, we will see blessings if we remain faithful.

I love you all and hope that your lives continue to be blessed.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS:  I did receive the transcripts thank you.  I'm going to be finishing up registration today.  I feel that it is the right thing to do to go to a semester, and then take time off for my military training.  Loves.