(HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELDER ROBERTS!)
Well, we've had a pretty interesting week here in the VRM. Its been somewhat the same for us here weather wise. The first part of the week was very warm and then we've had about three days in a row now that have been overcast with more of those crazy Virginia rainstorms that make you really wonder whether the Lord is about to send another flood. ;)
--- is still doing amazing, and is really excited about her upcoming baptism on the 1st. We are really excited for her as well. One of my favorite things about my mission has been to be able to watch the lives of so many people begin to be filled with pure joy as they gain a greater understanding of the purpose of life and God's role as their Heavenly Father. And being able to join in that joy has been such a blessing in my life as it helps to build my faith even more as well.
This week we had Stake Conference. I really enjoyed it. The Stake Presidency has really been putting a focus on member missionary work and on the importance of the temple. During the Saturday adult session, they had asked Elder and Sister Stock to speak. Due to a lesson that ran over, we were a little late and so we missed Sister Stock and only caught about half of Elder Stock's address. He spoke about some of his experiences as a missionary and with family history work, and reemphasized the call from President Monson for us to be engaged in family history and then, when the time comes, to fill full-time missions with our spouses. President Scott, the Stake President, spoke about the importance of temples in both sessions.
In the Sunday session, they had invited both President and Sister Perry to speak about missionary work, as well as President and Sister Swinton - the President and Matron of the D.C. Temple - to speak about the importance of regular temple attendance. Honestly their remarks made me truly miss the temple and I felt somewhat chagrined at the fact that I did not make as much use of the temple as I easily could have. They also had two youth speakers that both focused their talks on preparing to serve the Lord through seminary and Duty to God or Personal Progress.
On Sunday afternoon, we held regular church services at the Ft. Lee Branch due to the fact that it would not have been possible to receive the broadcast of stake conference. For our first try at overseeing the Elders Quorum, I feel it went rather well.
Another item that made this week so interesting, and another first in my life: we appeared on a radio show on Saturday in the early afternoon. It was entitled "The Great Bible Debate" and the host had invited us in to debunk some of the "Mormon Myths," so with the approval of the local Public Relations rep., we did so. I feel that we did alright, even though some of the questions were (I felt) obviously weighted or poorly worded. However, I'm hopeful that at least some of the audience will visit mormon.org or attend church and we might get a couple referrals out of it all.
I don't remember if I told you that I was able to complete my orientation for school? I also spoke to my academic advisor and it looks like everything is just about settled. I'm going to have to work hard though to keep everything on track. I also need to do a little more research and choose another minor besides the military science in order to fulfil requirements for the secondary educators program. I think that if it would work for that requirement, it might be fun to minor in the "classics" and study mythology and Latin and stuff like that, and I feel it would further the history degree. But I still have some research and some pondering and praying to do before I make my final decisions.
As always, I love you all. Take care and I'll see you all in about 9 weeks.
With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts
PS: Don't be sad that I'll have to leave soon again after coming home. Think of the positives, I'm not completely cut off and I'm only about 100ish miles away instead of 2500! Love ya.