Wednesday, July 17, 2013


15 July 2013

Dear Homefront,

Well, this is it.  The end has come and this will be my last email as a missionary.  I can't quite explain my feelings as I stand at the threshold, watching as one phase of life comes to a close and another begins to open upon me.  It is somewhat bittersweet to leave, and yet, I look forward and see nothing but bright flames of hope on the horizon.

This final week has flown by in a blur of missionary work, meetings, packing, and farewells.  Tonight, those of us who are departing will report to the mission home in Richmond and have our final interviews with President Wilson ... A part of me wishes it was still President Perry, and yet, I know that President Wilson has been called of God and I have faith in that even though I have not had much opportunity to get to know him.  Tomorrow we will fly, each to our respective destinations, home, to lay down the mantle and pick back up our lives.

The retrospect of looking over the past two years arouses within me a sense of timeless wonder.  I'm not sure how I did it, excepting the hand of the Lord being upon me the entire time.  The Lord has blessed me exceedingly, and I am eternally grateful for the lessons I have learned and for the experiences I have had.  I am at peace.

I love you all deeply, and thank you for the many prayers on my behalf.  I have felt their sustaining influence.  I look forward to seeing you all again as I return from an honorable mission and step forth into the next great adventure.  As Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration taught: "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?"

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts


8 July 2013

Dear Homefront,

Just my luck to have all the festivities happening right before I got home to enjoy them.  Oh well, guess there's always next year.  And I'll be home just in time for Pioneer Day, so that'll be fun.

So this week was pretty good out here in the VRM.  We had a lot of meetings so our schedule was pretty full.  On Tuesday, we had a full Mission Conference so we met President and Sister Wilson as well as all of the missionaries we pulled in from D.C. South.  It just made me feel even more like the old guy in the mission.  Over the past few months, I've begun to realize that I don't know the majority of the people in the mission and then there were two brand new zones worth of missionaries that I've never met before.  That's when I also realized that of all of the companions I've had, two go home with me, and only two are younger than me in the mission.  And for the vast majority of the missionaries I've worked with its mostly the same.  Its odd to think that within a few months, I'll probably be nothing more than a fading memory in the minds of missionaries, kept alive solely by the fact that I spent 15 months in one area.

On Wednesday, we made another trek up to Richmond.  This time so Elder Joyner could visit with his doctor to tie up all the loose ends and be ready to go back to Utah.  Not too much excitement, but the drive was enjoyable.

Thursday, the 4th, we unfortunately had to be in by 8 pm so we weren't able to see any fireworks.  Ft. Lee put on a show, but our apartment is on the wrong side of the complex; otherwise we could've watched it from our balcony.  But we made the best of the day by going out and visiting Petersburg National Battlefield, where such events as the Battle of the Crater took place.  It would've been more enjoyable if it hadn't have been quite so hot or if we hadn't have been in shirts and ties.  It was still pretty interesting.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera today so you'll just have to wait for some of the pictures I took.

Friday we had a Zone Meeting.  This one was different from others in the fact that out of our Zone of 20-something missionaries, roughly 7 of us are going home this transfer.  Occasionally in Zone Meetings they'll do "Departing Testimonies" but this time, that took up nearly half the meeting.  I'll be interested to see what will happen next transfer when all of us leave, as we make up about 80% of the missionaries leaving this transfer so the Chesterfield Zone is going to just be decimated.  Guess the Lord had a reason for that.

At any rate, I think that's pretty much all the news from me.  Only 8 days more to serve.  I love you all.  Stay safe, stay happy, and I'll see you soon.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS:  Do you know when I'll be able to meet with Pres. Welch to be released?  I'm just wondering.  Also, you didn't answer me about those student loan offers.  I guess we can talk about that when I get home and some things are settled.  I will be sending some more packages as I start packing and figure out what I can and can't fit in my suitcases and within weight requirements.  We'll see.  Love ya.

Monday, July 1, 2013


1 July 2013

Dear Homefront,

Well, today is the big day: 1 July  My mission has officially split, forming the new Virginia Richmond Mission and the Virginia Chesapeake Mission.  President Perry left and President Wilson arrived last Thursday, but the first chance we'll really have to meet him will be tomorrow at a mission conference; which will also be the first time we get to meet all of the missionaries who have been serving in the two stakes that we are pulling in from the D.C. South Mission. It is going to be an interesting day.

This past week has been rather slow for us here in Hopewell.  Michael, one of our investigators at Ft. Lee will be leaving us this week so that leaves only Justin. We're going to be doing some focus on finding to get the area ready for when Elder Joyner and I leave in two weeks.

This upcoming week is going to keep us fairly busy.  It's probably the fullest schedule I've ever had at the beginning of the week so that's always a nice thing. We have a couple trips to Richmond for different
reasons, as well as a number of lessons planned.  I'm grateful that I'll be able to stay fairly busy. Being bored as a missionary is miserable. It's always nice to have things planned.

I'm looking forward to meeting my new mission president and we'll see what he's like and how the last couple weeks of my mission will be.

I love you all and look forward to seeing you all again.

With much love,
-Elder John Y. Roberts

PS: I've been offered a pell grant and a couple loans for school.