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Transfer 8 Week 6

Hello Everyone,

    I am about to leave the Knightdale area and return to Cary once more. I have learned so much in the last almost two weeks and I know with a greater assurance that this is the Lord's work. It seems that everywhere we went was guided by the Spirit; we would be biking along and someone would whisper: "You should talk to that person" or "Go back." Many times there would not be a reason why, just the prompting to go back. Sometimes there would be a wonderful conversation and other times not so much, but when we felt them, we followed them. If not one of us, the other would. I gained a greater testimony that sometimes the Lord directs us to do something simple just to see if we will listen. In a way, building our trust in His voice and preparing us for greater direction that would be harder to follow without those previous promptings. I have gained a greater admiration for my companion and his willingness to follow, even when it seemed we were being led in all different directions. It takes humility and trust to say "yes, it is really hot and we are almost home, but if thou would have us to bike all the way back there, we will." It is wonderful to be in a work that does require that second by second direction, that continuous revelation. I have gained a greater testimony of the Book of Mormon as I have testified of it and have studied the words of Christ within. There is such a peace and light that radiates into my life as I read it. True to the testimonies therein, it does destroy the false teachings and moral ambiguity. It tears down the teaching of Nehor and Korihor and shows that there is a God of Justice and of Mercy, a God of perfect Law. I was involved in a lesson and was happily setting forth principles and talking of the restoration of the Gospel and came to the First Vision. The feelings of peace and joy that attended the sharing of that sacred experience were incredible; it felt almost like being drenched in happiness. Words cannot express or articulate in any sense the feelings of a personal witness by the power of the Holy Ghost. We were talking in priesthood meeting about faith and where faith comes from, I raised my hand and said it came from action.. Well, action can lead to faith, but is not the source of faith. Faith comes from the power of the Holy Ghost. As I have sought to cultivate the presence of the Holy Ghost, by striving to keep my baptismal covenants and as Elder Bednar said "to be a good boy," my faith, or my capacity for action and power in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ have increased. My testimony of the validity of my faith has increased and with the witnesses of the Holy Ghost that I have received my conviction and my conversion have deepened. It is Alma chapter 32 being played out; and I love every minute of it. I want each and every one of you to know that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that it is more words of Christ that testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I know that the Bible is the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly and that its main purpose is to testify of the Messiah. The Old Testament testifying that a Messiah would come and the need for a Messiah. The New Testament testifying that He did indeed come, that He taught His Gospel in its fullness and that He established His church with a foundation of Apostles and Prophets, He being the Chief Cornerstone. That He suffered, died and was resurrected that the obstacles of sin and death might be overcome. That He ascended to the Father and that He will return. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lives and that He will come again. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and that President Thomas S. Monson is God's mouthpiece for the world today. These things I know and say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

With Love,

Elder Roberts

Transfer 8 Week 5

Hello Everyone!

    I have been transferred to the Knightdale area and it has been amazing so far. My new companion is Elder Dunn from Pleasant Grove, Utah and I have enjoyed having him as a missionary companion. We have been biking this week and the bike I have been using had a off-center back wheel by the end of the week. Well, Elder Gann kindly fixed that and I now have a kickstand and wheel that work like they should. We have encountered much opposition to the work, as missionaries generally do, from apathy to downright hatred. I know that there is a lot of misinformation and "anti" out there, but our calling is not to be apologetic or to explain every deep doctrine or misconstrued quote. We simply ask that people exercise faith and ask God. Just ask God. Not the internet, not your preacher, not your neighbor, or any other well meaning and enlightened person or system. *sigh* It is so simple, yet it takes humility and faith. I am so grateful to have a companion who amidst turmoil and opposition stands strong and bears a simple and sincere testimony of love and of the truth. I can see the love he has for the people in this area and how he puts his all into it, to teaching and testifying of that which he knows to be true. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. I know that there is a Prophet on the earth, I know that we have the priesthood or the authority to act in the name of God for the salvation of His children. These things I have learned by the power of the Holy Ghost with a witness that will never dim. I  have felt it as I have borne testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ and of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon has changed my life; I know that it can change the lives of those around me and all over the world. I cannot give that knowledge to another. I cannot  force someone to accept the witness of the Holy Ghost. I can only promise blessings, bear my own testimony, invite them to ask in faith and wait for them to choose.
    Life as a missionary is a lot different that I could have ever imagined. I went in with high hopes of preaching the Gospel and watching peoples lives change, which I have been able to witness. However, to watch people who have tasted of the blessings, who have had a witness, who know that which they need to do, walk away because of fear or social pressure, is sad. It pains us every time a door is shut and we fight to not allow ourselves to become numb to rejection. Yet, we press on, as our exemplar and day star always did. Amidst toil, rejection, persecution and ultimately execution, Jesus Christ never ceased to "be about [His] father's business." As His representatives, we cannot give up or give in. We must "keep our rudders true" as we brave the storms of life and of this small part of our mortal mission. "Until the end shall come, and all the saints dwell with God."

    I know that Jesus is the Son of God, the only begotten in the flesh. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's Prophet on the earth today. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that, alongside the Bible, testifies of Christ's divinity. These things I know and testify of the truthfulness thereof in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

With love,

Elder Roberts


Transfer 8 Week 4

Dear Everyone,

    I want to apologize for not writing last week, I got caught up in letter writing and in planting some day lilies. ^^ *sigh* I had a wonderful week full of service and learning. I learned a lot from listening to both Elder and Sister Bednar and by immersing myself in the scriptures. There is power found in the written word of God. It is the Word of God speaking to us from the mouths of His servants the prophets. It is the words of Christ that, if feasted upon,  will "tell us all things what we should do." There is a marvellous spirit about reading the word of God, but there is a greater measure of that spirit in doing the word of God. From listening I learned that we must act in accordance to correct principles having shown our faith, which is a principle of power and action in all beings, unto God in those principles through our action and thereby recieve a witness from the Holy Ghost, our hearts are softened and we are brought to a knowlege within our hearts that they are true. The invitation to act leads to action which then leads to the reception of the power of the Holy Ghost and the changing and refining influence that comes therefrom. There is a difference between knowing in our minds that the Gospel is true and knowing in our hearts that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is once again upon the earth in its full and pure form. It is this difference that is the difference between having a testimony of the Gospel and being converted to the Gospel. The difference between knowing that home teaching and visiting teaching are correct principles and the execution thereof. Until we abide by correct principles we cannot truly be converted. Until we abide by correct principles we cannot be true agents unto ourselves, but are left to be acted upon.  It may be said that one is converted to the church and then begins to live correct principles. The truth is that they have received a testimony by hearing the truth and being invited to act upon that testimony, they are then converted as they act upon that testimony and begin living the principles that have been taught. The priciple is that we act and then we receive the strength or knowledge we need to accomplish the commandment. Nephi declared: "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know the Lord will give no commandment unto the children of men, except [H]e shall provide a way for them to accomplish the thing which [H]e commandeth them." Here we are counseled to go and do for the Lord will provide a way. In the Doctrine & Covenants we are counseled to open our mouths and they will be filled, not that our mouths will be filled so we can open them. When we act we recieve the power. This can be a life changing principle if you allow it to be. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, as restored through Joseph Smith has this theme threaded throughout it. For example, we seek more than anything to have the Atonement to take effect in our lives, to fully take effect. Every ordinance and activity in the church points to the Atonement and helps us to allow the Atonement to take a greater effect. We have faith in Jesus Christ and show forth our faith unto repentance,  this allows us to be blessed with grace, or the enabling powers of the Atonement, to help us to overcome our weaknesses. As step into the waters of baptism we show our faith by taking the name of Christ upon us and entering into the Baptismal Covenant. We then recieve a remission of sins and can continue to receieve a remission of sins through worthily partaking of the Sacrament and renewing those covenants.  We then have hands laid upon us and are commanded to recieve the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is not thrust upon us, but are given the opportunity to have His companionship as we show forth our faith in being worthy to have His companionship. All from acting in accordance with correct principles and not being acted upon. I testify that as we live in accordance to correct principles, especially those set forth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will recieve a fuller measure of the Holy Ghost in our lives and we will invite more fully the effects of the Atonement.

I know that this church is the Church of Jesus Christ, build up once again on this earth for His latter-day saints. I know that I am a child of God, I know that God lives and that He loves each and every one of us. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today, even Thomas S. Monson. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, born of Mary over 2,000 years ago. I know that He lived and died for us and that He does yet live for us. In Him is our hope secure. In Him and only Him does true faith rest. May our faith rest upon Him and the path that He has shown, even His Gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.