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Transfer 12 Week 4

Dear Everyone,

    This was quite an interesting week. I still have not gotten a hold of the Christmas Spirit yet, but I am sure it will hit me at some point. I spent a good portion of my first three studies this week memorizing "The Living Christ" and have been using free time to read from Jesus the Christ.They have both been helpful in focusing my thoughts on the true reason for the season. The Elders and I went to shop for a couple of things for cleaning and we felt a noticeable difference in the spirit that usually surrounds our service and the chaotic spirit that rests upon the world. It was a little to deep to be thinking about during shopping, but still, it is a telling sign of the times.

    I spent most of my time this week in the Temple and at the Healing Place Thrift Store. We had a mountain of donations and yesterday I was finally able to get through most of them in the back. We had about 10 or more of the giant black bags of clothes come in and I spent most of yesterday sorting through them. Thankfully we received a good number of toys and were able to sell those the same day. :) With the missionaries I was able to visit one of the families we have been working with and the older daughter expressed that as she read the Book of Mormon she felt that it was true. We invited her to continue to read and pray for we know that no man or woman can come to spiritual knowledge without prayer.

    This week my study was focused generally on focusing more on others and Christ and submitting to the will of the Father in all things. I love the phrase in the book of Alma as it describes the sons of the Children of Ammon. It says "they stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free." It struck me that the liberty was not only their ability to be free within the government that had been established, but the freedom from sin and eternal sorrow that the Gospel of Jesus Christ offered them. By being faithful to their covenants and to their God they were standing fast in the Gospel or in other words, the liberty God had granted unto them in accordance to their obedience. I also loved Moroni's declaration that even though they did not have many army men, "they had no desire to murmur" and he trusted that "God [would] deliver [them], notwithstanding the weakness of [their] armies, yea, and deliver [them] out of the hands of of [their] enemies." I know that as we are obedient to the laws and ordinances of Christ's Gospel we are following "the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come."

    Jesus is the Christ. He is the very immortal Son of God, sent to save us all. He gave His life for each and every one of us, if we would repent and follow Him. Because of His death and resurrection, all mankind will receive their bodies once more and stand to be judged of Him. We will be judged according to our works and the desires of our hearts. His way is the only sure path. I testify that His priesthood and His church have been restored upon the earth. I testify that He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and through him the dispensation of the fullness of times was brought forth. God is our loving Heavenly Father. He loves each and every one of His Children. Christ is His Son, the redeemer of the world. May we each follow the footsteps of our Savior in this the Christmas season is my earnest prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Merry Christmas,

Elder Roberts

Transfer 12 Week 3

Dear Everyone,

    Merry Christmas! Wow, it is so hard to believe that it is this time of year again. It seems like it was Christmas just a few months ago. Craziness. Well, this week has been quite an interesting one full of crazy random happenstances. It all started when I locked my keys in my car and I quickly found out how fun it is to try to break into my car. That did not work out at all and I ended up having to call my aunt and uncle with the missionaries' cellphone since I had forgot mine at home. We were able to finally make it to the Issa's and had a wonderful dinner there and helped decorate their tree before having a wonderful discussion on missionary week and what they could do personally and as a family to assist in the work. They are such a great help.

    On Tuesday we had a wonderful Christmas Zone Conference in Knightdale and we were instructed and edified quite beautifully in how we could best go about our purpose in bringing souls unto Christ. We then took a break for lunch and reconvened afterward. Elders Stanfield and Eteaki sang a gorgeous rendition of "I Need Thee Every Hour" beginning in English and then switching to Tongan on the second verse. We had a bit more instruction and then began the Christmas Program where the different zones had pieces that they had put together in the past transfer. They performed and it was quite a scene to behold. What touched me the most though, was the slide show which started with a painting of the Christ child and progressed through paintings representing his childhood, early manhood, ministry, atonement, death and ending with His resurrection. Wow, that was something to remember. President got up and commented on the reverence we all demonstrated while watching it and wondered if any of us had thought to ourselves "that is who I represent in this work." It was definitely a humbling experience. That night I was able to enjoy the spirit of the Temple and fulfill my assignment there.

    On Wednesday morning I attended the Temple and then went to volunteer at the Thrift Store. There was a lot of organizing and cleaning to do. I then returned home and indexed a bit.

    Thursday I had study over at the Spanish Missionaries' apartment and had fun driving through the snow to get there. I then went to the Thrift Store and then back out with the missionaries.

    Friday morning we had interviews with the mission president and there I learned from the Garner Spanish Elders that they are teaching a young man who came to a knowledge of the existence of the Book of Mormon through Assassin's Creed 2. Truly the Lord works in mysterious ways, using even the tools of the adversary to further His work. XD I am so grateful to be going out in the field next week! I am going to make it the best area I have ever been to! I then went home and had a study before I went to the Thrift Store. I was able to give the manager of the store a copy of the Book of Mormon in Spanish with my testimony in it. I was even able to explain a bit and bear my testimony. :D I was so full of joy as I skipped out of the store.

    Saturday was a really crazy day. I went to the thrift store after study and ended up cutting my finger on some glass in a trash bag I was carrying out to the dumpster. One trip to urgent care later, I was all patched up. The Branch Christmas party was a blast and I was even able to take a swing at a pinata. I ended up taking one of the legs off.
    Sunday was a very interesting day. After church and study I went with the Spanish Elders to a couple of appointments. We had a wonderful lesson with the daughters of a recent convert. One of the daughters actually received her answer about the Book of Mormon right in front of us and it was a very sweet experience. We also had a not so good experience, but through the power of prayer and the priesthood we were able to pull through. We ended up having quite an amazing dinner with the Benditez family and then went home.

    I am so grateful for my opportunity to be a missionary. I have been able to grow in ways that I never would have otherwise and have had such amazing experiences. I have a stronger testimony of the reality of the Savior and of His atonement. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the savior of the world. I know that God is our Father. We are His Children. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that through Him Christ restored His Church upon the Earth. I know that God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son, appeared to the boy Joseph in a now sacred grove. I have a testimony of priesthood power and of the power of sincere and fervent prayer. The Book of Mormon is true. The Church is true. We have living Apostles and Prophets on the earth today. Through the Gospel we can know who we are, our purpose here on the earth and where we are going. Truths lost for centuries have been restored. This is a great time to rejoice. We have been richly blessed. Of this I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

With love,

Elder Roberts

Transfer 12 Week 1 & 2

Hello Everyone!

    Sorry about last week, I was caught up with writing letters and driving missionaries around. So, I will give an overview of the highlights of the past two weeks. Tuesday morning I woke up early and baked monkey bread for Elder Childs. I then headed over to the Spanish missionaries apartments and then to transfer meeting. Elder Hafen and I were able to volunteer at the Thrift Store and then attend the Transfer meeting. We received some new missionaries in our area, even Elder Dealba and Elder Tibbits. We had a really good Transfer meeting and then after dropping the missionaries off I attended the Temple. The Spirit was so strong that night and a great feeling of peace washed over me, overcoming all worry and doubt. It was an incredible experience that I hope to remember for quite some time. Wednesday morning I returned to the Temple and then attended District Meeting. Afterward I went to volunteer at the Thrift Store and then indexed. On Thursday we had a really crazy morning because Elder Duran was assaulted by burning oil that had jumped out of the pan onto his hand. We rushed him to urgent care after stopping by the pharmacy to see if there was something we could do beforehand. We then waited for him and then were able to get some medicine for him. His hand is doing better, but it is still pretty marred. After serving at the Thrift Store I went with the Elders and we delivered cookies to different families that have helped us throughout the week. I had study with the Spanish Missionaries and then we went to the Ward Mission Leader's house for our weekly meeting with him. I then went to the Thrift Store and then indexed. Saturday morning I went for the practice for the Handel's Messiah performance that following Saturday. I then went and volunteered at the Thrift Store and studied for a bit before attending to my duties. I met a new friend and then went to the Temple worker devotional. Sunday I went and attended fast and testimony meeting in both the English ward and the Spanish Branch and then that night I attended the Christmas devotional.

    Monday I wrote letters and drove the Spanish Elders from Garner around. I then went with the Spanish Elders from Cary to help a member with a talk on tithing. Tuesday morning I had study with the Spanish Elders and then went to Wake Med for Elder Dealba. We then had a good lesson with the Vicente family before I headed to the Thrift Store. That night I attended the Temple. I had a very tired study then next morning and attended District Meeting. We had a great role play on discerning needs and a guy came out of nowhere to ask for direction. We gave him directions and then as he was leaving Elder Mangum and I looked at each other and felt we needed to give him a card. So, we went reverently with haste to hand him a card and barely reach him on the way out the door. I hosted the Elders for lunch and we had pasta. I then went and had Choir Practice after serving at the Thrift Store. I had an incredible study the following morning and then went to the Thrift Store. The Elders and I had dinner at the Ramirez family and stopped by a few people. I had study with the Elders the following morning and we went to Brother Juanico's and then I went to the Thrift Store and then indexed. Saturday was a really good day. I went to the final choir practice and then after my study returned to the Nativity Display. Sadly, noone I invited ended up coming, but I still had a good time as a host and as a wise man. I met up with the Bishop from my first area and his wife and got an update on the work in that area. We ended the night with a wonderful performance of selections from Handel's Messiah and a few other pieces. My throat was pretty much toast afterward. On Sunday we were instructed on adversity and on keeping an eternal perspective and had a great Sunday School lesson on christian courage with examples from the lives of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and Esther. All of whom were obedient even when the alternative would have been death. However, it was not their example of willingness to die but also their willingness to live for God that set them apart. In combined priesthood we were instructed about Spiritual Gifts and then after talking abit with a few people I went home for my study. That afternoon I went with the Elders and we had two really good lessons and found a new investigator! The final lesson of the night was a defining moment in my mission and really affected me.

    These past two weeks have really added to my testimony of Christ's Gospel and the influence it can have for good in the lives of all of God's children. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He does live and because He lives we will all live again after this life. I know that we have prophets and apostles on the earth today. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is convincing evidence of this. I know these things by the power of the Holy Ghost and share these things in the name of Him whose church this is, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

With Love,

Elder Roberts