Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The True meaning of Christmas

Well, I'm sure you've all been sitting at the end of your seat with the cliff hanger I left you all with last week, so I'll get to the point! I'm comps with Elder Boekweg now!! And it has been awesome!! Seriously. Everyday is a blast, and my sign language has improved exponentially it's awesome. And. Being comps with deaf companion means
what? Interpreter duty 24/7. Which has made for some funny experiences. Like interpreting all the million puns Elder Hendrickson makes. Just an FYI, puns do not translate well. If at all. Also, because it's Christmas, sometimes I have to explain things like why do we say "Falalala" and other such things. The stories seriously could
never end just from this week alone. It's gonna be a good transfer. Hopefully longer!

So! This week! Met with a family, from India. You know T. the guy I told about forever ago? It's his best friend. Awesome. Amazing family. Came to church and stuff! Haven't taught me anymore Nepali, but I guess we still have time.:)

We went caroling, which was awesome. Super cool. And again, tender mercy that I know ASL and don't need to sing.;) also. Me and elder Boekweg went tracting. Hearing tracting. As in when it's my turn to talk, I simcom (speak and sign at the same time) and interpret for Boekweg, and when it's his turn I voice interpret and then interpret.

Very excited for Christmas! It's funny, this is the first Christmas without being able to listen to the carpenters Christmas album. And without any hope for snow. It's different, but the spirit is still the same. Because the true meaning of Christmas isn't bought in a store, or on the radio, or even from the sky in the form of frozen water. It
comes from the kindness everyone shows. It's amazing being a missionary, and the amount of love were shown. I've been given more cookies than I can count. Cookies without number, if you will. Anyway. It's been a blessings to see that the Christmas season isn't special because of what everyone first thinks of when Christmas is mentioned. New perspective.

Anyway. Hope everyone has a safe fun holiday!


Elder Roberts

Transfer is coming and The Temple is amazing

This week was pretty good! We were able to go to the Temple as a zone on Friday! it was awesome! it was president's Christmas present to us! what an amazing present that was, too! The Temple is so incredible. seriously. I absolutely love how the spirit inside each is the same. Each temple is so different from any other in construction and outward appearance,  but inside, the blessings, insights, and feelings are the same. 

It's a common thing that missionaries sort of argue and compete as to which temple is the "best" (btw, it is clearly Bountiful) but seriously. Each temple is really just an extension of the others. each is the house of the Lord. and each is just the best place on the planet. ah. It was a very good day. went to a deaf drama Christmas thing on Friday after the temple, and one of our members was in it, and it was so fun!

On Sunday, we had an awesome youth musical Christmas fireside, and they wanted the missionaries in the stake to do a number, "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing." it was beautiful. seriously. one of my favorite moments. me and Elder Boekweg signed it while everyone else sang (that is prolly why it was so beautiful is that i opted out of using my voice.)

also! found out! I'm getting transferred! no clue where yet! will prolly need to wait and find out tomorrow. the suspense. gonna miss Elder Hendrickson a ton.

love yall!

Elder Roberts

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


This week was a good one! We weren't able to get in and teach B. he works like an insane person! so much! So it's hard to get in a lesson where he isn't just falling asleep the whole time. so... that's a struggle. He's such a fun guy though! And very down to earth. I don't know what exactly he needs, but a push of some sort. I honestly believe he's prepared. He always helps his kids pray at the end of our lessons, and it's super awesome! So... we're getting there!

Other than that, on Saturday, I helped a girl with her homework! Because we do a weekly tutoring thing for the branch. I explained fractions and how to turn fractions into decimals using asl. It was super fun. I love asl so much. seriously. It's such a fun language. lucky for me, and her, she was super smart and picked up on it pretty easy. Her name is M, and she's awesome.

Another thing! we served at a place called crr, can't remember what that stands for, but basically we help deaf people learn independent skills, like driving, math, etc. so we read the texas driving handbook, and the word "duty" came up a lot. and how they signed it? the same sign for messy. Which made me snicker every time. *chuckle* "he said duty!" *chuckle*

Now! onto spiritual things! Stake conference was this Sunday! and it was super good! something about being a missionary makes things like Stake conference something of way more import.One of the speakers used the quote "the best defense is a good offense!" and then applied it to the gospel! it was super powerful! it made me think of the saying that if our testimony is not growing, it's diminishing! If we are merely trying to stop the adversary from gaining yards on us, and we're never trying to gain our own yards, that is a losing game. So go on the offensive! Share the gospel! The church has created an amazing video for this Christmas season! SHARE IT! I promise, it will change your life.

It was a super good week. Love y'all.

Elder Roberts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


This week was pretty good as usual. Lots of funny experiences. For instance, on Monday we visited on of my all time favorite families, and the mom started on this super random rant about something, and after like 4 or 5 minutes, I was beyond lost. But of course, I smile and nod, oh I sees and what nots, and of course she goes "understand?" And I go "yep. Uh huh." And she goes "what'd I say?" And I go and kill myself. Just kidding. But seriously. That is like, every missionaries nightmare. And so ya. Key to success, when pretending to understand,
don't look confused as all get out. On other news, my poker face won me the national poker competition. So that's cool.

Other than that, this week was a pretty typical week! Visited lots of families and had a good lesson with B. He's a funny guy. He came to church, and almost killed himself leaning back in a chair. It was hilarious. I also blessed the sacrament, which was super cool. Also, I've decided I've lived in Texas for too long. Why? I'm starting to really enjoy hot dogs. They have these things here called kolaches, and it's basically pigs in a blanket times infinity. It makes me cry tears of straight fat when I eat them they're so delicious. Also, on Wednesday, we were going to an appointment and boom. Got stuck behind a train that was moving slower than tar, and then, eventually came to
a complete stop 30 feet from the end passing us. It was the worst luck. And with a line of Texan drivers behind, in front, and to the side of us, we were stuck. So. Of course, I decided to lighten the mood by teaching elder h the ever so popular game of "name the forehead." That passed the time. Lemme tell you.

Now. Thanksgiving. We went to this families home, their name is the M. and they're awesome. Anyway. Their 90 million year old grandpa was there, and of course, they go where should we set grandpa?? By the missionaries! Excellent! So we talked to grandpa M., and listened to his awesome stories about how FDR was the worst president ever, and other things that made the night, that I should not necessarily repeat. It was hilarious. And I guess they liked us. Because they invited us back on Friday for a "second thanksgiving" sort of thing. And then we had a "third thanksgiving" on Saturday with some members. In other words, Texas did not disappoint. Hobbits have second breakfast, Texans have second thanksgiving dinners.

Love y'all! Hope you're all doing well, and that thanksgiving was great for all of you, as well!


Elder Roberts

Monday, November 23, 2015

Serving like Ammon. . .

As the subject implies, I cut off a ton of arms this week. Really wish people would stop stealing my sheep. Is that too much to ask??

Oh, also, leading up to the arm cutting, we had service projects EVER DAY this week except Sunday.  

Saving Smiles with Puppet

Did Saving smiles 3 more days, and were usually only informed that we were needed there like at 9 the night before. Awesome. But it was again, an awesome experience. We made best friends with our teacher guy named Enrique, who was straight up an animal. So funny and cool. Seeds were definitely planted in him, and
many others. We also served thanksgiving dinner at a nursing home! We have a deaf member that lives there so we volunteered for their thanksgiving thing, and it was so fun. Me and Mary, that's the members name, chatted for awhile, and it turns out she loves Michael Jackson. Deaf people are full of surprises.:)

Digging a Sewer--Ewww!

The last service project was digging a massive sewer hole for this super amazing nonmember who lives on a ranch and is getting up there in years, so that was an adventure. We had to cut the pipe pretty early on, so a majority of
the digging was with soaked mud that weighed a ton, and smelled like, well... So after a 6 cube hole, my arm was basically dead. So of course the next day would be the day I gave my talk in sacrament meeting! It went super well. Very odd to have someone speak everything you sign though. Throws you off like crazy. But it was good fun!
Talked on happiness, and gods plan for us, and it was cool to bare my testimony and feel the difference from when I bore my testimony my first week here! Lord works miracles!

Had many good lessons with families and with Brayden. Also. Heard Elder Packer, President Packers son, speak Sunday! And interpreted for Boekweg for a solid hour! Aka he missed about an hour of what was said... Poor chap. Just kidding. I think I did a good job! And if not, the Holy Ghost has me covered!

Anyway. Love y'all.

Elder Roberts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bus catching and rain

This week was pretty gnarly. Me and Elder H road the bus, and holy guacamole. That was an experience. Like, downtown Houston? Smells.... . . Great. Lemme tell ya. 

Also, when riding public transit, expect delays of up to 35 minutes for the bus driver to take a smoke break. I will
forever regret not giving her a word of wisdom pamphlet. But it's okay. Because we stopped and ate some doughnuts for lunch and I had my first chocolate milk since I got here, and also feel like I have just
that much more street cred.

We also had 8 week follow up, which is where we meet with President and the APs and go over our outlines for the first three lessons. That is until president gets inspired, scraps the entire agenda, and we group outline a flipping awesome outline for someone with no religious back ground, and very little understanding. Basically a King Lamoni approach. Holy smokes. I've never seen the spirit work as efficiently as it did with president Mortenson that day. Seriously. It was epic.

Saturday we went trick or treating until mid night. Just kidding. We went to a members house for dinner, said hi to our Zone leaders, and were in our apartment by 9. It was a wild night. Lemme tell ya. 

We were actually told to not proselyte after 5. Which I thought was silly. I mean, that'd prolly set records for most answered doors in tracting history.

Other things that happened, we got wrecked with rain. So much rain. It was so awesome. I wanted to dance in it and jump in the lake sized puddles, but decided I'd rather not hate myself after. It was awesome.

Houston is awesome. Also, it's hilarious because when it rains, crap goes down here. We had an appointment to visit a less active with another member Saturday morning, but the one member coming with bailed because there was a flood warning an hour before. I mean, it had stopped raining by the time he bailed. It was pretty funny. And the stop lights all malfunction, which makes the Houston traffic even worse, and it's just epic. Like, everything is bigger in Texas, including chaos. I love it. 

Also. We went to the lesson with the LA without the member, and it went swimmingly. Reading the New Testament stories with her. Super fun. Gets me mega excited for Christmas.

Now. Spiritual experiences! There were a couple! One: on bus day, we got off at one stop in the middle of downtown Houston. It smelled like... I don't actually know. But it was not a smell I necessarily cherish. And we were like oh crap. The bus it tells us to get on next doesn't stop here. Where the flip. And happen, we see the bus we needed on a perpendicular street. And we're like well. And start to run. And the bus stops, about 2 blocks away, and we know we're done for, but run anyway. And the bus doesn't leave. And we run. And the
bus still doesn't leave. We finally, panting because we've both enjoyed Texan hospitality a little too much, make it to the bus and see the drivers were switching!! If we had missed that bus, we would have had to wait for an hour. In downtown Houston. Prolly losing brain cells based on the clearly low percentage of O2 in the air we would be forced to breath. And the last thing I need is to lose more brain cells. So I'm very grateful for that, along with many other, tender mercies.

Another thing, the member who was going to join our lesson, his name is M. C., and he's an animal. He's so funny. Also. He's our neighbor. So we see him a crap ton. And today, he walked into Sunday school, and I was like M.! It's good to see you! And he gave me flack because I see him basically every day. And I was
like it just means I need to see you twice everyday and we bantered back and forth and it was awesome. And then. Happen. He bore his testimony. And GAVE ME A SHOUT OUT. And gave me more flack over the pulpit... But it was fantastic.

Super good week! Thanks for all the prayers. I love you all!

Elder Roberts

Bless My Son - Nashville Tribute Band (Lyrics)

Monday, October 26, 2015

God's got your back

So, this week I've had a couple thoughts tumbling around in my brain. The first comes because of this picture.

Elder Roberts and JFK

When I first got it I was totally gonna make a joke about baptisms for the dead, which I'm sure would have been hilarious. But anyway. One of JFK's most famous speeches is when he basically just declares that America is gonna do all these things like go to the moon and other stuff I forget because I actually haven't seen or read it In, well at least 3 months. But that's besides the point. He says all this stuff and a lot of Americans thought he was totally nuts. Like, go to the moon?!? Ya right. Now, all this leads to somewhere, I promise. Probably the reason this speech is remembered is because of the line "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" and I really wish I could type in his accent, because it's a pretty swell accent, (maybe instead of adding 150 emojis Apple should get working on that.) 

That line is what's been tumbling around in my brain all week, and I love that quote. Not only because it got us to the moon, but because it honestly should apply to everything in our lives. We should never choose to do things simply because they are easy. Easy things lead to minimal growth. That's why people serve missions. If missions were easy, and no one struggled and companion always got along, and people swan dived into the baptismal font every time they were so excited, and the language came in a day, etc etc etc. I really do believe that the numbers of missionaries would plummet. Because we as children of God recognize, sometimes subconsciously, our divine identity as children of our Heavenly Father. And so we have this innate desire to grow and develop. My mom had this book that I never read anything more than the cover on, but it was titled "if life were easy, it wouldn't be hard" and of course I was like well no crap Sherlock. But now, without reading the book, I think I sort of understand what it meant. I'm going to change it a little; "If life were easy, what'd be the point?" 

So basically, missions are hard. And I am very grateful for that fact. 

The second thought is much shorter (thankfully) and has to do with me being weird and always doing arithmetic in my head for no real apparent reason. So, the church is about 185 years old, and when my mission is over, it'll be about 187. So me being weird, I wanted to know what percentage of the church's history will I be on a mission.
2/187=0.0106951872. That's about 1% of the church's history I'll be on a mission. Now, if you do more math, a week on your mission is about 1%, in other words, if the history of the church were shrunk down into two years, I'd be serving for one week. Now, out here, weeks fly by. I honestly cannot believe it's already P Day again. So that was a real eye opener for me. And it raises the question, how am I spending my week? My incredibly short period of time that I'm allowed to serve the lord with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength?

This week doesn't have a lot to report! Other than it is official. The stake is buying a very expensive curriculum so that the missionaries can start teaching deaf how to read. Ask me if I feel inadequate. I dare you.

Other than that, had many amazing experiences with crap happening, me being grumpy about it, God fixing it, and me feeling awful about my negative attitude. Trust in God, seriously. 

My MTC teacher wrote in my journal a note that said "Don't worry. Gods got your back." And he was right. And I'm so very grateful for that fact. NEVER FORGET. GODS GOT YOUR BACK.

Oh. Also. I went to NASA last p day. So that was cool. Here are some pictures.

Love ya'll.

Elder Roberts

Alma 7:24 Ponderize for the week

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Primary program and knocking on doors

Hello everyone!

So! This week! I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tough. J.dropping mega sucked, and D. couldn't meet, and basically for some reason every appointment we usually have fell through for one reason or another, meaning what?? A lot of going to old addresses of hopefully deaf people and knocking, and not being sure if them not answering means they aren't home, or that they're deaf and don't know we're there. 

So... Lots of long waiting, praying, knocking again, praying, waiting, etc on doors this week with only a very small amount of answered doors. But! I want to share with you not the times my patience was tried, but the times it was rewarded!!

One of the people we were actually successfully able to meet is named R. M., who is an incredible woman. Soooo strong in the gospel and has such a powerful love for Christ. Anyway. We've been reading the New Testament Picture Stories with her, and her husband has always made sure he was not with us when we were there. But on Saturday hjoined. And read with us, and even gave the closing prayer, which was very powerful. Heavenly Father does bless those who work hard with miracles. And it may not be in the miracles you want, or in Miracles that most would consider as a miracle, but by Jove, they are there.
First testimony builder of this week.

The other main one was Sunday it was the primary program, and ladies and gentleman, brothers and sisters, boys and girls, I have never been more touched In a meeting. Never. Watching those children whose families I've taught and read with and helped, get up and testify in song and in the best words or signs they could muster about the validity and power of Jesus Christ was the most rewarding thing I've ever been able to gain. I know for a fact that that 45 minute period of those kids explaining the gospel with the simplicity only children can affected the adults and parents there more than 80 lessons with me. It was amazing. I love this gospel. And am so grateful for such a spiritually uplifting thing to end a week like this one!:)

God is good. Church is true. And I'm still kicking. That's about it.

Elder Roberts

Monday, October 12, 2015

A tale of innocence, heart break, and meeting new homies.

So, this week was super bitter sweet. We weren't able to see J. at all, because she bailed on us. Which mega sucked. It's so sucky to see someone so close, and who has such a strong testimony of Christ decide against the truth because of habit. 

For those of you who don't know, I worked at a insurance company for a while before the mission, and people would use "Ah. I would change, but I've been with my current company for so long, I'd hate to bail on em." And I'd always be like "Ya know, I guess that makes sense. Bye." 

And now it's happening here on the mission. And it hurts a whole lot more. I know this church is true, and can bring the most exquisite joy. 

Anyway.Other than that, this week was good, because we found 2 new investigators, almost on accident! We visited a less active on Monday night, and boom, her boyfriend decided to join! Super cool! His name
is B., and he's awesome. We're visiting again tonight. The other is named D., who is super nice, and we get to visit him again tomorrow! Cannot wait. It will be good!

Also, church is quickly becoming my favorite thing ever, because I can talk to everyone, and meet some members I don't usually talk to! There's this one named Z. who I met and went off about how beautiful
my sign name was. And I was like. Heh thanks. (By the way. It is no longer Elder Zebra Apple Laugh)

Also, funny story this week. Once upon a time there was a little Mormon boy who went to Texas. On his way into his home, he found 80 dollars in the parking lot. He decided the next day to take it into the office. When he did, however, they laughed at him and told him to keep it. So now he has 80 dollars that he feels too guilty to spend, and too embarrassed to give it up. The end.

Hope everyone else's week has been awesome!!

Elder Roberts

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ramro Manglubaar!

Well, stuff went down this week. and now there are not 2 ASL companionship, but 3! we are now the "East Elder." but I prefer the "North South East" Elders, because we cover all the way south, all the way north, just the east side, while the other two comps split the west side. Which means that our area is HUGE!!! Also, it drives Boekweg nuts, so that is a huge plus.;)

J. went really well this week! She has been progressing very well, and I have so much hope for her! I don't think she fully understands the purpose of the Book of Mormon, and it's super fun!! We're going to try to commit her to baptism this week, and focus on the Book of Mormon! I know that if she doesn't realize the power in that book, her progress will cease. We tried to commit her to baptism this week, but she was hesitant. "I've been my religion for so long!!" Flipping traditions of their fathers. I tell ya.

Also. along with ASL, I am now fluent in Nepali! We have this one guy we teach named T. who is a refugee from Nepal! He is so hard to understand. His ASL skills are minimal, and he is hard of hearing, which means he can actually speak pretty well. Nepali, that is. So randomly during our last lesson, he decided to write a couple of words in Nepali, and show us the sign for them. So let's just say next transfer, President Mortensen would be crazy to not send me Nepali speaking.;)

Love you all!

Haami gayau!

Elder Roberts

PS the subject is "Good Tuesday" in Nepali, because that's the only reasonably understandable statement i could make out of the motley bunch of words he taught us. I don't even know the names of the rest of the days of the week.

Monday, September 21, 2015


This week has been pretty good! Had a very good lesson with Josephine! Taught her the plan of salvation again, because she didn't understand it the first time, and gave her the Book of Mormon Stories book to help her understand the Book of Mormon, and she read it all. Like. crazy! we meet with her again tomorrow, and I cannot wait! 

Other than that, this week went by as usual. Me and Elder H made a giant map of the bus routes and it's completely hideous. Most of the lines only barely connect and it's crooked and I love it. I don't know why Doctor Frankenstein hated his monster so much, because I love mine.:)

Also! went to the temple!!!! It was amazing!! WAY too beautiful! ah. it was perfect.:) 

Hope everyone is good! love you all!:)

Elder Roberts

PS I forgot to explain the subject! We don't get fed by people everyday, but, almost guaranteed if we get fed once, we will get fed again that day. As in I've come home feeling like a hot air balloon way too many times to admit because I've had to politely eat a ton at a house, and then unexpectedly have to eat a ton AGAIN like 30 minutes later. Oh man. The enemy is making dangerous progress in this battle.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Church and Running and Bees

Well, this week was pretty swell, if I do say so myself!

I love meeting people, and this week was very much full of meeting new people! One of the amazing people I was able to meet is named J. She is a nonmember and was actually a referral the missionaries decided to drop a while ago because she was always super busy. But we visited her Monday to check up on her, and she invited us in with the biggest smile on her face ever! oh. it was awesome to be welcomed so warmly! As the lesson progressed, i was in trouble. She's probably around 60 or 70, and her signing is incredibly hard to understand. like, I pick up the bare minimum to know the topic of what she's saying, let alone what is being said about it! At one point, we were talking about the Apostasy, and how all the churches interpret the Bible different and junk, and she was like "ya!" and then just went OFF on a five minute rant about some story of her Paster drinking and her calling him out on it, and him saying the bible said it was okay, but she disagreed. but of course, that is the very watered down, Elder Roberts sucks at ASL version.

Now! the miracle! we invited her to church, and she said she'd come! BRILLIANT! So happy, we are waiting outside of our first hour class (they do it backwards, sacrament is last) and she isn't showing up. So of course, my hope starts to slowly dwindle. and Elder H eventually says we should probably just go to class, and she prolly isn't coming. I was bummed, but decided to not lose faith. As in I prayed probably a thousand million times for the next hour. I wanted her to come soon bad! and boom. 10 minutes before Sacrament, she calls and informs us she's in the back parking lot! HECKA!!! so we go out to get her, and SURPRISE! her deaf and blind husband is with her! 

She asked us if we'd help him out and into his walker and stuff, so we do, and holy smokes. I'm not lying when I say this guy looked like he could eat nails for fun. He looked like the meanest, scariest dude I'd ever met. I doubted if a smile had ever cracked his face before ever. Those thoughts were soon dashed, for when he realized there were people there, remember, blind and deaf, he got the biggest smile on his face, and starting making all sorts of amazing happy noises that I will never forget! Such a happy dude! Oh man! they both liked sacrament a lot, i think! and we are meeting them again on Wednesday! Ah! They're rad.:) Not sure how to teach L., her husband's name, though... Oh well. The Lord provided for us already, he'll do so again!

So, what I'm about to inform ya'll about will probably blow your minds. I've run the past couple of days. AND! here is the kicker, I've actually had to harness my inner Jacob Stone, and forced someone else to run with me!!! As in where I once had barely enough motivation to get myself to run when I had 7 people begging me to, I now have enough motivation to get 2 people to run! and it truly is a wrestle every morning. like, literally. Today, I had to slide his mattress of the bed and prop him against a wall, and then quickly remove the mattress to get him to stand. It's a party, and I probably burn more calories getting ready to run than actually running.

that's about all for this week! The power of faith is unbelievable!:)

Elder Roberts

Everything is bigger in Texas. Including flipping bees. Holy Frijoles! (chap stick for scale.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Companion and experiences in Houston

Okay. First off, I'm in love with flying. Ask Boekweg, I was like a giddy school girl on the plane! It was awesome!!! Second off, I love Houston! the Humidity is sooo fun! like, if you walk outside with a piece of paper, it is immediately damp. I love it! it makes me happy. which is good, because if I wasn't happy about it, I'd prolly focus on the heat and how flipping hot it is!! But I don't. and I love it.

My mission president and his wife are incredible. Totally. President grew up in Bountiful and always refers to it as the Holy Land, so that's cool. They took us to Rudys the first night, which is this flipping rad BBQ joint, and I ate a lot. Oh boy. It will be an interesting two years. The Battle of the Bulge that was fought in Europe will have nothing on the Battle of the Bulge that will be fought here in Texas.

My first week itself was pretty flipping fun! My companions name is Elder Hendrickson! which means we're prolly related somehow somewhere. He doesn't know Mr. H, but he looks just like him in my opinion! His sign name is "Haha" which means we're going to get along swimmingly. We honestly have so much fun, and this next week will be even better! the first couple days of this week were a little hard because Elder H was actually in English program for the last transfer, so we both had to get back in the swing of things. But we're there now, and ready to rock and roll!

Saturday night, we went to a family's home and taught them the restoration. They have a 9 year old daughter, who legits asked some of the funnest questions. Ever. "Who made god?" "Who is heavenly mother?" and "what did Jesus do while he was dead and before he was resurrected." Like, what kind of nine year old asks those kinds of questions?!!?! It was amazing.

Sunday was incredible. Like, beyond incredible! Church was so fun, met so many people! It's a little weird remembering people by their sign, not their name. Definitely will take some getting used to! I interpreted for priesthood meeting (the branch has a mix of hearing and deaf of each age group, either parents with deaf kids, or kids with deaf parents, so always need a interpreter) and I got multiple compliments on how well I did. Like, wut. Never saw that coming!

That evening, we met with M. and his wife. Oh man. That was prolly my favorite interaction so far! M.is this big deaf black dude who is just about the funniest human alive! He told me how, if I'm ever arrested, to enter all  big and bad, so people know not to mess with you. But. Of course, because he's deaf, he acted the whole thing out, and it was incredible! Also, his wife asked if I was deaf, and I said no, and she was like "whoa! you sign good!" so that's two compliments that made my whole day.

Love you all!:)

Elder Roberts

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ain't no mountain high enough

What a week! so much has happened.

First off. We committed Jake to baptism!!! using nothing but our supreme talent in charades and drawing. which you all know i am complete garbage at both, so in other words, the spirit is incredible. Truly. One major thing I've learned in the MTC is that depending on your own mastery of the language will get you nowhere. It's all in the spirit, and how you invite that to influence the lesson. Ah. So incredible!

Yesterday, we had our in field orientation, which was 8 hours of great lessons! but. 8 hours. Phew. it was a doozy! But, well worth it. And, as no surprise to any of you, I'm sure, a couple teachers started talking to my district, found out we were ASL, and exclaimed "Holy moly! you are the loudest ASL group we've ever seen!" I'm pretty sure deaf days and things just make me talk more on days we're allowed to talk. So be prepared when I get home, because i just may never stop after 2 years!

Now, as my MTC time draws to a close, I want to acknowledge a couple things. The Lord is real. To all those reading, I promise you, He is. In these last 6 weeks, I've seen nothing short of miracles. I've witnessed and given blessings, and experienced the holy ghost directing my words in ways I've never experienced. I've watched myself and my district grow in the gospel, as friends, and in ASL in ways that would not be possible in any other place among any other people. 

I want to bear you my testimony, that I know through the power of God, we can be made strong in things we've always considered our weaknesses. However, never, at anytime, has this transformation been easy. Just like when strengthening your physical body, it's gonna hurt. I can't help but think of Cross Country, running miles and miles further than you thought because you have a coach or friend that believes you can, and knows it'll help you. Well, the Gospel is no different. We must work, we must never give up, and we must always strive to go further than we ever thought we could. Why? because we have a Heavenly Father who has promised us we can, and has promised after, we will be stronger. I know if we put our faith in that promise, we'll be able to conquer any mountain. any obstacle. any trial. I know this church is true, and that the Lord has blessed my with my time in this amazing place to strengthen me. I love you all, and say this with the name of my savior Jesus Christ. amen.

Also, this'll be the last email for like, a week and a half because P-Days are all messed up. so talk to ya in 9 days!

Elder Roberts.

Friday, August 21, 2015

2nd to last p-day in the MTC

Well homies, My time in the mtc is coming to a close! I got my flight plans today! I will ship out on Wednesday, the 2nd of september
 to start the real work and adventure of this mission. As my time here draws to a close, words of wisdom about the mtc have come to mind.
"The MTC: a perpetual state of not being hungry, but always eating."
"When you start day dreaming about sic Four Square moves you could make, you probably aren't studying hard enough. or too hard. I've experienced both."
"There are few things that bring quite as much enjoyment as sliding down the rails of the stairs singing Mary Poppins."

I feel like these 3 quotes sum up the MTC well. 

But really, this week has been awesome!! Taught Jake, the investigator who can't sign, to have faith in Jesus Christ and follow him. We explained how Jesus helps us feel happy and comforted when we're sad by putting our thumb down, indicating we are sad, and then having a picture of jesus push our thumb up. I hope he understood. (He did. we explained further. don't worry.)

Elder Boekweg is really coming out of his shell, and is up to all sorts of sheninigans. We went to the computer lab to practice interpretting videos and talks and stuff, and we all have head phones in, except Boekweg, because he's deaf. And he starts playing this video with the sound on the highest volume. We all turn and tell him to turn it the flip down, and he just looks at us with the most mischievous smile on his face and signs "hearing problem." This is his new favorite phrase, and he uses it during fire drills when the alarm goes off and it's so loud you can't even see straight, and other such times where the gift of hearing becomes not so much of a gift.

Another update is that our teacher, Brother Featherstone, wants us to stop mouthing the words as we sign, so sometimes we wear duct tape for extended periods of time. It is not my favorite. needless to say.

Duct Tape Epidemic

had a lot of good experiences with lessons, and practice lessons. For TRC, which is basically just people come and volunteer to be taught stuff, we had these two super adorable cute old ladies, and one was so old her hands could barely sign, and it was impossible to understand what she was saying. But! A smile is universal. She was adorable, and it was so fun to teach her about prayer. The other lesson was a recently returned missionary who's name was Cody. He was a blast, and we had a lot of fun teaching him!

For choir, we were able to perform with the Nashville Tribute Band! Yes. Not only did I listen to music that had some seriously rad guitar and junk, but i was part of the back up choir to a couple of their songs, and oh man. it was sooo fun signing that! 

Cannot wait for what this next (and last) week has to offer!

Love you all!

Elder Roberts
Travel Plans