Bitter Sweet

Oh man. I’ve been dreading writing this email since Friday.

I’m going to keep this short, just because it makes me sad.

I’m going to be coming home a week from today because of my TMJ. It has been causing me a lot of pain the past two or three months, and after a lot of prayer and talking with my mission president, I have decided that it would be best for me to come home and recover. I’ve had to stay in a lot, and I’m tired of hindering the work because of my weaknesses.

I feel very at peace with this decision, and though I’m sad to be leaving, I know Heavenly Father has great things in store for me at home. Who knows, maybe there are more lives that I can touch at home than here now.

I’m excited to see all of you!!

x Sister Roberts xDSCN1751 DSCN1750 DSCN1749 DSCN1735

The stake president here where I am serving and his son, and a member of the 70. Forgot his name. Oops!

The stake president here where I am serving and his son, and a member of the 70. Forgot his name. Oops!

My mission president and his wife.

My mission president and his wife.

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Finally some change in climate!

 

Hullo all!

I hope you all are having (or had, depending on when you read this) a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day!!! As for me, I took a nap. Haha.

This week has been great!! We received a referral from a less active last week, and we were finally able to go and see them last Monday. They are so great, and we are so excited that they accepted the invitation to take the lessons from us. They are a very sweet young family our less active referred to us because the mom has just discovered she has cancer, and our less active offered to have the missionaries come over and give her a blessing. We had a short lesson on the Priesthood and what it is and how it works, and then she received a blessing. Keep the Maldonado family in your prayers!!

We have also started to do service at the homeless shelter more as well. We’ve been there three times now, and I’ve loved every time we’ve gone. We met a really cool guy there, Anthony, who is a resident there, but he volunteers in the kitchen every day. We challenged him to a race cutting potatoes, and he smoked all of us by like 15 potatoes. He is really nice, and we kind of jokingly kind of seriously challenged him to come to church, and he actually showed up!! He said he loved it, and that he had a lot of questions for us when we saw him next. A member also mentioned to him that we teach lessons, so he asked us if we would teach him about our church. I’m so excited about that as well :). It was kind of awkward though, our lesson in Gospel Principles was on the law of chastity. Lol.

We were also referred to a hispanic center here in town as well that we can do service at. It is like a free clinic/senior center/food bank kind of thing specially for people that have immigrated here from Spanish speaking countries. It is such a blessing that we found this place, because now we have more opportunities to do service, and its Spanish speaking so Sister Hallsted and Sister Baltazar can speak Spanish. I’m a little worried because I do not speak Spanish, but I’m sure my comps will take good care of me 🙂

Anyway, I hope all of you have had a great week as well, and that all your dreams are coming true.

I can’t send any pictures this week because Elder Howell stole my camera last night in an effort to be as cool as Elder Weatherston and take a bunch of selfies on it. He will unfortunately never be as cool as Elder Weatherston, but hey, I get a lot of hopefully hilarious pictures out of it. Haha.

Mormon Message for the week is Come What May, and Love It.

Muah!

x Sister Roberts x

Good Week!

Herro everyone!!!

Man this week was way busy!!!! It was so great!!!

We started out great last Monday!! We went to Jonathan and Yaritza’s house for family home evening, and it was great!! They are the couple we are teaching that are getting baptized at the end of this month. They have been investigating for 6 years!!! We are so excited to help them finally make the commitment. Its really going to be excellent, because they are getting married on Friday the 28th and baptized on Saturday the 29th!! And I got to pull out David’s Bridal Sister Roberts and give Yaritza advice on her dress and tell her the best way to get it steamed and altered. Oh man, I miss the wedding industry. We had a great lesson with them, plus I got to hang out with their 2 month old blue heeler puppy!!!!

We also got to be taste testers for the Young Women this week for their mutual activity, because we teach an ESL class that no one showed up for. Each age group made a different dessert, and we couldn’t know which one made which, and we had to choose our favorite!! The Laurels won with a delicious brownie peanut butter oreo concoction (Yeah, peanut butter always wins in my book :)). It was great to spend time with the Young Women, because they all come from part member families.

Funny story: Elder Swanson is probably one of the funniest people I have ever met. He and Elder Power were given this foul smelling dessert by someone this week, and they wanted to get rid of it, so they run over to Sister Baltazar, who is so precious and gullible, and shove it into her hands and run. As they run, Elder Swanson yells “EAT IT! IT WILL GIVE YOU GOOD DREAMS!!!” Oh man. I haven’t laughed that hard in so long. Sorry if you don’t think that’s funny. You had to be there?
We also got up at 5 am on Thursday to go do service at the local soup kitchen. I will revise my statement from “Jesus is the only one I get up before 9 a.m. for!” to “Jesus and homeless people are the only ones I will get up before 9 am for!” I love service so much. Each time we go to a nursing home or soup kitchen or someone’s house for service, I leave feeling like I am in fact fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. I kinda want to do a service mission now after this, actually. Yep.

We also had another great lesson with our less active Olga again this week!! She had a concern about prayer, so instead of teaching the Plan of Salvation like we planned, we ended up teaching her about prayer. And she came to church again this week, and stayed for all three hours for the first time!!!

And yesterday was just straight up the coolest day of the week.

First off, church was simply amazing. I love going to church so much. I can’t stop loving the fact that the church is the same everywhere, and there are so many people in this world that have the same beliefs as me, but all of our testimonies are different, and were gained in different ways.

We were then able to go do service for a nonmember widow of a very active member. Her husband died unexpectedly of brain cancer, and she is very young to be a widow, so we try and visit her frequently and just be good friends to her. We helped her clean all of the debris from the last ice/wind storm that went through out of her ginormous back yard. Her back yard is a beautiful acre of woods bordered by a river, and is my new dream back yard. I would love to throw tennis balls into the river for my dogs and have them run all the way across the huge yard to go jump in the river. I also got to use “loppers” for the first time (Pennsylvanian for huge garden shears or heavy duty stick cutters) and I got to chop lots of branches off of trees so they would fit  into garbage bags. That was super fun too :). Plus it was just so nice to be outside the one day the weather was above 40 degrees!!

After that we went to visit an active family with two less active YSA age kids. We have been asking them for a few weeks now if we could stop by and see them, it just never happened until yesterday. It was for sure the Spirit prompting us to get in with them, because it was a very amazing lesson/chat. I have such high hopes for that family!! We are hoping the 19 year old son will come play with us at the church today for pday.
And then, the best part of all… We got a flat tire on the way home last night and were stuck on the side of the road for an hour and a half in the 28 degree darkness!!! Luckily, a member that lived close by was able to come and rescue us!!! We got some good pictures of that mess. Haha.
Anyway! The church is just as true as ever, and I am so grateful for everyone’s prayers, emails, and letters!!

Pictures: Us at service, me in Elder Howell’s giant shoes, and Elder Howell wearing my glasses like a boss.
Mormon Message for the week is Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?

Love ya! Muah!

x Sister Roberts xDSCN1686[1] DSCN1680[1] DSCN1663[1]-1 DSCN1669[1] DSCN1667[1]

Lots of Change

Hello my lovelies!!!

There is so much going on here in PA!! Lots of change and sadness, but lots of great things as well. It was so sad saying goodbye to Sister Stovall this week. She will be greatly missed. She said she is having a hard time adjusting to being a Gentile again, so pray for her will ya?

Also, MAKAYLA AND LEANNA WERE BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! Oh man, I saw that Leanna had emailed me, and I opened that one first, and proceeded to bawl like the mushball that I am. They were baptized in their new ward in South Carolina, and a member from my last ward was able to drive down and confirm them. And Scott was able to baptize them as well, which I wasn’t expecting!! I will forward the pictures she sent me 🙂

We had a fabulous lesson this week with one of our less actives, Olga, this week as well. She hasn’t allowed anyone affiliated with the church into her home in over a decade, and for some reason she let us in. This week was our second time seeing her, and she has come so far in just a few weeks!! She has already come to church twice, and is keeping the commitments that we leave with her.

Sister Baltazar and I are also in a trio once more!! Hermana Hallsted has come to join us here in Lancaster!!!! She is very quiet and very sweet, and has been such a great asset to the area already! She graduated from hair school before she came out, so she told us she can do our hair for us, which is very exciting :). She is from Arizona, and is the second of four kids, So she’s you Kayla!!! Haha :).

Mormon Message for the week is the new one on bullying. Its called Bullying-Stop it!

I feel like the longer I’m on my mission, the shorter my emails get… But the awesomer my mission gets!!! Its hard to put into words the love I have for this gospel and how grateful I am to be out here in PA serving a mission for the Lord.

The church is true!!!!

x Sister Roberts xFSCN9717 DSCN9778

Sister Stovall popped Elder Watts's zit.... Ew.

Sister Stovall popped Elder Watts’s zit…. Ew.

FSCN9717

Sister Stovall popped Elder Watts's zit.... Ew.

Sister Stovall popped Elder Watts’s zit…. Ew.

DSCN1637[1] DSCN1622[1]

Warm? Or not.

Sup.

So Mother Nature has been super mean this whole winter. It dumped snow from November to last week, and then it was warmish this week (if you call 41 degrees warm, which I do at this point), and now its supposed to snow another foot tomorrow and the next day. Womp.

But, since the week was warm, it was AWESOME missionary work wise. Not so awesome PA citizen wardrobe wise. I felt like I was on a nude beach (exaggeration, but ima missionary so it was kinda traumatic) because there was so much skin everywhere.

But we had some really amazing experiences this week!!

One of my favorites I think has to be when we went to see our investigator Jasmine. She went to another church last Sunday, and the first thing she said when we got to her house was that she liked the other church better. She has never even been to our church, so we were a smidge frustrated at that, but we were able to follow the spirit and testify of the Restoration to her, and her heart was softened 🙂

Another cool experience that we had was when we got to see out other investigator Chelsea! We had planned on teaching her a lesson, but we felt impressed to ask her if she needed us to help her with anything, so she asked us to help her make stuffed animals for charity that she was pretty stressed out about. I made a cute owl that she let me keep and also a kitty and a pig!! It was so fun, and we could definitely tell that she needed us to be her friends and not missionaries that day. She has been much more receptive to the lessons we teach her now, and I think its starting to hit her how important it is to have faith in Jesus Christ.

I wish I could write more, but I spent a lot of time writing individual people back today!!

I love you all so much, and I know that the work I am doing out here is the Lord’s work. I hope all of you someday have the opportunity to experience bringing someone the gospel that either has never had it before or has forgotten why it is important, because it is the best feeling in the WORLD. But, as Elder Eyring so eloquently put it, there is a danger in the word “someday”. So my Mormon Message for the week is Choose Ye This Day.

I love you all so much!!

Not sure if I’ll have time for pictures… We’ll see.

 

x Sister Roberts x

Snow. Is. Still. Falling. Why??????

Herro all!

DSCN9642 DSCN1560 RSCN9572 100_4467 100_4471

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a little over the snow. Its up to my knees in the flat areas, and the snow banks are up to my shoulders in some places. Da heck??? I’m ready for spring. But then its going to rain a lot, so I guess its time to invest in rain boots as well. And summer is too sticky hot. I love my mission, but I miss home weather. Good ol desert.

And I had to eat my cereal with a fork this morning.

This week has obviously been really snowy. It snowed every day last week except I think Friday. We were stuck inside Thursday morning, but otherwise the roads were okay to go out the other days.

We had two new people move into the area that we have begun working with. One of them is a less active from the Lititz ward. She is a super cool single adult that loves star wars and combat boots. We’ve met with her once so far, and she seems like she is very willing to start coming back to church and start following Christ with all of her heart.

The other person is Eric Vasquez, who moved here from Harrisburg. The Elders there have been working with him for a while, and he had to move here so he could find a job and live with his parents to help them out. He understands English very well, but understands Spanish much better, so its awesome that he moved here because we are a Spanish speaking area!! We teach him in English, but if he doesn’t get it Sister Baltazar explains in Spanish. He is a very good guy, 20 years old, from Puerto Rico. We went over the baptismal interview questions with him, and we feel very strongly that he could be baptized next month. Pray for him that he will feel the Spirit and get an answer from God about being baptized next month!!

We very sadly had to drop our investigator Bill this week. We showed him a talk by Elder Nelson on baptism and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and at the end he told us that he didn’t agree with what he said and pulled out his Bible and started warning us about following false prophets and how we didn’t know what we were talking about because we hadn’t studied religion as much as him, because he is 66, and the Spirit just left the lesson. It was very sad and it got very contentious on his part. It was very heartbreaking and traumatizing to not have the Spirit even for that short period of time. I am so grateful for the Spirit in my life, and the calming and peaceful influence that it has. Its so crazy that sometimes I feel like the Spirit is with me so much that I am a little desensitized to it, and it was a very good reminder not to take the Spirit for granted.

I also got an email from Makayla today, and she told me that she and Leanna are being baptized in two weeks!!!!!!!!!! They are all now following the Word of Wisdom, and Brandon is even considering being baptized soon. BEST. EMAIL. EVER.

And the Young Women heart attacked us this week!!!

Sorry, I feel like my thoughts are kinda psychotic and unorganized this week… Haha.

I love all of you so so so so so so so so much!!!

Mormon Message of the week is a little outdated now, but its Expressions of Love!!!!

Have fun this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

x Sister Roberts x

Long Week

Hey everyone!!!

This week was long and slow, unfortunately. BUT, the Lord blesses us for our diligence, so we definitely reaped the benefits last night!!

First off, it has been ridiculously snowy all week. And one of my companions got sick for 3 days. So we spent a lot of time inside this week. We tried our best to do what we could from the apartment, though, so I feel like that is why we had such a great day yesterday. The Lord’s work is always worth it!!

Yeah, other than our sick Sorry! tournaments, I don’t really have a whole lot to report other than yesterday.

Soooooo, yesterday started off like a normal Sunday, having to get up at 5 for meetings and stuff before church starts at 9. Woof. We had a really good sacrament meeting about how our words effect those around us and how charity ties into the way we talk and act. I drank about 32 oz of water just in sacrament, so saying I had to pee like a racehorse for the entire rest of the day is an understatement. But that is irrelevant. We got to teach the Young Women in our ward the Plan of Salvation, and it went really well!! They learned a lot about it, I think, and none of them realized that the Atonement is part of the Plan of Salvation, much less the center of it!! It was cool to be able to teach them. Just reaffirms me belief that everyone that is able should go on a mission :).

Anyway, after church we practiced our song we will be singing in sacrament next week, and I love that song!! If you haven’t heard Come Unto Christ (2014 Youth Theme) then you should! Its so touching.

And then we had a lot of time to do service for people, especially shoveling for them because it snowed all day yesterday (again). We actually met a way cool lady named Jersey, who was a lesbian, but we left a Book of Mormon with her and she told us we were beautiful angels. So that was fun.

And then it was time for our lesson with a potential we found last Sunday. We had a member, Sister Whitlock, with us, and our potential ended up not being there (welcome to missionary work) so we decided to walk down the street and try and see a former investigator while we were in the area. It worked out perfectly, because as we were walking, we met Cecelia! She was shoveling her sidewalk, and she only spoke Spanish, so Sister Baltazar talked with her. Heavenly Father for sure blessed me with the gift of tongues, because I was able to understand most of what they were saying to each other. Sis B bore a beautiful testimony, and we got her information to come and teach her, and we left a Spanish Book of Mormon and a Spanish Restoration pamphlet with her. It was also really cool because Sis W was with us, and her testimony grew so much as we talked with Cecelia. I don’t think she realized that part of missionary work is stopping and talking to everyone we see, and how much courage it takes to do that. She had a fire in her eyes when we parted ways last night, and I know her testimony of missionary work grew for sure. Her family calls us the missionettes instead of the Sisters. Its glorious :).

I know I’m out here doing the Lord’s work. I love being a missionary so much, and I am so glad that Heavenly Father sent me to this area to be with these two companions. I haven’t had this much fun doing what I love so much in a long time. I’ll try and send you the video of the prank we played on Sister Baltazar last night :).

I love you all! Mormon Message of the week is actually just going to be the music video for Come Unto Christ on youth.lds.org because its sweet!

lovlovlov!

 

x Sister Roberts xDSCN1546 DSCN1532 DSCN1528