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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Week 69: Posadas, Argentina

Well it's December 18th, but it doesn´t really feel like it's Christmas time. It's hard to feel the Christmas spririt when it's hot.. even though we listen to Christmas music pretty much every day and there are actually quite a bit of decorations for Christmas around the city. I think I'm actually getting used to the heat though, I'm not sure if I'll be ready for winters in the States.  

One of the missionaries got a package and opened up here and it had a pine smell and it smelled super good, exactly like Christmas. Our zone activity is next Tuesday for Christmas which should be fun. This week we made a short video for Christmas which kinda turned out not too spiritual at all, but pretty funny. We went all out, haha, but it turned out pretty well I think. 

The finances... are going. I think there is a lot of end of the year stuff to do.. but I'm not exactly sure what. So I'll probably be pretty busy the next two weeks. President's card is almost finished... I have to balance it out to zero for dollars, guanines, and pesos which is the tough part. The pesos are finished and the dollars are finished and I thought I had finished the guanines, but there are a few mistakes... so I have to go back and correct it again. But other than that I think the finances are going pretty well. It's kind of weird, I haven't been audited yet and I'm not sure if I will be, but I feel like I'm just doing my thing and hopefully I'm doing it correctly. 

We can Skype anytime on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  On Monday I'll get back on the email and verify the time with you. I think its 45 minutes for Skype. 

The work is going pretty well, I feel like there's lots more activity around Christmas time and we haven't been able to work as much as we usually do, but it's going well. We are trying to teach people how to have a Family Home Evening and kind of setting it up for them and then letting them do it on their own. So hopefully it goes well... we´ll see if they do it, haha. 

We are pretty excited though for the Christmas concert this Saturday.  We practiced on Monday and it actually sounded a lot better than what I thought it would. There are 28 missionaries in total that are going to particpate and we are going to sing 8 songs from the hymn book. We invited lots of members and had it announced in all the sacrament meetings in the stake. I think it's a really good way to spread the gospel because it is a lot more innocent than knocking on someone's door or trying to stop someone in the street.  Hopefully people will be able to catch the spirit and have a better image about the church. I think music is a good way to make things different. It always helps in the lessons, and special musical numbers in sacrament meeting are always good. It's weird how music can have such a powerful effect on people, but it happens. 

I got Grandmom´s Christmas card and the Harrast´s as well. You´ll have to thank them for me. And thank you for the email! Have a great week and see you on Christmas ;)... in Skype!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Week 68: Posadas, Argentina

Hey! This week was good, flying by super fast as usual, but so far enjoyable. It´s actually kind of weird serving in the office because it's just really different from what i did before as a regular missionary. But it's cool. There are definitely ups and downs.

My responsiblity in the office is to organize the payments of the mission and pay for things. All the paperwork and all the travels are the other secretaries' responsibilities, so luckily i usually don't get blamed for problems when missionaries come on days they shouldn't, haha. Though we are all a team and i would like to help, it's really every man for himself because everyone has never ending tasks to do. So it's tough to help other people when you can never finish what you're doing. For the more urgent stuff we usually all get together and go at it. We do have a planning meeting every Sunday night which helps a lot. I think i definitely learned the importance of planning things well here in the mission; I am definitely a better planner than i was before. 

Our ward Christmas party is this weekendwhich should be pretty sweet, I'm excited to eat grilled Argentinian meat. I think the 6 of us missionaries are putting on a play-or something like that, we are going to practice tonight after our correlation meeting, should be interesting. And we already have members that invited us for Christmas dinner and New year's dinner, the nice thing about being in a ward. It's funny though, lots of the less actives, or people that sometimes dont even go to church, love having the missionaries over to eat at their house. It's actually a really good way to activate people or help them progress. They might recognize the blessings of giving us food, haha, becuase people that feed the missionaries are definitely blessed. A lady in my last area told us that she gave us food every week to be blessed and that we had to go to her house every week, or she wouldn't be blessed and she would have a bad week, haha. Pretty funny. 

Here in the mission we get 161 dollars a month, the people in Paraguay get a little bit more, I think the food is a little bit cheaper here than it is in the States. Paraguay is nice in that the money usually is enough, but here in Argentina there's lots of inflation and the money isn't really worth very much, so sometimes it's hard to get by. 

For Christmas we are trying to plan a concert in the plaza in Posadas, we'll see how that goes. There are also Christmas devotional zone conferences which should be good. I'm not sure exactly what's planned, but they are usually pretty nice and I'm sure we will eat a lot of good food. 

Tell Liam that he might be able to dunk on me this summer because he's actually really tall, but that I'll still beat him 1 on 1.  We actually do play basketball sometimes on pday, we played this morning. It's pretty funny because there aren't that many Latin American kids that play basketball, they all play soccer.  So when i play with them i actually feel like I'm kinda good, but then when I go play with Americans i feel like I'm not that great again. We do play half court, just because it's too hot to play full court. There aren't any indoor courts, they are all outside. 

We have been having lots of success recently with some less actives that we are working with. There is a family that has come back into activity and they have the goal of going to the temple in March. Also, our ward mission leader is going to go to the temple Friday for the first time, and then will baptize his little brother the next day. There is also another lady that went to church that is in a pretty bad situation, her husband drinks a lot and is actually a cool guy, until he drinks. But he said after the holidays are over he´ll be done drinking and he´ll go to church, we´ll see. But we were teaching her brother as well, and he went to church twice and was coming along pretty well.  It turns out he has a drug problem and robs a lot of the neighbors.  They got together and tried to beat him up because they thought he robbed them and they kicked him out of the neighborhood and told him to not come back... so i dont think he´ll get baptized anytime soon. But he was a nice kid from what we saw of him.

I got the Christmas package though, thanks for the candy and the letters and toothbrushes, haha. I already ate all the chocolate covered blueberries... in one day.. they were really good, but i think the rest of the candy will last a little longer. Thanks for everything and have a great week!!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Friday, December 5, 2014

Week 67: Posadas, Argentina

Thanksgiving went pretty well, as good as it can be in a country that doesn´t celebrate Thanksgiving I guess. The food was really good, I stuffed myself on pie, it was pretty great eating homemade pie after like a year and a half. And my companion is really nice, he's interesting but he's nice, and he likes working and doing his part. We will be together I think for this change and then he is going to train someone here in the office probably, so we´ll be together probably a change and a half or two changes more.

I can´t say that I miss dark, cold rainy evenings; I might actually prefer the blazing heat.  They are making a big deal about the He is the Gift video here, i'm not sure if you've seen it but they put it on Times Square and Youtube and we are supposed to share it with everyone. So if you are reading this and haven't seen it yet... Pretty good. 

Christmas is the best time to do nice stuff for people. Well I guess all the time is a good time to do nice stuff for people, but to really enjoy Christmas you gotta get the service stuff down. I think we are going to sing in the plaza of Posadas for Christmas so that should be fun, we need to get organizing. 

Sister Murphy, who is in my zone, was really good friends with Katie and Rachel (Ben's cousins) and Uncle John was her dentist haha. And the funny thing is, Josh, whose serving a mission now, as in my cousin, was her Sunday School teacher at BYUI. So Sister Murphy officially knows our whole family haha. Super small Mormon world. 

The office is going pretty well. There is a lot to do and there were transfers this week, so that was messy. But now I kind of have to organize a bunch and see what got spent where and try to put all the reciepts together, make sure everyone has their money for this month... and finish President's card.  Then I need to fix a bunch of errors that were made these past few months with money that was spent that got put in the wrong category so that at the end of the year the money spent in 2014 gets put into all the right categories. So sometimes if we spend money on gas and it accidently gets put under the furniture category I have to go back and correct it. So that is super fun. But it actually is cool sometimes, well basically cool when you finish something and it comes out correctly. Which is rare, haha but it happens. 

I do think it is really cool though to be able to plan out things to do for other people. Sometimes we wait and say, Ahh man I would totally help someone or do something nice for someone if the oppurtunity presented itself.  But if we think ahead and plan out nice things we can do it.  The results are cool, we feel good and the person we served feels good as well. There was a lady in the ward doing a sewing project for someone and they asked if they could pay her and she said you can, but then the money will just get spent and we´ll forget it ever happened... or I can do it for free and we can all remember it for the rest of our lives. So that was cool and I guess that is the Christmas spirit. 

Thanks for everything, I love you, have a great week!!!

Elder Roberts

This was Ben's trainer.  He went home yesterday.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Week 66: Posadas, Argentina

Happy Thanksgiving!!! It doesn´t really feel like Thanksgiving because it's like 95 degrees out.  We had a big lunch today with a few members that invited us all over, but tonight we are eating Thanksgiving dinner haha, I´m making scalloped potatoes and my companion is making a Peruvian dish, so not too Thanksgivingish, but it works.

I also need to go on a diet, but I think I'll wait till new years ;) that's always a good time to start... haha. But I think I lost a little bit of weight, but I'm still not down to what I was when I started the mission. I got kinda fat when I became a pancake addict and ate pancakes every monring and night for about a month straight, but now I'm trying to eat a little bit more healthier.

This week has been pretty good though, still moving along, almost done the big project I have to do here in the office, and then life will be a little bit more relaxed, well not really but I won't feel like I have 10 different things to do at the same time. But the work is going well. 

My companion and I decided that knocking doors just wasn't really a good way to do missionary work anymore… haha, so we are trying to work a little more with members, and strengthen some of the recent converts and less actives and it's actually paying off. There were 6 investigators in church Sunday and about 10 less actives that went, and the family we are teaching that is coming back to activity has a goal to go to the temple in March. And they are progressing pretty well. So life is good, I can't complain, especially on Thanksgiving when I need to be grateful for everything! 

Anyway, next week is tranfers, lots of work and lots of fun, and usually lots of problems, but that's what makes the mission exciting! 

Hasta luegooooo.

Elder Roberts

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week 65: Posadas, Argentina

Sounds like its pretty chilly up there, it's been hot, but I don't think the real heat has gotten here yet.

My toe is better now, i think the nail just has to grow back, its not swollen or infected anymore so we all good. 

For thanksgiving we might be having a little dinner with the office peoples, I'm hoping. We are going to look for as many traditional Thanksgiving foods as possible, but I don't think there are too many. Plus right now I'm the only American in the office, besides President and Hermana LaPierre,… so I guess I will have to look, haha. 

And financial secretary... I guess it's a pretty good experience, it's tough sometimes because there's lots to do. There is a big problem with President´s credit card, so Elder Parks has been working on it since August, and I picked up and I'm almost done, so once that is finished I think there be a little less stress and work. 

This week was pretty enjoyable though. Today we went and ate at Burger King on the beach in Paraguay and played ping pong, so that was fun, relaxing and stress relieving. 

Other than that it wasn't too eventful this week. We went and cut a tree down with a machete for a lady in the ward and did a bunch of paperwork for some missionaries. Pretty exciting stuff, haha. The next time I'll write will be Thanksgiving, so enjoy the last few days of school until the break!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Friday, November 14, 2014

Week 64: Posadas, Argentina


This week has been pretty exciting, passed by super fast, everytime i write here i feel like i had just done it yesterday, but it was pretty eventful. There were zone conferences and lots of movement and lots of stuff to do here in the office. But its always fun, sometimes pretty stressful just because the whole mission kind of depends on us for the temporal stuff, so it's like eat, sleep, drink, and talk money and numbers. But its cool, i feel like the stuff i'm learning will help me later on in life.

The missionary work here is going really well, we really haven't had a lot of time to get out and work a lot in the field, but with the time we have had it's been pretty succesful. The recent converts are coming along and the less active families are as well. There are a lot of good things about being here in Posadas, as in the city Posadas because there is a lot of movement and you are usually around the action and there are activities.  Also, i think the ward i'm in, Lavalle, is great. There are  alot of good members that help.  The couple we are teaching went to church again and really like it, their daughter and grandson went and really enjoyed it as well. They are progressing pretty well and understanding a lot.  

The spanish is actually pretty good. I can understand pretty much everything and i can always get my point across. Sometimes there are technical words, or stuff like that i don't understand, but for the most part i think i have it down. I would like to keep studying more, but the schedule i have now doesn't give too much time. 

For Thanksgiving..... im not sure what we are going to do. They dont celebrate it here but i'm definetely planning on celebrating one way or another. Apple pie would be pretty sweet with some mashed potatoes and gravy, but we´ll see what happens.  

Anyway, this past Saturday there was a stake service activity that was organized and we all went and cleaned up a park that was in really bad shape. We cut some grass, with machetes.... pulled weeds, destroyed massive termite hills, and cleaned up some trash. It was actually really fun, and everyone that went really enjoyed it. It wasn't really taken as a service activity, more like get together and have fun doing something for other people which was great because there really isn't a lot of that here. But all the members that went left really happy and i think the neighborhood appreciated it as well. I got pretty sun burnt and my arm was super sore from using the machete, but it was totally worth it. 

Also, it was Hermana LaPierre´s birthday so we decided to be a marachi band and we went and looked for sombreros, but they were pretty expensive so we bought some party hats and some fake mustaches and went and practiced a Mexican birthday song and went to her house.  President took her out on the balcony and we sang to her. It was pretty funny. I think she has a Facebook that she updates quite often if you want to look for it it has the video.  (Dottie LaPierre) But it was pretty fun.

And also, my toenail................... So since probably January it's been on and off ingrown, i think it got infected once but then went away, but it finally came back to bite me, pretty hard. So it got infected again and i had to get it taken out so i went to the doctor and he gave me anesthia, (i asked for laughing gas but they didnt have any) so he numbed it up really well - my big toe and i couldnt really watch, but from my comp told me it was pretty crazy. He shoved a knife sort of thing under my toenail and lifted it all up and then cut like a fourth it out. It was pretty crazy. Now it's like all swollen up because i wasnt supposed to walk on it, but had some important lessons to go to.. so i tried to drive but we had to walk a little and now im on bed rest apparently. I have to travel in like and hour and half to Corrientes which is another province of Argentina to go do some paperwork. So that should be fun. Im going to wear sandals... with missionary clothes. haha. But its cool, doesn't hurt too bad. (That was Friday morning at midnight that he was traveling to Corrientes….I got his email at 10:30pm Thursday night.)

But anyway today we had a Zone conference and we talked a lot about the first vision and teaching the restoration, and it was pretty cool. We talked about treating the first vision with reverence and taking it more seriously than just ¨sharing lesson one¨ and kind of going through the routine. But if you really prepare, and do it well and teach it with sincerity, it really gets to the person. And its cool, because that is the message that changes everything. There were tons of churches on the earth and how could they all be true? Joseph Smith asked God and if he really got the answer, if God and Jesus Christ really appeared to him, then that changes everything. There is only one church that contains the whole truth. God has only put one church on the earth. It's crazy that for as many times as I watch the restoration video, or share the message, there is still a feeling that just says its true, and every single time the understanding becomes more complete. Cool stuff. 

Anyway, i hope everyone has a great week and ill be sure to write again next week. 

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Week 63:Posadas, Argentina

The mission does fly by pretty fast, but the office does make it go by faster. It's pretty crazy that it's already November, almost Thanksgiving and then it's almost Christmas. And then 2015. That´s weird, I feel like Christmas wasn´t too long ago and that we haven´t been in 2014 for too long.

But the food I eat now is pretty normal, we don't eat with members a lot so we can usually choose what we eat, which is pretty nice. But I did have some octopus the other day which was suprisingly good. It was covered in vinegar I think and it looked like it was raw and kind of just cut straight off the octopus, but I thought it was pretty tasty. I´m looking to try cow tongue soon and crocodile, but it's hard to get around here. We ate burritos the other day for a conference we had, which was awesome. But other than that, pretty normal food. We don't really have a lot of time to eat breakfast or dinner so I don't eat a lot.  But I've really gotten into arroz con leche, it's super delicious. And the fruit salad here is awesomeee. They basically cut up fruit: apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, and pears, and throw it in a bowl and pour a liter of orange fanta soda in, it's sooo good. It's like a fruit soup cause its really liquidy, but it's awesome. 

What are my plans for college? I'm not really sure... I mean I'm headed to BYU but I really have no idea what I'm going to be studying. I will maybe think a little bit about that. I think computers actually might be cool. But it's weird, I feel like I can't think about that in the mission, it's just so different that my mind blocks it out. But President LaPierre told a cool story about how when he was working he had gotten a contract for a big company and it was a project that was going to last like 5 or 6 years.  When he was on the plane after he found out about it he just had like a huge brainstorm and planned everything out in a notebook within an hour. And he explained about covanents and keeping our covenants and that when we are truly making the effort to fulfill the promises we made, that the Lord really does bless us spiritually and temporally... and it's cool how the spirit could help you in your job, or with basically anything that's a worthy cause.

The evenings have been going well, there are some days we have to come back early to finish stuff and some days like conferences where we can't leave at all, but it's good for the most part. We have more than enough people to visit with the limited time we have, so I can't complain. And for Christmas... I dont think I need anything. The 2 package limit is a rule from he church, and it's not because they'll reject our package or anything, it's just the mission ends up paying a little more for it than we do and I don't think they want missionaries receiving too many. So I mean you could send one, but it wouldn't really be fair because I already got two this year, actually more than two I think. But just put it towards the Chipotle fund, it's fine. 

But I read that pride talk that you always talked about, I think it's from President Benson that's called Beware of Pride. And it was pretty sweet.  I never thought of myself as a super humble person, but neither a prideful person either, but that talk made me second guess myself, haha it's pretty crazy. It seems like every sin comes from pride, but it's crazy how pride can just stop progress, or make relationships not work and block out the spirit. I think a big problem missionaries have sometimes is a routine where they fall into the trap of doing the same thing all the time, or teaching the same way all the time - for example going out and contacting every single door there is and having 10 lessons a day, which isn't bad but it's really not too effective. But sometimes the pride lets us think that it's okay to do that because we have lots of good numbers and we don't want to do something different because our numbers will drop down and we won't be on the top anymore. Or our pride tells us that everything is okay and we dont need to change or switch things up, but there's really always room for progress and becoming better. So I'm trying to become a more humble person, haha we´ll see how it goes. But thanks for everything and I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 62: Posadas, Argentina

This week has gone pretty well, we had two investigators come to church, a couple that we are teaching who are pretty cool. They are really nice and made us lunch one day.

But yeah Halloween here isn't really the same. No one really celebrates it. It's kinda of like a bad day I think, or it has a negative sort of feel-as if it was actually a day of dark magic and stuff like that. But I'm planning on buying a bunch of candy and eating it. So I'll be celebrating solo. 

But yeah its heating up down here, we are trying to move houses because our house is pretty unbearable. We have a two story little apartment that is on top of another house, so basically third story. And the top floor is like 25 degrees hotter than it is outside. Its pretty crazy sometimes, we slept in the pension of the Assistants last night cause it was really hot and they have air conditioning. And then instead of doing exercises we got up and went and played for a little bit at the beach again which was fun. And then a huge huge rainstorm came and cooled things down. The weather is pretty nice after it rains. 

And the finances are doing okay, I'm starting to get caught up on everything.  The only problem is trying to fix President LaPierres card, which is kind of a mess, but it's progressing little by little. We have a conference on Tuesday and I think Elder Parks is going to come a little bit early to help me out a little. But other than that I'm doing really well, figuring things out, but there always seems to be something that I don't really know I'm supposed to do and then I find out and have to backtrack my work and fix things and it gets kind of complicated sometimes, just lots of numbers. 

It's pretty crazy how time flies by though, I always try to think of a story or something that happened during the week, or something cool I can write down to put on here, but then it's just like the week goes by so fast and Thursday gets here and I don't have time to sit down and think. But that's cool about the missionaries singing downtown with the piano.  Elder Thornton and I thought about doing that, but its kind of hard to find a piano around here.. I guess electric keyboards work, haha. But we are thinking about organizing something like that for Christmas time.  

The mission has a blog in progress, they have it all saved onto word documents, but they're in the process of putting it onto the blog.  It's in spanish, but I'm going to try to translate it when I get some time, but you can look at it and see. 

Well, this week wasn't a super eventful week, hopefully everything is going well back home. 

Love, Elder Roberts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 61: Posadas, Argentina

HOLA. This week has gone by extremely fast. There were transfers and transfers mean missionaries moving around, new missionaries coming in, and money being spent, so lots of work for me.  It's good because it keeps me busy. Ive decided that i dont want to work in an office when im older. Its not bad but i dont think i could do it for the rest of my life. We havent gotten to work to much in the area this week becuase of a few problems and stuff that happened during transfers. 

We do a lot of paperwork for the missionaries to be able to be legal here. And they didn't do that before, so now we are trying to catch up and we have tons of paperwork. The problem is that the migrations office here in Posadas, their system doesnt really work all the time.  So we had to send the new people up to Iguazu at like 3 in the morning and then have them come back and then have them travel to their areas. Lots of travelling. So the paperwork to get people to be legal here gets pretty fun sometimes.

Im trying to figure out all the finances, there are some rough spots but we are getting there. President's card kinda got shut down due to some troubles, so im in the process of fixing that. 

We have a couple we are teaching that are really nice.  We met them in the street one day and they were friends with a less active member and then they just randomly invited us over for lunch one day.  We went and they made us this huge plate and they were super nice, haha it was almost weird how nice their were, but we are teaching them and they are doing pretty well. The husband works a lot so we dont get to see him as much, but the lady is really nice and she likes learning a lot. The sisters in the ward have a baptism tomorrow, which is pretty awesome.  Lavalle Ward has been baptizing a lot and i think now we need to retain all of the converts. Its actually really tough to balance the retention and finding new people. It takes a lot of work to help the people become active members that build the church. But definitely worth it. 

Well hopefully everything is going well up there. It's weird that it's almost Halloween. I bet it's getting cold up there, and here its pretty hot. I think it hit 100 today. We picked the wrong time to go play volleyball on the beach, it was pretty hot, but fun. But have a great week! Thanks for the letter!!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 60 Posadas, Argentina

Yeah, it was a pretty crazy week, I think every week here is crazy. I'm not sure if its just this mission, or if we are still trying to get everything in order and open the mission-get everything functioning correctly, but lots of late nights and early mornings, haha. I think my body kinda died the other day from not sleeping enough, but I'm fine now. Its pretty tough balancing all the office work with the proselyting. But we have a few people that are doing well. After we baptized Jorge we kinda got left with no investigators, but we are working to be able to retain him and some of the other recent converts and two less active families.

It was pretty cool.. the sister of the two girls that got baptized a few weeks ago, that lives on her own, came to church with her family and liked it, went to conference and loved it. She has now stopped smoking, started reading the Book of Mormon and it's changing a lot of stuff in her life, and she wants to go on a mission next year. So thats pretty sweet. It's cool that the gospel helps you progress and change a lot. I think a lot of people say that there isn't a need for religion, or they don't need to go to church, they can just believe in God, but it's crazy how much someone can change by just learning and applying things they learn at church. It's like once you start it's hard to stop. This reminds me of one of scriptures that I really like, in Mosiah 5:2:

And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

It's  literally exactly like that, she realized she needed to change her life and live the gospel, and now she realizes what's good for her and what's bad, made the changes and is a lot happier.  It's pretty cool. 

There is an activity Saturday in the Stake, "missionary for a day" and we have been running around like crazy trying to organize that.  All the youth from the stake are going to leave and proselyte with us for a day and have a few training sessions. So that should be pretty fun to try to get the youth excited about missionary work. 

This past week we helped organize a service activity with the Elders Quorom. And this morning we went and helped a lady clean up her yard, fix her house, and chop down a tree. There was a lottt to do, it was actally in pretty bad shape, and her wall was about to fall down and a tree was about to fall onto her house, but i think we cleaned up pretty well. She had a bunch of fire wood that she didn't want and told us to throw it away, but a member said that the bread shops always use lots of fire wood to cook bread in their big stoves so we threw it all in the back of the truck and took it to the bread shop down the street and they were pretty happy to have it and gave us free bread. And the best part was that Jorge, the guy that just got baptized came and was helping and he got to know some of the members of the quorom a little bit better and I think it was a good experience for him. We always had trouble getting converts to have good relations with the members, but I think service is perfect.  

My companion is the President's secretary. He's in charge of all the travels of missionaries, pensions and organizing interviews and stuff. But we are always together here and we end up working together a lot because basically for everything here you need money. So everyone does their stuff and then works through me to pay for it. There is the travel/housing secretary, materials, and registros y tramites... I forgot how to say it in English. 

Thanks for the pictures! But thanks for everything! And thanks for the email!!!

Have a nice week!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Week 59: Posadas, Argentina

This week went by super super fast.  We had a conference here in Posadas and all the leaders from the mission came, so we were really busy organizing that.  Basically just not sleeping very much, getting home late, and leaving the house early. But it's pretty fun.  When you are doing stuff all day you don't really get tired because you're doing stuff constantly, and you go home at night and just kind of sleep as soon as you hit the bed and wake up some how kind of rejuvenated. 

My trainer from the office left yesterday, so now I'm on my own pretty much, just as a bunch of problems start. I've heard that the US renounced the peso, or something like that, and now lots of the ATMs dont work and missionaries are having troubles getting money, and President as well. SO it should be a super busy next few days. 

We also have a baptism Saturday of this super cool guy named Jorge, so we are excited for that.   But afterwards we don't really have too many investigators, just some less active families we are helping, and some recent converts that we are helping as well. 

But the office here is pretty cool because it's really like a job, like bascially some days 7:00 to 5:00 and then going out and working on the spiritual side, so it's like balancing work and a family, or work and a calling, and its pretty hard, haha. But I think it is good training.  But thanks for the letter and I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 58: Posadas, Argentina

Well, the time here in the office definitely goes by a lot faster than it does in the field. I guess cause there is always a lot to do and there is a never ending list of tasks and projects to finish. For example, Elder Parks who is leaving the office soon, found a problem from before that was on the credit card of President LaPierre that is super big, so we have been putting a lot of time into that trying to fix it and coming in and staying up late to try to get everything done.  But it's pretty fun, when there's stuff to do constantly the time just kinda flies by. But we also had some good experiences this week.

I dont think the ward had had a ward council for a while, but we decided to have one and presented our ward with the mission plan that we made in between the 6 of us missionaries that are here in the ward. We got there and it went super well. All the members got pretty excited about doing it, but also started to talk about some of the problems they were having and it was a pretty productive meeting.  But then the bishop gave a talk as well in sacrament meeting about putting into practice the ward mission plan. So that was pretty cool.   

I'm excited for General Conference this weekend to see what the leaders tell us about what we should be doing.
Conference will be good, I feel like the whole church is kinda pushing a lot for the work of salvation and it's pretty cool to see it all unfolding.

It was always really interesting because it seemed like the missionaries were always called to give blessing to the sick because the members always knew the missioanries were like 24 hours available.  Sometimes the members weren't as available and they were scared to call each other and interrupt their day and ask them for a blessing. But one of the men in the quorum kinda brought it up and now we are having the members give blessings.  Now we always call members and if there are no members to do it we do it.  There are a lot of men that have the Priesthood here, they just don't really know how to use it, or haven't used it in a long time, so that was interesting.

We are always trying to help the members do a little bit a service. Whenever we ask the members, or anyone, if we can do anything to help them, they always say no.  But then we started explaining that by them giving us service to do, we can invite other members to come help from the quorum.  That way they can come and participate and feel good and get more involved.  We did a project the other day-we painted a house of a less active family and had 4 members show up to help as well, one being less active as well.  They all loved it and had a great time and then in the quorum meeting at church the next day the people that went shared a little bit of their experience.  Also, the less active that's coming back got up and gave a super cool testimony of his experience-that was pretty sweet.  And even better, the whole family came to church.  Since that day they have stopped smoking and committed to start getting ready to go to the temple.  While we did the service, the first counselor of the ward, who is super cool, started talking to them about their family and how they could improve their relationship as family.  The counselor found there were a lot of problems, so he sent some goals with them and they've been doing super well. 

We also went and did divisiones with the Bishop and another kid that is 19; he doesn't really want to go on a  mission, but we went and did visits with him and have had a few lessons with him.  He was like, yeah well, the missionaries never really invited me before.  So he went with us and really liked it, and also gave his testimony the next day about working in the church and how good he felt after he went with us, so that was pretty awesome. 

We are also teaching this guy, Jorge, that is a brother of a member.  He wants to get baptized next week and is receiving all the lessons really well and is a really cool gu
y. He said he worked in construction and he was always with his buddies from construction.  They were always doing drugs and drinking and doing stuff like that.   He said he stopped working there and really felt bad about all the stuff he did and saw.  He wants to change, so we started teaching him and he really likes the church so far.  We shall this week what happens with him. 

Things at the office are going pretty well, next week there is a conference with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders.  We are actually invited as well, but we have to set up and buy all the stuff for it and it gets pretty crazy. 

Then next week there is an activity for the youth where all the youth are going to leave with the missionaries to go teach for a day.  All of them in the stake are invited and we are trying to get set up and organized for that as well.   One of the assisstants and I are in charge of training the missionaries here in Posadas as to what exactly they are going to have to do and what they should do with the youth when they do the activity. So that should be pretty fun. 

My assignment here in the office is going pretty well, I'll have a Peruvian companion next week when Elder Parks leaves. But yeah, I basically just have to make sure everyone has money. But I think the toughest part is that I actually have to make some deciones sometimes on how to spend money. Like there aren't really set payments sometimes and I have to tell missionaries, "Well I think there is a better option," or "that's really not something that I can reimburse…," or stuff like that. So I'm pretty much the most loved missionary for giving people their money, but also the most hated when sometimes the money isn't always there.... haha, but it's not too bad. 

Our ward is about 100 people, we have a goal to get the attendance up to 110 and keep it there solid and then keep growing. But there are some really cool members, I like it a lot. 

It was a pretty good week all in all. We found an apartment, but President LaPierre thought it was too big… haha, but I think we are going to get it and have all the leaders and people that come for conferences sleep on cots in our house just to make things easier and not have to pay for hotels.  
Thanks for everything and have a great weeek!!!!!!

Love, Elder Roberts