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Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 96: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay (final post)

Hey mom i was just wondering if we can make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and scalloped potatoes on Wednesday,... and fruit smoothies/milkshakes.


Ben's mom here…

(The photos above are of Ben's 20th birthday dinner-cow head and tongue.)

I don't think Ben had much time to write today, so it was short and to the point.  :)

It is hard to believe Ben's mission is coming to an end tomorrow.  We have been posting his emails for over 100 weeks; the time has gone quickly (although at first to his mother it didn't.)  Thanks to all of you for reading his posts and for thinking about Elder Roberts.  I know he has appreciated, as have we, all the thoughts, prayers, and support.  We are anxious to see him on Wednesday, and it looks like we'll be enjoying a few of his favorite foods on Wednesday.  

The Roberts Family

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 95: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

Well, this week was pretty great. I did divisiones twice and we were running all over the place, but i got to eat lunch with this super rich guy who is a member and is a doctor and studied at Harvard.  Now he lives here in Ciudad del Este, and I`m pretty sure this week we are going to eat with him again and have cow head. Should be pretty fun. 

Anyway, we had a few days that were kind of iffy. I`ve realized that this is a kinda tough area, half of the people only speak Guarni and it's too dangerous to be there at night past about 6:00.  There are a lot of people that aren`t very open to the message, haha, but we are trying to work off references more and working with members. We went to teach this guy named Hector who has been talking for about 2 months to the missionaries and is really cool, he understands everything.  His friend was also over and we had a super good lesson with him.  We explained the restoration and he understood perfectly and then asked if we could read part of the Book of Mormon with him, so we read 3 Nephi chapter 11, the whole chapter, and he really enjoyed it.  We are planning on meeting with him later on. But it was really good.

Things are going pretty well though, and last night we got to cross over through Brazil to Argentina, so we were in Brazil for about 20 minutes driving to get to the Argentine bridge.  We stayed the night at the elders pension there in Igauzu, and this morning got to go see the water falls. They were really really crazy. Super huge, and just really extensive-like you just keep walking around and there are more waterfalls everywhere. It's a huge park and there are tons of people that go, but it was really crazy how big they are. I'm kind of upset because i can't send pictures off this computer.  I'm going to try another, but it was great. We got back kind of late though due to some problems of just us not knowing how to get back exactly, but we took a bus and then walked a little bit then took another bus and walked some more and finally got home. But it was super fun, and nice to see everyone else from my group again. 

But it's pretty crazy that this is basically my last pday and that next week I'll be in Posadas on Monday getting ready to go home. It's kind of hard to believe, and i don't think its really hit me yet, but hopefully it doesn't hit me till Monday. I`ll try to write some more on Monday and send some pictures. 

Thanks for everything,

love, Elder Roberts

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 94: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

This week was pretty good, some ups and downs like every week. The leader conference we had was really good, we actually all went up in a van to the cross of Santa Ana in a little conference room there which was  weird, but it was cool to have the meeting in a different place. We changed a few things with the key indicators and now we report on how many progressing investigators we have and how many new investigators we have every week. I think it will help push all of the us to find more people and get more people ready for baptism. 

That is crazy though that school is over, and that Ethan is leaving on his mission. Time goes by pretty fast. Next Monday I'll be heading to Igauzu, which should be pretty awesome. I'm excited, I just hope it doesn't rain.
So we didn't get back from Posadas till Tuesday night and it rained really hard on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday... haha so that was kind of tough, but it was still good.  We found a cool family that lives next to a family we were teaching and they were like, "Well we always see you guys walk by and we always wondered why you never came to our house," haha. So we are teaching them tonight.  And the recent converts and less actives we are working with are doing really well. Not a whole lot of people came to church because it was raining super hard.  When we got there it was just us, the quorum president, branch president, and stake secretary for the priesthood class.  But 36 people showed up in the end. 

Anyway life is pretty good, the mission is going well, it's weird that I only have 2 weeks left, but I'm going to try my best to take advantage of them. 

Thanks for the letter and i hope everyone has a great week!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 93: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay


This week went pretty well. It was sunny all week and didn't rain once, which was a miracle haha.  So that was nice, but we had some bad luck just with appointments falling through and stuff like that, but Sunday went really well.  There was a less active family of 4 that we are working with that went to church, and then this other kid who is 19 that we are helping out a little bit who wants to go on a mission, he came as well.  Then our investigator who is hopefully getting baptized in two weeks came as well, and is doing really well, but she says she wants her sister to come and be here for her baptism. I think she is pretty set on making the decision, it's just when. So we shall she what happens this week. 

The zone is doing really well though, they`re almost all new.   Eight missionaries are in their training, but they are all doing well and having a good time and having baptisms, so we have been doing baptismal interviews this week and divisions;  it's been pretty good. 

There is a family that we eat lunch with every Thursday and they are from Asuncion.  Their whole family are members, except one sister and her husband and daughter who live right around the corner.  Since I've been here we have been on and off talking to them and had one lesson, but they are pretty inconsistent and never want to commit to a day or time to sit down and talk.  But yesterday we went out to visit a few neighbors of the member and none of them were home, so we went and visited this sister and her husband who aren't members and we had a really good lesson.  The guy starting crying and told us how he regretted not listening to God, or not listening to the message of the gospel before hand, and that he felt like he missed out on a lot of the blessing he could have had if he would have listened earlier.  He told us he wanted to go to church, so that was cool

Then our lesson we had planned for at 8pm fell through, so we were like dang.  Sunday night here everyone goes to bed at about 7:30, we wondered what to do so we just decided to walk around and see if anyone was awake.  The first house we clapped the guy let us in, brought us chairs, and told us he had been to church before and that he liked it and wanted to learn more-so that was cool.  It just humbled us and taught us that even at night in the dark there are still people out there ready to listen. 

Everything is going well though, I'm here in Encarnacion today.  We have a leadership conference in Posadas later today and tomorrow and I'm actually writing in a free public library... which i didn't know existed in Paraguay. 

But everything is going well, thanks for the letter and for everything and have a great week!!

love, Elder Roberts

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 92: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

hahaha Liam got his license... I'm scared to drive with him. Actually I'm scared to drive because I've been driving in Argentina and i probably picked up some bad habits from driving here. But anyway, sounds like everyone is excited that school is almost out.  But yeah its been a little rainy and it gets dark really really early. We try to set appointments up for the night time every day because if not it's pretty tough talking to people. 

Anyway this week was good, i did divisiones again with one of the new missionaries and we have divisiones planned for tomorrow with Elder Magdaleno and the elder he is training to do a baptismal interview.  We will probably be doing divisiones every week until the end.  Lots of new missionaries and stuff to do and learn. But we had stake conference and a conference with Elder Vinas who is a seventy and it was great.  The conference we had with him as missionaries was really good, he talked a lot about the atonement and helping people understand how the atonement is necessary in their lives and explained that only people who are truly humble will be able to accept the message because they will realize that they can't do everything alone.
The Sunday night session of stake conference, which we got permission to go too, was fantastic though, i really really enjoyed it, and Elder Viñas was a great speaker. The Sunday morning session was good as well but the whole church got filled up to the max and then they set up a huge pavilion on the soccer court outside with about 150 chairs and that all got filled up as well. I stood up the whole time, so i couldn't really pay attention really well, but our investigator that went really enjoyed it. She is planning on getting baptized the 13th, but we shall see this week about the final preparations. 
Anyway, Elder Viñas talked about the sacrament and how when we take the sacrament we don't automatically get rid of our sins, but that it is a start of the remission of our sins and that we need to go every single week to partake of the sacrament to be able to complete the repentance process.  He kind of dropped cane, or was really to the point with everyone about going to church, even if it is raining or we are tired.  It was super good, i really enjoyed it.
We are also working with a few less active people that are progressing and are doing well, one kid who wants to go o a mission apparently. I gave him a shirt and tie and he came to conference with us so that was cool.
But other than that i am just trying to stay focused and work till the end. Today we wet to Itapu, the big dam here, ,which was pretty cool.
Thanks for everything!

love, elder roberts

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 91: Ciudad del Este, Paraguay

 This week was pretty great. I left the office Wednesday and i think i taught everything to Elder Johnson he needed to know... I hope haha. But yeah, so i came Wednesday night.  Our pension is actually pretty nice, no leaking windows and I haven't seen a cockroach yet, just we don't have hot water right now but it's cool. Our area is really cool as well, apparently it's the most dangerous area in the mission, it's right on the Brazilian border where a lot of people smuggle drugs and other stuff across at night, so we stay away from that part.  But I haven't seen anything crazy yet. But it's really cool, Elder Thomas and i get along really well and are having fun together, and the zone is pretty cool.  Elder Litchfield is in my zone again, he was the one I talked to before the mission.  I was his zone leader before, then he was my zone leader, and now I'm his zone leader again haha.. But yeah, there haven't been any problems yet, everything is going well. 
I did divsiones with one of the newer missionaries Friday which went well, he is really good; he is Elder Reyes from Chile.  We went to one of his investigators houses and there was a big storm coming and she was trying to cut her tree down.  She couldn't, so we helped her cut her tree down and she was telling us how grateful she was and that she didn't know what she would have done if we wouldn't have gone by.  So that was fun, hopefully she can get to know the church a little bit more.   Service is always a good way of getting to know people better. 

We have some cool investigators though, there is this lady named Lurdes who is reading the Book of Mormon and she really liked Mosiah 18:8-10.

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

She told us that she felt like verse 10 was talking to her and she made the decision to be baptized next month, so we are working with her.  Also, some less active people came to church which was cool, as well as three other investigators that we are working with.  Well two of them are new, so we are going to visit them this week. But the work seems to be going pretty well.  The branch has about 50-60 people usually, but 70 came yesterday. Last night there was a huge rainstorm and we got kinda wet and there was tons and tons of mud, but it's kind of nice being a regular missionary and walking around in the rain at night where its really dark getting rejected haha. I feel like a missionary now rather than being in the truck in the office. 

There are some good members though, we have lunch almost every day with them and there are a few kids getting ready to go on misisons that are willing to help out with missionary work. Being back in Paraguay is cool though, it's fun, and different so i can't complain.  My first area is pretty close by, it's in our zone and this week we have the conference with the Seventy, so we are trying to organize the food and stuff for that and do divisiones and plan an activity, so we are pretty busy which is good. I don't feel like I'm going to finish my mission soon, so hopefully i can keep going with that same mindset.  This weekend is stake conference, so hopefully I'll get to see some people that I met before. 

Thanks for writing and for the update, have a great week!!!

Elder Roberts

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 90: Posadas, Argentina

Hello everyone... IM GOING TO PARAGUAY... TO CIUDAD DEL ESTE RAMA 6! I´m pretty excited, I´ll be with Elder Thomas and we are zone leaders together, so it should be busy but super fun. There are a lot of good missionaries in our zone, so i think it'll be a lot of fun. Anyway, I´ll be writing next monday!! 


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Week 89: Posadas, Argentina

Yeah............. my flight information came in....... pretty weird. My last pday in the office and the last transfer is coming up. I think I'll know soon where i am going, which is one of the advantages of the office haha, finding out early the transfers to be able to plan for everything. I´m hoping i get to go to Paraguay. 

This week was pretty good though, kinda crazy on Monday because all the zone leaders and sister training leaders came in and we have to account for the money they have to do divisions which is about a 10 hour project.  I actually didn't have my passport because it got too full and we sent it to Buenos Aires to get more pages added, so Elder Johnson crossed over and did everything in Paraguay, I think it was an interesting experience for him because he had never done it before.  I guess that is the best way to learn. Now it's time to go over everything and make sure he´s got it done before i head out. There are 15 missionaries leaving this change and 17 coming, so it should be a busy next week, I probably won´t be able to write.  I'll probably let you know where I'm going, but that's about it.  I'll have a regular pday next next Monday.

Yesterday there was no power in the office, so elder Worthington and I went and did divisions all day and it was actually pretty nice to get out all day and work. The night before was the Iguazu trip and we had finished cleaning up from the leadership council and everything at about 11:00.  At 11:30 i got out of the shower and realized we hadn't given anyone the money to travel or get in to the park in Iguazu.  So we went back to the office and ended up getting home at 2:30am.  So yesterday we were working all day and i may have fallen asleep during a lesson haha, but things went really well. We talked to one of our investigators who accepted the invitation to get baptized and there is a partial member family that we are working with as well who are really  cool.  Also, a few other investigators are doing well, so things are not going to badly. I think i learned it's important to work hard even if you are leaving.  President always tells us we aren't here to work for ourselves or to try to gain recognition, but to help God´s work. Even if we are leaving an area or have been there a long time and we don't see that there will be a baptism or something while we are still there, it doesn't matter because the only thing that matters is that we are working hard and trying to help the work continue. It was something that was tough for me earlier in the mission, but I've definitely learned the importance of that principle. 

Today, Brother Pereya, the taxi guy, had all 9 of us plus 2 other elders here over for lunch haha 11 of us because it's our last week.  Elder Magdaleno, Choez and I are all leaving the office.   The lunch was really nice. It´ll be weird leaving an area and ward that i have been in for so long, but i think change is good. 

I´ll have to think about the classes and the schedule and stuff that you sent me, but it looks okay.  I'll let you know, I'll see if i can get some time to look at the byu website. 

Thanks for everything and have a great weekend!!

Love, Elder Roberts

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Week 88:Posadas, Argentina

My week was pretttty great. There isn´t too much that is new, just trying to get everything cleaned up and stuff Elder Johnson's head with all the financial knowledge he will need. I made a manual on the computer and tried to explain everything, but i feel like everyday i keep adding stuff because i always forget.. 

But that is so cool Ethan got his call to Washington State!!! But i missed him by two weeks... but that is pretty cool, and really soon-in about a month! But good for him. Is anyone else from the ward planning on going this year? 

That sounds pretty scary about the riots in Baltimore though. 

This is my second to last pday here in the office.  This weekend we have Mothers Day, then the zone leader conference Monday andTuesday, and all the people going home this month are heading to Iguazu Falls on Wednesday, then next weekend we are planning for transfers, and next Sunday is the Cordoba temple dedication. There aren't any church meetings in all of Argentina next Sunday, and the broadcast is going to be in all the stake centers.  Only people with temple recommends can attend. It should be pretty cool. Here in Posadas it's still not the closest temple, the people here still go to the Asuncion temple, but it is still exciting that there are now two temples in Argentina. 

After our drought of not finding very many people to teach we have found a lot of new ones. This week we were contacting and we found this less active guy that i had met right when i got here, but then never saw him again. He had super long hair and used to use drugs i think, but he told us he wanted to change, wanted to cut his hair and buy himself some clothes and go to church.  So the very next day we took the clippers and some clothes that a member had given away, and i cut his hair and we gave him a gray button up shirt and some jeans.  He was super excited and he showed up to the baptism that night and started talking to all the young single adults there and really enjoyed it.  He is pretty cool. 

Saturday night to Sunday morning at 11:00 there was a torrential downpour in all of the mission, in every single area, and the church attendance was pretty shaken.  There were three places where only the missionaries showed up to church, and a lot of places with less than 20. I think we had about 50, i think half of what we usually have, but the rain really drove people away. 

We also found a partial member family and a really,really cool family who let us in and we talked to them and showed them some videos on  They said they would start reading the Book of Mormon.  We have found some really cool people just as i am getting ready to leave, but it's still nice to have met them and started helping them to learn more about the church. 

The classes for BYU we can talk about on sunday

Thanks for the letter and have a great weekend!!!

See you sunday!!

Elder Roberts