Elder Luke Roberts

Elder Luke  Roberts

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas was wonderful

It was sooo nice to talk to everyone on Christmas!!! Everybody looked so great! To be honest I was nervous about talking to the family because I didn't want to have that homesick feeling but when I finished, it made me want to get right back to work and just keep going! It was so nice to be reminded of how much love I have from home. So it was really uplifting for me and so nice to say hello to everyone!!! After that we started walking around talking to lots of people again haha. But it was awesome! Christmas eve was the best. 
By the way I'm writing you right now because we got to go to the temple so they switched our P-day. So sorry it's late! But merry Christmas!!
Christmas Eve, these guys are so cool!
We thought it would be fun to dress up and read the story of Christ's birth and sing hymns
This week has been awesome!! Really busy and lots of people out of town. A lot of the people who live here aren't really from here. They move here from their province for work. So a lot of people went back home for the holidays. 

   This season we have really been working on (as a misson) talking to more people. We have lots of success and blessings here. We have a new Chinese investigator who is really cool!! We met him by just talking to him on the side of the street. But, we are going to turn him over to the Sister Missionaries who are in the international ward. He will have more fellowshippers and things in common with that ward even though he is great in Tagalog. English is easier for him to speak.
Our tidy apartment
Dinner at a members house.  Yummy
We have also been working with the Nedia family. They really love the gospel and Book of Mormon. Their challenge has been getting to church and finish their marriage papers but they are doing really well.  
Lots of dogs here and cats in the streets. But actually they look nicer then the dogs in my first area. 
We ride around in lots of Jeenpies here. They look like a really long Jeep but then the back is open and people just run and hop on. Like a bus. So when we hop on it's really crowded and sweaty and hot. But we always try and talk to people about the gospel. This week I had a cool experience where I was teaching this lady about our message on this Jeepnie and I noticed the person next to her was listening really intently... So I started involving her in the discussion as well! Then the person who was in front of us blurted out... She wants to hear your message too! I looked over and saw another lady, who now was blushing, that wanted to hear the message too! So I just kept going and going. Lots of planting seeds and things like that. You never know what good will come from opening your mouth and speaking . Even if the person who you are talking to isn't listening. Somebody else could be. And they usually always are. 
Here we also have lots of people come up to us and tell us how wrong we are according to their Bible verses they share haha. We don't like to engage them in the battle they are looking for. They are never interested in a message. They just want us to feel that we are wrong or something. Lots of people try and bash us here. 
Merry Christmas, 
p.s. If you want to know if the Book of Mormon is true, read and pray. That is what we tell them, it's simple. Yet powerfully true 
Love Elder Roberts

Monday, December 21, 2015

Typhoon passing through

Hello everyone!  It does NOT feel like Christmas because there is no snow haha. But the members are being
pretty cool and having us over and stuff.  Here is a sample of the yummy meal we had at a members house this week.
Really really tall buildings
 Well, we had a typhoon this week. When that happens I have to keep constant tabs on the sisters in my district. Always seeing where they are, if they are okay. Because there are big floods here!! In our area. Up to our knees, but in some other areas it is up to the their neck in some places. But it's passed now so life is good. 
My companion and I are doing great. I'm really helping him with his English and he is helping me with his Tagalog. His branch is really proud of him!! He is the first missionary from his branch!! How cool is that? 

The few the proud, the Coron Missionaries
Tonight the Bishop is taking us to a buffet christmas eve so that's super nice!!! I'll send pics hehe :) 
 Also, we share the ward with a sister companionship. Oh, and I forgot to tell you. I was 1 of 6 chosen by President Ostler to be interviewed by Elder Bowen ( a member of the quorum of the 70) and an area presidency here. He knew Bishop Monson! I guess he was his young men's leader and bishop up in Idaho.  Anyways, in the interview, Elder Bowen is really close to the Spirit and he just asks random questions according to the spirit for the interview. It was a mission tour. Very cool experience. Once in a lifetime. I loved it. Life is good here!  This week has been busy but good!  We had some new investigators and the typhoons kept us pretty busy with all the flooding which slowed down the work of course.  But the work moves on!  
Dirty job, but somone's got to do it
It's been great to gather people together and share the story of Christ and strengthen their testimony.  Sharing the message of Christ around this season has really strengthened my testimony of him, and his life. I know he lives.  I know He is the Christ and He is the way back home.  I can't wait for our Christmas Skype,
Love Elder Roberts
Here's some pics of our study area

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Party

This new transfer has been crazy!! But lots of miracles as we have done our best. Here in Makati, I've traded mountains for towering buildings, dirt roads for cement, small branch to large ward... Feels totally different but the work is the same. Different approaches here though, in Coron we could walk up to a small hut and teach some lessons but here is a little different.  This week we also had our mission Christmas Party.
Makati District
So my companion and I had to find all the old investigators because they had some close to baptism apparently. So we had only a road name and the last name Pelayo and set out to find him. The street was HUGE!! People laughed at us as we asked if they knew this name, "this street is huge... and has 1000s of people" they would tell us. But we had to find him. We stopped in the road... Just kinda overwhelmed. Then just waiting, mostly just not knowing where to go next. After a few minutes a man came out and asked us if we were Mormons, we said yes. He told us his name was Fred Pelayo. He had a feeling to look out his window. He saw 2 missionaries... standing in the road not knowing what to do next. He invited us in. We taught a great lesson and have been visiting him ever since. He is 64 and from a church that is infamous for harassing the missionaries here. But he knows that what we teach is the actual interpretation of the Bible. That is what he loves the most. So he is very excited for his baptism. Our apartment is ummm... not like Coron. There's lots of roaches haha. But it's starting to feel like home now... you know you just get used to it  :)
I love those socks you sent me!! So nice!! Also I really enjoy everything you sent in the packages... truly there isn't anything I don't use or used. Oh man. There is a family with a kid just like Trevor!!!! I mean holy cow.... He has huge collections.... of nic nacs and loves mine craft and just acts like Trevor, very polite but lots of energy. Then, when I thought he could not be any more like Trevor he comes running out of the back room with a rubix cube haha.  Saying Elder Roberts can you do these?? they are my favorite! Oh man I was laughing so hard.... The last name is Cheng.  The dad is in the Bishopric and they are just the coolest!!! The members really love the missionaries here. Yes we cook lunch at the apartment, lots of Elders eat out and lots don't. But my companion is from the same province as my trainer, and for some reason they are known for being good cooks!! So he makes Adobo, and fried fish, and lots of yummy things!!!    Also, our chapel is the Buendia chapel. The chapel here in the Philippines. Dedicated by Pres. Hinckley or something. At the time, there wasn't much around. Now it is so tiny (in comparison) to the giant buildings and businesses. The lot is worth so much!! 
   We do lots of just tracking here. Heavenly Father is preparing people all the time. We just have to find the SEEKERS. Not just the people who are nice and say yes.  
    The ward really treats the missionaries VIP here. We have lots of dinner appointments set up! 
   Chris Ward sent me an email and talked about some of the names here in the Philippines. Like Boy and Girl and just random names. We have a member that works with us all the time and his name is Lucky. So it reminded me of that. They have lots of unique names here, some Filipino, some western, some of everything.  
    Also we have a new investigator family that came to church! So that's great news and so very helpful if they come to church. That's usually one of the biggest barriers for our investigators here. 
Love Elder Roberts

Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm the new Relief Society President! Well, sort of

Life in the city of Makati will be a polar opposite experience from my first area, the island of Coron, but it will be an adventure for sure.  A lot of unknowns at this point, but here I go.
My zone.  Can you find me? Check out the tall red head in the middle.  No he isn't standing on something
Hello Everyone!! I don't have much time to write because things are so different and new and we have so much work to do.  I just got my birthday package and I love love love it.  I love all the treats and so does my companion.  
Me and my Comp. Elder Adawag
He is brand new, fresh from the MTC.  He speaks basically no English.... And Tagalog is not his first language so even that comes kind of slow for him sometimes. He is from the Northern Philippines and lives in a small bamboo hut. He is born in the covenant and loves that. Everyone's letters really lift my spirits.  This has been the hardest week of my mission. So hard. So I'm training, which is awesome!! It's super rare for missionaries to train this early in their mission. Also I'm district leader here in Makati. My district is all Sisters haha, so they call my position in the mission "Relief Society President". The Sisters are super sharp, also the Sister training leaders are in my district which is cool. And I'm shotgunning, or freshstarting. Which means two missionaries leave an area then two new missionaries are assigned. So obviously we don't know the area. And the past Elders didn't update the area book so we don't know who the past investigators are haha. So stressful. Also trying to find the right Jeepnies and streets and all of the huge buildings and lots of people.  Jeepnies are the most popular means of public transportation.  They are known for their crowded seating and over the top excessive decorations.

I really miss my first area to be honest. But I know things will get better soon. Please keep praying for me. I have the hardest group of assignments in the mission. It's called Shotgun District Training. It's really rare and even more rare for somebody so young in the mission. But it will be okay. The ward is really strong!! We had stake conference on Sunday so we saw Sister Lemmon. I'm glad she sent a pic to you guys.   Here are a couple of pics that I didn't send last week from my last P-day in Coron.
Rugby on the beach.  Invisible ball

Don't worry, I'm not snorkeling, I just stuck my camera under the water because I could see so many fish

Love Elder Roberts

Monday, November 30, 2015

Good Bye Beautiful Coron

This has been another good week. Very busy. My companion and I created and presented a leadership training seminar for the branch. Lots of people attended and it was very interactive and we had lots of participation. It was really fun. The plan for Coron is that when it gets strong enough here we will be able to expand to all the islands that we can see around us. Including lots of little settlements and towns around the island. So we are working hard to set Coron up as the foundation. It will take years but there is lots of progress everyday. We got to go Island hopping today for P-day with permission. We had to get special permission straight from our mission pres but we went to Kayangan Lake by boat!!! Oh man. It's so nice!!! Look it up!! It's the purest lake in all of the Philippines!!!! It was so dang fun and beautiful!!! You would not even believe it! !t's a lake in the mountain of a small neighboring island. 
Purest Lake in all of Philippines
Words can't describe this lake
Elder Tu'ua and Mt. Tapias in the background that we climbed sometimes
Yep, fish

So we got to climb up this mountain a ways and then check out the lake. While we were climbing up I accidentally bumped into somebody and said "oops sorry" and helped them up. The family that we went with laughed and said "oh man Elder Roberts, that's a famous actress in the Philippines! Everyone loves her!"  Haha so that was unusual.  So see, I do know Philippine culture.  It was incredible. So beautiful. A great way to spend my last P-day here. I will be transferred in a couple days. Today on P-day I got to talk to a tourist from France while we were on the beach skipping rocks. He said he actually saw missionaries before in Tokyo, and again in California, and now here in the Philippines. So it's cool that the missionaries just keep approaching him and talking to him, he loves to talk to us.
Brother Herman made all of these matching shirts for us!
We chose lucky #16 of course (my soccer #)
This may or may not have been a little staged

Heavenly Father prepares people little by little. This man from France is just a small example of people we get to talk to all the time. But Heavenly Father is aware of all his children. So I'm being transferred. But you will hear more about it from the mission I think. I'm being sent to the richest part of the Philippines. Extremely cosmopolitan. Lots and lots of wealthy people... is perhaps an understatement. Lots of international people as well. My new area is Makati. Makati is one of the sixteen cities that make up Metro Manila. The city of Makati has a total land area of about 10 miles.  Though the population of Makati is about half a million, the daytime population of the city is estimated to be more than one million during a typical working day because of the large number of people who go to the city to work, shop and do business.  I'm about 20 min. from the airport.  There are 2 stakes in Makati, so that will be very different for me coming from Coron where we have just a branch.  It will be sad to leave this beautiful island and the people.  So I'm leaving Coron in 2 days and can pick up the packages that have been sitting there at the mission home for me then. Thank you a million times over!!!  Apparently the internet is amazing on the mainland. So I look forward to that!!!  I love you all and thank you for your supportive emails, I live for them, I love you,
Elder Roberts 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Baptism in the "Blue Tub" and U of U tourists??

  This week has really been crazy good!! Lots of cool things have been happening.
First off a baptism for Jonel
"The blue tub"
Love the Dizon Family
Cleaning out the baptismal "font"
We found Dexter this week!! It was actually a miracle that we found
him. We were over in a far place in our area visiting a part member
family that we have been working with, and we just happened to run
into this kid working on construction, so we went over to talk to him and 
it turns out he recognized me and said Dexter is over there. So we followed 
around the side of the mountain. 
It's kinda thick jungle but lots and lots of flowers and garden things and
we decided to just keep following the mountain. We came around to a
little round bamboo cottage with lots of flowers and huge palm plants.
We were just thinking what in the world. Turns out Dexter was in there
and welcomed us in. He gave us some kind of plant that he had been
boiling, I forget the name but it's a mix of yam and potato. He had
been sick for weeks and has been staying in this new area. He was so
happy to see us!! (I wasn't able to email last week but that's when
this took place). We taught him a great lesson and he said he didn't feel
sick when we taught him. We gave him a blessing and he also came to
church. He is now looking forward to a Christmas baptism.

    When we were over at the Dizon's house the other day they have been having
lots of cool experiences. Sister Dizon went to the other side of the
island to do her family booklet for temple work. She said when she
went to her fathers grave she saw the missionaries teaching him. But
told us she was really confused and was kinda scared. We talked to her
and told her about missionaries on the other side teaching her family.
She had also been having some ancestors visit her at night. Michelle was
upset when we went over because she told us at school her history
teachers and others were trashing and degrading Joseph Smith to her
because they know she is a member now. We told her that's now part of
being in the church, and his name will be had for good and evil across
the world. Her testimony is so strong on the Book of Mormon that it
doesn't phase her that much.

P-day fun at The River House
   We have been working with the Sales family as well. While we were
over there I guess a brother-in-law came and starting listening, we
were super happy that he joined and asked if he had any questions. He
said yes I do, and then went off and just told us for 10 minutes how
wrong we are and kinda slamming us and the church. So I guess he
didn't have a question after all... Maybe just a comment haha. But it
really turned out to our benefit. As soon he finished I was kind of
trying not to laugh because I couldn't believe what just happened but
we then bore our testimonies to him and then again to the family. The
spirit was so strong and it really turned out to be very powerful and
helped them really recognize us as who we are. Our church is really
small compared to others here. We walk by churches with hundreds of
people. People all really live their religion here. Everyone has
church and Bible study and everything like that. Our church is not new
here so Elder Tu'ua and I made it a goal to not let anyone pass
without us talking to them and inviting to come unto to Christ. From
this we have had lots of new investigators and lots of planting seeds.
    When we were coming down off the mountain visiting a member
family we stumbled into the road and these tourist from down the road
starting taking pictures of us. They came over to and us and said, Hey
Mormons! It was 2 guys from Salt Lake and 1 guy from Anchorage. They
were here on a cruise stop. It's the first one I've seen stop here but
they said they came from Singapore. They could not believe that there
were missionaries here and thought that was so cool!! They were soo
happy to see us and it was so cool to talk to them. 1 was an RM but I
don't know about the other 2. The other was wearing a U of U hat and I
just couldn't believe that we ran into them here. They live like 10
minutes from my house. So that was kinda crazy to run into them here.
    One of the guys we talked to this week turns out to be a tricycle
driver! He loves us. Whenever he sees us walking he gives us a free
ride if he is not busy.
    On friday we went to a really far part of our area. A small
village on the coast. We were looking for a referral. But didn't find
him but we talked to lots of fishermen and they were soo nice. Some
day when they put a lot of Missionaries on this island all those
people we meet will have another chance. They just live so far away
from the church it can be hard for them to get there. But after lots
and lots of walking we talked to as many people as we could out there
to at least get the church's name out and get them familiar with the
    Also this week we had a cool experience with an old couple we are
teaching. She was coming down the mountain to get medicine for her
husband and had a "voice in her head tell her to turn back." When she
went back she heard our voices coming around the bend.

     When we were visiting a Less Active and Part member family she
pulled out 2 Books of Mormon. Brand new. She said her husband
(non-member) found them in the trash in the back of the truck. He is
the truck driver for the truck. He went and got them out and gave them
to his wife. I was really surprised because he doesn't really like the
church. I'm grateful for his respect for the Books. But to my
surprise, the names of the Elders on the inside were the names of the
first missionaries on the island.
This is the lady whose husband found the Books of Mormon in the trash
Today our zone leaders are coming in so that will be so fun!  1 Filipino and 1 American.  Boy did I take for granted a big ward and church back home.  Here, if something is going on, the missionaries are in charge and run the whole thing.  It's hard work but things are going great.  It's getting really hot here though I'd rather be hot than cold in Siberia or something.  I feel like I'm growing here on my mission (height in addition to spiritually).  I'm probably a nice 6 feet now.  But I feel so tall here.  Everyone is so short.   I ate Ox tongue and lots of squid this week. I feel like I ate lots
of weird meat with my other companion but he never told me what we were eating.

  Love Elder Roberts

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fun P-day at The River House

Sooooo, sorry about this short email but the Co family took us to The River House and we have very little time left to email, but I hope you enjoy these pics.  It's a boutique resort in Busuanga, Palawan with a beautiful mountain and river view.  Yes, Mom I sing before we teach lessons.  I can sing in tune.  Especially when I hear my companion sing, I can just match his pitch and it sounds great. But by myself it would be hard.  haha.  I have been hearing from my friends all around the world like Jake and Brig and Dal.  It's been so fun to read their emails.  I love you all and it means so much that you are proud of me.  I'm trying my best, Love Elder Roberts

Cramming in the Co's car to go to The River House
Shout out to UTAH
Livin the high life at the Resort

It's so gorgeous here!
Kudos to my sewing class, check out my shorts

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mom, I'm singing!

Whew, I almost didn't get to email you for two weeks in a row.  The power has been out all morning.  This week has been full of miracles. I feel so lucky to be a part of it here. First, we went to visit a really really offended member of the branch. In the past when we went over there, he shuts his door and walks away or doesn't talk with us. He was in the first presidency of the branch and had a misunderstanding. He hasn't been to church for months. When we came there this week he was emotional... He misses church so much.
He is so unhappy he told us. He just wants to be happy with his family. We had a great lesson with him and he asked us for a blessing. He has a really hard life and lots of trials, but is trying to do it all on his own. After the blessing he promised us he will return to church. He is a fisherman so he is at sea right now but when he gets back he wants us to do family night at their place as well. I'm so happy for him and his family.
Also this week, Jonel Camacho told us that he wants to be baptized now. And not wait until his Mom is married.  His mom can't be until January when the judge comes back to the island for a marriage. But he really wants to be baptized. He expressed his desire. He is 13 years old. Since he isn't in school it takes him a little longer to learn some of the things we teach him and we were a little worried he wouldn't pass his interview. But since his desire was there, Heavenly Father qualified him. Our branch Pres. told us that he had a wonderful interview! Yet, even just a couple days earlier he was having a hard time remembering commandments and about Joseph Smith. His desire to follow the Savior qualified him for baptism.
New comp Elder Tu'ua and some of the Camacho's

It's been getting hotter and hotter here as we are getting into
summer. My companion and I climbed Mount Tapias again this morning for a workout. At the top you can see all of Coron town and it's so beautiful!
High on a mountaintop

These people here took great care of me on my birthday.  When it’s someone’s birthday here, people just kinda drag you into their house and feed you lots of food!  The Filipinos love to just cook and eat lots of food for birthdays and then just invite everyone that passes by to come in and eat!  It’s always a good day when it’s someone’s birthday.  Even though they don’t have the most money. . . they all can afford a karaoke machine.  EVERYONE KARAOKE’S HERE  haha.  You can walk around the streets and always hear lots of singing.

My awesome comp. Elder Tu'ua

My companion and I start our lessons with a song. But when we got to the Dacullias house, they said they don't want us to sing, they don't like it. I was offended at first haha. Then they told me their neighbors karaoke all day and all night. And she can't take any more singing. As she was describing it the music came on and her neighbor starting to Karaoke. The neighbor had huge speakers and it was blasting some Filipino love song. It was so funny...
Life is good here. The branch is really getting good strength. We had 87 people at church last Sunday.
We even had some vacationers from Manila join us at church on Sunday. So our trip to Manila got cancelled so that's too bad! The World ambassadors are coming so they are shutting down the airport for a week haha. I'm so grateful to be here, and the Savior has paid the price for us to be eternally happy.

Love Elder Roberts