Elder Luke Roberts

Elder Luke  Roberts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tonsilitis but ok

P-day Fun

This week I couldn't do much because I got tonsillitis. Haha but I thought I was going to die because I had Dengji fever symptoms. There isn't a hospital here but the OBGYN gave me medicine and I'm doing great. Never thought I'd need to see one of those guys. I'm okay now. The Teens are doing well! Especially Dexter. We went to go teach him and couldn't find him one day.  Then we found out he went to seminary with one of our less actives haha. So that's great!! He is really stepping up!! So we just need to keep him out of trouble but he is really starting to get the WHY of the gospel.  One of our new investigators is Sister Cleo Dacullia. She is a principal and really well-off. She is about 65 and doesn't have a husband and she is a gem. She is really stubborn with her Catholic church. She believes in the Book of Mormon but doesn't want to get baptized hahaha. I don't know.... But we will keep working with her and I have a really strong feeling she will come around, in her own time haha. Also we are teaching a new family. Cabanes Family. Super promising!!
Lita didn't come to church so we will go to her house and make sure everything is okay and teach her some more. But our water and power is back on!!

Short letter this week because we went to the beach and to waterfalls for P-day.  Some members drove us and it was super nice.    Yes, I use the Plan of Salvation Puzzle in Tagalog you gave me all the time.  The Filipinos really learn best from visuals and acting out, I don't know, it's hard to explain.  We teach sooooo many lessons each week.  It's just hard to get people to church for some reason.  It's just not the culture here.

BTW,  My Mission President told me I would be here for a long time haha.
Love Elder Roberts

Monday, August 24, 2015

No Power No Water No Problem

Monday, August 17, 2015

Excuses sometimes are legit. . .

Magandam Buhay po! Maraming salamat po para lahat ng panalangin!! 
This week I got flown into Manila for Zone conference for a few days so that was crazy. There were so many elders and sisters there!! We also got our shots!

See what I mean?  Lots of sisters and elders 
This morning we went to the market and got food for the week. We walked down the row of food stands and just heard yelling and saw piles of fish!! Piles and piles of fish!! Pigs are being slaughtered and fish being chopped left and right! We also get all of our fruit and vegetables there. It's fun to walk around see all the different kinds of fish! My companion and I came a little too late to buy any shark but that's on the list for next week!
It's a jungle out there
Sometimes it's very interesting to find out why people didn't come to church. These people have the craziest things that are actually usually pretty valid... One of our investigators lives in a canyon type thing in a little house on stilts... They are fishers so it's very convenient. We asked her why she wasn't coming to church and she said during high tide (church time of course). She can't leave her house because of the water she is trapped. So my companion and I have joked that we will just build her a raft on P-day haha.  One family, the Abucay family, have a hard time because if it rains the mom can't walk across the bamboo beams and the logs that you need to cross to. She can't get from the house to the beams because she doesn't want to fall in the water with her baby.  Every time we are going to their house I just laugh and say a prayer because I almost snap the bamboo every time and lose my balance on the logs. They are round and wobble whenever you step on them. Then I go to the bamboo and I hold out my arms for balance and just book it haha. I haven't fallen in!!  Yet.... So lets hope I don't.
Everyday I work hard to let my Heavenly Father know I'm dedicating myself to bringing others unto Jesus Christ. Becoming like our savior will solve any problem that we have... Any problem. When we become like the savior we are becoming happy. If someone isn't happy there is just a part of the gospel they don't quite understand. Because our gospel is joy. 
We teach an English Class every week and that's been cool. Yesterday in church the branch president came up to me and told me I was speaking in church.  The meeting had already started haha.   So I went up and just said everything I knew how or what to say about praying and Joseph Smith and people were smiling and my companion said it made sense and so did the members so I was really excited about the progression with the language. Then I was invited to teach the young men's lesson. I was in front of all the young men trying to read the manual to see what I was teaching. It went really well though!!  A little bit more about my companion.  My companion is super cool! very funny... He comes from a humble home and just likes to sleep on the wood floor in our apartment. Life is good! 
Elder Roberts  

Monday, August 10, 2015

2nd week in Coron

So a typhoon swept around the Philippines this week, not hitting the mainland though. So it poured rained on us for about 3 days. And I mean poured rain haha. Which means mud of course. It felt good from the heat.

We have been teaching the Dizon family and committed them to baptism!!! I love their family so much!!! It's a husband and wife and 3 daughters. They had some word of wisdom problems but said they would quit. They have been coming to church and are just so prepared!! At first, every time we would enter into their hut, we would bring the spirit and they would feel it. But now... When we go there. The spirit is already there. It's the most beautiful and real feeling of love. They have a lamp already for us and have their Books of Mormon ready to go and are just so excited to learn more. It's hard not to get emotional when they tell us they have been reading and praying even as a family. Sister Lenni (the mom) even wanted to borrow our gospel principles manual after church on Sunday to learn more. We are also now starting to teach their grandma and other people boarding at their home. 
Service Project building a hut.  Notice the Elder from Vegas supporting EaglePride.
Another story that happened this week was when we were a little further into the mountains we saw an old man shoveling dirt into a bag and so we of course helped him and talked to him for a while. We set up an  appointment for the next day. But everyone we asked for directions to his house just kept pointing up higher on the mountain. His house was at the top of course haha. My companion and I were just dripping in sweat and laughing, cause, of course he would be at the top. But the view was amazing. He wasn't there but his wife was and she was very interested!! So hopefully we can get them and teach about the restored gospel at the same time but lots of hope for them! 
The teenagers we have been teaching have been doing okay. Just they have one friend who is really making it hard and is a bad influence. But I know they can do it.
On Saturday we played a pickup basketball against the Baptist church down the street.  Mormons Vs Baptist haha. I won't tell you who won this week but next I'll tell you haha. Things are great here. Yes I love my companion and no he has never been to Palawan.  There are 4 of us in the apartment and under us lives the branch president. He is a transplant from Manila to help out the ward. The vibe is good from the ward. Lots of strong people and actually several youth preparing for missions!! Well 3. we call them the 3 Nephites haha. They will be the first missionaries from Coron ever! 
Yes there are a million kids here, and even more random animals haha. Tell Porter I see crazy animals here! ask him to look up what is here! So if you can believe it, everyone in my apartment is sick!! Except me!! Just a nasty cold. Yeah our apartment is tiny but a lot nicer than what most people live in. Biggest problem here is definately word of wisdom.   We go into a lot of homes where the man are drunk after fishing all day. And that's just what they do all day.  But lots are making progress. There is a nicer area here called the Teachers village, It's where the teachers live that teach the students. They have more money and would be great leaders!! We are really looking hard for leaders!! To give you an idea of how many people come... we had 85 people come to church last Sunday which was good! So we will keep working hard to get that up. Today for service we built a hut store for one of the other Elder's investigators. He was smoking something weird the whole time but he is enjoying the lesson so hopefully he comes to church!
We do lots of services projects and I'm getting really good with a machete.
We saw a huge monitor lizard yesterday! It could eat me haha. Speaking of eating this week I tried eel, squid, pig blood, pig ear, bamboo shoots, and who knows what else.
I love it here though. I love the people. I love being a missionary, and I love Jesus Christ. 
Love Elder Roberts
These next 3 pics are right before I left for Coron.  I love my MIssion President and his wife, The Ostler's are incredible!

Monday, August 3, 2015

First Area. . . island of Coron, Palawan

Hello!!!! I'm alive haha. I can finally email today. I have been assigned to serve in Palawan! Not only that, but I'm on small jungle island of Coron. It's really small. Population about 42,000.  This island is about 266 Sq. miles.  There are only 4 Elders for the whole island. And it is outrageously beautiful.  Elder Cooper from Vegas got called here too. So there are 4 of us here. The other 2 were already here waiting for us. Both native.  
View from the plane. . . Incredible
It's a really small town that I'm in. Nobody speaks English except for my companion and the other Elders here. They speak Tagalog and even another Dialect called
Cuyonen, which is really hard to understand. My companion's name is Elder Casteneda, and he is from the Angeles area in the Philippines.  Lots of rice fields where he is from. It's nice to have a native and he is awesome! He is really patient with me speaking Tagalog and everything. 

me and my comp. Elder Casteneda
 It's so beyond beautiful here!! I mean so beautiful!! Beautiful is a weak word for this Island. Go on google and just type in Coron Palawan and you will see. Out my window I see the ocean and huge mountains, Fisherman and other small islands. Our side of the island is crazy. My companion told me where we were going on the map, and pointed to the ocean, I was really confused until I got there. It's a town of bamboo homes on stilts. over the ocean, they are all fisherman mostly and so is everyone here!
But the other part of where we go is in the jungle, waist high grass and lots of hiking to more bamboo homes. It's soo hot and it rains a lot but I love it here. And I love being on a mission. It's so amazing to see these people pull out their Aklat Ni Mormon "Book of Mormon" and tell us what they read, Anyone we get to read it knows it is true. Whether they keep their commitments is another story haha. We have several Geckos living in our home, and they are huge!! Also I've already seen a little monkey!
It's either beach, or jungle

The church is only 4 years old on this island so there is so much work to do!!! Everyone is a recent convert haha. But things are going well. Right now we are teaching a whole teenage friend group and they are great! They help each other keep the word of wisdom and read the book of Mormon. So cross your fingers they will keep coming to church!  For meals we eat fish and rice. All our meals actually. My companion is a great cook so it's been cool to learn! Today we went to the market and bought crab, eel, and squid for our next couple meals!
eel, squid and crab

my comp cooking crab.  Apparently this stance is very comfortable
I like to close my eyes during this part
Eveyone here has a religion, nobody doesn't have one. So I'm learning a lot as I go. Lots of Muslims here too surprisingly but we don't teach them unless we really feel promted. This island is even more beautiful than the pictures we looked up before I left.   It's incredible! Things are so cheap here too! It's just a 50 minute flight straight from Manila. It's honestly a real compliment I have been sent here. Because it is the most secluded place in the mission. President really trusts everyone he sends here. Rooming with me is a former AP and my companion is amazing and extremely obedient.   I really miss the family so much but I'm so thankful for your testimony and prayers, you all mean the world to me! One of the other Elders had a really high fever so we gave him a blessing last night. He is now doing great. Tell Trevor and Porter to look up all the cool animals and snakes on the island so i know whats here!!  We have about an inconsistent 80 people that come to church each week and we meet in a building that someone donated years ago.
 I'm so proud of you and the family for doing family history work!! Our time can have  such a great effect on the eternal welfare of others!! VEEERYY few people have cars here. so we ride a tricycle everywhere! It's actually pretty fun. Almost everyone here is pretty poor. But all happy! 
Back of my comp. on the narrow planks between houses

The power goes out a lot and so does our water. We just shower with a little bucket and some water and soap. I love the fresh mangos here it's beyond yummy! All the fruit is. But I have never even seen most of the fruit here actually. The Island is Busuanga. But where we are is Coron.  I love you all and I can feel your love and prayers.
Elder Roberts