Elder Luke Roberts

Elder Luke  Roberts

Monday, March 28, 2016

Holy Week

This week was Holy Week. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. People crowded the streets with the these kinda of like floats in a Parade, on the floats were Saints, and also statues of Jesus. Also in the streets in our area lots of areas were set up with Saints and the Cross where people would gather and read scriptures I think I'm not sure. Also everything shut down... All the malls, stores, even all the banks, everything shut down for the Holy Weekend. People have really strong faith. 
     Surprisingly, it wasn't harder to proselyte than any other time. We still just went around trying to share the restoration of the gospel and Priesthood. When we walk around people will pull us over and challenge "how are you saved??". That's kind of everyone's question here. How do we make it back home... With all the different religions here... People are often really curious to see how we are saved in our church. Elder Monson and I have decided to start using the Articles of Faith a lot more. It's simple and really great! Lots of people are just lost to what they should do, and how they should know. Everyone is always contending with each other too. 
   Things are going well! We got a referral this week for this man. We went to go look for him and our member said it was his neighbor, and he told us not to go there haha. He said that he is really contentious with religion and doesn't let the missionaries talk (I guess they had tried a couple years ago). We told the member we should still try because we need to go, you never know.   We got there and the man wasn't really excited to see us... But when he let us in, he was actually pretty nice to us. We talked and he ended up telling us his Daughter had died since the last visit of the missionaries to his house. He is a Bible Baptist and really knows the Bible. He is actually quite wealthy and has 6 daughters. He was respectful to us even though we are a lot younger than him. Where the story gets interesting is when he tried to belittle or speak condescendingly to our religion. He started off saying kinda rudely,  oh I know your church... You believe that Joseph Smith found some kinda gold plates in a hill or something and talked with God. We smiled and Yes we do. Then he said oh and in your church you believe that no just any random person can baptize you, like a pastor or a leader of church, they need the right authority. We smiled and said yes. Then he quickly looked to the side as if, after years of knowing that we believed that, finally realizing how logical our church was. He kept going trying to get us but every time he would say something he would realize how silly it was that it would be any other way. Then when he was finally done with his questioning... He told us he wanted us to come back. Elder Monson and I know that we don't know everything, but we do know that our message is true. Next time Elder Monson and I decided to start with the Plan of Salvation this week when we go to teach him.

This week was super busy, we had to help with Zone conference and stuff like that. We do a lot of errands so sometimes we don't always get to work in our area as much as we would like. But we work hard to get everything done fast so we can go and work. Yeah the weather is always the same here... Always the same here...... Even the days and the nights are always the same length... No seasons... Weird huh? 
 Yeah the U.S. presidential election sounds really dumb. They really follow US politics here in the Philippines. I never realized how much it affects them as well who we vote in haha. I do feel all your support and love... Thanks so much! My testimony grows everyday and I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord.
Elder Roberts 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Palm Sunday

Elder Monson and I got to have a temple day this week which was really nice. It was cool to look around and see all the different people... Because there aren't that many temples over here, there were people from India in our session, and Singapore. I guess their branches had a temple day, but it was fun that Elder Monson and I could be in there with them! They really sacrifice a lot for the  blessing of the temple, lots of them were there for the  first time. 

Yesterday the Gavino family went to church! (the catholic church)...... Noooooo. They said because it was Palm Sunday they would go to the Catholic church, but next week they will attend ours. This week is huge here. Yesterday was Palm Sunday and EVERYONE has palms. The Catholic church is really big here. But there are lots and lots and churches here even though our area is pretty small.
Even just walking down the street, you will see a Catholic church, Jesus is Lord, and Jehovah's Whitness, you take a right then you see a Born again Church, and international church of Christ. That's just within a couple minutes walk. If you keep going you could see a Baptist church too. We actually run into missionaries of other churches all the time, we are always super friendly but they are never very excited to see us. We have several people who we bump into sometimes who try and contend with me and Elder Monson.
Both hands on the wheel, fully concentrating on my shuttling duties
This week we had lots of members working with us. They are great! There are 4 men in the ward that are always texting us to work with us. One of them is a convert of 2 years, and is now in the Bishopric, he is so awesome!! He is even visiting our investigators without us just to say hi. Then there is Bro. Cabarloc, who is only 1 year in the church and overcame smoking and drinking and loves to come with us. He is super nice to have with us, he relates to everyone and is just so strong in the church. The ward here is just full of these men who are always asking us to come and work with us, their faith is incredible and contagious. 
See how fun working in the office can be?
My favorite part of working in the office is just that I guess it feels good that I am helping out the mission, without the office Elders, the mission could not run, at all.  We are just the people behind everything, but nobody knows. . . But that's the way I like it.  Oh man, we love those Conference talks you loaded on my ipod. . . So cool!  We listen to the songs and the talks everyday!  Romy agreed to baptism and is growing in faith every visit.  The members are really working hard to fellowhsip him.  We ran into this lady who came up to us this week and said "Hey, Mormons, how's it going?"  She said "I used to be Mormon."  She was speaking to us in English as well.  She had just moved back from Vegas.  I guess she was a member a long time ago.  We got an appointment to go and teach her so we will bring her back to the church for sure.  It was really unexpected to see her, but that kind of stuff happens sometimes.  We will just run into somebody who was baptized in their province, then moved to the city, and just got "lost" from the church.

My toes and Elder Monson, here's our view on the roof of our apartment

It's been a busy week but we have lots of people we are trying to follow up with. It's been a hot season, but I'd rather be hot than cold. It is really hot, but it's great. The heat feels different here. You feel like you're inside the heat haha. I get out of the shower and I get dressed and then there are already beads of sweat down my face.  So the food I have been eating lately is fish and vegetables, weird cereal and powdered milk. 
I'm just so grateful for the gospel, I've seen it's real affects on people. I know that the Lord lives again. He is our now our advocate with the Father, and He is inviting all to come to Him.

Elder Roberts

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Laundry chit chat creates strong bonds

So this week has been good. We have been talking to lots and lots of people. Our area is quite small but it is just full of people. We have been teaching the Gavino family, they are super cool. They have 3 young boys. The youngest 2 love to play trumpo, it's a top type game they play here, you wind the string around the top and then yank the string. Then you can do cool tricks with it -like balance the top on the string or flick it so it spins on your hand. Anyways their family is really nice. The mom has been having doubts and isn't really open to us. But last time we went there,  Elder Monson and I could see she was washing clothes and we joked that we came to help her. We told her how we hand wash our clothes as well and she laughed and we just got her to open up a little to us. Then in the lesson when we invited her to be baptized again, she said of course! Which was a shock to us, we have been teaching them forever! So we look forward to seeing them at church this Sunday. 
Fried yams on a stick, Yum

Throwback to when we went bowling with the sisters and Elder Adawag

 Another man we are teaching is Romi, he a retired police and is now a body guard for political people. He doesn't drink or smoke which is extremely rare here. He really wants to know where truth can be found. He is 60. He's nervous about the direction the world is heading and just wants to know what's right. I feel that he will soon become a member of our church.
The one the only, Elder Monson
    It's the hot season here right now. And yes it is. I can't even describe the heat in human words.  Banjo who I have mentioned before hasn't been home much but his wife loves to give us food when we stop by to see if he is home. The Filipinos are really friendly and nice. Their culture is so cool. Especially when it comes to food. The Gavino family actually made us a huge meal to eat before our last appointment there. They had home made Shanghai and Sinogang and LOTS of rice. The ward always thinks it's funny to try and make the missionaries fat too. I'm really happy here and I'm doing great!! Things feel settled now. It's weird, on missions, you just get thrown into new situations all the time, new transfers, new areas, new callings, new food, just everything is new and then you get used to it and it changes again haha. But I feel like I've grown so much. 
The scheduled cleaning of the Angel Moroni
Love Elder Roberts  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Funny things we see while driving

Hello everyone, things are going well here in the office. I'm getting more used to my job so that's been getting easier. Less stressful now. I still have a lot to do... But now I know how to do it haha! 
So Elder Monson and I are starting a collection of funny photos we see while we are driving.... Because we get kinda used to all that stuff but we forgot how funny it is to see this stuff. They can be pretty dang funny. 

Our area is okay.... Lots of investigators just drink too much. Also gambling on Horse racing is huge in my area... Like we will see 50 men gathered around a little tv yelling and stuff for their horses. It's a big problem.  But we still have many families interested and we continue to teach.  So, many of you asked what "coding" is. It's a driving thing.  Like when you aren't allowed to drive on a certain day to keep down the traffic. The sisters in our ward had a baptism this week.  It's the family in the picture, and it was such an amazing experience.

This week was our mission office birthday so we celebrated with the other office elders and the AP's.  Move over Domino's

I also wanted to show you a brief video of me and my former companion Elder Adawag and our Tagalog. This was from before Christmas.  We were investigator role playing.  My Tagalog has improved so much since then, it feels good to see the growth.

Also, if you are still here, here's a very serious arm wrestling match.

I love you all, more next week.
Elder Roberts