Rob is serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the West Indies. This blog will contain his letters home. He is doing a great work, and would love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blessings and Volleyball

Rob's posts from last week were a bit delayed because of a bank holiday in Barbados (Whitmonday, or Pentecost Monday), and further delayed by my absence from the home computer. Here are his notes home, received on 5/25/15: In response to Roger's letter in which he expressed his gratitude for how Rob's mission is blessing our family, Rob wrote, "That's so rad! I hope it continues to bless the family back home! Please let me know how everything is going. It makes me feel like I have a purpose out here. Taught Troy yesterday and he was going through a really rough time so I gave him a blessing of comfort and he said afterwards that his headache went away and he was actually laughing and having a really good time. It's cool to see that play out and see the blessings the Lord trusts us with. I asked him what he thought caused that headache to go away and he said in a quiet voice "the Spirit," so I'm hoping that he'll remember/recognize that and keep working towards the church. Other than that, it's been a fairly uneventful week but I'll let you know more on Monday!" In his notes to me, Rob wrote: "Things are ok here, just trying to do the work. And yes, I'll be in Barbados for another 4 weeks until the mission splits, then we'll see where they'll ship me off to. I killed it in volleyball today (duh) but I was called the mvp numerous times due to my awesome dives/saves. haha. We had our zone conference yesterday and it was pretty cool! Elder Wilson gave his farewell testimony which was cool. Can't wait till I can give mine. haha. Just kidding. The work is good and I'm trying to make every minute count and do the best I can do. How's Baxter??? I miss him!!!! Nothing really exciting has happened since last week. We have pday on a Wednesday this time due to the holiday and library being closed which is why you didn't hear from me. Anyway hope all is well!"

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pickled Chicken Feet

Rob was exposed to some Bajan culinary culture this week. Here are his email notes on the experience: "Yes, they did serve chicken feet.. and pig feet.... They call the chicken feet steppers and they were pickled. It was probably the most disgusting thing ever. It was basically just squishy swollen skin, if that paints a good enough picture for you. I took a picture too though. I had fun playing with them. Aren't the padres supposed to have like a killer team this year? How are they doing? I'll be soooooo upset if they go to the world series while I'm out here. Troy is doing good. We still haven't asked about baptism yet, but we're getting there. I set a baptismal date for Natalie, so we'll se how that goes!"
Rob then asked for a few items from home, and added, "Things out here are good. I'm starting to miss home more and more and I just pray every night that my time here will just go super fast. I'm working at 100% though. Don't worry, I know this work is important but I'm kinda missing the luxuries of home and the people there."
So happy to get another picture of Rob! No idea who the other elder is in this picture. He mentioned the pickled chicken feet in his email to Roger: "Those chicken feet turned out to be pickled as well. BLAH. I had more fun playing with them than actually eating them. lol. But yeah, hadn't talked to Troy since Sunday so I thought for awhile he was avoiding us, but we met with him yesterday finally and it was really well received - although I guess he is gonna go to the j-dubs church on Tuesday -____-. O well, I like a good challenge ;) Things are good here. That's cool you got to talk in pq2. hope it went well. Gave my talk in sacrament meeting yesterday which I thought went pretty well. Talked on charity. O yeah, got transfer calls and I'll be in Barbados Black Rock with Elder Wilson for another transfer. That's so cool about Lonnie, too! [Our neighbor, who is moving but has been talking to the missionaries here.] Sorry to see him go. If you ever get stumped (which I'm sure you don't because you're both like scriptorians) but if you do, you should take a look at chapter 2 of Preach My Gospel. It's got all the lesson in it and I would suggest just summarizing some of them in your own words. I gotta email others but I'll talk to you next Monday! Miss you guys!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

What an amazing Mother's Day gift it was to be able to Skype with Rob Sunday afternoon. He looks great and sounds wonderful. He said two of his investigators had attended church that day, so he was mightily encouraged about the work they have been doing in Barbados. The funniest part of the visit was when I put Bentley (the dog) up to the camera so Rob could see him. Rob's friend (branch member) Jeff was sitting behind him, and the look on his face was priceless. He squinted at the camera as if to say, "What kind of animal is THAT?!" Poor Bentley. He is special. Here are the letters we received from Rob the next day, on Monday, May 11, along with a picture of Rob and his companion. Also, a quick photo I snapped as he was talking on Skype. Email to Mom: Heyyyy! It was so cool talking to you guys! Ya, I dont think Jeff knew what type of animal Bentley even was. lol! But I'm doing about the same out here and doing work. Here are a few pictures! O ya, one thing I forgot to ask you about is I saw someone who had a shoulder bag that carried just his quad! I don't know if you could find something like that for me, but that would be so cool! Anyway we're going to play board games on the beach today for p-day, and then we're going to teach Troy again! Hopefully he'll accept baptism more fully. :P That's so cool about Dad! He earned his claim to fame, that's for sure. [Referring to Roger being named Volunteer of the Year for Penasquitos last week.] Hope you had a good Mother's Day, and just know that I love you so much! Thanks for helping me out in my times of need, and thanks most of all for putting up with me. I know I can be a lot to handle, but you always saw me through till the end and I appreciate that! Also, how's Baxter!? Tell him I miss him even though he doesn't want anything to do with me right now :( [Baxter would not respond to Rob's Skype call. Perhaps he's pouting?] Email to Dad, in response to Roger's email: Thanks, Dad! I'm grateful to have it [the gospel] in my life as well. I was just thinking about how if I wasn't born into the gospel that I don't think I would've been able to find it for myself, what with all the different religions out there. But I'm so happy to be a part of it and help others to come into it as well. Hopefully I can get done what I need to get done and get back to my regular life though. haha. Thanks again for the uplifting words.
Fortunately, there was enough delay on the Skype connection that Rob didn't know I was taking his picture until it was too late to duck.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Road Tennis, Anyone?

Here is the latest email from Rob. He is having an amazing experience with both the culture in Barbados and his own spiritual progress - in spite of the fact that the dog still gets top billing. His email reads: "Baxterrrrrrrrr! Tell him I love him and miss him! Things here are really good tho! That investigator Troy seems to be doing well. We ended up giving him a blessing on Saturday. I only have a certain amount of time on the computer which is why my emails aren't as long as I'd like them to be. lol But let's see, I got to play cricket on Tuesday (as it was Hero's Day here in Barbados and they had an activity), and I played a little road tennis on Friday to get to know a contact we had. I'm pretty much a boss at road tennis. It's table tennis without the table, basically. I put some pics in :P. The people here are awesome but very hard to teach! lol. This past week especially hasn't been the easiest :/ but I'm still learning so it's ok. Send me some recipes if you can for stuff to cook. I don't know what I'm doing as far as food goes out here. lol. O ya, we'll be skyping around 5:30pm Bajan time and I don't know how the change is compared to California, so ya. Sorry if I don't send a lot. I just don't remember what I'm gonna say when I get on here and we're on a time crunch so I'm like BLAH! bahaha. Maybe I'll start writing stuff down throughout my week to help me remember. One thing is for sure tho, my testimony grows everyday I'm out here. I can't tell you how much I've learned about myself already. Being away from worldly things alone has really shown me what's important in life. I'm constantly learning through the scriptures. One thing that has stuck out to me throughout this week is to really not forget about the spiritual experiences that I'm having. Because forgetting something like that will make you weaker (spiritually) the next time it comes to make the right decision in a sticky situation. I love this gospel and what it does for people. And I love you guys a lot! Can't wait to talk to ya Sunday!"
Rob indicated he had taken photos, but none were attached. In a short follow-up email he said he had tried to send pictures but the computer he was on would not let him. Bajan technology may not be as supportive as we would like, but we are delighted that Rob is well and learning so much. Here are random photos of road tennis in Barbados, not taken by Rob, in case anyone else is as curious as I was. To read an explanation and watch road tennis in action, click here for video.