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!

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Mission, New Companion

Some time in July, Rob's mission will officially change to the Barbados Bridgetown Mission. Eventually he may be transferred to any of the islands in the mission, but for now he will remain in Barbados long enough to have a baptism in two weeks, if all goes to plan. He is really happy to be where he is, and happy with his new companion. Here is his latest email: "Randy is gonna be baptized not this Sunday but next Sunday, and I'm super excited! My new companion is all right, not as gung ho as Elder Wilson, but it's whatever - we still get work done plus he knows how to cook, so that's a huge plus for me ;). I didn't take a whole lot of pictures this week, but I sure do miss you guys and can't wait to come back and share some cool experiences with you! Anyways, things have been pretty hectic because of the mission splitting and all that jazz, you know? Things are good. The rain has let up quite a lot, which is nice , but ya, I'm just trying to keep doing the Lord's work. O ya, I started John in the New Testament recently and I'm like so confused. lol. If you could help me out that would be rad. haha. Thanks. Love to hear from you guys! Keep the snail mail coming. It's much appreciated. Love you!"
This is a picture sent last week, at the caving excursion. No pictures this week. Below is a picture of the shirt Roger received for Father's Day, with a partial map of Rob's mission on it. Rob's reaction: "What the bird? That shirt is way cool! Lol. My parents are more stylish than me these days. haha."
The red circle on the shirt was added in photoshop to show where Barbados is - covered by a lovely tropical flower.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Barbados Bridgetown Mission

Back in December, before Rob received his call to the West Indies Mission, it was announced that the Church would realign the West Indies Mission and the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission in July 2015, to create the Barbados Bridgetown Mission. Rob's companion/trainer and some of the other missionaries in his area are being transferred this week to areas that will take them out of the Barbados Bridgetown Mission, and into the new Trinidad Port of Spain Mission. But Rob will stay in Barbados another 7 weeks, keeping him in a mission that will include Anguilla, Barbados, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Elder Platt is happy to stay in Barbados, where he has some great investigators and member friends. His new mission president will be Alan C. Herrington. Here are notes from his email received today: "Things here are good! It rained all day yesterday. And yes, it was still hot. Lol. A lot of people looked at me and my companions (I'm in a tripanionship right now) and said, 'Man, how are you not cold!?' To which I replied 'Half of it is sweat and the other half is rain. It's still blazing hot out here. You people are crazy!' Randy [an investigator] set his own baptismal date for the 12th of July! Should be pretty sweet, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up." Rob will be getting a new companion this week, who has a reputation for not wanting to follow the rules. Rob's comment was "Yikes. I'll whip him into shape, though." (!) He also said, "I'll be in the Barbados Mission from here on out, which is pretty cool 'cause that's what I wanted! I'm excited to be here for the split. Plus I still have Jeff [a Branch member] who is the man." He also wished his dad a happy Father's Day and asked how his day was - and if Baxter (the dog) had received enough love and attention. Then to Roger: "Hey, I just wanted to thank you for being an awesome dad, for working hard for us and helping us achieve the things in life that we needed to. I know I haven't exactly been the easiest kid to raise, what with all my mishaps, but I want you to know how much I appreciate the example you've set for me and the guidelines you helped me create as far as this life goes. So thank you. Hope you have a good week. Talk to you next week!"
Rainy season in Barbados. Rob says this picture has been his week. Not an official mission map, just a reference to show areas of the new Barbados Bridgetown Mission.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spelunking in Barbados

Lots of great pictures and some news from Barbados. Here is Rob's most recent email: (1) Regarding the weather, "Yes, lots of rain but not constant. It just comes randomly super hard for like 10-30 minutes, then back to the heat. Sometimes it'll rain without a cloud in the sky that you can see. It's really weird." (2) Regarding the work, "Teaching is going well. We set a baptismal date for Randy and he really seems like he's gonna go through with it, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. Every day here is like a spiritual experience. I've never felt so close to the Lord. Just finished the Book of Mormon and now I'm starting the New Testament, and I'm like half way through Mark. Kinda cool to read more about the Savior and all he did." (3) Regarding Roger's recent recognition as Volunteer of the Year in Rancho Penasquitos, during which he was identified as a member of the LSD Church, "Haha! LSD Church. That's hilarious. Congrats on the award. Your name will be at Hilltop forever! Did I ever tell you about when I used to skate down Hilltop with Jake? What a rush." No, he did not. (4) Regarding Basian culture, "I can understand pretty much everyone now, no problem, even Jeff if I really pay attention. As far as exotic food goes, it's just been peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Lol. There is a place called Mapps, where we go on occasion and get this chicken and fries and the BBQ sauce is amazinggggg! (5) Regarding today's P-day activity, exploring caves, "These Vans have been on top of the mountain where Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake Valley; on beaches and in caves at Barbados; played tons of cool shows; and skated some really cool spots! Haha. They've been through a lot with me."

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to be Happy (!)

Rob sent just a couple of short notes today, letting us know things ("tings" in Basian) are going well. Here is his note to Roger: "Things here are good, just trying to hang in there. One of the missionaries that has been here since I got here is having a hard time and I'm the only he really gets a long with out here, so I've been trying to boost his spirits a bit. He's a good dude, he just doesn't like listening to authority and rules and all that. lol. Can't blame him I guess, but at the same time you gotta do what the Lord wants if you wanna be happy. Simple as that. We went on splits and I was with his companion and got a little bit of insight on the situation. Both good dudes, just some people don't get along. But it made me grateful for having a good companion right now, and I'm sure I'll run into that scenario at some point in time, but we'll see. Investigators are coming along well, just need to help 'em out more." Rob received a package from home this week, so he also thanked us for that. In my note he wrote, "Things here are going well. We did a lot of contacting this last week and met some cool people. Met a guy who pulled us aside while we were trying to help a kid get his kite off a phone line. The guy told us he was trying to quit smoking and wanted to find religion, so we're gonna start teaching him this week. It was cool to talk to him, so we'll see how it goes. Tell Baxter I miss him and that he's allowed to sleep in the man cave [Rob's room] all he wants!" He added, in response to my email telling him we may take his room air conditioner for our bedroom until he returns, "Baxter will be upset if you take the A/C unit out of his man cave. He likes to nap in luxury." I sent him the reference D&C 121:39, as it relates to Baxter and his unrighteous dominion. Below is a picture of Rob with Vinique's younger brother, Chris, one of Rob's seminary students.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Selfie in the Breadfruit Tree

Great notes from Elder Platt this morning. We never know when he will email, so it was lucky I was online when his posts arrived. We even received a few pictures, so today is a little like Christmas around here. Here is the latest from Rob: "Things are going well here, just trying to stay positive and teach as many people as possible. We have a couple new people that we are teaching, one named Randy and the other one is Romario. Romario is the boyfriend of a less active member named Vinique. It's funny, cuz Vinique told us "I want him baptized before the end of the year." But she doesn't come to church. lol. Every week she says she'll be there but doesn't show. :P O well. Randy is taking some reading classes at the church and came to church the Sunday before last, and seems to be making a real effort. Things here are good. Did I mention it's hot? ;) I'm like sweating 24/7, but we finally got A/C in our room so now bedtime is nice and cool. O ya! I climbed this like 30-foot breadfruit tree in Vinique's front yard. haha! Nearly scared Elder Wilson half to death. He was like, "Don't die, man!" Vinique was admiring a breadfruit that looked like it was ripe and delicious. She said, "That'll probably fall down and rot and no one will be able to eat it. How sad." So I took it upon myself to climb and get that sucker down. Only problem is, it was rotten already. LOL. O well. People here are awesome, though. It used to be that when we would pass by this kinda rough neighborhood, that the kids outside would kinda yell at us and throw things at us. But we've gained their respect a little bit more and now we're cool with them. Kind of a nice accomplishment, but anyway I'll have more for you next week! Tell Baxter (the dog) I love him!"
Selfie in the breadfruit tree. Here is Rob's note to Roger: "The mission president's wife told us we were a power companionship and we work well together so that was cool. :P Troy isn't really doing all that well. We went to see him a couple days ago and we read through the first chapter of 1 Nephi and he just like didn't get it. Half way through, a friend of his came by and gave him some alcohol, so I don't know.... I always thought that if someone received a blessing, that changed them that it would just automatically turn them to the gospel, but people forget very quickly I guess. I'm sure he'll come around, just this last lesson didnt go very well :)."
Rob wearing Nate's lucky tie. Apparently, he has learned to tie a French knot.