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, August 31, 2015

Exploding Head, Inspired Blessing, Food Fantasies

Another amazing week for Rob in Barbados. Here is his email from this morning: "This week has been CRAZYYYYYY. haha So much deep doctrine that my head is gonna explode. For some reason the Lord seemed it fit to put all the Bible experts in Barbados in my path. lol And just when I thought it was all over yesterday we had an investigator start talking about the Apocrypha lol -____-. Good stuff. I'm learning a lot, that's for sure. The sister missionaries in my district called me up and asked if I could give a blessing for their investigator which was really cool. You know how like when people say, 'O, don't worry, the Spirit will tell you what to say?' I have NEVER felt that before until this last blessing we gave. Like, I just opened my mouth and the Lord poured stuff out. By the end everyone was in tears (except me of course, cuz I'm too tough for that ;)) and the lady said her leg was like fully healed the next morning and was up walking around. PRETTY AMAZING! But ya, other than that I was wondering if you guys could help me with some like DEEP DEEP doctrine stuff. Just share your knowledge with me so I can have more insight and more tools in my arsenal haha. Should've taken advantage of you while I was back home. lol. I've been just getting thrashed on the Old Testament lately. I remember my companion telling me there's really no point in studying it, so I payed it no mind. But now I'm like getting it thrown in my face constantly, that and the Apocrypha :P. So if you could throw some knowledge my way that would be greatly appreciated. Mainly, I'm trying to get the lineage in order, like I guess I never understood the whole 12 tribes of Israel thing, what with Abraham and Isaac and all that. Like, did you know Ishmael is the son of Isaac [I'm sure he meant Abraham. lol.] and that is what the Muslim religion stems from!? You probably already knew that, but to me it was a trip to see how all these different religions are tied together like that. And how we all just keep branching off from one another. haha. Pretty sure my brain is gonna explode if I get confronted with another Old Testament Bible bash. Miss you guys and can't wait to come back to a home cooked meal again. Me and Elder Kuru have been fantasizing about real food all week. Well, but anyways, love you guys and hope all is well. Tell all the kids that I can smell 'em from Barbados and they all STINK! O, and tell Baxter he's wise and that I love him. haha."

Monday, August 24, 2015

More Blessings Than You Have Room For

Rob seems to be thriving in his new area. I asked him about whether he would be teaching seminary again, and he was happy to report that the branch in Christ Church pretty much runs itself - so he won't be needed in seminary. The photo above is of Rob with his new companion, Elder Kuru, from Sydney, Australia. Here are the rest of Rob's notes home this week: Thanks for the recipe. I'm gonna try my best to recreate it. I can't remember who it was, but somebody cooked for me the other day and it was sooooo bomb. Tasted like home lol. Obviously not as good as anything you make but close enough. haha. Hurricane Danny isn't gonna touch Barbados, I guess. Apparently all the storms miss us. And you better believe the Bajans take pride in that as well. "Nothin' touches Barbados, mon!" haha. Gotta love it. And yes, I did get the stink book [a book written and illustrated by Rob's niece, Lyla, 5. Don't ask]. It was hilarious! I read it every once in a while when I'm having a bad day and it always brings my spirits up. Haven't heard of the "My Plan" thing yet but they'll probably start implementing it with the new missionaries [a new program to help missionaries transition after their service]. Speaking of new missionaries, we're getting 24 greenies next transfer then 20 more the next transfer O.O I don't know where they are gonna put them all. lol We've set a few baptismal dates and things are flowing pretty well. It's funny you mention that it takes a year to get the hang of things cuz this past week I've really been learning more than usual. Probably cuz I don't have a companion who knows a whole lot scripture wise, so it's made me step my game up. But holy crap, I can preach the gosel so much better now. Like back it up and everything. It's really cool. That little book Nate sent me has been like my Bible out here. I'm using it to answer all the questions people have here. Ya know, even if I don't convert anyone out here (which I really hope I can), I know that my testimony is growing significantly every day. Like it's insane how much you get the chance to learn out here. lol I'm learning so much more in this past week than I have throughout my mission. It's like it all just started pouring into me. I don't know where it comes from. Like, you know when the scriptures talk about bringing souls unto him and how youll receive blessings with more than you have room for? That's how I feel when it comes to all this knowledge I'm gaining right now. I hope I can keep that going. Its really nice. Thanks again for the support. It's really what keeps me going sometimes, so thank you. I appreciate the prayers. I can feel em making a difference out here as I serve. lol Funny story: I had a lesson with a Rasta the other day, and was talking totally "white guy" language to him but after the closing prayer we were getting on our bikes and I yell at him "celasee i, jah bless, one love brada." bahaha. He's was like "No way. He's a true Bajan!" lol Kinda funny. But ya, I'm a true Bajan now apparently. Anyway, jah bless, one love ;) Tell Baxter I miss him a lot btw. And all of you as well. lol. My cricket game is not as good as I'd like it to be but my volleyball game is on point, which is more important anyway. Welllllll, I miss everybody back home a bunch and wish I could be there, but I got important work out here I still have to do. Give Baxter a treat for me <3

Monday, August 17, 2015

Leaving Black Rock

Black Rock was good for Rob, and Rob was good for Black Rock. From the picture above, looks like the branch members there were sad to see him go. He is now assigned to a neighboring parish. Christ Church is just south and east of Bridgetown, which is the capital of Barbados (see map below). Here are his latest emails, fresh off the internet: "The move went well! My companion is an awesome, super humble guy. I'll be sure to send you plenty of pics. The coolest part is that the branch is very self-sustaining, so I don't have to take care of everything anymore :D. We we are blanking the area, meaning that we are both brand new missionaries to the area so we have been going door to door A LOT! Haha. It's cool though. We've found some cool people. Just excited to get the ball rolling and get some solid people to see. Everything else is good. Training isn't super hard. Oh yeah - I wanted to know how to make those chicken-in-dumplings? Are they super hard to make?" To Roger he wrote, "The responsibilities aren't too bad, but blanking the area has been pretty tough :P. Oh well, I'm sure I'll get it figured out. The Spirit works in weird ways sometimes, but I can definitely feel it working with me every day. Love being out here and learning more about the gospel too. Like I'm figuring out sooooooo much more about everything since I've been here. It's crazy. Lots of deep doctrine and stuff :). Hope all is well! Been missing home this week. Glad to hear everyone's doing well! Give Baxter a big hug from me!"

Monday, August 10, 2015

Transfer, Trainer, Tender Mercies

Rob was transferred this week, but only into a neighboring community in Barbados. We had lots of questions for him this week, regarding the potential baptism Saturday and the transfer. Here are his answers: "Our baptism got cancelled :P. O Well. He ended up smoking weed on Kadooment Day. And yes, I'll be moving just next door into the Christ Church area. lol. Not much of a change, considering the Black Rock area and Christ Church areas touch, but apparently I'll be training a Polynesian from Australia. Don't know how good of a trainer I'll be, but we'll see how it goes. haha. There is a new address to send snail mail: Barbados Bridgetown Mission, Trident Insurance Financial Centre, Hastings, Christ Church BB 15154, Barbados. Thought you'd like to know. [NOTE: Rob's old mailing address was the address of a senior missionary couple, who are finishing their mission and going home. His new mailing address is the mission home in Barbados. See also sidebar to the right of this post.] I've been reading Jesus the Christ lately. I'm about half way through it and I can't seem to put it down. Lol. It was cool, Damian was asking about the meaning of the name Elohim, and I was at home trying to find an answer for him and I opened up Jesus the Christ and it just like popped out at me. Tender mercies, I'll tell ya what. Just got a call in the middle of this email and apparently I'm gonna be the Christ Church district leader as well. :P Yikes!" In reply to Roger's email, he wrote, "Member referrals make a HUGE difference, just cuz it makes the new investigator feel super comfortable. Thanks for the constant emails. It seriously makes my week, even though I probably don't show it. There is so much that I am learning and I continue to learn as I'm out here and everything points in the same direction: that God is real and this is His church, restored here on the earth today. I feel so blessed to have grown up in the gospel, just because I'm not sure if I would've found it on my own. So thank you for having the courage to set those standards for me. I appreciate it! Anyways, hope all is well. Tell Bax I miss him, and Bentley too... poor Bentley. Tell Baxter not to worry about the monkeys, that they will be like brothers ;)."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Monkeying Around

As you will see from Rob's email, he is not just monkeying around in Barbados. But monkeys were involved this week - along with cricket and Kadooment Day. Here are his notes from the field: "The baptism is gonna be this Saturday and it's still on. Pretty exciting! My zone leader and I went on the trade offs yesterday and he told me he's gonna request to have me as his companion. Lol. So I might have to be a zone leader next transfer :/. Gotta do what you gotta do. Anyway, things here are good. Vanique's little bro just got the priesthood on Sunday, which was REALLY cool! Ummm... I just finished Corinthians and I think that's my favorite book in the New Testament! But yeah, the transfer is still up in the air. I don't know where I'll be going yet but we'll find out next week. Oh yeah! I got to hold a monkey the other day! :O Pretty much the coolest thing ever!!! Haha. It was so rad!!!! I want one so bad." I asked Rob in my email if he had been playing cricket, as I saw pictures of him with other missionaries on Facebook, taken by a branch member. In reference to the photos below, he explained why he looks like he's playing baseball with a cricket bat: "We were playing cricket. Lol. I'm such a boss at cricket, even if I am not 'holding the bat the right way' I still smash that cricket ball. It's funny whenever someone here says they are going to watch cricket they don't say, 'I'm going to watch a cricket game,' they say, 'I'm going to watch the cricket,' or 'gonna go to the cricket.' Just a fun fact. And yeah, we had to leave Black Rock for Crop Over [the celebration that concludes with Kadooment Day, a large celebration similar to Carnival in other countries]. I guess the women don't wear any clothes when they are in the parade. Lol. Hope all is well. Take care of Bax for meeee!"