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, November 23, 2015

One Love Jah Bless, Mon

With Thanksgiving this week, we are especially grateful for Rob, the work he is doing, and the fact that he seems to be faring better. Great emails from him today, with some fun updates and stories. Here are his notes: "Man oh man, Barbados is HOT. haha No surprise there, though. haha Things are ok. We had 4 people come to church on Sunday, which is the most I've ever gotten to go, which was really cool. 3 of them were a family (the mom and her 2 kids). Her husband couldn't make it, but he had a drinking problem that he's still kind of going through and has been raised Hindu. She said if we can get him on board and help change his life that she'll get the whole family baptized, so we're working on that. We try to get him involved in the lessons but he normally just sits there, and when we ask him questions he just responds "I'm a good listener." haha It's ok though, because we can get him to laugh and have a good time. Even if he isn't learning anything or accepting anything he's still having a good time. I'm trying to figure out a way to help him. Also, Tonya came to church again. She's really cool and REALLY smart which is refreshing out here. lol Sounds bad, but people here are very uneducated. But her main concern is the same as Angela's (the mom with kids,) that is, that she wants her boyfriend to be a part of it and she wants to start obeying the law of chastity with him, so were getting him involved. He actually read 7 chapters in 1 Nephi and explained them all and stuff. I had to take a step back and be like uhhhhh where do we go from here? haha (Doesnt happen EVER.) He's very smart and sarcastic so we get along ok, but I don't exactly know how to be like... "Hey, you 2 need to just get married." lol But we'll figure it out. Anyway, that's been my week. Thought I'd fill you in on what's going on over here as far as my work goes. Transfers are going to be in about 3 weeks or so. Still no word on where I'm going but we'll see. lol ummmm Thanksgiving I'm pretty sure isn't going to be anything special for us, unfortunately. Jillean said she was gonna make us dinner but we haven't heard from her in awhile. Last time I talked to her she told me the reason she backed out of the baptism was because of all the rules that she had to hop though in order to get baptized (beach, people, etc.). So that was a little disappointing. I know she'll one day get baptized, just probably not while I'm here. :P But right now is Barbado's 49th anniversary of independence, which is pretty cool! Lots of Bajan flags hanging all over the place and Bridgetown is lit up in all blue and gold. It's really beautiful! haha Super funny though, they are already celebrating the 50th year. Like, they have a bunch of pins and flyers and stuff for the 50th year, so I asked someone once, I was like, "Isn't it the 49th year? You guys just couldn't wait or what?" haha And basically that was the answer. lol They said, "Well, it's so you'll have 'em for next year!" lol -__- Bajans. Man, I'll tell ya, crazy people, gotta love 'em. Food here is good. We live right next to this place called Skymall. It's like the nicest mall in the whole island, so I can't complain. lol Ya, Ziggy is super rad! [Ziggy sometimes posts pictures on the mission Facebook page. I told Rob to thank him for the photos. Credit to Ziggy for the pictures below - which may actually feature Ziggy between Rob and his companion.] We found out he lives near us so we get to teach lessons with him. It's nice to have an old Black Rock friend to lime with here and again. lol. Had to break up a fight between missionaries in my district earlier, so that was fun haha. Basically, one of the missionaries has had a problem with fighting for his whole mission, and so I sat them both aside and talked with them, then talked to them together, and was just like, "Ok, I want you to focus on three things: 1. missionary work 2. respect one another as adults and 3. communication." Since then they've been all right, so I felt pretty good about that. The mission pres. was going to have to handle the situation but apparently he called them and they were like, we're good now, Elder Platt solved the problem. [In response to my email about Paul from our Sunday School lesson, Rob wrote:] But ya, if I could be like Paul just in a small sense I'd be pretty stoked on that. He was a brilliant man. Ya, thanking God is for sure a very key step in this process. Something cool we talked about on Sunday was our talents and the parable of the talents. The way I look at it is God GIVES you those talents so when you hide them it's like receiving a Christmas gift and then throwing it away. The person who gave you that gift is going to be hurt because it was thought out and something that you really wanted them to take advantage of and enjoy. I think it's the same for God. He gives us all agency so he can't MAKE us use our gifts, but when we choose to hide them (throw them away) it upsets him because he wants you to enjoy it. Anyway, I'm doing well. Things are ok and looking up... for now >.> never know what the Lord has in store for you next, so I'm just gonna ride out the wave while it's still good. lol. I appreciate the good thoughts and prayers coming my way they really do make a difference. Anwyays love you guys and can't wait to be back and tell you all the crazy stories of things that happen out here. haha. It just gets more wild as the time goes by. One love jah bless mon! O ya, haha, this REALLY ghetto area we go to this guy who we stopped teaching cuz we found out he has murdered a few people pulled me aside the other day and was like "MORMONS! Hey, you let me know if anyone gives you any trouble out here. I got your back." bahaha I was like alright, dude. You're the man! So funny! Anyway, that's my funny story for the week. 'Stay classy, San Diego.'" -(Anchorman, Ron Burgundy)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rob noted this week that he has been in Barbados longer than anyone else in the mission - including the mission president. So he would not be surprised if he is transferred on December 14. If you wish to send him Christmas greetings, cards and letters need to be mailed now to his current address in order to reach him before Christmas. Here are his notes from this week: "Things are going okay. We've been contacting a lot of cool people recently and I'm hoping that they will start to make it out to church one of these Sundays. That's a cool analogy about the kayaking [I sent him my notes on Darren Wilcox's recent sacrament meeting talk, comparing paddling a kayak to keeping the commandments. Thank you, Darren!]. Sometimes you just have to keep pushing forward and doing your best. Satan obviously wants you to give up, but that's when you need to try the most, when you have everything against you. Because you KNOW you're on the road to something successful if Satan is trying to keep you away that badly, right? But we'll see how everything works out. I can only do my best :P Loving the people is the key component of it all. I understand that, and I try, but it can be hard. lol I'll work on it though. :P We've just been trying the best we can to revamp our teaching pool and get some solid people in. We've met a few cool people, so well see what happens. The fact remains however that I will most likely not be here when the transfers come because I've already been here for way too long! haha In fact, I've been here longer than everyone else... including the mission president. lol. So I'm pretty sure my time is up, but we'll see. Anyway, just one day at a time trying my best out here and trying to stay positive :P thanks again! Much love from my end. Thanks for writing me every week. I appreciate it and look forward to it every week. I appreciate it a lot!"
Elders Platt and Kuru.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Yellow Vests

Rob's zone helped with International Service Day in Bridgetown this week. Looked like a big project! A member posted some pictures from the activity on the mission Facebook page. Nice to see Rob in the yellow Mormon Helping Hands vest, doing some cleanup work. He sounds a little better this week, and had comments about investigators as well as messages to family members. Here is his email from this morning: "Ya, the service project was a LOT of work but I'm all right. A little sore, but all right all in all. haha. This week hasn't been much better, just hope things can move forward from here on out. Finally got in contact with Jillean yesterday and she told me the reason she didn't go through with the baptism was because of all the rule changes at the last minute by President Herrington. But ya, other than that things are ok. We got an investigator to church yesterday. She said she liked it and will be coming back. Her name is Tonya and she seems super solid. Only problem is she lives with her boyfriend, but she already knows she shouldn't be doing that, so hopefully she can sort those things out. ummmmm First time I've ever been cold here was today! haha It's pretty amazing! Super overcast and rainy, which usually doesn't make a difference, but it is indeed colder than usual. I just hope it can stay like this. That's cool that Jana/Shelley and the kids made it over for a little. I know Shelley said she was stressing over the triathlon, so I'm glad she made it out ok. Tell Lyla [Rob's niece, 5, who likes to do Jedi mind control tricks on him] that I hold the Jedi powers now and I will be controlling her mind. lol Speaking of Jedis... -___________- I'm SO bummed I'm gonna miss out on Star Wars! [Mom note: He was mourning the fact that he would miss the Padres' great season this summer before he left. Turns out he missed nothing. Chargers, same deal.] haha O well, little less than a year and a half and I can come home and have a marathon of movies I've missed. lol. O ya, apparently Ziggy [the member who took pictures of the service activity] lives like right next to us and a lot of our investigators, so we are going to try to use him as the third male so we can teach broken single mother homes. And yes, Lyla is correct on the monkey ;)[Lyla votes in favor of Rob bringing a monkey home. Not a surprise.] What elseeeeeeeee uhhhh, just trying the best I can to stay positive. I have 10 elders and some sisters in my district now, meaning I have to make 6 nightly calls, which is kind of a hassle when all I wanna do when I get home is sleep! haha O well, work has to get done! But hey, I miss you guys and hope all is well. Tell Baxter I love him so so so so so so so much! And that I miss him and that he's king of the world and that "he is my little gentleman" (Anchorman) ahaha Ok. Love you guys. Bye!"
International Service Day
Rob's District/Zone

Monday, November 2, 2015

Still Hangin' In There

Rob had a tough week again. I sent him this quote from Adlai Stevenson: "All I say is that nothing is easy, and the best things are the hardest." Not sure that cheered him at all, but he is working hard and trying to be obedient. Here's his latest email: "Our mission president told us yesterday that the change for the mission is that we cannot teach a female alone, even if it is outside, so... there goes our teaching pool. :( Time to start over. Like you said though, the hardest things end up being the best things in life. So I'll just tough it out. I'm just trying to find the light here in Barbados. We'll see how it goes. Any advice? Anything uplifting could be very beneficial right now. Sorry to be such a "Debby Downer." Things will get better. I just have to keep up the work. The weather is the same as always, actually just more rain than normal. >.< Thanks for being there for me and being on my side. I couldn't do it without you guys having my back on this."
Another picture from August. After a little research, we believe the cannon is located at Needham's Point, part of historic Bridgetown. Barbados has the world's rarest collection of 17th century English iron cannon.