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, January 25, 2016

Notes from the world-wide missionary broadcast

The only photo Rob sent this week was a picture of the interior of a Catholic cathedral he and his companion came across in their travels, which he described as "creepy." So I have posted here a map of the Caribbean with a star on St. Lucia, since I've had several people ask about where in the world Rob is serving. Click on the map to enlarge it. In his emails, Rob mentioned a world-wide missionary broadcast he viewed this week. Sounds like there were great messages and counsel for missionaries. Here are notes from Rob's emails: "It's true Christ is always teaching us. It's one of the cool things about life, that we're always being refined and made into something better. As long as we're doing what's right, of course. The broadcast was good! A lot of it was stuff I have already taught in district meetings in the past, with a little more insight on the importance of using the Spirit in teaching. Something that really stuck with me was that you WILL not convert anyone with doctrine alone. And I came to the realization I've just been trying to prove to people on paper why the Church is true and it hasn't been working for me lately. Then I realized during that broadcast that I haven't been using the spiritual confirmation as much as I should. It needs to be the center of it. But ya, anyways, I'm gonna work on that throughout the week. The space theater thing sounds really cool! [We are planning to see their film on Jerusalem this week.] Can't believe we can go to the very place that Jesus Christ walked the earth, performed all those amazing miracles! I would love to go to Jerusalem some day. I think that would be so cool. Although I would imagine you would have to be careful considering all the wars going on. I'm sure that's how Jesus would've wanted it, right? lol O well, I'm sure they'll figure it out someday, right? And thanks again for the encouragement, I really needed that. Have a great day/week :D I'm gonna get going. Love you guys!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hebrew School, Conacts, and Talents

When Rob was 5, I wanted to look into enrolling him in Hebrew school with some of his Jewish friends. My reasoning was that it would be easier for him at that age to pick up the language. The idea met with some resistance from Rob's siblings, and was never pursued. Who would have thought he would end up regretting that decision? Here are notes from this week's emails, and a few pictures from a P-day excursion to visit a pirate ship docked near his area in Castries: "St. Lucia is treating me well! Here is a link to the video I mentioned last week: There ya go ;). Home has been hitting me hard lately. I don't know why. :P Johnathan is doing really well. He is smart and working on a foundation of gospel knowledge that will serve him well. And I am learning lots. Like, James E. Talmage says that the seven churches [in the Book of Revelation] were just seven branches of Jesus Christ's church. Only seven of them were still practicing correctly and hadn't fallen into apostasy. I'm sure the number 7 is symbolic of something as well though. I got my hands on a New World translation, so I'm picking that apart and finding some of the faults it has. It's interesting, though. They apparently have scholars that translated it straight from Hebrew texts? I don't know how accurate that is, but ya... you should've not listened to everyone else and put me through Hebrew school!!!! I wanna dissect the original text >.< O well, maybe when I get home I'll learn Hebrew. Or make my kids learn it. Lol. That would make things so much easier! Or maybe we can learn it together. I also wanna read a Quran some time. Deep doctrine is freaking radical. There have been many times I just wanna walk into a church and steal the microphone and just start preaching to everyone. lol. As for our investigators, some of them have kind of fallen off the face of the planet this week. Everyone seems to be super busy, but oh well, we will keep on trying. We met a couple of new people this week that we actually set baptismal dates with in the first visit. It was pretty cool. I've noticed that the Plan of Salvation is one of the greatest contacting tools out there. Really brings in a new perspective, you know? But as far as coming to church, a woman named Christina has been coming to church and is going to get baptized this weekend. And this guy named Curtis has come once, so hopefully that all keeps progressing. Johnathan will receive the priesthood this Sunday. He comes out teaching with us every so often, but everybody keeps falling through when we bring him out, which kinda sucks. But he's really personable and does a great job teaching and breaking the ice with people who think we're just weirdo missionaries. Which is nice, 'cause usually that's my job. lol. I've realized my talents out here are fairly unique, but not all that useful :(. I can make us look like normal people and I can shut down anti-Mormons, but as far as committing people to a baptismal date, I suck at missionary work. lol. Miss you guys and hope all is well!ONE LOVE. Platypus out."

Monday, January 11, 2016

Baptism in St. Lucia!

Rob's district had a baptism last weekend, his first since becoming a missionary. I asked him for pictures, and was not disappointed. In St. Lucia, baptisms are performed in the Caribbean Sea, so the setting could not be more beautiful. And Rob may or may not have tackled his zone leader in the ocean after the baptism. In fact, the pictures seem to indicate they both went down. Here are some of his notes from today's email, and a few pictures from the baptism: "Hey! New year has been good so far! The baptism went really well. Johnathan is a really good kid, and really smart. He came out teaching with us and is already a pro. We don't get many dinner invites here in Lucia, but Johnathan's mom feeds us once in a while, which is super nice! Being a district leader is fun, has its ups and downs. I don't, however, consider anyone working 'under' me, it's a team effort. I'm just here to help others when they need help, you know? The Hornes [Senior missionary couple] are gone, and we won't have a senior couple on the island for about a month, I think. I did recently buy a machete. I got my investigator to shape it and sharpen it and I'm getting a sheath for it that'll say "PLATYPUS" on the side. It's gonna be sooooo cool. [Regarding his previous report on eradicating cockroaches from his apartment:] NO, St. Lucia does not have a branch of Centurion Pest Control out here >.> I hope I never have to deal with that again. Freaking HATE roaches. Lol. [And on a more spiritual note:] Something that has really been inspiring me lately is "The Atonement" video. If you can find it and watch it, you should. It's really good. It's the one that talks about Christ's sacrifice related to missionary work. Henry B. Eyring starts it and finishes it, but Jeffrey R. Holland does most of the talking. It's really good. You should check it out. The knowledge continues to grow out here. I'm only a chapter into "The Great Apostasy" and I'm learning all sorts of cool stuff. Mostly about Christ superseding the Mosaic Law, which helps a LOT, considering a lot of people out here are Seventh Day Adventists. But yeah, things here are good. Just constantly striving to do the best I can, learn as much as I can, but at the same time still counting down the days. Haha. Ok. Bless up! One love."

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

We asked Rob if there were any special happenings in St. Lucia for New Year's Day. Here is his response, including answers to other questions: "Nah, we didn't get to do any celebrations for New Years Eve or New Years Day :P, but we had a pretty good time contacting! Haha. [I asked if there was anything more we could do to help him in the mission field, he said:] You guys do plenty of things to help me out! I appreciate everything you do, I really do. It helps me get through my day. I love all the deep stuff you send me, too. I just got the letter talking about how Islam can be related to Lamanites. Haha. That was really good. Never thought of it like that. So we talked to an inactive family that converted to Seventh Day Adventist, and I pretty much went in there and tore their religion to pieces (in a nice, loving way ;)) and they are now going to start coming back to church! haha. It was pretty cool. You would've been proud of me. Basically, I was trying to explain to them that Christ is in all of the Bible. Like, everything in the Old Testament is leading up to His coming. I pretty much told the guy he's being more of a Jew than a Christian. Lol :X But hey, it worked, so no worries. [In response to my question about whether or not he needed me to send more recipes:] Nah, I'm good with recipes. I'm just making stuff up as I go, pretty much. Like the other day I made brown rice, boiled veggies, and tuna with pepper sauce and soy sauce. It was pretty good, and healthy!;) I'm just trying to get in better shape and becoming a better missionary every day. Those are my goals, mostly. I hope I can help bring things to the table here in St. Lucia. Our zone leader seems to think I'll be the zone leader here after he leaves this transfer, but we'll see. I could really care less. haha. [I also asked what he likes hearing most in emails. He said:] Hearing about family stuff more, I think, just because I get spiritually fed all day every day. haha. But new insights to certain things are really good too. [And in answer to my question about his recent move to St. Lucia:] The move was fine. I had to take some Christmas presents to a girl here in St. Lucia, but other than that it was fine. The new missionaries that had just arrived didn't receive a return ticket, so they were held back for a bit. Nothing too interesting, though. The baptism is for sure still going to happen this Saturday! Should be cool! But hey, I'm going to send a bunch of pics so you can see what I've been up to. Love you guys and can't wait to be back home!!!! Oh, one more thing: I would like more pictures of Baxter!:D"