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!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rob only LOOKS like he is on vacation in these photos. But we are glad he enjoying his service in Grenada, as evidenced by his email today - in which he actually answered some of our questions, a nice surprise. Here are his notes: "I did not speak in sacrament meeting, no, but I did teach priesthood on Easter Sunday, which was cool! Taught a lot about the Fall and how Christ is the one way to be relieved of the Fall. Kind of tried to break down the Atonement process by explaining that the Garden of Gethsemane was for our spiritual cleansing and the resurrection was for us to gain back our physical body. People had kind of a hard time understanding it but I think by the end of it everything was cleared up. But holy crap! I've been eating the most delicious food here! They call the local food "provisions" which I guess makes sense. haha. It's mainly a variety of plantains, rock figs (different kinds of bananas) baked chicken, rice and peas (they call beans peas) and usually cabbage mixed with carrots. :P its been REAL tasty. haha. Sorry for not explaining the photos. lol There's a lot that happens throughout the week that I forget about. Every Wednesday we go to an old folks' home and help the care takers there with whatever needs to be done. I walked in on this man the other day playing bass guitar, so naturally we had a long discussion... of things related to the gospel of course! ;) But mostly about music. It was fun to pick it up again and jam out a little bit. Lots of kite flying here. I don't know if you remember but last year around this time people were flying a lot of kites. Apparently during the Easter season it's a big deal. So we joined in the festivities since everyone and their Mother was busy on Easter weekend. lol. It's funny because it seems like every corner has somebody selling kites and yet everyone has their own makeshift kite. haha. Like ones made out of a trash bag and sticks. lol. We met a less-active who was building himself a kite on Saturday and invited him to a group picnic thing yesterday. He ended up showing up with his kite he made and got the thing going really high up in the air. We also played a lot of cricket yesterday. People are still trying to show me how to hold the bat but I can't help holding it like a baseball bat... I may be a little bit stubborn, but you know when your hitting 6's who really cares how you hold it, right??? haha So ya, that was pretty much my week. My studies include reading out of the Book of Mormon recently and it's fun to see the differences reading it the 3rd time through, always new and different things. Had an investigator start challenging me on Joseph Smith and how he was a Free Mason -_____- . Kinda drove me bonkers. Just doing my best out here. As far as coming home early, I haven't been praying about it as regularly as I should. I have had a lot on my mind this past week as far as our investigators go and such, but I will find an answer soon enough. Three months doesn't seem like THAT long of a time but maybe you are correct, we will see. I think a lot of it will have to do with the college options, though. For instance if I need to take the SAT's or study before I enter in or whatever the case may be. I think though that it's fairly normal to come home a few months early for school. I know my trainer went home a few months early for school, and he was like the most obedient missionary ever! haha. But I'll still ponder and pray about it. OK, love you guys! Excited to talk for Mothers Day!!!!!! Bye!
We were glad to get an explanation about this picture, sent by Rob last week, and glad to know Rob and his companion are serving in the community.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Half-way Point

Rob is now officially at the half-way point in his mission. Was there a burning of ties? Only he knows, but from the pictures he sent, he is enjoying his time serving in Grenada. Here are his notes and a few pictures from today: "Mi madre! Doing well, having lots of fun out here in Grenada as you can see. lol The bush is so crazy!!!! haha A lot of people here have lost their minds (plenty crazy people). Ya, it's kinda funny how people will have pretty much nothing and then a super nice TV and computer and smart phones. It's like, 'huh?' lol. The food here is good! Lots of fish considering Gouyave has the #1 fishing spots in all of Grenada. Every Friday they have this 'ting' called Fish Friday, where all the locals set up a bunch of stands on Friday night and just sell different fish meals and such. I only got to go once because we did trade offs last Friday, but it was really good! And fun, too. That's cool that we have all these people leaving on missions though! Lots of work to be done. I was thinking about it the other day, how God really doesn't need missionaries, you know? Like, He could just do it all on His own? I feel like it's a combination of it being for other people and for ourselves, you know? Like for us to grow and learn. Which I have immensely. But ya, I was just thinking about that the other day. That's cool that the sisters are still going over to see Nana. I bet she has a lot of fun seeing you guys on the weekends though, so that's nice. But things here are good, just trying to figure things out slowly. The group here needs a lot of work so we just need to buckle down and get it done. But just know I love you and am excited to see you in a year. Bye!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gouyave, Grenada

Rob is now in Gouyave, Grenada, a more remote area than ones in which he has previously served. The panorama photo above was taken just outside his apartment. Here is his email from this morning: "Ok, so Grenada is great! Very beautiful place! Gouyave is really cool and super secluded from everywhere in the Grenada. It's just a little town right by the sea! Love it here. I still haven't understood why it's called the spice island yet. Apparently a lot of nutmeg? It is pretty bush. I think I was expecting it to be more bush than this, but I think it suffices my third world needs. haha. My new companion is Elder Dancan. He's from Kenya and a way funny guy. He pretends to be a bad missionary but he's really a good missionary. lol. It's fun to be with someone who's black here, because people tend to trust you more. Wish it didn't have to be like that, but you know, it is what it is. We're actually no longer in a branch. It is considered a group because it is so tiny! Had about 10-15 at church on Sunday. It's weird being in a group because the church is just like a house that has sacrament meeting in a living room, basically. It'll be nice to come home and have an actual structured ward again. haha. The area is very remote. It's about an hour from St. George's, which is like the main town of Grenada. Elder Dancan and myself are the only missionaries in the area. The white rock story is awesome. Makes you wonder how it actually got there, you know? [By way of explanation, I wrote to him about a small white rock I found in a really random place. I have been putting small white rocks in a jar for every day he is gone. Finding the rock in my path reminded me the Lord is looking out for Rob, always.] The Lord blesses us in the simplest of ways. Sometimes if we don't pay attention they can pass us by without us even seeing it. President Monson seems to be talking a lot about bringing things back to basics lately, and it makes sense. The foundation of our testimony should be continually strengthened so we can add to our knowledge. And teaching others is the best way to accomplish that! This week has been cool, getting to know the new area. Everyone likes the missionaries here a lot so that's really cool. Just seems like people won't keep commitments and actually act on the message we share. With the group being the way it is we are probably just going to try and reactivate members in the area so we can make it a branch. Hopefully all goes well! :P new mailing address is PO box 3804 Lagoon road, St Georges Grenada. Thanks for the support. I'm just hoping time can start to fly by. lol. As nice as it is here, home still sounds a whole lot better. I am way excited for my year mark to be here! lol. Is that bad? I'm super trunky already. :P Thanks for the prayers. They are well received on my end. Anyway, I'll talk to you next week. Love you all!"

Monday, March 7, 2016

Grenada Bound

Rob is being transferred this week to the island nation of Grenada. He will be sad to leave his friends in St. Lucia, but is looking forward to the challenge of a more remote field of labor. Here is a map of Grenada and a picture of the capital city from the air - perhaps the way Rob will first see his new area.
Here are his emails from today, a bit scattered, as he is no doubt trying to get his things organized for the transfer and say good-bye to the wonderful people of St. Lucia: "Haha, ya. Grenada it is! I'm excited for it, it should be cool! Guav [Gouyave, a city on the west coast of Grenada] is one area I wanted to serve. I remember Elder Wilson (my trainer) telling me about Guav and how fun it is, and also how bush it is (bush means like forest area) so I'm pretty excited for it. It's kind of comical how last transfer was one of my most successful transfers and now I'm no longer District Leader. Lol. Still a little confused about how all that works out. Heck ya, Johnathan is one of the coolest people I've met out here. He's such a good dude and deserves so much more than what he's been given, you know? I know I really need to start doing more writing in my journal. Starting next transfer I'm on top of that. But on a positive note, I do get to teach my LAST district meeting! Haha. Been a long tome coming, right? Thanks for the love and support, though. I know it has gotten me through a lot this past year. But hey, we're pretty much half way done, right? Then I'll be back and we can party it up in San Diego! haha. Looking forward to that. Hopefully the next year goes by a lot faster than this year. Apparently it does for everyone, but I'm hoping I'm not an exception to the rule. lol. I'll let you know how Grenada goes, though. It's going to be the toughest area I've had to face yet on my mission, but I really am excited for the challenge of a really third world part of the area, you know? Hopefully it will go well. Thanks for the support. But I hope everyone back home is safe and doing well. Love ya!"
Saying good-bye to St. Lucia. Mom note: Johnathan has a brother and grandmother in Grenada, and he assures us Rob will be looked after by his family. Thank you, Johnathan!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Zone Conference, St. Lucia

In spite of a zone conference Friday and a baptism Saturday, Rob is feeling somewhat discouraged about his service. We would appreciate prayers for him this week. No pictures yet from the baptism, but here are his email notes: "I got my package, it was really nice! Thank you for doing all that for me. I know I can be a hassle sometimes, so thank you. Hopefully I can look back at all this and say I walked away accomplishing something. Hopefully everything works itself out. The baptism went off without a hitch, so that was nice. The baptism was great! Holy crap! Lots of fun and very spiritual. She was confirmed the next day and everything went really well. She is such a solid member and I can't wait to baptize her little girls eventually, and have them all sealed together. It'll be awesome! The name of the woman is Sancha. Remember the three little girls I took a picture of and sent them to you? It's their mom. I didn't have my camera for the baptism, but I'll snag pictures and send them to you guys later.
That's cool to hear about Dylan [Dylan Howard, recently called to serve a mission in Kentucky. He mentioned Sunday that Rob was a good example to him.]. He was probably just being nice, but either way the fact that he's serving a mission is incredible. Let him know I'm super stoked for him and that he's making the best decision of his life. Other than that, all the week has been pretty hard. I'm just having a rough time getting along with people lately. Just trying to get through it all and persevere till the end. Work, work, and work some more. Lol. That's my strategy! Hopefully I can start to see blessings come from it. Anyways, love you guys. Miss you a lot, and hope all is well! :)