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, September 26, 2016

Winner, Winner...

These are some of the pictures we received on Saturday, without explanation. Naturally, it was at the top of our list of things to ask this week. For an explanation of the chicken saga and more updates from St. Vincent, read on:

"But ya, so Saturday we went to a member's house for service. He lives on this HUGE hill. And we had to pull up some of the flooring and put down some ply wood. Worst part was that there were like 10 'jacks' nests down there. They called their wasps 'Jack Spanners' and they're satanic, I'm pretty sure. haha. Scary little things. But ya, right after that we went to Sister Edwards' to fix her current (electricity) and we had to hammer and chisel out like 10 feet of concrete. It was intense! I'm still sore from that day. haha. Regarding the chicken: Jackson nailed it with a slingshot and I cut off its head with a cutlass >:P It was brutal. lol. We didn't exactly know what to do after that but ya... WE KILLED A CHICKEN. Right as we killed it Jackson was like, "Well... what do we do now?" I'm like, "uhhhhhh we take it home." haha. Luckily a Rastaman was able to help us skin the thing and we took it home and fried it up. lol... Didn't taste all that great. Apparently "wild fowl" meat is a little more tough so you have to "pressure cook" it? I don't know what the heck that is. lol. Sounds like too much work for me tho. lol. As soon as we killed it one of the Rastas goes, "The Mormons got their sacrifice!" hahahaha. So funny! Also hit my 3/4 mark so I found an old pair of pants an elder left in the apartment and burned them (it's tradition). haha. Used a match and some Pam and went to town on it. lol. I'll send pics later. :P On a more spiritual note Casley will indeed be getting baptized on Friday! Super cool! He's gone 2 weeks now without smoking and says he doesn't even have the craving anymore! He's been sleeping with the Book of Mormon next to him and is like half way through 1 Nephi. :O He's so prepared. I feel so lucky that I get to see the final steps come together. It's really cool! Tell Elder Knapp I'm jealous and that I've made a lot of Samoan friends out here in the mission. They are a cool group of people, those guys. Today we went to Dark View Falls and took some pictures at the waterfalls, which was really cool! I'll send you the photos in a bit!  Thanks so much for everything! Bless up! Love you guys!"

Service projects last Saturday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Six Months to Go!

Zone Conference St. Vincent, September 19, 2016

Yesterday was zone conference in St. Vincent, so Rob's preparation day was today. He has had prayers answered and celebrates his 18-month mark in the mission field today. Here are his notes: "Heyyyyyy! We had 2 investigators at church on Sunday. It was pretty cool!  One of them was Casley (the one with the baptism date). The work is progressing well. So check this out! Casley needed work to not only make money but to keep him busy and away from his friends that smoke so we prayed for him to get a job, and lo and behold the next day he got TWO job offers. Haha. So cool, right!? But that's not all. We had a similar situation with Omari and we prayed for him to find work. We got a call during zone conference and HE got a job offer as well! Bahaha. Insane, right? I was saying, 'Hey, if anybody in your area needs a job send 'em to Campden Park and we'll hook 'em up. ;) Haha. No, just kidding, the Lord has been very giving and kind to our investigators this week. For P-day today, Omari took us on a nature trail in Vermont, which I took TONS of pics of, so I'll send those to you later when I have more time. But it was really cool and lots to see! So before we left to go on the nature trail today we were waiting for a bus that Sister Jack had set up to pick us up in town to take us to Vermont. And everyone was waiting impatiently saying things like, 'Man, this bus is never gonna show up!' or 'Let's just take a different bus.' So I stood up and was like, 'Everyone! Where is thy faith!?' Then I stood in the midst of a group of crazVincies and bowed my head and said a prayer. Lol. Everyone was staring at me like, what the freak is this kid doing? All the elders and sisters were laughing, but after I was done I said 'I felt good about that.' And not 3 seconds later our bus comes around the corner. bahahaha. Jackson was like, 'You're so lucky dude!' Haha. Pretty funny story, just thought I should share! But ya, everything is going well here. I think Casley might actually get baptized. But you know me, I never get my hopes up. Lol, too many disappointments. Thanks for thinking about me, and I'm glad I could be of some help to you guys back home. Haha. I think you guys picture me as this super star missionary and I can assure I am not that! Haha. I do work hard though, so thanks for the inspiring words of encouragement. Woot!!!! 18 monthsssssss!!!!!!! Holy crap, never thought I'd see the day. Haha, still feels like I have forever to go, or as my trainer would say 'plenty of time left.' Bahaha. Miss that kid. He was a good trainer. O, so you may not have noticed the pic with the little satchel on my side [see photo below]. This week we climbed a 'Bowlee' tree? I think that how you spell it. Anyways, I took one of the big pods off the tree threw it down to Elder Jackson and went home and made a side satchel with it. Bahaha.  I saw some guy selling 'em in town and I asked how much, and he's like '$85 .' I'm like, pshhhhh ya right dude. I'll make my own!... so I did. Lol. I took it on the trail we hiked today for P-day and it has held up and kept my slingshot, rocks, and camera safely secured in there. People keep asking me 'Where'd you buy that?' I'm like, I made it, mon! I'm basically like a Caribbean version of Link... (from Zelda). You probably don't even know what I'm talking about, but ya. Haha. O Bax! He's a good boy! Just misunderstood! And no one ever sticks up for him...  But hey, do me a favor and pray for me about which college I should attend. Maybe in the temple? Lemme know the spiritual impression you get, cuz I'd love more insight! Thanks! Love u guys! Thanks for the support! Bless up!"

Rob as Link, with tree pod satchel.

Tracting in Campden Park

St. Vincent sunset

Monday, September 12, 2016

Vincy, Mon

Rob had a good week in St. Vincent. By way of explanation, several of his comments are in response to emails or letters he received. When relevant, I've included the pictures he referenced below. Here are his notes from this week: "It was cool to have 3 investigators at church last week. This week we were SUPPOSED to have 6 people at church: 2 of our investigators and 4 of Jevoni's friends that are potentially interested, so that was exciting... until no one showed up. Haha. Poor Jevoni, man. We picked him up at 7:30 to go get an investigator who lived up a huge hill. We had to travel through a steep slick muddy trail and then it rained on us -_____- and on top of all that, as you could've guessed, he wasn't even home. LOL. Jevoni got done cleaning off his shoes and sat next to me and says 'he better come to church.' I told him that he's now a true missionary because he gets to be all muddy and tired and wet and face nothing but disappointment. Bahahaha.  He knows it was a joke tho... I hope >.> Good news for the week tho! Casley! I don't know if you remember him, he's Miss V's ex boyfriend who finally moved out and went to the sisters' area. They contacted him and taught him a couple times. But now he's living with his parents in Campden Park! So we are teaching him now and he has a baptismal date AND last time we checked he had quit smoking for 3 days! Pretty cool, right? Gotta hold onto those little things sometimes. Haha. But all in all a pretty good week here in Vincy. [In response to my note about hearing John Welch say he had memorized Matthew 5-7 in German on his mission, Rob wrote:] That actually sounds like it'd be a good idea to memorize the Sermon on the Mount, I might do that. Got enough time on my hands. haha. I'm still upset I never went to Hebrew school... -_____- really wouldve been a great idea... You shouldnt' have given in to peer pressure. Haha. This guy a couple weeks ago gave me a packet of "100 questions to ask your bishop." O boy... some of the stuff in there is really dumb but then again other stuff that you can understand why people are against the church. Lol. But one of the questions was 'Why don't they let Mormons study Hebrew? *face palm* Lol. After I read it I was like, 'what Christian church is adamant about studying Hebrew?' Lol. Anyways, that's been my week. LOL. I got your letters and the picture of my dead zika body from Lyla [see illustration below]. Bahahahaha.  I was laughing so hard! The other elders were looking at me like, 'dude, you have a messed up family.' LOL. Loved it. Thanks for the letters. That was interesting to hear about your trip to the Old Testament temple remake thing! That guy sounds really smart! Wish I could just sit down with someone like that and talk for hours, ya know? We get fed like kings out here in Vincy, mon! The T-shirts are Vincy shirts. Sometimes I rep them on P-days. The dog is a little poodle puppy at the member's house that fed us. [See photos below.] Haha. Even poodles in the Caribbean are black ;). Poor Bax! Tell him the poodle was just so I could remember him! I feel like most days happen so unexpectedly out here that I've kinda learned to just go with the flow. :P I like your explanation about the whole rationalize vs. repentance thing. I think all of us are in some way or another guilty of that. But a constant course correction is good for us to become perfect like the Savior. The road is simple but not always easy to follow, as they say. But I sent a picture that Elder Jackson took of us (yes that's a sling shot). Haha. We have dogs chase us a lot and I'm sick of having them bite my foot, so I bought a slingshot in town for like 7 EC (2 dollars American, something like that) and of course the thing broke. So I cut up one of my lighter workout bands and made a new sling for it and now it shoots faster than ever! Bahaha.  #missionlife. I modified my backpack as well and sowed 2 pouches on the sides, one for the slingshot and one for the rocks. ;) No more dogs. Haha. Doing my own kind of pest control out here. lol. Raised by the best, ya know? Thanks for the encouragement as always. It always builds me up for the week. I don't know how people do it without loved ones sending them support from home, really does mean a lot so thank you. Tell Pres. Fisler and Brother Quinn I said hello and miss them both, and thank them for being awesome leaders! Anyways, I g2g. One love! Bless up. Thanks for the support. Love you guys!"

Some of Rob's nieces and nephews call him "Uncle Stinky." This is the lovely picture Lyla (age 6) drew and sent to Rob. The caption she wrote was, "I hope Zika virus doesn't kill you because you would stink worse if you were dead." 

Rob enjoying Vincy food.

St. Vincent flag shirts.

Rob with poodle puppy. Baxter was a bit jealous.

Classic Platt and Jackson photo, captioned "Sharp shooter." 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Caribbean Dreaming

Hey, this week has been pretty good. we have set a baptismal date with one of our new investigators, its not till nov 19th but we'llnsee if we can't encourage her to move it up. Her name is Asha and she is pregnant and due any day now. We started teaching Jevoni's friend which turned out pretty well lol. It's funny cuz we asked him if he would like to come to church and he just kinda looked at Jevoni like uhhhhhh, then looked at us and was like "O! I didn't bring clothes to wear sorry!" and Jevoni goes "I got an extra shirt. You should come." bahaha. So he came to church! haha. Funny how many investigators have all these different excuses but it's never that they "don't have a ride" or "might have something to do" it's the fact that they just don't want to come. But I'm hoping he enjoyed church. We have another investigator that lives clear out in Vermont (not in the states ;)) and he came to church on Sunday. He had a lot of very interesting questions come up in priesthood. haha. He kept typing them on his phone and handing it to me. haha. little backround about him: the first lesson we had with him was this week, he was a referral from a member, and we were going to teach the plan of salvation, which we did, but he had a LOT of questions so we ended up teaching him the Word of Wisdom the Law of Chastity and the Law of Tithing all in one lesson. lol. Seems like he picks up fairly quickly. Usually you don't really bring those up in the first lesson so it was a bit odd but well see where it all goes. And last but not least, do you remember the guy we saw that had been taught forever by the missionaries? Miss V's boyfriend? Well, he has moved back to our area AND came to church on Sunday! Totally out of the blue. The buses ran late on Sunday so we arrived to church 5 minutes late and I sat down with Jevoni and his friend and Elder Jackson was like "hey check out behind us" and there was Castley. haha. I was like "whoa dude! no way!" Anyway, he had a dream about one of the members coming talking to him about something so that's what inspired him to come to church. We saw that same member at the bus stop while waiting for a bus to go to Fort Charlotte and he's coming to teach Castley with us tonight! #tendermercies. lol. So that made a total of 3 investigators at church today which is pretty cool! I was thinking about something President Mehr taught a while back about how personal revelation is given through dreams a lot in the Caribbean because God knows that's how he will touch these people the most, kinda a cool tid bit of President Mehr doctrine, that guy is a smart cookie. ummmmm Everything else is going ok I guess? I know I still have like over 6 months left so I shouldn't be over it yet but it's just really exhausting, like physically, emotionally, and even spiritually at times. Just cramming your head full of doctrine so you can hopefully inspire someone in a town that thinks very lowly of you... lol. But I love the mission! bahaha. I don't know how people can have that attitude, it's beyond me. Then again most of the people that tell me they love the mission have cars so that might be why :P Anyway, just cuz I'm sick of it doesn't mean I'm going to give up. I'll be plugging away for the next 6 months so don't worry about me. Today we went to Fort Charlotte. I'll send you some pics of it tomorrow. Apparently they filmed a part of Pirates of the Caribbean there so that was kinda cool. I'm glad you guys got the shed finished and a few repairs on top of that! Sounds like Dad and Mike were really pushing out some work over there. I still don't know how Dad does it. He inspires me with his work ethic. It's very cool! Seems like he is always busting stuff out. lol. The natural man can be a very easy thing to fall back into especially when times are rough. I've caught Satan on more than one occasion trying to convince me "Hey! You know one thing that'll never change? Living in the world! You can gurantee that'll be fun!" What he fails to inspire and mention to us is the after effects of living in the world and all the pain and discomfort it will bring after those maybe moments of pleasure. He's a smart guy, that adversary, I'll tell ya. I hope he gains a body so I can sock him in the face one day ;) Just kidding, gotta think Christ-like. Thanks for the encouragement, just trying to stay grounded and do the best I can for the time being. Hope for the best. I've noticed from other missionaries that the work starts getting a lot harder (not teaching just the distractions of Satan) in the last 6 months of the mission so pray for me please :) ok have a good week love u guys thanks for everything! Well,  love u guys!

Photos from
Ft. Charlotte