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, October 24, 2016

A View of St. Vincent

No explanation came with this picture from Rob, but it looks like a great view of Campden Park, St. Vincent, from a rooftop. In my email to him, I reflected on the question of whether he would have gone on his mission had he known how hard it would be - and then the bigger question, would any of us have volunteered to come to earth had we known the challenges we'd face. In his notes he addressed these questions and gave us an update on his work in the West Indies. But first, his reflections on vine swinging: "Hahaha. O, man, the vine swinging was a blast! And yes, of course I was being careful >.>... We're going on another hike with Omari on Wednesday too, so there will be plenty more vine swinging! X-P Cool thing we learned about Omari this week is that apparently his dad is a member! Haha. Had no idea! I don't think he's active any more, but he was the branch president at the Calliaqua Branch awhile ago. Lol. Pretty cool, right??? We had brought up baptism again with Omari and he still wants to read through the Book of Mormon before he gets baptized, which is a good thing, I guess. Lol. I wanted to bring up the Alma scripture that talks about not procrastinating the day of your repentance, but something (I'm assuming the Spirit) held me back. I don't know, we'll see what happens, I guess. All in all what it comes down to is him feeling the Spirit for himself through his actions. Hopefully we can help him recognize that, but we'll see. As far as me coming out knowing what lies ahead? I don't know. Probably not... but then again I haven't gotten a chance to see the blessings that come after, so I guess I shouldn't say that quite as yet. Ya, 5 months will go by super quick, I'm sure! I had a dream last night that I was back home and I didn't have anything to do and I was feeling, like, sad cuz I didn't have anything to do. Haha. It was weird, but ya... I hope to avoid that. I've heard that a lot of the empowerment of the Spirit leaves you as soon as you get released, but I'm hoping to hang on to some of those good habits when I get home. I like the thought of becoming a better disciple of Christ. I mean, I guess no one can really be perfect, right? But as long as we are trying our best, Christ will make up for everything else. Things here are good, though. I'm just trying to be diligent and hopefully see some success with some of our investigators. As far as school goes, I was wondering what the chances of getting into Utah State would be? I hear they have a great computer science program and it sounds like a good location, I just don't know how likely it is I'll get in there. I was thinking overall just maybe apply to everywhere and then make a decision from there, ya know? Thanks for the inspiring words! Really do appreciate it. I will continue doing my best out here and hope to come home and make you guys proud! Thanks for everything. I'll have more info next week. Sorry for such a short email today. Take care!"

Monday, October 17, 2016

Coconut Hunting and Pig Roasting

Rob's had a good week, with time spent working with investigators and in the jungle. Some of his comments are explanations relating to the pictures posted here, sent earlier in the week.

We asked Rob which method worked best, using
the pole or climbing the tree.


Here are his notes: "Haha. Ya, it was the bamboo pole that got 'em! Not an easy task, though. Did you see the pictures of us swinging on the vines!? Haha. It was a blast! We were pretty high off the ground. All that rain sure did bring in a lot of green to Vincy! Elder Jones is unique. Haha. He smiles 24/7 and laughs at just about everything. He is a germaphobe and refuses to shake hands and sometimes even give knocks (bump fists? I forget how they even used to say it in the states. That's weird!) Elder Jones has been out for 13 months now so he's still got a while to go. He's from Utah (surprise, surprise). Elder Jackson had a good idea of getting 2 of each of all the flags from the places he's served and his mom is gonna make a blanket out of 'em. I don't know if you would wanna do that for me, or maybe something different. It's up to you. Just sounded like a good idea at the time. Ummmm yes, lots of goats! And lots of chickens. We actually had a pig roast today. I'll send pictures. It was a blast! But no monkeys on St. Vincent, unfortunately! They're the best. Let the Relief Society know I appreciate them putting a package together for Christmas. That is really nice of them. Omari is doing okay. He's been praying every morning and night now, so that's good. I think he was saying his prayers might be getting some answers too, so hopefully he's getting closer to God. The work here is progressing slower than normal, I feel. Not too many people progressing. I had to explain baptisms for the dead AND the three kingdoms of glory to an investigator who said that was holding her back from believing the doctrine that we share. SO, I explained to her 1Corinthians 15 and how the whole chapter is about Paul teaching the people of Corinth about the resurrection because at some point they stopped believing. So he's asking them why they are baptizing for the dead if the dead rise not at all? Using their own logic against them, trying to prove to them that if they are baptizing for the dead then they would HAVE to believe in the resurrection, therefore, signifying that DID exist back then. Then I shared with her about how in 2Corinthians they mention a third heaven and clarified the three kingdoms for 1Corinthians 15 again. It was cool, cuz she understood everything and it seemed to answer everything she had. So that was kind my miracle for the week. But other than that, everything is going pretty well! Tell everyone back home I miss them and I'll see them soon enough! I'm hoping it'll all work out and I do get to bring home some of these good work ethics with me. Thanks for the uplifting words. Sometimes I feel like I can take a lot, until I run into the scriptorian on the street who knows everything negative about the church. Haha. Then I humble myself a bit. Things here are getting a bit repetitive as far as the people we see. We are trying to build a new teaching pool through referrals from others because I've realized that's where the most success comes from. So hopefully that all works out well. We're actually teaching Casley's dad on Tuesday, so I'm hoping that goes well. He was taught by the missionaries awhile ago and somewhere there was a miscommunication about the right to baptize and how he seemed to think that we believe that Joseph Smith was the only one who has ever had that authority. So I'm thinking we'll go over the great apostasy with him to let him know about the time gap, and hopefully transition smoothly into priesthood. We'll see how it works out! Pray for me! Thanks for all the support. I appreciated it! Hope you guys have a great week! One love!"

The promised pig roasting pictures.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Still in Vincy, New Comp

Rob is staying in St. Vincent with a new companion, Elder Jones. No new pictures, so I've included some from a previous P-day adventure. Here are his notes from today:
"Heyyyyy! Another week, another email. Vincy is going pretty good, actually.I have really enjoyed the past few days with my new comp, Elder Jones. He is cool, and interesting guy. He smiles a lot! Omari is doing... ok. Haha. I don’t know,  we’re going to see him again on Wednesday. He’s gonna take us on a tour to collect some fruit so that should be fun! Casley’s baptism was quite the adventure, but hey, it got done so that’s what matters! I know the Lord is preparing me to become who I’m supposed to be. And ya, I was actually pretty disappointed about the hurricane, I thought I was gonna have the opportunity to say I survived a hurricane on my mission! Lol. O well, what can ya do? I hear Haiti got hit pretty hard, though! :/ That’s too bad. And yes it’s so true, it goes right along with counting our blessings. If we sit and think about all the things we’ve been blessed with we’ll have a new found look on our somewhat negative situation. Easier said than done though. I guess, sometimes finding the good in a bad situation can be tough. I really appreciate the snail mail you sent me with the in depth looks on King Benjamin’s address! I wanted to use the Alma scripture as a reference but have been hesitant because it would mean that Mosiah 2-5 would HAVE to have been in a jubilee year, so I’ll be studying that for the week most likely! I haven’t taken as many good pics yet this week! I’ll take more throughout the week, though. I’ll send one of a Vincy funeral going on while I’m in a bus. It’s kinda crazy. For funerals here they parade down the streets and block all the roads with rum in their hands and just stumble and chant with their hands in the air yelling crazy stuff. Hahaha. It’s hilarious! I wanna be buried in St. Vincent, I think ;) lol. Just kidding! I don’t know about school yet either. :/ Hoping to get a prompting sometime soon. Maybe its’ somewhere I haven’t checked yet? I’m sure sooner or later I’ll be able to make a good decision. For right now UVU sounds right, so I say let’s try and see if i can even get into that, and if it doesn’t work out then try for something else. :P I have plenty of days left. I’ll try and stay diligent! If you can just send prayers my way I could use all the help I can get. Thanks! :)Love you guys. Bless up!"

Rob's picture of the funeral procession taken from a bus.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Baptism and Conference Weekend

It sounds like a great, crazy, hard week in St. Vincent. We were worried about Tropical Storm Matthew, but it seems to have been not much more than a lot of rain - and some power outages. So happy to get these pictures from the baptism Friday. And so grateful General Conference was available there. Here are Rob's notes for the week: "Heyyyy, so the main conference theme I'd say, for Saturday at least, was giving our will to God's will and asking for His direction in everything. At least that's kinda what I got out of it. I really liked Elder Cornish's talk as well.  That was probably my favorite. But ya, conference was cool. All together I learned a lot. Casley's baptism was really good! So we got a call from President on Tuesday saying that he had to conduct the interview for Casley on Thursday at 6 because of some complications with the interview questions, and we couldn't get a hold of him all day Wednesday! Luckily we got a hold of him on Thursday at 4. Haha. >.< Got him to the church, did the interview. He then told us he was going to meet us at the church at around 2 Friday for his baptism at 4:30.... Well, we got to the church at 11am and the power had gone out and the water wasn't functioning properly. Lol. So here I am filling up buckets of sink water praying the power will get fixed. Casley isn't picking up his phone and it's 4pm. Luckily the power got turned back on and the font got filled up enough to do the baptism, but NO CASLEY! So finally he calls us and is like, 'Sorry, sorry! I'm on my way!' Haha. PHEW! After that everything ran smoothly, but boy o boy was it a stressful experience. We went to go pick Casley up for conference on Sunday but someone had come to his house and beat him up, so he went to the clinic instead.... Don't know what the Lord's hand is in all this but I really hope everything is gonna be ok. We're gonna see him tonight at 6 so pray for us please! As far as the storm: BORING!!! hahaha. We thought it was gonna be this crazy hurricane and we like prepped our stuff and layed low, but it was just a bunch of rain for 2 days. -_____- lame. Haha. Elder Jackson will be going to Grenada on Wednesday and I'll be paired with Elder Jones. I don't know Elder Jones but I guess he's a really cool guy? Just been a really rough week. Seems like that's usually how life goes for me right after someone gets baptized. Been praying to see God's love in my life but since I've been praying for that I've seen a lot of negativity. :/ Never really wanted to go home more than this past week. Six months seems like an eternity some days. Hopefully it'll go fast and I'll do what the Lord needs me to do out here and learn what I'm supposed to learn... patience, perhaps? :/ O well, life goes on! But as far as school goes I would assume UVU would be my best option. I'm going to rely on the Lord with an answer and when I get that answer I'm gonna go full throttle and smash out some good grades. >:P. Determined. Ya, we stopped hunting chickens. Haha. Maybe when Jones gets here we'll have more of a desire. :P  Love u guys! Thanks for all the love. It's just been a rough week. Hopefully it gets better. Hope all is well back home. Tell Bax I love him."

Apparently, burning pants is traditional at the 18-month mark of the mission.

Looks like they weren't burning fast enough. Perhaps patience would be good.