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, November 1, 2016

Rob vs. the Volcano

La Sourfriere ("The Sulfurer"), highest peak on St. Vincent, active volcano. 

Elders Sandbakken, Platt and Jones
Rob's P-day was yesterday, but we didn't receive an email from him until today. He explains why in his notes from St. Vincent: "Haha. Sorry for the late response! We got held up yesterday hiking La Soufriere. It was crazy! Haha. So I don't know if you remember last time we hiked it, but by the time I got to the top I was BUSHED (no pun intended - haha). But I didn't have the energy to go inside the crater. This time, however, I was the first one to the top and went down inside the crater! :O It was crazy! There is a rope to descend/ascend the inside of the volcano, and then Elder Sandbakken and I decided to hike the middle pile of rocks, too. Needless to say my legs are incredibly sore and I had a few very close calls with some boulders that collapsed on me >.>. Lol. Maybe we'll talk more about that when I get home, but all is well. We made it out safe and sound. Some bad news, however... on our way back up the side of the volcano we got hit with a HUGE rain storm. I tried to keep all my belongings as safe as I could by putting my backpack on backwards with everything inside, but after we got up I checked the camera to see if it was okay and it didn't turn on... I feel like crap. I'm so sorry :(((( That camera made life so much easier and I'm sure it wasn't cheap. I really am sorry about that.  I took the battery out and just got a mini screwdriver to take it apart and I'm gonna let it sit in rice for a week and try to get it working again. I'm just hoping I didn't short anything out by turning it on. I'll let you know how it went. Sorry again. Man, the atonement is such a crazy thing to grasp! Impossible, really, if you think about it. But when I reflect on it I kinda have to think about charity. Now, I know that seems simple, but lemme explain. The Father gave His Son to us for OUR benefit, right? AND, Christ did absolutely NOTHING for Himself, only for us and the Father. SO in essence the more we can do for others in helping them, the closer to God we are becoming. It's no wonder that when we exemplify ourselves through service (or charity) we have that good feeling inside us that nothing else can give us. God set the world up that way and the Holy Ghost is going to be cheering us on big time when we are headed in the ultimate correct direction. Now this is just a theory, but it's pretty fail safe, if you know what I mean. I don't know, just a thought. But to answer your questions, no, they don't celebrate Halloween here. Jevon said they look at it as demon worship. As for explanations of the pictures I sent [see below] we took out all those nails from a pile of pallets at a member's house so she can build a chicken coup! The chicken soup picture was a local soup I made for Independence Day (October 27). That is also why people were playing dominoes. The soup contains dasheen (kinda like a potato), ego, coconut dumplings, chicken, and a bunch of seasonings with coconut milk. The locals thought it was pretty cool that we made it, and actually it tasted pretty good! Omari is going to teach us how to make bread pudding next. Haha. So stay tuned! I don't think I ever want to eat food like this back home. Haha. I'm so sick of it. It's chicken and rice with lentils in the rice alllll the time. Haha. The picture of the chickens was taken at Omari's house, which is about 30 minutes from our house, in Vermont. We go there once a week to teach him, but this time we helped him with some of the farm work out there. He took us on a hike and we got to see his chickens and a bunch of land around his house. We found this bar in the middle of the jungle. Haha. It was like in the middle of nowhere and they had a little hammock next to the tables so I took it as a photo op. Haha. Regarding Casley's dad... we went to teach him, but Casley and his dad had just gotten in a big argument right before we got there. I think it's blown over now, so maybe we'll come back and try again today or tomorrow. Other news on Casley: he's getting his papers together to go back to Canada to see his family! Says he wants his daughter and wife to be baptized, so that'll be really cool!  Sorry, kinda scattering answering questions here. I hope Nana gets home safely and is able to just transition okay. She's been in my prayers for the last few weeks. Pretty cool about the Cubs! Weren't they the ones who had that like goat curse or something? Maybe the curse will be lifted??? And why on earth do the Chargers need a new stadium? Who are they sharing Qualcom with? O well. I hope they figure everything out. As far as school goes, Utah State sounds like my best option and if I had a choice right now I would want to go there over all the other schools, BUT, like you said, I don't know how doable that is, what with the needs of ACT scores and such.... Maybe you could find out the details and I could hash some stuff out so I can get right to work on it when I'm out in the free world ;). Haha. I don't think I'll be going to BYU Idaho, but it doesn't hurt to apply as a back-up, just in case. I feel really bad about this stupid camera. I'm gonna try and fix it as best I can. I'm really hoping I can get it to work again. I'm so sorry again about that. Thanks for the help with everything. Thanks for the support. I'm getting down to the last few months here, and I'll be home before ya know it. I will keep working hard and I'll see you soon! Love you guys, thanks! Take care!"

Playing dominoes on Independence Day
Elder Jones with Omri's chickens

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