Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"Let the little children come unto me."

April 2017

We are nearing the one year mark for our mission and are feeling a bit nostalgic. We knew we were going to be here for 18 months, but the time goes so fast it seems like we haven't really been here long, nor been doing much. We spend most of our time now working with inactive and part-member families and their children. Especially the children. They are so friendly and open to us to visit them in their homes. We bring with us smiles, lollies and games. We act like a grandparent. But most of all, they like the "lollies" we bring and the cookies that Jackie bakes and delivers.

This past week we had our zone conference in Labasa. It is always a joy to meet with the missionaries and listen to their testimonies. Getting instruction from President and Sister Layton is always a spiritual high. They are truly inspired to deliver the messages they have. It just happened that we were the last zone to get the training, so they have five other "rehearsals" before ours. The assistants to the president (AP's), also have a portion of the training for the entire mission. They will be great leaders in their home wards when they return. For the conference, the training is not all that the missionaries leave with after being filled. Sister Petero, Sister Cziep and Jackie always prepare a meal that the missionaries love. The baked cakes, cookies, etc. that Jackie makes are treasured. So I can safely say that zone conference is a "spiritual and temporal feast." All the other zone conferences have pizza. Purchased and brought. It is safe to say that the Taveuni Zone eats the best of the mission.

After the conference as the missionaries in our Tukavesi District, came by the flat to celebrate a birthday of Elder Amisone. We had our 6 elders and 2 sisters but we also had the mission, Sister Trainers, coming to do splits here in Savusavu. So this was a "bake and go" week for Jackie. We also got a call that they would be transferring the sisters here and they would be no one replacing them. We have to clean the flat of all mission owned items and store them with us or the zone leaders. Then a decision will be made as to who might need what we have that can be taken to other missionaries in the zone. Never a dull moment here if Fiji.

As we travel to the different villages, Jackie and I have a great deal of time to read, listen to conference talks and music and to discuss what we are doing here. We feel very blessed to be here and pray that through our efforts people will have a desire to hear more about the gospel. I tell the missionaries often that we "should make sure that we leave the people better than we found them." That is what the Savior expects from us. We may not see the "fruits" of our labor, but we must be content with the "planting of seeds". We found this was what we did in China and that we are doing it here also.

We know the gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Jesus voluntarily gave up His life so that each of us has the opportunity to repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end, to live with the Jesus Christ and the Eternal Father in the Celestial Kingdom. Anything less than that and we have not taken full advantage of the wonderful Plan of Salvation that was provided for us.

We have our release date of November 6th. We will tour New Zealand and be home for Thanksgiving. We pray that all are well and those that are recovering from surgery, injuries, ill health or a dip in their testimony will be buoyed up by the Spirit.

Elder and Sister Roberts
Kurt and Jackie
Pop and Grandma
Mom and dad