Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I started a new blog for Zach.  His blog address will be: 


I thought it was time to have a blog dedicated just to his mission experiences, and that would allow me to use our family blog to keep everyone updated on the rest of the clan.  I will still have his addresses and pictures on our family blog, (with the link address to the new blog).

With Zach nearing his year mark, his letters are more inspirational than ever, and I wanted a venue just for that information.  I hope those of you that visit our family blog for information on Zach will enjoy the new one.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Area

I am now in Bayonne. I have really seemed to have come into my own and am now teaching more powerfully than I ever have. It is amazing when you prepare and are obedient, how well the spirit works through you.  My new companion is Elder Brasga, we served in the MTC together.

I do like Bayonne. It is another walking area; keepin the weight off. The branch we serve is very smal, we average 20 people at church each week. Even though it is small I know with the Lord's help it will grow tremendously.

We are teaching a lot of teenagers and I have been pretty bold in calling them to repentance, but it is exactly what they need. Elder Brasga and I have been working our tails off. Yesterday I taught about 18 teenagers at the park.  I taught them the whole restoration and the whole plan of salvation. We are going back tonight to teach them again.  We get to go to the temple next month!!!!!!! I love the temple.  It is such a blessing in our lives.  I love You all And you are always in my prayers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was wonderful.  Ivan did his homework, and helped the kids with a present for me. I received a Barnes and Noble "NOOK" e-reader.  So cool!  I know that it probably annoys my family when I fall into a book and read non-stop, but I truly LOVE to read. One problem; my aging eyes cause me to make some rather unflattering faces when trying to read the rather tiny print in many books.  This in turn causes loud laughter, and what can unequivocally be termed "evil speaking" directed at my rather funny faces. I suppose I should be thankful that I make them laugh.  At any rate, the nook allows me to increase the size of the font of any book that I download, so, I hoping that loud laughter will be a thing of the past.  (At least at my expense!)

I do have to say though that the icing on the cake was speaking with Zach on the phone. It's amazing to hear the change in his voice.  He is truly enjoying his time in New Jersey,and loves those he has been called to serve.  He has grown both spiritually and temporally.  The mission experience has given him the opportunity to view the world through truly unselfish eyes.  This time has been set aside to serve the Lord and those in the communities he labors in.

I know that these two years, although a sacrifice when it comes to education and other desires; will prepare Zach more effectively than if he had chosen not to serve.  The experiences he is having now cannot be replicated at any other time in his life.  The joy in his voice when he shared recent experiences warmed my heart.

Zach was transferred the Wednesday following Mother's Day to a new city called Bayonne. It looks like it is just across the water from Newark.  He is still in a walking area, and has lost about 20 pounds. I am thinking that he possibly might lose more weight as the summer is upon the Jersey Shore.  Zach says it is hot, hot, hot and very sticky.  So, from extreme cold to extreme humid heat. GOOD TIMES!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Amazing experiences

This past month has been really good. We have had some amazing experiences.  Alexandria Garner recently was baptized, following in her mother and Savior's footsteps.  She told us it was the happiest day of her life.  It is wonderful to see what happiness following Christ can bring into someone's life.

Recently, on our way home, Elder Stettler and I were stopped by a young man in his 20's.  He was speaking to me in Spanish and I really didn't know what he was trying to say to me.  So, I said a prayer with him in English, asking for guidance and help so that I could communicate.  After the prayer, the young man began speaking in Spanish again, and I'll still didn't know what he was saying.  When he finished I began to respond to him.  As I did, I realized that I was speaking Spanish!  I had no idea what I was saying, but it seemed to touch him and brought tears to his eyes.  I finished speaking and he started speaking to me again in Spanish.  Once again, I had no idea what he was saying.  But, at the end I understood one sentence.  "Because of you brother I want to be a better person and stop drinking."  AMAZING!  I couldn't tell you what was spoken, but I know through the Spirit I was able to communicate with him and hopefully help.  I saw a miracle at work through me.  The Lord uses us all to answer prayers of others.  (I guess the 2 years of Spanish I took was worth it...)  I feel so close to the Lord and I have learned so much and continue to learn every day.

This week was AMAZING! we had a chance to have Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the seventy speak to us at zone conference. The spirit was felt so strongly. We talked about having a change of heart and truly becoming diciples of Christ. It is amazing how smoothly the work goes when your emersed in the Spirit. Elder Stettler and I have been truly focusing on being dedicated to the work. No talk about anything other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been a blessing to be obedient; although it is difficult, the price is worth the reward. We have truly been tools in the Lord's hands. Its amazing to see that the things we promise investigators and members are happening. We find power in stating that we ARE disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and the message we share changes lives.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter & Conference

Recently, Mackenzie and I attended a volleyball tournament in California. She stayed in a room with some of her teammates, and one of them saw her scriptures (she has quad; and abridgement of the KJV of the bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants all bound together) and asked what it was. When she answered, the young lady responded that she couldn't believe in the Bible and the Book of Mormon at the same time. Mackenzie explained that both testified of Jesus Christ, but were written on different continents. This did not dissuade her friend from her point of view. The conversation got a bit heated and Mackenzie felt VERY uncomfortable. We spoke about it later that evening and I told her that the best way to handle a situation like that was to bear a firm testimony, and let the spirit do the rest. Contention drives the spirit away, but testifying of our Savior will invite him in. In the letter below Zach responds to the situation.


My Easter was good. I was in a chapel almost all day listening to conference. On Saturday I was at the chapel ALL day from 10 to 10. This conference was amazing. I really enjoyed how so many of the talks focused on love and the atonement of Jesus Christ.

We had some investigators attend and they really enjoyed it. I personally was touched by the talk about the young man who was had been ill with a condition for some time and passed away rather unexpectedly, and how both he and his brother were both "called to serve" on opposite sides of the veil. Missionary work is on going in this life and after. It was a very spiritual weekend and by the time it was over I was exhausted. I love the fact that the spirit can be felt so strong even when the speakers are 2000 miles away.

This last week we have been posing a question to investigators and members... "If you could ask Jesus Christ one Question what would you ask?" We had one young woman say "What is my purpose on this earth?" The Golden Question! We are now teaching her the discussions and she is eating them up! Her name is Karina and she is a friend of a less-active member who we have also recently reactivated. It is amazing to see how one question can have such an impact. Elder Stettler and I have decided to take a look on our progress an refocus our efforts. As we do I know we will see a tremendous improvement. As we are obedient, the Lord will send blessings. "There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated; And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience that the blessing is predicated" D&C 130:20-21. I know that Jesus lives that he watches over us. I can see his hand in all we do.

Tell Mackenzie that there are many people who believe that the Book of Mormon is wrong but the Lord himself has said that the book is true and that they are his words. "And he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true" D&C 17:6 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9

I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Elder Roque

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The work continues

Hi all, I mm staying in Newark for at least one more transfer. It has been really amazing to see the branch I serve in has grown so much. When first arrived there were only 40 people coming to church now there are over 90 attending on a regularly, the Lord is really blessing the people here.

Recently, Elder Stettler and I were walking down the street and a black SUV drove up and the back passanger window started to come down. A little scary considering the gang activity. A man poked his head out and called us over. He then told us he was the mayor of Newark and he loved the job were doing for the city. It was cool to receive a compliment from someone in government who isn't a member of our church. It just goes to show that we need to follow the Savior and be a good example to those around us.

Elder stettler and I have really been blessed to find new people to teach. We are working hard and having fun while doing it. I have learned so much about the gospel and especially the atonement of Jesus Christ. I spoke in church yesterday and spoke on the atonement. I felt the spirit so strongly as I testified of the divinity of the Savior and his sacrifices for use, and everyone told me it was exactly what they needed. It was amazing how the words just came out. I feel this experience has helped me grow close to my Savior; it is amazing to feel of his love in my life.

We almost got jumped by someone the other day. He was screaming and yelling and came at us, but one of his friends called out those are men of God, Are you crazy?! We are teaching a wonderful young woman name Ayesha, she has an adorable son named Isaiah. We have been trying to do a lot of less active work and bring people back to church. Many missionaries learn languages on their missions, but the greatest language you could ever learn is the language of the spirit. I know that it is only through the spirit that others will feel the truthfulness of gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The work in progressing

We have 3 baptisms scheduled; the family preparing for baptism is the Garner's.They have committed to live the word of wisdom and could use prayers on their behalf. They are really seeing blessings but still could use your prayers.

This past week has been really stressful. Although we had two baptisms it was straining. We went to fill the font on Saturday night only to find out there was a leak. We decided to do it at another church building on Sunday. However, Sunday morning on our way to church we got a call from the other ward and found out there was a shooting and the only road to the church was blocked off. With some scheduling changes, everything went as planned and we were still able to hold the baptism!

It is still FREEZING!!! this weekend it was in the single digits. All is well are mission is actually expanding. We are taking over part of the other New Jersey mission. We have been really focusing on member missionary work lately. We started a new program, and everyone is really getting excited about spreading the gospel. We GOT T-SHIRTS!!!!!!!!!!! Its Awesome! The work is going really well. We have a baptism on the 14th her name is Emily Simmons, she is the daughter of Jennifer Garner who was baptized on the 31st.

Transfers are on the 16th, I should know Sunday evening if I'll be transferred. I'll keep you updated. In July are mission is expanding; the Cherry Hill mission is being dissolved and we are splitting it with Philadelphia mission. The new addition to the mission will give us all added opportunities to share the gospel and serve the good people of New Jersey.

I understand that Devynne (Mark & Heather's youngest daughter) is going to be baptized this month. That's great! And even better yet, I hear that Sam is going to perform the ordinance. I wish I could be there with everyone, but I am where the Lord wants me to be. My thoughts and prayers will be with everyone on that special day.

Love you all,

Elder Roque

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Great week, but so COLD!

The past few weeks have been amazing. We are teaching a number of people, and this week I had the opportunity to baptize Matthew Rodriguez who is 10 years old. What a great experience for both myself and Matthew. A number of the people we are teaching are making some big changes in their lives, and really could use prayers on their behalf. The Garner family is starting to follow the word of wisdom and and I’m sure it is going to be difficult for them at first, buy with prayers on their behalf, and their desire to tackle them, I know they will do fine.

It is so cold here, and just keeps getting colder. It is projected to be the coldest winter Jersey has had in 10 years. Just my luck! We are in a walking area, which means no bikes or cars; (they would probably get jacked) so we either walk everywhere or take transit. That certainly makes for cold days and nights, but the work keeps us busy and at least our hearts are warm!

We will have a general authority visit us this month, It should be great! Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Elder Roque

Zach & Devynne

Zach & Devynne
The Princess Ball