Monday, May 2, 2016

"Well this is Awkward..."

May 2, 2016
“Well this is Awkward…”

Hey family!

         This is officially the last email you will get from Sister Robison....THAT IS SO SAD!!! I can't even put into words how I'm feeling right now, it is all very very surreal to me that my 18 months is actually up. This has been the fastest and most rewarding 18 months of my life. Being at the end of my mission, of course everyone is asking me about the lessons I've learned and how I've changed on my mission. And boy, I have learned so much and I have changed so much! Overall there is SO much I could say in this email, I could go for days with all the lessons I've learned from my mission, but I guess that can wait for 10 days and you can all stay up all night listening to my testimony :) but until then, here's a bit of what I have learned the most!
         One of my favourite scriptures is Mosiah 3:19 "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
         This is a scripture I have read time and time again on my mission, but I feel like it describes what my mission has been for me. Missions aren't easy, nor will they ever be easy, because Satan is trying every possible way to stop this work from moving forward, but I feel that over my mission I have constantly been putting off the "natural man" to become the daughter my Heavenly Father needs me to be. This isn't an easy task, any member of the church could testify to you of that. It involved a lot of tears, a lot of heartache, and a lot of asking "why?"  But one thing I know is that as you rely 100% on the atonement, it is possible. I don't understand the reason why some things are the way they are, but what I do know and understand is that I have a loving Heavenly Father who has provided a way for me to return home to him. I am in no way worthy for that at all, but oh how I am so very grateful for my Heavenly Father for providing a way for each of us unworthy creatures to return to him through his son Jesus Christ. Life is often referred to as a "test" or a "refiners fire" and something I've learned is that the closer you get to Christ, the harder the test becomes, and the more you are refined, because Heavenly Father knows you can get through it. We should take every trial that is placed in our life and shoot for joy because our Heavenly Father has provided it to us as a way to continue to put off the natural man and choose to yield to the spirit and work through things with the atonement.
         My overall goal of my mission from the day I got my call was to return home and simply be Christlike, I wanted to be someone who others could see the light of Christ through, I wanted to be someone who would act as he would, and be someone that anyone could tell without question that I believe and follow Jesus Christ. Now I don't know how well I've done at this, I still have a lot that I need to work on, but what I do know is that I have gained a firm conviction that Jesus Christ is my saviour and redeemer. He is my rock and as I put him and his gospel first in my life I will get through anything. It is possible to acquire these attributes, but like I said it isn't easy. But hey, life was never meant to be easy right? I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is true. This book, as you know, has changed my life. If it weren't for the Book of Mormon then I wouldn't know my saviour like I do. When I got to Sutton I made it a goal to start using the BoM more in finding, and ever since then I have used it every single day and taught hundreds of people about why it's so important. As a missionary, I have gotten into the habit of always having a BoM in my left hand whenever we leave the flat. It is just always there and always ready to use. There have been a few days where I have forgotten it, or its in my bag, and I feel naked without it in my hand. I feel like I can't talk to people cause I don't have it to refer to, and I feel useless. This is very similar to our everyday lives. We have to have the BoM close by us, we have to be reading it for 30 minutes a day to stay safe in this world and to keep the armour of God around us. It is what provides us with the answers to our questions and it helps us to know the purpose of this life. The BoM is important people!
         I have also learned that I belong in England. Seriously, I feel like I am supposed to be here! I love this country and the people here so much. I love the food, all those vegetables, gravy, and Yorkshire puddings (yummy!). It is seriously the best country on the planet and I hope so bad that I will be able to visit a lot during my life. I think my heart will always long to be back here. The memories I've made here and the ways I've been changed here will forever be a foundation for the rest of my life.
         You know, it's a sad day to see your time serving the Lord end. I cry a lot now and kind of go into panic mode a lot...I don't know what my future has in store for me, but I know wherever it takes me I will be a follower of Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for all the prayers you have sent my way over my mission. They truly do help and I know that they have helped me do the work I have done. As I have pondered my mission and born my testimony of my mission many times this week I have felt the spirit confirm to me I have done what the Lord needed me to do. Am I sad? Yes. But at least I can look back with joyful memories from my mission.
         So ya. This is awkward cause I still don't really feel like I'm coming home next week...but I guess I get ready!
         Oh, and this week was really good too! Most of our investigators dropped us, so that was sad, but it didn't stop us! We had zone training, I went on exchange with Sister Bills and basically cried the whole exchange cause I don't want to go home, and then we went to Eastbourne for an exchange as well (I also cried there cause it's the last time I'll see the English Channel as a missionary). But I can fill you in on all the details when I get home!
         I love you all, I love my saviour, and I will forever be grateful for the time I have been able to spend in England serving the Lord and helping others to come closer to him!

Sister Robison xx

Monday, April 25, 2016

"The Time is far spent..."

Hi family and friends!
         Ahhhhh. This week went so fast! This is NOT okay with me. But although time is flying by and I will be home soon, I don't feel like it has really affected us in the work. This last week was another crazy week full of miracles and lots of teaching! I have been very blessed this last transfer in a way that it only hits me like once a week that I'm going home. The rest of the time I just feel like a normal missionary being diligent and all. This week it hit me on Saturday...I got dads letter Saturday morning and didn't have time to read it when I got it, so I read it in the car while we were driving down to Brighton with the ZLs for a baptism. Well the letter alone made me cry, then the Elders decided to play all the Motab songs that I've listened to my whole mission and come to love so much (I will always have a spot in my heart for Motab now, watch out cause on Sundays that's all I'm going to listen to). Then to add to it, we were taking the same exact drive I took my very first day in England. Talk about flashbacks! It was terrible and I had to fight back just bursting into tears. You know, it's really not easy knowing you have to leave somewhere that has been your home for 18 months...I fit in here and people understand me here. It's really sad. Sister Moyes and I may or may not be considering running away and just not showing up for our flight...haha jk we would never do that.
         But let me get to the miracles this week and what we've been up to, cause that was just a slight moment of the week!

         On Monday a member took us and the Elders to Hever Castle, which is the childhood home of Anne Bolyne. So we learned a lot about King Henry VIII and all his wives...he was in interesting man to say the least...but the castle was really cool! And the best part was that in the gardens they had an "Italian Garden" with stuff someone had brought over from Italy way back when. Well, I'm obsessed with Italy, so I was in heaven! It was so pretty! I'll send some pics :)
Hever Castle

      Tuesday we had a great day of finding! We had 2 hours set aside in the morning to contact former investigators and to be honest, I wasn't too excited for it...but it turned out to be so good! We were walking on high street on our way to a former, when we run into another former named Charod who we haven't been able to see for a month or so. We sat down with him and basically he asked us to read our favourite passages from the BoM with him, so we were flipping left and right for a good 45 minutes just teaching so much from the BoM! He hasn't ever read the BoM before, but after that he said he would start reading it! We then met with him and his wife later in the week. Then we went and knocked on a formers door, she wasn't home, so we knocked 5 doors on each side. We met a lady named Anne who had met missionaries before, but never sisters, and she accepted a BoM and return appointment! Then we turned away from her door and started talking to a lady who was coming down the road. She immediately invited us in and gave us some water (which was much appreciated). She proceeded to tell us that she loves scrap booking and knows a lot about Mormons cause she follows a bunch of Mormon scrap bookers on Instagram and their blogs. So go social media! We taught her the restoration and she also accepted a return appointment. The best thing is, she has 3 teenage kids, and we have been praying like crazy with the ward for a family to teach! We feel like she could be it! So that was the morning.     Then that afternoon we did gardening for our investigator Celia. Her whole back garden is full of flower bushes...and when I say full...I mean like flower bushes everywhere. So we planted a bunch of them for her, which was fun! We also went back and helped her on Friday with it.
Celia and I gardening
     Wednesday we had a lesson with our investigator Eva who I told you about a bit last week. She is from Slovac and her heart is being softened! She started to pray this week and she texted us saying she can feel that God is helping her. She didn't have a belief in God before we met her, she is so great! We had a lot of teaches that day...which is always good!
         Thursday we had district meeting. I gave a presentation on the role of the BoM in conversion. It was fun. I love my district so much. Then we went to Nandos for lunch...which is always a good day.
         Friday! We did the usual weekly planning and teaching people!
         Saturday like I said we went down to Brighton to support some of the sisters who were having a baptism. It was so good and great to see a baptism again! They always bring a smile to my face :) and they had lemon bars after...I forgot about those, but man they tasted good! Haha and we also saw a new investigator named Bryan that day. He is 65 and doesn't have a belief in God either. He was so sweet to us and just kept telling us to be super careful knocking on people's doors haha. It is hard being with Sister Moyes and going home together cause all these amazing people we are finding just get really sad when they find out we are leaving. We had multiple people this week just express gratitude for all we had done for them, and it meant so much to us.
Our friends Hugh and Joan (the 90 year old couple) talked for about 30 minutes about how because of us they have a relationship with God and they actually feel they are talking to someone when they pray. They then told us that we have been engraved in their memory forever and they will never forget us. I will seriously miss that couple so much, I have complete confidence that they will accept the gospel in the spirit world and our reunion there will be so joyful!
         Then Sunday. Sundays are great. The sacrament is great. The Epsom ward is great. I don't really know what more to say. I love this ward so much, we have become really good friends with a lot of members and they are all so nice to us! We always have a good laugh at church haha.
         So there you have it. Another week gone. And as the hymn says "the time is far spent there is little remaining". I am going out of my mission with a bang. This week we have 2 exchanges and zone training, then next week we have MLC. We are keeping super busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
         I am so grateful for my mission and all it has taught me, if you didn't know that already! I know this is Heavenly Fathers work and glory and I am so blessed to be apart of this great work! As Elder Holland taught us at our mission conference, this is real life, missionary life is the closest thing we will ever get to real life. And oh how I love real life. It's the best.
         I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! Remember to pray for me please...leaving is really really hard.

The best Sister Robison xx

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Miracle Week"

         So first off, yes my back is feeling a lot better, I don't know what was wrong with it, but I am better now :) so thank you for the prayers!
         This week we have seen the Lords hand so much in our work. We were able to find 5 new investigators to teach! Which is huge for us cause we usually only have like 1, and that's on a good week. So we are very happy and know the Lord is blessing us for our diligence. This week I decided that what I needed to work on is to just be more focused.
There is a lot at the end of a mission that comes up that can distract you, but this week I just took a step back from all of it and focused on the work, and it was great!

         On Monday we went down to Brighton, which is always a party! We drove down with the Zone Leaders and met up with some of the Elders serving down there. We ended up going to Sea Life which is the worlds oldest was cool...but I still don't like fish haha. I will send some pics from that. We have been trying really hard to just have fun on pdays this transfer, and so far it's worked! Today a member is taking us to a castle :)

I Still Love Brighton
I still don't like fish!!!  But isn't that a huge crab!
Diet Coke + Brighton Pier= Happy Sister Robison
We bought these African trousers on the Brighton Pier!
     Tuesday we travelled down to Haywards Heath to go on exchange with Sister Rosenkilde and Sister Beardsworth. I am very blessed to be serving in the same zone as sister Rose and Sister Bills still cause I am able to go on exchange with both of them this transfer. I had an awesome day with Sister Rose contacting. The sun was out and it was the first day I didn't have to wear a coat #hallelujah. Miracles. That night we went up to the temple to have dinner with the VC directors, the Locks, they are hilarious. I've said it my whole mission, I swear I was supposed to be called as a VC sister! It was sad to see the exchange end though, cause it was the last exchange I will go on with Sister Rose. I have been on 3 exchanges with her and been comps for a transfer and she is one of my best friends. I will miss her so much!  It is getting really hard now cause I am having to see a lot of my "lasts" on my mission and I don't like it.

Last exchange with Sister Rosenkilde
     Wednesday morning we went to district meeting with the VC sisters and their district. We had a "picnic district meeting" on the temple grounds which was really cool! The spirit was there so strong as we were sitting right outside the temple and teaching each other the doctrine of the kingdom!  I will always love the London temple.

     Wednesday when we got back to our area we were able to teach a couple who had been taught a few years ago named Betty and Kingston. They are from Zimbabwe and are great!  They know the BoM is true and they are looking at a date to be baptised! Yay! Then we met with a referral named Eva from Slovenia. Her friend referred her to us and now we are teaching her and helping her gain a relationship with Heavenly Father. It is always interesting teaching people who have no belief at all in God and who have no experience with Him, I love seeing that change in people though.
         Thursday was another beautiful day here in Sutton! The sun was shining and it was really warm, so we decided to treat ourselves and buy subway for lunch and eat in the park. It was nice :) then we went to do service for an investigator named Celia. She wanted us to do some gardening for her and put some flowers into pots. Well, we weren't fully prepared with service clothes for I ended up gardening in a pencil skirt and it started pouring down rain as we were doing it. That is a memory I will never forget! Haha. I love missions. That night we were asked to speak at a stake YW activity in Crawley. The stake YW president is in our ward and they are doing the 100 day BoM challenge, so she wanted us to go speak about how the BoM has helped us and how reading it through our youth helped us get where we are today. It was a really neat experience to sit and reflect back on all I did in yw and how it has helped me in my life. If there is one thing I would say I have learned from my experience in yw, it is to trust my leaders and do what they say I need to even if I don't understand. One day I will look back and be grateful and recognise why they told me to do what they did. That is what I have learned on my mission.
The Kruger girls, my sisters on my mission
Subway in the park on a beautiful day in England!
      Friday we weekly planned...always a joyful experience. Then went on exchange with the Brighton sisters. I was with Sister Chirwa again which was great! Before they got here Sister Moyes and I went and taught another former named Christine who I had taught once when I first got here but then we couldn't schedule a time to see her again. Well we saw her and she had 10 minutes. So we taught a quick restoration, invited her to be baptised, and she said yes and that she needs to read the BoM! She is preparing for May 7 now! See a miracle week!
         Saturday we finished up exchange and then contacted formers all day. Nothing too exciting happened...but we made it through the day. That was our miracle that day!
         Then Sunday. I just love Sunday's. I love the sacrament and want to do all I can to take the sacrament every week. It is just good :) church was good. We got a new ward mission leader, which is always sad to see one go...then we went out finding and found 2 super nice prepared people who we will teach this week! The Lord is good!
         And that's a wrap. Sorry if it sounds like a travel log...but hey, at least you know what I've been up to! I love this country and the people here so much. I have come to learn how to truly love everyone (or at least try to) and see them as heavenly father does. It will be so hard to leave this land I love and the people I love in just a few short weeks, but I know that as I continue to rely on my Saviour that
I will be okay. It hit me for the first time the other night that I was actually going to have to leave all of this, and I just straight up bawled myself to sleep. I don't know how I will be able to do it, but I guess I'll deal with that when the time comes. As for now, I love England and my heart is 110% here.
         I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! Remember to always smile and choose the right! The world needs you to be faithful:)

Love the one and only,
Sister Robison