Monday, December 29, 2014

What A Week

      Well family, another week has come and gone.  I am really sad to see this week go because it is one that I have been looking forward to all transfer, but it was good and I made lots of memories! 

      On Monday I WENT TO LONDON! I know I told you a bit about it when I skyped, but I will tell you about it again for journal purposes haha.  So we had to book it to the train station because Lewis was supposed to drive us but then something happened and he couldn't, so we had about 40 minutes to take a 60 minute bus ride to the train station where our train left in 30 minutes.  Hope that all made sense haha, anyways, we were sprinting from bus to bus to make it, but don't worry we got there 3 minutes before the train left!  We jumped on with our district and were on our way.  About 15 minutes into the ride the intercom came on saying there had been a system failure at Gatwick Airport, which we pass through, so no trains were going to go through there, and the train would return to Brighton.  They didn't tell us what caused the system failure, so naturally I was thinking there was a terrorist attack or something, but don't worry there wasn' we got off the train and just waited at the station until they finally had one that was going through.  We jumped on that and about an hour later we were in London!  We got off the train at Piccadilly Circus and got on the Tube, yes I got to ride the Tube, it was really fun, but basically it's a subway and it was hot and stinky.  We then saw the West End where all the theaters are.  We went to the Book of Mormon Theater and took a bunch of pictures outside of it.  The other sisters we were with were trying to hand out "real" Book of Mormons to people, it was pretty funny.  And it was funny cause one of the main characters in the play is named Elder Green, and Elder Green is my district leader, so he was saying "I'm the real Elder Green" haha I just love my district so much.  
Then we went over to China town cause we have Chinese elders in our district.  We had some good fried custard thing that was shaped like a fish, and while we were eating those some people walked by and were like "Hey look missionaries", they were members from America so we talked to them for a bit.  
Then we went to where all the major tourist stuff is, aka Big Ben.  We came out of the Tube and it was like right in front of my face, it was kind of surreal.  But it was cool.   We took a whole bunch of pictures though because it is a super pretty area.  On one side is Big Ben and Parliament, and on the other side of the bridge is the London Eye.  That bridge, the London Bridge, is also our mission boundary, so we took a picture right on the line that separates our mission from the London mission.  I felt pretty rebellious for being outside our mission boundary haha.  The rest of the day we just kind of walked around, we walked through a Christmas festival thing that was fun, and I had some really good tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich.  We also saw Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and the Tower Bridge.   I still can't believe that I was in London a week ago, who would have thought one year ago that I would be spending this Christmas in London? Life is crazy!

That night we went to an FHE at a members house where we just talked about Christmas and our traditions, it was really nice.  

      Tuesday was an interesting day.  We traveled out to Shoreham to contact some referrals we had received for less actives.  One of them was an older lady that lives in a rest home, and her son just happened to be there when we stopped in.  He was a member, but just because of circumstances in his life he stopped coming to church.  After we got done there we had McDonalds for lunch, which tasted soooooo good! 
      Oh and I got letters from the whole Smith family from Thanksgiving, so tell them thank you, I really enjoyed reading them!  
      Wednesday we had our last district meeting with Sister Hickman and man was that rough.  We had to have a short one so we just went around and bore our testimonies about what we have learned on our missions, and I was just bawling the whole time.  It was good though and the spirit there was really strong.  Then we went to a couples home for dinner (the couple that was going to feed us kangaroo).  I always love going there because they always have soda for us.  This day he bought us Mountain Dew.  They are a great family and we had a great time there having dinner with them. 
      Then we booked it over to another members home for another dinner and to go caroling.  I have said it before and I'll say it again, I love that family, they make me feel so loved and welcome, it was a fun night with them.  

A family in her ward that she loves!  Everyone says she could be one of them, since she looks like their girls

     Christmas Eve night was pretty hard.  I was missing being home a lot and our traditions.  I did do the sand dollar and I cried just like mom does, that is a good tradition.  Sister Hickman and I bought matching PJ's at Primark to wear Christmas Eve night, so we did that and had a sleepover in our family room.  

      Christmas day!!!! Christmas was good, really just another average day in the mission field to be honest.  We woke up and opened presents.  I got lots of food/candy, which made me really happy.  Oh if you ever want to send a package, send Krusteez pancake mix, you can't get that here and it always tastes so good when we get some!  The Woods from our ward sent me some Alvey's Chocolate, which reminded me of Logan and put a smile on my face.  Ya, I got lots of food, jewelry, and scarves.  It was a good Christmas!  
      We then went to a members home for dinner.  They are a family in our ward that is so nice.  She is a professional ballerina, so we sat and listened to her stories from all the shows she has been in on West End, it was pretty cool.  
      Then we went to the chapel to get the Book of Mormon we had wrapped and try to hand them out to the homeless as a Christmas present, but we didn't see one homeless person, so that was a fail...oh well at least we tried. 
Then I got to skype you!  That was soooo good, but 40 minutes was not long enough.  It was fun to see you guys though and hear how you are doing.  It seems like just yesterday I was saying good-bye to everyone and having a crying attack on the way to the MTC haha.  Only 3 transfers and I get to skype you again though!  
That night we had a Christmas party at the chapel with the missionaries, Bishop and his wife, and a couple investigators.  We ate some food and just played games and stuff, it was a fun relaxed night.  

      Friday I found out who my new companion is going to be!!! Her name is Sister Stuart, and she actually started her mission here in Brighton, which is good cause that means she knows her way around.  And this is her last transfer as well; President must think I am really good at killing off my companions or something.  I have heard awesome things about her, all the ward members love her, so I am really excited to meet her!  It is sad that I will have to say goodbye to another companion though...maybe one day I won't be killing off my companions.  That means that next transfer, after this one, I will most likely be training, which means that I will stay in Brighton for at least 6 months of my mission!!!!! 
Nothing too exciting happened Friday, missionary work wise.  It was a holiday here, so everyone was gone still.  But I did dye my hair...hahahahaha.  My gray hair was growing back and I was starting to have a line from when I died my hair before, so I decided YOSO (you only serve once), why not dye my hair?  And every sister does something dramatic to their hair at least once while on their mission, so I might as well get mine over with and let it grow out throughout the rest of my mission.  I went darker, it was like black the first few days, but now it has faded into a dark brown and I actually really like it.  The elders made fun of me the first day they saw me and said I have Halloween hair, but that’s okay, cause it's not black anymore...

      Then Saturday was Brother T’s (she has asked us not to put peoples names in the blog so we just shorten them or leave them out) baptism!!!!  Woot Woot!  It was such a good day and such a good way to end Sister Hickman’s mission!  It was the best baptism I have been to yet (and I have been to a few).  The missionaries got roped into singing Come Unto Christ again, and T even sang it with us.  Then T gave his testimony/conversion story, which was amazing, and he gave the closing prayer.  He is just such a cool guy and the smile he had when he came out of the water was amazing.  What a good day.  Definitely one of the best days of my mission so far! 

      Yesterday was rough, knowing it was my last day with Sister Hickman.  To start it off, the missionaries sang Come Unto Christ in church for prelude.  The do musical numbers before church starts here.  Good thing I am a really good singer and am super comfortable singing in front of crowds...not! haha.  But it went okay.  Then Sis H and I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting.  It was just a short 5-minute thing about how I wanted the spirit to change me over my mission.  As I was thinking about it, I decided that I am so glad that I am not the one going home.  I am no where near the person I want to be and I would be so disappointed in myself if I had to go home now, so I need to change some stuff and keep improving every day.  It was a hard day though seeing Sister Hickman say goodbye to everyone, it was really hard for her.  
      That night we went to visit a less active and on the bus ride back we basically "bus preached", which is when you teach the whole bus.  Granted there were only 3 people on the bus, but they were all asking questions, which was really fun!  
      On Sunday nights we account with the DL, Elder Green for the week.  At the end he asks us what our goals are for the week and all that stuff, so I told him mine, then sister Hickman asked him if he has any advice for either of us.  When he started talking to me I lost it.  He was talking about how it seems like I am scared for this transfer and how I need to just trust in the Lord and love my companion.  I was crying so hard and it really hit me how different this transfer is going to be.  Honestly all I wanted was a big hug from Dad, but I couldn't have that.  I will be fine; I think I am going to get a priesthood blessing in the next few days just to bring me peace.  I am just really nervous for what this transfer will bring.  I know that I can love people as Christ Loves them, that is something that Sister Hickman and I have really tried to work on this week.  I just have to remember to trust in the Lord.  Anyways, sorry for that depressing bit, it just hit me last night that this transfer is over and it won't be the same. 
But we had a little going away party for Sister Hickman last night at the chapel and watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional; yes that is a party for missionaries’ haha.  We popped popcorn and everything, it was loads of fun.  We got a call last night while we were watching it with travel plans for Sister Hickman today, and you will never believe it, I GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE TODAY/TOMORROW WITH HER!  We had been hoping and praying that I would be able to at least go up to drop her off and say goodbye, but now I get to stay the night up there!  I was so happy and it made my day so much better!!!  I am hoping now that I get to go to the temple tomorrow with her, because that would just be the cherry on top! 

      It got super cold here this week’s about 25 degrees F, plus humidity, so winter has hit...

      Well that was my week.  It was definitely one to remember and a Christmas I will never forget.  I am nervous about what is to come this week, but I have complete faith that it will all be okay.  It will be a hard transition, but I know that as I turn to the Lord I will be able to do it.  
I love you guys and I love hearing from you every week!  1 transfer down, 11 more to go!  Before we know it I will be packing up and having a hard time leaving England...

Love you, have a good week! 

Sister Robison 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hello family!

     Sorry this is going to be a super short email because I AM GOING TO LONDON TODAY!!!!! We only have about a half hour to email, so it won't be too detailed.  Sorry. 

     But I am so excited for today, I have been freaking out all morning.  I couldn't concentrate during study time at all and I have just been counting down the minutes until I can leave.  

     Lewis (the Ward mission leader) has the day off work so he is going to take us and show us around.  It will be so much fun!  And it is supposed to be good weather!!!!

    So obedience has been really stressed in our mission this week.  We didn't know why, but everything was centered on it.  So after Friday, Sister Hickman and I decided that we were going to be 110% obedient to every little thing and just focus on our purpose as a missionary and work as hard as we can.  And guess what, we saw so many miracle Saturday and Sunday!  Those were two of the best days of my mission so far.  

     One miracle was that we had 7 investigators at church yesterday, which is a lot.  We are lucky if we get 1 some weeks.  So we were so happy about that!  We may have convinced some people to come cause it was a special Christmas program, but that is beside the point, they still came.  And one of the investigators brought her daughter who had never been to church, and she asked for a Book of Mormon because she wanted to read 1 Nephi.  Pretty amazing stuff.  

     Oh and we have a baptism this Saturday, super exciting!  

     We also taught more lessons this week than we have the whole transfer.  We taught 15 total, which is really good for this mission.  

     On Wednesday we had exchanges, and let me just tell you I was scared to death.  Sister Hickman left the area, and I stayed here with a different sister, so I had to lead the area.  Don't worry, we made it everywhere we needed to be in time.  I actually feel a lot more confident about next transfer now because I know that I know where I am going.  But the exchange was hard.  I have never been more stressed on my mission.   Lets just say I was really happy to have Sister Hickman back on Thursday.  

     Last night we had a stake Christmas concert in Crawley which was really good.  Elder Herbertson of the 70 was there.  His son is actually in my ward in Brighton.  I played the piano for that was a good concert though.  

     Sorry it is a super scattered email.  I did get your Christmas card this week and I loved reading letters on a day besides Monday!   Sorry no pics this week either.  I didn't take to many any ways, and I don't have time to send them.  Next week there will be some awesome ones from London though!!

     This week we are just going to go hard and enjoy every minute we can.  We have such a busy schedule, and it honestly doesn't even feel like Christmas.  It just feels like there is a big day this week.  But that is good.  I am not homesick, so have a good Christmas without me haha.  I wouldn't trade being here for anything!  

Love you guys!

Sister Robison 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Week In The Promised Land

         Wow, the weeks seriously fly by here!  I can't believe that it has already been a week since I emailed and that next week is Christmas!  It is crazy!  
         This week has been a really weird one, it has just felt off and not very successful for us, but we are going to change that this week so I am super excited :) 
         I will start with P-day last week.  After we emailed we jumped in the Deans car and we went on a district P-day to a place called Seven Sisters.  They are these cliffs that look over the ocean.  It was so pretty, but so cold!  It was our whole district and our zone leaders, so it was a fun day getting to know everyone.  Sister Hickman and me just kind of did our own thing though; we are pretty identical in the fact that we aren't too big into the socializing thing haha.  I will be sure to send pictures from that day though, because it was breathtakingly beautiful.  England is so pretty, because it always rains everything is so green here.  I love it!  

         That night we went to FHE with the YSA because we were asked to teach the lesson.  We taught about He is the Gift and showed the video, I think they all liked it.  Then every week someone in the ward cooks dinner for FHE, but whoever was supposed to do it forgot, so we ordered a whole bunch of Dominos Pizzas.  It tasted so good, but it definitely was not American pizza.  Something weird is they put corn on everything here, there was corn on the pizza, but it still tasted good.  Bri couldn't live over here though cause she hates corn haha. 

         Well Tuesday was the lovely day that I opened my wallet and saw that all my cash was gone.  I was so mad all morning because I couldn't believe someone would actually steal a missionary’s money.  The only place that I left my bag alone was that Sunday at Stake Conference while I was talking to people.  I thought for sure it would be safe at Stake Conference.  It was about 80 pounds, which is quite a lot, that is the equivalent to about 150 US dollars.  But luckily it was the personal money that i came with, so I didn't have to get more money from the church, I will just have to live with out it.  The more I think about it the more grateful I am that they just took the cash and not my wallet.  The whole "it could be worse" thing helped me forgive the person, and I hope they used the money for something really good :)
         Tuesday was a crazy day.  We take the buses everywhere we go, and the bus we take to the chapel usually is about a 15 minute bus ride, but that day it took us an hour because traffic was so bad.  The buses were so full that some of them wouldn't even stop at the stops cause they couldn't have any more people get on.  It was nuts!  Luckily most of our appointments fell through, so we were able to make it to the few that didn't and we were able to get everything done.  The little things you become grateful for on your mission :)  
         Wednesday was amazing.  On Wednesdays we have district meeting, which is always fun.  The spirit was with us so strong this week.  One of the Elders talked to us about his story about how he got on his mission and the struggles he has had and I was about in tears it was so good.  He talked about how some days on his mission the only thing he could do was put on his nametag and go out on the street.  He said if that is all you can do, that is fine, that is all the Lord requires, but you can always put more effort into it if you are willing.  It was a really spiritual time and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  
That day we taught a couple families as well.  The family that was supposed to feed us the kangaroo forgot, so sadly we didn't have it. I was kind of looking forward to it!  Oh well.  We taught a lesson to one of our investigators who just lost her Grandma, so we taught her the plan of salvation, and I think that that has become my favorite lesson to teach.  It is such a simple straight forward, yet so spiritual lesson.  It was amazing and she was just beaming with joy after we were done.  
         Oh that night I attempted to make homemade mac n cheese haha.  We put a little too much cheese in it, but it still tasted really good and reminded me of home :)
         Thursday we got to go to the temple!!!!! It was so nice and I loved every minute of it!  That is Presidents Christmas present to all the missionaries every year, he charters buses to get the people from like plymouth up here to go.  But he thinks that it is really important, so he makes sure it happens.  We saw the film I saw when I went through for the first time, so it was fun kind of reflecting on my experience of receiving my endowments.  This week I have though a lot about the temple and the importance of it, and I have come to love it so much.  It was sad during the session though because we were all sitting in the Celestial Room with President and Sister Millar and I realized that it could be a year before I am back.  I have a new appreciation for the temple and we are so blessed to be able to have one so close to us in Logan.  That was cool sitting in the Celestial room with all missionaries, it was like Gods army haha.  I love the temple, and the London temple is so pretty on the inside!  It isn't like any of the temples I have been in before, I really hope I can go back soon!  

We had a lunch with the zones we were with after the session, which was really good.  It was a ham dinner, so it felt like Christmas!  They had chimes so we played some Christmas carols on them, it reminded me of us on Christmas Eve and how much we all love playing them ;) hahaha  I got roped into playing the piano while they all sang Christmas carols, seriously I can't decide if its a blessing or a burden that I play, sometimes I really just want to sit and sing with everyone and relax.  But I have to use the talents given to me ;) haha
         President also talked to us about missionary work and how it isn't about individual numbers, but numbers as a whole.  He said "It doesn't matter if your in Brighton where people are running to the font left and right, or somewhere that is 'dead'", it is not us that takes the credit, but the mission as a whole and the Lord.  I loved that because it seems like people get so caught up in your numbers out here and how many people you can talk to, but that isn't what matters, it is doing the Lords work that matters.  And I laughed when he said people are running to the font here haha. 
         We also got all of our Christmas packages to take back with us, and I got a lot!  I haven't opened some of them yet, but I did opened the families when I got back, and I was overwhelmed with how much was in there!  I held myself together, but for some reason when I saw the sand dollar I started to tear up.  Thank you for putting that in there, it is one of my favorite traditions of ours. And G&G Smith sent a nativity set, which I love and am so grateful for.  I put up the Christmas tree you sent yesterday morning, but I forgot to take a pic, sorry.  But it is really cute and I love it so thanks for sending that!!!

         We taught a lesson to a recent convert that night and I felt like I was high on the spirit.  I really do think the temple like rejuvenated my spirit, it was amazing!  I felt like we were really following the spirit with what to teach and I participated a lot, so I was really happy.  Thursday was a good day :)
         Friday we had a baptism!  No it wasn't T (she’s asked us not to include names), he has been sick all week and we haven't been able to see him, so he hasn't been baptized yet, we are hoping he will be the 27 though!  But it was for T, one of our other investigators that is awesome!  We had to get everything ready at the chapel so we spent most the time there.  We had to clean the font, which was fun haha, I never thought I would do that in my life, but I did!  His baptism service was really good, he is quite shy so there weren't many people.  And because of that, the missionaries had to do the musical number.  Myself, Sister Hickman, Elder Reed and Elder Green had to sing the song Come Unto Christ.  I was so scared we were going to butcher it, but don't worry we actually did pretty good.  Yes I sang in front of people, it was totally out of my comfort zone, but I can say I did it.  I recorded it so I will have to show it to you guys when I get home.  

         We had time to do some street contacting after the baptism and we were kind of successful, some people would talk to us, but not a ton.  Everyone was saying "I'm good", or "I'm not interested" and sometimes I just want to be like look, you're really not good, this is eternal life we are talking about, or you should be interested because this is how you gain eternal life.  But people sadly have their agency, so we can't choose for them.  
         That night was the ward Christmas party, which was fun.    We played games and sat in a circle and sang some Christmas songs, all the ones that talk about snow and having a white Christmas, which made me miss being home for Christmas, but I wouldn't trade being here for anything.  
Saturday was a weird day.  Sister Hickman and I just woke up in a funk.  We didn't tell each other, but we talked about it that night and we both woke up just feeling weird about something.  We still can't figure out what it was, but the whole day was just weird.  We had a lesson with an investigator.   He isn't a "progressing investigator", or one that is moving towards baptism.   I was frustrated because we hardly get to teach him the gospel during lessons.  That afternoon we made homemade oreos for a munch n mingle we had yesterday, so that was fun. 
         Then as a zone we are giving each other different finding ideas for how to talk to people about He is the Gift, so we did ours Saturday night.  Ours was to wrap up pass a long cards and hold a sign that said "FREE GIFT" on the street and hand them out.  We were really successful with that and lots of people took them, but we decided that having two sisters standing on the street at night holding a sign that says free gift is probably not the smartest idea.  We had a couple people say some inappropriate stuff, but you just have to ignore them and move on.  We had one guy take one and then offer us a free gift, AKA some drugs, and we had to tell him like 10 times we didn't want any haha.  It was an adventure and I have some stories for my journal not :)  After that we were supposed to be teaching someone at the chapel, but as we were waiting for him Sis Hickman and me both had this terrible feeling, so we told him we were going to have to reschedule and we went home.  It was the weirdest thing and we don't know what would have happened if we stayed, but we are both so glad we made it home safe.  I don't know what it was about that day, but something just didn't feel right.  

         Then yesterday was Sunday!  Woohoo, another week down!  T, our investigator that got baptized Friday, was supposed to be confirmed during sacrament meeting, but he didn't show up, which is concerning, so we have to meet with him and figure out what is going on.  But that's like the only bad thing that happened.  We had a munch n mingle with is always good, we always love free food!  Then a family in the ward is doing a Christmas Carol Concert on Friday and I'm accompaning them on some songs so I spent some time trying to learn them with them because they are kind of difficult.  That afternoon we had an appointment fall through and our whole district was still at the chapel and we just got into really personal stories and we had like bonding time.  I have really come to love my whole district, we all get a long so good and the time we spend together is a lot of fun, so I enjoyed yesterday afternoon.  
         That night we went over to the bishops house for dinner with the Ward Mission Leader.  Dinner was good, as usual.   The Ward Mission Leader is going through the temple next week so Bishop asked us to sit in on the temple prep class, which I loved.  It was interesting hearing the lessons now that I've gone through.  It made me really think about everything and how everything applies.  I love the temple.  It was a great night because of that, it is always fun to reflect on when I first went through.  
         This week was another good one and I am grateful for the lessons that I learned and the memories that I made.  I can't believe it is Christmas next week!  It is so crazy!  People are saying we could get snow here before then, so I am crossing my fingers!  

         Oh and we are trying to get permission to go to London for P-day next week, so I don't email at the same time, don't freak out, I am still alive, I am just in London.  I told the Ward Mission Leader that that is the only thing I want for Christmas and the District Leader has been planning it for a while, so I am crossing my fingers that President will let us go.  Everyone in my district is so jealous of me because I have gotten to do so much already haha.  Perks of being in a district where everyone is going home in the next 5 months :)  It is fun! 

         Well I love you guys and hope you have a great week!  Remember Christ and everything he has done for us and remember that we were sent on earth at this time for specific purpose.  I know Christ lives and loves each of us, he is watching over us every day and wants us to succeed in life and return to his presence.  The gospel is amazing and can bring so much peace and joy in our life if we let it.  So let it :)


Sister Robison