Monday, January 26, 2015

Fish'n Chips

     Why hello again family, it seems that these emails on Monday are becoming a regular thing ha-ha.  This week was very interesting; it flew by which is always nice.  I had the most amazing spiritual experience last night, and I can't wait to type it at the end of my letter, so here you go:
So, as you know on Sunday nights we account.  We were able to account face to face with Elder Green this week (we usually have to do it over the phone), so it was a longer accounting and more personal I thought.  He got to the last question where he asks how the missionaries are doing, and for some reason all I wanted to do was cry, I was trying so hard to hold it in cause I didn't want him to see me cry.  He was talking about our companionship and how we have strengthened our comp unity and all this stuff.  While he was talking the thought popped into my mind that I was going to have a priesthood blessing that night, but I ignored it cause I didn't want to admit I needed one.  We were walking out of the room after accounting and I told Sister Stuart that all I wanted to do was cry, and I didn’t know why.  She seemed really concerned, usually when one of us says that we just eat some chocolate and get over it.  Then Elder Reed came over and asked if I was okay, and I just started bawling, I really don't know why (well now I do).  So they talked to me for a while about everything I am feeling.  I have felt very inadequate lately.  Everyone tells me I’m a good missionary and have learned fast, but I don't feel like that at all.  I have so much I need to improve on and I just felt like I wasn’t doing the best I could.  They talked to me about the missionary work and the atonement and how of course this isn't easy, in fact it is one of the hardest things we will ever do.  Sister Stuart then asked if I wanted a blessing, she said that it isn't a sign of weakness, which is one of the reasons I didn't want to ask for one, because I didn't want them to see I was weak.  But I thought about it and I decided it would be really nice.  So I got a blessing, and it was the most powerful blessing I have ever received I think.  Elder Green gave it, and in it he talked about literally everything I had been thinking about that day.  He instructed me to reflect on the blessing I received when I was set apart, which I haven't told any one about, so that was amazing, and I was thinking during sacrament meeting I needed to do that.  He also told me that I have ancestors watching over me and protecting me as I do this work, and that part was so powerful.  I had been thinking about Grandpa Robison a little bit during the day, so when he said that it really hit me.  I know it may sound weird, but it felt like Grandpa was there giving me the blessing.  I can definitely feel him helping me and watching over me everyday.  Even Elder Green said that was a powerful part, he started crying when he said that, and he has never cried while giving a blessing before.  It was so amazing and the spirit that has surrounded me ever since is incredible.  The priesthood is amazing, it really is Gods authority, I know it is.  It was such an incredible experience, I can't even describe it, but Heavenly Father is there and watching over each of us individually.  

    So the rest of the week was pretty normal.  For P-day we went down to the Pier and took pictures and stuff. Then we went and ate at Nandos and had roast was good, but not sure it was worth the amount of money it costs.  I was secretly hoping that someone from one direction would be of the members in the ward actually saw Sam Smith in Brighton at the Laines a few weeks ago, so I mean I could run into someone famous.  And Adele lives here, so we are going to go knocking in the area she lives and find her :) Oh while we were on the pier they were playing some cabin music, it was so random, but it was a tiny miracle in the day. 

    On Tuesday we woke up to snow, yes I just said England!  It was so crazy!  Let me tell you though, people don't now what to do when it snows here...they literally drive like 2 mph, I took a video of it, it was hilarious.  But sadly it didn't stick :( That night we had "Doc n Choc", a class we do as missionaries every Tuesday where we have chocolate and discuss some doctrine.  But it was a member’s birthday Tuesday, so we decided to throw a surprise party for him because he does so much for us. It was a legit party too!  We baked a cake and everything.  It was such a fun night, and we even had a former investigator show up!

    On Wednesday I went on exchange with Sister Hopgood in Chichester.  Thursday we were on exchange as well, until that afternoon when we exchanged back.  I missed having sister Stuart as my companion.  I really will miss her when she goes home.  I am so grateful for the things that I have learned from her and the memories we have made.  
    On Friday I had fish n chips for the very first time, well fish for the first time...and it was actually quite good!  I had cod, which really doesn't taste fishy at all.  We also taught the former investigator who came to Doc n Choc, that night, and he accepted a baptism date for Feb 7.   We have faith that he can do it, he wants to be baptized so bad.  
    Saturday was a crazy day.  We went to a ward members house for lunch and to help her plan a YW lesson.  She made us some awesome tacos for lunch and homemade guacamole, which was so good!  Her son ate with us too and he started to ask us about this red cake we have in America.  We told him it is red velvet cake and he said he thought it was called American Red Cake hahaha.  We then told him costco has the best red velvet cake, but he had never heard of costco before, so we spent probably a half hour explaining costco to him, and he was googling where the closest one was and all this stuff.  IT was so funny!  English people...ha-ha
    So there you go, there is my week :)  The biggest thing I have learned this week is that the priesthood is the authority to act in Gods name.  We had a few investigators receive priesthood blessings as well this week, and they are amazing.  I am so grateful and blessed to be surrounded by so many people who honor their priesthood so that they can give a blessing on the spot.  What an amazing blessing the gospel is in all of our lives.  I love it so much.  I love Christ so much and I know that we all have angels surrounding us every day watching over us.  And for me, that angel is Grandpa Robison, I know it is, I can feel his presence near and I know he is smiling down at me.  Sorry if I sound like a crazy person, but it is what I have come to learn and love this week.  
Thank you for everything you do for me.  I know all the prayers you say help me throughout my week.  If I am having a bad day, I often think about our stake at home and how someone is fasting for me every day, which is a huge blessing.  This gospel is true and amazing. 
I love you all so much! Have a good week!  Only 2 more emails left in this transfer...

Sister Robison

Monday, January 19, 2015

2 Months In England!

Hey family! 
     Sounds like you guys had just an average week.... and that’s good cause I just had an average week as well.  Nothing really exciting happened this week; so sorry this letter may be a bit boring. 
But Monday for P-day we filmed more for the video we were putting together for Zone Training.  These videos are hilarious; I will try and figure out a way to send it to you, because it sums up Brighton pretty well.  I had a Kebab for lunch on Monday.  They are pita type things that are super greasy and people usually only eat them when they are drunk, but my district told me I had to try one.  It was pretty good, but I don't know if I will be having one again for a while.... Google a kebab shop and you will see what they look like. It is just a huge hunk of meat that they slice off for you. 
     Tuesday was a rough day.  It was just one of those days where I was really frustrated with how the day was going.  That night we went to the Deans for dinner.  They had some YSA girls who are going on missions soon, so they had us over to talk to them about stuff, so that was good.  
     Wednesday was full of contacting Less Actives and being rejected.  We have about 300-400 less actives in this ward, which is a ton! So we are doing a lot of work with finding those who aren't interested and who have moved and all that fun stuff, but it has to be done, so we do it.  We didn't see any success that day, but one of these days we will find a less active that will want to talk to us.  Funny story from Wednesday:  We were walking down the street and there was this old lady with a cane about 30 feet ahead of us, we weren't even close to her, and she lifts her cane up and yells "move, now!” at us.  It was so freaky and funny and I was just freaking out.  It was hilarious ha-ha.  
     Thursday was Zone Training, which was interesting.  Our presentation was good, but people didn't really think our video was funny.  That’s okay cause we thought it was funny and had fun filming it.   President gave a really good presentation about missionary work.  He told us that we wouldn’t see the success of our work until we raise our own kids and see them go on missions.  He talked about how ultimately we are out here learning things for the rest of our lives and preparing us for raising kids and being married.  It was really good.  

The Brighton Ward missionaries. Elder Reed, Sister Stuart, me, Elder Green (the DL), Elder Lam (Chinese speaking missionary), and Elder Williams (Chinese speaking)
This was for one of the scenes in our movie we did, we did a dress and grooming segment, so we all dressed super ridiculously

     After Zone Training we came back and we baked cookies to give to members who help us a lot, it was really nice doing service.  We also treated ourselves to a really nice roast meal.  We mashed potatoes, carrots, sausage, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding (which is amazing).  It was really nice; we both just needed a break from everything after Zone Training.

Our yummy meal Thursday night!

     Friday we had to stay in our flat for the first half of the day waiting for a dehumidifier to get delivered.  So we studied a lot in our flat and got a lot done that needed to get done.  That night the ward did what is called "quiz and chips" basically trivia while we eat French fries.  It was pretty fun, except I had no clue what any of the questions were because they were all like English history and English celebrities, so I pretty much slept through it ha-ha.
     Saturday we were out teaching all the people in Newhaven that we teach.  One Sister we are teaching accepted a baptism date!   We were waiting at the bus stop that night and these 2 people started talking to us, which was so strange because no one just talks to us, they were really nice and asking all about America and all this stuff.  I was just so taken back the whole time because they were talking to us the whole half hour we were waiting for the bus.  I also realized Saturday that I am in the most expensive mission in the world, living in the most expensive area in that mission.  Everything is super expensive here!  Pretty much it is double the price of something in America, which is ridiculous!  
     Yesterday was good...I love Sundays here.  Onr of our recent converts who hasn't been to church in a while and I was really worried about, came and he passed the sacrament!  It made me so happy to see him!!!  The gospel is amazing!  Sister Stuart and I had to teach Gospel principals again, I was kind of zoned out the whole time and she just took over.  It was weird, I don't know what happened to me but I just couldn't pay attention and I didn't have much to contribute.  All the missionaries laughed about that when I told them cause they could notice I was zoned out.... ha-ha oops.  Ya, and we didn't do much else Sunday; Sundays seem to turn into really unproductive days, which is really bad.  We need to try and fix that.  
     During our weekly accounting with Elder Green (my DL) we set goals for the week.  He told me this week that he is very impressed with my goals and hasn't ever seen someone set such specific goals, which was good to hear.  My goal this week is to study the Book of Mormon hand in hand with PMG.  So I will study a chapter in the Book of Mormon and identify a theme that I can then study in PMG.  I am really excited to do this, I really think it will help me a lot.  I am studying in Mosiah right now.  This time reading the Book of Mormon I have been really focusing on the story line and making connection with who is who, it is actually really interesting to keep track of, I am learning a lot.  I have also been studying a little from D&C everyday, that’s a cool book.  A few days this week I tried studying Abraham, because someone asked us about the history of it and where it came from and basically the validity behind it, but that is some deep doctrine in really made me think, there is some interesting stuff in there though.  
     This week we are going on exchanges with sisters outside of our zone, so I get to go to a place called Chichester.  I have no clue where/what it is, but I am excited!  
     I love you guys!  Thanks for everything you do for me and all the prayers!  You are the best family every!   
Sister Robison :)
 Oh and today marks 2 months in England for me! Woot woot!!

A cute little cafe we had lunch in one day

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mission Life is Good

     It's been a good week.  Sister Stuart and I have found a lot in common this week.  She is actually really funny and we get along great now.  We think that we are similar in a lot of little ways, so that is why we butted heads at the beginning of the transfer.  Thank you for all of your prayers!   
     For P-day we went bowling down on the Marina with our district.  I have said it before, but I love my district so much!  We have such a fun time when we are all together!  We bowled, then the other sisters in our district had to catch their train back to Eastbourn (their area), but us Brighton missionaries still had 2 hours of p-day, so we played a whole bunch of the arcade games.  It was so much fun and a good stress reliever.  

Sister Stuart and I last P-Day

Me, Sister Stuart, Elder Reed, and Elder Lam

At the Pavillion, it is the coolest/prettiest place ever

     We found out we had to go and stay the night with the VC (Visitor Center) sisters because of MLC for Sister Stuart.  They literally gave us a 1 hour heads up, so we were booking it to the train station, only to get in, buy our tickets, and miss the train by 30 seconds.  Luckily a ward member offered to drive us, so we got there in time.  I swear I am basically a VC sister because I spend so much time there.  I always joke that one of these transfers President will transfer me there because I already know how it works.

      Tuesday I spent the day there.  I got to watch Meet the Mormons, which was really nice.  I cried during the Missionary Mom's one, that was really sad and made me think about when I left.  I did just about everything you can do in the VC that day, I watched all the presentations and read all the displays.  But it was a nice relaxing break from everything that has been going on.  They do online work there, so I had 3 hours to just explore the church websites.  I looked at a lot of profiles, and I read a lot on  I had to speak in church this week, so it was nice to have access to to find quotes and stuff I could use. That night when we got back we went to the Deans (a senior couple that live in the same apartment as us) for dinner, they always make us stroganoff, which is so good!  They put it on potatoes though, try it, it is really tasty! 
     Wednesday was definitely our bad day for the week.  To start out, we left to catch the bus to make it to a teach, only to find out our bus passes were expired and we didn't have money to buy a pass, so luckily the Deans were willing to drive us, they saved our life! haha.  Then we had 5 scheduled appointments, but they all fell through.  Its days like those that I really dislike and that make being a missionary hard. 
         Thursday we had district meeting.  We talked about the work in our district and then people presented lessons and stuff.  They are usually pretty beneficial.  I enjoy them.  We had a couple appointments that day too out in New Haven.  We saw a couple, who I love, they are recent converts who are like my grandparents, they spoil us so much.  They are the best.  We also saw a family we teach.  They aren't married, and found out this week that they were pregnant, however she also found out that she had had a miscarriage.  So she was pretty down, but she told us her focus now is on marriage and getting baptized. 
         Friday, was the typical Brighton day, stuck in the chapel teaching all day.  We had 4 teaches back to back, so we were going a bit stir crazy being stuck in the chapel.  Then that day Lewis (the ward mission leader) told us about everything going on in France.  That is pretty scary stuff, especially cause we were like a 1 hour ferry ride or train ride from Paris...and the place they found one of the guys is like 30 miles across the sea from we have been told to be extra careful, especially in the area we are in.  I guess London has some terrorist threats or something, but anyways, pray that we will be kept safe.  I am sure we will be fine, but when I first heard about all of it I was kind of scared and felt like hiding my badge to be kept safe haha.  Don't worry, I would never do that...We also heard about the new mission president that will be coming this summer.  He is serving in the Frankfurt Germany mission right now as a senior couple, they are from Orem, he was a Seminary president, and the Orem North YSA Stake president (or something like that...).  It will be really hard to see president Millar go, he is a great guy.  He is the oldest mission president in the world, cool fact.  
         Saturday was a really relaxed day.  Last week I told you about our moldy couch, well we got rid of it!  I was so happy!  The mission office has a big van and they were bringing a new mattress down for the Deans, so while they were here we had them haul our couch to the tip.  It felt so good to get rid of it, and it wasn't comfortable at all!  The elders found a couch on the side of the road that is pretty nice, so they gave it to us.  It stinks like cats, but it is super comfy!  So we were in our flat most of Saturday doing stuff with the couch and weekly planning.  We went to lunch with the Elders and Elder Dean at a place called the Carvery, it is a buffet of traditional sunday roasts here, it is actually pretty good and cheap, so we like it!  That night we went up to the VC with an investigator and recent convert to see Meet the Mormons.  It was really good for them to see.  One of them said they really enjoyed seeing the missionary mom one because it reminds them how hard it must be for us to come out here.  I think people out here forget that we have a family back home and that it is hard to leave them. 

     Then yesterday...I love Sundays, they are like mini p-days in a way.  Like I said earlier, I had to speak AGAIN in Sacrament Meeting, I swear I have to speak every week.  I spoke about how my family helped prepare me to serve a mission.  I talked about what Mom and Dad did as we were growing up to teach us the gospel, like reading the Book of Mormon every morning, making church a priority, honoring their temple covenants and teaching us the importance of coventants, and to love everyone.  I also talked about how mom and Bri tried to talk me out of going on a mission haha.  But I got a whole bunch of compliments after from ward members saying how awesome my parents sound, so there you go, people in England think you are awesome :)  Sister Stuart and I have been asked to present at Zone Training this week (a big meeting with our zone and president) about how to be a preach my gospel missionary.  And it has to be 20 minutes long!  We had no clue what to do, so we decided we are going to make videos about how to not be a PMG missionary.  So last night we started those, and we are doing more today for p-day with the elders.  They are hilarious, I can't wait for you guys to see them when I get home haha.  It is fun. 
     This week was SO much better than last.  It is very hard to transition from one companion to the next, because everyone is different.  But we have sorted our differences out and we laugh so much now.  It is good, we have a good time doing stuff.   Sounds like things are back to normal back home now.  That is sad that the Bronco's lost :( maybe next year...  Thanks for the journal entry dad, that is like exactly what I wrote in my journal last week, pretty crazy.
To answer some of Bri's questions:  We don't switch off cooking, we just kind of cook together and throw stuff together.  I have no clue what I eat some nights... we do have plans to go to Nandos soon, so that is exciting!
       Oh on a side note, Brad Wilcox gave a fireside at the Hyde Park Chapel last night, I was bummed we couldn't go... just thought I'd throw that in there.

          Well I love you guys.  Thanks for all the prayers!  Brighton is still Brighton and I see strange stuff everyday, a lot of stuff I wish I would have never seen, but that’s life.  I decided this week that I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission and live in England.  If I would have just done the Study Abroad here I really wouldn't have gotten to know the people here or the culture, it is so much different living here.  I love it so much!  I know I will have a hard time leaving Brighton in a few months, I keep saying I would be fine if I stayed here my whole mission, it is heaven in a lot of ways.  I love it :)
Have a great week! 

Sister Robison :)